Pastor David B. Curtis

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Is Sanctification for Today?

1 Thessalonians 4:1-7

Delivered 08/11/2013

In keeping with the theme of the last two weeks, I'd like to do another polemic message this morning. Within the sphere of Preterism there are those who are saying that sin ended in AD 70, and therefore, we do not sin today. Don't you wish?

In AD 70. Christ came and put an end to "the sin" and "the death," but only for those who are in Him:

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Yeshua. Romans 8:1 NASB

The Greek word that Paul uses here for "condemnation" is katakrima. It is in a passive formation in the Greek, and it is not likely to refer to the sentence as an edict from the judge, but rather to the punishment. Adam's sin is imputed to all, this is condemnation, which is spiritual death, separation from God. For those who trust Christ the punishment of Adam's sin, spiritual death, is removed. "The sin" of Adam that brought death is removed in Christ. We are no longer subject to spiritual death. In Christ we have life everlasting.

But beyond AD 70 men still sin—hang of this one—Christians still sin. It is my personal view that sin will never end. Most believers think that we will be free from our sinful tendencies in heaven. To support a sin- free state in heaven Futurists use verses like:

Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 1 John 3:2 NASB

This talks about what took place at the parousia. Believers are like Him, yet we still sin. As a Preterist, what verses would you use to support a sin-free state in heaven? We all seem to assume that heaven will be a sin-free zone, but do the Scriptures support that? My "AT&T" position is that man's nature is prone to sin. When Yahweh gives us a command, we are prone to break it. Many think that man's sinful nature is a result of Adam's fall. I don't think so. Condemnation came as a result of Adam's sin, but I believe that man was always sinful by nature. If man's sinful nature is a result of the fall, what caused Adam's sinful nature ? As a believer in Christ, do you still sin? Let me ask your spouse. Sure you do. We all do. Some more than others. I think it is part of being human. So when we get to heaven I kind of doubt that we will be sin- free. Sin seems innate in humanity. As Preterists we believe that we are in Christ, so what will change when we die? If you can prove me wrong on this, I'd be grateful.

Sin is missing the mark, and we all miss the mark. And we always will, thank Yahweh that we have been given Christ's righteousness.

A misunderstanding of what Scripture is saying has caused many believers to doubt and question their salvation. The mistranslation of this verse is case in point:

for he who has died is freed from sin. Romans 6:7 NASB

A misunderstanding of this verse can cause a Christian much guilt and doubt. Paul has taught that all who have trusted Christ have died in union with Christ. And now this verse says that the one who died is free from sin. But you still sin? What does this mean? Are you not a Christian after all? No, no, no! This verse is not teaching that Christians are free from sin. Not at all. What Paul says here is that the one who died in Christ is justified from "the" sin. The sin of Adam. The Greek word here translated "freed" is dikaioo and should be translated "justified."

Although it may be hyper-Preterists who are saying that sin was done away in AD 70, and we no longer sin, many believers live today as if this was the case. They would vehemently argue against the hyper-Preterist, but in practice they act like Christian conduct is totally insignificant. Their lives are full of sin.

So is it important how we live? So many believers act like as long as your theology is straight you can live however you want. Does it matter how we live? Is sanctification for us today?

Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Yeshua, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more. For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Yeshua. For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. 1 Thessalonians 4:1-7 NASB

Now for those hyper-Preterists who push audience relevance to the point that nothing applies to us, let me ask, "Was it Yahweh's will that only the Thessalonian believers not sin? Did Yahweh's will that his children live holy change after AD 70?" If you think it did, will you show me the Scripture to back up your view?

These verses teach us that we can walk in a way that is pleasing to God, and the walk it calls for is holiness. The word "sanctification" used in 1 Thessalonians 4:3 is the Greek word hagiasmos, it means: "to make holy, separation from sin." Our holiness pleases God. God is pleased by our holiness, because He is holy; and He wants us to be like Him in our everyday life.

