1 # Paul now begins outlining for the believer the practical application of the theological truths taught in chs 1-11. Therefore I urge you, #Lit brethren.brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. 2And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be #From the Greek word meaning “metamorphosis.” Refers to the process that leads to an outward, permanent change.transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].
3For by the grace [of God] given to me I say to everyone of you not to think more highly of himself [and of his importance and ability] than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has apportioned to each a degree of faith [and a purpose designed for service]. 4For just as in one [physical] body we have many parts, and these parts do not all have the same function or special use, 5so we, who are many, are [nevertheless just] one body in Christ, and individually [we are] parts one of another [mutually dependent on each other]. 6Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to use them accordingly: if [someone has the gift of] prophecy, [let him speak a new message from God to His people] in proportion to the faith possessed; 7if service, in the act of serving; or he who teaches, in the act of teaching; 8or he who encourages, in the act of encouragement; he who gives, with generosity; he who leads, #Or without ulterior motives.with diligence; he who shows mercy [in caring for others], with cheerfulness.
9Love is to be sincere and active [the real thing—without guile and hypocrisy]. Hate what is evil [detest all ungodliness, do not tolerate wickedness]; hold on tightly to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another with [authentic] brotherly affection [as members of one family], give preference to one another in honor; 11never lagging behind in diligence; aglow in the Spirit, enthusiastically serving the Lord; 12constantly rejoicing in hope [because of our confidence in Christ], steadfast and patient in distress, devoted to prayer [continually seeking wisdom, guidance, and strength], 13contributing to the needs of God’s people, pursuing [the practice of] hospitality.
14Bless those who persecute you [who cause you harm or hardship]; bless and do not curse [them]. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice [sharing others’ joy], and weep with those who weep [sharing others’ grief]. 16Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty [conceited, self-important, exclusive], but associate with humble people [those with a realistic self-view]. Do not overestimate yourself. 17Never repay anyone evil for evil. Take thought for what is right and gracious and proper in the sight of everyone. 18If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for God’s wrath [and His judicial righteousness]; for it is written [in Scripture], “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20“But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for by doing this you will heap #This may refer to an ancient Egyptian custom in which a penitent person carried a bowl of burning embers on his head to show his shame and guilt. By analogy, being kind to an enemy may lead him to shame and repentance.burning coals on his head.” 21Do not be overcome and conquered by evil, but overcome evil with good.