"THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS" A Love That Can Hate (12:9-10) INTRODUCTION 1. In Romans 12, Paul discusses the practical side of the Christian life 2. In the first part of the chapter, he establishes the general principle of self-sacrifice... a. As the foundation of all goodness - Ro 12:1 b. Accomplished through a transformation - Ro 12:2 c. Manifested in humble service of one's abilities - Ro 12:3-8 3. Beginning with verse 9, we find a series of exhortations... a. That continue to the end of the chapter b. That at first glance, may at time seem disconnected 4. For example, consider the exhortations in our text (Ro 12:9-10)... a. The first and last relate to love b. But the intervening clause pertains to hate -- But upon careful reflection, these exhortations may not be disjointed [One way to connect these exhortations is to describe them as depicting "A Love That Can Hate". To see how that is possible, consider that a Christian must first have...] I. AN HONEST LOVE A. LOVE WITHOUT HYPOCRISY... 1. We are to have a love that is honest, sincere and genuine
- Ro 12:9a 2. Whereas a love that is faked is repulsive a. In which someone claims to love you b. But their actions speak otherwise 3. Yet sometimes our words do surpass our true feelings a. We talk about love, sing about it b. But don't always live up to it! 4. Making us feel guilty when we read a passage such as our text -- How can we love sincerely and without hypocrisy? B. DEVELOPING AN HONEST LOVE... 1. The position of this exhortation in Paul's writing may serve as a clue a. After discussing the need for being transformed by the renewing of our minds b. An honest love can't be experienced or shown without this transformation 2. This transformation occurs the more we contemplate the love and mercies of God - cf. 1Jn 4:7b ("for love is of God") 3. Only as we let the mind of Christ be in us can we love as we should - cf. Php 2:2-5 [So we need to develop an honest love, one that comes by contemplating God's love for us. But as we continue in our text, we see that it can also be "A Love That Can Hate"...] II. ABHORRING EVIL, CLINGING TO WHAT IS GOOD A. ESSENTIAL TO HAVING AN HONEST LOVE... 1. A mutual hatred of evil and clinging to good is necessary for an honest love - Ro 12:9b 2. Why? If not careful, love can easily lose its purity and depth a. The lusts of the flesh are strong b. They can easily pervert the nature of our love c. Profession of love can easily become a cover for evil 3. Therefore the need to "abhor what is evil" - cf. Ep 5:2-5 a. Walk in love as Christ loved us b. But eschew any perversion of love! B. DEVELOPING A PROPER HATRED OF EVIL... 1. Comes by clinging to what is good, not vice versa! 2. Why do some hate evil? a. There are those who very quick to hate evil (e.g., "hobbyriders") b. Such are mostly negative and rarely positive in their attitudes c. They hate evil, but do not cling to what is good, creating an unbalance d. Motivated by carnal desires (power, fame), not by the spirit of Christ 3. Hatred of evil should come from first clinging to that which is good a. As implied by the Psalmist in Ps 119:103-104 b. The powerful emotion of hate can then be properly balanced by a love of good! [So the love that is to characterize Christians is to be "A Love That Can Hate" when that hate is properly motivated and directed. But now let's consider how such love is to be manifested toward our brethren...] III. AFFECTIONATE AND PREFERENTIAL A. WITH GREAT TENDERNESS AND AFFECTION... 1. The expression "kindly affectionate" means "to love as family" (philostorgos) a. Just as you would your own family members b. To stress the point, Paul adds "in brotherly love" (philadelphia) 2. We are to have great feeling of love towards those in Christ a. As Paul had toward the brethren at Philippi - Php 1:8 b. As the Ephesian elders had toward Paul - Ac 20:36-38 -- Such is "A Love That Can Hate"! B. DESIRING TO OUTDO ONE ANOTHER IN SHOWING HONOR... 1. This is the meaning of "in honor giving preference to one another" a. "The word preferring means going before, leading, setting an example." - Barnes b. "Thus in showing mutual respect and honor, they were to strive to excel; not to see which could obtain most honor, but which could confer most, or manifest most respect."- ibid. 2. Thus we are to delight in exalting our brethren over ourselves! a. As commanded in Php 2:3 b. Freeing us from petty jealousies that can threaten true love CONCLUSION 1. What is the kind of love that God desires for His children? "A Love That Can Hate"! 2. Such is the love that God has shown toward us... a. A love that is honest and sincere, demonstrated by the sending of His Son to die for our sins b. A love that hates evil and clings to what is good, revealed throughout the Word of God c. A love that is affectionate and delights in showing honor, as God has done toward His children who obey Him! If we are in Christ, is this the kind of love we display? If you are not in Christ, won't you respond to this love in obedience to the gospel of Christ...? Note: The main idea for this lesson came from a sermon by Alexander MacLaren, in his Expositions Of Holy Scripture.