FVC Sermon Podcast
Love Is Not Love
“Love is Not Love” (All Scripture is in NKJV)
Romans 12:9-16 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient[a] in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given[b] to hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
The great requisite in love is this, that it be without hypocrisy; i.e. that it be sincere and not artificial. Love must be genuine and pure. Sugar v. artificial sweetener. People do not want the calories from sugar, but sugar is a pure and natural substance, thus easily accepted in the body. Artificial sweeteners are dangerous. An artificial sweetener duplicates the effect of sugar in taste, but has less food energy. Animal studies have convincingly proven that artificial sweeteners cause weight gain, brain tumors, bladder cancer, diabetes (because it still triggers an insulin response) and many other health hazards. Hypocritical love is artificial love and is dangerous.
Jesus tells us that Matthew 5:20 “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”
He said that the scribes and Pharisees were hypocrites, in that they taught the things of God, but did not do them and those who did such things, their heart and motives did not match up with their actions:
The Beatitudes: Matthew 5: 21-22; 27-28; 38-41 (Roman law); 43-48; Matthew 6:1; 16-18
Our actions cannot be artificial, just mimicking the taste of the genuine; they MUST align with our heart.
Let love be without hypocrisy. The apostle Paul proceeds to stir up to the exercise of grace, and the discharge of such duties as were common to all the members of the church. He begins with “love”, which is the cement of saints, and the bond of perfectness; without love all the gifts that we have received, or the profession of faith that we make, or the works we do are of no benefit, and we ourselves are nothing but clanging, noisy gongs.
1 John 4:8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
Love- agape, sacrificial kind of love of the will and purpose, not an emotional, feeling based love.
Here it is to be taken, in the most comprehensive sense, that love to God and others is to “be without hypocrisy”. Genuine not artificial. Love to God should be with all our heart, soul, and mind, otherwise the fear of Him, and obedience to Him, will be only outward, formal, customary, and hypocritical. Love to our Lord should be with sincerity, and so it is right, true, and genuine; and love to one another should be not in word, and in tongue only, but in deed and in truth, with a purity of heart. The love professed to others should never be through fear of men, or a desire to please man; but honest, upright, and sincere.
So then, how can we be sure that our love is true and not hypocritical love? Paul tells us
Abhor that which is evil; do not only avoid it, but hate it, as you should hate hell itself. This is very emphatic words. He, who is without hatred of evil, does not really love good.
1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
Here again is agape love. So you can agape God, and you can agape the world. But not both.
Abhor that which is evil. We are to hate sin, both in its principle and in its actions. We abhor anything that is hateful to God and contrary to His nature. We abhor transgression of His righteous law. The word here used, designs the greatest aversion imaginable, a turning away from it, as what is the most loathsome, detestable, and abominable; and having such a hatred of it with horror.
1 Corinthians 13:6(love) does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
Proverbs 8:7 For my mouth will speak truth; Wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
Psalm 119:104 Through Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way.
Amos 5:15 Hate evil, love good; Establish justice in the gate. It may be that the Lord God of hosts
Will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
Hebrews 1:9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.” (said of Jesus)
Herein lies the great problem of today: Christians are not only tolerating evil, but celebrating it. There is a lack of courage and a lack of the fear the Lord that’s been traded for a fear of man. Satan has caused Christians to attack and devour one another instead of focusing our attack on spiritual wickedness in high places. People attack those preaching GOODNESS and truth. Many cause strife and division when the preacher teaches what the Word of God says about divorce, or lying, or sexual immorality. Yet the Word says, we are to HATE evil and the evil way.
Psalm 97:10 You who love the Lord, hate evil! He preserves the souls of His saints; He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked.
Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate.
We are not called to make peace with evil. WE are not called to befriend evil. WE are not called to tolerate evil. We are not called to ignore evil and brush it under the rug. We are not called to expose our children to evil and call it “education” or “inclusivity” or “tolerance”.
