corner graphic   Hi,    
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to

Bible Commentaries

Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible
Romans 12



Other Authors
Verses 1-16

Romans 12:1. I beseech you therefore, brethren,

Paul is a calm reasoner. He is a bold starer of truth, but here he comes to pleading with us. I think that I see him lift the pen from the paper and look round upon us, as. with the accent of entreaty, he says, “I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, by God’s great mercy to you, his many mercies, his continued mercies.” What stronger plea could the Apostle have? “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God.”

Romans 12:1. By the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Though he beseeches you to do it, he claims a right to it. It is but your reasonable service. Do we need to be entreated to be reasonable? I am afraid that we do sometimes. And what are we to do? To present our bodies to God, not our souls alone, to make real, practical work of it. Let this flesh and blood in which your body dwells be presented unto God, not to be killed and to be a dead sacrifice, but to live and still to be a sacrifice, a living sacrifice unto God, holy and acceptable to him. This is reasonable. God help us to carry it out.

Romans 12:2. And be not conformed to this world:

Do not live as men of the world do. Do not follow the customs, the fashions, the principles of the world. “Be not conformed to this world.”

Romans 12:2. But be ye transformed

It is not enough to be nonconformists. Be transformed ones, altogether changed into another form.

Romans 12:2. By the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

It is by holy living, by consecrated bodies, that we are to prove the will of God. We cannot know it, we cannot practically work it out, except by a complete consecration unto God.

Romans 12:3. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Humility is sober thinking. Pride is drunken thinking. He that thinks more of himself than he should is so far intoxicated with conceit; but he that judges aright and is, therefore, humble, thinks soberly. God give us to be very sober in our thoughts of ourselves.

Romans 12:4-5. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

Hence the diversity. If the hand were made exactly like the foot, it would not be a tenth part as useful; and if the eye only had the same faculty as the ear, it would not be able to see, and the whole body would be a loser thereby. Do we begin to compare eyes, and ears, and feet, and hands, and say, “This is the better faculty”? No. They are each one needful. So do not compare yourselves among yourselves, for if you are in the body of Christ, you are each one needful, and the peculiarity which you possess, and the peculiarity which your brother possesses, have their place in the body corporate, and must be precious before God.

Romans 12:6-8. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth on exhortation:

Keep to your own work; stand in your own niche. If you are only an exhorter, do not pretend to teach. If your work is ministry, and you cannot prophesy, do not attempt to do it. Every man in his own order.

Romans 12:8-9. He that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation.

Do not pretend to a love that you have not got. Do not lard your speech with “dear” this and “dear” that, when there is no love in your heart; and even if your heart be full of love, show it without spreading molasses over your talk, as some do. “Let love be without dissimulation.”

Romans 12:9. Abhor that which is evil;

Be a good hater. Abhor that which is evil

Romans 12:9. Cleave to that which is good.

Stick to it. Hold it fast. Do not go an inch beyond it.

Romans 12:10. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love;

Hear this, ye members of the church. Endeavor to carry it out by a kindly courtesy and a real sympathy one with another. “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love.”

Romans 12:10. In honour preferring one another;

Putting another before yourself, aspiring after the second place, rather than the first.

Romans 12:11. Not slothful in business;

A lazy man is no beauty anywhere.

Romans 12:11. Fervent in spirit;

Burn. Let your very soul get hot.

Romans 12:11-12. Serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope;

When you have not anything else to rejoice in, rejoice in hope.

Romans 12:12. Patient in tribulation;

The word “tribulation” signifies threshing as with a flail. Be patient when the flail falls heavily.

Romans 12:12-13. Continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints;

When you have told your own necessity to God, then help the necessities of those who come to you.

Romans 12:13-14. Given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.

A Christian man cursing is a very awkward spectacle. Even the Pope, when he takes to cursing, as at least the former one used to do very liberally, seems as if he could hardly be the vicar of God on earth. Our work is to bless the sons of men. “Bless and curse not.”

Romans 12:15. Rejoice with them that do rejoice,

Do not be a wet blanket on their joys. If they have good cause for rejoicing, join in it. Help them to sing their hymn of gratitude.

Romans 12:15. And weep with them that weep.

Sympathize with mourners. Take a share of their burden. I really believe that it is easier to weep with them that weep than it is to rejoice with them that do rejoice; for this old flesh of ours begins to envy those who rejoice, whereas it does not so much object to sympathize with those that sorrow. Carry out both commands. “Rejoice with them that do rejoice. Weep with them that weep.”

Romans 12:16. Be of the same mind one toward another.

Agree together, you Christian people. Do not be always arguing and discussing. Be of the same mind one towards another. In church life very much must depend upon our unity in mind as well as in heart. “One Lord, one faith, one baptism” — these help to make a good foundation for Christian fellowship.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on Romans 12:4". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". 2011.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, October 29th, 2020
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30
Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology