12 So, my dear family, this is my appeal to you by the mercies of God: offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. Worship like this brings your mind into line with God’s. 2 What’s more, don’t let yourselves be squeezed into the shape dictated by the present age. Instead, be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you can work out what God’s will is, what is good, acceptable and complete.
3 Through the grace which was given to me, I have this to say to each one of you: don’t think of yourselves more highly than you ought to think. Rather, think soberly, in line with faith, the true standard which God has marked out for each of you. 4 As in one body we have many limbs and organs, you see, and all the parts have different functions, 5 so we, many as we are, are one body in the Messiah, and individually we belong to one another.
Living Together in the Messiah
6 Well then, we have gifts that differ in accordance with the grace that has been given to us, and we must use them appropriately. If it is prophecy, we must prophesy according to the pattern of the faith. 7 If it is serving, we must work at our serving; if teaching, at our teaching; 8 if exhortation, at our exhortation; if giving, with generosity; if leading, with energy; if doing acts of kindness, with cheerfulness.
9 Love must be real. Hate what is evil, stick fast to what is good. 10 Be truly affectionate in showing love for one another; compete with each other in giving mutual respect. 11 Don’t get tired of working hard. Be on fire with the spirit. Work as slaves for the Lord. 12 Celebrate your hope; be patient in suffering; give constant energy to prayer; 13 contribute to the needs of God’s people; make sure you are hospitable to strangers.
Living Alongside the World
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless them, don’t curse them. 15 Celebrate with those who are celebrating, mourn with the mourners. 16 Come to the same mind with one another. Don’t give yourselves airs, but associate with the humble. Don’t get too clever for yourselves.
17 Never repay anyone evil for evil; think through what will seem good to everyone who is watching. 18 If it’s possible, as far as you can, live at peace with all people. 19 Don’t take revenge, my dear people, but allow God’s anger room to work. The Bible says, after all, ‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay, says the Lord.’ 20 No: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink. If you do this, you will pile up burning coals on his head.’ 21 Don’t let evil conquer you. Rather, conquer evil with good.
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