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t powers that be, are appointed by God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the appointment of God; and they that resist shall receive to themselves
3 condemnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Wouldst thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise from it; for he is the servant of God to thee for
4 good. But if thou dost that which is evil, be afraid: for he beareth not the sword in vain; for he is the servant of God, an avenger of wrath against him that doth evil.
5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath,
6 but also for conscience' sake. For this csuse ye pay tribute also: for they are the ministers of God, attending
7 continually on this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due, custom to whom custom, fear to whom fear, honour to whom honour.
8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another; for he
9 that loveth another, hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness, thou shalt
in effect a public apology for the Christian religion. Let every soul be subject to the supreme powers—An admonition peculiarly needful for the Jews. Power, in the singular number is, the supreme anthority; powers, are they who are invested with it. That is more readily acknowledged to be from God than these. The apostle affirms it of both. They are all from God, who constituted all in general, and permits each in particular by his providence. The powers that be, are appointed by God—It might be rendered, ore subordinate to, or orderly disposed under, God: implying, that they are God's deputies or vice-gerents; and consequently, their anthority, being, in effect, his, demands our conscientious obedience.
V. 2- Whosoever resisteth the power—In any other mauner than the laws of the community direct, shall receive condemnation—Not only from the magistrate, but from God also.
V. 3. For rulers are in general, notwithstanding some particular exceptions, a terror to evil works only. Wouldst thou then not be afraid—There is one fear that precedes evil actions, and deters from them: this should always remain. There is another fear which follows evil actions: they who do well are free from this.
V. 4. The sword—The instrument of capital punishment which God anthorizes him to inflict.
V. s. Not only for fear of wrath—That is, punishment from man; but for sonscience' sake—Out of obedience to God.
V. 6. For this canse—Becanse they are the ministers (officers) of God, for the public good. This very thing—The public good.
V. 7. To all—MagistratesTribute—Taxes on your persons or estates; Custom—For goods exported or imported; Fear—Obedience: Honour—Reverence. All these are due to the supreme power.
V. 8. From our duty to magistrates he passes on to general duties. To love one another—An eternal debt, which can never be sufficiently discharged. Bui yet if this be rightly performed, it discharges all the rest. For he that loveth another—As he Sught, hath fulfilled the whole law—TowaTd his neighhour.
not covet, and if there be any other cbhirtiandmeht, it is
10 summed up in this saying, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no evil to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
11 And do this, knowing the season, that it is high time now to awake out of sleep; for salvation is hearer to us
12 now than when we first believed. The night is far spent; the day is at hand, let us therefore put off the works of
13 darkness, and put on the armour of light. Let us walk decently as in the day; not in banquetting and drunken entertainments, hot in uncleannesses and wantonness, not
14 in strife and envy. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the desires thereof.
CHAP. XIV. 1. Him that is weak in the faith, re
2 ceive; but not to doubtful disputations. For one believe, that he may eat all things; another who is weak,
3 eateth herbs. Let hot him that eateth, despise him that
4 eateth not: and let not him that eateth not, judge him
V. 9. If there be any other more particular commandment toward our neighbour; as there are many in the law; it is summed up in thit—So that if you were not thinking of it, yet if your heart were fall of love, you would fulfil it.
V. 10. Therefore love is the fulfilling of the law—For the same love which restrains from all evil, incites us to all good.
V. 11. And do this—Fulfil the law of love, in all the instances above-mentioned; knowing the season—Full of grace, but hasting away: that it it high time to awake out of sleep —How beautifully is the fnetaphor carried on! Thta life, a night: the resurrection, the day: the gospel shining on the heart, tht dawn of this day: we are to awake out of sleep; to rise tfp and throw away our night-clothes, fit only for darkness, and put dn new. And being soldiers, we are to arm, and prepare for fight, who are encompassed about with so many enemies.
