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Monday, April 21, 2014

"Glued" to Good

A somewhat surprising idea is expressed in Romans 12:9b where the Bible tells us to hate. Here it is: Abhor that which is evil. Okay, that makes sense. We’re to hate what God hates.

The next part of the verse balances out the hatred of evil with this instruction: cleave to that which is good. I think it is very interesting that God chose the word “cleave” instead of “love” (as opposed to “hate”). Cleave sounds much stronger. It means to hold onto, cling to, hang onto, be bonded to. I think of the verses on marriage where the word “cleave” describes the marriage bond—a permanent commitment. It’s sounds like we’re supposed to be “glued” to good. An interesting concept!

This passage elaborates on this teaching by showing us examples of how we can cleave to that which is good. (They’re all from Romans 12; the verse is in parentheses.)
  • Have brotherly love for one another. (10)
  • Put others first. (10)
  • Don’t be lazy. (11)
  • Be fervent in serving the Lord. (11)
  • Rejoice in hope. (12)
  • Be patient in trials. (12)
  • Pray easily and all the time. (12)
  • Help other Christians. (13)
  • Be hospitable. (13)
  • Bless, instead of curse, those who treat you badly for Christ’s sake. (14)
  • Accompany others in their joys and sorrows. (15)
  • Treat others as equals. (16)
  • Don’t exact vengeance. (17)
  • Be honest. (17)
  • Live peaceably, if possible. (18)
  • Let God exact vengeance. (19-20) This is the only topic addressed twice. 

Then comes the verse that sums up the whole passage: Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. (21)

See how Bible teaching is practical? 
  • Hate evil. 
  • Be glued to good. 
  • Overcome evil with good.

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