Romans 15:15 MEANING

Romans 15:15
(15) Nevertheless, brethren.--Apologetic. Holding this good opinion of you as I do, I nevertheless presumed somewhat upon my position as an Apostle, and especially as an Apostle of the. Gentiles, to write with an earnestness which I should, perhaps, otherwise not have ventured to show.

Brethren.--The weight of evidence in the MSS. is against the retention of this word.

In some sort.--Literally, in part, qualifying the phrase, "I have written more boldly," both in extent and degree. In some passages the Apostle feels that he had gone beyond the modest limits which he might have seemed to mark out for himself by what he had just been saying. He had taken a liberty, but not too great a liberty. He had spoken to them rather pointedly at times, but he had been careful not to go too far. The reference may be supposed to be to exhortations such as those in Romans 13, 14, and in other parts of the Epistle.

As putting you in mind.--Another delicate expression. The Apostle has not been telling them of something that they did not know before, but merely reminding them of what they knew. And he claims the right to do this because of the special grace given to him as an Apostle. The Judaising section in the Church at Rome did not go so far as that in Galatia. It recognised the apostleship of St. Paul, and he knew that he could safely appeal to this recognition.

Because of the grace.--Comp. "grace and apostleship" in Romans 1:5. "Grace" is here that special endowment with divine gifts by which the Apostles were distinguished from other Christians.

Verse 15. - But I have written unto you the more boldly, brethren, in some measure (so, as in the Revised Version, or, in part (ἀπὸ μέρονς), rather than in some sort, as in the Authorized Version. The allusion seems to be to the passages in the Epistle in which he has been bold to admonish urgently; such as Romans 11:17, seq.; Romans 12:3; and especially ch. Romans 14.), as putting yon in mind (reminding you only of what you doubtless know), because of the grace given me of God; i.e., as appears from what follows, of apostleship to the Gentiles (cf. Romans 1:5, 14; also Acts 22:21: Galatians 2:9). Though the Church of Rome was not one of his own foundation, and he had no desire, there or elsewhere, to build on another man's foundation (ver. 20), yet his peculiar mission as apostle to the Gentiles gave him a claim to admonish them. The reason thus given is, it will be observed, a confirmation of the view, otherwise apparent, that the Roman Church consisted principally of Gentile believers.

15:14-21 The apostle was persuaded that the Roman Christians were filled with a kind and affectionate spirit, as well as with knowledge. He had written to remind them of their duties and their dangers, because God had appointed him the minister of Christ to the Gentiles. Paul preached to them; but what made them sacrifices to God, was, their sanctification; not his work, but the work of the Holy Ghost: unholy things can never be pleasing to the holy God. The conversion of souls pertains unto God; therefore it is the matter of Paul's glorying, not the things of the flesh. But though a great preacher, he could not make one soul obedient, further than the Spirit of God accompanied his labours. He principally sought the good of those that sat in darkness. Whatever good we do, it is Christ who does it by us.Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you,.... Or freely, in taking notice of their party contentions and ill usage of each other, and in reproving, advising, and exhorting them; and which he excuses by observing, that it was,

in some sort, or "in part" only; meaning either that it was only in some part of the epistle he had took such a liberty, which is the sense of the Arabic version, which renders it, "in some parts of the oration"; or else that he had regard not to all of them, but to some only, to a part of the church who were most culpable; and did not design a charge against them all, and that what he said should be applied to the whole body; or rather that the boldness and freedom he had taken was bat in some sort, it was but in part: this he says to mitigate it, and that it might not be thought to be so large as it might appear at first; it was but "a little more boldly", that he wrote unto them, as the Syriac renders it; for this clause is not to be read in connection with the word "written", as if the apostle had only wrote of the doctrines of grace in some sort, or in part, for he declared the whole counsel of God, and never kept back anything profitable to the churches: he adds,

as putting you in mind; which is also said to excuse his writing, and the manner of it; he did not take upon him to be their teacher and instructor, to inform them of things they knew nothing of; only to be their monitor, to put them in mind of and refresh their memories with what they had been well instructed and established in before; see 2 Peter 1:12;

because of the grace that is given to me of God; meaning not the doctrine of "grace, concerning" which, as the Ethiopic version renders it, he was putting them in mind; nor the internal grace of the Spirit, by which he was inclined and assisted to write unto them; but the grace of apostleship, or that high office, which, by the grace of God, and not because of any merits of his, he was called unto: this he mentions also to excuse the freedom of his writing; since what he did was in consequence of, pursuant and agreeably to, his office as an apostle; and therefore could not have answered it to God, or them, if he had not done it; wherefore he hoped it would be took well by them.

Courtesy of Open Bible