Romans 12:11
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

New Living Translation
Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.

English Standard Version
Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.

Berean Study Bible
Do not let your zeal subside; keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

Berean Literal Bible
not lagging in diligence, being fervent in spirit, serving the Lord,

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;

Christian Standard Bible
Do not lack diligence in zeal; be fervent in the Spirit; serve the Lord.

Contemporary English Version
Never give up. Eagerly follow the Holy Spirit and serve the Lord.

Good News Translation
Work hard and do not be lazy. Serve the Lord with a heart full of devotion.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Do not lack diligence; be fervent in spirit; serve the Lord.

International Standard Version
Never be lazy in showing such devotion. Be on fire with the Spirit. Serve the Lord.

NET Bible
Do not lag in zeal, be enthusiastic in spirit, serve the Lord.

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

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Be diligent and do not be lazy; be enthusiastic in spirit; be working for your Lord.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Don't be lazy in showing your devotion. Use your energy to serve the Lord.

New American Standard 1977
not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;

Jubilee Bible 2000
not slothful in earnest care, but fervent in the Spirit, serving the Lord,

King James 2000 Bible
Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

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

American Standard Version
in diligence not slothful; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

Douay-Rheims Bible
In carefulness not slothful. In spirit fervent. Serving the Lord.

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

English Revised Version
in diligence not slothful; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

Webster's Bible Translation
Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

Weymouth New Testament
Do not be indolent when zeal is required. Be thoroughly warm-hearted, the Lord's own servants,

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;
Study Bible
Love, Zeal, Hope, Hospitality
10Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Outdo yourselves in honoring one another. 11Do not let your zeal subside; keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, persistent in prayer.…
Cross References
Proverbs 31:15
She rises while it is still night to provide food for her household and portions for her maidservants.

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

Acts 18:25
He had been instructed in the way of the Lord and was fervent in spirit. He spoke and taught accurately about Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John.

Acts 20:19
I served the Lord with great humility and with tears, and in the trials I faced through the plots of the Jews.

Revelation 3:15
I know your deeds; you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were one or the other!

Treasury of Scripture

Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;


Exodus 5:17 But he said, You are idle, you are idle: therefore you say, Let us …

Proverbs 6:6-9 Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise…

Proverbs 10:26 As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard …

Proverbs 13:4 The soul of the sluggard desires, and has nothing: but the soul of …

Proverbs 18:9 He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.

Proverbs 22:29 See you a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; …

Proverbs 24:30-34 I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man …

Proverbs 26:13-16 The slothful man said, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets…

Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there …

Isaiah 56:10 His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb …

Matthew 25:26 His lord answered and said to him, You wicked and slothful servant, …

Acts 20:34,35 Yes, you yourselves know, that these hands have ministered to my …

Ephesians 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working …

1 Thessalonians 4:11,12 And that you study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and …

2 Thessalonians 3:6-12 Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…

1 Timothy 5:13 And with they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; …

Hebrews 6:10,11 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, …


Matthew 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

Acts 18:25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent …

Colossians 4:12,13 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, salutes you, always …

James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that …

1 Peter 1:22 Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through …

1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity …

Revelation 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against you, because you have left your first love.

Revelation 3:15,16 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would you …


1 Corinthians 7:22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's …

Ephesians 6:5-8 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to …

Colossians 3:22-24 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; …

Colossians 4:1 Masters, give to your servants that which is just and equal; knowing …

Titus 2:9,10 Exhort servants to be obedient to their own masters, and to please …

Hebrews 12:28 Why we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, …

(11) In business.--Rather, in zeal; the reference is to the spiritual and not to the practical life, as the English reader might suppose.

Fervent.--In the literal and etymological sense boiling or seething. The temperament of the Christian is compared to water bubbling and boiling over the flame.

In spirit--i.e., not "in the Holy Spirit," but "in that part of you which is spirit."

Serving the Lord.--Some of the extant Graeco-Latin codices, and others known to Origen and Jerome, read here by a slight change of vowels "serving the time"; no doubt wrongly, though the expression might be compared with 1Corinthians 7:29; Ephesians 5:16, et al.

Verse 11. - In business (rather, diligence) not slothful; in spirit fervent (we are to do with our might whatever our hand finds to do; yea, with fervent zeal); serving the Lord. For τῷ Κυρίῳ, (the Lord), some manuscripts have τῷ καιρῷ (the time, or the opportunity), which reading is preferred by some commentators on the ground that it is less likely to have been instituted for the familiar τῷ Κυρίῳ than vice versa. But τῷ Κυρίῳ is best supported, and has an obvious meaning, vie. that in the zealous performance of all our duties we are to feel that we are serving the Lord. Not slothful in business,.... Meaning not worldly business, or the affairs of life; though slothfulness in this respect is scandalous to human nature, and especially in persons under a profession of religion; men should diligently pursue their lawful callings for the support of themselves and families, and the interest of Christ: but spiritual business, the affairs of piety and religion, the service of God, private and public, to which we should not be backward, nor slothful in the performance of; such as preaching, hearing, reading, praying, and other ordinances of God; yea, we should be ready and forward to every good work, and particularly, and which may be here greatly designed, ministering to the poor saints in their necessity; in doing which we show that kind, tender, affectionate, brotherly love, and give that honour and respect, at least that part of it, which is relief, required in the foregoing verse; see Hebrews 6:10. Remarkable is that saying of R. Tarphon (m),

"The day is short, and the work great, , "and workmen slothful", and the reward much, and the master of the house is urgent.''

