omans 15: 8-29, Paul, an evangelist to the Gentiles
VV 8-12, 8 Now I say that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers, 9 and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy, as it is written: ‘’For this reason, I will confess to You among the Gentiles, And sing to Your name.” 10 And again he says: ‘’Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people!” 11 And again: ‘’Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples!”12 And again, Isaiah says: ‘;There shall be a root of Jesse; And He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, In Him the Gentiles shall hope.”
Jesus Christ came first to save the Jews, to confirm the God’s covenant to the Patriarchs and after that to save the Gentiles, as prophesied in the Old Testament that Paul quoted. He prayed for joy, peace, hope, and the power of the Holy Spirit to his audience, and us.
Paul quoted Psalm, 18:49, ”Therefore I will give thanks to You, O LORD, among the Gentiles, And sing praises to Your name”.
Deut 32:43, ”Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people”. Psalm 117:1, ”Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples!”
Isaiah 11:1, “there shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse. And a branch will grow out of his roots”.
V 13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
This is a Paul’s doxology and prayer to his audience, and us, that they, and us, may have hope, joy, and peace through faith in Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
VV 14-16, 14 Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. 15 Nevertheless, brethren, I have written more boldly to you on some points, as reminding you, because of the grace given to me by God, 16 that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
Paul commended his audience, and us, for goodness, knowledge, accountability, and encouragement to each other. Paul reminded them, and us boldly, that he was an apostle of God to the Gentiles, so that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable and sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
VV 17-21, 17 Therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God. 18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient 19 in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 20 And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation, 21 but as it is written: ‘’To whom He was not announced, they shall see; And those who have not heard shall understand.”
Paul dared not claim credit for anything that he did not do, but only what he did through Christ. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, Paul ministered to the Gentiles in mighty signs and wonders, traveling from Jerusalem to Illyricum. He preached the gospel in places where no one had preached before.
Paul quoted Isaiah 52:15, ”For what had not been told them they shall see, And what they had not heard they shall consider”.
VV 22-24, 22 For this reason I also have been much hindered from coming to you. 23 But now no longer having a place in these part and having a great desire these many years to come to you, 24 whenever I journey to Spain, I shall 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.
Paul had never met the Romans Christians. His earlier plan to visit Rome had not materialize. He spoke to them about his future plan to visit Rome on his way to Spain. From Acts 28, Paul did make it to Rome in 60 AD as a prisoner under house arrest, but it was unlikely that he visited Spain.
Acts 28. 13-14, ”From there we circled round and reached Rhegium. And after one day the south wind blew; and the next day we came to Puteoli, where we found brethren and were invited to stay with them seven days. And so we went toward Rome”.
VV 25-28, 25 But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. 26 For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem. 27 It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things. 28 Therefore, when I have performed this and have sealed to them this fruit, I shall go by way of you to Spain.
Paul was on his way from Corinth to Jerusalem to bring a financial offering from the Gentile Christians in Macedonia and Corinth to the poor Jewish Christians in the mother church of Jerusalem. He reiterated his plan to visit Rome and Spain after Jerusalem.
VV 29-33, 29 But I know that when I come to you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ. 30 Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me, 31 that I may be delivered from those in Judea who do not believe, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 32 that I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and maybe refreshed together with you. 33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
Paul begged the Romans Christians to pray for him to be delivered from the hostile Jews in Jerusalem, to be accepted cordially by the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem, and to visit Rome with joy in the future. He pronounced a doxology of peace to them.
From the book of Acts, we read that the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem did not receive him cordially. The hostile Jewish leaders mobbed him outside the temple and almost killed him. To protect Paul from the hostile Jews, the Romans sent him to Caesarea by the sea as a prisoner for 2 years, and sent him to Rome on a prison ship. In 60 AD, Paul reached Rome as a prisoner under house arrest.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Paul, who preached the gospel to the Gentiles with such boldness and conviction, against all odds, under tremendous hardships, sufferings, persecutions, and imprisonments. Thank You for preserving the Book of Romans through thousand of years for our benefit, in Jesus’ name, Amen.