Romans 12:9-21 & 1 Corinthians 12-14
†The Principle of Love Ė Part 1
Intro : Several weeks ago now we began an in-depth study looking at the gifts of the spirit - and the function of the body of Christ - beg. Here in Rom. 12
A) In this study we have seen that - we make up the body of Christ - the Church - living incarnation of Jesus expressed to world today.
B)† Using v. 6 as a spring board we went over & spent 2 weeks in Eph. 4 looking at the gifts listed there
C) As well as the purpose of the body - God has gifted His body w/ gifts - for the purpose of equipping us for ministry
1) †UPREACH /†† INREACH / OUTREACH
D) Last week we went over to 1Cor. 12 -14 looked at another set of gifts listed there - sign gifts - function in the body - and in the church.
MISSED ANY GET THE TAPES - ALSO - CHUCKS BOOK LIVING Ö.
Today we are going to conclude our study in the book of Romans by finishing up ch. 12 - Finished Ch. 13-16 on Wed.
A) As we come to v.9 of Ch. 12 we find a principle in the mist of this talk on the gifts and the function of the body - also seen in 1Cor 12 / Eph. 4
1) †PRINCIPLE OF LOVE
B) In 1Cor. Right in the middle of Paulís discussion there on the gifts of the spirit & their function in the body -
1) †a whole Ch. Is given to the subject of Love†† /
C) There Paul says - You could have all the gifts in the world but if you donít have love - means nothing ! Noisy gong - / In fact I love Paulís Lead in turn
D) 31† But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.
E) After spending 31 verses talking about what the gifts are & how there are many members & different functions - & different gifts
1) †Paul says here is the over riding principle - your love ! If you donít have love - you donít have anything.
F) If love is not the motivation -† then the body is not going to be edified by a display of the gifts ! Jesus is not going to be exalted - & lifted up
1) †People are !†† What God has given to be a blessing - ends up being a bother. Noisy gong
E) And Paul spends a whole Ch. Developing - this idea of love - Agape
Now we also see this principle of love in Eph. 4 in Paulís study on the gifts & the function of the body there
A) V. 15,16 15† but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head; Christ;
16† from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
B) Or the BUILDING UP† ( Edify means )† OF ITSELF IN LOVE
C) There in Eph. 4 Paul says a distinguishing mark of maturity is love
1) †Whether you are talking about individual Christians or an entire church congregation - the mark of maturity is seen how well you love
D) So this principle of love is seen very clearly & forth right in Eph. 4 & in the 1Cor study of the gifts & the function of the body .
1) †And it is seen - very clearly here in Rom. 12 where Paul concludes this section† by stating in V.9 Let love be w/ out Hypocrisy
Actuality v.9 - 21 are a description of what Love looks like / 3 places
A) V.9- 13 Love looks like in the Church / v.14-16 What love looks like in the world in general / v.17-21 what Love looks like in mist of conflicts
B) Break down each one in our time together this morning / homework - each principle seen here can be found in one shape or another in 1Cor.13
1st What Love looks like in the Church - note 7 things
A) 1st of all - True love is sincere!† Let love be w/out Hypocrisy
B) Now the word love used here is the word agape - which up to this point in the book of Romans has only been used to describe Godís love for us
1) †But here Paul explains that this is the kind of love that we are to have for one another! Unconditional self sacrificing love !
C) We are Challenged to live out this highest form of love & to do so w/ the utmost sincerity .
D) As simple and straight forward as this exhortation is it is impossible to live out consistently in our own strength. / Although spirit willing/ flesh is weak
1) †But God has made provision - In Rom. 5 we were told that the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the H.S.
E) The only way that we can love - w/ this kind of love is through His strength.
Friday Denise & I received a neat little surprise in the morning when our son Aaron woke up - We were down stairs - devotions - here comes Aaron - hair is combed - pants on - He announced that he has brushed his teeth cleaned his room & made his bed !†† WOW
Later when I was leaving for work - Aaron said I am going to do that every day ! Reminded him Pray for H.S. help
A) Later that night Denise talking - H.S. put on heart - Calvin & Hobbs
B) Truth of the matter - is that unless we are depending on the power of the H.S. & looking towards the supply of love He has already given
1) †We will miserably† fail to love in a sincere way - w/ all the personality differences in the body .
C) Love that is generated by the flesh will not last & will become hypocritical
D) Hypocritical love puts on a good front -/ but behind the scenes it is filled w/ things like Jealousy , competition, gossip & Judging .
