Book of Romans, Part Three
(Rom 12:1 KJV) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Paul earnestly pleads with the Roman Christians to present their bodies as a living sacrifice in order for them to be holy (i.e., sanctified) and acceptable to God. He then states that this is their reasonable service that is owed to God. Reasonable service means rational service that is performed by the exercising of the mind, which is part of the soul. This is a decision that the Christian must make. It is not automatic upon spiritual rebirth, as so many Christians believe. They are to do this by way of the Holy One of God. The Greek word for “mercies” is also translated “Holy One” and appears to be referring to Jesus Christ. Paul is addressing the works that a Christian is to perform by allowing the Holy One to live his life in his body. For the Christian to present his body as a living sacrifice, he must first die to self and allow Christ to live his life in the Christian. This is the only way the Christian can live a holy life that is acceptable to God the Father.
This is the manner by which Christians can realize the salvation of their souls, and the following verses address this in more detail.
(Rom 12:2 KJV) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Paul continues to exhort the Christians at Rome by explaining that they need to be transformed by the renewing of their minds. The mind is part of the soul and it is still in a fallen state after the Christian has been spiritually regenerated. The mind of the Christian must be renewed on a continual basis up until the time that the Christian dies or is raptured. It is a slow process and takes great effort on the part of the Christian. The transforming of the mind is very important to the process of soul salvation.
(Rom 12:3 KJV) For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
Paul states that what he is telling them is by way of or through the grace of God that is given unto him. The meaning of grace in this context is the divine influence upon the heart. Divine influence is the work of the Holy Spirit upon the Christian who has allowed Him to work in his life. Paul is telling the Roman Christians that they need to be very careful not to think of themselves more highly that they ought to think. To think soberly means they are to think seriously and reasonably about themselves and not to be arrogant or haughty about their spiritual salvation. Paul confirms this by stating they have been given the same measure of faith that all Christians have been given. Also, this is something that God has done, and they had nothing to do with it. This is the reason that they need to think seriously and reasonably about their status as Christians, and to not esteem themselves too highly.
(Rom 12:4 KJV) For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
Paul explains that there are many members in the body of Christ, and all members do not have the same office. The office is the position, function or duty that a Christian is assigned in the body of Christ. A Christian may have the office of pastor, evangelist, teacher, or prophet. It is important to distinguish between the office of a Christian and the spiritual gift of a Christian. For example, a person may be in the office of pastor, but his spiritual gift may be exhortation, teaching or prophecy. There are seven spiritual gifts in the Church today. They are Prophecy, Teaching, Administration, Serving, Exhortation, Mercy and Giving. The spiritual gifts of Healing and Speaking in Tongues were the sign gifts to confirm the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom during the three and one-half years of Jesus’ ministry, and during the 40-year period of testing that occurred from the time of Jesus’ death burial and resurrection to the Diaspora in 70AD. In 70AD the kingdom of heaven was finally taken away from the nation of Israel and the preaching to the Jews of the Gospel of the Kingdom ceased. The Gospel of the Kingdom has not been preached since 70AD, but it will be preached again to the Gentiles during the last half of the seven-year tribulation period. Currently, the Gospel of Grace, the Gospel of Christ and the Word of the Kingdom are being preached. Basically, there are many offices in the Church body but only seven spiritual gifts in operation during the present time.
(Rom 12:5 KJV) So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
There are many Christians in the body of Christ, and we are all linked or tied to each other in a miraculous and wonderful way via the indwelling Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, there are some pretenders in the body of Christ who masquerade as Christians, but they are tares and not real Christians. Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to distinguish the tares from the hypocrites, so Christ has told us to leave the tares alone, or we might route up true Christian brothers and sisters in the process of trying to get rid of the tares. God and the angels will sort out the tares when Christ comes for his bride in the Firstfruits Rapture and the main body of the Church in the Main Harvest Rapture of the Church.
(Rom 12:6 KJV) Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
The spiritual gift that each Christian possesses is given to him by grace from the Holy Spirit. God the Holy Spirit determines each Christian’s spiritual gift(s), and the Christian is expected to use his spiritual gift in the ministry of the Lord, and this gift is to be used in proportion to the Christian’s faith. Since all Christians are given the same measure of faith, “the proportion of faith” refers to how much that faith has grown in the Lord’s service. Some Christian’s faith is much stronger because they have grown in the grace and knowledge of the Lord. Two Christians may have the same spiritual gift of Prophecy, but one would prophesy or expound on the Scriptures much more than the other one because he has nurtured and grown to maturity in his spiritual gift. The spiritual gift becomes more obvious as the Christian matures in the faith through Bible study, prayer and exercising his faith. Many Christians have no idea what their spiritual gift is, since they have not devoted time and effort in their spiritual growth.
(Rom 12:7 KJV) Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
Ministry is serving and this verse states that if a Christian’s gift is serving, then he needs to be serving. The Christian with the spiritual gift of serving has a special aptitude for recognizing the physical needs of his fellow Christians. The server seems to have abundant energy and an insatiable desire to wait on fellow Christians and to do things for them. The server can come into a sick person’s house and immediately know exactly what needs to be done. Many Christians with the gift of serving end up in professions as nurses, nursing aides, waiters, cooks, custodians, butlers, maids and other professions involving personal service to others.
The Christian with the gift of teaching should teach. Preferably, the teacher should teach the Bible in some Christian organization or Bible study, but many end up in teaching professions in schools, colleges and universities. Of course, the Christian with the spiritual gift of teaching should study the Bible in order to be able to teach it, but many do not prepare themselves to utilize their spiritual gift of teaching. The teacher has a special ability to understand the Bible and delve into the deeper meanings of Scripture. He also has a special insatiable desire to understand the truths of God, and convey them to his fellow Christians. The teacher is detail oriented in his studies, and he routinely wants to know the details that others would pass over.
(Rom 12:8 KJV) Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness.
