Summary: Message 31 in our exposition of Romans. This message continues the exploration of unhypocritical love outlined in Romans 12-14.
Chico Alliance Church
Pastor David Welch
“Abhorring and avoiding the Evil
Being stuck to and embracing the Good”
Basic Outline of Romans
I. Receive the gift of righteousness
II. Apply the Gift of Righteousness
III. Place of Israel in the God’s Plan of Salvation
IV. Live the Gift of Righteousness
A. Dedicate fully your body and soul to God’s service
B. Think fittingly and serve faithfully in the body. 12:3-8
C. Love genuinely
The practical application of the gift of righteousness in real life begins with our passion for right relationship with God – dedicate our bodies and souls. It moves to a proper view of ourselves in relation to the rest of the body of Christ. Don‘t think more highly or lowly but with sober judgment or perception that views ourselves as God sees us. The next natural result of a transformed spirit and soul concerns our relationship with people. Paul begins this section with kind of a title phrase. There really is no verb to start just “The Unhypocritical love” followed by a string of participles (‘ing’ words) detailing the characteristics of this genuine love.
“The Unhypocritical love”
Our love for one another is to be genuine. Peter calls those whose heart has been purified by the Holy Spirit to genuinely love to actually fervently love one another from the heart. (1 Peter 1:22). John encouraged his readers to genuinely love people.
Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. 1 John 3:18
This love is a character driven response to people.
Foundational love is a divinely motivated decision to persistently pursue meaningful connection
evidenced by selfless care and sacrificial service that significantly touches or impacts the one being loved.
Remember! Foundational love is character driven not conduct driven.
All the other aspects of love struggle when the conduct of the one being loved crashes.
Since this love springs from the character of the one loving, the conduct of others cannot deter it.
That is why God can say, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
If we experience problems loving others, the problem is within us not them.
We have failed to access the inexhaustible God-given resources of His unconditional love.
Our English translations turn these phrases into commands for the sake of understanding but a literal look at the passage would look something like this. The unhypocritical love that God has shed abroad in the heart flourishes as it intersects relationships.
The genuine love touches others by… (Characteristics described over the next 3 chapters)
• Continually abhorring the evil
• Continually being glued to the good
• Continually outdoing one another in the honor
• Continually boiling in the Spirit in diligence not laziness
• Continually serving in the Lord
• Continually rejoicing in the hope
• Continually enduring in the affliction
• Continually persevering in the prayer
• Continually partnering in the needs of the saints
• Continually pursuing the hospitality (love of strangers)
• Speak well of and don’t curse the ones persecuting you
• To rejoice with the rejoicing
• To cry with the crying
• Continually thinking the same not feeling self-important toward one another
• Continually being associated with the humble
• Don’t become wise in your own estimation
• Never giving back bad for bad to anyone
• Respecting what is good before everyone
• Being at peace everyone if within your power
• Not taking personal revenge but leave room for God to work
• Feed your enemy if he is hungry
• Water your enemy if he is thirsty
• Don’t be conquered by evil.
• Be a conqueror in the good.
• Be subject to authorities
• Owe nothing to anyone except love
• Accept don’t judge the weak in faith
• Bear the weakness of the weak
• Seek to please one another
• Accept one another as Christ has accepted you.
1. “Continually abhorring evil”
The first visible symptom of unhypocritical love has to do with our response to evil.
“Evil” = That which is toilsome, painful, grievous, worthless, wicked, bad, degenerate, evil-intentioned, sick, diseased, malignant, vicious whether in thought or deed.
Paul’s refers to things in the moral as well as the physical realms. The primary application in this context probably has to do with things that damage relationships. Anything contrary to God’s righteous standard would be considered evil.
Hurtful or grievous words, attitudes, actions, body language, neglect, hurtful things, refusal to meet basic needs.
But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? 1 John 3:17
Demons are called “evil” spirits. This is the adjective associated most with the nature of fallen angels, demons. Their chief flaw was proud rebellions against the perfect Most High God.