Charity, Which is the Bond of Perfectness
And he shall offer of the sacrifice of the peace offering an offering made by fire unto the LORD; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, And the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away. And Aaron's sons shall burn it on the altar upon the burnt sacrifice, which is upon the wood that is on the fire: it is an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD, Leviticus 3:3-5. My students know that I am a stickler for them learning the Levitical sacrifices. We will see that the Apostle Paul makes reference to those sacrifices far more than the average commentary will ever tell you.
In offering the peace offering, the priest is commanded to take the bowels of the animal and put them on top of the sacrifice. Along with the bowels, he is commanded to take the caul above the liver and place it with the various bowels. Today, we tend to think of the bowels as just being the intestines. Your King James Bible encompasses all of the inner organs when it speaks of bowels. My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him, Song of Solomon 5:4. She isn't speaking of a 21st century bowel movement. I think that every lady reading this understands that she is speaking of a real movement of emotion within her deepest feelings.
The caul above the liver is a membrane sack that holds the various organs in place. Every single organ in an animal can be functioning perfectly, and still the animal can be imperiled if that membrane isn't holding those bowels in place when the animal is moving. The various organs will entangle and kill the animal from within. Paul likens Charity to that membrane.
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness, Colossians 3:12-14. Your body will never be an acceptable sacrifice unto God if your bowels are not stacked in order. Paul likens our emotions one for another, and those essential innermost felt actions towards each other as bowels. They are our feelings. Charity holds them in place.
Any pastor who has pastored for any length of time can tell you that churches don't struggle for lack of feelings. They struggle because of hurt feelings. The feelings are hurt because that all essential membrane that holds all feelings in their proper places is missing. That membrane is charity. That membrane is the bond of perfectness. It is a cause for mild concern to see a brother or sister in the house of God who appears to lack proper feelings. What should cause a first rate alarm is to see a lack of charity, a lack of that all essential character that keeps our emotions from hurting us and others.
How I long to see the day when pastors teach their people the precepts of charity! By calling it love, they obscure the truth. I would rather that none of the people in my church loved each other, but practiced those precepts of I Corinthians 13:4-7; than to see them truly love each other, and yet be tangled in a web of hurt feelings because they ignore the character of love.