Yahweh's will for the Thessalonian believers was sanctification. This is His will for all believers, even us today. So let's talk about sanctification. First, I want you to understand the traditional view of sanctification. It is taught that sanctification is the activity of God that liberates the Christian from the power of sin. Sanctification imparts the righteousness of God to man. Traditionally, sanctification is categorized into three aspects:

1. Positional sanctification—this is that state of holiness imputed to the Christian at the moment of their conversion to Christ. This is positional, if you are in Christ, you are holy:

But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 NASB

2. Progressive sanctification—traditionally this refers to the process in our daily lives by which we are being conformed to the image of Christ. It is the process of becoming what we are in Christ. This involves the putting off of the old habits of lying, stealing, backbiting, etc., and putting on the Christ-like qualities of honesty, mercy, and love. A text that is often used to support this view is:

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18 NASB

This is talking about progressive sanctification, but it does not refer to us. It is talking about the transition saints; those who lived between the first and second advent of Christ. They were being transformed from the Old Covenant glory to the New Covenant glory. The context of this chapter is the two covenants:

For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory. 2 Corinthians 3:9 NASB

These are the two glories, and they were moving from one to the other. They were growing into a living temple of God:

you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Yeshua Christ. 1 Peter 2:5 NASB
in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. Ephesians 2:21-22 NASB

During the transition period the Old Covenant was fading away. The book of Hebrews was written at around A.D. 64-67. At this time, the Old Covenant was still in effect, but 8:13 says it was ready to pass away.

During this transition the Church was growing to maturity. They were "being built" for a dwelling place of God. During the transition period the Church was growing into the image of Christ. This is speaking about position, not practice. This growth was completed in A.D. 70 when the Lord returned consummating the New Covenant.

So progressive sanctification is something that happened to the first century saints, not us. They were growing in their positional holiness. Now let me say this: I believe that we are to be growing in practical holiness. As you walk with the Lord, your life should reflect His values and attributes. But we are not growing into Christ's image positionally. We are complete in Christ.

3. Ultimate sanctification—traditionally this is said to be that state of holiness that we will not attain to in this life, but will realize when we are finally in the presence of God:

Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 1 John 3:2 NASB

This was written in the first century; to us He has appeared, just like He said He would in that generation. Notice what the writer of Hebrews says:

FOR YET IN A VERY LITTLE WHILE, HE WHO IS COMING WILL COME, AND WILL NOT DELAY. Hebrews 10:37 NASB

The Greek here is very expressive and emphatic. The author used a word which signifies "a little while," and then for further emphasis added a particle meaning: "very," and this he still further intensified by repeating it; thus, literally rendered, this clause reads: "For yet a very, very little while, and He that shall come will come."

Most Christians would say that the Lord has not yet returned, making the writer of Hebrews a false Prophet. But the problem is that it wasn't just the writer of Hebrews who said that Yeshua was to return in the first century, Yeshua Himself taught this, which would make Him a false Prophet also if He did not return in the first century.

Alright, so what about us, believers living beyond A.D.70, what does sanctification mean to us? Well first of all, sanctification is synonymous with being in Christ, we are set apart, we are holy. This is our position. But I believe that there should be a "practical" or "experiential" aspect of sanctification to us. I believe that Yahweh has called us to live holy lives. Before we talk about our need to live holy lives, let me say this: I believe that as Christians all of life is a matter of grace. We are brought into Yahweh's eternal kingdom by grace; we are positionally and practically/ experientially sanctified by grace; we are motivated to obedience by grace; we receive strength to live the Christian life by grace; and we receive both temporal and spiritual blessings by grace. The entire Christian life is lived by grace.

As Christians living under grace, I believe that we are called to live holy:

For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; 1 Thessalonians 4:3 NASB

Is this still the will of God for His people? Beyond AD 70, does God now care less how you live? No, His will hasn't changed, He still wants us to live holy lives.

This passage addresses the concept of the believer's walk. Paul says in verse 1, " ...that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God." The Christian life is compared to walking. Walking becomes a visual aid to teach us how to live. Throughout the Bible, we are exhorted to walk in a manner worthy of our calling:

so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; Colossians 1:10 NASB

Learning to walk or live to please God is a matter of Biblical instruction. It is neither natural nor innate. Without the Word, there is simply no way any of us are going to be able to walk as we should so we are able to please the Lord. How would we know what He wants apart from the Word?

but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, "YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY." 1 Peter 1:15-16 NASB

If I were to ask your closest friend, or your parents or spouse or child to describe you in a handful of words, would "holy" be one of them? The word "holy" may seem a bit archaic to us. Or we might see holiness as something so unattainable that it gives us the shivers to even think about it. I mean, really, who can be holy? Only God, we might suppose.

