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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
Romans 15

 

 

Verses 1-33


Jew and Gentile alike the Object of God's Love. The Apostle's Plans

1-13. The subject of Romans 14 is continued. 'Strength' should be displayed in helping the 'weak' after Christ's example (Romans 15:1-4). Let both sections be united in God's praise, welcoming one another as Christ welcomed them (Romans 15:5-7). As the divergence of views originated in the difference between Jew and Gentile, let both remember that Christ became a Jew for the salvation of both (Romans 15:8-13).

Paraphrase. '(1) Since the weak are thus in danger, the strong should be patient with their scruples, and not indulge their own liberty. (2) Each should be tender to his neighbour's feelings, and seek to promote his good, (3) following the example of Christ, depicted in the OT., (4) which we should read to learn lessons of endurance and to receive encouragement which will help us confidently to look to future glory. (5) May God teach you these lessons, enabling you to bear with one another, and to be so united in aims and hopes and feelings, after the pattern of Christ, (6) that you may join as one body in the praise of God. (7) Therefore let both sections welcome one another, as Christ welcomed both. A Church so united in brotherhood will redound to the glory of God. (8) Let the Gentile especially remember that Christ became a Jew, to secure to the Jews the fulfilment of God's promises, (9) and to welcome the Gentiles through God's pure mercy, (10, 11, 12) that Jew and Gentile might unite in His praise, as Psalmist and Prophet foretold. (13) May God grant that your believing in Christ may fill you with such joy and peace that you may look for Christ in glory with the triumphant confidence of those who are possessed by the might of the Holy Spirit.'

1. Bear] cp. Galatians 6:2.

2. To edification] The words define the kind of good to be sought, i.e. the building-up of the Church, not of any particular member. The individual is to be willing to sacrifice himself for the good of the whole body: cp. Romans 14:19; 1 Corinthians 10:33. Contr. Galatians 1:10, where 'pleasing' would not be for edification.

3. From Psalms 69:9 : cp. 2 Corinthians 8:9; Philippians 2:6. The Psalm describes the sufferings at the hands of the wicked of the righteous man. The words, therefore, are applicable to Christ above all.

4. Learning] i.e. 'instruction': cp. 2 Timothy 3:16.

5. Consolation] RV 'comfort.' Likeminded] RV 'of the same mind.' Towards] RV 'with.'

6. RV 'that with one accord ye may with one mouth glorify the God and Father,' etc.

7. Us] RV 'you.'

8. Now] RV 'for,' introducing proof of Romans 15:7. Was] RV 'hath been made.'

Minister of the circumcision] i.e. Christ lived and worked under the Old Covenant marked by circumcision: cp. Galatians 4:4.; 2 Corinthians 3:6.

9. Quotation from Psalms 18:49. Confess] RV 'give praise.'

10. From Deuteronomy 32:43.

11. From Psalms 117:1.

12. From Isaiah 11:10. In] RV 'on.'

Trust] RV 'hope.'

13. Through] RV 'in.'

14-33. The Apostle approaches the end of the Epistle with personal references.

14-21. His tone of authority is warranted by his commission as apostle to the Gentiles, and by the way in which Christ has owned and blessed his work.

Paraphrase. '(14) Do not suppose I think you lacking either in goodness or in grasp of Christian principles. (15) But I have reminded you of these things somewhat boldly, because God appointed me (16) apostle of the Gentiles to bring them to Him. (17) I speak with authority, therefore, not because of myself, but because I am Christ's minister, (18) and because He has worked through me (19) with miracles and spiritual power, so that I have preached the gospel widely; (20, 21) always seeking the honour of preaching only where Christ has not yet been preached.'

14. Ye also] RV 'ye yourselves.'

Goodness] i.e. goodness of heart toward others.

15. In some sort] better, 'in part' (of the Epistle), e.g. Romans 6:12.; Romans 11:17.

Is given] RV 'was given': cp. Romans 1:6.

16. The minister] RV 'a minister.' The Gk. word, the original of the word 'liturgy,' is used in LXX of priests and Levites, and denotes one who ministers in sacred things.

Ministering] RM 'ministering in sacrifice.' He was called to offer the Gentiles as a sacrifice to God. He did this by preaching the gospel. Offering] cp. Isaiah 66:19.

17. Whereof I may glory] RV 'my glorying.'

18. The only thing he will boast of is the work Christ has done through him for the conversion of the Gentiles. Obedient] i.e. in faith: cp. Romans 1:5; Romans 16:26.

19. Through mighty signs] RV 'in the power of signs,' i.e. the power which miracles have upon those who behold them: cp. 2 Corinthians 12:12. He speaks of his miracles as well known and indubitable. Round about] He had evangelised on either side of the route from Jerusalem to Hlyricum. Illyricum] On the E. coast of the Adriatic, and NW. of Macedonia. It was approached, and may have been visited, in the journey mentioned Acts 20:1, Acts 20:2. Fully preached] i.e. in the chief centres, founding Churches which might carry on the work.

20. RV 'yea, making it my aim, so to preach,' etc. Lest I should build] cp. 2 Corinthians 10:12.

21. From Isaiah 52:15.

22-33. He hopes, after a journey to Jerusalem, to visit Rome on his way to Spain (Romans 15:22-29). He desires their prayers (Romans 15:30-33).

Paraphrase. '(22) My work has often prevented me from coming to you, (23) but now that my work here is finished, (24) I hope to visit you on my way to Spain. (25) Meanwhile I am starting for Jerusalem, (26) to convey to the Christian poor there a contribution from Macedonia and Achaia, (27) which is an acknowledgment of the debt the Gentiles owe to the Jews in spiritual things. (28) Afterwards I will travel by you into Spain, (29) and I feel sure that visit will be the occasion of much blessing. (30) Wrestle in prayer, (31) that I may be delivered from the Jews, and that the Jewish Christians may accept the peace offering which I bring, (32) that I may come joyfully to you and find repose. (33) May God bless you with His peace I'

22. RV 'Wherefore also I was hindered these many times': cp. Romans 1:10, Romans 1:13.

24. Brought on my way] cp. Acts 15:3; Acts 28:15; 1 Corinthians 16:6.

25. Cp. Acts 19:21; Acts 20:3.

26. Poor saints] RV 'poor among the saints.' There was much poverty among the Christians at Jerusalem, increased, perhaps, by the ill-will of the rich, Sadducees. St. Paul had been intreated to 'remember the poor' (Galatians 2:10). At the same time there was mistrust at Jerusalem of him and his work. Therefore he had instituted a collection among the Gentile Churches, which, he hoped, would draw together the Gentile and Jewish Christians: cp. Acts 24:17; 1 Corinthians 16:1; 2 Corinthians 8, 9.

27. Minister] same Gk. word as 'minister' in Romans 15:16.

Carnal] i.e. belonging to this earthly life: no bad association here.

28. Sealed] i.e. marked it as their property; made it over to them. To them] i.e. the Jerusalem Christians. Fruit] i.e. the contribution would be evidence to the Jewish Christians of the real faith and love of the Gentiles.

Into Spain] St. Paul may have visited Spain after he was released from Rome, though there is no evidence of his having done so. Clement of Rome (about 96 a.d.) says he went 'to the extremity of the West.'

29. Though St. Paul did not come to Rome in the way he anticipated, his coming was brought about by God's Providence for 'the furtherance of the gospel': cp. Romans 1:11.; Philippians 1:13.

30. Of the Spirit] i.e. awakened by the Spirit: cp. Galatians 5:22.

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Romans 15:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/romans-15.html. 1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, October 19th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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