Talk About Philippians 2:12-13

12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

  1. Do you have the reputation of being obedient?  Are you obedient even when nobody is present?
  2. If “work out your own salvation” is related to the humble love and unity commanded earlier in the chapter, how is that different than believing in salvation by works? (See Eph. 2:8–10)
  3. Discuss what it means to do something with “fear and trembling.”
  4. Are we capable of being willing and humble servants of our own accord?  Explain.
  5. How does verse 13 encourage us to depend on God?
  6. How does verse 13 give us the confidence to live the Christian life?
  7. Can you find references to obedience, integrity, and humility in these verses?  Give some examples of obedience, integrity, and humility in your life.
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Put It into Practice; Romans 12:11

  1. In what way did God comfort, challenge, or correct you today?
  2. If you took one step toward becoming more like Jesus what would it look like?
  3. Why do we need to constantly be told to be zealous?
  4. Where are you tempted to be lukewarm in your love toward, or obedience to God?
  5. What are the two types of biblical sloth? Which are you tempted to be like?
  6. In life, where are you tempted to give into weariness? How can you become fervent in spirit? What in you, or around you, needs to change?
  7. The solution to sloth is to work hard and rest well. How are you doing on these two counts; working hard and resting well?
  8. Do you have clarity concerning what the Lord wants you to? Or, are you letting the people around you fill you day with their things? Is God leading your everyday living?
  9. In what ways are you quenching the Spirit? 1 Thessalonians 5:19
  10. What do you think  needs to happen so that you can be fervent in spirit?
  11. Serving the Lord is doing the will of your Father, according to the righteousness of Christ, and by the power of the Spirit. Where do you see this playing out in your life? Where should it be playing out?

Love One Another; Romans 12:9-10

Text: Romans 12:9-10                                                            Date: 5/6/2018

Main Point: Genuine loves hates evil and holds fast to good.

Growing up, one of the things you didn’t want to be was a poser. If you were a little more country, you didn’t want to be a K-mart cowboy. A poser was often someone who has trying to look like a skater but didn’t skate. A K-mart cowboy was a person trying to look like a cowboy but couldn’t milk a cow, ride a horse, a haul hay. There is a well established rule that we should be genuine. Skaters skate. Cowboys work cows. Christians love. Writing in Romans 12:9, the Apostle Paul tells us to let love be genuine. Don’t be a hypocrite or a poser; love the church like family. Be affectionate toward one another with purity. Hate the evil within and cling to the good we see. The call to us today is to love one another with a genuine love that hates evil and holds fast to the good.

Read Romans 12:9-21

With his usual clarity, John Stott summarizes these verses. “Without doubt agapē-love now dominates the scene. So far in Romans all references to agapē have been to the love of God—demonstrated on the cross (5:8), poured into our hearts (5:5) and doggedly refusing to let us go (8:35, 39). But now Paul focuses on agapē as the essence of Christian discipleship. Romans 12–15 are a sustained exhortation to let love govern and shape all our relationships. Soon Paul will write about love for our enemies (12:17–21), but first he portrays it pervading the Christian community (12:9–16). This is clear from his use of the words ‘one another’ (three times in verses 10 and 16), ‘brotherly love’ (10) and ‘God’s people’ (13).[1]

The apostle Paul has been teaching about spiritual gifts. As you consider your gift and this church, remember this,

I. Love is absolutely necessary

Now, there is a world of difference between saying, “love is absolutely necessary” and “all we need is love.” The popular pleasure driven idea of “all we need is love” says it doesn’t matter if we can pay the bills or buy groceries, we are just going to hold hands and stare into one another’s eyes. The biblical Spirit-and-truth driven idea of love says doing good to one another requires love. The spiritual gifts are not enough. We must use our gifts for the good of one another and with a whole lot of love.

Here is the requirement for each member

  • Every member must put on love (Col 3:14)

Romans 12:9 says, “Let love be genuine.” Let love be without hypocrisy. Hypocritical or ingenuine love is made evident in Judas who betrayed Jesus with a kiss in order to gain 30 pieces of silver. We make a spectacle of the church when we love it because it provides a platform for our gifts. I love you because I get to preach to you. I love you because I get to sing to you. I love you because I get to teach you. I love you because I get to serve you, lead you, or encourage you. This is hypocrisy! When we live this way we don’t love the church, we only love our gifts.

Let love be genuine. Choose, by faith, to put on love. Colossians 3:12-14 says, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”

Each worship gathering is a family reunion where we renew our love for one another by actively serving and building one another up. This love is radical, sacrificial, and not of this world. So where does it come from? Where do we get this love? Romans 5:5, “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Our experience of the redeeming love of God is the product of the Holy Spirit in us. Our ability to love the people of God is the product of the Holy Spirit in us. So, one of the most helpful things you can do before getting out of the car each Sunday is stop and pray, “Holy Spirit, help me love these people well today.”

