Please turn with me to Romans 12 and verse 9. ‘Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good’.
We have been teaching on the subject of love, teaching particularly about loving one another under the title ‘walking in love’. We considered the first epistle of John where John has a lot to say about loving one another. For the last several weeks we have been considering the teaching of Paul concerning the same thing, about loving one another. And this is a very important passage starting from Romans 12:9-21.
Now, last week, we began with this. Let me read verse 9 first. Romans 12:9. ‘Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good’. We began last week and I showed you that love must be without hypocrisy. Two things are said here – love must be without hypocrisy then you must hate evil and cling to that which is good. Two statements. These two things are very important before we go any further, I think we need to understand this. All that he is going to say from verse 10-21 will require a thorough understanding of this. Because it is based on these two great principles that he says in 10-21. So, these are two great principles, in walking in love.
How do you walk in love? You have got to love without hypocrisy. Your love must be true love. That’s the first great principle. Genuine love. Authentic love. True love, real love. Secondly, you must abhor what is evil and cling to that which is good. Last week, we said a few things about loving without hypocrisy. Let me just remind you of those things and say a little more about those things. But I want to concentrate on the second statement today. I showed you that how many people deceive themselves thinking they are living in love or they are walking in love. They think what they is true love. Sometimes they are just ignorant of this whole things – they don’t know what true love is. Or they know what it is but they think that God doesn’t see it and nobody knows it and so on. But they end up deceiving themselves. That’s the sad thing about it. We think we are walking in love but we are not walking in love. And walking in love is the foundation for successful living. You cannot be really successful without love. You can’t be successful with just a good job. You can’t be successful with just getting a wife or husband. You can’t be successful with just building a house. You can’t just be successful just by being financially successful. Behind all success is this one factor. That is love, walking in love. If you don’t know what true, authentic, genuine love is and you can’t walk in that then no matter what else you may have it will not lead to true, good success. The Bible talks about true, good success, and that good success is possible only with love as the foundation for our lives. So, talked about how we must not deceive ourselves, thinking that we are walking in love. We must be very clear about it. So how can we be sure that our love is genuine? It is not a love that is a hypocritical love.
Let love be without hypocrisy it says. So how can we be sure that our love is genuine love? Two things I pointed out. One is – genuine love is where we keep the commandments of God. I showed you the verses, in John’s Gospel 15. Three times again and again Jesus says – if a man loves me he will keep my commandments. He didn’t say if a man loves me, he will go to Church and shout hallelujah. We do go to church, we shout hallelujah. There’s nothing wrong with that. But he did not say – if a man loves me, he will shout the loudest. Or if a man loves me, he will raise up his hands. If a man loves me, he will clap hard. No. he said – if a man loves me, he will show it by his behavior, by his conduct, by his actions. He will show it by keeping my commandments. Again and again he said that. And I read all those verses. So, you got to keep the commandment. That is, genuine love, when you walk in genuine love, you walk by the Word of God – obeying what God’s Word says. That’s what genuine love is. You do what the Word of God says.
The second aspect is – not only we do what the commandment says but we love the commandment. Fulfilling the commandment has two different aspects. One is the letter, the other is the spirit. We have been talking about it. the letter and the spirit. Some say the letter is important, forget the spirit. Some say spirit is important, forget about the letter. But I showed you how the letter and the spirit both are important. The letter is important and the spirit is important. We must fulfill it in letter and spirit. How do you fulfill it in letter? It says something. Do it. That’s how you fulfill it in letter. But that’s not enough. Are you fulfilling in spirit? How do you fulfill it in spirit? When you love what the commandment says and do it because you love it, you appreciate it, you esteem it highly, do it because you really like the commandments of God and love the commandments of God and respect the commandments of God. Then you are fulfilling it in spirit also. Now, it is possible to just do what the letter says. So that you fulfill it by the letter but not according to the spirit. Lot of people will not do certain things that the commandment says not to do. Commandment says do not bear false witness, do not covet, do not commit adultery, do not murder. Lot of people will not do it. Why? They will tell you very clearly. 10 Commandment says so. But do they love those commandments? They say I never do it because the commandment says so. They don’t want to go to hell. They will tell you. They don’t want to receive any punishment from God. They don’t want to lose out on any good things that they may have in life. Because they do this thing wrong. It’s alright. They don’t do it for so many reasons. And mainly because the Bible says so or this is the commandment of God. But do they love it? Do they love the commandment? The fact is many people do what the letter says. But they don’t love what the letter says. For example – the Bible says do not covet. They don’t do it but they don’t love it. The Bible says – do not commit adultery. They don’t do it but they don’t love what it says or respect or honor or consider in esteem. The Bible says do not bear false witness. But if you ask them they will say – well, everybody does that. It’s a common thing. It’s okay. Nothing wrong. I won’t do it, because the 10 commandments says. But lot of people do it. It’s not a big thing. That’s the kind of outlook they have on that. They don’t do it yet when they see it on TV somebody doing it, they enjoy it. And they go along with it and they take it as a genuine entertainment, that they can be entertained with. So when you see them watching the TV, you feel like they don’t believe in the 10 commandments. Because it’s all against the 10 commandments. Against what God’s Word says. Yet they enjoy it. They themselves will not do it, they will not violate the law of God by letter yet in their heart they don’t love God’s commandments enough to hate what they see. We are going to get to that. Hating what is evil, is what we are going to get to.
