Summary: Message 30 in our exposition of Romans. This message begins several messages discovering what true love looks like as exercised in the body of Christ.
Chico Alliance Church
Pastor David Welch
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
Fitting thinking has to do with understanding basic principles
• The principle of Humility
• The Principle of Headship
• The Principle of Complexity
• The Principle of Diversity
• The Principle of Unity
• Principle of Mutuality
Faithful serving has to do with investing our measure of grace in serving the body.
The justified will demonstrate the work of Christ in their life by genuine love for others.
C. Love genuinely
We have heard this word “love” thoroughly tossed around this past week.
It can refer to an action -- “love one another”, “God so loved the world.”
It can be used to describe character -- “God is love.”
It can also be used as an adjective -- “what a loving thing to do”.
The more I think about it, the less I think I really understand what love is all about. It doesn’t help that our English word has such a broad application and usage.
I found at least 17 different variations of meaning in the English dictionary. The Greeks tried to differentiate between some of these applications by using different words. We have looked at them before.
Feeling Love -- Actions stimulated by an attitude based on common pleasure
Family Love -- Actions stimulated by an attitude based on common heritage (blood relationship)
Friendship Love -- Actions stimulated by an attitude based on common interests
Foundational Love -- Actions stimulated by an attitude based on personal strength and commitment
Paul already introduced this divine attribute in his letter concerning God’s love for us.
God demonstrated his love toward us by giving His own Son.
God flooded our hearts with His love by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ.
We find three of these Greek words in our current passage. However, the two of them are based upon a commitment to the foundational love urged at the head of this passage. Having urged us to dedicate their bodies and souls and get their thinking straight regarding their relationship to other members of Christ’s body, Paul then instructed the Romans to show genuine love toward one another. It is interesting to note that the other significant passage calling for genuine love also directly follows another passage concerning spiritual gifting. Without love gifting is meaningless.
“love without hypocrisy”
Or we might say Paul instructs us to love one another genuinely.
The active demonstration of genuine love is the primary evidence of genuine Christianity.
"By this(mutual love) all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." Jo 13:31-35
The most effective power for evangelism today hasn’t changed since the beginning of the church -- the power of genuine love. This is both the music and message of the Gospel that penetrates the hardened heart. This genuine love is what effectively and eternally impacts a selfish, love-starved culture. Only one definition of love captures its essence – God is love. Wherever you see God manifested, you see love in action. Wherever you see love in action, you see God demonstrated. When those made in God’s image once again reflect the love of the one whose image they represent, the world takes notice. Before the rebellion, man’s natural relational bent was selfless giving and ministry. Since the fall, that selfless giving and ministry to others deteriorated into a life of selfish grabbing and manipulation for self. Only the Lord of Love can restore us to a life that operates according to the royal law of love. Only he can reboot our system to its original settings to once again operate in loving community. This and other passages present a standard, an outline, a template of love by which we may compare and evaluate the level or even the presence of genuine love in our own life.
Paul told the Romans to love without hypocrisy. “Hypocrite” = one who acts on stage, impersonates anyone, plays a part, simulates, feigns or pretends. Paul urges those significantly touched by God to touch others, to continually love with a genuine love.
A hypocritical love would be outward actions devoid of inward reality. They actions do not stem from any desire to meaningfully connect with others. They are actions that hide some other motivation. Most of what passes for love in our culture is actually tolerance. We have no desire to actually make meaningful connection.
Why fake love? Try to convince others we are genuine Christians. Attempt to duplicate supernatural characteristics by natural means. Try to entice others to responds favorably to me. Paul urged the Corinthians to beware of love’s actions without a corresponding attitude.