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Sunday, July 21st, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Romans 12

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1


1 ) ”I beseech you therefore brethren," (parakalo oun humas adelphoi) "I therefore (in the light of God’s mercies) beseech you, would motivate you, brethren;" members of the church at Rome in particular. The grace and mercy that has come to the Gentiles by faith are to be pursued in gratitude or their blessings will be cut off, Romans 11:21.

2) "By the mercies of God," (dia ton oiktirmon tou theou) "through the compassions of God"; toward the Gentiles and those called from among them to salvation and service in his church, then and thereafter, down to the end of the Gentile and church age. These mercies are unsearchable, innumerable, unmerited, and invaluable, Psalms 103:17; Psalms 108:4; La 3:22, 23: Ephesians 2:4.

3) "That ye present your bodies a living sacrifice," (parastesai ta somata humon thusian zosan) "To present or yield your bodies as a living sacrifice," as a soldier presents himself to be sworn into service for his country or as a doctor, nurse, or officer, takes a pledge to duty," as a consecrated, surrendered, committed, self-sacrifice, dedicated pledge of life, 2 Timothy 2:21; 1 Corinthians 9:26-27.

4) "Holy, acceptable unto God," (hagian to theo euraeston) "Holy toward God, (which is) well pleasing," sanctified or separated to God, Romans 15:16; Luke 1:74-75; Sanctification and holiness of life are Divine objectives to be pursued by every believer in spite of his sinful, carnal body and mind, until death, Hebrews 12:14; 1 Peter 1:16; 2 Peter 3:11.

5) "Which is your reasonable service," (ten logiken latreian humon) "Which exists as your reasonable service"; For the committed believer belongs to God soul and body, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

The term "reasonable service" means Divine service. Every baptized believer in the Lords church has a position of committed Divine service in spirit and truth, John 4:24; John 20; John 21; Ephesians 3:21.

From Romans 12:1 to Romans 16:27 there is a distinct emphasis on Christian morals and ethics as a revealed standard of conduct to be pursued in love and compassion by every believer in Christ.

Verse 2

1) "And be not conformed to this world," (kai me suschemati zesthe to aioni touto) "And be not patterned to or toward, glued to, or conformed to this age," the order of sinful state of things of this age," for the world order is sinful, decaying, and passing away, 1 John 2:15-17; 1 Corinthians 7:31.

2) "But be ye transformed," (alla metamorphousthe) "But be ye changed in appearance before men, from old habits of carnal conduct to one of Christ-like appearance, 1 Corinthians 5:1-2; 1 Corinthians 5:9; 1 Corinthians 5:13; 2 Corinthians 6:14-17; and concerning such Paul also wrote "If we live in the spirit, let us also walk in the spirit," Galatians 5:25; Matthew 17:2.

3) "By the renewing of your mind," (te anakainosei tou noos) "By means of the renewing of your mind," from an higher order of thinking and reasoning than exists of this age, 1 Peter 3:18; Colossians 3:10; Man’s mind is to be renewed or refreshed of purer and higher thoughts by giving heed to God’s word and voice which are above man’s, Isaiah 55:8-9; Psalms 40:5; Jeremiah 29:11-12.

4) "That ye may prove," (eis to dokimazein humas) "So that you all may prove, show or demonstrate," or be a display of, the love of God, John 13:34-35; obedience to Christ, John 14:15; John 15:14; Hebrews 12:1-2.

5) "What is the will of God," (ti to thelema tou theou) "What exists as the high, holy, divine, sublime, moral will of God," Psalms 19:7-11; Every child of God should seek to understand and follow that will daily, John 7:17; Ephesians 5:17.

6) "Good, and acceptable, and perfect," (to agathon kai euraeston kai teleion) "Which is of a holy quality of moral goodness, and well pleasing, and perfect or spiritually mature," in his serving children --those most obedient to him, 1 Thessalonians 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 5:18; Ephesians 5:27; Matthew 5:48.


