Romans 15

We then that are strong; enlightened on the subject in question; free from harassing doubts as to our duty.

Bear the infirmities of the weak; bear with them, and endeavor to assist them.
Please his neighbor; make the good of others, not his own gratification, his object. Our object in trying to please men should be, not to gain applause, but to do good; and we should not strive to please them any further than will be for the glory of God, and their highest benefit. Christ pleased not himself; by staying in heaven and enjoying the glory he had with the Father; but he condescended, submitted to many privations, and made great sacrifices for the good of others.

As it is written; Ps 69:9.

Reproaches--fell on me; and he cheerfully bore them, for the sins of men.
Written aforetime; in the Scriptures.

For our learning; to instruct us in our duty.

Patience and comfort of the Scriptures; received through the Holy Ghost from the Scriptures. The apostle uses the word patience here in the sense of the steadfast endurance of trials. See note to Ro 5:3.

Might have hope; hope of future glory, which shall sustain us in trials, quicken us in duty, and thus purify and fit us for heaven. The Scriptures were all written under the guidance and according to the direction of the Holy Ghost, to afford instruction and increase the excellence, usefulness, and enjoyment of men in all countries and ages. They should therefore be put into the hands of all as soon as possible.
The God of patience; who, by his word and Spirit, gives patience and consolation in trials.

Like-minded; alike in views and feelings, in obedience to and imitation of Christ. Hence differences of Christians on lesser points need not mar their unity in feeling.
One minded and one mouth; unitedly.

Glorify God; by manifesting those dispositions which are the fruit of his Spirit, and which he requires.
Wherefore; for the reasons above mentioned.

Receive ye one another; to Christian fellowship, for such reasons and with such a spirit.

As Christ also received us; to fellowship with him, that God by this Christian union may be glorified. The union of Christians glorifies God. They should receive and treat as Christians all who give evidence that they are such, and do it in obedience to the will, and in imitation of the example of Christ.
Christ was a minister of the circumcision; he was born, lived, and died a Jew; he came as the Messiah to the Jews, exercised his ministry among them, and died to redeem them, in fulfilment of the promises which God made to their fathers. That the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; his mercy also to them in sending them the gospel and inclining them to receive it.

As it is written; Ps 18:49; originally spoken by David in view of his triumphs over all his enemies. These typified the higher triumphs of Christ, in the benefits of which the Gentiles are to share.
Again he saith; De 32:43. When Moses calls upon the nations to rejoice with God's people, it is manifest that they are to be admitted to a share of their privileges. And again; Ps 17:1. The call upon the Gentiles to praise God implies their reception to the blessings of God's covenant in Christ. Esaias saith; Isa 11:1,10. The "root of Jesse" is Christ. The God of hope; the author of the hope in Christ which the prophets foretold. Habitual trust in God for all needed good is the great means of increasing joy, peace, hope, and all the graces of the Spirit in the hearts of believers; and also of leading them to abound in every good word and work. Full of goodness; Paul was confident that those to whom he wrote felt kindly towards one another, and would be disposed to follow, so far as they should understand it, the will of God.

Filled with all knowledge; so well acquainted with the doctrines and duties of religion, especially with regard to the subject in question, that they would be able also to admonish; or enlighten and benefit others.
Nevertheless; notwithstanding his good opinion of them.

Because of the grace--given to me; as God had enlightened him, and made him a minister, not to Jews only, but especially to Gentiles, and as the church of Rome was composed of both, he thought it the dictate of love to write to both, and thus plainly remind them of their duty, and of such motives as were suited to induce them to do it.
The offering up of the Gentiles; my offering of the Gentiles to God. He figuratively compares himself to a priest, and the offering which he presents to God is the souls of the Gentiles converted through his instrumentality. Whereof I may glory; ground for rejoicing and giving praise to God, that he had been made a minister and his efforts crowned with success. I will not dare; as some false apostles did, who intruded themselves upon the labor of other men, and took to themselves the honor of it. By the power of the Spirit of God; in working miracles and in renewing and sanctifying the hearts of men.

Illyricum; a province in Europe, north-west of Macedonia, and bordering on Italy and Germany. "From Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum," comprehended a large portion of the then known world.
Not where Christ was named; his object was to preach the gospel to the destitute who had never before heard it. The ministers who go and preach the gospel to those that have never heard it, and who are successful, through the power of the Holy Ghost, in converting them to God, gathering churches, and establishing Christian institutions, are, in a high and peculiar sense, imitators of apostles, and may hope, through grace, to be distinguished partakers of their gracious and glorious reward. As it is written; Isa 52:15. The course which Paul took was a fulfilment of prophecy.

They that have not heard; those who had not before heard the gospel would, through such labors as those of Paul, hear and obey it.
For which cause; his extensive journeyings to preach the gospel.

To you; the Christians at Rome.
Having no more place; in which to preach the gospel to those who have not heard it. Spain; a country west of Italy, in the south of Europe. To minister unto; to carry a contribution for the relief of their wants. Macedonia--Achaia; countries of Greece. It hath pleased them; to make a voluntary contribution.

Their debtors they are; the Gentiles were indebted to the Jewish Christians for the gospel.

Spiritual things; the blessings of salvation.

Carnal things; such as would supply bodily wants.
Performed this; this service of carrying the contribution to Jerusalem.

Sealed to them this fruit; made its benefits sure to them by delivering to them the contribution of their brethren.
For the Lord Jesus Christ's sake; from regard to him and the promotion of his cause.

The love of the Spirit; that which he produces in the hearts of Christians towards God and towards one another.

Strive together with me; in earnest, persevering prayer. Fervent, united, and persevering prayer has great influence with God, and leads him to bestow many great and precious blessings which he otherwise would not grant. The reason is, in answer to such prayer, it is in his view best to grant them; when, without such prayer, it would not be.
Them that do not believe; unbelieving Jews, who were everywhere opposed to him.

My service; in taking to the Jewish Christians the contribution of the Gentiles.
Be refreshed; cheered, invigorated, and strengthened for his future labors. The God of peace; the author and lover of peace, especially that peace of conscience and peace with God which passeth all understanding; peace in life, peace in death, and peace for ever. Php 4:7; Ps 37:37. If the God of peace, love, and joy be with his people, they will not want any real good; but will always, having all sufficiency in all things, be able to abound in receiving and communicating blessings, to the glory of Him of whom and through whom and to whom are all things. Chap Ro 11:36.
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