Principle of Service (Righteousness Practiced)
1. Service as a Christian. V. 1-2
1. Service is an outflow and overflow of what the Lord places in His saints. (Eph. 2:10; Phil. 2:12)
2. Service is an out-living of the in-living Christ.
3. "Therefore" = these things being so; indicates there should be an effect or result of the doctrine Paul taught; connects back to chapter 8 (chapters 9‑11 are interjected to establish a truth that God is Sovereign, therefore in control and just in all He does, which includes His dealings with Israel) where he taught (doctrine) that the saint's new life gives many privileges, special advantages, special favors, and special blessings, namely:
A. The Spirit's leadership. (V. 8:14)
B. Being a Son. (V. 8:14)
C. Spirit of adoption. (V. 8:15)
D. Spirit giving assurance. (V. 8:16)
E. Sharing with Christ. (V. 8:17)
F. Suffering with Christ. (V. 8:17‑25)
G. The Spirit's Intercession. (V. 8:26‑27)
H. The Lord being in control. (V. 8:28‑39)
4. Paul is saying, "Since these things are so I want you to find the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God for your lives so you can be of service to others. You can't serve others until you find God's will for yourself.
5. "Will" = desire; wish; pleasure; relates to His commands in regard to our conduct or service; described by three adjectives that reveal our "GAP" where we need to stand. (Ezk. 22:30)
A. G = "good" = refers to what is upright, honorable, useful, and profitable.
B. A = "acceptable" = well pleasing; speaks of something which is satisfactory and extra ordinarily pleasing to God; refers to that which He will approve.
C. P = "perfect" = complete in all parts; that which is consistent: that which is carried out.
6. "Prove" = to test: examine: scrutinize; explore; investigate; means to establish beyond any shadow of doubt the divine will (involves both the written and unwritten will) of God for your lives so you can be of service to others.
7. "That you may" = a phrase that reveals that there are some prerequisites which must be met before one can find his "GAP."
8. "Brethren" = from the same womb; saints to whom the book is written (Rom. 1:7); all who are saved are born from the womb of God through labor of Holy Ghost conviction; one cannot lead someone else where he has not been; thus, if one is not saved he cannot be fully effective in his service to others.
2) Surrender your body.
9. "Bodies" = refers to the physical body of the saints which is the temple where God dwells. (I Cor. 3:16; 6:19‑20; where the "temple" refers to the habitation of God and parallels the holy of holies in the OT tabernacle and temple where God met with the High Priest.)
10. "Present" = to bring to; to lead to; to offer; to put at one's disposal; to place beside; the Greek construction reveals a command to be done one time never having to do it again.
11. "Sacrifice" = an offering of something to deity (God).
12. In what way is this sacrifice to be presented?
A. "Living" = living in contrast to the slain offerings, dead sacrifices of the OT; active; alive; what should living saints do?
a. Attend church. (Heb. 10:25)
b. Study. (II Tim. 2:15)
c. Pray. (Mat. 6:6; Psa. 91:1; I Thess. 5:17; Eph. 6:18‑19)
B. "Holy" = set apart; blameless; corresponds to OT sacrifices being without blemish inside and outside; what is on the inside comes outside (Mark 7:21‑23; Mat. 23:25‑26); what should holy saints do?
a. Talk right. (Mat. 12:34)
b. Dress right. (I Tim. 2:8‑9)
c. Walk right. (Phil. 1:27)
Note: our attitude (inside) must be right or we are not holy even if we clean up the outside.
C. "Acceptable" = well‑pleasing; satisfactory; how can we be an acceptable sacrifice?
a. Confess sin. (I John 1:9)
b. Forsake sin. (Pro. 28:13)
13. How can we present our bodies as a living, holy, acceptable sacrifice? By the mercies of God.
14. "Mercies" = emotions; longings; manifestations of pity, compassion, and love. (II Cor. 5:14; Lam. 3:22‑23)
15. You may say, "That is too much to ask!" Oh, no! It is just our "reasonable service."
A. "Service" = speaks of priestly service of the priest in OT time who preformed the sacred service of offering the sacrifices and in so doing met the requirements of the Levitical Law; we are not under law but grace and we are priests when saved, set apart priests (I Peter 2:5) and king priests. (I Peter 2:9)
B. "Reasonable" = following reason; rational; logical; not extreme or beyond reason; our bodies are not our own; therefore, it is not beyond reason for the Lord to ask us to present it to Him as a living, holy, and acceptable sacrifice. (I Cor. 6:19‑20)
16. Paul didn't think it was unreasonable but he said, "I `beseech' you to do so."
17. "Beseech" = to admonish; exhort; beg.
3) Separated from the world.
18. "Conformed" = to fashion one's self according to; to be in agreement with; negated by "not"; the Greek construction forbids the continuance of an action already going on; means to stop masquerading in the habits of this world, its mannerisms, speech expressions, and styles.
19. Paul exhorts the saints to stop assuming an outward expression which is patterned after this world, an expression which does not come from your inner being as a child of God. That is not representative of what you are as a regenerated child of God. That is what you were before you were saved. (Eph. 2:2) If one can practice this naturally, continuously, and habitually, they are not saved. (I John 3:9; 2:15‑16)
4) Spiritual minded.
20. "But" = contrast.
21. "Be transformed" = to change into another form; where we get our word `metamorphose'; not speaking of regeneration because Paul is writing to the saints but speaking of the act of a person changing his outward expression from being conformed to the spirit of this age (world) to that which conforms to his inner being indwelt by the Holy Spirit; this comes about by the renewing of the saint's mind.
22. "Renewing" = a renewal; renovation; complete change for the better.
23. "Mind" = the faculty of perceiving divine things and of recognizing goodness and of hating evil; the faculty of knowing; the seat of understanding.
24. This speaks of the gradual conforming of the saint more and more to that new spiritual world into which he has been introduced, and in which he now lives, moves, and becomes a fellow worker with God. The tense reveals a continuous process through which a saint becomes more Christ‑like. This process is usually referred to as "sanctification" = the walk of progression toward perfection gained at the first resurrection.
25. How does this renewing come about?
A. Day by day. (II Cor. 4:16)
B. By the Holy Ghost. (Titus 3:5)
C. Through the written Word. (II Tim. 2:15; Heb. 4:12)
26. Attitudes or disposition, not distance, separates you from sin. As you study the Word of God you'll be transformed and as you allow the Holy Ghost to lead and guide you then you will become spiritual minded.
27. We must meet these prerequisites before we can establish without doubt the "GAP" God wants us in. If we do not find God's good, acceptable, and perfect will, we will never be of service to others.
2. Service in the Church. V. 3‑16
1. Even though the word "church" is not used in this section, the application is present. "Church" is translated from the Greek word "ekklesia" which means a called out assembly. A church is local and not universal or invisible.
2. Every person's "GAP" will include being a member of a local NT church where truth is preached and practiced. A local church is like a home for a child. Without a church one is like an orphan or the homeless on the street. In fact one who does not identify with a local church has never been saved. (Heb. 10:25; I John 3:9)
3. In and through a local church is where one's gifts operate and their duties are fulfilled.
1) Gifts. V. 3‑8
a. Honest evaluation of our gifts. V. 3‑5
4. "For" = shows that the apostle is about to introduce some additional considerations to enforce what he had just said.
5. "Through the grace given unto me" = through the favor of the office of an apostle; by the authority that is conferred on men to declare the will of God as an apostle. (Rom. 1:5)
6. "To every man that is among you" = refers to each individual saint at Rome to whom he was writing; also applies to every child of God.
7. "Think highly" = to think more highly of one's self than is proper; this is a caution against pride.
8. "More" = above.
9. "Than he ought" = than it is necessary; than what is right and proper.
10. Second and third "think" = to have an opinion of one's self; Paul is not telling us not to think (have an opinion) of ourselves but do not allow one's opinion of himself to exceed the bounds of modesty; one who does not care about himself will not care about others. (Eph. 5:28‑29)
11. "But" = contrast.
12. "Soberly" = to be of sound mind; to be in one's right mind; indicates that being conceited is treated as a species of insanity; this we can do when we recognize that we do not have anything except what God gives us.
13. "Hath dealt" = bestowed; imparted; apportioned; divided.
14. "Measure of faith" = the determined (by God) extent, portion, or limit of faith.
15. Why is it that some men have more faith than others? God gave it to them. Faith is a gift, not something you muster up. One can't believe with regard to salvation until God imparts (gives) saving faith. (Eph. 2:8; John 3:27) Also the faith we exercise as we serve our Lord is given to us. (I Cor. 3:5; 4:7) Therefore, what do we have to glory about? There is no occasion of undue pride.
1. "For" = denotes a further illustration or proof of what Paul had just before said.
2. "Many members" = refers to parts of our body, such as feet, hands, eyes, ears, nose, and etc.
3. "The same office" = the same use, design, or function; appointed for the same thing; negated by "not"; one is to see, another to hear, a third to walk and etc.
4. In this verse Paul is referring to the physical body which is made up of many members, all placed by God and gifted by Him to properly function as a body. (I Cor. 12:14‑17) Not all the members are appointed for the same function.
1. "So" = in this manner; Paul now applies the physical body with its many members, each having a different function, to the church and her many members with different gifts.
2. "We" = saints, who are in one body joined to Christ, He being our head. (Eph. 1:22-23; 5:23)
3. "Every one members one of another" = means that we are so united that we are dependent upon each other; each one is of service to the other; and the existence and office of the one is necessary to the usefulness of the other; we need one another more than we want to admit.
4. May we have an honest evaluation of our gifts.
b. Rightful use of our gifts. V. 6-8
1. "Gifts" = favors which one receives without any merit of his own; extraordinary powers, distinguishing certain Christians and enabling them to serve the Lord through His church.
2. "Differing" = varying in kind.
3. "According to the grace that is given us" = the reception of the gifts is due to the power of divine grace operating on one's soul by the presence of the Holy Spirit.
4. Seven gifts are listed with instructions given for each gift. Seven is the number of completion; thus, Paul gives this representative list of gifts revealing that God supplies to those in His church all the necessary gifts to each individual, to enable them to stand in their "GAP".
5. "Prophecy" = the supernatural ability to declare God's truth in such a way that lives are changed, the lost are saved, and saints are motivated for service and following the Lord; this would include testimonies as well as preaching; in the NT Church it refers to a discourse declaring the purposes of God; the prominent idea is not prediction, but the inspired delivery of warning, exhortation, instruction, judging, and making manifest things hidden and the secrets of the heart; defined in I Cor. 14:3.
A. "Edification" = promote another's spiritual growth.
B. "Exhortation" = encourages others to pursue a right course of conduct.
C. "Comfort" = help bear another's burden.
6. "Let us prophesy" = not in the originals, but rightfully supplied by the translators because Paul is exhorting a proper use of the gift of prophecy.
7. "According to the proportion of faith" = those who prophesy are to interpret divine revelation according to the strength, clearness, fervor, and other qualities of the faith bestowed upon them.
8. The gift of prophecy is to be used for the purpose for which God gave it to them, and for no other purpose is it ever to be used.
1. "Ministry" = the supernatural ability to assist, to aid, to be of a special help; word for servant and represents the servant in his activity; refers to one who serves; from the root word translated "deacon" in I Tim. 3:8 but does not just apply to deacons but to all saints.
2. "Let us wait on our ministering" = part not in the original; the Greek construction exhorts that the one who renders service should do so in the realm or sphere in which God placed him and for which He gave him that gift; refers to an activity of the practical nature exerted in action, not just in word; serve in ministering.
3. "Teacheth" = the supernatural ability to keep another's mind on tract; denotes those who instruct or communicate knowledge.
4. "On teaching" = serve in teaching (instruction; doctrine).
5. Teaching is one of the qualifications of a pastor listed in I Tim. 3:1‑2. "Apt to teach" means to be inclined and skillful in teaching. Paul lists as one gift the pastor‑teacher in Eph. 4:11.
1. "Exhorteth" = the supernatural ability to stimulate, motivate, and encourage others, believers and sinners, to obey and serve God, especially in difficult times; to call to one's side; kindred word to Comforter; combines the idea of comforting and encouraging.
2. "Exhortation" = to give a persuasive discourse or stirring address.
3. An exhorter is one who presents the promises of God to encourage men to fulfil their duty without entering into any other sphere of gifts. In other words let each one who has a gift, find out what it is, be himself, and stay in the sphere of service for which the Holy Spirit has fitted him and let him not try to invade some other field of service for which he is not fitted.
4. An exhorter is a spiritual cheerleader that "amens" the preacher and knows what he is saying "amen" to; also he is instrumental in turning:
A. Quitters into hitters.
B. Shirkers into workers.
C. Pessimist into Optimist.
5. "Giveth" = to part with one's earthly possessions; the supernatural ability to give far in excess of your tithe; involved in this is the ability to produce income so that you may give more to the Lord's work.
6. "Let him do it" = not in the original but implied, thus supplied by the translator.
7. "Simplicity" = singleness; sincerity; mental honesty; not self seeking; the virtue of one who is free from pretense and hypocrisy, thus having the right motive. (II Cor. 9:7-8)
8. All have the grace of giving but some are gifted with the gift of giving.
9. The principle of the Bible is that they who give have no lack. (Mal. 3:10; Luke 6:38)
10. "Ruleth" = the supernatural ability to lead and supervise; he who is placed in front; he who takes the lead; refers to anyone placed in a position of authority.
