Do we show Love to EVERYONE?
Look at Romans 12:9
And now… Romans 12:21
Paul uses the same word for “Good” in each of these verses…
He begins and ends this passage with “agathos” — “good value...”
This is the same word used by Jesus in Mark 10:18, when He asks:
What is the only thing that is “of good value”?
Last week… We talked about Paul telling us to “Overcome “evil” — “those things of no value to Christian Love” — with what?
— God —
— God is Love! —
God’s Mercy and Grace cover a multitude of sins… because God is Love!
The proof is in this: “While we were still sinners… While we were still lost… broken… fumbling our way through this word… Trying to figure it all out… God sent Christ into this world… into our lives…
God’s Love encompasses His Mercy and Grace…
(There’s a whole other sermon that could come out of this… )
Remember last week: “Let Christian Love be without hypocrisy, hate what is of no value to Christian Love, and cling to God.” — Rom.
12:9, emphasis mine
— “Holding to God’s Love… embracing it… living in and through it… allowing it to live in and through us… is ALL that matters!” — the Apostle Paul
Look at what he says:
— “be devoted to brotherly love”
— “be eager to serve others”
— “share with people in need”
— “bless, care for, love others… including you enemies”
— “don’t take revenge”
— “don’t be prideful, conceited, arrogant...”
— “Overcome evil with good” (12:21)
How do we overcome evil with good?!
— Love —
Love conquers ALL!
Because God is Love!
So… Let me ask you this: “How does Rom.
13:1-7 fit with that?”
How does Romans 13:1-7 fit with what Paul is talking about?
It almost seems to be another subject…
— We submit to the authorities and government over us out of Love for God.
— This is the same thing Paul told husbands and wives in Ephesians 5.
You see… Paul has never left his primary theme!
Showing Love to others is the very basis of the Christian Life!
But… It is easy for us to substitute “idols” for Love!
Look at Romans 13:8-10
Paul says, “Let no debt remain unpaid, EXCEPT the debt of loving one another…”
Then he says that we are no longer bound by the Law… because Love fulfills the Law.
Think about that for a minute…
Look at the Ten Commandments:
Exodus 20:3–17 (NIV)
3 “You shall have no other gods before me.
4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.
5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,
6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God.
On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns.
11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.
Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
13 “You shall not murder.
14 “You shall not commit adultery.
15 “You shall not steal.
16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
If we are living in Christian Love, are we going to do those things?
If we truly “Love others” are we going to do anything to hurt them?
— NO! —
Therefore, Love fulfills the Law!
This is the same thing Jesus said in Mt 22:37-40
and in Mt 5:17, He said:
For both Paul and Jesus, “Love” — “Agape” — is a non-negotiable!
Speaking of Paul’s words in Romans 13, Wiersbe states: “Paul enlarged the circle of responsibility by including other people besides government officials.”
You do realize why Paul did that, right?
— We have a tendency to create our little circles of Love… And we fit into them only those people who fit…
But Paul says, “NO!!! Love everyone… especially those you struggle to Love! Widen your circle...”
“Love one another” isn’t a suggestion…
“Love one another” is THE basic principle guiding the Christian Life.
Many people believe that “Love one another” refers solely to other Christians… or to the church in Rome specifically…
But… that doesn’t “jive” with Christ’s command to “Love your neighbor as yourself,” (which Paul just repeated), or Christ’s teaching in the Parable of the Good Samaritan…
Paul is reminding the Church that we are to Love… but not just other Christians…
We are to “agapao” — “to show Love to” — everyone we encounter.
— not just in an abstract, disconnected way…
— not just as an “outreach” method…
— but to love EVERYONE we meet on a day to day basis… in-spite of their faults!
So… How do we do that?
Paul says, “Start by remembering your salvation.”
He goes on to say:
— “live honorably” ALL THE TIME.
— not in “partying” and “drunkenness”
— not in “debauchery” and “licentiousness”
— not in “quarreling” and “jealousy”
But… Rom 13:14
Do you know what he is saying?!
— Put on Holiness!!!!
He says: “Clothe yourself in the Lord Jesus”
Let me tell you… Jesus = God = Love
So when Paul tells us to “put on Jesus”… He is telling us to “put on Love”.
Agape is a noun that we wear… and a verb that we share…