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Read Introduction to Romans

 

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

 

After showing how gifts work in assembly together, now Paul set forth specific exhortations of how Christians are to operate in church (12:9-21). In these verses there are 25 rapid-fire exhortations.

The biblical format is first doctrine then deed, first creed then conduct, first belief then behavior, and first revelation then responsibility. Without principle, exhortations would be simple platitudes. We are now in a section dealing with Christian ethics (Ro 12-16).

9 Let love be genuine.

Christian love should be “genuine.” Literally, “genuine” means without hypocrisy or deception. Christian love should have no pretense but demonstrate real or true care for other believers. True believers do not play at love by acting behind a mask of something else. There is no place for deceit in Christian love. Neither is love sentimentality; rather, genuine love deals harshly with evil. It is easy to counterfeit love. What looks like love often is not genuine love. Many times people have an ulterior motive in their apparent love toward us.

2 Co 6: 6 by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love,

1 Pe 1: 22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,

First Corinthians 12 lists the catalogue of gifts, chapter 13 shows how we are to use our gifts in love, and chapter 14 delineates the misuse of gifts.

PRINCIPLE:

Biblical love requires objectivity.

APPLICATION:

Biblical love is not sentimentality that has no standards. True love requires believers to give to others. We need to be genuine with people. Making a pretense of what we are or hiding what we are violates biblical love. Pretending to love someone when we actually serve ourselves is unadulterated deception. We are to love as God loves, caring more for others than for ourselves.

Christians are obligated to love every believer. This does not mean that we have to agree with them or even like them.

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