Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.
Truth, is it absolute or is it relative? Your answer will depend on whether you personally believe the bible to be God’s Word or not. So I start with this question, do you believe the bible is God’s inspired word?
2Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”
2Peter 1:20-21 “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”
If you DObelieve that the bible is God’s inspired Word then again I ask, is truth absolute or is it relative?
John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
John 14:6 “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’.”
Scripture clearly teaches us that God’s truth is embodied by God Himself within the Trinity as well as His written word. Jesus Christ being fully God and fully man IS Truth. Scripture, being God breathed, IS Truth. If you are a Christian then you have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which IS Truth in you.
If this Truth (please note the capital “T”) is One Truth then how can it be relative?
We live in a day where everyone would like to believe that truth is relative. Whatever is right for you is right for you and whatever is right for me is right for me. There is no longer a standard of truth. Anything and everything is acceptable in our society.
This way of thinking is not biblical. If we want to live lives that bring glory to God then we need to get back to the absolute truths of God’s Word. His Word, therefore His truth, is never changing (Malachi 3:6, Proverbs 102:25-27, Psalm 33:11, Hebrews 13:8).
Sadly, the world’s relative truth thinking has crept into our churches. Too often we hear the teaching of “just love them”. Love without truth is not biblical.
Ephesians 4:15 “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the head, that is, Christ.”
Jesus demonstrated this concept beautifully for us with His encounter with the woman at the well. He pointed out the truth of her sin but did so in love. (John 4). Again in John 8:1-11 we see this woman publicly humiliated because she was caught in the sin of adultery. Jesus acknowledges the truth of this woman’s sin and could have condemned her according to law, but instead demonstrates grace and mercy and tells her with love to leave her life of sin.
Jesus did not hold back parts of the truth or water down the truth. He boldly stated the sin these women committed, but He did not condemn them for it. Truth with Love!
Going back to our verse in 1 Corinthians I want to define the word ‘delight’ which in some translations is also ‘rejoice’ and the word ‘rejoices’ (with the truth).
The first word ‘delight’ or ‘rejoice’ was a word used to define being glad or cheerful, but it also was a word used as a salutation or a greeting.
I found that to be very interesting used in the context of this passage. If you replace that word with this definition we would read that agape love does not greet evil.
If God’s word is our standard of truth then this relative truth thinking has greeted evil with open arms. We can clearly read throughout Scripture how some of today’s thinking (think of just about any social issue today) is clearly sin by God’s standard. Yet, our society has chosen to reject Truth and the standard God has set. We have not only become a society that tolerates these evils, as Scripture would call them, but we have embraced them and we even promote them.
The second ‘rejoice’ in our verse is defined as taking part in another’s joy. This is a word to describe a communal rejoicing.
As the body of Christ we are to rejoice in the truth. We are to rejoice with one another when we see our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ walking in the truth (3John, 2 John 1:4, Ephesians 5:11). This is what we should be promoting and embracing; God’s people walking in His Truth.
Do you believe the bible is God’s Word? Do you use His Truth’s as your standard, or have you embraced the world’s way of thinking?
God calls us as His followers to be IN this world BUT NOT to be OF this world.
Read John 17. Meditate on the Truth of this passage. Ask God to show you where you might have a worldly thinking rather than a biblical thinking. Allow His Truth to penetrate your heart and transform your way of thinking.
Lord, You tell us in Your Word that we are not to conform to the pattern of this world, but we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. The only way we can be transformed is by Your Word. Lord, teach us Your Truths and may that be the standard of our thinking.