Presentation on theme: "1 Peter 4:8. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. (KJV) Above all, keep fervent."— Presentation transcript:
And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. (KJV) Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. (NASB95)
In this context, Peter speaks of agape – the highest form and expression of love. Agape love seeks the highest good of another person (Rom. 13:8-10; 1 John 4:9-10).
The Greek word translated fervent means stretched, figuratively, zealous, earnest. It comes from a root which means to stretch or to extend (Matt. 12:13; Acts 26:1). Love of the brethren should increase and abound more and more (1 Thess. 3:12-13; 4:9- 10; 2 Thess. 1:3-4).
Solomon expressed a similar idea in saying, Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all transgressions (Prov. 10:12). Again the wise man said, He who conceals a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends (Prov. 17:9).
First of all, love helps us maintain the right attitude ourselves, cultivating patience, kindness and understanding (Eph. 4:31-32; Col. 3:12-13). Secondly, it puts the best possible interpretation on the actions of another; causing us to expect the best rather than the worst (1 Cor. 13:4-7).
While love suffers long, it is not spineless, feeble or blind. Sin is serious business – severing our relationship with God (Josh. 7:11-12; Isa. 59:1- 2). Therefore, it must be confronted and corrected (Prov. 28:13; 1 John 1:5-9).
A change of heart/life is essential; fruit- bearing is the key (Matt. 3:5-10; Acts 26:19- 20). There is no limit to forgiveness, provided that genuine repentance is forthcoming (Matt. 18:21-22; Luke 17:3-4).
Biblical love is both considerate and corrective (2 Tim. 2:24-26). Faithful are the wounds of a friend, especially a friend who is committed to truth (Prov. 27:5-6). Therefore, let us not refuse such expressions of concern (Ps. 141:4-5).
In saying Thou art the man! Nathan demonstrated much more love for David than did Joab, who by acquiescing to Davids plot became a co-conspirator in crime (2 Sam. 12:7-12). David needed, not a servile, self-serving sycophant, but a companion who would speak the truth with clarity and conviction (Ps. 32:3-5; 51:1-4, 10-13).
By demanding various spiritual reforms, Nehemiah sought the highest good of Israel (cf. Neh. 13). On the surface, he seemed hard, harsh and heartless. However, Nehemiah had a high regard for what was right. Repeatedly he cried, Remember me, O my God, for good (Neh. 5:19; 13:14, 22, 31). As a result, he saved the remnant from apostasy. Israel owed him an eternal debt of gratitude.
In a similar manner, Paul proved a true supporter when he rebuked Peter for hypocrisy and prejudice (Gal. 2:11-14). Peter recognized the sincerity of Pauls actions – later referring to him as our beloved brother Paul (2 Pet. 3:14-18).
Divine discipline is for our good that we might share in Gods holiness (Heb. 12:5-11). The strongest rebuke, when justly deserved, is an expression of love (Rev. 3:15-19).
Therefore, let us recognize that church discipline is restorative in nature (Matt. 18:15- 17; 1 Cor. 5:1-5; 1 Tim. 1:18-20). When properly administered, it demonstrates fraternal love (2 Thess. 3:14-15). The one who turns a sinner back from the error of his way shall save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins (James 5:19-20).