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Romans 15:2

King James Version (KJV)
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Let every one of us please his neighbor - For it should be a maxim with each of us to do all in our power to please our brethren; and especially in those things in which their spiritual edification is concerned. Though we should not indulge men in mere whims and caprices, yet we should bear with their ignorance and their weakness, knowing that others had much to bear with from us before we came to our present advanced state of religious knowledge.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Please his neighbour - That is, all other persons, but especially the friends of the Redeemer. The word “neighbor” here has special reference to the members of the church. It is often used, however, in a much larger sense; see Luke 10:36.

For his good - Not seek to secure for him indulgence in those things which Would be injurious to him, but in all those things whereby his welfare would be promoted.

To edification - See the note at Romans 14:19.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Christian liberty was allowed, not for our pleasure, but for the glory of God, and the good of others. We must please our neighbour, for the good of his soul; not by serving his wicked will, and humouring him in a sinful way; if we thus seek to please men, we are not the servants of Christ. Christ's whole life was a self-denying, self-displeasing life. And he is the most advanced Christian, who is the most conformed to Christ. Considering his spotless purity and holiness, nothing could be more contrary to him, than to be made sin and a curse for us, and to have the reproaches of God fall upon him; the just for the unjust. He bore the guilt of sin, and the curse for it; we are only called to bear a little of the trouble of it. He bore the presumptuous sins of the wicked; we are called only to bear the failings of the weak. And should not we be humble, self-denying, and ready to consider one another, who are members one of another? The Scriptures are written for our use and benefit, as much as for those to whom they were first given. Those are most learned who are most mighty in the Scriptures. That comfort which springs from the word of God, is the surest and sweetest, and the greatest stay to hope. The Spirit as a Comforter, is the earnest of our inheritance. This like-mindedness must be according to the precept of Christ, according to his pattern and example. It is the gift of God; and a precious gift it is, for which we must earnestly seek unto him. Our Divine Master invites his disciples, and encourages them by showing himself as meek and lowly in spirit. The same disposition ought to mark the conduct of his servants, especially of the strong towards the weak. The great end in all our actions must be, that God may be glorified; nothing more forwards this, than the mutual love and kindness of those who profess religion. Those that agree in Christ may well agree among themselves.
Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 245-6

Sacred history presents striking examples of the Lord's jealous care for the weakest of His children. During the journeying of Israel in the wilderness the weary and feeble ones who had fallen behind the body of the people were attacked and slain by the cowardly and cruel Amalekites. Afterward Israel made war with the Amalekites and defeated them. “And the Lord said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.” Again the charge was repeated by Moses just before his death, that it might not be forgotten by his posterity: “Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt; how he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God.... Thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it.” 5T 245.1

If God thus punished the cruelty of a heathen nation, how must He regard those who, professing to be His people, will make war upon their own brethren who are worn and wearied laborers in His cause? Satan has great power over those who yield to his control. It was the chief priests and elders—the religious teachers of the people—that urged on the murderous throng from the judgment hall to Calvary. There are hearts today among the professed followers of Christ inspired by the same spirit that clamored for the crucifixion of our Saviour. Let the workers of evil remember that to all their acts there is one witness, a holy, sin-hating God. He will bring all their works into judgment, with every secret thing. 5T 245.2

“We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not Himself.” As Christ has pitied and helped us in our weakness and sinfulness, so should we pity and help others. Many are perplexed with doubt, burdened with infirmities, weak in faith, and unable to grasp the unseen; but a friend whom they can see, coming to them in Christ's stead, can be as a connecting link to fasten their trembling faith upon God. Oh, this is a blessed work! Let not pride and selfishness prevent us from doing the good which we may do if we will work in Christ's name and with a loving, tender spirit. 5T 245.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, 76

You are placed under the most favorable circumstances for the development of good Christian characters. You are not where you feel pinching want, or where your souls are galled and distressed with the conduct of disobedient, rebellious children. In your family there is no dissenting voice. You have all that heart can wish. Yet, notwithstanding your favorable surroundings, you have faults and errors, and much to overcome in order to be free from spiritual pride, selfishness, a hasty spirit, jealousy, and evil surmisings. 2T 76.1

Brother K has not the sin of evilspeaking to repent of, as very many have, but he lacks a willingness to help those who most need help. He is selfish. He loves his home, loves quiet, rest, freedom from care, perplexities, and trials; therefore he pleases himself too much. He does not bear the burdens which Heaven has assigned him. He shuns disagreeable responsibilities, and shuts himself up too much to his love of quietness. He has been quite liberal with means, but when it is necessary to deny self to do some needed good, when real sacrifice on his part is called for, he has but little experience, and must gain it. 2T 76.2

He fears that he will be blamed if he ventures to help the erring. “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not Himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached Thee fell on Me.” All who are partakers of this great salvation have something to do to help those who are hanging on the skirts of Zion. They should not cut off their hold and thrust them away without making an effort to help them to overcome and prepare for the judgment. No, indeed! While these are bleating around the fold, they should be encouraged and strengthened by all the aid which it is in our power to bestow. You as a family have too rigid rules and set ideas which cannot be made to fit every case. You lack love, gentleness, tenderness, and pity for those who do not move as fast as they should. This spirit has prevailed to such an extent that you are withering spiritually instead of flourishing in the Lord. Your interest, and efforts, and anxieties are for your family and your relatives. But you have not entertained the idea of reaching out for others around you, overcoming your reluctance to exert an influence outside of a special circle. You idolize yours, and shut yourselves within yourselves. That the Lord may save me and mine is the great burden. This spirit will have to die before you can flourish in the Lord and make spiritual advancement, before the church can grow and souls be added unto them of such as shall be saved. 2T 76.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, 674

Brother and Sister L of Canada have been gradually losing their hold on God and their love for heavenly and divine things as they have been more earnestly grasping for worldly treasures. They have been relaxing their hold on heaven and fastening it more firmly on this world. A few years ago they loved to have an interest in the advancement of the truth and work of God. More recently their love for gain has increased, and they have not felt interested to do their part to save their fellow men. Self-denial and benevolence for Christ's sake have not characterized their lives. They have done but little for the cause of God. What have they been doing with their talents? They have been burying them in the earth, investing them in lands. They have not been putting them out to the exchangers, that when the Master comes, He may receive His own with usury. 2T 674.1

They have a work to do to set their hearts and house in order, “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” Their hearts have been upon the things of this life, and eternal considerations have been made secondary. They should work earnestly to get the love of the world out of their hearts and should place their affections upon things above, not upon things on the earth. If God's servants would bear in mind that their work is to do all in their power, with their influence and their means, to save souls for whom Christ died, there would be more unselfish effort, and unbelievers would be stirred; they would be convinced that there is a reality in the truth thus presented and thus backed up by example. 2T 674.2

Brother and Sister L should have confidence in the work for these last days and should be perfecting Christian character, that they may receive the eternal reward when Jesus comes. Brother L is failing in physical and mental vigor. He is becoming incapable of bearing much responsibility. He should counsel with his brethren who are discreet and faithful. 2T 675.1

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