Journal – August 30, 2020

Published September 12, 2020

Dominion Baptist Church
August 30, 2020 AD

Galatians 6:2

2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

ROMANS 12:9-13

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13distributing to the needs of the saints., given to hospitality.

Vs. 9 Let love be without hypocrisy; The Greek agape translatedlove is the characteristic word of Christianity describes affection, good-will, and benevolence. This agape love that Paul uses is a God-love which is pure, holy, without varying and sincere. This is the love we are to have towards God and our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Love is to be without hypocrisy the Greek anupokritos signifies genuine and sincere. 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. Love is the preeminent virtue and if it is truly felt and practiced all other gifts will be obvious in the Christian’s life. No other vice is more destructive of integrity than hypocrisy simply because it is a destruction of truth. Our Lord Jesus Christ revealed its destructive character in Luke 22:48 when He said, “Judas are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” Back in the Greek Roman theaters the actors held a mask up in front of their face to let the audience know what part they were playing, if they were to be funny they wore a painted smile, if it was a tragic part they had the mask with a sorrowful face painted on it, that’s where the word hypocrite got its beginning. Love is the sum of virtue and hypocrisy is the perfect example of vice; what a contradiction to bring them together. Love is not some mushy emotion a person gets while growing up and notices there is a sex that is opposite from them. Paul wrote the whole 13th Chapter of 1 Corinthians to describe how love functions, what it does and what it does not do. John Calvin wrote in his commentary on Romans, “It is difficult to express how ingenious almost all men are in counterfeiting a love which they do not really possess. They deceive not only others, but also themselves, while they persuade themselves that they have a true love for those whom they not only treat with neglect, but also in fact reject.” In 1 John 4:8 we read God is love, this is one of the most sublime statements in the Bible.

Abhor what is evil, God is not only love, He hates evil with a proper, righteous hatred. In Proverbs 6:16 seven things are listed that the LORD hates: 1 A proud look, 2 A lying tongue, 3 Hands that shed innocent blood, 4 A heart that devises wicked plans, 5 Feet that are swift in running to evil, 6 A false witness who speaks lies, 7 One who sows discord among brethren. Then in Isaiah 1:12-15 there is a listing of ceremonial duties along with praying that God will not accept because of the religious people’s hypocritical actions and words. From these Scriptures we know that God hates evil and Paul commands us to abhor evil. In the Greek abhor comes from apostugeo which indicates to shudder with extreme concentration or effort; very thoroughly or vigorously. So, we are to hate evil and love the good.

Cling to what is good. The Greek is kollao meaning to join fast together. Hypocrisy has been eliminated, we have been given a nature by the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, we now hate evil and exercise love towards our Christian brethren. Paul admonishes us cling to what is good. 

Vs. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, Paul tells Christians to be kindly affectionate, kindly is the Greek sungenes indicating a family relationship, kin, a kinsman coupled with affectionate, in the Greek philostorgos tenderly loving. So, we see exactly how we are to feel towards one another, and to reinforce it the apostle says with brotherly love. The Greek is philadelphia or brotherly love. We are to be one close-knit family, loving one another with a tender love and care without regard to race, nationality, occupation, wealth or education. Naturally this would be in honor giving preference to one another, the Greek time translated honor means an advantage to be given by believers one to another instead of claiming it for themselves. Preference is translated from the Greek proegeomai meaning to go before or lead. So, the Christian, out of respect for and in consideration of his/her calling to salvation in Christ Jesus is willing to step aside and let honor and respect go to others. I have personal knowledge of a church here in the Birmingham area where personal pride on the part of one individual split the church, brought about the death of a God-fearing pastor, and scattered the flock.

Vs. 11 Not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; Paul continues to exhort Christians—they are not to be lagging, in the Greek it is okvnpos which translated means we are not to be shrinking, irksome, slothful, in our diligence or Greek spoude which means earnestness or  zeal. In other words, there is no room for a halfhearted effort in the lives of Christians. No, they are to be about their Father’s business or fervent in spirit. The Greek for fervent is zeo which means to be hot or boil over, and spirit in the Greek is pneuma which the context is required to determine the actual meaning if the s is S it is Holy Spirit—in our text it probably means to a individual that actually gives or shows forth a strong feeling for the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Serving the Lord, the Greek is douleuo, which means to serve as a bond slave; the Lord—Greek kurios or master. Paul uses ‘Lord’ in his epistles to indicate the Lord Jesus Christ. So, this matter of being a Christian means we no longer serve our flesh or the devil, but we gladly and earnestly, with a heart bubbling over, serve our Lord Jesus Christ!

