Romans Chapter 12


Love is an action.


Verse 9   "Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good."


The first part of this chapter exhorted us because of the mercies of God to present our bodies a living sacrifice unto God. The next part told us to not be conformed to the world, but to transform ourselves by the renewing of our mind. The third part told us that we are members of the body of Christ. The fourth part spoke to us of the spiritual gifts that God has given to the church and how that we are to use those spiritual gifts. The remainder of the chapter tells us about the characteristics and qualities that we as members of the body of Christ are to seek to develop in our lives, so that we may be transformed and present our bodies as a living sacrifice unto God.

Love is a verb. Verbs indicate action. Love is more than a feeling that we have in us for others. Rather love is manifest by actions that we manifest toward God and toward his people. 1 Cor. chapter 13 is all about charity (love in action). It tells us of the characteristics of love. I encourage the readers to read and reread 1 Cor. chapter 13.

Love is to be manifest without dissimulation. Dissimulation means feigned or hypocrisy. Love is to be unfeigned or without hypocrisy. Sometimes people will tell us they love us and even feign love toward us, but their actions eventually show that they were only doing it for what they perceived they could gain from us. Judas feigned a love to Jesus: Luke 22:47 "And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him. 48 But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?"

Jesus spoke of others in Matt. 15:8, 9 who he said, "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Their love was feigned. Our love to each other and toward God is not to be feigned.

"Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good." At first, this part of the verse may seem like it does not go along with the first part of the verse. However, it is very closely tied with the first part. If we follow evil or even allow evil to be a part of our lives are we not feigning a love toward our Lord? This is the very thing that Jesus said about those who honored him with their lips, but their heart was far from him. We need to not only put evil away from us, but the scripture uses the word, abhor. Abhor means to utterly attest. Our feelings towards evil is to utterly attest it.

Furthermore, we are to cleave to that which is good. The word, cleave, means join together like glue. The scriptures teach us what is good. We should be well acquainted with that which is good and then join together like glue our lives, thoughts, and actions to that which is good.

Verse 10  "Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another."


Nearly all of us have an aunt or uncle or cousin or someone that we feel very close to and have a very high regard for with great affection. Paul tells us that we are to have such an affection for each of the members of the church. Our affections should be manifest one to another with brotherly love. This is in keeping with the commandment that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. Rom. 13:9 "For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."

We who have been born of the Spirit of God do not have to be taught to love one another: 1 Th 4:9 "But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another." Our responsibility to one another is set forth in Heb. 13:1 "Let brotherly love continue."
Our affections towards one another should include a willingness to help one another, to see to one another's needs, to encourage one another, to exhort one another, to pray for one another, to admonish one another, and to do good to one another.

"In honour preferring one another." The word honor indicates that we consider it of great value. We are to consider one another's friendship and companionship and discipleship in the church to be of great value to us. Furthermore, we should prefer one another's company and friendship above the company and friendship of others outside the church.


Verse 11 "Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord."

One of the question we should ask ourselves is what business is under consideration? The Lord's business or our personal business? The truth is that if we are slothful in our personal business we will probably be slothful in the Lord's business. However, the context is about the church and presenting our bodies a living sacrifice unto God, therefore, the business under consideration must be the Lord's business.

The word, slothful, means to be tardy or lazy. The book of Proverbs has a lot to say about slothfulness:

1. Prov 12:24 "The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute."
2. Prov 12:27 "The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious."
3. Prov 15:19 "The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain."
4. Prov 18:9 "He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster."
5. Prov 21:25 "The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour."
6. Prov 22:13 "The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets."
7. Prov 26:14 "As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed."

The scriptures have nothing good to say about slothfulness. We should be diligent to perform both our earthly business as well as the Lord's business. However, there is a priority set for us in the scriptures:

1. Mat 6:33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

2. Matt. 8:21 "And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. 22 But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead."
3. Luke 9:61 "And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. 62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."
4. Luke 14:16 "Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: 17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. 18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. 19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. 20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. 21 So that servant came, and showed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. 22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. 23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper."

The above examples all show the priority that God has placed upon his servants and his service in the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God and our service in that kingdom is to be first in our lives. If we fail to make it first, we risk being as those that were bidden, not allowed to taste of the King's supper.
Not only are we to be up and about the Lord's service, but we are to be fervent in spirit in that service. We read of a man named Apollos who was fervent in spirit in his service to the Lord: Acts 18:25 "This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John." It was through the godly zeal that God had given Apollos that he was fervent in Spirit. He was as boiling water in his zeal toward the service of God. Likewise, we should have such a zeal toward the service of God. Not only should we put the service of God first in our lives, but we also should be zealous to perform that service.