Romans 15:2
Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
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(2) For his good.—The object of this tender dealing with others is to be their benefit and growth in spiritual perfection. It is grounded on the example of Christ Himself.

15:1-7 Christian liberty was allowed, not for our pleasure, but for the glory of God, and the good of others. We must please our neighbour, for the good of his soul; not by serving his wicked will, and humouring him in a sinful way; if we thus seek to please men, we are not the servants of Christ. Christ's whole life was a self-denying, self-displeasing life. And he is the most advanced Christian, who is the most conformed to Christ. Considering his spotless purity and holiness, nothing could be more contrary to him, than to be made sin and a curse for us, and to have the reproaches of God fall upon him; the just for the unjust. He bore the guilt of sin, and the curse for it; we are only called to bear a little of the trouble of it. He bore the presumptuous sins of the wicked; we are called only to bear the failings of the weak. And should not we be humble, self-denying, and ready to consider one another, who are members one of another? The Scriptures are written for our use and benefit, as much as for those to whom they were first given. Those are most learned who are most mighty in the Scriptures. That comfort which springs from the word of God, is the surest and sweetest, and the greatest stay to hope. The Spirit as a Comforter, is the earnest of our inheritance. This like-mindedness must be according to the precept of Christ, according to his pattern and example. It is the gift of God; and a precious gift it is, for which we must earnestly seek unto him. Our Divine Master invites his disciples, and encourages them by showing himself as meek and lowly in spirit. The same disposition ought to mark the conduct of his servants, especially of the strong towards the weak. The great end in all our actions must be, that God may be glorified; nothing more forwards this, than the mutual love and kindness of those who profess religion. Those that agree in Christ may well agree among themselves.Please his neighbour - That is, all other persons, but especially the friends of the Redeemer. The word "neighbor" here has special reference to the members of the church. It is often used, however, in a much larger sense; see Luke 10:36.

For his good - Not seek to secure for him indulgence in those things which Would be injurious to him, but in all those things whereby his welfare would be promoted.

To edification - See the note at Romans 14:19.

2, 3. Let every one of us—lay himself out to

please his neighbour—not indeed for his mere gratification, but

for his good—with a view

to his edification.

Having said we must not please ourselves, he immediately subjoins, we must please others, viz. every one his neighbour: he means, that we should condescend and accommodate ourselves to others, and give them satisfaction in all things; at least so far as may tend to their good and edification. You had a like passage, Romans 14:19. The apostle exhorts the Corinthians to a practice some what like this, 1 Corinthians 10:24; and he leads them the way by is own example, 1 Corinthians 9:19 1 Corinthians 10:33. There is a pleasing of men which is sinful, and there is a pleasing of men which is lawful; and that is, when it is limited, as in this text.

Let everyone of us please his neighbour,.... Every man, particularly his Christian friend and brother, whom he should seek to please in all things, and by all means lawful; he should carry it affably and courteously, should make himself agreeable to him; should condescend and accommodate himself to his weakness, and bear his infirmities, and deny himself rather than displease him. The Vulgate Latin version and some copies read, "let everyone of you"; but the other reading is preferable, and best agrees with the context, Romans 15:1.

For his good; or as the Syriac renders it, "in good things"; for he is not to be pleased, gratified, and indulged, in any thing that is evil: we are not to please any man in anything that is contrary to the Gospel of Christ, for then we should not be faithful servants of his; nor in anything repugnant to the commands of God, and ordinances of Christ, who are to be obeyed and pleased, rather than men; nor in anything that is of an immoral nature, we are not to comply with, though it may be to the displeasure of the dearest relation and friend; but in everything that is naturally, civilly, morally, or evangelically good, we should study to please them; and in whatsoever may be for their good, temporal, spiritual, or eternal: and

to edification: of our neighbour, brother, and Christian friend, for the establishment of his peace, the increase of his spiritual light, and the building of him up in his most holy faith; and also of the whole community, or church, to which each belong, whose peace and edification should be consulted, and everything done, which may promote and secure it; and among which this is one, every man to please his neighbour, in things lawful and laudable.

Let every one of us please his neighbour for his {b} good to edification.

(b) For his profit and edification.

Romans 15:2. After ἕκαστος Elz. has γάρ, against decisive witnesses.

