ROMANS 15:1-14  


Romans 15:1-14

In the previous section, which is chapter 14:1-23, Paul exhorted the strong believer to accept the weak believer, who does not understand our Christian liberty in the areas of diet and religious rituals and holidays.
He basically wrote to accept one another and allow each to have personal preferences AS LONG AS those personal preferences were not made to be some kind of religious requirement for having fellowship with God.

He wrote that the strong believer should not judge the weaker one or even sinfully challenge him by ignoring his areas of weakness. And likewise, anyone who chooses to follow dietary and holiday observances, Paul exhorts that such ones should not judge those who do not follow them.

At 14:17, Paul wrote that traditions about "eating and drinking," AND in context, observance of days and various rituals, were not an issue for living in the kingdom of God here on earth. The issue is to enjoy the abundant life of peace and joy that comes through knowledge and application of God's word.

At 14:19 Paul paved the way for the proper way to deal with the weak believer that he will amplify in chapter 15. "so then let us pursue the things of the peace, and the building up of one another."
Basically, in chapter 14, Paul states that the believer is "weak in the faith" if he thinks he NEEDS to adhere to religious restrictions in diet and the observance of days. But he also exhorts that there should be no prideful judging of one upon another. He basically gives support to whatever a person believes about diet and observance of days, in two statements.
(1) Verse 14:5, "let each one be fully convinced in his own mind."
(2) Verse 14:22, "the faith which you have, have according to yourself before God."

But then in chapter 15, he clarifies that the strong believer is under an obligation to provide more accurate knowledge to the weak believer so that he can experience fully the quality of life that God has provided for us.

Chapter 15:1-7 continues to the conclusion at verse 7, at which point Paul transitions to another factor in Christian unity.

Exhortation for Christian unity through helping one another in areas where they have incomplete or inaccurate knowledge.
The issue here is not assistance with material things, but with moral and spiritual guidance.
The weak believer needs to be encouraged and even sometimes admonished; given information to help him recover from doctrinal error and even from areas of sin in the life.

Verse 1
1. Now we who are strong: this refers to a believer who has gained a significant amount of spiritual growth. He is stable in his faith and has a mature knowledge of the character and plan of God.
The adjective is dunatos and indicates the possession of strength of character that comes through learning God's word.

He is the one that the book of Hebrews describes as "the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained for the discernment of good and evil." Heb. 5:14
At Gal. 6:1, such a one is called "spiritual" and is exhorted to restore an erring believer.
Restoration can only come as the erring believer is taught the truths he needs to recover.
This is according to the principle taught at Psalm 19:7-14 and 119:9-11.

2. In context, it specifically refers to the believer who understands about Christian freedom in the areas of diet and religious holidays and rituals. Rom. 14:2 and 5.

3. The weak believer in this context is someone who thinks he NEEDS to observe the various dietary restrictions, and religious rituals and holidays in order to be "right" with God.
Following dietary restrictions and personally honoring various special days because of a personal preference does not indicate that someone is a weak believer. If such a person places spiritual value on that activity, that would indicate deficiency in doctrinal understanding.

4. The strong believer is exhorted to "carry away the weaknesses of those who are without strength."
A. ought to: opheilō communicates an obligation.
At Heb. 5:12, it is expressed with the principle that is indicated with the phrase, "by this this time you OUGHT to be teachers." Believers should progress in spiritual growth so that they will be able to help others as they are growing up in the faith.
Also at Heb. 5:12-13 the weak believer is described as "you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the words of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unacquainted with the word of righteousness, for he is an infant."