I confess, you cannot love me well on your own. I will give you reasons to despise me. Don’t fake it. Pray for the Spirit to cause the love of God to overflow through you to me. I cannot love you well on my own. You will give me reasons to despise you. I must not fake it. I pray the Spirit causes the love of God to overflow through me to you. What is the requirement for each member? Every member must put on love and

  • To love is to hate

Just as our culture thinks “all we need is love,” so also our culture thinks if you love someone you have to totally support everything that person is doing. I’m trying to work it into my thick skull: often in our community, to speak any word of disagreement, much less to bring a correction, is often interpreted as hate. The coworker, neighbor, or family member that you disagree with, likely thinks you hate him. The coworker, neighbor, or family member that seeks your support will likely think you hate her if you don’t give it. We Christians are called by God to show our neighbors a better way

  • Genuine love necessarily hates evil

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Again, listen to John Stott, “Love is discerning. It is so passionately devoted to the beloved object that it hates every evil which is incompatible with his or her highest welfare” (330).

To hate is to be repulsed or disgusted by something. The word occurs only here in the New Testament. It’s a compound word that means hate that is amplified. We are to experience ramped up hatred toward what is evil.

The question that lies before us is, what is evil? What should we be repulsed by? Should we conform to the world’s standards of what is disgusting? No, do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. As we test our loves and hates by the word of God we will be able to figure out what is good, acceptable, and perfect. So, God defines for us what is evil. Our fallen instinct is to define good and evil for ourselves.

Let’s apply this biblical command and try to keep it simple, let’s use the 10 commandments as the standard for evil. We must be repulsed by the worship of anything other than God. We should abhor idols. We should hate the misuse, the degrading of God’s name. We should be repulsed by Sabbath-breaking. We should abhor the disrespect of parents. We should hate murder. We should be repulsed by adultery. We should abhor stealing. We should hate lying. We should be repulsed by envy and coveting.

These evils drag us away from life and joy in God. These evils will kill us, steal from us, and destroy us. May we hate such awful masters.

Now, think for a moment about the music, movies, and games you enjoy. Do these choices help you hate evil and support  the good? Church, do not be conformed to this world but be transformed, be like Jesus, by renewing your minds. Test these things. Are these songs, these shows, and these games in agreement with the good, pleasing, and acceptable will of God? Are you conforming to the world or being transformed into the image of Christ?

I’m not encouraging you to be a prude. Romans 14:17, “ the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Instead of being prudes, I want you to think of your love like a fire. Putting God’s good things on the fire of your love will fuel the fire. Putting the world’s evil things on the fire of your love is like putting water on the fire. Our goal is not to simply avoid the bad. Our goal is to love and cling to the good. In order for love to be genuine you must hate evil and hold fast to good.

  • Genuine love hates evil and holds fast to the good

Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good

Too many of us stop at “abhor what is evil.” We just walk around hating all the time. That’s wrong. That’s sin. That’s evil. That’s repulsive. That’s disgusting. That’s being lopsided. Don’t be lopsided. Our hatred of evil must be matched by our support of the good. We must hold fast to the good. Holding fast is what a husband does when he leaves his father and mother and holds fast to his wife (Mt 19:5). Clinging is what a person does who joins a church (Acts 5:13). Holding fast is what that sticky red clay does to your shoes after it rains. The dust clings to our feet (Luke 10:11).

Love latches on to, holds fast to, and clings to the good. Again, where do you get your definition of the good? Does your definition of good agree with the world or with the Word?

What does the Word say is good? God is good (Mt 19:17). The law is good (Rom 7:12). The will of God is good (Rom 12:2). In fact, the letter to the Romans was written so that we would be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil (Rom 16:19). Church, we are not given the liberty to choose one side of the coin. It’s not enough to simply cling to the good. It is not enough to simply abhor what is evil. We must combine love for the good with hatred for the evil. This is genuine love.

And this love is often incomprehensible to the world. To love your child by hating the evil and clinging to the good appears destructive, condemnatory, judgmental, even abusive. To be fair, often the world thinks what we are doing is destructive, condemnatory, judgmental, and abusive because it is destructive, condemnatory, judgmental, and abusive. We are shouting about evil when we should be teaching our children to turn away from evil. We are affirming the good in our confessions and with our words but not actively joyfully and sacrificially seeking to build up the good.

The most loving thing you can do for me is to simultaneously and passionately hate the evil you see and support the good you see. The most loving thing I can do for you is to simultaneously and passionately hate the evil I see and support the good I see. Let’s talk now about

II. How to be a helpful member of the body

So here you are, you have this gift and the rest of us have gifts. What should we do about it? Look at verse 10, “Love one another with brotherly affection.”

