Romans 15:3
For even Christ did not please Himself, but as it is written: "The insults of those who insult You have fallen on Me."
Imitation of ChristT. Robinson, D. D.Romans 15:3
Self-ForgetfulnessC. Vince.Romans 15:3
The Self-Denial of ChristJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 15:3
Against Self-PleasingA. Raleigh, D.D.Romans 15:1-3
Bearing the Infirmities of the WeakEnglish Hearts and English Hands.Romans 15:1-3
Bearing the Infirmities of the WeakJ. Martineau, LL.D.Romans 15:1-3
Bearing the Infirmities of the WeakN. Y. Commercial Advertiser.Romans 15:1-3
Bearing the Infirmities of the WeakP. Henry.Romans 15:1-3
Imperfections; Why PermittedT. H. Leary, D.C.L.Romans 15:1-3
Self-PleasingJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 15:1-3
The Conduct of the Strong Towards the WeakJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 15:1-3
The Duty of the Strong to the WeakD. Thomas, D. D.Romans 15:1-3
The Duty of the Strong to the WeakJ. Brown, D.D.Romans 15:1-3
The Strong Helping the WeakRomans 15:1-3
The Strong to Bear with the WeakH. W. Beecher.Romans 15:1-3
The Survival of the WeakP. S. Schaff, D.D.Romans 15:1-3
The Warning Against SelfishnessR. Newton, D.D.Romans 15:1-3
The Weak and the StrongD. Thomas, D.D.Romans 15:1-3
The Christ-Like Duty of Pleasing Our NeighbourR.M. Edgar Romans 15:1-13
Union in GodT.F. Lockyer Romans 15:1-13
Christ not Pleasing HimselfJ. Ker, D.D.Romans 15:2-3
Christian CourtesyC. Hodge, D.D.Romans 15:2-3
EdificationJ. W. Burn.Romans 15:2-3
EdificationJ. W. BurnRomans 15:2-3
Edification and PleasureC. H. Spurgeon.Romans 15:2-3
Making Others HappyH. W. Beecher.Romans 15:2-3
Making Sunshine in Shady PlacesR. H. Lovell.Romans 15:2-3
On Pleasing All MenJohn Wesley, M.A.Romans 15:2-3
On Pleasing MenH. W. Beecher.Romans 15:2-3
Pleasing Oar Neighbour for GoodL. O. Thompson.Romans 15:2-3
Pleasing OthersJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 15:2-3
Pleasing OthersC. Neil, M.A.Romans 15:2-3
Seeking to EdifyRomans 15:2-3
The Character of Christian CourtesyJ. Brewster.Romans 15:2-3
The Duty of Pleasing OthersJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 15:2-3
UnselfishnessS.F. Aldridge Romans 15:3, 4
That alliance is beneficial which lends the aid of the strong to bear the burdens of the weak. Sympathy renders this possible by its real participation in another's distress. Sometimes the infirmities of others are succoured by yielding up our own gratification, or by restricting our own liberty in order not to shock the scruples of the less enlightened. What is our guide in such cases? The reply is - To live in the spirit of Christ, to walk as he walked.

I. CHRIST HAS INTRODUCED INTO MORALS A BEAUTIFUL MODEL AND A POWERFUL MOTIVE. His pattern life is best appreciated by comparing it with ancient heathen manners. The impossibility of inventing such an ideal is the proof of the genuineness of the Gospel narratives. The story is vivid and consistent because a record of fact. An example instructs more than any prolixity of statement or precept. Lecturers know this by their illustrations and experiments. It is one thing to hear of truth, goodness, beauty, from the lips of Plato; quite another to see it live and breathe before our eyes. Cicero could describe the "perfect man" according to his conceptions of perfection; Christ alone exemplified it. And the relationship of Christ to his followers, as not only Teacher but Saviour, imparts tenfold force to his example. He has definite claims upon our obedience, and dearest links of love bind us to the imitation of our Master. His life on earth has been a stream irrigating the parched desert, and has taught us how to make canals of philanthropic benevolence, deriving their idea and element from the river of his love. In fanatical Jerusalem and luxurious Antioch, in philosophic Athens and pleasure-loving Corinth, in colonial Philippi and imperial Rome, this river of grace proved its power to fertilize and beautify. And today we trace a likeness to Christ in the missionary, content to dwell in malarial swamps, and yield his life for the salvation of the degraded; in the tired mother cheerfully continuing at her household toil whilst she uplifts her thoughts to the Redeemer; and in the Church officer leaving his comfortable fireside after his day's work is done to minister to a brother in sickness. In the repression of a hasty word and biting sarcasm, in the gift unostentatiously placed in the hands of the poor, we behold reflected the self-sacrifice of Christ.

