2.53 Love Believes

Hello and welcome to season 2 episode 53 of The Berean Manifesto, brought to you by The Ekklesian House. This is Pastor Bill and over the next 10 minutes or so we are going to continue our 4 part series on 1 Corinthians 13:7 CSB, “[7] (Love) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” This is part two, Love believes all things, if you haven’t heard/read pt. one go ahead and back up an episode and start there. Then come back here.
 
First off, we have to cover that the scripture here says, love “believes all things” or rather implies love and then says “believes all things,” it’s not endorsing gullibility, that’s not what this intends. I mean, we have scriptures that tell us the opposite. There is no reason to contradict there. Proverbs 14:15 CSB tells us that “[15] The inexperienced one believes anything, but the sensible one watches his steps.” In Matthew 10:16 CSB Jesus tells His Disciples to, “[16] …be as shrewd as serpents…” and 1 John 4:1 CSB says, “[1] Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” So, like I said, it wouldn’t make much sense here for Paul to just out and out tell us to believe any old thing, He had to have something else in mind.
 
That word, “believes” in the Greek is;G4100 πιστεύω pisteuō pist-yoo'-o From G4102; to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing), that is, credit; by implication to entrust (especially one’s spiritual well being to Christ): - believe (-r), commit (to trust), put in trust with.Let’s break that word down so we have a deeper understanding of what this word is. The word Pisteuo comes from the word;G4102 πίστις pistis pis'-tis From G3982; persuasion, that is, credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly constancy in such profession; by extension the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself: - assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.This is the traditional word we see used when we talk about Faith in Christ being the standard of salvation. If break that down even further, the word pistis comes from the word;G3982 πείθω peithō pi'-tho A primary verb; to convince (by argument, true or false); by analogy to pacify or conciliate (by other fair means); reflexively or passively to assent (to evidence or authority), to rely (by inward certainty): - agree, assure, believe, have confidence, be (wax) content, make friend, obey, persuade, trust, yield.
 
OK. Now that we’ve broken that all the way down, let’s build it back up again. You’re going through life and are confronted by the Gospel. You have this inner argument where you either choose to believe or not, you have to pitho. You have to be inwardly convinced. This then, if you truly believed matures into pistis. You become fully persuaded. As an extension of that mature belief, out of that persuasion you can pisteuo. For the Christian believing all things is an extension of the of faith we have in Christ.
 
To fully understand this believing all things we must once again grab ahold of the revelation from 1 Peter 4 that God is love. What would we mean when we say that God believes all things? It’s not a super popular thing to call upon, but Romans 13:1-2 CSB says, “[1] Let everyone submit to the governing authorities, since there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are instituted by God. [2] So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God’s command, and those who oppose it will bring judgment on themselves.” As Paul wrote this scripture, he and every other Jew, were under the rule of the Roman Emperor Claudius.
 
While Claudius is hailed as a great leader for the Roman Empire there is also evidence that he deeply believed in what we would refer to as the Roman mythological Gods and observing their rights and holidays. Despite this he believed that non-Romans, even those under Roman rule, should be able to worship whom, and as, they please. However, he outlawed evangelism of any kind by any foreign religion in any Roman held territories.
 
There’s what is believed to be a reference to this in Acts 18:1-2 CSB, “[1] After this, (Paul) left Athens and went to Corinth, [2] where he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome.” The belief is that all Jews were kicked out of Rome because of the preaching of the name of Christ, which was illegal. This Claudius is the “governing authority” that Paul is under while writing Romans 13, and the leader that followed Claudius, Nero, was notoriously infamous for his hatred and execution of Christians.
 
So, is there a line that Paul didn’t draw between leaders that make Claudius, who only carried out a tertiary persecution of Christians, different from Nero, who straight up derived pleasure from the slaughter of Christians? Or, is the scripture straight forward that all authority is God ordained? Is it possible that God, who is love: in harmony with His very nature, looks at leaders like Trump, Pence, Pelosi, Grassley, Hoyer, McCarthy, McConnell, Schumer, and believes the best in and for those people as individuals? Even if He knows they’re likely to fail. Or if we really want to double down, what about Nero, Hitler, Stalin, Hussein, Kim Jong-un, and others that have left a stain on history?
 
As Christians, to believe in the way Paul is referencing in 1 Corinthians 13, it should be a natural extension of our faith in Christ. To believe like love does, like God does, should be as natural as breathing. Unfortunately, there are people out there that want to do harm, which is where we turn back to 1 John 4 CSB. Starting in verse 2, “[2] This is how you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, [3] but every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming; even now it is already in the world. [4] You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. [5] They are from the world. Therefore what they say is from the world, and the world listens to them. [6] We are from God. Anyone who knows God listens to us; anyone who is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deception.”
 
It’s, more or less, an intuition thing. No, that’s not quite right. Because intuition can be clouded and prejudiced by experience. It feels like intuition, listening to your Spirit. Listening to divine whether another person has evil intention. Likely though, most people, when confronted with love will abandon evil intention and be won over. In fact, I think that you’ll find that most people, when given a chance, will rise to the occasion.
 
This is Pastor Bill saying, “Until next time...”
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