By: Luke Haskell
Can you be saved without living in the transformational grace of charity? The only logical answer is NO.
We are saved by living in truth as it is revealed to the soul, charity and penance through humility.
The greatest is charity as Paul says, because without charity you have a dead faith. Charity makes faith. ” love and seek Holiness.”
Follow peace with all men, and holiness: without which no man shall see God.
1IF I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
4Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely; is not puffed up; 5Is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil; 6Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth; 7Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8Charity never falleth away: whether prophecies shall be made void, or tongues shall cease, or knowledge shall be destroyed. 9For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10But when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away. 11When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But, when I became a man, I put away the things of a child. 12We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now I know I part; but then I shall know even as I am known. 13And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.”
“Charity is the epitome of perfection in the Christian life. It is the “greatest” of the three abiding virtues (1 Corinthians 13:13
). It is the “bond of perfectness” (Colossians 3:14
) and the “end of the commandment” (1 Timothy 1:5
). Of the seven things Peter exhorts the saints to add to their faith, it is the seventh (2 Peter 1:5-7
). Obviously, the Christian life reaches its pinnacle in the practice of charity. We certainly should know what it is.
But to know what charity is, we must know what it is not. Today, people often think of charity as nothing more than a giving of money for some good cause. However, the Bible strongly contrasts the charity it proposes to the misunderstood charity of giving funds. 1 Corinthians 13:3
states, “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.” According to this verse, it is possible to give all your goods to feed the poor and yet not have charity. Therefore, the giving of funds is not biblical charity.
Biblical charity can also be distinguished from other forms of love. Though most dictionaries say that charity includes the idea of the love of God for man, there is no indication that it is used in that way in the King James Bible. In fact, it is not specifically used of the love of man for God either. Although there are some passages where the word could be used in application of some of these forms of love, those passages where the word is specifically defined never refer to God’s love toward man or man’s love toward God.
Charity specifically refers to the love that we have toward other men. Paul stresses that we are to walk “charitably” toward our weaker brothers (Romans 14:13-15
). He praised the Thessalonians because “the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth” (2 Thessalonians 1:3
). In 1 Peter 4:8-9
, Peter told the believers, “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging.”