Summary: Jesus said that we would be known by our love for one another.
Coca-Cola Super Bowl Commercial. One of the most memorable commercials that aired during the Super Bowl (don’t roll the dice on what you are not sure of when you have a sure fire thing in your life) was a Coca-Cola commercial that challenged our culture to let go of all the expressions of hatred, anger and bullying that have seemed to overtake us and be intentional in acts of kindness, compassion and love towards one another. As the commercial began to fade to black the lyrics of the song playing in the background were “Show Me Love!” The message was loud, clear and impactful. In the minutes/hours following the initially airing of this commercial social media lit up with the hashtag #MakeItHappy. The fact that #MakeItHappy and #ShowMeLove, the social media products of the Coca Cola Super Bowl commercial, are still trending in social media reveals to us that there is a real and genuine desire for a change in our culture. We are seeing a generation arise that is tired of things the way they are and have been for a long time. They are tired of the hypocrisy of religious people, the lying of politicians, and the anger and hatred in their schools, in their communities and in their world! Our culture is crying out because they long to see the manifestation of genuine love in their lives and in the lives of others around them. This shift is a good thing because it provides the Church with the unique opportunity to show off Jesus in our lives because the love that the world is looking for is the love that Jesus has saved us with and saved us to as we live out genuine life changing faith in Him. Now is the time to get it right!
ANOTHER SERMON ON LOVING ONE ANOTHER????? Some of you may be here today thinking to yourselves, “Really??? Another sermon on love?” YES! 1 JOHN 3:11 says, “For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” The idea here is that one of the first and most oft repeated messages of the early church was the command to “love one another” just as Jesus said. IT IS NO WONDER! THINK ABOUT IT. Jesus said, “A new commandment I give you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (JOHN 13:35-36) It is no surprise to know that every letter in the New Testament written to the various churches deal with the concept of love. It was then, and is now Jesus’ purpose that HIS CHURCH GETS THIS LOVE ONE ANOTHER THING RIGHT! With that being said, let us turn our attention to ROMANS 12:9-21 hear what the Lord would have to say to us through this message entitled “Love One Another.”
GENUINE LOVE 12:9A
LOVE, LIKE FAITH, IS NOT SOME MYSTERIOUS THEORETICAL CONCEPT BUT PRACTICAL IN NATURE. The Scriptures are addressing the temptation to hypocrisy in this area. Life was as busy 2000 years ago as it is today even though the world looked different and the temptation was to be so busy with one’s personal life that love for one another as believers was a performance put on when gatherings were held but not real. Love is as much a verb as it is a noun and this passage is very, very practical. Paul sets up this entire section with four words of introduction when he says “LET LOVE BE GENUINE.” In a culture that knew all too well fake and hypocritical love, Paul says let this love, agape love, be genuine among you.
• PHILEO, EROS, AGAPE. This is the kind of love that Jesus has for us and puts in us by His Holy Spirit to have for others. The word agape is used here to indicate the kind of love Christians are to show to others—a Godlike love that loves regardless of the circumstances, a deliberate love that decides it will keep loving even if it is rebuffed. We are challenged to live out the highest love and to do so with the highest sincerity. Our love is to be genuine, not counterfeit.
It is not hard to know what love is and it is not hard to know when love is genuine and when it is not. We have complicated the word but the Scriptures teach us in a very simple, yet profound way that love is not simply an emotion without expression/action but, when genuine, makes itself known through expression/action. Hear the Scriptures…
GENUINE LOVE AND SELF 12:9B
Genuine love has a moral/ethical element to it that deals with how we relate to and with ourselves. Genuine divine love will hold fast to what God loves (good) and loathe what God loathes (sin). What is not being said here is that abhorring evil is lashing out against sin “out there” (culture) but lashing out against sin “in here” (our own hearts). This is a call to examine our own lives and see if the love of Christ actually exists in us and is manifesting itself through a hating of our own sin and inclination to sinfulness. There are way too many self-professing fake Christians who, while claiming Jesus’ name and salvation over their life, prove themselves to be fakes by their love for the wickedness that is in the world. It is in this area that we are quick to start bringing up excuses that the Bible does not support in an attempt to justify ourselves but the truth is clear. The truth is here. The truth may hurt but the truth will set you free!