Romans 15

Romans 15:1-13

15:1 We [Paul considered himself one of the strong] who are strong [the spiritually mature] ought [to owe someone, to be a debtor (cf. Rom. 1:14); strong believers have an obligation to weak believers] to bear [cf. Gal. 6:2 re: use of this word] with [carry, assist, help] the failings [or scruples (as in NKJV); nonmoral issues about which the strong and the weak had differing opinions] of the weak [the spiritually immature] and not to please ourselves [not put own interests first].

15:2 Each of us should please [to be concerned for the spiritual welfare of others] his neighbor [in this context refers to others believers (whether strong or weak); cf. Phil. 2:3-4; be other-centered rather than self-centered; selfishness is a threat to Christian unity] for his good, to build him up.

15:3 For even Christ [the ultimate example of an other-centered lifestyle] did not [cf. Lk. 22:42] please himself but, as it is written [cf. Ps. 69:9 re: the unjust sufferings of a righteous man]: “The insults [reproach, reviling] of those who insult you have fallen on me.”

15:4 For everything that was written in the past [here refers to OT] was written to teach [cf. 2 Tim. 3:16; what was written in the past has ongoing value] us, so that through endurance [steadfastness; patience] and the encouragement [comfort; exhortation] of the Scriptures [Scriptures record biographies of saints and how they responded to life’s challenges and adversities and served others; the OT is great source of motivation and inspiration] we might have hope [cf. Ps. 119:81; no hope apart from Christ (cf. Eph. 2:12; 1 Thess. 4:13); Christian hope grounded in God of hope].

15:5 [a prayer or benediction] May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you [Jews and Gentiles; weak and strong] a spirit of unity [cf. Jn. 17:22-23] among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus,

15:6 so that with one [unified] heart [a harmonious attitude] and mouth [a symphony of praise] you may glorify [praise, worship, acknowledge; chief goal of Christian living to glorify God] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

15:7 Accept [receive, welcome; do not get entangled in dissension, disagreements, arguments; do not show favoritism; avoid discrimination; accept people into heart and home] one another [“accept one another” summarizes Rom. 15:1-4], then, just as [in the same way] Christ [the Jewish Messiah] accepted [warmly welcomed; we should welcome those whom Christ has welcomed] you [“Christ accepted you” is this is the essence of Christianity], in order to [the world notices when believers (of all backgrounds) stand united] bring praise to God [summarizes Rom. 15:5-6].

15:8 For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, to confirm [to establish; to make firm] the promises [cf. Gen. 12:1-3; 26:3-4; 28:13-15] made to the patriarchs

15:9 so that [purpose] the Gentiles may glorify God for his mercy, as it is written [cf. Ps. 18:49; 2 Sam. 22:50; Paul reminded the Jews from their own Scriptures (the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings) that their God extended His unlimited love to the Gentiles; God had always planned for Gentiles to be included in salvation]: “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles; I will sing hymns to your name.”

15:10 Again, it says [cf. Deut. 32:43], “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people [Jews].”

15:11 And again [cf. Ps. 117:1], “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and [note that second line repeats the thought of the first line] sing praises to him, all you peoples.”

15:12 And again, Isaiah [Isa. 11:10] says, “The Root of Jesse [this messianic title found only here in NT (cf. Rev. 5:5)] will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles [included in the messianic kingdom] will hope in him.”

15:13 [benediction] May the God of hope [God is the source of hope] fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow [to abound] with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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