We are divers ways partakers of the gifts of others, and so must make them partakers of ours.7. This is eminently true of sin, which by being allowed an habitual motion becomes so powerful that few overcome it. The apostle asks us only to give out what and as we take in. How could men or angels worship an inaccessible and unknown God? Arrived at his counting house, the gentleman orders his cashier to write him out a cheque for £50, but to his astonishment the clerk decisively objects to draw the cheque; he "will not allow the balance at the bank to be disturbed." Why, the inhabitants of these islands have watched the working of the British Constitution, and they have discovered that they have wants to be relieved, and grievances to be redressed, and think the Commons of England in their wisdom can relieve these wants and sweep away these grievances, and hence the table of the House is being constantly flooded with petitions. when once again the coachman refuses to obey. Heaven is their real home. It was her hand that touched the chords and awakened the first music of his spiritual life." When we consider the shortness of the time for which these gifts are granted, we may consider them as loans, returnable to the lender when the term for which they are lent is expired. With what a vast responsibility does this invest those who thus stand in the first rank, and lead mankind! Jesus told His disciples, “A new command I give you: Love one another. It is idle to say that you can do nothing, for if you are a Christian you have received something — the gift." The individual trees of a forest do not need much from one another; they grow the better, perhaps, for growing in a brotherhood; they shelter each other, they benefit by a certain neighbourhood and reciprocity, but they are not absolutely essential to one another; if there were but one oak tree in England it would grow pretty much as it does today in the forests of oak. He has just before been enjoining the mutual exercise of ungrudging hospitality. 1 Peter 4:8-11: Pulpit Commentary Homiletics. The power of influence, the possession of talent or of wealth, the gift of utterance, the advantages of position. So must we have the glory sink into us before it can be reflected from us.(A. And a word on mere wealth, considered as a stewardship. Love makes up for practically anything. God is glorified by the diffusion of such knowledge respecting His works, as tends to give a lively conviction of His existence, and His attributes of power, wisdom, and goodness.2. Here is the idea of reciprocity added. Watchers see where others notice nothing, their senses are more acute. Do we always remember this theory of life? We want to raise up the new life within men. These gifts are: (a)spiritual, and(b)natural.1. As we receive, so we are to give. Everybody knows of Livingstone, of Bishop Hannington, of Paten, of Calvert; but the sublime enterprise conducted by these heroes would be impossible if it were not for the self-denying work of labouring men, farm servants, domestic servants, little children who give and collect coppers through the land and through the year. They may be fickle whom you blame, you may be obstinate. Above all things — See that you remember the distinguishing badge of your religion and have, maintain, fervent charity, love, among yourselves — One toward another: for love shall cover a multitude of sins — It will cause us to excuse them in others, and will entitle us, through divine mercy to the expectation of forgiveness for our own numberless failings. [3] Peter continually presents Jesus as an example for the Christians in Asia Minor to follow. 1. And how much good now may every one do, if he does what belongs to him with willingness, with fidelity, with a heart benevolently affected towards his brethren, participating in their happiness and cheerfully concurring to promote it!II. Shall we not subdue and restrain within the strictest bounds of temperance those appetites and passions which belong only to these dying bodies, and which, if indulged, will destroy our souls? They consist in redemption if we will accept it; sanctification if we will seek for it; and all the blessed means whereby the life of the Incarnate Word is bestowed upon us and kept alive within us, if we will use them.2. So, though in an infinitely superior sense, as the Son has been the medium through which the Father has shone forth, and has attracted the admiration and homage of all intelligent creatures, we may rightly say that in Him He has been glorified. Of all the sun shines on, none need pity more than those whose career of vice and crime is near to its close. All these gifts we have received in promise, and our responsibility lies in seeking and claiming them for our own. 2. We will first speak, as the most obvious case, of the bestowal of God's grace in the position and opportunities afforded by rank, wealth, and influence among men. There is something peculiarly touching in that vice and crime which prevail among the ignorant and neglected. )Receiving and ministeringJ. The cravings of unresisted sin at length become organic, as it were. THE GRAND WORK OF HUMAN LIFE. One quickness and pliancy to the business of the present moment; the other persevering, indefatigable patience for intricate and tiresome undertakings. No doubt that is sometimes true. St. Paul saw even in the Jews, his bitterest foes, that "they had a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge." Where religion is in disrepute, it is largely because of its association with unworthy human qualities, and its consequent identification in the minds of many with them. All are received from the multiform goodness of God. A. In the might of that power He bids His apostles go forth to claim all human souls as His rightful inheritance. Even here we see this distinction in a limited degree. WHAT CHARITY DOES. II. Every believer has a gift, and his own gift (Luke 19:13; Matthew 25:15). See 1 Peter 2:9 (printed above under question #4) Our Christian calling is further described as the calling to “display the virtues of him who called you.” That is to say, by the grace of God we are called to live a Christ-like life and in so doing we will be reflecting and exhibiting the very virtues of God Himself. Trapp.Clouds when full pour down, and the spouts run, and the eaves shed, and the presses overflow, and the aromatical trees sweat out their precious and sovereign oils.