Romans 12:9-21 July 14, 2013 Pent 6 # 1866 Page 1

Romans 12:9-21 July 14, 2013 Pent 6 # 1866 Page 1

Romans 12:9-21 July 14, 2013 Pent 6 # 1866 page 1

9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Hi Kids,

I have a plastic squeeze bottle with something in it that I use quite often. [Show a bottle of glue.] Can someone tell me what this is? It is a bottle of wood glue. What do you suppose I use this glue for? I glue 2 pieces of wood together. When the glue dries, how many pieces of wood do I have? I will have one, because I won’t be able to pull the two apart.

I have three pieces of wood here. This one has “Me” written on it [show the piece of wood]. It is thin. If I bend it, I have to be careful not to break it. The two that are left are what I have to choose from to glue to “Me” as the things I do and say each day. One piece of wood says “love evil.” [show a piece of ¼ inch Masonite] This is pressed wood like paper. The other one says “love good” [show a 1 inch square piece of wood]. Which one does the devil want me to choose to glue to “me”? “Do evil” because I would not strong at all [break and end of this to show how weak it it]. Which one does God want me to choose to please him? “Do good” because it shows that I love him [show that it is solid].

So how do you and I get “glued to good?” We learn what God tells us here [show a Bible] in the Bible is “good.” The glue is our faith that believes in Jesus as our Savior and in the true God. The Holy Spirit put that faith in our heart and now we are able to “be glued to what is good.”

Fellow Redeemed loved dearly by God,

What is a hypocrite? It is someone who pretends to “do good,” but really is doing evil because the heart does not believe in God and his grace. A hypocrite is an imposter, an unbeliever trying to act like a Christian. A hypocrite is someone who is not genuine with his or her words and actions. A hypocrite is someone who fools people, but cannot fool God, cannot hide the real intent behind what is said or done because God “looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel __) Every choice a person makes, no matter whether it is what we speak or what we do, God clearly sees why we made the choice we did. He sees if it was from faith to glorify him, or from sin to honor some false god.

The verses chosen from Romans 12 for us to study today are part of a section where Paul is teaching us that every part of our life is an “act of spiritual worship” to God. We are urged to “offer our bodies as living sacrifices.” There are to be no more animals put to death on the altar as a mock sacrifice for our sins. God put to death his Son on the cross as the altar where all our sins really were paid for once and for all with his suffering. We don’t have to do anything more to satisfy God’s anger at our sins. Through faith we “saints” in his eyes, spotless and pure washed with Jesus’ holy blood and wearing his holy life. And with this saving faith we now want to obey God as our expression of thanks. Listen now to the verses for the sermon (read 9-21).

We in America like sentences with subject (who is doing something), verb (what is being done) and object (what is the result or intent). And so the English translations accommodate us. But in the 12 verses before us Paul doesn’t use a verb verb until verse 14, and then again in v. 19, 20 and 21. All the other verses are verb related participles and infinitives. In fact, Paul has no verb in v. 9. He said “the love unhypocritical, hating the evil, being glued to the good.” But his message is clear. GENUINE LOVE IS GLUED TO WHAT IS GOOD. And then the holy writer explains how we Christians go about doing this.

True love taught by God is “unhypocritical.” It is genuine, devoted to him with a pure heart and a sincere faith, It desires blessings for everyone. This is to be evident in us as (1.) We hate evil. Since our conversion we have a “new self” who is the image of God restored in us. Our new self loves God and hates everything that doesn’t honor and obey God’s will. “Hate” is a very strong word. But it is necessary for us to do because Satan and sin are powerful opponents. Everything that is against God, we are adamantly to resist. We are to stay clear of evil’s tentacles and warn others of its danger for the eternal life or our soul and that of others.

“The love” that God has taught us by his example of being the God of grace, we practice as We cherish one another as family. God sent and sacrificed his Son for the whole world of humanity, for the family he had created to bless forever. That family of mankind had stopped loving him when the first two people sinned, but he didn’t stop loving us. And he through forgiveness and faith makes it possible for us to love one another again. Paul picked the word “philadelphia,” brotherly love. Our “brotherly love” is to be demonstrated by our tenderness and kindness shown to each other as brothers and sisters in Christ as We help meet the needs of fellow Christians.

