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Reflecting Grace (Romans 15,16)

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Romans 15

The importance of unity
Now we that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let each of us please his neighbour for his good, to encourage him. 3 For Christ also did not please himself, but as it is written: The reproaches of them that reproached You fell upon me. 4 For whatever things were written previously were written for our education, that through patience and through the comfort of the scriptures we might have hope. 5 Now the God of patience and of comfort grant you to be of the same mind one with another, according to Christ Jesus. 6 That with one accord you may with one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
   7 Therefore receive one another, even as Christ also received you each one, to the glory of God. 8 For I say that Christ has been made a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, that he might confirm the promises given to the fathers, 9 and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy. As it is written: Therefore will I give praise to You among the Gentiles, and sing to Your Name. 10 And again He says: Rejoice, you Gentiles, with His people. 11 And again: Praise the Lord all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples praise Him. 12 And again Isaiah said: There shall be the root of Jesse and he that arises to rule over the Gentiles. On him shall the Gentiles hope. 13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope, in the power of the Holy Spirit.
14 And I myself also am persuaded about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to encourage one another. 15 But I write the more boldly to you in some way, as if putting you again in remembrance, because of the grace that was given me by God, 16 that I should be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be made acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

Paul’s plans for Rome
   17 I have therefore my boasting in Christ Jesus in things pertaining to God. 18 For I will not dare to speak of any things save those which Christ wrought through me, for the obedience of the Gentiles, by word and deed, 19 in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Holy Spirit. So that from Jerusalem and round about even to Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 20 Yes, making it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was already named, that I might not build upon another man's foundation. 21 But, as it is written: They shall see, to whom no tidings of him came, and they who have not heard shall understand.
   22 Therefore I was hindered these many times from coming to you. 23 But now, there is no need for me in these regions, and having these many years a longing to come to you, 24 I hope to see you during my journey, and to be helped on my way by you, if first I may enjoy your company for a while. 26 For it has been the good pleasure of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints that are at Jerusalem. 27 They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, they owe it to them also to minister to them in material things. 28 When therefore I have accomplished this, and have given to them this fruit, I will leave for Spain by way of Rome. 29 And I know that, when I come to you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ.
   30 Now I beseech 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, 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 in joy through the will of God, and together with you find rest. 33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.


15:5 The same mind- This doesn’t mean we are to be identical. Unity isn’t uniformity. We are each trying in our own way to have the same mind / attitude which Jesus had in His life. It’s this which creates unity between us; we are of the same mind in that we are all trying to be of His mind.

15:8 The death of Christ ended the Old Covenant, i.e. the Law of Moses, but confirmed the New Covenant, the essence of which was contained in the promises to Abraham which had been made before the Law of Moses was given.

15:20,21 When the Gospel goes into all the world, then shall the end come (Mt. 24:14). Our focus also, therefore, ought to be upon introducing Christ to unbelievers / the unchurched.

15:30 Prayer isn’t to be a formality; in a sense it’s a struggle with God. Jacob wrestled with God in prayer, and was an example to us (Hos. 12:2-4). If we believe in the power of prayer, and are humble enough to recognize our own weakness in prayer, we will often ask others to pray for us- just as Paul does here.