“Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible.” Ephesians 6:24
So, why didn’t Paul just say, “Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love?” Why wasn’t it that simple? Why would Paul have to say “with love incorruptible?” Or why would he have to say “in sincerity” in the King James Version? In other versions it’s “undying love,” “sincerely love,” “with love that never ends,” “keeps on loving,” “true love,” “in uncorruptness,” and “in sincerity.” Why would he have to qualify our love?
The more I think about my own life and the more I see the things that are happening in the world, the more I think I understand. And I think that every believer is faced with the same kind of struggles in their hearts, only they come in different shapes and sizes and styles, but at the root, the struggle is the same. And it was the same for believers back then.
Because that’s not his only qualification. If I jump up to verse 23 he says, “Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” So first we’re told the importance of love with faith and then the importance of that love being incorruptible or sincere. So what does that tell me?
That tells me that we can have a problem with our love. Maybe that even tells me that we can experience the love of God in Christ Jesus and twist that love into something that is not paired with faith, that part of obedience to God and His word in our walk of life. And it tells me that the love we show can become corrupted and insincere in the eyes of God.
Does it happen? Sure it does. It’s happening every time I condone a thought or action that is contrary to God and call it love. It’s happening when the church condones same sex relationships in the name of the love of God. It’s happening every time we twist the love of God into anything else. I could actually call premarital sex love and commit myself and my partner to the Lord in love, but no matter what I try to reason, it’s not the love of God in faith. Faith says that premarital sex is wrong in God’s eyes. Premarital sex is not love. It’s not so patient that it waits until the appropriate time. It’s selfish. It wants to satisfy the urges now. It’s not love even if it started with praying together and loving the Lord together. It just got twisted, twisted right into lust. Faith is broken and love is corrupted.
It’s the same thing with homosexuality. Well, sometimes that just has nothing to do with love, but just satisfying sexual desires just as much as heterosexual promiscuity does. But what about when it starts with a relationship? What about when it starts in truly caring for each other? Does that make it permissable to carry that “love” into sexuality that God says is unnatural? Maybe we even love the Lord, maybe we even love the Lord together, but what happened to faith? Who is our faith in? Is it in our love or this idea of God’s love or truly in God Himself? Because He does not love homosexuality any more than He loves sexual gratification between heterosexuals outside of marriage and no more than He loves witchcraft or pride or murder.
Sometimes we throw faith out the door in the name of the love of God. But Paul is saying, “You can’t do that. The minute you don’t hold your love to the standard of faith set in Christ, love dies, it’s corrupted, it’s no longer sincerely toward God. If you’re not expressing God’s love God’s way then it’s corrupted love.” Well, at least that’s what I’m hearing in his words.
Why did Paul write letters of reprimand along with the encouragement? Because we all struggle with weaknesses and we struggle with twisting the love of God. It’s much easier to love our own way than God’s. God’s way takes self-denial and sacrifice and pain along the way. Our love is a “quicker fixer upper.” Only, it’s not really a fixer upper. It corrupts and breaks down.
What is incorruptible love? Biblically, it’s love that is not perishable, that’s immortal. I’m pretty sure what You were trying to get at is that it’s Your love, like You. And if it’s not, then it’s just not Your love.
Webster defines corruptible as something that becomes putrid, something that is subject to decay and destruction. It’s something that can become depraved. If I look at if from the sense of being insincere, then it’s something that doesn’t represent the truth. It’s hypocritical and false and deceitful. So, I get the picture.
We all run the danger of hypocrosy in our love if we don’t pair our love with faith, with that wonderful Biblical and Spiritual obedience to the Word of God. If I think that God is leading me somewhere or to something that is contrary to His Word, then I am deceived. And if I decide to go there, it is not because of the love of the Lord, it is because of the deception of my own heart. I follow my will then, and not the love of God.
Well, my prayer for me and for the church is that the living and true love of God would reign in our heart and life and mind by faith. I pray that in the name of Divine Love Himself, we would only follow Him where He truly leads based on His Word. And I pray that as I and as the people of His church rely on Him that we would act in sincere, incorruptible love as we exhibit love like His. So, if I love Jesus, and if you really love Jesus, then our love ought to resemble His in every way. So examine my heart, Lord, and give me eyes to see what You see about it, every day and in every circumstance. And when I see something in me or someone near me, let me confront it in true love, and turn from anything that is not in agreement with You. Let our love be truly like Your love, not only for us, but in every action and in every response.