Romans 15:14 says, “Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another” (NKJV). One thing that has always amazed me about this verse is the fact that the apostle Paul had never visited Rome, so he had never seen the saints there “face to face.” Yet he had a confidence in them that is beautiful to see and he knew that they were spiritually endowed with goodness and knowledge. Where did this confidence and knowledge of them come from? Romans 1:8 answers that question: “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that YOUR FAITH IS SPOKEN OF THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE WORLD.” The saints at Rome were on fire for the Lord and people were speaking about them through the entire Roman Empire! Again, Paul had never met them, but he had met others who were acquainted with them and they told Paul of their zeal for the Lord and the spiritual fruit their faith was bearing in the form of “goodness and knowledge.”

We see a similar case in Colossians 1:3-4, “We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since WE HEARD OF YOUR FAITH IN CHRIST JESUS AND OF YOUR LOVE FOR ALL THE SAINTS.” Paul had never met the saints at Colosse either (see Colossians 2:1), yet he had heard of their FAITH and the wonderful fruit (of LOVE for all saints) it was bearing. This begs the question: If Paul was alive today and he had never met the believers in your local church, could he say the same thing of you that he did to the saints at Rome and Colosse?

There is another striking thing in this verse. As I had mentioned, Paul had never been to Rome (or any other apostle at this time), yet these dear saints had heard from someone the fundamental truths of Christianity and they EMBRACED THEM. Surely they had a lot to learn (and Paul was writing to further establish them in “the faith”), but the truth that had been presented to them was gladly received, so much so that the apostle was confident they were “filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.” They were thirsty for God’s Word and their hearts took it in like a sponge soaking up water. And because they were also “full of goodness,” they wanted to communicate this truth to others. One of the sure signs of a true Christian is his desire to share God’s Word with others (for this “treasure” is not meant to be hoarded, but to be given to others so they too can be blessed), and the Lord will surely enable us to teach His precious truth to all who have ears to hear. May we challenge ourselves again by asking, “Are we known for learning all we can from God’s Word and then sharing it with others?” (246.7) (DO)