Romans 15 Commentary

15:14-16:27 PLANS, GREETINGS AND FAREWELL

Mission to Gentiles and Jews (15:14-33)

Paul has not written to the Roman believers because he doubts their ability to understand or teach the truth. He has written because he wants to give them added assurance in the principles of the gospel that they have already received. This is because, as apostle to the Gentiles, he wishes that the work among the Gentiles everywhere, including Rome, be acceptable to God (14-16). Paul has good reason to be pleased as he thinks of his mission among the Gentiles, though his emphasis is not on what he has done but on what God has done through him (17-19a). He has preached the gospel among the Gentiles from Jerusalem to Illyricum (a region north-west of Greece), mainly in places where it has not been preached previously (19b-21).

This concern to make the gospel known in the unevangelized regions is the reason why Paul has not yet visited Rome (22). Now that he has finished his work in Greece, he feels free at last to go to Italy.

From Rome he wants to move farther west and preach the gospel in other unevangelized areas, even as far

 

as Spain (23-24). First, however, he is going to deliver a gift of money from the Gentile churches to the poor Christians in Jerusalem. He believes it is fitting that the Gentiles make this offering to their Jewish brothers, since they owe their salvation to the Jews in the first place (25-27). He will then come to Rome and go on to Spain (28-29).

Paul requests the prayers of the Christians in Rome on two specific matters. He asks them to pray firstly that the unbelieving Jews will not attack him, and secondly that the Jerusalem church will accept him gladly (30-33).

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