Main point summary
Christians! Authentically love the members of the household of God with ongoing loving deeds- pursue the good of others- even at great cost to yourselves; because you can entrust yourselves and your vindication to God.
t Let love be genuine.
Love must be honest and without pretense- don't fake loving someone while inside you really feel indifferent towards their well-being or even hostile towards them.
u Abhor what is evil;
let me explain this to you-one who has genuine love toward God and others loathes what dishonors God both in his own life and in the lives of the brethren; meaning you cannot love one another genuinely if you do not hate the sin ( which impacts on not only your lives, but also affects others) in your own lives and if you pretend all is well when you see sin in your brethren's lives hurting their spiritual walk with the Lord;
hold fast to what is good.
instead, you must cling with all your might to all that is good and true and pleasing to God and edifies others and actively do works of love.
v Love one another with brotherly affection.
Your loving deeds toward each other must be under girded by mutual tender affection, loyal through thick and thin, and not just an outward show.
w Outdo one another in showing honor.
This is demonstrated by your eagerness in affirming others rather than looking for others to praise you and make much of you. In humility, let others take the limelight and take precedence before you.
Do not be slothful in zeal,
In your acts of love toward your brothers and sisters do not be lagging in earnestness or sporadic;
x be fervent in spirit, 1
but instead work at this continually, being eager and diligent in the spirit,
y serve the Lord.
enthusiastically rendering your acts of love toward each other as to the Lord.
z Rejoice in hope,
Always be hopefully joyful as you love others with sincere good works, for you will one day share in Christ's glory,
a be patient in tribulation,
remain steadfast in affliction and do not waver; true love loves even in the face of opposition and difficulties,
b be constant in prayer.
and always persevere in prayer-for yourself and your brethren because as members of the body of Christ you are called to live as living sacrifices to the lord not by your own strength but by the strength God provides.
c Contribute to the needs of the saints
Therefore, be generous, identify with the needs of other believers, always looking for opportunities to meet their needs
and d seek to show hospitality.
and practice hospitality wholeheartedly, not grudgingly- welcoming new believers or those whom you don't know so well by showing kindness to them- this does not come naturally so pursue it with zeal.
e Bless those who persecute you; bless
Build others up with your words- even those who are tearing you down and doing all they can to destroy your life; even so, have their good at the heart of your attitude and actions toward them; desire that they may repent and trust Christ and so attain salvation,
and do not curse them.
instead of tearing others down with your words or wishing for evil or misfortune to befall them- even if they have hurt you badly.
f Rejoice with those who rejoice,
Be genuinely glad and enter sincerely into the joy of your brethren when they do well-do not let jealousy or envy stop you from sharing in others' joy and being glad for them, when good and blessings come their way,
weep with those who weep.
and be sensitive to what is happening in the lives of each other- get into the "heart" of the one who is hurting and experiencing loss- share in their pain- not just making polite sympathetic comments- feel deep compassion and pity for them.
g Live in harmony with one another.
Aim to live in peace with each other- striving to be of one mind in this.
h Do not be haughty,
What I mean is-don't be stuck-up- thinking highly of yourself and having vain ambitions and being elitist,
but associate with the lowly. 1
instead, be willing and happy to build relationships with those who are of humbler circumstances.
i Never be wise in your own sight.
And don't have an inflated estimation of our own opinions/knowledge- don't think you know it all! Be humble!
j Repay no one evil for evil,
Taking personal vengeance is destroys harmonious living- you are not to carry out personal revenge,
but k give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.
instead, focus on doing what is good, and true and God-honoring in full view of all and trust and wait on God to deal justly in the matter.
If possible, so far as it depends on you,
Sometimes despite your best efforts , harmonious living with others cannot be achieved, but if you are able, do your best
l live peaceably with all.
to live harmoniously with everyone.
