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  • Writer's pictureBurbank Road Church of Christ

Behave like a Christian

Romans 12:9-21

9 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;

11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;

12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;

13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.

16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.

18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.

20 Therefore

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;

If he is thirsty, give him a drink;

For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

You could say this whole chapter of Romans is about Christian behavior.

Paul talks about not being conformed to this world but being transformed by God's word.

He talks about us being humble and members of the same body.

The body of Christ.

But we can have different functions within the body.

How we have different talents or gifts, and we should use them appropriately for the glory of God.

Then in verse 9, God tells us these things through Paul.

It's about staying humble.

Avoiding evil.

Promoting good.

Serving with diligence, fervent in spirit.

If we serve in diligence and are fervent, we will do all of these things.

What is diligence?

The dictionary says, "careful and persistent work or effort".

In old English, it meant paying close attention.

The Greek word implies also earnestness and some urgency or haste.

Earnestness is being sincere, fully convinced in your heart and mind.

So, we should sincerely hasten, and be persistent in, God's work.

We should not be lagging, which means to be idle or sluggish or slothful.

We should be persistent in these works, these fruits of our salvation.

Then what is fervent?

The dictionary says, "having or displaying a passionate intensity."

Literally, the Greek word means to be hot or boiling.

Then spirit here, refers to our hearts and minds, our soul.

So, it means to be boiling or burning with enthusiasm over the Lord.

To be on fire for God.

This is how we are told to behave.

To have a sincere passion for serving God.

To be persistent and not give up or quit.

To be consistent each day.

How we serve God is the key to staying humble.

Promoting the Lord and His goodness.

And avoiding evil.

As God says, we must overcome evil with good.

Are we serving with sincerity?

With the urgency of knowing Jesus will return and it will be too late?

Are we on fire for the Lord?

We should be.

His mercy and salvation should have us blazing inside.

We need to have that fire inside of us.

Our God is a consuming fire.

Are we pursuing the Lord every day?

With Him we can rejoice in hope and be patient in tribulation.

We can love and bless our enemies, just as He has blessed us who were once His enemies.

We need to serve with a passion for the Lord.

Sincerely, persistently, each day.

Not recklessly in emotions.

But with a true understanding of how important each person's eternal soul is to God.

And the time is coming when we will all meet the Lord.

Whether we are prepared or not.

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