Romans 12:9 serves as the inspiration for the subject of my post today, which reads, "Love should be exhibited without feigning, abhor evil, and hold on to what is good." Ghana is renowned worldwide as a peaceful, and a very religious nation, but there is no love there. The fact that corruption is rampant in our nation and that it seriously harms other vulnerable people indicates that religion has also become corrupt.
Love must be genuine in order to qualify as the first condition and should be the highest virtue in the Christian life. Without a doubt, the word "agape" (Greek for "love") was rarely employed in pagan Greek literature because it connoted a devotion that was wholly uncharacteristic of the society at the time. As a sign of weakness, such love was frequently mocked and rejected. The New Testament, however, declares that this kind of love is the highest virtue and that all other virtues are inferior to it.
Agape love is centered on the wants of the beloved and their wellbeing, and it is prepared to pay whatever cost is necessary to meet those needs and advance the prosperity of the recipient. God is love, and whoever lives in love abides in both God and God in that person. The ultimate commandments, according to Jesus, are to love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, and mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself. These commandments can be found in both the Old and New Testaments (Matthew 22:37-39).
Although the Bible and the Holy Koran are both regarded as excellent books to read, the world is still afflicted by diseases of hatred, hypocrisy, tribalism, and corruption that continue to make life miserable for the weak. This is because man's actions do not reflect the religious values of God or Allah.
"All the law and the prophets are established in these two commandments," he said. Be due to no one for anything other than reciprocal love, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law, Paul writes in the Epistle to the Romans, echoing this principle. "Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love," Paul said to the Corinthian believers, "but love is the greatest of them; for without love a man is not complete."
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the first fruit of the spirit is love (Galatians 5:22), and it is precisely by our love for one another as Christians that others will recognize us as Christ's disciples. But may the Lord fill you with love for one another and for all, just as we are filled with love for you, Paul prayed for the Thessalonians. Paul served the Lord's people "in the Holy Spirit, in unfeigned love" while enduring great patience, affliction, need, straits, under attacks, in prisons, in exiles, in labors, in vigils, and in fasts (2 Corinthians 6:4-6).
Peter urged all Christians to love one another sincerely and continuously from a pure heart. He said, "Having purified your spirits by obeying the truth via the Spirit to the love of brotherly love without hypocrisy" (1 Pet. 1:22). But above all, have diligent love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins, the apostle urges later in the letter (1 Pet. 4:8).
Sincere love and supernatural life are intertwined, which is why the Apostle John writes: "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love our brethren: he who loveth not his brother abideth in death." In other words, a person has no right to rely on Christ for eternal life if his or her acts do not demonstrate agape love.
The kind of love that Paul, Peter, and John described is genuine, ardent, wholly unpretentious, and devoid of self-centeredness. Christian love is sincere, uncomplicated, and pure. Pretending is wholly incompatible with agape love and is its total opposite. These two phenomena are incompatible. Dissimulation only turns nasty due to disbelief. Judas, the worst hypocrite named in the Bible, was also the most self-centered.
Turning away from evil is God's second desire and duty in life. The opposite of love, which by definition cannot support evil, is hatred of evil. According to the Bible, love "does not take pleasure in evil but takes pleasure in the truth" (1 Corinthians 13: 6). The polar opposite of holiness and, by extension, piety, is evil. In the same way that Proverbs 9:10 states that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom," "the fear of the Lord is to loathe wickedness" (Proverbs 8:13). Because God detests evil, so does the child of God.
Since evil is God's enemy, we must vehemently reject it just as we yearn for love. It is for this reason that the psalmist commands, "You who love the Lord, loathe evil" (Psalm 97: 10). A Christian who is true in their love will turn away from evil. David declared, "A crooked heart will be removed from me; I will not know what is bad," because of his deep love for God (Psalm 100: 4). True believers abhor all manifestations of evil because they cannot stand the presence of it.
Even the most deadly diseases can be helped by doctors and medical personnel, but they also take every precaution to avoid being sick themselves. Unfortunately, many Christians often engage in completely wicked behaviors for their own amusement; perhaps they mistakenly think that their Christian faith protects them from the disease of sin.
The third personal responsibility in life is to hold on to the good, which Paul defines as "what is genuine, fair, just, pure, gracious, glorious, and whatsoever is solely virtue and praise." He adds, "Consider these things (Phil. 4:8). Similar advice is given by the apostle in 1 Thessalonians 5:21–22: "Test everything, hold on to the good stuff. Avoid any evil of whatever type. This is a clear instruction to discern, consider everything carefully, and make decisions about what to accept and what to reject.
Be not conformed to this world, but be converted by the renewing of your mind to know what is the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God, as Paul has already stated, in order to discover good and follow it (Rom. 12: 2). The good will increasingly displace the bad as we distance ourselves from the things of this world and immerse ourselves in God's Word.