Romans 15:1 We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
Carry on from the previous chapter (unscriptural vegetarianism or veganism; which days to fast on,) and more specifically to the principals in
Romans 14:15 Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died.
Romans 14:16 Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil;
Romans 14:17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Romans 14:20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense.
Refers even more specifically back to Romans 14:21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. (astheneō as-then-eh’-o)
scruples (asthenēma as-then’-ay-mah)… (the only place that this word is used) Webster: Doubt; hesitation from the difficulty of determining what is right or expedient; Thayer: error arising from weakness of mind; King James Version, infirmities of the weak;
These things that should not be so but are because of a new one’s lack of spiritual growth and maturity.
The point is not what they should do but how we should continue to act in love
Romans 15:2 Let each of us please his neighbor for [their] his good, leading to edification.
Our approach towards our neighbor [for the neighbor’s good];
a measuring stick for how we treat them: is what we do for their good?
Edification…build them up; Esteem others better than self; Philippians 2:3
Romans 14:19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.
Romans 15:3 For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “THE REPROACHES OF THOSE WHO REPROACHED YOU FELL ON ME.”
From the beginning as a God-being through until now [expound]
Following the example of Christ
(reproach: expressions of disapproval; connotation of shame too)
Psalm 69:4 Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head; They are mighty who would destroy me, Being my enemies wrongfully; Though I have stolen nothing, I still must restore it.
Psalm 69:5 O God, You know my foolishness; And my sins are not hidden from You.
Psalm 69:6 Let not those who wait for You, O Lord GOD of hosts, be ashamed because of me; Let not those who seek You be confounded because of me, O God of Israel.
Psalm 69:7 Because for Your sake I have borne reproach; Shame has covered my face.
Psalm 69:8 I have become a stranger to my brothers, And an alien to my mother’s children;
Psalm 69:9 Because zeal for Your house has eaten me up, And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.
Romans 15:4 For whatever things were written before [In early New Testament times people had only the Old Testament scriptures to teach from. Paul even quotes in previous verse] were written for our learning [teaching and doctrinal instruction], that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
2 Timothy 3:14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,
2 Timothy 3:15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation [not only in our daily lives] through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
2 Timothy 3:17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
This is why we are going over EVERY scripture in Romans and the other books that we have gone through. These scriptures give us hope!
hope … of the resurrection, of salvation, of eternal life, of His calling, of His Glory, of His Gospel
Romans 15:5 Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus,
Like :3-4 fulfilling :2
Whether we are the weak or the strong – so we don’t really have to wonder about that aspect of which one we are.
like-minded toward one another…walking in love (Romans 14:15); showing a selfless outgoing concern for the other.
Romans 15:6 that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We are to be unified and on the same page in this regard
Romans 15:7 Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.
Follow His example; follow the instructions that we have just read in :2-6
Romans 15:8 Now I say that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers, [Abraham, Isaac and Jacob]
Christ did what He did with, for, to the Jews because of the Old Testament promises [spiritual and physical ones]
Romans 15:9 and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy, as it is written: “FOR THIS REASON I WILL CONFESS TO YOU AMONG THE GENTILES, AND SING TO YOUR NAME.” [Psalm 18:49]
and so the Gentiles would also have the same opportunities that the Jews would have [referred to in :8]
Shows this in the Old Testament; Psalms [perhaps gives us a new perspective on Psalms]
These verses show that the Old Testament talked about the opportunity that the Gentiles would have. The Jews were obviously blind to this.
Romans 15:10 And again he says: “REJOICE, O GENTILES, WITH HIS PEOPLE!”
Romans 15:11 And again: “PRAISE THE LORD, ALL YOU GENTILES! LAUD HIM, ALL YOU PEOPLES!”
Romans 15:12 And again, Isaiah says: “THERE SHALL BE A ROOT OF JESSE; AND HE WHO SHALL RISE TO REIGN OVER THE GENTILES, IN HIM THE GENTILES SHALL HOPE.”
The Gentiles, the rest of the world, have a chance.
What is it that we don’t see?
Are we the only called ones?
Are there still some to be called out of this present world?
Will not God be working with the rest of the world…shouldn’t we be a witness?
Romans 15:13-16 Paul felt compelled to say all that he did as a necessity for their salvation. I am sure some of the correction and pointed words were difficult to hear, but he said them out of love. And so he begins to wind it up by offering them some encouragement
Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Go forward in a positive manner
What was the hope that we mentioned before: hope of the resurrection, of salvation, of eternal life, of His calling, of His Glory, of His Gospel
Romans 15:14 Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.
