I have written you quite boldly on some points, as if to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles . . . .” – Romans 15:15, 16
Paul’s tone is warm as he closes his letter by stating his role as a minister to the Gentiles and his travel plans.
Paul’s Goal of Ministry (vs. 14-21)
When affirming the Roman church’s goodness, knowledge, and competent instruction, He also admits his boldness on some points. Why? “. . . . so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit” (vs. 16).
Paul exerted all of his energy in encouraging and exhorting Gentiles to follow and obey Christ. He sought to preach the gospel in areas where no one had heard it. From Jerusalem to Illyricum—a province bordering the Adriatic Sea—Paul endured much and persevered with the work God gave him.
Plans to Visit Rome (vs. 22-29)
Many scholars believe Paul was writing this letter from Corinth when he declared that his work was finished in the eastern regions. For a second time, he expressed his desire and delayed plans to visit the Roman church (1:10-15). But this time he added his current desire: to evangelize Spain. First, however, he would go with the Gentile church delegates to Jerusalem with the relief offering for the poor (vs. 25-28; Acts 20:3-6; 24:17). He encouraged his readers to financially support both the Jews and his mission to Spain. Paul hoped to visit them on his trip to Spain.
Prayer Requests (vs. 30-33)
Paul shared his concerns about his upcoming mission to Jerusalem. He urged his readers to join in his struggle through prayer: 1) that he would be rescued from unbelievers in Judea; 2) that his service in Jerusalem would be acceptable to them; and 3) that God would allow him his long awaited visit to Rome.
Acts 21:15-28:31 gives insights to God’s answers to these requests. Paul’s dream of visiting Rome was finally realized, but probably not in the way he had hoped. He arrived as a prisoner.
The book of Acts does not record Paul journeying further westward to Spain.
- Although not everyone is called to preach or serve in a foreign country, all of us can support foreign missionaries through our prayers. Some can give financially.
- We, “who have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings” (vs.27), are called to support Jewish believers.
- Although prayer is often known as a means of comfort and making our requests known to God, it is also a weapon in the Christian’s arsenal when interceding for others in our spiritual battle.
- God’s ways are higher than our ways (Is. 55:9). He’s always at work, for the good, even when we don’t discern it.