Matthew Henry's Concise
Commentary on the EpistleRomans 12:6-16a
Believers are to be humble, and faithfully to use their spiritual
gifts, in their respective stations. (3-8) Exhortations to various duties.
Verses 3-8 Pride is a sin in us by nature; we need to
be cautioned and armed against it. All the saints make up one body in Christ,
who is the Head of the body, and the common Centre of their unity. In the
spiritual body, some are fitted for and called to one sort of work; others
for another sort of work. We are to do all the good we can, one to another,
and for the common benefit. If we duly thought about the powers we have,
and how far we fail properly to improve them, it would humble us. But as
we must not be proud of our talents, so we must take heed lest, under a
pretence of humility and self-denial, we are slothful in laying out ourselves
for the good of others. We must not say, I am nothing, therefore I will
sit still, and do nothing; but, I am nothing in myself, and therefore I
will lay out myself to the utmost, in the strength of the grace of Christ.
Whatever our gifts or situations may be, let us try to employ ourselves
humbly, diligently, cheerfully, and in simplicity; not seeking our own
credit or profit, but the good of many, for this world and that which is
Verses 9-16 The professed love of Christians to each other should
be sincere, free from deceit, and unmeaning and deceitful compliments.
Depending on Divine grace, they must detest and dread all evil, and love
and delight in whatever is kind and useful. We must not only do that which
is good, but we must cleave to it. All our duty towards one another is
summed up in one word, love. This denotes the love of parents to their
children; which is more tender and natural than any other; unforced, unconstrained.
And love to God and man, with zeal for the gospel, will make the wise Christian
diligent in all his worldly business, and in gaining superior skill. God
must be served with the spirit, under the influences of the Holy Spirit.
He is honoured by our hope and trust in him, especially when we rejoice
in that hope. He is served, not only by working for him, but by sitting
still quietly, when he calls us to suffer. Patience for God's sake, is
true piety. Those that rejoice in hope, are likely to be patient in tribulation.
We should not be cold in the duty of prayer, nor soon weary of it. Not
only must there be kindness to friends and brethren, but Christians must
not harbour anger against enemies. It is but mock love, which rests in
words of kindness, while our brethren need real supplies, and it is in
our power to furnish them. Be ready to entertain those who do good: as
there is occasion, we must welcome strangers. Bless, and curse not. It
means thorough good will; not, bless them when at prayer, and curse them
at other times; but bless them always, and curse not at all. True Christian
love will make us take part in the sorrows and joys of each other. Labour
as much as you can to agree in the same spiritual truths; and when you
come short of that, yet agree in affection. Look upon worldly pomp and
dignity with holy contempt. Do not mind it; be not in love with it. Be
reconciled to the place God in his providence puts you in, whatever it
be. Nothing is below us, but sin. We shall never find in our hearts to
condescend to others, while we indulge conceit of ourselves; therefore
that must be mortified.