Summary: A sermon about our behaviour in the body (church/Ekklesia) of Christ. Also a answer what to do with people who persecute you for following Jesus.
Paul gives us clear instructions here as how to life in this body (Ekklesia – Church – body of Christ)
Let me break it up for you as we go through it.
1.Love in the body
V9 Let love be without hypocrisy
Paul says that we should not just pretend that we love others.
Hypocrisy means to say one thing then do or meaning something different.
Like little Johnny
One blistering hot day when they had guests for dinner, Mother asked 4-year old Johnny to return thanks. "But I don’t know what to say!" the boy complained. "Oh, just say what you hear me say" his mother replied. Obediently the boy bowed his head and mumbled, "Oh Lord, why did I invite these people over on a hot day like this?"
So Paul says we should not pretend that we love.
Who remembers the song “The great pretender”
The question is “How will you know that you’re not a pretender if it comes to love?
Go with me to I Tim 1:5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,
Now the purpose of the commandment is love from
a pure heart,
And the only way that you can have a pure heart is through the Blood of Jesus.
We won’t go into that. Jesus said, “You must be born again”. John 3:7
# A pure heart gives you a clear conscience:
Eph 1:4 “without blame!”
# A clear conscience gives you sincere faith
And that flows to Agapè Love
That’s love without hypocrisy
Let me ask you a personal question: Did you tel someone this week that you loved him/her? Did you meant that?
Paul goes on and describe this kind of Love:
9.Hate what is wrong.
Stand on the side of the good.
10. Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honouring each other.
2. Attitude towards work in the body:
V11. not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
Paul is saying here that we should not be lazy in your work, but that we should serve the Lord enthusiastically.
3. General behaviours (the things that we should do)
12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
He says that we should:
Be glad for all God is planning for you. rejoicing in hope (Luke 10:20)
Be patient in trouble, patient in tribulation Remember patience and time is good friends
and always be prayerful. continuing steadfastly in prayer
When God’s children are in need, be the one to help them out.
distributing to the needs of the saints
And get into the habit of inviting guests home for dinner or, if they need lodging, for the night.
given to hospitality.
15. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion
He continues saying that we should:
When others are happy, be happy with them.
If they are sad, share their sorrow
Live in harmony with each other.
Don’t try to act important, but enjoy the company of ordinary people.
And don’t think you know it all!
3. General behaviours (the things that we shouldn’t do)
Have you ever wondered what to do with those people who laugh at you or make fun of you because you’re a Christian?
V14 answers that
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
He’s saying that If people persecute you because you are a Christian, that you shouldn’t curse them; but rather pray that God will bless them.
I know that it is easier said than done!
That is with what he ends this chapter.
Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Never pay back evil for evil to anyone.
Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.
Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible.
as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
Notice!. As much as it depends on who?