Pondering Romans 12:9-21
You can read the passage by clicking HERE.
In this passage Paul runs through about 20 different things that are on his mind as he thinks about the Roman church and how they relate to one another and to the watching world. He offers very little commentary on them which actually seems a bit unusual. Its almost as if he has a lot to say but very little time to say it so he just makes sure that they are at least down on paper. As I pondered, here are a few from the list (one at the beginning, one at the end) that stood out to me – with the commentary that Paul didn’t have time to say.
Verse 9 – “Hate what is evil.” – Why would Paul have to say something like this? Because, for whatever reason, as saints who are sinful people we are infatuated with evil. All you have to do to confirm this is to take a look at the TV that we watch. Crime shows seem to be the #1 viewing choice for believers as well as unbelievers. This, along with the pervasive sexuality that seems necessary to draw an audience, has eroded our value system and blurred the lines between good and evil. One of the #1 songs in the country this year is a case in point – the title says it all, Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke. Evil is no longer evil – it is merely unwholesome, or inappropriate for minors, or “for mature audiences”. It seems to me that maturity would recognize what is evil and what is not. But this is not the case any longer. Nor was it the case in Paul’s day. Hence his admonition “Hate what is evil!”. Not “dislike evil”. Not “develop a distaste for evil.” Not “avoid evil.” Not tolerate it. But “HATE evil”. We will have to hate evil if we are going to have any chance with what verse 21 says…
Verse 21 – “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” – It was Edmund Burke who said “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”. I will take this statement a step farther and say that “All that is necessary for evil to triumph in the world is for godly people to do nothing.” Evil will prevail in our world unless the people of God do something. It is up to us. Not good people – because Scripture tells us that no one is good. Not government – that certainly hasn’t helped to restrain evil. Not religion – if anything, religion has helped to perpetuate evil. Not an economic windfall for all nations – money is not the answer to a problem that plaques the souls of humanity. I sincerely believe that the only hope our world has is if the Body of Christ rises up and leads a gospel-empowered vanguard against the ubiquitous evil that saturates our culture.
But for that to happen, we must HATE evil.
Next Week’s Passage: Romans 13:1-7
Memory Verses: Romans 8:1-30