Rom 15:14-17 “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. 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, 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. I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God.”
In the previous few chapters of the Roman letter, Paul has spent a good deal of time admonishing the brethren how they ought to treat each other. He has spoken to them of how they should behave toward the authority of government. They, and we, have been instructed to put off the ways of darkness. We are not to do things to fulfil the lust of the flesh, but rather to put on Christ.
It is good that we are reminded of the frailties of our human nature. We need to be reminded from time to time to be careful about how we judge others. However, these rebukes need to always be done with love an affection. Otherwise, we may find ourselves discouraged and a discouragement to others.
It appears that this was Paul’s concern as he continues to address the saints. It is not a message of negativity that Paul has been declaring to the beloved of God. Here he assures that he is convinced that they are replete (full) of goodness. However, it is not their goodness but the righteousness of Christ that has been imputed.
If we are indeed filled with knowledge, then we know that we need to be reminded of these things from time to time. We need to refresh ourselves in the truth of Christ’s righteousness so that we may be able to admonish (to put in mind or reprove gently) one another concerning the things of God. We cannot reprove one another in our own strength and knowledge. To do so requires the grace of God.
We see God’s grace in our lives in many ways. One of the sweetest is when we see His grace move us to genuine concern for each other’s welfare. It should be wonderful to us that God moves His servants to remind us of the wonderful grace that we have received in every aspect of life. These reminders stir up our pure minds (2Peter 3:1), rather than giving way to the lust of our carnal nature.
When we are given grace to speak boldly concerning the stirring up of our minds to do the things of God, it reminds us of an amazing truth. God has purposed that we should be the ministers of Jesus Christ. This word minister means to be a public servant or worshipper of God. By His grace, the Holy Spirit moves us to openly show the love of Jesus Christ as we admonish one another.
Being stirred by God’s truth enables us to be the living sacrifice we need to be. In this manner, our offering up (presentation) may be well received (acceptable). For the offering to be acceptable, it must be remembered that it is by the grace of God. By His grace, we are sanctified, not by our works, but by the Holy Ghost.
The sum of this is that we have nothing to boast of in ourselves at any time. Paul was not boasting of his ministry. Rather, he was glorifying (boasting of) Jesus Christ in every admonishment given. Through sanctification of the Holy Spirit, we are able to admonish one another in those things that pertain to God. The things that pertain to God are demonstrated in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
May we always be found admonishing one another only in the goodness and knowledge of God!