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Romans 12.12b-Paul Commands Romans To Continue To Persevere With Respect To Adversity

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Romans: Romans 12:12b-Paul Commands Romans To Continue To Persevere With Respect to Adversity-Lesson # 418

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Wenstrom Bible Ministries

Pastor-Teacher Bill Wenstrom

Thursday November 5, 2009

Romans: Romans 12:12b-Paul Commands Romans To Continue To Persevere With Respect to Adversity

Lesson # 418

Please turn in your Bibles to Romans 12:9.

Last evening we began a study Romans 12:12 and noted the first of three commands that appear in this passage where Paul commands the Roman believers to rejoice with respect to their confident expectation of blessing.

This evening we will note the second in which Paul commands his readers to persevere with respect to adversity.

Romans 12:9-12, “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor. Not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. Rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer.”

“In tribulation” is the articular dative feminine singular form of the noun thlipsis (qliyi$) (thlip-sis), which means “adversity.”

Every instance of suffering has a reason and an explanation.

Christian suffering can be understood most clearly in relation to the individual believer’s spiritual growth.

There are three agencies that God employs to bring about suffering: (1) Old sin nature (2) Cosmic system (3) Satan.

Negative categories of suffering: (1) Self-induced misery: Suffering from making bad decisions (2) Divine discipline: Suffering designed to get us to confess our sins and get back us in fellowship with God.

The believer who is executing the plan of God and learning Bible doctrine will go through suffering which is undeserved (1 Thess. 3:4).

It is called undeserved because they did not bring this suffering upon themselves (1 Pet. 2:19-20; 2 Cor. 1:6).

“Suffering for blessing” is designed to build up your spiritual muscles and to bring you to spiritual maturity, thus bringing glory to God in the angelic conflict (2 Corinthians 12:1-10).

It is a privilege to suffer undeservedly for Christ’s sake (Philippians 1:29).

God never permits us to undergo any testing that we don’t have the capacity for (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Just as the Father’s plan for the Lord Jesus Christ involved undeserved suffering so the plan of God for our lives involves undeserved suffering.

In 2 Corinthians 3:17-4:18, Paul writes to the Corinthians regarding his experience with undeserved suffering and his attitude regarding it.

In Philippians chapter three, Paul expresses his desire to be identified with Christ in His suffering, which acts as a bridge to experiencing identification with Christ in His resurrection.

Philippians 3:10-11, “that I come to know Him experientially and the power from His resurrection and the participation in His sufferings by my becoming like Him with respect to His death. If somehow (by becoming like Him with respect to His death), I may attain to the exit-resurrection, namely, the one out from the (spiritually) dead ones.”

If our Master, the Lord suffered undeservedly, so we, His servants will as well.

John 15:20, “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.”

Those who desire to live spiritually will be persecuted.

2 Timothy 3:12, “Indeed, all who desire to live spiritually in fellowship with Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”

Suffering challenges the believer to rely upon the invisible assets that God has provided rather than our human resources and it confronts us with our total dependence on the grace of God. Suffering impresses upon us our need to conform to His plan.

Romans 12:12, “Rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer.”

“Persevering” is the nominative masculine plural present active participle form of the verb hupomeno (u(pomevnw) (hoop-o-men-o), which means “to persevere” through undeserved suffering brought about by adversity.

Perseverance is absolutely essential in executing the Father’s will and in producing divine good that will be rewarded and was a quality that the apostles and Old Testament saints possessed.

Perseverance is that spiritual staying power that will die before it gives in and is the virtue which can endure, not simply with resignation, but with a vibrant confident expectation of reward and blessing.

It also involves doing what is right and never giving in to the temptation or trial and is a conquering perseverance and the ability to deal triumphantly with anything that life can do to us.

It accepts the blows of life but in accepting them transforms them into stepping stones to new achievement and spiritual growth.

Perseverance is the attitude of the soldier who in the thick of battle, is not discouraged and quits but rather fights on courageously whatever the difficulties.

2 Thessalonians 1:4, “Therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure.”

2 Timothy 3:10-11, “Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me!”

Perseverance demands faith in the promises of God.

The Lord will test the believer’s faith after salvation in order to produce endurance in them.

James 1:2-4, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance and let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

The Lord rewards the believer after his faith has been tested.

James 1:12, “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

The believer who perseveres and becomes a joint-heir with Christ during His millennial reign and on into eternity is an “overcomer” who is one who executes the Father’s plan for his life and overcomes the following: (1) Old sin nature (2) Cosmic system of Satan (3) Satan.

Revelation 21:7, “He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.”

In 2 Corinthians 4:1-18, the apostle Paul recognized that his underserved suffering was producing in him an eternal weight of glory meaning he would be rewarded at the Bema Seat.

In Romans 12:12, the second person plural form of the verb hupomeno refers to all of Paul’s Christian readers in Rome without exception.

The verb functions as an imperatival participle, which indicates that Paul is commanding his readers that they must continue to persevere through undeserved suffering brought about by adversity.

This is a “customary present imperative,” which denotes that the Roman believers’ must continue to persevere through undeserved suffering brought about by adversity.

Again, Paul’s statement in Romans 15:14-15 implies that they were.

Furthermore, Paul wrote in Romans 1:8 that he gave thanks to the Father for them because their faith was being proclaimed everywhere throughout the Roman Empire.

Therefore, in Romans 12:12, the present imperatival participle form of the verb hupomeno indicates that Paul is commanding the Roman believers to continue making it their habit to persevere through undeserved suffering brought about by adversity.

The active voice indicates that this command is directed towards all the believers in Rome without exception and is thus their responsibility to obey it.

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