1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. (The presenting of the body to God implies not only the avoiding of the sins that are committed with or against the body, but the using of the body as a servant of the soul in the service of God. It is to glorify God with our bodies (Just as Christ yielded His earthly body to glorify the Father), to engage our bodies in the duties of immediate worship, and in diligence to our particular callings, and be willing to suffer for God with our bodies, when we are called to it. It is to yield the members of our bodies as instruments of righteousness. A body sincerely devoted to God is a living sacrifice. The principal requirement for doing good works is for us to understand that we are consecrated to the Lord; and from this it follows that we must cease to live to ourselves, and devote all the actions of this life to obedience to him. Thus, there are two things to consider: first, that we are the Lord’s; secondly, that we ought for this reason to be holy; for it is an indignity to the holiness of God that anything should be offered to him unless it first becomes holy.)
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may dprove
(However much we flatter ourselves, the word of Christ is still true, that every man who would enter the Kingdom of God must be born again; because, in mind and heart, we are altogether alienated from the righteousness of God.) This verse has two key words: world, which in Greek is literally age (aiôn, meaning this present age, in contrast to “the age to come”), and do not conform, which is a compound having at its root the word scheme. So the verse means “Do not let the age in which you live force you into its scheme of thinking and behaving.”
(“tell me something; have any of you ever watched Perry Mason, or Columbo; how did they prove their case? Did they not force themselves into the story line, in order to recreate the evens of the case in order to find out the facts, and the whole truth, while sifting through all of the lies and half-truths layered on top for the purpose of subverting the truth”) what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (This is where James 1:22 comes in. My interpretation, “literally do what Jesus did, Jesus’ name is The Word; don’t just listen to what He did, and by so doing deceive yourselves, Jesus did not come to show people how to be orthodox moralist, because the phereses didn’t quite get it right: Jesus came to put on display the perfect will of His Father for the new creation of mankind, of which Jesus was the first, just as Adam was the first of Human kind; Not that everyone is call to the same path as Jesus or the 12 disciples but, ( you know, most of us think we are better than Jesus was, “Oh No I Don’t”; So you would take no thought of going about doing good, with no home to go to, no job to provide for yourself, No retirement plan, no healthcare plan, one pair of clothes that you wash when you happen by a public body of water, being fed much the same way God feeds the sparrow, being rejected by everyone including your family, except maybe your mother, because she knows you are a gift from God: but no respect from anyone, many of whom would view you as a homeless vagrant. You would call that a blessed life and a gift from God. Is that right? Well before you answer, know that the next question is. So why aren’t you doing it, did not Jesus consider His life blessed?)
3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. (Look it’s hard for someone who is very successful to remain humble and not to consider his accomplishments. That’s what Paul is talking about here, first it’s not your work, we are all parts of Christ body, and without Him none of us would be doing what we are doing. Second, all of our works are as filthy rags tainted with the stench of sin, and ripe for judgement. Third, the laborer who we think came in at the last hour, and deserves less pay (according to the parable) will receive the same pay. Paul focuses first on the Christian’s estimate of himself alone, since he knows that none of us will ever properly evaluate and esteem other Christians within the fellowship of the church if our pride is in the way. It is a matter of dealing with first things first—first, a right relationship with God; second, a proper evaluation of myself; third, a right relationship with other people.)
4 For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function,
5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. (The church is supposed to be a single organism, not a single cell organism. When the leg is cut, the head tells the hand to apply some pressure, the feet to go get a bandage, and bind up the womb, and every part of the body is in total agreement knowing it is in the best interest of the whole body. Why is the church any different? And this same analogy is true spiritually in the church as well. If you see your neighbor struggling is sin and offer no help, you are in no wise the good Samaritan, binding up wombs, giving lodging, and providing care, or love. It is really not you’re your neighbor after all. Love your neighbor as yourself. The same is true of discipleship. You being spiritual, if you keep back the knowledge, and the gospel, and grace, and mercy of God, you leave the blind to fall into the ditch.)
6 Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith;
7 if aservice, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching;
8 or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with bliberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. (Jesus illustrates perfectly how to abhor what is evil and cling to what is good by His relation to Judas Iscariot. Jesus never compromised with Judas or his boss, but held tightly to every word of His Father. And Jesus’ Love was without hypocrisy, Judas had outwardly all things in common with the rest of the group.)
10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;
11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, (Are you married? Are you devoted to tour wife? That may or may not be a good example depending on your mirage. Are you devoted to your job? Well scratch that, American ingenuity and industry has taken a hit. Here we go, are you devoted to hunting or fishing? Look when I go fishing, it’s not about the snacks in the boat. While I may be a little lax on some of the preparations, I usually make sure I have a fishing license, floatation devices, in case my boat takes the day off, or quits, an anchor in case my motor takes the day off. You get the drift, pun intended. But when it comes to the bait or tackle, now it’s serious business, because if the fish are not enticed you better get the dogs and go hunting. Now when you go to pray, are you devoted? Are you rejoicing in the hope of salvation in Christ? Have asked God to search your heart to see if there is any wicked way in you? Have you placed all of your relationships before the Lord to see if they are honoring Him? Are following Christ and being His body in this world? Is your service cowardly, or do you realize you are war with a determined enemy who is strong, and means to destroy you even though the war is lost? Have you confessed your sins, and prayed God convict your spouse or children of their sin? Have you begged God for the spiritual InSite and vision of your pastor-teachers, deacons and leadership, for the mission you have in your community, and your body of Christ to be ready and willing to pursue that mission single mindedly? Are you devoted to prayer, rejoicing in hope, and persevering through tribulations? Because, if you are not, then chances are, you are not devoted, you have no tribulation, and consequently, no hope.)
13 contributing to the needs of the saints, bpracticing hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.
17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. bRespect what is right in the sight of all men.
18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.
19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
20 “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” (Did you notice that verse is all caps, in text messages today that would indicate yelling. So I will just repeat it again just to make sure you get it/ (read verse) Does the name Judas Iscariot come to mind. Jesus made judas the treasurer, fed him with the same food that the king of glory ate, or better, knowing full well from the start that Judas was a devil. That should give every Christian a moment of pause to reflect. That Jesus would call a disciple to follow Him knowing in advance that Judas would betray Him, and that Judas was working for Jesus’ destruction, even though Judas himself may have been so deceived that he didn’t know who his real master was. Let that sink in a bit. Why would Jesus do that? Was it to illustrate this virtue? Was it so the Satan would have an inside man, and provide some measure of relief from the attack on the true disciples in order to infiltrate the flock? We don’t. know, but certainly there was a reason, well thought out, and planned by God Himself.
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.