The Christian with the gift of exhortation should use his gift in the Lord’s service. The exhorter has a special ability to recognize the spiritual needs in his fellow Christians and a special knack for encouraging his fellow Christians in their spiritual walk with the Lord. The exhorter has a special intuition for breaking down spiritual growth into smaller steps or sub-goals that lead to the larger goal. The exhorter has a keen vision of the steps to spiritual maturity. He also has an unshakable attitude of optimism and is seldom depressed.
The Christian with the gift of giving has a special knack for acquiring wealth, but he is also very generous to others. The Giver operating in the Power of the Spirit receives vast sums of money and goods, but he also gives away this money and goods as fast as he receives them. The giver is not a hoarder and he is definitely not selfish with his wealth. The truly faithful giver does not accumulate vast amounts of wealth, in spite of his special knack for making and receiving money and wealth. The faithful giver is uncomfortable in receiving any recognition for his giving. His fulfillment and joy comes from the giving and is unrelated to any recognition that may ensue. In fact, he would prefer to remain anonymous in his giving, without any fanfare. This is the meaning of giving with simplicity.
The ruler is the Christian with the gift of Administration. He has a special organizational ability and is able to look at a whole project and break it down into its various subprojects and assign these subprojects to individuals. The ruler is absorbed with the big picture, but is disinterested in the details. The ruler is quickly bored with the performance of details. The ruler is often seen as being bossy, but this is simply the exercise of his special gift. He is driven to oversee the project and bring it to completion, but the server or someone else must handle the details. The ruler is to exercise his spiritual gift with diligence, since he quickly loses interest when the detail work begins.
The mercy Christian has a peculiar knack for empathizing with the feelings of others. He feels the sadness, depression, anger, joy and other emotions of his fellow Christians. The mercy Christian actually shares or takes upon himself the negative emotions of stressed Christians. This is how he helps his fellow Christians by literally absorbing the negative energy pent up in the stressed Christian. The faithful mercy person is an expert in the transfer of emotional energy from stressed Christians. The mercy person is in essence the spiritual psychologist for stressed Christians. His primary task in the Church is to alleviate negative emotional energy and restore cheerfulness, which is stated at the end of the verse.
NOTE: IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT ONLY SEVEN SPIRITUAL GIFTS ARE GIVEN IN THE PREVIOUS THREE VERSES. HEALING AND SPEAKING IN TONGUES ARE CONSPICUOUSLY ABSENT.
(Rom 12:9 KJV) Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
Paul states that love is to be without pretence, unfeigned and sincere. The love Paul is referring to is agape, which is the love of God. The only way that the Christian can have this love is to die to self and allow the love of God to flow through him. This love is unconditional love. To abhor evil means that the Christian is to utterly detest, dislike and to have a horror of those things that are unethical, wicked and bad. Thus, the Christian is to utterly detest sin in himself and in others. This is a rational choice that the Christian must make, and the more the Christian is conformed to the image of Christ, the more he will abhor evil. The Christian is to cleave to that which is good. He is to join or attach himself to those things that are upright and honorable. The Christian is to avoid hypocrisy with every fiber of his being.
(Rom 12:10 KJV) Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
To be kindly affectionate to one another is to show fondness and to have tender feelings and emotions of love toward our fellow Christians. This refers to brotherly love or philadelphia love. This is the natural love that occurs between parents and children and between natural siblings. Thus, the Christian is to have the same natural feelings of tenderness toward his fellow Christians that he has toward his parents, his children and his siblings. First, the Christian must choose to allow agape love for the brethren to flow through him, and then as he begins to mature in the faith and be conformed to the image of Christ, the feelings and emotions begin to show up in the Christian for his fellow Christians. This is a process and the more we allow the Holy Spirit to control our lives, the more tender and emotional will our love become for our Christian brothers and sisters. Our emotions are part of our soul, and they must be transformed by maturing in the faith. The Christian must go through the process of sanctification in order to have his emotions transformed into the state described in this verse. The tender affection toward our brethren becomes real, unfeigned and without hypocrisy as we mature in the faith.
(Rom 12:11 KJV) Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
The Greek word for slothful means “lazy” or “slow” and the Greek word for business means earnestness in accomplishing, promoting or striving after anything, so the meaning goes beyond not being lazy in one’s vocation. It means to not be lazy in anything that one is striving to do. This includes studying the Bible, participating in sports, building a model car or anything else that one strives after in this life. The Christian should be diligent and earnest in anything and everything that he does. He should strive for excellence in everything that he does. Fervent in spirit means. The transliterated Greek word is pneuma and refers to the rational spirit, or the power by which the human being feels, thinks and decides. The Greek word for fervent literally means to boil with heat or to be hot. Metaphorically, it means to be zealous, so the Christian who is fervent in spirit is the Christian who is zealous in thinking, feeling and deciding things. The final phrase “serving the Lord” explains what the Christian should be industrious about. The Christian should be industrious and zealous to the maximum in his service to the Lord.
(Rom 12:12 KJV) Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
The Christian should be rejoicing in hope for eternal life and the realization of soul salvation at the Judgment Seat of Christ. He should also be patient in the trials, tribulations and the vicissitudes of life. Finally, the Christian should be steadfastly attentive to and have unremitting care for his prayer life.
(Rom 12:13 KJV) Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
The faithful Christian should also have a close and sharing communion with his fellow Christians, as well as being hospitable to strangers. The Greek word for hospitality means to love strangers. The faithful Christian not only shares with his close Christian friends, but he is also hospitable to Christians who are not in his close inner circle. The necessities of our fellow Christians would refer to physical goods and money, as well as the love, attention, exhortation and anything that a fellow Christian needs that is not classified as a material need.
(Rom 12:14 KJV) Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
To bless someone means to confer well-being or prosperity upon that person. Thus, the faithful Christian is to promote the well-being and prosperity of those who persecute him. He is to invoke blessings and not curses on others who persecute him. This is very difficult for anyone to do, so it must be done in the power of the Holy Spirit. This is why it is important to pray for those who persecute you. To pray for our persecutors is to invoke blessings upon them, and it will certainly change the attitudes of those who are prayed for on a regular basis.
