What does Romans 12:10 mean?
ESV: Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
NIV: Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
NASB: Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor,
CSB: Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Take the lead in honoring one another.
NLT: Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.
KJV: Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
Paul is giving a list of short commands to those who are in Christ. He is describing what it means to live as a self-sacrificing Christian. In the previous verse, he wrote that our love for each other must be sincere or genuine.
Now he writes of love as a kind of devotion to a sibling. We must love each other with a brotherly affection. The Greek word used here inspired the name of a city in the United States: Philadelphia, self-described as the city of brotherly love.
Those in Christ are truly brothers and sisters. God adopts us as His children, welcoming us into His family. That family includes everyone who knows God as Father. Brothers and sisters, of course, don't always get along. In most families, however, they share a loyalty and sense of belonging that surpasses most normal friendships.
Paul's second command in this verse urges us to compete, in a sense. We're told to outdo one another in showing honor to each other. If each of us acted on this, every person in the body of Christ would always feel deeply honored by the others and would never be satisfied that we are honoring one another enough. We would be motivated to continue asking, "How can I show more honor than he showed to me?"
Romans 12:9–21 is a list of numerous brief, bullet-pointed commands. Taken together, they paint a picture of what the living-sacrifice Christian life should look like. The unifying theme of the list is setting ourselves aside, to effectively love and serve the Lord, each other, and even our enemies. We must serve with enthusiasm and focus, mastering our emotions to rejoice in our future and be patient in our present. We must refuse to sink to evil's level in taking revenge and instead overcome evil by doing good to those who harm us.
In Romans 12, Paul describes the worship of our God as becoming living sacrifices to our God, giving up seeking what we want from life and learning to know and serve what God wants. That begins with using our spiritual gifts to serve each other in the church. Paul's list of commands describes a lifestyle of setting ourselves aside. Our goal as Christians is to love and lift each other up. We must focus our expectation on eternity and wait with patience and prayer for our Father to provide. We must refuse to sink to evil's level, giving good to those who harm us instead of revenge.
Romans 11 ended with a hymn describing God's vast ownership of the universe. Romans 12 begins by asking the question, ''Since He owed us nothing and has given us great mercy, how should we respond?'' The answer is a life of self-sacrificing worship spent in serving the Lord and other believers, refusing revenge and overcoming evil with good. Romans 13 will continue to describe God's intended lifestyle for those in Christ.
The book of Romans is the New Testament's longest, most structured, and most detailed description of Christian theology. Paul lays out the core of the gospel message: salvation by grace alone through faith alone. His intent is to explain the good news of Jesus Christ in accurate and clear terms. As part of this effort, Paul addresses the conflicts between law and grace, between Jews and Gentiles, and between sin and righteousness. As is common in his writing, Paul closes out his letter with a series of practical applications.
Accessed 11/30/2023 4:59:10 AM
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