Let's look at Yahweh's holiness, and the practicality of it. Yahweh wants us to live holy lives, because He is Holy. Do you know your heritage? By that I mean the status acquired by a person through birth. Looking into your family lineage, can you say you have a great heritage? Looking into our spiritual lineage, I can assure you we have a "holy heritage." Peter speaks of the self description our Heavenly Father places upon Himself. The words of Peter are a reiteration of Yahweh's already proclaimed declaration of Himself found in the book of Leviticus:

"Speak to all the congregation of the sons of Israel and say to them, 'You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy. Leviticus 19:2 NASB

Yahweh our God is holy. We hear it in the voice of the seraphim in Isaiah 6 that God is holy:

And one called out to another and said, "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory." Isaiah 6:3 NASB

The living creatures in Revelation 4 also describe Yahweh as "holy" in this same three fold manner signifying His absolute holiness:

And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, "HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS AND WHO IS AND WHO IS TO COME." Revelation 4:8 NASB

Yahweh our God is holy! This might be a good time to ask what it means to be holy. Holy, in the simplest definition, means: "to separate." To be holy is to be distinct, separate, in a class by oneself. As Sproul puts it:

The primary meaning of holy is 'separate.' It comes from an ancient word that meant, 'to cut,' or 'to separate.' Perhaps even more accurate would be the phrase 'a cut above something.' When we find a garment or another piece of merchandise that is outstanding, that has a superior excellence, we use the expression that it is 'a cut above the rest.' R. C. Sproul, The Holiness of God (Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1985), page 54

This means that the one who is holy is uniquely holy, with no rivals or competition.

When the Bible calls God "holy," it means primarily that Yahweh is transcendentally separate. He is so far above and beyond us that He seems almost totally foreign to us. To be holy is to be "other," to be different in a special way. The same basic meaning is used when the word "holy" is applied to earthly things.

To be holy is the opposite of being "common" or "profane." Yahweh is holy in that He is utterly different and distinct from His creation. His people must also be distinct, separate from the heathen attitudes and actions which characterized them as unbelievers.

because it is written, "YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY." 1 Peter 1:16 NASB

We are to be holy in every aspect of our conduct. Holiness is not to be compartmentalized into certain "religious" areas of our life. Holiness is a way of life that affects everything we do. Holiness is a lifestyle, rather than mere conformity to a list of rules.

Holiness is a lifestyle which differs dramatically from our manner of life before we were saved. When God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, He called them to live in a way which would set them apart from the Egyptians, among whom they had lived, and the Canaanites, among whom they would live (see Leviticus 18:1-5).

Tucked away in the calling of Moses is a great understanding of God calling us to be holy:

Then He said, "Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground." Exodus 3:5 NASB

Yahweh declared the ground where Moses stood as holy. The ground became holy because Yahweh separated it for His purpose and revealed His divine plan there. God has declared us to be holy. He has set you and I apart for His purpose and plan:

But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; 1 Timothy 4:7 NASB

The word "godliness" is eusebeia. It's: "personal piety, or holiness." The word "exercise" is gumnazo from which we get our word "gymnasium." Do you go to a gym to be passive? Have you ever played passive sports? This word is related to athletics —hard work, sweat, and toil. Gumnazo means: "to train or discipline." Paul is telling Timothy that he must discipline himself for the purpose of holiness. Discipline is the key to practical sanctification. Let me give you a working definition of what discipline is: Discipline is doing what we don't want to do so that we can accomplish what we've always wanted.

There is no such thing as drifting into godliness or holiness; you drift into sin. We need discipline, we need to train ourselves, we need to exercise ourselves toward personal holiness. This is personal responsibility. We tend to be very lazy when it comes to our spiritual lives.

Like a city that is broken into and without walls Is a man who has no control over his spirit. Proverbs 25:28 NASB

To have "no control over his own spirit" is to have no discipline, no self-control; to be unable to govern one's desires. In the ancient east, a city without walls had no defense to an attack. Self control is not just saying, "No" to what you shouldn't do, it is also saying, "Yes" to what you should do.

Sanctification is a work of God in which man co-operates. How do we co-operate? By applying ourselves to the means of grace that God has provided. The means of grace are: the Word of God, prayer, and the ministry to others.

John states that sanctification comes by the Word:

"Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. John 17:17 NASB

So we must spend time in His Word, and we must spend time in prayer:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6 NASB

Only as we are dependant upon Yahweh can we live the Christian life. And prayer is a declaration of dependancy. I think we understand the importance of the Word and prayer in our daily lives. But this next means of grace might not be so well understood.

Our third means of grace is: The Ministry to Others:

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29 NASB

The means of grace here is the ministry to other believers. Yahweh uses us as ministers of grace. Are you aware that you can be a means of grace in another believer's life? That is a very sobering thought. I can impart grace to a fellow believer!

