Romans 15:1-12

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

Text: Romans 15:1-12

BEARING THE INFIRMITIES OF THE WEAK

INTRODUCTION:

In Romans 13:8 Paul instructed the believers of their responsibilities toward one another.

Romans 13:8 - Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

Mark 12:29-31 - (29) And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: (30) And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. (31) And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

Romans 14:13-15 - (13) Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way. (14) I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. (15) But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.

In Romans 15:1-12 we see that we as believers ought to bear the infirmities of the weak rather than to please ourselves.

I. BELIEVERS ARE TO BEAR THE INFIRMITIES OF THE WEAK RATHER THAN TO PLEASE THEMSELVES - 15:1

Romans 15:1 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.

Then indicates a continuation of the thought = and, now, moreover

We . . . that are strong = we that are strong in faith as indicated in Romans 14

Ought = owe, are indebted, are obligated, we must

To bear = to carry, to bear patiently, to put up with, to endure

The infirmities = the weaknesses

The weak = the ones that are weak in the faith as indicated in Romans 14

And not to please ourselves = and not to strive to please ourselves, and not to accommodate ourselves

Believers who insist on their own ways are seeking to please themselves. They are not acting in love; but love says, I will give up my right if it will be helpful to another.

II. BELIEVERS ARE TO PLEASE THEIR NEIGHBORS FOR THEIR GOOD TO EDIFICATION - 15:2

Romans 15:2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.

Verse 2 is a command rather than a mere suggestion.

Every one of us = each one of us

His neighbor = one who lives near or close by. It suggests the other person rather than himself.

For his good = for the neighbor's good

Unto edification refers to the goal one has in mind for his neighbor. It is so that he might be built up spiritually or edified. In other words, the believer ought to go out of his way to seek to please his neighbor rather than selfishly demanding his own way. This will result in the weaker believer being built up in the faith.

III. CHRIST DID NOT SEEK TO PLEASE HIMSELF - 15:3

Romans 15:3 For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.

For even is emphatic and suggests for indeed or for in fact

Christ pleased not himself = Christ did not seek to please Himself or Christ did not seek to accommodate Himself.

But indicates a statement in strong contrast to Christ pleased not himself.

As it is written is just as it has been written.

What has been written is, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me is a quotation of Psalms 69:9

The reproaches is the revilings, the disgraces, or the insults

Of them that reproached thee = of those who reproached God the Father, of those who reviled God the Father, or of those who heaped insults upon God the Father

Fell upon me = came upon Me, i.e. came upon Christ

Just as Christ sought to please His Father rather than Himself, so a believer ought to seek to please God the Father and seek to please his neighbor for his neighbor's good to edification simply because he loves God and also because he loves his neighbor. Self says, I will please myself. Love says, I will not do anything just to please myself. I will be more Christlike and seek to please God the Father. It will not matter whether I please myself.

IV. BELIEVERS SHOULD RECEIVE ONE ANOTHER AS CHRIST RECEIVED THEM - 15:4-12

Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

In verse 4 Paul refers to the quotation from the Old Testament he mentioned in verse 3.

For may introduce an explanation. It may instead be emphatic in the sense of indeed or in fact.

Whatsoever things = whatever, everything that, or all that

Were written aforetime = were written before, were written beforehand, were written in earlier times

Were written for our learning = were written for our teaching or were written for our instruction

That = in order that or for the purpose that

Through patience of the scriptures = by means of endurance, steadfastness, perseverance, or fortitude produced by the Scriptures

And (through) comfort of the scriptures = by means of the encouragement (or consolation) produced by the scriptures

We might have hope. What was written beforehand was written that we might have hope. Thus, the study of the Old Testament Scriptures as well as the study of the New Testament Scriptures will produce genuine hope in the believer. The believer will see that what God said in the past was so, and he will see that God was faithful in dealing with His people. He will also see that God always kept His word, that God was always on the throne, that things such as God's omnipotence and omnipresence were so. He will see that God was never threatened in any way, and these things will provide hope for the believer when the times get difficult.

Romans 15:5 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus.

The God of patience and consolation is God the Father Who is the source of patience, endurance, steadfastness, or fortitude and Who produces patience, endurance, steadfastness, or fortitude in the believer. He is also the source of consolation, comfort, or encouragement and produces consolation, comfort, or encouragement in the believer. Thus, the believer does not need to go around looking for these things elsewhere. He can find them in God and in God alone.

Grant you = may he grant you or may he give you and expresses Paul's wish for the Roman believers.

To be likeminded = To think the same thing, to be in agreement, or to live in harmony

Toward one another = with one another

According to Jesus Christ = in relation to Jesus Christ or in accordance with Jesus Christ

It matters not whether the believer is one who is weak in faith or strong in faith; he ought to have the attitude that he wants to do what is right and be a good testimony to every other believer. However, he also needs to keep his own affairs in order and not worry too much about someone else's business.

Romans 15:6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 6 indicates the purpose for Paul's wish of verse 5.

That = in order that or for the purpose that

Ye may glorify God = ye may praise God, ye may honor God, or ye may magnify God

With one mind = with one purpose or with one impulse. It implies that each believer will have the same mind or purpose even though all believers have individual minds. Thus, they will all think alike. The only way this will happen is when they are all thinking God's thoughts as directed by God the Holy Spirit through the Scriptures.