II. THE FEATURE OF CHRIST'S LIFE ON WHICH STRESS IS HERE LAID. He was unselfish; he "pleased not himself." This does not imply that he felt no personal pleasure in his mission of mercy. "I delight to do thy will, O my God." But:

1. He sought not to promote his own ease and comfort, but the edification of others. He would not pander to vitiated taste; he taught what men most needed to know, not what gratified the vanity of his hearers, though he, thereby aroused their enmity and created the storm which burst in wrath upon his head. At great cost of physical labour and spiritual weariness he performed works of love. See him asleep from fatigue in the heaving vessel, and fainting under the load of his cross.

2. He gloried not himself, but the work he came to accomplish. He might have summoned angels to his side, he might have led an uprising of the populace, have overawed the rulers, and selected the wisest and wealthiest as his companions and disciples. But the truth was more than all to him. His meat and drink were to do the will of his Father. He had left for this the splendour of the upper realms, and stooped to the form of a servant, and the obedience of a shameful, agonizing death.

III. To FOLLOW CHRIST IS TO MAKE THE OLD TESTAMENT A WELLSPRING OF PATIENCE AND HOPE. The persecution which Christ met with showed him treading in the steps of Scripture heroes. The language of the psalmist is quoted by the apostle as typically expressing the lot of Christ. The chief pangs of a devoted life are caused by the opposition of an ungodly world. Our Lord exposed the hollow pretensions of the Jewish religionists by declaring that true love to God in the heart would listen to the teachings of his Son, would acknowledge in him the promised Messiah, and would recognize in his deeds the echo of the Scriptures. It fortifies Christian sufferers to know that they are in the line of the faithful. No new thing hath happened, for the same afflictions were accomplished in our brethren before. If, then, others have bravely endured and maintained their confidence, so may we. And the ancient writings testify that men, in pleasing God and serving their day and generation, realized true satisfaction, an inward peace and joy indestructible. So we, too, may discover that the road to happiness is holy self-denial. We are slow to learn that the bitter rind covers grateful fruit, that death is the gate to life, and humility the stepping-stone to honour. Obedience prepares us to wield authority; and to walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing is to prove how inseparably the kingdom of God and our own good are combined. Miserly selfishness overreaches itself; the restricted heart dies of inanition. He who will always get from others knows not the blessedness of giving. The wine of Christian charity flushes the spirit with a generous emotion, pure and God-like, the nectar of the skies. - S.R.A.

For even Christ pleased not Himself.

1. He had the right to please Himself.

2. He ceded it.

(1)Seeking not His own case.

(2)Bearing the reproach of others.

3. For the benefit of mankind.


1. For faith.

2. For imitation.

3. For motive.

(J. Lyth, D.D.)

makes a trifle the highest virtue.

(T. Robinson, D. D.)

Amongst the Roman Christians there was a great strife about a very small matter. Might a Christian eat meat, or must he live on herbs? And we maybe certain that there would be the loud assertion of individual rights, and everywhere self would be very conspicuous. It must have grieved the apostle to be compelled to take part in any such strife. He must have been conscious of a deep descent when he came down from the heights of chap. Romans 8 into the arena where professed Christians were engaged in such a dispute. But he brought the power of the Cross to bear upon it, and instantly lifted it into a higher region. He showed the contending men that in connection with their very differences there were glorious possibilities of maintaining Christ's own spirit and growing up into Christ's own likeness (vers. 1-3). Note —

I. THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST. The motto of selfish human nature is "Every man for himself, and God for us all"; and there are some of us who would change the latter part of the motto, and whose joy would be greater if they could believe that God is a great deal more for them than He is for others. The spirit of Christ was the very reverse of this. With Him thoughts of others were first, thoughts of self were last. He came into this world of which He had been the Creator, and of which He was the rightful ruler, "not to be ministered unto," etc. Wherever He was found He was there for the good of others.

