Paul says “Let us Live Like Christ Followers” Part 1
Romans 12:9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. KJV
Paul at the beginning of this Chapter reflecting all the way back to the words he wrote in Chapter 8 of this epistle or letter has exhorted, commanded (proclaiming God’s Command), and urged us to present our entire selves to the Father as living sacrifices of worship to Him. Paul declares to us that when we have done this, we will prove or make plain and visible to our own individual hearts His Perfect and Acceptable will for us in our everyday lives, even as we continue in this world of woe and sin that we have been spiritually lifted out of solely by His Grace or Charis given to each one of us freely. Paul now declares that with our renewed minds/hearts/inner man or woman, that is not renewed only one time, but daily and continually by God’s Holy Word and energized by the Holy Spirit’s Power, we should live like Christ Followers or like we have truly and genuinely had an encounter with the Living Christ. Our Lord Jesus Christ is a restorer, a redeemer, and a resuscitator of the dead in trespasses and sins and in so doing He Imparts His Life into our dead spirits that furnish us with brand new desires so that we see others who know and love Him as He sees them and we want only what is best for them as does our Lord Jesus. Paul knew these two truths and declared them with these words, 1 Timothy 1:12-16 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life. NKJV
Paul now first tells us to love our siblings in Christ without dissimulation or hypocrisy. This love or the Greek word agape is what Paul spoke of earlier in this same epistle or letter in Romans 5:5 & Romans 5:8. This love is foreign to each of us human beings and it is only when we have been born again that we ever know that such a love exist in the Universe. Our human finite minds/hearts cannot comprehend or understand such love and this is why the Apostle John referred to it as “what manner” or “what possible sort of” love is this that we have received and experienced in our receiving Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior. This is God’s Love, His Very Essence or Substance poured into us at the moment of our forgiveness and deliverance from sin. God’s Love is the polar and extreme opposite of lust because lust only desires to take and take some more and lust only wants satisfaction of the flesh and instant gratification that only leaves the soul empty and it never furnishes what it advertises. Listen to what my Lord Jesus Christ gave me to write in my book entitled “Silent Assassins of the Soul”, “Those who reject or resist God’s love tend to worship things made by man, such as money, clothes, cars, jewelry, or houses. Sometimes these same people even worship themselves. Possessions take God’s place in their hearts, but material things can never fulfill and satisfy that deep and abiding hunger for spiritual satisfaction. So while these people smother their emptiness with goods, the Lord Jesus is always knocking at the hearts of all men because of His great love for us. He is ever trying to gain entrance to save, change, and transform us and make us sons of God. The challenge is to give up what fulfills us here on earth for something far greater—something that is not temporal but eternal. Sin, though it feels good, leads to destruction. When you surrender your heart and your will to Christ you secure your destiny in Christ.”
God’s Love to us and through us seeks only that which is the best for our sisters and brothers in Christ, that which will not hurt them or damage them in any capacity and it is demonstrated from a transformed heart of the Apostle Paul as he defined in these words spoken in all of 1 Corinthians 8. Paul here expresses his heart for others in Christ who may be weak in their faith and he wanted so much to do or say nothing that would damage the faith of his fellow brothers or sisters in Christ that he closed this great Chapter 8 of 1 Corinthians bearing witness to what true agape love looks like in truth, as he not only says but does in accordance with these words, 1 Corinthians 8:12-13 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. Wherefore, if meat makes my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend. KJV Paul did not want anything in his life to cause a new brother or sister in Christ or a weak brother or sister in Christ to “offend” and this English word is translated from the Greek word skandalizo and from this Greek word we get our English word scandalize. The Greek word skandalizo means to put a stumbling block or impediment in the way; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to trap or trip up or to entice to sin. To the heart of Paul it was unthinkable behavior for a person professing or claiming to know and love our Lord, Master, and Savior Jesus Christ to be found guilty of so doing this as he says again later on in this same epistle or letter declaring the “Law of Liberty” we have in Christ still should never cause others to stumble with these words again, Romans 14:13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this--not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way. NKJV
Paul again shows what true agape love is without hypocrisy or pretense or acting a part or playing a role as the TV and film stars do to make their living. Some people I dare say get so attached to a specific character in a TV show or movies series, that they think that person is the character they are playing. Paul never wants his life or anyone’s life that names the Name of Jesus Christ to reflect the acting or playing a part, so he first declares our love should move us to abhor (apostugeo), to be horrified of evil and to utterly detest it in every shape, manner, mode, or way our enemy the devil presents it to us. Everything God created also has an opposite to it, for example with height there is depth, with cold there is hot, with light there is darkness, and likewise with love there is hate. The love of God we have received from our Heavenly Father should constantly, continuously, and callously cause us to express (by the way we are to love one another) our loathing and despising of evil always, as the Psalmist declares here, Psalms 97:10 Hate evil, you who love the LORD, Who preserves the souls of His godly ones; He delivers them from the hand of the wicked. NKJV and as the writer of Proverbs declares here, Proverbs 8:13 “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverted mouth, I hate.” NKJV
Paul then tells us to “cleave” ourselves to everything good. The English word “cleave” is translated from the Greek word kollao which means to glue or weld yourself firmly together to good, denoting the permanency of the act, as Paul described and declared to the Philippian brothers and sisters with these words regarding their thought life, Philippians 4:1-9 Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved. I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to live in harmony in the Lord. Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. NKJV
“The lumbering wagon must be hitched to a star. We must not be star-gazers only. God has endowed us with faith as the receptive faculty, through which we may receive His blessed help. In the power of the Holy Spirit let us set ourselves to our common tasks, thinking humbly and soberly of ourselves, lovingly of our associates, and reverently of God. We are inspired to fulfill the obligations of our position, whether in giving money or in teaching the ignorant; whether in showing mercy or in exercising authority, because all is done as under the eye of the great Master of the household.” F. B. Meyer
“Any man who seeks to make his words a true picture of his emotions must be aware that few harder precepts have ever been given than this brief one of the Apostle’s, ‘Let love be without hypocrisy.’ But the place where this exhortation comes in the apostolic sequence here may suggest to us the discipline through which obedience to it is made possible. There is little to be done by the way of directly increasing either the fervour of love or the honesty of its expression. The true method of securing both is to be growingly transformed by ‘the renewing of our minds,’ and growingly to bring our whole old selves under the melting and softening influence of ‘the mercies of God.’” Alexander MacLaren
“A person that is not afraid, ashamed, or abhorred with causing hurt to a part of one’s own physical body is a masochists or simply highly disturbed in my book, likewise someone who says they love our Lord Jesus Christ and desires to willfully hurt, cheat, or defraud (1 Thessalonians 4:6) any part of His Mystical Body in any way is nothing more than a hypocrite, pretender, and an actor playing the role of a Christ Follower (1 John 4:20-21 & 1 John 5:2-3).” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…