I Corinthians 13:6 tells us that charity, the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation, “rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.” This what-it-is-not, what-it-is verse describes yet another characteristic of the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation. As born-again sons of God, we have God’s love in us spiritually, His love nature. When we renew our minds according to God’s Word, then we manifest His love in the world. We have God in Christ in us, and one way we can choose to manifest the greatness of the new birth and the love of God in our actions is by rejoicing in truth, not iniquity.
I Corinthians 13:6:
[Love, agapē] Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.
What does it mean to rejoice not in iniquity? The word “rejoiceth” in the phrase “rejoiceth not in iniquity” is translated from the Greek word chairō, which means to rejoice, to be glad, to be delighted or pleased. Think about when you are delighted in something. You may dwell on it or talk about it—maybe you even make a big deal about it or magnify it. You rejoice in it, and it makes you glad.
The word “not” is the Greek word ou, which is the absolute negative, indicating “absolutely not.” This is the same word used for the previous what-it-is-not characteristics listed in I Corinthians 13.
I Corinthians 13:4-6:
…charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity….
These “not” and “no” characteristics teach us what is outside the bounds of God’s love, one of which is rejoicing in iniquity.
The word “iniquity” in verse 6 is translated from the Greek word adikia, which Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible defines as “unrighteousness, wrong.” Other definitions for adikia include “injustice” and “the doing contrary to right.” In the King James Version of the Bible, adikia is most often translated as “unrighteousness.”
When we manifest the love of God, we absolutely don’t rejoice in unrighteousness. We assuredly don’t take pleasure in wrongdoing. And we most certainly don’t gloat over other men’s sins nor show gladness when others do wrong.
A record in the Gospels shows a group of people taking pleasure in wrongdoing.
Mark 14:10 and 11:
And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him [Jesus] unto them.
And when they heard it, they were glad [chairō], and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him.
Judas Iscariot, one of Jesus’ own disciples, sought to turn Jesus over to the religious authorities. And when he did, the chief priests rejoiced—they were glad, delighted, pleased at Judas’s doing contrary to that which was right. Remember, one definition of “iniquity” is “injustice.” The betrayal of an innocent man is quite the act of injustice. And the chief priests not only rejoiced in it but also promised to give Judas money for his iniquity. (See also Matthew 26:14-16.)
This record in Mark 14 is an example of what the love of God absolutely does not do.
When we live the love of God, we rejoice in the truth. How do we do this?
I Corinthians 13:6:
[Love] Rejoiceth [chairō] not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in [sunchairō—to rejoice with] the truth.
“Truth” is translated from the Greek word alētheia. Thayer’s Greek lexicon teaches us that this word means “what is true in any matter under consideration” as opposed to “what is feigned, fictitious, false.” So what is truth? What is it that we rejoice with?
God’s Word is truth.
Sanctify them through thy truth [alētheia]: thy word is truth [alētheia].
Jesus Christ was praying to his heavenly Father when he declared, “Thy word is truth.” God’s Word is true in any matter under consideration. It isn’t feigned, fictitious, or false. In the epistle to the Ephesians, Paul refers to it as “the word of truth.”
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth [alētheia], the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.
God’s Word is truth. Additionally, God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, declared in John 14:6, “…I am the way, the truth [alētheia], and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
We can be glad in our God, rejoice at His Word, and rejoice in knowing the Lord Jesus Christ.
Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.
I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
These are great alternatives to rejoicing in iniquity.
Following are various translations of I Corinthians 13:6 to help us gain a scope of its meaning:
New International Version:
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
The Amplified Bible:
It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
New Testament in Modern Speech (Weymouth):
She does not rejoice in injustice, but joyfully sides with the truth.
When we put on the mind of Christ, we delight in the truth and find no reason to rejoice in iniquity. We are always glad when truth prevails.
As sons of God, we have so much to rejoice in—our heavenly Father; His Son, our lord and savior, Jesus Christ; and God’s Word. We delight in these things, not in the things of unrighteousness. This is the walk of a mature believer. This is the lifestyle of love that God has called us to and which we choose for our own. All our rejoicing is in the truth!
This is a reprint from the May/June 2017 issue of The Way Magazine.
Copyright© 2017 by The Way International. All rights reserved.
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