Practices of Christian Liberty
Verse 1 – We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
Verse 2 – Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification.
Are you a person of strong faith? If yes, then you need to help lift up another Christian in their faith. Tell them what God has done for you and that God is able to do it for them.
Verse 3 – For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.”
Christ was willing to suffer contempt in order to do good to others, those who reproached their Maker.
Verse 4 – For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
The Old Testament adapted to express Christian duties and doctrine. The knowledge of the Scriptures affects our attitudes toward the present and the future. The more we know about what God has done in years past, the greater our confidence becomes for what He will do in the future.
Verse 5 – Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus,
Verse 6 – that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Verse 7 – Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.
As we grow in faith and come to know Jesus better, so will our hearts grow in love towards others. If that is not happening, then a self-examination of priorities are in order.
Verse 8 – Now I say that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers,
Verse 9 – and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy, as it is written; “For this reason I will confess to You among the Gentiles, and sing to Your name.”
Verse 10 – And again he says: “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people!”
Verse 11 – And again: “Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you people!”
Paul uses these quotes to confirm that Jews and Gentiles were prophesied about in the Old Testament of a time when they would come together to praise God as one.
Verse 12 – And again, Isaiah says: “There shall be a root of Jesse; and He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, in Him the Gentiles shall hope.”
The root of Jesse refers to Christ as the heir from the family line of Jesse, King David’s father (1 Samuel 16:1).
Verse 13 – Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The effect of believing is to produce this joy and peace. It is by the powerful operation of the Holy Spirit that the Christian has the hope of eternal life.
Verse 14 – Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to abonish one another.
Verse 15 – Nevertheless, brethren, I have written more boldly to you on some points, as reminding you, because of the grace given to me by God,
Verse 16 – that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
Verse 17 – Therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God.
Paul gloried in the things God did through him. Are you just as proud and glorify God in what He does through other people?
Verse 18 – For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient –
I do not exaggerate my own success, or claim what others have accomplished to make the Gentiles obedient – to bring them to obey God in the gospel.
Verse 19 – in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.
Verse 20 – And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on anther man’s foundation,
Verse 21 – but as it is written: “To whom He was not announced, they shall see; and those who have not heard shall understand.”
Verse 22 – For this reason I also have been much hindered from coming to you.
Verse 23 – But now no longer having a place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come to you,
Verse 24 – whenever I journey to Spain, I shall come to you. For I hope to see you on my journey, and to be helped on my way there by you, if first I may enjoy your company for a while.
Paul was referring to his completion of his work in Corinth, where he most likely wrote this letter. When Paul evidently went to Rome though, it was as a prisoner.
Verse 25 – But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints.
Verse 26 – For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem.
Little did Paul know that in Jerusalem he would be arrested, kept there for two years in custody, and then travel to Rome still a prisoner.
Verse 27 – It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is able to minister to them in material things.
Verse 28 – Therefore, when I have performed this and have sealed them this fruit, I shall go by way of you to Spain.
Verse 29 – But I know that when I come to you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.
Verse 30 – Now I beg you, brethren, through the Spirit, that you strive together with me in your prayers to God for me,
Verse 31 – that I may be delivered from those in Judea who do not believe, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints,
Verse 32 – that I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and may be refreshed together with you.
Verse 33 – Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
Isn’t it funny sometimes, when you know you are on the right track and in God’s will, going where the Holy Spirit leads, and all of a sudden something unexpected happens? Paul was doing God’s will. He was taking gifts to those saints in need in Jerusalem. He’s preaching the gospel of Christ and gets arrested and then is stuck in custody for two years. And then he requests to go before Caesar, whom is in Rome, and that’s how he gets to Rome to see the saints there. Paul had written this letter ten years before.
God is perfect in His plans for us. Don’t despair when things look like, for a moment, that what God has promised, is not going to work out. Here is what I can count on and know for sure: God always accomplishes His purpose. He cannot lie and is able to do the impossible!