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1: We who are strong - Of a clearer judgment, and free
from these scruples. And not to please ourselves - Without any
regard to others.
2: For his good - This is a general word: edification
is one species of good.
3: But bore not only the infirmities, but reproaches,
of his brethren; and so fulfilled that scripture.(Ps 69:9)
4: Aforetime - In the Old Testament. That we through
patience and consolation of the scriptures may have hope - That
through the consolation which God gives us by these, we may have
patience and a joyful hope.
5: According to the power of Christ Jesus.
6: That ye - Both Jews and gentiles, believing with one mind,
and confessing with one mouth.
7: Receive ye one another - Weak and strong, with mutual love.
8: Now I say - The apostle here shows how Christ received us.
Christ Jesus - Jesus is the name, Christ the surname. The latter was
first known to the Jews; the former, to the gentiles. Therefore he
is styled Jesus Christ, when the words stand in the common, natural
order. When the order is inverted, as here, the office of Christ is
more solemnly considered. Was a servant - Of his Father. Of the
circumcision - For the salvation of the circumcised, the Jews. For
the truth of God - To manifest the truth and fidelity of God.
9: As it is written - In the eighteenth psalm, here the
gentiles and Jews are spoken of as joining in the worship of
the God of Israel.(Ps 18:49)
10: (De 32:43).
11: (Ps 117:1).
12: There shall be the root of Jesse - That kings and the
Messiah should spring from his house, was promised to Jesse
before it was to David. In him shall the gentiles hope - Who
before had been "without hope," (Eph 2:12).(Isa 11:10)
13: Now the God of hope - A glorious title of God, but
till now unknown to the heathens; for their goddess Hope,
like their other idols, was nothing; whose temple at Rome
was burned by lightning. It was, indeed, built again not
long after, but was again burned to the ground.
14: There are several conclusions of this Epistle.
The first begins at this verse;
the second, (Ro 16:1);
the third, (Ro 16:17);
the fourth, (Ro 16:21);
and the fifth, (Ro 16:25);
Ye are full of goodness - By being created anew. And filled
with all knowledge - By long experience of the things of God.
To admonish - To instruct and confirm.
15: Because of the grace - That is, because I am an apostle
of the gentiles.
16: The offering up of the gentiles - As living sacrifices.
17: I have whereof to glory through Jesus Christ - All my
glorying is in and through him.
18: By word - By the power of the Spirit.
By deed - Namely, through "mighty signs and wonders."
20: Not where Christ had been named - These places he
generally declined, though not altogether, having an holy ambition
(so the Greek word means) to make the first proclamation of the
gospel in places where it was quite unheard of, in spite of all the
difficulty and dangers that attended it. Lest I should only build
upon another man's foundation - The providence of God seemed in a
special manner, generally, to prevent this, though not entirely,
lest the enemies of the apostle, who sought every occasion to set
light by him, should have had room to say that he was behind
other apostles, not being sufficient for planting of churches
himself, but only for preaching where others had been already;
or that he declined the more difficult part of the ministry
21: (Isa 52:15).
22: Therefore I have been long hindered from coming to you
- Among whom Christ had been named.
23: Having no longer place in these parts - Where Christ has
now been preached in every city.
24: Into Spain - Where the gospel had not yet been preached.
If first I may be somewhat satisfied with your company - How
remarkable is the modesty with which he speaks! They might
rather desire to be satisfied with his. Somewhat satisfied
- Intimating the shortness of his stay; or, perhaps, that
Christ alone can throughly satisfy the soul.
26: The poor of the saints that are in Jerusalem - It can
by no means be inferred from this expression, that the community
of goods among the Christians was then ceased. All that can be
gathered from it is, that in this time of extreme dearth,(Ac 11:28,29), some of the church in Jerusalem were in want;
the rest being barely able to subsist themselves, but not to
supply the necessities of their brethren.
27: It hath pleased them; and they are their debtors - That
is, they are bound to it, in justice as well as mercy. Spiritual
things - By the preaching of the gospel. Carnal things - Things
needful for the body.
28: When I have sealed to them this fruit - When I have
safely delivered to them, as under seal, this fruit of their
brethren's love. I will go by you into Spain - Such was his
design; but it does not appear that Paul went into Spain.
There are often holy purposes in the minds of good men, which
are overruled by the providence of God so as never to take
effect. And yet they are precious in the sight of God.
30: I beseech you by the love of the Spirit - That is, by
the love which is the genuine fruit of the Spirit. To strive
together with me in your prayers - He must pray himself, who would
have others strive together with him in prayer. Of all the apostles,
St. Paul alone is recorded to desire the prayers of the faithful for
himself. And this he generally does in the conclusions of his Epistles;
yet not without making a difference. For he speaks in one manner to
them whom he treats as his children, with the gravity or even
severity of a father, such as Timothy, Titus, the Corinthians, and
Galatians; in another, to them whom he treats rather like equals,
such as the Romans, Ephesians, Thessalonians, Colossians, Hebrews.
31: That I may be delivered - He is thus urgent from a sense
of the importance of his life to the church. Otherwise he would
have rejoiced "to depart, and to be with Christ." And that my
service may be acceptable - In spite of all their prejudices;
to the end the Jewish and gentile believers may be knit together
in tender love.
32: That I may come to you - This refers to the former,
With joy - To the latter, part of the preceding verse.