The God of peace (Rom 15:33)

“The God of peace

Be with you all.

Amen.”

ὁ δὲ Θεὸς τῆς εἰρήνης μετὰ πάντων ὑμῶν· ἀμήν.

Paul finally said that the God of peace (ὁ δὲ Θεὸς τῆς εἰρήνης) should be with you all (μετὰ πάντων ὑμῶν).  Amen (ἀμήν).  Paul ended this prayer with a blessing.  He wanted the God of peace to be with all of them.  Was this a direct reference to God the Father or God the Son, Jesus Christ?  He also used the Jewish “Amen”, “so be it”, that was common in Hebrew prayers, like the psalms.  It looks like Paul has finished his letter to the Romans with this blessing prayer.  Do you pray to the God of peace?

I hope to see you soon (Rom 15:32)

“Thus,

By God’s will,

I may come to you

With joy

And be refreshed

In your company.”

ἵνα ἐν χαρᾷ ἐλθὼν πρὸς ὑμᾶς διὰ θελήματος Θεοῦ συναναπαύσωμαι ὑμῖν.

Paul said by God’s will (διὰ θελήματος Θεοῦ), that he may come to them with joy (ἵνα ἐν χαρᾷ ἐλθὼν πρὸς ὑμᾶς) and be refreshed in their company (συναναπαύσωμαι ὑμῖν).  Only the Pauline letters used this word συναναπαύσωμαι, that means to lie down to rest with, to be refreshed in spirit with, or along with.  Paul followed God’s will, whatever it was.  Thus, the famous saying, “God willing” has become popular.  If God wanted him to come to them, then he would.  He hoped that he would meet these Roman Christians with joy.  Hopefully, while he was with them, they both would be refreshed in the Holy Spirit.  They would enjoy each other’s company.  Paul’s trip to Rome would be delayed by several years due to the situation in Jerusalem that he ran into.  Have you ever had travel plans delayed?

Pray for Paul’s success (Rom 15:31)

“Pray that

I may be rescued

From the unbelievers

In Judea!

Pray that my ministry

To Jerusalem

May be acceptable

To the saints!”

ἵνα ῥυσθῶ ἀπὸ τῶν ἀπειθούντων ἐν τῇ Ἰουδαίᾳ καὶ ἡ διακονία μου ἡ εἰς Ἱερουσαλὴμ εὐπρόσδεκτος τοῖς ἁγίοις γένηται,

Paul asked this specific prayer that he may be rescued or delivered (ἵνα ῥυσθῶ) from the unbelievers (ἀπὸ τῶν ἀπειθούντων) in Judea (ἐν τῇ Ἰουδαίᾳ) and that his ministry (καὶ ἡ διακονία μου ἡ) to Jerusalem (εἰς Ἱερουσαλὴμ) may become acceptable (γένηται εὐπρόσδεκτος) to the saints (τοῖς ἁγίοις)!  Only the Pauline letters used this word εὐπρόσδεκτος, that means acceptable, well-received, welcomed, or pleasing.  Paul had a very precise request in this prayer.  He wanted to be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea.  Those were the Jewish people who were not persuaded to follow Jesus.  He also wanted his ministry to go well with the Jerusalem saints or his fellow Jewish Christians.  He basically wanted to be well received in Jerusalem.  Unfortunately, this prayer or request did not come true as indicated in Acts, chapters 21-23.  Did you ever realize that you were going to be in for a rough time?

Pray for me! (Rom 15:30)

“I appeal to you!

My brothers!

By our Lord Jesus Christ

And by the love

Of the Spirit,

To join me

In earnest prayer

To God

On my behalf.”