(Rom 12:15 KJV) Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
Christians are to rejoice with our fellow Christians when they are rejoicing and we are to weep with them when they are weeping. This is simply empathizing with our fellow Christians. When we rejoice with them their rejoicing is magnified, and when we weep with them, we take upon ourselves some of their grief.
(Rom 12:16 KJV) Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
Christians are to live in harmony with each other, and we are not to be proud and haughty among fellow Christians. We are to be willing to associate with fellow Christians in lower positions. This is referring to classes of people such as the rich, middle class and lower classes of people. The movie Titanic is a classic example of how not to act toward fellow Christians in lower positions. Also, we are not to be conceited. This simple means that we are not to have an unduly high opinion of ourselves or our abilities. This does not mean that we are to disparage or belittle ourselves, just as we are not to belittle or disparage a fellow Christian. It is okay to recognize and acknowledge our special talents and abilities, but we should not be boastful and arrogant about them. We should be thankful and humbled by the special talents and abilities that God has given to us, but we should not flaunt these abilities or our economic and social status in front of our fellow Christians.
(Rom 12:17 KJV) Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
Christians are never to recompense to anyone evil for evil. Instead, we are to focus our thoughts on things that are noble, and we are to be careful to do those things that are right in the eyes of everyone. The Christian should be the upstanding citizen in the community. He should be the faithful and loyal employee. He should be the trustworthy steward of anything that has been entrusted to him.
(Rom 12:18 KJV) If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
The Christian must do his best to live at peace with all people. This verse does provide a contingency, since it is impossible to be at peace with some people. Simply put the Christian should do his very best to live at peace with everyone. This includes Christians and non-Christians.
(Rom 12:19 KJV) Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
Christians should never seek revenge. Instead, Christians should leave any revenge that is warranted up to God, for vengeance belongs to God and He will repay. The Christian who is persecuted, ridiculed and mocked by fellow Christians or even non-Christians can take solace the fact that every deed, act, word and behavior will receive a just recompense at one of the judgments. Christians will be judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ, and unbelievers will receive their just recompense at the Great White Throne Judgment. Nothing escapes God’s attention and everything will receive its just recompense of reward. It must be remembered that a just recompense of reward can be negative as well as positive.
(Rom 12:20 KJV) Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
Christians are to treat their enemies with kindness. The example is to give him food if he is hungry and to give him a drink if he is thirsty. The statement about coals of fire being heaped on the head of one’s enemy refers to the purifying of the mind of the individual. It is not a negative revengeful act but a positive influence on our enemies to change their mind toward us. When someone treats us badly and we respond with good, it has a purifying effect on the attitude of that enemy.
(Rom 12:21 KJV) Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
Christians are not to be overcome by evil, but we are to overcome evil with good. This is the summation verse of how a Christian is to respond to his fellow Christians and even unbelievers.
(Rom 13:1 KJV) Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Chapter 13 addresses the responsibility of Christians to the established governments. This verse states that every person should be obedient to the earthly governments over him. This would include the Federal, State, County and City governments. No government exists that has not been established by God. God has put all governments that exist in place. This includes the evil governments and the evil rulers. Even they have been established for a purpose and Christians are subject even to these evil governments. This does not mean that God is evil, but he does allow evil governments for his purposes.
(Rom 13:2 KJV) Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
If a Christian resists or opposes the government in place over him, then he is opposing what God has established, and this will bring or result in punishment.
(Rom 13:3 KJV) For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
People who are obedient to the established governments do not have to be afraid of them, but people who do what is wrong should be afraid of them. If a person would like to live without being afraid of the government, then he should do what is right, and the government will praise him. It is clear from these passages that a faithful Christian should be a good citizen who is obedient to the laws of governments.
(Rom 13:4 KJV) For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
The established rulers are ministers of God for bringing about good and not evil, but if the person does that which is evil, then he needs to fear the ruler, since his methods of punishment are established to bring about righteous behavior on the part of the citizenry. Rulers are the ministers of God for the purpose of executing God’s vengeance upon disobedient mankind.
(Rom 13:5 KJV) Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
People should be obedient to the established powers not only because they fear the punishment that will be meted out, but also because of their own conscience. A common expression that provides a paraphrase of this verse is “Be good for goodness sake”. The person should be obedient to the established laws because his own conscience requires it, and not just because of the penalty for disobedience.
(Rom 13:6 KJV) For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
Conscience is the same reason that a person should pay his taxes, for the tax collectors are also God’s ministers, and they are doing what God requires. Taxes are necessary for the common good of everyone, and the faithful Christian should pay his taxes faithfully and regularly.
(Rom 13:7 KJV) Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
The Christian should pay everyone anything that is owed to him. This includes taxes to whom taxes are owed, tolls or fees that are due for governmental purposes, fear of the police or other established enforcers of the law and honor to our elected leaders. This means that Christians are to honor all government leaders placed in positions over them. This would include supervisors, department leaders, governors, majors, presidents and any person in a position of authority over the Christian.
(Rom 13:8 KJV) Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
The Christian should not owe any man anything but to love his fellow Christians. The Christian who loves his fellow Christians has fulfilled the law of God. If a Christian truly loves his fellow Christians, then he will not commit the sins against his fellow Christians that are outlined in the following verses from the Ten Commandments.
(Rom 13:9 KJV) For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
This verse lists some laws that a Christian would not break, if he truly loves his brethren. The first is adultery, which is sin against one’s spouse. The Christian who truly loves his brethren will not kill them, steal from them, lie about them nor covet anything that belongs to them. Thus, the commandments of God are summed up in the phrase “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
(Rom 13:10 KJV) Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
True love results in no evil committed against a neighbor or a brother in Christ. Therefore, love in action is a fulfilling of the law of God, which is summed up in the The Ten Commandments.
