Romans 15-16 Bible Study

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Romans 15

Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength, and not just please ourselves.

As a reminder, we just learned that there are some people with a weak conscience. Some people see you drinking a glass of wine, and all kinds of alarms go off. They freak out if you see a rated R movie. There some that would never eat meat sacrifice to nonexistent gods. And the point is, just because we have been made free in Christ, we don’t need to be rude about our freedom when dealing with weaker Christians.

Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification.

Let build each other up, NOT tear them down. Legalists love to tear us down. Our goal is to build them up.

For even Christ did not please Himself, but as it is written: “The taunts of those who taunt You have fallen on Me.”

Jesus took our transgressions on himself. They gave Jesus a hard time, and He still humbled himself. So we’re learning that, even if you’re right, we can show some humility too.

 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Some will use this verse to suggest that this is proof that the law is still for us. But we need to read the old with a clear vision of how the story CONCLUDED. With prophecy being fulfilled. We get rescued just as promised.

Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another, according to Christ Jesus, so that with one purpose and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This is about being united as one in Christ. We are not supposed to be divided over a bunch of silly things. You got some Christians who would never go around someone who drinks wine, you’ve got some who will despise you if you think your salvation is secure no matter what. Christians should be able to have some opposing views, including about some scriptures, and still be civil and united. Imagine what the world thinks of us when they see us divided over so many silly things that people have elevated to be mountains when they are really just molehills.

Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us, for the glory of God.

If you called on Jesus, how did He accept you? JUST AS YOU ARE. Most of us had almost no theology when we were saved. Jesus did not hold off waiting for us to get it all right.

For I say that Christ has become a servant to the circumcision in behalf of the truth of God, to confirm the promises given to the fathers, and for the Gentiles to glorify God for His mercy; as it is written:

Therefore I will give praise to You among the Gentiles,
And I will sing praises to Your name.”

Circumcision is referring to Jewish people. And he’s addressing Jewish people and Gentiles who are arguing back-and-forth. Some Jews think Gentiles are dirty and uninvited to the table. The point is there is neither Jew nor Gentile. We are all equal and one in Christ. And Paul is certainly silencing the Gentiles when he starts showing them some of the Scriptures prophesying about the inclusion of Gentiles.

10 Again he says Rejoice, you Gentiles, with His people.”

11 And again, Praise the Lord all you Gentiles, And let all the peoples praise Him.”

So again Paul is pointing out the Scriptures to make the Jewish people get it. And he’s not done…

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

 This is about us! This is old covenant scriptures foretelling about Jesus and the gospel being offered to the entire world.

13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

14 And concerning you, my brothers and sisters, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able also to admonish one another.

I see Paul’s following his own advice as he’s building the Romans up and edifying them with these words.

15 But I have written very boldly to you on some points so as to remind you again, because of the grace that was given to me from God, 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, so that my offering of the Gentiles may become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 17 Therefore in Christ Jesus I have found reason for boasting in things pertaining to God.

18 For I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me, resulting in the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed,

I know a lot of people like to throw the word obedience around. But they usually do it out of context. Paul has been sharing the gospel with the Gentiles and he is crediting Jesus for doing it both in and through him. The obedience that’s being discussed here is that the Gentiles believe the message they heard from Paul about Jesus.

 19 in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit; so that from Jerusalem and all around as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

Good news indeed. The Jews and Gentiles hated each other. The gospel brought us together. It should do that today, and dare I say it, but it should unite us even when politicians push a different message. There are neither Jews nor gentiles. Black or white. Male or Female. We are united and all accepted in Jesus Christ.

I’m just going to read these final verses and I want you to see how Paul leaves them. It’s really awesome.

20 And in this way I aspired to preach the gospel, not where Christ was already known by name, so that I would not build on another person’s foundation; 21 but just as it is written:

They who have not been told about Him will see,
And they who have not heard will understand.”

22 For this reason I have often been prevented from coming to you; 23 but now, with no further place for me in these regions, and since I have had for many years a longing to come to you 24 whenever I go to Spain—for I hope to see you in passing, and to be helped on my way there by you, when I have first enjoyed your company for a while— 25 but now, I am going to Jerusalem, serving the saints. 26 For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem.

27 For they were pleased to do so, and they are indebted to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are indebted to do them a service also in material things. 28 Therefore, when I have finished this, and have put my seal on this fruit of theirs, I will go on by way of you to Spain. 29 I know that when I come to you, I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ.

30 Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me, 31 that I may be rescued from those who are disobedient in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may prove acceptable to the saints; 32 so that I may come to you in joy by the will of God and relax in your company. 33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

I normally don’t combine chapters but chapter 16 it’s pretty short and I think it would be good to hear how he flows through the rest of this letter. It also doesn’t require a lot of teaching because the bulk of it is a lot of greeting people.

Romans Chapter 16

16 I recommend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea, that you receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the [saints, and that you help her in whatever matter she may have need of you; for she herself has also been a helper of many, and of myself as well.

And then we just see a bunch of greetings and NO I can not pronounce most of these names.

Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only do I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles; also greet the church that is in their house. Greet Epaenetus, my beloved, who is the first convert to Christ from Asia. Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you. Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsfolk and my fellow prisoners, who are outstanding in the view of the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord. Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and Stachys my beloved. 10 Greet Apelles, the approved in Christ. Greet those who are of the household of Aristobulus. 11 Greet Herodion, my kinsman. Greet those of the household of Narcissus, who are in the Lord. 12 Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa, workers in the Lord. Greet Persis the beloved, who has worked hard in the Lord. 13 Greet Rufus, a choice man in the Lord, also his mother and mine. 14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers and sisters with them. 15 Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them. 16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.

Paul made the time to mention each of them by name. He clearly loved them.

17 Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. 18 For such people are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. 19 For the report of your obedience has reached everyone; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good, and innocent in what is evil. 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.

The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

He saying let’s be very careful that we don’t get it twisted up with any teaching that is contrary to the truth. Watch out for those trying to tie in law and grace. They sound super smooth, ominous, and religious, but at the end of the day they are some of the meanest people and they will not permit you to rest with your father,

21 Timothy, my fellow worker, greets you, and so do Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my kinsmen. 22 I, Tertius, who have written this letter, greet you in the Lord. 23 Gaius, host to me and to the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the city treasurer, greets you, and Quartus, the brother.

Again addressing a number of people whose names I cannot pronounce.

25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past,

The mystery is that we Gentiles were included in the gospel and saved too!

 26 but now has been disclosed, and through the Scriptures of the prophets, in accordance with the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith; 27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen.

Again what is this obedience about? It’s about believing God. Believing that he sent Jesus to rescue us. But Jesus indeed was resurrected from the dead and has the authority in the power to give us that same eternal life. Amen

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