So, genuine love keeps the commandment. Not only by letter but also in the spirit. It does what the commandment says but it also loves what the commandment says. Now, how do you know that your love is genuine? How can you be sure that your love is genuine? If you have doubts about what genuine love is like, 1 Corinthians 13 must always be kept in view. It is not bad to read it one more time. What is genuine love like? What is love without hypocrisy like? How does it look? What is true love like? Listen to this. Love suffers long, is kind, love does not envy, love does not parade itself. Love is not puffed up, love does not behave rudely, love does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.
That’s genuine love. If you have any doubt about what genuine true love looks like, the love that Romans 12:9 talks about. Let love be without hypocrisy, the word love is agape there. Divine love, the highest form of love. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 is the description of the highest form of love, that divine love. So, we need to make sure that our love is genuine. The way to make sure is – are we doing what the Word of God says? Do we love what the Word of God says or do we do it just because it says? Have we really received it and do we really love it?
Now, there is another verse that puts it very beautifully. Romans 6:17 puts it like this. ‘But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered’. Listen to this please. Before you were slaves of sin he says. Though you were slaves of sin before yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. In other word, I like the way the English version puts it. This particular version puts it. Most of the versions put it like this. It didn’t say a doctrine which was delivered to you. it says you were delivered to the doctrine. That form of doctrine to which you were delivered, not that doctrine was delivered to you through preaching, you were delivered to that doctrine.
Something happens when you hear preaching. Somebody preaches, they are delivering a truth to you. I am delivering a truth to you. But that’s the first step. Then what happens? When I deliver it, you believe it. You receive it. And when you receive it, then something happens in your heart. Changes begin to take place in your heart. Your heart is moved by the truth. Truth changes the heart. And as a result of the truth changing your heart then you begin to obey the Word of God. So what has happened it the truth which was preached has now gone into you and now you are delivered in the hands of truth. The truth is now taking you and changing you. Truth was delivered to you but the truth that went in now dominates you, now changes you. This is something that happens every time. That is why we need to preach like the way we are preaching. And that is why we need to expect that kind of result. When something is preached to you, come and receive and you believe and then you allow it to go to the heart and let that transformation take place as a result of the Word that is preached and then only you do what it says. Not because it says something but because it has gone into you but because it has begun to own you and dominate you and change you, therefore you now obey. That’s the process. You hear, you understand it, you believe it, you are moved in your heart then you obey it because you loved it. It’s a process, that is how we obey the commandments of God. We don’t just say – well, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10. We got 10 things, let me do one by one. That’s not the approach. That’s called legalism. We are not legalists. We are not preaching legalism. We are preaching spiritual truth. How do you approach the Word of God? The Word of God is preached and you begin to understand it, you begin to believe it, let it move your heart, let the Spirit of God change your heart. And then as a result of the change you begin to love the truth and therefore you obey it. That’s the good reason to obey it. That’s the way things happen inside of us when the Word of God begins to work in us. So that’s what love without hypocrisy is all about. Love without hypocrisy is based on God’s Word. It does what God’s Word says. It is walking by the Word, but not simply by the letter but really loving the Word, loving what it says. We are glad that it says that. Our attitude is – some people’s attitude is like this. ‘My God! I can’t do that man, because the 10 commandments says so. I wish it didn’t say that but it says that, therefore I can’t do it. Because if I did it I will go to hell or something like that. I can’t do it’. But they will tell you ‘I hate that it says that because its taking away some fun out of my life. It is taking away what I can enjoy. I wish it didn’t say that. But I still won’t do it because it says don’t do it, I won’t do it. But I wish it didn’t say that’. That’s the attitude of some people. They do what it says but they do not love it. But love without hypocrisy is doing what the Word says but really doing it because there has been a definite change that has happened in the heart as a result of the Word and how it worked in your heart. That’s what love without hypocrisy is. This love is produced by the Word of God going into our heart and the Spirit of God working in our hearts and changing our hearts. And as a result we obey. It’s not legalistic obedience. It’s a real obedience that comes about as a result of really believing and receiving the Word of God.
