Summary: Message 38 in our exposition of 1 Corinthians. This is the fifth of seven messages exploring the nature and practice of genuine love supplementing the understanding of love from 1 Cor 13 with the description of unhypocritical love found in Rom 12.
Chico Alliance Church
Pastor David Welch
Impossible Love Part 5 or “Unhypocritical Love” Romans 12
Just in case you thought you slid by the impossible list of love’s characteristics in 1 Corinthians 13, Paul provides some further characteristics of genuine love in his letter to the Romans. Genuine love has to do with a desire and decision to meaningfully connect with people. It is selfless rather than selfish. It is giving rather than grabbing. It focuses on others rather than self. God is love. Love is from God. When we walk by the direction and power of the Holy Spirit the essential result will be a desire and decision to meaningfully connect with people evidenced by sacrificial deeds or actions.
Every failure to love like Jesus begins with a selfish desire and decision to put self first. Every conflict grows out of the soil of selfish ambition and jealous. When we talk about loving people and yet few of the characteristics of genuine love can be identifies it is not love. All genuine love bears the characteristics of love. This is the real thing.
Try selling a product that claims to be the genuine thing but bears no resemblance to the real thing. Try selling ice milk in Hagen Das containers. What we call love is like sawdust in Ben and Jerry’s containers. We claim our actions have the characteristics of a lovely rose but in reality have only characteristics of a prickly thistle. To talk about love without living love is hypocrisy. Paul urged the Roman believers to love without hypocrisy. The word was used by the Geeks for an actor or one who played a part.
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
Paul strongly urged the Romans to renew their thinking and living regarding their relationship with God and people.
Transformed living always follows renewed thinking.
Paul calls for transformed living in regard to our relationship with God and people.
I. Dedicate yourselves fully to God 12:1-2
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
II. Relate properly to the body of Christ 12:3-8
For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
? Don’t think more highly of yourself than you ought to think but think soberly.
? God measures out and energizes special gifting in the body according to His will.
? The body consists of many members.
? Everyone fulfills a different function in the body.
? We are connected to one body.
? Each member of the body is vitally linked and affected by the other members.
III. Practice unhypocritical love
A. Regarding evil – continually abhorring
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhorring what is evil; cling to what is good. Romans 12:9
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. Unhypocritical love not only avoids but abhors anything that may damage relationships.
“abhorring” = a strong word meaning to shudder with repulsion, to have a strong dislike for someone or something, to hate or despise, loathe. What makes you shudder? Think of something so detestable that you actually shudder. That is how genuine love reacts to the things that negatively affect community. How many attitudes or actions or thoughts have you allowed to remain in your own life that you should be abhorring?
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!