Romans Chapter 15

"Pleasing the Brethren."

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription/ location is provided by

In the prior two chapters we saw how we are to act and treat others in a civil society, and to those that are weak, and new brethren and not strong in the Word of God. This chapter now gets into our relationship with our brethren in the Lord, again. When you have a firm understanding of the Word, and God's overall plan for this earth age, we should be be gentle with those fellow Christians that have no understanding of what the Word has to say about their lives. Every one must have their own conviction set in his mind, and then be lead by his or her conscience.

Romans 15:1 "We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves."

We should never put something on someone's mind, to act and do something when they have a conviction against it. The "strong" stated here, are those Christians that know the freedoms that they do have in Christ. "Infirmities" in the Greek text, is "Asthenema", and it is used only one time in all of God's Word, and it is a "scruple of conscience". This is a feeling of hesitancy, or doubt in deciding what is right or wrong. This weaker brother or sister just doesn't know what to do to please God, and it is not our right to force our judgments on them, but urge then to seek direction in the Word of God for their conviction.

Those that are strong must be patient with those that just can't make their mind up on what they should and should not be doing. The strong Christian should lead them to the Word, and let the Spirit of God do the leading from the Word. The thing that matters here is that the weak brother seeks to pleases God with a clear conscience in his mind. We are to give this babe in Christ a little room in making their minds up and have patience. This is aimed at those that are new converts in Christ that have not formed a conscience yet as to what Christ expects of them. Don't be critical of them for as they study, the Spirit will direct their conscience. It is in the reading of God's Word that gives us the hope and strength in our faith.

Romans 15:2 "Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification."

We are to build him up in the Lord, if it is possible. We do this by encouraging him to get into God's Word, and helping that new Christian understand parts that may be difficult for him. Use the Word to give the answers where their may be doubt. There simply is no shortcut in building up the new Christians life in Christ, it comes by studying the Word and clarifying the points as you go; chapter by chapter and verse by verse. Teach them how to study God's Word, using a Strong's numbered concordance, and Greek and Hebrew dictionary to check out the manuscripts. With these and other Bible study tools, the new convert can build his faith and belief when there is doubt.

Romans 15:3 "For even Christ pleased not Himself; but, as it is written, "The reproaches of them that reproached Thee fell on Me."

This is recorded in Psalm 69:9; "For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; And the reproaches of them that reproached Thee are fallen upon me." Paul is using the Scripture written by David to build us up. This is as we are to do with the new brethren in Christ.

This idea here really starts in Psalm 69:7; "Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; Shame hath covered my face." We see here the insults, and shame brought about by the spitting upon Jesus, and hitting Him in the face before driving the crown of thorns in His head before His crucifixion

Psalm 69:8 "I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children". In other words, they did not recognize me.

Then when we read verse nine above, we see that Jesus did take the reproach of the world, and He did not do what pleased Himself, but He did what pleased His Father. That reproach is each and every sin that you commit today, Christ took upon Himself when you repent in Jesus name. The name of Jesus is the only name that gives you credentials before our Heavenly Father. With the name of Jesus comes the innocence of perfection at that moment of repentance. It is obvious that we will not stay that way for long in our flesh bodies, but while in our flesh bodies we must continually seek to repent of those shortfalls of sin, immediately after we commit them.

For those that think that when they become a Christian they will never sin again, just don't live in a real world and face reality. In time their dream world needs a little propping up or they slip into foreign heathen religions. The image of perfection that they place in their mind leads them to high-mindedness, vanity, and many other sins that we are commanded to repent of.

We should all remember that when you accept Christ and repent of your sins, the Holy Spirit of God enters into you and directs your spirit and mind to learn and understand what the Father expects from you. The Father expects you to try, and your trying to live as Jesus Christ lived, and repenting when you do not, He accepts as perfect. That is why Jesus paid the price for the reproach; to teach us to be gentle with those babes in Christ that are around us. When we try to help that spiritual babe in Christ, use the Scripture and simple words to show the fault, not words that the student probably would not understand in the first place.

Romans 15:4 "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope."

Every word that was written in the Scriptures by the prophets, and disciples were written for your learning and understand. When we study the Scriptures patiently, there is a comfort that fills our souls as we apply the knowledge and it becomes part of our mind. The hope that we have is the "hope" of eternity, it is our salvation that comes to each of us in repentance for our sins. It is also the hope of a better life here on earth, and the hope of success in whatever endeavors that we go into in doing those things God's way.