Vs.  12 Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; Paul gives us three more statements to consider. Paul tells believers that they are to be rejoicing in hope, the Greek is chairo which means be happy! The Christian is told by Paul to Rejoice always, 1 Thessalonians 5:16. Hope in the Greek is elpis and means favorable and confident expectations regarding the unseen and future. In our walk before the Lord we are to be happy as the Scriptures tell us to: look for the blessed hope (confident expectations) and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ Titus 2:13. While we continue rejoicing in hope in this wilderness we are to be patient in tribulation; the Greek hupomeno means to tarry behind, to wait for, be still or endure and abide, or be patient; in tribulation the Greek thlipsis meaning anything that burdens the spirit, afflictions, a pressing or pressure. This also describes what our attitude should be as the Lord sanctifies us by knocking off our rough edges and prepares us for eternity, we are to be continuing steadfastly in prayer. Hupomeno means to abide under, to bear up courageously continually in prayer, the Greek proseuche means pray to God. A good illustration of continuing steadfastly in prayer was given by our Lord in Luke’s gospel, chapter 11:5-10, He had just finished the model prayer and then set forth the need of being importunity (shamelessness) in prayer and receiving what is needed.  If man could be persuaded by shameless persistence, then our Heavenly Father will hear us when we call and keep on calling according to His will!

Vs. 13 Distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. The apostle concludes these statements by giving directions about giving to the needs of the saints. We are to be distributing, or a better translation of the Greek is koinoneo which means to share in common with or communicating to the needs of the saints, the Greek chreia indicates a need or to have need of something. The Greek hagios means separated (among the Greeks it meant dedicated to the gods) and in Scripture its moral and spiritual significance is separated from sin and therefore consecrated to God, sacred. It is used of men and things in so far as they are devoted to God, is often presented in a way which involves divine demands upon the conduct of believers. These are called hagioi, saints, i.e., sanctified or holy ones. Sainthood is not an attainment, it is a state into which God in grace calls men; yet believers are called to sanctify themselves, cleansing themselves from all defilement, forsaking sin, and living a holy manner of life. Given to hospitality the Greek dioko means to pursue; therefore, given to is an acceptable translation. Hospitality is a translation of the Greek philoxenia which means love of strangers or be not forgetful of strangers. Paul is not speaking just about giving money to poor Christians, in fact the matter of money is not specifically addressed at all; instead it is identifying with the Christian’s needs. If the individual is mourning, then identify with them in their sorrow and give what comfort that you can. If a wife has her husband called off to war, comfort her as much as possible, visit her, help in the lonely hours. If we have some impoverished brethren, then help provide for their needs. Remember what our Lord said in Matthew 25:35-40—givingto needy Christians is giving to Him.The apostle has given us a listing of how we are to act toward others since God has adopted us into His Family.

Prayer and the Ministry of C.H. Spurgeon

The ministry of C.H, Spurgeon in London was one extended revival for years. It preceded the great revival of 1859 by six years, when all the churches in London were languishing spiritually. He writes of this revival beginning in the church’s prayer meeting:

When I came to New Park Street Chapel it was but a mere handful of people to whom I first preached, yet I could never forget how earnestly they prayed. Sometimes they seemed to plead as though they could really see the Angel of the Covenant present with them, and as if they must have a blessing from Him. More than once we were all so awe-struck with the solemnity of the meeting that we sat silent for some moments while the Lord’s Power appeared to overshadow us; and all I could do on such occasions was to pronounce the benediction, and say ‘Dear friends, we have had the Spirit of God here very manifestly tonight; let us go home and take care not to lose His gracious influence.’ Then down came the blessing; the house was filled with hearers, and many souls were saved. 

Catechism Question 36

Q: What is justification?

A: Justification is an act of God’s free grace, wherein He pardons all our sins, and accepts us as righteous in His sight,, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us , and received by faith alone. 

Romans 3:24

24  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.