11. "With diligence" = earnestness in accomplishing a task; doing it with a careful steady effort; verb form of this word means to make haste, do one's best, take care, desire; word carries the idea of making haste, being eager, giving diligence, and putting forth effort; speaks of intense effort and determination; means that they should be attentive to the duties of their vocation and engage with eagerness and enthusiasm in that which has been committed to them to do.
12. "Sheweth mercy" = to aid the afflicted; to bring help to the wretched; the supernatural ability to spend and be spent (to consume by using up; going the extra mile; beyond the call of duty) for others; in those days there were no hospitals, rest homes, nor drugs to alleviate the pain; therefore, those who tended to the afflicted had a gift from God to do so.
13. "With cheerfulness" = readiness of mind; joyfulness; willing; signifies that readiness of mind and that joyousness with which we do anything for others.
14. Those who attend the afflicted are to do it with pleasantness, joy, kindness, patient disposition, and soft spoken words. When this kind of person is around they are like a sunbeam penetrating into the sick chamber and into the heart of the afflicted.
2) Duties. V. 9‑16
1. This verse begins a list of commands regulating our service in the church.
2. "Love" = "agape"; God kind of love; benevolence or good‑will toward all mankind; kind feelings toward others.
3. "Without dissimulation" = one word in the Greek; without hypocrisy; unfeigned; undisguised; sincere.
4. A person can have many gifts but if they are practiced without love they are of no value as for as eternal value is concerned.
5. This love is:
A. Shed abroad in the hearts of saints. (Rom. 5:5)
B. Part of the fruit of the Spirit. (Gal. 5:22‑23)
C. Defined. (I Cor. 13:4‑8a)
D. Results in a multitude of sins being covered. (I Peter 4:8)
E. Present if saved. (I John 3:14)
6. It is our duty to love, but it is also our privilege to love. If we do not practice this in the body (the local church), it will not be long until the church will not be of service to us. Example: If you do not service your car properly and timely, then the life of that car is shortened and after a while it will not be of service to you.
b. Detest evil.
7. "Abhor" = have a horror of; dislike; detest; word implies separation; indicates Christian should express his dislike of evil by withdrawing from it. (I Thess. 5:22)
8. "Evil" = wicked; causing injury; being hurtful; evil in opposition to good; warning: one must separate the person from the sin by loving the person and hating the sin.
c. Cleave to good.
9. "Cleave" = to stick like glue; to cement; fasten together firmly; to give one's self steadfastly to.
10. "Good" = what is upright, honorable and acceptable to God.
d. Be kindly affectionate one to another.
1. "Kindly affectioned" = one word in the Greek; prone to love; loving tenderly; loving affection; speaks of natural affection for your relations; remember the saints are your relations if saved.
2. "One another" = reciprocally; mutually; practiced both ways.
3. "Brotherly love" = one word in the Greek; speaks of loving the brethren in the faith as though they were brethren in the flesh.
e. In honor prefer one another.
4. "Honour" = means that respect shown another which is measured by one's evaluation of another.
5. "Preferring" = to go before and lead; to go before as a leader; to go before and show the way.
6. It is a saint's duty to be an example and lead the way in showing honor that is due to another. Just be more ready than someone else to recognize and honor God's gifts in a brother.
f. Not slothful in business.
1. "Slothful" = sluggish; tardy; to delay; to hesitate; negated by "not."
2. "Business" = earnestness in accomplishing, promoting, or striving after anything.
3. Denotes the moral earnestness with which one should give himself to his vocation. Doing a good job at your work is being of service to the church because such action causes the church to be thought well of which helps to point men to Christ.
g. Fervent in spirit.
4. "Fervent" = intense zeal for good; word means to boil with heat; hot, not lukewarm. (Rev. 3:15‑16; Mat. 24:11-12)
5. "Spirit" = the Greek has a definite article thus referring to the Holy Spirit even though not capitalized.
6. Paul exhorts fervency in the Christian life which is produced by the Holy Spirit not by the flesh or self effort.
h. Serving the Lord.
7. "Serving" = to do service; to yield obedience; means to obey one's commands and render to Him (Lord) the service due.
8. "Lord" = supreme in authority; controller; refers to Jesus Christ.
i. Rejoicing in hope.
1. "Rejoicing" = be glad; the tense reveals a continuous action; related to the Hebrew word which represents a young sheep or lamb skipping and frisking over the hills for joy.
2. "Hope" = desire of something good with the expectation of obtaining it.
3. This refers to the joyful and confident expectation of complete salvation referring to glorification. Also it is called the "blessed hope" referring to the coming of our Lord. (I Thess. 4:13; Titus 2:13)
4. When earthly prospects are dark, the Christian's rejoicing should be in the sphere of hope that the Lord will send deliverance, and in the meantime He will take care of His afflicted children. (Luke 10:20)
j. Patient in tribulation.
5. "Patient" = to stand one's ground; to hold out; abide; not recede or flee; to persevere; to endure and bear bravely and calmly ill treatments; refers to the quality of an individual who has a goal in view and while pressing on toward that goal he does not surrender to the circumstances nor succumb to the trials.
6. "Tribulation" = a pressing together; pressure; oppression; affliction; distress; straits; refers to an old saying, "between a rock and a hard place;" this is a testing place.
7. This means to remain under the test in a God‑honoring manner not seeking to escape it but eager to learn the lessons it was sent to teach. (Acts 14:22)
8. Hope lies in the future with tribulation in the present.
k. Continuing instant in prayer.
9. "Continuing instant" = one word in the Greek; give constant attention to; to persevere; to be devoted to; to be steadfastly attentive to; to give unremitting care to; to wait on continually; to be in constant readiness.
10. "Prayer" = general prayer restricted to God. (Mat. 6:6; I Thess. 5:17; Eph. 6:18)
l. Distributing to the necessity of saints.
1. "Distributing" = to enter into fellowship; join one's self as an associate; make one's self a sharer or partner.
2. "Necessity" = needs; not wants.
3. "Saints" = belonging to God; the saved.
4. The exhortation is to make one's self a sharer in the needs of our fellow brethren the saints, in the sense that we act as if those needs were our own. We would satisfy our own needs when we can; therefore, we are exhorted to satisfy the needs of our Christian brother, when we can, in the framework of the Word of God. (II Thess. 3:10; Gal 6:10) This involves viewing the situation and finding the mind of God concerning the situation.
m. Given to hospitality.
5. "Given" = to pursue; to seek after eagerly; earnestly endeavor to acquire; the tense refers to continuous action and indicates not only that hospitality is to be furnished when sought, but that Christians are to seek opportunity of exercising it. (I Cor. 16:15)
6. "Hospitality" = fondness or affection for strangers; refers to the giving of food, clothing, and shelter to persecuted Christians who have lost these things due to their testimony of the Lord Jesus; there were many in this condition in those days.
n. Bless them who persecute you.
1. "Bless" = to speak well of a person; to eulogize him; the Greek construction reveals a command for habitual, continuous action; this is hard to do but we need to remember who our enemy is. (Eph. 6:12)
2. "Persecute" = to harass, trouble, or molest one.
3. "Curse" = to call down evil or injury upon one; to call down divine curses upon a person by asking God to punish them; negated by "not." (Mat. 5:38-44)
4. Paul said don't do that but instead pronounce a blessing or benefit on them. (I Peter 3:9) Those who persecute are blinded and are just doing what is natural for a blinded depraved man. (II Cor. 4:3‑4) Men are not our enemy. (Eph. 6:12) We just need to follow our Lord's example in Luke 23:34.
o. Rejoice and weep with others.
1. "Rejoice" = to be cheerful, glad, and joyful; related to the Hebrew word which represents a young sheep or lamb skipping and frisking over the hills with joy; the tense indicates a continuous action.
2. "Weep = to sob; refers to weeping as a sign of pain and grief; the tense in continuous action.
3. This exhortation grows out of the doctrine stated in verses 4‑5, that the church is one body. When one hurts we all hurt and when one rejoices we all should rejoice. It is far easier to weep with the other person in his troubles than to rejoice with the person whose successes are greater. To be able to rejoice with and for him is a test of true Christian character. There should be common sympathy with others in their joys and sorrows.
p. Be of the same mind one toward another.
1. "Be of the same mind one toward another" = thinking the same thing with respect to one another; enter into each other's circumstances in order to see how you would feel in their place; indicates we are not to have divided interest and are not to be pursuing different ends or aims.
2. Without agreeing on all things, Christians can have a mutual trust which makes for unity. Paul then lists two things that would destroy this unity;
A. "Mind not high things" = do not seek after and desire high things such as worldly offices, worldly fashions, and worldly honors; to do so indicates an Eph. 2:2 condition--lost.
a. "But" = instead; shows contrast.
b. "Condescend" = to yield or submit one's self to lowly things; denotes yielding, or being guided and led in the thoughts, feelings, and plans by humble objects.
c. "Low estate" = humility.
B. "Be not wise in your own conceits" = do not trust in your own superior skills and understanding according to your own opinion and refuse to listen to the counsel of others; indicates that one should not be lifted up with pride above their brethren or be head strong and self‑confident to the point that he will not listen to anyone else.
a. "Wise" = mindful of one's interest; referring to one's self.
b. "Own conceits" = in your own opinion.
3. Note: All of this list (verses 9-16) of commands regulating our service in the church deals basically with our attitude and disposition, allowing the fruit of the Spirit to operate in our lives. Paul didn't list sins such as stealing, killing, adultery, drinking, lying, and etc. Why not? They are sins. True, but when we our attitudes and dispositions become right, those other areas of our life automatically fall in line.
4. We must service the body if it remains of service to us. Remember the car? If you do not service it, it will not be long until it will not be of service to you and it sure won't be of service to the next generation. Therefore, we must be of service in the church so that our next generation will have a church that will be of service to them.
3. Service in the Community. V. 17‑21
1. One will not be of service in the community until he is first a service to himself as a Christian and of service in the church.
1) Recompense to no man evil.
2. "Recompense" = to give back; to repay; payback.
3. "No man" = nobody, male or female; refers even to your enemies. (Mat. 5:39; Pro. 16:7)
4. "For" = instead of; in place of; a preposition of replacement.
5. This has just been mentioned in the church in verse 14 but now it includes all, church and community. (I Peter 3:9) This is probable one of the most difficult precepts of Christianity due to the old flesh, the deeds of which we need to put to death continuously. (Rom. 8:13)
2) Provide things honest.
6. "Provide" = taking thought beforehand; to think or meditate beforehand; to foresee.
7. "Things honest" = word describes that which is good and beautiful by reason of purity of heart and life; refers to an outward expression of an inward goodness as a result of indwelling Lord Jesus.
8. "In the sight" = in the presence.
9. "Men" = a human being, whether male or female.
10. Paul is not talking about property or provisions for the family (things) but the Christian to take careful forethought that his manner of life, his outward expression, conforms to or is an honest representative of what he is as a child of God.
3) Live peaceably with all men.
1. "If it be possible" = if it can be done; if others will allow it; implies that it can not always be done.
2. "As much as lieth in you" = "the from yourself" = the Greek construction reveals that the origin (the point from where action or motion proceeds) of upheaval should never be from a Christian; this implies two things:
A. We are to use our utmost endeavors to preserve peace, and to appease the anger and malice of others.
B. We are not to begin or to originate a quarrel.
3. "Live peaceably" = be at peace: we are to be peacemakers. (Mat. 5:9)
4. "All men" = all human beings, male and female.
5. Whether you actually live peaceably or not, should depend solely on how others behave towards you. We do not have control over other's conduct but we should over our own since the fruit of the Spirit is present in all of God's children. (Gal. 5:22‑23; "temperance" = self control by aid of the Holy Spirit)
6. Being peacemakers does not mean:
A. To compromise with sin nor with the Word of God. If the Word of God makes war, whose side are you on?
B. For us to take the attitude "peace at any price."
7. The Lord Jesus, Himself, could not live peaceable with all men, but never initiated a disturbance and neither should we. Do not let the disturbances be your fault.
4) Avenge not yourselves.
1. "Dearly Beloved" = an expression of tenderness, thus reminding them of the affection and friendship that the Christian's life should exhibit towards others; indicates the saints being loved by the Lord and also by Paul.
2. "Avenge" = to vindicate one's right; do one justice; negated by "not"; even when a Christian has been wronged, he is not to take the law into his own hand.
3. "But rather" = instead.
4. "Give place unto wrath" = give room for God's wrath (anger exhibited in punishment) to operate; if punishment is due, we must leave it to the righteous God to inflict it.
5. "It is written" = the tense is perfect which means in time past it was written down and is still on record today; quotes Deut. 32:35; also quoted in Heb. 10:30‑31.
6. "Vengeance" = a revenging; punishment; meeting out justice.
7. "Repay" = recompense; to give back.
8. The principle here is that the believer has turned himself over to the Lord (Rom. 12:1‑2); therefore, the Lord must take care of him and fight his battles for him.
5) Do good to your enemy.
1. "Therefore"= in view of the fact vengeance belongs to the Lord and it is not our duty to repay our enemy for the evil he does to us.
2. "Enemy" = one who opposes, hates, or is hostile to you.
3. "Hunger" = to be needy; to suffer want.
