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spent, and the day of our full renovation and grace is now at hand: let us therefore cast off our sins, which are the works of darkness; and let us diligently and carefully endeavour to have our souls clad with all holy virtues of sanctification.
XIII. 13. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, fc.
Let us behave ourselves soberly, righteously, godlily, as men, that walk in the public and open view of others in the day time, are commonly careful to go seemly clad in this clear light of the Gospel; and not debauch ourselves in rioting, and in drunkenness, &c.
XIII. 14. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
But see, that your souls be clothed, as with a garment, with true sanctification; and with the perfect righteousness of Christ Jesus, apprehended by your faith: and, as for the flesh, respect and tend it as a servant and fit instrument for the soul; but be not careful to pamper it, and to fulfil the lusts thereof, as if this were your main intention: sustain it; but do not make it a wanton.
XIV. 1. Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.
There are amongst you many new converts, which though they have embraced the Christian faith, yet are but weak and unsettled : make much of such, and take them to your further instruction ; but trouble them not with controversies and doubtful disputations about things indifferent, but give much scope and latitude to them in these regards.
XIV. 2. For one believeth that he may eat all things : another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
For one believeth, that, through the general allowance of God, he may lawfully eat any meat whatsoever: another, who is weak, makes scruple of eating flesh, and contents himself with feeding on herbs and roots, and such other liveless nourishment.
XIV. 3. For God hath received him.
For God doth indifferently accept, both of him that eateth, and of him that eateth not.
XIV. 4. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
Yea, he whom thou art so ready to condemn, God will mercifully acquit and uphold; for, that God, whom I formerly declared to be willing, is certainly most able, to bear him up against all uncharitable judgments.
XIV. 5. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
Let every man be so fully persuaded in his own heart of the lawfulness of that which he doth, as that he find no doubting
and scrupulous hesitation in doing of it; but let him grow to firm resolutions therein.
XIV. 6. He that regardeth a day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, fc.
He, that regardeth and observeth one day above another, regardeth it out of respect to the Lord, whose law, as he supposeth, requires and enjoins this difference; and he, that regardeth not one day more than another, doth this out of respect to the same Lord, who, by the liberty of the Gospel, hath freed us from those Jewish observations, &c.
XIV. 7. For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself,
For we are the Lord's servants; and therefore we are not in any thing to respect ourselves, but our Master: none of us liveth, or may live, to and for himself; none of us dieth to himself, but to the Lord; so as by his death, as also by his life, God is and must be glorified.
XIV. 11. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, fc. See Isaiah xlv. 23.
XIV. 13. Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock fc.
Let us not pass judgments of censure one upon another; but let us pass this judgment of charitable resolution in ourselves, that no man put a stumblingblock &c.
XIV. 14. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
Nothing is, in its own nature, unclean; for God made all things good : but, in a man's conceit and opinion, some creatures seem unclean; and, while a man is in that mind, surely that creature is unclean to him, because his conscience riseth up against the use thereof.
XIV. 15. But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.
But, if thy brother be so grieved and hurt, as hereby to be drawn into a scandal, with thy eating of that meat which he makes conscience of, now walkest thou not charitably : Do not, what in thee lies, destroy him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.
XIV. 16. Let not then your good be evil spoken of :
Let not that good liberty, which the Gospel hath given you in these indifferent things, be evil spoken of, through your careless use of it :
XIV. 17. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
For the kingdom of God, which he erects, by grace in the
hearts of men, doth not consist in meats and drinks and these outward observations, but in the inward virtues and good dispositions of the soul; in righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
XIV. 22. Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.
But thou sayest, I have faith, and knowledge of the lawfulness of these things: why may I not freely make use of them? Hast thou faith? be thankful for it: this will secure thy conscience, in that which thou dost, betwixt God and thee; and do thou make this use of it: but know, that thou must walk, in respect of others, by the rule of charity: thy charity therefore is for others; thy faith, for thyself: for, happy is that man, which is so settled by his faithful resolutions, as that he condemneth not himself in that, which ye yieldeth to do.