We are called to hate it and stand against all evil with boldness and truth and with the authority in Christ that we have been given. Jesus did not sacrifice His life for our sins so we could partner with Satan.
Here’s an area where we tolerate sin- parents tolerate sin in their children and make excuses for them calling it “love”. You excuse their sin and justify their disobedience and say, “they have a good heart”. You are doing them a huge disservice and at the same time disobeying the Word of the Lord. This is not love. It is artificial. It is partnering with evil. I see many parents putting their children in position of ministry when their kids are still in their sins. Parents: remember Eli who was destroyed and taken from the priesthood because he allowed his rebellious sons to serve in the temple of God and profane that which is holy. So Paul says not only are we to hate evil, we are to love good.
Cleave to that which is good; be glued to it; so the word signifies. Things that are glued together are hard to separate. Think of gluing two pieces of paper. The same word is used of the union and conjunction between man and wife
Ephesians 5:31“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined (glued) to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”
Be glued to that which is good; to God, who is infinitely, and immutably good; who is good in his nature, and works. Cleave unto his will, his ways, and worship; and to Jesus the good shepherd of the sheep, the only Savior and Redeemer, the Lamb that is to be followed whithersoever he goes; and to the Holy Spirit, after whom we should walk, and not after the flesh; and be glued to the church of God, assembling with whom should not be forsaken. Be glued to the Gospel of peace, and the truths of God’s Word and hold them fast. Cleave to every good work, to which we should always be ready, careful to maintain, and ever follow.
Love is not love if we are hypocritical and not loving from a pure heart. Love is not love if we claim to know Him and continue to live in our sins. Love is not love if we flatter with our mouth but have hatred in our heart. Love is not love if we serve the whole church but do not hold firmly to the truth of God’s Word. Love is not love if we care more about a person’s physical happiness then we care about the eternity of their soul. Isaiah prophesied of a day that evil would be called good.
Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
We are in this day, have nothing to do with evil, but cleave to what is good with all your might.
Paul then tells us how to express this true and genuine love: v.10-16
How do we truly fulfill this list of things that at times seem so far away from our natural ability? How do we do bless those who curse us, from a pure heart? I will be honest—I can serve diligently anyone because I am able to detach my real feelings and heart from things. This comes from years of living in survival mode. One characteristic of a child of an alcoholic parent is to hide your true feelings. I am a master at this. But this is not true love. I have had to learn to align my heart with my actions. I also have a fear of rejection and abandonment, this has kept me from truly loving and serving people. I isolate because I do not want to get close, because if I get close, they might leave me. These issues I have had to deal with at the heart level. I had to sit still under the power of the Lord, spending hours upon hours in prayer, renewing my mind to God’s Word and here I am 28 years later, still working on getting my heart right. God demands that love must not be hypocritical. WE can ONLY love like this when we do what HE tells us: Rom 12:1-2 This kind of love cannot come any other way
Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:5 “Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the [a]earth.
Jesus uses a specific word here: meek. I do not think most of us realize what this word means. It is not in the sense of “meek as a mouse”. The English dictionary translates it: quiet, gentle, submissive.
The Greek word is much more weightier and it fits this passage of love that Paul tells us perfectly. Meekness is patience in the reception of injuries. It is neither meanness nor a surrender of our rights, nor cowardice; but it is the opposite of sudden anger, of malice, or of long-harbored vengeance.
Christ insisted on his right when he said, “If I have done evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why do you strike me?” John 18:23. Paul asserted his right when he said, “They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves, and fetch us out,” Acts 16:37. And yet Christ was the very model of meekness. Same of Paul. No man endured more wrong, or endured it more patiently than Jesus. Yet the Savior and the apostle were not raging men flying off the handle. They bore injury patiently. They did not press their rights nor trample down the rights of others to secure their own.
Meekness is the reception of injuries with a belief that God will vindicate us. “Vengeance is Mine; I will repay,” Romans 12:19. We have no authority to take his place, He will do what He has promised to do.
