EBible Fellowship Sunday Bible Study – 27-Jan-2008


by John McOwen


This is going to be Part 2 of a series entitled “Love Defined.”  There are going to be three parts for 1 Corinthians 13, the topic being “love.”  We are going to begin this study in chapter 13 of 1 Corinthians.  Once again, we will read the first eight verses to get the context.  I am going to translate the word “love” that we find here in the King James in the same way that I did last time.  “Charity” is an Old English word, but this word is much more familiar to us as the word “love”; therefore, we are going to use the word “love.”  This is the Greek word agape, as we said before.  Once again, every time we see the word “charity” in the King James, I will say the word “love,” which is the word agape in the Greek.  So let us begin. 

We read in 1 Corinthians 13:1-8:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not [love], I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not [love], I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not [love], it profiteth me nothing. [Love] suffereth long, and is kind; [love] envieth not; [love] vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. [Love] never faileth: …

We will end our reading here. 

Once again, I reiterate that verses 1 through 3 established that the preeminence of “love” is above and beyond all other attributes that anyone could ever desire to possess.  I say this because it says in verse 2 that if I “understand all mysteries,” if I have “knowledge,” if I have “all faith, so that I could remove mountains,” if I have all these other things but “have not [love], I am nothing.”  Clearly, the preeminence of “love” is manifested here just in the first three verses.  From verses 4 to 8, we have a description of “love”; and as it turns out, there are really sixteen phrases, synonyms, or adjectives used to describe what “love” is. 

In Part 1 of this series, we went through verse 4 and we looked at every one of these phrases, but now we are going to pick up in verse 5.  Our study today will begin here with a description of the word “love.”  We are going to look in detail here as we read through this verse.  Perhaps if we have time, we will be able to look at verse 6 as well.  Let me read verse 5 again, the first phrase.  This is referring to “love”:

Doth not behave itself unseemly, … 

Today, we are going to focus on this first: “[Love] doth not behave itself unseemly.”  We do not use this word too often today in the English, “unseemly.”  In the Greek, it is Strong’s #807 and it is translated “behave unseemly.”  I am not giving you the actual Greek word, just the number that you can look up if you are inclined to do so. 

This word is only used twice in the Bible.  Let me give you at least what the Greek definition of this particular word “unseemly” is.  It means “to behave indecently, dishonorably, to be unbecoming, or to act not in accord with proper behavior or appropriate standards.”  So let us now take a look at this word “unseemly.”  This could mean a lot of different things. 

As we consider the definition of how this Greek word is used, keep in mind that this is only used twice in the whole Bible, which makes it difficult because it says here, “Doth not behave itself unseemly.”  It does not give us any more description than this in this verse, and we are not helped by the other one either.  So if I go to the Greek and take a look at what it says there, it says “to behave dishonorably.” 

I will bring an historical example that we all might be familiar with from a few years ago.  Someone is in a presidential office of our country, which is an honorable position.  As a matter of fact, it is probably the most powerful position in the whole world today.  If you recall, a few years back, President Clinton had a little difficulty with that Monica Lewinsky scandal.  Regardless of what did or did not happen, it was a dishonorable episode as all this stuff was dragged through the media and TV.  If you remember, there was an impeachment process that went through Congress.    

So that is what this word “dishonorable” means.  It is when you are in a position where you should behave honorably, but you do not.  Maybe we expect different things for some reason with people in these positions.  Why we do, I do not know; because we are all the same people and we are all susceptible to the same sins and temptations. 

But how about an example of “not acting in accord with proper behavior or appropriate standards”?  Well, I can think of a real simple example.  Let us say that you are going to attend a very elegant stately dinner that is being held.  You are there for the first time and you do not know how to handle the silverware.  You do not know what you are supposed to use, what spoon you are supposed to use.  This is kind of like a different example of “not acting in accord with the appropriate standards” for the setting that you are in (if you have ever been in this type of situation before and if you were perhaps not taught the etiquette of fine dining).  This is just a real simple example, because I am just giving a couple of examples of what this word in the Greek means. 

Now, how do we apply this to the context of how the Bible is describing it here?  “Love” does not act “unseemly.”  It is hard to really think that this has anything to do with etiquette, and it does not.  I am just giving you these examples to set the table for what it really does mean to “behave unseemly.”  Remember, to “behave unseemly” means, “I am not acting in accord with proper behavior or appropriate standards.” 

Does anyone want to take a guess as to what standards are in view here in 1 Corinthians 13?  The Bible is the whole Law of God and these are the standards that are in view.  So to “behave unseemly” is to violate God’s Law. 