Beloved, m never avenge yourselves,
In other words my dear brethren, I appeal to you not to take it upon yourselves to try to execute justice on someone who has wronged you,
but leave it 1 to the wrath of God, for it is written,
instead, entrust the matter to the righteous anger of God who has said in Scripture,
n “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
" It belongs solely to me to avenge wrong, I will judge and require payment," says the Lord.
To the contrary, o “if your enemy is hungry,
Rather, you must do good to your enemy- for instance if you see that your enemy lacks food,
then you are to provide food for him;
if he is thirsty,
and if you see him in need of water,
give him something to drink;
then you must relieve his thirst;
for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”
meeting their needs with love in the face of their hate may perhaps bring about their repentance; if not they will face God's wrath on the fiery day of judgment.
Do not be overcome by evil,
Continue to bless your enemies with loving deeds of kindness instead of responding to evil done against you in kind, for there is always a temptation to hit back; so that you do not stoop to the level of your enemies' evil, and become like them,
but overcome evil with good.
but that instead, you will conquer the evil done to you, through your good deeds, done by the grace that God provides, following the perfect example of Jesus Christ- who overcame evil with good- on our behalf.
1 cor 12:26- " And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the membbers rejoice with it".
this also hearkens back to James' exhortation to listen and don't talk so much- so that we can better empathize with and know when others are rejoicing and can celebrate with them; and when they are sorrowful, and share their grief
we are not an island, but a community of brothers and sisters with God as our Father, welded together by the Holy Spirit by the blood of Christ.
impartiality toward all- irrespective of their economic, ethnic, social status- our attitude/behavior toward all people must be the same- and must not be shaped by what they can do for us or by preconceived notions/ biases.
the love of verse 9 is the particular love exercised within the context of the church. Christians are called to show this peculiar love that marks them as true belivers of Christ. John 13: 34- 35- A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you also must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.
genuine love heads this long series of imperatives. Why? 1. because love is the priority in practical Christian living- 1 Cor 13; gal 5;22; and it is so impt because in 1 John 3:14, John uses love for one another as the definitive criteria for which believers can know they have eternal life. Everything else we are called to do as part of Christian living flows out of genuine love- for God and therefore for brethren. 2. And for us, because in our contemporary times ( and possibly in the early church times) love has been so sentimentalised and distorted that we are unsure what passes for love nowadays. and it is so important for us Christians living in the end times to know from scripture how God defines love and build our lives on this.
gal 6:9 - and let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Phil 2:3-4- Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
does the "spirit" here refer to the Holy Spirit? or the human spirit?
1. What hope does paul call believers to rejoice in? -rom 5:2- .." and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God" 2. believers are not to be bound by short-term vision of the temporal- we are to set our hope in the ironclad promise of God in Christ- that one day all will be made perfect in Christ- hope is the ground for our rejoicing- even now.
the greatest model of obedience to this command in v 21 is our Lord Jesus Christ who indeed overcame the greatest evil and horror of sin and death with the greatest good ever done- His loving sacrificial sacrifice of Himself- for His enemies-rebellious sinners that they may be free of the guilt of sin, and the bondage to sin.
Romans 8:35-37- we are "more than conquerors through Him who loved us" as we follow Jesus' example in how we treat our enemies by the grace He provides.
1. What has v 9b to do with genuine love? 2. what does " abhor what is evil (but) hold fast to what is good "mean...really? -Is it firstly, get the gospel renewed mind of having love ( for God and others) as preeminent in our mindset and with this mindset, set your way of life in which abhorrence and rejection of everything evil would then necessarily mean actively holding fast to "what is good"? -Secondly -is turning from "all things evil " satisfied by doing nothing actively harmful ? Or is this inadequate because if there is good to be done for our brethren and we do not do it, then we are in essence not obeying the spirit of the command in 9b and c; and by omitting the good we could do, we are in effect choosing "evil" by our inaction?
the greatest "blessing" I can wish for someone else is that they may be saved