July 14th Romans, 15
1: We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2: Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. 3: For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. 4: For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. 5: Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: 6: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7: Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God. 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: 9: And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name. 10: And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people. 11: And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people. 12: And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust. 13: Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. 14: And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. 15: Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God, 16: 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. 17: I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God. 18: 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, 19: Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 20: Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation: 21: But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand. 22: For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you. 23: But now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you; 24: Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company. 25: But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. 26: For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. 27: It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things. 28: When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain. 29: And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ. 30: Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me; 31: That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints; 32: That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed. 33: Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
Paul continues this previous theme, which was that we who have a strong conscience are bear with those who are weak in conscience and not to live only for ourselves. We are to do things which are good for our fellow christians so that they are built up in the faith. Even our Lord did not please himself. And what has been written before about Christ is written for us to learn from so that we might be blessed and comforted by the scriptures and so that we might patiently continue in the faith. Paul commits the Roman Christians to God’s patience and blessing that they might be all of one spirit to one another in Christ Jesus. Paul says that Christians are to receive one another because we have all been received by Christ. When Christ was here in the flesh he was the minister to the circumcision of the truth of God and to confirm the promises made to the Patriarchs. (The ministry of Christ described in the Gospels is specifically directed at the circumcision.) However there was a secondary purpose which was that Gentiles might give glory to God for the mercy that he shewed to them. Paul quotes. Psa 18v49 and Deu 32v43 in which the prophets foretold that there would come a day when the Gentiles will rejoice and sing to the Lords name. Again in Psa 117v1 The Psalmist says, Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles; and honour him, all you people. Again, Isaiah said, (Isa 11v10) There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust. These where all clear Messianic prophesies which describe a coming day when Christ will reign over the Gentiles and the Gentiles will rejoice in him and trust him to provide for them. And so Paul clears up two important themes of Scripture. The primary focus of Christ’s earthly ministry toward the circumcision and the certainty of his Messianic rule in the millennial kingdom.
Then Paul breaks off from this detailed teaching to give a blessing. Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. What wonderful sentiment. Paul hopes for them are assured in his mind that they are full of goodness and the knowledge of God and that they are fully able to teach one another. Paul says l have been a bit bold to write all this to you to remind you of these things because of my ministry in the truth of the Grace of God. Paul describes his ministry as a service of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles. Presenting to them as a servant the gospel of God, So that the Gentiles might be presented to God acceptable to him and made holy by the Spirit of God. There are certain things in which l am humbly proud of the things that God has done through me. (I dare not speak of things that he did not do through me) It was in the power of the Holy Spirit that l performed signs and wonders from Jerusalem right around the Mediterranean to Illyricum. And l have fully preached the gospel of Christ. I have tried not to preach where others have already laid a foundation but l have tried to those who do not know of Christ. As the scripture says, Those who knew nothing of God will see and those who have not heard as yet will understand. (Isa 52v15) It is because of this that l have been hindered in coming to you so far, but now having no more fields of ministry in these parts and because l have had a longing to come to you for many years. When l take my journey to Spain l will call in to see you. Just now l am on my way to Jerusalem to deliver money for the poor from the christians who are in Macedonia and Achaia. The Gentiles believers are in debt to the christians in Jerusalem. The Gentile christians will give things of the flesh because of the blessings they received from the Jews in the Spirit. When l have fulfilled my mission in Jerusalem l intend to visit you on my way to Spain. And l am sure that when l come l will bring you the full blessing of God in the Gospel. Please pray earnestly for me that l may escape from unbelievers in Judea and that the money l bring will be accepted by the christians in Jerusalem and that l may be able to come to you in the will of God and they you and l might be refreshed in the joy of the Lord. Finally Paul commends them to the Lord saying the God of Shalom be with you all Amen.