B. carry: is pherō and indicates a removal of that which constitutes "without strength."
This is done through teaching the weak believer the pertinent information he needs to progress in his spiritual growth.
C. He needs to be taught the specific information that Paul wrote in chapter 14 and in 1Cor. 8 and 10.
See Summary of these chapters at:
Summary of Christian Liberty

He also needs to be reminded about fellowship with God and confession of sin for restoration to fellowship.
And of course, upon receiving the needed instruction, the erring believer then needs to confess any sin(s) that are keeping him out of fellowship with God (1 John 1:9; Proverbs 28:13; Psalm 32:5), and then apply the pertinent truths to his life.
See Topic: Fellowship with God

Verse 2
This aid to the weaker believer is done through edification. Edification is the building up of the weaker believer by giving him the doctrinal truths he needs to focus on the character and plan of God. They are summarized by "the word of righteousness" at Heb. 5:13. It is learning and using the word of God that promotes righteousness and the love of God in the life.
"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation (deliverance) for all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously, and in a godly manner in the present age." Titus 2:11-12.

Jesus stated it at Mat. 6:33, "but seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness."
And Paul at Romans 14:17, "the kingdom of God is not (does not revolve around) eating and drinking, but is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."
2Tim. 2:17, the word of God provides "training in righteousness."

1. Let each of us please his neighbor: This is the BELIEVER who lives within our environmental periphery.
Pleasing is doing that which is beneficial to the fellow believer. It does not cater to his weakness but rebukes it with love, humility, patience and teaching. This is what helps him recover from weakness and error in his life.
As already seen at 14:1, we are not to pass judgment upon the weak believer, but to accept him.

2. Pleasing is explained by the word GOOD (agathos), and then further by "for his edification." The noun, oikodomā refers to the building up of a "knowledge-structure" in the soul. It thus refers to the impartation of God's word so that the believer can advance in spiritual growth.
The word GOOD is used at 1Thes. 5:15. "But always seek after that which is good for one another and for all men."
However, the quality of "good" is determined by what God's word details to be good according to the viewpoint and plan of God. It does not mean to do WHATEVER the particular person thinks is good for himself.
The fulfillment of this exhortation is not a matter of just "willing" or "choosing" to do it. It requires a character quality in the soul that produces a natural and consistent expression of love and righteousness.
This ability is one of the character qualities listed as one of the fruits of the Spirit. As we learn and absorb the righteousness standards of God's word, we give the Spirit the "fuel" to produce in our life the character qualities listed at Gal. 5:22-23. But of course, even with the leading of the Spirit, we must CHOOSE to follow the standards that we have learned; we must choose to let those standards govern our life.
So, to the degree that we know, understand and CHOOSE to apply God's standards of love and righteousness, to that degree there will be consistency in "doing good."

3. We can make application of this to the unbeliever in principle. The thing that will "please" the unbeliever and is "good" for him is first and foremost the gospel message.
Every believer is considered an ambassador for Christ and should proclaim the message of 2Cor. 5:20, "be reconciled to God."
Just as Paul wrote to Timothy, "do the work of an evangelist." 2Tim. 4:5.
Also at Gal. 6:10, "So while we have opportunity, let us do good to all men (people), and especially to those who are of the household of the faith."

Verse 3
Christ is the ultimate example for us to give of ourselves; time; energy and resources to help the believers who are in spiritual need.
1. For even Christ did not please Himself: Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice.
Of course, in His humanity, He understood the character and plan of God (Luke 2:52). Accordingly, He said, "I do not seek My own will but the will of Him Who sent Me" (John 5:30), and "I always do the things that are pleasing to Him" (John 8:29).
But obedience was still challenged by his natural sense of self-preservation. So to obey was a sacrifice of that "sense" and is indicated at Mat.26:38-39.
Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.”
And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”
And Paul summarizes it at Phil. 2:8, "He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on the cross."
Thus, Christ is our "copy book," whose character we are to build and reflect in our life as per 1Peter 2:21.
"For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps."
1John 2:6, "the one who says he abides in Him, ought himself to walk in the same way as He walked."
See Topic: Christ our copybook