(Rom 13:11 KJV) And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
Paul tells the Roman Christians that they know the times in which they were living and it was time for them to wake up to the truths of Scripture. Then he exhorts them to work harder for the time of soul salvation was nearer to them than when they first believed. This verse is confusing to those Christians who do not understand the difference between spirit and soul salvation. Paul is telling Christians that their salvation is nearer than when they first believed. Of course, Paul is not speaking of spirit salvation, but he is speaking of soul salvation. Their spirit salvation had been completed in the past by the work of the Holy Spirit, but their soul salvation was still being worked upon by the Roman Christians.
(Rom 13:12 KJV) The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
Paul is telling the Roman Christians that it is time for them to stop walking in the darkness and to start walking in the light. This verse is a periphrasis, a circumlocution, or a roundabout way of telling them to stop walking in spiritual darkness and to start walking in spiritual light. He refers to their evil works as “works of darkness” and he tells them to put on the “armour of light”. This is an allusion to the “whole armour of God” that is addressed in Ephesians 6. The majority of the Church today—even though spiritually saved—are walking in spiritual darkness. Many of the Roman Christians were also walking in spiritual darkness, and they needed to stop their evil works of the flesh, and start working in the power of the spirit.
(Rom 13:13 KJV) Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
Paul continues to exhort the Roman Christians to walk honestly, and he compares this to walking in the daylight hours. Walking honestly is the opposite of living riotously and in drunkenness. Simply put Paul tells the Roman Christians to live decently as one would live in the daylight hours when everyone can see his life, his behavior and his works clearly. They were not to have wild parties (i.e., orgies), get drunk or to live sexually immoral and promiscuous lives. Chambering is a reference to lewd behavior behind closed doors and wantonness refers to lusting and living promiscuously. Strife refers to being contentious or disagreeable, and envying is coveting the possessions, qualities or characteristics that belong to others.
(Rom 13:14 KJV) But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
Paul sums up how the Roman Christians are to put off the works of darkness and walk in spiritual light. They are to do this by putting on the Lord Jesus Christ, and not making provision for the flesh nature to have the upper hand and cause them to fulfill the lusts of the old flesh nature. Simply put, the Christian does this be crucifying the old flesh nature and allowing the Holy Spirit to indwell them. If the Holy Spirit is indwelling the Christian, then He is in command and is allowed to have free rein in the Christian’s life. To put on Christ means to allow the life of Christ to be lived out in one’s life, and the only way to do this is to allow the Holy Spirit to have free rein in one’s life. The Holy Spirit must be in control in order to do this.
(Rom 14:1 KJV) Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.
Chapter 14 describes how the Christian is to live in harmony with his fellow Christians. The Christian is to welcome his fellow Christian who is weak in the faith, and he is not to argue over differences of opinion. “Doubtful disputations” refers to those things that are not clearly addressed in Scripture. The following verses address some of these issues.
(Rom 14:2 KJV) For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
One Christian believes that he can eat all kinds of food and drink, but other Christians who are weak in the faith believe that they can only eat vegetables. This is an opinion issue, as the Bible does not prohibit the eating of meat. Nor does the Bible forbid drinking of wine, but many Christians forbid the use of alcoholic beverages in any form, and some even attempt to have it written into church creeds and confessions of faith.
(Rom 14:3 KJV) Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.
Christians who eat all kinds of food should not despise those Christians who eat only vegetables, and also those Christians who eat only vegetables should not assign blame on those Christians who do eat all kinds of foods. In the same manner a Christian who drinks wine should not despise those Christians who refuse to drink wine. Also, those who do not drink wine should not condemn or pronounce judgment against those Christians who drink wine. In both instances of eating and drinking, sin begins with the excessive consumption of both food and wine. Drunkenness and gluttony are the same sin. The answer to this question is moderation in all things, including the partaking of both food and drink. The Baptist preacher who weighs 300 pounds and eats a half gallon ice cream at a sitting is guilty of the sin of gluttony, just as the Catholic priest who drinks two bottles of wine at a sitting is guilty of the sin of drunkenness. Also, the little old lady who drinks a glass of wine every night can be living just as righteously as her husband who eats a bowl of ice cream every night, for God has accepted both of these behaviors, which fall in the category of moderation in all things.
(Rom 14:4 KJV) Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
Paul makes it clear that we are not to judge a fellow Christian in regard to his work for the Lord. The Lord will judge each Christian at the appropriate time, and only the Lord has all of the information to make a fair and impartial judgment. When Christians are judged each Christian will be judged based on how much he has been given and what he has done with his talents and abilities. Each Christian is responsible to Jesus Christ for his works, and only Jesus knows how successful each Christian has been in his work. Jesus is also the One Who calls, empowers and works through the Christian to perform what he has been called to do.
(Rom 14:5 KJV) One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
Paul addresses the issue of preferring one day of the week over other days of the week. This would include a preference for certain feast days over other feast days, but it would also include those who prefer worshipping on Saturday instead of Sunday. Basically, this verse implies that it does not matter what day we worship the Lord, as long as we are persuaded in our own mind.
(Rom 14:6 KJV) He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.
When Christians observe a special day they do it to honor and worship the Lord on that day, and others who do not observe that same day do not choose that day to honor and worship the Lord. Also, the Christian who eats all kinds of foods does so in recognition and honor of the Lord, and the Christian who eats only vegetables does so to honor and worship the Lord. Both are thankful to the Lord for the food that God provides. It seems clear that the Lord is not concerned about what food we eat or what day we worship, as long as we are thankful to the Lord and honor and worship Him in our own way.
(Rom 14:7 KJV) For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.
It is clear that we do not live to honor ourselves and we do not die to honor ourselves.
(Rom 14:8 KJV) For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.
Whether a Christian lives or dies, his whole duty is to honor and love the Lord. All Christians were bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ, and all Christians belong to the Lord Jesus Christ.
(Rom 14:9 KJV) For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.
It is for this reason that Jesus Christ died and was resurrected. He was to be the Lord of both those Christians who are living when He returns or are dead when He returns.
