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15. Ministry to the Gentiles

We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. 3For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. 4For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. 5Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: 6That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

7Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God. 8Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: 9And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name. 10And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people. 11And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people. 12And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust. 13Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. 14And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. 15Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God, 16That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost. 17I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God. 18For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, 19Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 20Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation: 21But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand. 22For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you. 23But now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you; 24Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company. 25But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. 26For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. 27It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things. 28When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain. 29And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.

30Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me; 31That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints; 32That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed. 33Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

25. But I am going now, etc. Lest they should expect his immediate coming, and think themselves deceived, if he had not come according to their expectation, he declares to them what business he had then in hand, which prevented him from going soon to them, and that was, — that he was going to Jerusalem to bear the alms which had been gathered in Macedonia and Achaia. Availing himself at the same time of this opportunity, he proceeds to commend that contribution; by which, as by a kind of intimation, he stirs them up to follow this example: for though he does not openly ask them, yet, by saying that Macedonia and Achaia had done what they ought to have done, he intimates, that it was also the duty of the Romans, as they were under the same obligation; and that he had this view, he openly confesses to the Corinthians, —

“I boast,” he says, “of your promptitude to all the Churches, that they may be stirred up by your example.”
(2 Corinthians 9:2.)

It was indeed a rare instance of kindness, that the Grecians, having heard that their brethren at Jerusalem were laboring under want, considered not the distance at which they were separated from them; but esteeming those sufficiently nigh, to whom they were united by the bond of faith, they relieved their necessities from their own abundance. The word communication, which is here employed, ought to be noticed; for it well expresses the feeling, by which it behooves us to succor the wants of our brethren, even because there is to be a common and mutual regard on account of the unity of the body. I have not rendered the pronoun τινὰ, because it is often redundant in Greek, and seems to lessen the emphasis of this passage. 461461     The words are, κοινωνίαν τινὰ ποιήσασθαι, “to make a certain contribution,” or, “some contribution,” or, as Doddridge has it, “a certain collection.” There seems to be no necessity for leaving out the word τινὰ. — Ed. What we have rendered to minister, is in Greek a participle, ministering; but the former seems more fitted to convey the meaning of Paul: for he excuses himself, that by a lawful occupation he was prevented from going immediately to Rome.

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