So far we have been studying 1 Corinthians chapter 13 in depth, specifically verses 4 through 8. In Part One, we looked at verses 4 and discovered that love is patient and kind and that it doesn’t brag or boast. In Part Two last week, studying verse 5, we learned that love doesn’t behave unseemly, doesn’t focus on itself and instead focuses on God, and isn’t easily provoked and doesn’t think on anger.
Today, let’s look at verse 6. Remember that verse 4 starts with: “Charity…” Charity means love and in fact, the Greek word literally means “a feast of love.” Verse 6:
“Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.”
It’s very simple but let’s break down this verse so we know exactly what the Bible is saying here. The word rejoiceth is the Greek word chairo, which means: “to be cheerful, calmly, happy, to be glad.” When we look at the word iniquity, it comes from the Greek word adikia, which means: “injustice, morality, wrongfulness of character, life, or act.” In other words, love doesn’t be cheerful, happy, or glad with injustice, wrongfulness of character, life, or acts.
So what does love do instead?
Here’s that word rejoiceth again, but this time, this word rejoiceth is taken from the Greek word sunchairo, which means: “to sympathize with gladness, to congratulate, to rejoice in or with.” It’s similar but takes on a slightly deeper meaning than the previous one. The word truth here is exactly what it means: truth.
Love sympathizes, congratulates, and rejoices and is glad in or with the truth. Simply put, verse 6 is telling us that love is cheerful, calm, and happy and doesn’t become happy with injustice, immorality, or wrongfulness of character, life, or acts. It doesn’t rejoice in sin or seeing others sin. Instead, it rejoices in truth – in sharing it with others in a loving, and cheerful way, rather than going along with something that you see is wrong.
Too many people these days brush over sin because they are afraid of offending people. There is a calm and loving way of telling someone when they’re doing something wrong, but instead of judging them – which love doesn’t do – we can sympathize with them in their situations, and kindly tell them the truth, showing them patience and kindness, and most of all, showing them love by helping them see and learn what God wants them to see and learn.
Stay with me for Part Four next week as we look at verse 7!