Verse 4
The Old Testament Scriptures, and NOW the New testament scriptures as well, give us instruction; spiritual and moral guidance in order to live a life of confidence and stability; peace and joy.
1. Whatever was written in earlier times: This refers to the Old Testament. And where most of those standards are found is in the book of Proverbs.
2. Was written for our instruction: didaskalia. We are taught out from the Scriptures. Not from other books; not from philosophy or religion or political theories. And certainly not personal viewpoint.
Not from "a spirit or a word or a letter AS IF from us." 2Thes. 2:2.
   A. Old Testament: "All Scripture is God-breathed and is
   beneficial for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in
   righteousness; so that the man (person) of God may be fully
   capable, equipped for every good work."  2Tim. 3:16-17

   B. New Testament: 2Thes. 2:15, "hold to the traditions that you
   were taught whether by word or by letter from us."
   "US" refers to Paul and any of the recognized apostles and
    It includes those whom Paul has approved such as Apollos and
    Luke. Rom. 16:25-26; Eph. 3:5.
    And for us from the perpsective of church history, it refers to
    what has come to be recognized as the 27 inspired books of the
    New Testament.

3. so that through the perseverance: hupomonā; endurance type instruction. That is, instruction that gives what the believer needs in order to endure the various temptations and troubles encountered in this life.
1Peter 5:8-9, "but resist him (the devil) firm in THE faith."
   "THE faith" refers to the content of revealed truth to the church.
James 1:4, "let endurance have its perfect result."
Psalm 119:11, "Your word I have treasured in my heart so that I won't sin against You."
1Cor. 10:13, "God will provide the way of escape." The way of escape is knowledge of God's word.
Prov. 11:3, 6, "the integrity of the upright will guide them . . . the righteousness of the upright will deliver them."
See Topic: Spiritual defense maneuvers

4. and the encouragement: paraklāsis; refers to COMFORT and SUPPORT type instruction. Teaching that is designed to motivate.
The verb means to call along side to help as in comfort and support.
Knowledge of God's character and plan will elicit a strong desire to live according to God's standards especially in the face of various types of suffering.
2Cor. 1:3-4, "praised be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all COMFORT, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the (same quality of) comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
2Cor. 7:6, "but God who comforts the humble, comforted us."

5. So that: hina plus the subjunctive mood of the verb indicates both purpose and result.
6. FROM (of) the Scriptures: The ablative case indicates SOURCE. It is from learning and using the word of God that the believer finds both endurance ability and supportive encouragement to obey God.

7. we might have HOPE: elpis refers to confident expectation.
As God works in our life, it is His word that keeps our focus on His character and plan. HOPE is the response to God's promises. As His word works within us, as Paul explains at 1Thes. 1:13, "the Word of God which energizes itself within you who believe," it produces expectant confidence that God WILL do what He has promised.
For example as Paul wrote at Phil. 1:6, "being confidenct of this very thing that He who began a good work within you will perform it until the day of Christ Jesus."
As taught at Romans 8:22-25.

Verse 22, "for WE KNOW." The perfect tense of oida indicates information that has been learned and absorbed into the soul.
That is, we know through having learned His promises.

Verse 23, "and not only this (do we KNOW), but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons (children), the redemption of our body."
Verse 24, "for in HOPE we have been saved."
Verse 25, "But if we HOPE for what we do not see, through perseverance we wait eagerly for it."

Verse 5
Paul expresses the desire that these believers would live together in harmony according to the standards of Christ's teachings and example.
1. Now, may the God of (who gives) perseverance and encouragement:
God does not just "zap" the believer with endurance and encouragement.
He does it through the believer learning and applying the standards of the written word of God.
2. give you: provide for you. He does this by providing His word for you to learn and apply. That is the only way there can be unity in THINKING and DOING.
3. So that you may be thinking the same thing:
A. phroneō as a present active infinitive means to be thinking. The infinitive is used to indicate the purpose of learning and applying the standards of God's word.
B. the same thing: This is the pronoun with the definite article (the) used in a technical way to indicate THE SAME thing. Thus, viewpoint and character unity that can only come through knowledge and application of the moral and spiritual truths found in the Bible. Of course the moral truths can be found throughout the culture and traditions of many societies, but these all originate from the revelation of God's standards as taught from the very beginning of man's history.
There is also the BASIC foundation of moral standards built within the soul of man as designed by God, which are confirmed and amplified by God's written revelation throughout history. (Rom. 2:14-15; Ec. 7:29).