The bird of paradise, which has such a dower of exquisitely beautiful feathers, cannot fly with the wind; if it attempts to do so, the current being much swifter than its flight, so ruffles its plumage as to impede its progress, and finally to terminate it: it is, therefore, compelled to fly against the wind, which keeps its feathers in their place, and thus it gains the place where it would be. So the Christian must not attempt to go with the current of a sinful world: if he does, it will not only hinder, but end his religious progress; but he must go against it, and then every effort of his soul will be upward, heavenward, Godward.

-M. Davies

Verse 3


1) "For I say, through the grace given unto me," (Lego gar dia tes charitos tes dotheises moi) "For I say (express myself) through the grace doled out to me"; Since it was thru "grace given to him" that he spoke, it was not by assumption, or presumption. This gift of grace to Paul imposed on him an obligation to share its benefits humbly with others, Romans 15:15.

2) "To every man that is among you," (panti to onti en humin) "To everyone among you all"; To himself, ever person is in a sense about the most important person he knows; and if he is so important, he needs the grace to help others, for true grace reaches out to and for others, Galatians 2:9; 2 Corinthians 8:9; Titus 3:10-11.

3) "Not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think," (me huperphronein par’ ho dei phronein) "Not to have high, elevated, or conceited thoughts beyond what it behooves him to think"; Self -exaltation, egotism, conceit, and selfishness of will are temperaments of mood unbecoming to Christian grace and contradictory to the manner of life of Jesus Christ, Philippians 2:3-5; Romans 9:20; 2 Corinthians 3:5.

4) "But to think soberly," (alla -phronein eis to sophronein) "But to think toward sober-mindness"; to think fairly, humbly, justly, righteously, 1 Corinthians 4:6-7; Philippians 4:8-9.

Christians should deny, but not undervalue themselves, be humble, but not base or vulgar, Matthew 20:26-28.

5) "According as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith," (hekasto hos ho theos emerisen metron pisteos) Humility should characterize the behavior of every Christian and church member, without regards to his talents or gifts of faith and grace. For none in Christ has occasion in himself to boast, 1 Corinthians 3:10; 1 Corinthians 12:7-9; 1 Corinthians 12:11; Grace and faith are given by Christ to every person, according to his need, Philippians 4:19. Grace, faith, and positions of responsibility are given to each for service use to his fellowman, 1 Corinthians 9:22-23.

Verse 4

1) "For as we have many members in one body," (kathaper gar en heni somati polla mele echomen) "For just as we have many members in one body," in one physical, human body; at length Paul compared members of the physical body and their need with a similar need for every member of every church and the proper use of his spiritual gift, faith, and testimony to the church of local fellowship, 1 Corinthians 12:12-27.

2) "And all members have not the same office," (ta de mele panta ou ten auten echei praksin) "But all the physical body members have not the same practice," the same repeated service functions in and for the body. Each member of one’s body has a physical (official) function to perform for the balance, harmony, unity and useful function, health and well-being of the whole body. The eye is to see, the ear to hear, the nose to smell, the tongue to speak and to taste and the fingers, hands, feet etc. to feel and to give balance, motivation, and direction to the body. Yet the brain (center of the mind) is to think, the heart to circulate the blood-life, the lungs to breathe the air for oxygen, the kidneys, liver, bowels are to function as poison extractors and digestive instruments of body functions. All are needful for the physical body, the temporary dwelling of the Soul of Man, the mind and spirit, 1 Corinthians 12:28-31; Ephesians 2:19-22; Ephesians 4:16.

Verse 5

1) "So we being many," (houtos hoi polloi) "So we existing as or being (as a church) many members"; Many individuals. When one believes and is saved he does not lose his identity or individuality. He exercises it. Thereafter he is to confess and commit his life in surrendered service to Christ in his body (assembly) the church, from which the highest degree of honor and service to God may be given, Matthew 5:15-16; Revelation 1:18-20; Ephesians 3:21.

2) "Are one body in Christ," (en soma esmen en Christo ti) "We are or exist as one body (assembly) in Christ"; The term "body of Christ," is used in two ways in the New Testament. 1) First, it refers to his physical body-cross body in and thru which he bare our sins, and purchased his second body, the church body; 1 Peter 2:24; Colossians 1:20-22.

