Bible: Romans 12-15
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.
Submission to Civil Government
13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except by God’s appointment, 17 and the authorities that exist have been instituted by God. 13:2 So the person who resists such authority 18 resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will incur judgment 13:3 (for rulers cause no fear for good conduct but for bad). Do you desire not to fear authority? Do good and you will receive its commendation, 13:4 for it is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be in fear, for it does not bear the sword in vain. It is God’s servant to administer retribution on the wrongdoer. 13:5 Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of the wrath of the authorities 19 but also because of your conscience. 20 13:6 For this reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities 21 are God’s servants devoted to governing. 22 13:7 Pay everyone what is owed: taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.
Exhortation to Love Neighbors
13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. 13:9 For the commandments, 23 “Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not covet,” 24 (and if there is any other commandment) are summed up in this, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 25 13:10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Motivation to Godly Conduct
13:11 And do this 26 because we know 27 the time, that it is already the hour for us to awake from sleep, for our salvation is now nearer than when we became believers. 13:12 The night has advanced toward dawn; the day is near. So then we must lay aside the works of darkness, and put on the weapons of light. 13:13 Let us live decently as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in discord and jealousy. 13:14 Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to arouse its desires. 28
Exhortation to Mutual Forbearance
14:1 Now receive the one who is weak in the faith, and do not have disputes over differing opinions. 29 14:2 One person believes in eating everything, but the weak person eats only vegetables. 14:3 The one who eats everything must not despise the one who does not, and the one who abstains must not judge the one who eats everything, for God has accepted him. 14:4 Who are you to pass judgment on another’s servant? Before his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord 30 is able to make him stand.
14:5 One person regards one day holier than other days, and another regards them all alike. 31 Each must be fully convinced in his own mind. 14:6 The one who observes the day does it for the Lord. The 32 one who eats, eats for the Lord because he gives thanks to God, and the one who abstains from eating abstains for the Lord, and he gives thanks to God. 14:7 For none of us lives for himself and none dies for himself. 14:8 If we live, we live for the Lord; if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 14:9 For this reason Christ died and returned to life, so that he may be the Lord of both the dead and the living.
14:10 But you who eat vegetables only – why do you judge your brother or sister? 33 And you who eat everything – why do you despise your brother or sister? 34 For we will all stand before the judgment seat 35 of God. 14:11 For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to me, and every tongue will give praise to God.” 36 14:12 Therefore, each of us will give an account of himself to God. 37
Exhortation for the Strong not to Destroy the Weak
14:13 Therefore we must not pass judgment on one another, but rather determine never to place an obstacle or a trap before a brother or sister. 38 14:14 I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean in itself; still, it is unclean to the one who considers it unclean. 14:15 For if your brother or sister 39 is distressed because of what you eat, 40 you are no longer walking in love. 41 Do not destroy by your food someone for whom Christ died. 14:16 Therefore do not let what you consider good 42 be spoken of as evil. 14:17 For the kingdom of God does not consist of food and drink, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. 14:18 For the one who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by people. 43
14:19 So then, let us pursue what makes for peace and for building up one another. 14:20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. For although all things are clean, 44 it is wrong to cause anyone to stumble by what you eat. 14:21 It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything that causes your brother to stumble. 45 14:22 The faith 46 you have, keep to yourself before God. Blessed is the one who does not judge himself by what he approves. 14:23 But the man who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not do so from faith, and whatever is not from faith is sin. 47
Exhortation for the Strong to Help the Weak
15:1 But we who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak, and not just please ourselves. 48 15:2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good to build him up. 15:3 For even Christ did not please himself, but just as it is written, “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” 49 15:4 For everything that was written in former times was written for our instruction, so that through endurance and through encouragement of the scriptures we may have hope. 15:5 Now may the God of endurance and comfort give you unity with one another 50 in accordance with Christ Jesus, 15:6 so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Exhortation to Mutual Acceptance
15:7 Receive one another, then, just as Christ also received you, to God’s glory. 15:8 For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised 51 on behalf of God’s truth to confirm the promises made to the fathers, 52 15:9 and thus the Gentiles glorify God for his mercy. 53 As it is written, “Because of this I will confess you among the Gentiles, and I will sing praises to your name.” 54 15:10 And again it says: “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.” 55 15:11 And again, “Praise the Lord all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples praise him.” 56 15:12 And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, and the one who rises to rule over the Gentiles, in him will the Gentiles hope.” 57 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in him, 58 so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Paul’s Motivation for Writing the Letter
15:14 But I myself am fully convinced about you, my brothers and sisters, 59 that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another. 15:15 But I have written more boldly to you on some points so as to remind you, because of the grace given to me by God 15:16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. I serve 60 the gospel of God 61 like a priest, so that the Gentiles may become an acceptable offering, 62 sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
15:17 So I boast 63 in Christ Jesus about the things that pertain to God. 15:18 For I will not dare to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in order to bring about the obedience 64 of the Gentiles, by word and deed, 15:19 in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem even as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 15:20 And in this way I desire to preach where Christ has not been named, so as not to build on another person’s foundation, 15:21 but as it is written: “Those who were not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.” 65
Paul’s Intention of Visiting the Romans
15:22 This is the reason I was often hindered from coming to you. 15:23 But now there is nothing more to keep me 66 in these regions, and I have for many years desired 67 to come to you 15:24 when I go to Spain. For I hope to visit you when I pass through and that you will help me 68 on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while.
15:25 But now I go to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. 15:26 For Macedonia and Achaia are pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. 15:27 For they were pleased to do this, and indeed they are indebted to the Jerusalem saints. 69 For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are obligated also to minister to them in material things. 15:28 Therefore after I have completed this and have safely delivered this bounty to them, 70 I will set out for Spain by way of you, 15:29 and I know that when I come to you I will come in the fullness of Christ’s blessing.
15:30 Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, 71 through our Lord Jesus Christ and through the love of the Spirit, to join fervently with me in prayer to God on my behalf. 15:31 Pray 72 that I may be rescued from those who are disobedient in Judea and that my ministry in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 15:32 so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. 15:33 Now may the God of peace be with all of you. Amen. 73