the weblog of Alan Knox

Mutual edification in Romans?

Posted by on Dec 17, 2010 in blog links, edification, scripture, spirit/holy spirit, spiritual gifts | 3 comments

But, I thought Romans was a theology book?

Well, my friend Jason from “Second and Content” wrote about “Mutual Encouragement [in] Romans 1:8-15.” You may remember Jason from the videos interviews that we’ve been doing (see part 1 and part 2 – we’re hoping to tape part 3 this weekend).

According to Jason, Paul begins his letter to the Romans with a desire to get together with them so that they can all mutually encourage one another. Of course, Jason gets that from this sentence in Paul’s opening section:

For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you -  that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. (Romans 1:11-12 ESV)

Wow… Paul was expecting these Roman Christians to encourage him, just as he was expecting to be an encouragement to them. Paul? The great theologian and missiologist? How could someone have anything to offer him?

Well, because Paul knew that those Roman Christians were indwelled by the Holy Spirit, just like Paul was. That is the only ingredient necessary for mutual edification, assuming of course that we don’t get in the Spirit’s way.

Read Jason’s post. He also of really good things to say.\

(By the way, congratulations to Jason on graduating from college today!)


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 12-17-2010


    As you well know, mutual edification is good theology.

  2. 12-17-2010

    Thanks for another post on mutual edification. I’m really still on the inside looking out, and have trouble seeing it clearly, so maybe you can help with something. What is the difference between edification and encouragement? You kind of used them interchangeably, it seems.

  3. 12-17-2010


    Yes, it is. And, any theology that is not accompanied with actions toward helping others to mature in Christ indicates that it is not biblical theology.


    Yes, in this case, I’m using “mutual edification” and “mutual encouragement” interchangeably. I think that when the authors of Scripture used the terms for edify and encourage/exhort, they mean to help others grow in maturity in Jesus Christ. To me, Ephesians 4:1-16 is one of the passages that best explains “mutual edification/encouragement.” The book of Hebrews is good as well.