4. "Thirst" = to suffer from thirst.
5. "Hunger and thirst" here are used for want in general. If thine enemy is needy in any way, do him good, and supply his needs.
6. "In so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head" = there are two thoughts about this phrase:
A. In Bible times an oriental needed his hearth fire going all time in order to insure fire for cooking and warmth. If it went out, he had to go to a neighbor for some live coals of fire. These he would carry on his head in a container, oriental fashion, back to his home. The person who would give him some live coals would be meeting his desperate need and showing him an outstanding kindness. If he would heap the container with coals, the man would be sure of getting home with some coals still burning.
B. By showing kindness to those who tried to bring injury to one, caused a burning pain upon them which resulted from shame, remorse of conscience, and a conviction of the evil of his conduct thus causing godly sorrow which worked repentance and resulted in salvation (in some). (II Cor. 7:10; I Peter 2:12)
1. What Paul says in this verse comes naturally after what he said in verse 20.
2. "Overcome" = to conquer; come out victorious.
3. "Evil" = of a bad nature; wicked; refers to injury received from others.
4. "Good" = upright; honorable; pleasant; agreeable.
5. Don't be conquered by evil things or evil men, but conquer the evil ones with good‑‑your kindness and love‑‑your Christ‑like ways.
4. Service as a Citizen. V. 1‑7
1. "Let . . . be subject" = to submit to one's control; to yield to one's admonition or advice; to obey; the word is a military word speaking of soldiers arranged in order under a general; the Greek construction reveals a command with continuous action; this means to obey in the framework of the Word of God.
2. "Every soul" = every individual, whether Jew or Gentile.
3. "Higher powers" = authorities who have themselves over; rulers of government‑‑even though they may not be Christian.
4. "For" = reason for being subject.
5. "No power" = no authority; no office; no magistrate; no civil rule.
6. "Of God" = by means of God; by God's permission, or appointment.
7. "The powers that be" = refers to the existing powers‑‑ authorities; those who have the rule over nations by whatever means they may have obtained it.
8. "Are ordained" = to put in order; to assign a place to; to appoint; the tense is perfect which indicates the powers have been appointed and as a result they remain appointed‑‑means human government is a permanent institution brought into being by God for the regulation of human affairs. (John 19:10‑11; Psa 75:6‑7); God sets them in order, assigns them their location, changes and directs them as He pleases. (Pro. 27:1)
1. "Whosoever" = Jew or Gentile; any individual.
2. "Therefore" = in view of verse 1.
3. First "resisteth" = to arrange in battle against; to oppose; resist; to set himself in array against; the tense reveals continuous action.
4. "Power" = authority.
5. Second "resisteth" = different word from the first "resisteth" yet similar; means to set one's self against; to withstand; oppose; the tense is perfect which reveals that one who sets himself in array against the power also has set himself against God's ordinance with the result that he is in a permanent position of antagonism against the ordinance of God.
6. "Ordinance" = that which God has ordained or appointed.
7. "Resist" = same word as the second "resisteth."
8. "Damnation" = punishment; judgment.
9. "Shall receive to themselves damnation" = the individual who resist shall receive a judicial sentence from the authorities; judgment and punishment from God through His minister, the civil powers or rulers-‑government.
1. "Rulers" = leaders; magistrates; speaking of authorities in general.
2. "Terror" = fear; dread; that which strikes terror; by using "not" means rulers are not appointed to punish good works (those who are upright and honorable in their deeds) but evil works (those who practice deeds that are injurious to others); rulers are appointed to detest and punish evildoers.
3. "Afraid" = to be struck with fear; to be seized with alarm; fear is one of the means by which men are restrained from crime in a community; if you don't believe it, why is it when you see a patrol car, the first thing you do is look at the speedometer and see if you're breaking the law and if you are, something inside you stirs and your heart begins to beat fast and continues for awhile.
4. "Do that which is good" = abstain from crime and yield obedience to all the just laws of the land; this does not refer to unjust laws. (Acts 5:29)
5. "Praise" = commendation; you shall be unmolested and uninjured and shall receive commendation for being a peaceable and upright citizen instead of condemnation or punishment.
1. "For" = reason appointed.
2. "Minister" = servant; one who executes the commands of another, in this case, God.
3. "To thee" = for your benefit.
4. "For good" = to protect you in your rights; to vindicate your name, person, or property and to guard your liberty.
5. "Do evil" = practice wicked and injurious things.
6. "Be afraid" = fear the just punishment of the laws.
7. "Beareth" = to bear constantly; wear.
8. "Sword" = badge or symbol of authority.
9. "In vain" = without reason or purpose; the meaning is that the rulers do not wear their badge of authority (in those days the rulers wore a sword as the emblem of their authority) as an unmeaning show, but that it will be used to execute the laws.
10. "Minister" = servant; same as #2 in this verse.
11. "Revenger" = an executor; one who carries out divine wrath (God's anger exhibited in punishment) against those who doeth (practice; perform; commit) evil (wicked and injurious things); an instrument in the hand of God; it is right for the government to inflict capital punishment on those who commit things worthy of death.
12. Government has two responsibilities:
A. Praise or commend those who do good.
B. Punish or condemn them who do evil.
13. Government has entered into many areas of people's lives of which they should never have entered.
1. "Wherefore" = in view of the fact just stated.
2. "Needs" = it is necessary; a strong word meaning it is a matter of higher obligation and of necessity to be subject to the civil ruler.
3. "Subject" = to submit to one's control; to yield to one's admonition or advice; to obey, in the framework of the Word of God; this is to be done for two reasons:
A. "For wrath" = an external reason mentioned in verse 4.
a. "For" = an account of.
b. "Wrath" = God's anger exhibited in punishment.
B. "For conscience sake" = an internal reason; as a matter of conscience (part of man that distinguishes between what is morally good and bad); the moral conscience limits obedience, for if the civil power commands us to violate the law of God, we must obey God before man. (Acts 5:29)
4. God has ordained that government shall prescribe laws and then punish the offenders. Government is to protect the community and to punish the criminal. A good citizen yields obedience to these laws, as long as they do not violate the Word of God, because it is the will of God to do so.
1. "For the cause" = on this account, for conscience sake.
2. "Pay" = to fulfill; to complete; the tense is continuous action; this is not a command but it carries the sense of the fulfillment of an obligation.
3. "Tribute" = that which is brought; refers to the annual tax levied upon houses, lands, and persons; paying just taxes is one of our responsibilities of being in subjection to authorities.
4. "Ministers" = a different word from the first two times mentioned, but similar; a public minister; a servant of the state; those by whom God administers His affairs and executes His decrees.
5. "Attending continually" = to be steadfastly attentive unto; to give unremitting care to a thing.
6. "This very thing" = refers to fulfilling the office that God appointed them to.
7. The wording here implies that as they attend to this and devote their time and talents to it, it is proper that they should receive a suitable support from taxes that are levied justly, just as the Levites who waited upon the altar lived of the altar and just as the man who preaches the gospel should live of the gospel. (I Cor. 9:13‑14)
8. If taxes are unjust and oppressive just remember God is the one who placed those rulers in office. (Pro. 21:1) He gave us what we need. It may not be what we want. Therefore, those rulers are to be submitted to (in the framework of the Word of God) until a remedy can be found or until we cry out to God, like Israel did, and depend on Him and let Him deliver us from the hand of the unjust ruler as He did for Israel time and time again, in Egypt and in the days of the Judges.
1. "Render" = to give over.
2. "Therefore" = in view of what Paul had just stated.
3. "Dues" = that which is owed; a debt; word speaks of a moral obligation.
4. "Tribute" = annual taxes levied on houses, lands, and persons; pay in recognition of services rendered.
5. "Custom" = an indirect tax on goods; revenue which is levied on merchandise, either imported or exported.
6. "Fear" = respect, reverence, and awe.
7. "Honour" = reverence; denotes reverence and respect for the ruler's office and rank.
8. This verse sums up the duties which are owed to magistrates, rulers, and ministers of God in government. This applies even to the basest of men for God gave them to us because that is what we need. (Phil. 4:19) Our greatest need may be a government that would cause us to get sick of our condition and begin to cry out to God for deliverance and at the same time still be of service as a citizen to that wicked government as a testimony. (II Chron. 7:14)
5. Service in the Community. V. 8‑14
1. "Owe" = to be in debt for; that which is due.
2. "No man any thing" = to no one owe nothing; the reason for this is that the borrower is servant to the lender. (Pro. 22:7)
3. The Greek construction does not forbid borrowing money for even the law did not forbid borrowing when in need. (Deut. 23:19‑20) This is simply saying do not continue owing a person but pay your debts. Do not be indebted to one so as to injure him or work ill toward him.
4. Our problem is that we borrow for wants and extravagants instead of need.
5. Paul is saying pay all other debts and be indebted in the matter of love alone. (Rom. 1:14)
6. "Love" = love in action; God kind of love that is in every saint and should be growing. (Rom. 5:5; Gal. 5:22)
7. "One another" = mutually; reciprocally (to return something given).
8. "For" = because; gives the reason.
9. "Loveth" = to love dearly; to be fond of; unconditional love; the tense reveals a continuous action.
10. "Another" = the other; the meaning is the same as "his neighbor."
11. "Hath fulfilled the law" = speaking of the matters of duty; to perform; execute fully.
1. "For this" = this which follows is the sum of the laws given to regulate us in our conduct towards our neighbor.
2. Paul mentions five of the ten commandments given by God to Moses on Mt. Sinai. (Exo. 20) The first four were written on one table and deal with our conduct towards God. The last six were written on the second table and deals with our conduct towards our neighbor.
3. "Commit adultery" = to have unlawful relations with another after one has been married; negated by "not."
4. "Kill" = to commit murder; negated by "not"; Jesus interpreted it such in Mat. 19:18; capital punishment is not murder and does not violate this commandment while abortion is murder and violates this commandment.
5. "Steal" = to take away by theft that which does not belong to you; negated by "not."
6. "Bear false witness" = one word in the Greek; to lie; to utter falsehood; negated by "not."
7. "Covet" = to lust after; to have a desire for or long for; to seek things forbidden; negated by "not."
8. "If there be any other commandment" = could refer to the fifth commandment, "Honour thy father and they mother"; this one is not stated due to the fact that the word "neighbor" does not suggest the idea of near relatives.
9. "Briefly comprehended" = being summed up; to condense into a summary.
10. "Saying" = word.
11. "Neighbor" = any other person, whether friend or enemy; according to Christ, any other man irrespective of nation or religion, with whom we live or whom we chance to meet. (Luke 10:29‑37)
12. The issue is not, "Who is my neighbor?" but "To whom can I be a neighbor for the glory of Christ." It is not a matter of law but love. Love from the heart enables us to obey what the law demands. Where love prevails there is no fraud, injustice, oppression, falsehood, adultery, murder, theft, or covetousness. The song, "Love Grew Where the Blood Fell" is true.
1."Worketh no ill" = does not produce evil, harm, or trouble. (I Cor. 13:4-8a)
2. "Therefore" = in view of this fact.
3. "Love is the fulfilling of the law" = Paul is repeating what he said in verse 8 and also what Jesus said in Mat. 22:35‑40.
1. "And that" = connected in signification with the word "this" in verse 9; indicates that all the requirements of the law towards our neighbor may be met by two things:
A. By love. (v. 9‑10)
B. By remembering that we are near to eternity (V. 11‑14) which will prompt an upright life in relationship with our fellowman.
2. "Knowing" = absolute knowledge of the facts.
3. "Time" = word for a special, critical, strategic period of time; season.
4. "High time" = word for "hour."
5. "Awake" = to arouse from slumber; implies spiritual readiness.
6. "Sleep" = indicates unconcern; refers to a non‑aggressive, lazy Christian life not being sensitive to the doctrine and duties of God.
7. "For" = reason.
8. "Salvation" = deliverance; rescue; refers to the deliverance of the saint's body from the presence of sin; glorification is referred to here; this will occur at the rapture of the saints. (Rom. 8:23)
9. "Nearer" = closer to the time of the rapture.
10. "Believed" = refers to the saint's deliverance from the penalty of sin or when they were justified.
1. "Night" = denotes the state of ignorance, wickedness, and spiritual darkness.
2. "Is far spent" = is advanced; making progress; hastening to a close; indicates that sin abounds on every side.
3. "Day" = refers to the time when the Lord will come and the splendor and glory of redemption in heaven will be a reality. (Rom. 8:18)
4. "At hand" = drawing near; approaching.
5. "Therefore" = in view of that fact.
6. "Let us cast off" = put off or aside or away from one's self; this is the negative side of this exhortation. (Rom. 8:13)
7. "Works of darkness" = deeds or sins of the flesh.
8. "Let us put on" = to be clothed with day clothes; work clothes-‑armour of light.
9. "Armour of light" = arms used in warfare; weapons of light described in Eph. 6:13‑17; we need this armor because of the enemy we face. (Eph. 6:11‑12)
1. "Walk" = to conduct and regulate one's life; order one's behavior.