4. According to the standard of Christ Jesus: The preposition, kata, means according to the STANDARD of. The character and teachings of Jesus reflect the moral and spiritual standards of God as taught throughout the Old Testament. As seen above, Christ is our "copybook."
As we "learn Christ" (Eph. 4:20), "the knowledge (spirit) of our mind is renewed" (Eph. 4:23; Rom. 12:2) and we "put on the new self, which according to (kata) the likeness of God is created in righteousness and holiness by the truth" (Eph. 4:24).
The "new man" here is NOT the new creation of 2Cor. 5:17. That is referring to our new IN CHRIST.
"Therefore if anyone is IN CHRIST, (there is) a new creation (ktisis); the old things are passed away; behold, new things have become (come into existance)."
The new MAN (anthropos) in contrast with the new CREATION (ktisis) refers to the new character that is built in the soul as the word of God transforms (renews) the spirit of the mind through learning and absorbing it into the mentality of the soul.
Ephesians 4:20-24

Verse 6
1. So that: hina plus the subjunctive mood of the verb introduces a purpose clause.
The purpose for doctrinal harmony is to glorify God.

2. with one accord: homothumadon indicates the same (homo) "mind, purpose or impulse."
It might be related to thumos, which basically means passion. Thus, with the same passion (impulse) and motivation. That is, it is a shared motivation and passion based on knowing what the viewpoint and plan of God is for the believer here on earth.
3. with the same voice: This means there will be a unified MESSAGE that is expressed to others and lived out in the lives of the believers, that will reflect the standards and viewpoint of God according to the written word of God.

4. you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ:
The character and plan of God is glorified; recognized, promoted, proclaimed through consistent Christian testimony.
It is part of God's plan that His character and His works are showcased and proclaimed throughout the world, to the angels, His people and especially to unbelievers.
Rom. 9:17, "For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, 'For this very reason I raised you up, in order to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the earth.'" (Josh. 2:10; 9:9).
Psalm 145:8-13.
Verse 12, "To make known to the sons of mankind Your mighty acts, And the glory of the majesty of Your kingdom."

5. The proclamation of His character and works is not limited to Christian testimony. Psalm 19:1 affirms, "the heavens are telling of the glory of God."
And Acts 14:17, "and (among the nations) He did not leave Himself without witness."

6. Accordingly, where there are serious disagreements in doctrine and policy, there is confusion and disharmony.
And the name of Christ and the dynamics of Christianity is affected and becomes subject to criticism by the unbelieving world.
Apply 1Peter 2:11-12, 15.
"Beloved, I urge you as foreigners and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts, which wage war against the soul. Keep your BEHAVIOR good (kalos) among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, give credit (glory) to God on the day of (their) observation. . .
For such is the will of God, that by doing right you silence the ignorance of foolish people."
And Philip. 2:14-16.
"Do all things without grumbling or disputing, so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life."
And Titus 2:7-8.
"in all things show yourself to be an example of good (kalos) deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us."

Romans 15:7
1. Therefore: Paul now makes application of God's plan to have His glory promoted throughout the world and especially through the testimonial impact of believers. Because of the prevalent problem of racial and social prejudice, Paul exhorts Christians to pursue doctrinal and functional unity in order to glorify God among those of the unbelieving world who are watching.
2. accept one another: present active imperative of proslambanō. It means to receive face to face and thus as on an equal par with each other.
This is an exhortation (a command) to accept one another as equal members in the body of Christ.
The biggest disparity in the early church was the cultural division between Jew and Gentile.
It was a continuous challenge to teach and apply the principle of spiritual equality in Christ.
The understanding and application of this equality will occur as the believers as a whole become stabilized in God's truth and as they "admonish" one another toward having and expressing doctrinal and policy unity.
Paul is confident that this will become the characteristic of his readers for he believes that most of them are indeed mature enough to be "full of goodness, filled with knowledge and are able to admonish one another." Rom. 15:14.

