14 I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. 15 But on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 17 In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God. 18 For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, 19 by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ; 20 and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, 21 but as it is written, “Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.”Romans 15:14-21
As you read that section notice how Paul is speaking to these Roman Christians. He begins this section with praise. He has heard of their works and what God is doing among them. He isn’t skeptical but rather He points out that they are full of goodness, knowledge, and they have the ability to help eachother grow. They are practically famous for it. He told them in Romans 1:8 your faith is proclaimed in all the world. He is writing to them to remind them that they do know how to live for Christ and with one another. They have what they need to be healed and reconciled to one another. He acknowledges the grace of God in them. This ought to remind us to excel in giving God glory and being adept in our observations of people to point out the work of God we see in them.
He is saying this work of “bringing the Gentiles to faith” is why he labors so hard. His passion was to be on the frontier edge where the word was not yet preached. God had called him to the Gentiles like a priest to make them acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. He helps them to see the bigger picture by pointing out what had been written.
This is the reason why I have so often been hindered from coming to you. 23 But now, since I no longer have any room for work in these regions, and since I have longed for many years to come to you, 24 I hope to see you in passing as I go to Spain, and to be helped on my journey there by you, once I have enjoyed your company for a while. 25 At present, however, I am going to Jerusalem bringing aid to the saints. 26 For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints at Jerusalem. 27 For they were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material blessings. 28 When therefore I have completed this and have delivered to them what has been collected, I will leave for Spain by way of you. 29 I know that when I come to you I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ.Romans 15:22-29
Being out on the cutting edge of spreading the gospel is why Paul hadn’t made it to Roman to be with them and he gives them a ministry update. He expresses his desire to come and see them and how great that will be.
I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf, 31 that I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 32 so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. 33 May the God of peace be with you all. Amen.Romans 15:30-33
He asks for their prayers as he knows he can not do this without prayer covering. He uses a strong word “strive” here, in another version he says it this way, “be my allies in the fight. “ The word strive literally means to “agonize together.” This is the same word that was used when Jesus was in agony in the garden of Gethsemane. Remember Jesus saying to his disciples, “Are you sleeping? Wake up, pray with me!” This is a good reminder of how important it is to pray for our pastors who carry the authority in leadership of the church to reach the lost.
Paul is reminding them that he can not, and they can not, reach people with the gospel without prayer and the Holy Spirit’s power at work on their behalf.
Thanks for Listening,