“Search the Scriptures…for they are they which testify of Me”.John 5:39
Romans Chapter 15
Romans Chapter 16
Romans Chapter 15: verses; 1—3:“We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification.For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written; The reproaches ofthem that reproached thee fell on me”.You will recall the message of Chapter 14 was appropriated to us in the first verse of that Chapter: “Him that is weak in the faith receiveye, but not to doubtful disputations”.Paul continues this same admonition here at the beginning of Chapter 15.We that are stronger in the faith, must support, uphold, and teach those who are weaker than ourselves.It is our duty to help our Christian neighbor, to edify the saints and with patience undergird his or her understanding. Paul also sets the example, in verse three, when he states that even Christ pleased not himself, but notes that the sins of men fell upon Him (Jesus). Therefore we are to unite in glorifying our Lord, not for our own pleasure but as it is the will of God. It is to this end that we must elevateand enlighten our brother’s path.
Verse 4: “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”This is one of the most profound statements which solidify the truth of all that is written in the Holy Canon. Couple this verse with II Timothy 3: 16—17; and you resolve one of the mystery’s of Scripture.“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”Why is this so deep-rooted?Because it makes known to us that the “whole” Bible is taken into account; both the Old and the New Testaments; every jot and every tittle. (Matt: ) You either believe that the Bible is full of holes, or you must believe the whole Bible. It states “All Scripture isgiven by inspiration of God”, not part of the scripture, not a certain section, not merely the verse that the preacher points out, to prove his point, but “All Scripture”.I have quoted time and again: “Study to show thyself approved, rightly dividing the word oftruth.” (II Tim 2:15).How can you rightly divide the word of truth (scripture) if you do not know what is in it? And why were these things written aforetime? For our learning, comfort and hope.The entire basis of our Faith is in Hope, not in things that we have seen, but in those things which we have not seen.
I must take a moment here to expound on the two verses of II Tim. 3: 16 & 17 for the soil here is too rich not to plant a seed or two.Notice the clause, “that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnishedunto all good works”.Does this mean that we can work our way to heaven?God forbid!Ephesians 2: 8 & 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and not of yourselves, it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”Our works mean nothing until we come to the saving grace of our Lord Jesus.It is not until after we put our faith and hope in Him that we can be “thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”What does this mean?It means simply that once we become Christians and accept Jesus Christ as our personal saviour, then our works may begin to count toward earning the jewels, of our crown in heaven.
Does this same clause also insinuate that the man of God is perfect?Impossible!While we are upon this ole’ earth we are still in the flesh, and cannot, therefore, become perfect.What the verse is saying is that if a man comprehends and understands that all scripture is given by inspiration of God, is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that he is then perfectly and thoroughly furnished unto all good works.In other words, he is prepared and enabled to teach, preach, instruct, behave and conduct himself in a manner which will provide opportunity for good works toward God and his fellow man.
One of the biggest mistakes of the Church and her leaders is a tendency to leap ahead of God and draw their own conclusions, in their discourse upon the Bible. To eliminate this confusion, when about your personal Bible study, read each verse independently, consider every word, then blend it in, with the topic at hand.Take into account, to whom the author is writing and who he is writing to, as well as the subject matter and the immediate environment from which he speaks. Let the Bible say what it wants to say. Do not lead it, let it lead you. Allow yourself to be guided by the Holy Spirit; it is he, who is in charge of instructing us in spiritual matters, particularly the Holy Canon. These few simple steps will enlighten and enhance your grasp of knowledge as it relates to the Holy Scriptures.
Verses 5—7:“Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to (or after the example of) Christ Jesus.That ye may be with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory ofGod”.These verses confirm and reiterate what Paul wrote in verses 1 & 2.That we together, both strong and weak, be in harmony toward the praise of God. Yielding through our differences and uniting in our worship. Making the weak strong and the strong humble.
Verses 8—12:“Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people.And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people.And again, Esaias (Isaiah) saith, there shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust”. You will undoubtedly observe that Paul is changing the subject beginning with verse 8, from what has gone before.You may ask why the change of subject and why at this juncture?Let us address the latter before the former.The reason Paul is changing the subject here is because he is nearing the close of this Epistle to Rome, and he is trying to sum-up, so to speak.As to why he changed the subject, remember that this Church was made up of both Jew and Gentile.Paul is attempting to assuage their different religious backgrounds and bring them collectively, under the new banner of Christianity.Let’s examine it verse by verse.
Verse 8:“Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers”. Anytime you encounter the word circumcision in scripture, you should automatically shift gears and realize that the Jew is in view. So that when Paul states that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision, we know he was talking about the fact that Christ first came for the nation of Israel.In order to confirm the promises made unto the fathers; in otherwise to fulfill the Old Testament Scriptures.Again remember that the New Testament is enfolded in the Old and the Old Testament is unfolded in the New.Paul is therefore establishing that Jesus Christ came as a minister to the nation of Israel in order to fulfill all those Old Testament prophesies regarding the Messiah. Let us move to…
Verse 9:“And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, for this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name”. For a better understanding lets look-up Psalms 18: vs. 49: “Therefore will I give thanks, (confess) unto thee, O Lord, among the heathen, (Gentiles) and sing praises unto thy name”. So, Christ came as a minister unto Israel “and” that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy, upon them.
Verse 10:“And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people”. See Deuteronomy 32: 43
Verse 11:“And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people.Psalms 117: 1.
