romans 12 commentary
Closely allied to this is what is subjoined: for nothing swells the minds of men so much as a high notion of their own wisdom. 4, 5. The word that seems to stand in the way of this view is what is commonly rendered “ruler,” or, “he who rules:” but ὁ προϊστάμενος, as our author shows, means a helper, an assistant, (see Romans 16:2,) as well as a ruler; it means to stand over, either for the purpose of taking care of, assisting, protecting others, or of presiding over, ruling, guiding them. serving the Lord--that is, the Lord Jesus (see Ephesians 6:5-8 ). (381) To be wise unto sobriety is to attend to the study of those things by which you may find that you learn and gain moderation. (388). And first, the all-comprehensive duty. Hence diligence in doing good requires that zeal which the Spirit of God kindles in our hearts. But as κυρίῳ , the Lord, is read in many old copies, though it may seem at first sight foreign to this passage, I yet dare not wholly to reject this reading. Now attend here, and see what kind of renovation is required from us: It is not that of the flesh only, or of the inferior part of the soul, as the Sorbonists explain this word; but of the mind, which is the most excellent part of us, and to which philosophers ascribe the supremacy; for they call it ἡγεμονικὸν, the leading power; and reason is imagined to be a most wise queen. It is indeed difficult to express how ingenious almost all men are to pretend a love which they really have not, for they not only deceive others, but impose also on themselves, while they persuade themselves that those are not loved amiss by them, whom they not only neglect, but really slight. that ye present--See on Romans 16:13 , where we have the same exhortation and the same word there rendered "yield" (as also in Romans 12:16 Romans 12:19 ). Proud member But just for this reason the latter is the more disinterested, and so the nobler. 9. Be not overcome of evil--for then you are the conquered party. On the other hand, he who attempts to overcome evil with evil, may perhaps surpass his enemy in doing injury, but it is to his own ruin; for by acting thus he carries on war for the devil. (393). But I prefer to follow those who extend this word wider, even to the peculiar gift of revelation, by which any one skillfully and wisely performed the office of an interpreter in explaining the will of God. 3.For I say, through the grace, etc. But this passage is variously understood. (398). Your reasonable service This sentence, I think, was added, that he might more clearly apply and confirm the preceding exhortation, as though he had said, — “Offer yourselves a, sacrifice to God, if ye have it in your heart to serve God: for this is the right way of serving God; from which, if any depart, they are but false worshippers.” If then only God is rightly worshipped, when we observe all things according to what he has prescribed, away then with all those devised modes of worship, which he justly abominates, since he values obedience more than sacrifice. Copyright © 2020, Bible Study Tools. holy--As the Levitical victims, when offered without blemish to God, were regarded as holy, so believers, "yielding themselves to God as those that are alive from the dead, and their members as instruments of righteousness unto God," are, in His estimation, not ritually but really "holy," and so acceptable--"well-pleasing" unto God--not as the Levitical offerings, merely as appointed symbols of spiritual ideas, but objects, intrinsically, of divine complacency, in their renewed character, and endeared relationship to Him through His Son Jesus Christ. Iron indeed must be the heart which is not kindled by the doctrine which has been laid down into love towards God, whose kindness towards itself it finds to have been so abounding. as much as lieth in you--or, "dependeth on you." By the term holy, he points out that which necessarily belongs to a sacrifice, already noticed; for a victim is then only approved, when it had been previously made holy. By applying this similitude he proves how necessary it is for each to consider what is suitable to his own nature, capacity, and vocation. The two following clauses are thus given by [Doddridge ], “Affect not high things, but condescend to men of low rank,” — and by [Macknight ], “Do not care for high things; but associate with lowly men.” The word ταπεινοῖς, is not found in the New Testament to be applied to things, but to persons. with simplicity--so the word probably means. — Ed. Nor is the sense which it yields a very Christian one. The Apostle employs words in Greek more significant, and more suitable to the antithesis, “Not thinking,” he says, “of high things:” by which he means, that it is not the part of a Christian ambitiously to aspire to those things by which he may excel others, nor to assume a lofty appearance, but on the contrary to exercise humility and meekness: for by these we excel before the Lord, and not by pride and contempt of the brethren. 20.If therefore, etc. “Associate” is perhaps the best rendering of συναπαγόμενοι, which literally means to withdraw from one party in order to walk with another: they were to withdraw from those who minded high things, and walk or associate with the humble and lowly. For I say--authoritatively through the grace given unto me--as an apostle of Jesus Christ; thus exemplifying his own precept by modestly falling back on that office which both warranted and required such plainness towards all classes. — Ed. But it is only one charming phase of the unselfish character which belongs to all living Christianity. To the same purpose is the third particular, serving the time: for as the course of our life is short, the opportunity of doing good soon passes away; it hence becomes us to show more alacrity in the performance of our duty. In a word, we ought in many things to forget ourselves; for except we be in earnest, and diligently strive to shake off all sloth, we shall never be rightly prepared for the service of Christ. And be ye not conformed to this world--Compare Ephesians 2:2 , Galatians 1:4 , Greek. But he prohibits here, not only that we are not to execute revenge with our own hands, but that our hearts also are not to be influenced by a desire of this kind: it is therefore superfluous to make a distinction here between public and private revenge; for he who, with a malevolent mind and desirous of revenge, seeks the help of a magistrate, has no more excuse than when he devises means for self-revenge. And inasmuch as they do not easily admit the bridle, who are once seized with this wild passion, he lays, as it were, his hand upon us to restrain us, by kindly addressing us as beloved, The precept; then is, — that we are not to revenge nor seek to revenge injuries done to us. In the East, where such houses are still rare, this duty is regarded as of the most sacred character [HODGE]. 14. He will presently give direction respecting the retaliation of the injuries which we may suffer: but here he requires something even more difficult, — that we are not to imprecate evils on our enemies, but to wish and to pray God to render all things prosperous to them, how much soever they may harass and cruelly treat us: and this kindness, the more difficult it is to be practiced, so with the more intense desire we ought to strive for it; for the Lord commands nothing, with respect to which he does not require our obedience; nor is any excuse to be allowed, if we are destitute of that disposition, by which the Lord would have his people to differ from the ungodly and the children of this world. Article Images Copyright © 2020 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. he that ruleth--whether in the Church or his own household.
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