1) †Hypocritical love is only extended to those who behave according to the accepted standard what ever that might be .
E) Hypocritical love is costly - it hurts others - because as the Bible declares - your sin will find you out - Your hypocrisy will surface !
1) †The gossip comes out - competition & Jealousy is exposed, & people get hurt & you lose all credibility .† Phony - actor - fraud
F) Others get hurt & so do you
Perhaps you read the story that was in many newspapers a few weeks ago - Story of Joseph Hutelmeyer - he loved w/ a hypocritical love
A) See although Joseph was married to Dorothy for 18 yrs & had 3 kids - he was committing adultery w/ his secretary Margie Cox / the 2 having affair
B) That finally resulted in Joseph divorcing Dorothy & marrying Margie / Joseph was a Hypocrite - he pretended to love his wife & kids
1) †But in actuality his heart was some where else -
C) The affair & divorce were costly - devastating Dorothy & the kids - and Joseph ended having to pay 4,000 dollars a month in Child support.
1) †Thinking happens every day right Listen Dorothy read of old law on the books in N.C. Alienation of affection & sued Margie Cox for 1million dollars - wrecking their marriage - she won !!!!!
D) Let love be w/ out hypocrisy - only ends up hurting !
2nd True love hates the sin but loves the sinner v.9 Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.
A) Now some might suppose that true love will be soft on evil . Not so Evil is to be hated . Abhor is a strong word
B) It is a hatred that means to put it far away from you - it is a hatred that shows separation . removal . ( What hate fingers on chalk board)
1) †That is to be our attitude toward sin in our lives & also in the lives of others .
C) When a brother or sisters falls in an area of sin - we donít want to make excuses for it - trend of many today - stress or mid life crisis etc.
1) †Sin & selfishness that needs to be repented of. Sin that cannot be tolerated .
D) Hate the sin - abhor it - but love & seek to restore the sinner.
1) †Really it is only those friends who confront you & exhort you concerning your sin that are true friends - show true love
E) Those who overlook it & make excuses for it - are not friends at all because they are helping you - to stay in sinful situation .
Paul says abhor what is evil - but cling to what is good .
A) Jesus said to the rich young ruler in Mark ch. 10 there is none good but God .
B) Which is true - Paul said in Rom. Our righteousness in the flesh is as filthy rags / but he also said that in Christ we are robed in his righteousness
1) †Which means that any good in us - is the result of the Lord in our lives . That is what we need to cling to is the Lord
C) Word cling here means to fasten firmly using cement ! - Abhor what is evil & fasten yourself firmly like cement to the Lord
1) †And to the things of the Lord
3rd thing note True love is a committed love V.10 10† Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love,
A) Here Paul is drawing our attention back to the fact that we are a family by stressing that we need to love w/ a brotherly love .
B) Saying blood is thicker than water ! often true - you donít want to come between family .
C) The bible clearly teaches that we are family - brothers & sisters in the Lord
1) †In fact Jesus made this very clear when he was teaching in a home one day - certain city - house was crowded
D) His mother & brothers & sisters showed up but they couldnít get in - He was told / Your ÖÖ.. outside / this was His response
1) †Who are my ÖÖ.† "For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother."
E) This is an underlying principle that we need to always be reminded of is that we are family !
1) 1Peter 4:8 told above all Love each other deeply
COMMITTED LOVE !!!!!!!!
4TH THING TO NOTE† True Love regards others above ourselves
v.10 10† Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
A) Jonathan the son of King Saul is a classic example of this fact - His love for the Lord & David so great - forsook right next king -honor David
B) Alan McGinnis relates the following:
†† In my hometown an obscure nurseryman died . His name was Hubert Bales, and he was the shyest man I ever met.† When he talked, he squirmed, blinked his eyes rapidly, and smiled nervously.
†† Hubert never ran in influential circles.† He grew shrubs and trees, working with his hands the plot of land left by his father.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† He was anything but an extrovert.
†Yet when Hubert died, his funeral was the largest in the history of our little town.† There were so many people that they filled even the balcony of the church.
