121So then, my brothers and sisters, because of God's great mercy to us I appeal to you: offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer. 2Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God — what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect.
3And because of God's gracious gift to me I say to every one of you: do not think of yourself more highly than you should. Instead, be modest in your thinking, and judge yourself according to the amount of faith that God has given you. 4
We have many parts in the one body, and all these parts have different functions. 5In the same way, though we are many, we are one body in union with Christ, and we are all joined to each other as different parts of one body. 6
So we are to use our different gifts in accordance with the grace that God has given us. If our gift is to speak God's message, we should do it according to the faith that we have; 7if it is to serve, we should serve; if it is to teach, we should teach; 8if it is to encourage others, we should do so. Whoever shares with others should do it generously; whoever has authority should work hard; whoever shows kindness to others should do it cheerfully.
9Love must be completely sincere. Hate what is evil, hold on to what is good. 10Love one another warmly as Christian brothers and sisters, and be eager to show respect for one another. 11Work hard and do not be lazy. Serve the Lord with a heart full of devotion. 12Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times. 13Share your belongings with your needy fellow-Christians, and open your homes to strangers.
Ask God to bless those who persecute you — yes, ask him to bless, not to curse. 15Be happy with those who are happy, weep with those who weep. 16
Have the same concern for everyone. Do not be proud, but accept humble duties.12.16 accept humble duties; or make friends with humble people. Do not think of yourselves as wise.
17If someone has done you wrong, do not repay him with a wrong. Try to do what everyone considers to be good. 18Do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody. 19
Never take revenge, my friends, but instead let God's anger do it. For the scripture says, “I will take revenge, I will pay back, says the Lord.” 20
Instead, as the scripture says: “If your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them a drink; for by doing this you will make them burn with shame.” 21Do not let evil defeat you; instead, conquer evil with good.
131Everyone must obey the state authorities, because no authority exists without God's permission, and the existing authorities have been put there by God. 2Whoever opposes the existing authority opposes what God has ordered; and anyone who does so will bring judgement on himself. 3For rulers are not to be feared by those who do good, but by those who do evil. Would you like to be unafraid of those in authority? Then do what is good, and they will praise you, 4because they are God's servants working for your own good. But if you do evil, then be afraid of them, because their power to punish is real. They are God's servants and carry out God's punishment on those who do evil. 5For this reason you must obey the authorities — not just because of God's punishment, but also as a matter of conscience.
That is also why you pay taxes, because the authorities are working for God when they fulfil their duties. 7Pay, then, what you owe them; pay them your personal and property taxes, and show respect and honour for them all.
8Be under obligation to no one — the only obligation you have is to love one another. Whoever does this has obeyed the Law. 9
The commandments, “Do not commit adultery; do not commit murder; do not steal; do not desire what belongs to someone else” — all these, and any others besides, are summed up in the one command, “Love your neighbour as you love yourself.” 10If you love someone, you will never do them wrong; to love, then, is to obey the whole Law.
11You must do this, because you know that the time has come for you to wake up from your sleep. For the moment when we will be saved is closer now than it was when we first believed. 12The night is nearly over, day is almost here. Let us stop doing the things that belong to the dark, and let us take up weapons for fighting in the light. 13Let us conduct ourselves properly, as people who live in the light of day — no orgies or drunkenness, no immorality or indecency, no fighting or jealousy. 14But take up the weapons of the Lord Jesus Christ, and stop paying attention to your sinful nature and satisfying its desires.
Welcome those who are weak in faith, but do not argue with them about their personal opinions. 2Some people's faith allows them to eat anything, but the person who is weak in the faith eats only vegetables. 3Those who will eat anything are not to despise those who don't; while those who eat only vegetables are not to pass judgement on those who will eat anything; for God has accepted them. 4Who are you to judge someone else's servants? It is their own Master who will decide whether they succeed or fail. And they will succeed, because the Lord is able to make them succeed.
5Some people think that a certain day is more important than other days, while others think that all days are the same. We should each firmly make up our own minds. 6Those who think highly of a certain day do so in honour of the Lord; those who will eat anything do so in honour of the Lord, because they give thanks to God for the food. Those who refuse to eat certain things do so in honour of the Lord, and they give thanks to God. 7None of us lives for himself only, none of us dies for himself only. 8If we live, it is for the Lord that we live, and if we die, it is for the Lord that we die. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9For Christ died and rose to life in order to be the Lord of the living and of the dead. 10
You then, who eat only vegetables — why do you pass judgement on others? And you who eat anything — why do you despise other believers? All of us will stand before God to be judged by him. 11
For the scripture says:
“As surely as I am the living God, says the Lord,
everyone will kneel before me,
and everyone will confess that I am God.”12Every one of us, then, will have to give an account of ourselves to God.
13So then, let us stop judging one another. Instead, you should decide never to do anything that would make another stumble or fall into sin. 14My union with the Lord Jesus makes me certain that no food is of itself ritually unclean; but if a person believes that some food is unclean, then it becomes unclean for that person. 15If you hurt your brother or sister because of something you eat, then you are no longer acting from love. Do not let the food that you eat ruin the person for whom Christ died! 16Do not let what you regard as good get a bad name. 17For God's Kingdom is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of the righteousness, peace, and joy which the Holy Spirit gives. 18And when people serve Christ in this way, they please God and are approved by others.
19So then, we must always aim14.19 we must always aim; some manuscripts have we always aim. at those things that bring peace and that help to strengthen one another. 20Do not, because of food, destroy what God has done. All foods may be eaten, but it is wrong to eat anything that will cause someone else to fall into sin. 21The right thing to do is to keep from eating meat, drinking wine, or doing anything else that will make your brother or sister fall. 22Keep what you believe about this matter, then, between yourself and God. Happy are those who do not feel guilty when they do something they judge is right! 23But if they have doubts about what they eat, God condemns them when they eat it, because their action is not based on faith. And anything that is not based on faith is sin.