Romans 15:4. Instead of the second προεγράφη, B C D E F G א*, 67** 80, most VSS., and several Fathers have ἐγράφη. Approved by Griesb., adopted by Lachm., Tisch., Fritzsche. Rightly; the compound is an intentional or mechanical repetition.

Not so strongly attested (though by A B C* L א) is the διά repeated before τῆς παρακλ. in Griesb., Lachm., Tisch. 8, which, since the article again follows, became easily added.

Romans 15:7. ὑμᾶς] Elz.: ἡμᾶς, against A C D** E F G L א, min., most VSS., and several Fathers. A correct gloss, indicating the reference of ὑμᾶς to the Jewish and Gentile Christians.

Romans 15:8. γάρ] approved by Griesb., adopted also by Lachm. and Tisch. But Elz. and Fritzsche have δέ; against which the evidence is decisive. Moreover, λέγω δέ is the customary form with Paul for more precise explanation, and hence also slipped in here.

γεγενῆσθαι) Lachm: γενέσθαι, according to B C* D* F G, Arm. Ath. But how readily one of the two syllables ΓΕ might be passed over, and then the familiar (comp. also Galatians 4:4) γενέσθαι would be produced!

Romans 15:11. After πάλιν Lachm. has λέγει, according to B D E F G, 1, and several VSS.; manifestly an addition in accordance with Romans 15:10.

ἐπαινέσατε] Lachm. and Tisch.: ἐπαινεσάτωσαν, according to A B C D E א, 39, Chrys. ms. Dam. Both readings are also found in the LXX., and may be borrowed thence. The circumstance that after αἰνεῖτε the form ἐπαινέσατε, as more conformable, readily offered itself, speaks in favour of ἐπαινεσάτωσαν.

Romans 15:15. ἀδελφοί] is wanting indeed in A B C א*, Copt. Aeth. Cyr. Chrys. Ruf. Aug. (omitted by Lachm. and Tisch. 8), and stands in 3, 108, after μέρους; but why should it have been added? On the other hand, its omission was readily suggested, since it had just appeared for the first time in Romans 15:14, and since it seemed simply to stand in the way of the connection of ἀπὸ μέρ.; hence also that transposition in 3, 108.

Romans 15:17. καύχησιν] Rightly Lachm. and Tisch.: τὴν καύχησιν. The reference of the preponderantly attested article was not understood.

Romans 15:19. ἁγίου] So A C D E F G, min., and most VSS. and Fathers. Adopted also by Griesb., Lachm., and Scholz. But Elz. (so also Matth., Fritzsche, Tisch. 8), in accordance with א and D** LP, most min., Syr. Chrys., and others, has Θεοῦ. In B, Pel. Vigil, there is merely πνεύματος. So Tisch. 7. Since there is absolutely no reason why ἁγ. or Θεοῦ should have been omitted or altered, probably the simple πνεύματος is the original, which was only variously glossed by ἁγ. and Θεοῦ.

Romans 15:20. φιλοτιμούμενον] Lachm.: φιλοτιμοῦμαι, according to B D* F G P. To facilitate the construction.

Romans 15:22. τὰ πολλά] B D E F G: πολλάκις, so Lachm. An interpretation in accordance with Romans 1:13.

Romans 15:23. πολλῶν] Tisch. 7 : ἱκανῶν, according to B C, 37, 59, 71, Dam. A modifying gloss, according to an expression peculiarly well known from the book of Acts.

Romans 15:24. After Σπανίαν Elz. and Tisch. 7 have ἐλεύσομαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς, which is omitted by Griesb., Lachm., and Tisch 8. A contrast to Romans 15:22, written at the side, and then introduced, but rejected by all uncials except L א**, and by all VSS. except Syr. p.; attested, however, among the Fathers by Theodoret, Theophylact, and Oecumenius, and preserved in nearly all the cursives. This old interpolation occasioned the insertion of an illustrative γάρ after ἐλπίζω (so Elz., Tisch., and also Lachm.), the presence of which also in principal witnesses (as A B C א), in which ἐλεύς. πρ. ὑμ. is wanting, does not point to the originality of these words, but only to a very early addition and diffusion of them, so that in fact those witnesses represent only a half-completed critical restoration of the original text, whilst those which omit both (as F G) still contain the original text or a complete purification of the text.

