The New Life in Christ
12:1I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice,1 holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service. 12:2And be not fashioned2 according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,3 and ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
12:3For I say, through the grace that was given me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think as to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to each man a measure of faith. 12:4For even as we have many members in one body, and all the members have not the same office: 12:5so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and severally members one of another. 12:6And having gifts differing according to the grace that was given to us,4 whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of our faith;12:7or ministry, let us give ourselves to our ministry; or he that teacheth, to his teaching; 12:8or he that exhorteth, to his exhorting: he that giveth, let him do it with liberality; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness.
- a living sacrifice. The sacrifice consists in devoting the body to spiritual service, transforming it meanwhile, by renewing the mind at the one source and by thinking of his body as filled with life, health, and strength, and always identifying it in thought with that which is perfect.
- be not fashioned. In Greek, “fashioned” is syschēmatizō, Strong’s 4964, to conform one’s self (i.e. one’s mind and character) to another’s pattern, (fashion one’s self according to)
- transformed by the renewing of your mind. Of ourselves we cannot, by taking thought, add one cubit to our stature, but by thinking of the Christ and claiming the power of the Christ in all that we do, we do express a higher degree of power than we have known before.
- gifts differing according to the grace that was given us. To that for which we have especial aptitude. Each one should develop his “gift”, or that which he does best and most gladly.
Marks of the True Christian
12:9Let love be without hypocrisy.1 Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. 12:10In love of the brethren be tenderly affectioned one to another; in honor preferring one another; 12:11in diligence not slothful; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; 12:12rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing stedfastly in prayer; 12:13communicating to the necessities of the saints; given to hospitality.
12:14Bless them that persecute you; bless, and curse not. 12:15Rejoice with them that rejoice; weep with them that weep.2 12:16Be of the same mind one toward another. Set not your mind on high things, but condescend to things that are lowly. Be not wise in your own conceits. 12:17Render to no man evil for evil. Take thought for things honorable in the sight of all men. 12:18If it be possible, as much as in you lieth, be at peace with all men. 12:19Avenge not yourselves, beloved, but give place unto the wrath of God:3 for it is written, Vengeance belongeth unto me; I will recompense, saith the Lord. 12:20But if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him to drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head. 12:21Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
- Let love be without hypocrisy. Love is the essence of truth and sincerity, and, when love fills our heart, there is no room in it for hypocrisy.
- weep with them that weep. Should we actually “weep with them that weep”? No, we should avoid negativeness at all times, but we can always be understanding and considerate and hold a constructive attitude of mind toward those who are troubled.
- give place onto the wrath of God. It is possible to entrust all our problems and social relations to the divine law, knowing that we need not take matters into our own hands in order to secure our rights. Cause and effect are here represented, as “the wrath of God.”
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mark Hicks
Following Entry: Rom. 13