Paraphrase of the Book of Romans
by E.H. Jack Sequeira
Chapter 12Living the Spirit-Controlled Life
1 Now that I have unburdened myself concerning my
fellow Jews, I would like to return to the subject of walking in the Spirit and
Christian living. In view of what I concluded in chapter eight
regarding the unfailing love of God, I plead with you that you dedicate yourselves
unselfishly to Gods service living lives that are pleasing to Him as Christ
2 Dont be influenced by worldly practices or
secular humanism or give in to peer pressure, but instead constantly remind yourselves
as Christians that you have died to the ways of the world and your one goal in life is
to live for Christ, doing what He wants you to do. In other words, let Gods Spirit
re-mold you into His likeness. 3 This counsel comes from
God Himself whose servant I am. He wants every believer to be humble, thinking and
acting honestly in all matters, fulfilling His purpose for each one according to the
gift of the Holy Spirit.
4 For just as the human body consists of different limbs
and organs, each having its own particular function, yet together making up one person,
5 so we Christians, who through faith have become one with
Christ, represent one spiritual body with each member having a particular function, yet
together we are vitally linked to each other as one body in Christ.
6 Consequently, for the church to be spiritually healthy,
the spiritual gifts each has received need to be put into practice. If preaching is your
gift, proclaim Gods message accordingly. 7 If your gift
is serving others or administration, concentrate on serving others or on administration.
You may be blessed with the gift of teaching, then let that be your field of labor for
the church. 8 Another may have the gift of encouraging others.
Put that ability into good use. Or one may be blessed with a generous heart, then give
liberally to thc needs of thc church. Should your gift be that of leadership, exert
yourself to lead. If helping others in need is your calling, then be a helper and do it
Characteristics of a True Christian
9 What I am saying is that the unconditional,
self-emptying, agape love of God manifested in Christs holy history, now
flows into you through the Holy Spirit, and this must be witnessed through your Christian
behavior [John 13:34, 35]. This means we must hate and avoid evil and uphold and
do good [Tit. 2:14].10 For example, in dealings with
one another let unselfish love be manifested, and let us genuinely be considerate of
others, giving no room for pride and conceit.
11 Do not be lazy or sponge on others, but work hard and
diligently serve the Lord Jesus Christ. 12 Let the blessed
hope keep you always joyful in the Lord and if you have to suffer in any way or put up
with trials, endure these things with patience. Keep close to your Saviour through
habitual prayer, for He longs to have fellowship with you.
13 Always help fellow believers who are in genuine need
and practice hospitality with strangers. 14 And in harmony
with Christs teaching, pray for those who are against you and make your life
miserable [Matt. 5:43-40]. I know this is contrary to the inclinations of our
sinful nature, but we must be controlled by the Spirit, asking God to bless our enemies
and not curse them. 15 Since we are one in Christ,
learn to rejoice with believers who are rejoicing and weep with those who are weeping
[1 Cor. 12:25-27].
16 Practice no discrimination or favoritism in your
dealings with one another and socialize with all in the church, not just the prominent
or well-to-do believers; in other words, dont be snobbish.
17 If someone has done you wrong, do not retaliate and say,
I dont care what others say about it. Your public behavior must not,
in any way, bring disgrace to Gods church or His cause. 18
And, as far as possible, live peaceably with your neighbors.
19 Do not ever take revenge on anyone who has unjustly
treated you, but leave the matter in Gods hands, for He said: Vengeance is
mine; I the Lord, will justly repay those who have wronged you [Deut. 32:35].20 Instead, do the very opposite, just as Scripture advises:
If your enemy is starving, feed him. If he happens to be thirsty, give him a drink.
By doing this, he will feel so ashamed of his behavior that he will regret the way he
treated you [Prov. 25:21, 22].21 Finally, do
not let all the evil you have to put up with get you down, but overcome evil with good.