The Epistle to the Romans

Romans 12‑16  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 9
The rest of the epistle takes up the practical consequences of the great doctrine of God's righteousness, which had been now shown to be supported by, and in no wise inconsistent with, His promises to Israel. The whole history of Israel- past, present, and future-falls in with, although quite distinct from, that which he has been expounding. Here I shall be very brief.
Chapter 12 looks at the mutual duties of the saints. Chapter 13 urges their duties toward what was outside them, more particularly to the powers that be, but also to men in general. Love is the great debt that we owe, which can never be paid, but which we should always be paying. The chapter closes with the day of the Lord in its practical force on the Christian walk. In chapter 14 and the beginning of 15 we have the delicate theme of Christian forbearance in its limits and largeness. The weak are not to judge the strong, and the strong are not to despise the weak. These things are matters of conscience, and depend much for their solution on the degree to which souls have attained. The subject terminates with the grand truth which must never be obscured by details-that we are to receive one another, as Christ has received us, to the glory of God. In the rest of chapter 15 the Apostle dwells on the extent of his apostleship, renews his expression of the thought and hope of visiting Rome, and at the same time shows how well he remembered the need of the poor at Jerusalem. Chapter 16 brings before us in the most instructive and interesting manner the links that grace practically forms and maintains between the saints of God. Though he had never visited Rome, many of them were known personally. It is exquisite, the delicate love with which he singles out distinctive features in each of the saints, men and women, that come before him Would that the Lord would give us hearts to remember, as well as eyes to see, according to His own grace! Then follows a warning against those who bring in stumbling blocks and offenses. There is evil at work, and grace does not close the eye to danger; at the same time it is never under the pressure of the enemy, and there is the fullest confidence that the God of peace will break the power of Satan under the feet of the saints shortly.
Last of all, the Apostle links tip this fundamental treatise of divine righteousness in its doctrine, its dispensational bearings, and its exhortations to the walk of Christians, with higher truth, which it would
not have been suitable then to bring out; for grace considers the state and the need of the saints. True Ministry gives out not merely truth, but suited truth to the saints. At the same time the Apostle does allude to that mystery which was not yet divulged, at least, in this epistle. But he points from the foundations of eternal truth to those heavenly heights that were reserved for other communications in due time.
(The end)