Monday, June 27, 2011

13 Characteristics of a Growing Church: Hate Evil

Too many times as Christians we belive that we are better than other people or maybe we go too far to the other extreme that we always show love but we never stop to preach the truth of the gospel. Very rarely does God call us to live in either of these extremes. God is a god of balance and order. He doesn't want us to throw the baby out with the bath water but neither does He want us to allow wolves to live among our sheep. Last time, we talked about Love being the 1st Characteristic of a Growing Church. Today we will talk about the 2nd characteristic.

The 2nd characteristic of a growing Church is to Hate what is Evil.
"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good." Romans 12:9

Love and hate are on the opposite ends of the spectrum. They are--by their very natures--opposites. How can we love and hate at the same time? I think in this particular case it's pretty easy because God is telling us the same thing in two different ways. First He told us to have a genuine and accepting love for the people in our lives. Now He goes further to tell us to hate what is evil. We are to accept the sinner but NOT the sin.

This all goes back to what I was saying last time about meeting people where they are, loving them and meeting their needs, and then pointing them to Christ. At the end of the last Bible study I included a clip of Jesus meeting the woman at the well (John 4). Jesus knew before everything about this woman before she even approached. Instead of shunning her He talked to her and met her need. He took the time to tell her about the water of life. He didn't hate this woman, but He did hate the sin that He knew she was living in. After showing her love through his time and conversation then He pointed to the sin that she needed to get out her life.

Jesus showed the same love for a sinner and hate for sin when He had his feet washed by the woman who washed His feet with her tears (Luke 7:36-50). There are so many other examples in the Bible of this love for people and the hate of sin. I know that as people we often fall short of Jesus' example but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't at least try.

This people where they are, love them unconditionally, and point them away from their sin and to Jesus.

More Resources:

1 comment:

StLphotogirl said...

I think that you did a great job on Sunday! I'm also really glad that you are sharing this here.