“Let love be without dissimulation.
Abhor that which is evil;
cleave to that which is good.
Be kindly affectioned one to another
with brotherly love;
in honour preferring one another;”
I cannot lay the groundwork for understanding Scripture better than the Hebrew and Greek definitions do. Having a clear picture of what the words mean gives a solid foundation of clarity my words could never produce. So, as we continue to study Romans 12, let’s consider the definitions (from the Strong’s Concordance) for the key words in verses 9-10:
Love – Greek #26 – agapē
From G25; love, that is, affection or benevolence;
specifically (plural) a love feast: –
Dissimulation – Greek #505 – anupokritos
From G1 (as a negative particle) and a presumed derivative of G5271; undissembled, that is, sincere: –
Abhor – Greek #655 –apostugeō
From G575 and the base of G4767; to detest utterly: –
Evil – Greek #4190 –ponēros
hurtful, that is, evil (properly in effect or influence… which refers rather to essential character…which indicates degeneracy from original virtue); figuratively calamitous; also (passively) ill, that is, diseased; but especially (morally) culpable, that is, derelict, vicious, facinorous; neuter (singular) mischief, malice, or (plural) guilt; masculine (singular) the devil, or (plural) sinners: –
Cleave – Greek #2853 – kollaō
From κόλλα kolla (“glue”); to glue, that is, (passively or reflexively) to stick (figuratively): –
Good – Greek #18 –agathos
A primary word; “good” (in any sense, often as noun): –
Kindly Affectioned – Greek #5387 – philostorgos
From G5384 and στοργή storgē (cherishing one’s kindred, especially parents or children); fond of natural relatives, that is, fraternal towards fellow Christians: –
Let’s allow those verses and definitions to soak in and settle in our heads and hearts. Grasp the depth of the instruction God is giving us.
I’m amazed at how often I’ve taken what I’ve been taught or read for granted. I thought that growing up in church, reading my Bible, going to a private “Christian” school, being raised by Christian parents, and trying to follow what I was taught was enough to make me holy.
It wasn’t until I started studying and researching God’s Words that I began to truly grow in my spiritual understanding and behavior. Learning what is holy isn’t enough. I have to live holy. (Both of those are still works in progress.)
A lack of understanding brings confusion and deprives us of the solace God intends for us to experience on this earth.
When we begin to understand how God’s Word applies to our daily lives, we begin to see how simple living in holiness can be.
These definitions may seem like just a lot of words that feel impossible to put into practice. However, the more we learn and apply what we know, the stronger we become and the easier it is.
Here are the defined ways to employ the Romans 12:9-10 instructions today:
- Express Sincere Affection or Benevolence
- Utterly Detest Evil
- Glue or Stick to Good (in any sense)
- Cherish One’s Kindred—
(“with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another”)
-Parents or Children
The purpose for living holy lives is to be an example of Christ by sharing sincere Godly love and displaying good behavior. Isn’t that what we truly desire to do and see in our physical and spiritual families? Together…we can!
Bring It Home
In what ways do you find “abhorring evil” and “cleaving to good” difficult?
Praying for you as we grow together,