1We who have strong faith should help the weak with their problems. We should not please only ourselves. 2Each of us should please our neighbors. Let us do what is good for them in order to build them up. 3Even Christ did not please himself. It is written, “The bad things people have said about you have been aimed at me also.” (Psalm 69:9) 4Everything written in the past was written to teach us. The Scriptures give us strength to go on. They encourage us and give us hope.
5Our God is a God who strengthens and encourages you. May he give you the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had. 6Then you can give glory to God with one mind and voice. He is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7Christ has accepted you. So accept one another in order to bring praise to God. 8I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews. He teaches us that God is true. He shows us that God will keep the promises he made to the founders of our nation. 9Jesus became a servant of the Jews. He did this so that the Gentiles might give glory to God for his mercy. It is written,
“I will praise you among the Gentiles.
I will sing the praises of your name.” (2 Samuel 22:50; Psalm 18:49)
10Again it says,
“You Gentiles, be full of joy.
Be joyful together with God’s people.” (Deuteronomy 32:43)
11And again it says,
“All you Gentiles, praise the Lord.
Let all the nations sing praises to him.” (Psalm 117:1)
12And Isaiah says,
“The Root of Jesse will grow up quickly.
He will rule over the nations.
The Gentiles will put their hope in him.” (Isaiah 11:10)
13May the God who gives hope fill you with great joy. May you have perfect peace as you trust in him. May the power of the Holy Spirit fill you with hope.
Paul Serves the Gentiles
14My brothers and sisters, I am sure that you are full of goodness. You are filled with knowledge and able to teach one another. 15But I have written to you very boldly about some things. I wanted to remind you of them again. The grace of God has allowed me 16to serve Christ Jesus among the Gentiles. I have the duty of a priest to preach God’s good news. Then the Gentiles will become an offering that pleases God. The Holy Spirit will make the offering holy.
17Because I belong to Christ Jesus, I can take pride in my work for God. 18I will speak about what Christ has done through me. I won’t try to speak about anything else. He has been leading the Gentiles to obey God. He has been doing this by what I have said and done. 19He has given me power to do signs and wonders. I can do these things by the power of the Spirit of God. From Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum I have finished preaching. In those places, I preached the good news about Christ. 20I have always wanted to preach the good news where Christ was not known. I don’t want to build on what someone else has started. 21It is written,
“Those who were not told about him will understand.
Those who have not heard will know what it all means.” (Isaiah 52:15)
22That’s why I have often been kept from coming to you.
Paul Plans to Visit Rome
23Now there is no more place for me to work in those areas. For many years I have wanted to visit you. 24So I plan to see you when I go to Spain. I hope to visit you while I am passing through. And I hope you will help me on my journey there. But first I want to enjoy being with you for a while. 25Now I am on my way to Jerusalem to serve the Lord’s people there. 26The believers in Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to take an offering. It was for those who were poor among the Lord’s people in Jerusalem. 27They were happy to do it. And of course they owe it to them. The Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings. So the Gentiles should share their earthly blessings with the Jews. 28I want to finish my task. I want to make sure that the poor in Jerusalem have received this offering. Then I will go to Spain. On my way I will visit you. 29I know that when I come to you, I will come with the full blessing of Christ.
30Brothers and sisters, I ask you to join me in my struggle. Join me by praying to God for me. I ask this through the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ. Pray for me with the love the Holy Spirit provides. 31Pray that I will be kept safe from those in Judea who do not believe. I am taking the offering to Jerusalem. Pray that it will be welcomed by the Lord’s people there. 32Then I will come to you with joy just as God has planned. We will be renewed by being together. 33May the God who gives peace be with you all. Amen.