9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
1 Jn. 3:18-19
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My Bessie just Morning out titled overcome evil with good
we can also say let’s overcome evil with love with the love that crisis put in our hearts Amen this morning my messages Scripture rather is coming from Romans Chapter 12 versus one and 2 and then I’m going to jump down the verses 9 through 21 and I’m going to be using the English standard version this morning a little bit different than what I would normally use normally used in a New King James version but here the word of the Lord this morning before I’ve read it is the one thing about this version it has a heading above each paragraph or segment and the 1st one is called a living sacrifice verse one I appeal to you therefore brothers by the mercies of God to present your bodies as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God which is your spiritual worship Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that by testing you may discern what is the will of God What is the good and acceptable what is good and acceptable and perfect. Then the 2nd passage and actually the heading on that called is called marks of a true Christian love that marks of a true Christian so here again the word let love be genuine of who or 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. Bless those that persecute you bless and do not curse them rejoice with those who rejoice weep with those who weep live in harmony with one another do not be haughty but associate with the lowly never be conceited repay no one evil for evil but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all and if possible so far as the Pens own you so is far is it the pencil in you just all of your effort as it is possible if it depends on you live peaceably with all the beloved never avenge yourselves but leave it to the wrath of God For it is written Vengeance is mine I will repay says the Lord to the contrary if your enemy is hungry feed him if he is thirsty give him something to drink for by so doing you will he burning coals on his head do not over do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good may God at His blessings to the hearing in a reading of His Holy Word you know years ago as a young Christian when I read verse 20
to the contrary of your enemy is hungry feed him feast or seeking some to drink for by so doing you’re going to hate burning coals on his head you know used to think yeah that’ll get him you know we’re going to hate burning coals on top of their head boy that’s going to get him is going to burn and really when you think it about of that way it’s kind of a vengeful thought right. I guess I ignored the 1st part he says Vengeance is mine says the Borg but our thinking should be when they read that passage that when we’re going to heat burning coals on their head that their conscious is going to burn within them because when we treat them opposite away there may be treating us treat them with kindness and goodness and love that that may burn into their conscience it might convict them that they might come to the Lord so that should be the end goal not that we are getting vengeance but they might come to the Lord through our goodness that we’re able to bless them with because of God’s Spirit His presence in us Paul begins by saying brothers I appeal to you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice to the Lord
it means brothers and sisters by the way women so you know you don’t get off the hook here. Brothers sisters we are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice to appeal means to make a urgent request
so it is our Christian obligation to present our entire being for the service of the Lord you know when a nation of Israel would offer the animal sacrifices back in the Old Testament they would offer the whole the entire animal unto the Lord as an offering of for the repentance of their sins so Paul uses this example to rate to relay the importance that we’re to give God our all our entire being you know the sacrifices of all as everyone knows if you ever read in the Old Testament they were to be perfect weren’t they they were to be without spot without blemish they weren’t supposed to bring the cripples or the ones that had defects on him but they were supposed to bring the very best to offer unto the Lord because he deserves. The very best bitter army 1521 says but if there is a defect in it speaking of a sacrifice if it is lame or blind or has any serious defect you shall not sacrifice it to the Lord your God because you’re to give the best we are to present ourselves friends without defect
which we are able to do by the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus Christ because we are made holy We are made acceptable through the sacrifice that Christ made for us it is his righteousness and us that we are to present ourselves as a living sacrifice to him when the Jews would offer their sacrifice they would slew the animal and present to the Lord so each animal could only be offered once of course but they had to come back annually year after year and do it over and over we know that Christ died once for all he is our sacrifice but we are to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice this supposed to be day by day week by week month by month year by year we are to offer our lives on to God we are to offer him all over energies all of our intellect all of our physical powers
until our time on this earth comes to an end every day for all of our lives is a living sacrifice day by day each and every day that is our reasonable service to offer a selves on to the Lord most importantly Paul describes it he says this sacrifice is our spiritual worship Have you thought of that this is our spiritual worship on to God to offer ourselves as a sacrifice to him.
