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Author Topic: What Is Charity?  (Read 2096 times)
Soldier4Christ
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« on: November 14, 2007, 06:50:46 PM »

What Is Charity?

We are coming on the time of year that charity seems to be a big part of everyones vocabulary. It has become the socially accepted thing to do. The teens at the local high school here go around and collect food and money so that they can provide a Thanksgiving basket to many of the needy. There are a number of organizations that set up a hot meal program of some sort for the homeless, aged or otherwise bereft. These are all great things and ones that we all should participate in according to our ability.

What exactly is charity though? The word has become to mean nothing more than just the giving of something to those in need and they do it simply because of the "good feeling" they derive for doing so or out of a feeling of obligation. Others have taken the word to mean an organization that is there to take your money and give it to someone else and oft times to someone that doesn't really need it. I feel sorry for those that are in this state for they don't know nor enjoy the true meaning of the word.

The Bible not only tells us to "Let all your things be done with charity", (1Cor 16:14 ) and "And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness" ( Col 3:14 ) it tells us that "the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart". (1Tim 1:5) We are also told that no matter what else we may have that if we don't have charity that we are nothing and these other things does not profit us in any manner. (1Cor 13:2-3 ) It also tells us that no matter how much knowledge we may have, no matter how much faith we have, no matter how much we give to the poor or anything else that it does us no good. We are given an inkling here that charity is not just the mere act of giving to others nor is it an organization that takes money or goods for that or any other reason.

So, okay, we need to have charity and we know some of the things that charity is not. We still don't get the full understanding of what this word charity means. The Greek word that was translated to charity is one that some may already be familiar with. Agape. It is better translated to the english word "love". It is a special type of love. A love that we should have for all mankind. We are given an exact description of how this love should and should not be.

"Charity suffereth long"    This is patiently enduring offense or hardship. The Lord puts up
                                                  with us continually sinning against and is so willing to still
                                                  forgive us our sins. (Matt 18:21-22)

"and is kind"                         When we see others suffering we should extend a hand to them
                                                  as the Good Samaritan did to the stranger that was beaten and
                                                  robbed. This includes those that are suffering in their sins
                                                 without the Lord. This also means the desires of our hearts,
                                                 not wishing evil of any sort on them for what we do in our
                                                 hearts can also be sin. (Matt 5:28 )

"charity envieth not"        Envy is a desire for or against something or someone. It can
                                                be a simple thing of wanting something that someone else has
                                                or it can be a desire to see harm brought onto someone else.

"charity vaunteth not           This is the act of bragging on oneself. It can be the act of bragging that
itself, is not puffed up,"         one has the ability to do, say or even understand something that others
                                               cannot and continually telling others of this. Being "puffed up" is inflating
                                               oneself, being sinfully proud of that ability.

"Doth not behave itself         How we act towards others does reflect whether we have love for them
unseemly"                             or not. We should not behave in a negative manner that does not show
                                               our love.

"seeketh not her own"          All Glory to God and none of our own. This can also mean that we
                                               should seek another man's wealth (spiritual wealth) and not that
                                               of our own. (1Cor 10:24, 33 )

"is not easily provoked"        I'm pretty sure that we all know what this means. (Eph 4:31, Jas 1:19 )


"thinketh no evil"                  Again, just thinking evil of, for or against others can be a sin. Do
                                               wish for or ask for harm to come to others? This is also a portion
                                               of the problem with gossip.

"Rejoiceth not in iniquity"    We see this frequently today where those that claim to be Christians yet
                                               advocate evil things as being good such as certain lifestyles. ( Rom 1:32, Rom
                                               12:9 )

"but rejoiceth in the truth"    Joh 14:17  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive,
                                                because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him;
                                                for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.


Where does such a love come from? It is not something that is inherit within us. In fact most people have the tendency to not love others in this manner.

Rom 5:5  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

It comes from within us when we have truly turned our hearts completely over to Him. We get our strength, love and that is good within us from God through the Holy Spirit.

Do you have something against someone else? Do you harbor ill feelings toward someone? Turn to Him today. Give it over to the Lord and let the love of Jesus Christ show through you.

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airIam2worship
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« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2007, 10:58:02 AM »

Brother Roger, many people think that charity is giving, and do not really give with love.
According to Easton's Bible Dictionary Charity is means Love.

Charity
 
(1Co 13:1-13), the rendering in the Authorized Version of the word which properly denotes love, and is frequently so rendered (always so in the Revised Version). It is spoken of as the greatest of the three Christian graces (1Co 12:31-13:13).

Some Bibles use the word charity, others use the word love

Love
 
This word seems to require explanation only in the case of its use by our Lord in his interview with "Simon, the son of Jonas," after his resurrection (Joh 21:16,17). When our Lord says, "Lovest thou me?" he uses the Greek word agapas; and when Simon answers, he uses the Greek word philo, i.e., "I love." This is the usage in the first and second questions put by our Lord; but in the third our Lord uses Simon's word. The distinction between these two Greek words is thus fitly described by Trench:, "Agapan has more of judgment and deliberate choice; philein has more of attachment and peculiar personal affection. Thus the 'Lovest thou' (Gr. agapas) on the lips of the Lord seems to Peter at this moment too cold a word, as though his Lord were keeping him at a distance, or at least not inviting him to draw near, as in the passionate yearning of his heart he desired now to do. Therefore he puts by the word and substitutes his own stronger 'I love' (Gr. philo) in its room. A second time he does the same. And now he has conquered; for when the Lord demands a third time whether he loves him, he does it in the word which alone will satisfy Peter ('Lovest thou,' Gr. phileis), which alone claims from him that personal attachment and affection with which indeed he knows that his heart is full."
 
In 1Co 13:1-13 the apostle sets forth the excellency of love, as the word "charity" there is rendered in the Revised Version.

True love is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit

Ga 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (KJV)
Ga 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (KJV)
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Soldier4Christ
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« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2007, 11:10:08 AM »

True love is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit

Ga 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (KJV)
Ga 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (KJV)

Amen, sister. That is the key.

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christian_crusader
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« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2007, 12:38:51 AM »

Amen, sister. That is the key.



This often reminds me of the biblical parable of The Old Lady giving her last copper coin , to the charity box inside the church , while their are business men standing around throwing gold and silver coins showing off and Jesus asks who is more charitable and if any other is less charitable then the other.

Is it all as simple as chairty of the heart , because depending on the inderviual that can vary on the degree of chairty and its value.
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