We went to the meeting the other night down at Monticello, to hear Raymond Castillo. He was discussing the passage in 1 Peter 4:8, “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.” He pointed how that some folks abuse the word love as they do the word grace. Some have taken grace to mean, that we do not have to obey God, a sort of “cheap grace” is what they seem to come up with. Even so, they do the same with love. That love means that we do not ever seek to speak out against error, iniquity, or erroneous doctrine. Raymond said this is a “Sloppy Agape.” (The word agape is the Greek word for love.)
True love for God, will mean that we will seek to do that which is right and will want others to do right also. Notice Paul’s description of love in I Cor.13:4-8a, “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; 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, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth:” Did Paul show love toward Peter when he spake out against his sin in Gal.2:11? “But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.” Of course he did! There is nothing sloppy (careless, loose, lax) about true biblical love. Love covers the multitude of sin. How? By winking at, by endorsing another regardless, allowing us to continue in sin? No, for in James 5:19-20, “Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” Did God love us this “sloppy agape” way? No, he sent Jesus to die for us that we might be forgiven and be set on the right path. 1 John 2:1,”My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” Yes, our love will cause us to be patient and kind, bearing with the weak, doing others good, and not make hypocritical and hypercritical judgments. Agape is not sloppy!