SERMON NOTES: 13 Verses- “How To Love Others”

by | Sep 20, 2020

Over the next seven weeks, we will be in a series of talks we are calling 13 Verses. The point of this series is to help people live, not just exist.

We were created by a good and perfect God who has an intention and purpose for our lives. When we discover what that is, we live the best life possible.

Read Romans 12:9-21

About the Book of Romans

  • Was written in approximately 57 AD by the Apostle Paul
  • Paul didn’t plant or start the church gathered in Rome but had spiritual leadership in that church.
  • Rome was the dominant economic, political, and military force in the 1st century. Strategic city and a strategic church.
  • The Roman people were polytheistic. Meaning they worshiped many different gods.
  • Stands in deep contrast with the Christian claim that there is only One God. That Jesus is the way, the truth the life, and no one gets to the Father except through Him.
  • In Rome, it was the social norm to worship multiple different gods. Each home, each city, and each temple would have different sets of gods for the people to worship.
  • To deny the Roman gods’ divinity was rebellious, and there was an enormous social cost to Christians (abuse, imprisonment, isolation, and even execution).
  • The book of Romans is a book that helps Christians be Christian.
    • And there is at least two important parts of a Christian being a Christian:
      • How a Christian thinks,and;
      • How a Christian lives.
      • The theological terms are orthodoxy(meaning right thinking) and orthopraxy (which means right practice).
    • This series focuses on orthopraxy(how to live right).

9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:9-10)

Love.

It’s no surprise when describing how a Christian should live Paul starts with “love.” The Old Testament, Jesus, and Paul declare this is the defining characteristic of Christian living (1 Corinthians 13:1-3, Matthew 22:37-39).

Love must be sincere.

Sincere means without hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is when we believe or say one thing and do something else. Paul’s reiterating here that Christians are both to function in right belief and right living.

Hate what is evil.

There are three categories of evil:

  1. the devil
  2. the world
  3. the flesh

To hate evil means:

  • To hate the devil and his obsession with sewing confusion.
  • To hate the systems in our world that promote the distortion and silencing of God’s voice that allow evil to go unchecked and even become normalized.
  • To hate the struggle with evil that happens internally. To hate our own sin.

Cling to what is good.

The word ‘cling’ is the same word Jesus described a man and woman becoming ‘one’ at marriage (Matthew 19:5).

Paul is saying that we are to become so familiar with goodness that it becomes second nature. That ‘goodness’ and ‘you’ become inseparable.

Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:10)

When Paul says ‘one another,’ he is referring to Christians being devoted to other Christians. We are to be committed to our brothers and sisters in Christ in a love that looks much like a healthy family.

Paul here is echoing something Jesus said:

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35).

The people who attend Hope City church aren’t to be strangers to you who happen to be Christians. They are your family. By being a part of this church, you are choosing them as your family.

So what does it look like for you to be devoted to the other believers at Hope City? What does it look like for you to increase your devotion to ‘one another’?

  • Coming back to church in-person?
  • Joining a small group?
  • Joining a serve team?
  • Setting a regular time to pray with others from your church?
  • Financially partnering with one of our local or global partners?

 

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