(Rom 14:10 KJV) But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
Since all Christians belong to the Lord, and since all Christians are accountable to him for how they live their lives, then why do Christians judge their fellow Christians. Also, why do Christians despise their fellow Christians. These are questions that Paul is asking, since all Christians will stand before Jesus Christ at the Judgment Seat of Christ to be judged for their works.
(Rom 14:11 KJV) For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
The Word of God proclaims that every Christian will bow before Jesus Christ and confess his life.
(Rom 14:12 KJV) So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
It is clear that every Christian will give account of his life and works to God through Jesus Christ at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
(Rom 14:13 KJV) Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.
Since all Christians are to be judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ, they should cease judging one another in this life. Instead, every Christian should do everything he can to help his brothers keep from falling into sin or stumbling in his Christian walk. This is the appropriate thing to do for fellow Christians.
(Rom 14:14 KJV) I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
Paul is talking about things, such as wine, meat sacrificed to idols, vegetables, coffee, tea and anything in the physical realm. For example, it is not sinful to eat mean sacrificed to idols, but if a Christian thinks it is wrong, then he is violating his conscience when he eats this meat. It is not wrong to drink wine, but if a Christian thinks it is wrong to drink a glass of wine, then it would be sin for that Christian to drink a glass of wine. The reason it would be sin is that he would be acting in opposition to his conscience.
(Rom 14:15 KJV) But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.
If a Christian brother thinks it is wrong to eat meat sacrificed to idols, then it would be wrong for a Christian who does not think it is sin to eat this meat should not eat the meat in the presence of this Christian. Eating the meat in front of the fellow Christian would be an uncharitable act that goes against the mandate to love our Christian brothers.
The warning not to destroy our fellow Christian by doing something in front of him that violates his conscience is especially meaningful, since it states that Christ died for him. The destruction is the destruction of the soul at the Judgment Seat of Christ. This means that Christians should conduct themselves very carefully around their fellow Christians, since Christians can be instrumental is causing brethren to lose their souls at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
(Rom 14:16 KJV) Let not then your good be evil spoken of:
The Christian should not allow anyone to say something good that he does is evil. The meaning is that one should speak up in love if someone accuses a Christian of doing evil, when in fact the Christian is doing good. For example, it is good to long for and look forward to the return of Christ. Unfortunately, many misguided Christians say this is wrong for Christians to look for the Lord to return. When a Christian accuses one of evil for looking for the return of Jesus, then that accusation should be challenged in love and using Scripture. The goal should always be a coming to unity in the faith using Scripture.
(Rom 14:17 KJV) For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
This verse is speaking of the second aspect of the kingdom of God, which is the Holy Spirit exerting divine influence upon the Christian who is indwelled and filled with the Holy Spirit. The result is righteousness, and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Thus, it is not the food we eat, nor the beverage we drink that makes us righteous and gives us peace and joy in the power of the Holy Spirit.
NOTE: Please read my dissertation on the Kingdom of God for an in-depth understanding of the three aspects of the kingdom of God: The Kingdom of God.
(Rom 14:18 KJV) For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
If the Christian serves Christ in practical righteousness and realizes the peace and joy of the Holy Spirit, then this Christian is acceptable to God in his Christian walk, and other men will respect him.
(Rom 14:19 KJV) Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
The Christian needs to pursue those things that promote peace, and those things that edify our fellow Christians. Things that edify our fellow Christian are those things that encourage intellectual, moral, or spiritual improvement.
(Rom 14:20 KJV) For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.
The type of food we eat does not ruin or hurt the work of God. Any food is okay and is not sinful. However, the Christian who flaunts his freedom in eating all kinds of food or drinking wine in front of a fellow Christian who believes it is wrong is committing an offense against his brother in Christ. This behavior is evil and is a sin. It is the attitude that makes it an offense, and not the actual eating or drinking.
(Rom 14:21 KJV) It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
It is a righteous thing for the Christian to refrain from eating meat sacrificed to idols or to refrain from drinking wine when it is done to keep from offending a fellow Christian. This pertains to anything that would cause our brother to stumble in his faith. The Christian should always be cautious in his behavior around fellow Christians, and he should always attempt to do only those things that build up his fellow Christian. This is simply brotherly love in action, and it is righteous and good to do things out of love for fellow Christians.
(Rom 14:22 KJV) Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.
So whatever a person believes about these things, he should keep it between himself and God. That person who does what he knows is right should not feel guilty. He is blessed when he does that which is righteous..
(Rom 14:23 KJV) And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
But if a Christian has doubts and still eats, he is guilty of sin because he didn't act in faith. Anything that he does that is not done in faith is sin.
(Rom 15:1 KJV) We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
Those Christians who have a strong faith must be patient with the weaknesses of those Christians whose faith is not so strong. We must not think only of ourselves, but we must concern ourselves with the maturity of our fellow Christians.
(Rom 15:2 KJV) Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
We should all be concerned about our neighbor and the good things that will build his faith. We must do things that will exhort and encourage our brethren in living the Christian life.
(Rom 15:3 KJV) For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.
Christ did not think only of himself, but as the Bible states, "The insults and criticisms of those who insult and criticize you have fallen on me.” Briefly stated, all of the criticisms and insults that the faithful Christian receives was intended for and is born by Jesus Christ.
(Rom 15:4 KJV) For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Everything written long ago in the Bible was written to teach us to have confidence through the endurance and encouragement that the Scriptures give us, so we might have hope for the salvation of our souls and the realization of our inheritance in the kingdom of heaven. When we study the Scriptures we are given hope that we might lay hold onto eternal life and qualify for the reward that is in Christ Jesus.
(Rom 15:5 KJV) Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:
May God, who gives you this endurance and encouragement, allow you to live in harmony with each other by following the example of Christ Jesus. The only way we can follow the example of Jesus is to crucify the old flesh nature and be filled with the Holy Spirit. This allows the Holy Spirit to have divine influence upon our life and also allows the life of Christ to be worked out in our own bodies.