Fervent in spirit; in their own spirits, for the glory of God, the honour of Christ, and the cause of religion, in imitation of Christ himself, and as Phinehas and Elijah were; which fervency of spirit is opposed to that lukewarmness of soul, Revelation 3:16, that coldness of affection, and leaving of the first love, Revelation 2:4, so much complained of, and resented by Christ in his people: or else in the Spirit of God; for there may be fervency in men's spirits, which comes not from the Spirit of God, as in the Jews, and particularly Saul, before his conversion, who had "a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge", Romans 10:2; but when "the love of God is shed abroad in the heart" by the Spirit of God, Romans 5:5, this will make a man's spirit fervent in the service of God, for which the apostle would have these believers concerned. A disciple of the wise men among the Jews is (n) said to be "fervent", because the law is as a boiling pot unto him; much more should a disciple of Christ be fervent, who has the Gospel of Christ, the love of God, and the grace of the Spirit to inflame his soul with true zeal and fervour.

Serving the Lord; some copies read, "serving time": the likeness of the words, and especially in an abbreviation, may have occasioned this different reading; which should it be followed, is not to be understood in an ill sense, of temporizing, or time serving, of men's accommodating themselves, their sentiments and conduct, according to the times in which they live, in order to escape reproach and persecution; but of redeeming the time, improving every season to do good, and taking every opportunity of serving God. But as the reading our version follows is confirmed by authentic copies, and by the Syriac, and other Oriental versions, it is best to adhere to it: by "the Lord" is here meant either God, Father, Son, and Spirit, who are the alone object of divine service and religious worship; or the Lord Jesus Christ, who most frequently goes by the name of Lord in the New Testament; and who is the one Lord, whose we are and whom we should continually serve, being under the greatest obligations to him, not only as our Creator, but as our head, husband, and Redeemer. Very rightly does the apostle premise fervency in spirit to serving the Lord; for without the Spirit of God there is no true worshipping and serving of him, and which ought to be done with fervency as well as with constancy. The Syriac version renders it, "serve our Lord".

(m) Pirke Abot, c. 2. sect. 15. (n) T. Bab. Taanith, fol. 4. 1.11. not slothful in business—The word rendered "business" means "zeal," "diligence," "purpose"; denoting the energy of action.

serving the Lord—that is, the Lord Jesus (see Eph 6:5-8). Another reading—"serving the time," or "the occasion"—which differs in form but very slightly from the received reading, has been adopted by good critics [Luther, Olshausen, Fritzsche, Meyer]. But as manuscript authority is decidedly against it, so is internal evidence; and comparatively few favor it. Nor is the sense which it yields a very Christian one.12:9-16 The professed love of Christians to each other should be sincere, free from deceit, and unmeaning and deceitful compliments. Depending on Divine grace, they must detest and dread all evil, and love and delight in whatever is kind and useful. We must not only do that which is good, but we must cleave to it. All our duty towards one another is summed up in one word, love. This denotes the love of parents to their children; which is more tender and natural than any other; unforced, unconstrained. And love to God and man, with zeal for the gospel, will make the wise Christian diligent in all his wordly business, and in gaining superior skill. God must be served with the spirit, under the influences of the Holy Spirit. He is honoured by our hope and trust in him, especially when we rejoice in that hope. He is served, not only by working for him, but by sitting still quietly, when he calls us to suffer. Patience for God's sake, is true piety. Those that rejoice in hope, are likely to be patient in tribulation. We should not be cold in the duty of prayer, nor soon weary of it. Not only must there be kindness to friends and brethren, but Christians must not harbour anger against enemies. It is but mock love, which rests in words of kindness, while our brethren need real supplies, and it is in our power to furnish them. Be ready to entertain those who do good: as there is occasion, we must welcome strangers. Bless, and curse not. It means thorough good will; not, bless them when at prayer, and curse them at other times; but bless them always, and curse not at all. True Christian love will make us take part in the sorrows and joys of each other. Labour as much as you can to agree in the same spiritual truths; and when you come short of that, yet agree in affection. Look upon worldly pomp and dignity with holy contempt. Do not mind it; be not in love with it. Be reconciled to the place God in his providence puts you in, whatever it be. Nothing is below us, but sin. We shall never find in our hearts to condescend to others, while we indulge conceit of ourselves; therefore that must be mortified.
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