Logos Word of God – BT9
Roman 15:4 also does NOT teach Christians to use all ‘portions of’ scripture
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Some Christians will say, “What about Romans 15:4? Doesn’t it say “For (gar) whatever was written in former days was written for our teaching/instruction, that through hupomone patient-endurance and through the paraklesis alongside-encouragement of the graphe scriptures we might have elpis hope?” Doesn’t that mean ‘the whole/entirety of’ scripture? Only if you take it completely out of context and don’t know that graphe scripture in the plural only refers to ‘the entirety/whole of’ scripture in 1 place (a), but in all other cases refers to various books or large general ‘portions of’ scripture (b), or more often to specific prophetic ‘portions’ from all the general ‘portions’ like from the prophetic “Oracles of God” (c) and prophetic ‘portions of’ the Law (d) pertaining specifically to the Messiah and His gospel logos message of the completely-different-in-kind New Covenant, used specifically to convert Jews to Christ (e) – see BT5. <Notes> a) John 5:39, b) Matthew 22:29; Mark 12:24, c) Hebrews 5:12; Romans 3:2, d) Acts 7:3, e) Romans 1:2, 16:26; Matthew 26:56; many of throughout the book of Hebrews.
There are key words in this verse that refer back to the context. “For (gar) whatever (hosos) was written . . .” This Greek word gar lays out the “reason” from the previous statement: “For (gar) Christ did not please Himself, but as it is written, ‘The reproaches (a) of those who reproached You (Christ) fell on Me (God).’” The context of Psalms 69:9 make it clear the king David was speaking prophetically of the Messiah and His Father God. Paul used a specific prophetic verse about the persecution of Christ actually against God, especially since we know that Jesus lived ONLY to please God in perfect obedience (a), thus whatever was brought against Christ was brought against God. Therefore, the specific reason for Paul writing this “whatever was written . . . the graphe scriptures . . . hope” is because Paul is referring back to this specific prophetic verse and what it is saying to give Christians “endurance . . . encouragement . . . and hope.” <Notes> a) insolent, abusive, insulting language and treatment.
There’s more though! But even that statement of “For (gar) Christ did not please Himself ….” is linked back using gar again to the reason for Paul’s main point in verse 2: “Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.” In Greek, verses 2-4 are one big sentence, not 3 as your English bible erroneously shows! The reason for Christians to please others to build them up, even if we have to suffer, is because that’s how Jesus lived to please His Father. The context is Romans Chapter 14 – strong Christians, those who broke free from the Law’s many regulations, even of diet, because of their trusting-relying-faith in Christ shouldn’t use their freedom to eat prohibited food with weak-in-faith brothers still enslaved to the Law to do the same, because these weak-brothers end up sinning because their actions are “not-because-of-faith.” Their freedom caused a brother to sin. This is not unconditional-love for others. Instead of the strong pleasing just themselves, they should have pleased the weak. <Notes> a) Matthew 3:17, 12:18, 17:5; Mark 1:11; John 5:19; Luke 3:22; Romans 5:19.
In addition, the Greek word hosos is a comparative or correlative pronoun meaning: “as/so great a space as, as many whatsoever as of, as/so long time as, as much as this, so much more, in so far as.” Paul is comparing or correlating the following statement “written in former days for our instruction” to his previous statement that quotes Psalms 69:9, just as the conjunction “for (gar)” indicates the latter statement is the reason for the previous statement. Paul is consistent! Thus Paul is saying, I cited Psalms 69:9 in the previous verse for as much as this was “was written in former days” about Christ’s pleasing others, it NOW is the reason it applies to us, that is, that it “was written reaching-toward/arriving-at (eis) our teaching/instruction . . . endurance . . . encouragement . . .we might have hope.”
Again, there is a specific reason it applies to them NOW, because the gospel logos message NOW has only 2 commandments in it, 1 to the unsaved about trusting-relying-faith in Christ, and 1 to the saved about unconditionally-loving others, and that’s Paul main argument we saw above. Romans 15:1-4 are all about this 1 subject! We must not miss this context! Seeking the good of others over oneself (a), insuring that one’s own liberty is NOT becoming a stumbling block for others (b), and here that “We who are strong have an obligation to bear the failings of the weak, and/thus not to please ourselves . . . but to build them up” (c), is all about all about building up the body through unconditional-love (d), all about “bearing one another’s burdens and so fulfill the Law of Christ” (e), and all about “being transformed by the renewing of the mind . . . so let everyone among you absolutely NOT in possibility to think of himself more highly than he ought to think” but instead “the members of 1 body absolutely in fact do NOT have the same praxis function” (f). It’s Christ’s only commandment to the saved: “unconditionally-love one another just as I have you” (g). <Notes> a) 1 Corinthians 10:24, b) 1 Corinthians 8:9, c) Romans 15:1-2, d) Ephesians 4:16; 1 Corinthians 8:1, e) Galations 6:2, f) Romans 12:1-4, g) John 13:34, 15:12; 1 John 2:7; 2 John 1:5.
