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1It is the duty of us who are strong to put up with the weaknesses of those who are immature, and not just suit ourselves. 2Everyone of us must try to please his neighbor, to do him good, and help in his development. 3Christ did not please himself, but as the Scripture says, “The reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me.” 4For everything that was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that by being steadfast and through the encouragement the Scriptures give, we might hold our hope fast. 5May God, from whom steadfastness and encouragement come, give you such harmony with one another, in following the example of Christ Jesus, 6that you may praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with one accord and one voice.
7Therefore, treat one another like brothers, in God’s honor, just as Christ has treated you. 8I hold that Christ has become an agent of circumcision to show God’s truthfulness in carrying out the promises made to our forefathers, 9and causing the heathen to praise God for his mercy; as the Scripture says,
“I will give thanks to you for this among the heathen,
And sing in honor of your name.”
“Rejoice, you heathen, with his people!”
“Praise the Lord, all you heathen,
And let all nations sing his praises.”
12Again Isaiah says,
“The descendant of Jesse will come,
The one who is to rise to rule the heathen;
The heathen will set their hopes on him.”
13May God, the source of hope, fill you with perfect happiness and peace in your faith, so that you may have overflowing hope through the power of the holy Spirit.
14For my part, as far as you are concerned, my brothers, I am convinced that you are already full of goodness of heart, endowed with perfect knowledge, and well qualified to instruct one another. 15But, just to refresh your memories, I have written you pretty boldly on some points, because of the favor God has shown me 16in making me a minister of Christ Jesus among the heathen, to act as a priest of God’s good news, to see that the heathen are an acceptable sacrifice, consecrated by the holy Spirit. 17So as a follower of Christ Jesus I have reason to be proud of my work for God. 18For I will venture to speak only of what Christ has accomplished through me in winning the heathen to obedience, by word and action, 19by the force of signs and marvels, and by the power of the holy Spirit, with the result that I have completed the preaching of the good news of Christ all the way from Jerusalem around to Illyricum. 20In all this it has been my ambition to preach the good news only where Christ’s name was unknown, so as not to build on foundations other men had laid. 21As the Scripture says,
“They who have never been told of him will see,
And they who have never heard will understand!”
22This is why I have so often been prevented from coming to see you. 23But now there is no more work for me in this part of the world, and as I have had a great desire for many years to come to see you, 24when I go to Spain I hope to see you on my way there, and to have you see me off on my journey, after I have enjoyed being with you for a while. 25Just now I am starting for Jerusalem, to take help to God’s people. 26For Macedonia and Greece have determined to make a contribution for the poor among God’s people in Jerusalem. 27They determined to do it, and they really are indebted to them, for if the heathen have shared their spiritual blessings, they ought to do them a service in material ways. 28So when I have finished this matter, and seen this contribution safely into their possession, I will start for Spain, and come to you on the way, 29and I know that when I do come to see you, I will come with Christ’s fullest blessing.
30I beg you, brothers, for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the love that the Spirit inspires, join me in most earnest prayer to God for me. 31Pray that I may escape from those in Judea who are disobedient, and that the help I am taking to Jerusalem may be well received by God’s people, 32so that, if it is God’s will, I may come with a glad heart to see you and enjoy a visit with you. 33God who gives peace be with you all! Amen.
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