The Epistle of ROMANS

Chapter Twelve


1. I beseech [beggingly implore] you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is  your reasonable [rational/logical] service.

Literal: I beseech (exhort; call to one's side; implore; beg) you therefore, brethren, by the mercies or compassions of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, dedicated and fit for His acceptance, which is your rational or logical service.

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.

Literal: And be not fashioned to this world: but be ye transformed or transfigured (to change or alter one's form, fashion or appearance -- metamorphosis) by the renewing of your mind (nous -- entire mind), that you will be able to prove and discern what is that good, and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Acceptable means 'well-pleasing'. The word 'prove' is also most interesting in that it means to assay or to analyze, examine or put to the test; PROVE BY TEST; approve on trial.

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.

Literal: For I say through the grace which is given to me, I say to everyone that is among you, not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think;

Don't be highminded or on an ego trip, but don't belittle yourself or put yourself down either. There is a balance that you must strive for. Don't forget this. You need to like yourself but not more than is necessary or proper depending or relating to the situation you are in. Think what the Word says about yourself but do not take it too far into pride -- don't get highminded, to think soberly (so as to have a sound judgement or estimate) according to or based on the measure of faith that God hath dealt to every man.

New English Translation -- In virtue of the gift that God in His grace has given me, I say to everyone among you: do not be conceited or think too highly of yourself; but think your way to a sober estimate based on the measure of faith that God has dealt to each of you.

This 'measure of faith' is the faith of Jesus Christ that we received when we were born again. We cannot get anymore than this. The verse is also saying that we are not to let our thinking get out of bounds or out of line. Spiritually, we are to know who and what we are according to the Word. Many times, a Christian can think he is better than others or preferred in God's eyes, but this is not the case. Remember, God respects the conditions that you fulfill by your free will. To a person who fulfills these conditions, God can do much more to help this person live the more than abundant life. When God does a lot for you, it is because of your believing and not because you are special. Don't let your thinking get out of bounds because when you do, you open doors for conceit and pride and then everything starts to go wrong. Stay humble because you are no better than anyone else and God does not love you more than any other person on earth. This is not hard to understand. If it were not true, God would be a respecter of persons and His Word would no longer fit. God is all light and in Him is no darkness at all, so think soberly and don't think of yourself more highly than you ought to think. You will receive a benefit from this knowledge and understanding -- just do not quit. Quitters never win and winners never quit. These cliches are based on principles in God's Word -- that is the only reason they hang around so long.  Only the Word of God has stood the test of time.  Because someone else does not study and does not understand as much as you does not make you better than them.

4. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office [function]:

Literal: For even as in one body, we have many members and all the members do not have the same function but all have different functions.

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

Literal: So all of us, united in one body with Christ, and each one members of each other.

Using the words 'as' and 'So' we can see the figure of Speech 'Simile' in verses 4 and 5.

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

Literal: The gifts we possess differ as they are allotted to us by God's grace, whether prophecy, for example, in proportion to a man's believing;

7. Or ministry, let us wait  on [in] our ministering: or he that teacheth, on [in] teaching;

Literal: Or ministry (service), in ministering (providing that service): or he that teaches -- in teaching; or he that exhorts -- in exhortation.

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

Literal: He that gives, let him do it freely and cheerfully from the heart; he that rules or leads, let him do it with diligence (do your utmost); if you are showing mercy by helping others in distress, do it cheerfully.

From verse four (4) on, Romans gives the believer specific instructions, not only as to the ministries, but also as to the conduct of his own life. Beginning with verse six (6) through verse eight (8), the following verses in Romans 12, according to their literal translation, should read:


Romans 12: 6, 7, 8 -- You then, in the Church, having charismata, spiritual abilities and functions, differing according to the divine favor or friendly willingness of God that is given you, if it be a ministry of prophecy, keep busy manifesting by prophesying according to the proportion of your believing. Or if you have another type of ministry, get busy ministering; or if your ministry is teaching, get busy teaching; or if you have an exhortation ministry, get busy exhorting. He that giveth forth in any ministry in the Church let him do it with simplicity; he that has a ruling ministry, let him do it with diligence; and he that has a ministry making him very adept in mercy, let him do it with cheerfulness.

These are specific instructions concerning the five gift ministries stated in Ephesians, chapter four:

Ephesians 4: 11 -- And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

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

Literal: Love without hypocrisy (genuine; not hidden). Abhor (shudder from, dislike) that which is evil; cleave or adhere to that which is good.

