Summary: Love, Sincerity, devotion, joy
LOVE THAT IS SINCERE
Romans 12: 9-21 (p789) March 24, 2013
I know I’ve shared this with many of you, and some of our biblical scholars and studiers know this already…but during the first century pottery was absolutely essential has everyday life….you cooked with it, you carried water in it, you stored things in it…pottery was so prevalent in every family, and every location its one of the largest discoveries when archeologist dig…pieces and portions of pottery are found in abundance.
Pottery merchants had a steady flow of customers…supply and demand was in their favor. The market place was as you’d imagine…a place of ruckus haggling…sellers and buyers arguing over prices, deals being made products begin exchanged…
There are a couple of words you might have heard….One was “Tetelestai”…it’s the word that means “Paid in full”, “Your bill is paid completely.”
But at the potters booth you might have seen, and heard the word…..”Sine Cera”, “without Wax”…dishonest merchants would try to hide the cracks in cheap or detective pottery with WAX…in order to pass it off as being worth more than it actually was…Quality products were often stamped or labeled “Sine Cera” to show they hadn’t been doctored. Somewhat like we label products today “100% pure”…or “All Natural”…Paul is telling us…love in this way…let your love be real, genuine…pure!
The Greek word translated “Sincere” is “Anupokritos”…the last part of that word is what we translate as “Hypocrite”…the Greek word literally means one who wears a mask”…like someone in a play or in the theatre…the word in our text means “Without Hypocrisy”, “Paul is saying real believers should love without a mask…Our love should be real, not pretend…Our love should have no hidden agenda or motive.
I BECAUSE WE ARE MUCH BETTER AT PRETENDING THAN ACTUFALLY LOVING.
(v10) says “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves”
You know why we’re better at pretending than actually loving…? Real love takes time. Devotion can’t be accomplished with a handshake and a smile on Sunday…
Devotion and honor are strong words….In Acts 2 the earliest Christians “Devoted” themselves to “The apostles teaching, and to the fellowship to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Verse 44 says, “All the believers were together and had everything in common…verse 45 says, “They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts… (No way…on their hearts…No mask covering their hearts)
Almost all biblical scholars believe “ The first breaking of bread refers to communion, the Lord’s Supper” Acts 20:7 say, “On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. So, the earliest Christian…Devoted, committed themselves to “Learning what Jesus taught, creating a connection with other believers, remembering the Lord’s death until He comes back, and praying together…but on the heels of those essentials is a picture that goes beyond the walls…they ate together, laughed together, shared life together openly and joyfully…In a nutshell they had experienced salvation…forgiveness…rebirth…renewal…there was a sense of Aw…and God was doing miraculous things…Romans 12: 9-21 was being lived out in Jerusalem…and because of that…God added to their number daily those who were being saved.