Do Good to Your Neighbors
(1) We who are strong in our faith (Paul includes himself in this category) have an obligation to be patient with the failings of those who are weak in their faith, and not to simply please ourselves. (2) Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to strengthen them (build them up). (3) For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written in Psalm 69:9, “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.”
(4) For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through perseverance and through the encouragement of the Bible we might always have hope. (5) May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that was in Jesus Christ, (6) so that with one mind and one voice you will glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Accept Others as Jesus Accepted Us
(7) Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. (8) For I tell you the truth: Jesus Christ became a minister (servant) of the circumcised Jews on behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the forefathers (patriarchs)—Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—will be confirmed (proved true) (9) and also, that the nations might magnify God for his mercy. As it is written in Psalm 18:49, “Therefore I will praise you among those who are not Jews; I will sing the praises of your name.” (10) It also says in Deuteronomy 32:43, “Rejoice, you who are not Jews, with his people.” (11) Again, it is written in Psalm 117:1, “Praise the Lord, all you non-Jews, let all the peoples exalt him.” (12) And again, as it is written in Isaiah 11:10, “The Root of Jesse will spring up; one who will arise to rule over the nations; in him, those who are not Jews will hope.”
(13) Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit!
Paul’s Mission to Non-Jews
(14) My brothers and sisters, I am convinced that you are full of goodness, filled with knowledge, and able to teach one another. (15) But I have written you with boldness on some issues to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me (16) to be a minister of Christ to the nations. He gave me the priestly mission (service) of proclaiming the gospel (good news) of God, so that the nations might become a sacrifice offering pleasing to God, holy by the Holy Spirit. (17) Therefore, I glory in Christ in my service to God!
(18) I would not dare speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the nations to obey God by what I have said and done—(19) by the miraculous signs and wonders (miracles) through the power of the the Holy Spirit.
So I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Jesus Christ from Jerusalem all the way around to the Roman province of Illyricum (During Paul’s journey through the Roman province of Macedonia, in Acts 20:1-2, he probably also visited the western neighboring Roman province of Illyricum. This would include parts of the modern region of Albania, Croatia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina).
(20) It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation. (21) As it is written in Isaiah 52:15, “Those who were not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.” (22) This is why I have often been hindered from coming to visit you in Rome.
Paul’s Plan to Visit Rome
(23) But now that there is no more mission work for me in the region of these Roman provinces, and since I have been longing for many years to visit you, (24) I plan to stop in Rome when I travel to the Roman province of Spain. I hope to see you while passing through to Spain and to have you assist (provide supplies for) me on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your fellowship for a while.
(25) Now, however, I am traveling to Jerusalem in the service of bringing aid to the Lord’s holy people there. (26) For the churches in the Roman provinces of Macedonia and Achaia were happy to collect money for the poor among the Jewish believers in Jerusalem. (27) They were happy to do it, and yes, they indeed owe it to them. For if the nations have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings.
(28) So after I complete this mission task and make sure that the Jerusalem church has received this financial contribution, I will depart for the Roman province of Spain and stop to visit you in Rome on my way. (29) I know that when I come to you, I will come in the full measure of the blessing (anointing) of Christ.
(30) My brothers and sisters, I exhort you by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Holy Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. (31) Pray that I will be kept safe from the unbelievers in Judea, and that the financial gift I take to Jerusalem will be received by the Lord’s people there with thanksgiving, (32) so that by God’s will I can then come to visit you in Rome with joy, and by our fellowship be refreshed (renewed). (33) The God of peace be with you all! Amen (let it be).