2. "Honestly" = becomingly; in a seemly manner; decently; in a manner appropriate to those who are the children of light. (Phil. 1:27)
3. "As in the day" = as if all our actions were seen and known; men live decently, as a rule, in open light (day) while their wicked deeds are done in the night; the idea is for the saints to give an honest impression of themselves to the world as children of light should walk. (I Thess. 5:4‑8)
4. Paul list three categories the saints are "not" to order their behavior (walk) in:
A. "Rioting and drunkenness" = these two are related and go together; one follows the other.
a. "Rioting" = refers to feasting and drinking parties that are protracted till late at night and indulge in revelry (making merry).
b. "Drunkenness" = intoxication.
B. "Chambering and wantonness" = these two are also related and go together.
a. "Chambering" = unlawful cohabitation; shacking up outside of marriage; refers to fornication and adultery; also includes homosexual activity which is an abomination (disgusting as well as being sin; also not lifestyle one is born with but sin one chooses) to God. (Lev. 18:22)
b. "Wantonness" = unbridled lust; excess; shamelessness; refers to unlawful acts or manners such as filthy words, indecent body movements, unchaste handling of the opposite sex; here is where dancing is forbidden.
C. "Strife and envying" = these two are also related and go together.
a. Strife" = contention; quarreling; disputes; wrangling; fussing.
b. "Envying" = jealousy; an envious and contentious rivalry.
5. One group of vices (sins) leads to another group of vices.
1. "But" = contrast; verse 13 gives the negatives while this verse gives the positives.
2. "Put on" = to clothe one's self; in verse 12 it was the armor of light we needed to put on but here it is the Lord Jesus Christ; He is the garment we all need; He is the belt, the shield, the breastplate, the sandals, the helmet, and the sword; this means to take Him as a pattern and guide, to imitate His example, to obey His precepts, and to become like Him.
3. "Lord" = master; owner; one who has control of the person; He becomes our Lord at salvation, not at a later time.
4. "Jesus" = the earthly name for the Son of God, the Saviour of mankind.
5. "Christ" = the anointed; the English word for the OT Messiah.
6. "Make" = to produce; to provide for one's self; negated by "not"; the tense reveals continuous action.
7. "Provision" = forethought.
8. "Flesh" = the sensuous nature of man.
9. "Lust" = unbridled desire; unlawful desire for what is forbidden. (Rom. 8:13; I Cor. 9:27; the tense also reveals continuous action here)
10. Paul is saying, Jesus is coming. Live in such a way so that you will not be ashamed when He comes. (I John 2:28) But until then be of service in the community by walking honest, loving others, and fulfilling what Jesus said in Luke 19:13 ("occupy" means to keep your bags packed and your tool chest open).
11. If you will practice these things you will be of service in the community.
6. Service to Other Christians. V. 14:1‑15:7
1. In this section Paul deals with problems of questionable things in the Christian life. Some things are not as clear in the Bible as some other things. For example: "Thou shalt not" and "thou shalt" are clear but some other things are not that clear. Also, Paul recognized that in each local church there are the mature believers ("We that are strong" Rom. 15:1) as well as the immature or babes in the faith ("Him that is weak in the faith" Rom. 14:1.). He knew that these two groups would naturally disagree on practices in the life of the Christian; therefore, he tells us how to face and solve these differences. He does not give a list of rules to follow but lays down six basic principles that all Christians of all ages can follow. These principles are in the form of questions by which we can test our own lives.
1) Am I fully convinced? V. 1‑5
2. "Weak" = to be feeble; speaks of one who is for a time feeble but who may become strong; example: have you ever seen a new born calf when it first tries to stand? It is feeble and wobbly until it gets its first milk and then it gains strength and becomes strong (I Peter 2:2); refers to those who have just been saved.
3. "The faith" = the religious belief of Christians; the whole body of God's revealed truth.
4. "Receive" = to take to one's self with kindness; the Greek construction indicates a command to be acted on with continuous action; in other words receive and keep on receiving; the Lord received that person and we should too. (Mat. 18:21-22)
5. "But not to doubtful disputations" = a warning given.
6. "Disputations" = the thinking of a man deliberating with himself; inward reasoning; a deliberating; a questioning.
7. "Doubtful" = judging in two ways or in two directions, thus a doubting as to which in correct; it seems that God, who alone sees the heart, was telling the stronger not to subject the convictions of the weaker to undue scrutiny.
1. Paul gives us two examples in verses 2‑5 to support this first principle.
a. First example: One is a meat eater and another is a vegetarian.
2. "Believeth that he may eat all things" = means he is not restrained by any hang‑ups about eating certain meats.
3. "Who is weak" = refers to the Jewish convert who because of the law would not eat meat offered to idols.
4. "Herbs" = vegetables.
1. "Despise" = Hold in contempt; to treat as nothing; negated by "not."
2. "Judge" = to pronounce an opinion; negated by "not"; means not to condemn or criticize the other brother who eats meat.
3. "For" = because.
4. "Hath received" = to take to one's self; tense points to a definite time in the past; means when he believed on Christ and was saved; God hath received both the stronger and the weaker, who truly believed.
5. The stronger Christian should not despise the weaker and the weaker should not criticize the stronger. We are not under law. (Example: Peter in Acts 10:9‑16) The law forbid eating certain things, but Paul in I Tim. 4:1‑5 said to be thankful and eat it. He also said in I Cor. 8:8‑13 that he would not eat meat offered to idols if it offends his brother.
6. Example: If a brother wants to eat pork and you don't. Don't despise him and neither should he criticize you for not eating and vice versa.
7. Remember this is talking about questionable things not the main doctrines of the gospel nor the clear cut commands of God concerning sin such as drinking, adultery, stealing, and etc.
1. "Who art thou" = as for you, who are you (addressed to the weaker brother) to criticize and condemn another man's servant (referring to the stronger brother, who is the Lord's servant)?
2. "Servant" = one who is under the authority of another.
3. "Master" = he to whom a person or thing belongs; he has control over his servant and if he chooses to forbid his doing anything, or to allow him to do anything, it pertains to his affairs, not ours; to attempt to control him, is to inter-meddle improperly, and to become a busy-body in other men's matters (I Peter 4:15); applies to Christians as being servants of their Master (Lord); it is the Lord's interest which is involved and it is to Him (not to you) he must answer as he standeth or falleth.
4. "Standeth" = to persevere; to persist; tense is continuous.
5. "Falleth" = to fall into sin and disfavor with God; equivalent of the OT word "backslide"; tense is continuous; this is not talking about falling from grace or losing one's salvation for that is impossible if one is truly saved.
6. "Yea" = contrariwise; instead of falling he shall be holden up, he shall stand, he shall persevere.
7. "For" = the reason; God is able to make him stand.
8. "Is able" = has power; has capability to make him stand.
9. Paul does not contemplate the strong man falling. He is confident that Christian liberty, through grace and power of Christ, will prove a triumphant moral success. Peter did too. (I Peter 1:5‑9)
b. Second example: One esteems a day above another and another esteemeth every day alike.
1. "Esteemeth" = to prefer; to approve.
2. Means one lives every day as if it were Sunday or consecrated to the Lord and another has only Sunday consecrated to the Lord. Don't despise the weaker or criticize the stronger. Why? Because God had received both of them. (verse 3)
3. "Be fully persuaded" = to be fully convinced or assured; denotes the highest conviction, not a matter of opinion or prejudice, but a matter on which the mind is made up by examination.
4. "Mind" = the faculty of perceiving and understanding divine things.
5. This means we need to form our own convictions about questionable things and not take on the convictions of the preacher or our parent's convictions. Most of the time we hold opinions which will make us act ugly and be legalistic. But convictions hold us and will cause us to love the weaker brother. Don't forget you were weak at one time. We need to remember where we came from and what we went through, and the longsuffering and patience of God with us and then may we demonstrate a little of that toward the weaker brother.
2) Am I doing this unto the Lord? V. 6-9
1. Both parties, whether weak or strong have or at least should have the same end in mind--the interest of the Lord. He is the Lord and we must live to please Him.
2. "Regardeth" = to pay attention to; to think; to exercise the mind; to understand.
3. "The day" = refers to the days the Jews kept as religious occasions.
4. "Regardeth it unto the Lord" = regards it as holy, or as set apart to the service of God; indicated that he believes that he is required by God to keep it.
5. "He that regardeth not the day" = refers to the person who does not observe such distinction of days as are demanded in the law of Moses.
6. "To the Lord he doth not regard it" = indicates he does not believe that God requires such an observance.
7. "He that eateth" = refers to the Gentile Christian, who freely eats all kinds of meat.
8. "Eateth to the Lord" = indicates he believes that God does not forbid it.
9. "For he giveth God thanks" = to be grateful and feel thankful for the food the Lord provides; this is proof that it is our duty to give God thanks at our meals for our food.
10. "He that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not" = refers to the Jewish Christian who abstains from eating because he believes that God requires him to do it, and with a desire to obey and honor Him.
11. "And giveth God thanks" = to be grateful and feel thankful for the food the Lord provided.
12. Both meals, whether meat or vegetable, are hallowed or sanctified when we give thanks. Then both individuals are doing it unto the Lord.
1. "None of us" = "no man" = no one, whether by nature, Jew or Gentile.
2. "Liveth to himself" = means that no Christian lives to gratify his own inclinations or appetites; to live to ourselves is to make it our main object to become rich, or honored, or to indulge in the ease, comfort, and pleasures of life; to do so is evidence that we are strangers to the grace of God (not saved).
3. "Dieth to himself" = this expression is used to denote the totality with which Christians belong to God.
4. A practical teaching of this verse is that every man's conduct affects others for better or worse. (Rev. 14:13) Biblically this can be used for this doctrine (teaching; II Tim. 3:16).
1. "We" = saints to whom written, (Rom. 1:7)
2. "For whether we live" = as long as we live.
3. "We live unto the Lord" = we live to do His will, and to promote His glory.
4. "Whether we die" = in the dying state or in the state of the dead; in the future world.
5. "We are the Lord's" = we are no where our own; in all conditions we are His, and bound to do His will.
6. The rule of the Christian's conduct should be that which is the will and the interest of his Lord. This is what should always be present on his mind, whether living or dying. One does not choose the time to die nor the manner to please himself. He dies when the Lord wills, as the Lord wills, and even by his death he glorifies the Lord.
1 "For to this end" = for this purpose or design.
2. "Died" = refers to Christ death on the cross.
3. "Rose" = resurrection; restored to life.
4. "Revived" = to live again; refers to the fact that He still lives.
6. "That he might be Lord" = that He might rule over; implies the idea of His being owner as well as ruler; means that He might exercise entire dominion over all as the sovereign law-giver and Lord.
7. "Dead" = refers to those who are deceased, or who have gone to another state of existence but still under the dominion of the Mediator, the one who lives (Heb. 7:24‑25); Paul refers to this group as being asleep. (I Thess. 4:13)
8. "Living" = refers to the redeemed while they remain in this life.
9. A Christian should never make the statement, "I'm living my own life." Why? Because we belong to the Lord whether we live or die, weak or strong. (I Cor. 6:19‑20) He is Lord and we must live to please Him and in so doing we will be of service to other Christians.
3) Will it stand the test at the Judgment Seat? V. 10‑12
1. "Thou" = is in the emphatic position and means "but as for you in contrast to the Lord"; the Lord is the judge.
2. "Judge" = condemn; criticize; to pronounce an opinion concerning right and wrong.
3. Brother" = from the same womb; refers to brethren in Christ, all who are from the womb of God.
4. "Set at naught" = same word as despise in verse 3; to make of no account; to treat as nothing.
5. "We" = "all" = refers to the saints to whom this book was written. (Rom. 1:7)
6. "Shall stand before" = denotes before the presence of the Lord.
7. "Judgment Seat" = Bema seat; the official seat of a judge, in this case, Christ.
8. In context this is speaking of questionable things, not referring to things in which we have a clear cut command in the Scripture.
9. I can tell what you do and not judge but I must not do it to injure or slander. You judge when you say why one did something and that will not stand at the Judgment Seat. You do not know why but the Lord does.
1. "It is written" = perfect tense which reveals a past completed act of writing down this scripture and it stands on record today and will ever stand on record; quotes Isa. 45:23.
2. "Saith the Lord" = the Lord is the one doing the speaking in Isa. 45:23.
3. "Every knee shall bow to me" = an act of expressing homage, submission, or adoration; it means that every person shall acknowledge Him as Lord and admit His right to universal dominion.
4. "Every tongue shall confess" = to acknowledge openly and joyfully; to agree fully to one's honor by giving praise to.
5. "Every" = all; individually; refers to all the lost and saved. The saved does so in this life at the Judgment Seat of Christ (I Cor. 3:11‑15; II Cor 5:10); then 1000 years later the lost will do so at the Great White Throne of Judgment. (Rev. 20:11‑15)
1. "So then" = therefore; is view of the facts just stated.
2. "Every one of us" = refers to the saved, to whom Paul was writing, who will individually give an account of himself to God.
3. "Give an account" = an act of speaking; a common way of referring to an account in a ledger which a bookkeeper enters; a report concerning our conduct and character, our words and actions, and our plans and purposes.
4. "Himself" = no one else will be able to do it for an individual.
5. "To God" = the Lord Jesus Christ who is the Judge. (II Tim. 4:1,8; Heb. 10:30)
6. What a person does concerning questionable things is between that person and the Lord but those things will have to be accounted for before the Lord. Question! Will it stand before the judgment or will it be burned and you suffer loss? (I Cor. 3:15)
4) Am I causing others to stumble? V. 13‑21
1. "Therefore" = in view of the fact that we must stand before the Judgment Seat.