Here’s more context leading to “hope.” Romans 15:4 “. . . graphe written-with-letters reaching-toward/arriving-at (eis) our teaching/instruction in order that through-the-realizing-channel-of hupomone patient–endurance and/coupled through-the-realizing-channel-of the paraklesis alongside-encouragement of/belonging-to the scriptures we might have elpis hope.” The hope Paul is speaking about in Romans is uniquely Christian: “hope of the glory of God” as a result of “obtaining access to peace with God through Jesus Christ into this unconditional-loving-favor-of-grace in which we stand and rejoice” (a), a “hope that does not put us to shame, because God’s unconditional-love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (b), “For I consider the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God . . . the children of God . . . we wait eagerly for adoptions as sons, the redemption of our bodies, for in this hope we were saved. . . we wait for it with hupomone patient–endurance” (c). So we “rejoice in hope, be patiently-enduring (verb of hupomone) in tribulation” (d). The hope Paul has in mind throughout Romans is our patiently waiting through suffering-tribulation with the endurance/steadfastness of trusting-relying-faith in Jesus Christ for the redemption of our bodies, glorified with Christ because we suffered with Christ (e). Paul speaks of this bodily transformation often (f) at Christ’s return, our blessed hope (g). This “hope is in Christ” (h), “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (i), and “through the Spirit, by trusting-relying-faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness” (j), not the righteousness that comes from obedience to 613 commandments of the Torah Law of conditional-favor! Because “the scripture imprisons everything under sin” (k) for “the gramma letter kills” (l), because 97.4% of it is Law-based – see Logos Word of God – BT5a , and “when the Law came I died” (m), Paul sure wasn’t see much Christians hope in 97.4% of scripture. You can see from the other key words bolded above, that it’s the prophetic ‘portions of’ scripture Paul has in mind! “<Notes> a) Romans 5:1-2, b) Romans 5:5, c) Romans 8:18-25, d) Romans 12:12, e) Romans 8:17, f) 1 Corinthians 15:52; Philippians 3:21, g) Titus 2:13, h) Ephesians 1:12, i) Colossians 1:27, j) Galatians 5:5, k) Galatians 3:22, l) 2 Corinthians 3:6, m) Romans 7:9.
The “whole/entirety of’ scriptures don’t give us any hope! Most of Paul’s writings argue that 97.4% of the scriptures condemn us! Paul tells us the ‘portions of’ scripture that do right here, those “of/belonging-to the scriptures” – it’s the ‘portions for our teaching/instruction” that give us hope “through-the-realizing-channel-of hupomone patient–endurance and/coupled through-the-realizing-channel-of the paraklesis encouragement.” The Law doesn’t give us either! That’s why 97.4% should NOT be used “for our teaching/instruction” just as Paul said so often – see BT8. What does gives us these 3 things? It’s the prophetic ‘portions’ that bring us to Jesus for salvation, the kind that “are powerfully-enabling to make you wise unto salvation through trusting-relying-faith in Christ Jesus” (a), and that encourage us to hold onto that trusting-relying-faith through suffering tribulation! We see this close link between elpis hope and pistis trusting-relying-faith in Jesus often (b). <Notes> a) 2 Timothy 3:15, b) Hebrews 11:1, Romans 5:2; 1 Corinthians 13:13; Galatians 5:5; Colossians 1:23; 1 Thessalonians 1:3, 5:8; 1 Peter 1:21.
It is also no coincidence that Paul speaks so much about this special-kind of paraklesis encouragement as that which comes through salvation directly by God (a), by the Holy Spirit’s “alongside-counseling, consoling, comforting, or instruction” (b), that comes from intimate koinonia fellowship with the Spirit (c). The Holy Spirit is the Parakletos (d)! <Notes> a) Romans 15:5, b) Acts 9:31, c) Philippians 2:1, d) John 14:16, 26, 15:26, 16:7; 1 John 2:1.
