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Romans Chapter 12:1-21

Memory verses for this week: 1 Pet 1:17  And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: 

Introduction:     Last week, in  chapter 11, Paul spoke of how God had called him to be the apostle unto the Gentiles.   All righteousness comes today by grace, with no involvement of works.  It comes through the Lord Jesus Christ.  He closed chapter 11 telling us how that one day the nation of Israel would be grafted back into the true olive tree.   We as Gentiles are grafted into that tree today, but one day, a branch (the Jews) will be grafted in to the olive tree. 

I.                    What  Should We Offer as a Sacrifice 

Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 

Our bodies are to be offered unto the Lord as a living sacrifice.   The Jews brought animals that were killed and placed on the altar for a sacrifice.  We today are not to bring a dead sacrifice, but one that is living.  It is to be our active living body, sacrificed to self and ready to be used by the Lord.  God does not expect this to be an unreasonable demand, as the verse says “which is your reasonable service.”


Even though the animals sacrificed could not take away sin, it atoned for it and made God look past the sin until Christ would come one day and take away their sins.  But God has always wanted obedience rather than sacrifice.


1 Sam 15:22  And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.


When Christ came into this old sinful world, he stated “Sacrifices and offerings thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me.”


Heb 10:5  Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:

Heb 10:6  In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.


When a person gets saved, his or her body belongs to God.  It is our bodies that the Lord wants us to offer to him as a sacrifice.  When we offer our ALL unto the Lord, we will be accepted by the Lord.  Christ comes into our lives, and gives us the new birth. 

1 Cor 6:19  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

1 Cor 6:20  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.


Rom 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 

Paul told the Romans to be transformed by the renewing of their minds.   When we were born again, the inner man becomes perfect.  But God wants us to control the outer man and to conform it to the ways of God.  And it takes a daily commitment and a taking up of our cross to really have our hearts turned to the Lord.  When we get our minds on the things of God, we can experience this transformation.   When we do this, our lives are molded after that of Christ and we show a proper conduct to our fellow man. 

II.                  Think Soberly 

Rom 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. 

We have to be careful to see things properly.  Sometimes we can be lulled into a slumber where we think we are really doing a great service to the Lord, when in reality we are cold and backslidden and out of the  will of God.  Verse 3 says to not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think, but to think soberly.  And we are to live soberly and in kindness and meekness toward our fellow man.   We need to have the same mind as Paul had as he told about in I Cor. 3. 

1 Cor 3:5  Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?

1 Cor 3:6  I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

1 Cor 3:7  So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

 Paul realized that it was not he or Apollos who did the increasing, but it was God using them to accomplish His results.  God and only God can save the lost soul.  When we are faithful to preach the gospel, God will do his part and give the increase.   John the Baptist admitted that he was not worthy to unloose the shoe latchet of Christ. 

John 1:26  John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;

John 1:27  He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose. 

We must guard against self exultation.  The bible tells us to let another praise us, and not our own lips.  Our goal should be to please the Lord and let God do the exalting if it is to come at all. 

Prov 27:2  Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.


III.                Members in One Body 

Rom 12:4  For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:

Rom 12:5  So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 

When you look at the human body, you see that it takes many members to make up our body.  That is the same way it is in the church.  One member can not do the work of the others of the body.   An example would be that the eye can not do the function of the hand.   And the hand can not do the work of the ear.  Each of us are equipped with various gifts from God, and we are to use those gifts to glorify the Lord.   One member may can sing and glorify God with their voice, where another may be an excellent speaker and can be used on visitation.   And everyone of us can uplift one another by being faithful in our service to God.  Just being in the house of the Lord shows our love for the Lord.   Each and every member is needful, and God places us in the body as He sees fit.  Paul did a great job of explaining the importance of each member in his letter to the Corinthians. 

1 Cor 12:12  For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

1 Cor 12:13  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

1 Cor 12:14  For the body is not one member, but many.

1 Cor 12:15  If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

1 Cor 12:16  And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

1 Cor 12:17  If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?

1 Cor 12:18  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

1 Cor 12:19  And if they were all one member, where were the body?

1 Cor 12:20  But now are they many members, yet but one body.

1 Cor 12:21  And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

1 Cor 12:22  Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:

1 Cor 12:23  And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.

1 Cor 12:24  For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:

1 Cor 12:25  That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

1 Cor 12:26  And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.


Rom 12:6  Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;

Rom 12:7  Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;

Rom 12:8  Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness.


Every member of the church does not hold the same office.  If everyone was the Sunday School Superintendent, there would be no one to teach the classes and no members to make up each class.  But God has different positions of responsibility for each of us.  And whatever God has called us to do, we should do it the best we can do.   The smallest thing done for the Lord will never be forgotten.  There were in the early days prophets within the church, and that prophet was to speak unto the edification of the saints.  Today, anyone who prophesies is to do it from the word of God.  God’s word is finished and complete, and there will be no new word from the Lord until Christ splits that eastern sky.   God still speaks to us today, but it is through His Word. 

