26 January 2021

A Few Thoughts about Romans 12_9-13

A Few Thoughts about Romans 12_9-13

Romans 12:9-21

This is a short list of Christian rules that must be followed. These are rules of God’s kingdom. They reflect His character, His worldview, and His lifestyle. Ephesians 5:1 NLT Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.

Romans 12:9-21 WEL

9 Love must be genuine. Hate what is evil. Stick tightly to what is good.

B1 Being genuine has the idea of heartfelt love, a love that is in thoughts, desires, words, and deeds. It is not a love of words only or hypocritical love (saying one thing and acting one way in public, yet saying and doing differently in private).

B2 Hate is disgust. It is emotional. It is motivating. We are to hate evil. Good is God’s ways and evil is anything else.

B3 We are to remain, to continue, to persevere in love. This cannot be abused. We are to continue in love but if there is abuse and this passage is used to manipulate, then one must leave.

10 Cherish one another with brotherly love, in showing honor, outdo one another.

B1 Cherish is to value, to treat with kindness, to love another as we love ourselves (Matthew 19:19).

B2 Instead of honoring ourselves, we honor others. Instead of complaining about someone or trying to find fault, find and think the good. Nonetheless, we must be telling the truth.

11 Don’t be apathetic in religious zeal; be zealous in spirit; be serving the Lord.

B1 Zeal has the idea of being diligent to carry out what the Lord has commanded. Zeal would be starting, doing, and finishing without delaying.

B2 So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. Ruth 2:17 NRSV

12 Be rejoicing in hope, be patient in tribulation, persevere in prayer.

B1 Hope is the expectation of a promise. Jesus is coming back is the promise. We look for Him today and every day is the hope. We rejoice that we have hope. Often, due to circumstances, hope fades, but let us look to fulfilled promises and lives of those who lived before when they trusted in God.

B2 Being patient is to endure quietly. Only by God’s grace can we do this.

C1 Job 6:11 NLT But I don't have the strength to endure. I have nothing to live for. Compare Acts 27:20.

C2 I also know that you are enduring patiently and bearing up for the sake of my name, and that you have not grown weary. Revelation 2:3 NRSV

C3 God’s promises and His fulfilled promises of the past, give us hope today. For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4 NRSV

B3 We pray and pray and pray. We become discouraged. Why should I pray anymore? But! Referring the Jesus, the author of Hebrews writes, who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. Hebrews 5:7-8 NKJV

B4 Prayer is worship. It is not scripted; it is genuine communication with our Father. Let us continue to pray.

C1 Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Colossians 4:2 NLT

C2 We are to walk with God. When we walk together, we talk together. No, O people, the LORD has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 NLT

13 Be sharing what you have for the needs of the saints; be given to hospitality.

B1 If we can help, do. First priority is our spouse, then children, then church family, then other Christians, and lastly those who are not Christians. We don’t neglect our family to give to strangers, but strangers need help, too. Let us be discerning.

B2 “No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. Isaiah 58:6-7 NLT

14 Bless those who persecute you. Bless; do not curse.

B1 We need to be a witness. If we curse, the persecutor will expect that, but if we bless and pray for them, they will have a witness about God’s ways.

B2 When the trial of Sir Thomas More was ended, and he was judged guilty of death, being asked if he had anything to say, he replied: " My lords, I have but to say that, like as the blessed apostle St. Paul was present at the death of the martyr Stephen, keeping their clothes that stoned him, and yet be now both saints in heaven, and there shall continue friends for ever, so I trust, and shall therefore pray, that though your lordships have been on earth my judges, yet we may hereafter meet in heaven together, to our everlasting salvation: and God preserve you all, especially my sovereign lord the king, and grant him faithful counsellors." (H. O. Mackey.)

15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.

B1 There is a time to rejoice and a time to weep. Let us be wise to be good comforters.

B2 There is a need for empathy in these evil days. We can have this ministry to listen, to have compassion, and show kindness. But let us be discerning and not fall under their control or our emotions to bound with them.

16 Respect one another. Do not be inclined towards the upper class but condescend to those of lower status. Don’t be conceited in yourselves.

B1 So there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles, between slaves and free people, between men and women; you are all one in union with Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are the descendants of Abraham and will receive what God has promised. Galatians 3:28-29 GNB. Compare Colossians 3:9-13.

B2 A quote: Be on guard because pride stops people from seeing the truth and makes people think they are something or are better than others, which is not true. Always live with humility. Boast to everyone what Christ did on that cross for us. [Source]

17 Do not return evil for evil. Have it settled in your mind to be honest in everyone’s presence.

B1 Let God judge and sentence. His decisions are in love, wisdom, and holiness. We must always anticipate the possibility of repentance in others. Yet, if abused, leave.

B2 Truth is freeing; dishonesty is slavery.

B3 Robert Burns wrote, "An honest man's the noblest work of God." He was right. A man who is honest all round, honest. towards God, and honest towards his fellow-creatures, is the noblest work of God, When urged by his wife not to allow his conscience to stand in the way of fortunes Milton said, "I am resolved to live and die an honest man," Let us say the same, "Come gain or loss, come evil report or good report, come weal or woe, I am resolved to live and die an honest man. [Source is Biblical Illustrator-New Testament]

18 As much as is possible, live in peace with everyone.

B1 Sometimes we cannot, so we must leave.

B2 There is war, and there is peace. The world’s ways are selfishness, disorder, envy, fighting, etc. Yet, God’s ways are the opposite. God wants us to be a witness of God’s ways to those who are ungodly.

19 Dearly beloved, don’t seek revenge for yourself, but give room for the wrath [of God] instead, for it is written, “’Vengeance is mine; I will repay’, says the Lord.”

B1 Only God is truly and consistently just.

B2 Consider David’s actions when given the opportunity to kill King Saul in 1 Samuel 26:9-25.

20 Therefore, if your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him drink, for in doing so you will heap coals of fire on his head.

B1 Note the actions of Elijah in 2 Kings 6:8-23 especially When the king of Israel saw them he said to Elisha, "Father, shall I kill them? Shall I kill them?" He answered, "No! Did you capture with your sword and your bow those whom you want to kill? Set food and water before them so that they may eat and drink; and let them go to their master." So he prepared for them a great feast; after they ate and drank, he sent them on their way, and they went to their master. And the Arameans no longer came raiding into the land of Israel. 2 Kings 6:21-23 NRSV

B2 We treats others so to give them opportunity to trust in Jesus. ...so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. Matthew 5:45 NRSV

21 Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.

B1 The summary is to overcome evil with good. It is a witness. It is for peace in our soul. Eventually, Jesus will return and complete the destruction of the devil and his ways.

B2 This is a spiritual war.

B3 In the Epistle of Paul to the Romans: “Rendering to no man evil for evil.” (Rom 12:17) Also in the same place: “Not to be overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Rom 12:21) Of this same thing in the Apocalypse: “And He said unto me, Seal not the words of the prophecy of this book; because now the time is at hand. And let those who persist in hurting, hurt: and let him who is filthy, be filthy still: but let the righteous do still more righteousness: and in like manner, let him that is holy do still more holiness. Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to render to every man according to his deeds.” (Rev 22:10-12) [Source is The Treatises of Cyprian. Treatise XII. — Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews. Third Book. Testimonies].

The Christian is a new creation with a new citizenship, a new worldview, and a new lifestyle. God is the king, and these are some laws of His kingdom. We can apply this promise—do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10 NRSV

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