Do It All With Love (Chrysostom)

In 1 Corinthians 16:14 Paul wrote, “Everything you do should be done in love” (NET). [πάντα ὑμῶν ἐν ἀγάπῃ γινέσθω.] Paul’s emphasis on love is found all over in his letters. He’s simply echoing the emphasis Jesus put on love (Matthew 5:44, Mark 12:31, Luke 6:35, John 13:35, 15:12, etc). It’s hard to overemphasize Scripture’s call for God’s people to love others. But let’s get back to Paul’s phrase in 1 Corinthians 16:14: “Everything you do should be done in love.” Here’s how Chrysostom (d. 407) commented on that phrase in the context of 1 Corinthians. I’ve edited it slightly for readability:

But what does “all things in love” mean? “Whether any one rebuke,” Paul says, “or rule or being ruled, or learn or teach, let all be in love,” since in fact all the things which have been mentioned in this letter arose from neglect of love.

For if love had not been neglected, they would not have been puffed up, they would not have said, “I am of Paul, and I of Apollos.”

If love had existed, they would not have gone to law before heathens, or rather they would not have gone to law at all.

If love had existed, that notorious person would not have taken his father’s wife; they would not have despised the weak brethren; there would have been no factions among them; they would not have been vain-glorious about their gifts.

That is why he said, “Let all things be done in love.”

John Chrysostom, “On the First Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians,” in Saint Chrysostom: Homilies on the Epistles of Paul to the Corinthians, ed. Philip Schaff, vol. 12, Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, (New York: Christian Literature Company, 1889), 264.

Shane Lems
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015

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