Studies In The Book Of Romans
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1. Should Christians ever seek to be considered greater than one another?
No: “Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits” (Romans 12:16).
Same mind toward one another (Philippians 4:1-2; cf. Acts 4:32, Romans 15:5, ICorinthians 1:10, and Philippians 1:27).
Mind not the high things (Psalms 131:1 and Matthew 18:1-4), but associate with the humble (Luke 14:11-14; cf. ICorinthians 15:33 and James 4:4).
Not with own wisdom (Proverbs 3:5-7, Proverbs 26:12, and ICorinthians 3:18-19).
2. Do we need to try and show ourselves to be honest people to the world?
Yes: “Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men” (Romans 12:17).
Not repaying evil for evil (cf. IThessalonians 5:15 and IPeter 3:9). We will discuss vengeance more when we discuss verses 19-21.
Honesty in the sight of all men (Luke 8:15, IICorinthians 8:21, Ephesians 4:25, Philippians 4:8, IThessalonians 4:12, Titus 2:7-8, and IPeter 2:12).
3. If it is possible, should we try to maintain peace with all men?
Yes: “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18).
“If it be possible”, infers that there are times wherein it may not be possible (John 16:33, Acts 17:1-10, and Acts 19:21-41). In fact, we know it is NOT always possible (Matthew 10:34-37).
Some err in thinking these verses teach that there is a time to compromise (IKings 18:17-40, Ephesians 6:13-17, ITimothy 6:12, and Jude 3-4).
Seek peace (Psalms 34:14, Proverbs 12:20, Matthew 5:5, Matthew 5:9, IICorinthians 13:11, Galatians 5:22-23, Ephesians 4:1-3, Colossians 3:15, IThessalonians 5:13, IITimothy 2:22, and Hebrews 12:14).
4. Should we be a vengeful people?
No: “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath:for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” (Romans 12:19).
Don’t seek vengeance - such belongs to God (Leviticus 19:18, Deuteronomy 32:35, Psalms 94:1, Proverbs 20:22, Proverbs 24:17-20, Proverbs 24:29, Nahum 1:2, and Hebrews 10:30-31).
5. How should we treat our enemies?
Overcome their evil with your good: “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:20-21).
Thine enemy (Exodus 23:4-5, Proverbs 25:21-22, Matthew 5:38-48, and Luke 6:27-28; cf. Philippians 3:17-19).
Don’t be overcome of evil (IPeter 3:9-17).
Heaping coals of fire on his head is a result of our kind works toward our enemies, not a motivator to do good by them. We have to be cautious here not to help in a way that causes us to err (Jeremiah 23:14 and IIThessalonians 3:10).
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