I know this from John 14:15; because remember, the word “love” in 1 Corinthians 13 is agape.  Every single time we see the word “charity” or “love,” it is agape.  This same word, agape, is in John 14.  We have set the table for the fact that the standards are clearly the whole Bible.  So let us look at John 14:15.  Jesus is speaking and He says:

If ye love me, …

That is agape, the same agapelove” that we find in 1 Corinthians 13.

If ye love me, keep my commandments.

There you have it.  These are the standards then; these are the appropriate standards that I am to follow: “love.”  However, 1 Corinthians 13:5 says that “love”: 

Doth not behave itself unseemly, …

Therefore, you do not violate these standards if you truly “love.” 

Who is this referring to?  Your spouse?  This is broader; this is bigger.  This is especially referring to God.  If I “love” God, I am going to “behave” in accord with His standards.  To be dishonorable is to violate His Law, no matter how secret or open the violation may be.  So this is a good way to remember the fact that “[love] doth not behave itself unseemly.” 

Let us go on in 1 Corinthians 13:5 and take the next phrase as we define this beautiful word “love.”  In 1 Corinthians 13:5, we see that “love” also: 

… seeketh not her own, …

Seeketh not her own.”  It is a little easier to understand and to grasp this meaning.  “Her own” is Strong’s #1438.  In the Greek, this word is often used as a possessive pronoun, like “his” or “her.”  In our terms, an example might be “his car” or “her ring.”  We can see how a possessive pronoun is used. 

Here the Bible uses the term “love,” agapelove,” “seeketh not her own,” and this is what we want to look at here, “her own.”  Notice that the description of “love” here is in the negative.  “[Love] seeketh not her own.” 

Returning to an understanding of a possessive pronoun, as in “his car” or “her ring,” “love” does not seek its own; it is the opposite.  So if I am not seeking my own welfare, whose welfare am I interested in?  I am interested in the welfare of others.  Whomever I am involved with on any particular day, if I am encountering people—those on the street, at work, in school, my parents, my teachers, my spouse, my friends, my neighbors—whomever I am involved with in the course of the day, I need to keep in mind that “[love] seeketh not her own.” 

I happen to know, oddly enough, especially here in the cold months of the East Coast, two families in different states who are going through remodeling projects with their homes at the moment.  Both homes are having their kitchens worked on, among other things.  I have a good example of this, especially in one of the homes. 

I will not give names or anything, but let us say that we are involved in the remodeling of someone’s kitchen.  Let us say that there is both a husband and a wife involved in the decisions.  A typical example of this might be when the wife does 85 to 95% of the cooking, then she is the expert in the kitchen.  Let us say that I am talking with the husband, but whose opinion would I be most interested in concerning what we are to do with this kitchen, as far as what color the tiles should be, whether or not there should be an island in the middle of the kitchen that has a cutting board on it or not, etc.?  Would it not be the wife?  She is really the expert cook, so whatever she wanted would be what the husband should want.  You see, “[love] seeketh not her own.” 

There is another good example that I see when I visit a nursing home.  In almost every room, there are two people in each room but only one TV.  Let us say that one wants to watch the news and the other wants to watch a public television program.  Again, what is the challenge?  Whose opinion should I be interested in?  What TV program should I choose?  Am I going to fight over this?  No.  If  “[love] seeketh not her own,” I would want whatever my roommate wants, as long as it is decent and pure.  (I am assuming that we have two choices that are equally honorable.)   

There are examples in my own life in dealing with others when this really hits home.  You can look at your own life and your spouse if you are married: “[love] seeketh not her own.”  “Her own” would be anything that is mine—my interests, my desires, my things, what I want, what I desire—but the Bible says, “[love] seeketh not her own.”  Therefore, you are interested in your spouse’s welfare. 

This passage is read all the time at weddings, but is this phrase talked about a lot?  Not in this kind of detail.  If this was followed, we would not see divorce today.  We would not have a 55% divorce rate in North America, because “[love] seeketh not her own.”  Therefore, you would be constantly seeking to please your spouse, constantly seeking their best interest. 

[Love] seeketh not her own” especially if you are a child and you have siblings.  You should be looking for what your brother or sister wants, what they are interested in.  You would want to please them and to support them.  You would want to “love” them and to help them. 