God created this earth age and He design and created our bodies, and He knows what it takes to overcome the negative and dark forces within our world. We live in this world, and as a follower of Christ, our only hope to be an overcomer is written in His Word. We must learn to use God's direction in our daily lives, and apply it through our common sense. Remember we are talking about our treatment of a weak and new Christ that is trying to learn, and we are to carry the burden of his or her convictions of conscience, and show gentleness and understanding. You don't mess with God's gentle lambs and cause them to fall, or God will deal very harshly with you.

It is important to remember this verse, that we learn by what was "written aforetime" which is the prophecy in the Scripture.

Romans 15:5 "Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:"

Being "likeminded one toward another" means "in harmony with each other. We harmonize by living "according to the teachings and ways of Christ. We live following His example, as was stated in verse three. Christ did not live to please Himself but He lived to please the Father, and those that would come to Him. He thought of others to make their lives happy and content when they sought Him in their repentance. We harmonize in God's Word, and come in tune with it. When difficulty comes in determining right from wrong, we seek the true meaning from the Word, and that sets our direction for our lives.

Romans 15:6 "That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."

"Emmanuel" means "God with us", and when we harmonize by studying God's Word by learning God's truths, you are in harmony with God. When you study to know the subject and object, and what is being taught in the Word, then you are glorifying God our heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 15:7 "Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God."

Be patient with one another. You don't have to think exactly as the next Christian thinks, but in matters of our personal lives and the way things must be done, we must use the Scriptures as our guide and let it change our lives. When each of study the Scriptures the understanding may be a little different, but we will be in harmony with one another in His Spirit.

Romans 15:8 "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:"

Jesus Christ was born a minister to the fathers, and king of Israel. The "circumcision" means "those of the covenant", it is Israel, all the tribes of Israel of both houses, Jews and Christian alike. When Jesus sent out His disciples in the first place, He commanded them, to "go first to the lost sheep of the House of Israel."

Matthew 10:5 "These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, "Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:"

Matthew 10:6 "But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

God didn't lose those lost sheep of the House of Israel, those ten tribes are the people that the prophet Hosea calls the Christian nations of today. They lost their own way as they staggered blindly in their migrations, known only of themselves by the circumcision of their baby sons, and the name of Caucasian that they attached to themselves. The House of Israel came through the Caucasus mountains and migrated to settle western Europe, the Americas, and places around the world. Remember that when the house of Israel was scattered about 745-722 B.C., the Assyrians brought in five other captive nations and replaced them in the land where the House of Israel once lived. It was these foreigners that became known as the "Samaritans" in Jesus day.

Paul, the writer of the Book of Romans, was struck down on the road to Damascus, and Jesus gave Paul the mission to go and preach to these so-called Gentiles. Acts 9 gives us Paul's mission by God.

Acts 9:15 "But the Lord said unto him, "Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bare my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:"

Acts 9:16 "For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake."

The other races were brought into this glory that we have in Jesus Christ and Paul was to lead the way, but not until the price was paid on the cross, that is the way that it was. Salvation was closed to the Gentiles before Christ's crucifixion.

Romans 15:9 "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."

Paul is quoting here from Psalm 18:49; "Therefore will I give thanks unto Thee, O Lord, among the heathen, And sing praises unto thy name."

Romans 15:10 "And again He saith, "Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with His people."

Paul again is quoting from the Old Testament, from Deuteronomy 32:43, which is part of the "song of Moses" which the people that have victory over the Antichrist will sing on the first day of the Millennium age. "Rejoice, O ye nations, with His people: For He will avenge the blood of His servants, And will render vengeance to His adversaries, And will be merciful unto His land, and to His people."

This song will be sung when this earth age comes to a close, and Jesus talked about it in Revelation 15:3 "And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, "Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints." The song of Moses is on the lips of those that are not deceived by the Antichrist, nor the deceptions and lies that Satan's system [the beast] brings upon the entire earth. Friend, all of Moses is part of the song of Moses, and we should be aware of what is in that song.

Romans 15:11 "And again, "Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud Him, all ye people."

Paul is exercising his commission to the Romans, that he would take God's Word to the Gentiles as well as to Israel, the lost sheep of the House of Israel [not the Jews]. He is quoting here from Psalm 117:1, 2; "O praise the Lord, all ye nations: Praise Him, all ye people." [1] "For His merciful kindness is great toward us: And the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise ye THE LORD." [2]

Romans 15:12 "And again, Esaias saith, "There shall be a Root of Jesse, and He That shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in Him shall the Gentiles trust."

Now Paul is quoting from Isaiah 11:10; "And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse [Jesus Christ], which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to It [Jesus Christ] shall the Gentiles seek: and His rest shall be glorious."

