Romans 12:9-13 — The marks of the true christian

Orphanage Director, Rach Gia, Vietnam

Orphanage Director, Rach Gia, Vietnam

“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.  Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.  Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.”
Romans 12:9-13

  • Let your love, your benevolence and goodwill, be without guile, deceit and hypocrisy.  Love here is defined in the ancient Greek language as agape. It is the love with which God loves me, without condition and just as I am, full of sin.  Is this the love with which I love others?  Or do I set conditions on them, remember their sins then base my love on their faults and other unfair criteria.  God gave his son for me — I should love others as they are — since he loves me as I am.
  • Detest what is evil; that which causes pain and hardship or what hurts others. There is more at stake with my choices — every decision I make impacts someone else, either positively or negatively.
  • Attach yourself to what is intrinsically good.  Make positive choices … is what I want or do honorable and worthy of respect?
  • Tenderly love one another … unconditionally.
  • Be the one to value and prize another person over yourself; leading by example.  Have I made myself my own idol?  Do I see the good in others or do I constantly compare my worth against my perceived value of their worth?  I am to lead in seeing the good in others and prizing the good in them.
  • Don’t hesitate or lag behind but be diligent; moving quickly, led by the Spirit, to obey the Lord.
  • Be glad and expectant in hope, confident and trusting — stand your ground during times of persecution, affliction and distress.
  • Persevere in your relationship with God; in your fellowship with him and in your prayers and petitions; wait upon him since your relationship with him is two-way.
  • Relate with; know and share in the needs of your fellow believers; his set apart ones  — engage with them beyond the superficial; know their business.
  • Earnestly show love to both your friends and total strangers, be ready to share your life them.

In all honesty, I can’t do any of these things in my own strength. I must surrender myself to Jesus.  Through him, transformation takes place, a permanent one in my heart, allowing me to be the person he’s called me to be …

Jesus, thank you for loving me.  Thank you for making it possible for me to be transformed into your likeness, without you, I’m lost.

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

By the numbers …notes from Strong’s Concordance:

  • Love (Agape): benevolence, good will, esteem; plur: love-feasts
  • Genuine (505):  without guile, deceit, hypocrisy
  • Abhor(655): utterly destest
  • Evil (4190):  evil, bad, wicked, pain-ridden, emphasizing the inevitable agonies (misery) that always go with evil.
  • Hold fast (2853): glued or fasten firmly together
  • Good (18):  intrinsically good, good in nature, good whether it be seen to be so or not
  • Affectionate (5387): tenderly loving
  • Brotherly (5360):  Love of the brethren
  • Love (360): Brotherly love
  • Outdo (4285):  lead onward by example
  • Honor (5092):  value, price
  • Slothful (3636): backward, hesitating, lagging
  • Zeal (4710):  haste, diligence
  • Fervent (2204):  Seethe or bubble over, burn in the spirit
  • Serve (1398): I am a slave, am subject to, obey
  • spirit (4151):  wind, breath, spirit
  • Lord (2962): lord, master, sir; the Lord
  • Rejoice (5463):  be glad;
  • Hope (1680):  expectation, trust, confidence
  • Patient (5278):  Stand your ground, endure, bear up against, persevere
  • Tribulation (2347): persecution, affliction, distress
  • Constant (4842):  Persist, persevere, continue steadfast in; wait upon
  • Prayer (4335):  prayer, a place for prayer
  • Contribute (2841):  Share in, have a share of, have fellowship with.
  • Needs (5532):  nnecessity, business
  • Saints (6918):  set apart ones, holy, sacred
  • Seek(1377):  earnestly pursue
  • Hospitality (5381):  love to friends and strangers, the readiness to share hospitality (generosity) by entertaining in one’s home, etc.

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