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Romans 12

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Consecration of the Believer’s Life

12:1 Therefore I exhort you, brothers and sisters, 1  by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice – alive, holy, and pleasing to God 2  – which is your reasonable service. 12:2 Do not be conformed 3  to this present world, 4  but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve 5  what is the will of God – what is good and well-pleasing and perfect.

Conduct in Humility

12:3 For by the grace given to me I say to every one of you not to think more highly of yourself than you ought to think, but to think with sober discernment, as God has distributed to each of you 6  a measure of faith. 7  12:4 For just as in one body we have many members, and not all the members serve the same function, 12:5 so we who are many are one body in Christ, and individually we are members who belong to one another. 12:6 And we have different gifts 8  according to the grace given to us. If the gift is prophecy, that individual must use it in proportion to his faith. 12:7 If it is service, he must serve; if it is teaching, he must teach; 12:8 if it is exhortation, he must exhort; if it is contributing, he must do so with sincerity; if it is leadership, he must do so with diligence; if it is showing mercy, he must do so with cheerfulness.

Conduct in Love

12:9 Love must be 9  without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil, cling to what is good. 12:10 Be devoted to one another with mutual love, showing eagerness in honoring one another. 12:11 Do not lag in zeal, be enthusiastic in spirit, serve the Lord. 12:12 Rejoice in hope, endure in suffering, persist in prayer. 12:13 Contribute to the needs of the saints, pursue hospitality. 12:14 Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse. 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 12:16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty but associate with the lowly. 10  Do not be conceited. 11  12:17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil; consider what is good before all people. 12  12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all people. 13  12:19 Do not avenge yourselves, dear friends, but give place to God’s wrath, 14  for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” 15  says the Lord. 12:20 Rather, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in doing this you will be heaping burning coals on his head. 16  12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

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1 tn Grk “brothers.” See note on the phrase “brothers and sisters” in 1:13.

2 tn The participle and two adjectives “alive, holy, and pleasing to God” are taken as predicates in relation to “sacrifice,” making the exhortation more emphatic. See ExSyn 618-19.

sn Taken as predicate adjectives, the terms alive, holy, and pleasing are showing how unusual is the sacrifice that believers can now offer, for OT sacrifices were dead. As has often been quipped about this text, “The problem with living sacrifices is that they keep crawling off the altar.”

3 tn Although συσχηματίζεσθε (suschmatizesqe) could be either a passive or middle, the passive is more likely since it would otherwise have to be a direct middle (“conform yourselves”) and, as such, would be quite rare for NT Greek. It is very telling that being “conformed” to the present world is viewed as a passive notion, for it may suggest that it happens, in part, subconsciously. At the same time, the passive could well be a “permissive passive,” suggesting that there may be some consciousness of the conformity taking place. Most likely, it is a combination of both.

4 tn Grk “to this age.”

5 sn The verb translated test and approve (δοκιμάζω, dokimazw) carries the sense of “test with a positive outcome,” “test so as to approve.”

6 tn The words “of you” have been supplied for clarity.

7 tn Or “to each as God has distributed a measure of faith.”

8 tn This word comes from the same root as “grace” in the following clause; it means “things graciously given,” “grace-gifts.”

9 tn The verb “must be” is understood in the Greek text.

10 tn Or “but give yourselves to menial tasks.” The translation depends on whether one takes the adjective “lowly” as masculine or neuter.

11 tn Grk “Do not be wise in your thinking.”

12 tn Here ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo") is used as a generic and refers to both men and women.

13 tn Here ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo") is used as a generic and refers to both men and women.

14 tn Grk “the wrath,” referring to God’s wrath as the remainder of the verse shows.

15 sn A quotation from Deut 32:35.

16 sn A quotation from Prov 25:21-22.



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