2. Just As Christ has accepted us: aorist active indicative of proslambanō.
This is to be seen from two perspectives.
(1) Knowledge of the character and works of Jesus that accepted everyone.
(2) The FACT of positional, spiritual unity through the baptism of the Spirit. 1Cor. 12:13.
In Christ, there is no male or female, bond or free, Jew or Gentile. Gal. 3:28.
In our salvation position IN CHRIST, there is no inequality in gender, social status, or race.
This is an invisible spiritual truth.
3. But, what CAN BE SEEN is Christian behavior, and that unity and harmony IN CHRIST needs to be visible to the world through that behavior.

4. to the glory of God: The purpose/result of our positional union IN Christ, AND the reflection of that unity in the lives of believers is designed to bring glory to God.
Just as throughout past history, God's character and works were showcased to the ever-watching and doubting world of unbelievers.

Verses 8-12
The age-old cultural conflict between Jew and Gentile was the primary concern in Paul's mind. So, he now shows how God is glorified through the positional union of Jew and Gentile AND the experiential harmony between them.
He does this by referencing 4 Old Testament passages to show that historically and prophetically God has received glory through His dealing with BOTH Jew and Gentile.

Verse 8 God has used the Jews
1. For: gar is used to introduce evidence.
2. Christ has become: ginomai as a perfect passive indicative sees His work as a once and for all accomplishment.
Through his fulfillment of the plan of God via the cross and resurrection, He has become a minister to both Jew and Gentile.

3. a servant to the circumcision: The Jews
The word minister is diakonos. It means one who serves others as a volitional function, not as a slave.
The nature of this service is explained by the phrase, "to confirm the promises made to the fathers."

4. on behalf of the truth of God. The absolute standard of God's character and plan. God's truth is absolute.

5. For the Jew: The provision of salvation to the Jew is to confirm the promises made to the fathers. This looks specifically to Abraham but actually extends back to the very first salvation promise at Genesis 3:15.
Gen. 12:2-3; 13:14-17; 15:1-18; 17:6-8; 22:15-18; 26:24; 28:13-14; 35:9-12.

See topic: The Abrahamic Covenant

Verse 9a
1. And (a servant) for the Gentile: The provision of salvation to the Gentile is so that God will be glorified among them for His mercy.
2. to glorify God: dozadzō as an aorist active infinitive states the principle that God receives His glory through what He does in providing salvation for the Gentiles.
3. for His mercy: Mercy to the Gentiles is the salvation provision in general as explained at Rom. 9:18-24.
Verses 9:23-24, "to make known the riches of His glory upon objects of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, namely us, whom He also called, not only from among Jews, but also from among Gentiles."
Rom. 1:16, "the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Gentile."
And as explained specifically at Eph. 2:11-20.
Verses 12-13, "remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the people of Israel,
and strangers to the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who previously were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ."

4. The point is that God receives glory for His work WHATEVER it is and WITH whomever it is.
Indeed as Jesus said to the Pharisees, "if these people become silent, the stones will cry out." Luke 19:37-40.
Even "the heavens declare the glory of God." Psalm 19:1.

Verse 9b
As an EXAMPLE of God's workings used to bring Him glory among the Gentiles, Paul quotes from Psalm 18:49.
David has been delivered from ALL his enemies.
1. Delivered from the Saul and his household.
2. Delivered from the Gentile enemies:
A. The Jebusites: 2Sam. 5:6-7
B. The Philistines: 2Sam. 5:17-25; 21:18-22
C. The Moabites: 2Sam. 8:2
D. King Hadadezzer: 2Sam 8:3-4
E. The Arameans: 2Sam. 8:5-6
F. The Edomites: 2Sam. 8:14
G. The Ammonites: 2Sam. 10

3. Because of David's victories with the help of God, David is promoted as a great king and warrior.
His reputation extends throughout the Gentile nations in the land of Canaan.
A summary of these victories is stated in the song at Psalm 18:46-48.
"The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock;
And exalted be the God of my salvation,
The God who executes vengeance for me,
And subdues peoples under me.
He rescues me from my enemies;
You indeed lift me above those who rise up against me;
You rescue me from a violent man."