Now, let’s go to the next statement. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Now, abhor and cling. We are going to look at these two things. Abhor evil. Abhor is a very strong word. We don’t use it that much. We use another word which is even easier to understand. That is hate. It’s a very strong word which means hate literally. What does hate mean? Hate means to dislike utterly and totally. Hate means to be against certain things. To be totally and mentally in opposition to certain things because you dislike it completely. Hate what? Hate evil. And what is evil? Evil is something that is totally opposite of good. It’s not just the absence of good. Evil is not just that good is not there. If good is not there, you can say that it is evil. It’s not just the absence of good. It is more than the absence of good. It is the presence of something. It is the presence of a hatred towards good and opposition towards good. Evil hates the good. It works militantly against the good and it always is an opposition to the good. Look at the evil that’s happening in the world today. Wherever you see evil happening you will see that those who do it are well organized, they are very powerful, they are very well organized, well funded and so on. And they do it and they uphold that which is good deliberately and totally and they delight in it. They make money out of it. They enjoy doing it. They make a life out of it. It’s very organized. In some countries of the world, they have organized crime. They have an office, and they have a system they work with. They work very efficiently. Very powerfully. They can get done whatever they want, to get done. They are a force to reckon with. Even governments have a problem dealing with those people because they are so powerful. That’s evil. Evil is in opposition to that which is good and right. It always works against that which is good and right. Militantly against that which is good and right. Now, so what is hating what is evil? You need to understand that when the Bible says abhor what is evil or hate what is evil, what does it mean? Some people think don’t do what is evil. Well, I think it goes beyond that. It is not saying just don’t do what is evil. We should not do what is evil. But it is saying much more than that. It’s not just don’t do what is evil, but hate what is evil. Go beyond that and literally hate what is evil. Once again some people won’t do what is evil but will not hate what is evil. They will love what is evil. They will enjoy what is evil. Just like I told you, they enjoy on TV or something a show where totally evil things are happening, completely against God and his nature. And God ordained life. Totally evil is represented there and spoken there and lived out there and people enjoy it. They derive pleasure out of it. I think it’s getting serious now. Sometimes we don’t even realize we are sucked into the system. And we decide well everybody does it, I am not doing anything bad. I am just watching. I am just enjoying. I am not doing anything bad. I am just enjoying this stuff. Is there anything wrong with that? As long as I don’t do anything wrong, that’s the approach we take. Who said if we don’t do anything wrong it’s enough? And by not doing anything wrong, you are free from wrong? The Bible says very clearly – hate what is evil. You are wrong if you don’t hate what is evil. It’s your job as a Christian to hate what is evil. A genuine authentic Christian, a true Christian in whom the Word of God is working and is moved by the Word of God can never sit there and watch everything violated from the Word of God and enjoy it. It may be there running before him but there is – he begins to oppose it mentally he hates it. He looks at it and he says – I hate this. I can’t believe that they would do this. I can’t believe this is accepted. I can’t believe you are showing all our children that this is okay. When we sit there and enjoy it we are showing everybody that this is okay. As long as you don’t do it, it is fine. What a Christian is, we don’t do that, but we watch that. We don’t do that but we enjoy other people when they do it. We don’t do that but we enjoy a story which shows that. We don’t do that but we enjoy when somebody else does that. Which is wrong. A true Christian hates what is evil. He does not simply abstain from doing what is evil, but literally hates what is evil. Now how can we do that?
We know what hating evil is. It is not just not doing it but really hating it. Hating the very idea of it. Now how do you do that? How do you hate what is evil? See in this world people from all walks of life, from all faiths you will find some very sincere people, good people, moral people, you may say moralists. Most people are moralists and good people – they won’t lie, they won’t steal, they won’t do anything bad. They are like that. You have got to give it to them. You can’t say everybody else is bad or something like that. We have to be reasonable. There are a lot of good people from all kinds of backgrounds, you have to agree with that but being a moralist is alright. I would rather have a moralist than some wicked people doing all kinds of bad things. So being a moralist is okay but a moralist cannot do what Paul says here. He cannot hate evil the Bible tells us to hate evil. Now you may say – well, that’s not right. There are good people that hate evil. You know they hate evil. They don’t like evil. They hate evil. Well, not to the extent that Paul says here. When Paul says hate evil, this is the ultimate level. Hating evil.
