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Romans 12

Luscombe's Commentary on Selected Books of the NTLuscombe's NT Commentary

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Verse 1

1 Present you bodies -

A. By the mercies of God

B. A living sacrifice

C. Holy

D. Acceptable unto God - render religious homage, to serve, to minister to God, to do service

Reasonable service - "spiritual worship"

A. Worship = offer of praise and adoration to God

B. Service = doing unto others because of God

Verse 2

2 Be not conformed - shaped, molded, fit the pattern

J. B. Phillips - "Don't let the world squeeze you into its mold."

To this world - age, period of time, aeon

A. World of things 1Jn_2:15

B. World of people Joh_3:16

C. World of sin and evil 1Pe_1:14

Be ye transformed -

A. Metamorphasis - catapiller into a butterfly

B. Not just a face lift, nose job

C. Total reshaping, brand new type or kind


A. Renew you mind - Think in a new way, Think like Christ thinks ( Php_2:5 )

B. Prove what is good - Not enough to THINK it is good - Prove it ( 1Th_5:21 )

C. Acceptable (to God)

D. Perfect (complete) will of God ( Jam_1:25 )

Verse 3

3 Here is how we ought to think:

A. Not think highly of yourself.

B. Soberly - into + right mind, sober minded, controlled in thinking, think under pressure

C. As God has given you faith.

Verses 4-8

4 Many members - segments, parts, organs, structures, components, elements

We are still one body - not many bodies

Office = function, job, objective, purpose, use to the body, role, duty

5 We = the church

One body = one church

In Christ - all of us are baptized believers

Members of one another -

A. Sense of belonging - vital

B. Belong to each other - NO selfishness

C. Inter-dependent - we NEED each other to survive

6 We all have different gifts (talents, abilities, functions, tasks, duties and chores)

A. Illustrate - a home - one, mow yard; another, do dishes; another, mop floors

B. Kidney is not a good heart. Liver can not do the work of the pancreas.

Our particular gift is according to grace.

Here is the list of possibilities (partial listing)

A. Prophecy prophesy

7 B. Ministry wait on our ministering

C. Teacher pay attention to teaching

8 D. Exhorter exhortations

E. Givers simplicity - single purpose, not self-seeking, not selfish in motive

F. Ruleth dilligence - earnest care, forwardness in business

G. Merciful cheerfulness

Verses 9-13

9 Love (agape) should be

Without dissimulation - hypocrisy, no pretense, not false love

Abhor evil - (pornos) bad, malicious, wicked, badness in quality or character

Cleave to that which is good - beneficial

DISCUSS: What is good? What is evil? How can you tell the difference? Can you always know what is the right thing to do?

10 Kindly affectioned - have a family love in the church

Brotherly love - Gk. philadelphos

Put each one you meet in honor - value, precious, price

Prefer one another - WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

Put in front, lead the way, show prefrence toward

11 Not slothful in business

A. Not lazy, sluggard, slow, delay, put off, procrastinate

B. Business of the church - Lord's business

(Same as business in v. 8)

Fervent in spirit

A. Catch on fire, be full of zeal, have fever

B. NOT: the Holy Spirit

C. BUT: the spirit, zeal, excitement of serving God and living for Him

Serving the Lord

A. Serve = minister, assist, meet their needs

B. We must become the hands, feet, mouth, etc, of Jesus.

C. When we serve others, we are serving Jesus. Mat_25:31-46

12 Rejoicing in hope - desire AND expectation

Patient in - Bear under, undergo, endure

Tribulation - anguish, trouble, pressure

Continuing instant in prayer

13 Distributing to - (koinonea) share, partner, fellowship

The necessity of the saints - as if unemployed

Given to hospitality - lover of strangers, guests

Verses 14-15

14 Bless those who persecute you - to pursue, cause to flee, to be sought after

Curse not - to pronounce doom upon

A. NOT saying: Do not use profanity.

B. IS saying: Do not pronounce judgment on them.

15 Rejoice with the happy

Weep with those who weep - wail aloud, moan, loud cry

NOTE: We should feel what our brother is feeling. More that sympathy (feel for). We should ahve empathy (feel with). Walk in their shoes. Feel their pain. Shed their tears. Share their joy.

Verses 16-19

16 Be of the same mind

A. We have not changed subjects

B. Started in verse 2 "renewed mind"

C. Verse 3 - "How we ought to think"

D. All the commands in vs. 9-15 = SAME MIND

Condescend - to move down, lower yourself

Your own conceits - surrounded by self

17 Recompense to no man - render, pay back, restore

Evil for evil

A. That makes you as bad as them.

B. It is not your job.

C. You do not know all the facts.

D. Vengeance = judging their motives.

Provide things honest - provide = plan ahead

A. Integrety, truthfulness, fair, right, worthy

B. Learn how to be honest.

C. Anybody can cheat. Honesty = learned trait

In the sight of all men -

A. Friends

B. Church

C. All - includes our enemies

18 If possible -

Live peaceably -

A. Try your best to get along.

B. Make sure you are not part of the problem.

C. "Bend over backwards" to resolve disputes.

With all men -

A. Some men will not allow you to live in peace.

B. Your job -do your part.

C. If no peace; It is not your fault.

19 Avenge not yourselves - retaliate, punish, revenge

Give place - allow some slack, turn loose, let go of

Wrath -

It is written -

A. Vengeance belongs to the Lord.

B. "I will repay," saith the Lord.

Verses 20-21


Enemy hungry? Feed him.

Enemy thirsty? Give him a drink.

Heap coals of fire on his head. MEANS: Your kindness will bring him to a burning sense of shame.

21 Be not overcome - overpowered, overtaken, conquer, prevail over

Of evil - bad, worthless, injurious

Overcome evil with good.

You can be the victor. You can win, even when you lose. You will lose some battles, but the war isn't over yet.

Bibliographical Information
Luscombe, Manly. "Commentary on Romans 12". Luscombe's Commentary on Selected Books of the NT. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/mlc/romans-12.html. 2021.
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