Instead of ὑφʼ ὑμῶν, Lachm. and Tisch. 7 have ὑφʼ ὑμῶν, according to D E F G, min., which presents itself as genuine, and is explained by ὑφʼ ὑμῶν on account of the passive. B has ἀπὸ ὑμῶν.

Romans 15:29. Χριστοῦ] Elz.: τοῦ εὐαγγελίου τοῦ X., against decisive evidence. A gloss.

Romans 15:31. διακονία] Lachm: δωροφορία, according to B D* F G, which, however, Paul, considering the delicacy of designation here throughout observed, can hardly have written; it appears to be an explanation.

The repetition of ἵνα before ἡ διακ. (in Elz.) is, according to A B C D* F G א*, 80, justly also omitted by Lachm. and Tisch.

Instead of ἡ εἰς Lachm. has ἡ ἐν, according to B D* F G, 213. Both prepositions are suitable to the sense; but the omission of the article in the majority of witnesses enables us to perceive how ἡ ἐν arose. This omission, namely, carried with it the alteration of εἰς into ἐν (66, Chrys. really have merely ἐν), and then ἡ ἐν arose through an only partial critical restoration.

Romans 15:32. ἔλθω] A C א*, Copt. Arm. Ruf.: ἔλθων with omission of the subsequent καί. Too weakly supported; an emendation of style, yet adopted by Tisch. 8.

Instead of Θεοῦ, B has κυρίου Ἰησοῦ (so Lachm); D E F G, It.: Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ; א*: Ἰησοῦ Χρ. But the apostle never says διὰ θελήμ. Χριστοῦ, but always τ. θ Θεοῦ (comp. Romans 1:10; 1 Corinthians 1:1; 2 Corinthians 1:1; 2 Corinthians 8:5, et al .), as throughout he uses θελήμα constantly of God , when there is mention of His omnipotence or gracious will; where said of Christ, the θελήμα is for him only the moral will (Ephesians 5:17). Hence those readings are to be regarded as unsuitable glosses after Romans 15:29-30.

καὶ συναναπ. ὑμῖν] has been omitted by Lachm. on the authority of B only, in which he is followed by Buttmann. From Romans 1:12 συμπαρακληθῆναι would have been employed as an addition, and not συναναπ.; D E have ἀναψύξω μεθʼ ὑμῶν (2 Timothy 1:16).

Romans 15:33. The omission of the ἀμήν (bracketed by Lachm.) is too weakly attested.

Romans 15:2. εἰς τὸ ἀγαθ.] for his benefit. Comp. 1 Corinthians 10:33; 1 Thessalonians 2:4. A more special definition thereof is πρὸς οἰκοδομήν, in order to build up, to produce Christian perfection (in him). See on Romans 14:19. According to Fritzsche, εἰς τὸ ἀγαθ. is in respect of what is good, whereby immoral men-pleasing is excluded. But its exclusion is understood of itself, and is also implied in πρὸς οἰκοδομήν. On the interchange of εἰς and πρός, comp. Romans 3:25-26.

Romans 15:2. τῷ πλησίον ἀρεσκέτω: this rule is qualified by εἰς τὸ ἀγαθὸν πρὸς οἰκοδομήν. Without such qualification it is “men-pleasing” (Galatians 1:10) and inconsistent with fidelity to Christ. Cf. 1 Corinthians 10:33, where Paul presents himself as an example of the conduct he here commends. For εἰς and πρὸς in this verse cf. chap. Romans 3:25 f. According to Gifford εἰς marks the “aim”—the advantage or benefit of our neighbour—and πρὸς the standard of reference; the only “good” for a Christian is to be “built up” in his Christian character.

2. for his good to edification] These words taken together perfectly define the principle of Christian complaisance. Cp. 1 Corinthians 10:33, and contrast Galatians 1:10, where St Paul treats the case of radically false doctrine, not, as here, a question of secondary practice.—“Edification:”—see on Romans 14:19. The Christian’s aim in “pleasing his neighbour” was to be the harmony, advance, and strength, of the “blessed company of the faithful” as a united aggregate.

Romans 15:2. Εἰς τὸ ἀγαθὸν, πρός οἰκοδομὴν, for good, to edification) εἰς, unto, denotes the internal end, in respect of God; πρὸς, to, the external end, in respect of our neighbour. Good, the genus; edification, the species.

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