And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;…
Love is a faculty of spiritual knowledge. Metaphysicians think the faculty of sight is to be found principally among the intellectual powers. As a power of sight Paul says five things about love.
I. IT DISCERNS SPIRITUALLY, i.e., it sees those objects which belong to the spiritual sphere. Love sees as no other faculty can —
1. The truths of the gospel.
2. God Himself.
3. The precepts of the Saviour.
4. The promises.
5. Christian duty and responsibility.
II. IT DISCRIMINATES. Some people say that love is blind, which is true in a sense. But love has also widely open eyes. It separates right from wrong views of God, of human character, of Christian duty. Prejudice never discriminates, nor pride, vanity, cowardice, pugnacity, ambition.
III. IT APPRECIATES. Dislike and hatred depreciate; indifference values nothing; love approves what is excellent. You will see what is excellent in others in the degree of your love. If you have not Christian love you will fail to see much that is Christian in God's Church.
IV. IT PREVENTS MISTAKES. It makes a man sincere and without offence. The sincere but unloving are sometimes most offensive. The deficient in love are often most insincere. The two things in social and Church life are often separated. You have the sincere and the loving as separate classes. But why should they not be brought together? The Christian is not obtrusive, obstinate, exacting, compromising.
V. IT REMAINS UNIMPAIRED TO THE END. The understanding may fail, and the memory, but love never. A beautiful illustration of this we sometimes see in old Christians. Conclusion: The day of Christ comes apace. In the fires of that day love only will survive.
Parallel VersesKJV: And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;