A Living Sacrifice
1Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Humble Service in the Body of Christ
3For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your12:6 Or the faith; 7if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,12:8 Or to provide for others do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Love in Action
9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.12:16 Or willing to do menial work Do not be conceited.
17Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”12:19 Deut. 32:35 says the Lord. 20On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”12:20 Prov. 25:21,22
21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Living as a Holy Sacrifice to God
1Brothers and sisters, God has shown you his mercy. So I am asking you to offer up your bodies to him while you are still alive. Your bodies are a holy sacrifice that is pleasing to God. When you offer your bodies to God, you are worshiping him in the right way. 2Don’t live the way this world lives. Let your way of thinking be completely changed. Then you will be able to test what God wants for you. And you will agree that what he wants is right. His plan is good and pleasing and perfect.
Serving One Another in the Body of Christ
3God’s grace has been given to me. So here is what I say to every one of you. Don’t think of yourself more highly than you should. Be reasonable when you think about yourself. Keep in mind the faith God has given to each of you. 4Each of us has one body with many parts. And the parts do not all have the same purpose. 5So also we are many persons. But in Christ we are one body. And each part of the body belongs to all the other parts. 6We all have gifts. They differ according to the grace God has given to each of us. Do you have the gift of prophecy? Then use it according to the faith you have. 7If your gift is serving, then serve. If it is teaching, then teach. 8Is it encouraging others? Then encourage them. Is it giving to others? Then give freely. Is it being a leader? Then work hard at it. Is it showing mercy? Then do it cheerfully.
Love in Action
9Love must be honest and true. Hate what is evil. Hold on to what is good. 10Love one another deeply. Honor others more than yourselves. 11Stay excited about your faith as you serve the Lord. 12When you hope, be joyful. When you suffer, be patient. When you pray, be faithful. 13Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Welcome others into your homes.
14Bless those who hurt you. Bless them, and do not curse them. 15Be joyful with those who are joyful. Be sad with those who are sad. 16Agree with one another. Don’t be proud. Be willing to be a friend of people who aren’t considered important. Don’t think that you are better than others.
17Don’t pay back evil with evil. Be careful to do what everyone thinks is right. 18If possible, live in peace with everyone. Do that as much as you can. 19My dear friends, don’t try to get even. Leave room for God to show his anger. It is written, “I am the God who judges people. I will pay them back,” (Deuteronomy 32:35) says the Lord. 20Do just the opposite. Scripture says,
“If your enemies are hungry, give them food to eat.
If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
By doing those things, you will pile up burning coals on their heads.” (Proverbs 25:21,22)
21Don’t let evil overcome you. Overcome evil by doing good.