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15. Ministry to the Gentiles

We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. 3For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. 4For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. 5Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: 6That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

7Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God. 8Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: 9And 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. 10And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people. 11And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people. 12And 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. 13Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. 14And 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. 15Nevertheless, 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, 16That 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. 17I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God. 18For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, 19Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 20Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation: 21But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand. 22For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you. 23But now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you; 24Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company. 25But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. 26For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. 27It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things. 28When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain. 29And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.

30Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me; 31That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints; 32That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed. 33Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

5. And the God of patience, etc. God is so called from what he produces; the same thing has been before very fitly ascribed to the Scriptures, but in a different sense: God alone is doubtless the author of patience and of consolation; for he conveys both to our hearts by his Spirit: yet he employs his word as the instrument; for he first teaches us what is true consolation, and what is true patience; and then he instills and plants this doctrine in our hearts.

But after having admonished and exhorted the Romans as to what they were to do, he turns to pray for them: for he fully understood, that to speak of duty was to no purpose, except God inwardly effected by his Spirit what he spoke by the mouth of man. The sum of his prayer is, — that he would bring their minds to real unanimity, and make them united among themselves: he also shows at the same time what is the bond of unity, for he wished them to agree together according to Christ Jesus Miserable indeed is the union which is unconnected with God, and that is unconnected with him, which alienates us from his truth. 443443     There is a difference of opinion as to the unity contemplated here, whether it be that of sentiment or of feeling. The phrase, τὸ αὐτὸ φρονεῖν, occurs in the following places, Romans 12:16; Romans 15:5; 2 Corinthians 13:11; Philippians 2:2; Philippians 3:16; Philippians 4:2 Leigh says, that the phrase signifies to be of one mind, of one judgment, of one affection, towards one another. But though the verb φρονεῖν may admit of these three significations, yet the Apostle no doubt had in view a specific idea; and when we consider that he had been inculcating the principle of toleration as to unity of sentiment with regard to the eating of meats and of observing of days, and that he has been enforcing the duty of forbearance, and of sympathy, and of love towards each other, it appears probable that unity of feeling and of concern for each other’s welfare is what is intended here. Beza, Scott, and Chalmers take this view, while Pareus, Mede, and Stuart take the other, that is, that unity of sentiment is what is meant.
   What confirms the former, in addition to the general import of the context, is the clause which follows, “according to Christ Jesus,” which evidently means, “according to his example,” as mentioned in verse 3.

   Then in the next verse, the word ὁμοθυμαδὸν refers to the unity of feeling and of action, rather than to that of sentiment. It occurs, besides here, in these places, Acts 1:14, Acts 2:1,46; Acts 4:24; Acts 5:12; Acts 7:57; Acts 8:6; Acts 12:20; Acts 15:25; Acts 18:12; Acts 19:29. It is used by the Septuagint for יחד, which means “together.” It is rendered “unanimiter — unanimously,” Beza; “with one mind,” by Doddridge; and “unanimously,” by Macknight. It is thus paraphrased by Grotius, “with a mind full of mutual love, free from contempt, free from hatred.” — Ed.

And that he might recommend to us an agreement in Christ, he teaches us how necessary it is: for God is not truly glorified by us, unless the hearts of all agree in giving him praise, and their tongues also join in harmony. There is then no reason for any to boast that he will give glory to God after his own manner; for the unity of his servants is so much esteemed by God, that he will not have his glory sounded forth amidst discords and contentions. This one thought ought to be sufficient to check the wanton rage for contention and quarreling, which at this day too much possesses the minds of many.


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