All of Isaiah 11 is a lesson by God to build us up in the Lord, and give us hope and strength to stand in this earth age. This is in reference to the Millennium Age when all Gentiles on the face of this earth will praise the Lord, and glorify His name.

Romans 15:13 "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit."

There is a condition given here. This condition is for our receiving God's hope [full of all joy and peace] and that is that we continue believing in the hope that we have in Jesus Christ. That hope and joy is given to us through the power of the Holy Spirit. With our believing comes the blessings of God, and our peace of mind. We find this hope through the Word of God, and learning from that Word by the Spirit of God.

Romans 15:14 "And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another."

To "admonish one another", means to teach one another within the Word of God. When you read and study God's Word, the Spirit of God makes that Word part of your life. Then your teaching becomes your telling others how that Word has changed your life, and given you peace and hope. Then it becomes a matter of helping a friend in the Lord understand what the Holy Spirit has taught you, and using the Scriptures to back up what you say. Study then, is merely the effort of following the subject, and the object relates to us exactly what the Word is talking about.

Romans 15:15 "Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God,"

Paul is saying that God called me to give you the truth, both to Israel and to the Gentiles, and Paul is going to give that Word boldly to them. Keep in mind that until Christ paid the price on the cross, Jesus gave the commission to His disciples to go only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Now in Paul's commission following the crucifixion, Paul is to go not only to those lost sheep of the house of Israel, but to the Gentiles of all races, and the kings and queens of the ethnos. Paul is following that commission boldly in his teachings in this entire book of Romans.

Romans 15:16 "That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost."

It is the Holy Spirit that is the witness that touches their heart which causes them to believe on Jesus Christ, and repent to the Father in Jesus name. To "offer up the Gentiles", in the Greek text means "to make them a sacrifice unto Jesus Christ". To be a sacrificial servant of Christ means that Jesus Christ comes first. When the Holy Spirit touches the hearts of the Gentiles, they become servants to Christ and try please Christ first in their daily living. It doesn't mean that you become a religious nut or fanatic, but that Jesus Christ become your number one priority in life.

Romans 15:17 "I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God."

Paul is telling the Romans that it pleases him that God has opened up this blessing of everlasting life up to the Gentile. The stipulation that has been made throughout this entire book of Romans is that salvation comes by faith, which is brought forth by the hearing of the Word of God. Paul has done a good job of using the Old Testament in pointing out the overall picture and types, to make it simplified in the New Testament.

Romans 15:18 "For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed,"

Paul is saying that he would not dare teach you something that is foreign to the Word of God, to bring you in obedience to God. In fact, no teacher should have to go to that point of using something out side the Word of God, to threaten one to accept the Word of God, and be drawn to the Lord.

Today this is done quite often, as many church systems use their traditions, to add on to the Word of God. Many times the teaching and holding by fear rather then love, makes void the Word of God, for we have a God of Love. Love is to care and be bold enough to make a difference in peoples lives, and make men and women of God out of them, instead of creating a bunch of wimps. Christians are not second class citizens, be they Israel, or Gentile. They are servants of the living God, and that is how they should act.

Romans 15:19 "Through 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."

This covers quite a bit of ground that Paul made on his journeys, preaching the Gospel and setting up churches where ever he went. As God used Paul to preach and teach and organize these churches, Paul ended up writing most of what we call the New Testament. Paul is telling the Romans that in these travels and letters, he hasn't changed one thing from the commission that God had placed upon him. Those credentials for Paul were written in Acts 9:15-16; "But the Lord said unto him, "Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:" [15] "For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake." [16]

Romans 15:20 "Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation:"

The Gospel of Christ is the good news of the saving power of Christ through His death on the cross. Paul is saying that as he traveled and preached the Gospel of Christ, he was careful not to move in on another man or woman's ministry that had already been started. While he did visit others, I'm sure they welcomed him where ever he met with other Christians. This is exactly what a missionary does, as well as an evangelist in his ministry.

God gives all Christians certain gifts, as we read in Romans eleven, and those gifts are given without repentance. When God gives you an ability to serve Him in His service, and gives you a gift to do the work, He does not take that gift from you if you get a little sloppy, so when you wake up and repent, the gifts will still be there.

Romans 15:21 "But as it is written, "To whom He was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand."

This is the office of the missionary. It is written in Isaiah 52:15; "So shall He sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at Him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider."

This will happen at the Second Advent when every knee will bow and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. It is the duty of every Christian and missionary, to share the understanding of God's Word and His love to the whole world. Once you have shared what you have in His Word, God will give you more understand of His Word. You will never run out of things to give forth from His Word.