(Rom 15:6 KJV) That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Then, having the same goal, all Christians in the same local body will praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The purpose of the local body is to come into a unity in the faith, and to honor and glorify God the Father with a unified mind and voice.
(Rom 15:7 KJV) Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.
Therefore, Christians need to accept each other in the same way that Christ has accepted them. He did this to bring glory to God the Father. Christians also need to love each other unconditionally, just as Christ loves us unconditionally.
(Rom 15:8 KJV) Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:
Paul explains that Christ became a minister to the Jewish people to reveal God's truth. He did this to confirm the promises that were made to the Jewish patriarchs. The promises by God of an earthly kingdom to the Jews are still valid today after 4000 years. Even though Israel as a nation has forfeited their inheritance in the heavenly aspect of the kingdom of God, the earthly, unconditional kingdom promises are still valid and will be fulfilled in the near future.
(Rom 15:9 KJV) And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.
Jesus ministered to the Jews to also cause people who are not Jewish (i.e., Gentiles) to praise God for his mercy as well. The Scriptures state in Isaiah that this is the reason that a minister will confess to God among the Gentiles and will sing praises unto the name of Jesus. This minister was initially Paul who was commissioned personally by Jesus Christ, and then the Church who confessed to God among the Gentiles and praised the name of Jesus. Even though the heavenly aspect of the kingdom was removed from the nation of Israel, it has now been given to the Church. However, just as Israel as a nation forfeited this kingdom because of disobedience and unfaithfulness, individual Gentiles who have become Christians can also forfeit this inheritance because of disobedience and unfaithfulness. The primary ministry of Paul was to take the Gospel of Grace and the Gospel of Christ to the Gentiles. Paul even refers to his ministry to the Gentiles as “My Gospel”. The word “gospel” means good news and Paul’s good news was that the Gospel of Grace was not only for the Jews, but also for the Gentiles. In addition, the kingdom of heaven was made available to Christians who repented of their sins and sought after the kingdom with all of their heart, mind and soul. Please read the following articles for an in-depth understanding of the different gospels in Scripture and the difference between heaven and the kingdom of heaven: What is the Gospel and Heaven vs the Kingdom of Heaven.
(Rom 15:10 KJV) And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people.
Isaiah repeats the message for the Gentiles to rejoice, along with the Jewish people. It is good news that God has also taken out a people from among the Gentiles, and these believers should rejoice and praise the name of Jesus.
(Rom 15:11 KJV) And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people.
Isaiah continues to state in the prophecy that the Gentiles who were to be saved by grace should continually praise and glorify the Lord.
(Rom 15:12 KJV) And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.
Paul repeats the prophecy by Isaiah that there shall be a root of Jesse who will arise to reign over these believers who will come to be called Christians. This is an Old Testament prophecy that points to the Church, which was a mystery in the Old Testament. A mystery in the Scriptures is a hidden truth in the Old Testament that is revealed in the New Testament. The “root of Jesse” is a clear reference to Jesus Christ who existed in his God nature prior to the time of Jesse, who was the father of David.
(Rom 15:13 KJV) Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
Paul petitions God who is the source of all hope to fill these Roman Christians with joy and peace as they entrust their spiritual well-being unto Christ. One definition of “believing” is entrusting one’s spiritual well-being unto Jesus Christ. The reason and purpose for this is to abound in hope for entrance into the kingdom of God and the realization of soul salvation at the Judgment Seat of Christ. This believing and abounding in hope comes through the power of the Holy Spirit as the Holy Spirit indwells the faithful Christian. The Christian who is filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit will abound in hope for the realization of eternal life in the coming kingdom. Please read the following article for an in-depth understanding of the Biblical meaning of eternal life: What is Eternal Life?.
(Rom 15:14 KJV) And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.
Paul expresses his confidence in the faithfulness of the Roman Christians by stating that he is persuaded that they are full of practical righteousness (i.e., goodness), as well as all kinds of knowledge that enables them to admonish one another. Paul uses the transliterated Greek word gnosis for knowledge, which is not the deeper knowledge of the Scriptures meant in the word epignosis. Paul is stating that they have enough knowledge to admonish one another on living the Christian life, but he does not commend them for having the deeper knowledge like he does other churches.
(Rom 15:15 KJV) Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God,
Paul states that he has written a letter to them and that parts of it are very bold for the purpose of reminding them of their accountability before God. This was the gift that God gave to Paul to be a minister to the Gentiles.
(Rom 15:16 KJV) That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.
Paul continues in his explanation that he is the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, and this ministry includes Paul’s proclamation of the Gospel of God. The Gospel of God includes the Gospel of Grace and the Gospel of Christ. The Gospel of Grace pertains to Justification by Faith, and the Gospel of Christ pertains to the Justification by Works. Please read the following article on my verse-by-verse exegesis of James for an in-depth understanding of the Justification by Works: Book of James.
NOTE: The Gospel of Grace pertains to spirit salvation, while the Gospel of Christ pertains to soul salvation. The Gospel of God encompasses both. Paul’s gospel is that salvation is not just for the Jews, but also for the Gentiles.
(Rom 15:17 KJV) I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God.
Paul states that his glorying is not in his own efforts, but through or in Jesus Christ, Who works through him to perform the works that Paul was called to do. Paul gloried in the works that Christ did through him via the Holy Spirit and not in any works that he did in the power of the flesh. The only righteous works that any Christian can perform are the works that the Holy Spirit does through the Christian. This is accomplished when the Christian crucifies the old man and puts on the new man in Christ. The faithful Christian is successful in dying to self and allowing Christ to work through him via the Holy Spirit. This is called walking in the Spirit, being filled with the Spirit, walking in the light, walking with God, putting off the old man, putting on the new man, crucifying self, dying to self, walking in the newness of life, living the resurrected life, living the exchanged life, crossing over Jordan, entering the spirit-filled life, walking in the power of the Spirit, entering the holy place, entering the tent of meeting, partaking of the showbread, being in Christ, having Christ in you and a number of other expressions that depict the faithful Christian life.
