bible blog 2020


I am sure of you, brothers and sisters, that you are indeed full of goodness, complete in knowledge and able to keep one another up to the mark. But on some matters I’ve written to you very freely, as a reminder, out of the kindness given me by God.  This made me a minister of Jesus Messiah to the Gentiles, in the priestly service of God’s joyful news, so that the gift of the Gentiles to God as an offering might be favourably received, made holy by the Holy Spirit. Yes, in Messiah Jesus I have reason to boast of my work for God.  I don’t dare to mention anything other than what Messiah has done through me, bringing the Gentiles under God’s command, by word and work, by mighty signs and wonders, through the energy of God’s Spirit, so that all the way round from Jerusalem to Illyricum I’ve given full effect to the joyful news of Messiah.

I ‘ve made it my aim not to spread the joyful news where Messiah is already named, in case I build on someone else’s foundation, but as Scripture says, “Those who had never been told about him will see, and those who had not heard will understand.”  That’s why I’ve been so often been hindered from coming to you. But now, since there’s no work for me in these regions, and since I’ve longed for many years to come to you, I hope to see you mid- journey as I travel to Spain and to be helped on my way by you, once I’ve first had the pleasure of your company for a while.

Now, however, I’m off to Jerusalem, taking help for the holy ones. Macedonia and Achaia have been delighted to make an act of sharing with the destitute amongst the holy ones there. As I say, they were delighted to do it, and in truth they are in debt to them, for if the Gentiles have shared Jewish spiritual treasures, they ought in return to minister to them in material treasures. So when I’ve finished this by handing over to them, as a mark of sharing, this fruit of love, I’ll set off for Spain, by way of you.  I know that when I come to you, I’ll come in the full blessing of Messiah. I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Messiah and the love of the Spirit, to struggle with me in your prayers to God on my behalf; that I may be kept safe from the unbelievers in Judea and that my service to Jerusalem may be well-received by the holy ones; so that, God-willing, I may come to you in joy to share our mutual affection. May the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

I intend to finish my version of Romans here, as I judge chater 16 to belong to some other letter of Paul’s.

This personal information given here seems genuine, as it includes a typically immodest bit of Pauline self-congratulation about the scope and effectiveness of his mission to Gentiles. We can smile at his “I’m not really taking credit here, all credit to God for choosing me to do it!” but we should also wonder at the the great sweep of terrirory worked by him and the distances covered by him. It is an awe-inspiring effort of determination, understanding, spiritual sharing and phyisical endurance.

Here he notes his intention of going as far west as he can, to the province of Spania. But he will stop off in Rome, to meet the Messianic Asssembly/ Assemblies there.He excuses his tardiness in visiting to his view of his mission as exclusivly to places where the story of Jesus Messiah is unknown. He mentions his imminent visit to Jerusalem taking monetary aid for the destitute people there.His language here again emphasises his teaching about “koinonia”, shared life, in this case shared across hundreds of sea miles and ethnic barriers. he mentions this sharing as an example to his Roman audience.Another example of it is his writing to Rome to request their prayers for his journey to Jerusalem.

In all of this, he makes clear the affection he feels for assembly members everywhere and especially in Rome. The Greek word he uses for sharing mutual affection is primarily used for marital intercourse. He is not shy about love.





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