And then at verse 18:49, David gives thanks to God AMONG the nations.
This brings glory to God because David gives the credit to God.
And the Gentiles are made aware of God's character and plan.

Paul uses this historical record as an example of how God's work is used to bring Him glory among the Gentiles.
This does NOT make the Psalm a Messianic psalm.
It has absolutely no connection to the Messiah.
There are many quotations from the psalms that have nothing to do with the Messiah.

Romans 15:10
Paul uses another quote from the Old Testament to illustrate a future occasion when God's on behalf of the Gentiles will result in glory to Him.
And again He says, "Rejoice O Gentiles with His people."
This is quoted from Deut. 32:43, which indeed speaks of the Messiah's future victory at Armageddon in preparation for His earthly kingdom. The Gentiles who are believers will rejoice in His victory as they enter into the earthly kingdom. Zech. 14:16 and Mat. 25:31ff. They are called "blessed" at Dan. 12:12.

Romans 15:11
Paul quotes from Psalm 117:1 to give another example when Gentiles have occasion to praise God.
"Praise the Lord all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples praise Him."
This seems to indicate that the Gentiles are to praise God "BECAUSE His grace provision is great toward us"
(Psalm 117:2).
The "us" would be the Jewish people. And as seen elsewhere, the believing Gentiles share in God's blessing upon the Jewish people and have this reason to praise Him. And as Paul's initial statement indicates, God is thus glorified among the Gentiles.
This is a general song of praise and does not make the Psalm a Messianic psalm.

Romans 15:12, Again, Isaiah says,
"There shall come the root of Jesse,
And He who arises to rule over the Gentiles,
In Him will the Gentiles hope."

This is a quote directly from Isaiah 11:10 in the LXX.
(In the Hebrew at Is. 11:10: "Then on that day The nations will resort to the root of Jesse, Who will stand as a signal flag for the peoples; And His resting place will be glorious." (NASB)
The phrase, "in Him shall the Gentiles trust" is not in the Hebrew text at Is. 11:10, but it is found at Isaiah 42:4 in the LXX and is quoted at Mat. 12:21.
The Hebrew at Isaiah 42:4 is, "and the coastlands will wait (hope) for His law").

Paul's intent here is to make a direct connection to the arrival of the Messiah and the blessing that He will bring to the Gentiles.
The Gentiles thus have occasion to glorify God not only through participation in His first advent work,
but also in His second advent work.

Verse 13-14
Paul writes a conclusion based on the statement at verse 4.
"For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement from the Scriptures we might have confident expectation."

1. And now may the God of HOPE: elpis. That is the God who provides confident expectation through His word to those who will learn and apply it.
2. fill you: The verb is pleroō as an aorist active optative that expresses a desire for the readers.
The only way God can "fill" them with the characteristics of the abundant life is if they will indeed immerse themselves in the word of God and make its standards the controller of the soul.
This is like the command that Paul wrote at Col. 3:16. "Let the word of Christ abundantly dwell within you."
The result will be to experience the abundant life of joy, peace and inner stability.

3. with all joy: chara refers to happiness in general and should be viewed from two perspectives.
A. There is a temporary, relative happiness that depends on outside stimulations in life and can be experienced by both believer and unbeliever. It is based on various situations in one's life and amounts to happiness in prosperity and unhappiness in adversity.
1. Happiness through adherence to the moral institutions of society.
Marriage: Prov. 5:18; Ec. 9:9; Isaiah 62:5
Family: Prov. 23:24-25; Psalm 127:5
National entity: Proverbs 21:15

2. A temporary, relative happiness based on overt circumstances and a minimum amount of adversity.
Ec. 1:16-18; 2:1-11; 3:12, 22; 5:10, 18-20; 11:8-9

B. There is a "settled" stable happiness in the soul which is not influenced by either prosperity or adversity. This quality of happiness is a contented, tranquil condition in the soul that is based on confidence in God's character and plan, and is only realized as knowledge of God's word produces that confidence.

