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Charity…Rejoiceth in the Truth
Victor M. Eskew
A. There have been many sermons preached about the reactions people have to the truth.
1. Some get mad.
a. The Jews to whom Stephen preached got made (Acts 7:54, 57-58).
b. The Bible warns people not to get angry with the truth (James 1:19).
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.
2. Some get sad (Matt. 19:22).
3. Some become ashamed of the gospel of truth (Rom. 1:16; II Tim. 1:8)
B. The only proper response is to rejoice in the truth. This is the response of love (I Cor. 13:6).
…but rejoiceth in the truth.
C. Let’s look at this quality of love from three standpoints.
1. The definition
2. Bible examples
3. Practical application
I. DEFINITION OF REJOICETH IN THE TRUTH
1. Strong (4796): to sympathize in gladness
2. Thayer: to rejoice with, take part in another’s joy
1. Strong (225): truth
a. Objectively, what is true in any matter under consideration
b. What is true in things appertaining to God and the duties of man, moral and religious
c. The truth as taught in the Christian religion
3. Clarke: everything that is in opposition to falsehood and in religion
4. Biblical Illustrator: that which is fixed, settled, solid, certain, constant, according to fact, to be confidently believed and relied upon
1. KJV: but rejoiceth in the truth
2. ASV: but rejoices in the truth
3. NKJV: but rejoices in the truth
4. NASV: but rejoices with the truth
5. ESV: but rejoices with the truth
6. NIV: but rejoices with the truth
7. NLT: but rejoices whenever the truth wins out
8. Phillips: it is glad with all the good men when truth prevails
9. MSG: takes pleasure in the flowering of the truth
II. BIBLE EXAMPLES OF REJOICETH IN THE TRUTH
A. The Jews on the day of Pentecost when they heard Peter’s words (Acts 2:41).
Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
B. The church rejoiced when they heard the conversion of the Gentiles (Act 11:18; 15:3).
And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto the brethren.
C. John (III John 4)
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
D. The altar of Ed (Josh. 22:10-34)
1. The tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh built an altar by the Jordan River. It is described as “a great altar” (v. 10).
2. When Israel heard this, they prepared to go to war with their brethren (v. 12).
3. A delegation headed by Phinehas was sent to talk to these brethren (vs. 13-14).
4. The brethren assured them it was not for sacrifice, but it was a witness between the tribes on both sides of the Jordan (v. 29).
5. The truth pleased the brethren (vs. 30-34).
E. A negative example: Ahab did not rejoice in the truth spoken by the prophet Micaiah (I Kings 22:8-18, esp. v. 8).
And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is one man, Micaiah, the son of Imlah, by whom we may inquire of the Lord; but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil…
III. PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF LOVE REJOICETH IN THE TRUTH
A. Love never violates the Scriptures because the Scriptures are truth (John 17:17).
B. Some think that love and truth cannot get along.
1. Some say: “Doctrine divides, but love unites.”
2. Preaching the truth on some topics causes some to say that the preacher is unloving.
3. To confront wrong doing is sometimes referred to as “unloving.”
C. Truth can be hard sometimes.
1. Truth can cause pain much like a shot.
2. Truth does not always sit well with us, especially when we have ideas and opinions that oppose the truth.
3. Question: Are there truths that you do not rejoice in?
a. The oneness of the church
b. The necessity of baptism for salvation
c. The sinfulness of denominationalism
d. The women’s role of the church
e. Withdrawal of fellowship
f. Marriage, divorce, and remarriage
g. Commitment to the Lord and His church
h. The necessity of sacrifice
i. Modest attire
j. Called to be servants
D. Truth should also be applied to the lives we live.
1. We are supposed to “walk in truth” (II John 4).
2. Jesus rebuked the scribes and Pharisees when their lives were not lived in harmony with truth (Matt. 23).
E. Truth also involves reality
1. Reality: that which is in accord with truth, facts, and actuality
2. “Love takes a good, hard look at reality…It does not sweep bits of reality under the rug…But love never loses sight of the way things really are” (Parrott, 65-66).
3. Example: A cafeteria manager asked patrons to fill out a survey about quality of food, prices, and service. However, he would not read any unfavorable questionnaires.
4. Truths we may not want to hear.
a. This is not working.
b. We are no longer effective.
c. We have lost our influence.
d. We need a change.
e. We have a problem.
f. You are wrong.
g. You have not fulfilled your responsibility.
F. To get to the truth, we have to examine the evidences. Truth can be tested for its validity.
A. Question: Why it is so hard to us to accept some truths, but not others?
B. Proverbs 23:23
Buy the truth and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.