Paul says to the Roman Christians “I am fully convinced, my dear brothers and sisters, that you are full of goodness. You know these things so well you can teach each other all about them.” Rom 15:14.
You are full of goodness and knowledge. You know these things so well you can teach each other all about them. Paul doesn’t really need to remind them about all this stuff but he does anyway. As he says “Even so, I have been bold enough to write about some of these points, knowing that all you need is this reminder.” Paul knows this matter of disunity is so easy to come to the fore and has seen it destroy or threaten other churches he has had relationship with. He doesn’t want that to happen to the Roman Christians.
In Rom 1:8 he made the point their strong faith was being talked about all over the (Roman) world. He is telling them now it is not that he considers them to be lacking or on the brink of going into heresy or error. He is merely being a father in the faith to them and reminds them of these things before they become issues. Isn’t that true! It is easier to deal with things before they become issues than after the matter has become an issue. Once it is an issue, the emotions are involved and the lines have been drawn. It becomes much harder to deal with.
Paul’s comment at this point is a positive and not a negative. I personally think it goes all the way back to the beginning of Romans 14 but maybe even back to Romans 13 or even Romans 12. It is certainly the issue of food and drink etc that is in his mind and the Roman Christians need to hold this all in balance. But I feel it includes the out working of loving your neighbour found in Romans 13 and the not thinking too highly of yourself than you ought as found in Romans 12. In all of this Paul is saying “you Roman Christians have it together pretty well and you have the goodness and the knowledge to deal with this in a positive way and can teach and admonish each other when needed.” He is merely reminding them of the issues and in a sense complimenting them on how they are doing.
When it comes to respecting leaders and the practical aspects of their faith they are doing well. They need to do well because an intense time of persecution is on the horizon for them as they live at the very centre of the Roman empire and are facing the beginnings of Nero’s shortcomings at the time of writing and will face even more intense persecution in the coming years.
Get the basics sorted out before the heavy stuff hits (persecution).
God is scanning the earth right now looking for those whose hearts will beat with His.
God uses broken-hearted people because they feel the pain of a fractured world that is separated from God. David Shibley