2. "Judge" = condemn; criticize; to pronounce an opinion concerning right or wrong; negated by "not."
3. "Any more" = no longer.
4. "Rather" = to a greater degree; more readily.
5. "Stumbling block" = an obstacle in the way which one strikes his foot against and stumbles or falls; that over which the soul stumbles.
6. "Occasion to fall" = one word in the Greek; the movable stick or trigger of a trap or snare; any impediment placed in the way and causing one to stumble or fall; any person or thing by which one is entrapped or drawn into error or sin.
7. Instead of judging a brother, judge what you are doing because you know why you do what you do, or at least you should.
1. "Know" = to have absolute positive knowledge of the facts.
2. "Persuaded" = convinced; the tense is perfect which means a action was completed in past time and still remains in that condition at present; Paul's reasoning had gone on through a process to a point where it was complete, with a result that he had come to a finished persuasion that was permanent; he stands persuaded and could not be budged from his conviction.
3. "By the Lord Jesus" = "in the Lord Jesus."
4. "Unclean" = common; ordinary; it denotes that which was forbidden by the law of Moses; he is still referring to questionable things.
5. Esteemeth" = reason; think.
6. "To him that esteemeth anything unclean, to him it is unclean" = he makes it a matter of conscience and regards certain meat as forbidden by God; if he regards them forbidden by God it would be wrong for him to partake of them; it would not be proper for him to act in violation of what he thinks God requires.
1. "Brother" = from the same womb; refers to brethren in Christ, who are all from the womb of God.
2. "Be grieved" = to hurt deeply; expresses the uneasiness and distress with which the weak sees the strong pursue a line of conduct which his conscience cannot approve.
3. "With thy meat" = on account of this meat; food; that which is eaten; refers to the meat or food eaten by the Gentile regarded by the Jew as unclean.
4. "Walkest" = to conduct one's self; to regulate one's life; in context refers to the Gentile convert, if he continued the use of such food, he violated the law of love.
5. "Charitably" = according to charity (love); negated by "not"; means he would violate that law which required him to sacrifice his own comfort to promote the happiness of his brother. (Phil. 2:4; I Cor. 10:28‑29)
6. "Destroy" = ruin; wreck him spiritually; negated by "not"; thus don't do it!
7. The selfish man who uses his Christian liberty to lead a weak brother to go against his conscience has a part (stumbling block) in his downfall. Christ died for the weak the same as the strong. His admonition is, don't deliberately do something that makes my brother to stumble. (Gal. 5:1,13‑14)
1. "Good" = that which you esteem to be right, and which may be right in itself; refers to Christian liberty.
2. "Evil spoken of" = blaspheme; to speak reproachfully; rail at; revile.
3. A Christian should be concerned about the impression he makes on others, as well as the relation of his own conscience to God. Therefore, he should not use his liberty in such a way that would give occasion for unkind remarks from his brethren.
1. "Kingdom of God" = the heavenly sphere of life in which God's Word and Spirit govern; place where God is king.
2. "Is not" = does not consist in, or is distinguished by.
3. "Meat and drink" = eating and drinking.
4. "But" = contrast.
5. "Righteousness" = virtue; integrity; a faithful discharge of all the duties which we owe to God and to our fellow man; not used here as justifying righteousness but in its practical ethical sense as shown in moral uprightness of character toward God and man.
6. "Peace" = harmony; accord; in context this does not refer to the internal peace and happiness which the Christian has but to peace or harmony in opposition to contention among the brethren; refers to mutual agreement among Christians.
7. "Joy" = gladness; refers to common joy, arising from the fellowship we have with our Lord and each other in the Church.
8. "In the Holy Ghost" = produced by the Holy Ghost; this applies to all three, righteousness, peace, and joy produced in our lives by the Holy Ghost's (Spirit) presence in our lives.
1. "In these things" = refers to righteousness, peace, and joy.
2. "Serveth" = to be a slave; do service; to yield obedience to Christ as his Master and does His will in regard to these things.
3. "Acceptable" = well pleasing to God whether he is Jew or Gentile.
4. "Approved" = put to the test for the purpose of being approved and having met specifications, thus having the stamp of approval placed upon one; this does not mean the wicked world will love such a life but they will esteem it to be right, and to be in accordance with the Spirit of Christianity.
1. "Therefore" = in view of these facts just mentioned.
2. Let us "follow after" = to pursue; to run after; to run swiftly in order to catch some person or thing; the Greek grammar says, let us eagerly and earnestly be seeking after the things which make for peace; the object of this verse is to persuade the church at Rome to lay aside their causes of contention and to live in harmony; the tense is continuous action.
3. "Peace" = speaks of things that promote harmony and fellowship between the brethren.
4. "Things wherewith" = those things by which we may render aid to the brethren; the doctrines, exhortations, counsels, and other helps which may benefit them in their Christian life.
5. "Edify" = to build up; means to promote growth in Christian wisdom, affection, grace, virtue, holiness, and blessedness.
6. "One another" = one word in the Greek; reciprocally; mutually; refers to each individual and do not leave one out.
1. "Destroy" = to tear down; negated by "not."
2. "For meat" = for the sake of meat don't tear down the work of God; Paul is saying on account of food, stop tearing down the work of God, referring to Christian character and testimony of a brother, instead edify or build up (verse 19).
3. "Indeed" = truly; certainly; surely.
4. "Pure" = clean; Paul is still referring to meat and not being under law. (I Cor. 6:12; expedient = profitable; advantageous)
5. "Evil" = wrong; of a bad nature; though pure in itself, it may become an occasion of sin if another is grieved by it; it is wrong for man to eat meat if it is to be an offence.
6. "Offence" = a stumbling block; an obstacle in the way which if one strikes his foot against, he stumbles or falls; refers to a person eating such things that would be a stumbling block to the weaker brother. (Mark 9:42)
1. "Neither" = a primary particle of qualified negation; thus "it is not good (right) to eat, etc."
2. "Flesh" = meat; refers to the flesh of a sacrificed animal.
3. "Wine" = generic word for "fruit of the vine"; this is not talking about wine with alcoholic content, for Pro. 23:31 forbids that; this is referring to questionable things; in question was some drink made from grape juice that would cause some to be offended, thus Paul said it would be good not to drink it.
4. "Nor anything" = any article of food or drink, or any course of conduct.
5. "Stumbleth" = to be made to stumble, spiritually speaking, over something placed in one's way by a brother (from the same womb).
6. "Is offended" = to cause one displeasure at a thing.
7. "Is made weak" = shaken or rendered less stable in his opinion or conduct.
8. By eating or drinking (a Gentile), a Jewish convert might be led to eat also, contrary to his own conviction of what was right, and thus be led into sin (go against his conscience).
9. We need to take inventory to see if what we are doing is causing others to stumble. If so, we need to rid ourselves of those things, and if we are not willing it will show our selfishness. It is selfish for a Christian to tear down another believer's spirituality because of his selfish living. Your practices may be lawful, but if they cause others to stumble they do not come under the law of love. (Rom. 12:18)
5) Am I doing this by faith? V. 22‑23
1. "Thou" = refers to the strong Christian.
2. "Faith" = to trust; rely on; refers to serving faith concerning questionable things.
3. If thou hast faith then:
A. "Have it to thyself" = do not force your faith or opinion on others (concerning questionable things); be satisfied with cherishing your opinion and acting on it in private, without bringing it forward to produce disturbance in the church.
B. Have it "before God" = where God is the only witness; God sees your sincerity, will approve your opinion, knows you are right (assuming you are), and will not be offended; your brethren may not see you are right and they will be offended; before God reminds the strong once more (verse 10) that the fullest freedom must be balanced by the fullest sense of responsibility to God.
4. "Happy" = spiritually prosperous; supremely blessed; state of the mind of one that has peace and happiness.
5. "Condemneth" = to pronounce an opinion concerning right and wrong; negated by "not"; means there is no guilt on his conscience, it is clear; the tense is continuous action.
6. "Alloweth" = to approve after having put to the test and finding that which is tested meets specifications.
1. "He" = refers to the weak Christians.
2. "Doubeth" = hesitate; to be at variance with one's self; to waver; translated "staggered" in Rom. 4:20 and "wavereth" in James 1:6; the tense is continuous action; means he is not fully satisfied in his mind. (James 1:8)
3. "Damned" = to condemn; means the person who violates the dictates of his conscience will incur guilt, because he did not do it by faith.
4. "Whatsoever" = each and every thing.
5. "Sin" = missing the mark; violation of one's conscience instructed by the right standard‑‑Word of God.
A. What ever is not done with a full conviction that it is right is sinful.
B. What ever is done when a man doubts whether it is right is sin.
6. An old saying is true: "When in doubt, don't."
7. Another saying applies here: "Do what you know to do at the time." There is something settled‑‑a conviction which comes from faith in God's Word.
8. We usually quote the last part of this verse to apply to every area of our lives after we are saved. This principle is true and this verse can be used for doctrine. (Heb. 11:6; II Tim. 3:16) But in context Paul is dealing with questionable things‑‑sometimes called religious scruples (doubts arising from difficulty in deciding what is right or proper).
6) Am I pleasing myself or others. V. 1‑7
1. "Strong" = able; strong in Christian virtue; refers to mature Christians.
2. "Ought" = to be debtor; to be under obligation; bound by duty; speaks of moral obligation as being a necessity.
3. "Bear" = to lift up; bear away; remove.
4. "Infirmities" = a scruple (a doubt arising from difficulty in deciding what is right and proper) of conscience; an error arising from weakness of mind.
5. "Weak" = refers to the immature Christians or babes in Christ.
6. "Please" = to accommodate one's self to his own opinions, desires, and interests; negated by "not"; when the stronger Christian refrains from an action which he knows is right (referring to questionable things), but which the weaker Christian thinks is wrong, and the reason he refrains is for the sake of not offending that weaker Christian, he curtails his own freedom of action and this becomes a burden on him, thus he takes away the burden from the weaker brother. (Gal. 6:2)
1. This act (verse 1) pleases his neighbor instead of pleasing himself.
2. "Neighbor" = goes beyond those next door; according to Christ in Luke 10:29‑37, it refers to any person irrespective of nation or religion with whom we live or whom we chance to meet.
3. "For his good" = for others' benefit.
4. "Edification" = the act of one who promotes another's growth in Christian living.
5. This act (verse 1) also removes temptation from the weaker Christian; therefore, it is for his good to edification.
1. "Christ" = the Messiah; the Anointed One; He is our example; He pleased not Himself but others. (Heb. 12:2)
2. "It is written" = perfect tense which reveals a completed action in past time and stands on record today; quotes Psa. 69:9.
3. "Reproaches" = "reproached" = revile; speaks of unjust reproach.
4. "Fell" = to cast upon; He bore my reproach.
5. Christ as our example was willing to suffer reproach and contempt in order to do good to others.
1. "For" = because; Paul justified his use of the OT for NT believers.
2. "Whatsoever things" = as many things as.
3. "Written aforetime" = "were written" = to write before (of time); refers to the OT Scripture.
4. "Learning" = teaching; instruction.
5. "That" = in order that; introduces God's purpose.
6. "Patience" = steadfastness; constancy; endurance; refers to the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trails and sufferings.
7 "Comfort" = consolation; gives the idea of encouragement.
8. "Scripture" = refers to the OT which is all that had been mainly written at this time.
9. "Hope" = desire for some good with a confident expectation of obtaining it.
10. Paul is saying we can have hope by patiently enduring sufferings in connection with the encouragement which the Scripture furnishes. They made Timothy wise unto salvation. (II Tim. 3:15)
1. Paul begins to pray for both the strong and the weak Christians.
2. God is a God of patience and consolation (comfort). These are the same two words found in verse 4. He bears patiently with the errors and faults of His children, and He is the God of comfort. (II Cor. 1:3)
3. "Grant" = to give.
4. "Likeminded" = to be of the same mind; to think the same thing which produces a unity among the brethren which keeps down division and strife.
5. "One toward another" = reciprocally; mutually; refers to each individual and does not leave one out.
6. "According to Christ Jesus" = according to the example and Spirit of Christ.
1. "That" = in order that; purpose of the unity.
2. "One mind and one mouth" = one accord.
3. "Glorify" = to praise, extol, honor, and magnify.
4. "God, even the father of our Lord Jesus Christ" = defines the only true God as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1. "Wherefore" = in view of these 6 principles in Rom. 14:1‑15:7.
2. "Receive" = to take to one's self; to grant one access to one's heart; to take into friendship.
3. "One another" = reciprocally; mutually; we need to acknowledge one another as Christians and treat one another as such even though we may differ in questionable matters; refers to both the weak and the strong.
4. "As Christ" = indicates He is our example; He received us as His friends and followers; therefore, we should receive each other.
5. "To the glory of God" = in order to promote His glory.
6. "Glory" = splendor; brightness; magnificence; excellence; majesty; manifestation of that which brings forth praise.
7. Service to others. V. 8‑33
1) Our Lord's ministry to the Jews and Gentiles. V. 8‑13
1. "Now" = indicates a change of direction from questionable things to speak of three different ministries we must recognize and understand concerning the Jews and the Gentiles.
2. "Say" = affirm over; maintain.
