‘And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.’ Romans 15:14.
The word ‘admonish’ comes from the Greek ‘noutheteo’, meaning to ‘warn’ and ‘exhort’. This makes perfect sense in light of the many exhortations to ‘stay alert’ in these last days. Consider Peters very clear ‘warning and exhortation’...
‘But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.’ 2 Peter 3:10-14.
In that passage are both warnings and exhortations. We are warned that while the day of the Lord will come suddenly and at an unexpected moment, we should not be among those that are taken by surprise. Quite the opposite, we should be very careful and ‘diligent’ to ensure that we are living every moment of our lives in anticipation of His return. Peter is very clear about the kind of lives we should be living. They should be ‘holy’ and ‘godly’, ‘peaceful’, ‘spotless’ and ‘blameless’. Holy means separate and distinct from the style of speech and behaviour that characterises those around us. The essential meaning of ‘holy’ is ‘separate’ and ‘set apart’. Godliness means ‘morally pure and of unimpeachable character’. ‘Peace’ means not arguing, fighting, being difficult and contentious, but being calm and peaceful in our manner and behaviour. ‘Without spot’ implies that our lives would bear close and careful examination to the point that we would, in fact, be absolutely blameless in thought, word and deed. This is a high ideal, however, if you ponder Peter’s words you can be left with no alternative understanding. That’s exactly why we need to be ‘admonished’ by one another all the time. We need to be motivated and encouraged to lift our game every minute and every day of our lives. Jesus is coming very soon and you and I will be called to give an account for the way we have lived our lives so we desperately need each other to help us to stick with it and remain alert and faithful. That’s why we must meet together as often as possible. Not just to have the fun of being together, but to encourage and inspire one another to live every moment in the light of His return. If you truly love me and I truly love you in the way Jesus commanded us to, we would have that exact kind of deep and personal concern for one another. We would want to care for one another and help one another, both materially, spiritually and emotionally. This is true New Testament koinonia/fellowship.
So, ponder Romans 15:14 and come prepared to do exactly that.