Romans 12:15-21
Rom 12:15 (KJV)
Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

Here we are encouraged to be with those who suffer loss in their life. Many times when people are suffering, they are left alone to suffer when it is at that time they can really use some comfort. We are also told to rejoice with those who are happily rejoicing. If a brother or sister receives a major blessing in their life, we should rejoice with them and not make them feel as if they donít deserve it or for us to be jealous and think that we could make better use of it. No matter what situation a brother or sister is in, we need to be there for them to the best of our ability.

Rom 12:16 (KJV)
Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

We must treat all the brothers and sisters in the body of Christ equally. If one has more earthly goods than another, it is not a reason that we should find them more appealing. We must not look at those who may be wealthier as some kind of special people as God sees all His children as equal. Those who have less than others does not mean they have incurred some kind of judgment from God. It means that the will of God for each believer may be different and one may need much material goods to effect that will, while another may not need as much to effect the will of God in their life. We are not to be wise in earthly thinking because in doing so, we may inadvertently prejudice ourselves against those Christians who seem to have much less and this we do not want to do. The world determines the value of a person by how much material goods they have. In Christianity, we see that every Christian is valued by God, no matter how much or how little they possess, and that is how we need to view other believers. In my life, I have found that those who have little seem to be the most solid and likeable Christians who stick by their friends.

Rom 12:17 (KJV)
Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

When someone does something evil to us, our first desire may be to get even but the Bible is teaching us here that we are not to recompense (render) evil for evil. If we return evil, then we are showing that we are no better than the person who doled out the initial attack against us. It does not show the transformation that took place in our souls plus it does not show that there is a difference between our former life and our present new life. By not rendering evil for evil, we are showing in all honesty that we have been changed by the Spirit of God who indwells us.

Rom 12:18 (KJV)
If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

God knows that in this fallen world that there are going to be those people that no matter how hard we try, will never want to live in peace with us. God tells us here as best as we can do, to live in peace. At least from our end we are not to fan any flames of evil or vengeance. If attacks come from other people, they are to be unprovoked attacks because we must live in peace with those around us. We must never suffer as an evildoer or give grounds to others to accuse of being an evildoer.

Rom 12:19 (KJV)
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

Here is God giving us assurance that those who cause us grief in this world will be dealt with at the Great White Throne Judgment. We cannot exact our own vengeance because they may be a future child of God and only He knows who they are. So for us, we must let God take vengeance on those who attack his children.

(2 Th 1:6-9 KJV) Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; {7} And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, {8} In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: {9} Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

So for now until the last day, we are to see these attacks as part of the tribulation of this life.
(John 16:33 KJV) These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.   When we commit the evil acts that people do against us to the Lord, then there will be a rush of peace which will permeate our lives. We bring great anxiety on ourselves if we attempt to plot and execute plans of revenge.

Rom 12:20 (KJV)
Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

We must define who our enemy is. The enemy of the Christian is every unbeliever in the world. There are only two kingdoms in this world, the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Satan. The saved belong to Godís Kingdom and the unsaved belong to Satanís Kingdom. So if our enemy hungers or thirsts, then we are to give them food and drink. Now what food and what drink are we to give them? Is it physical food? Well, yes we can give them physical food and drink if they need it but is that what is in view here? The key to understanding this is the phrase about the coals. I have heard it said that if we feed and give drink to our enemies, then that will make them so angry it will be like coals of fire. That is nonsensical interpretation.

(Prov 25:21-22 KJV) If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: {22} For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.

(Isa 6:6-7 KJV) Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: {7} And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.

Notice in Proverbs 25, we see that if we feed and give drink to the enemy, then the Lord will reward us. The key to understanding the idea of the reward is found in Isaiah 6:6-7. Notice Isaiah was receiving his commission and we see an angel took a live coal from the altar and laid it on the mouth of Isaiah. Then what was the result of that coal on Isaiahís mouth? We read that his iniquity was taken away and his sin purged. This is the language of salvation. The coals of fire is the Gospel. We are to give the Gospel to those who are our enemies, namely, the unbelievers. In Romans 12:20 we read that it is like heaping coals of fire on their head.

If a person becomes saved, then they too, like Isaiah, will have their iniquity taken away and their sins purged.
(Psa 103:12 KJV) As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Now to the subject of the reward. (1 Cor 3:14 KJV) If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. What is the only work which will abide or continue on into eternity? It will be the salvation of a person. So the reward we gain is the soul of that person who became saved. If they do not become saved, then we suffer loss and that loss will be the time, effort, and material goods which we put into that witness but we never know who God is going to save. Sometimes we may witness to a person and then years go by and we never see them again and then when we get to Glory, we will see them, and this is why we are never to say that a certain person will never become saved.

Rom 12:21 (KJV)
Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Here the chapter concludes with simple but excellent counsel. That we must never allow evil to overcome us. We must always remain astute so we will know if we are being drawn into a situation whereby we may be overcome of evil. The other side is that we are to overcome evil with good. When we are attacked for being a Christian, then we must not return those attacks but allow the good in us through the power of God to overcome that evil with the goodness of God. We must also not get ourselves into a situation which is ruled by sin for we can be overcome quickly by it since we still have physical bodies which lust after sin.