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Charity…Beareth All Things
Victor M. Eskew
A. What do tabloids, divorces, elections, and church problems all have in common?
1. They all enjoy exposing the faults and sins of others.
2. They want the public to know just as much as possible about the evils of the opposition.
3. Notice that they “bare” all things, but they do not “bear” all things.
B. Paul tells us that charity “beareth all things” (I Cor. 13:7).
C. Let’s study this next element of love.
1. We will examine the definition.
2. We will look at several Bible examples.
3. We will make application of it to our lives.
I. THE DEFINITION OF BEARETH ALL THINGS
A. Strong (4722): to roof over…(figuratively) to cover with silence (endure, patiently)
1. Deck, thatch, to cover, to protect or keep by covering
2. To cover over with silence, to keep secret, to hide, conceal, of the errors or faults of another
3. By covering to keep off something which threatens, to bear up against
C. Robertson: to throw a veil over
D. “Love protects, shields, guards, covers, conceals, and safeguards people from exposure…” (www.renner.com, “Sparkling Gems from the Greek,” September 14).
E. “The word here is highly pictorial; it is employed of holding fast, like a watertight vessel; it is used of a roof which does not leak; it is used of troops defending a fortress, and it is used of ice bearing weight, and not giving way” (Scroggie, 30).
1. KJV: beareth all things
2. ASV: beareth all things
3. NKJV: bears all things
4. NASV: bears all things
5. ESV: Love bears all things
6. NIV: Love always protects
7. NLT: never gives up
8. Phillips: Love knows no limit to its endurance
9. MSG: puts up with anything
II. BIBLE EXAMPLES OF BEARETH ALL THINGS
A. This aspect of love was deeply needed by the church at Corinth.
1. The members of the church had no problem exposing the smallest matters about their brethren. In fact, they would make them public in the court system.
2. The problem (I Cor. 6:6)
But brethren goeth to law with brethren, and that before unbelievers. (NOTE: The problems involve trivial things: “the smallest matters,” v. 2)
3. The reaction of the church should have been much different.
a. Take the wrong (I Cor. 6:7).
b. Allow those in the church to judge between them (I Cor. 6:5).
B. Several examples in the Bible show us a “covering of sin” instead of humiliating exposure.
1. The woman take in adultery is a contrast between hate and love.
a. The Pharisees exposed this woman in an attempt to tempt and accuse Jesus (John 8:1-6a). She was being used as a pawn in their hands. They cared nothing for the woman.
b. Jesus was not willing to play their game.
1) He confronted her accusers (John 8:6b-9).
2) He then dealt with the woman one-on-one (John 8:10-11).
When Jesus had lift up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
2. Judas during the Passover was confronted by Jesus, but in a very subtle, tender manner (John 13:21-30).
When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of
you shall betray me. Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake. Now there was
leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he
should ask who it should be of whom he spake. He then lying on Jesus' breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it?
Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him. For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor. He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.
3. Apollos (Acts 18:24-28)
a. Apollos knew only John’s baptism which was no longer valid (Acts 18:25).
b. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, “they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of the Lord more perfectly” (Acts 18:26).
III. APPLICATION OF BEARETH ALL THINGS
A. “Love keeps us safe by its very nature. It is a fool-proof security system. It wraps us in acceptance and guards us in its embrace” (Parrott, 71).
B. When we are in relationships, we learn and know much about our mate, companion, friend, and brother/sister in Christ.
1. Things we know:
a. Personality flaws
c. Medical problems
d. Mental problems
2. Love protects the person from exposure. Love puts an air-tight cover over the flaw and reveals it to no one else.
a. To bare all things is to hate.
b. To bear all things is to love.
3. We must develop the ability to be confidential within the church.
1) Having another’s trust or confidence
2) Being able to keep things private and secret
b. Many actions oppose confidentiality: gossip, tale-bearing, slander, and character assassination.
C. “Paul doesn’t suggest that love pretends there are no problems, but it attempts to keep problems private. Love does not ignore someone’s problems, but it refuses to give their problems the spotlight” (Jeremiah, 103).
1. After Jesus cleared the mob from around the woman taken in adultery, He spoke to her saying: “Go, and sin no more” (John 8:11).
a. He extended His mercy to her.
b. He exhorted her not to sin any more.
2. Aquila and Priscilla took Apollos unto themselves and instructed him in the way of the Lord more perfectly (Acts 8:26).
3. When we have difficulties with our brethren, Jesus tells us to first go to our brother and deal with the issue privately (Matt. 18:15).
Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
A. I Peter 4:8
And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
B. If we cannot protect one another as Christians, where will we go to find protection?