†Why did such a shy man win the hearts of so many people? Simply because, for all his shyness, Hubert knew how to make friends.† He had mastered the principles of caring, and for more than 60 years he had put other people first.† Because they recognized that his generosity of spirit was an extra effort for someone so shy , people loved him back. †By the 100ís
So true Agape Love puts others first
5th TRUE LOVE IS ENERGECTIC & ETHUSIASTIC
V.11 ††not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
A) The word fervent = heated or hot - zealous enthusiastic kind of love
B) Jesus rebuked the Church of Laodecia for being Luke warm -made him sick / He† said because you are neither hot nor cold - but Luke warm vomit
C) Jesus wants our love for Him & each other to be fervent -
D) Often times on Sunday morning when I pray at the beginning of a service / I pray like I did today - Lord it is a privilege to be together
1) †I really believe that that is how I feel everyday - special place - you are a special body of people - awesome church family
E) Others have said so/ Musicians who see a lot of churches something special
My family & I were recently in Oregon visiting our former fellowship - I taught at some churches & we spent some time w/ people we hadnít seen yr
When we left OR. To come here everything happened so fast - basically we had 6 weeks to sell our house turn over our church - pack up our stuff & come
A) All happened so fast - in some ways we really didnít have the chance to reflect on what was happening
B) How a chapter of our lives was ending & a new one was beginning . That became very apparent to me on our trip .
1) †This part of our life as precious & wonderful as it was it was over - and now we were on a new adventure
C) Pondering all this one morning sitting on the front porch of my mother & father in laws mobile home reading my bible
1) †They live in the country - all of a sudden 5 deer come strolling through their yard .
D) Sat there motion less watching this seen. A mother / a father 3 baby deer on a journey - traveling one spot to another - traveling one home to next
1) †There was some hesitancy in their step - every now & then stop & look at me . Then continue on.
E) As I sat there looking at this deer family & thinking about the friends they left behind - but new ones they would make - place going
I couldnít not think about my family of 5ís† situation -We are on a journey in this life &† how the Lord had moved us & placed us to run w/ this flock
A) I began to think about how thankful we are to be in this journey together w/ you all / we are† running the race together.
B) Friday - Mary Russoís funeral - Tony said I will see you later in heaven to his love of 50 yrs / friend for almost 70 / in this together ! !††
C) That excites me - no accident you are here and a part of this fellowship - God is working in our lives - use us help each other through on journey
1) †In the race until we get to heaven !!!!!
6th True Love rejoices in Hope V.12 ††rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;
A) Hope = The Absolute expectation of coming good.
B) Two things Paul mentions here tell us how to be those who rejoice in Hope
1) †Patient in tribulation Knowing purpose
2) †Continuing steadfastly in prayer !
C) You can rejoice in hope because you are patient in affliction, and you are
patient in affliction because you have been faithful in prayer.
D) That is what makes you patient. So, when trials come, the thing to
do is to begin with prayer. As Paul tells us in Philippians, "In everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, make your requests known unto God."
E) Take them to him. If you are faithful in prayer, you will be able to be patient in affliction.
1) †You won't be dropping out, or copping out, or quitting, but you will be staying in there, waiting until God works it out,
F) not getting impatient and angry and resentful, but quietly waiting for God to accomplish what he had in mind in this whole trial.
G) In That, you can rejoice in hope---because you discover that God has a thousand and one different ways of working things out,
1) †ways that you can never imagine. That makes you begin to rejoice.
7th True love responds to peoples needs v. 13 †distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
A) What does Hospitality mean ? It sounds like hospital - which I think is an accurate description-
1) †One thing the church is to be a place where those who are bleeding can come & be healed & bandaged up .
B) Came across an interesting - contrast between the words Hospitality & entertaining ! Share w/ you
Entertaining says. 'I want to impress you with my home, my decorating, my cooking. Hospitality says, This house is simply a gift from my Master. I use it however and whenever He desires. 'Entertaining needs to impress. Hospitality aims to serve. Entertaining puts things before people, saying, 'As soon as I get the house clean. I'll start inviting people over. 'Hospitality puts people first, saying, 'No furniture? No problem. We will eat on the floor. 'Entertaining subtly declares. This house is mineóan expression of my personality† and my ingenuity. 'Hospitality whispers, What is mine is yours, Enjoy it anytime.'
Truly, hospitality is practical Christianity.
So there we are given a look at what true Love is to look like in the Church . Sincere / Hate sin love sinner / Committed love - family bros/
Love that regards others above self / Energetic / rejoices in hope /
responds to needs given to hospitality
NEXT LOOK AT LOVE FOR THE WORLD IN GENERAL V.14-16
1ST Love that speaks well of those who persecute you . v.14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
A) The Bible tells us that †all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
B) Maybe in the form of loss of Job / or not getting a deserved promotion - because not ď one of the guys or gals ď
1) †Perhaps ridiculed at school - or in your family - many forms of persecution - living for the Lord - what do you do .
