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Thursday, September 21st, 2023
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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Bible Commentaries
Romans 12

Edwards' Family Bible New TestamentFamily Bible NT

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Verse 1

The mercies of God ; those which he bestows in and through Jesus Christ, as the apostle has exhibited in the former part of this epistle. For he now proceeds to draw from the deep doctrines there unfolded inferences of a practical nature.

Present your bodies ; as the priest presented to God the bodies of the victims slain.

A living sacrifice ; in contrast with the slain sacrifices of the Mosaic law. To present the body to God as a living sacrifice, is to consecrate it, with the living soul that inhibits it, to God’s service. 1 Corinthians 6:15-20 .

Reasonable service ; a service of the spirit, in contrast with a merely outward and bodily service. Compare 1 Peter 2:5 .

Verse 2

Be not conformed to this world ; to its sinful spirit, maxims, customs, and habits.

Transformed ; changed, not in outward conduct merely, but in the spirit and temper of your minds.

May prove ; know and discern aright by your own experience. The apostle has in view that discernment of God’s will which comes from actual obedience. Compare John 7:17 . The doctrines of the gospel as inculcated by the apostles, especially justification by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, are not only consistent with, but conducive to the more pure, elevated, and universal morality; and the intelligent, cordial belief of the one will, through the grace of God, secure the other.

Verse 3

Through the grace given unto me ; by virtue of my apostolic office, for which the grace of God has furnished me.

To think soberly ; by forming a just estimate of himself and his gifts, as compared with his brethren and their gifts.

To every man the measure of faith ; thus qualifying him for some services, but not for others.

Verse 4

All members have not the same office ; the eye, for instance, cannot perform the office of the ear, nor the hand that of the foot. The perfection of the whole depends upon the perfection of each organ; so with the spiritual body, the church of Christ.

Verse 5

We ; Christians.

One body in Christ ; he is the head, and we are the members of his one body. The perfection of each member and of the whole body of Christ, depends, not upon all being alike, or doing the same things, but upon all being in their proper places, and doing each his appropriate work.

Verse 6

Gifts differing according to the grace that is given ; God graciously bestows upon different members of the church different talents and gifts, and all are to use them according to his will.

Prophecy ; this was one of the spiritual gifts. See note 1 Corinthians 12:28 .

According to the proportion of faith ; the same as "the measure of faith," verse Romans 12:3 . Let him keep himself within the limit of the spiritual qualifications bestowed on him by God.

Verse 7

Or ministry ; that is, or having ministry for his gift. Ministry is here ministering to the wants of the brethren, as distinct from prophesying and teaching.

Let us wait on our ministering ; occupy ourselves with it in a humble and contented spirit.

Verse 8

Giveth ; for the relief of others.

With simplicity ; singleness of aim, purity of motive, without selfish ends.

Ruleth ; directeth the concerns of the church.

Showeth mercy ; by attending on and assisting the sick, sorrowful, and distressed.

With cheerfulness ; with a kind, patient disposition, which will greatly increase the pleasure and benefit of his assistance.

Verse 10

In honor preferring one another ; rather, going before, or setting an example to one another in courtesy, kindness, and respect.

Verse 11

In business ; or in diligence, as the same word is rendered in verse Romans 12:8 . The meaning is, that in the exercise of a diligent and earnest spirit we should not be remiss.

Serving the Lord ; by activity of body and mind, wisely and perseveringly discharging the various duties of life. 1 Corinthians 10:31 .

Verse 12

In hope ; in hope of future glory.

Instant in prayer ; habitual, fervent, persevering in the duty.

Verse 13

Distributing to the necessity of saints ; supplying their wants.

Given to hospitality ; accustomed to provide for needy travellers and strangers, especially such as are laboring or suffering for Christ.

Verse 14

Good men will desire to do good, not to friends only, or such as do good to them, but also to enemies, and such as do evil. The characters of men are more clearly seen by their treatment of enemies, than of friends. Luke 6:32-36 .

Verse 15

Rejoice-and weep ; manifest a deep interest, a tender sympathy in the joys and sorrows of others.

Verse 16

The same mind ; be united, live in peace.

Mind not ; do not aspire to, or seek after wealth, honor, or powerful earthly connections.

Condescend ; sympathize and associate with the poor, humble, afflicted, especially such as suffer for righteousness’ sake.

In your own conceits ; do not have such an opinion of your own wisdom as to exalt yourself or despise others, or prevent your feeling your dependence, and obligation for all which you possess, to the grace of God. Proverbs 3:5-7 .

Verse 17

Recompense to no man ; do no evil to any one, because he does evil to you.

Things honest in the sight of all men ; things that are right, lovely, and of good report, as the original word implies. Conduct in such a manner as is suited to meet the enlightened and conscientious approbation of men. Proverbs 3:3-4 .

Verse 18

As much as lieth in you ; as far as you can consistently with duty, cultivate a peaceful temper, and seek to live in peace.

Verse 19

Give place unto wrath ; do not take revenge upon those who injure you, but exercise a forgiving spirit. Leave the taking of vengeance to Jehovah, to whom it belongs. Deuteronomy 32:35 . Individuals against whom crimes are committed, are not to avenge themselves by punishing the criminals. Civil government, which God has established for this purpose, is to punish criminals so far as is needful for the terror of evildoers and the security of those who do well. This is one way in which God manifests his wrath against transgressors in this world, and gives an earnest of the fulness of wrath which, unless they repent and believe on his Son, he will manifest against them in the world to come.

Verse 20

Feed him-give him drink ; treat him kindly, do him good, and when he is needy supply his wants. Proverbs 25:21-22 ; Matthew 5:44 .

Heap coals of fire on his head ; which will be adapted to melt him into penitence and love.

Verse 21

Be not overcome of evil ; let not evil conquer you, but do you with kindness conquer it. Kindness towards enemies is a most likely means of making them friends; and if it does not have this effect, but they continue obstinately and wickedly to be enemies to their benefactors, they will ripen for aggravated ruin.

Bibliographical Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Romans 12". "Edwards' Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/fam/romans-12.html. American Tract Society. 1851.
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