I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. (ESV)
The Apostle Paul was a strong man. His words to the churches in all of his letters are full of doctrinal truth and instruction that are not for the faint of heart. In this letter to the church at Rome he had to correct them in their understanding of how to deal with issues that could potentially divide them. Paul had never even been to Rome yet. He had not met these believers.
Paul is telling the church at Rome in this verse that the reason they were able to receive his strong words was because of their spiritual maturity. He declares that they are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. This is an incredible compliment that Paul would not offer to every church.
This concept of being filled with goodness and knowledge speaks of a group of believers who had listened to the Word of God and understood it. They had delved deeply into doctrine and were able to discern right from "almost right." When I read those words I wonder how many churches in our current culture would be qualified to receive such a commendation from the Apostle Paul.
In the last part of this verse Paul says that the people in Rome were able to instruct one another. This is only possible if the people collectively elevate the truth of Scripture. A church that is all studying the Bible and learning the deep truths of God are able to instruct one another. He does not attribute this ability to pastors or elders, but the whole church. This is a healthy body of believers.
Picture yourself as receiving a letter from the Apostle Paul. Would he say the same things about you that he said about the church at Rome? If not, what would he say?
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