In verse 2 Paul said
as we have Sabbath school in their discussion I’m always amazed how it ties to the messages of prepared Paul says Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind
you know when you think of transform you think of that little caterpillar that.
Goes into that and you know it’s one thing it’s a little warm fuzzy worm crawling on the ground but that thing is completely transformed into something completely different isn’t it whatever comes out of that cocoon and so bought a flat has wings and flies that little fuzzy creature the crawls on the ground now it’s brow swings in flies we are to be transformed friends the old man that may be used to sin and be nasty and hateful is transformed into a man that loves his neighbor that cares for one another in the love of Christ works in and through Him we are transformed by the renewing of our mind but it’s mostly the renewing of our hearts that is within a within each of us where does not be conformed to the world but transform
whenever a person would conform
to the world they are conforming to the socially acceptable standards of the world and my friends that’s not the way we as believers are to behave true biblical Christianity as Paul speaks of in Romans has never been very popular in the world in society has it never has been from the beginning of the church and is still not today because it does not line up with the world’s view of philosophy fashions or morals
opposition to Christianity is nothing new as I just said from the beginning of the church there has been opposition. John 15181000 says if the world hates you you know that it hated me before it hated you if you were up the world the world would love it soon yet because you are not of the world but I chose you out of the world therefore the world hates you my friends if you are living the life of a Christian if you are walking the walk the world is going to hate you because of your moral standards.
Not only are we not to conform to the world we’re told to up who are what is evil so who are the Greek word is a pasta cannot something like that probably didn’t say it right but it is a very strong dislike it is to have a horror against
So not only are we not to be avoided we are to be repelled by it or you repay by the evil in the world today I hope so we are to be repelled by it we are to oppose it is that was talking sad Where is the opposition the evil we discounted just yet just let it go there’s not really a lot of opposition to it today is are we need to oppose it we are to hate it we are to be a pole but we are to oppose evil that is the evil that is going on in the world today but instead I think the world is having more influence on the church in the churches conforming to the ways of the world but that’s backwards friends that’s not the way it’s supposed to be we are to oppose evil we are to overcome evil and we do it with goodness we do with the love of Christ in us.
We must practice we must practice spiritual disciplines in our lives to maintain that edge that spiritual edge that the moral adds to be morally right we must practice scripture reading must practice prayer we must practice Christian Fellowship
is required to be reground it daily in the faith to be able to discern between right and wrong good and evil because sometimes it gets a little cloudy in a world today if we’ve allowed the world to influence us but my friends
it’s in here it’s not gray it’s black and white if God’s word says that something is wrong I’ve said this many times it’s wrong if God’s word says it’s right then it’s right this is not what the world says but it’s what God says determines what is right and what is wrong
after urging the Christians to offer their bodies.
Verses not to 21 we find that detailed list that Christians should apply to their lives and it is no surprise that that list begins with love is it no surprise at all
then the standard version says Let love be genuine but many other version says Let love be without hypocrisy we all know what hypocrisy is in its most basic explanation it is claiming to be something that you really aren’t it’s claiming that be a good person yes I’m a Christian I’m a good person but our lives don’t line up with what’s coming out of our mouse that’s the most basic form epoxy our lives that we are living are not lining up with what we are saying that we are 1st John 318 in 1900 s. my little children let us not love in Word or in tongue but indeed and in truth.
