Devotional Readings

Roman’s 15 – Making the Gospel the Point

Paul write extensively about the gospel in this chapter mentioning 4 times.

Recall is began this book with this statement about the gospel, these are verses worth memorizing.

Rom 1:1  Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,

Rom 1:9  For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;

Rom 1:15  So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.

Rom 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek

Rom 15:16  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.

Rom 15:19  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.

Rom 15:20  Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation:

Rom 15:29  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 also writes this statement of his ministry to them which Old John comments upon.


Rom 15:14  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

And I myself also am persuaded of you,…. This is said by way of prevention to an objection that might he made to the apostle’s prayers and exhortations by the Romans. 

What does the apostle mean by all this? what does he think of us, or take us to be? men that live in malice to one another, devoid of all humanity, and mutual respect? a parcel of fools and ignorant men, that know nothing of divine things? and though there may be some that are much to be blamed for their conduct and carriage to their fellow Christians, what, are there none among us fit to give advice and admonition? 

To which the apostle replies, that he was far from entertaining such thoughts of them; that though he had not seen them in person, yet he had had such an account of their faith and practice, which were famous throughout the world, that he was thoroughly persuaded of better things of them, though he thus spake; and therefore, to mollify them, and abate their resentment, he adds,

my brethren; testifying his affection to them, owning the spiritual relation they stood in to him, and declaring the great esteem he had for them, and the high opinion he had of them: saying,

that ye also are full of goodness; not naturally, for there is no good thing in men by nature, but what they had was from the Spirit of God, whose fruit is “goodness”: and by which may be meant, either the good gifts of the Spirit of God, or rather his graces, even the good work of grace in general, and which is goodness itself: it comes from a good cause, the good Spirit of God; is good in its own nature, not having the least mixture or tincture of evil in it; and good in its effects, since it makes and denominates a man a good man; 

now these saints might be said to be full of this, to denote the abundance, the superabundance of grace in this work: or particularly beneficence, humanity, and sympathy to fellow Christians, may be intended. The Vulgate Latin version reads, “full of love”: but the copies and eastern versions read as we do.

Filled with all knowledge; not with every sort of knowledge, with the knowledge of all languages, or of all the arts and sciences, of all things, natural and political; 

but with all spiritual knowledge relating to God, his nature and perfections, his mind and will; to Christ and the work of redemption by him; to the Spirit, and the operations of his grace; to the Gospel, and the doctrines of it; to their duty to God, fellow creatures, and fellow Christians; in short, with all knowledge necessary to salvation, though as yet not perfect, and which will not be in this world, but in another:

able also to admonish one another; as they must be, since they were both good and knowing; goodness and knowledge are necessary to admonition, and qualify persons for it: if a man is not a good man himself, he is not fit to admonish another; and if he has not knowledge, he will not be able to do it as it should be; and without humanity and tenderness, he will not perform it aright, and with success; 

but all this being in these persons, they were able and fit for it. Some copies read it, “able also to admonish others”; so the Syriac version renders; which makes the expression still stronger, and enlarges their praise and commendation.


One might add to these words the description of one qualified to be an elder in the Church as these qualifications fill out the character of one able to admonish.

Tit 1:5  For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

Tit 1:6  If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.

Tit 1:7  For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;

Tit 1:8  But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;

Tit 1:9  Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

Tit 1:10  For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:

Tit 1:11  Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.

Tit 1:12  One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.

Tit 1:13  This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;

Tit 1:14  Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.

Tit 1:15  Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving isnothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.

Tit 1:16  They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.


Paul makes this statement to Timorhy, of which verses 16-17 too are worthy of being memorized.

2Ti 3:10  But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,

2Ti 3:11  Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

2Ti 3:12  Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

2Ti 3:13  But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

2Ti 3:14  But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

2Ti 3:15  And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

2Ti 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

2Ti 3:17  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.


Btw the Westminster Confession has a good definition of Good Works. There are longer versions of this that have the scripture proofs if you care to look them up.

CHAPTER XVI.

Of Good Works.

I. Good works are only such as God has commanded in His holy Word, and not such as, without the warrant thereof, are devised by men, out of blind zeal, or upon any pretence of good intention.

II. These good works, done in obedience to God’s commandments, are the fruits and evidences of a true and lively faith: and by them believers manifest their thankfulness, strengthen their assurance, edify their brethren, adorn the profession of the Gospel, stop the mouths of the adversaries, and glorify God, whose workmanship they are, created in Christ Jesus thereunto, that, having their fruit unto holiness, they may have the end, eternal life.

III. Their ability to do good works is not at all of themselves, but wholly from the Spirit of Christ. And that they may be enabled thereunto, beside the graces they have already received, there is required an actual influence of the same Holy Spirit, to work in them to will, and to do, of His good pleasure: yet are they not hereupon to grow negligent, as if they were not bound to perform any duty unless upon a special motion of the Spirit; but they ought to be diligent in stirring up the grace of God that is in them.

IV. They who, in their obedience, attain to the greatest height which is possibly in this life, are so far from being able to supererogate, and to do more than God requires, as that they fall short of much which in duty they are bound to do.

V. We cannot by our best works merit pardon of sin, or eternal life at the hand of God, by reason of the great disproportion that is between them and the glory to come; and the infinite distance that is between us and God, whom, by them, we can neither profit, nor satisfy for the debt of our former sins, but when we have done all we can, we have done but our duty, and are unprofitable servants: and because, as they are good, they proceed from His Spirit, and as they are wrought by us, they are defiled, and mixed with so much weakness and imperfection, that they cannot endure the severity of God’s judgment.

VI. Notwithstanding, the persons of believers being accepted through Christ, their good works also are accepted in Him; not as though they were in this life wholly unblamable and unreproveable in God’s sight; but that He, looking upon them in His Son, is pleased to accept and reward that which is sincere, although accompanied with many weaknesses and imperfections.

VII. Works done by unregenerate men, although for the matter of them they may be things which God commands; and of good use both to themselves and others: yet, because they proceed not from an heart purified by faith; nor are done in a right manner, according to the Word; nor to a right end, the glory of God, they are therefore sinful and cannot please God, or make a man meet to receive grace from God: and yet, their neglect of them is more sinful and displeasing unto God.

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