And (with) one mouth = and by means of one mouth. Believer's minds and mouths need to be so united as if they were speaking out of the same mouth at the same time, and thereby, saying the very same thing. Again, the only way this will happen is when they are all directed by God the Holy Spirit through the Scriptures.

May glorify God even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ indicates that the ultimate goal of all of life is to bring glory to God the Father.

Romans 15:7 Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.

Wherefore = therefore or for this reason

Receive is the same word used in 14:1 where the stronger believers were to receive the weaker believers. Here it is everyone who is to receive everyone else. Both the strong believers and the weak believers are to receive all believers, whether weak or strong.

One another = each other

As = just as

Christ received us = believers are to receive one another just as Christ received them. To receive means to receive or accept into one's society or into one's home or into one's circle of acquaintances.

To the glory of God indicates the way Christ received us and also the way believers are to receive one another. Christ received believers to the glory of God when they placed their faith in Him. Christ's receiving us brought glory to God.

Romans 15:8 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers.

Now indicates a continuation of the thought but takes it in a slightly different direction.

I say = I speak, I assert, I declare

The content of what Paul is asserting is that Christ is a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God to confirm the promises made unto the fathers.

Minister = servant or helper

Of the circumcision = of the Jews

For the truth of God = on behalf of the truth of God the Father, i.e. in order to show that God's promises are true. The purpose for which Jesus Christ was a servant of the Jewish people was to show that God the Father's promises are true.

To confirm the promises made unto the fathers = to make firm or to establish the promises made unto Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It is another way of saying for the truth of God. The promises and the truth of God are equivalent.

Romans 15:9 And 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.

Verse 9 continues the reason that Jesus Christ was a minister of the Jewish people. The additional reason is that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy.

The Gentiles = the heathen or the pagans and refers to the non-Jews.

Might glorify = might praise, might honor, might magnify, might clothe in splendor

God = God the Father

For his mercy = because of (His) mercy or for the sake of (His) mercy.

His indicates that mercy finds its source in God.

Mercy = pity or compassion

As it is written = just as it has been written and there follow several quotations from the Old Testament.

For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles and sing unto thy name is quoted from Psalms 18:49

Psalms 18:49 - Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.

For this cause is because of this.

I will confess is I will admit or I will praise and is used of praise directed toward God.

In the Greek text to thee is actually the direct object of I will confess to thee and is understood in the sense I will confess thee.

Among the Gentiles tells where this praise to God will take place and where this singing unto His name will take place.

Gentiles is the term heathen or pagans and refers to non-Jews.

And sing is and I will sing or and I will sing praise.

Unto thy name is to your name, i.e. to God the Father's name.

Romans 15:10 And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people.

And again he saith introduces a second quotation, this one from Deuteronomy 32:43 .

Deuteronomy 32:43 - Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people.

What he said is Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people.

His people are the Jews; and since God the Father directs or commands the Gentiles to rejoice with Israel, it is indicative that both Jews and Gentiles are going to be saved.

Romans 15:11 And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people.

And again introduces a third quotation from the Old Testament. This quotation from Psalms 117:1

Psalms 117:1 - O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people.

Again as in verse 10 is furthermore or thereupon.

What is quoted is, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people The Lord is to be praised, and it is all the Gentiles that are to praise Him.

Laud Him means praise Him, i.e. praise God the Father.

All ye people is all peoples. It certainly would include the Gentiles. Might it include the Jews as well?

Romans 15:12 And 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.

And again introduces a fourth quotation from the Old Testament. This time it is a quotation from Isaiah 11:1 and Isaiah 11:10 .

Isaiah 11:1 - And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

Isaiah 11:10 - And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

Esaias saith is Isaiah says.

What Isaiah saith (i.e. says) is, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles. In him shall the Gentiles trust.

This root (or shoot) growing from the root (i.e. from Jesse) is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesse is the father of David. And is best understood as even. He that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles refers to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Rise is rise up.

In him shall the Gentiles trust is on Him Gentiles shall hope.

CONCLUSION:

Let's remember that whatever we do, we are to do it out of love for each other. Just as Christ sought to please His Father because of His love for Him, so we ought to please God the Father because of our love for Him. As a consequence, we who are strong will bear the weaknesses of the weak. We will seek with one mind and with one mouth to glorify God.

In verses 13-33 Paul will continue to conclude his epistle by sharing his plans with the Roman believers. He has already proclaimed the gospel from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum; and it is his desire to come to Rome and to have Roman believers help him on his proposed missionary venture to Spain. First, however, he needs to go to Jerusalem to deliver the collection for the poor saints given by the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. After that, he hopes to come to Rome. Meanwhile, the Christians at Rome are urged to pray for him. Little did Paul realize that his plans were soon to be changed.

He would indeed arrive in Jerusalem with the collection for the poor saints there. Then, however, he would find himself being arrested and imprisoned. He would be transported to Caesarea where he would spend nearly two years in prison before being transferred to Rome where he would spend an additional four or five years in prison. All of this would happen because he was doing what God wanted him to do. It would be during his imprisonment in Rome that Paul would write Philippians, Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon.

We will look at this section next time.