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Love Covers A Multitude of Sins

Updated: Mar 4, 2022

1 Peter 4:8

8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

This truth is good for everyone

Notice the phrase, “Above All things”

This phrase is found several times in the Scripture and although we will not investigate these passages, they do make an interesting study! Here are the times the phrase is mentioned.

In I Peter 4:8, Peter is walking these people through some thoughts about the will of God. We remember that there is a choice for a Christian to live according to the will of God or the will of the Gentiles (or the will of man). We also understand that no matter where we are currently, we can draw a line in the sand and choose to live the “rest of our time” according to the will of God.

There is a correlation made between the death of Jesus and the death of the old man or the flesh which shows that we are not bound by the power of sin as we once were when we were lost.

Peter in fact tells us some things about the lives of Gentiles before they were saved - Read I Peter 4:3-4.

Let me ask you a question.

Have “they” ever wondered about you? Why don’t you go to the dances? Why don’t you drink beer or smoke cigarettes? Why don’t you go to movies? Why don’t you listen to Country and Rock and Roll? Why don’t you laugh at dirty jokes?

You know why?

* Because Jesus has saved us and the HOLY Ghost lives in us and he is teaching us to be HOLY in Body, Soul, and Spirit.

* and there is another reason. Judgment is coming! See I Peter 4:5

Peter states it this way

7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

Do you know what “At Hand” means? I will take my cell phone - lay it close to me - My phone is "at hand"…it is near to me….Even in Peter’s day, he considered the end to be near…how much nearer must it be today….it could end in the moment and twinkling of an eye…

People were looking at the Christians of Peter’s day and thinking “they are weird….why would you live like the way you do? Persecuted and mistreated and you die just like everyone else”…. Hold on…Christ could come at any moment and then we will all give account….

And until Christ comes again…here is how you are supposed to live (I Peter 4:7-8)

1 Peter 4:7–8

7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. 8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

- And in verse 8, the phrase…

“above all things have fervent (persistent / unfailing) charity” (Agape).

Charity is a strong, (non-sexual) affection and regard for a person and their good (as understood by God’s moral character); especially characterized by a willing forfeiture of rights or privileges on another person’s behalf.

Is this the one thing you would have recommended “above all else” in a world that was anti-God and Anti-Christian? God deemed this most important. There is something exceedingly attractive about this kind of love among believers. If believer’s are fussing, fuming, and fighting all the time on every level (even among ourselves)….how ugly and unattractive.

Those in the world are already against us….Heaven help us never to be against each other…(Galatians 5:15)

Galatians 5:15

15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

I think Peter knew something about this: Read John 21:15-20

This is the kind of love that we should have. It is an acting love…that forgets self and constantly pursues the good and benefit of others….a noble challenge….but this is supposed to be the normal Christian life….

You see,

I. Charity Identifies Us

John 13:35

35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

II. Charity Cover’s A Multitude of sins - I Peter 4:8

Does this mean that because we love someone we just overlook their sin? Cover and make excuse for them and their sins…That we make no judgment about what is right or wrong? NO!

The clear meaning is that love covers over the wrongs of others and seeks to protect and help them, as well as forgive them; while those who are full of hatred use the sins of others as a springboard to attack them.

**This passage should never be used to justify attempting to hide criminal activity**

Proverbs 10:12

Hatred stirreth up strifes:

But love covereth all sins.

None of us are walking on the street of gold just yet…so we had better learn to deal mercifully and graciously with one another. We are all imperfect people and we must commit ourselves to love one another, otherwise we will bite and devour one another. When you love someone you find a way to make it through the hard times.

Not only this, but

III. Love Forgives - Ephesians 4:32

Do you know why you were forgiven when you were saved (and why you are still forgiven)? You were forgiven for Christ’s sake. Do you know why Christians are to be a forgiving people? Because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts and that love leads us to forgive as he forgave….God forgave you for the sake of another (Christ)….we can do the same.

Next, see that,

IV. Love lightens the load of others

1 Peter 4:9–10

9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging. 10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

Hospitality means to lighten the load….to refresh someone…

What if all of us lived this way? What a difference it would make in our world, our homes, our communities, our governments, our churches, etc.

Above ALL things have charity among yourselves….

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