Introduction: Last week we saw that the love which is in the heart of every Christian will
not easily impute evil to the actions of others. In other words, love will not always see
some sinister motive behind what others do, when there is no evidence that there is such a
motive. Also, love will not be quick to listen to and spread an evil report about a brother
or a neighbor without carefully looking into the matter, and then will do so only if the
situation requires that we do. Love instead will also be quick to forgive and will refuse to
harbor resentment in the heart, knowing that the Lord tells us that doing so is sin and will
eventually create the even greater sin of bitterness, after it has brewed in the conscience
for a while.
Paul has shown us the many facets of this love, which are like the many sides of a
beautiful diamond which adorn the crown of every Christian. But now he sums up this
love in a very broad way by saying, \u201cLove does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but
rejoices with the truth.\u201d By unrighteousness, Paul means everything that is sinful,
everything that is opposed to God\u2019s Law. Love takes no pleasure or delight in these
things. These are what love hates. And by truth, Paul means everything that is the
practical outworking of God\u2019s truth in our lives, as John says in 3 John 3-4, \u201cFor I was
very glad when brethren came and bore witness to your truth, that is, how you are
walking in truth. I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the
truth.\u201d This is what love rejoices in, or takes pleasure in. The hatred of sin and the love
of truth, taken together, add up to holiness. What Paul tells us, then, about love this
A. We must always remember that holiness is the end for which God elected us in
eternity in the first place.
1. We are not saved because we are holy, or because of what we are able to do in
a. Some have grace, and others do not have it, because of God\u2019s election,
because of His choice. Sometimes you children notice that some of your
friends in the other Sunday School classes have candy and you don\u2019t. Why?
It\u2019s because some of the teachers chose to give out candy and other didn\u2019t.
God makes a choice too. He gives to some His Spirit and to others He
a. Paul says to the Ephesian elders at Miletus, \u201cBe on guard for yourselves and
for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to
shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood\u201d (Acts
b. And why did He buy them? Jesus tells us in His high Priestly prayer, \u201cAnd for their sakes I sanctify Myself; that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth\u201d (John 17:19), that is, that they might be made holy.
2. He reconciled us to God, to save us from our wicked works, so that we might
live holy lives.
a. Paul writes, \u201cAnd although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind,
b. Paul writes to Titus that Christ \u201cgave Himself for us, that He might redeem
us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own
possession, zealous for good deeds\u201d (Titus 2:14). This is the essence of
c. Paul writes that Christ died for His people \u201cthat they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf\u201d (2 Cor. 5:15).
2. When the Spirit of God gives this inward call, He convicts, makes alive,
converts, and guides us into the ways of God, and away from our own ways.
a. His purpose is that we might walk in holiness of life. Paul writes, \u201cFor God
b. And Peter writes, \u201cBut like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves in all your behavior; because it is written, \u2018You shall be holy, for I am holy\u201d (1 Peter 1:15-16).
1. Before, we could not see that beauty, just like a blind man cannot see the beauty
of color, or like a man who has no sense of taste is not able taste honey. The
beauty was there, but we were blind to it, which is why the devil and the demons
and all unconverted men will never love and embrace Jesus. They cannot see
anything beautiful or desireable about Him, and so they don\u2019t.
2. But when the Spirit opens our eyes to see this beauty, then we are irresistably
drawn to it by our hearts. Then we trust in Jesus and begin to walk in His ways,
because we want to.
a. The reason Pharaoh would not obey the Lord was because he did not know
Him. He said to Moses, \u201cWho is the Lord that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and besides, I will not let Israel go\u201d (Ex. 5:2).
b. But the reason why we will obey Him is because we do. John writes, \u201cAnd
by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His
commandments. The one who says, \u2018I have come to know Him,\u2019 and does
not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but
whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected.
By this we know that we are in Him\u201d (1 John 2:3-5).
a. Outside of Christ, our wills are bound by our depraved minds. We are slaves to sin, and morally incapable of desiring anything that would commend us to God. For this reason, Luther said the will is in bondage.
b. But when the grace of God quickens us to life, it renews us into the moral
image of God, thus releasing us from our bondage to sin. Then the will,
being freed from its bondage to corruption, will begin to will that which is
2. Secondly, grace is by definition that which inclines us toward that which is
a. Grace is the new principle which is placed in the heart of man at conversion.
b. Whereas the sinful principle in our hearts produced sinful actions, the
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?