I have been thinking lately about the issue of Christians living not like Christians! You know what I mean, the lady living with her boyfriend who is a youth leader at a local church, or the guy who buys his FHM magazines, but the issue is much bigger then that isn’t it? If we read books like 1 John and James we can clearly see that those people are not genuine Christians, however genuine, authentic Christians get lumped with the professing- Christians right, and thus the name of Christ is reproached by the world. However, I think as a side effect of this, the genuine Christians are being diluted by the world around us a bit, I’m not sure many of us would survive in a Puritan village. Fortunately the puritan villages are not the measure of What God expects of us, and so I would like to challenge you Christians out there, challenge you as Paul would, follow with me over the next few blogs and lets look together at Romans 12:9-21… I dare you to venture with me.
Romans 12:9a “Let love abide without hypocrisy”
After the long theological foundation of Romans 1-11 Paul drops this, so if you think you have your theology right, you may have it right in theory, but is it in practice (notice the therefore in verse 1 of chapter 12, therefore, meaning, as a result of this long theological treatise, offer your body up as a living sacrifice, and then he tells us how)?
Now it goes without saying that we are saved by grace, but our salvation allows us to obey, we are now free to obey God, Eph 2:10 nsays that this is why God made us in Christ Jesus, to do good works.
The one thing we should do is love, ‘agape’ (unconditionally, sacrificially love) one another. Not the “I love so and so in the Lord” kind of love (Translated, “I cant stand them but I put up with them). Its the kind of love that comes from above, its the kind of love that makes you not sound like a banging piece of steal (1 Cor 13). Do you have a lot of Bible knowledge? Can you preach in 20 languages? Have you given up your life to serve God? If you don’t have love you are like a piece of steal banging banging banging banging banging banging banging! Is that annoying yet? It is if you don’t have love (1 Cor 13).
Furthermore we are to love without hypocrisy, that is not just in word, but in deed and truth (1 John), not with false motives, not self see-kingly ( I encourage you to meditate on 1 Cor 13, see how your love matches up).
You know what the greatest thing is, this is so practical…
Who are you to love? Read the story of the ‘Compassionate (thanks Thomas) Samaritan’, in Luke. You are to love the first person in real need that comes across your path. Sacrificially and unconditionally, not based on you time or comfort (I don’t think we should stop and help everyone change a tire, but we can access if a person needs help or if there is already someone helping).
How do you answer the phone to: Your mother, father, wife, boss, brother, sister, friend, sales guy, annoying neigbour? Are you loving in the way you sound, dont go fake the love now, deal with your heart… go re-apply the doctrine of Romans 1-11 to yourself, cause you may not have grasped the point.
You see how applicable this is… How you speak, act and think, towards your family, friend, next circle of influence and enemies.
This article is already to long, Christians lets take up the challenge, mediocrity is not what we have been saved to live in. Dream big, live passionate for God.
1 John 4:20
If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.