1. Look at His miracles. Who can fail to discern there a care for others that never sleeps? In connection with this it is very significant that our Lord's first temptation was to work His first miracle for His own relief. A little while afterwards the Jews were in the wilderness. They had not fasted forty hours, and we do not read that any of them complained of hunger. But Christ made a feast for five thousand who would not turn one stone into bread for Himself. He that came to minister, etc., must not strike the wrong keynote of His life by making His first miracle a miracle for His own personal relief. In our Lord's triumph over the next temptation you can see the same thoughtful love for the good of others. He could have cast Himself from the pinnacle of the temple, and no doubt it would have brought Him great applause, but whose tears would it have wiped away? So He kept His Divine resources in all their virgin freshness and fulness till presently the lepers crossed His path and He could cleanse them. We remember where the glory first broke forth. He who the other day would not turn stones into bread to appease His own hunger turned the water into wine to relieve His friends from embarrassment. Put the first temptation and the first miracle side by side, and how there flames out this ever blessed truth, "Even Christ pleased not Himself."

2. After His first journey of mercy He went back again to Nazareth. He had gone to Capernaum, etc., and had conferred many blessings; but He returned as poor as He had left it. The people had heard what He had done: He knew what was in their hearts. He said, "Ye will say to Me, Physician, heal Thyself." Why did not He who had done so much for others better His own circumstances? We must not be astonished at their incredulity. Here was a new thing in the earth. Here was a man unspeakably rich in resources, unspeakably lavish in His gifts; and He lived and died in deepest poverty.

3. As in life, so in death Christ pleased not Himself. When His burden of woe was becoming so heavy that His heart was like to break, the soldiers led by Judas went to seize Him; He put forth His power and they fell to the ground. He soon made it manifest that the deed of gentle violence had not been wrought for His own deliverance, but for the deliverance of others. "Take Me and let My disciples go their way." The daughters of Jerusalem dropped their tears upon His way of grief. He bade them stay their tears, not because He spurned their sympathy, but because He would have them keep their energies for their own sorrow. How many more instances there are in that crucifixion that one might cite to the same purport! The cup of sorrows was held up to Him. Many and diverse were the elements in that cup. Judas put into it all the poison of his treachery, Peter the bitterness of his denial, the people the foul stream of their ingratitude, the soldiers their cruelty, the priests and Pharisees their deadly malignity, Herod his mockery, Pilate his unrighteousness, and the crowd, aided by the malefactor, their brutal and blasphemous revilings. And there were other bitter elements there, the reality and terribleness of which are testified to by Scripture. Yet He drank that cup that sinners might live.

II. THE DUTY OF THE DISCIPLE. Lay stress on the word "even."

1. Surely if any one could have done it wisely, and safely, and beneficially, He could have done it. He had no thought but what was wise, no will but what was good, no fear but what was sinless, no desire but what was honourable, and yet He hesitated not to take His thoughts, desires, and will, and bind them with cords for sacrifice, and lay them upon the altar. If Christ could deny Himself, what passion of ours is too noble, what pleasure too precious, what desire too honourable, what prejudice and prepossession too precious to be fastened to the Cross for ever, if the will of God and the claims of brotherly kindness and charity demand the sacrifice?

2. A Christ without self-denying love could not have saved the world. A church without self-denying love cannot carry on the work of Christ.(1) And if our selfishness give birth to uselessness He will visit it with the punishment of perpetual uselessness. The man that did not use his talent, that did not employ his power for doing good, was punished in part by having the capacity for doing good taken away.(2) On the other hand, if our generous love give birth to usefulness, our usefulness shall be rewarded by greater capacity and wider sphere for service. The man that had turned his talent into six talents, he was not welcomed into rest, he was welcomed into wider work.

(C. Vince.)

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