As we are coming out of a season of hibernation I had an impression from the Holy Spirit, this morning, about love and honour. I realized these are the guiding principles in Christian relationships not only with fellow believers (v.9-13), but with enemies as well (v. 14-21). Paul mentions many specific Christian duties, but LOVE is the dominant note in all the exhortations.
Romans 12:9–10 (NKJV) “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;…”
Paul prefaced these specific exhortations with the KEY ingredient for success:
Love must be sincere. This is God’s love, which has been ministered to believers by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5). And must be ministered by them to others in the Holy Spirit’s power.
‘SINCERE’ translates ‘anypokritos’ (lit., “without hypocrisy”).
- This word is also used of love in 1 Peter 1:22, “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in SINCERE love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,”
- Again this is used of faith in 1 Tim. 1:5 “Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from SINCERE faith.”
- Once again it is also used of wisdom in James 3:17 “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.”
Paul commands us in his writing to HATE what is evil and to CLING to what is good.
These two clauses are explanatory of the sincerity of love, translated as, “Let love be unfeigned, abhorring the evil and cleaving to the good.” By submitting to God and His word we are to hate all forms of sin frequently mentioned in Scripture: (Psalm 97:10; 119:104, 128, 163; Prov. 8:13; 13:5; 28:16; Heb. 1:9; Rev. 2:6).
Divine love is to be exercised with other believers:
The Greek adjective “philostorgoi,” translated “devoted,” suggests family affection.
As in Romans 12:9, and the second clause in (v.10) can be understood as explaining the first command in (v. 10) and may be translated, “With brotherly love have family affection for one another, in honor giving place to one another” (we read in Phil. 2:3, “consider others better than yourselves”).
In Romans 12:10b we read “..Honor one another above yourselves.” The word “honour,” means “to value.” As in 1 Corinthians 7:23a, where the same word is used, “You were bought at a price…” the word translated “price” is the same Greek word translated “honor.”
The root word is translated “precious,” of “greater worth.” To honor one another is to treat each person as “valuable, costly, precious.”
Let us therefore honour “ to value” one another with godly love.