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  • JAMIESON-FAUSSET-BROWN - ROMANS 15
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    CHAPTER 15

    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).

    Ro 15:14-33. CONCLUSION: IN WHICH THE APOSTLE APOLOGIZES FOR THUS WRITING TO THE ROMAN CHRISTIANS, EXPLAINS WHY HE HAD NOT YET VISITED THEM, ANNOUNCES HIS FUTURE PLANS, AND ASKS THEIR PRAYERS FOR THE COMPLETION OF THEM.

    14, 15. And, &c.--rather, "Now I am persuaded, my brethren, even I myself, concerning you"
    - that ye also yourselves are full of goodness--of inclination to all I have been enjoining on you
    - filled with all knowledge--of the truth expounded
    - and able--without my intervention.
    - to admonish one another.

    15. Nevertheless, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort--"measure"
    - as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God--as an apostle of Jesus Christ.

    16. that I should be the--rather, "a"
    - minister--The word here used is commonly employed to express the office of the priesthood, from which accordingly the figurative language of the rest of the verse is taken.
    - of Jesus Christ--"Christ Jesus," according to the true reading.
    - to the Gentiles--a further proof that the Epistle was addressed to a Gentile church. (See on Ro 1:13).
    - ministering the gospel of God--As the word here is a still more priestly one, it should be rendered, "ministering as a priest in the Gospel of God."
    - that the offering up of the Gentiles--as an oblation to God, in their converted character.
    - might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost--the end to which the ancient offerings typically looked.

    17. I have therefore whereof I may glory--or (adding the article, as the reading seems to be), "I have my glorying."
    - through--"in"
    - Christ Jesus in those things which pertain to God--the things of the ministry committed to me of God.

    18-22. For I will not dare to speak of any--"to speak aught"
    - of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me--a modest, though somewhat obscure form of expression, meaning, "I will not dare to go beyond what Christ hath wrought by me"--in which form accordingly the rest of the passage is expressed. Observe here how Paul ascribes all the success of his labors to the activity of the living Redeemer, working in and by him.
    - by word and deed--by preaching and working; which latter he explains in the next clause.

    19. Through mighty--literally, "in the power of"
    - signs and wonders--that is, glorious miracles.
    - by the power of the Spirit of God--"the Holy Ghost," as the true reading seems to be. This seems intended to explain the efficacy of the word preached, as well as the working of the miracles which attested it.
    - so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto--"as far as"
    - Illyricum--to the extreme northwestern boundary of Greece. It corresponds to the modern Croatia and Dalmatia (2Ti 4:10). See Ac 20:1, 2.
    - I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

    20, 21. Yea, &c.--rather, "Yet making it my study (compare 2Co 5:9; 1Th 4:11, Greek) so to preach the Gospel, not where Christ was [already] named, that I might not build upon another man's foundation: but (might act) as it is written, To whom no tidings of Him came, they shall see," &c.

    22. For which cause--"Being so long occupied with this missionary work, I have been much (or, 'for the most part') hindered," &c. (See on Ro 1:9-11.)

    23, 24. But now having no more place--"no longer having place"--that is, unbroken ground, where Christ has not been preached.
    - and having a great desire--"a longing"
    - these many years to come unto you--(as before, see on Ro 1:9-11).

    24. whensoever I take my journey into Spain--Whether this purpose was ever accomplished has been much disputed, as no record of it nor allusion to it anywhere occurs. Those who think our apostle was never at large after his first imprisonment at Rome will of course hold that it never was; while those who are persuaded, as we are, that he underwent a second imprisonment, prior to which he was at large for a considerable time after his first, incline naturally to the other opinion.
    - I will come to you--If these words were not originally in the text, and there is weighty evidence against them, they must at least be inserted as a necessary supplement.
    - in my journey, &c.--"as I pass through by you, to be set forward on my journey thither, if first I be somewhat filled with your company": that is, "I should indeed like to stay longer with you than I can hope to do, but I must, to some extent at least, have my fill of your company."

    25-27. But now I go to Jerusalem to minister--"ministering"
    - to the saints--in the sense immediately to be explained.

    26. For, &c.--better, "For Macedonia and Achaia have thought good to make a certain contribution for the poor of the saints which are at Jerusalem." (See Ac 24:17). "They have thought it good; and their debtors verily they are"; that is, "And well they may, considering what the Gentile believers owe to their Jewish brethren."

    27. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also--"they owe it also"
    - to minister unto them in carnal things--(Compare 1Co 9:11; Ga 6:6; and see Lu 7:4; Ac 10:2).

    28, 29. When therefore I have . . . sealed--that is, delivered over safely
    - to them this fruit--of the faith and love of the Gentile converts
    - I will come--"come back," or "return"
    - by you into Spain--(See on Ro 15:24).

    29. And I am sure--"I know"
    - that . . . I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of Christ--Such, beyond all doubts, is the true reading, the words "of the gospel" being in hard

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