Faithlife Sermons

A Love That Can Hate

Romans: The Righteous Shall Live By Faith  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  39:04
0 ratings

The kind of love that God desires for His children is, "A Love That Can Hate".

Sermon Tone Analysis
View more →
1. In Romans 12, Paul discusses the practical side of the Christian life
2. In the first part of the chapter, he establishes the general principle of self-sacrifice...
a. As the foundation of all goodness - Ro 12:1
b. Accomplished through a transformation - Ro 12:2
c. Manifested in humble service of one’s abilities - Ro 12:3-8
3. Beginning with verse 9, we find a series of exhortations...
a. That continue to the end of the chapter
b. That at first glance, may at time seem disconnected
4. For example, consider the exhortations in our text (Ro 12:9-10)...
Romans 12:9–10 ESV
9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
a. The first and last relate to love
b. But the intervening clause pertains to hate -- But upon careful reflection, these exhortations may not be disjointed
[One way to connect these exhortations is to describe them as depicting “A Love That Can Hate”. To see how that is possible, consider that a Christian must first have...]



1. We are to have a love that is honest, sincere and genuine - Ro 12:9a
Romans 12:9a ESV
9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
2. Whereas a love that is faked is repulsive
a. In which someone claims to love you
b. But their actions speak otherwise
3. Yet sometimes our words do surpass our true feelings
a. We talk about love, sing about it
b. But don’t always live up to it!
4. Making us feel guilty when we read a passage such as our text
-- How can we love sincerely and without hypocrisy?


1. The position of this exhortation in Paul’s writing may serve as a clue
a. After discussing the need for being transformed by the renewing of our minds
b. An honest love can’t be experienced or shown without this transformation
2. This transformation occurs the more we contemplate the love and mercies of God - cf. 1 Jn 4:7 (“for love is of God”)
1 John 4:7 ESV
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
3. Only as we let the mind of Christ be in us can we love as we should - cf. Ph 2:2-5
Philippians 2:2–5 ESV
2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 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. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
The top characteristic of our love in Christ is that it is genuine.
[So we need to develop an honest love, one that comes by contemplating God’s love for us. But as we continue in our text, we see that it can also be “A Love That Can Hate”...]



1. A mutual hatred of evil and clinging to good is necessary for an honest love - Ro 12:9b
Romans 12:9b ESV
9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
2. Why? If not careful, love can easily lose its purity and depth
a. The lusts of the flesh are strong
b. They can easily pervert the nature of our love
c. Profession of love can easily become a cover for evil
3. Therefore the need to “abhor what is evil” - cf. Ep 5:2-5
Ephesians 5:2–5 ESV
2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. 4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. 5 For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
a. Walk in love as Christ loved us
b. But eschew any perversion of love!


1. Comes by clinging to what is good, not vice versa!
2. Why do some hate evil?
a. There are those who very quick to hate evil (e.g., “hobby riders”)
b. Such are mostly negative and rarely positive in their attitudes
c. They hate evil, but do not cling to what is good, creating an unbalance
d. Motivated by carnal desires (power, fame), not by the spirit of Christ
3. Hatred of evil should come from first clinging to that which is good
a. As implied by the Psalmist in Psa 119:103-104
Psalm 119:103–104 ESV
103 How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 104 Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.
b. The powerful emotion of hate can then be properly balanced by a love of good!
A proper hatred of evil comes from clinging to what is good.
[So the love that is to characterize Christians is to be “A Love That Can Hate” when that hate is properly motivated and directed. But now let’s consider how such love is to be manifested toward our brethren...]



1. The expression “kindly affectionate” means “to love as family” (philostorgos) - Ro 12:10a
Romans 12:10a ESV
10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
a. Just as you would your own family members
b. To stress the point, Paul adds “in brotherly love” (philadelphia)
2. We are to have great feeling of love towards those in Christ
a. As Paul had toward the brethren at Philippi - Ph 1:8
Philippians 1:8 ESV
8 For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.
b. As the Ephesian elders had toward Paul - Ac 20:36-38
Acts 20:36–38 ESV
36 And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. 37 And there was much weeping on the part of all; they embraced Paul and kissed him, 38 being sorrowful most of all because of the word he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And they accompanied him to the ship.
-- Such is “A Love That Can Hate”!


1. This is the meaning of “in honor giving preference to one another” - Ro 12:10b
Romans 12:10b ESV
10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
a. “The word preferring means going before, leading, setting an example.” - Barnes
b. “Thus in showing mutual respect and honor, they were to strive to excel; not to see which could obtain most honor, but which could confer most, or manifest most respect.” - ibid.
2. Thus we are to delight in exalting our brethren over ourselves!
a. As commanded in Ph 2:3
Philippians 2:3 ESV
3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
b. Freeing us from petty jealousies that can threaten true love
A Christians love considers others first, it is patient and kind.
1. What is the kind of love that God desires for His children? “A Love That Can Hate”!
2. Such is the love that God has shown toward us...
a. A love that is honest and sincere, demonstrated by the sending of His Son to die for our sins
b. A love that hates evil and clings to what is good, revealed throughout the Word of God
c. A love that is affectionate and delights in showing honor, as God has done toward His children who obey Him!
If we are in Christ, is this the kind of love we display?
If you are not in Christ, won’t you respond to this love in obedience to the gospel of Christ...?
Note: The main idea for this lesson came from a sermon by Alexander MacLaren, in his Expositions Of Holy Scripture.

Love has brought us Salvation

Hear - Believe - Confess - Repent - Be Baptized - Remain Steadfast

Romans 10:17 ESV
17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
Hebrews 11:6 ESV
6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
Luke 13:3 ESV
3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.
Matthew 10:32–33 ESV
32 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.
Galatians 3:27 ESV
27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Revelation 2:10 ESV
10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.
Related Media
Related Sermons