Monday, July 22, 2013


"Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.  Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.  Live in harmony with one another.  Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.  Never be wise in your own sight.  Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.  If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.  Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord."  To the contrary, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:14-21 ESV

(Explanation for Romans 12:14-20 from the MacArthur Study Bible, page 1673:
"12:14  Bless those who persecute you.  Treat enemies as if they were your friends (Luke 6:27-33; cf Matt. 5:44; Luke 23:34; Acts 7:60; 1 Pet. 2:21-23).

12:15 Rejoice. . .weep.  To be glad in the blessings, honor, and welfare of others--no matter what one's own situation (cf. 1 Cor. 12:26; 2 Cor. 2:3); and to be sensitive or compassionate to the hardships and sorrows of others (Col. 3:12; James 5:11; cf Luke19:41-44; John 11:35)

12:16 Live in harmony with one another.  To be impartial (see notes on 2:11; James 2:1-4, 9; cf. Acts 10:34; 1 Tim. 5:21; 1 Pet. 1:17)  not be haughty.  To be haughty with self-seeking pride (cf. Phil 2:3).  wise in your own sight.  Christians are not to have conceit or feelings of superiority toward fellow believers (cf. Rom. 1:22)

12:17 Repay no one evil for evil.  The OT law of "eye for eye, tooth for tooth" was never intended to be applied by individuals in the OT or NT; but it was a standard for the collective society to use to enforce good conduct among people (1 Thess. 5:15; see note on Ex. 21:23-24; cf. Lev. 24:20; Deut. 19:21; 1 Pet. 3:8-9) give thought to do what is honorable. Christians are to respect what is intrinsically proper and honest and have the right behavior when they are around others, especially unbelievers.

12:18 if possible.  Although we should do everything possible to be at peace with others, it will not always come, because it also depends on others' attitudes and responses.

12:19 wrath. Of God (see note on 1:18). Vengeance.  Divine retribution as quoted from Deut. 32:35.

12:20 heap burning coals on his head.  Refers to an ancient Egyptian custom in which a person who wanted to show public contrition carried a pan of burning coals on his head.  The coals represented the burning pain of his shame and guilt.  When believers lovingly help their enemies, it should bring shame to such people for their hate and animosity (cf. Prov. 25:21-22)."

"So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. They answered him, "We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone.  How is it that you say, 'You will become free'?"  Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.  The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever.  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."  John 8:31-36 ESV

(Expanation for John 8:31-36 from the MacArthur Study Bible, page 1557-1558:
"8:31-36  These verses are a pivotal passage in understanding genuine salvation and true discipleship.  John emphasized these realities by stressing truth and freedom.  The focus in the passage is upon those who were exercising the beginnings of faith in Jesus as Messiah and Son of God.  Jesus desired them to move on in their faith.  Saving faith is not fickle but firm and settled.  Such maturity espresses itself in full commitment to the truth in Jesus Christ resulting in genuine freedom.  The passage has three features: 1) the progress of freedom (w. 31-32); 2) the pretense of freedom (w. 33-34); and 3) the promise of freedom (w. 35-36)."

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus I lift up those reading these verses today.  I pray that those who have been hurt will give their hurt to You Lord and not seek vengeance themselves. I pray for forgiveness.  I also pray for those who are unsaved and hurting that they will choose to be set free by Jesus Christ for He is the way the truth and the life.  I say these things in Jesus' name. Amen.

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