15:1 We 1 then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to a please ourselves.
(1) Now the apostle reasons generally of tolerating or bearing with the weak by all means, in so far that it may be for their profit. 15:2 Let every one of us please [his] neighbour for [his] b good to edification.
(a) And despise others.
(b) For his profit and edification. 15:3 2 For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.
(2) A confirmation taken from the example of Christ, who suffered all things, to bring not only the weak, but also his most cruel enemies, overcoming them with patience, to his Father. 15:4 3 For whatsoever things were written c aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the d scriptures might have hope.
(3) The preventing of an objection: such things as are cited out of the examples of the ancients, are propounded unto us to this end and purpose, that according to the example of our fathers we should in patience and hope bear one with another. 15:5 4 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:
(c) By Moses and the prophets.
(d) The scriptures are said to teach and comfort, because God uses them to teach and comfort his people with them.
(4) We must take an example of patience from God: that both the weak and the strong, serving God with a mutual consent, may bring one another to God, as Christ also received us to himself, although we were ever so unworthy. 15:7 Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also e received us to the glory of God.
(e) He did not shun us, but received us of his own accord, to make us partakers of Gods glory. 15:8 5 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the f circumcision for the g truth of God, to confirm the promises [made] unto the fathers:
(5) An applying of the example of Christ to the Jews, whom he granted this honour for the promises which he made to their fathers, although they were ever so unworthy, in that he executed the office of a minister among them with marvellous patience: therefore much less ought the Gentiles despise them for certain faults, whom the Son of God esteemed so much. 15:9 6 And that the Gentiles might glorify God for [his] mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will h confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.
(f) Of the circumcised Jews, for as long as he lived, he never went out of their midst.
(g) That God might be seen to be true.
(6) An applying of the same to the Gentiles, whom also the Lord by his incomprehensible goodness had regard for, so that they are not to be condemned by the Jews as strangers. 15:13 7 Now the God of i hope fill you with k all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
(h) I will openly confess and set forth your name.
(7) He seals up as it were all the former treatise with prayers, wishing all that to be given them by the Lord, that he had commanded them. 15:14 8 And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that l ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.
(i) In whom we hope.
(k) Abundantly and plentifully.
(8) The conclusion of the epistle, in which he first excuses himself, that he has written somewhat at length to them, rather to warn them than to teach them, and that of necessity, by reason of his calling, which binds him in a special way to the Gentiles. 15:16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the m offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.
(l) Of your own accord, and by yourselves.
(m) By the offering up of the Gentiles, he means the Gentiles themselves, whom he offered to God as a sacrifice. 15:17 9 I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God.
(9) He commends his apostleship highly by the effects, but yet in such a way that even though he speaks all things truly, he gives all the glory to God as the only author: and he does not do this for his own sake, but this rather, that men might doubt less of the truth of the doctrine which he propounds to them. 15:18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which n Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed,
(n) Christ was so with me in all things, and by all means, that even if I had wanted to, yet I cannot say what he has done by me to bring the Gentiles to obey the gospel. 15:19 Through o 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.
(o) In the first place this word "mighty" signifies the force and working of the wonders in piercing mens minds: and in the latter, it signifies Gods mighty power which was the worker of those wonders. 15:22 10 For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you.
15:25 But now I go unto Jerusalem to p minister unto the saints.
(10) He writes in general to the Romans, and that familiarly, his singular good will towards them, and the state of his affairs, but in such a way that he does not swerve in the least way from the end of apostolic doctrine: for he declares nothing but that which appertains to his office, and is godly: and commending by a little digression as it were, the liberality of the churches of Macedonia, he modestly incites them to follow their godly deed.
(p) Doing his duty for the saints, to carry to them that money which was gathered for their use. 15:27 11 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 q minister unto them in carnal things.
15:28 When therefore I have performed this, and have r sealed to them this s fruit, I will come by you into Spain.
(11) Alms are voluntary, but yet we at the same time owe these by the law of charity.
(q) To serve their turns.
(r) Performed it faithfully, and sealed it as it were with my ring. 15:29 12 And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.
(s) This money which was gathered for the use of the poor: and these alms are very fitly called fruit.
15:30 Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christs sake, and for the t love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in [your] prayers to God for me;
(12) He promises them through the blessing of God, not to come empty to them: and requiring of them the duty of prayers, he shows what thing we ought mainly to rest upon in all difficulties and adversities.
(t) For the mutual union, with which the Holy Spirit has united our hearts and minds together.