Chapter 12 of Romans
Paul sets out a nice list of “do’s and do not’s” for Christians. While this list may seem like a list of “laws”, they are not. Rather, if you read them and think on them, Paul gives a very nice mental picture of how Christians should act, and that is the spirit in which I read this chapter.
So my new system of Bible Study sends me through each chapter 6 different times looking for different things, however this Chapter I only found 3 different subjects as follows:
- Names of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit (I underline references to all forms of God in purple and then follow up by researching them in the concordance. I am specifically looking for times when the writer may use a different term for God within a chapter.)
- Advice and tips for Christian living/thinking, instructions for followers of Christ (I use a green star in the margin and may put parenthesis around the relevant text.)
- Actions/thoughts that Christians should not do. Things unbecoming of believers (I use an upside down black triangle in the margin and again, I may put parenthesis around the text.)
So those 3 “subjects” are what I focused on in this chapter.
1. Names of God – I use the NASB version and everywhere the name “God” was used, it was “Theos” which is a reference to the Triune God. Just as was used in previous chapters. There are 2 references to the title “Lord”. The first in verse 11 when Paul references “…serving the Lord” which is consistent with the title “Kurios” having to do with Master/Lord, God the Messiah. The second is in vs 19 which is a quote from the OT, “VEGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. This is interesting in that it came out of the OT prior to the appearance of the Messiah and yet the title “Lord” or “Kurios” refers to Master/slave, and is reserved as a title for God the Messiah. The text itself coincides with the fact that God the Messiah will be the judge of mankind. I think this is really cool! There is one reference to Christ or “Christos”, God the Messiah.
All in all, Paul is very consistent in how he uses terms to reference God all throughout Romans so far.
2. Advice – This subject is relevant throughout most of Chapter 12. This seems to be the focus of this Chapter. So here is a bulleted list:
- vs 1 – present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God which is your spiritual service of worship
- vs 2 – be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect
- vs 3 – think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith
- vs 6 – Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly
- vs 9 – Let love be without hypocrisy
- vs 9 – Abhor what is evil
- vs 9 – cling to what is good
- vs 10 – Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor
- vs 11 – fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
- vs 12 – rejoicing in hope
- vs 12 – persevering in tribulation
- vs 12 – devoted to prayer
- vs 13 – contributing to the needs of the saints
- vs 13 – practicing hospitality
- vs 14 – Bless those who persecute you
- vs 15 – Rejoice with those who rejoice
- vs 15 – weep with those who weep
- vs 16 – Be of the same mind toward one another
- vs 16 – associate with the lowly
- vs 17 – Respect what is right in the sight of all men
- vs 18 – If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.
- vs 19 – leave room for the wrath of God
- vs 20 – If your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink…
- vs 21 – overcome evil with good
I want to be the follower of Christ that is described here. Wow.
3. Things that aren’t becoming in a believer:
- vs 2 – Do not be conformed to this world
- vs 3 – don’t think more highly of yourself than you should
- vs 11 – don’t lag behind in diligence but be fervent in sprit, serving the Lord
- vs 14 – bless and do not curse others
- vs 16 – do not be haughty in mind but associate with the lowly
- vs 16 – Do not be wise in your own estimation
- vs 17 – Never pay back evil for evil to anyone
- vs 19 – Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God
- vs 21 – Do not be overcome by evil
I really liked this chapter. I think it was really straight forward and not requiring much explanation. I love the mental image of the believer that Paul has painted and I want to be more like that myself.