Rom_15:1. We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
When we are free from scruples upon any point, and feel that there are things that we may do because we are strong, yet let us not do them if thereby we should grieve others who are weak. Let us think of their infirmities; and whatever liberty we may feel entitled to claim for ourselves, let us look at the matter from the standpoint of other people as well as from our Own, that we may bear the infirmities of the weak, and not seek to please ourselves.
Rom_15:2-3. Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification. For even Christ—
Our Master, and Lord, and great Exemplar: “For even Christ”—
Rom_15:3. Pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on, me.
He took the most trying place in the whole field of battle; he stood where the fray’ was hottest. He did not seek to be among his disciples as a king is in the midst of his troops, guarded and protected in the time of strife; but he exposed himself to the fiercest part of all the conflict. What Jesus did, that should we who are his followers do, no one of us considering himself, and his own interests, but all of us considering our brethren and the cause of Christ in general.
Rom_15:4. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning,—
This is as if somebody had said, “Why, Paul, it was David who said what you just quoted” “Yes,” he replies, “I know that I quoted David, but he spoke in his own person concerning his Lord, ‘for whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning.’”
Rom_15:4-5. That we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation—
“Comfort” is really the word he used, turning into prayer the thought which had been suggested by his use of the words “patience and comfort.” “Now the God of patience and comfort”—
Rom_15:5. Grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:
“Make you to be unanimous, not concerning that which is evil, but that you may be of one mind in your likeness to Christ Jesus.” What a blessed harmony it would be if, not only all in any one church, but all in the whole of the churches were likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus! It will be so when he gathers those who are now scattered; but may we never hope to have it so here on earth? I cannot tell; but, at any rate, let us all strive after it. Let us all endeavor to pitch our tune according to Christ’s keynote; and the nearer we get to that, the less discord there will be in the psalmody of the church. We shall be likeminded with one another when we become likeminded with Christ; but not till then.
Rom_15:6-7. That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.
Christ did not receive us because we were perfect, because he could see no fault in us, or because he hoped to gain somewhat at our hands. Ah, no! but, in loving condescension covering our faults, and seeking our good, he welcomed us to his heart; so, in the same way, and with the same purpose, let us receive one another.
Rom_15:8. Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:
It was to Abraham and his descendants that the promise was made that, in him, and in his seed, all the nations of the earth should be blessed. So our Lord came, as a Jew, to be “a minister of the circumcision.” Let us never forget that he came to those whom we are apt to forget; and, peradventure, even to despise, “to confirm the promises made unto the fathers.’”
Rom_15:9-12. And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name. And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people. And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people. And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.
There were plain indications, in the Old Testament, that the blessing was meant for the Gentiles as well as for the Jews; but, still, it was made known to the Jews first, and we must never forget that.
Rom_15:13. Now the God of hope—
Turn back to the fourth verse, and note the expression, “that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope;” then read in the fifth verse,” The God of patience and comfort;” and see how Paul here goes back to that last word in the fourth verse, “Now the God of hope”—
Rom_15:13-16. Fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. 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. Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God. That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.
Now would have been the time for Paul to say that he had been made a minister “to offer the unbloody sacrifice of the mass,” if such a thing had been right;—to offer up the daily sacrifice, as the so-called “priests” aver that, they now do; but he says nothing of the sort; and even when he represents the Gentiles as being offered up, he does not speak of any sacrifice going therewith, but says that it “might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.”