Romans 12:9-21… “Let love be without dissimulation” (v. 9, KJV). The word “let” is an action word. These verses tell how love should work in the church and outside of the church. The phrase “without dissimulation” means “pure, sincere, without pretence, without deceit and without deception.” Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” We should stick with love too.
I. Exercising love towards the believers (Romans 12:9-13)…
Love is sensitive… “Abhor that which is evil” (v. 9, KJV). Love hates what is wrong. This shows us the power of love. There is something missing in our love if we do not hate evil.
Love is pure… “Cleave to that which is good” (v. 9). Cleave means “to glue, to stick to that which is good.” Your love is shown by that which you cling to. You are what you cling to.
Love is real… “Be kindly affectioned to one another with brotherly love” (v. 10). Christians are family, so exercise kindness to all Christians.
Love is humble… “In honor preferring one another” (v. 10). Show courtesy, remembering that every Christian has a place in the body of Christ.
Love is faithful… “Not slothful in business” (v. 11). Love maintains and develops good works. Love is honest in business dealings.
Love is fervent… “Fervent in spirit” (v. 11). Aglow, on fire, warm, full of anointing power… Love doesn’t leave you.
Love is genuine… “Serving the Lord” (v. 11). Love serves Jesus. Love glorifies Jesus. That’s the object of love.
Love rejoices… “Rejoicing in hope” (v. 12). Love has expectations and faith that every request is answered. Answers come when believers rejoice.
Love endures… “Patient in tribulation” (v. 12). In other words, when pressures come against you, love helps you endure. Love doesn’t blow up under pressure.
Love is dedicated… “Continuing instant in prayer” (v. 12). Love is devoted. It doesn’t let go. Love prays through in spite of circumstances.
Love is unselfish… “Distributing to the necessity of the saints” (v. 13). Hurting people are everywhere. Heal them. Do your best to meet their needs. Needy people are everywhere, but you are not called to meet everyone’s need, only to the ones the Holy Spirit directs you to.
Love is big-hearted… “Given to hospitality” (v. 13). Love keeps an open house. “You are welcome here.”
II. Exercising love towards those hostile to Christ–love behaves well towards the sinner (Romans 12:14-21)…
Love blesses your persecutors… “Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not” (v. 14). “Let the persecutors persecute, but I will love them.” That’s God’s way.
Love shows interest in others… “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep” (v. 15). Can you rejoice when the others prosper and you do not?
Love finds things to agree on… “Be of the same mind one toward another” (v. 16). Others may do things that you are not interested in, but there are things you both can agree on. Love points to agreements and not disagreements.
Love turns away from ambitions that can hurt you… “Mind not high things” (v. 16). In other words, many people love to have the preeminence, or to have the upper hand over someone else. This kind of ambition spells trouble. Let God exalt you.
Love loves humility… “But condescend to men of low estate” (v. 16). The word “condescend” means “to descend to a less formal or dignified level” (Merriam-Webster), to lower yourself to be a man known for humility rather than be known for pride. True love does not vaunt itself.
Love avoids pride… “Be not wise in your own conceits” (v. 16).
Love does not take revenge… “Recompense to no man evil for evil” (v. 17). In other words, love does not have a “get-even” spirit. It is quick to forgive and quick to forget. Leave your vengeance to God.
Love is honest… “Provide things honest in the sight of all men” (v. 17). The word “honest” means “virtuous, with integrity.” Virtue and integrity are beautiful. Provide beautiful things to the unbelievers, such as a beautiful countenance, a beautiful tongue (in words and conversation), a beautiful attitude, beautiful holiness. God says, “Provide it. You are to provide this to the hostile.”
Love keeps the peace… “If it be possible, as much as lieth within you, live peaceably with all men” (v. 18). This teaches you to exercise control; keep your attitude in check when a quarrel erupts. You are to keep the peace, not argue back, and not revile back at the one who reviles you.
Love returns good for evil… “Avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto [God’s] wrath” (v. 19). This is the opposite of what the world does. Society is full of an “I’ll get you for this” attitude.
Love is a winner. It overcomes… “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (v. 21). Love wins. Love overcomes. Love is the victor, always. The crowning point of love is that love is a winner, not a loser. John 13:35 teaches, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (KJV).
Pastor George Belobaba
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