“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
Let’s look at the context. Read Romans 12:1-2,9-13.
Verses 1-2 give us the foundation for our “one another’s.”
1. Our “bodies,” not only our souls, are to be a willing sacrifice to God. That even means when we are tired, achy and just don’t feel like it.
2. We are spiritual and physical beings and God does not necessarily make a distinction here between the two realms.
a. we offer our bodies to God and He considers this a “spiritual act of worship.”
b. another English translation of the NIV “spiritual” in verse one is “reasonable” or “informed.”
1. our self-sacrifice differs from that of an animal.
2. we offer ourselves knowingly, we understand the purpose of offering ourselves to God.
3. animals don’t understand this, they go where led
3. In verse two Paul gives two commands that help us in knowing/living God’s will.
a. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world” (self-centeredness, sin, greed, etc.)
b. “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Christ-centered, consideration for others)
Verses 9-13 are the practical commands that help us live the life of self-sacrifice.
1. “Love must be sincere.” Not hypocritical, not merely an act.
a. how many times has someone said, “I’ll be praying for you,” and really followed through?
b. better not to say it, than to say it and not do it.
c. another good option is to pray with them right there on the spot.
2. Hate what is evil.
a. Part of true love is to love the good and hate the evil.
b. Be careful to hate the right objects (Eph 6:12)
Verse 9 gives the general command that “Love must be sincere.” But how do I love?
See verses 10-13 for the specifics
1. “Be devoted to one another”
a. believers should have the same kind of love for one another that is present within a loving, healthy family. We are the family of God.
2. “Honor one another above yourselves.”
a. Paul is telling them what genuine love entails.
b. It requires putting the subject of your love ahead of yourself.
c. It is more than a feeling, it must have substance. (1 John 3:16-18)
3. As verse 10 above applies to our fellow follower of Christ, verse 11 tells us how to directly love the Lord with zeal, fervor and service. Of course we can’t love the Lord if we aren’t loving each other (1 John 4:20-21)
4. Verse 12 gives three attributes in three circumstances that believers will find themselves in. Look at the verse and pick them out. Discuss briefly.
5. Verse 13 gives instructions on meeting the needs of the suffering and showing hospitality.
a. The NIV translates the Greek as “practice.”
b. The Greek is better translated “pursue.”
c. This means that, though hospitality is a gift given to some, it is expected of all Christians.
1. kind of like giving.
2. some people have the gift to give in large amount, but all are expected to give.