Why it’s not possible for just a moralist to hate evil and it is only possible for a believer to hate evil? It is because unless you know God and have a relationship with God, have an appreciation for God and his goodness and his holiness, and his perfection, unless you have an appreciation for God, the true and living God you cannot truly hate evil. The true hatred, the level of hatred that must come against evil will not be there unless you know the true, living God and know him by experience and know him personally. Unless you do it, you cannot do it. That’s why Paul says in verse 1 itself, I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God. He is addressing people, believers who have experienced God, knows God’s redemptive power, knows God’s redemption and know God’s love and have experienced it through Salvation. He is writing to them. He says – I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God. These are people that have experienced God’s love, God’s wonderful character and nature. They know God. To them he is writing. Because it is they who can truly hate evil. Because unless you know God deeply and his holiness and his righteousness, his perfection and his goodness you cannot really hate evil the way that you need to hate evil.
See, it demands understanding. I have already spoken about this. This love that we are talking about, agape love, requires understanding, deep thinking. It needs a lot of intelligence I told you. It’s an intelligent love. The other love I have spoken about it to you, the animal instinct love. The other day I was watching something on You Tube and they showed a little bird, I forget the name of the bird, it goes and brings little blades of grass and builds the nest, unbelievably beautiful nest. Amazing. Didn’t have an architect, no builder, no human brain and intelligence is required. That bird will be no bigger than the palm of my hands, size of the palm of my hands. So small. That bird probably has a brain as little as just a little dot. And it uses its brain so beautifully. They show it going and picking the grass, bringing and literally weaving and designing and making – makes two entries, to enter from down there and makes a belly like area where it can keep its young ones, prepares to have babies and put them there safely from all the eagles and other things that are flying everywhere wanting to get them. Amazing. I have never seen anything like that. I was in awe and wonder when I watched that. From the beginning to the end they show, from straw no. 1 to the end they show how the whole thing is built. It’s amazing. Intelligent. That little bird is so intelligent. Just think about human beings how much more intelligent we are. Our brain is about this big. Its wonderfully linked up and connected and circuited. Connections and interconnections by the billions. Tremendous wiring has been done. We are very intelligent people. We can think and contemplate on very deep level. A little bird can love its young ones and build a nest for them in preparation before it even has the little ones. Builds it because it knows it’s coming and it needs it.
Now, that is animal instinct love. Animals can have love and we can have love just like the animals. That animal instinct level but what we are talking about is not that. We are talking about a higher level. It’s divine love. That love that comes from God, that is imparted by God through His Holy Spirit into us. We are talking about a love that is very intelligent. So this love is not possible by just an ordinary person who is a moralist. He may be good but this kind of thing is not possible. Hating evil is not possible for that person. Only when you know God, his perfection, his goodness, and his glory then you begin to hate that which is evil because when you see God’s perfection, God’s goodness, and God’s glory then you begin to hate evil. The more you see this, the more you hate that and I will show you. So, it begins with understanding certain truths. Let me show you from the Word of God how when you know God that is when you actually can hate evil, like the Bible tells you to hate evil. Turn with me to Psalm 104.
Psalm 104 a wonderful Psalm. We are going to read most of it basically. But let me read verse 1 first. Just listen to verse 1 first. Some of you will be shocked in the Bible there is a verse like this. But I will show you why there is a verse like this. ‘May sinners be consumed from the earth, and the wicked be no more.
Bless the Lord, O my soul! Hallelujah!
You want to say a hallelujah to it? You don’t feel like, you see. Because it sounds terrible. This guy is letting off a curse upon sinners. He says – sinners be consumed from the earth. And the wicked be no more. Let them be destroyed completely. Done away with. Eradicate. Completely. Do away with them and then he says – bless the Lord, oh my soul. Hallelujah. Some translations will say praise the Lord. Actually in Hebrew its hallelujah. And it’s translated as Praise the Lord in English. Must be Pentecostal guy. Says, let the sinners be consumed from the earth, the wicked be no more. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.