3) Second, the body of Christ refers restrictedly to a company, congregation, or assembly of baptized believers in Christ, never to all the saved, 1 Corinthians 12:27; Colossians 1:24.

4) "And every one members one of another " (de kath eis allelon mele) "And each (of us) is one of another member"; Each member exists as having his body membership of the vote, acceptance, or reception by other, prior members of the church. And each is important, necessary, and has a witness of influence to give that none other can give in the church or community, 1 Corinthians 12:22; None is addressed as the body of Christ, or a member of his body, his assembly, his church, his bride, his temple, or his house except he has been 1 ) saved 2) baptized, 3) become a member of a local church body, agreeing to worship and work therein, and thereby to carry out the commission of Jesus Christ to his body, church, or assembly, John 20:21; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8.

The following passages refer to his body, the church, as an institution which Hebrews 1) purchased -with his own blood, 2) commissioned after his resurrection, and 3) sanctified, baptized, or empowered for her world-wide and age-long commission. Acts 20:28; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:1-4; Ephesians 1:22-23; Ephesians 2:20-22; Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 4:4; Ephesians 4:12; Ephesians 4:16; Colossians 1:24. The "ye" or "you all" refers to members of a local body, 1 Corinthians 12:27.

Verse 6

1) "Having then gifts," (echontes de charismata) "Having or holding (therefore) charismatic gifts"; just as members of the Corinth Church did, 1 Corinthians 12:1-31 and the Ephesians brethren Ephesians 4:7-11. These gifts are for edification of the church, the body, or assembly of Jesus Christ, in, thru which we honor him, Ephesians 4:14; Ephesians 4:16, Colossians 2:19.

2) "Differing according to the grace that is given to us," (Kata ten charin ten dotheisan hemin diaphora) “Differing in kind and nature (as charismatic gifts) according to the grace given to us"; or doled out to each of us as to the Corinth brethren, 1 Corinthians 12:8-11; 1 Peter 4:10. The talents and gifts of each church member are to be used for the help of the whole body, not for selfish purposes, 1 Corinthians 4:2.

3) "Whether prophecy," (eite propheteian) "Whether or (if it be) the gift of prophecy"; the most helpful of all the gifts for edifying for the general help and information of the church as a whole, Acts 15:32; 1 Corinthians 14:1; 1 Corinthians 14:3-6; 1 Corinthians 14:12; 1 Corinthians 14:31; 1 Corinthians 14:39.

4) "Let us prophesy, according to the proportion of faith," (kata ten analogian tes pisteos) "Let it be according to the proportion (doled out charismatic gift)of the faith"; that is let him prophesy by the gift, but let it be in harmony with "the faith", or system of teachings of Jesus Christ. Any seeming Charismatic teaching, preaching, or prophesying not in harmony with "the saints", or the church, is to be rejected as false, spurious, or counterfeit, Judges 1:3; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Timothy 2:15; 2 John 1:8-11.

Verse 7

1) "Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering," (eite diskonian) en te diakonia) "or if he have a common ministry gift, let him exercise it in the common ministry", according to his charismatic, grace-imparted, spirit conferred gift and calling.

Special spiritual gifts were given to different members of each church for the practical help of others, to their edification, to build them up spiritually. These lasted or continued until the New Testament was finished . All then passed away except three: faith, hope, and charity, 1 Corinthians 13:1; 1 Corinthians 13:8-13; Ephesians 4:7; Ephesians 4:11-14.

2) "Or he that teacheth, on teaching" (eite ho didaskon, en te didaskalia) "Or the one teaching, in the teaching," let him exercise this charismatic gift, in harmony with the faith, once delivered to the saints, or not at all, Romans 12:6.

The Bible now furnishes man to every good work and he is to use it, 2 Timothy 3:16-17; For it is true "from the beginning," The special gifts of inspiration, apostles, miracles, tongues, etc. Have all ceased from God, except the three gifts of Faith, Hope, and Charity. One must not be ignorant of this truth lest he be "tossed to and fro" by every "wind of doctrine," etc., See 1 Corinthians 13:13; Ephesians 4:13-14; James 1:25. Miracles, tongues, interpreting of tongues, etc. were given to New Testament churches as credentials that they were from God and lasted only till the Bible was completed, till the "that which" is perfect, the Bible, the "unity-standard of the faith" was come, 1 Corinthians 13:9-10; Ephesians 4:13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; James 1:25. Let us teach or communicate this to all, Galatians 6:6.

