Sermons and Teachings

Sincere And Selfless Love

Text: Romans 12:9-10, 17, 21

There are three forms of love described in the Christian Greek scriptures - EROS, PHILIA AND AGAPE.

  1. EROS - Is the passion for the opposite sex that constitutes the emotional incentive to conjugal union. It is lust.
  2. PHILIA - Is a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection as for a friend, for a parent or child, brother, sister or a relation. Usually the person is well known and your association or relationship demands the love as a duty.
  3. AGAPE - The benevolent type of affection that desires the good and well-being of others either socially, spiritually or otherwise without considering the excellence of the person involved. Could even be an enemy. This kind of love is selfless and sacrificial and it is guided by the principle of good and righteousness. This is the God-kind of love. Rom. 5:8; Deut. 7:7 - 8; I John 4:10 -11; I John 3:16. AGAPE is such that the follower of Christ takes the initiative in doing good whenever the occasion arises to do so. This kind of love has no law to limit it. It ought to be practiced at any time or place, and to any extent toward your neighbour. It is what we owe others as children of God. Rom. 13:8. AGAPE can only be produced by the Holy Spirit in the lives of those who have believed in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and are born again. I Thess. 4:9; I John 4:7 - 11; Gal. 5:22. It is the highest test of a person's Christianity and can only be known by the action it gives rise to.

Paul says, "Let love be without dissimulation..." Rom.12:9; This is in view of what biblical love really is and God's expectation of us as his children. The message on love is not new. What is needed is constant self-examination. Today's lesson is an x-ray on the love-quality of our lives as children of God, a time for a sober reflection on the way we relate with people and to prove if indeed the love of God prevails in our hearts. Paul now presents the test as follows:

  1. Love must be without dissimulation; that is without any pretence or hypocrisy. Rom. 12:9
  2. Should abhor doing any form of evil. Rom.12:9
  3. Seek and hold fast to that which is good. Rom. 12:9
  4. Must be sincere, kindly affectionate and merciful. Rom. 12:10
  5. It is brotherly. This means loving the brethren as members of the same household of God, having the same heavenly hope. Rom. 12:10
  6. Selfless and sincere love naturally leads to mutual respect, as they prefer one another. Rom. 12:10
  7. It recompenses no man evil for evil. Forgives and does not retaliate. Rom. 12:17
  8. The love of God makes us live at peace with all men. Rom. 12:18
  9. Feed your enemy when he is hungry and give him water when thirsty. Rom. 12:20
  10. Be not overcome of evil but overcome evil with good. Rom. 12:21

SELF-EXAMINATION: Let these questions soberly and slowly go through your mind as you determine to allow the Holy Spirit work out the unfeigned love of God in your heart and life: what does it say and what does it mean? Does it affect my life in anyway? Any error for me to correct? Any good example for me to follow? Do I need to start any relationship that I had earlier ignored? Etc.

Memory Verse: "Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another God dwelleth is us, and the love of God is perfected in us" I John 4:11 - 12.

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