The day dawns when we receive faith, and that sleep gives -place. Then it is time to rise, to arm, to walk, to work, lest sleep steal upon as again. Final salvation, glory, is nearer to us now, than when we first believed. It is contiMrally advancing, flying forward upon the swiftest wings of time. And that which remains between the present hour and eternity, is comparatively but a moment.
V. 13. Banquetting—Luxurious, elegant feasts.
V. 14. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ-—'Herein is contained the 'whole of our salvation. It is a strong and beautiful expression for the most intimate union with him, and being clothed with all the graces which were in him. The apostle does not say, Put on purity and sobriety, peacefulness and bene-' violence. But he says all this and a thousand times more at once, in saying, Put on Christ. And make not provision—To raise foolish desires, or when they are raised already, to satisfy them.
CHAP. XIV. Ver. 1. Him that is weak—Through needless scruples, receive —With all love and courtesy into Christian fellowship: but %ot to doubtful disputations—About questionable points. a
V. 2. All things All sorts of food, though forbidden by the law.
V. 1. Despite him that eateth not—As over scrupulous, or superstitious.
that eateth; for God hath received him. Who art thou that judgest another's servant? To his own Master ha standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be upheld; for God is
5 able to uphold him. One man esteemeth one day above another; another esteemeth every day alike; let every
6 man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it to the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard if. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord; for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not to the Lord, be eateth not, and giveth
7 God thanks. For none of us liveth to himself, and none dieth tq himself. But if we live, we live unto the Lord;
8 and if we die, we die unto the Lord. Whether therefore
9 we live or die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ both died and lived, that he might be the Lord both of
10 the dead and of the living. But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou despise thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ.
11 For it is written, * As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
12 So then every one of us shall give an account of himself
13 to God. Let us therefore no longer judge one another; but judge this rather, not to lay a stumbling block, or a
14 scandal before a brother. I know and am assured by the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean of itself: but to him
* Isa. xlv. 23.
Judge him that eateth—As profane, or taking undue liberties. For God hath received him—Into Hie number of bis children notwithstanding this.
V. 5. One day above another—As new moons and other Jewish festivals. Let every man be fully persuaded—That a thing is lawful, before he does it.
V. 6. Regardeth it to the Lord—That is, out of a principle of conscience toward God. To the Lord he doth not regard it—He also acts from a principle of conscience. He that eateth not—Flesh, giveth God thaaks—For his herbs.
V. 7. None of us—Christians, in the things we do, liveth to himself—Is at his own disposal; doth his own will.
V. 10. Or why dost thou despise thy brother—Hitherto the apostle has addressed the weak brother. Now he speaks to the stronger.
V. 11. As I live—An oath proper to him, becanse he only possesseth life infinite and independent. It is Christ who is here termed both Lord and God; as it is he to whom we live, and to whom wc die. Every tongue: shall confess to G«i—Shall own him as their rightful Lord: which shall then only be accomplished in its fall extent. The Lord grant we may find mercy in that day! And may it also be imparted to those who have differed from us! Yea, to those wbo bave censured and condemned us, for things which we have done from a desire to please him, or refused to do, from a fear of offending him. *
V. 13. But judge this rather concerning ourselves, not to lay a stumbling Hock—Py moving him to do as thou dost, though against his conscience; or « scandal—Moving him to hate or jndge thee.
V. 14. / am assured by the Lord Jesus— Perhaps by a particular revelation, that accounteth any thing to be unclean, it is unclean.
15 But if thy brother is grieved by thy meat, thou no longer walkest charitably. Destroy not him by thy meat, for
16 whom Christ died. Therefore let not your good be evil
17 spoken of. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy
18 Ghost. And he that in these serveth Christ, is accept
19 able to God, and approved by men. Let us therefore pursue the things that tend to peace, and to mutual edifi
20 cation. For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure: but it is evil to that man who
21 eateth with offence. It is good, not to eat flesh, neither to drink wine, nor to do any thing whereby thy brother
22 stumbleth, or is offended, or made weak. Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.
