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Romans 15.4a-Paul Cites Psalm 69.9 In Romans 15.3 Because The Old Testament Scriptures Were Written For The Christian's Instruction

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Romans: Romans 15:4a-Paul Cites Psalm 69:9 In Romans 15:3 Because The Old Testament Scriptures Were Written For The Christian’s Instruction-Lesson # 498

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Wenstrom Bible Ministries

Pastor-Teacher Bill Wenstrom

Thursday May 6, 2010

www.wenstrom.org

Romans: Romans 15:4a-Paul Cites Psalm 69:9 In Romans 15:3 Because The Old Testament Scriptures Were Written For The Christian’s Instruction

Lesson # 498

Please turn in your Bibles to Romans 15:1.

This evening we will begin a study of Romans 15:4.

In this passage, Paul explains the reason why he cited Psalm 69:9 to support his teaching in Romans 15:3a that Christ never pleased Himself for His own benefit.

He teaches that he cited this passage because the Old Testament Scriptures were written for the Christian’s instruction.

Then, he states that this purpose of this is so that through perseverance and the encouragement from the Scriptures, the Christian might possess confidence.

Romans 15:1, “Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves.”

Romans 15:2, “Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification.”

Romans 15:3, “For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, ‘The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.’”

Romans 15:4, “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

The statement “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction” presents the reason why Paul cited Psalm 69:9 in Romans 15:3b as support for the statement in Romans 15:3a that Christ never pleased Himself.

This principle is echoed throughout Paul’s writings (See Romans 4:23-24; 1 Corinthians 10:1-11).

Paul cited the Old Testament and in particular Psalm 69:9 in Romans 15:3b as support for his statement in Romans 15:3a that Christ never pleased Himself for His own benefit and not the gospels since they were all written after Paul wrote Romans in 57 A.D.

The gospel of Mark was written 60-70 A.D. and Matthew was written in approximately 80 A.D. while Luke between 60-65 A.D. and John’s gospel was written in approximately 90 A.D.

Of course, until these gospels were finally written, the eleven other apostles who walked with Jesus during His First Advent communicated to the church all that the Lord said and did.

“Whatever” is the nominative neuter plural form of the correlative pronoun hosos (ὅσος) (owe-soce), which refers to the Old Testament canon.

This is indicated by the verb prographo, “was written in earlier times” and that Paul’s statement in Romans 15:4 serves as justification for his citing Psalm 69:9 in Romans 15:3b as support for his statement in Romans 15:3 that Christ never pleased Himself.

The ancient Jews had a two-fold division of the Old Testament, which they called “the Law and the Prophets” or “Moses and the Prophets” (See Matthew 5:17; 7;12; 11:13; 22:40; Luke 16:16, 29, 31; 24:27; Acts 13:15; 24;14; 26;22; Romans 3:21).

The Jews of the present day divide the Old Testament Scriptures into three parts: (1) The Law (Torah) (2) The Prophets (Nabhiim) (3) The Writings (Kethubim).

The first section is called the Torah meaning “the Law” and contained: (1) Genesis (2) Exodus (3) Leviticus (4) Numbers (5) Deuteronomy.

The second section was called “the Prophets,” which were divided into two sections: (1) The “Former” Prophets” (2) The “Latter” Prophets.

The “Former” Prophets included: (1) Joshua (2) Judges (3) Samuel (4) Kings.

The “Latter” Prophets were divided into two categories: (1) Major (2) Minor.

The “Major” Prophets included: (1) Isaiah (2) Jeremiah (3) Ezekiel.

The “Minor” Prophets were also called “the Twelve” because they were all contained in one Book: (1) Hosea (2) Joel (3) Amos (4) Obadiah (5) Jonah (6) Micah (7) Nahum ((8) Habakkuk (9) Zephaniah (10) Haggai (11) Zechariah (12) Malachi.

The third and final section was called “the Writings”: (1) The Poetical Books: Psalms, Proverbs and Job (2) The Five Rolls (Megilloth): Song of Solomon, Ruth, Ecclesiastes, Esther and Lamentations (3) The Historical Books: Daniel, Ezra and Nehemiah (1 book) and Chronicles.

“Was written in earlier times” is the third person singular aorist passive indicative form of the verb prographo (προγράφω) (pro-graf-owe), which is used in a literal sense meaning “what was previously written” referring to the transmission of the Old Testament Scriptures.

“Was written” is the third person singular aorist passive indicative form of the verb grapho (γράφω) (graf-o), which means, “to write.”

The aorist tense of both verbs is a “constative” aorist describing in summary fashion the entire period in which the Old Testament was written from Genesis to Malachi.

The passive voice of both verbs is a “divine passive” indicating that the human authors of the Old Testament documents received inspiration from the Holy Spirit to write in perfect accuracy God’s complete and connected thought to mankind, to Israel and to the church.

2 Peter 1:20-21, “Above all, you do well if you recognize this: No prophecy of scripture ever comes about by the prophet’s own imagination, for no prophecy was ever borne of human impulse; rather, men carried along by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” (NET Bible)

Romans 15:4, “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

“For our instruction” is composed of the preposition eis (εἰς) (eece), “for” and the articular accusative feminine singular form of the noun didaskalia (διδασκαλία) (thee-thask-ah-lee-ah), “instruction” and the accusative feminine singular form of the adjective hemeteros (ἡμέτερος) (ee-meta-roce), “our.”

The noun didaskalia is used in an active sense and means “instruction” referring to teaching church age believers from the Old Testament Scriptures.

In Romans 15:3, Paul quotes Psalm 69:9 to teach the Roman believers that Jesus Christ never pleased Himself for His own benefit.

The noun functions as the object of the preposition eis, which functions as a marker of intent with the implication of an expected result.

This indicates that the Father directed the Holy Spirit to inspire men to write the Old Testament Scriptures for the express purpose of instructing believers so that as a result they might know how to conduct themselves in relation to His sovereign will for their lives.

2 Timothy 3:16-17, “Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work.” (NET Bible)

In Romans 15:3b, Paul cited Psalm 69:9 to support his statement in Romans 15:3a that Christ never pleased Himself and which statement served to explain his command in Romans 15:2.

This command in Romans 15:2 was addressed to the strong to continue making it their habit of pleasing the weak by not exercising their freedom in the presence of the weak for the purpose of encouraging their spiritual growth.

Thus, Paul used the Old Testament Scriptures as they were intended to be used, namely to instruct believers about Christ and how they could live like Him.

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