Romans 12:11
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;

King James Bible
Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

Darby Bible Translation
as to diligent zealousness, not slothful; in spirit fervent; serving the Lord.

World English Bible
not lagging in diligence; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

Young's Literal Translation
in the diligence not slothful; in the spirit fervent; the Lord serving;

Romans 12:11 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Not slothful - The word rendered "slothful" refers to those who are slow, idle, destitute of promptness of mind and activity; compare Matthew 25:16.

In business - τῇ σπουδῇ tē spoudē. This is the same word which in Romans 12:8 is rendered "diligence." It properly denotes haste, intensity, ardor of mind; and hence, also it denotes industry, labor. The direction means that we should be diligently occupied in our proper employment. It does not refer to any particular occupation, but is used in general sense to denote all the labor which we may have to do; or is a direction to be faithful and industrious in the discharge of all our appropriate duties; compare Ecclesiastes 9:10. The tendency of the Christian religion is to promote industry:

(1) It teaches the value of time.

(2) presents numerous and important things to be done.

(3) it inclines people to be conscientious in the improvement of each moment.

(4) and it takes away the mind from those pleasures and pursuits which generate and promote indolence.

The Lord Jesus was constantly employed in filling up the great duties of his life, and the effect of his religion has been to promote industry wherever it has spread both among nations and individuals. An idle man and a Christian are names which do not harmonize. Every Christian has enough to do to occupy all his time; and he whose life is spent in ease and in doing nothing, should doubt altogether his religion. God has assigned us much to accomplish; and he will hold us answerable for the faithful performance of it; compare John 5:17; John 9:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:11; 2 Thessalonians 3:10, 2 Thessalonians 3:12. All that would be needful to transform the idle, and vicious, and wretched, into sober and useful people, would be to give to them the spirit of the Christian religion; see the example of Paul, Acts 20:34-35.

Fervent - This word is usually applied to water, or to metals so heated as to bubble, or boil. It hence is used to denote ardor, intensity, or as we express it, a glow, meaning intense zeal, Acts 18:25.

In Spirit - In your mind or heart. The expression is used to denote a mind filled with intense ardor in whatever it is engaged. It is supposed that Christians would first find appropriate objects for their labor, and then engage in them with intense ardor and zeal.

Serving - Regarding yourselves as the servants of the Lord. This direction is to be understood as connected with the preceding, and as growing out of it. They were to be diligent and fervid, and in doing so were to regard themselves as serving the Lord, or to do it in obedience to the command of God, and to promote his glory. The propriety of this caution may easily be seen.

(1) the tendency of worldly employments is to take off the affections from God.

(2) people are prone to forget God when deeply engaged in their worldly employments. It is proper to recall their attention to him.

(3) the right discharge of our duties in the various employments of life is to be regarded as serving God. He has arranged the order of things in this life to promote employment. He has made industry essential to happiness and success; and hence, to be industrious from proper motives is to be regarded as acceptable service of God.

(4) he has required that all such employments should be conducted with reference to his will and to his honor, 1 Corinthians 10:31; Ephesians 6:5; Colossians 3:17, Colossians 3:22-24; 1 Peter 4:11. The meaning of the whole verse is, that Christians should be industrious, should be ardently engaged in some lawful employment, and that they should pursue it with reference to the will of God, in obedience to his commands, and to his glory.

Romans 12:11 Parallel Commentaries

Library
July 22. "He that Ministereth Let us Wait on Our Ministering" (Rom. xii. 7).
"He that ministereth let us wait on our ministering" (Rom. xii. 7). Beloved, are you ministering to Christ? Are you doing it with your hands? Are you doing it with your substance and with what you have? Is He getting the best of what is most real to you? Has He a place at your table? And when He does not come to fill the chair, is it free to His representative, His poor and humble children? Your words and wishes are cheap if they do not find expression in your actual gifts. Even Mary did not put
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Second Sunday after Epiphany
Text: Romans 12, 6-16. 6 And having gifts differing according to the grace that was given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of our faith; 7 or ministry, let us give ourselves to our ministry; or he that teacheth, to his teaching; 8 or he that exhorteth, to his exhorting; he that giveth, let him do it with liberality; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness. 9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. II

Still Another Triplet
'Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. 14. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. 15. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.'--ROMANS xii. 13-15. In these verses we pass from the innermost region of communion with God into the wide field of duties in relation to men. The solitary secrecies of rejoicing hope, endurance, and prayer unbroken, are exchanged for the publicities of benevolence and sympathy. In the former verses the Christian
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)

Many and One
'For we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 5. So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.'--ROMANS xii. 4, 5. To Paul there was the closest and most vital connection between the profoundest experiences of the Christian life and its plainest and most superficial duties. Here he lays one of his most mystical conceptions as the very foundation on which to rear the great structure of Christian conduct, and links on to one of
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)

Cross References
Proverbs 31:15
She rises also while it is still night And gives food to her household And portions to her maidens.

Ecclesiastes 9:10
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol where you are going.

Acts 18:25
This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus, being acquainted only with the baptism of John;

Acts 20:19
serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which came upon me through the plots of the Jews;

Revelation 3:15
'I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot.

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