Chapters 13-16 in Romans contain instructions on how to live the Christian life. The church in Rome comprised of Gentiles had no knowledge of the Jewish law, no knowledge of the prophecies of a coming Messiah, and no knowledge about following the teachings of Christ other than what had already been passed on to them.
Chapter 13 begins with, “EVERYONE must submit himself to the governing authorities…”
13: 7 “Give EVERYONE what you owe him.”
14: 2 “One man’s faith allows him t eat EVERYTHING, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats ONLY vegetables.”
14:7 “For NONE of us lives to himself alone and NONE of us dies to himself alone.”
14: 10-12 “You then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down at your brother? For we will ALL stand before God’s judgement seat. It is written, ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘EVERY knee will bow before Me, EVERY tongue will confess to God.’ So then, EACH of us will give an account of himself to God.”
14: 18 “… because ANYONE who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by man.”
14: 19 “Let us therefore make EVERY effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification…ALL food is clean but it is wrong for a man to eat ANYTHING that causes someone else to stumble.”
14: 23 “…EVERYTHING that does not come from faith is sin.”
15: 2 “EACH of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.”
15: 4 “For EVERYTHING that was written in the past was written to teach us…”
15: 11 “And again, ‘Praise the Lord, ALL you Gentiles, and sing praises to Him ALL you peoples.’”
15: 13 “May the God of hope fill you with ALL joy and peace as you trust in Him…”
15: 18-20 “I will not venture to speak of ANYTHING except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done- by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem ALL the way around to Illyricum, I have FULLY proclaimed the gospel of Christ. It has ALWAYS been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known….”
15: 29 “I know that when I come to you, I will come in the FULL measure of the blessing of Christ.”
15: 33 “The God of peace be with you ALL. Amen.”
16: 4 “They risked their lives for me. Not only I but ALL the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them.”
16: 19 “EVERYONE has heard about your obedience…”
16:26-27 “…but now revealed and made known through the prophets’ writings by the command of the eternal God, so that ALL nations might believe and obey Him- to the ONLY wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.”
This quick walk through Romans shows that Paul doesn’t use these words lightly; there may be some exaggeration in some places (“EVERYONE has heard about your obedience…”). Probably not a true statement but it serves to make a point- that the church at Rome was well known among Christians for their obedience and they had a good reputation among the other followers of Christ.
How about us? When we use these words are we exaggerating or drawing some conclusion that cannot be proven? Let us choose our words carefully, for once spoken, they cannot be recalled.