Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Romans 15:22-33

Paul's Plan to Visit Rome

Romans 15:22-33

Rom 15:22  In fact, my visit to you has been delayed so long because I have been preaching in these places. Rom 15:23  But now I have finished my work in these regions, and after all these long years of waiting, I am eager to visit you. Rom 15:24  I am planning to go to Spain, and when I do, I will stop off in Rome. And after I have enjoyed your fellowship for a little while, you can provide for my journey.

Rom 15:25  But before I come, I must go to Jerusalem to take a gift to the believers there. Rom 15:26  For you see, the believers in Macedonia and Achaia have eagerly taken up an offering for the poor among the believers in Jerusalem Rom 15:27  They were glad to do this because they feel they owe a real debt to them. Since the Gentiles received the spiritual blessings of the Good News from the believers in Jerusalem, they feel the least they can do in return is to help them financially.

Paul had money that was donated specifically for the believers in Jerusalem. Christianity may have started there but he town was very Jewish most of whom had not converted to Christianity. The Christians were persecuted in Jerusalem and it was difficult to get work.

Rom 15:28  As soon as I have delivered this money and completed this good deed of theirs, I will come to see you on my way to Spain. Rom 15:29  And I am sure that when I come, Christ will richly bless our time together.

Little did Paul know that he would be arrested and put on a prison ship. The ship was bound for Roman but a storm blew it to Malta where Paul did several miracles. This is also where Paul was bitten but a poisonous snake you can find the story in the last few chapters or Acts.  

Rom 15:30  Dear brothers and sisters, I urge you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to join in my struggle by praying to God for me. Do this because of your love for me, given to you by the Holy Spirit.
Rom 15:31  Pray that I will be rescued from those in Judea who refuse to obey God. Pray also that the believers there will be willing to accept the donation I am taking to Jerusalem.

Life Application New Testament Commentary:
15:29 Paul knows that when he arrives in Rome, he will come with a great blessing to share. The sense of this verse can be read in two ways: Paul will be bringing a fresh awareness of all the benefits of being united with Christ; or Paul is expecting to experience with the Romans a rich time of fellowship in Christ. The benefits of spending time with other believers, even those we do not know, are very real. From time to time, Christians should worship in unfamiliar places, just to be reminded how oneness in Christ overcomes the barrier of meeting strangers.
15:30 Paul asked his readers to pray for him, a request he made in many of his letters (Eph_6:19-20; Col_4:3-4; 1Th_5:25; 2Th_3:1-2; Phm_1:22). Paul needed their intercessory prayer; he needed them to join him in promoting the cause of Christ. The Greek term for join me in my struggle was often used in connection with athletic events where a team had to put forth a great, concerted action. Though the Roman believers could not be physically with Paul, they could join his efforts by praying for him. This is a subtle but effective emphasis that Paul was not an independent agent. He was part of the body, and he needed the body’s help.
15:31 Paul’s specific prayer requests pertain to his return to Jerusalem. Paul knew of the potential danger awaiting him there (see Act_20:22-24; Act_21:27 ff.), so he asked them to pray for his safety. Paul was still regarded as a traitor to his faith, and some of his fellow Jews might have considered it their religious duty to get rid of him for good. He also asked the Roman Christians to pray that the Christians in the Jerusalem church would be willing to accept the donation he was bringing. He may have been fearing that the church would not want to accept the money.

Rom 15:32  Then, by the will of God, I will be able to come to you with a joyful heart, and we will be an encouragement to each other. Rom 15:33  And now may God, who gives us His peace, be with you all. Amen.