Psa 119:89  LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word i s settled in heaven.


Verse 7 says that the preachers of the gospel are to be referred to as ministers.  An exhorter is said to be one who makes an earnest appeal to people seeking to arouse them to greater activity.    When we go out on visitation, many times we are going to exhort members to a greater level of service to the Lord.  In verse 8, it speaks of those who showeth mercy.  This has reference to those who render assistance to those who are sick or in sorrow.  When we encourage those, we should do it cheerfully.


IV.               Brotherly Love and Brotherly Conduct 

Rom 12:9  Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. 

We are to love without hypocrisy and with sincerity.  We should not love to gain from our actions, but love like Christ loved.  He came and gave His all for us, that we might have eternal life.   His life was a life devoted to the glory and honor of God.  Like Christ, we are to abhor evil and to cling to the things that are good.  And the truth is that we can know good from evil.  God’s Word was penned that we might know what is right and what is wrong.  I heard Robbie Zacharias on the radio yesterday, and he said that no one wants to accept responsibility for their actions.  The world gives us a grey picture with no clear right and wrong, but God never meant for people to walk around in hopeless confusion.  We need to only look to God’s Word, and we can know good and we can understand what is evil. 

Rom 12:10  Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; 

The teaching from verse 10 is clear.  We are to show special love one to another, and to let honor be bestowed on another.  That is not the world’s way, but that is how God would have us to live.  Prefer another before ourselves.  In the Crossway Classic Commentaries on Romans, Alister McGrath had this to say about verse 10. 

“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.  As for brotherly love, be kindly affectioned on towards another.  This exhortation seems to have special reference to Christians.  The Greek word storge (love) expresses the strong natural affection between parents and children but is applied also to tender affections of any kind.  Here, no doubt, the idea is that Christians should love each other with the sincerity and tenderness they would show if they were the nearest of relatives.  Hold another above yourself.   This passage, translated in this way, must be an exhortation to humility.  The word translated above does not appear with this meaning elsewhere.  It strictly means “to go before” , “to lead”, and then figuratively “to set an example”. 

Rom 12:11  Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

Rom 12:12  Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

Rom 12:13  Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. 

A lazy person is truly out of place in the work of God.  He is not to be slothful in business, but fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.  God can and will use a person that is spiritually on fire for the Lord.  But he has little respect for those who are lukewarm. 

Rev 3:14  And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

Rev 3:15  I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

Rev 3:16  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Rev 3:17  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

Rev 3:18  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

Rev 3:19  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 

Rom 12:14  Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.

Rom 12:15  Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

Rom 12:16  Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. 

This is very difficult to do sometimes.  Perhaps you have gone out to witness to a lost man or woman, and they are upset with you for coming and curse at you for being concerned.  Maybe they slam the door in your face.   Before God tendered my heart, I used to just have an attitude “Well, if you don’t care about your soul I don’t either.”  And when I had that attitude, nary a soul did a lead to the Lord.  But when I got concerned and realized that the roles could be reversed.  I could be the lost man and they be the one coming to see me, and the devil could have my eyes so blinded to the truth.  When you see things clearly, then you do care and you do pray for them.  This is the command of God.  Christ never lifted a hand when they persecuted Him.  He set the example that we should follow.    Verses 15 and 16 tell us to rejoice with those who are happy, and to weep with those in mourning.  We should be willing to go and share the burden when a brother or sister is in pain.  And whoever needs our help, we should be willing to descend to their level.   Christ came from heaven above and lived down here with no place to call his own.   How much sacrifice is it to be there for others when they need a helping hand.  We should all be of one mind, and that mind is the mind of Christ. 

Phil 2:5  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Phil 2:6  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

Phil 2:7  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

Phil 2:8  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Phil 2:9  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

Phil 2:10  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

Phil 2:11  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

V.                 The Attitude of the Child of God 

Rom 12:17  Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

Rom 12:18  If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

Rom 12:19  Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 

We are not responsible to mete our revenge to those who do us wrong.  God takes care of that, and we are to just continue in our walk with the Lord no matter what comes our way.   We should be known as men and women of integrity, and do all things hones in the sight of all men. 

Mat 5:38  Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:

Mat 5:39  But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Mat 5:40  And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.

Mat 5:41  And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

Mat 5:42  Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

Mat 5:43  Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

Mat 5:44  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Mat 5:45  That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 


Rom 12:20  Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

Rom 12:21  Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. 

As we read in Matthew 5, we are to love our enemies.  The world teaches you to hate those that are your enemies.  But God commands that we love all, even those who despitefully use us and persecute us.   We have a choice.  We can let the good overcome the evil, or let the evil overcome the good.  How we choose to live has a lot to do with how we use our time.  Do we spend enough time in God’s Word?  I know that I don’t.   God help us to ever look to Him for guidance that others might see Christ in us. 

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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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