Romans 12

Avoid the pride of this world, bodies as a living sacrifice 1
Not conformed but transformed 2
Variety of gifts for ministry 4
Meaning of love 9
Live in peace; don't return evil 16

Text Comments
.1 ¶ I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable [rational] service.   1 - Bodies In the Greek culture of Paul's day the mind was considered independent of the body. It was thought to be pure and the body, naturally evil. The mistaken philosophy influences our world, too. People believe they can abuse their bodies and still claim salvation. The philosophy also makes it natural to believe that the soul goes to heaven or hell leaving the body behind. The Bible does not teach this. Also ph0319.
  1 - Living sacrifice Sacrifical animals died as they represented Christ. Paul here builds on the idea of responsibility before the death of Christ to bring animals to God. The difference is that our bodies may continue to live. See nu0811. We could also comment that good health is full living.
.2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.   2 - Transformed, not conformed Thinking about these two words helps us understand the message.
  2 - Mind renewal Here we have the rest of the formula. First, pure, holy bodies. Now, transformation by renewed minds! And we can become a demonstration of the will of God.
.3  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.   3 - Grace The concept is broader than we generally think.
  3 - Self-esteem At first it appears that we should consider ourselves as of no value. This is not the case, either. So how should we perceive our worth? By the price paid for our souls! We are sons and daughters of the king by adoption. Our glory is in Christ.
  3 - Think soberly considering the gift of faith The measure of faith allows us to hear the call of Christ. We are bound by nature in the path of evil. If we want freedom, God chooses to adopt us.
  3 - Measure of faith Being born with evil tendencies, we might never respond to the call of the Spirit without this open door. Praise God!
.4  For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
 5  So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
 6  Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
.7  Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
.8  Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
  4 - One body Not competing with each other. For more, see 1co1212-27.
  6 - Gifts differing At pentecost people with various languages were present and all heard in their own language. Here the gift of tongues is not even mentioned. Prophecy is first.
  7 - Ministry From diakonia "The word here used imports any kind of service, from the dispensing of the word of life (Ac 6:4) to the administering of the temporal affairs of the Church (Ac 6:1-3). The latter seems intended here, being distinguished from "prophesying," "teaching," and "exhorting." (JFB Commentary).
.9  Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
.10  Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
 11  Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
.12  Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
 13  Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
.14  Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
 15  Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
   9 - Let love Here begins a list of good counsel.
  10 - Kindly The human tendency is to prefer our own ideas, our own selves. Compare ep0521.
  12 - Instant in prayer When there's reason, stop and pray. Often silent prayers are "instant." Like a similar recommendation 1th0517.
  13 - Distributing From koinoeno From "to share or to take part in Compare this word in ro1527, ph0415, 1ti0522, he1316.
  14 - Bless From eulogeo, to wish well for another person or to speak well of him.
  14 - Persecute From dioko "to pursue" 
.16  Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
 17  Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
 18  If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
  16 - Same mind Having a spirit of cooperation even when personal opinions differ; be the mind of Christ. 1co0110.
  16 - Mind not high things Better, "Be not high minded" See ro1120 for the same advice, "
  17 - Recompence We are to return good for those who are against us mt0538-48, 1co1305-6. and see verse 14 above. The unending cycle of revenge is fueled by the price of darkness.
  18 - As much as lieth in you Literally, "as to that which proceeds from you." At times, we may do our best to be peaceful but are hated because of our Christian principles.

.19  Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
  19 - Give place to wrath Literally, "give place to the wrath." The specific wrath is the wrath of God ro0509. Let Him take care of the person you are angry with. Otherwise you are trying to use Satan's methods ep0427.
  19 - Written vengeance is mine We may feel like settling the matter by hurting the other person but this is not for us. If our enemy needs punishment, God will take care of it. Instead of feeling sorry for ourselves, we need to think of who is taking care of us. We may rest in His decision about what is best. See these texts about revenge: je1515; je2010; ez2515; 2co0711, 2co1006.
 20  Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
.21  Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
  20 - If enemy ... coals of fire Our returning good for evil may help our enemy see his need and turn to the God we love and serve pr2522, pr1501. This is in contrast to revenge.
  21 - Overcome evil The natural response to evil is to return evil. Nearly all war is to use more evil.

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