Verse 8

1) "Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation," (eite ho parakalon, en te paraklesei) "Or the one exhorting (to motivate men to action in harmony with "the faith") let him be exhorting or involved in exhorting," according to the charismatic gift of exhortation, in accord with the word, the faith, Romans 12:6. The exhorter was one who encouraged and emotionally motivated others toward being and doing good, Romans 15:4-5; Acts 13:15-16.

2) "He that giveth, let him do it with simplicity," (ho metodidous en haploteti) "The one sharing with others in charismatic gift administration, let it be in mindful simplicity," without a public display of his gift, with modesty, not high mindedness, not with display. to humiliate his object of charity. With sincerity and liberality all giving, in worship and alms, is to be done, Matthew 6:1-3; 2 Corinthians 9:7; 2 Corinthians 9:11; 2 Corinthians 9:13; James 1:5.

3) "He that ruleth, with diligence," (ho proistamenos en spoude) "The one standing forward, taking the lead or the one leading let it be in diligence"; whether the one leading in the ministry of the church be an official, as a pastor or deacon, or some other leader, in S.S. work, a building construction or clean up, or social or recreational (leader-ruler) it is to be in diligent humility not as a Lord, dictator, or dominating bully over God’s heritage, 1 Peter 5:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:12; 1 Timothy 5:17; 1 Timothy 3:4-5; 1 Timothy 3:12.

4) "He that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness," (ho eleon en hilaroteti) "The one showing mercy let him do it in a state of good cheer or cheerfulness"; a grudging, envious, despondent pouter can not show mercy, for he himself is an object of pity and needs mercy. The one visiting the sick, afflicted, or oppressed in body, mind, or spirit, must be a person of faith, hope, good cheer, and bright countenance, 2 Corinthians 9:7; Proverbs 15:13; John 16:33; Acts 27:22; Acts 27:25; Acts 27:36.

Verse 9

1) "Let love be without dissimulation," (he agape anupokritos) "Let love be or exist unassumed," without pretence, or unhypocritically; The sentiment of this chapter is saturated with the principle of supreme love, with 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 as its counterpart. See also 1 Peter 1:22; 1 John 3:18; 1 Timothy 1:5; 2 Corinthians 6:6.

2) "Abhor that which is evil," (apostugountes to poneron) "Shrink back or away from, draw back from, or abhor the wicked," ways and things that are wicked, even hate the wicked in every kind and degree, Psalms 34:14; Proverbs 8:13; Amos 5:14-15.

3) "Cleave to that which is good," (kollomenoi to agatho) "Be cleaving or holding emotionally, steadfastly, continually to the morally and ethically good," to the ways and things that are divinely sanctioned. In purpose of heart men are to cleave to the Lord and the good, Acts 11:23. Let it be said of each believer, as it was of our Lord "he went about doing good," Acts 10:38. Even a good name is to be sought and held, Proverbs 22:1; Philippians 4:8.

Verse 10

1) "Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love," (te philadelphia eis allelous philostorgoi) "In brotherly love, loving warmly, one toward another," be showing affection of brothers to brothers, not enemies, "biting and devouring," masticating one another. For they were brethren in the Lord and in covenant of labors with one another in the church. John 13:34-35; In such capacity they were taught to "love one another," 1 Thessalonians 4:9; Hebrews 13:1; 1 Peter 1:22; 1 Peter 3:8; 1 Peter 2:17; Galatians 5:13; Galatians 5:15.

2) "In honor preferring one another " (te tima allelous proegoumenoi) "in a state of honour preferring one another," showing favor or honor one toward another, Philippians 2:3; Respecting the gifts and calling of others as also of the Lord --not as Diotrephes who loved preeminence and treated with derision dearly beloved missionary helpers of the apostle, John, 3 John 1:5-11; Galatians 5:26.

