GENEVA BIBLE 1599

 

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Romans 12

 

 1 I Beseech (1) you therefore brethren, (a) by the mercies of God, that ye (b) give up your (c) bodies a (d) (*) living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your (e) (♣) reasonable serving of God.

 

(1) The fourth part of this Epistle, which after the finishing of the chief points of Christian doctrine, consisteth in declaring of precepts of Christian life. And first of all he giveth general precepts and grounds; the chiefest whereof is this that every man consecrate himself wholly to the spiritual service of God, and do as it were sacrifice himself, trusting to the grace of God.
(a) By this preface he sheweth that God's glory is the utmost end of all our doings.
(b) In times past the sacrifices were presented before the altar, but now the altar is everywhere.
(c) Yourselves, in times past, other bodies than our own, now our own must be offered.
(d) In times past, dead sacrifices were offered, but now we must offer such as have the spirit of life in them.

(*) Instead of dead beasts, lively sacrifice; instead of the blood of beasts which was but a shadow and pleased not God of itself, the acceptable sacrifice of the spiritual man, framed by faith to godliness and charity.
(e) Spiritual.

(♣) That is, true, lawful and spiritual, 1 Peter 2:5 .

 

  (2) And fashion not yourselves like unto this world, but be ye changed by the renewing of your (f) mind, that ye may (*) prove what is the (♣) good, and acceptable and perfect will of God.

 

(2) The second precept is this, that we take not other men's opinions or manners for a rule for life, but that we wholly renouncing this world, set before us as our mark, the will of God, as it is manifested and opened unto us in his word.
(f) Why then there is no place left for reason, which the heathen Philosophers place as a Queen in a Castle, nor for man's free will, which the Popish schoolmen dream on, if the mind must be renewed, Look at Ephesians 1:18;  Ephesians 2:5; Ephesians 4:17;  Colossians 1:21 .

(*) Ephesians 5:17; 1 Thessalonians 4:3 .

(♣) Whatsoever is not agreeable to Godís will, is evil, displeasant and imperfect.

 

 3  (3) For I (g) say through the grace that is given unto me, to every one that is among you, that no man (h) presume to understand above that which is meet to understand, but that he (♣) understand according to (i) (♠) sobriety, as God hath dealt to every man the (*) measure of (k) faith.

 

(3) Thirdly, he admonisheth us very earnestly, that every man keep himself within the bounds of his vocation, and that every man be wise according to the measure of grace that God hath given him.
(g) I charge.
(h) That he please not himself too much, as they do, which persuade themselves they know more than indeed they do.

(♣) Two things are required, if we will judge soberly of Godís gifts in us; the one that we do not arrogate to ourselves that which we have not; next, that we boast not of the gifts, but reverently use them to Godís honor.
(i) We shall be sober, if we take not that upon us, which we have not, and if we brag not of that we have.

(♠) That is, soberly, not neglecting Godís gifts, but using them to his glory.

(*) 1 Corinthians 12:11; Ephesians 4:7 .
(k) By faith he meaneth the knowledge of God in Christ, and the gifts which the holy Ghost poureth upon the faithful.

 

  (4) For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not one office,

 

(4) There is a double reason of the precept going afore; the one is because God hath not committed everything to be done of every man, and therefore he doeth backwardly, and not only unprofitably, but also to the great disprofit of others, wearieth himself and others, which passeth the bounds of his vocation; the other is, for that this diversity and inequality of vocations and gifts, redoundeth to our commodity seeing that the same is therefore instituted and appointed, that we should be bound one to another. Whereupon it followeth that no man ought to be grieved there at seeing that the use of every private gift is common.

 

 5 So we being many, are one body in Christ, and every one, one anotherís members.

 

 6  (*) (5) Seeing then that we have gifts that are divers, according to the grace that is given unto us, whether we have (♣) prophecy, let us prophesy according to the (l) proportion of (♠) faith;

 

(*) 1 Peter 4:10 .

(5) That which he spake before in general, he applieth particularly to the holy functions wherein men offend with greater danger. And he divideth them into two sorts, to wit, into Prophets, and Deacons, and again he divideth the Prophets into doctors and Pastors. And of Deacons he maketh three sorts, to wit, the one to be such as are (as it were) treasurers of the Church coffers, whom he calleth properly Deacons, the other to be the governors of discipline, who are called Seniors or Elders, the third to be such as properly served in the help of the poor, of which sort the company of widows were.

