Romans 12:1-14 overview Outline

charles e. whisnant, pastor/teacher

The doctrinal teaching of this Epistle is now followed up by a series of exhortations to practical duty. And first, the all-comprehensive duty.

ROMANS 12:1 1599 Geneva Bible (GNV) verses 1 to 9
1 I Beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye give up your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable serving of God.

(1) The redeeming mercy of God in Christ is, in the souls of believers, the living spring of all holy obedience
(2) As redemption under the Gospel is not by irrational victims, as under the law, but “by the precious blood of Christ” ( 1 Peter 1:18-19 ), and, consequently, is not ritual but real, so the sacrifices which believers are now called to offer are all “living sacrifices”; and these–summed up in self-consecration to the service of God–are “holy and acceptable to God,” making up together “our rational service”
(3) In this light, what are we to think of the so-called “unbloody sacrifice of the mass, continually offered to God as a propitiation for the sins both of the living and the dead,” which the adherents of Rome’s corrupt faith have been taught for ages to believe is the highest and holiest act of Christian worship–in direct opposition to the sublimely simple teaching which the Christians of Rome first received


And fashion not yourselves like unto this world, but be ye changed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what that good, and acceptable and perfect will of God is.

(4) Christians should not feel themselves at liberty to be conformed to the world, if only they avoid what is manifestly sinful; but rather, yielding themselves to the transforming power of the truth as it is in Jesus, they should strive to exhibit before the world an entire renovation of heart and life

Romans 12:2.

(5) What God would have men to be, in all its beauty and grandeur, is for the first time really apprehended, when “written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tables of stone, but on the fleshy tables of the heart,” 2 Corinthians 3:3 Romans 12:2 . ‘

Romans 12:3-4

For I say through the grace that is given unto me, to everyone that is among you, that no man presume to understand above that which is meet to understand, but that he understand according to sobriety, as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not one office,

(6) Self-sufficiency and lust of power are peculiarly unlovely in the vessels of mercy, whose respective graces and gifts are all a divine trust for the benefit of the common body and of mankind at large Romans 12:3 Romans 12:4

Romans 12:5-8

5 So we being many, are one body in Christ, and every one, one another members. 6 [o]Seeing then that we have gifts that are divers, according to the grace that is given unto us, whether we have prophecy, let us prophesy according to the [p]portion of faith. 7 Or an office, let us wait on the office: or he that q teacheth, on teaching: 8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that istributeth, let him do it with simplicity: he that ruleth, with diligence: he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness.

(7) As forgetfulness of this has been the source of innumerable and unspeakable evils in the Church of Christ, so the faithful exercise by every Christian of his own peculiar office and gifts, and the loving recognition of those of his brethren, as all of equal importance in their own place, would put a new face upon the visible Church, to the vast benefit and comfort of Christians themselves and to the admiration of the world around them Romans 12:6-8 .

Romans 12:9-10

Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil, and cleave unto that which is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love, give preference (to one another in honor). Not slothful  in business;  fervent  in spirit; serving the Lord; (not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the lord.)

(8) What would the world be, if it were filled with Christians having but one object in life, high above every other–to “serve the Lord”–and throwing into this service “alacrity” in the discharge of all duties, and abiding “warmth of spirit” Romans 12:11!


Romans 12:12-21

Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing  instant in prayer; (rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer). Distributing  to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality (contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality) 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. } Bless them which persecute  you: bless, and curse not.

(9) Oh, how far is even the living Church from exhibiting the whole character and spirit, so beautifully portrayed in the latter verses of this chapter Romans 12:12-21! What need of a fresh baptism of the Spirit in order to this! And how “fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners,” will the Church become, when at length instinct with this Spirit! The Lord hasten it in its time!


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

16 Be like affectionate one towards another: be not high-minded: but make yourselves equal to them of the  lower sort: be not wise in yourselves.

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

18 If it be possible, as much as in you is, have peace with all men.

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

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

Qualities of the complete Christian (verses 9-21)

A Love (9-10)
B. Passion (11)
C. Heavenly-minded (12)
D. Hospitable (13)
E. Forgiving (14)
F. Encouraging (15)
G. Others-centered (16)
H. Upright (17)
I. Peaceful (18)
J. Patient (19)
K. Generous (20)
L. Victorious (21)


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