This is a challenge because, by nature, we are really filled with selfishness and pride, are we not?  That has to be driven out of us.  What is the first thing that a three-year old does at Christmas or at birthday party when their sibling gets a present?  They want to run over and have it shared with them.  They want to be part of it.  But then the one who got the present says, “No, no, it is mine.  You cannot touch it!”  Sadly, this is engrained in us, yet we have to teach this to the children.  Through the Bible, we have to teach them that “[love] seeketh not her own.”  In other words, “love” is interested in others and their welfare.

Let us go on in 1 Corinthians 13:5.  “Love”:

… is not easily provoked,  …

[Love] is not easily provoked.”  “Provoked” is Strong’s #3947.  The interesting thing concerning this phrase, “[love] is not easily provoked,” is that the word “easily” is not in the literal translation, so the translation should really read, “[love] is not provoked.” 

What is a definition for this word “provoked” that is much more common in our language of today?  “Provoked” could refer to being “incited” or to be “impatient” or to be “upset” or “enticed” or “stirred up.”  These are very solid descriptions.  To be “impatient” definitely fits.  When you are impatient, it insinuates that you are kind of angry or you are a little bit perturbed.  So these are the definitions of “provoked”: to stir, to arouse, to irritate. 

This word is only used two times in the New Testament.  Here, once again, it is not defined for us in 1 Corinthians 13.  It simply says, “[love] is not provoked.”  The other place where this word is used is in Acts 17:16.  Let us go there.  Acts 17:16 is talking about an instance that Paul had:

Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, …

Here is this word, Strong’s #3947.  It is the same word “provoked” that we read in 1 Corinthians 13.  Here, it is translated as “stirred.”  So Paul’s spirit:

… was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.

I think that this is why the King James translators in 1 Corinthians 13 inserted the word “easily,” “[love] is not easily provoked.”  I think that they really believed that it was righteous to have a certain provocation when they saw sin.  However, the Bible says “[love] is not provoked,” so this is easy to summarize. 

This means that no matter what the person I am trying to “love” does or does not do, I will not get irritated or incited to anger, period.  Right?  The Bible says “[love] is not provoked”; so if I am “loving” my spouse Biblically, I will never get “provoked,” no matter what, which means that I need to pray for the strength that God defines in this beautiful chapter, as it says here in 1 Corinthians 13 that “[love] is not provoked.”  This is a tall order to fill, of course; but no matter what the issue is, I will not get “provoked.” 

I think that it is impossible for us to live up to this standard; however, this is what we can strive for.  We can strive for this.   The measure in which you are able to exercise this is the measure in which you are going to have an awesome and fulfilling and incredible marriage, guaranteed. 

What does the Bible say in Proverbs?  “Where no wood is, the fire goes out.”  So “the fire” is like a conflagration, a little anger back and forth; but if you are not throwing “wood” into “the fire,” as in “where no wood is,” it is going to peter out.  Therefore, if you are not “provoked,” no matter what, then it is going to be healthy and very good.  This is the beauty of “love.”  “[Love] is not provoked,” period; it simply is not. 

Here then is the challenge.  We see this as we study this today.  We hear this and we get excited about trying to really implement this to enhance our marriages or our relationships with our children or with our colleagues at work or at school or with our neighbors, even with our enemies, whoever they may be, but how can we stay in this mindset at all times?   

There is a great verse to give us a cudgel that is found in Luke 11.  This is when one of the disciples went to Jesus and said, “Lord, teach us to pray.”  We know this as the “Our Father,” but we usually go to the verse in Matthew to quote this prayer.  As far as this passage in Luke, I am just going to read one particular verse in the first part of Luke 11:4:

And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. 

The key word that we need to recognize in this verse is the word “every one.”  Jesus teaches us to pray, “Our Father…forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us,” with no exceptions.  Therefore, do you see why the Bible can say in 1 Corinthians 13 that “[love] is not provoked”?  This is because there are no exceptions: “[love] is not provoked.” 

Jesus tells us, “every one that is indebted to us,” we are going to “forgive.”  Every single sin, no matter who, what, when, where, or whatever the circumstances were, even down to the most heinous crime and sin, the Bible says that we are to “forgive every one that is indebted to us.” 

So as I look at this prayer and as I look at this verse, this has to energize me to say, “I am going to follow this Biblical principle of ‘love.’  Therefore, I will not get ‘provoked,’ period.  I will always remember that I have to ‘forgive’ if God has forgiven me.  If I am seeking the Lord’s forgiveness, if I am hoping that He will ‘forgive’ me, then I have to ‘forgive every one that is indebted’ to me.”  This is the principle that we are to follow. 

