Romans 15

The self-denial of our Lord Jesus Christ is the best argument against the selfishness of Christians. Let us not consult our own credit, ease, safety or pleasure, but give ourselves as He did, to bearing the infirmities of the weak, whether they be Jew or Gentile, agreeable or disagreeable, and striving to be likeminded in the Gospel to the glory of God.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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:

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.

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

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

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.

13 Now 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.

14 And 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.

15 Nevertheless, 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,

16 That 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.

17 I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God.

18 For 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,

19 Through 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.

20 Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation:

21 But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.

22 For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you.

23 But now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you;

24 Whensoever 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.

25 But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints.

26 For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem.

27 It 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.

28 When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain.

29 And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.

30 Now 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;

31 That 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;

32 That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed.

33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

Romans 15:1-13 – ​Following Christ in Pleasing Others

   This chapter is remarkable for its threefold designation of God. The God of patience and comfort, Romans 15:5; the God of hope, Romans 15:13; and the God of peace, Romans 15:33. Our character may be deficient in these things, but His fullness is there for us to draw upon. There is no stint or lack for those to whom He says (Luke 15:31), “Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.”
   We must always be on the lookout for the weak, the heavy-laden, and the downcast. Let us help them with their burdens, anxieties, fears, and questionings—imparting to them something of our cheery hope. Never pleasing ourselves; merciful to others; though merciless in the standard and criticism we apply to our own conduct; comforting ourselves with the Word of God, that we may be able to impart these divine consolations to others. Where such conditions are realized, life becomes a dream of heaven actualized in flesh and blood. But we must fulfill the injunctions of Romans 15:9-13, rejoicing in praise and abounding in hope. The outlook on the earth-side may be dark and depressing, but uncurtain your windows toward God—see, the land is light. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Romans 15:14-21 – ​A Preacher Who Found His Own Field

   A superficial judge of the Apostle’s life at the time to which he refers might have supposed him to be a mere Jewish traveler, hurrying to and fro, under circumstances of extreme poverty and with no special results. But, in fact he was laying the foundations of the Christian commonwealth. His one ambition was to present the Gentiles as a whole burnt-offering to God; see Romans 15:16. The phrase there is suggestive of the supreme sacrifice which was nobly realized in the strength of purpose that led those churches, shortly afterward, to yield holocausts of martyrs under Nero’s persecutions.
   All this was due to Christ working through the Apostle. Anything that was not wrought through the power of the indwelling Christ was not worth recounting. The work which really told was not what Paul did for Christ, but what Christ did through Paul. It is noticeable how careful Paul was to break up new ground. This is especially characteristic of all the best and highest forms of work. It is a poor and mean church which recruits itself from the labors of others, but has no power to secure converts from the world! —Through the Bible Day by Day

Romans 15:18—I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me.

​   All things that have not sprung from the indwelling and inworking power of Christ, are probably valueless in the sight of God. As the apostle dared not record them in this book, so probably they are not recorded in God’s book. They lack the one principle or germ of life. Our Lord said, Separate from Me ye can do nothing; and probably, therefore, whatever we do out of living union with Him amounts to nothing.
   These words are a window into the apostle’s inner life. He was ever looking to the Lord to work through him, in the power of the Holy Ghost. He had nothing, therefore, to boast of, as he reviewed his labors; the impulse in which they originated, and the success with which they were crowned, were alike attributable to the Son of God, who had been revealed and formed within.
   Let us so yield ourselves to Him, that the great Master may fulfill through us also all the good pleasure of his will.
   Let us wait before Him in earnest expectancy, till the foundation of his purpose begins to arise within us; and let us receive from Him the gracious power of which to realize his plans. “I cannot,” one may say, “give that tract; speak to that fellowtraveller; witness for Christ on that ship or in that shop; stand up in that pulpit and preach.” No, perhaps not. But you can let Christ do these things through you.

          “So others shall
       Take patience, labor, to their heart and land,
       From thy land and thy heart and thy brave cheer,
       And God’s grace fructify through thee to all.
       The least flower with a brimming cup may stand
       And share its dew-drop with another near.” —Our Daily Homily

Romans 15:22-33 – ​Ambitious to Render Service

   The Apostle felt that it was in the line of the divine will that he should visit Rome, Romans 1:10. Relying, as he did, on the efficacy of prayer, it is not surprising to find him urging his Roman friends to unite with him in asking, as in Romans 15:31-32, that his way may be made plain. The prayer was not answered quite as he expected. He little thought that he would come as a prisoner, bound to a soldier, and at the expense of the Roman Empire. Yet he came with joy, and found refreshment and rest with the beloved circle of disciples whom he enumerates in the following chapter. How little do the most of us know of this striving in prayer! But how near we get to absent friends when we pray like this! “Strive together with me” (Romans 15:30).
   The love of the Spirit is a very delightful phrase. It bears witness to the personality of the Holy Spirit, for love cannot be attributed to an influence. It also shows the confidence with which we may commit ourselves to His gracious indwelling and prompting. He is the Holy Spirit, but we need not shrink from Him as an awful guest. It also reminds us how deeply He may be grieved. There is no grief so poignant as that which is suffered by love. —Through the Bible Day by Day