And by this we know that we are of the truth and shall sure our hearts before him so let us not love in just our words what we say but that our lives truly reflect
what kind of person we are reflect the truth I found the interesting and actually funny article
newspaper columnists and Minister George crane tells a story of a wife who came into his office one day full of hatred towards her husband because he had heard or she said I do not only want to get rid of him I want to get even with him before I divorce him I want to hurt him as bad as he is her made so Dr Crane suggested an ingenious plan says here’s what I want you to do I want you to go home and I want you to act as if you really love your husband I want you to tell him how much he means to you praise him for every decent trait that he has to go out of your way to be as kind as you can be be considerate is generous as possible spare no effort to please him to enjoy him make him believe that you really truly love him and after you’ve convinced him of your undying love and you cannot live without him then drop the bomb drop the bomb and let him know that you’re going to get a divorce from him that will really hurt him so with revenge in her eyes he smiled and explained that is beautiful it’s a beautiful thing will he ever be surprise and she did it with enthusiasm acting as if for 2 whole months that she really loved him she showed kindness and love and listened giving reinforcing sharing but when she didn’t return a call. Crane called her and says Are you ready now to go through with a divorce divorce she explained never obvious covered it all really do love him her actions had changed her feelings emotions resulted in emotion the ability to love is established not so much by fervent promises as repeated deeds.
That’s the way we should be treating our spouses right like we can’t live without Him truly loving them will realize how much we do love them I thought that was very good
if there could be one thing that would define a Christian that one thing should be love
there’s only one thing that defines us it should be love Paul says that our love should be without hypocrisy it should be genuine Paul as did our Savior before him stress the fact that love is not only the norm in a Christian life it is the motivation and really principle of the Christian life
the love of which he spoke of here is not very motional ism or sentimental love it is to Greek term love a GAAP a
is unselfish love
is love that is wilfully exercise and express to those who would not naturally be appealing or would not automatically reciprocate that love to us it is not loving expecting to get something in return what did Jesus say even the tax collectors love their family their loved ones but they don’t love the unloveable church we are called to love the unloveable those that we don’t expect to get something back from those that needed the most we love for love sake without expecting anything in return
a genuine love towards others is the only way that a believer can ever hope to fulfill the command to love our neighbor. Into love as Paul says to love
we are called to bless those who persecute us to bless them and not curse them that’s a hard command isn’t it it’s awful hard to bless someone that persecute you and put you down but in turn bless them love them Paul was merely repeating the words of our Lord in Matthew 5 and then in the Sermon on the Mount Matthew 54349
Jesus said You have heard that it was said you so love your neighbor and hate your enemy but I say to you love your enemy bless those who curse you do good to those who hate you and prayed for those who spitefully use you and persecute you that you may be sons of your Father in heaven free makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust for if you love those who love you what reward have you do not even the tax collectors do the saying and if you greet your brother not only what do you do more then others you not even tax collectors do so therefore you shall be perfect just as your Father in Heaven is perfect
also among the detailed lists of how Christians should live
there is the call to be patient during times of tribulation
to be patient means to be able to accept or tolerate delays or problems in our lives
I think last week when we was visiting Gary he told the story of a man who once prayed Lord I want patience and I want it now isn’t that the way most of us live our lives more patients but we want to now we are most of us I can’t say all of us not very patient are we we don’t like waiting on that construction out on the highway. Waiting to get for the flagman to turn Dr Sloan we know we don’t like that stop sign we don’t like waiting in long lines we don’t like waiting on the phone for the River time aboard dance you 45 minutes we do not like to wait we are not the most patient people in the world are we but we are to be patient we are to be patient according to a traditional Hebrew story now I’m not sure about the truth of this but it’s a Hebrew story Abraham was sitting outside of his tent one evening when he saw an old man worry from age and journey coming toward him Abraham rushed out greeted the man invited him into his tent and there he washed the old man’s feet gave him food to drink food to eat in order to drink in the old man immediately began eating without saying a prayer or even blessing So Abram asked him Do you worship God the old traveller replied I watch a fire only in reverence no other God when he heard this Abraham became incensed grabbed the old man by the shoulders and threw him out of his tent into the cold might air when the old man had departed God called to his friend Abraham and ask where is the stranger Abraham replied I forced him out because he did not worship you got answers why I have suffered him these 80 years although he dishonor me could you not endure him for one night
