Romans 12:9-13 / Genuine Love (Sermon notes and Audio)

Posted on June 13, 2014


This is the fifty-first in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of Romans. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the morning of June 8, 2014. This message deals with the nature of genuine love. This post contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes and a study outline. Please note that the sermon notes are not a full transcript.

AUDIO – Listen Now:


Rom 12_9-13




Romans 12:9-13

Love is the supreme New Testament virtue.

Matthew 22:36-40

Love should be genuine (real)

1 John 3:18

In order for love to not be hypocritical, believers should hate what is evil, and cling to what is good.

Psalm 97:10

Psalm 119:104

The entire issue of biblical love has been misconstrued by many people.

Love, as used in this verse is “agape” love. This is a self-sacrificial type of love, the same love that Jesus demonstrated when He died on the cross.

This type of love seeks what is best for another person. With that in mind, much of what we call love, is not love at all.

Much of what we do in the name of love is actually harmful to others.

verse nine says “Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.”

The fundamental truth that we learn from this is that we are not to love the evil things. We are only to love that which is good.

Understanding that we are to only love what is good, let’s look at what love is not.

First and foremost, love does not enable sin. Therefore, all charitable giving is not love.

For example, if a known drunk asks for money because he has no food, it would be wrong to give him money. The only thing you would accomplish, would be to fund his sin.

What may look like an act of loving kindness, is actually very harmful.

Sometimes the most loving thing to do is to let someone suffer the consequences of their sin.

We should employ Godly wisdom in determining how we administer love.

Philippians 1:9

Simply put, we should use the wisdom and common sense that God gives us to analyze each need, in order to determine the most appropriate response.

True love will meet both spiritual and physical needs.

Love should always have the best interest of others in mind, and should never enable someone to sin.

True love is not a sappy, touchy-feely sentiment. True love is practical and helpful.

It is a verb, not a noun. True love is self-sacrificial action.
The rest of these commands are based on true love.

As Christians we should be diligent.
We should not offer our service in a lazy manner.

We should be fervent, or literally “boiling over.”

Whatever is worth doing in our service to Christ, is valuable enough to be done with enthusiasm and care.

Colossians 3:17

2 Thessalonians 3:13

The Lord calls us to serve Him with our best!

To serve The Lord to the best of our ability fuels a hope that is filled with joy.

Such a hope will sustain us in our tribulations.

The true hope of the Christian is the imminent return of Christ!

It’s quite understandable that prayer would be mentioned at this point.

It is such a tremendous resource when we are under stress.

In fact, Scientific studies have even proven that prayer reduces stress.

We are to be patient and to steadfastly pray.

Even under persecution we should not allow ourselves to be so preoccupied with our own troubles that we become insensitive to the needs of other believers.

Hebrews 13:2

1 Peter 4:9

This Christian hospitality (entertaining) differs from worldly social entertaining.

Social entertaining focuses on the host: The home must be spotless; the food must be well prepared and abundant; the host must appear relaxed and good-natured.

Hospitality, by contrast, focuses on the guests’ needs, such as a place to stay, nourishing food, a listening ear, or just acceptance.

Hospitality can happen in a messy home. It can happen around a dinner table where the main dish is canned soup.

It can even happen while the host and the guest are doing chores together.

Don’t hesitate to offer hospitality just because you are too tired, too busy, or not wealthy enough to entertain.

Hospitality is an act of love, and your love should be genuine – without hypocrisy.

Most of us have learned how to be courteous to others—how to speak kindly, avoid hurting their feelings, and appear to take an interest in them.

We may even be skilled in pretending to show compassion when we hear of others’ needs, or to become indignant when we learn of injustice.

But God calls us to real and genuine love that goes far beyond being hypocritical and polite.

Genuine love requires concentration and effort. It means helping others become better people.

It demands our time, money, and personal involvement.

Look for people who need your love, and look for ways you and your fellow believers can love your community for Christ.

Posted in: Sermons