Παρακαλῶ δὲ ὑμᾶς, ἀδελφοί, διὰ τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ καὶ διὰ τῆς ἀγάπης τοῦ Πνεύματος συναγωνίσασθαί μοι ἐν ταῖς προσευχαῖς ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ πρὸς τὸν Θεόν,

Paul said that that he appealed to them (Παρακαλῶ δὲ ὑμᾶς) as brothers (ἀδελφοί) that by our Lord (διὰ τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν) Jesus Christ (Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ) and by the love of the Spirit (καὶ διὰ τῆς ἀγάπης τοῦ Πνεύματος), they might join him (συναγωνίσασθαί μοι) in earnest prayers (ἐν ταῖς προσευχαῖς) to God (πρὸς τὸν Θεόν) on his behalf (ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ).  Only the Pauline letters used this word συναγωνίσασθαί, that means to strive with, struggle in company with, or aid.  Paul then asked for their prayers as his brothers, joining in prayers for him.  Thus, our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of the Holy Spirit might guide him.  He now asked these Roman Christians that he was writing to pray for him.  Have you ever asked for prayers?

The blessing of Christ (Rom 15:29)

“I know that

When I come to you,

I shall come

In the fulness

Of the blessing

Of Christ.

οἶδα δὲ ὅτι ἐρχόμενος πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐν πληρώματι εὐλογίας Χριστοῦ ἐλεύσομαι. 

Paul said that I know (οἶδα) that when I come to you (πρὸς ὑμᾶς), I shall come (ἐλεύσομαι) in the fulness (ἐν πληρώματι) of the blessing of Christ (εὐλογίας Χριστοῦ).  Paul indicated that he knew that when he would come to the Roman Christian community, he would come with the full blessings of Christ.  Paul recognized that if he got to Rome, Christ’s love and care for him would be with him.  He had no doubt that it was going to happen.  However, he had no idea how it would work out.  Do you put your life in God’s hands?

When I finish this, I am going to Spain (Rom 15:28)

“When I have completed this,

And have delivered

These fruitful resources,

I will set out by way of you

To Spain.”

τοῦτο οὖν ἐπιτελέσας, καὶ σφραγισάμενος αὐτοῖς τὸν καρπὸν τοῦτον, ἀπελεύσομαι δι’ ὑμῶν εἰς Σπανίαν·

Paul said that when he had completed this task (τοῦτο οὖν ἐπιτελέσας), and had delivered these resources or fruits (καὶ σφραγισάμενος αὐτοῖς τὸν καρπὸν τοῦτον) to the saints in Jerusalem, then he would set out (ἀπελεύσομαι) by way of them (δι’ ὑμῶν) in Rome to Spain (εἰς Σπανίαν).  Paul said that once he had completed this task of bringing the resources collected for the Jerusalem Jews, he would start his travel to Spain via Rome.  This was a great plan, but the activities in Jerusalem meant that he would be arrested and almost killed in Jerusalem, according to Acts, chapters 21-23.  Eventually, Paul ended up in Rome as an arrested Roman citizen appealing his case to the Roman Emperor, as at the end of Acts, chapter 28.  Thus, the best laid plans of mice and men rarely come out the way that they are planned.  Have you had travel plans that never came to fruition?

The gentile Christians were returning the favor (Rom 15:27)

“They were pleased

To do this.

Indeed

They owe it to them.

If the gentiles

Have come to share

In their spiritual blessings,

They ought also

To be of service to them

In material things.”

ὐδόκησαν γάρ, καὶ ὀφειλέται εἰσὶν αὐτῶν· εἰ γὰρ τοῖς πνευματικοῖς αὐτῶν ἐκοινώνησαν τὰ ἔθνη, ὀφείλουσιν καὶ ἐν τοῖς σαρκικοῖς λειτουργῆσαι αὐτοῖς.

Paul said that these Macedonians and Achaia people were pleased (ὐδόκησαν γάρ) to do this.  Indeed, Paul said that they owed it to them (καὶ ὀφειλέται εἰσὶν αὐτῶν).  If the gentiles (τὰ ἔθνη) have come to share (ἐκοινώνησαν) in their spiritual blessings (εἰ γὰρ τοῖς πνευματικοῖς αὐτῶν), they ought (ὀφείλουσιν) also to be of service (λειτουργῆσαι αὐτοῖς) to them in material things (καὶ ἐν τοῖς σαρκικοῖς).  Paul then explained that these Christian Macedonians and people from Achaia were happy to contribute to the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem.  Paul even implied that they owed it to them as debtors.  They had come to share in the spiritual blessings from these Jewish Christians.  Now they would provide some material or fleshy materials as a service to these poor Jewish Christians in Jerusalem.  They were only repaying a spiritual favor with a material reward.  Do you contribute to the well-being of other Christians?