Now, as part of our worship to him, “We honor one another.” We hold each other in high esteem above ourselves. We don’t speak unkindly about one another. We do not elevate ourselves above others. Every person is important to God. Each of us has the same value to him. He paid the price that redeemed all, the same price for each of us—his Son’s innocent suffering and death. We treat one another as equals. And with our actions We are high-energy in serving the Lord. Whatever we do to love one another, we do it because our new self loves God, wants to serve him by being “be glued to what is good.” And so Paul tells us, “Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.”

There will be times when we are tempted to be discouraged. We will feel tired of giving when no one seems to notice or offer to help. We will be tempted to do good because we think that it still is necessary to earn God’s love so that we can enter heaven. We will be disappointed because all our efforts to lead someone to Jesus seem a failure. At such times Paul lifts us up with the assurance that We rejoice in the Gospel hope. Heaven is real. Our going there is certain because Jesus has fulfilled all the requirements we need to live forever. It is called our “hope” only because we don’t know the timetable. God keeps all his promises. He doesn’t leave us on our own, but is always with us to provide his strength as our “spiritual fervor” that boiling with intensity inside to “be glued to what is good” until he takes us into eternal glory. Therefore, “Never be lacking in zeal.” Don’t be hesitant, or lazy, or panic over an opportunity to show genuine love.

Life on earth will not always easy and enjoyable. People will pursue us with evil intentions. The devil will try to lead us into the temptation of gluing ourselves to “evil” as the way to make life wonderful. We need to resist him which means sometimes We endure affliction. When choosing to be “glued to what is good,” we will with our actions tell others that they are doing evil. And in love to the unbeliever and impenitent, our words will explain and expose the person’s sin as necessary to lead to repentance and saving faith. This means that we will be persecuted by some because they don’t want to admit they are sinning, or they don’t want to stop sinning. Endure because they need to hear the truth and see that God is worth believing. And talk to God regularly to help you do this. We pray continually.

The word translated as “hospitality” literally means “love a stranger.” As a child of God We show hospitality, especially to “the saints,” to fellow Christians. We are friendly and willing to help no matter who is in need. We are sensitive to the lives of others. We hear the apostle say “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” We are people with real feelings and real love. It is appropriate to show this, to show that we truly care and want to be a friend.

“Live in harmony with one another.” We live at peace with others if we can. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil.” Two wrongs never make a right. “Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.” We are to do what makes people happy, what keeps us on good terms, as long as it not sinful. But, when Paul began the thought in v. 18 with “if it is possible,” he is telling us that it may not always possible to live at peace with someone. We are to try, but there are times when “hating what is evil” includes stopping it with determined words and even force as love for God to protect our soul and life, or love for our neighbor who is in danger. But that is a last resort.

The Christian’s working principle is “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” Speak words that ask God to bring good to the person, instead of asking that he bring some supernatural punishment to happen right now. We want to free that soul from hell, not have it fried there. If someone does something bad, illegal, or hurtful to us and seems to get away with it, our sinful nature will shout at us “Not fair! Get even!” The Holy Spirit is very clear on this issue, “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.” God generally does not bring immediate vengeance. Instead, he shows mercy because he wants the person to repent and be saved. This is evident by what he asks from us in dealing with the matter. “On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”” Paul’s word for “coals” is where “anthracite” comes from. It is the hardest coal and burns hot. God’s picture is that when we continually do good in response to another’s evil actions against us, eventually that person’s conscience will burn with guilt, and hopefully will despair and seek God’s mercy through us.

“Do not be overcome by evil.” “Hate what is evil.” How? We conquer evil with good. We conquer evil with the gospel. We put our full trust in Jesus so that we are forgiven. We put our full trust in God’s love explained in the Bible and wear his armor to be safe from spiritual enemies and to go on the offensive against evil. We work are showing genuine love by “being glued to what is good.” If you take the word “good” and squeeze it from each end, the two “o’s” become a single “o.” Be glued to what is from God. Amen.