Summary: Love requires some responsibility
• Last week we looked at how important it is for all of us to find some area of service in the church. We looked at how important it is for all of us to work together in accomplishing the work that God has commissioned us with.
• Today we are going to take things a step deeper. We are going to move from action to the attitudes that should be behind the actions we do.
• With God, just doing the right thing is not enough for the Christian; we are to do things with the proper attitude and motivation.
• As we look at what God is calling us to do, it becomes very evident how important Romans 12:1-2 are for us. Without a renewed mind and without making our life a living and holy sacrifice unto God, we would not be able to do many of the things we are called to do in this section of scripture.
• Our motivation for doing what we do is love. We are to be motivated by our love for God and that should motivate us to love others.
• Love requires responsibility. For instance, if I love my family, I have certain responsibilities that come along with that love. I must protect them, provide for them and be faithful to them. This is one of the ways our love is evident to them.
• In our passage today we will see that love requires responsibilities towards ourselves, towards other Christians, and towards those who are lost.
• The way we love others shows how much we God. 1JO 3:14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death.
• When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus said, it was to love God and to love our neighbor as our self. (Matt:22-37-39)
• 1 Corinthians 13 tells us that whatever we do, if we do it without love, it means nothing.
• Today, let’s look at the responsibilities love requires of us.
I. OUR RESPONSIBILITIES TO OURSELVES (9)
For love to work, there are some things we need to do for ourselves. These things are things that might not show on the outside, but will work on us from the inside. Whatever is on the inside will eventually come out to be seen by all.
1. We have the responsibility to make sure we love without hypocrisy
• We have to make sure the love we have for other people is real. We all have heard about the world says they do not want to go to church with hypocrites.
• A hypocrite was originally used of an actor who acted out the part other than his true character. We need to make sure we do not just ACT like we love someone.
• Love without hypocrisy would be a real genuine love, not a counterfeit one.
• We are to love people for no other reason than the fact that God does and that if they are a Christian, they are our brother or sister in the Lord.
• James 2 deals with situations in the church where people of wealth and position were given preferential treatment. When we love people, our motives must be pure. We have to constantly guard against loving people of the wrong reasons. When we love people for the wrong reason, we really do not love them.
• Our real interest in people will show through our actions.
• We have to commit to loving people without hypocrisy. We must love people for who they are in or who they can be Christ, not what they have or what they can do for us.
2. Hate what is evil
• Our passage tells to abhor what is evil. No word in the original text expresses a stronger aversion to something than the compound word we translate abhor.
• The proper Christian response to evil is to have a strong feeling of horror about it, we are to run from it and stay as far away from it as possible. Our abhorring evil should be a constant habitual action as the rest of the commands in this section are to be.
• I think we walk too close to the line of what is good and what is evil. We have to stay as far from evil as possible, we need to see for what it is and what it does to people.
• Really, this is part of having a pure heart. One of the things missing in our society is an abhorrence of evil. Celebrities do things for shock value and we give them publicity for what they do and we applauded their creativity.
• John McArthur Jr., in his commentary on Romans says, “Hatred of evil is the other side of love, which, by its very nature, cannot approve of or “rejoice in unrighteousness” (1 Cor. 13:6). Evil is the antithesis of holiness and therefore the antithesis of godliness. Just as “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Prov. 9:10), “Fear of the Lord [also] is to hate evil” (Prov. 8:13). The child of God abhors evil because God abhors evil.”