4. and peace: The Greek is eirene. It usually goes hand in hand with happiness and refers to the absence of enmity of any kind. Thus the soul is at rest and not stressed out by the various trials and pressures of living in this antagonistic environment.

5. through believing: The prepositional phrase, en plus the present active infinitive of pisteuō indicates what we must do to experience joy and peace. This goes back to verse 4. The object of "believing" is "what was previously written," The mechanics then, of experiencing joy and peace is to learn and follow the standards of love and righteousness as they are taught in the written word of God, and found so prevalent in the book of Proverbs.

Jesus stated it simply at John 14:21, "He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me. And he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him."
This is His way of saying that His character will be produced in the life of the believer.
Verse 23, "If anyone loves Me he will keep My word, and My Father will love him. And We will come to him and make our abode with him."
This "fellowship" with Jesus and with the Father is the experience of the abundant life that Jesus taught about; the abundant life of peace, joy and inner stability.
John 13:17, Jesus said, "If you know these things, HAPPY are you IF you do them."
1John 1:7, "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin."

6. so that you may abound: The result of experiencing TRUE peace and joy is the confident expectation that God will indeed fulfill all His promises.

7. in hope: elpis refers to that confident expectation that God will do everything that He has promised.
It is the word that expresses the attitude of faith-rest.
Definition: Faith rest is the attitude and practice of being totally relaxed and confident in the character and plan of God based on knowledge and trust in His word.
See Topic: faith rest

8. by the power of the Holy Spirit: According to Gal. 5:22-23, "the fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control."
The Spirit of God produces the character of Christ within the believer, but the FUEL for Him to do that is the presence of God's righteous standards in the soul, influencing and controlling the thought patterns of the soul.
This is called being in fellowship with God. There are several terms that are used to describe the believer's walk in fellowship.
Walk in the light. "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son keeps on cleansing us from all sin." 1 John 1:7
Walk in the Spirit. "walk in the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the sin nature (the flesh)." Gal. 5:16
Abide in Him: 1 John 3:24, "As for you, see that what you heard from the beginning remains in you. If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father."

See Topic: Fellowship with God

9. Thus as expressed at 1Cor. 15:57-58, knowledge ("knowing") produces spiritual stability ("firm, immovable"), and Christian service ("abounding in the work of the Lord").
"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be firm, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."

Romans 15:14
Here Paul expresses his confidence that the believers to whom he is writing have grown in grace and knowledge with the result that they are -
1. full of goodness: agathōsunā is a character quality that expresses in attitude and action that which reflects God's viewpoint and desire for every aspect of His creation.
This is listed as one of the fruits of the Spirit and is thus built and present in the life of the believer as that believer learns and absorbs God's standards of righteousness and love.

As we build this character quality it enables us to fulfill Paul's exhortation at Rom. 15:2 and 1Thes. 3:15.
Rom. 15:2, "Let each of us please his neighbor for his GOOD - to his edification."
1Thes. 3:15, "But always seek after that which is good for one another and for all men."

2. Pleasing is doing that which is beneficial to the fellow believer. It does not cater to his weakness but rebukes it with love, humility, patience and teaching. This is what helps him recover from weakness and error in his life.
This is expressed by the word admonish.

3. able to admonish one another:
A. able is dunamai. They have the "power" that comes from knowing God's word.
B. admonish is noutheteō as a present active infinitive. It occurs a total of 8 times in the New Testament.
Acts 20:31; 1Cor. 4:14; Col. 1:28; 3:16; 1Thes. 5:12, 14; 2Thes. 3:15, and here.
It basically means to teach through warning type instruction; that is, focusing on both positive and negative consequences from a person's attitude and action.

Romans 15:15-33 and chapter 16
This next section transitions to new and different issues that are on Paul's mind.
AMONG which is his apostolic authority, his personal life, greetings, false teachers, and other things.



Questions and comments are always welcome

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