but that sink in could you not endure him for one night could you not have patience with a friends therefore we’re called to have our patients with those in the world patients in tribulation
the word patience may give us a little bit of the wrong impression of our passage because as it used here in Romans the Greek word it has to do with tough in durance. Not be impatient waiting that line is a call I’m so happy to wait but it’s tough and earns it standing firm it’s perseverance that’s what the patience means here as it used in Romans the patience and tribulation means to endure to stand firm to persevered through tribulation so he’s not calling us to whistle to be happy but to keep the faith even during tough times
tribulation means to crush to press to squash to compress it’s to put physical pressure on a man it says it does not refer to a minor inconvenience so the tribulation is not a minor inconvenience it’s not a tribulation we have to wait for 10 minutes for that traffic jam that is a minor inconvenience friends you know 2020 has been a year that I could say for many has been a year of great tribulation I think I can honestly say that because there’s many that have not had minor inconveniences this year so we can look at so many different things we look at Cove in 1000. You know I have a had a coworker that’s I’m retired not a coworker that is young daughter in her twenty’s working at one of the nursing homes locally contracted Kovan 1000 she was weeks and weeks and weeks getting over that so it is real some will get it have minor inconveniences little to no symptoms others get it some you may not think even young people and suffer very badly with it. And we’re not going to get into the political side of things and some of the numbers are real but it is real that many people I’m not going to say a number many people have died from Cove in 1000 so it is very real Many have been very adversely affected by coup in 1000 many of lost their loved ones many have suffered tremendously because of coven 1000 I’ve had so many people say well be glad when 2020 is over
prayerfully 2021 will be better so we’ve had that worldwide pandemic to deal with in 2020 We’ve had her Cane’s to deal with already many people losing their homes losing their cars losing their livelihood we have had wildfires to deal with in our nation worse than they’ve ever seen were they set by some terrorist maybe but they’re still people that is dealing with tribulation in their lives because of these wildfires we’ve seen the news we’ve seen the pictures I mean it looks like an inferno people losing everything don’t thing you see left standing as a chimney where there used to be a house cars everything people had to be taken to shelters and many people there also losing their lives we’ve seen rioters bring much tribulation upon many people in our it’s especially in the big cities where there’s been many businesses destroyed many homes destroyed because of the rioters so we have experienced a lot of tribulation in our nation and in the world today I know that not everybody has been severely affected by all that’s going on in the world but we know that these things are going on many people have experienced a lot of emotional pressure a lot of tribulation and book in their lives but as believers we are called to keep the faith to endure tough times. John 1633 says these things I have spoken to you that in me you may have peace the Lord says in the world you will have tribulation but be of good cheer I have overcome the world my friends as we look at you know the other night we was watching the news I know you get up here and you don’t talk about the news but we are talking about tribulation we seen they they got it on one of the cameras I guess out on history where a man walked up to a police car in shot both place officers in that car
there are 7 air innocent place offer to set an air and a man just walks up lately and just shoots them at close range and runs off my friends we cannot overcome evil and I know this all spark because it began with George Floyd important even beyond that we cannot overcome evil with evil
it will never happen you will never overcome evil by responding with more evil but we must overcome evil with good we must overcome evil with love love the enemy of our enemy is hungry let’s feed him for enemies in need let’s take care of that need of our enemy is thirsty let’s give him drink but let’s overcome evil with love with the love of God That’s the only way we can possibly do we can we want to get revenge when someone hurts us natural and in the natural realm we want revenge so we have to go beyond the natural Now God Spirit in us to work and move to love that person to love that group of people
the only way we’ll ever overcome the evil that’s in our nation or in the world is with the love of Jesus Christ work and in and through us.
What did he say for
God demonstrated love towards us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us
fade away to we got to we got Oakland up and indeed was deserving of it he did never send His Son because it never would have happened my friends we can make a difference we can make a difference in our neighborhood in our society today if we allow the love of Christ to work through us the church the church is called to love don’t be a part of the haters let’s be a part of those that love our neighbors and let’s overcome evil Amen.