Summary: Genuine love knows how to hate an evil act while loving the one who has done it.
Habits that honor God.
Rom. 12:9 -- 21. 09/21/03
Paul, in the previous chapters, told us how we can be saved by the grace of God through Jesus Christ. In this chapter, he tells us how we can live for God through Jesus Christ.
Paul, in verse 9,tells us the theme of this section. The theme is love. It is a different love than the world knows. Jesus was referring to this kind of love when he said in John 13:34 -- 35, “a new commandment I give you; love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another.”
Now they had been told to love before but here is a new commandment because they had never been told to love this way before. The love Jesus is speaking of in John 13, is a love that goes beyond politeness. It is a love that helps others become better people. Listen! There is not a one of us who has the capacity to express love to a whole community, but all of us can. He is talking about a love that seeks out people who need your love. Now we ought to do this until it becomes a habit. Till it just comes natural.
Paul gives us some habits that will honor God in our text this morning. Let’s look at these for a moment with an open ear and a receiving heart.
In vs. 9 -- 11, we are to ELUDE EVIL AND EMBRACE GOOD.
A little boy ask his playmate, “wouldn’t you hate to wear glasses all the time? No, the other boy said if I had some glasses like my grandmother. She can always see when people are tired or sad, and she knows just what to do to make them feel better. I ask her one day how she could see that way all the time. She told me it was the way she learned to look at things as she grew older.
Now we all need a pair of Grandma’s glasses. Love isn’t blind but able to recognize evil and good. Proverbs 8:13 says, “the fear of the Lord is to hate evil.”
Genuine love knows how to hate an evil act while loving the one who has done it. Practice it until it becomes a habit.
Habits that honor God, first elude evil and embrace good. Next we are to EXPECT TRIBULATION AND ENDURE PATIENTLY. Look at vs. 12 -- 14.
There was this carpenter named George and he was laying brick on the third floor of a motel. He had some brick leftover and he began to think about how he was going to get the brick down from the third floor and back to the Brickyard. Looking down from the third floor, he saw a 55 gal. barrel on the ground. He decided he would rig a pulley outside the window and pull the barrel up. He rigs his pulley, goes down ties the barrel on the end of the rope and pulled it to the pulley on the third floor. He tied the rope off to a nearby tree. He then goes to the third floor and begin stacking the brick in the barrel. He was so thrilled the barrel held all the brick. He then goes and ties the end of the rope around his arm and loosens it from the tree. George wasn’t expecting what happened next. The barrel of brick weighed about five times as much as George and up went George and down came the barrel of brick. They met about half way, the barrel striking George on the leg and head. It broke his leg and took one ear off. When the barrel hit the ground, it did so with so much force that the bottom came out emptying the brick. Now George weighs more than the barrel, so down comes George and up goes the barrel. They meet again in midair. This time breaking his other leg and his nose. George landed in the pile of brick breaking both arms. With both arms broken, George turns loose the rope. Now the barrel weighs more than the rope so down comes to barrel hitting George on the head fracturing his skull.
Most of us don’t expect this type of tribulation but we do expect some. Layoff from our job, fussing from the boss, flat tires and so forth. Paul tells us we are to endure these things patiently because they did not catch God by surprise. During trials, you usually have an audience of spectators looking to see how you react.
Habits that honor God. Elude evil and embrace good. Expect tribulation and endure patiently. Next, ELIMINATE VENGEANCE AND ENDOW FORGIVENESS. Look at vs. 19 -- 20.