“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.“
~ Romans 15:14 ~
The apostle Paul in Romans 14 declared, “for the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” (Rom. 14:17) These three features, albeit not the only features, give us insight to the essence of God’s kingdom. God could have stated how big His kingdom is (its borders), how wealthy it is (its commerce), or numerous others things. But what substance are dimensions and wealth without “righteousness, and peace, and joy”. Without this triad His kingdom would be just like we experience in our current situation on earth. In truth, what is stated is essential for us, His sons and daughters, to further appreciate the life of His kingdom, what is of first importance to Him, and that which reflects Him. Righteousness, peace, and joy, in part, compose the fabric of His kingdom and that it is not “of this world” and “not from hence.” These things comprise, in part, our hope that the God of hope desires to fill us with – all joy and peace, but also that righteousness would rightfully prevail and reign in His kingdom.
Paul in Romans 15:13 begins to explain how the God of hope seeks to fill us with the features of His kingdom now, that is, all joy and peace. The more we abound in hope the more joy and peace; however, hope not only has relationship to joy and peace, but also to righteousness. In Romans 15:14 we see the relationship of God’s filling in righteousness, to the praise of His glory. However, here
it isn’t solely imputed righteousness, but goodness and knowledge that gives us a capacity that works toward the righteousness of His kingdom.
The gospel had its fruit with the believers at Rome prior to Paul’s writing. Paul said, “First, I thank my God through jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.” (Rom. 1:8, 11, 13) This fruit was the confidence of his persuasion. What the gospel already worked in them and now the establishing effect of this letter they “are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge”. Yet, it is what he says next that paves the way for how they are to use the goodness and the knowledge, namely, “to admonish one another.”
Admonishing pursues righteousness. It discerns fault, wrong, and evil. Admonition warns of it, counsels against it, cautions ahead of it, and teaches in accord of righteousness. The gospel and the Spirit’s power to renew our minds in the will of God seeks to prove His will not only in our personal lives, but in view of hope, in the lives of others. The increase and abounding of the church is not only in all joy and peace, but in the church’s God-given ability to admonish one another. The goodness and knowledge spoken of is from “the power of the Holy Ghost”, it is in the mind of Christ, the will of God. Necessary admonition in our lives from others, that are full and filled, ought to be welcomed for we drink into one Spirit and pursue together the righteousness of the kingdom of God.
In other words, what God has supplied in measure to us, that is, knowledge and goodness, is able to be a supply for our fellow members of the body of Christ. Thus, we praise God that we have communion with God, but also in the power of the Holy Ghost with one another that works together for good!
Josh Strelecki, Pastor-Teacher