Love and Charity:
Love and charity – As Apostle Peter continues to admonish us in the same chapter that we have taken our text from in verse seven it says and I quote
“To godliness brotherly kindness; and brotherly kindness charity.”
(2 Peter 1:7).
The last attribute we are asked to add is charity according to this King James translation but I like the way New Living Translation (NTL) puts it. It says we should add “love for everyone”, so the word charity is translated “Love for everyone”. This is very interesting because it is a generalized statement without preclusion in it. It doesn’t matter who the person, the believer should be obliged to love him or her, race and background notwithstanding.
The ‘obligedness’ here as you permit me to use it, is not the making of the believer, because left for him; he shouldn’t be pleased to have a heartfelt compassion for another especially one who is not of his race. But because he doesn’t have control of himself again, as a result of his inclination towards the instruction of the Holy Ghost residing in him, he finds himself living out the act of charity.
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, knowledge; though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, 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 charity, it profiteth me nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3
Love And Charity Case Study Text:
“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; to virtue knowledge; Also to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall”
(2 Peter 1:5-10).
Love And Charity For Everyone:
Therefore, having the love for everyone to a believer in Christ, becomes symbolic or an identity. This is because it’s the way it should be and there is no other ways out. A believer, in this aspect doesn’t just have any option rather than to have the love for everyone. And this essentially makes him the believer he is called. Apostle Paul in his epistle to the Corinthians wrote thus and I quote
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, all knowledge. Though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; it envieth not; charity 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. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.”
(1 Corinthians 13:1-8)
Apostle Paul’s Rendition:
Contained in the above quote is the various ways Apostle Paul tried to juxtapose the infallible quality of Love to other qualities a believer may have possessed. This implies that, instead of a believer going or adding these other qualities though necessary he or she should first of have love for everyone. Therefore, every other thing is like a complement to this quality. And without this quality, every other thing is useless, though they are needed. Their needfulness therefore, is anchored on the presence of Love. If love isn’t found in a believer, there’s no point for him to possess these other qualities. This is because it amounts to nothing possessing them. It means that love or charity becomes the pivot by which every other quality can revolve and operate.
This is to say that faith as essential as it is in the life of any believer can only operate on love. When it does its usefulness will be noticed and accepted. Therefore, faith is not supposed to act alone and be effective, if it does, it will become a futile exercise. However, let me correct some misconception that may arise if the love or charity use in this verse isn’t understood. This love or charity is different from been human. Humans can do certain things to other humans because they are humans and follow their feelings and compassion as humans. It is not because of the knowledge of Christ in them. This is the difference, a believer acts according to the knowledge of Christ in him.
Other Qualities Are Rooted In Love And Charity:
The same thing goes to self-control; one cannot say that he has self-control without love. This is because self-control must be rooted in love before its effectiveness is noticed in the life of a believer. Any self-control outside love is a deception and must be checked. The law of love is bigger and stronger than the law of knowledge. This is why knowledge should function around love in order to be able to execute its purpose. If knowledge starts to push itself without love, there is going to be a repulsive response from the recipients.
And it will not amount to anything even if it is a brilliant ideology in display. If Knowledge is rooted in love, it ingratiates into the hearts of the receivers. It makes it easy for the receivers to accept whatever that is offered. And at the same time cause the giver to have fulfillment in himself. Charity or love is the basis for every other attribute to function effectively.
Some Examples Where Knowledge Has To Work With Love
- 1Corinthians 8:1
Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.
- 1 Corinthians 8:10 -11
For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?.
- Philippians 1:9
And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;
- 2 Peter 3:18
But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen
Some Examples Where Self-control Has To Work With Love
- James 3:13
Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
Some Examples Where Faith Has To Work With Love
- Romans 1:12
That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.
- Romans 14:1
Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations
- Galatians 5:6
For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
- 1 Thessalonians 3:6
But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you:
- 1 Thessalonians 5:8
But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
- 2 Thessalonians 1:3
We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;
- 2Timothy 1:13
Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
- James 2:18
Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works (work here indicates charity).