I remember years ago in the warehouse, there was a lady who called up everyone in the church to the tell them that ps Matt and I were mishandling the finances of the church. This of course stemmed from an offense she was harboring over her kid. The enemy always seems to attack in issues of money and our kids. The teeth come out. I found out she was calling up every couple in the church, and so I thought it well to defend us. I called up one family and told them to pls not listen to this lady, that she was spreading lies. The lady replied to me, “I will listen to whoever I want to listen to”. We lost about 1/3 of the church. When you are running 75 people on a Sunday this is a big hit. But it taught me a lesson. I am not to defend myself. IN 2019 when we had something similar, I did not defend us. I even had people asking me why I was not saying anything. Because it is not my place. I had learned meekness.
Meekness produces peace. It is proof of true greatness of soul. It comes from a heart too pure to be moved by even the slightest insults. Meekness will cause us to look upon those who offer insults to us with pity instead of fleshly malice.
In the world we find nothing approaching the virtue of which Jesus spoke. Instead of meekness, we find pride, ego and arrogance. All our heartaches and a great many of our physical illnesses spring directly from our sins. Pride, arrogance, resentfulness, unforgiveness, bitterness, malice, greed: these are the source of more human pain than all the diseases that ever afflicted mortal flesh. Jesus gives us more than just words of wisdom, they are the essence of truth, “Blessed are the meek” He is not giving us His opinion. His Word is law. Meekness and pride cannot inhabit the same person.
Think about this: a lot of the pain in our life has risen from someone speaking badly of us. Tozer, “As long as you set yourself up as a little god to which you must be loyal, there will be those who will delight to offer affront to your idol”. The prideful heart seeks to shield itself from every insult and bad opinion. The fleshly man continually challenges every word spoken against them and cringes under every criticism. It is vanity and ego to even think that everything is about you. Why do you take something as a slight anyway? Why do you think it’s about you? Why do you take everything so personal? Not every FB post is about you. You might just have an ego problem that you need to deal with.
OT scholar Dennis Kinlaw said: Satan disguises submission to himself under the ruse of personal autonomy. He never asks us to become his servants. Never once did the serpent say to Eve, “I want to be your master”. The shift in commitment is never from Christ to evil; it is always from Christ to self. And instead of his will, self-interest now rules and what I want reigns. And that is the essence of sin.
Why do you think Scripture continually declares to put to death the flesh? Sin is rooted in glorifying and seeking to honor self.
John 5:44 How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?
Jesus taught here the alarming doctrine that the desire for honor among men makes belief impossible.
“Brother, if any man thinks ill of you, do not be angry with him; for you are worse than he thinks you to be. If he charges you falsely on some point, yet be satisfied, for if he knew you better he might change the accusation, and you would be no gainer by the correction. If you have your moral portrait painted, and it is ugly, be satisfied; for it only needs a few blacker touches, and it would be still nearer the truth.”
The meek does not care who is greater than them, for they has long decided that the esteem of this world is not worth the effort. The meek man is not a mouse with a sense of inferiority. The meek in truth as bold as a lion, but has stopped deceiving themselves and has accepted God’s estimate of their life. The meek one has evaluated themself soberly. I know I am weak and helpless, but at the same time more important than the angels. In myself, nothing; in God, everything. I know full well that the world will never see me as God sees me and I have stopped caring. I can rest content to allow God to esteem my value. The meek are at peace and are happy to let God defend them. The old struggle to defend ourself is over. The meek does not pretend to be something they are not, but is content in being a child of God. I am at last here. Maybe I am too old to care anymore, but nevertheless, I rest content in my Lord’s estimation of me. If I please my Lord and my husband, what others think of me, or how someone else views me makes no difference.
Meekness is the key to “blessing those who curse you” and to truly love those who despitefully use you. In our own strength, we can do nothing. But in His strength and power, we can rest peaceful and content and we can truly do “all things through Christ who gives me strength”
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