Christ Brings New Life
1Dear friends, God is good. So I beg you to offer your bodies to him as a living sacrifice, pure and pleasing. That's the most sensible way to serve God. 2Don't be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to him.
3I realize God has treated me with undeserved grace, and so I tell each of you not to think you are better than you really are. Use good sense and measure yourself by the amount of faith that God has given you. 4 A body is made up of many parts, and each of them has its own use. 5That's how it is with us. There are many of us, but we each are part of the body of Christ, as well as part of one another.
6 God has also given each of us different gifts to use. If we can prophesy, we should do it according to the amount of faith we have. 7If we can serve others, we should serve. If we can teach, we should teach. 8If we can encourage others, we should encourage them. If we can give, we should be generous. If we are leaders, we should do our best. If we are good to others, we should do it cheerfully.
Rules for Christian Living
9Be sincere in your love for others. Hate everything that is evil and hold tight to everything that is good. 10Love each other as brothers and sisters and honor others more than you do yourself. 11Never give up. Eagerly follow the Holy Spirit and serve the Lord. 12Let your hope make you glad. Be patient in time of trouble and never stop praying. 13Take care of God's needy people and welcome strangers into your home.
14 Ask God to bless everyone who mistreats you. Ask him to bless them and not to curse them. 15 When others are happy, be happy with them, and when they are sad, be sad. 16 Be friendly with everyone. Don't be proud and feel that you know more than others. Make friends with ordinary people. 17Don't mistreat someone who has mistreated you. But try to earn the respect of others, 18and do your best to live at peace with everyone.
19 Dear friends, don't try to get even. Let God take revenge. In the Scriptures the Lord says,
“I am the one to take revenge
and pay them back.”
20 The Scriptures also say,
“If your enemies are hungry,
give them something to eat.
And if they are thirsty,
give them something
This will be the same
as piling burning coals
on their heads.”
21Don't let evil defeat you, but defeat evil with good.