Verse 11

1) "Not slothful in business," (te spoude me okneroi) "Not slothful (shabby) or irresponsible in zeal," or diligence but with moral earnestness Christian duty is to be performed, as a diligent steward of the Lord, 1 Corinthians 4:2; Ecclesiastes 9:10; Proverbs 22:29; Ephesians 4:28; Acts 20:34-35.

2) "Fervent in spirit," (to pneumati zeontes) "in the spirit be burning," zealous, burning, or on fire, in a controlled manner or state, - not as a fire of conflagration, out of control, destructive. Those led by the spirit of God are fervent, balanced, in subjection to the will of God in daily lives and service to God and their fellowman, not just on Sunday or special occasions, Romans 8:14; Romans 8:16; 1 Corinthians 14:32; Galatians 5:25; Let us serve God heartily, Colossians 3:23.

3) "Serving the Lord," (to kurio douleuontes) "Serving the Lord, actively, progressively, or accountably; as one who gives account of his stewardship, let each member of the church with a charismatic gift do this kind of service to and for the Lord. If there is any work in which one should be exhausted it is in "serving the Lord in gladness and thanksgiving," Psalms 100:2; Matthew 6:24; John 12:26. To serve the Lord is to follow the Lord in "doing good", Acts 10:38; Acts 20:19; 2 Corinthians 5:10-11; Galatians 5:13.

Verse 12

1) "Rejoicing in hope," (te elpidi chairontes) "Let each in hope be rejoicing," in a state or condition of hope, let each be rejoicing, Romans 5:5. This hope is "Christ in you," that one anchored-within the veil, assuring spiritual life until the resurrection of the body, Philippians 4:4; Colossians 1:27; Hebrews 6:18-19; 1 Peter 1:3; The eternal life, for which we yet hope in faith, is the new resurrection body, Ephesians 1:13-14; Ephesians 4:31-32.

2) "Patient in tribulation," (te thlipsei hupomenontes) "Let each with his charismatic gift or gifts be showing endurance or perseverance (even) in tribulation or time of affliction"; This means "fret not" when sorrows, trouble, and afflictions come, or when people do you wrong, Psalms 37:1; Psalms 37:7; Psalms 73:1-3; Psalms 73:16-17; Romans 15:3-5; Romans 5:3; James 1:2-4.

3) "Continuing instant in prayer," (te proseuche proskarterountes) "In a state, attitude, or condition of prayer let each be steadfastly continuing, persevering, or going on for the Lord," in constancy, hard continuity of prayer as an habit of Divine devotion to God. Our Lord advised "men ought always to pray," Luke 18:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Colossians 4:2; Ephesians 6:18; 1 Peter 4:7.

Verse 13

1) "Distributing to the necessity of saints," (tais chreiais ton hagion koinountes) "Common contributions making to the needs of the saints"; The needy saints in Judea especially for whom he was soliciting help, to meet their needs. The term "the saints" refers primarily to the members of the church in Jerusalem, and other congregations of her needy followship in Judea, 1 Corinthians 16:1-2. The term "the saints" and "the household of faith", as used in and about new testament brethren, always seems to refer to the church, as here, Galatians 6:10; 2 Corinthians 8:1-4. Note that "the faith" was delivered to "the saints", Judges 1:3, not to all the saved or all believers.

2) "Given to hospitality," (ten philozenian dokontes) "in hospitality keep on pursuing," persevering in serving God in your church in an hospitable, gracious manner, even in showing hospitality to strangers, Hebrews 13:2; Genesis 18:2-8; Genesis 19:1-3; 1 Peter 4:9; 1 Timothy 3:2.

Verse 14

1 ) "Bless them which persecute you," (eulogeite tous diokontas) "You all bless the ones persecuting you, or being a blessing to or upon them; Even pray for them as commanded of the Lord, Matthew 5:44; and practiced by Stephen, Acts 7:60. Paul too affirmed this, and his companions in mission work obeyed this Divine injunction of Jesus and exhortation of Paul, 1 Corinthians 4:12.

