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ROMANS 12:9-21 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.


  1. In verses 9-13, how many imperatives do you count? What is the very first on the list, according to verse 9? What does Paul say love must be and what does he mean? What does in mean to “abhor” something? What does it mean to “hold fast” to something? In what ways can you “abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good” in your everyday life?
  2. What is Paul commanding us to do in verse 10? How does this go against the grain of the world, especially when it comes to competition? What do you learn concerning what your life should look like, according to verse 11? Read verse 12. What is Paul getting at with each of the commands? In verse 13, who does Paul especially command us to “Contribute to the needs of”? What does it look like to “show hospitality”?
  3. Read verse 14. Who does Paul explicitly say Christians are to bless? What does it mean to “bless” someone and how does it become clearer when we understand it is used as the opposite of “curse” in this verse? Read verse 15. What does it look like to “rejoice with those who rejoice”? What does it look like to “weep with those who weep”?
  4. Read verse 16. How can you more seriously seek to “live in harmony with one another”? What does it mean to be “haughty”? What does Paul say is the opposite of being haughty? What does this mean and why is it important? Concerning the last part of verse 16, if we are not to be “wise in [our] own sight” how are we then to be wise?
  5. Read verse 17. What does it look like to “repay evil for evil”? Is it an honorable thing to do? How does the apostle say we are to go about doing what is “honorable in the sight of all”? Why is it important to “give thought” specifically before reacting to evil? Read verse 18. Do you seek after this in your own life? Why do you think Paul says “If possible, so far as it depends on you…” before the command to “live peaceably with all”?
  6. Read verse 19. What does it mean to “avenge”? Why does Paul say going after vengeance has no place in a Christian’s life? What Old Testament passage does he quote to clarify his command?
  7. Read verse 20. What contrary action does Paul command us to do to those who have wronged us? What passage does he quote to teach how we should respond to evil done to us? How does this beautifully reflect the gospel? How has Jesus treated you?
  8. Read verse 21. What are we actually doing, spiritually speaking, when we seek to avenge ourselves? How are we to overcome evil?


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