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Love Without Hypocrisy

July 5, 2007

I’ve made good progress on the goals I set for this second week of study leave, but God has surprised me by stirring me most through something that wasn’t on my original agenda.

I’ve had great times in the mornings working through Romans 12.  Although I’ll probably find some way to squeeze some insights from this chapter into Sunday’s sermon on Psalm 146, I won’t really be able to share this stuff with you from the pulpit for about a year.  But I want an outlet for it now to keep these applications fresh in my mind, so I plan to start a blog series through the exhortations of Romans 12:9ff.  Depending on how you count them, there are about 20 short commands that Paul rattles of rapid fire in these verses.  At long last, you pragmatists get told what to do. 

When Paul tells us in Romans 12:1 to present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God, he doesn’t just mean make some mystic surrender.  He means do stuff.  When we offer our bodies to sin, we don’t make a mystic surrender to sin, do we?  No, we do sinful things.  So now Paul is telling us to take our bodies and do good stuff with them.  Romans 12:9ff is a list of the good stuff to do. 

He says first “Love without hypocrisy”.  I think he’s talking here about our love to God, for in verse 10 he will use a different word to call us to brotherly love.  Our love to God is to be genuine, sincere, not hypocritical.   We all love God imperfectly.  If hypocrisy means loving God less than we ought, then we’re all hypocrites.   But that’s not what hypocrisy means.  Hypocrisy means being two-faced or phony.  You are a hypocrite if you pretend to love God, if you care more about looking like you love God than you do about loving God. 

How do you know if your love for God is genuine and unhypocritcal?  Up next: Abhor what is evil.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. egana permalink
    July 6, 2007 10:53 am

    “You are a hypocrite if you pretend to love God, if you care more about looking like you love God than you do about loving God.”

    ouch! I needed that reminder! Thanks!

  2. July 6, 2007 11:30 am

    I’m with egana on this one: convicting because I have to ask myself if this pertains to me. I have to ask myself this question every day!

    I’m glad that you’re going to talk about knowing “if your love for God is genuine and unhypocritical”, Mike, because this is not an easy thing for me to do. The flesh always finds new ways of masking itself in extremely clever ways…

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