Keep away from evil in no matter what form it manifests itself. Your spirit will tell your heart and you will get sharper on this the more you renew your mind. Never flatter anyone or feign an act of love. When God loves, it is always genuine. You are to imitate Him in all ways.

10. Be  kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

Literal: Let love for our brothers and sisters breed warmth of mutual affection; in respect and honor preferring one another (express an earnest care for others).

11. Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

Literal: Not slothful (wasting time) in business (diligent; an earnest serious purpose); fervent (to boil, to be hot) spiritually, serving the Lord.

Do not delay or waste time in putting forth effort in whatever is your function in serving the Lord. He that rules is to put forth some effort in his position. It is not just a position of honor. Speed is not emphasized. The word 'business' is spoude  and is a noun in the dative case and emphasizes effect, not time. If it emphasized time, 'slothful' would be unnecessary.

12. Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

Literal: Rejoicing in hope (of the return); patient in tribulation (pressure from evils) continuing instant in prayer;

This latter statement means to be strong or firm towards anything by persisting in prayer; stedfastly continuing in prayer which helps you to endure and persevere. You should also remember that this word 'patient' means to remain behind when others have gone -- to endure patiently. When the enemy pressures you, you are to have patience and wait upon God to tell you what to do. Wait for the green light and do not act based on what your senses are telling you. When you walk by the spirit, you bypass the senses and walk only by believing. Don't try to understand everything and whatever you do, do not argue with God. Do as He says and you will get blessed. Remember you are to walk by faith (pistis) not by sight.

13. Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.

Literal: Share and partake in the needs of the saints; contribute to the needs of God's people and practice hospitality (love to strangers).

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

Literal: (self-explanatory)

15. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

Literal: With the joyful, be joyful, and mourn with the mourners.

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.

Literal: Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate, (humble of condition or mind). Be not wise within your own selves.

We are to be likeminded on the Word even though our personalities are different. We are not to have lofty or elevated thoughts which are of the world and will lead to a miserable and destructive life, but we are to be content with and blessed to keep company with humble people who respect God and live by His principles. Any other path is ego and pride and that is what comes before a fall. God will continue to open doors for you in this area as (condition) you continue to keep Him first. Never think you can go to the world for answers to your problems -- you must first turn to God and His Word. The final part of this verse 16 says to be not wise within your own selves. True wisdom comes from the Word of God.

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

Literal: (self-explanatory)

Never pay back evil for evil. This is revenge and it causes you to stoop as low as the person who did the wrong to you. You put your foot on the hose and give place to the devil when you do this. Never seek vengeance as God states in the upcoming verse 19.

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

Literal: If possible, so far as it lies within you, live at peace with all men.

You may give up rights, but don't budge on the Word. Do what you can to get along with people, but do not compromise on the principles in God's Word. Don't ever be pressured into compromising on the Word of God. God will always have a better way and make a way out that you are able to bear it.


I Corinthians 10: 13 -- There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is  faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

                                  You should commit that Scripture to memory and NEVER forget it!                


Mark 9: 50b . . . . Have salt in yourselves [get and stay committed], and have peace one with another.

God continues giving us direction and guidance in the areas of overcoming evil and living at peace -- basic doctrine in a number of areas. Learning how to overcome evil is most important. You need to counter  the adversary's moves, then dismantle, disassemble, and break down his influences by component parts. It can be done. Always remember, DO YOUR BEST AND GOD WILL DO THE REST. When I think of that statement, it always makes me feel relieved and takes the pressure off.

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.

Literal: Dearly beloved (decided preference), avenge not yourselves (do not seek revenge), but rather give place unto wrath -- leave a place for divine retribution: for it is written, vengeance (right justice) is mine; I will repay (give back, recompense), saith the Lord.

New English Translation -- My dear friends, do not seek revenge, but leave a place for divine retribution; for there is a text which reads, 'Justice is mine, says the Lord, I will repay.'

Deuteronomy 32: 35 -- To me [GOD] belongeth  vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due  time:  for the day of their calamity is  at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.

Hebrews 10: 30 -- For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth  unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

Leviticus 19: 18 -- Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am  the Lord.

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.

Literal: Therefore, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head (warm him).

Remember this is an idiom which is an Orientalism. Coals of fire were carried from one household to another in the Eastern villages by a person who takes the burning coals on a piece of pottery balanced on the top of his head. This was a pleasant task since the coals kept him warm on cold mornings.

21. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Literal: Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

New English Translation -- Do not let evil conquer you, but use good to defeat evil.

God's Word teaches you how to apply this and every principle in His Word via the renewed mind, never overstepping your free will.