Let us now go back to 1 Corinthians 13 and look at another example of “love. “ At this point, by my count, there are sixteen examples in this chapter.  Like I said before, it will take three messages to get through all of these.  The ninth one is also in verse 5.  It is the last one in 1 Corinthians 13:5, and it says that “love”:

… thinketh no evil;

Agape[love] thinketh no evil.”  This is a great one.  Out of all sixteen, you may find that one is going to be a favorite for you, one that you really want to learn to apply.  This one is really special because it says “[love] thinketh no evil.” 

We will start with the word “evil.”  This word “evil” is Strong’s #2556.  The first idea that comes to mind is the general understanding of this word “evil.”  Of course I am not going to wish any harm on someone whom I “love.”  I would never want my spouse to get hurt or my child.  This is what we might think this word “evil” means; however, it goes so much deeper than this. 

We are going to go to Mark 7 where we will find this same word “evil,” Strong’s #2556, to really get the perfect description of this word.  To me, this is the best definition of the source of this “evil.”  Jesus is speaking, and we read in Mark 7:21-22: 

For from within, out of the heart of men, …

Notice the source of this “evil.”  It is “from within, out of the heart of men.”  So think about your own “heart” now.

… proceed evil thoughts, …

There is our word “evil,” Strong’s #2556.  Remember, “[love] thinketh no evil.”  But here, Jesus said:

… from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, …

This is referring to the thinking that goes on within the mind of man.  What are these thoughts?  Are they thoughts of murder or harm to someone?  Not necessarily.  The very first one is:

… adulteries, …

If we are married and we consider that “[love] thinketh no evil,” to even think adulterously is “evil.”  Jesus said, “That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” 

So there we have it.  Wow!  What a great description of where the source of this “evil” is coming from.  It is in me.  It is in mine own “heart.” 

It continues:

… adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, …

[Love] thinketh no evil” and Jesus tells us that some of the “evil” that comes out of us is “covetousness.”  So if I “love” God, then I am especially not coveting.  That is part of His commandments.  What is listed after “covetousness”?

… wickedness, deceit, …

Have you ever deceived anyone?  “Love” is not going to do this.

… lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, …

As this says, even “pride” is “evil.”  Jesus said, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts,” and then He goes through all these descriptions here, as it continues:    

… pride, foolishness:

Foolishness” is even “evil.”  And if we did not get it, Jesus reiterates this and underscores this in verse 23, Mark 7:23:

All these evil things …

So everything that I just listed that He spoke of is “evil,” as it says: 

All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

So where is the source of this “evil”?  It is in me; it is in my “heart” and in my mind.  But the Bible says that “[love] thinketh no evil,” and this is the challenge. 

I might act wonderfully outwardly, but what is happening in my mind?  That is why I can never really tell if someone else is truly saved or not.  How do I know?  All I am seeing is their outward expression and their behavior.  I have really limited knowledge of the inner workings of the mind of another human being, and that is where the “evil” proceeds from.  “[Love] thinketh no evil” though, and this is the challenge. 

How can I take hold of this?  Let us say that my mind is difficult to pull the reins in; it plagues me.  If it does, what is the antidote?   The antidote is that “[love] thinketh no evil.” 

So we are now going to look at the word “think,” because “[love] thinketh no evil” and this is the antidote.  This word “think” is Strong’s #3049.  We pick this up in Philippians 4, which many of us are familiar with.  I think that this is the best passage for this word.  Even so, how many of us really read this over and over again to ensure that our minds stay clean?  In Philippians 4:8, we are going to pick up this same word that was translated as “thinketh”: 

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, …

The key word here is “pure.” 

… whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Here is our word “think.”  We are to “think on these things.”  What is the antidote to “[love] thinketh no evil”?  Let us turn the table around and think of the word “purity.”  We are to “think on these things” that are “true…honest…just…pure…lovely…of good report.” 

How am I going to find these types of thoughts?  I find them by continuing to read the Scriptures, because the Bible is “pure” and “holy,” is it not? 

Think about the purity of your own marriage.  Let us go back to that easy example, because so many of us are married.  We know that “[love] thinketh no evil.”  Your marriage is pure.  It is a holy state to be in before God where we are to “think no evil.”  Think about the purity and the beauty and the blessing that God has given you of a spouse, whether it is your husband or your wife.  What a blessing this is, and God has given you this person in order for you to minister to them; because, remember, “love” is not interested in its own things.  It is interested in the things of the other.  It also “thinketh no evil.” 

