TO ALL MY FAMILY, FRIENDS, AND STUDENTS
I hope all of you had a happy Christmas and joyful New Year. Now our holiday break is over and we want to move on learning more about God, by discovering more about what His Son Jesus had to say while here on earth. What Paul and the other Apostles preached was based on what Jesus taught. So they are helping us know more about the Son, and that helps us then to know more about His Father.
I’ll begin here by sharing the first paragraph of my New Testament Contextual Commentary on Romans, that should give you an idea of what kind of fruit and grain we will be gathering to sustain our spiritual strength as we move through its pages. The latter part of Chapter 14, and Chapter 15 are some of the least read and used for teaching and preaching. Let me tell you, there are some real nuggets of spiritual wisdom contained in this portion of Romans.
Let me begin here with an introduction by sharing what I wrote at the beginning of 15:1: As we can see, this opening verse in chapter fifteen begins with the Greek conjunction de (meaning “now”), certainly ties it to something said before. Apparently, in 1551 when Robert Estienne (Robert Stephanus in Latin), French printer in Paris, decided to give numbers to chapters and verses to the first published version of the Bible. Since it is most likely that he used the Latin version, took the opening line “We who are strong…” to be the beginning of a new chapter, may have been misled by the fact that critical conjunction “then” was missing from the text, which should have read, “We then…”
So with the conjunction, what does this advice from the Apostle Paul relate to in the preceding verses of chapter 14? All we need to do is go back to 14:22-23 and we will see what Paul is offering as a solution to the problems he mentions there. He tells the Romans to keep that which is fine with them between themselves and God. Anyone is happy if they know they’re doing what’s right. But if someone has doubts about what foods they should eat, God says they are just making sinners of themselves if they go ahead and eat it. It is because they are eating without being assured that it is the right thing to do. It’s important to know, that anything that is not done with certainly, is a big error. Then the next verse (15:1) says, “Now, we who are more sure owe it to those who are less sure…”
So I’m excited to continue our journey through the Book of Romans, starting this coming Monday, January 7, 2019. There a lot of exciting things yet to discover. You’ve come this far by faith and your love for God’s Word. Don’t give up now. Remember, those who endure unto the end shall be blessed by God and happy with themselves. So we’ll see you on Monday! – Dr. Robert R Seyda