THE SERVANT GENERAL
one another with mutual affection”
November 3, 2009
Love is the hallmark of a Christian. God calls all Christians
to love. If we do not love, then we are not being Christian.
But what does it really mean to love? Everyone talks about
love, but not everyone really knows what true love is.
Today’s reading from Romans (Rom 12:5-16) gives us a
lot to consider.
A basic consideration is that we are all parts of the one
body of Christ. The reality is that “we, though many,
are one body in Christ and individually parts of one another.”
(Rom 12:5). Now notice what Paul says: we are parts of one
another. We are not only the different parts of the one body
of Christ, but we are parts of one another. We are all intimately
interconnected with each other.
Second, as the one body of Christ that God intends to use
for His purposes in the world, we have all been given gifts
with which to serve. These gifts are different, but taken
all together, provide a full resource that can truly be effective
in doing God’s work. Thus, “since we have gifts
that differ according to the grace given to us, let us exercise
them” (Rom 12:6a).
Thus, in who we are and in what we are called to do, we are
one. The binding force is love.
Paul then talks about love. He gives very practical aspects
of what it means to love (Rom 12:5-16). Let us look at some
First, love has to do with our righteousness as a child of
God. Sincere love has to do with choosing good over evil.
“Let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to
what is good” (Rom 12:9). If one persists in wrongdoing,
then one does not love.
Second, love has to do with our relationship with our brethren
in community. We not only avoid doing wrong to our brethren,
but we are to “anticipate one another in showing honor.”
(Rom 12:10b). Further, we empathize with the situation of
our brethren. After all, we are parts of one another, so that
whatever happens to our brethren also happens to us. As such,
we “rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those
who weep.” (Rom 12:15).
Third, love has to do with our relationship with our so-called
“enemies.” Jesus tells us to love our enemies.
Practically, Paul expounds on this. We are to “bless
those who persecute (us), bless and do not curse them.”
(Rom 12:14). We are not to “repay anyone evil for evil”
(Rom 12:17a). We “do not look for revenge” but
leave it up to God to exact justice (Rom 12:19). Very difficult,
but that is what love means. In fact, it goes even further.
We are challenged: “if your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink” (Rom
Fourth, love has to do with enduring and persevering with
joy. “Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere
in prayer.” (Rom 12:12). There will always be trials
and crosses in life. We may face situations of hopelessness.
We will be afflicted. In all these, we trust in Jesus, remain
committed to a deep personal relationship with God, and maintain
our joy in Christ whatever our circumstances in life.
Finally, love has to do with serving God who is love and serving
others by becoming instruments of God’s love for the
world. “Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit,
serve the Lord.” (Rom 12:11). We must be zealous in
proclaiming the good news of salvation in Jesus. We must be
keen to serve God by serving others.
Love is defined by different people in different ways, and
thus is often misunderstood. Love is a very difficult posture,
even for a Christian who has already experienced the love
of God. Love is challenging, as it involves all that we are,
reaching deep down into our innermost being. Love touches
all of our relationships--with God, with Christian brethren,
and with everyone else.
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One Another (Part1) [PDF]