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Please Others, Not Yourselves


We who are strong ought to put up with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2Each of us must please our neighbor for the good purpose of building up the neighbor. 3For Christ did not please himself; but, as it is written, “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” 4For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. 5May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, 6so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Gospel for Jews and Gentiles Alike

7 Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. 8For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised on behalf of the truth of God in order that he might confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, 9and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,

“Therefore I will confess you among the Gentiles,

and sing praises to your name”;

10 and again he says,

“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people”;

11 and again,

“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles,

and let all the peoples praise him”;

12 and again Isaiah says,

“The root of Jesse shall come,

the one who rises to rule the Gentiles;

in him the Gentiles shall hope.”

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.


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Ro 15:1-13. Same Subject Continued and Concluded.

1. We then that are strong—on such points as have been discussed, the abolition of the Jewish distinction of meats and days under the Gospel. See on Ro 14:14; Ro 14:20.

ought … not to please ourselves—ought to think less of what we may lawfully do than of how our conduct will affect others.

2, 3. Let every one of us—lay himself out to

please his neighbour—not indeed for his mere gratification, but

for his good—with a view

to his edification.

3. For even Christ pleased not—lived not to please

himself; but, as it is written—(Ps 69:9).

The reproaches, &c.—see Mr 10:42-45.

4. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning—"instruction"

through, &c.—"through the comfort and the patience of the Scriptures"

might have hope—that is, "Think not that because such portions of Scripture relate immediately to Christ, they are inapplicable to you; for though Christ's sufferings, as a Saviour, were exclusively His own, the motives that prompted them, the spirit in which they were endured, and the general principle involved in His whole work—self-sacrifice for the good of others—furnish our most perfect and beautiful model; and so all Scripture relating to these is for our instruction; and since the duty of forbearance, the strong with the weak, requires 'patience,' and this again needs 'comfort,' all those Scriptures which tell of patience and consolation, particularly of the patience of Christ, and of the consolation which sustained Him under it, are our appointed and appropriate nutriment, ministering to us 'hope' of that blessed day when these shall no more be needed." See on Ro 4:7, Note 7. (For the same connection between "patience and hope" see on Ro 12:12, and 1Th 1:3).

5, 6. Now the God of patience and consolation—Such beautiful names of God are taken from the graces which He inspires: as "the God of hope" (Ro 15:13), "the God of peace" (Ro 15:33).

grant you to be likeminded—"of the same mind"

according to Christ Jesus—It is not mere unanimity which the apostle seeks for them; for unanimity in evil is to be deprecated. But it is "according to Christ Jesus"—after the sublimest model of Him whose all-absorbing desire was to do, "not His own will, but the will of Him that sent Him" (Joh 6:38).

6. That, &c.—rather, "that with one accord ye may with one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ"; the mind and the mouth of all giving harmonious glory to His name. What a prayer! And shall this never be realized on earth?

7. Wherefore—returning to the point

receive ye one another … to the glory of God—If Christ received us, and bears with all our weaknesses, well may we receive and compassionate one with another, and by so doing God will be glorified.

8-12. Now—"For" is the true reading: the apostle is merely assigning an additional motive to Christian forbearance.

I say that Jesus Christ was—"hath become"

a minister of the circumcision—a remarkable expression, meaning "the Father's Servant for the salvation of the circumcision (or, of Israel)."

for the truth of God—to make good the veracity of God towards His ancient people.

to confirm the—Messianic

promises made unto the fathers—To cheer the Jewish believers, whom he might seem to have been disparaging, and to keep down Gentile pride, the apostle holds up Israel's salvation as the primary end of Christ's mission. But next after this, Christ was sent.

9. that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy—A number of quotations from the Old Testament here follow, to show that God's plan of mercy embraced, from the first, the Gentiles along with the Jews.

as it is written—(Ps 18:49).

I will confess to—that is, glorify

thee among the Gentiles.

10. And again—(De 32:43, though there is some difficulty in the Hebrew).

Rejoice, ye Gentiles—along

with his people—Israel.

11. And again—(Ps 117:1).

Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people—"peoples"—the various nations outside the pale of Judaism.

12. And again, Esaias saith—(Isa 11:10).

There shall be a—"the"

root of Jesse—meaning, not "He from whom Jesse sprang," but "He that is sprung from Jesse" (that is, Jesse's son David)—see Re 22:16.

and he that shall rise, &c.—So the Septuagint in substantial, though not verbal, agreement with the original.

13. Now, &c.—This seems a concluding prayer, suggested by the whole preceding subject matter of the epistle.

the God of hope—(See on Ro 15:5).

fill you with all joy and peace in believing—the native truth of that faith which is the great theme of this epistle (compare Ga 5:22).

that ye may abound in hope—"of the glory of God." (See on Ro 5:1).

through the power of the Holy Ghost—to whom, in the economy of redemption, it belongs to inspire believers with all gracious affections.

On the foregoing portion, Note, (1) No Christian is at liberty to regard himself as an isolated disciple of the Lord Jesus, having to decide questions of duty and liberty solely with reference to himself. As Christians are one body in Christ, so the great law of love binds them to act in all things with tenderness and consideration for their brethren in "the common salvation" (Ro 15:1, 2). (2) Of this unselfishness Christ is the perfect model of all Christians (Ro 15:3). (3) Holy Scripture is the divine storehouse of all furniture for the Christian life, even in its most trying and delicate features (Ro 15:4). (4) The harmonious glorification of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ by the whole body of the redeemed, as it is the most exalted fruit of the scheme of redemption, so it is the last end of God in it (Ro 15:5-7).