Let love be without hypocrisy Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.Romans 12:9(NASB)
Step by step we have been led through the fundamentals of Church-age doctrine in Paul's letter to the Romans Church - a comprehensive, instructional manual that has been instrumental in influencing the various reformations and spiritual revivals that have taken place throughout the history of the Christian Church. Nowhere else in the Bible do we receive such a full and systematic teaching on the foundational truth of the gospel of God and the incarnate Christ.
And having laid out the most thorough treatise of our faith, Paul concludes his weighty epistle with a section that gives guidance on practical Christian living. Paul knows that the godly conduct of a righteous man avails much and is reflected in a transformed life that honours God and considers the needs of his fellow man before his own. And Paul wants us to know that our great salvation and amazing redemption is only by the grace and mercy of God - Paul therefore desires that we are constrained by a grateful heart and a deep love for our Father, to present our bodies as a living sacrifice - holy and acceptable to the Lord.
Paul touches briefly on numerous qualities and characteristics that should be the hallmark of a child of God.. who is walking in spirit and truth.. encouraging us to be kindly affectionate to each other.. rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, diligent in prayer and given to hospitality. He urges us to bless those that curse us, have godly empathy towards those that are both joyful and sorrowful and exhorts all believers to be like-minded - demonstrating humility while abhorring any aspects of social bias or bigoted favouritism.
He also reminds us that as members of Christ's body we all have our own spiritual gifting and own specific calling and no matter what is required of us and irrespective of where we are directed to go - everything we do allis to be done to the glory of God as we seek to carry out His special plan and purpose for our lives. And here in this particular verse we are called to abhor what is evil, to cling to that which is good and to be careful that we show godly love that is not tainted by fleshly hypocrisy.
Only godly love that comes directly from the heart of our Saviour is truly sincere. The love that we are called to exhibit in our lives is the foremost fruit of the Spirit, which can only be ministered to us by the Holy Spirit Himself as we die to self, abide in Christ and He in us. Human love is flawed and too often exhibits a selfish streak or it is hidden behind some hypocritical pretence. But godly love is sincere, unaffected and never ever fails. It is not jealous; or arrogant.. unbecoming or easily provoked - love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things.
Yes.. love never fails and is patient and kind.. gracious and good and as Christians our dear desire should be to cling fast to all that is good.. while evil is to be eschewed and all unlovely behaviours and ungodly attitudes are to be abhorred and hated - with a pure, godly hatred.
In this thorough treatise of our faith, Paul insists that the man or woman of God should demonstrate in their lives a godly love, which shows forth deep reverence for the Lord and a tender affection for those that are in the household of faith - according to the gifts and ministries that we have been awarded by the Spirit of God. Such a person should be a reflection of Christ.. in a life that brings forth much fruit.. and a heart that overflows with the love of God Himself - a love which surpasses all human comprehension.
Heavenly Father, I thank You for Paul's amazing epistle to the Romans, which outlines so clearly the fundamentals of our faith and the behaviour that You desire from all Your blood-bought children. Help me to live my life to Your praise and glory and I pray that the love of God fill me to all fullness and flows through me to others. I pray that I may cling to what is good and abhor all that is evil and I ask that my love be without hypocrisy - as I abide in Christ and He in me. AMEN