3. "Jesus Christ" = the Messiah; to a Jew the name Messiah would convey much more than the idea of a mere proper name.
4. "Minister" = one who serves; one who exercised His office of the Messiah.
5. "Was" = to become; to come into existence; same word as "was made" in John 1:14; the tense is perfect which refers to a past completed act with existing results.
6. "Circumcision" = a term used of the Jews.
7. "For the truth of God" = to confirm or establish the truth of the promises of God.
8. "Confirm" = to make good or establish; make sure.
9. "Promises" = announcements; the act of promising; refers to those promises which related to the coming of the Messiah.
10. "Fathers" = refers to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
11. Both phrases basically are saying He came to establish or to show that the promises are true.
1. "Gentiles" = all who are not Jews; the benefits of the gospel were not to be confined to the Jews and since God designed that those benefits should extend to the Gentiles, so Jewish converts ought to be willing to admit them and treat them as brethren.
2. "Glorify" = praise; give thanks.
3. First "for" = on account of.
4. "Mercy" = kindness or good will towards the miserable and the afflicted, joined with a desire to help them.
5. "It is written" = perfect tense which reveals a completed action in past time and stands on record today.
6. Paul uses many OT verses as a follow up of verse 4.
A. Pattern of progress for the Gentiles. V. 9b‑12
a. The Gentiles hear the Word.
7. Paul quotes Psa. 18:49 where David was speaking.
8. "For this cause" = because of this; primary preposition denoting the channel of an act.
9. "Confess" = to acknowledge openly and joyfully.
10. "To thee" = to God.
11. "Among" = in the midst of; the Gentiles hear the Word.
12. "Sing unto thy name" = celebrate thy praise; this supposes that benefits would be conferred on them, for which they would celebrate His goodness.
b. The Gentiles rejoice with the Jews.
1. "Again" = it is written; quotes Deut. 32:43.
2. "Saith" = affirm over; maintain.
3. "Rejoice" = to put in a good frame of mind; to be glad; to be merry.
4. "With" = preposition denoting association; implies being together.
5. "His people" = Jews.
6. The design of this quotation is to show that the OT speaks of the Gentiles as called on to celebrate the praises of God.
c. The Gentiles praise God on their own.
1. "Again" = it is written; quotes Psa. 117:1.
2. "Praise" = extol; to praise highly; speak well of.
3. "Lord" = master; owner; the one who has control.
4. "Laud" = to approve; to praise; commend.
5. "All ye people" = this is a call on all nations, Jew and Gentile to praise the Lord.
d. The Gentiles trust Christ and enjoy His reign.
1. "Again" = it is written; quotes Isa. 11:10.
2. "Esaias" = Isaiah.
3. "Saith" = affirm over; maintain.
4. "Root" = offspring; progeny; refers to Jesus who is an offspring of David who is an offspring of Jesse.
5. "Shall rise" = raise up; just as a sprout springs up from a decayed or fallen tree, Jesus rose from the family of David that had fallen into poverty and humble life in the time of Mary.
6. "To reign over" = to rule; to be first in political power and rank.
7. "Him" = root of Jesse; Jesus.
8. "Trust" = to hope; means to build hope on one, as on a foundation. (I Cor. 3:11)
B. Paul's prayer. V 13
1. "Hope" = desire of something good with the expectation of obtaining it.
2. "God of hope" = refers to God who gives us the hope which we have in Christ.
3. "Fill" = to furnish or supply liberally; means to spread through out one's soul.
4. "Joy" = gladness; cheerfulness.
5. "Peace" = the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and as a result fearing nothing from God and content with one's earthly lot, of whatever sort it is; refers to the peace of God that passeth understanding. (Phil. 4:6‑7)
6. "In believing" = in faith; speaking of a serving (living) faith because this is written to saints who already had saving faith.
7. "Abound" = to exceed a fixed number or measure; to be over; to exist in abundance; speaks of a superabundance.
8. "Through" = by means of.
9. "Power" = ability; refers to the power residing in the Holy Ghost (Spirit) by virtue of His nature; it is by means of the powerful operation of the Holy Ghost that we have hope of eternal life now.
2) Paul's ministry to the Jews and Gentiles. V. 14‑22
1. Paul compliments the Gentiles to whom he was writing.
2. "Persuaded" = convinced; come to a point of believing; perfect tense which reveals a past completed act with existing results.
3. "Brethren" = from the same womb; refers to the Gentile Christians; an address of affection.
4. "Full of goodness" = full of uprightness of heart and life; refers to the Christian love which bears infirmities of the weaker brother; part of the fruit of the Spirit. (Gal. 5:22‑23)
5. "Filled" = to cause to abound.
6. "Knowledge" = signifies in general, intelligence and understanding; refers to Christian knowledge in its entirety. (I John 2:27; John 16:13)
7. "Able" = to be capable.
8. "Admonish" = to warn; exhort; instruct.
9. "One another" = reciprocally; mutually; refers to each individual and not leave one out.
A. Involved a special message. V. 15‑17
1. "Nevertheless" = not withstanding; but; shows a contrast.
2. "Brethren" = from the same womb; the saints.
3. "More boldly" = requiring or showing courage.
4. "In some sort" = in part.
5. "Putting you in mind" = calling to your remembrance.
6. "Grace" = favor unmerited.
7. "Given" = to appoint to an office; Paul was a grace preacher and he had a special message--the gospel of grace.
1. "Minister" = word is used of a public minister applied mainly to the Levitical priesthood who ministered and served at the altar.
2. "Of Jesus Christ" = implies a divine call from the Lord.
3. "To the Gentiles" = the ones to whom Paul was to mainly minister to; refers to all others besides Jews. (Acts 9:15)
4. "Ministering" = preform holy service; to minister in the manner of a priest; Paul speaks of his ministry to the Gentiles as a priestly ministry of equal value and sacredness to the ministry of the priesthood of the OT.
5. "Gospel" = good news; here called "the gospel of God" = the good news of the grace of God manifest and pledged in Christ.
6. "Offering up" = a sacrifice; used of any offering to God; denotes the offering which the Gentiles who were converted to Christianity made of themselves‑‑their devoting themselves to God; the Gentiles were the offering, Paul's offering.
7. "Acceptable" = well received; approved.
8. "Being sanctified" = made holy; just as the sacrifices in OT time was prepared or made fit to be an offering, the Gentiles were rendered holy, or made fit to be offered by the converting and purifying influence of the Holy Ghost (Spirit); perfect tense which reveals a past completed act with existing results. (I Peter 1:2)
1. "Therefore" = in view of the fact just stated.
2. "I have whereof" = I have cause.
3. "Glory" = boasting; praise, thanksgiving; joy.
4. "Through Jesus Christ" = by the assistance of Jesus Christ; Paul ascribe his success among the Gentiles to the aid which Jesus Christ had rendered him.
5. "Those things which pertain to God" = the things which God has commanded and which pertain to His honor and glory.
6. The grace message gives all the glory to the Lord Jesus Christ.
B. Involved special miracles. V. 18‑19
1. "For I will not dare to speak" = I should be afraid to speak, if the thing were not as I have stated; I should be afraid to set up a claim beyond that which is strictly in accordance with the truth.
2. "Wrought" = to perform; accomplish; achieve; Christ is the actual worker, and the servant is the instrument through whom Christ accomplishes His purpose.
3. "To make the Gentiles obedient" = to bring them to obey the gospel.
4. "By word" = uttered by a living voice; refers to the preaching of Paul. (I Cor. 1:21)
5. "Deed" = work; refers to all other means besides preaching‑‑by example and by miracles as the next verse makes clear. (II Cor. 3:2; Phil. 1:27)
1. "Through" = preposition denoting instrumentality; signs and wonders were used to capture the Gentiles attention.
2. "Signs" = fingerpost of God; miracles by which God authenticates the men sent by Him, or by which men prove that the cause they are pleading is God's; described as "mighty" = powerful.
3. "Wonders" = miracles; different word than the one translated "signs" yet similar.
4. "By the power of the Spirit of God" = means those miracles were performed by the power of the Holy Spirit using Paul as a human instrumentality.
5. "So that" = insomuch that; shows the results.
6. "From Jerusalem" = as a center of his work; the center of all religious operations and preaching under the gospel; this it not the place where "Paul began to preach" (Gal. 1:17‑18), but it was the place where the gospel was first preached.
7. "And round about" = in a circle; that is, taking Jerusalem as a center, he had fully preached round that center until he came unto Illyricum.
8. "Illyricum" = province lying to the northwest of Macedonia; there is nowhere in the Acts mentioned of Paul going into Illyricum, but into Macedonia which is "unto" Illyricum's borders.
9. "Fully preached" = one word in the Greek; to fill up; to complete; means filling up all that region with the gospel (II Tim. 4:17); used here in the sense of scattering abroad or of filling up all that region (a large portion of the known world) with the gospel.
10. "Gospel" = good news; called here "the gospel of Christ" = the good news of Jesus Christ's death, burial, and resurrection (I Cor. 15:1‑4) and everything involved in it such as His virgin birth, sinless life, vicarious death, burial, resurrection, ascension, ministry of intercession, and His bodily coming again.
C. Involved a special method. V. 20‑22
1. "Yea" = but; forms a transition to a specific matter.
2. "Strived" = to be ambitious; to make it one's aim; to desire earnestly.
3. "Preach the gospel" = one word in the Greek; to announce the good news of salvation to be obtained through Christ and His finished work on the cross.
4. "Not where Christ was named" = where the gospel had not been preached before.
5. "Lest I should build upon another man's foundation" = Paul was a pioneer and his primary calling was to preach where the gospel had not been preached; he established churches instead of going where men had already preached and established churches. By so doing, he did not build upon another man's foundation.
1. "As it is written" = perfect tense which reveals a completed action in past time and stands on record today; Isa. 52:15, not literally quoted but gives the sense; the design of this quotation is to justify the principle on which the apostle acted.
2. "To whom" = "they" = refers to the Gentiles.
3. "He" = refers to Christ.
4. It was revealed that the gospel should be preached to the Gentiles and Paul regarded it as a high honor to be the instrument of carrying this prophecy into effect.
5. "Understand" = to set or join together in the mind; this can only be accomplished by the effectual work of the Holy Spirit, but He uses human instrumentality.
1. "For which cause" = referring to this special method‑‑going where Christ had not been preached.
2. "Much hindered" = to interrupt; to impede one's course by cutting off his way; refers to the fact that he had so many frequent and urgent demands on his time elsewhere that he could not come to them where the gospel had been preached; he had desired to come, but had been unable to leave the vast region so that he might preach the gospel to those who had never heard it; he was not hindered by Satan, but by the demands of so many places where the gospel had not been preached.
3. Paul's ministry involved a special message‑‑gospel of grace, special miracles‑‑signs and wonders that authenticated him as being sent from God, and a special method‑‑going where Christ had not been preached. He fulfilled his ministry to the extent he could make the bold statement of II Tim. 4:6‑8.
4. He fulfilled the principle of service to others in such a way that what he left behind is still being of service to us today.
3) The church's ministry to the Jews and Gentiles.
A. Paul expresses his desire to visit them. V. 23‑24
1. "But now" = at this very moment.
2. "Having no more place" = opportunity; occasion; demands.
3. "In these parts" = in the regions specified in verse 19.
4. "Great desire" = one word in the Greek; a longing.
5. "Many" = sufficient; enough; the idea is that he had desired to come to them long enough and now he was ready to have his hopes fulfilled.
1. "Spain" = included the modern kingdoms of Spain and Portugal or the entire Spanish peninsula; a Roman province under Roman control at this time.
2. "Trust" = to hope; desire.
3. "In my journey" = passing through; journeying through and on the way to Spain; Paul does not say that his principal object was to visit the church at Rome, as much as he desired to, but only to do so on the way to fulfill his higher purpose‑‑to preach the gospel in the regions where Christ was not named.
4. "Whensoever" = if; in case; we do not have a record of Paul ever making this journey.
5. "To be brought on my way" = to be assisted by you in regard to this journey; to be accompanied by you; both may be involved as this was the custom of the churches to escort the saints as they traveled from their city to their next destination and also outfit them with the necessities for his journey.
6. "Thitherward" = to that place.
7. "Somewhat" = in part; in some measure.
8. "Filled" = take one's fill of; satisfied to the full; means that before being supplied by the necessities for his journey or escorted on this way, Paul wanted to be satisfied to the full or saturated with their company or fellowship; he was hungry to see them.
B. The Gentile church minister to the Jews. V. 25‑26
1. "But" = reveals a contrast; Paul had a desire and was ready "but" he still had something he needed to do‑‑minister to the saints.
2. "Minister" = serve; to minister with a supply of food and necessities of life.
3. "Saints" = saved; Christians; those who have had a "sanctifying work" of the Holy Spirit completed in their lives. (I Peter 1:2; John 16:8‑11)
4. One of Paul's chief cares for over a year had been collecting items and money from the Gentile churches to help the poor saints at Jerusalem.
1. "Pleased" = to take pleasure in; to do willingly.
2. "Them of Macedonia" = refers to the Christians in Macedonia, those who had been Gentiles, and who had been converted to the Christian religion; Macedonia was a Roman province of Europe where Paul had established churches at Philippi and Thessalonica.
3. "Achaia" = a province of Greece of which Corinth was the capital; refers to the Christians in Achaia.
