1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Charity suffers long, and is kind; charity envies not; charity braggs not itself, is not puffed up,…
I. THE NATURE OF THE DUTY OF DOING GOOD TO OTHERS. And here three things are to be considered, viz. —
1. The act. Persons may do good —
(1) To the souls of others, which is the most excellent way of doing good.
(2) In outward things, and for this world (Matthew 25:35, 36). in three ways Christianity requires us to do good to others.
(a) To give to others (Luke 6:38).
(b) To do for others (1 Thessalonians 2:9; Hebrews 6:10).
(c) To suffer for others (Galatians 6:2; 1 John 3:16).
2. The objects of this act are often spoken of in the Scriptures by the expression, "our neighbour" (Luke 10:29, etc.). We are to do good —
(1) Both to the good and to the bad (Matthew 5:43).
(2) To friends and enemies (Matthew 5:44).
(3) To the thankful and the unthankful (Luke 6:35).
3. The manner in which we should do good to others. This is expressed in the single word "freely." This seems implied in the words of the text; for to be kind is to have a disposition freely to do good. And this doing good freely implies —
(1) That our doing good be not in a mercenary spirit (Luke 6:35; Luke 14:12-14).
(2) That we do it cheerfully or heartily, and with real good-will to the one we would benefit (1 Peter 4:9; 2 Corinthians 9:7; Romans 12:8; Deuteronomy 15:10).
(3) That we do it liberally and bountifully (2 Corinthians 9:8, 11; Deuteronomy 15:8; Proverbs 11:25; 2 Corinthians 9:6).
II. THAT A CHRISTIAN SPIRIT WILL DISPOSE US THUS TO DO GOOD TO OTHERS. And this appears from two considerations.
1. The main thing in that love which is the sum of the Christian spirit is benevolence, or good-will to others (Luke 2:14).
2. The most proper and conclusive evidence that such a principle is real and sincere is its being effectual. The proper and conclusive evidence of our wishing or willing to do good to another is to do it. The Scriptures therefore speak of doing good as the proper and full evidence of love (1 John 3:18, 19; James 2:15, 16).Conclusion:
1. What a great honour it is to be made an instrument of good in the world (Genesis 12:2). Eastern kings and governors used to assume to themselves the title of benefactors, that is, "doers of good," as the most honourable that could think of (Luke 22:25).
2. Thus freely to do good to others, is but to do to them as we would have them do to us.
3. How kind God and Christ have been to us (2 Corinthians 8:9; 1 Peter 1:4).
4. What great rewards are promised to those that freely do good to others (Psalm 18:25; Acts 20:35; Matthew 25:34-40).
Parallel VersesKJV: Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,