Romans 12

Since we have been justified through grace, by faith in Christ, it is our first duty to surrender ourselves to God a living sacrifice, that there may be a saving change wrought in us and that we might be made serviceable in every way to our fellow men. We stand in relation not only to Christ, but to one another in Christ, and we are engaged to do all the good we can one to another and to act in conjunction for the common benefit.

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 service.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Romans 12:1-8 – ​Devoting Self and Using Gifts

   Therefore links this practical appeal to the whole of the sublime argument, which reaches its climax in the previous chapter. It is easier to die once for God than to live always the surrendered life. But nothing so pleases God as daily surrender, the sacrificed and yielded will tied by cords to His altar. Such an attitude is the only reasonable one we can assume. If God be all we profess to believe, He is worthy of all we are. But we are reminded that the world is ever seeking to mold us to its will, and we need the renewing grace of the Holy Spirit, that we may withstand its baleful influence. We need to be transformed—that is, transfigured—by the renewing of our mind. Please God, and you will be pleased with the will of God.
   Notice in Romans 12:3 that God deals out according to the measure of our faith. Let us ask that it may be “pressed down… and running over” (Luke 6:38). In proportion as we are united to the head, we are members of one another. We may not recognize each other, or be recognized by the world as one, but in His sight there is only one body, Romans 12:5. Let each learn what he can do best, and devote his best to it. To give or rule aright is equally a gift with teaching. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Romans 12:1—Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.

​   To present carries us back to Romans 7. We might almost say that the intervening chapters, after the manner of the apostle, are one prolonged digression or parenthesis, and that he classes all the great things with which he has been treating as among the mercies of God, and as reasons for our entire consecration. Every disclosure of God’s grace towards us is an argument for our complete surrender to his will and power.
   We are called on to present our bodies as instruments of righteousness, because all true regimen of the inner life immediately affects the body in all its members; and, conversely, the consecration of the body reacts upon and affects the temper of the soul. It would be well for you to take bliss Havergal’s hymn, with its enumeration of the various parts of the body, and offer and present yourself, to be from this day and forward, wholly for God. Only believe that He is more anxious for this than words can tell, because He loves you so, and that He accepts immediately what you offer.
   Such consecration must be living; that is, it must enter into all our life, being holy, well-pleasing to God, and rational. It is not only reasonable when we consider the relation we sustain to Him, but it should engage all our intelligence and reasoning faculties. And when it is made, and the soul is becoming duly transfigured in its exercise, we begin to prove that God’s will, which once we dreaded, is also good, well-pleasing, and perfect. When we look at God’s will from a distance, and before consecration, it seems impossible. It is only when we begin to obey, that we can say:

       “Thou sweet beloved will of God.” —Our Daily Homily

Romans 12:9-21 – ​Living as a Christian

   In this section the Apostle shows how the great principle of consecration must affect the details of conduct. It is most necessary to insist on these practical issues. At some impressive religious convention, where the vision of a surrendered and transfigured life is presented, sensitive souls are led to make the vows and claim the plane of life which have been presented; but on their return to the commonplaces, there is no perceptible improvement in their speech, or tone, or attitude. This induces shame and contempt. Hence the great wisdom of the Apostle’s particular teaching in this and the following chapters.
   The lumbering wagon must be hitched to a star. We must not be star-gazers only. God has endowed us with faith as the receptive faculty, through which we may receive His blessed help. In the power of the Holy Spirit let us set ourselves to our common tasks, thinking humbly and soberly of ourselves, lovingly of our associates, and reverently of God. We are inspired to fulfill the obligations of our position, whether in giving money or in teaching the ignorant; whether in showing mercy or in exercising authority, because all is done as under the eye of the great Master of the household. —Through the Bible Day by Day