Why does he hate the sinners and the wicked? This is terrible. Hatred to the point of – let them be no more. Let them be consumed. Be gone. Burnt up. That’s what it literally means. Let them be gone. Why does he hate the sinner so much? Because you will notice in the first 34 verses, the whole 34 verses are different. This one verse stands out separately. First 34 verses he goes into the perfection of God, creation of God, the wonderful works of God, the love of God and the glory of God and then he comes to the conclusion after seeing that, he then comes to the conclusion the sinners must be no more. They must be consumed. Because God has done the world so good, made the world so wonderfully and nicely and these people are spoiling it, ruining it, destroying it, let them be destroyed. That’s why he says that. You need to understand the Bible holistically. You can’t read one verse and say – look at what your Bible says. We should understand why he says that. The more he understands the love of God, the perfection of God, the wonder and beauty of God’s creation and the goodness of God, the more he hates God because it destroys that beauty, that wonder, that goodness that God has shown. Let me read to you from verse 1.
Just get a taste of it. When you read Psalms you will enjoy it. If you experience this one Psalm. Listen to this. ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul!
O Lord my God, You are very great:
You are clothed with honor and majesty
Who cover Yourself with light as with a garment,
Who stretch out the heavens like a curtain.
He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters,
Who makes the clouds His chariot,
Who walks on the wings of the wind,
Who makes His angels spirits,
His ministers a flame of fire.
You who laid the foundations of the earth,
So that it should not be moved forever,
You covered it with the deep as with a garment;
The waters stood above the mountains.
At Your rebuke they fled;
At the voice of Your thunder they hastened away.
They went up over the mountains;
They went down into the valleys,
To the place which You founded for them.
You have set a boundary that they may not pass over,
That they may not return to cover the earth’.
He is in wonder about how God created the earth and defined the limits of the water and the earth and all that and set everything in order. He is thinking about all these things and wondering about the wonderful creation of God. Then he says in verse 10.
‘He sends the springs into the valleys;
They flow among the hills.
They give drink to every beast of the field;
The wild donkeys quench their thirst.
By them the birds of the heavens have their home;
They sing among the branches.
He waters the hills from His upper chambers;
The earth is satisfied with the fruit of Your works.
He causes the grass to grow for the cattle,
And vegetation for the service of man,
That he may bring forth food from the earth,
And wine that makes glad the heart of man,
Oil to make his face shine,
And bread which strengthens man’s heart.
The trees of the Lord are full of sap,
The cedars of Lebanon which He planted,
Where the birds make their nests;
The stork has her home in the fir trees.
The high hills are for the wild goats;
The cliffs are a refuge for the rock badgers.
He appointed the moon for seasons;
The sun knows it’s going down.
You make darkness, and it is night,
In which all the beasts of the forest creep about.
The young lions roar after their prey,
And seek their food from God.
When the sun rises, they gather together
And lie down in their dens.
Man goes out to his work
And to his labor until the evening’.
It says there is order and harmony in the world. He says at night the beasts come out, they hunt their prey and they go and kill and eat and all that. in the morning they go to sleep so that man can go to work peacefully. He works from morning till evening while they are sleeping he says. What a wonderful creation of God he says. Then he says –
‘O Lord, how manifold are Your works!’ – manifold means how great are your works. How many wonderful things you have done.
‘In wisdom You have made them all.
The earth is full of Your possessions—
This great and wide sea,
In which are innumerable teeming things,
Living things both small and great’. Now he is looking at the Sea, and looking at all creatures living there.
‘There the ships sail about;
There is that Leviathan’ – talking about big Sea creatures.
‘Which You have made to play there’.
These all wait for You,
That You may give them their food in due season.
What You give them they gather in;
You open Your hand, they are filled with good.
You hide Your face, they are troubled;
You take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.
You send forth Your Spirit, they are created;
And You renew the face of the earth.
May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
May the Lord rejoice in His works.
He looks on the earth, and it trembles;
He touches the hills, and they smoke.
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
May my meditation be sweet to Him;
I will be glad in the Lord’.
Now no wonder he gets a lot of songs out of this. He is meditating about the wonderful works of God. So he says I will sing to the Lord as long as I live, I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. May my meditation be sweet to him, I will be glad in the Lord. Then he says – ‘May sinners be consumed from the earth,
And the wicked be no more.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!
Praise the Lord! Or hallelujah’.
So he looks at God’s creation and God’s goodness, how good God is, how wonderful he is, how he made everything perfect, nothing lacking, nothing wanting, nothing missing, he made a beautiful earth out of his love for man, provided every living creature, everything they would need, from animal, birds to fish to man, everything was provided. God had provided beautifully and wonderfully. He marvels at his creation and praises God and he says – as long as I live I will praise him. And then he thinks about the wicked and he is angry. He hates the wicked. Why? Because God has made everything perfect and beautiful and showed his love, his provision, his character through all of this and done such a wonderful job. And why is he hating the wicked now? This man is hating the wicked now. Why? Because the wicked man, the sinner comes and destroys the beauty and the harmony, destroys the good things that God has done. And produces everything that is evil and bad. That’s why he is angry. So he says – let them be consumed. Let them be no more. You can see very well here that God provided everything perfectly for everybody. Everybody ought to be living like a king here on this earth. With God’s provision. God never wanted one person to lack and be in want and hunger. God never wanted one person to lack any good thing. There is not one person that needs to be hungry in this world. That is not God’s will. I say this because sometimes Christians have gone crazy I am telling you.
