Romans 12:9-21 “Sincere Love”

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Some of my favorite movies find their scriptures based on a plot that involves both revenge and some manner of a romantic love relationship.  Often, the main character has been wronged or experienced a great loss at the hands of some evil force and, in his or her campaign for revenge, meets a person that they eventually fall “in love” with.  It is a basic plotline, but apparently it makes for good cinema.

Neither of these notions, however, have much of a Biblical foundation.  Paul calls those who are “transformed by the renewing of their minds” to a Biblical definition of love for one another and a redefined way of thinking about our interactions with others, especially (and specifically, in this case) those whom we feel have wronged us.  If we have crowned Jesus as Lord of our lives, then we are called to trust Him with everything, even matters of justice for ourselves.

Questions to take home:

  1. 1 Corinthians 12:12-30 have a similar ring to Romans 12:6-8.  Both are followed by statements regarding love in relationship to the use of spiritual gifts.  How is Romans 12:9-16 and 1 Corinthians 13 related and what are they telling us?
  2. Read Matthew 5:38-48.  What similarities do you see between Jesus’ teaching and Romans 12:17-21?  How does this relate to the perfect justice of God?
  3. How do you think the specifics of chapter 12 (right thinking about ourselves, being part of the body, appropriate use of spiritual gifts, being sincere in love, and revenge) are related to the main theme of the chapter: not conforming but being transformed?