Romans 12:8-14
Rom 12:8 (KJV)
Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness.

Definition: Comfort, Entreat, To call to one, Call near, or Call for.

Characteristics: Paul

Scripture: Selected
Romans 6:6-7 & 11-13 - The Exhorter desires to give precise steps of action in stimulating a believer to growth.
1 Corinthians 1:10 - The Exhorter takes a person at the point of where they are and encourages them to grow.
2 Corinthians 7:3 - The Exhorter does not condemn but makes no excuse for sin either.
Galatians 3:1 - The Exhorter counsels on a personal basis and avoids programmed procedures.
Philippians 1:12 - The Exhorter sees tribulation as a method of spiritual growth.
Colossians 1:9-12 - The Exhorter desires to see the Christian reach their maximum spiritual potential.
Colossians 1:28 - The Exhorter sees the full potential of every believer.
1 Thessalonians 2:8-9 - The Exhorter stays with someone until they are restored.
Then Paul lists the gift of Giving and notice he connects the gift with simplicity. The word “simplicity” carries with it the meaning of “generosity or purity.” Those who have the true gift of giving do not give with ulterior motives for gain. They are concerned with getting the true Gospel out to the world. Their motives for giving are pure and it doesn’t matter whether they get a tax deductible receipt or not because they care for the propagation of the Gospel.

Definition: Share or Impart

Characteristics: Matthew

Scripture: Book of Matthew

Matthew must have had the gift of giving since he penned many principles of handling money in the book named after him.


5:42 - The Giver has inward joy giving to those who have need.
5:46-47 - The Giver does not expect nor require a pay back.
6:1-4 - The Giver desires to give in secret.
6:19-20 - The Giver has the ability to make wise investments.
6:24 -The Giver views money as a vehicle not a goal.
6:25 - The Giver is satisfied with the basic necessities of life.
7:6 - The Giver is very cautious where they invest their money.
10:8 - The Giver sees the money in their possession as God's and He has the right
to claim it for His needs.
10:9 - The Giver is frugal.
10:38 - Sacrificial giving is a way of life for the Giver.
13:46 - The Giver has the ability to make wise purchases.
16:26 - The Giver does not have an inward desire to stash away the Lord's money in
worldly investments. If they do, It is in short term investments for easier
access and no penalties.
18:8-9 - The Giver may rebuke a cheap Christian.
Then he speaks of the gift of ruling. “Ruling” carries with it the meaning of “taking the lead.” The ruler is to rule with diligence. “Diligence” carries with it the meaning of “effort, earnestness, or zeal.” The ruler is not to be a lazy self-serving individual but is to be one who is concerned for the organization which God has entrusted them to lead.

Definition: Preside or Set Over

Characteristics: Solomon

Scripture: Selected

1 Kings 3:8-9 - The Ruler sees himself as a servant with no self-ambitions.
1 Kings 3:23-28 - The Ruler is able to make wise and discerning judgments.
1 Kings 4:1-19 - The Ruler has the ability to delegate authority.
1 Kings 5:5 - The Ruler can see the big picture and results of a major project.
1 Kings 5:6,13 - The Ruler can see what is needed to complete the task at hand.
1 Kings 5:8,12 - The Ruler can deal rightly with other leaders.
1 Kings 5:14 - The Ruler has the ability to assign the right people to the right tasks.
1 Kings 6:38-7:1 - The Ruler has the desire to tackle and accomplish many tasks.
2 Chronicles 2:9 - The Ruler is a planner and a schedule keeper.
2 Chronicles 7:4-5 - The Ruler identifies himself with his people in a given task.
Proverbs 22:13 - The Ruler abhors excuses by lazy people.
Then Paul introduces the gift of Mercy. The person with the gift of mercy is one who helps other people and does not do it grudgingly but with joy in their heart that they are fulfilling God’s plan for their life.


Definition: To have the desire of relieving the miserable or to have pity upon by actually relieving them.

Characteristics: Apostle John

Scripture: The Gospel of John

John must have had the gift of mercy as he wrote much about merciful acts, plus he was the disciple whom Jesus trusted to care for his earthly mother. It is interesting to note that Jesus had earthly brothers and sisters yet John was given the task to care for Mary.

3:30 - Mercy puts the needs of others before their own needs.
4:9 - Mercy does not care if the person that needs help is an enemy.
4:14 - Mercy understands the deeper needs of others.
5:6 - Mercy will attach themselves to the poor and helpless, in both material and spiritual areas.
5:8-9 - Mercy will remain with a person until healing or improvement happens.
6:15 - Mercy tends to shy away from public ministry or life.
6:26 - Mercy may become a mark for their sympathetic virtues.
7:3-4 - Mercy may be misunderstood that they are seeking notoriety.
9:2-3 & 6-7 - Mercy is more concerned about healing than cause.
11:35 - Mercy identifies with the sorrow someone is feeling.
11:36 - Mercy builds deeper friendships than normal.
18:10-11 - Mercy may rebuke people who cause pain.