(♣) By prophesying here he meaneth preaching and teaching, and by office or ministry all such offices, as appertain to the Church as Elders and Deacons.
(l) That every man observe the measure of that which is revealed unto him.

(♠) By faith he meaneth the knowledge of God in Christ with gifts of the holy Ghost.

 

 7 Or an office, let us wait on the office, or he that (m) teacheth, on teaching;

 

(m) Whose office only is to expound the Scriptures.

 

 8 Or he that (n) exhorteth, on exhortation; he that (o) (♣) distributeth, let him do it (*) with simplicity; he that (p) ruleth, with diligence; he that (q) (♠) sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

 

(n) Who in other places is called the Pastor.
(o) To wit, the alms, that he distribute them faithfully, and without respect of person.

(♣) Of these officers some are Deacons, some Governors, some keep the poor.

(*) Matthew 6:2; 2 Corinthians 9:7 .
(p) The Elders of the Church.
(q) They that are busied about tendering on the poor, must do it with cheerfulness, lest they add sorrow to sorrow.

(♠) He meaneth them which were appointed to look unto the poor, as for the most part were the widows, Acts 6:1; 1 Timothy 5:9 .

 

  (6) Let love be without dissimulation. (*) Abhor that which is evil, and cleave unto that which is good.

 

(6) Now he cometh to the duties of the second Table, which he deriveth from charity, which is as it were the fountain of them all. And he defineth Christian charity by sincerity, hatred of evil, earnest study of good things, good affection to help our neighbor, and whose final end is, the glory of God.

(*) Amos 5:15 .

 

 10  (*) Be affectioned to love one another with brotherly love. In giving honor, go one before another;

 

(*) Ephesians 4:2; Hebrews 13:1; 1 Peter 2:17 .

 

 11 Not slothful to do service; fervent in spirit, (r) serving (*) the Lord;

 

(r) This piece is well put in, for it maketh a difference between Christian duties, and Philosophical duties.

(*) Or, the time.

 

 12  (7) Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, (*) continuing in prayer,

 

(7) He reckoneth up divers other virtues together with their effects, to wit, hope, patience in tribulation, equanimity, continuance in prayer, liberality towards the saints, hospitality, moderation of mind, even in helping our enemies, a selfsame feeling with others as well in adversity as prosperity, modesty, endeavor to maintain honest concord so nigh as we may with all men, which cannot be extinguished by any manís injuries.

(*) 1 Peter 5:8 .

 

 13  (*) (s) Distributing unto the (t) necessities of the Saints; (♣) giving yourselves to hospitality.

 

(*) Luke 18:1; 1 Corinthians 16:1 .

(s) A true rule of charity, when we are no less touched with other men's wants, than with our own, and having that feeling, to help them as much as we can.
(t) Not upon pleasure, and needless duties, but upon necessary uses.

(♣) Hebrews 13:2; 1 Peter 4:13 .

 

 14  (*) Bless them which persecute you; bless, I say, and curse not.

 

(*) Matthew 5:44 .

 

 15 Rejoice with them that rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

 

 16 Be of like affection one towards another. (*) Be not highminded, but make yourselves equal to them of the (u) lower sort. Be not (x) wise in (♣) yourselves.

 

(*) Proverbs 3:7; Isaiah 5:11 .

(u) There is nothing that doth so much break concord as ambition, when as every man lieth a base estate, and seeketh ambitiously to be aloft.
(x) Be not puffed up with opinion of your own wisdom.

(♣) That is, in your own conceit.

 

 17  (*) Recompense to no man evil for evil. (♣) Procure things honest in the sight of all men.

 

(*) Proverbs 20:22; Matthew 5:39; 2 Corinthians 8:11; 1 Peter 3:9 .

(♣) Live so honestly and godly that no man can find fault with you.

 

 18  (*) If it be possible, as much as in you is, have peace with all men.

 

(*) Hebrews 12:14 .

 

 19 Dearly beloved, (*) avenge not yourselves, but give place unto wrath, for it is written, (♣) Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord.

 

(*) Matthew 5:38 .

(♣) Deuteronomy 32:35; Hebrews 10:30 .

 

 20  (*) Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink; for in so doing thou shalt heap (y) (♣) coals of fire on his head.

 

(*) Proverbs 24:22 .

(y) After this sort doth Solomon point out the wrath of God that hangeth over a man.

(♣) For either thou shalt win him with thy benefit, or else his conscience shall bear him witness that Godís burning wrath hangeth over him.

 

 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with goodness.

 

 

Steve

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