When God has allowed you much understanding in His Word, and you sit on that information and hid it from the world, He will shut you off from additional light. What good is your learning and understanding if all you are going to do is hide it when you get it, for you become a non-fruitbearer in the Word.

Romans 15:22 "For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you."

Paul is explaining to the Romans that this is the reason it has taken so long to get to Rome for the ministry. Many times Paul set out for a destination, and God turned him back, because many people were hungry for the Word of God, and the Spirit lead Paul to where he should go. People are still hungry to this day for the Word of God.

It is a good thing when a Christian is so grounded in the Word that the Spirit of God can lead you to your neighbor to give comfort to a non-believer when it is needed. That is what Paul is relating to here. He wanted to plan his own ministry, but God lead him to where He had a purpose for Paul's life. When you give comfort from the Word of God, be able to document it in the Word of God.

Romans 15:23 "But now having no more placed in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you;"

Romans 15:24 "Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company."

This kind of loses its meaning in the translation. Paul is saying that when he comes to them, he wants to spend some time there with them. Paul's father was a Roman citizen, and Paul had family in the Rome area, and many friends. In the next chapter we will see that Paul sends greeting to his friends in Rome. You will be surprised just who some of those family and friends are.

Romans 15:25 "But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints."

This word minister does not mean that he is going to preach to them, but it means that Paul is going to deliver the funds and offerings from Gentile churches to Jerusalem.

Romans 15:26 "For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the saints which are at Jerusalem."

With the Roman rule very strict in Jerusalem, and the persecutions by the Kenite priests in the temple, the saints had a real tough go of living their lives. Paul was sent money from the Greek and Macedonia churches to bring to those Christians that needed it badly. The Christians in Jerusalem were under pressure, and they also had a hard time in understanding that Paul was on a mission to bring the Gospel to the Gentiles, for many of them still considered the Gentiles unclean in the eyes of God.

We know that God sent vision of a sheet full of unclean animals to Peter, and told him to eat. The point to that vision was not to eat unclean animals, but that the gospel of Christ was open to all mankind Jew and Gentile, as well as to the tribes of the House of Israel. The point was that Peter should never call anyone unclean again, when they had repented and received Christ

Romans 15:27 "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 minister unto them in carnal things."

The church at Jerusalem was very happy to receive the help from the Gentile Christian churches abroad. In receiving their gifts of money, they also became partakers of spiritual things that the Jerusalem church took part in, and it became the duty of the Jerusalem church to minister to these Gentiles on carnal things also. Paul is telling the Romans that all Gentile churches now have the right to bring forth the true Word of God, for it is now open to all people.

Romans 15:28 "When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain."

Paul is promising the Romans that as soon as he goes into Jerusalem, and delivers the money and greetings from the Gentile churches, he will come to Rome on his way to Spain.

Romans 15:29 "And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ."

Paul is sure that when he comes God will send a blessing to them through him.

Romans 15:30 "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;"

Why would Paul be seeking their prayers on his behalf?

Romans 15:31 "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;"

Judaea is the Jewish state where Jerusalem is the Capital. Paul wants them in Rome to pray that the gift sent by the Gentiles would be accepted by those saints in Jerusalem. By doing this, they would be honoring Paul's commission directly from the Lord, and noting that Paul has the right to give the Gentile the Gospel of Christ. This whole idea of salvation to the Gentiles is directly opposite to what they have been taught from the beginning, and now it would take a complete change of heart and mind for them to accept it.

It would be comparable to someone that had been taught the traditions of men, and then they came to find out that it is not what God's Word teaches. This would take a complete change of heart and mind to give up what your parents and ancestors had taught for many centuries. Today those dear Christians that love the Lord and have been looking for a "rapture" all their lives, only then find out in their old age that the tradition of the rapture doctrine is a lie. They are not ready nor equipped to face the Antichrist after all. They stand in their traditions, not prepared with the knowledge of the Scriptures that is required to give them the spiritual armor to stand against Satan the Antichrist's deceptions and lying wonders, because their pastors told them it was not necessary to learn all the Word of God.

So we see why Paul was treated rather badly by the saints here in Jerusalem for the stand that he took against their traditions that were dominating the Jewish mind. Paul's mission now is the spreading of the Gospel to all men, Jew and Gentile.

Romans 15:32 "That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed."

Romans 15:33 "Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen."

This completes the letter to the Romans, but in the last chapter we will get into a little history about the early church in Rome, and Paul's relationships there.

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