This is some good homework to leave with, to remember that “[love] thinketh no evil,” and this is huge.  We really need to take hold of our minds and our thinking processes, because our minds are constantly going, are they not?  Sometimes, unfortunately, even at night when we are trying to sleep, our minds are turning.  But we need to make sure that we are thinking about the right things, the “pure” things, the “just” things. 

Let us venture into verse 6 of 1 Corinthians 13, and we will pick up two more. These will be the last two that we look at today concerning this topic of “love.”  These are beautiful descriptions of “love.”  In 1 Corinthians 13:6, we pick up where “love”:

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, …

[Love] rejoiceth not in iniquity.”  The word “iniquity” is Strong’s #93.  Another word for “iniquity” is “unrighteousness.”  This same word is found in Romans 1:18.  It is actually twice in this verse.  Let me read Romans 1:18:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, …

Here is our word “iniquity” translated as “unrighteousness.”

… who hold …

Or “suppress” is really the best word here.

… the truth in unrighteousness;

Mankind is “unrighteous” and he acts “unrighteously.”  He is ungodly, which is another synonym in this verse.  This brings the wrath of God upon us, so it is pretty easy to understand what “iniquity” is.  “Iniquity” brings upon you the wrath of God.  It is “unrighteousness.”  It is things that are not right.  It is sin. 

So the Bible says that “[love] rejoiceth not in iniquity.”  What does it mean to “rejoice”?  This is an odd word to use here.  Why would I “rejoice” in sin?  Can you think of some of the sins that mankind commits that they do “rejoice” in? 

This story is fresh in my mind from work this week.  You know how change is made when you go to the cash register for whatever you might have bought and someone gives you more money back than you actually even gave them to pay for something?  When someone comes away with this extra cash, a lot of times they do not want to keep this a secret, so they tell others, “Hey, guess what happened?,” and they are all excited. 

This is kind of the perverseness of “rejoicing” in “iniquity,” “rejoicing” in something that is not right.  We can think of a lot of other things, especially with the profligate lifestyles and things of this nature that we see today.  The younger guys and girls like to kind of gloat about those kinds of things. 

Do you see what I mean when I talk about this “rejoicing” in these “iniquities”?  The Bible says that we are to “rejoice not in iniquity.”  To “rejoice” is Strong’s #5463.  We will look at just one passage in Luke 10 just to underscore what it really means to “rejoice” and why we would not want to do this with “iniquity.”  This is the thing to remember as we read this verse.  Luke 10:20: 

Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, …

Here is our word “rejoice.” 

… that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, …

Here it is again.

… because your names are written in heaven.

Imagine that you were one of the disciples and that you were casting out evil spirits from people.  You would be pretty excited about this, would you not?  Maybe you would go back and tell your friends about this.  Maybe the disciples came back and shared these types of stories. 

We do that, do we not?  We go out on a missions trip and we “rejoice” over some instances when God opened a door and we were able to reach someone.  Naturally so, because this is what it means to be happy, to be excited, to be fulfilled, and here is what we should really “rejoice” in. 

You rejoice when “your names are written in heaven.”  If you are saved, if you are an elect of God, you have everything to look forward to, which is “eternal life” where everything is suddenly made perfect.  You will have a glorified spiritual body; any aches and pains will be gone, as well as no more hunger, no more thirst, no more pain, no more sorrow, no more crying.  The joy of living forever in the presence of God is something to “rejoice” in.  This is something to be excited about. 

So the Bible says that “[love] rejoiceth not in iniquity.”  Therefore, you should never, ever let yourself get caught into the trap of laughing at an off-color joke at work or at school, or laughing at someone who is cussing in the classroom and it is, supposedly, humorous.  Things of this nature are very easy to get trapped into.  However, do not rejoice in iniquity; do not do it.  Rather, remain “sober” and “righteous” in the sight of the people who are unfortunately rejoicing in these kinds of things, whatever they might be.

Here is the close of 1 Corinthians 13:6.   So, “[love] rejoiceth not in iniquity”:

… but rejoiceth in the truth;

So here is the contrary, and this is the beauty of it.  If we have a true “love” for God, we “rejoice in the truth.” 

The word “rejoiceth” here is Strong’s #4796, which is a different word than the prior phrase.  If you remember, “rejoiceth” in the earlier part of verse 6 was Strong’s #5463.  This is a different word and it has a slightly different meaning. 

