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Romans 15

SUMMARY.--The Strong Must Bear with the Weak. Not to Seek to Please Ourselves. Christ Did Not. As Christ Received Us, So We Should Receive Each Other. Christ the Savior of Both Jews and Gentiles. Paul's Apostleship. His Work Among the Gentiles. His Purpose to Visit Rome.

      22-24. For which cause I have been much hindered. The greatest hindrance to his coming to Rome hitherto was the duty of preaching in places where Christ was unknown. 23. But now having no more place in these parts. Everywhere around the eastern Mediterranean the name of Christ had been preached, so that churches were formed in all the chief cities. Hence, Paul wished to seek new fields. Having a great desire . . . to come unto you. See Rom. 1:11 and Acts 19:21 . 24. Whensoever I take my journey into Spain. It was his purpose to go to Spain as a new field. The New Testament does not record that he ever carried out this purpose, though it is the testimony of the early church that he did. To see you in my journey. He only intended to stop for a season, in passing through, for the reason that there was already a church there. God willed that it should be otherwise.

      25-27. Now I go unto Jerusalem, etc. See Acts 20:3 , for account of the undertaking of this journey. Also Acts 24:17 . He is going to Jerusalem to minister to the poor saints. 26. For it hath pleased them of Macedonia, etc. Concerning the contribution, see 1 Corinthians 16:1 1 Corinthians 16:2 Co 8:1 Co 9:2 . Certain contribution. The Greek word is the same rendered fellowship in Acts 2:42 . 27. Their debtors they are. It pleased these Gentile Christians to help those at Jerusalem, and, besides, they were under obligation to them, for the church at Jerusalem was the center from which the gospel had been spread abroad.

      Why the need of this contribution for the church at Jerusalem? This is often asked. (1) Because it was mainly composed in the start of the poor. (2) Because it had undergone persecution, and this always impoverishes, not only because members are spoiled of their goods, but because they are driven from their employments. Hence, this church, at the center of conflict, and with a great number of poor, had need of the aid of the saints elsewhere, where they were more favored with the worldly blessings.

      28, 29. When therefore I have performed this. As soon as he has discharged this office, it is his purpose to start to Spain, and to take Rome in on the way. Sealed to them this fruit. Made this contribution safe to them. What is sealed is made secure. 29. I am sure that, when I come. He assures them that his coming will be full of blessing to them in Christ. Godet says, with force, "Would a forger of this epistle, in the second century, have drawn a picture of the future so opposite to the way in which things really came to pass?" These allusions to his future movements are positive proof that this was written before Paul was a prisoner.

      30-33. Now I beseech you, etc. This urgent request of the apostle for his brethren's prayers, shows a strong confidence in their faith and devotion. Compare verse 29 . 31. That I may be delivered. Paul knew too well the bitter hostility of the Jews to him, and that his visit to Jerusalem would be beset with dangers. He goes there with some forebodings. See Acts 20:22 Acts 21:13 . And that my service . . . may be accepted of the saints. We learn from Acts 21:21 , that the Jewish brethren looked with great prejudice on Paul's work among the Gentiles, and that various rumors were circulated among them. 32. That I may come, etc. Three things he desires through their prayers: (1) That he may be delivered from his Jewish enemies; (2) be cordially received by his Jewish brethren; (3) come unto them with joy by the will of God. He did come to Rome, submissive to the will of God, but not "in joy," though no doubt God was with him and "refreshed" him. 33. Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen. Asking their prayers, it was but natural that he should ask God to bless them. Compare other benedictions, in 2 Cor. 13:11 Philippians 4:9 Philippians 4:1 1 Thess. 5:23 .

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