Study of Romans 12:9-21

Marks of the True Christian

Rom 12:9  Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 
Rom 12:10  Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; 
Rom 12:11  not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 
Rom 12:12  rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, 
Rom 12:13  contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. 
Rom 12:14  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 
Rom 12:15  Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 
Rom 12:16  Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 
Rom 12:17  Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 
Rom 12:18  If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 
Rom 12:19  Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. 
Rom 12:20  “BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.” 
Rom 12:21  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. 

v9 – Without hypocrisy. Let it be sincere and unfeigned. Let it not consist in words or professions only, but let it be manifested in acts of kindness and in deeds of charity.

  • “Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.”  1 John 3:18
  • “If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?” James 2:15-16

v10 – The word used here occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It properly denotes tender affection, such as what subsists between parents and children; and it means that Christians should have similar feelings toward each other, as belonging to the same family, and as united in the same principles and interests. In showing or manifesting respect or honor. Not in seeking honor, or striving after respect, but in showing it to one another. The words “giving preference” means going before, leading, setting an example. Thus, in showing mutual respect and honor, they were to strive to excel; not to see which could obtain most honor, but which could confer most, or manifest most respect.

v11 – Whatsoever we do, do it with our might. In every business diligently and fervently serving the Lord – Doing all to God, not to man.

v12 – “Now faith is the assurance of thingshoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  Hebrews 11:1. In these things we hope for, we rejoice that we shall at some point receive it.

No matter what troubles and persecution we experience, we are to persevere to the end.  We are not to quit or doubt in our faith.

And we are to be devoted to prayer, which is our great honor to communicate with our loving Father. 

  • “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

v13-16 – The idea here is however you think of yourself we are to think of others the same way.  An example given here is that we should not be haughty or arrogant, thinking we are better than others. We should not think of ourselves as the only source of wisdom, but we must understand we can learn and be instructed by others.

v17-19 – “Vengeance is Mine, and retribution, In due time their foot will slip; For the day of their calamity is near, And the impending things are hastening upon them.”  Deuteronomy 32:35

v20 – If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; For you will heap burning coals on his head, And the LORD will reward you.” Proverbs 25:22-23. The idea here in heaping hot coals is to give them more than they need. Heating the home and cooking was done through the use of hot coals. If someone finds their coals have gone cold, the idea is that one who has hot coals will give them an abundance. And in those days, the way things were carried was in pots held on the heads.

v21 – Paul ends this chapter by encouraging them to condemn evil, and do not act in such a way as to become what you condemn in others. And the way to vanquish evil is to do good to others.

Go Back to Chapter 12 Part 2

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