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. Chapter 15.

Please Your Fellow Men, Not Yourself

1 Those of us who have a robust conscience must accept as our own burden the tender scruples of weaker men, and not consider ourselves. 2 Each of us must consider his neighbour and think what is for his good and will build up the common life. 3 [ Ps.69.9. ] For Christ too did not consider himself, but might have said, in the words of Scripture, 'The reproaches of those who reproached thee fell upon me.' 4 For all the ancient scriptures were written for our own instruction, in order that through the encouragement they give us we may maintain our hope with fortitude. 5 And may God, the source of all fortitude and all encouragement, grant that you may agree with one another after the manner of Christ Jesus, 6 so that with one mind and one voice you may praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Gospel for Jews and Gentiles Alike

7 In a word, accept one another as Christ accepted us, to the glory of God. 8 I mean that Christ became a servant of the Jewish people to maintain the truth of God by making good his promises to the patriarchs, 9 [ Ps.18.49, 2Sm.22.50. ] and at the same time to give the Gentiles cause to glorify God for his mercy. As Scripture says, 'Therefore I will praise thee among the Gentiles and sing hymns to thy name'; 10 [ Dt.32.43. ] and again, 'Gentiles, make merry together with his own people'; 11 [ Ps.117.1. ] and yet again, 'All Gentiles, praise the Lord; let all peoples praise him.' 12 [ Is.11.10. ] Once again, Isaiah says, 'There shall be the Scion of Jesse, the one raised up to govern the Gentiles; on him the Gentiles shall set their hope.' 13 And may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace by your faith in him, until, by the power of the Holy Spirit, you overflow with hope.

Paul's Missionary Commission

14 MY FRIENDS, I have no doubt in my own mind that you yourselves are quite full of goodness and equipped with knowledge of every kind, well able to give advice to one another; 15 nevertheless I have written to refresh your memory, and written somewhat boldly at times, in virtue of the gift I have from God. 16 His grace has made me a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles; my priestly service is the preaching of the gospel of God, and it falls to me to offer the Gentiles to him as [Or: ... of God, so that the worship which the Gentiles offer may be ...] an acceptable sacrifice, consecrated by the Holy Spirit.

17 Thus in the fellowship of Christ Jesus I have ground for pride in the service of God. 18 I will venture is to speak of those things alone in which I have been Christ's instrument to bring the Gentiles into his allegiance, by word and deed, 19 by the force of miraculous signs and by the power of the Holy Spirit. As a result I have completed the preaching of the gospel of Christ from Jerusalem as far round as Illyricum. 20 It is my ambition to bring the gospel to places where the very name of Christ has not been heard, for I do not want to build on another man's foundation; 21 [ Is.52.15. ] but, as Scripture says,

Paul's Plan to Visit Rome

22 That is why I have been prevented all this time from coming to you. 23 But now I have no further scope in these parts, and I have been longing for many years to visit you on my way to Spain; 24 for I hope to see you as I travel through, and to be sent there with your support after having enjoyed your company for a while. 25 But at the moment I am on my way to Jerusalem, on an errand to God's people there. 26 For Macedonia and Achaia have resolved to raise a common fund for the benefit of the poor among God's people at Jerusalem. 27 They have resolved to do so, and indeed they are under an obligation to them. For if the Jewish Christians shared their spiritual treasures with the Gentiles, the Gentiles have a clear duty to contribute to their material needs. 28 So when I have finished this business and delivered the proceeds under my own seal, I shall set out for Spain by way of your city, 29 and I am sure that when I arrive I shall come to you with a full measure of the blessing of Christ.

30 I implore you by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love that the Spirit inspires, be my allies in the fight; 31 pray to God for me that I may be saved from unbelievers in Judaea and that my errand to Jerusalem may find acceptance with God's people, 32 so that by his will I may come to you in a happy frame of mind and enjoy a time of rest with you. 33 The God of peace be with you all. Amen. [Some witnesses place Rom.16.25-27 after this verse.]

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