Romans 12

Romans 12

Paul’s Epistle (letter) to the Romans (Rome)

Entire Consecration to God

Romans 12:1 – 15:13 The transformation made by God in the spirit of the believer must be shown in the daily life.  The practical instructions in 12:1 – 15:13 are based on Paul’s doctrinal teaching in 1:18-11:36.  Christian doctrine must lead to Christian ethics.  In 12:1, 2 is the basic commitment required of the Christian in light of all that God has done.  The rest of this section describes how this commitment is carried out in the changing situations of daily life.

   I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,

that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

Romans 12:1 Mercies of God:  Described in chs. 1-11.  Here is the appropriate Christian attitude toward God.  There must be a complete surrender of the whole person- body, mind, and spirit – to God.  We must consider ourselves no more our own, but the entire property of our Maker.  Our lives will then be holy, morally pure and pleasing to God.  (see 6:13)  Such a commitment is reasonable because God has done so much for us and because it is the only way to be freed from the power and presence of sin (see 6:22)

2    And do not be conformed to this world, 

but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,

that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God

Romans 12:2  The transformed Christian has an attitude of resistance to the values, goals, and activities of the world which would pressure him into their shape.  He is continually being molded from within by the power of God.  The thoughts of his mind are renewed.  Thus he will find out, and accept, what God wants for him.  This will of God is always morally good, acceptable to those who think as God thinks, and perfect.  The Greek text could also be translated to mean that, “the good, acceptable and perfect,” are the guidelines by which we discover what God wants us to do.  If we find out (1) what is morally good and thus produces a good effect on others (12:9-21), (2) what is acceptable to God (13:8-10; 14:18), and (3) how we can use our opportunities, gifts, and resources to produce the greatest effect for God’s kingdom (12:3-8), then this becomes the will of God for us in that particular situation.

Using God’s Gifts in Christlike Ways

3     For I say, through the grace given to me,

to everyone who is among you,

not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think,

but to think soberly, 

as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.

Romans 12:3  To think soberly: is to evaluate ourselves honestly and prayerfully.  Here faith is not trust for salvation.  Rather, it is faith as a special gift from God enabling believers to carry out the ministries listed in vv. 6-8.  God gives us different measures of this kind of faith according to the ministries He calls and equips us to do. See 1 Cor. 12:9; 13:2

Additional note 12:3 -13 instructions on how a person is to live within the Christian Community.  We Christians are closely united because we are all members of the body of Christ (vv. 3-8) In humility we are to use our God-given spiritual gifts to strengthen one another.  Our conduct toward each other is best expressed as love. (vv. 9-13)

4    For as we have many members in one body,

but all the members do not have the same function, 

5     so we being many, are one body in Christ, and

individually members of one another.

Romans 12:4-5   As members of the one body in Christ, we both need and complement each other.

    Having then gifts differing according to the grace

that is given to us, let us use them:

if Prophesy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith

Romans 12:6  The person with the gift of prophecy: is inspired to speak God’s will for the concrete situation of his day.  Prophecy may include exhortation, comfort, application of biblical truth, and prediction of the future.  (see note on 1 Cor. 12:10) In proportion:  As directed and enabled by the Spirit of God.

    or ministry, let us use it in our ministering

he who teaches, in teaching

Romans 12:7  ministry:  Meeting Specific needs of others

8     He who exhorts, in exhortation;

He who gives, with liberality

He who lead, with diligence;

He who shows mercy, with cheerfulness

Romans 12:8 with diligence:  The purpose of leadership is not personal enjoyment, but service to others.  Shows Mercy:  Caring for the sick, elderly, or others not able to care for themselves.

Definition of Exhorts:  urge strongly or give warnings/advice.  Exhortation, language intended to incite and encourage.

9     Let love be without hypocrisy.

Abhor what is evil.  Cling to what is good.

Romans 12:9 Christian Loveis not mere emotion, but action.  Abhor evil:  The Christian avoids “Every form of evil” (1 Thess. 5:22)

10     Be Kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love,

in honor giving preference to one another;

Romans 12:10  brotherly love:  The kind of love for each other that Christ shows to us. (See John 13:34)

11     Not lacking in diligence, fervent in spirit,

serving the Lord;

Romans 12:11  Serving the Lord: As if it were the most important activity of our lives

12     Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation,

Continuing steadfastly in prayer;

Romans 12:12 Rejoicing in the the hope: of eternal life with God, being patient when we are tested, and living always in the attitude of prayer. (see 1 Thes. 5:17)

13    Distributing to the Needs of the saints,

given to hospitality.

Romans 12:13 Distributing: Sharing our material goods with the needy, especially fellow Christians (see Gal. 6:10)  hospitality:  A generous use of our homes to advance the work of God.

Life Among Nonbelivers

14     Bless those who persecute  you;

Bless and do not curse.

Romans 12:14-21  As we relate to non-Christians, we are to respond in love to our persecutors.  (v.14), to live at peace with unbelievers (V.18), and to do good even to those who treat us badly.

15     Rejoice with those who rejoice,

And weep with those who weep

Romans 12:15  Paul’s advice is the opposite of jealousy and envy.  It takes God’s grace to be truly concerned about successes and needs of other people. – to rejoice in their blessings and to weep in their misfortunes.

16     Be of the same mind toward one another

Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble

Do not be wise in your own opinion

Romans 12:16  Be of the same mind:  Keep harmony among yourselves.  Do not be haughty, conceited, or maneuver to associate with the great.

17     Repay no one Evil for Evil.

Have regard for Good things in the Sight of All Men

Romans 12:17 Retaliation never stops evil; only love can do that. (see V. 21) Have regard:  Always be concerned about what is good and right.

18     If it is possible, as much as depends on you, 

live Peaceably with all men.

Romans 12:18  Live Peaceably: Be fair and as considerate as you can and thus, live in harmony.

19     Beloved, do not avenge yourselves,

But rather, give place to wrath;

for it is written, “Vegeance is Mine, I will repay,”

Says the Lord.

20     Therefore, 

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;

If he is thirsty, give him a drink;

For in so doing, you will heap

coals of fire on his head.”

21    Do not be overcome by evil,

but overcome evil with good

Romans 12:19-21  When we avenge ourselves:  we are trying to take God’s place.  He has reserved for Himself the right to repay evil.  Coals of fire on his head: Doing good to the one who has wronged us, may shame the offender into turning to Christ in repentance. (See 2:4)

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