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Read Introduction to Romans

 

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

 

hold fast [unite] to what is good.

It is not enough to hate what is evil without the counter balance of “hold fast to what is good.” Otherwise, we would be negative oriented. It takes the effort of “cleaving” to the good; it is not sufficient to loosely hold onto the good. True Christian virtue has an active dimension; he is not passive about what is good but takes proactive steps to persist in the good. This value clings to the good no matter what the cost may be. The Christians glue to the good is not casual approval but a commitment to the good.

The Christian is to unite what is good or cling to something in close relation.

1 Th 5: 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

Amos 5: 15 Hate evil, love good; Establish justice in the gate. It may be that the Lord God of hosts will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.

PRINCIPLE:

True love discriminates between evil and good.

APPLICATION:

It is possible to be kind and even nice yet want genuine love. True biblical love distinguishes between good and evil. There is no neutrality in God’s principles. Where there is true biblical love evil is not tolerated but is viewed as injuring those who participate in it.

First we love then we hate! There are dimensions in the Christian life where hatred is a virtue. These two concepts are not incompatible since genuine love discerns how it loves. True love does not love everything. To the contrary, genuine love hates some things. Even God Himself hates many things (Prov 6:16-19; Isaiah 1:12-15; Amos 5:21).

Love that does not discern between good and evil is pure sentimentality. True love hates evil. To exercise that kind of love we must operate on strict objectivity as to what is evil and what is good. In our culture Christians are conditioned to tolerate deviant behavior. It is amazing how many Christians do not deem that homosexuality is wrong even with overwhelming biblical evidence against it.

The NFL recently castigated Bible believing Christians as homophobic for not accepting the homosexual agenda. When the NFL Network does this many young Christian men will soften their convictions about what is sinful because they want to be culturally acceptable. That softening is sentimentality, not objective understanding of the Word of God. The biblical command is “hate what is evil.” We hate homosexuality because it undermines a holy and godly life. What is worse is that this tolerance accedes to a satanic world system or worldview. The issue is greater than we imagine.

True biblical love operates on objectivity, not subjectivity. Sentimentalism toward a homosexual or homosexualism is pure emotion oriented conduct. The lack of biblical knowledge and belief is the reason why Christians operate on sentimentalism. True love for homosexuals is to give them God’s message about their condition and be there for them as persons.

True love does not accede to people’s idiosyncrasies or peculiar beliefs. It gives them what they need—a message from God that sets forth a biblical worldview. We love them based on objective principles from God’s Word. This love is not self-righteous or condescending but it is consistent with God’s viewpoint and opposed to the devil’s world system.

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