2) "Bless, and curse not," (eulogeite kai me katarasthe) "You all bless and do not curse your persecutors"; Did not our Lord from the cross pray "Father forgive them, they know not what they do," know not the gravity or seriousness of their attitudes and actions? 1 Peter 2:23; Luke 23:34; Hebrews 12:3. Not only should one refrain from returning evil for evil, but he is also to show kindness and do good to his persecutor, Proverbs 25:21-22; Romans 12:20; Exodus 23:4-5.

Verse 15

1) "Rejoice with them that do rejoice," (chairein meta chaironton) "You all are to rejoice with those rejoicing," show gladness, love, and absolute absence of envy, at another’s success or good fortune in life, 1 Corinthians 12:26. Because of man’s selfish and covetous nature it is easier to weep over another’s affliction than to rejoice over his success, yet let us seek always to rejoice, not be resentful or envious as the Prodigal son’s older brother was, Luke 15:25-32; Philippians 3:1; Philippians 4:4.

2) "And weep with them that weep," (kalaiein meta klaionton) "You all are to weep with those weeping," show sympathy to the weeping, the broken-hearted, the despondent, and the disappointed whose hopes have been crushed or whose world has crumbled in for the moment; Our Lord wept at his friend Lazarus’ tomb and over rebellious Jerusalem, John 1:33-35; 2 Corinthians 11:29.

We lighten another’s afflictions by sharing their tears. Paul did Acts 20:19; Acts 20:31.

Verse 16

1) "Be of the same mind one toward another," (to auto eis allelous phronountes) "Be minding the same thing one toward another"; Be of the same disposition, an attitude or feeling of mutual allowance and kindness one toward another, Matthew 7:12; Romans 15:5-6; 1 Corinthians 1:10; Philippians 1:27; Philippians 2:2; Philippians 4:2.

2) "Mind not high things," (me ta jupsela phronountes) "Do not be minding the high things;" Do not set your mind on superior positions of honor in the church, to destroy unity and harmony, or do not cater to the rich or the popular, to the offence of the poor or less prominent, Galatians 2:11-14; Luke 10:20. Be not conceited or proud, of your estate, James 2:1-5.

3) "But condescend to men of low estate," (alla tois tapeinois sunapogomenoi) "But be condescending continually, as a pattern of daily living, toward the humble ones"; Let yourself be involved in the interest and need of people of low estate, not counting such people as below you; This is the spirit of the Golden Rule, Matthew 7:12; Draw into sympathy and empathize in conduct and speech with the lowly in life, Romans 12:3; Luke 16:15.

4) "Be not wise in your own conceit," (me ginesthe phronimoi par heautois) "Do not become wise ones within yourselves in your own mind, conceited, or egotists, Proverbs 3:7; Proverbs 26:12; The rich young barn builder was, Luke 12:15-21; and the praying Pharisee was, Luke 18:11, Revelation 3:17-19.

Do not be puffed up in conceit and pride as superior to the illiterate and the lowly in the Lord and the church for you are to be their servant, even as our Lord came to be a servant for all, Matthew 20:25-26; Philippians 2:3-16; 1 Corinthians 9:21-23.

Verse 17

1) "Recompense to no man evil for evil," (medeni kakon anti kakou apodidontes) "Do not practice returning evil for evil, a bad thing for a bad thing, or striking back wrong for wrong to anyone." Be not a retaliating or recriminating threat person, if you would follow Christ, for "when he was reviled he reviled not again," Matthew 5:38-48; 1 Peter 2:23; 1 Peter 3:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:15; Proverbs 20:22.

2) "Provide things honest," (pronooumenoi kala) "But provide for (learn to) provide for good things, attitudes, or dispositions"; take thought for things honorable of high moral and ethical standard - not lustful pleasures and lustful greed, so that the world can not speak reproachfully of your conduct or your church, 1 Timothy 5:14; 1 Peter 2:12; 1 Peter 2:15; Philippians 4:8.

3) "In the sight of all men," (enopion panton) "Before or in the face presence of all men"; Matthew 6:33; 2 Corinthians 8:20-21.

Verse 18

1 ) "If it be possible," (ei dunaton) "if possible," an implied difficulty, over the conduct of others we have no direct control, but the initiative in disturbing the peace should never lie with the Christian; 1 Corinthians 10:32-33.

