*Scripture verses covered in this section's commentary are noted in italics

Romans 15:1-3 meaning

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Romans 15:1
  • Romans 15:2
  • Romans 15:3

Living harmoniously by faith means strong Christians helping weaker Christians. We should not live in a self-centered way but should help our fellow Christians build their faith and their relationship with God. Christ is the perfect example of this selflessness.

Paul continues to explain a principle he presented in Chapter 14, that we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. The strong among us should uplift weak people and help them in their weaknesses. The Greek word oikodomē, translated as “edification,” means to build someone up or to establish them, meaning we are to fortify each other’s faith. The word “bear” in verse 1 is the same word in Galatians 6:2 that tells us to bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ, by showing love to one another. Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification. The way we “please” another Christian should be to their benefit and their growth and should always be done with love.

The letter to the Romans is written to believers. Paul’s goal in writing it is to dispel slanderous claims about his teaching and to show the Roman believers what righteous living by faith looks like. Righteous and harmonious living looks like strong believers helping weak believers, rather than using other believers for personal benefit. Instead of ignoring or criticizing Christians who are still in the process of maturation, strong believers should meet them at their level and encourage growth. Paul references Christ as an example of selflessness, for even Christ did not please Himself, quoting Psalm 69, which says “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.” This Psalm looks forward to the Messiah, which is Jesus. Jesus was someone who bore others’ burdens and did not live for Himself, even to the point of death. He took our condemnation upon himself, suffering for us. We are to interact with people the way Christ interacted with them.

Biblical Text

1 Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. 2 Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification. 3 For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.”

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