Now you might be thinking, "How is this possible?" Have you ever been in the pit of despair, being overcome by your circumstances? I have. And in those times, God uses His Word to strengthen me, and He uses prayer. But He also uses "my friends." When I think of times of trial, or times of temptation, I remember the comfort and strength that I received from my friends. Friends who gave me encouraging words, words of support, words of comfort. My friends reminded me of what I knew the Scripture said, and reminded me of God's faithfulness. My friends ministered grace to me. They were used of God as a means of grace. And my best friend is my wife. God often uses her to minister grace to me. Ministering to one another in time of need is an important means by which the Lord mediates His grace to us:

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NASB

When you live independent of the corporate community, when you don't spend time with other believers, you cut off a means of the grace of God. How sad it is for the person who has no one to minister grace to them in their time of need.

During the time David was hiding from Saul, who was trying to kill him, he fled to the cave Adullam. While in that cave, he wrote Psalm 142, a cry of distress to God. Notice verse 4:

Look to the right and see; For there is no one who regards me; There is no escape for me; No one cares for my soul. Psalms 142:4 NASB

How sad to think that no one cares for your soul. How sad to have no one to minister God's grace to you.

I don't think that many would disagree with me that Yahweh wants us to live holy lives. This seems pretty clear to me. Where we would no doubt disagree is what does it mean to live holy? Some would say: You shouldn't go to movies, you can't drink or smoke, and on and on it would go. Holiness or sanctification is separation from sin. It is living set apart lives. Many would say we have to be separate from the world. I would agree and say that we need to be set apart from selfishness, set apart from being unkind.

Loving others will clearly set us apart. Yeshua said:

"By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:35 NASB

So love sets apart the disciples of Christ. What does love look like? Paul tells us:

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NASB

The first thing Paul says about love is that it is patient. This is the Greek word makrothumeo, which is a word that, almost on every occasion in the New Testament, conveys the idea of having an infinite capacity to be injured without paying back. It is used with regard to people, not circumstances. It is having a long fuse. The loving person is able to be inconvenienced or taken advantage of by a person and yet not be upset or angry.

"Love is kind." This is the Greek work chresteuomai, it means: "to show oneself useful, to act benevolently, to be kind or good." Kindness and goodness are so closely related that they are often used interchangeably. The verb itself speaks of activity: active good will, being useful for somebody else's good, always trying to do what is helpful to the other person even if it involves sacrifice. Kind people are easy to take, not harsh. In the New Testament, the verb appears only in 1 Corinthians 13:4, but the noun and the adjective for kindness occur repeatedly in Paul's Epistles.

So Paul says that love has an infinite capacity to be injured without paying back. And love reacts to injury by doing kind deeds to the person who has injured them. In our cruel and unkind society, we are set apart when we are kind.

Let me add here that it isn't just society that is cruel and unkind, too often we find the same thing in the church. And that is really sad. I have been in an e-mail dialog with a man who is fighting homosexual tendencies. I have been told that I harp too much on homosexuality. I think that my tirades on homosexuality are against our society that is shoving it down our throat as an alternate lifestyle. It is not, it's a sin. Alright that being said, this man writes me and says, "I have been struggling with homosexuality since I was young. I was molested by a male in my family, and by the time I became a teenager it just seemed to take over. I have been saved since the age of 5, but I don't know if I am really saved because of this..." He goes on to say, "I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God, born of a virgin. Jesus is God in the flesh, and He came to this Earth to die on the cross for the sins of man... I trust Jesus as my Lord and Savior, and I know without Him I don't stand a chance at eternal salvation. Am I saved? How do I get delivered from homosexuality? I hate it!"

I responded to him, "If you have trusted Christ, you are saved. Nothing can change that. You need to resist the homosexual impulses and live a holy life, not to be saved, but because sin has consequences. You need to trust God to give you the strength you need to live a holy life. Get someone to help hold you accountable. We all face sinful desires and must trust in Yahweh's strength to overcome them."

He responds, "I have found Christians to be the most hateful people I know. I know that sounds harsh... Very few of them actually show love when someone has a problem such as mine... If only Christians would stop throwing stones and realize we are all sinners and lost without the blood of our Savior. My entire family is all Christian, and have been since young ages. Not one of them can I share this with, and neither with our friends who are believers also. I can't trust them, and at the age of 33, I have yet to find a Christian who won't shun me and turn their back. I don't live this lifestyle, but the temptation/urge is there. Deliverance...I pray for it every day of my life. I still don't understand why God has not helped me out of this misery. Thanks so much for your kind words. I have reached out to other ministers and Christians, but it's a similar experience every time...you'd think I had leprosy."

How sad is it to have no one to talk to about a struggle you are facing! It shouldn't be this way. The Church is a bunch of hypocrites who indulge in sin and condemn others for doing the same. At the time of this man's greatest need, no one is there. He struggles alone in the midst of the Church. The Church is so often not kind:

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32 NASB

When we display kindness we are living holy lives, lives that are set apart to Yahweh.