2) "As much as lieth in you," (to eks humon) "as far as it rests with you all," as far as it depends on you, on your part at any rate. To live peaceably, 1) watch yourself, 2) do not retaliate, 3) be honest, 4) and cultivate a peaceable spirit, 1 Corinthians 9:19-27; Romans 1:15.

3) "Live peaceably with all men," (meta ponton anthropon eireneuontes) "Be continually seeking to live peaceably with all men," so that you may edify or help them, Romans 14:19; 2 Corinthians 13:11; James 3:17-18; For peacemakers shall "be called the children of God," Matthew 5:9. Even if you live on a dirt street you can still keep your own doorstep reasonably clean.

Verse 19

1 ) "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves," (me heautois ekdikountes, agapetoi) "Do not engage in or follow the practice of avenging yourselves, beloved ones", Do not seek revenge for every wrong. One who presumes to avenge himself makes himself judge, jury, and witness, a biased standard of unchristian conduct, out of harmony with the scriptures, Proverbs 20:22; Proverbs 24:28-29; Matthew 6:15; Luke 9:54-56.

2) "But rather give place unto wrath," (alla dote topon te orge) "But (in strong contrast to that practice) give ground, a space, a distance between you, to wrath." Walk away, separate yourself from proximity to wrath --take a walk away from it, lest the coals be rekindled and the conflagration spread. Let God execute judgment for wrong, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.

3) "For it is written," (gegraptai gar) "it has been recorded," by inspiration of God, Deuteronomy 32:35. To God "belongeth vengeance and recompence"; Hebrews 10:30-31.

4) "Vengeance is mine," (emoi ekdikesis) "For it has been written," formerly recorded by inspiration, disclosed by the Lord to al I men and f or al I men; 2 Peter 2:3; Romans 2:5-8; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10.

5) “I will repay saith the Lord," (ego antapodoso legei kurios) "I will repay, or mete out vengeance for every evil, saith the Lord," and he will do it justly, at the proper time, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; 1 Corinthians 3:13-15; Hebrews 2:2-3; Romans 14:11-12; 2 Corinthians 5:10-12; Galatians 6:7-8.

Verse 20

1) "Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him," (alla ean peina ho echthros sou) "But if the enemy of anyone of you hungers," -- (psomize auton) "feed him," Proverbs 25:21; Matthew 5:44.

2) "If he thirst, give him drink," (ean dipsa potize auton) "if any enemy of you thirst, give drink to him." Luke 6:27; Luke 6:30; Luke 6:35-36; Matthew 5:43-48.

3) "For in so doing," (touto gar poion) "For doing this," continually following this practice, letting your light shine, your influence be cast in this manner, Matthew 5:15-16.

4) "Thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head," (anthrakas puros soreuseis epi ten kephalen autou) "Coals of fire thou wilt heap on his head;" melt your enemies animosity with the warmth of deeds of love, but do not be ostentatious, do not make a show of it. Don’t heap on the coals to make them too hot, lest the overdoing of good become evil in the manner of doing good to the enemy; Exodus 23:3-5; 1 Samuel 24:16-18; 1 Samuel 26:21; Proverbs 25:22.

Verse 21

1) "Be not overcome of evil," (me niko hupo tou kakou) "Do not let yourself be conquered by the evil," bad deeds, bad attitudes, etc., of others. Evil that men do against one is not to be let alone, but conquered, choked to death, stifled by your doing good habitually, even on behalf of, for, or to the evil doer, Romans 6:12-14; Galatians 6:11; James 4:7-8.

2) "But overcome evil with good," (alla nika en to agatho to kakon) "But in contrast conquer the evil or bad things, attitudes, dispositions, and practices of the former life with or by doing the inner-empowered good, good attitudes, dispositions, and habits of practice." Kindness is a Christian virtue and key to so many victories and successes in life, Proverbs 16:32; Ephesians 4:30-32; 2 Peter 1:7. Do remember the obituary tribute to our Lord, "who went about doing good," Acts 10:38; Ephesians 2:10; and Paul admonished, "cleave unto that which is good," and "do good to all men," Romans 12:9; Galatians 6:10.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Romans 12". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/romans-12.html. 1985.
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