Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Without Dissimulation

~Nancy Goring
Every now and then I like to tear down a Scripture with some word studies so that I will have a better understanding of what God expects of me. I am partial to in-depth word studies, even though I also love to read through the Bible in a continuous study. I think when we do both, we get a better understanding of the Bible and a more perfect application for our everyday lives.

In a recent word stu
dy of Romans 12:9, I was a bit surprised to learn how important it is to do this and also how we need to keep in mind the context of where we are studying.

Looking at the phrase, "Let love be without dissimulation," we can break down the word dissimulation to mean, "unfeigned or insincere." Then we have "Abhor that which is evil." Abhor means to utterly detest or have a horror of something. "That which is evil." The word "evil" here comes from Strongs (4192) (ponayros in the Greek), meaning hurtful in effect or in influence. "Cleave to that which is good." Cleave means to glue or cement, and good here means useful, honorable or excellent.

Okay. Paul has told the brethren that we are to present our bodies to God as a living sacrifice. We are not to be conformed to the world, but that we are to be transformed by renewing our minds; to prove the acceptable will of God. The emphasis then goes to how we are to work together building up the body, not thinking more highly of ourselves than we should, with each of us using our own God-given talents, working for the cause of Christ; teaching the gospel to all.

Then we shift to our Scripture, "Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good." Looking at our word study and keeping our context in mind we can read, "Let your love be sincere, not false. Detest those things which are hurtful to the cause of Christ and cause our influence as Christians to be of no effect. Cement yourselves to those things which are honorable, excellent and useful."

The way others see us as Christians is extremely important. We may be the only living testimony they see. Our behavior may cause one to seek out Christianity or it may cause them to decide that they want nothing to do with God because we have shown ungodly examples. As living sacrifices we must be pure in mind and body. There is no room for sin. We need to be working together with our brethren building up the body, and loving one another with a pure heart fervently. When those who are not Christians see our godly behavior, they too, may desire to serve God. This was Paul's desire and prayer and should be ours as well. May each of us strive to fulfill this command.
Nancy is the wife of Bill Goring, who serves as a gospel preacher and elder for the Chipman Road church of Christ in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. She has 4 children, 11 grandchildren and has taught Bible class for over 40 years, speaks at Ladies Day gatherings and has published several books including: Behavior Becoming Holiness: Studies in Titus Chapter 2 and Overcoming our Self-Imposed Prisons.

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