Art Toombs Ministries

Online Bible Commentary

The Example of Jesus
Romans 15:1 We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. 3 For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, "The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me." 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. 5 Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, 6 that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God. 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, 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." 10 And again he says: "Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people!" 11 And again: "Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples!" 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." 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. (NKJV)






The Apostle Paul wrote this letter to the Christians in Rome while on a three month visit to the church in Corinth, Greece in late 56 and early 57 A.D. during his third missionary journey. The letter is heavy with Christian Doctrine, Christian teaching.

The major doctrinal portion of the letter ends with chapter 11. Going forward, the next section (chapters 12-15:13) takes this doctrine and applies it through practical Christian living.

This passage concludes the section on practical Christian living. The remainder of this letter is concerned with Paul’s plans for the future.

Paul begins this passage with “We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification.” (vv. 1-2). He is calling for more mature Christians to “bear with” those who are not as mature.

The idea is for more mature Christians to seek to please the less mature Christians, before themselves. In this way, the less mature Christians will be edified, will be taught and built up, rather than being torn down.

However, never would Paul allow false teaching to prevail. If the less mature Christian is heading down the wrong road, correction should be applied.

In seeking to please others, Paul brings up the example of Jesus. He writes, quoting Ps. 69:9, “For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, "The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me." (v. 3). Christ would always defend the honor of God, even in the midst of bringing hardship upon himself.

Next, Paul refers to Old Testament Scriptures to reinforce his point. He writes “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” (v. 4). His point is that the Scriptures would give us “patience and comfort” in yielding to less mature Christians.

Paul continues “Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (vv. 5-6). His blessing is that all Christians would be brought together to glorify God with “one mind and one mouth”, the mind and mouth of Christ.

We should all strive to think and speak as Christ does. We should be Christlike in all that we say and do, always glorifying God.

Paul writes “Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.” (v. 7). We glorify God when we receive our fellow Christians just as Christ received us, in grace and love.

Next. in the remaining six verses of this passage, Paul reminds us of how the ministry of Christ extends to all Christians, converted Jews and converted Gentiles. This is important to note, because the Old Testament Scriptures were written primarily to the Jews and their forefathers.   

Paul writes “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, and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy,” (vv. 8-9a). Jesus “has become a servant” both to the Jews, the circumcision, and the Gentiles so that all Christians might glorify God.

He continues to affirm Christ’s inclusion of the Gentiles by citing four Old Testament Scriptures, from the Psalms, the Law, and the Prophets. This inclusion of the Gentiles is affirmed throughout the Old Testament.

First, Paul writes “as it is written: ‘For this reason I will confess to You among the Gentiles, And sing to Your name.’ " (v. 9b). This verse is from David, as written in Psalm 18:49. David looks forward to the day when the Messiah will praise God in the midst of the Gentiles.

The second Scripture Paul quotes is from the Law as written by Moses in Dt. 32:43. Paul writes “And again he says: ‘Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people!’ “ (v. 10). A time is pictured when Gentiles and all of God’s people will rejoice in the joy of salvation.

 Next, Paul quotes from another Psalm, Psalm 117:1. He writes “And again: "Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples!" (v. 11). The Psalmist is calling on all God’s people, Jews and Gentiles, to praise the Lord.

The fourth Scripture Paul quotes to affirm inclusion of the Gentiles in Christ’s ministry is from the prophet Isaiah 11:1,10. He writes “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." (v. 12).

Isaiah writes of the root of Jesse, David’s father, who will reign over the Gentiles as they put their hope in Him and make Him their Lord and Savior. This root is Jesus, who in his humanity was a descendant of David.

Paul closes this passage, and this section concerning practical Christian living, with a benediction. He writes “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.” (v. 13).

His prayer is that the God of hope will fill the Christians at Rome with “all joy and peace” as they believe in Christ and that they may overflow in hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. It is God’s prayer to all Christians as we follow the example of Jesus.