We Christians are to imitate the example of the Lord Jesus Christ. He supremely ministered on behalf of other people, and not to benefit himself. [UPDATED]
VERSE 1. Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
we who are strong. That is, Christians who are strong in convictions and conscience.
not to please ourselves. A strong Christian should not be self-centered.
VERSE 2. Let each one of us please his neighbor for that which is good, to be building him up.
VERSE 3. For even Christ didn’t please himself. But, as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.”
VERSE 4. For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that through perseverance and through encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
we might have hope. The Old Testament shows us the heroes of the faith in the past who did not live for themselves.
This inspires us live for other people. And it fills us with hope to the future.
VERSE 5. Now the God of perseverance and of encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus,
be of the same mind one with another. When we Christians are in unity, then God is glorified and unbelievers will be attracted to faith in Christ.
However, we Christians have never been unified. We are split into factions. Our factions are always fighting each other. God is not glorified, and unbelievers are repulsed.
John 17:21. that they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that you sent me.
VERSE 6. that with one accord you may with one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
that with one accord. The goal is that Christians have one heart and mouth.
accept one another. This is a key Christian teaching. Yet for most of Christian history, we Christians have been among the most intolerant of all people on earth.
VERSE 8. Now I say that Christ has been made a servant of the circumcision for the truth of God, that he might confirm the promises given to the fathers,
VERSE 9. and that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, “Therefore I will give praise to you among the Gentiles and sing to your name.”
VERSE 10. Again he says, “Rejoice, you Gentiles, with his people.”
VERSE 11. Again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles! Let all the peoples praise him.”
VERSE 12. Again, Isaiah says, “There will be the root of Jesse, he who arises to rule over the Gentiles; in him the Gentiles will hope.”
VERSE 13. Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, in the power of the Holy Spirit.
fill you with all joy and peace. This is a great dream: to be filled with joy and peace!
abound in hope. Do you want to abound in hope!
VERSE 14. I myself am also persuaded about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish others.
VERSE 15. But I write the more boldly to you in part, as reminding you, because of the grace that was given to me by God,
VERSE 16. that I should be a servant of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, serving as a priest of the Good News of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be made acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
priest. Paul describes himself as a “priest” of the Good News.
The Greek word is ἱερουργέω (“hierourgeó”). It means to perform sacred rites, offering acceptable sacrifices to God.
The majority of Bible translations render this Greek word as “priest.”
VERSE 17. I have therefore my boasting in Christ Jesus in things pertaining to God.
VERSE 18. For I will not dare to speak of any things except those which Christ worked through me, for the obedience of the Gentiles, by word and deed,
VERSE 19. in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of God’s Spirit; so that from Jerusalem, and around as far as to Illyricum, I have fully preached the Good News of Christ;
VERSE 20. yes, making it my aim to preach the Good News, not where Christ was already named, that I might not build on another’s foundation.
not where Christ was already named. Paul did not simply continue work started by others.
Rather, Paul was a pioneer. He launched out into new territory and worked from scratch.
The Lord Jesus calls us to be pioneers. In Acts chapter 1, he calls us to go outward and to reach people who have never heard of him. He called us to a relentless search for non-Christians.
The Lord Jesus calls us to take his Gospel to the whole world. Here are the key Bible verses about this »
VERSE 21. But, as it is written, “They will see, to whom no news of him came. They who haven’t heard will understand.”
VERSE 22. Therefore also I was hindered these many times from coming to you,
VERSE 23. but now, no longer having any place in these regions, and having these many years a longing to come to you,
VERSE 24. whenever I travel to Spain, I will come to you. For I hope to see you on my journey, and to be helped on my way there by you, if first I may enjoy your company for a while.
to be helped on my way there by you. Paul will ask them for donations. Christian leaders are always asking people for money.
VERSE 25. But now, I say, I am going to Jerusalem, serving the saints.
VERSE 26. For it has been the good pleasure of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are at Jerusalem.
VERSE 27. Yes, it has been their good pleasure, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, they owe it to them also to serve them in fleshly things.
VERSE 28. When therefore I have accomplished this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will go on by way of you to Spain.
VERSE 29. I know that when I come to you, I will come in the fullness of the blessing of the Good News of Christ.
VERSE 30. Now I beg you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in your prayers to God for me,
VERSE 31. that I may be delivered from those who are disobedient in Judea, and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints,
VERSE 32. that I may come to you in joy through the will of God, and together with you, find rest.
VERSE 33. Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.