Exhortation for the Strong to Help the Weak
15:1 But we who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak, and not just please ourselves.1 15:2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good to build him up. 15:3 For even Christ did not please himself, but just as it is written, “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.”2 15:4 For everything that was written in former times was written for our instruction, so that through endurance and through encouragement of the scriptures we may have hope. 15:5 Now may the God of endurance and comfort give you unity with one another3 in accordance with Christ Jesus, 15:6 so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Exhortation to Mutual Acceptance
15:7 Receive one another, then, just as Christ also received you, to God’s glory. 15:8 For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised4 on behalf of God’s truth to confirm the promises made to the fathers,5 15:9 and thus the Gentiles glorify God for his mercy.6 As it is written, “Because of this I will confess you among the Gentiles, and I will sing praises to your name.”7 15:10 And again it says: “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.”8 15:11 And again, “Praise the Lord all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples praise him.”9 15:12 And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, and the one who rises to rule over the Gentiles, in him will the Gentiles hope.”10 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in him,11 so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Paul’s Motivation for Writing the Letter
15:14 But I myself am fully convinced about you, my brothers and sisters,12 that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another. 15:15 But I have written more boldly to you on some points so as to remind you, because of the grace given to me by God 15:16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. I serve13 the gospel of God14 like a priest, so that the Gentiles may become an acceptable offering,15 sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
15:17 So I boast16 in Christ Jesus about the things that pertain to God. 15:18 For I will not dare to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in order to bring about the obedience17 of the Gentiles, by word and deed, 15:19 in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem even as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 15:20 And in this way I desire to preach where Christ has not been named, so as not to build on another person’s foundation, 15:21 but as it is written: “Those who were not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.”18
Paul’s Intention of Visiting the Romans
15:22 This is the reason I was often hindered from coming to you. 15:23 But now there is nothing more to keep me19 in these regions, and I have for many years desired20 to come to you 15:24 when I go to Spain. For I hope to visit you when I pass through and that you will help me21 on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while.
15:25 But now I go to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. 15:26 For Macedonia and Achaia are pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. 15:27 For they were pleased to do this, and indeed they are indebted to the Jerusalem saints.22 For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are obligated also to minister to them in material things. 15:28 Therefore after I have completed this and have safely delivered this bounty to them,23 I will set out for Spain by way of you, 15:29 and I know that when I come to you I will come in the fullness of Christ’s blessing.
15:30 Now I urge you, brothers and sisters,24 through our Lord Jesus Christ and through the love of the Spirit, to join fervently with me in prayer to God on my behalf. 15:31 Pray25 that I may be rescued from those who are disobedient in Judea and that my ministry in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 15:32 so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. 15:33 Now may the God of peace be with all of you. Amen.26