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Pastor Brant Seacrist

October 21, 2018

"UNFEIGNED LOVE"

TEXT: ROMANS 12: 9-13
READING:  PSALM 147

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SUBJ: The proper attitude of the justified toward fellow Christians being seen as anchored in love without hypocrisy (dissimulation).

AIM: That we might be conscious of our attitude and so to strive toward behavior that is consistent with the knowledge that we are the redeemed of the Lord whose attitude we would imitate.

INTR: Having established that our reasonable service is worship and praise to our Lord in the way that is due Him we look to expressions and attitudes that are consistent with praise to Him.
1. There is a danger of having the gifts grace and failing to use them to His glory.
2. The Christian life (eternal life in Christ) is one of expression and there are two to whom expressions are made – God and fellow saints.
3. In our text for today we note that these expressions are to the family and we cannot emphasize enough the importance of those things.

THESIS: Salvation is by grace alone and it only follows that such produces gracious people who manifest the love of Christ to each other and beyond.

I. The foundation upon which a proper attitude is built (v. 9)
1. Dissimulation refers to hypocrisy or love that is faked or put on and is at best a cheap imitation of that which we see so purely in the love of Christ.
2. The word here is the same as that used by our Lord in such commands as “Love one another as I have loved you.” The implications of sacrifice are undeniable.
3. We would be reminded of the example of Jesus and the teaching of Paul: 1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3.
4. At the same time such love is being cultivated we are to experience and express an intense hatred for sin and evil of all kinds and especially as it appears in us and with a view to the effects in all.
5. We are to cleave (glue ourselves) to that which is good and that is God Himself
1) As we see Him expressed in the Gospel and so to the promotion of it and every good work.
2) The recognition of all that is good: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8.

II. The fruit of the Spirit in operation (vv. 10-11)
1. To be kindly affectioned has a strong inference of the love of family and might be used of earthly families. Here the context is that of the Spiritual family as referenced in v. 4 above.
1) There is to be not only affection felt, but affection expressed in whatever form it might take.
2) It is designed that we should reflect the work of grace.
2. It is to be with brotherly love (and also without dissimulaton). This is a love of delight and it has a purifying effect: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 1 Peter 1:22.
3. We remember the encounter of Peter and his response to the question of Christ and the challenge of Christ in it.
4. In preferring one another we acknowledge that we are undeserving in and of ourselves and therefore prefer what we see of the effect of Christ in others.
5. In v. 11, the word business is elsewhere translated as diligence or carefulness about the things we do and so to avoid sloth. Fervent in spirit is to express boiling love and the obvious effect on our lives.
6. And so, to serve the Lord!

III. The faith which accompanies such things in us (vv. 12-13)
1. These things may come as a result of faith or the confirmation of our faith in Christ or both!
2. Thus, we are to be rejoicing in the hope of which faith is the evidence and which is found as we look to the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ our Lord. It is an enlivened sense of Christ in us the hope of glory and this in spite of circumstances.
1) This entails meditation on salvation and that which we possess and
2) It involves a sense of the identity we have with brethren now and down through centuries.
3. Being patient in tribulation is again to be attributed to the confidence we have in Him who has promised – not that we should escape tribulation, but that we should mature in waiting on Him.
4. And so, to be instant in prayer.
5. Faith will move us to not only to look for necessity in the saints, but to be ready to provide for them and to look for opportunity to show hospitality.