Strong’s #4796, “but rejoiceth in the truth,” means to “rejoice.”  Strong’s #5463, “rejoiceth not in iniquity,” is also translated as “be glad.”  These are very similar in one sense.  However, Strong’s #4796 is referring to “rejoicingwith someone or thing.  This is the interesting thing about this word here.  “[Love] rejoiceth not in iniquity” (#5463) but it “rejoices,” different word (#4796), “[with] the truth.”  This is really how this word should be translated here. 

Let us go to Luke 15 to pick this up.  In Luke 15:8, we will pick up this word “rejoice” that we see in this phrase in 1 Corinthians 13:6, “rejoiceth in the truth.”  What does this word mean?  How is it different than the last one?  In Luke 15:8-9, Jesus is speaking: 

Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; …

Here is the word “rejoice” that we find in 1 Corinthians 13:6, “rejoiceth in the truth.”

… Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. 

So we see here that “she calleth her friends and her neighbours together” and then she says, “Rejoice with me.” 

This is kind of like people who go to an athletic event, a sports game.  Is it any fun if you are at a game and the bleachers are totally empty?  If you are the only one watching when someone scores right at the end, maybe it is your own child who scores a win, is it the same thing?  They win the game, but there is no one else cheering.  It is not the same thing, is it?  It is not the same thing as having a high school gymnasium filled with 2,500 people all screaming and hollering when your child hits that winning basket. 

Can you see how different it is when you are with other people?  The Bible is talking here about “rejoicingwith something along with something else or someone else, and what would that be?  If “[love] rejoiceth not in iniquity,” it “rejoices,” and the literal translation should read, “[with] the truth,” not “in the truth” but “[with] the truth.”

What does this insinuate?  That insinuates that God’s “truth,” by its very nature, “rejoices.”  It “rejoices,” yet it is an inanimate object or an emotion.  When we think of what “truth” is, it is not a person.  We think of people “rejoicing,” but here the Bible says that “truth” actually “rejoices.”  I “rejoice” along with “truth” if I “love” God.  If I have true agapelove” in my “heart,” I am “rejoicing in the truth” or “[with] the truth.” 

Let us go to Mark 12:14 to pick this up, because what is this “truth”?  I am “rejoicing [with] the truth,” so what is it? 

And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: …

So Jesus “teachest the way of God in truth,” and here is our word “truth.”  It is the same word that we find in 1 Corinthians 13:6, “[love] rejoiceth [with] the truth.”  We see here that Jesus “teachest the way of God in truth” and that which He “teachest” is in the Bible.  Therefore, the Bible is where this “truth” is found.

There is one more verse that I would like to go to in John 14 to really lock this in so that we understand what “truth” really is.  In John 14:6, we find this same word for “truth.”  It is Strong’s #225.  John 14:6 reads:

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 

So Jesus says, “I am the truth.”  Not only did He “teach the way of God in truth,” but He is “the truth.”  This is why “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.”  They are so intertwined that they are one and the same.  The Bible is Christ, which is “the truth.” 

So the Bible says that agapelove” “rejoiceth [with] the truth.”  It “rejoiceth” with Christ.  It “rejoiceth [with] the truth,” which is the reality of the way things are as they are defined in the Bible, whatever these things may be that we read. Therefore, not only does “[love] rejoiceth [with] the truth,” it is the very manifestation of it. 

What does the Bible say? “God is love,” and we said here agapelove” “rejoiceth [with] the truth.”  So if I have that agapelove,” one of the ways to really build it and to enhance it is to put myself in the environment of the “truth,” over and over and over again.  I constantly need to be in the “truth,” which is the Bible, which is Jesus Christ. 

So I “rejoice not in iniquity.”  Rather, I “rejoice” with Christ, “[with] the truth,” with those things that are “true,” the things of the Bible, whatever they may be. 

This is why the Bible tells us that Jesus says, “Surely I come quickly.”  What was the apostle’s response?  “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”  “Even so” He is coming in judgment, as we know, even so, I am “rejoicing.”  It is God’s “truth.”  Therefore, “Come, Lord Jesus.” 

So here we have it.  “Love” manifests itself in a lot of different ways and we have gone over a few today.  It “doth not behave itself unseemly.”  It “seeketh not her own.”  It “is not provoked.”  “[Love] thinketh no evil.”  It “rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth [with] the truth.”

May God give us a studious heart to apply what we have learned to enhance this incredible power of the fact, the emotion, the reality, the character trait of agapelove” in our own lives.  I guarantee you that as you follow the prescription in the Scriptures, your life will benefit amazingly.  May God give us the strength to do this.  Amen.