A Living Sacrifice, A Renewed Mind
(1) Therefore, my brothers and sisters, I exhort you in view of God’s mercy to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true spiritual and reasonable (rational) worship.
(2) Do not be conformed to the values and pattern of this world (age), but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and discern what God’s will is—his good, pleasing (acceptable), and perfect will.
One Diverse Body of Christ
(3) For by God’s grace given me I say to each one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you should, but rather think of yourself with sound judgment, in accordance with the amount of faith God has distributed to each of you.
(4) For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, (5) so in Jesus Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
(6) We all have different gifts, according to God’s grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy according to the degree of faith God has given you; (7) if your gift is serving, then serve; if your gift is teaching, then teach; (8) if your gift is encouragement (exhortation), then encourage others; if your gift is giving (contributing), then give generously; if your gift is leadership, then lead with passion (diligence, zeal); if your gift is acts of mercy (compassion), do them with joy (cheerfulness).
Love in Action
(9) Love must be genuine. Hate what is immorally evil and hold on tight to what is morally good. (10) Be committed to one another in love and honor one another above yourselves. (11) Do not lack enthusiastic zeal, but serve the Lord with the burning passion of the Holy Spirit. (12) Rejoice in hope, endure in suffering (hardships), and be unceasing in prayer. (13) Give (contribute) to the Lord’s people who are in true need (lacking the necessities of life) and practice hospitality.
(14) Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. (15) Rejoice with those who rejoice; grieve with those who grieve. (16) Live in harmony (unity) with one another. Do not live a life of pride, but make friends (associate) with people of lower status (position) in society. Never be conceited.
(17) Do not repay anyone evil because they were evil to you. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. (18) If it is possible—as far as it depends on you—seek to live at peace with all people. (19) My dear friends, do not take revenge against those who do you wrong but wait for God’s just judgment, for it is written in Deuteronomy 32:35, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord.” (20) Instead of taking revenge, obey what is written in Proverbs 25:21-22, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. By doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” (possibly referring to sinners in the Old Testament who carried coal on their heads as a sign of repentance). (21) Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil by doing good (what is right)!