One Christian told me – God has made some to be poor, some to be rich I will show you the verse he says. He is the guy who gets verses to hang. He just picks verses from here and there and hangs. I will give him another verse. Judas hanged himself. What are you going to do with that? Don’t give me such verses. Tell me what the will of God is. Show me what God’s will is. From the Word of God. You read from Genesis 1 onwards. Where do you see its God’s will for a man to be poor? Where do you see God wants hunger? Where do you see that God wants sickness? Where do you see that God wants all this evil that we have in this world today? Is God the author of these things? Did God want all these things? Not one person God wants to be sick, God doesn’t want anybody to be poor, God doesn’t want anybody to be wanting any good thing. God did everything perfect. God is perfect. He is a God of perfection and he is totally and absolutely good. When he made everything every time he made them he said – its good, he saw that it was good. Then finally when he made everything he said – it’s very good. He certified all of it as very good. So God is perfect. God is loving, God is caring God thinks about every need and provides for every need. Before he made man he thought about everything that man would need. And made everything that man will need first before he made man. What love. That’s like before your child is born, you making sure you got admission in the nursery school and gave the donation whatever you need to give and you put enough money in the bank to take care of all his college and everything. And for his future. The Bible says God provides, before he made Adam and Eve, he set everything in place. Everything that man would ever need, he put it in place before he brought man into this world. That’s the love of God, the concern that God has for man. And this Psalmist has got the sense of it. He understands it and he praises God. He says I will sing about this God. As long as I live I will sing his praises. Because there can’t be anyone better than him. He is so good. His goodness is so great. If you live by his goodness you will never lack anything or want anything in life.
But then why is there poverty in this world? It’s not like what some Christian people think. That God has made some people poor. That’s a very bad idea my friend. Then why are some people poor? Because of wicked sinners. Because wicked sinners ruin this earth, destroy this earth, loot this earth, exploit this earth. They make sure that they exercise their power and their position and their privileges and whatever they have in this world. To make sure they gather for themselves but never allow others to gather for themselves.
Some people are thinking, the preaching si going somewhere else today. No I am going nowhere else. I am talking about hating evil. I am still on my subject. Whether you are or not. I am not talking about anything else. I am talking about hating evil. This Psalmist saw that God has perfectly provided, abundantly provided, left nothing lacking. And he sees on the other hand, sinners, the wicked, doing a full time overtime job of ruining everything God made so beautifully and wonderfully. God meant it for to be enjoyed by everyone. But the wicked sinners are only taking it for themselves, living for themselves, ruining others, leaving others in want. That is why he was angry. He sees that and he is angry. He is living in that society. He is living in a particular place, particular time and society. He sees the world and the problem with the world, he hates what is evil. Now that’s why I say to you – if your love is sincere love, genuine love, love God and love man, then there will be hate also on the other side. Just like the coin has two sides. There is love, genuine love, that means you will hate that which is evil. I say this – because some people think Christianity and love means this – that we always smile hello. All kinds of bad things happen. It’s alright, we are Christians brother. We will just be happy in the Lord and just go about eating our food and whatever comes to us and whatever little we have got, we just have to manage by it and just be thankful to the Lord. And smile and grin.
Bible doesn’t teach that. Are you angry? Do you hate evil with all your heart? When you see and atrocities and wickedness in this world, happening all around you, do you hate it? And why do you hate it? See, that is why I say – a moralist cannot perfectly hate it. A moralist may hate it but not to the level a Christian believer can hate it. Why? Because a Christian has this knowledge of God, his perfection, this wondrous beautiful creation of God, the abundant provision of God, the love of God. He knows that God, he experiences that God. He loves that God, he knows him personally – how good he is. Therefore this atrocity that he sees, the wickedness that he sees produces hate in him. He hates it to a level that nobody can hate it. now a moralist may hate it because he may see the damage that it may do for other people, he may see the damage it does for the guy who does it, does the wickedness, he may see that its wrong, unrighteous, not right, not ethical, he may hate it for those reasons. Which are alright. I am glad that he hates it. I am saying it’s not like a true Christian hating. A true Christian hates on another level. He truly hates because he knows God and his love, his perfection, his goodness and what God has done and he sees what man is doing, the wicked are doing, and he sees what the sinners are doing. That is why the Psalmist cries out – let the sinners be consumed from all the earth. And let them be no more. Then he says – bless the Lord oh my soul. Hallelujah. Now you feel like saying hallelujah.