Rom 12:9 (KJV)
Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

Paul not exhorts the believers to have love without dissimulation. The word “dissimulation” carries with it the meaning of “without hypocrisy or insincerity.” We are to love the brethren without any hypocrisy, in other words, our love must be without any designs of self-gain.
(Jude 1:16 KJV) These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage. The unbelievers feign love and admiration for the purpose of self-gain and the believer is to love with pure motives. Then Paul goes on to say that we must abhor anything which is evil. That word “abhor’ means to “detest or denounce” anything which is evil. Then he uses an interesting word concerning the good. He states that we are to “cleave” to that which is good. The word “cleave” is normally used in reference to the marriage relationship where a man is to cleave to his wife when he leaves his parents. When we become saved we are to cleave to that which is good and we are to abhor the evil that we were saved out of. As a man cleaves to his wife, we must cleave to that which is good and holy. The word “cleave” carries with it the meaning of “cling to or join oneself to.” We are to join ourselves to the good and detest those things of evil.

Rom 12:10 (KJV)
Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

Paul here uses a term found only once in the New Testament, it is “kindly affectioned” which carries with it the meaning of “tenderly loving or loving dearly.” Since the body of Christ is a body plus it is a family, he uses the words “brotherly love.” He also tells us that we are to honor the brethren and put them ahead of us. Preferring carries with it the meaning of “going before.” It is a very hard thing to do to seek the betterment of other Christians before ourselves.
(Phil 2:4 KJV) Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. The Philippians verse teaches us that we are not just to look out for our own lives but we need to look after the things of others. In other words, I am to be my brother’s keeper and watch out for things of those people whom God brings into my life, whether they be of physical or spiritual nature.

Rom 12:11 (KJV)
Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

The Christian should never be lazy. There is a time to rest but there is a time to work.
(Eccl 9:10 KJV) Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. If a Christian holds a secular job, then they are to the best they can be at that job. The word “fervent” carries with it the meaning of “to boil or to be impassioned.” The Christian must have a great zeal in serving the Lord. Our service to the Lord also includes our job but it does not stop there. We are to be actively involved in some phase of the ministry since we just read that God gives spiritual gifts to every Christian and those gifts are not to remain dormant. (2 Tim 1:6 KJV) Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. The words “stir up” carries with it the meaning of “fan into flames.” The spiritual gift that God gave us is to be used in the service of the Lord. This is why we are to be very fervent or impassioned in service to the Lord Jesus Christ. Laziness should never be once named among the Christians. If the cults can find time to go pound on doors, how much more can Christians do since we are in the power of the Lord and not our own.

Rom 12:12 (KJV)
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

(Rom 8:24 KJV) For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? We are to rejoice in hope. As Christians we look forward to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible refers to it as the Blessed Hope. (Titus 2:13 KJV) Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; While we are rejoicing in the hope of the Lord’s return to earth, we will suffer tribulation and while we suffer tribulation, we are to be patient or enduring in that suffering, knowing that it will come to an end when the Lord returns. As we continue in the tribulation of these present days, we are to continue instant in prayer. The words “continue instant” carries with it the meaning of “steadfastly continuing.” Our prayer life is vital as we face an increase of satanic activity in these final days. We pray that God may guide us into all truth and to give us the wisdom to elude the clutches of the Devil’s work and workers, who pawn themselves off as ministers of righteousness. (Prov 22:3 KJV) A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished. We pray that God gives us the spiritual eyes to see the evil so we will not become snared.

Rom 12:13 (KJV)
Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.

Here we are told that we are to help those Saints who have physical needs. Now this does mean we try to fulfill their wants but we minister to their needs. If they need food, we buy food. If they need help with their bills, then we give them money. The Saints of God should be hospitable. The word “hospitality” in the Greek carries with it the meaning of a “guest room.” We need to care for the downtrodden Saints of God as if they were staying in our homes in a guest room. When we have visitors to our home, we place them in a guest room and then tend to their needs as long as they are visiting. It is a shame that many Christians do not see this as a vital ministry. Sometimes we think that God will only bless us if we send money to missions overseas. This is a false notion because we meet needs wherever we are and that is what garners the favor of the Lord. Too many churches and Christians look beyond the needs of those who are standing right there beside them.

Rom 12:14 (KJV)
Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.

This is a small verse but is probably the hardest thing to do. When we are being persecuted, our first reaction may be to fight back but the Lord is telling us that we need to bless our persecutors.
(Mat 5:44 KJV) But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; This is because they are really persecuting the Lord and not us. It is God they hate, not us. (Acts 22:7 KJV) And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? Saul was persecuting Christians but the Lord told him that he was ultimately persecuting the Lord through His children’s suffering. As hard as it may be, we must persevere in persecution and the Lord will deal with these people who persecute on the last day. There is also a principle here. The one who is doing the persecuting may be a future child of God and if we attack them, we may be attacking a predestined brother or sister.