Dr. T David Gordon was our guest preacher this week. Here are somenotes from his sermon, taken as quickly and accurately as I could scribble them down.:
Text: I Cor. 13:5 “Love…thinks no evil.”
The Christian religion begins in the mind. Our feelings and actions are motivated by our thoughts. In this text, “Think” is to regard, assess, reason, or count. Love makes a deliberate decision to think rightly about others. It is slow to notice the evil in others, and quick to notice the good. The passage is translated two different ways:
1. “Thinks no evil” – Doesn’t think evil of others’ actions or motives or traits. Some people look for evil in other peoples’ good actions. This is a violation of the ninth commandment. The Westminster Larger Catechism comments that “the 9th commandment forbids “misconstruing intentions, words, and actions.”
2. “Is not resentful” – Does not hold a grudge. Some people never forget the wrongs others have done, even when they get to the age that they can forget everything else. God does not count our trespasses against us, we should strive to treat our neighbor the same.
Application (i.e., “meddling”): Do you judge people by societal standards or God’s Word? If you are inclined to think evil of others, you are likely to add standards to judge people by, to ensure that they don’t measure up. Do you have higher standards for others than for yourself? Do you gossip and backbite? Dr. Gordon teaches at a Christian college. He has told his students that he wishes they would swear more and gossip less. (Not that he wants them to do either.) Do you think evil when the evidence does not require it? Do you take pleasure in discovering and revealing others’ faults? Do you name names when you don’t need to? Do others speak evil in your presence, because they think you will enjoy it?
God is perfect, and he could think evil of us, but here is what he says:
1. “ Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “ Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow.” God overlooks our sins, and regards us as sinless, if we are His.
2. Rom. 5:19 God reckons you as righteous because of Christ’s obedience.
There was a lot more good stuff in there but this is what I managed to write down.