(J. Here is the want of necessaries; there the want of the commodious, the elegant, the agreeable. (1) The desire to give. "God resisteth the proud, but giveth (and, of course, in answer to prayer) grace unto the humble. The man overtaken with a fault is restored in the spirit of meekness (Galatians 6:1). John Piper Jan 10, 1982 102 Shares Sermon. 2. Do we always remember this theory of life? Do what you can, and you will do as well as the brother whose work you so greatly appreciate. This charity is a Divine thing, the work and a fruit of the Spirit in the soul. We are apt to look on service as a menial thing. We must not appropriate them to ourselves through selfishness. II. In other words, we have assumed for the gospel of Christ too exclusively theological a character. It is the greatest gift. Wherever this benevolent principle is it will discover itself by a readiness to assist and relieve all men, especially those who stand in need of our help, according to our abilities. It would be as if in the natural world all mountains were of one height and one outline; all the now changeful clouds of one permanent form; all trees of one kind and colour and shape, like the trees in the toy box of a child. "I am keeping these against the Show," is his reply, "and I cannot permit them to be cut." CONSIDER THIRDLY, HOW NUMEROUS AND VARIOUS THE CAPACITIES AND POWERS, THE GIFTS AND ACQUIREMENTS OF MANKIND ARE, AND THENCE JUDGE HOW GREAT THE VARIETY OF WAYS IN WHICH THEY MAY SERVE AND ASSIST AND BENEFIT EACH OTHER. (2) It shows itself in all sorts of persons, with all sorts of endowments, in all sorts of offices, for all sorts of duties. Above all, love one another deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 5. It is not to be all giving with some, and all receiving with others. THE SOCIAL BENEFITS OF LOVE. They are temporal; they have had a beginning, they shall have an end. Wait for it if it comes not at once; it will surely come, it will not tarry. In the biography of the Earl of Shaftesbury we have an illustration of the ministry of the obscure. Lastly, charity can tolerate even intolerance. It has a way of seeing the good in people rather than the bad: "Charity thinketh no evil" (1 Corinthians 13:5). But if unknown He would be forever unappreciated and unloved. There ought to be a certain God-like liberality in our efforts to distribute the favours with which God loads us. It can only mean, therefore, that charity will cover, or conceal, and forgive the sins which they commit against us. (1) "Fervent." You know the contests where… The Christian in covenant with God, receives all this way and returns all this way.(Abp. One has understanding; and how various the species of it are! Doing good to others engages the approbation of every man.I. THE DIVINE FOUNDATION OF LOVE AS A CHRISTIAN VIRTUE. 4:8,9, and 10). The necessities of the one are not the necessities of the other; the sufferings of the one are not the sufferings of the other. The feeling has no respect whatever to the moral qualities of the evil it chastises. 1 Pet. Forbid it, reason, duty, conscience; forbid, Parent of our mercies. Great numbers of ordinary men are made very much by that which they read, or that which they hear, of the sentiments of those who are abler than themselves. THAT THESE ORACLES OF GOD ARE ACCESSIBLE TO US, AND MAY BE CONSULTED BY US, IN THE DIVERSITIES AND PERPLEXITIES OF OUR CONDITION. ", 2. "Am I occupying with it, that at my Master's coming He may find it increased and fructified?" The wish is uttered with all earnestness, but it is the convulsive effort of a moment, not sustained, nor followed up. The apostles had this to begin with, yet were all carefully trained by Christ, and Paul warns Timothy to "stir up" his gift. The heathen oracles owed all their influence to the belief that prevailed that they were the answers of the god enshrined in his temple.II. A blessing to his own relatives, to his dependants, among whom he is ever moving and speaking; a blessing to his equals, with whom he communes in the intercourse of social life; a blessing to general society in checking all that is evil and encouraging all that is good. 5. 1 Peter 4:8, KJV: "And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins." Who can overestimate the value of such an one as a centre of influence for good? We get into a kind of stereotyped way of working for God. But there is another side to all this; the poor, the illiterate, the weak, the obscure may also truly minister in many ways to the world's enrichment and blessing. We all partake of the same human nature, and are all born for society, so I might persuade to charity from this consideration, that we are all the children of the same heavenly Father, we have all the same Saviour, we have all one faith, and we expect to attain to the same perfect happiness in the end. to see that it was sent to win every affection, to brighten every smile, to shed fresh interest over every pursuit, to light up new hopes in every prospect — to embrace every variety of human temperament, assist every degree of human capacity? There are many good people, sober people in other things, who are very intemperate in their talk. And thus the matter stands in numberless other cases. We have forgotten its manifoldness. 2. I have before called charity a disposition of the mind; and it is of importance that we should remember that it is such. Flow out with our devotions is meant for the advantage of others.I to undertake certain! 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