16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
QUESTION 1-In what ways can we present our bodies as living sacrifices? (v.1)
Because of God's mercy, believers should willingly choose to use their bodies to serve and obey God (see Romans 6:13). Such giving of the body to God is more than a contrast with dead animal sacrifices in the Old Testament, it is "newness of life" (see Romans 6:4).
The concept of a living sacrifice was one that was foreign to both Jews and Gentiles. Since both Judaism and the various pagan religions offered dead animal sacrifices, the concept of a living sacrifice might have seemed very strange to Paul's readers. Since Christ offered a once-for-all sacrifice on the cross (Hebrews 10:10), the days of offering dead sacrifices have ended. What God desires of His people today is a "living sacrifice" (Romans 12:1), that is, lives that are "holy, acceptable unto God."
QUESTION 2-How is the church being conformed to the world today? (v.2)
The word conformed means "to form" or "mold." Instead of being molded by the values of this world (age or era), the believer should be transformed (changed) by the renewing of the mind. Spiritual transformation starts in the mind and heart. A mind dedicated to the world and its concerns will produce a life that is tossed back and forth by the tides of culture. But, a mind dedicated to God's truth will produce a life that can stand the test of time. We can resist the temptations of our culture by meditating on God's truth and letting the Holy Spirit guide and shape our thoughts and behaviors.
QUESTION 3-Why should we abhor evil? (v.9)
Do you find it non-Christian like to hate something? This is what Paul means by the word abhor. There is room for hatred in the Christian life, but it is not a hatred of people. Romans 12:9 describes a loathing of sin and a sense of disgust at the destruction that it causes both in individual lives and in the fabric of society.
Too often Christians flirt with the world and thus begin to think that certain things are not all that wrong. The media is good for portraying evil in such a way that we may actually begin to sympathize with the evildoer. As children of God, we are to hate those things that God hates. Why, because He told us to be holy as He is holy.