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Romans 12:9-21


Intro: This whole chapter is a please for believers to live lives that are pleasing to the Lord. Verses 1-2 are about Thinking About The Believer. We are to consider our own life and get it where it really needs to be. Verses 3-8 are about Thinking About The Body. They have to do with our place in the whole body of Christ. They are a challenge for us to fulfill our God-given role in being everything the Lord has saved us to be. Verses 9-21 continue the theme Paul is addressing in this chapter. Now, he is going to speak for a while about Thinking About The Brethren. These verses are filled with challenges for the children of God to live together, before the Lord and the world, as a God-honoring family. These verses, if they are heeded and practiced, would revolutionize the average Christian's life. There are three basic thoughts in view here as we think about Thinking About The Brethren.


A. Our Social Actions - (These make us a pleasure to live with.)

1. V. 9a Be Honest - We are to love the brethren with an honest love that knows no pretense. It is to be genuine like that of our Savior for us!

2. V. 10a Be Loving - Again, we are to love one another with a faithful devotion. The kind of love referred to here is that which can only be found in the closest of families. Since we are family, we should love one another as family!

3. V. 10b Be Humble - Here, we are commanded to put others ahead of our owns self. It is shameful what some people will do to get their own way in a matter. God's way is that we seek our brother's best in every situation. God will look after us, Matt. 6:33.

4. V. 11a Be Diligent - In our dealings with others, we are not to be slow or lazy. Paul is speaking of our duty to our business associates, but this command transcends all of life. We are to be diligent in whatever work our hand finds to do, whether secular or spiritual, Eccl. 9:10. We are not to be procrastinators, but we are to be busily engaged in our work. By the way, this word carries the idea of someone being hard to deal with. We should be a pleasure to work with!

5. V. 13a Be Helpful - The idea of this phrase is that we are to enter into the burdens of our fellow believers. We are to help them as their needs arise. This is the command of Gal. 6:2.

6. V. 13b Be Open - Instead of building walls between us and others, we are to reach out as true friends do. The idea is that of being available to the family of God.

7. V. 14 Be Kind - Regardless of what another throws at us as we pass through this life, our reaction should always be that of tolerance. Let us never reach the place where we enter into a mud slinging contest with a fellow believer, or any man for that matter. The command here is to be pleasant and kind to others, regardless of what they may do to us!

8. V. 15 Be Compassionate - Since we are all members of the same body, v. 5, we should have a compassion for our fellow believer that causes us to hurt when he hurts and to rejoice when he rejoices. Instead of being jealous when another is blessed, let us be excited for and with him because of the Lord's grace and goodness. Instead of being indifferent when a time of crisis arises in the life of our brother, let us endeavor to enter into his need and help him carry his load.

(Ill. You will notice that these things are merely ways in which the church can demonstrate Christlike love one for another. It is a way to show the world the reality of our claims. It is a way to glorify Jesus in the church and before the world, John 13:35.)

B. Our Spiritual Actions - (These equip us to be a blessing.)

1. V. 9b Be Holy - In our personal walk before the Lord, we are to hate the evil and be glued to that which is right. Let us be careful how we conduct ourselves. The Lord's desire is that we be a holy people, 1 Pet. 1:16.

2. V. 11b Be Excited - The word fervent means to be "boiling and bubbling." It carries the idea of the bubbling sound water makes when it is boiled. The idea is that we are to be making some excited noise for the glory of God. When we are in a vital, real relationship with the Lord Jesus, there will be some excitement in our hearts. It is the opposite of deadness and stagnation. This world is looking for something that is real, let the Christian determine in his heart that he will never be a dull, boring, dead, lifeless believer. But, let him decide that he will come alive spiritually so that Jesus might be exalted!

3. V. 11c Be Faithful - The word serving means "to be in the position of a servant and to act accordingly." When we were saved, we were bought with a price, 1 Cor. 6:19-20. We belong to Jesus and are to be His faithful servants. We have no business being engaged in any other business. When the Lord looks at our lives, He should find us actively engaged in faithfully doing His will from our hearts.

4. V. 12a Be Happy - The believer should be the happiest person on the face of the earth! Your smile should be the biggest on the job! Why? Because of our hope! Man, we are saved, forgiven and heaven bound! We have a hope that the world knows nothing about. Let us not forget what the Lord has done for us! Where He has brought us from, and where He is taking us to. It's no wonder some believers are so mean and cantankerous, they have simply forgotten what God has done for them.

