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12:1-15:13 CHRISTIAN FAITH IN PRACTICE
Responsibilities and relationships (12:1-21)
For eleven chapters Paul has been explaining what God in his mercy has done, and will yet do, for repentant sinners. Now he reminds those who have experienced this mercy that the most fitting act of worship by which they can show their thanks is to offer themselves as living sacrifices to God. No longer are they to think and act like non-Christians. Their minds must be changed so that they see issues from a different point of view, God’s point of view. As they learn to think in a more Christian way, they will know God’s will better and their actions will be more pleasing to him (12:1-2).
This does not mean that they will become proud or hold high opinions of themselves. Rather they will learn to be more honest in acknowledging whatever abilities and limitations they have. They will recognize that as members of Christ’s body, the church, all have been given different abilities (3-5). All should be diligent in carrying out the task for which God has fitted them, whether in the leadership roles in the church or in the various ministries to the needy (6-8).
Christians must be sincere and straightforward in everything they do. They must in particular have a loving care for those who are fellow members of Christ’s body (9-10). Besides being spiritually enthusiastic, they must work hard at developing qualities of perseverance and prayerfulness. They must also be generous in giving practical help to their fellow believers (11-13).
These positive attitudes must be shown also towards those who are outside the church, even to persecutors (14-16). Christians should not look for revenge against those who do them wrong, but should try to live peacefully with everyone (17-18). The punishment of persecutors is a matter for God to decide. The responsibility of Christians is to treat them as if they were friends. This may in the end make the persecutors feel so ashamed that they will repent of their wrongdoing (19-21).
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Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Romans 12". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29