(Rom 15:18 KJV) For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed,
Paul declares that he would not be so presumptuous as to speak of any works that he has done in his own power and without the Holy Spirit working through him, to help make the Gentiles obedient in both their actions and their words. He continues this thought in the following verse by describing what God did through him.
(Rom 15:19 KJV) Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.
Paul states that God worked through him via “mighty signs and wonders” and it was the power of the spirit that enabled him to fully preach the “gospel of Christ” from Jerusalem, around Jerusalem and unto Illyricum. Illyricum was a Roman province, and this confirms that Paul preached first to the Jew, and then to the Gentiles. He preached the gospel of Christ, which is a message that pertains to soul salvation. This message basically states “Christ in you the hope of glory” and refers to the inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, which is attained by crucifying self and allowing Christ to live his life in the Christian. Please read my article on the gospel at the following link: What is the Gospel?.
(Rom 15:20 KJV) Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation:
Paul worked very hard to preach the good news, not where Christ was named, but in new places where he was unknown. Paul did not want to build on a foundation that others had laid, but he wanted to build on a foundation that he had built. The foundation is the belief in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. This foundation must first be laid, and then the building can be built. The foundation is spirit salvation, and the building is soul salvation.
(Rom 15:21 KJV) But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.
Paul refers to the recipient of his preaching as being those who have not heard, but they will hear, see, and understand about Christ. Of course, this refers to the Gentiles, who were not the original recipients of the good news about Christ. Paul was preaching this good news to the Gentiles within the Roman province, and this work had hindered him in going to Rome, as stated in the following verse.
(Rom 15:22 KJV) For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you.
Paul’s preaching to the Jews in Jerusalem and around it, and then unto the Roman Province of Illyricum had delayed him in going to Rome.
(Rom 15:23 KJV) But now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you;
Paul did not have any new opportunities for preaching in the region, and he had wanted to go to Rome for a long time, so he made plans to stop by Rome at the time that he planned to go to Spain.
(Rom 15:24 KJV) Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company.
Paul tells the Roman Christians that when he goes to Spain, he will stop by Rome. He also hopes that after he has enjoyed their company for a while, they will help support his trip to Spain.
(Rom 15:25 KJV) But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints.
Before Paul was to make his trip to Rome he was going to go and take monetary assistance to the Christians in Jerusalem.
(Rom 15:26 KJV) For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem.
Paul had received a contribution from the Christians in Macedonia and Achaia to take to the poor Christians in Jerusalem.
(Rom 15:27 KJV) It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things.
The Christians from Macedonia and Achaia had shared in the spiritual wealth of the Christians in Jerusalem, so they were indebted to share their physical wealth with the Jerusalem Christians.
(Rom 15:28 KJV) When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain.
When Paul had completed his mission to the Jerusalem Christians, his plan was to go and visit the Roman Christians on his way to Spain.
(Rom 15:29 KJV) And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.
Paul was sure that it was God’s intention that he go to Rome and share the blessing that comes from receiving the gospel of Christ.
(Rom 15:30 KJV) Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me;
Paul encourages the Roman Christians to strive with him in the power and authority of Jesus Christ and in the love of God via the Holy Spirit, as they pray for Paul and his ministry.
(Rom 15:31 KJV) That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints;
The prayer that Paul is asking for in the previous verse is that he would be delivered or rescued from the Jews in Judea who were unbelievers. The unbelieving Jews had tried on numerous occasions to punish Paul and to even kill him. He also asks them to pray that the Christians in Jerusalem would accept him in his ministry.
(Rom 15:32 KJV) That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed.
He also wants to be able to go to the Romans in the joy and will of God, and to be refreshed by the visit right along with the Romans.
(Rom 15:33 KJV) Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
Paul ends the main portion of this epistle by calling down a blessing of peace upon the Roman Christians.
(Rom 16:1 KJV) I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:
Paul ends his letter to the Roman Christians by recommending a sister in Christ as worthy of confidence and trust. Her name is Phoebe and she was from the church in Cenchrea—modern-day Kechries—which was a community in the municipality of Corinth. Paul wrote this letter from Corinth, and Phoebe took the letter to Rome.
(Rom 16:2 KJV) That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.
Paul asks the Roman Christians to receive Phoebe as is appropriate for fellow Christians. He also asks them to assist her in any business that she needs to attend to while in Rome, since she has been helpful to many Christians, including Paul. The name Phoebe means “radiant” in the Greek.
(Rom 16:3 KJV) Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus:
Paul addresses some Christians in Rome with kind expressions of worth and helpfulness in furthering the cause of Christ. In this verse he greets Priscilla and Aquila, who were helper to Paul and teaching about Christ.
(Rom 16:4 KJV) Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.
Paul states that Priscilla and Aquila even risked their life for Paul, and he thanks them and all of the churches of the Gentiles. The name Priscilla means “ancient” in the Greek. The name Aquila means “an eagle” in the Greek. Priscilla was the wife of Aquila.
(Rom 16:5 KJV) Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.
Paul asks that they also greet the church that meets in the house of Priscilla and Aquila. He also asks them to salute—an expression of honor to a person—Epaenetus, who was Paul’s first convert in Achaia. Achaia was an ancient province on the northern coast of the Peloponnese, a peninsula in southern Greece. Epaenetus means “praiseworthy” in the Greek.
(Rom 16:6 KJV) Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us.
Paul also asks them to greet Mary for him. Mary had worked very hard to help Paul in his missionary efforts. The name Mary in the Greek means “their rebellion”.
(Rom 16:7 KJV) Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.
Paul asks them to also salute Andronicus and Junia, who were kin to Paul. Paul identifies them as “fellowprisoners and states that they were well-known among the Apostles. They were also Jewish Christians before Paul’s conversion. The name Andronicus means “man of victory” in the Greek. The name Junia means “youthful” in the Greek.
(Rom 16:8 KJV) Greet Amplias my beloved in the Lord.
