Summary: Sermon on Romans 12:9-21 - We are Family
We are family
Context: Rom 12:1-2
our lives as living sacrifices (worship), transformed by renewing our minds
Key verse = v.9 Sincere love, hate evil, cling to good
before this, refer to divine love (5:5; 8:39) here, Christian to fellow-men
1 Cor 13
ILL: No wax
The NIV gives us the word sincere. That word "sine cere" means "no wax." Perhaps many of you have heard of this, but back in the time Latin was used, potter would take wax to fill the cracks and flaws in their work. Then they would paint over it and sell it. All was well until it went into the stress of use. Then the wax melted and the pot might even disintegrate. This made the potters who were selling their wares to advertize "No Wax." The easy way to apply this is that a superficial, skin deep, put on type of love doesn’t cut it for the family of God. His love is complete and as HIS child, our love is to be without wax.
1.(10-12) Our Attitudes towards fellow believers
- v.10 Devotion + Honour
commitment & love; regard & esteem (Phil 2:4)
- v.11a-b Zeal + Fervor
God is our source
zeal = diligence (NAS)
aglow with the Spirit (RSV)
- v.11c-12a Service + Joy
JOY: Jesus, others, you (priority)
- v.12b-c Endurance + Perseverance
endurance (from hope), affliction (Isa 40:30, 31)
persevere in prayer
2.(13-15) Our Actions towards Others
- v.13 Share + Hospitality
- v.14. Bless (persecute), Matt 5:44; Lk 6:27-36
- v.15 Empathy (rejoice & mourn)
through good and bad times
a friend, in need, is a friend indeed
mutual encouragement and support
3.(16-21) Actions towards the Lost
- v.16, 18 live in harmony; live at peace
unity and lack of favoritism, cliques
no pride, both unimportant, ordinary people; outcasts of society
Prov 3:7: wise in our own eyes, fear the Lord, shun evil
- v.17, 19-21 overcome evil with good
do what is right (in God’s eyes) = integrity, upright living
not for the applause of men, but for the approval of God (as far as depends)
leave room for God’s wrath
overcome with good
ILL: Come to the dark side
Let me give an example that even our young people can understand. In the movie "Star Wars", the Emperor and Darth Vader are evil. They do bad things. Luke Skywalker is a good person. But, the Emperor and Darth Vader start doing bad things to Luke and his friends. They want Luke to get angry and hateful so that Luke will become just like them - evil. They want Luke to join the Dark Side. If Luke lets the Emperor and Darth Vader make him ’return evil for evil’, they have beaten Luke. Luke has been "overcome by evil."
Paul says instead of being "overcome by evil", we should "overcome evil with good." That means we don’t allow the bad things that people do to us make us do bad but we fight against it by being good.
Again, if you remember from Star Wars, Luke Skywalker told the Emperor and Darth Vader that he would not fight them. When the Emperor told Luke to kill his father - Darth Vader - he refused. Luke’s determination to not behave badly when he was treated badly had a deep impact upon Darth Vader. It caused Darth Vader to change and decide to be good. Luke "overcame evil with good."
Are we loving sincerely?
Do we lack zeal, fervor or joy?
Do we need to endure, persevere?
How can we share, bless, empathise with others?
What can we do to live in harmony?
How can we overcome evil with good?