SUBJ: The example of Christ to be
found in His work of redemption and application to be made in us after
that pattern given at the cross.
AIM: That we should ever have
Christ in view in all we do and this to be especially true in our
dealing with others.
INTR: While much we see here seems
to be repetitive it is not without purpose. It seems that the
illustrations become stronger and the applications reach deeper into our
1. The concern with Paul is that we see what Christ has done
and recognize that it is not only unto salvation but practice as well.
2. To the world the things seen here seem to be burdensome at best and
cause for contempt at worst but
3. To the recipient of mercy and
grace, they may be the quickest route to true joy in Christ.
THESIS: The Gospel is about sacrifice
and acceptance with God. That which is seen to save us properly
understood will inspire us to imitation.
I. Our Task (vv. 1-2)
1. Charles Hodge called the chapter division here unfortunate in that
the topic under study is continued from 14. There does seem to be a
deepening or strengthening of the matter here.
2. Strength (the “we
that are strong,” and Paul includes himself) is not to be seen above
anything other than learning, opportunity, and understanding – it is
certainly not something to be flaunted or used to the belittling of
3. Bearing such infirmities does not mean to merely tolerate
or “put up with” weaknesses
1) We see the same sense expressed in
Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
2) The thought is to earnestly seek to “put our
shoulders under these failings and meaningfully help our weak
4. We are not to seek our own pleasure (the world
is always looking out for number 1) but rather to seek those things
(lawfully) to please our neighbor and that not to the exclusion of
seeking joy in Christ – it may be discovered in so doing.
three things in v. 2
1) The object: his neighbor and Jesus cleared
that issue up marvelously with the “good Samaritan.” (Luke 10)
reason: for his good earnestly desiring the best for him
result sought: that he be built up and strengthened – edification
II. Our Example (v. 3)
1. That Christ pleased not Himself is an
intentional understatement meaning that He determined to please others
and that beginning with the Father and that included those given Him by
the Father. The meaning according to Hendriksen is “For the sake of my
people I am taking upon myself the reproaches leveled against thee.”
2. See: For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches
of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me. Psalms 69:9.
analysis of this leads us to some powerful implications in that He is
relating the fact that sin is against God and as sinners we were the
source of the reproaches that fell to His accounting as He went to the
2) We must be careful to see the personal nature of what
Christ endured for us individually.
3. The lesson here is clear: If
Christ so sacrificed for us should we not do the same for the brethren
and our neighbor.
4. Two extremes are to be avoided:
1) That of
denying the truth that Christ is not first our example; He is first our
2) That of denying that He is indeed our example in
redemption; He cannot be our example unless He is first of all our
III. Our resource (v. 4)
1. We remember that the
things written before were the Old Testament Scriptures and they were
written for our learning (instruction).
1) It would seem that this is
asserted here to validate the quote from Psalm 69 and that
was ever in view in the Old Testament
2. Two things are given in
1) Patience – that is the enduring study of the
scriptures in spite of the fact that they hurt as we are discovered to
come woefully short of the righteousness requires and so are corrected
by them – cf. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and
they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are
come. 1 Corinthians 10:11.
2) Comfort – encouragement in that the
same scriptures heal and set for the hope of Christ and the promises
attending that hope which hope has been realized in Christ – read your
3. Hendriksen offers the following conclusion to these
thoughts by writing: “In a thrilling conclusion to his book Col. E. W.
Starling emphasizes that for the sake of the welfare of ourselves and
our nation we must begin to take to heart that Christianity is not just
a theory to be believed but a living force.”