Romans 12

The American Standard Version

12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service.

12:2 And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, and ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

12:3 For 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.

12:4 For even as we have many members in one body, and all the members have not the same office:

12:5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and severally members one of another.

12:6 And having gifts differing according to the grace that was given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of our faith;

12:7 or ministry, let us give ourselves to our ministry; or he that teacheth, to his teaching;

12:8 or 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.

12:9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

12:10 In love of the brethren be tenderly affectioned one to another; in honor preferring one another;

12:11 in diligence not slothful; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

12:12 rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing stedfastly in prayer;

12:13 communicating to the necessities of the saints; given to hospitality.

12:14 Bless them that persecute you; bless, and curse not.

12:15 Rejoice with them that rejoice; weep with them that weep.

12:16 Be 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.

12:17 Render to no man evil for evil. Take thought for things honorable in the sight of all men.

12:18 If it be possible, as much as in you lieth, be at peace with all men.

12:19 Avenge not yourselves, beloved, but give place unto the wrath of God: for it is written, Vengeance belongeth unto me; I will recompense, saith the Lord.

12:20 But 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.

12:21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Pathways Notes

Romans 12 is a pivotal chapter in Paul's epistle to the Romans, marking a transition from theological exposition to practical Christian living. It begins with a profound appeal to offer oneself as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, which serves as a spiritual act of worship. This chapter emphasizes the transformation that occurs through the renewal of the mind, enabling believers to discern God’s will. Furthermore, Romans 12 provides extensive guidance on how to live out one's faith within the community through genuine love, service, and humility, and addresses how to handle conflicts within interpersonal relationships. For those engaged in self-help and self-control, Romans 12 offers indispensable advice on emotional regulation, community involvement, and personal transformation through adherence to spiritual principles.

Study Instructions for Each Echelon

  • Echelon 2: Explorer - Living Sacrificially and Harmoniously in Community

    • Read: Focus on the entire chapter, especially the call in Romans 12:1-2 to present your bodies as a living sacrifice and the exhortations to live harmoniously in verses 16-18.

    • Study: Analyze how offering oneself as a living sacrifice influences personal emotions and impacts relationships. How does this act of sacrifice translate into everyday interactions with others?

    • Reflect: Delve into the latter part of the chapter to study the practical advice on living in harmony. Note how Paul emphasizes emotional intelligence and the regulation of emotions in managing relationships within the community. Apply these insights by identifying areas in your personal life where these teachings can improve your relational dynamics.

  • Echelon 3: Expert - Application of Faith in Personal Transformation

    • Read: Examine verses 1-2 closely to understand the concept of mind renewal and its implications for personal transformation.

    • Study: Reflect on how changing your mindset can lead to better emotional control and more effective interpersonal interactions, as outlined in the practical instructions throughout the chapter.

    • Reflect: Consider the directives on how to deal with enemies and practice humility. Identify personal challenges in these areas and develop strategies to address them, enhancing your emotional wisdom and maturity.

  • Echelon 4: Emissary - Living as Members of One Body

    • Read: Revisit Romans 12 with an emphasis on the diverse functions within the Christian community, as described in verses 4-8.

    • Reflect: Think about how you can use your spiritual gifts for the common good. Assess how well you are integrating and exercising these gifts in your community involvement.

    • Engage: Prepare to mentor others in identifying and using their gifts. Develop group activities or workshops that help participants discover and practice their gifts in service to the community, emphasizing the importance of unity and mutual respect.

  • Echelon 5: Master - Application of Doctrine to Practical Living

    • Read: Study the entire chapter to grasp the full scope of its application to community life and personal conduct.

    • Understand: Consider how the principles in Romans 12 can be integrated into teaching and leadership roles. Focus on how the transformation of the mind can catalyze broader community transformation.

    • Lead: Design and implement training programs or leadership seminars based on Romans 12. Teach others how to apply these principles in practical, tangible ways within their own lives and in their leadership roles, ensuring they understand how to foster a vibrant, functioning community.

By engaging with Romans 12 according to these instructions, participants at each echelon can deepen their understanding of how to live a life that is not only personally fulfilling but also beneficial to others, embodying the principles of sacrifice, service, and transformation that are central to Christian ethics.

Romans 12 Notes:

Romans 12 marks a pivotal shift in Paul’s epistle to the Romans, transitioning from theological discourse to practical application, emphasizing how believers should live in response to the mercies of God. This chapter encapsulates a call to transformation and communal living, rooted in love and humility, that defines the Christian life.

Paul begins by urging the believers in Rome to offer their bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, which he describes as their true and proper worship. This appeal sets the stage for a life not conformed to the patterns of this world but transformed by the renewing of the mind. Such transformation enables believers to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will. This exhortation highlights that Christian ethics are grounded in a total reorientation of one’s life and thought processes towards Godly values.

Building on the foundation of personal transformation, Paul discusses the function of the Christian community, likening it to a body with many members. Each member has different gifts, according to the grace given to them. Whether prophecy, serving, teaching, encouraging, giving, leading, or showing mercy, each is to use their gift in a manner that reflects their dedication to God and benefits the community. This diversity of gifts underpins the unity and interdependence of the church, emphasizing that every member plays a crucial role in the health and mission of the body.

Paul then shifts to a series of exhortations about love and its manifestations in daily actions and attitudes. Love must be sincere, abhorring what is evil and clinging to what is good. He calls for brotherly affection and honor between believers, fervor and spiritual zeal in serving the Lord, joy in hope, patience in affliction, and faithfulness in prayer. These virtues not only fortify believers in their personal spiritual journeys but also enhance their communal interactions.

Extending beyond the church community, Paul advises on how to engage with the broader society. Christians are to bless those who persecute them, live in harmony with one another, and not be proud, but willing to associate with people of low position. They are not to repay evil for evil but to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If possible, as far as it depends on them, they should live at peace with everyone. Paul discourages personal vengeance, instead leaving room for God’s wrath and responding to evil with kindness.

Romans 12 culminates with a profound principle: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” This directive serves as a guiding light for believers, encapsulating the transformative impact of the gospel on personal and community ethics.

In essence, Romans 12 provides a comprehensive framework for Christian conduct that transcends cultural and personal differences, rooted in sacrificial love, service, and a commitment to the transformative power of the Gospel.