4. "Contribution" = a collecting; a gift jointly contributed; to share what you have with others; described as "certain" = a word that shows there was no assessment to raise a prescribed amount, but it was more or less according to the willingness of the individual and the circumstances he was in. (I Cor. 16:1-2)
5. "Poor" = destitute of wealth and necessities of life.
6. "Saints" = saved; Christians.
7. "Poor saints" = poor among the saints; not all were poor, but many were, due to conditions around Jerusalem and persecutions from the religious crowd of which Paul had had a great hand in, before he was saved; now he is bringing aid to those he had caused to suffer.
C. Reasons for this offering being given to the Jewish saints by the Gentile church. V. 27‑33
a. Spiritual Obligation.
1. "Pleased" = to take pleasure in; to do willingly.
2. "Verily" = truly; indeed.
3. "Debtors" = one who owes another; one held by some obligation; the Gentiles were debtors to the Jews, because they had been made partaker of their (Jews) spiritual things.
4. "For if" = since; in view of the fact; the Greek speaks of a fulfilled condition; means in view of the fact the Gentiles have been made partakers of the Jews spiritual things.
5. "Partakers" = to become a sharer.
6. "Spiritual things" = refers to the spiritual blessings which come forth from salvation or being in Christ who was a Jew. (John 4:22)
7. "Duty" = to be in debt for; base word for debtor.
8. "Minister" = to do a service; perform a work.
9. "Carnal things" = fleshly things; things for the body; refers to material thing such as food, clothing, shelter, and in short, money in today's economy (ours).
b. Personal love.
1. Paul loved the saints in Rome and desired to come, but he needed to express his love to the Jewish saints so that the lost Jews see his love. (Rom. 10:1) This is what the lost need to see‑‑God's love through saints. Why? (Rom. 2:4: James 2:17‑18)
2. "Therefore" = these things being so.
3. "Performed" = completed; accomplished; to bring to an end.
4. "This" = what was just spoken about, carrying the collection to the poor of the saints in Jerusalem.
5. "Sealed" = to secure; refers to Paul placing the collection securely in their hands.
6. "This fruit" = the collection from the churches; the result of the liberality of the Gentile churches.
7. "I will come" = this was Paul's full purpose; but it is not clear that he ever accomplished it.
8. "By you" = stopping at Rome on the way to Spain; temporary stop at Rome with Spain as the objective.
1. "Sure" = know, expressing the fullest confidence.
2. "Fulness" = abundance.
3. "Blessing" = benefit.
4. "Gospel of Christ" = the good news of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection and all that is involved in it. (See verse 19)
c. Christian unity.
1. "Now" = denotes a change in thought.
2. "Beseech" = to beg; entreat; to call to one's side.
3. "Brethren" = from the same womb; saints at Rome.
4. Both: "For" = by; it is only by the Lord Jesus and by the love of the Spirit that anyone can strive together or do anything else for that matter.
5. "Sake" = is not in the Greek.
6. "For the Lord Jesus Christ's sake" = by our (in the Greek) Lord Jesus Christ.
7. "For the love of the Spirit" = by the mutual love and sympathy which the Spirit of God produces in the minds (hearts) of all who are saved. (Rom. 5:5)
8. "Love" = agape; God kind of love produced in the heart of all who are saved by the Holy Spirit. (Gal. 2:22‑23)
9. "Spirit" = Holy Spirit; Holy Ghost.
10. "Strive together with" = to struggle in company with; to contend along with.
11. "Prayers" = general prayer restricted to God.
12. Paul ask them to pray for three things.
a) To be delivered from unbelieving Jews.
1. "That" = introduces one reason for praying.
2. "Delivered" = to rescue.
3. "Them that do not believe" = one word in the Greek; not to allow one's self to be persuaded; to refuse or withhold belief; the word describes the unsaved Jews as being stiff‑necked and obstinate.
4. Unbelief is wicked. Religion is wicked. The unbelieving Jews were religious; therefore, they were doubly wicked. Paul anticipated trouble in returning to Jerusalem because he was considered by the Jews as an apostate because he, in their thinking, converted to Christianity while bearing letters of authority from the Jewish leaders to persecute the Christians at Damascus. Thus, Paul was aware that he would be exposed to peculiar dangers, so he wanted the Roman saints to pray. It was on this trip to Jerusalem that the Jewish leaders were instrumental in having Paul arrested as Acts 21 describes.
b) That his service be accepted.
5. "Service" = ministry; refers to the act of service which he was going to perform for them by bringing the contribution to the poor saints at Jerusalem.
6. "Accepted" = well received; there was a real danger that the contribution he brought from the Gentile churches might not be graciously accepted, or even accepted at all, for some of the Jewish believers were not happy about the entrance of the Gentiles into the fold.
7. This offering would help to heal the breach that had been caused by some saying that Paul opposed Peter because he went to the Gentiles. (Acts 15) God operated differently from what they thought He should.
c) That I may come unto you.
1. "That I may come unto you"= that I may not be hindered from my intended journey unto you by opposition in Jerusalem.
2. "Joy" = gladness; refers to joy to himself in being permitted to come and also the joy produced in the Roman saints by his presence.
3. "By the will of God" = if God will; if God permit; Paul did go by the will of God but it was in bonds as a prisoner.
4. "Refreshed" = to rest or refresh one's spirit with; Paul looked forward to a time of joy and rest beyond those anxieties and dangers he was facing.
1. "Now" = a conjunction indicating a close of the doctrinal part of the epistle and beginning his closing remarks to the saints.
2. "God of peace" = refers to God as the author and promoter of peace.
3. "With you all" = this can be a reality to us as well as the saints at Rome if we will follow the Scripture in Phil. 4:8‑9.
4. "Amen" = so be it; may it be fulfilled; used to close a thought.
Conclusion V. 1-27
1. This chapter list many by name which lets us know that Paul loved people and was interested in them. Like his Master, Paul knew his sheep by name and had a personal concern for each one.
2. There are three divisions in this chapter:
1. Some saints to greet. V. 1‑16.
3. "Commend" = to recommend; vouch for; regular word for letters of commendation; a kind of recommendation which was equivalent to a certificate or letter of church membership.
4. "Phebe" = the mention of her name in this manner indicates she may have been the bearer of this epistle written in 58 AD at Corinth which is in Greece. (Acts 20:1‑3)
5. "Our sister" = from the same womb; one connected by the tie of the new birth, thus from the same womb of God.
6. "Servant" = refers to a servant as seen in her activity; also refers to a class of females whose duty it was to teach other females (usually younger), take care of the sick and poor, minister to saints in prison, and to exercise a general supervision over female church members; she was not a deacon usurping authority over men; this class of females appear to have been aged and experienced widows, sustaining a fair reputation, and fitted to guide and instruct those who were young and inexperienced. (I Tim. 5:3, 9‑11; Titus 2:3-4; I Tim. 2:12)
7. "Church" = local, visible, called out body of baptized believers who meet together to glorify the Lord.
8. "Cenchrea" = a seaport city 9 miles east of Corinth; one of Corinth's seaport harbors.
1. "Receive" = to receive to one's self; to give access to one's self; to receive into the fellowship.
2. "Receive her in the Lord" = acknowledge her as being a Christian and a servant of the Lord.
3. "Becometh" = in a manner worthy of; receive her as it should be fitting to their position as saints, as it is proper that Christians should treat their brothers.
4. "Assist" = to stand by to help.
5. "Business" = a commercial transaction; she was going to Rome on business in which the Roman saints could be of help to her.
6. "Succourer" = a female guardian and protectress caring for the affairs of others and aiding them with her resources.
7. "Many" = much; she aided many, even Paul.
1. "Greet" = to enfold in the arms; embrace; to draw to one's self; to receive joyfully.
2. "Priscilla" = wife of "Aquila."
3. "Helpers" = companions in work, both spiritual and as a tentmaker (Acts 18:1‑3); they taught Apollos. (Acts 18:24‑26)
1. "Laid down their own necks" = literally "placed their necks under" the axe; they were willing to die that Paul could live and continue his ministry; of the time this happened we do not know nor the circumstances behind it, but Paul was thankful.
2. "Give thanks" = to be grateful; to feel thankful.
3. "Also all the churches of the Gentiles" = all the churches that had been founded by Paul felt their deep obligation to Aquila and Priscilla for having saved the life of him who had been their founder, and who was their spiritual father.
4. We too ought to be thankful to Aquila and Priscilla for we are Gentiles who heard the truth written by Paul.
1. "Likewise" = also.
2. "Greet" = embrace; enfold in the arms; not in the original but implied by the word "likewise."
3. "Church" = the people, not a building; local, visible, called out body of baptized believers who meet together to glorify the Lord.
4. "In their house" = these two had started a church in their home; the early churches had no buildings to meet in like we do today.
5. "Salute" = greet.
6. "Well-beloved" = esteemed; dear; worthy of love (Christian love).
7. "Epaenetus" = name means "praise‑worthy"; possibly of the house of Stephanas which is also called the firstfruits of Achaia. (I Cor. 16:15)
8. "Firstfruits" = one of the first ones saved at Achaia.
9. "Achaia" = a Roman province of Greece of which Corinth was the capital.
1. "Greet" = embrace; enfold in the arms.
2. "Mary" = one of six women named Mary in the NT; we know very little about her except for her strenuous labor on behalf of the Lord's servants.
3. "Bestowed labour" = one word in the Greek; to labor with wearisome effort; described as "much." (Phil. 4:3)
1. "Salute" = greet.
2. "Andronicus" = name means "man of victory"; this is the only time his name is mentioned.
3. "Junia" = name means "youthful"; some say this is a woman but text indicates this is a man; this is the only time his name is mentioned.
4. "Kinsmen" = means fellow Jews, not close blood relatives; these two men were Jews.
5. "Fellowprisoners" = to share the same prison; perhaps these two men shared one of Paul's numerous imprisonments.
6. "Of note" = denotes those who are marked, designated, or distinguished in any way.
7. "Apostles" = messengers of churches; Greek word refers to those who are sent from one church to another on some important business; they are not apostles in the sense that Paul was because there is no record of their meeting the qualification of being a witness of Christ's resurrection. (Acts 1:22‑23)
8. "In Christ" = expression meaning to be united to Him or to be converted or saved.
9. "Before me" = these two men were saved or converted before Paul was.
1. "Greet" = to enfold in the arms; embrace; to receive joyfully.
2. "Amplias" = the name means "large"; some believe he was a slave but that he was of high standing in the church.
3. "Beloved" = esteemed; dear; worthy of love because of being in the Lord (saved); described as "my beloved" = probably a convert of Paul's.
1. "Salute" = greet.
2. "Urbane" = a common Roman slave name found among members of a household; means "belonging to the city."
3. "Helper" = companion in work; fellow‑laborer; he must have been with Paul on some part of one of Paul's missionary journey and was his helper.
4. "In Christ" = qualifies the work referred to as being spiritual and not physical.
5. "Stachys" = not a common name meaning "a head of grain;" we do not know much about either of these men but they were honored to be named in this epistle by their friend and leader.
6. "Beloved" = esteemed; dear; worthy of love and loved by Paul who described him as "my beloved" = probably a convert of Paul.
1. "Salute" = greet.
2. "Apelles" = name means "called"; we do not know much about him except that he was "approved in Christ."
3. "Approved" = tried; traditional history says that Apelles was approved (tried) by suffering and great tribulation.
4. "Aristobulus' household" = the younger Aristobulus was a grandson of Herod the Great and it is believed that Paul is referring to some of the servants in his household who had become Christians; the Greek indicates Paul is not talking about Aristobulus himself but those connected to him thus the translators inserted "household."
1. "Salute" = greet.
2. "Herodion" = one belonging to the Herod family.
3. "My kinsman" = means a fellow Jew, not a close blood relative.
4. "Greet" = to enfold in the arms; embrace; to receive joyfully.
5. "Them that be of the household of Narcissus" = the same case and principle as "Aristobulus' household" in verse 10; there was a famous freed‑man of this name that was put to death by Agrippa, thus Paul may have been referring to members of his household.
6. "Which are in the Lord" = "being in the Lord"; refers to them as being saved.
1. "Salute" = greet.
2. "Tryphena and Tryphosa" = women slave names and near relatives, most likely sisters and possibly twins, to whom it was quite common to give names derived from the same root word.
3. "Labour" = to grow weary, tired, and exhausted with toil or burdens or grief; qualified by "in the Lord" thus referring to spiritual labor instead of physical.
4. "Persis" = a Persian Christian woman; we know very little concerning her except what is recorded here; she must have been older than Tryphena and Tryphosa because they were in the process of laboring while Persis' labor was in the past.
5. "Beloved" = esteemed; dear; worthy of love; notice Paul did not say "my beloved" as he did in verse 8 concerning Amplias, even though she may have been considered his convert. Why? Probably because Paul was very careful not to say anything about a woman that would or could be misconstrued and bring reproach upon his ministry.
1. "Salute" = greet.
