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Romans 15:2– Pleasing or not?

07-03-2022 - Posted by Hans

Let each of us please his associate, for his good, toward his edification. For Christ also pleases not himself…

For those who are somewhat familiar with Paul’s letters, the call to please one’s neighbor may seem a little strange. For does not the apostle write in Galatians 1:10 (see also 1Thes.2:4) that if he still please men, he would not be a slave of Christ? Isn’t that contradictory? At first glance perhaps, but the difference lies in the context.

In Galatians 1 and 1 Thessalonica 2 it is about pleasing the neighbor at the expense of the Evangel. Then any indulgence or compromise is out of the question. No water with the wine! In Romans 15:2, however, it is about pleasing our neighbor at the expense of ourselves! That is a totally different motive and purpose. We would always subordinate our own interests where this benefits our neighbor and is edifying.

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 9:21, “I became as weak to the weak, that I should be gaining the weak”. He always effaced himself and thus became a Jew to the Jews and a Greek to the Greeks. “To all have I become all…all am I doing because of the Evangel” (1 Cor.9:20,21). What an example!