Romans 12:9b – Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
As I’ve been preaching through Romans over nearly the past year, I recently made it to Romans 12 where Paul gives a long string of “tweetable” phrases on how to treat people and how to live in a Godly way among one another.
In Bible college, they generally tell you to have three main points to your sermon. In this one, I had 17. It was definitely the right day to pack a snack.
In verse 9, Paul tells us to “abhor what is evil” and “hold fast to what is good”. Basically, to love what God loves and hate what He hates.
Our culture is all about tolerance, so they don’t necessarily have a category for discernment between “good” and “evil”. Like he told us earlier in the chapter, we need not “be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (Rom. 12:2).
Thankfully, God takes the guesswork out of what He hates and gives us a list in Proverbs 6:16-19 where He says:
There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
If God hates people who lie privately and publicly, band together to make wicked plans, and run to execute them for the purpose of death and division, then the opposite must be true. God loves people who tell the truth privately and publicly, unify to make plans for love and life, and run to obey what God says. God loves Team Jesus. God hates Team Satan. We should agree with Him.
There’s a mistaken idea in our culture that love and hate are antithetical, but they’re actually allies. If you love life, you should hate murder. If you love God, you should hate Satan. And so on. The more we get to know God through reading His word, the more we want to align ourselves with His desires and values and less with what the world deems valuable.
Is there anything in your own life that God mentions in things He hates that you need to repent of?
To find the free Romans 12-16 digital study guide for individuals and small groups, hear Pastor Mark’s entire sermon series on Romans, or find a free mountain of Bible teaching visit realfaith.com or download the Real Faith app.