5. V. 12b Be Hopeful - The idea here is that we are to be steadfast under the pressures of life. We are not to allow the things arise in life drive us away from the Lord. The saint is to keep his eyes on Jesus, knowing that the Lord is working out His will everyday and that He is seeking the best for His people all the time, Rom. 8:28.

6. V. 12c Be Prayerful - The idea here is that the saints are to be involved in a prayer life that is vibrant and consistent. Prayer is the life line of the believer, and too often it is neglected. Let us never forget that God will bless the praying person and the praying church, James 5:16.

I. Our Actions Toward The Brethren


A. V. 16a Walk As A Family - The basic admonition here is the same as mentioned earlier. We are to operate as a family, with each member feeling the hurts and afflictions of another. We are never to allow ourselves to become aloof and disconnected from our Christian family. This is a plea for humility, unity and compassion among the members of God's family.

B. V. 16b Walk In Fellowship - None in this family of faith should feel that they are better than another. We are all cut from the same cloth, saved by the same blood and headed to the same heaven. We are to stand together as one, working for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ, Phil. 1:27. There is no one in this room that has the right to think that they are better than anyone else, Phil. 2:4.

C. V. 17a Walk In Forgiveness - According to Jesus, there will be times when we become offended by the words or deeds of another, Luke 17:1. When they do we are not to respond by seeking to get even with the offending party. Instead, we are commanded to practice forgiveness one toward another, Luke 17:1-4; Eph. 4:32.

D. V. 17b Walk In Faithfulness - This is a command to live a "beautiful" life. We are called upon to be faithful in the sight of all men by living the kind of life that brings glory to the Lord. The life we live should be a thing of beauty to those who observe it and to the Lord, Who also sees every move we make. Nothing is more God honoring and beautiful than a faithful life!

I. Our Actions Toward The Brethren

II. Our Attitudes Toward The Brethren


A. V. 18 Be Peaceful - Here, we are commanded to see that there is peace in the family of God. Notice that God says that each person is responsible for their own actions in this matter. You are to go the extra mile, without demanding the same from your Brother. You are to offer the apology first, without waiting on him before reconciliation begins. You are to take the lead in seeing there is peace and harmony in God's family. The idea is that if each believer will do his or her part, there will be no place for trouble and disunity in God's House!

B. V. 19 Be Patient - Of course, the command here is obvious. We are not to take matters into our own hands. When we have been offended and our brother refuses to make it right with us, then we are to leave the matter in the hand of God. It is not our place to get revenge. It is not our place to extract our pound of flesh. It is our place to love them and to leave them in the hand of God. The Lord saw everything that happened and He will see that the record is set straight, whatever it takes!

C. V. 20 Be Positive - Since the Lord will deal with fault, we are to take the lead in being a friend to our enemy. The Lord would have us to reach out to them in love and humility. If they rebuff us, that is between them and the Lord. We have done our part and that is all the Lord requires! So, instead of getting all down and out when we are done dirty by someone, let us seek to be like Jesus Who literally blessed His enemies as He died, Luke 23:34. That is godliness in action! That is Christ living in us for the glory of God. That is also something against which your enemy cannot compete. He will have an answer for your arguments, but he will have none for your love!

D. V. 21 Be Pleasant - Don't be the kind of person who is always looking for something to be upset about. There are people like that! They love nothing better than for someone to offend them so they will have an excuse for their bitter attitudes. Be a pleasant person by being Christlike in every situation. You have no control over how you are treated by others, but you have absolute control over how you respond to them. You have absolute control over how you treat your fellow believers. Be pleasant and the Lord will bless your life!

Conc: Well, how do you look when you are laid alongside the word of God in this chapter? Is there room for improvement in you walk with your fellow believer? If so, there is no better time than no to make the necessary adjustments in your life so that you will be everything the Lord saved you to be. I personally don't think there is anything in the world harder than living with other people. They never do just like you want them to! But, since I can't control them, I am left with nothing to do to control myself. Let us be honest about our own lives this evening. If there are matters that need to be adjusted, come to the Father and He will see that they get straightened out for you!

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