XIV. 23. And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
He, that doubteth whether he sin in eating or not, is condemned if he eat; because his conscience is unsettled, and he eateth sinfully, because he eateth doubtfully : for whatsoever is not done in faith, and particularly, even in these indifferent things, whatsoever is done with a doubtful conscience, is sin.
XV. 1. We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
We then, that are well grounded in knowledge, and strong in resolution, ought to bear with the infirmities of our weak brethren; departing, in some kind, even from our own right, and not standing upon the terms of our liberty and contentment.
XV. 3. For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me,
For Christ himself, who is our perfect pattern, was so far from seeking to please himself, as that he willingly exposed himself to all the contumelies of men ; according to that of the Psalm, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell upon
XV. 4. That we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
That we might thereby be armed with patience, and furnished with strong consolations, against the evil day; and that our hearts may be established in a lively hope of the glory to
XV. 5. Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another, according to Christ Jesus.
Now the God of patience and comfort work in you this charitable and loving respect, one towards another; according to that gracious example, which we have laid before us, in our Lord Jesus Christ. So also verse 7.
XV. 8. Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers :
Now I say that Jesus Christ was willing to stoop so low, as to refuse no service for the salvation of mankind; and particularly he graciously condescended, to be as a servant to those of the circumcision, his chosen people of the Jews; that he might make good the truth of God unto them, in the confirmation of those promises, which were made to the fathers:
XV. 9. And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, fc.
As also of the Gentiles, whom he hath mercifully called ; that they may glorify God in his grace and goodness to them; as it is written, &c.
XV. 12. And again Esaias saith, There shall be fc. See Isaiah xi. 10.
XV. 13. With all joy and peace in believing:
With joy in the Holy Ghost: and with that happy peace of conscience, which ariseth in the heart, through a lively faith in Christ.
XV. 15, 16. Because of the grace that is given to me of God, That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.
Because God hath trusted me with this great grace, and honourable, howsoever laboursome, privilege; That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, preaching the Gospel unto them; that I may thereby offer up the Gentiles unto God, in this office of my Evangelical priesthood, as an acceptable oblation to him; being sanctified, not by any legal observations, but by the inoperation of the Holy Ghost.
XV. 18, 19. For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, &c.
For I will not dare to set forth myself, by any faculty or worth of my own; or to mention any thing, but that which Christ hath wrought by me, both in my doctrine and actions, for the winning of the Gentiles to obedience: Wherein, indeed, he hath wrought wonderfully, and shewed his Almighty power, in those miraculous works, which we have done through the Holy Ghost; so that from Jerusalem, &c.
XV. 20, 21. Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation : But as it is written, gc.
Yea, with the evidence of these signs and wonders, confirming the truth of my doctrine, I have laboured to preach the Gospel to those places, where the name of Christ was never before heard of: not so much striving to bestow my pains, where other men had planted a Church before me; lest I should seem to ease myself by building upon another man's foundation: But as it is written, &c.
XV. 23. But now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you.
But now, having no further occasion to stay in these parts, for the planting of any new Churches; and having a great desire, these many years, to come unto you.
XV. 25. But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints.
But now I must beforehand go to Jerusalem, to carry thither those contributions and collections, which the Grecian Churches have made for the relief of the poor Christians there.
XV. 28. When therefore I have performed this, and hare sealed to them this fruit.
After I have carefully and faithfully discharged myself of this trust, which was committed unto me; and delivered this contribution to their hands.
XV. 29. And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.
And I am sure, that, when I do come unto you, I shall bring with me unto you abundance of spiritual graces; and shall fill you with the blessings of the Gospel of Christ.
XV. 31. That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judea ; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints.
That I may be delivered from the rage and violence of those unbelieving Jews, which are cruelly incensed against me ; and that this service of mine, in bringing this collection to Jerusalem, may receive a good construction of those Jews which do believe, and be accepted of them without prejudice of my person or act.
XVI. 1. I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:
I commend unto your loving respects and entertainment Phebe our sister, which hath been very helpful to the Church that is at Cenchrea, and hath done many good offices to it:
XVI. 2. That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints.
That ye receive her in a holy and Christian fashion, as becometh your profession.