The Berean Expositor
Volume 53 - Page 138 of 215
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These verses cover a wide field of Christian practice touching the order and conduct
of church life and for the most part are direct and clear. We comment on each verse.
Verse 9: Love must be literally "without hypocrisy". It must be absolutely sincere and
not "put on". Verse 10: Others must be counted as better than themselves. Here we
have the spirit of Phil. 2: 3, "in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than
themselves". Verse 11: "Fervent in Spirit". This expression is used of Apollos in
Acts.xviii.25. It is difficult to decide whether the word "spirit" should have a capital and
refer to the Holy Spirit or a small `s' referring to the believer. Probably the former is
correct. The R.S.V. renders it "be aglow with the Spirit". Verse 12: Hope is the sure
fulfillment of faith and so should surely produce lasting joy.  Affliction should be
patiently endured and there must be perseverance in prayer.
12: 14 - 13: 14.
pp. 41 - 44
Verse 14: Here the Apostle echoes the Sermon on the Mount. Compare Luke 6: 28,
"Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you", and also
Matt. 5: 44 "Love your enemies . . . . . and pray for them which despitefully use you, and
persecute you". Verse 15: An exhortation to show true sympathy with others, so
avoiding being self-centred. Verse 16: "Be of the same mind one toward another". This
is like Phil. 2: 2 "to be high-minded", which is ensured when each one has "the mind of
Christ" as explained in the verses that follow. "Mind not high things": this is repeated
from chapter 11: 20 where we read "Be not highminded", and this is a warning against
conceit and "men of low estate", that is, "humble folk" should not be avoided. Verse 17:
Again, a reference to the Sermon on the Mount. The second sentence in this verse is a
quotation from Prov. 3: 4 (LXX) and is an exhortation to lead an honest life before all
men. Verse 18: This, again, reflects the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:
9). Verse 19: This is a warning against taking revenge. There is only one Person Who
can do this righteously and that is God. No one has a right to imagine that his own
revengeful feelings will carry out the will of God.  Paul is quoting here from
Deut.xxxii.35. Verse 20: The meaning here being that if an enemy is treated kindly, it
may make him ashamed and repentant and become a friend, so "overcoming evil with
good" (see verse 21).
Chapter 13:
Chapter 13: commences a new section dealing with the relation of believers to the
ruling powers. Attempts have been made to confine the meaning of "powers" to those in
authority in the churches, but this is not a satisfactory exposition of the passage as a
whole. The believer's attitude to authority was one of extreme importance. The position
of Jews in the Roman empire was regulated by a number of imperial edicts. They
enjoyed many privileges, for their religion was registered as a lawful one, religio licita,
and these included the sabbath law, food regulations, and the prohibition of graven