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Summary: Romans 12:9

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Romans 12:9

9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

“Love must be sincere” - There is nothing that I can think of that is worse than someone who acts or pretends that they love and care for you.

To me that is the biggest betrayal that a person can inflict on another. It can be a crushing, life shattering experience.

In contrast there is nothing that I can think of that is more powerful than someone who has a love for you that is so genuine and strong that nothing else can overcome it, a Christ like love.

Romans 12:9 states two specific things about love. First, true love is genuine “Love must be sincere.” Second, love must be discriminating “Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”

Keep in mind that we are coming out from last week of Paul telling us about being a part of the body of Christ, the church. Paul here is telling us to love each other as good brotherly Christians should.

We must remember that this letter was being written to the church in Rome where there were both Jew and gentile Christians, and I am sure that there was plenty of tension that was brought about from this.

We all come from different backgrounds, all from different parts of the country but yet we have one very strong tie, we put our faith in the work of Jesus Christ for our salvation. That one thing should be enough to overshadow anything else that could cause conflict and a lack of love among us.

9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

Love must be sincere – Sincere is an English word based on the two Latin words sin cera, meaning without wax, and it refers to the ancient practice of using wax to hide cracks in inferior pottery so the vessels could be sold for a higher price. Quality pottery was stamped sine cera (without wax) to show that the pottery had not been doctored. In regard to people, this says that a sincere person is one who is not hiding his true nature by hypocritical words or actions.

In the Greek text the word translated sincere is anupokritos, the latter part of this word is derived hypocritical. Anupokritos means without a mask, and refers to the way in which, in the Greek theater, actors would carry tragic, comic, or melodramatic masks to signal the role they were playing. So here Paul is saying that those who love are not to be playing a role but rather are to be genuine.

Love is discriminating – For some people it may come as a shock to discover the word hate immediately after the words love must be sincere.

First love then hate! The two almost seem incompatible. But they are not, and this verse teaches us an important truth; love must be discriminating. Real love does not love everything, but it hates what is evil.

Proverbs 8:13 - To fear the LORD is to hate evil

“God is love” (1 John 4:8). That is one of the most sublime statements in the Bible, but God Himself is not only love. He is also hate in the sense that He hates what is evil with a proper, righteous hatred. God is a complete God with attributes of both love and hate.


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