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 1 Corinthians 13:4 NASB

"Love is not jealous." This is the first of eight negative descriptions of love. We can not only identify love by what it is (patient and kind), but we can identify love by what it is not. The Greek word for jealous is zeloo. It comes from the Greek verb that means: "to boil." It is used both favorably and unfavorably in Scripture. We are often not patient and kind because we are jealous.

"Love does not brag"—the Greek word here is perpereuomai; the root of this word means: "a windbag, a braggart, to boast." Bragging is the other side of jealousy. Jealousy is wanting what someone else has. Bragging is trying to make others jealous of what you have. Think about that. The whole idea of boasting is to make someone feel that you are superior to them.

"Love is not arrogant"—The Greek word here is phusioo, meaning: "blowing; to inflate, i.e. (fig.) make proud, puff up." This word differs from the previous word in that boasting is the expression of pride, and "puffed up" is pride itself. A man may be very proud but not express it in boasting. And we need to understand that the root problem in any conflict between two people is pride.

does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 1 Corinthians 13:5 NASB

"Love does not act unbecomingly"—so we are to put off any behavior that would be rude. The Greek word is aschemoneo. This word has the meaning of acting inappropriately. The loveless person cares nothing for the feelings of those around him. Rude implies indifference to the feelings of others; It suggests intentional discourtesy, or disrespect. Rude is any action, look, or comment that is disrespectful or discourteous.

Paul also says, "love does not seek its own"—so we must put off selfishness. This is probably the key to everything. We need to hear this: we are so consumed with ourselves that we often have no concern for others. Being unselfish in attitude strikes at the very core of our being. It means: "we are willing to forgo our own comfort, our own preferences, our own schedule, our own desires for another's benefit."

So Paul continues and tells us: "Love is not provoked"— J.B. Philips translates this: "Love is not touchy." How many problems would be solved if people weren't touchy! The Greek word used here is paroxuno, it means: "to arouse to anger" and is the origin of the English word paroxysm (a convulsion or sudden outburst of emotion or action).

Paul goes on to say: "love does not take into account a wrong suffered"—the Greek verb logizomai implies keeping a record; it is a bookkeeping term that means: "to calculate or reckon, as when figuring an entry in a ledger." Love doesn't keep records of the wrongs done to it.

does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 1 Corinthians 13:6 NASB

"Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness"—the word rejoice is the Greek word chairo, meaning: "to be cheerful, happy or glad, to have joy." Unrighteousness is the Greek word adikia, which means: "iniquity, unjust, unrighteousness, wrong." The general drift of this passage represents love in its relations to others. And injustice has to do with our treatment of our fellow men. So I think we could translate this: "Love takes no joy in the sin of others."

"...But rejoices with the truth"—this is the positive side. Why does Paul compare those two? Because justice is predicated upon truth. You can't be just until you have behaved yourself in accord with God's truth. Justice and truth are connected in the Scripture.

bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:7 NASB

"Love bears all things"—bears is the Greek word stego. This verb is difficult to be dogmatic on because it has two possible uses. It could mean: "to roof over," i.e. (fig.) to "cover with silence" or it could mean: "to endure patiently." Because the last of these four deals with endurance, I think it's best to see this as: "covers with silence." Love covers. When it learns something unpleasant about another, it does not run and scatter it all over the Church or neighborhood. It does not take delight in some of the misdeeds of others. Love covers it over, keeps it silent.

"Love believes all things"—pisteuo, meaning: "to have faith (in or with respect to, a person or thing)." The context here requires us to understand this of the conduct of others. Love is ready to believe anything that has a ground of reality to it. It is always ready to start over. What this phrase means is that it is ready to trust somebody anew. "Love hopes all things"—this also refers to the conduct of others. Rather than having a negative and critical spirit, it is always positive and hopeful. Love is hopelessly optimistic, it never stops hoping.

"Love endures all things"—this is the Greek word hupomeno, this is a military term that has to do with being positioned in the middle of a violent battle: "to stay under, remain, have fortitude, persevere." Love stands against incredible opposition and still loves. Love never quits; it never gives up on anyone. It cares too much to give up.

Love covers the faults of others; it believes what otherwise is unbelievable; it hopes in what otherwise is hopeless; and it endures when anything less than love would give up. To live like this is to live a sanctified life. It is to be set apart for Yahweh. This is holiness. And when we live lives like this, the world will know that we are disciples of Yeshua.

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