Introduction

\\INTRODUCTION TO ROMANS 15\\

The apostle in this chapter pursues his exhortation to mutual affection
and forbearance, notwithstanding their different sentiments about the
use of meats, and observation of days; excuses his writing so freely to
them, which they might bear with, in consideration of his being an
apostle, especially an apostle of the Gentiles, and which office he
magnified and fulfilled everywhere; gives them the reasons why he had
not as yet been with them though he greatly desired it, encourages them
to expect, a visit from him; and concludes with earnestly entreating
them that he might have a share in their prayers: and first, as an
inference from what he had said in the preceding chapter, he lays it
down as a duty incumbent on himself, and all that were strong in the
doctrine of Christian liberty, to bear with the infirmities of weak
Christians, and not please themselves, but others, \\#Ro 15:1\\, which
he enforces, from the usefulness of it, it being for the good and
edification of others, \\#Ro 15:2\\, and from the example of Christ,
who pleased not himself, \\#Ro 15:3\\, and which is proved from a
passage of Scripture in \\#Ps 69:9\\, the pertinency of which passage,
and the citation and application of it to Christ and the present case,
are vindicated from this consideration, that whatever was written in
former times, was for the use of the saints under the Gospel
dispensation, \\#Ro 15:4\\, and that the exhortation might have its
effect upon them, be puts up a prayer to God for them, that such a
temper of mind might be in them, which would be for the glory of God,
\\#Ro 15:5,6\\, and then he repeats his exhortation, \\#Ro 15:7\\,
that they would affectionately receive one another; which he urges by
the example of Christ, who had received them to the glory of God; and
that they might glorify him, and this was one way of doing it: and that
this argument might have the greater weight with both parties, he
observes, that Jesus Christ had a special regard to the Jews, and was
their minister, sent unto them to fulfil the promises made unto their
fathers, and had received them; and therefore though they were weak,
they were not to be despised, grieved, and offended, \\#Ro 15:8\\, and
as for the Gentiles, it was a clear case that God had had long ago a
design of mercy to them, and that they were to be, and were now
received by Christ, and so under obligation to glorify God for his
mercy; and therefore not to be judged and condemned, though they did
not conform to the ceremonial law; and this he proves in \\#Ro 15:9-12\\,
from several passages of Scripture in \\#Ps 18:49 De 32:43 Ps 117:1\\
\\#Isa 11:10\\, and closes this argument he had so long insisted on
with a prayer to God for them, that they might be in the exercise of
faith and hope; and, in the exercise of those graces, be filled with
joy and peace, \\#Ro 15:13\\, and in order to prevent an objection that
might be made to these prayers and exhortations of his, that they
suggested that they were wicked and ignorant men, devoid of affection,
and knew not how to behave to each other, nor to exhort one another,
the apostle softens such a resentment, by calling them brethren, and by
expressing his persuasion of their abundant goodness, knowledge, and
abilities, \\#Ro 15:14\\, and excuses the freedom he took with them by
observing, that he only acted the part of a monitor, \\#Ro 15:15\\, and
the rather this freedom might be allowed him, on account of the great
gifts bestowed upon him, qualifying him to be an apostle of Christ; and
especially as he was an apostle of the Gentiles and so their apostle,
\\#Ro 15:16\\, and on account of his office, gifts, and usefulness, he
had reason to glory; though through Christ only, and in things relating
to God, and not himself, \\#Ro 15:17\\, when he takes an occasion to
enlarge on his ministry, and magnify his office; partly from the end
and success of it, bringing the Gentiles to the obedience of Christ,
\\#Ro 15:18\\, and partly from the means and causes of such success the
preaching of the word, working miracles, and the power of the Holy
Ghost; and from the extent of it, reaching from Jerusalem to Illyricum,
\\#Ro 15:19\\, and from the difficulty which attended it, he preaching
in places where the Gospel was never preached before, and which he
chose to do, \\#Ro 15:20\\, and which was necessary to be done,
according to a prophecy in \\#Isa 52:15\\, which he cites, \\#Ro 15:21\\,
and observes, that it was his preaching in these many and distant parts
that was the reason of his not having been with the saints at Rome,
\\#Ro 15:22\\, but now gives them reason to expect his coming; partly
because he had finished his travels in those countries, and partly
because of the vehement desire he had to see them, \\#Ro 15:23\\, and
besides, an opportunity seemed to be offering, he intending to take a
journey to Spain, when it would lie in his way to come to Rome, and be
for his advantage, \\#Ro 15:24\\, in the mean while he informs them
what he was engaged in, to carry the contribution of the Macedonian and
Asian churches to Jerusalem, for the poor saints there, \\#Ro 15:25\\,
on which contributions he enlarges, showing not only who made them, and
for whom, but the source and spring of them, they arose from their good
will and pleasure, \\#Ro 15:26\\, and yet they were debtors, and under
obligation to do what they did; it was but a piece of justice and
equity, since those churches had received of the spiritual things of
the Jews, \\#Ro 15:27\\, and as for his coming to them, he acquaints
them of the time that it would be, when he had finished the above
service and labour of love, and when he should come into Spain, as he
had before signified, \\#Ro 15:28\\, and of the manner in which he
should come, of which he was fully persuaded, as that it would be with
the fulness of the blessing of the Gospel of Christ, \\#Ro 15:29\\, and
then with great importunity desires them to pray for him, and that very
earnestly, \\#Ro 15:30\\, particularly that he might be delivered from
his enemies in Judea, and that the saints there would accept of what he
brought them from the Gentiles, \\#Ro 15:31\\, and that, if it was the
will of God, he might come to them and be refreshed with them,
\\#Ro 15:32\\, and then closes the chapter with a salutation of them,
or a wish that the God of peace might be with them, \\#Ro 15:33\\.