Because you need to understand that this man understand God’s perfection, God’s goodness and then he sees the evil that is produced by man on God’s creation and everything God has done. And ultimately blaming God. See for everything bad that happens, they say – it’s an act of God. Very convenient. Which God are you talking about? I’d like to hear these people. Which God are you talking about? It’s an act of God. Something bad happens, it must be God. Because we are such nice people, we will never do stuff like that. Anything bad, criminal happens it must have been God. That’s what you need to hate about. You love God there is truly the hatred of all that is evil.
So only the one who really loves God and knows God can really hate evil. Now let me read some other verses. Psalm 97. I will read single verses from here and there which says basically the same thing. You see the loving God and hating evil are connected. The two go hand in hand. 97:10 – ‘You who love the Lord, hate evil’. Do you love the Lord? If you love the Lord, it doesn’t mean you are always walking around with a smile saying – Praise the Lord. Hallelujah. How are you? Some people think what a nice Christian. He is always with a nice smile. The Bible doesn’t say so. You love the Lord, you hate evil. There are two sides to you. You love the Lord. You have the joy of the Lord. You have the happiness that God gives but at the same time there is another side that you hate evil. You have an attitude of utter dislike and opposition and hatred to everything that is evil and wicked in this world. In whatever form you see it, whether you see it on television, whether you see it in action, whether you see it anywhere in any form of life, you have an attitude of opposition and hate. You may not be able to do anything about it directly, you may not be involved in it, you may not be able to change anything, but you must have an attitude of hatred inside of you towards that evil that is happening because you love God. Loving God means this also.
When there is love without hypocrisy then the next thing is inevitable. It has to be there. Hating evil must be there. If you love God truly, then hating evil is something that is there just like the coin has the other side. So, you who love the Lord, hate evil.
Go to Amos 5 .., ‘Hate evil, love good’. See the two sides. Love God. Everything good comes from God. God himself is good. So if you love God, you will love everything that is good. And you will hate everything that is evil.
Turn to 1 Peter 3:10,11. ‘For He who would love life and see good days’ – how many of you love life and you want to see good days? You want to love life? Do you love life? You like living and you want to see good days ahead? See that’s why I believe love is the foundation for successful living. You want to see life? If you love life and want to see good days, ‘Let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit’. See don’t do it he says. Don’t open your mouth and talk evil. ‘Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it’. Again hatred of evil and clinging to that which is good.
Jude, the epistle of Jude verse 23. ‘but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh’. Every defilement of the flesh, the evil that comes in small measures and amounts, here and there sticking to even the garments, like dirt in the garment, just you went and sat somewhere, and got something on you, that type of thing. Evil that comes and attaches itself to you in small portions here and there, even that you begin to hate like you would hate a dirty garment it says. Amazing.
2 Corinthians 6:14. ‘Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God’ and so on. Now look at the comparison between the believer and the unbeliever, righteousness and unrighteousness, light and darkness, Christ, Belial, believer – unbeliever, temple of God – idol. This is how the believer and the unbeliever is compared. There can be no connection. It cannot be yoked together. There can be no connection between the two things. There can be no agreement between the two things. Our philosophy does not agree, our thinking does not agree, our attitudes do not agree, we do not agree with these things because we are Christians. We believe in the same world, but attitudinally we do not agree. We disagree with certain things. We cannot be in agreement with these things. We cannot agree with that kind of philosophy. Wrong. So how do we do it? It’s not that we go to the Bible as if we are looking for some rules and regulations – what to do and what not to do. That would be legalism. When we look at the commandments of God and the Word of God and what it commands us to do, various commandments, even love is a commandment. Not just the 10 commandments. Love itself is a commandment. So if you look at it that way there are many things the Bible commands us to do. When we go to the Bible, when we look at what God commands us to do, what the Bible tells us to do, we should not look at it as just rules. If you look at it as rules, its legalism. We need to look at it as the expression of God’s nature. Take the 10 commandments for example. Why does God say – you shall not murder? Because he is a God who gives life. That’s the way he is. Why does he say don’t bear false witness? Why does he say don’t commit adultery and so on? Because he is a truthful God. He is a faithful God. It’s in his nature. Things are against his nature. His good nature, totally against his nature. So when we look at what God tells us to do and what he tells us not to do, when the Bible forbids certain things, when the Bible tells us to do certain things we look at them like this. This is an expression of God. And his character and nature. Why do we follow them? Why do we do what the Bible says? And why do we refrain from doing what the Bible says not to do? Why? Not just because we see that it’s written like that. But because we see that it is totally against God. Not just because the commandment is there but because we understand why it’s there. It’s there because it is an expression of God’s love. It is an expression of God’s nature and character. So, when the commandment says do this we understand that this is how God is. He likes that. This is the way he is. Therefore I do it. When it says don’t do this, we understand it is against God’s nature, character. Therefore I don’t do it. That’s the way we look at it.
