1 Corinthians 16:14
Let all your things be done with charity.
We may regard love as a sentiment. It is such; and yet its place in the economy of human nature and life is not fully described when thus much is said. For it is one of the most powerful practical principles of our being. Human love can effect great things. And Divine love is the motive which God himself has appointed for the renewal and salvation of our humanity. And this same emotion becomes in Christian society an elevating, purifying, regulating, and transforming power. It is thus that it is regarded in the text.
I. THE MODEL OF THE LIFE OF LOVE IS TO BE FOUND IN THE LIFE OF CHRIST. Who that reads the incomparable story of our Lord's earthly ministry can be insensible to this fact, which distinguishes that ministry from, and raises it above, every other life and work this world has witnessed? Love gleamed from his countenance, spoke in his tones, flowed from his presence, wrought by his hands. And love led him to his cross.
II. THE AUTHORITY FOR THE LIFE OF LOVE IS TO BE FOUND IN THE WORDS OF CHRIST. Again and again did the Saviour enjoin upon his disciples the virtue of brotherly love. It was his new commandment. It was his test of discipleship. Love to God and love to man constituted, according to him, the sum of obedience, righteousness, religion.
III. THE UNIVERSAL APPLICATION OF THIS PRINCIPLE. It is too common to regard Christian charity as a grace to be displayed in certain relations and upon certain occasions. But this is not the New Testament idea. Love is to govern the whole life, and is to permeate the Christian society. There is no limitation in the language of the text: " Let all that ye do be done in love!" It is a lofty motive, a far-reaching principle. The precept is doubtless one not easy of application so general. Yet nothing less than its universal adoption and prevalence can satisfy the Lord of the kingdom.
IV. THE ADVANTAGES ACCRUING TO THE CHURCH FROM THE ADOPTION OF THIS PRINCIPLE. How different is the selfish principle adopted by the unchristian world, is at once apparent. This is a new, an antagonistic principle, yet, in its proper influence, the principle which is to pacify strife, to harmonize conflicting interests, to breathe new life into human society. "All ye are brethren" was the Master's explicit declaration concerning the members of his Church. "See how these Christians love one another!" was the exclamation of a surprised and admiring world.
V. THE IMPRESSION PRODUCED UPON THE WORLD BY THE PRACTICAL EMBODIMENT OF THIS PRINCIPLE. The world is doubtless impressed by the novelty, the beauty, the celestial dignity, of Christian doctrine. Yet the expression of that doctrine in the life of brotherly love is more effective; and the realization of Christ's idea, the fulfilment of Christ's law, will do more than all preaching to convince the world of the Divine mission of the Christ. - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Let all your things be done with charity.