Summary: A look at the purpose of the church

The Church

September 22, 2013

Romans 12:9-18

For the past two weeks we’ve been looking at the church and not including next week, we will have two more weeks talking about the church. Let’s start by taking a look at Paul’s words to the church in Rome, in Romans 12:9-18 ~

I want you to really think about what these words mean in our lives and in the life of the church.

9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.

10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.

12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.

15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.

16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.

17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.

18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

Those are great verses for the church to hold onto. All I want to do is spell out the main meaning in each of these verses this morning.

9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.

A couple of comments ~ the word love is “agape” love. That’s the type of love God has for us. It’s an agape love, a sacrificial type of love. When John said, “For God so loved the world, that He sent His only Son” that’s agape love. So, that’s how we should love one another, with the love God has for us.

Secondly, the word for genuine is the Greek word meaning hypocrite. This verse could be translated – love one another without hypocrisy. Because, after all, don’t we sometimes do that. We don’t always love one another with sincerity. We’re often times hypocrites. In fact, last night Zachary came up to me and said he does not like programs that make fun of people. He referred to Disney, who tries to portray themselves as “wholesome” but they will often make fun of others.

We do that in the church world and Paul is telling us that’s not acceptable. We need to love one another genuinely. And at the same time, we are called to abhor or detest and hate what is evil. In place of the evil, we are to hold fast, which literally means to be glued together. In other words we are attached, intimately attached for to that which is good. And that which is good, is what comes from God.

10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

We are to be devoted to one another with what’s the city of brotherly love? Philadelphia! There’s 2 words in there, and the first word is another Greek word for love, philos. Which really means to have a tender and intimate love for one another. It’s the love good friends have for one another. We show that type of devoted love to one another. And at the same time, how great is it when we try to outdo one another in showing honor. In other words we do what Paul told the Philippian church to do in 2:3 ~ Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

Bring honor to one another. Don’t puff up your chest wanting all the honor, pass it on to your brothers and sisters and ultimately it will come back to you, so long as you do it genuinely.

11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.

This is a fun passage! Simply put, Paul is saying, when it’s time to do something don’t be dragging your feet, be ready, be prepared, don’t be disinterested or have a reluctant attitude. Doing what you’re asked to do without hesitating as you obey what the Lord reveals what He’s calling you to do.

On top of that, we should be fervent in spirit. Paul is referring to our spirit and the word for fervent is literally ‘boil or hot.’ The purpose is to demonstrate our passion for what the Lord is calling us to do for Him. Think about when you’re boiling mad, well, you’re supposed to be passionately on fire for the Lord, as you serve Him. And the word to serve is the word to be a slave. So, we are slaves for God.

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