God Gives Us Unity
4 Everything written long ago was written to teach us so that we would have confidence through the endurance and encouragement which the Scriptures give us. 5 May God, who gives you this endurance and encouragement, allow you to live in harmony with each other by following the example of Christ Jesus. 6 Then, having the same goal, you will praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7 Therefore, accept each other in the same way that Christ accepted you. He did this to bring glory to God. 8 Let me explain. Christ became a servant for the Jewish people to reveal God’s truth. As a result, he fulfilled God’s promise to the ancestors of the Jewish people. 9 People who are not Jewish praise God for his mercy as well. This is what the Scriptures say,
“That is why I will give thanks to you among the nations
and I will sing praises to your name.”
10 And Scripture says again,
“You nations, be happy together with his people!”
11 And again,
“Praise the Lord, all you nations!
Praise him, all you people of the world!”
12 Again, Isaiah says,
“There will be a root from Jesse.
He will rise to rule the nations,
and he will give the nations hope.”
13 May God, the source of hope, fill you with joy and peace through your faith in him. Then you will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Paul’s Desire to Tell the Good News to the World
14 I’m convinced, brothers and sisters, that you, too, are filled with goodness. I’m also convinced that you have all the knowledge you need and that you are able to instruct each other. 15 However, I’ve written you a letter, parts of which are rather bold, as a reminder to you. I’m doing this because God gave me the gift 16 to be a servant of Christ Jesus to people who are not Jewish. I serve as a priest by spreading the Good News of God. I do this in order that I might bring the nations to God as an acceptable offering, made holy by the Holy Spirit. 17 So Christ Jesus gives me the right to brag about what I’m doing for God. 18 I’m bold enough to tell you only what Christ has done through me to bring people who are not Jewish to obedience. By what I have said and done, 19 by the power of miraculous and amazing signs, and by the power of God’s Spirit, I have finished spreading the Good News about Christ from Jerusalem to Illyricum.
20 My goal was to spread the Good News where the name of Christ was not known. I didn’t want to build on a foundation which others had laid. 21 As Scripture says,
“Those who were never told about him will see,
and those who never heard will understand.”
22 This is what has so often kept me from visiting you. 23 But now I have no new opportunities for work in this region. For many years I have wanted to visit you. 24 Now I am on my way to Spain, so I hope to see you when I come your way. After I have enjoyed your company for a while, I hope that you will support my trip to Spain.
25 Right now I’m going to Jerusalem to bring help to the Christians there. 26 Because the believers in Macedonia and Greece owe a debt to the Christians in Jerusalem, they have decided to take up a collection for the poor among the Christians in Jerusalem. 27 These Macedonians and Greeks have shared the spiritual wealth of the Christians in Jerusalem. So they are obligated to use their earthly wealth to help them.
28 When the collection is completed and I have officially turned the money over to the Christians in Jerusalem, I will visit you on my way to Spain. 29 I know that when I come to you I will bring the full blessing of Christ.
30 Brothers and sisters, I encourage you through our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love that the Spirit creates, to join me in my struggle. Pray to God for me 31 that I will be rescued from those people in Judea who refuse to believe. Pray that God’s people in Jerusalem will accept the help I bring. 32 Also pray that by the will of God I may come to you with joy and be refreshed when I am with you.
33 May the God of peace be with you all. Amen.