Verse 12:“And again, Esaias (Isaiah) saith, there shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust”.Let us read Isaiah 11; 1:“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse (the Jews), and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:” Jeremiah 23; 5:“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Brance, (Jesus Christ) and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment, and justice in the earth.”
Then to drive it all home with something we are all familiar with; Isaiah 10: 6 & 7:“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”
I trust that you now see how Paul was massaging and homogenizing the new Christians of Rome into one belief.He confirms that Christ came for the Jew, but that he then also brought in the Gentiles to form His Church.Underscoring the fact that the Church was to be made up of all people who believed, Jesus Christ was indeed; the Son of God, and was made manifest upon the earth.
In verses 13 through 17 Paul is under girding, encouraging and strengthening the Church at Rome.To use a vernacular of today, Paul is giving them an atta-boy. He is telling them that he is speaking more boldly to them, acknowledging their goodness, knowledge, and ability to admonish one another and reaffirming his ministry to the Gentiles. Then in verses 18 and 19, he assures them that he is indeed speaking by the power of the Holy Spirit, and preaching the gospel of Christ.
Verse 20--22: “Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation:” Paul is proclaiming that his message is different from all others, particularly that of all the Old Testament prophets and the other Apostles; for their message was given to, and for, the benefit of the Jews. And his was not to build upon their foundation, but rather to establish the way to God for the Gentiles, through Jesus Christ.“But as it is written, to whom He was not spoken of,they shall see; and they that have not heard shall understand, (viz; the Gentiles) For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you”.
The glad tidings of verses 23 through 29 are that Paul has full intention of coming to visit the Church of Rome.He shares with them that he must first travel to Jerusalem, to deliver contributions from Macedonia and Achaia to the saints of Jerusalem.Then he will come to Rome on his journey to Spain.He is obviously excited about getting to Rome, as he says that when he comes that he will come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.
Paul’s salutation to the Church of Rome is recorded in verses 30—33 where he states:“Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me;That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints;That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed.Now the God of peace be with you all.Amen.”
Romans Chapter 16
This author decided to include Chapter 16 at this juncture because we only have 8 verses upon which I wish to comment. The other 19 verses are taken up with Paul’s acknowledging, seeking prayer, and recognizing his devotees in the faith.While these are undoubtedly worthy saints, laborers and workers for the Church, the cause of Christ and the gospel, their contributions do not fall within the theme or scope of this discourse.
Verses 17—20:“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.For your obedience is come abroad unto all men.I am glad therefore on your behalf; but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.Amen”
The warning presented here is that we must beware of those who cause dissention and strife both in and outside the Church.They cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which we have learned, and we must avoid them.We are told that these do not serve our Lord, but rather their own interest by their good words, their fair speeches and thus deceive the hearts of the laity.Paul advises us to be on guard and wise to that which is good, verses that which is simple concerning evil. Paul says that God will bruise Satan “under your feet shortly”. What good news we have here.Note that this Epistle to Rome was one of the early letters to the Church.Even then we had Satan stirring the pot. Heaven knows it has only gotten worse.Yet, we are offered words of comfort; for God will bruise Satan under our feet shortly.I personally believe the time is even shorter than we could possibly imagine.Merely watch the news or read any of the numerous publications and you will be startled at the present evil throughout the world. Yes, Satan is alive and well on planet Earth, but his days are numbered.How do I know this?“For God will bruise Satan under our feet shortly.”
Verses 24—27:“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery; which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.”
What does Paul mean by: “according to the revelation of the mystery; which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest”? I would pray that by now as we have traversed the pages of this Epistle, you would know the answer to this question. Further, Paul gives us the answer right here in these few verses.The revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest is Jesus Christ. He is the mystery.
Jesus Christ is mentioned hundreds if not indeed thousands of times throughout the Old Testament.It was Him who was referred to as the Messiah, the Deliverer, the Holy One of God.It was Him who was painted in broad strokes, in various pictures, and shadows.It was He who was being revealed in the life of Abel, the innocent son slain by his jealous brother. We see Him in the personage of Enoch. One who walked righteous before God, and God took-him to heaven before the flood. Noah was a foreshadow of Jesus when he found grace in the eyes of the Lord.In Isaac a child of supernatural birth, you will recall that both Abraham and Sarah were in their nineties when the conceived their only son. And Abraham offered Isaac his only son as the sacrificial lamb, to please God. In Joseph we see Jesus as the blameless son who was left for dead by his brothers, only to rise to power, second to none except Pharaoh (a picture of God the Father),Moses, the one who delivered his people from the slavery of Egypt (a picture of Christ delivering His people from sin). Elijah, David, Daniel, Solomon and on and on we see Jesus the Christ written on almost every page. He is in the Pentateuch (the first five books of Old Testament written by) Moses.We find Him in the Psalms, in all the books written by the prophets.
Yet He was a mystery, not totally revealed until the Four Gospels which open the New Testament; and then only partially.He is written and expounded upon in every book of the New Testament.Through the Holy Spirit and the written Word (the Bible) he is now made manifest, and by the scriptures, the prophets, and according to the commandment of the everlasting God He is made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:Truly, To God by glory through Jesus Christ for ever.Amen!!
This Epistle was written to the Romans, by Paul from Corinth and sent by Phebe servant of the church at Cenchrea to the Church at Rome.
May God bless this author’s feeble attempt on the writing of this Commentary on the Book of Romans.