Strengthening and reassuring that they were following Christ as they should be and doing well; Tells them to continue to help each other out with the minor course corrections along the way
Romans 15:15 Nevertheless, brethren, I have written more boldly to you on some points, as reminding you, because of the grace given to me by God,
Even though he had never been to Rome.
Did we see this throughout. He felt it was his job; for their benefit
Romans 15:16 that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
Why he was called as an Apostle to the Gentiles [specifically; Romans 11:13] even though as we saw in this epistle he preached to and taught the Jews as well
Acts 9:15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.
Romans 15:17 Therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God.
Romans 15:18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient—
Gives credit to God as we should and gives evidence of this in the next verse.
Romans 15:19 in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.
Some of the evidence that God was with him.
Extent of his preaching Jerusalem to Illyricum (Another Roman province not completely agreed upon as to where it exactly is)
Romans 15:20 And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation,
Another scripture that shows Peter wasn’t there in Rome as some claim
Romans 15:21 but as it is written: “TO WHOM HE WAS NOT ANNOUNCED, THEY SHALL SEE; AND THOSE WHO HAVE NOT HEARD SHALL UNDERSTAND.”
One of the reasons that Paul wrote to them was because they had no one else there to guide them.
He went to the Jews first
Romans 2:9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek;
Romans 2:10 but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Romans 2:11 For there is no partiality with God.
These prophesies in Isaiah were accomplished by Christ through Paul to many Gentiles
Romans 15:22 For this reason I also have been much hindered from coming to you.
because of :23
Romans 1:13 Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles.
Romans 15:23 But now no longer having a place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come to you,
It doesn’t seem to have been because of persecution, that never drove him away
(ISV) But now, having no further opportunities in these regions, I want to come to you, as I’ve desired to do for many years.
(CEV) Now there is nothing left for me to do in this part of the world, and for years I have wanted to visit you.
Romans 15:24 whenever I journey to Spain, I shall come to you. For I hope to see you on my journey, and to be helped on my way there by you, if first I may enjoy your company for a while.
Colossians 1:6 which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth;
Colossians 1:23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.
Why was there this motivation?
Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
Paul knew that this had to be done before Christ could return and he took it seriously.
There is also other external evidence, not scriptural mind you, that says Paul went to Spain. So if that was the case then it was his ardent desire to see the brethren of Rome on the way.
Romans 15:25 But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints.
So we see that he did preach to the Jews as well
Romans 15:26 For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem.
Romans 15:27 It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things.
Romans 15:28 Therefore, when I have performed this and have sealed to them this fruit, I shall go by way of you to Spain.
They have a personal responsibility to help out and aid those in Jerusalem who appeared to be enduring some type of hardship – perhaps a famine as some have suggested.
So the Gentiles being partakers of the spiritual fruit [Word of God] of the Jews had the least of duties to give physically as they were able to the Jews to help them out in THEIR time of need.
I’m sure that there was also the hope that the converted Jews would start to become more accepting of the Gentiles and the fact that God was calling them and working with them as well.
Romans 15:29 But I know that when I come to you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.
Acts 19:21 When these things were accomplished, Paul purposed in the Spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.”
Acts 23:11 But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.”
All going well this is what Paul was going to do, but he knew that going to Jerusalem would be fraught with problems…
Romans 15:30 Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me, [he knew the power of intercessory prayer]
Romans 15:31 that I may be delivered from those in Judea who do not believe, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints,
Notice the kind of problems he dealt with in Jerusalem:
Acts 21:25 But concerning the Gentiles who believe, we have written and decided that they should observe no such thing, except that they should keep themselves from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality.”
Acts 21:26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day, having been purified with them, entered the temple to announce the expiration of the days of purification, at which time an offering should be made for each one of them.
Acts 21:27 Now when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews from Asia, seeing him in the temple, stirred up the whole crowd and laid hands on him,
Acts 21:28 crying out, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against the people, the law, and this place; and furthermore he also brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.”
Acts 21:29 (For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.)
Acts 21:30 And all the city was disturbed; and the people ran together, seized Paul, and dragged him out of the temple; and immediately the doors were shut.
Acts 21:31 Now as they were seeking to kill him, news came to the commander of the garrison that all Jerusalem was in an uproar.
Acts 21:32 He immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down to them. And when they saw the commander and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.
From there he was able to speak to Kings (Acts 9:15)
Romans 15:32 that I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and may be refreshed together with you.
His most ardent desire to be with the brethren and share the Gospel with them.
And he and I will end it this way
Romans 15:33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.