1Those of us who are spiritually strong ought to support those who are spiritually weak. We shouldn't just please ourselves. 2We should all encourage others to do what's right, building them up. 3Christ didn't live to please himself, but as Scripture says of him, “The insults of those who abused you have fallen on me.”#15:3. Psalm 69:9. 4These Scriptures were written down in the past to help us understand, and to encourage us so that we could wait patiently in hope.
5May the God who gives patience and encouragement help you to be in full agreement among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, 6so that you can with one mind and with one voice together glorify God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
7So accept one another, just as Christ accepted you, and give God the glory. 8I maintain that Christ came as a servant to the Jews#15:8. Literally, “of circumcision.” to show God tells the truth, keeping the promises he made to their forefathers. 9He also came that foreigners could praise God for his mercy, as Scripture says, “Therefore I will praise you among the foreigners; I will sing praises to your name.”#15:9. Psalm 18:49. 10And also: “Foreigners, celebrate with his people!”#15:10. Deut. 32:43. 11And again: “All you foreigners, praise the Lord, let all peoples praise him.”#15:11. Psalm 117:1. 12And again, Isaiah says, “Jesse's descendant will come to rule the nations, and foreigners will put their hope in him.”#15:12. Isaiah 11:10. “Jesse's descendant.” This refers to Jesse, the father of King David, who was the beginning of the royal line.
13May the God of hope completely fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you will overflow with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit! 14I'm convinced that you, my brothers and sisters, are full of goodness, and that you are filled with every kind of knowledge, so you are well able to teach one another. 15I've been blunt in the way I have written to you about some of these things, but this is just to remind you. For God gave me grace 16to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the foreigners, like a priest sharing God's good news, so that they could become an acceptable offering, made holy by the Holy Spirit.
17So even though I have something to boast about because of my service for God, 18(I wouldn't dare talk about any of this except as Christ has done it through me), I have led foreigners to obedience through my teaching and demonstration, 19through the power of signs and miracles done with the Holy Spirit's power. From Jerusalem all the way over to Illyricum, everywhere I've shared fully the good news of Christ. 20In fact I was keen to spread the good news in places that hadn't heard the name of Christ, so that I wouldn't be building on what others have done. 21As Scripture says, “Those who haven't been told the good news will discover him, and those who haven't heard will understand.”#15:21. Isaiah 52:15.
22That's why I was prevented so many times from coming to see you. 23But now, as there's nowhere left here to work, and since I've looked forward to visiting you for many years, 24when I go to Spain I hope to see you when I pass through. Maybe you can give me some help for my journey once we've enjoyed some time together. 25At the moment I'm on my way to Jerusalem to help the believers there, 26because the believers in Macedonia and Achaia thought it was a good idea to send a contribution to the poor among the believers in Jerusalem. 27They were happy to do this because they're in their debt.#15:27. Meaning that the foreigners are indebted to the Jews for sharing the good news of God. This particular instance applies specifically to the believers in Jerusalem, so the foreigners are happy to send a gift to help them. Now that foreigners are sharing their spiritual benefits, they owe it to the Jewish believers#15:27. Implied. to help them in material things. 28So once I've done this, and have safely delivered this contribution to them, I'll visit you on my way to Spain. 29I know that when I come, Christ will give us his full blessing.
30I want to encourage you, my brothers and sisters through our Lord Jesus Christ and through the love of the Spirit, to join together in praying hard for me. 31Pray that I may be kept safe from the unbelievers in Judea. Pray that my work in Jerusalem will be welcomed by the believers there. 32Pray that I will come to you with gladness, as God wills, so we can enjoy one another's company. 33May the God of peace be with you all. Amen.