Please Others, not Yourselves
1We who are strong in the faith ought to help the weak to carry their burdens. We should not please ourselves. 2Instead, we should all please our brothers and sisters for their own good, in order to build them up in the faith. 3#Ps 69.9For Christ did not please himself. Instead, as the scripture says, “The insults which are hurled at you have fallen on me.” 4Everything written in the Scriptures was written to teach us, in order that we might have hope through the patience and encouragement which the Scriptures give us. 5And may God, the source of patience and encouragement, enable you to have the same point of view among yourselves by following the example of Christ Jesus, 6so that all of you together may praise with one voice the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Good News for the Gentiles
7Accept one another, then, for the glory of God, as Christ has accepted you. 8For I tell you that Christ's life of service was on behalf of the Jews, to show that God is faithful, to make his promises to their ancestors come true, 9#2 Sam 22.50; Ps 18.49and to enable even the Gentiles to praise God for his mercy. As the scripture says:
“And so I will praise you among the Gentiles;
I will sing praises to you.”
10 # Deut 32.43 Again it says,
“Rejoice, Gentiles, with God's people!”
11 # Ps 117.1 And again,
“Praise the Lord, all Gentiles;
praise him, all peoples!”
12 # Is 11.10 (LXX) And again, Isaiah says,
“A descendant of Jesse will appear;
he will come to rule the Gentiles,
and they will put their hope in him.”
13May God, the source of hope, fill you with all joy and peace by means of your faith in him, so that your hope will continue to grow by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Paul's Reason for Writing so Boldly
14My brothers and sisters, I myself feel sure that you are full of goodness, that you have all knowledge, and that you are able to teach one another. 15But in this letter I have been quite bold about certain subjects of which I have reminded you. I have been bold because of the privilege God has given me 16of being a servant of Christ Jesus to work for the Gentiles. I serve like a priest in preaching the Good News from God, in order that the Gentiles may be an offering acceptable to God, dedicated to him by the Holy Spirit. 17In union with Christ Jesus, then, I can be proud of my service for God. 18I will be bold and speak only about what Christ has done through me to lead the Gentiles to obey God. He has done this by means of words and deeds, 19by the power of miracles and wonders, and by the power of the Spirit of God. And so, in travelling all the way from Jerusalem to Illyricum, I have proclaimed fully the Good News about Christ. 20My ambition has always been to proclaim the Good News in places where Christ has not been heard of, so as not to build on a foundation laid by someone else. 21#Is 52.15 (LXX)As the scripture says:
“Those who were not told about him will see,
and those who have not heard will understand.”
Paul's Plan to Visit Rome
22 # Rom 1.13 And so I have been prevented many times from coming to you. 23But now that I have finished my work in these regions and since I have been wanting for so many years to come to see you, 24I hope to do so now. I would like to see you on my way to Spain, and be helped by you to go there, after I have enjoyed visiting you for a while. 25#1 Cor 16.1–4Just now, however, I am going to Jerusalem in the service of God's people there. 26For the churches in Macedonia and Achaia have freely decided to give an offering to help the poor among God's people in Jerusalem. 27#1 Cor 9.11That decision was their own; but, as a matter of fact, they have an obligation to help them. Since the Jews shared their spiritual blessings with the Gentiles, the Gentiles ought to use their material blessings to help the Jews. 28When I have finished this task and have handed over to them all the money that has been raised for them, I shall leave for Spain and visit you on my way there. 29When I come to you, I know that I shall come with a full measure of the blessing of Christ.
30I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love that the Spirit gives: join me in praying fervently to God for me. 31Pray that I may be kept safe from the unbelievers in Judea and that my service in Jerusalem may be acceptable to God's people there. 32And so I will come to you full of joy, if it is God's will, and enjoy a refreshing visit to you. 33May God, our source of peace, be with all of you. Amen.