Romans 15-16, 1 Corinthians 1
Romans Chapter 15
"15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope" (Romans 15:4 KJV) refers to the "Old" Testament, because the "New" Testament wasn't written yet (see Jesus Christ's Bible). The Holy Scriptures have always been about Christ and Christianity.
It was by Christ that God Created all things, including Christ's Sabbath when He rested on the Seventh Day of Creation (see Christ The Creator):
"1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood [see Why Blood?], even the forgiveness of sins: 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him" (Colossians 1:14-16 KJV)
It was Christ that re-delivered the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai (see The Ten Commandments Before Sinai?), for all of humanity (see The God Of The Old Testament, Why Did Christ Put Moses To Death?):
"10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ" (1 Corinthians 10:1-4 KJV).
Jesus Christ is the focus of all Prophecy (see The Messianic Psalms and First And Second Comings In Isaiah).
"15:1 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 15:2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
15:3 For even Christ pleased not himself [see A Man With A Mission]; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
15:5 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: 15:6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father [see The Holy Father] of our Lord Jesus Christ.
15:7 Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.
15:8 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a Minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: 15:9 And that the Gentiles [see The Apostle To The Gentiles] might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will Confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name. 15:10 And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people.
15:11 And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people.
15:12 And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse [see I have provided Me a king among his sons], and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust [see Zionism].
15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of The Holy Ghost." (Romans 15:1-13 KJV)
Israel was created from "gentiles" (e.g. see Israel's Iraqi Roots). Paul's ministry to the Gentiles was merely a continuation of what Christ began at the very beginning when humanity, all of it, was created.
"15:14 And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge [see Growing In The Grace And Knowledge], able also to admonish one another. 15:15 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, 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.
15:17 I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God. 15:18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed [see Works Means Obedience], 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. 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: 15:21 But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand. 15:22 For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you." (Romans 15:14-22 KJV)
There were many true Christians in Rome (see the next chapter); Paul's plan to visit Rome was for their sake, not for any reverence or admiration of the capital city of a malignant empire (see Ancient Empires - Rome), that hadn't yet perverted a large part of the true Church of God at Rome into the Church of Rome at Rome (see The Struggle For The Papacy, The Political Origin Of The Papacy and Emperors and Popes; see also Simon Magus).
"15:23 But now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you; 15:24 Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company. 15:25 But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints [see What Is A Saint?]. 15:26 For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. 15:27 It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things [see Spiritual Conception], their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things. 15:28 When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain. 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.
15:30 Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake [see For Christ's Sake], and for the love of the Spirit [see The Cure For The Carnal Mind], that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me; 15:31 That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints; 15:32 That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed. 15:33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen." (Romans 15:23-33 KJV)
Romans Chapter 16
Paul's (see Paul's Ministry) letter (i.e. epistle; see Epistles) concludes with a list of greetings to the many true Christians in Rome at that time. Notice also that Paul's letter was written by Tertius, who includes his own greeting i.e. "16:22 I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord" (Romans 16:22 KJV).
"16:1 I commend unto you Phebe our sister [see also The Women Who Stood With Him], which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: 16:2 That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.
16:3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: 16:4 Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.
16:5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.
16:6 Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us.
16:7 Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners [see Christianos], who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.
16:8 Greet Amplias my beloved in the Lord.
16:9 Salute Urbane, our helper in Christ, and Stachys my beloved.
16:10 Salute Apelles approved in Christ. Salute them which are of Aristobulus' household.
16:11 Salute Herodion my kinsman. Greet them that be of the household of Narcissus, which are in the Lord.
16:12 Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord. Salute the beloved Persis, which laboured much in the Lord.
16:13 Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.
16:14 Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren which are with them.
16:15 Salute Philologus, and Julia, Nereus, and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints which are with them.
16:16 Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ [see also Disciples of Christ] salute you.
16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them [see The Warning About Grievous Wolves]. 16:18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. 16:19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.
16:20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
16:21 Timotheos my workfellow, and Lucius, and Jason, and Sosipater, my kinsmen, salute you.
16:22 I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord.
16:23 Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you. Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you, and Quartus a brother.
16:24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the Mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, 16:26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the Prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: 16:27 To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen." (Romans 16:1-27 KJV)
1 Corinthians Chapter 1
Corinth was an ancient city on the isthmus that connected the The Peloponnesus to the Greek mainland. Although originally a Greek city, with the decline of the Greek empire (see Ancient Empires - Greece), in Paul's time it was subject to Roman rule (see Ancient Empires - Rome).
Paul's first letter (i.e. epistle; see Epistles) to the Christians of Corinth was written from Ephesus ("16:7 For I will not see you now by the way; but I trust to tarry a while with you, if the Lord permit. 16:8 But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost" 1 Corinthians 16:8 KJV). The epistle demonstrates how quickly Satan's attacks begin when people strive to obey The Lord (see Concupiscence to understand the principle that problems only happen when one holds something). Paul's purpose in writing the letter was to correct errors and factious contentions that had infested the Church of God in the city.
"1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,
1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified [see What Is A Saint? and What Is The Church?] in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
1:3 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father [see The Holy Father], and from the Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 1:1-3 KJV)
Paul also reminded them in his opening that it was by the grace of God that they came to understand what they did - which is not open to revision by man.
"1:4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ [see Growing In The Grace And Knowledge];
1:5 That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; 1:6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: 1:7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: 1:8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1:9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord." (1 Corinthians 1:4-9 KJV)
The divisions in the church were happening because people were drifting from the pure Word of God to the words of themselves, following a particular teacher, rather than Christ. When Paul told them to be "perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment," he wasn't talking about merely all following the same man; he was talking about everyone following Christ.
"1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 1:11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
1:12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul [i.e. Paul's Ministry]; and I of Apollos [i.e. the ministry of Apollos]; and I of Cephas [i.e. Peter's Ministry]; and I of Christ.
1:13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? [see Baptism] 1:14 I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; 1:15 Lest any should say that I had baptized [see also The Origin of Baptism and Baptism Of Fire] in mine own name.
1:16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel [i.e. The Gospel of The Kingdom of God]: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect." (1 Corinthians 1:10-17 KJV)
Christ's purpose was to prepare the world for God's coming (see What Is Jesus Christ Doing Right Now? and The Throne Of God, From Heaven To Earth).
"1:18 For the preaching of the cross [see Crossing The T to understand what the "cross" really looked like] is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 1:19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
1:20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
1:22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified [see Why Blood?; listen also to the Sermon Christ's Passover: The Death And Birth Of The Saviour from our Sermons page], unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God [see The Logos].
1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 1:28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 1:31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 1:18-31 KJV)
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