  • Love these people like family

It is important to note that there is a whole lot of affection going on in this phrase. Mom and dad, your PDA meter should be should be reading level orange here. KJV says, “be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love.” Kindly means, of the same kind, it’s the base for kinfolk or just your kin. God wants his children to treat one another like family; with the affection of kinfolk. Affection should be pulsing through the body; the holy affection of a father for his child or a mother for her child. There should be parent-child love in the body, but that doesn’t go far enough. You should add brotherly love to the parent-child love. Love one another with brotherly love, with philadephia. This phila root is important for the application of the gospel in the end of Romans. Love one another in verse 10 starts with phila. Brotherly love starts with phila in verse 10. Show hospitality in 12:13 is another phila word. Greet one another with a holy kiss in 16:16: kiss is another phila word.

The most helpful thing you can do is love these people. Here is a very practical and simple way to love better. Email Lynn your picture or get him to take your picture for the directory. Then, using a paper directory or the app, pray for 2-3 members a day. Read their names before you do your Bible reading and whatever comes up that would be appropriate, pray it. Grow in love by praying for your brothers and sisters.

Here’s something else you can do

  • Make room for others

Romans 12:10 says, “Outdo one another in showing honor” or, “in honor give preference to one another.” We’ve been memorizing Philippians 2 and verse 3 says, “do nothing from rivalry or conceit but in humility consider others more significant than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3, we should be counting others as more important or thinking about others as more significant. This does not look like Eeyore moping around with nothing to offer. Everyone’s better than me. I have the worst gift. I’m the biggest loser. That is not right. Instead, it looks like every member making room for the sprouting gifts of others. The best prophet should be encouraging other prophets. The best server should be encouraging others to serve. The best teacher should encourage others to teach. The person with the gift of exhortation should be exhorting others to exhort. The person with the gift of generosity should let others pay. Show honor to others by making room for their gifts.

We also show honor by being grateful for every gift no matter it’s size. Person A is more gifted at leading than Person B. Show honor to Person B when he leads. Person A is more gifted to show mercy than Person B. Show honor when Person B shows up and gives you mercy. We are in danger of making the church a body that only honors the highest level of giftedness. Instead, make room for others. In honor show preference to one another. Seek to outdo one another in building up your brothers and sisters so that they use their gifts.

Our first simple step was pray for 2-3 members every day. Here is our second simple step.

  • Learn how to constantly say, “Thank you.”

The most basic way we hold fast to the good we see in others is by saying, “Thank you.” Now, even a broken clock is right twice a day! Thank the clock for those two minutes. Despise the other 1,438 minutes but celebrate and honor the two that are right. We see this in the Apostle Paul as he honors the broken clock that is the church at Corinth. Look at this church, what are the two minutes we are getting right? Look at your neighbors and coworkers, what are the two minutes that they are getting right? Look at your spouse and children, what the two minutes they are getting right? Learn to say, “Thank you” for the smallest of things.

Romans 12:10 says, “Outdo one another in showing honor.” Think about one another according to honor. In honor, give preference to one another. Hate the evil in your brothers and sisters while humbly showing them honor for the good. We desperately need the Holy Spirit so we can love like this. None of us is this smart, this spiritual, this loving, or wise. We need the Spirit. Pray for the Holy Spirit to increase your love.

Let’s close like this. How is your love? Is your love genuine or is it hypocritical? Do you love this church, these members, because you can build them up or do you exploit this church because it builds you up? Repent of hypocrisy and by faith put on love.

How is your hatred for evil? Do you have a category, a biblical understanding of what it looks like to hate evil? Is your hatred for evil matched by support for the good?

When you think of this gathering do you roll your eyes or do you engage your heart? If you are struggling to love people who aren’t like you then pray for God to pour more of his love into your heart by the Holy Spirit. Confess your lack of love and pray for God’s help to love. Then look for ways to show honor. Make room for others. Encourage others to put their gifts to work. And say thank you.

I’m calling an audible on our last hymn. I want us to express our gratitude to God and to one another. I want us to sing “The Family of God.” The words are simple. I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God. I’ve been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood! Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod; For I’m part of the family, the family of God.” If you want to join this family, if you want to become a member of this church, come forward and let’s talk. Let’s stand and sing together.

[1] Stott, John. The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World (The Bible Speaks Today Series) (p. 330).

