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BIBLE STUDY on the book of Romans

Chapter 12

The first 8 chapters of Romans is doctrinal and deals with salvation. Chapters 9-11 are prophetic concerning Israel and emphasizes hope. Chapters 12-16 deals with service and emphasize love and our duty to Christ. We are given practical advice. Paul describes how a Christian should live in the world. He gives advice about our attitudes. A Christian should behave lovingly towards other Christians and towards his enemies.

Living Sacrifices . . . Romans 12:1-8

Romans 12:1 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. (KJV)

The word “therefore” ties this to everything that came before this. Sacrifice was important, but even in the Old Testament God made it clear that obedience from the heart was much more important (1 Sam.15:22; Ps.40:6; Amos 5:21-24). God wants us to offer ourselves, NOT animals, as living sacrifices to Him. We must daily lay aside our own desires, to follow Him, placing our total selves (body, mind and spirit) at His disposal and trusting Him to guide us. We do this because we are grateful that He’s forgiven our sins.

Romans 12:2 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. (KJV)

God has plans for His children. He wants us to be transformed people with renewed minds, living to honor and obey Him. Because He wants only what is best for us, and because He gave His Son to make our new lives possible, we should joyfully give ourselves as living sacrifices for His service. We are not to conform any longer to the world. We must decide that much worldly behavior is off limits for us. We cannot put on an outward show that does not come from within us; something that does not truly represent the real person deep inside.

When we are “born again” (John 1:12-13; 3:3-8), our hearts and minds change. Our outward exhibition should match or represent our inner self . . . or we are hypocrites. When we accept Christ, we are allowing God to transform us into a new person, and He changes the way we think; thus allowing us to truly know what He wants us to do, and also we learn just how good and pleasing and perfect His will really is.

Romans 12:3 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. (KJV)

Paul was God’s messenger, and here he gives us a warning. We must be honest as we estimate ourselves. We must measure our value by how much faith God has given us. We must not think too highly of ourselves; but be cautious and humble in our thinking (Mat.11:29).

‘I say to you’ . . . Jesus often began an important statement with similar words (John 3:3). God had shown His grace to Paul, and made him an apostle (Acts 9:1-16). So Paul speaks with authority. He tells Christians to think properly about their skills. They must NOT be proud. They must NOT think that they are better than other people. The standard by which they must judge themselves (1 Cor.11:31-32) is the standard of the faith. That FAITH means to trust in Christ. When they think about Christ’s attitude and action they will be humble.

Romans 12:4-5 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. (KJV)

Paul uses the illustration of the human body to teach how Christians should live and work together. Just as our bodies have many parts, and work under the direction of the brain, so Christians are to work together under the command and authority of Jesus Christ (1 Cor.12:12-31; Eph.4:1-16). All members of the church do not have the same gifts. The gift God gives you would not be right for me because I probably could never handle it, the same as my gift would not be right for you. BUT, each of us DO have a gift and we must use it to edify the church. Just as there are many members in our body, there are many members in the church, and all members are necessary for it to properly function.

Romans 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; (KJV)

God has given each one of us the ability to do certain things well. We all have a gift, but we all do NOT have the same gifts. “Prophecy” does not always refer to predicting the future, as the Old Testament prophets did. Sometimes it means bringing a message from God’s Word. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out when you have faith that God is speaking through you. You may reach a lost soul for Jesus. BUT . . . BEWARE of false teachers and prophets! . . . http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_1_false_teachers.1.htm

Romans 12:7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; (KJV)

Ministering” is an act of service. Through our ministry, we serve God and His children. There are hundreds of ways you can “minister” to people: call people on the phone to see how they are, set up chairs, give out song books, help in the kitchen, greet people, sweep the floor, etc. Those whom God has chosen to teach His Word, do it with joy and willingness. IF God gives you something to do, He will equip you to do it. I will be the first to admit that. I could NEVER do what He’s given me to do unless He helped me.

Romans 12:8 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. (KJV)

If your gift is to comfort and encourage others, do it! If you have money, share it generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously, and don’t lord it over any one. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it with a glad and willing heart.

It would be impossible for one person to carry out all these gifts. Servers (those in ministry) are faithful and loyal. Teachers have a crucial job, and we must be so careful we do not teach falsely, but only the Truth of God’s Word (Jam.3:1). Encouragers know how to motivate others. Givers are generous and trusting. Leaders are good organizers and managers. Those who show mercy are caring people who are happy to give their time to others. Prophesying in Scripture is not always predicting the future but bringing God’s Word, as noted above. This list is far from complete. When you know your own gifts ask how you can use them to build up God’s family. Be thankful for people whose gifts are completely different from yours. Let your strengths balance their weaknesses, and be grateful that their abilities make up for your deficiencies. When we work together we can build Christ’s church.