And finally, go back to Romans 12. Now we know what abhorring evil means or hating evil means. Cling to what is good. Let me just say briefly about clinging to what is good. Some translations use the word cleave. Cleave to that which is good. To cleave is to be really joined together. A man was given a woman in the Garden of Eden. He said to the man – therefore leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and the two shall be one. So, it’s a cleaving on that level. The two will become one literally. Joined in an inseparable manner. Joined in such a way that they cannot be separated. It’s Like gluing two pieces of wood or something together with erudite or quick fix or something like that where you don’t take them apart. They are meant to be together always. So what do you cling to? Cling to that which is good. What is good? The good is everything that is good in God’s sight. Whatever is good to God that is good. Cling to that which is good. Become one with that which is good. In mind, in mental attitudes, in disposition, in every way cling to that which is good, appreciate the good, esteem the good, consider the good, that’s something great and hate that which is evil.
Finally let me say this and close. Next week we will continue on verse 10. One thing about thing is – let love be without hypocrisy. That’s the commandment. Similarly abhor evil and cleave to that which is good is also a commandment. The reason I say this is because if you are like me, when I was growing up I misunderstood the way Christianity works and the Christian life works. I thought if I had a problem with temptations and evil and all that, all I need to do is find a good deliverance meeting. So I go to the deliverance meeting, and I will get delivered. So they deliver me. I go to a deliverance meeting, there is an anointed man who will deliver me, and so I experience deliverance. After that evil has nothing to do with me. Evil chain has been cut off. My connection with evil has been cut off. This is the way I conceive spiritual life. Somehow by various preaching it has come into my mind that this is how you experience successful living. That if you got connection with evil, if you are not free from the evil, if you are still into that you have to go to a deliverance meeting and cut off, get delivered from it, the chains must be broken. Then forever with that one time grand experience you will be set free for the rest of your life. I thought of that for many years. Then I found out I went to many of the meetings they always laid hands. And something happened at that time and I felt like – wonderful. I feel very free. But I thought the devil is gone because the man shouted saying get out you devil and all that. Leave him alone. And this habit and that habit leave him. But next day it was there. The devil is present every day. So I understood one thing. All that doesn’t work. What I needed was not a deliverance meeting I need to understand what the Bible says. The Bible says this is a command. What is a command? Anchoring evil and clinging to good is a command. That means this is a command means that I need to take it up and follow it and do it every day. It is not telling me to go and have an experience in some meeting so that once and for all through a onetime deliverance experience I can be delivered from all these things. It is telling me to take it up and obey the commandment every day by the grace of God, by the spirit of God that is in me, stand on the Word, walk in the Word of God, do what the Word of God says and let God the Holy Spirit be my helper. I got to experience it every day, I got to do it today, tomorrow, morning and night. All the time and throughout my life. It’s a command. This is the way we must live. This is not talking about one time experience where you go and receive something. No. the foundation for the success of your life is love. Love is there, it has other side, that is hating evil. Must be there also. It can’t be just love. It has to hating evil also. How does it happen? It happens in this way – you need to take it up, you need to do what the Bible says, you need to stand up against the evil, you understand what is evil, everything that is not godly, everything that is not from God, everything that is not good is evil, you not only refrain from doing what is evil, you always have an opposition to evil. Living, hating evil all the time. Loving what is good. Today you live loving good and hating evil. Tomorrow you do the same. Loving what is good and hating evil. Day after tomorrow you do the same, loving what is good and hating evil. Live like that in the morning live like that in the evening, live like that in every opportunity you have got, always remember these two great principles. Loving God and hating evil. And that will lead to great success in life. Because if you live like this, your love is without hypocrisy and you hate evil and cling to that which is good, join yourself to that which is good, if you exercise it and do it every day I will tell you will succeed, 100% everywhere. You cannot but succeed in life. It will lead only to success, and not to failure whether it be personal life, family life it will lead to success, walking in love.