23 But he that doubteth is condemned if he eat, becsuse it is not of faith; for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
that there it nothing—Neither flesh nor herbs, unclean of itself—Unlawful under the gospel,
V. i5. If thy brother is grieved—That is, wounded, led into sin. Destroy not him for whom Christ died—So wc see, he for whom Christ died may be destroyed! With thy meat—Do not value tby meat, more than Christ valued hia life.
V. 16. Let not then your good and lawful liberty be evil spoken of—By being offensive to others.
V. 17. For the kingdom of God—That is, true religion, does not consist in external observances; but in righteousness, the image of God stamped on the heart, the love of God and man, accompanied with the peace that pasaeth all understanding, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
V. 18. In these—Righteousness, peace, and joy. Men—Wise and good men.
V. 19. Peace and edification are closely joined. Practical divinity tends equally to peace and to edification. Controversial divinity less directly tends to edification, although sometimes, as they of old, we caunot build without it, Neh. iv. 17.
V. 3O. The work of Gorf—Which he builds in the soul by faith, and in the church by concord. It is evil to that man who eateth with offence—So as to offend another thereby.
V. 21. Thy brother stumbleth—By imitating thee against his conscience, contrary to righteousness; or is offended at what thou dost, to the loss of his peace; or made weak; hesitating between imitation and abhorrence, to the loss of that joy in the Lord which was his strength.
V. 22 Hast thou faith—That all things are pure, have it to thyself before' God—In circumstances like these, keep it to tbyself, and do not offend others by it. Happy is he that condemneth not himself—By an improper use of even iunocent things. And happy is he who is free from a doubting conscience: he that hath this, may allow the thing, yet condemn himself for it.
V. 23. Becanse it is not of faith—He does not believe it lawful. And in all these cases, whatsoever is not of faith, is sin—Whatever a man does, without a full persuasion of its lawfulness, it is sin to him.
CHAP. XV. 1. Therefore we who are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please I ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for
3 his good, to edification. For Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, * The reproaches of them that re
4 proached thee, fell upon me. For whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our instruction, that we, through patience and consolation of the Scrip
5 tures, may have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation give you to think the same thing, one with
6 another, according to Christ Jesus, That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of
7 our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also hath received you, to the glory of
8 God. Now I say, Christ Jesus was a servant of the circumcision, for the truth of God, to confirm the promises
9 made to the fathers: And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy, as it is written, t For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy
10 name. And again he saith, % Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with
11 his people. And again, § Praise the Lord, all ye Gen
12 tiles, and laud him, all ye people. And again Isaiah saith, II There shall be the root of Jesse, and he that ariseth to
* Ps. Ixix. 9. f Ps. xviii. 49. t Dent, xxxii. 43. § Ps. cxvii. 1.
CHAP. XV. Ver. 1. We who are strong—Of a clearer judgment, and free from these scruples. And not to please ourselves—Without any regard to others.
V. 2. For his good—This is a general word; Edification is one species of good.
V. 3. But bore not only the infirmities, but reproaches of his brethren, and so fulfilled that scripture.
V. 4. Aforetime—In the Old Testament; that we, through patience and coneolation of the Scriptures may have hope—That through the consolation which God gives us, by these, we may have patience and a joyful hope.
V. s. According to the power of Christ Jesus.
V. 6. That ye—Both Jews and Gentiles, believing with one mind, and confessing with one mouth.
V. 7. Receive ye one another—Weak and strong, with mutual love.
V. s. Now I say—The apostle here shows, how Christ received us: Christ Jesus—Jesus is the name, Christ the surname. The latter was first known to the Jews, the former to the Gentiles. Therefore he is styled Jesus Christ, when the words stand in the common, natural order. When the order is inverted, as here, the office of Christ is more solemnly considered: tooj a servant—Of his Father; of the circumcision—For the salvation of the circumcised, the Jews. For the truth of God—To manifest the truth and fidelity of God.
V. 9. As it is written—In the 18th psalm, where the Gentiles and Jews are spoken of, as joining in the worship of the God of Israel. V. la. There shall be the root of Jesse—That kings and the Messiah should