C) Paul says Bless them - speak well of them - in other words donít fall into that trap of bad mouthing those people .
D) Jesus told us to pray for those who persecuted us ! Pray for them / bless them ! Speak well of them .
1) †Not natural - need to call upon the supernatural power of the Lord - through the H.S.
2nd True love identifies w/ the ups & downs of human life ! v. 15† Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
A) In this life whether you are a believer or not there are going to be good† times & not so good times .
B) Now we live in a dog eat dog world - world filled w/ selfishness / where people often have the tendency to - belittle others blessings out of Jealousy
1) †Ever notice that - person gets a raise or a promotion - and someone says they must have felt sorry for him
C) Gal announces she is getting married & a jealous single lady responds - he must be marrying her for her money.
1) †That is the way of our world .
D) Belittle other peoples successes & laugh at their grief - walk by any play ground see the wickedness of this fact in kids
††††††††† 1) Laugh at any one who is down or different - / follows into adulthood
E)† Swindol describes Characteristics of many in our society .† Indifference, non-commitment, disengagement, no sharing or caring . . . meals eaten with hi-fi headsets turned up loud, even separate bedrooms, each with a personal telephone, TV, and turntable, private toilet, and an it's none-of-your-business attitude. No hassle . . . no conflict . . . no accountability. No need to share. Or reach out. Or give a rip.
Shouldnít be the case w/ us who know the Lord .
A) Rejoice in other peopleís victories & weep w/ them in their struggles
B) Notice Paul didnít say preach to those who weep but weep w/ those who weep .
1) †Why is it that we can be so good at pointing the finger & judging - and so bad at weeping & showing compassion.
C) A teenager - falls away from the Lord - our tendency is to say - we saw it coming why didnít the parents
1) †Parents praying for teens that is what all about - love that !!!!
Quote from George fox - Pastor of Quaker Pastor†
I prayed to god that He would baptize† my heart into all conditions so I might be able to enter the needs and conditions of all. ď
Last thing Paul mentions in this section : True love doesnít show partialityv.16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
A) Unfortunately in every church there are those who strive to try & fit into what they perceive is the ď in crowd ď.
B) Maybe it is those who seem like the important people - maybe it is the pastoral staff. Maybe it is those who appear affluent .
1) †Paul says donít do that
C) In essence Paul is saying here - to be yourself - donít try to be someone or something you are not .
1) †Be humble - donít be wise in your own opinion
V.3† For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
Looked at this in detail in our first study - of the body - donít think more highly of yourself than you ought to think . But soberly - realistically
A) Realizing that Jesus is the standard by which we are to measure ourselves !
So in this next section - what Love looks like in the world in general
Love speaks well of persecutors / love identifies w/ the ups & downs of human life / love doesnít show partiality
NEXT SEE WHAT LOVE LOOKS LIKE IN MIST OF CONFLICT V.17-
1St True love doesnít seek to avenge itself v. 17-19 17† Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.
18† If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
19† Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord.
A) Again this is not natural - the natural tendency of ours is to hit back when we are to hit .
B) Jesus said to turn the other cheek - Heard one Pastor tell story of his son who was in high school grew up hearing principle
1) †Scrap one day - hit in face turned cheek - beat the heck out of other kid
C) Not natural to turn other cheek - to do so means we will trust God . / Spirit
1) †Vengeance is his . David w/ Saul
2nd True Love returns evil w/ good v.20-21 20 †Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head." 21† Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
A) In Paul s day. when a fire went out in a home, it was a real problem to re-ignite it. Didnít use matches - they used coals
B) Therefore. if someone's fire was out. the women would carry live coals In clay jars upon their heads to share with the person who had no fire.
C) Thus, the implication here was not of burning one's enemy, but of warming him, blessing him† in order to ultimately win him to the Kingdom.
Together, nine physically handicapped persons conquered Mount Rainier. One of the mountain climbers had an artificial leg. Another was an epileptic. Two were deaf, and five were blind. Despite these handicaps, the nine successfully negotiated the 14,000 foot climb and got back down again. Asked how they managed to perform this amazing feat, one of the blind members of the party said simply, "We had a lot of help from each other on the trip."
There is no way, the bible tells us, that we can successfully negotiate our life's journey without a lot of help from each other. And the reason is, we are all handicapped. We are all flawed in some way.
All have a place in the Body to make up for each other's weaknesses - reveal the love of Jesus to a hurting and die world . Know us by our Love
1Tim. 1:5 5† Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,†††