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THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS - Chapter 14 - Verse 19

Verse 19. Let us therefore follow, etc. The object of this verse is to persuade the church at Rome to lay aside theft causes of contention, and to live in harmony. This exhortation is founded on the considerations which the apostle had presented, and may be regarded as the conclusion to which the argument had conducted him.

The things which make for peace. The high purposes and objects of the Christian religion, and not those smaller matters which produce strife. If men aim at the great objects proposed by the Christian religion, they will live in peace. If they seek to promote theft private ends, to follow their own passions and prejudices, they will be involved in strife and contention. There are great common objects before all Christians in which they can unite, and in the pursuit of which they will cultivate a spirit of peace. Let them all strive for holiness; let them seek to spread the gospel; let them engage in circulating the Bible, or in doing good in any way to others, and their smaller matters of difference will sink into comparative unimportance, and they will unite in one grand purpose of saving the world. Christians have more things in which they agree than in which they differ. The points on which they are agreed are of infinite importance; the points on which they differ are commonly some minor matters in which they may "agree to differ," and still cherish love for all who bear the image of Christ.

And things wherewith, etc. That is, those things by which we may render aid to our brethren; the doctrines, exhortations, counsels, and other helps which may benefit them in their Christian life.

May edify. The word edify means, properly, to build, as a house; then to rebuild or reconstruct; then to adorn or ornament; then to do anything that will confer favour or advantage, or which will further an object. Applied to the church, it means, to do anything by teaching, counsel, advice, etc., which will tend to promote its great object; to aid Christians, to enable them to surmount difficulties, to remove theft ignorance, etc., Ac 9:31; 1 Co 8:1; 14:4. In these expressions the idea of a building is retained, reared on a firm, tried corner-stone the Lord Jesus Christ, Eph 2:20; Isa 28:16. Comp. Ro 9:33. Christians are thus regarded, according to Paul's noble idea, (Eph 2:20-22,) as one great temple erected for the glory of God, having no separate interest, but as united for one object, and therefore bound to do all that is possible that each other may be fitted to their appropriate place, and perform their appropriate function in perfecting and adorning this temple of God.

{w} "Let us therefore follow" Ps 34:14; Heb 12:14 {x} "things wherewith one edify" 1 Co 14:12

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