God’s gifts differ in nature, power, and effectiveness according to His wisdom and graciousness, not according to our faith. The “measure of faith” (Romans 12:3) means that God will give all spiritual power necessary and befitting to carry out each responsibility. God gives gifts to His church, and He gives faith and power as He wills. Our role is to be faithful and to always look for ways to serve others with the gift Christ has given us.

Relationship To Other Believers . . . Romans 12:9-21

Romans 12:9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. (KJV)

Many people pretend to love others. We should NOT be hypocrites. We are not to pretend to love, we are to really love people. We are to hate all that is wrong and evil. Stand on the side of good, and hold tightly to it, even if you seem to be alone. Remember, one with God is a majority!

Romans 12:10-11 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; (KJV)

We must love each other with genuine affection, and honor each other. As God’s children, we honor people because they have been created in His image, because they are our brothers and sisters in Christ, and because God loved us first. We serve the Lord not only by working for Him, but by sitting quietly, when we go through suffering, trusting Him to see us through. And when we serve Him, it should be willingly and earnestly.

Romans 12:12-14 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. (KJV)

God is honored and well pleased by our hope and trust in Him, especially when we rejoice in that hope. Any time we have patience for God’s sake, it is true devotion. If we rejoice in hope, we are likely to be patient in our troubles. We should not tire of prayer, but continue in it. We must be kind to friends and brothers and sisters in Christ, but we also must not harbor anger or hatred against enemies. If we see someone in need, we should help them. Open your heart and home to those who do good. Bless, and curse not means good will always; not, bless them when at prayer, and curse them at other times. We should bless always, and NOT curse at all.

Romans 12:15-16 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. (KJV)

When others are happy, be happy with them. If they are sad, share in their sorrow. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t try to act important, but enjoy the company of ordinary people. Don’t think you know it all, and don’t think that you are better than someone else. Look upon worldly splendor and dignity with holy contempt. Don’t set your mind on it, don’t be in love with it. Be content in the place God in His wisdom has put you, whatever it is (Phil.4:11; 1 Tim.6:8; heb.13:5). Remember, God always knows what is best for His children. We may think we know it all . . . but God does know it all!

Romans 12:17-18 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. (KJV)

These and the following verses summarize how we should live. If we love people the way Christ loves us, we will forgive them when they hurt us. When we know the amazing grace of God, we want desperately to pass it on to others. Remember what grace is: love and favor we don’t deserve. We should never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Always do things that are honorable, and right; things that please God. Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible.

Do you see what verse 18 states?If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” IF it be possible! In other words, Paul is saying it will not always be possible! BUT, we are to try our utmost best to get along with everyone. And remember, God really knows your heart, so He knows IF you really tried or not.

Romans 12:19-20 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. (KJV)

Don’t try to get even with someone who has done something to hurt you. Leave it in God’s hands. Back in Deut. 32:35, God tells us vengeance is His. He will repay those who deserve it. God tells us if our enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him a drink. If we do, they will be ashamed of what they have done to you. When we give an enemy a drink, we don’t excuse his wrong, we are recognizing him, forgiving him, and loving him in spite of his sins, just as Christ did for us.

Forgiveness involves both our attitudes and actions. When you find it hard to feel forgiving toward someone who has hurt you, be nice to them. Years ago, a friend and her husband both had the same day off work. She wanted to go shopping alone. He wanted them to do something together. So, he went shopping with her. At the end of the day, he told her how much he had enjoyed their day together. She told me, “I did everything I could to make him have a lousy day. He hates shopping. And then he tells me what a good time he had.” His response to her hateful attitude made her feel really lousy. He had sense enough to not get angry and do something nasty back to her. He did something nice in return to her ugliness.

To “heap coals of fire” on someone’s head may refer to an Egyptian tradition of carrying a pan of burning charcoal on one’s head as a public act of repentance. What Paul is saying is that we should treat our enemies with kindness so that they will become ashamed and turn from their sins. The best way to get rid of enemies is to turn them into friends.

Romans 12:21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. (KJV)

Do NOT let evil get the best of you! Defeat evil by doing good. God’s children cannot conform to the ways of this world. Just because everybody does it does not make it right. It is our natural instinct, when someone hurts us, that the first thing that comes to mind is, get even. But, that is wrong in God’s eyes! God’s way of doing things, and the world’s way of doing things rarely ever agree. Quite the contrary, God’s way is opposite of the world’s way. Read Matthew 5:3-12.

We, as God’s children have the Holy Spirit to help us live a life that we should live. Gal. 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. Gal. 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. [KJV] . . . Let the Holy Spirit lead, guide and direct you in all you do. With His assistance, you can overcome the evil that comes your way, and it will come! With His help you can live as you should.

Psalms 73:24 Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. (KJV) . . . I love this verse! Believe it!

The Book of Romans

Ch.1 . Ch.2 . Ch.3 . Ch.4 . Ch.5 . Ch.6 . Ch.7 . Ch.8 . Ch.9 . Ch.10 . Ch.11 . Ch.12 . Ch.13 . Ch.14 . Ch.15 . Ch.16

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