2. "Rufus" = name means "red" or "red haired;" may have been the son of Simon who was compelled to bear the cross of Christ. (Mark 15:21)
3. "Chosen in the Lord" = to select (Eph. 1:4); root word for "elect"; based upon three things: (I Peter 1:2; II Thess. 2:13)
A. "Foreknowledge" = He sees and knows what He can do in one's heart (I Sam. 16:7); a potter knows his clay.
B. "Sanctification of the Spirit" = refers to the setting apart work of the Holy Spirit called "godly sorrow" (II Cor. 7:10), "Holy Ghost conviction," or "reproval" (John 16:8‑11) whereby the Holy Spirit brings one out of the kingdom of darkness and sphere of the Devil's control into the kingdom of light and the sphere of God's control; this works repentance and produces faith in the sinner.
C. "Obedience" = point when repentance and faith are worked then a sinner can repent and believe into salvation thus obedience; man must repent and believe to be saved. (Luke 13:3; Acts 16:31)
4. Paul called Rufus' mother "mine" = his mother in a literal sense, and "mine" in a figurative sense, possibly because Paul had stayed in her home maybe more than once, thus he adopted her (in a figurative sense) as his own mother. (Matt. 19:27‑29)
1. "Salute" = greet.
2. "Asyncritus" = name means "incomparable"; we do not have any more information on who this is.
3. "Phlegon" = name means "burning"; this is the only time his name is mentioned.
4. "Hermas" = a very common slave name; according to tradition, he was one of the seventy disciples. (Luke 10:1).
5. "Patrobas" = name of a freed-man of Nero and could have been this man.
6. "Hermes" = named only here.
7. "The brethren which are with them" = may refer to a church which met in one of their houses.
1. "Salute" = greet.
2. "Philologus" = another common slave name which means "lover of the Word."
3. "Julia" = name means "soft-haired;" the most common name for female slaves in the imperial household because of Julius Caesar; she may have been the wife of Philologus.
4. "Nereus" = this name was found in the inscriptions of the imperial household; his sister's name was not given and we have no idea why.
5. "Olympas" = name means "heavenly"; we do not have more information concerning this man.
6. "All the saints which are with them" = possibly another church in one of these men's houses.
1. "Salute" = greet.
2. "One another" = reciprocally; mutually.
3. "Kiss" = a sign of brotherly affection; described as "holy" = distinguishes the greeting from the ordinary greeting of natural affection; this is the eastern mode of greeting as hand‑shaking is in the west; this was practiced as a token of Christian love, men kissed men and women kissed women; Jesus marked its absence in reprimanding Simon the Pharisee in Luke 7:45; Judas' kiss of betrayal in Luke 22:47‑48 was not thought to be strange by the disciples.
4. "The churches of Christ" = the true churches in the vicinity of the place where the apostle wrote this epistle.
2. Some sinners to avoid. V. 17‑20
1. "Beseech" = to beg; exhort.
2. "Brethren" = from the same womb; refers to the saints who are all born again from the womb of God.
3. "Mark" = to look at; contemplate; to fix one's eyes upon; direct one's attention to; scrutinize; to consider; observe attentively, cautiously, and faithfully; be on guard against them; the tense is continuous action.
4. "Which cause" = who make; probably referring to Jewish teachers or those who insisted on the observance of the law of Moses.
5. "Division" = dissensions; parties; factions; refers to dividing people to where there are "sides" in the church; the very attempt to form sides in the church is evil, carnal, and hated by God. (I Cor. 3:3; Pro. 6:16-19)
6. "Offences" = an impediment placed in the way and causing one to stumble or fall; that which give occasion for others to fall into sin.
7. The words "divisions" and "offences" have the definite article "the" in front of each in the Greek, indicating that both were well‑known to Roman saints.
8. "Contrary" = opposite to.
9. "Doctrine" = teaching; refers to the teaching of the truth.
10. "Learned" = to understand.
11. "Avoid" = to turn aside; turn away from; to shun one.
12. You may say that is not Christian. Yes, it is because it is Bible. Church discipline is just as much a doctrine that we need to learn and practice as the doctrine of baptism. (I Cor. 5:6)
13. "Contrary" = clarifies who to avoid‑‑those who go against the true teaching (doctrine); sometimes true doctrine causes division and offences. (Luke 12:51‑53; I Cor. 1:23)
14. This is not talking about a one time occurrence. In fact this should only be practiced after Mat. 18:15-17 is fulfilled.
1. "Such" = of this kind or sort.
2. "Serve" = to yield obedience; negated by "not"; even though they profess to be His followers, in reality they are not; they are not saved who practice such. (I John 3:9)
3. "Their own belly" = a blunt phrase referring to their own private interest or for the indulgence of some earthly appetite or gratify the love of dominion (power; rule); they do what they do for selfish gain.
4. "Good words" = one word in the Greek; fair speech and polished language with an appearance of great sincerity and regard for the truth.
5. "Fair speeches" = one word in the Greek; praise; flattery; language artfully adapted to captivate the hearer and persuade them over to their "side."
6. "Deceive" = beguile; not merely making a false impression but "leading astray."
7. "Hearts" = refers to the soul or mind, as it is the foundation and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, and endeavors.
8. "Simple" = unsuspecting; innocent; free from guilt; without guile.
1. "For" = introduces a reason for the preceding admonition regarding erroneous doctrines.
2. "Obedience" = compliance; submission; refers to their mild, obedient disposition to learn, and to obey the precepts of the teachers of religion.
3. "Is come abroad" = to come from, then to arrive at. (Rom. 1:8)
4. "Glad" = delighted; to rejoice.
5. "On your behalf" = over you.
6. "But yet" = a conjunction indicating his concern about them.
7. "Would have" = to wish; to desire.
8. "Wise" = skilled; wise in a practical sense.
9. "Good" = upright; honorable; refers to the things of God.
10. "Simple" = innocent; unmixed; pure; free from guile; without a mixture of evil; different word from verse 18, yet similar.
11. "Evil" = of a bad nature; base; wrong; wicked; refers to the things of the devil.
12. Prior to disobedience, Adam and Eve were innocent (simple) regarding "good" and "evil."
1. "Peace" = to bind together that which was separated; when divisions are bound together again, the result is peace.
2. "Satan" = the adversary of God; the prince (ruler) of evil spirits; the author of all attempts to promote discord in the church.
3. "Bruise" = to subdue, to gain victory over; to trample under foot; to crush; the language refers to the prophecy in Gen. 3:15; a blessed promise of final victory over Satan by "the God of Peace."
4. "Shortly" = quickness; speed; speedily; soon, as God counts time.
5. The first part of this verse denotes Paul's confidence that they would gain the victory, and would be able to overcome all the attacks of those who were endeavoring to sow discord and contention among them.
6. Until this becomes a reality the Lord wants patient loyalty from us and will gives us grace to wait on God and stay faithful.
7. "Grace" = unmerited favor; undeserving favor; a favor freely bestowed upon another without expecting anything in return.
8. This type of grace can only be of the Lord Jesus Christ.
9. "With" = to accompany; Paul in effect is praying, asking the Lord for His grace to accompany them.
10. "You" = refers to the saints to whom Paul is writing (Rom. 1:7); therefore, he is referring to sanctifying grace, not justifying grace, because he is speaking to those who had already been justified (saved.)
11. Sanctifying grace is the grace that enables the saints of God to overcome obstacles and keep on keeping on for the glory of God. And that grace is (not has been or will be) sufficient. (II Cor. 12:9) The saints are standing in that grace and we have access by faith. (Rom. 5:2)
12. "Amen" = so be it; surely; truly; indeed; may it be fulfilled.
3. Some servants to honor. V. 21‑24
1. "Timotheus" = Timothy; a resident of Lystra whose father was a Greek and mother a Jewess; Paul's son in the ministry (Phil. 2:19-22); Paul's travelling companion and fellow laborer.
2. "Workfellow" = a companion in work.
3. "Lucius" = a man of Cyrene who was a prophet and a teacher of the church in Antioch (Acts 13:1); some think this might be Luke the physician, but I think not; nothing more is known of him.
4. "Jason" = Thessalonians who entertained Paul and Silas (Acts 17:4‑5); may have been a cousin of Paul; nothing else is known about him.
5. "Sosipater" = do not know anything concerning him except what is written here.
6. "Kinsmen" = fellow Jews, not close blood relative.
7. "Salute" = greet.
1. "Tertius" = Paul's secretary; possible Roman known by the believers at Rome.
2. "Wrote" = penned the words Paul dictated to him as the Holy Spirit moved on Paul. (II Peter 1:21; II Tim. 3:16)
3. "Epistle" = letter; referring to this letter to the Roman saints, we call the book of Romans.
4. Paul's custom usually was to dictate his letters to someone else probably because of his poor eye sight as Gal. 4:13‑15 and 6:11 bears out. When he dictated his letters to someone else, he signed his own name and added a salutation in his own hand writing (Col. 4:18) which he says was done in every epistle. (II Thess. 3:17) His signature kept letters from being sent forged with Paul's signature, which may have been done at Thessalonica. (II Thess. 2:2)
5. Paul was gracious to Tertius as he allowed him to make his greeting personal instead of being treated as a dictating machine‑‑"I Tertius, salute you in the Lord."
6. "Salute" = greet.
7. "In the Lord" = as a Christian brother; establishes the fact that his greeting was on the basis of being a fellow Christian.
1. "Gaius" = a man of Corinth who was his host in Paul's second journey in that city from which this book was written; baptized by Paul. (I Cor. 1:14)
2. "Host" = one who receives and entertains another hospitably; he was also host of the whole church which means a church met at Gaius' house; by doing this he was probably a man of means.
3. "Whole" = all; completely.
4. "Church" = a local, visible, body of baptized believers who meet together to glorify the Lord.
5. "Saluteth" = greet; Gaius and all the church who met in Gaius' house send their greetings.
6. "Erastus" = a companion of Paul from Corinth.
7. "Chamberlain" = treasurer; one who presided over the financial affairs of the city; an office of trust and of great importance, showing that all who were converted at Corinth were not of the lowest rank; I Cor. 1:26 implies there were some (not many) of noble rank called.
8. "Quartus" = name means "four"; some think he had been a slave, for many slaves had only numbers for a name; whether this is so or not, he had a beautiful tribute‑‑he was a "brother" = from the same womb; born again into the family of God.
1. This is Paul's familiar benediction and he gives double emphasis as verse 20 is similar.
2. "Grace" = unmerited favor; undeserving favor; see verse 20.
3. "Amen" = so be it; surely; truly; indeed.
4. Paul closes with praise. V. 25‑27
1. Paul began the letter with the prayer that he might "impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established." (Rom. 1:11) Now he concludes with an ascription of praise.
2. "To him" = God who is able.
3. "Power" = to be able; to be capable, strong, and powerful. (Eph. 3:20)
4. "Stablish" = to make stable; place firmly; set fast; to strengthen; make firm; to establish.
5. "According to my gospel" = refers to the doctrines which Paul had been defending in this epistle; called "my" gospel, not because he was the author of it, or because others did not preach it also, but because he had been particularly defending it in this epistle.
6. "Preaching" = proclamation; heralding forth; refers to proclaiming forth none other than Jesus Christ. (Acts 4:12)
7. "Revelation" = unveiling; manifestation.
8. "Mystery" = that which is hidden or concealed; refers to something hidden and unknown but later revealed and then understood.
9. "Kept secret" = to be kept in silence; been concealed.
10. "Since the world began" = in all past times; we could say, "they have always been concealed."
1. "But now" = contrast; things have changed.
2. "Made manifest" = to render apparent; make clear; make known or visible what has been hidden or unknown; this was done by the Scriptures of the prophets.
3. "Scriptures" = writings.
4. "Prophets" = prophetic; refers to that which proceeded from a prophet which was his writings or "prophetic Scriptures" mothered (moved) by the Holy Ghost (II Peter 1:21); the early NT prophets are indicated here, because it was through them God revealed the truths of the church and the gospel of grace.
5. "Commandment" = command.
6. "Everlasting" = eternal; without beginning and end; God who is eternal is therefore unchanged; He had concealed this truth, but He intended that it should be revealed and by His command, the gospel has been made known, in and by His Son.
7. "Made known" = to have a thorough knowledge of; refers to having an understanding of.
8. "All nations" = Gentiles as well as Jews.
9. "For" = with a view to.
10. "Obedience of faith" = compliance and submission to the requirements of the gospel; this involves repenting and believing (Luke 13:3; Acts 16:31) which is what Paul preached (Acts 20:20‑21); requires the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit (I Peter 1:2; II Thess. 2:13); those who do not obey will experience everlasting destruction. (II Thess. 1:7‑9)
11. Paul is referring to the fact that God is in charge of the redemptive work and gives His orders.
1. The letter to the Romans is completed. If we understand it and apply it, this verse will be true to us and ours as well.
2. "God" = refers to the Godhead.
3. "Only" = alone; refers to the fact that only God is wise. (I Tim. 1:17)
4. "Wise" = skilled; expert; refers to forming the best plans and using the best means for their execution, which is exactly what God did in His plan of salvation; this statement verifies that God is a Sovereign (chief; supreme; above all others) God.
5. "Glory" = praise; honor; splendor; brightness; dignity; majesty; manifestation of that which brings forth praise.
6. "Through" = primary preposition which denotes the channel of an act (Col. 2:9); by means of the work which Jesus Christ has performed.
7. "For ever" = eternity; an unbroken age.
8. "Amen" = so be it; may it be fulfilled.
9. This is God's Word and it shall be just as He spoke it through His servant Paul. So be it! May it be fulfilled!