Paul mentions Amplias, his beloved in the Lord. Amplias means “large” in the Greek.
(Rom 16:9 KJV) Salute Urbane, our helper in Christ, and Stachys my beloved.
Paul refers to Urbane as their helper in Christ and Stachys as his beloved. The name Urbane means “of the city, polite” in Greek. Stachys is believed to have been one of the seventy disciples and the bishop of Byzantium. His name means “a head of grain” in the Greek.
(Rom 16:10 KJV) Salute Apelles approved in Christ. Salute them which are of Aristobulus' household.
Paul salutes Apelles as one approved in Christ. Appelles means “called” in the Greek. Paul also salutes those of Aristobulus’ household. Aristobulus means “the best councilor” in the Greek.
(Rom 16:11 KJV) Salute Herodion my kinsman. Greet them that be of the household of Narcissus, which are in the Lord.
Paul recognized Herodion as his kinsman also, and those of the household of Narcissus, who are “in the Lord”. “In the Lord” means they are walking with Christ. Herodion means “heroic” in the Greek, and Narcissus means “stupidity” in the Greek.
(Rom 16:12 KJV) Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord. Salute the beloved Persis, which laboured much in the Lord.
Paul mentions Tryphena and Tryposa as laborers in the Lord. He also mentions beloved Persis as one who worked much in the Lord. Tryphena means “luxurious” in the Greek, and Tryposa means “luxuriating” in the Greek. Persis means “ a Persian women” in the Greek.
(Rom 16:13 KJV) Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.
Paul refers to Rufus as “chosen in the Lord” and also asks to greet “his mother and mine”, which means that Rufus’ mother also acted as a mother to Paul. Rufus means “red” in the Greek.
(Rom 16:14 KJV) Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren which are with them.
Paul salutes Asyncritus, which means “incomparable” in the Greek, Phlegon, which means “burning” in the Greek, Hermas, which means Mercury in the Greek. Tradition holds that Hermas was one of the seventy disciples and was later bishop of Dalmatia. Dalmatia was an ancient Roman province and was the birth place of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. Patrobas means “paternal” in the Greek, and Hermes means Mercurius or “herald of the gods” in Greek.
(Rom 16:15 KJV) Salute Philologus, and Julia, Nereus, and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints which are with them.
Paul mentions Philologus, which means “lover of the word” in Greek, and Julia, which means “soft-haired” in the Greek. Nereus means “lump” in the Greek. Paul also mentions Nereus’ sister and Olympas, which means “heavenly” in the Greek.
(Rom 16:16 KJV) Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.
Paul tells the Roman Christians to greet one another with a “holy kiss”, and he tells them that the “churches of Christ” salute them.
(Rom 16:17 KJV) Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
Paul earnestly requests that they take special note of those Christians who cause divisions in the church and offend their fellow Christians, as this is contrary to the teaching that they had received. Paul tells them to avoid these Christians.
(Rom 16:18 KJV) For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
Paul continues to address these Christians who are causing divisions as not being servants of Christ, but they are serving their own needs instead. They use smooth talk and flattering words to deceive unsuspecting Christians. Unfortunately, this describes the great majority of preachers, teachers and leaders in the churches today, and anyone attempting to replace error with truth in the Church today is looked upon as causing divisions.
(Rom 16:19 KJV) For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.
Paul states that people everywhere have heard about their obedience and this makes Paul happy for them. Paul want the Roman Christians to do what is good and to avoid what is evil.
(Rom 16:20 KJV) And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
Paul tells them that the God of peace will quickly bruise Satan under their feet. This does not mean that God will crush Satan after a short period of time, but that when the time comes, the Lord will crush Satan quickly. This is still future and will happen during the tribulation period. Paul ends by calling down a blessing of grace from the Lord Jesus Christ. This grace is the divine influence upon the heart that should accompany every Christian who walks in the faith.
(Rom 16:21 KJV) Timotheus my workfellow, and Lucius, and Jason, and Sosipater, my kinsmen, salute you.
Paul refers to Timothy as his fellow worker, and Lucius, Jason and Sosipater as his Jewish brothers. They all salute the Christians in Rome.
(Rom 16:22 KJV) I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord.
Tertius served as the amanuensis for Paul and salutes the Roman Christians in v. 16:22-24. Paul then dictates the final lines of the epistle to Tertius.
(Rom 16:23 KJV) Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you. Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you, and Quartus a brother.
According to the words of Tertius, Gaius greets the Roman Christians also. Gaius is a host to the whole Church. Erastus, the city treasurer also salutes them along with Quartus, a brother in Christ.
(Rom 16:24 KJV) The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Tertius repeats Paul’s calling down of a blessing of divine influence upon all the Christians at Rome, and ends his brief greeting. Paul’s words continue in the following verse with a doxology ending this epistle.
(Rom 16:25 KJV) Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
Paul speaks again and states his doxology or expression of praise to God. He states that God is the one who has the power to establish the Roman Christians according to “my gospel”. As stated several times before in this exegesis, Paul’s gospel or good news is that the salvation of God is also for the Gentiles, as Paul’s primary ministry was to the Gentiles. Paul was preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, and this was according to the mystery that was contained in the Old Testament, and finally revealed in the New Testament. This mystery was kept a secret for four thousand years from the time the world was created up until the time that Jesus Christ came to earth to die, be buried and be resurrected. It was at this time that the mystery of the Church was revealed.
(Rom 16:26 KJV) But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
The mystery of the Church has now been manifested from the Scriptures written by the prophets of old, and this was according to the commandment of God who is eternal. This mystery has now been revealed to the Gentiles via the ministry of Paul. This letter to the Romans explains this mystery in minute detail, and it also contains the plan for elect Israel. The teaching about salvation and the requirement for the faithful obedience of Christians is for all nations. This refers to the Gentile nations who are to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ.
(Rom 16:27 KJV) To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.
God alone is wise and Glory belongs to him through Jesus Christ forever!