Macedonia and Achaia are providing resources (Rom 15:26)

“Macedonia

And Achaia

Have been pleased

To share their resources

By making a contribution

To the poor

Among the saints

At Jerusalem.”

ηὐδόκησαν γὰρ Μακεδονία καὶ Ἀχαΐα κοινωνίαν τινὰ ποιήσασθαι εἰς τοὺς πτωχοὺς τῶν ἁγίων τῶν ἐν Ἱερουσαλήμ.

Paul said that Macedonia (γὰρ Μακεδονία) and Achaia (καὶ Ἀχαΐα) had been pleased (ηὐδόκησαν) to share their resources or make a certain contribution (κοινωνίαν τινὰ ποιήσασθαι) to the poor (εἰς τοὺς πτωχοὺς) among the saints (τῶν ἁγίων) at Jerusalem (τῶν ἐν Ἱερουσαλήμ).  Macedonia was the area north of Greece, now called Northern Macedonia.  Achaia was in the northwestern area of Greece also.  Both these Greek areas, mentioned in Acts, chapters 16-20, were willing to contribute to the poor Christian Jews in Jerusalem, after Paul had Christianized some of the people there.  Thus, Paul was going back to Jerusalem with this gift from these new Christian Greeks.  Have you ever contributed to another Christian church?

I am going to Jerusalem (Rom 15:25)

“At present,

However,

I am going to Jerusalem

In a ministry

To the saints.”

νυνὶ δὲ πορεύομαι εἰς Ἱερουσαλὴμ διακονῶν τοῖς ἁγίοις.

However, at present (νυνὶ), he was going to travel (δὲ πορεύομαι) to Jerusalem (εἰς Ἱερουσαλὴμ) in a ministry (διακονῶν) to the saints there (τοῖς ἁγίοις).  Paul was clear that his current obligation was to go to Jerusalem to minister to the Christian saints there.  At Jerusalem, according to Acts, chapters 21-23, Paul did not receive a good reception.  In fact, he was arrested and almost killed.  Have you ever been to Jerusalem?

I will stop on my way to Spain (Rom 15:24)

“When I go to Spain,

I hope to see you

On my journey.

I hope to be sent on

By you,

Once I have enjoyed

Your company

For a little while.”

ὡς ἂν πορεύωμαι εἰς τὴν Σπανίαν· ἐλπίζω γὰρ διαπορευόμενος θεάσασθαι ὑμᾶς καὶ ὑφ’ ὑμῶν προπεμφθῆναι ἐκεῖ, ἐὰν ὑμῶν πρῶτον ἀπὸ μέρους ἐμπλησθῶ.

Paul said when he was going to travel (ὡς ἂν πορεύωμαι) to Spain (εἰς τὴν Σπανίαν), he hoped (ἐλπίζω) to see them (θεάσασθαι ὑμᾶς) in Rome on his journey (διαπορευόμενος).  He wanted to be sent on by them equipped (καὶ ὑφ’ ὑμῶν προπεμφθῆναι ἐκεῖ), once he had enjoyed their company (ἐὰν ὑμῶν πρῶτον) for a little while (ἀπὸ μέρους ἐμπλησθῶ).  Paul wanted to go to Spain because he considered it the end of the earth as the Atlantic Ocean was west of Spain.  He planned to stay some time in Rome on his way to Spain.  He expected to be further equipped for his journey to Spain from Rome.  Paul never got to Spain as he was brought as a prisoner to Rome and died there.  Have you ever been to Spain?