Romans 12:9-10 Put It into Practice

  1. In what way did God comfort, challenge, or correct you today?
  2. Why do the spiritual gifts require love to be operative?
  3. Read Colossians 3:12-14. How can you encourage this type of love in this church?
  4. Why must genuine love hate evil?
  5. Where is the evil in you? What would it look like for your brothers and sisters to lovingly hate that evil?
  6. Why must genuine love cling to what is good?
  7. Where do you see good in your brothers and sisters? How can you encourage them?
  8. “The most loving thing you can do for me is to simultaneously and passionately hate the evil you see and support the good you see. The most loving thing I can do for you is to simultaneously and passionately hate the evil I see and support the good I see.” How should this work? How can it go wrong?
  9. What are some practical ways you can show love to your brothers and sisters?

R.C. Sproul on Abortion

I believe that the greatest ethical issue today is that of abortion. In recent years many have come to see terrorism as more concerning than abortion. I am baffled by that, because more people were killed on September 10 in the womb of U.S. women than were killed on 9/11 in New York City. More babies were slaughtered on September 12 than adults were killed on 9/11. If we had a camera on the womb so that CNN could show us graphic videos of what actually happens in the slaughter of unborn children, abortion would be quickly abolished, but the reality of it is covered up. If there is one thing I know about God, it is that he hates abortion. The German ethicist Helmut Thielicke indicated something unusual in his massive mid-twentieth-century work on Christian ethics. The work appeared before Roe v. Wade; that is, before Western civilization had embraced abortion on demand. In his book Thielicke wrote that abortion has always been considered a monolithic evil in Christian thought among both liberals and conservatives. That is clear from the very first century, in the Didache, which called abortion “murder.” Abortion is an unspeakable evil that God abhors, one that the American church tolerates and winks at. That troubles me deeply, and I do not understand it.

Sproul, R. C.. Romans (St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary) (pp. 422-423). Crossway. Kindle Edition.

4/29 Put It Into Practice

  1. In what ways did God comfort, challenge, or correct you today?
  2. Pastor Paul used four words to describe the Lord’s Supper. Can you list those words?
  3. In what way is the Lord’s Supper a remembrance?
  4. In what way is the Lord’s Supper a covenant renewal?
  5. In what way is the Lord’s Supper a participation?
  6. In what way is the Lord’s Supper a proclamation?
  7. Explain why baptism marks entrance into the new covenant and the Lord’s Supper marks continuation in the new covenant.
  8. What is the connection between church discipline and the Lord’s Supper?
  9. Lord willing, we will celebrate the Lord’s Supper again soon. What can you do to make the Lord’s Supper a more meaningful time of worship?
  10. How can you help your family make the Lord’s Supper a more meaningful time of worship?

Preparing for the Lord’s Supper

Our statement of faith and church covenant are helpful tools for discipleship and unity. Concerning discipleship, our statement and covenant teach true doctrine in a short summary fashion. Concerning unity, our statement and covenant provide short reminders of what we believe and what we commit to do for one another. Broadly speaking, the statement of faith records what we believe, and the covenant records our commitment as members one of another. As we come together, please consider what Christ and His Church have handed down for our benefit.

On Baptism and the Lord’s Supper

We believe that Christian Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer1, into the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost2; to show forth, in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life3; that it is prerequisite to the privileges of a Church relation; and to the Lord’s Supper4, in which the members of the Church, by the sacred use of bread and wine, are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ5; preceded always by solemn self-examination6.

  1. 3:5-6; 28:19; Mark 16:16; John 3:22-23; 4:1-2; Acts 2:38; 8:12, 36-39; 16:32-34; 18:8
  2. 28:19; Acts 10:47-48; Gal. 3:27-28
  3. Acts 22:16; Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12; 1 Pet. 3:20-21
  4. 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; Acts and Epistles
  5. 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-20; 1 Cor. 11:26
  6. John 6:26-71; 1 Cor. 11:28; 5:1, 8; 10:3-32; 11:17-32

 Our Church Covenant

As we trust we have been brought by divine grace to embrace the Lord Jesus Christ and by the influence of his Spirit to give ourselves up to him; so, we do now solemnly covenant with each other:

That, God, enabling us we will walk together in brotherly love.

That, we will exercise a Christian care and watchfulness over each other, and faithfully build up, encourage, rebuke, admonish, and discipline one another as the case shall require.

That we will not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, nor omit the great duty of prayer, both for ourselves and for others.

That, we will participate in each others joys and endeavor with tenderness and sympathy to bear each others burdens and sorrows.

That, we will earnestly endeavor to bring up such as may be under our care in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

That we will seek Divine aid to enable us to walk circumspectfully and watchfully in the world, denying ungodliness and every worldly lust.

That we will strive together for the support both temporally and spiritually for a faithful evangelical ministry among us.

That we will endeavor by example and effort to win souls to Christ,

And through life, amidst evil report and good report, seek to live to the glory of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvelous light,

And may the Great Head of the church enable us to keep and perform this solemn covenant. Amen.