We have seen the threefold attitude of the Apostle Paul in the previous verses. Now we will see the traveling motives of Paul. His first motive was that he had a very strong desire to teach these believers Bible doctrine. Remember that these Christians were very new to the faith and needed doctrine in order to stabilize them. Only applied Bible doctrine resident in the soul will stabilize a believer. Why do we study and apply as we grow? The answer is spiritual stabilization. (James 1:1-8)
In this verse Paul emphasizes the importance of face-to-face teaching, if at all possible. The faith of these believers was already a topic of discussion among the many churches that Paul had been visiting. We can therefore conclude that these believers were being taught some Bible doctrine. However, it was Paul’s assignment from God to evangelize and teach the Gentile world. One of Paul’s spiritual gifts (he had several) would aid him in accomplishing his mission among these believers in Rome.
Paul begins by saying that he had a great desire to see these believers. The Greek word for longing is “plas” meaning a very strong desire. Paul’s reason for wanting to see them was so that he may impart to them some spiritual gift. The Greek word for impart is “prosanatithemi,” which means to lay out before someone or to lay out the information. In this case, the gift of teaching is in view; Paul also had the gifts of Apostleship, Tongues, Healing, Evangelism and probably others. His ultimate goal for these believers in Rome was made clear by the use of the Greek word for established, which is “sterizo” meaning stabilized or strengthened.
Stabilization comes only through metabolized Bible doctrine resident in the soul of a believer. Metabolized doctrine is doctrine that has been learned and believed and has become part of the believer’s thinking. God the Holy Spirit has placed in this believer both vocabulary storage and a frame of reference related to Bible doctrine. Utilization of these two factors allows the believer to think divine viewpoint and make good decisions in life from a position of strength.
That is in this verse is a purpose clause indicating that Paul would be encouraged along with the believers in Rome as he taught them Bible doctrine.
Comforted is the Greek word “sumparakaleo,” which means called along side for encouragement.
By the mutual faith indicates that Paul knew the source of their mutual encouragement would be Bible doctrine. Faith is the Greek word “pistis” meaning what is believed. Thus, it was Paul’s desire for these believers to be doctrinally oriented.
The word “doctrinal” means pertaining to a teaching, a body of principles or a branch of knowledge. “Orientation” means familiarization with a particular person, thing or field of knowledge. Doctrinal orientation, therefore, means to familiarize oneself with the teachings and principles of the Word of God.
The Word of God is inerrant and infallible in its original form. God so directed the writers of Scripture that His complete and coherent word was transferred to the pages of Scriptures in its original form without altering the literary style or personality of the author. “ …Thou hast magnified thy Word above all thy name.” (Psalm 138:2)
Bible doctrine is the word of God the Father. (Hebrews 4:12) It is the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16) and the voice of God the Holy Spirit. (Hebrews 3:7) The Word of God is profitable for doctrine (the body of teaching that we believe), for reproof (the Word of God is a mirror into our souls so that we can evaluate ourselves before God), for correction (once we evaluate ourselves and find there needs to be corrective action, the Word of God gives the correct course of action), and for instruction in righteousness (once we discover the right course of action, the Word of God gives us a blueprint of how to accomplish our goal). (II Timothy 3:16)
We learn Bible doctrine under the filling (control and guidance) ministry of God the Holy Spirit. (John 16:12-13) God has given to the local church certain men with the gift of pastor/teacher for the communication of doctrine, systematically. (Ephesians 4:11-16) We are also commanded to spend time in personal study of God’s Word. (II Timothy 2:15, Isaiah 28:9-10) It is important to remember that no one passage of Scripture stands alone. We must always study by comparing Scripture with Scripture. (II Peter 1:20-21)
Paul wanted these believers in Rome to be fully aware that he had desire to come and visit them. No doubt they knew of Paul, as well. The word ignorant in the King James Bible is the Greek word “agnoeo” meaning to be unaware.
Oftentimes I purposed to come to you, refers to previous times where Paul had scheduled trips to Rome, but was stopped by God from going. Let in the King James Bible is an old English word meaning to hinder. The Greek word for let is “koluo” meaning to hinder, forbid or restrain.
The phrase “that I might have some fruit among you also” tells us a couple of things about the Apostle Paul. First, it tells us that he had already been successful in other regions in the production of fruit (even as among other Gentiles). The word Gentile comes from the Latin word “gentiles” meaning to belong to a tribe or clan. It came to mean anyone who was not a Jew. The Greek word for fruit, “karpos” gives us this insight. “Karpos” means that which is produced. Second, Paul wanted to evangelize the city of Rome, as well as teach these believers Bible doctrine.
Divine production is the producing of divine good. Divine production can be accomplished only by the properly motivated, advancing (spiritually maturing) believer who is filled with God the Holy Spirit. Production of divine good is a priestly function of the believer and is part of God’s plan for us to produce divine good. (Ephesians 2:10) The Greek word for good in Ephesians 2:10 is “agathos,” which means good of intrinsic (lasting or eternal) value. Only divine good has lasting/eternal value. All other forms of good performed by the believer will be “burned up” at the Judgment Seat of Christ. (I Corinthians 3:11-15)
The production of divine good is related to logistical grace. In II Corinthians 9:8, all you need refers to God providing all your needs so that you can have an abundance of production of divine good.
The production of divine good is related to the function of learning and applying Bible doctrine. (John 15:7-8) Titus 2:7 says, “…in all things show yourself to be an example of the production of divine good by means of soundness of doctrine.” II Timothy 2:21 says, “…that you might walk worthy of the Lord…” Colossians 1:9-10 says, “. . . being fruitful in every good work . . .”
The production of divine good is related to spiritual maturity. (II Tim 3:16-17) The production of divine good is an issue in the angelic conflict. Romans 12:21 says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil by the production of divine good.”
The production of divine good is related to a maximum amount of grace in the soul of the believer. (II Corinthians 5:10) Only maturing believers produce divine good, which is rewardable in eternity. If you acquire maximum Bible doctrine in the soul, you will produce things in time, which will be rewardable in eternity.
The production of divine good is related to the believer’s honor. (II Tim 2:21) Divine good is both verbal and mental (visible and invisible). (II Thessalonians 2:16-17)
There must be spiritual growth before there can be the production of divine good. All production must come from within the boundaries of Bible doctrine. It is the will of God that you learn doctrine before you produce divine good. You do not put baby believers to work doing anything, you teach them. When the baby grows up, it will work and produce naturally as a result of all the training it received. (Hebrews 5:11-14)
The right mental attitude plus the filling of the Holy Spirit equals the production of divine good. (Galatians 5:16)
The believer is only a fruit bearer under the following conditions:
(1) You must have consistent intake and application of Bible doctrine after salvation.
(2) You must have the resultant spiritual growth.
(3) You must have the correct mental attitude.
(4) Fruit bearing is the production of divine good as a result of the filling of the Spirit and advance in the spiritual life.
Producing divine good demands having right priorities. Right priorities are consistent divine viewpoint of life, which originates from perception, belief and application of Bible doctrine. (II Timothy 2:15)