The bigger context makes it even clearer! Romans 14 is all about not passing judgment on Jewish-Christians for not following OT commandments concerning its food Laws just because you were strong-in-The-Trusting-Relying-Faith but also not judging Jewish-Christians who still followed these Laws because they were weak/feeble/impotent in The-trusting-relying-Faith. “Sin” is no longer defined as “transgressing the Law” but simply “doing anything not from trusting-relying-faith!” Paul is certainly upset that some “weak” Jewish-Christians are still trying to “be instructed, get endurance, get counseling/encouragement, and find hope” from Jewish Laws, so clearly Romans 15:4 has nothing to do with perpetuating this false trusting-relying-faith in scripture’s commandments. Romans 15 continues chapter 14’s thought: The strong Jewish-Christians (or Gentiles who were ignorant or disregarded the OT Laws) are to “bear with the failings of the weak (Jewish-Christians) . . . to build them up, not pleasing themselves only, but being like Christ who suffered reproach from the Jews, citing the prophecy in Psalms 69:9 “just as it is written: ‘The reproaches that routinely reproached You (Christ) fell on Me (God).”
This begins the immediate context of OT citations that apply to Romans 15:4. In Romans 15:9-12 Paul cites other OT prophecies, to explain that although “Christ became a servant to the circumcised (Jews) . . . to confirm the promises given to the [Jewish] fathers” (v.8), He also did this “in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy” (v. 9), citing Isaiah: “the root of Jesse will come, even . . . to rule the Gentiles; in Him will the Gentiles hope,” and Paul does all this to explain his mission to the Gentiles (vv. 14-21), giving both Jew and Gentile-Christian this blessing: “May the God of hope fill you will all joy and peace by having trusting-relying-faith, so that by the supernaturally-enabling-power (dunamis) of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” (v. 13).
So, you can see from the context, the prophetic scriptures about Christ’s servant-suffering and ultimate rule for our hope are what was in view here by Paul to instruct Jewish-Christians to endure all kinds of suffering for the sake of Christ, and to maintain their trusting-relying-faith and unconditional-love through the encouragement of the Holy Spirit that they can get from specific prophetic scriptures concerning Christ and His sufferings, and all of this so they endure long enough to realize their Christian hope, a hope the Gentiles now even have, something that these prophetic scriptures also promised!
As Christian musicians, do we really want to take verses out of context and build our theology on English translations to push our pet doctrines, even erroneously believing that the entire OT scripture was written for our instruction/teaching? Based on Paul’s select Greek working vocabulary, sentence structure, prophetic OT verses quoted, and the context of Romans 14 and 15:1-4, there is no way that can it mean this, not to mention Paul’s extreme negativity towards the Law shown in the last 2 BLOGS?
No, once again Paul is speaking about the prophetic ‘portion of’ scripture concerning Christ and His gospel logos message of salvation through trusting-relying-faith by unconditional-favor-of-grace for a completely different-in-kind New Covenant, absolutely not through obeying commandments of the Law or old covenant. Grace and Law simply can’t co-exist in 1 covenant. You have to pick one to live under! Paul links steadfastness of faith to the Holy Spirit’s encouragement, but neither come from the Law, which is 97.4% of scripture, but they sure do from those prophetic ‘portions!’ If you plan on converting Jews or teaching new Jewish-Christians still feeding on the ‘milk’ of prophetic scriptures, then don’t build doctrine from anything but a thorough understanding of the original Greek and Hebrew, because English as with all other translations can really botch it, especially when they violate the working vocabulary of the writers and the context – see Bible Info!
Paul’s main point is for these Jewish-Christians, who revere the scriptures, to learn from the prophetic ‘portions’ that speak of Christ pleasing His father despite His own sufferings. Those ‘portions’ of scripture – Paul quotes many to prove his point to them – should indeed give them patient-endurance from the Holy Spirit’s encouragement during their suffering. A lot of Jews and even weak-in-faith brothers were criticizing their freedom from the dietary laws! Paul tells them there are times to stand up for your freedoms and times when you lay them down for the benefit of others, especially so they don’t violate their conscience and sin. It’s all about building others up by loving them.
Lord, thank You that you have freed every Christian from the Law, 97.4% of the scripture, and even freed some of us from the ‘milk’ of the prophetic scriptures of the OT, instead giving us the ‘solid’ food of the discernment by the Holy Spirit – see New Covenant Ways – BT16. I thank You that You meet us where we are, still needing ‘milk’ or ready for ‘solid food.’ Thank You that the prophetic ‘portions of’ scripture do convert Jews to Christ and that they can be encouraged by these ‘portions’ to patiently-endure in their faith even through persecution from others Jews, other religions, and even brothers that are weak-in-the-faith still bound to a religion of obedience to commandments in order to please You. Give us discernment Holy Spirit when to lay our own personal freedoms down to build others up by unconditional-love so that we may win as many as possible to You Jesus. Give us discernment when to stand up for a freedoms in Christ.