Learning to Love Right 1

7 August 2022 AM – Romans 12:9-10 – Rom22 – Scott Childs
Introduction: People in our world have a distorted view of love. They love what God hates and hate what God loves. They think that love is a feeling. They call lust, love. They think that permissive parenting is love. Without realising it, many Christians have learned their definition of love from the world.
God wants you and me to have sincere love, sibling love and cherishing love toward one another. In addition to the challenges found in Romans 12:1-8, God challenges every Christian to have these three kinds of love in our lives.
Transition: Romans 12:9-10 give us four instructions that we must apply in order to learn to love right. Today, we will look at the first two.
  1. We must love without dissimulation (v.9)
a.         This love is agape love.
1)         Kenneth Wuest says, it “speaks of a love which is awakened by a sense of value in an object which causes one to prize it.” Bypaths
2)         This love values and esteems. It sacrifices to meet the needs of another. It is a choice to elevate another person to an equal or higher level than self, which will result in seeking to meet her needs and please her.
3)         To love with agape love is no small task.
4)         Jesus said that this love fulfils the law. (Matthew 22:37-40) “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
5)         Jesus displayed true love when he came to earth to die in our place. (John 3:16) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (Romans 5:8) “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Galatians 2:20) “… who loved me, and gave himself for me.That is love!
6)         Jesus then commanded that we love one another as He loved us. (John 15:12) “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
7)         Jesus even required that we love our enemies, (Matthew 5:44). This is tough love!
8)         We find one of the best descriptions of this love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. “Charity suffereth long longsuffering, and is kind not harsh; charity envieth not not heated; charity vaunteth not itself not boastful, is not puffed up inflated by pride, Doth not behave itself unseemly improperly, seeketh not her own selfish, is not easily provoked irritated, thinketh no evil bitter; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
9)         Agape love is a fruit of walking in harmony with the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy…
10)     God commands husbands to love their wives with Christ-like love. (Ephesians 5:25-27) “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
11)     Peter includes love in his list of qualities that will keep us from being spiritually barren or unfruitful. (2 Peter 1:7) “And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
12)     On a negative note, John warns that we must not love the world. (1 John 2:15) “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” Bad love!
13)     Finally, Jude commands that we keep ourselves in the Love of God. (Jude 1:21) “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” This takes daily work!
b.         This agape love must without dissimulation.
1)         We find the word translated dissimulation 6x in the NT. Three of those times, it applies to love.
2)         Dissimulation speaks of hypocrisy. Our love must be sincere. It must not be fake. It must not be feigned or disguised.
3)         Love is easy to say; it takes work to flesh out.
4)         If we sing, “Oh how I love Jesus”, but we seldom read the Bible or neglect church services, is our love sincere?
5)         If we claim we love our spouse, but seldom express it in word, deed or compliment, is it genuine?
6)         If we say we love our children, but seldom spend quality one-on-one time with them or treat them harshly, will they feel loved? Our love must be sincere.
2.        We must abhor evil and cleave to good.
a.         First, we must abhor evil.
1)         To abhor is to detest utterly, hate, or to have horror of something. We are to detest and hate evil.
2)         In the context of love, I believe the Lord is telling us that agape love must hate evil.
a)         If our son tells a lie, we must love him enough to discipline him for that evil because we know it will ruin him. A parent who says, “I love him too much to cause him pain or make him cry”, that parent does not love the child. (Proverbs 13:24) “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” Ignoring evil in your child is an act of hatred. The Lord said, (Revelation 3:19) “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
b)         If your friend leaves his wife for another woman, that is wrong. The loving thing for you to do is to confront your friend with biblical counsel, admonishing him to obey God. If the friend refuses, the loving thing to do is to separate from that friend until he does right. True love hates evil.
c)         If your spouse or child is not a Christian, or does not live like one, he or she is in the devil’s grip heading for eternal destruction. That is evil. You must hate that evil and love him or her enough to lovingly live a Christ-like example before him, tenderly urge him, and sacrifice time praying his conversion. Love detests evil.
b.         Second, we must cleave to the good.
1)         The idea here is being glued to (cemented to, welded to, jointed to, attached to) the good.
2)         In woodworking, when two boards are properly prepared and joined with quality glue, the wood will break before the glue joint will break.
3)         In our agape love, we are to be glued to the good. Just as resolutely as we hate evil, we must cling to good. Good is the opposite of evil. Love is all about sacrificing for the good of others. It is good to turn your children away from evil. It is good to help your friend do right. It is good to lead your loved ones toward Christ and eternal life. Let good be your passion.
4)         It is hypocritical to try to love without hating evil and cleaving to good.
Conclusion: Read Romans 12:9. How well do these verses describe your love? Are you walking in the Spirit and depending on Him to enable you to love like Christ? Are you striving to love God as you should? Would God say that you love your spouse, children, neighbour, fellow-Christian, and enemy as you love yourself? Do you love good and hate evil enough to confront those who do wrong and those who need Christ? Is God able to say that your love is sincere and not hypocritical? These are difficult questions. They come close to home. We cannot hide behind excuses because God never asks us to do what we cannot do if we rely upon Him. Let’s ask God to help us learn to love right!
Song: Teach Me Thy Way, O Lord – 337