Lesson 15 w/AnswersRomans Chapter 15
In the concluding chapters of Romans (Chapters 15 & 16), Paul completes his discussion regarding Christian conduct. He begins to close out his letter to the church in Rome with his plans and his thanks for all who have supported, and continue to support, his ministry. In this lesson, we will be examining Chapter 15, which includes his concluding remarks about our conduct and the Gospel, his work as a missionary, and his plans to visit Rome.
Read Romans Chapter 15 from the Contemporary English Version (CEV) below, or from your favorite version.
Please Others and Not Yourself
1If our faith is strong, we should be patient with the Lord’s followers whose faith is weak. We should try to please them instead of ourselves. 2We should think of their good and try to help them by doing what pleases them. 3Even Christ did not try to please himself. But as the Scriptures say, "The people who insulted you also insulted me." 4And the Scriptures were written to teach and encourage us by giving us hope. 5God is the one who makes us patient and cheerful. I pray that he will help you live at peace with each other, as you follow Christ. 6Then all of you together will praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Good News Is for Jews and Gentiles
7Honor God by accepting each other, as Christ has accepted you. 8I tell you that Christ came as a servant of the Jews to show that God has kept the promises he made to their famous ancestors. Christ also came, 9so that the Gentiles would praise God for being kind to them. It is just as the Scriptures say,
"I will tell the nations about you, and I will sing praises to your name."
10The Scriptures also say to the Gentiles, "Come and celebrate with God’s people."
11Again the Scriptures say,
"Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles. All you nations, come and worship him."
"Someone from David’s family will come to power. He will rule the nations, and they will put their hope in him."
13I pray that God, who gives hope, will bless you with complete happiness and peace because of your faith. And may the power of the Holy Spirit fill you with hope.
Paul’s Work as a Missionary
14My friends, I am sure that you are very good and that you have all the knowledge you need to teach each other. 15But I have spoken to you plainly and have tried to remind you of some things. God was so kind to me! 16He chose me to be a servant of Christ Jesus for the Gentiles and to do the work of a priest in the service of his good news. God did this so that the Holy Spirit could make the Gentiles into a holy offering, pleasing to him.
17Because of Christ Jesus, I can take pride in my service for God. 18 In fact, all I will talk about is how Christ let me speak and work, so that the Gentiles would obey him. 19Indeed, I will tell how Christ worked miracles and wonders by the power of the Holy Spirit. I have preached the good news about him all the way from Jerusalem to Illyricum. 20But I have always tried to preach where people have never heard about Christ. I am like a builder who doesn’t build on anyone else’s foundation. 21It is just as the Scriptures say,
"All who haven’t been told about him will see him, and those who haven’t heard about him will understand."
Paul’s Plan To Visit Rome
22My work has always kept me from coming to see you. 23Now there is nothing left for me to do in this part of the world, and for years I have wanted to visit you. 24So I plan to stop off on my way to Spain. Then after a short, but refreshing, visit with you, I hope you will quickly send me on.
25-26I am now on my way to Jerusalem to deliver the money that the Lord’s followers in Macedonia and Achaia collected for God’s needy people. 27This is something they really wanted to do. But sharing their money with the Jews was also like paying back a debt, because the Jews had already shared their spiritual blessings with the Gentiles. 28After I have safely delivered this money, I will visit you and then go on to Spain. 29And when I do arrive in Rome, I know it will be with the full blessings of Christ.
30My friends, by the power of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the love that comes from the Holy Spirit, I beg you to pray sincerely with me and for me. 31Pray that God will protect me from the unbelievers in Judea, and that his people in Jerusalem will be pleased with what I am doing. 32Ask God to let me come to you and have a pleasant and refreshing visit. 33I pray that God, who gives peace, will be with all of you. Amen.
© Copyright 1995 by American Bible Society
Consider Paul’s concluding remarks about Christians, their behavior toward one another, and spreading the "Good News," i.e., the Gospel of Christ. Then answer the following:
- In Romans 15:1, what is the overriding trait that a follower of Christ is to have with fellow believers?
- ANSWER: Patience. Just as God is patient with us in spite of our weaknesses, we are to be patient with one another.
- In Romans 15:2-3, how are we to think towards other believers?
- ANSWER: "We should think of their good." We are to put them first, and not ourselves—just as Christ did not seek to please himself. If we are truly servants of God, we are to have that view and place the needs of others ahead of our own, trying as best we can to consider their good, and not ours.
- Read Romans 15:4-6 and list all of the things that Paul is pointing out to us.
- ANSWER 1: We are to be encouraged through the scriptures, and we are to encourage others.
- ANSWER 2: We are to be patient and cheerful.
- ANSWER 3: We are to live at peace with each other.
- ANSWER 4: We are to praise God for giving us Jesus and his great sacrifice for us.
- Paul now gives us instructions about the Good News. How does he say we can honor God in Romans 15:7? See also Romans 3:22-24.
- ANSWER: We can honor God by accepting each believer with no regard for their previous behavior, culture, or ethnicity—whether Jew or Gentile. We are all equal in God’s eyes, and if we want to honor Him, we will accept all of His followers just as God does.
- Paul then goes on in verses Romans 15:8-9 to tell us two reasons why Jesus came. What are they? See also Luke 24:44.
- ANSWER 1: First, Jesus came "as a servant of the Jews," showing that God had kept all of the promises that He had made to their ancestors.
- ANSWER 2: Second, he also came so that the Gentiles "would praise God for being kind to them."
- In Romans 15:9-13, Paul cites several pieces of scripture from the Old Testament, the Hebrew Bible. These references include 2 Samuel 22:50, Psalms 18:49, Deuteronomy 32:43, Psalm 117:1, and Isaiah 11:10. In doing so, he chose scripture from the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms—just as Jesus proclaimed in Luke 24:44. What is the central message that Paul wants us to understand from all of these references?
- ANSWER 1: He wants us to see that from the beginning, God had a plan for getting the Good News to the Gentiles in addition to the Jews. God has always wanted both groups to share in His great grace and the gift of salvation through Jesus His only son—the promised Messiah, the Anointed One.
- ANSWER 2: He also writes this is to be a source of great hope to all who hear the Gospel. He knows that this good news will bring all of us—Jew and Gentile—peace, happiness, and hope. Knowing this, we should strive even more to share the good news so that others may share in this blessed hope.
- What was Paul’s message to the Gentiles in Ephesus on this same subject? See Ephesians 3:6.
- ANSWER: Clearly, Paul saw that God’s plan was for a united body of believers, both Jew and Gentile; and he calls this a "mystery," which is something previously not known but now being revealed. Paul saw that God wanted all to hear and be saved, and that from the beginning this was God’s plan.
- In Romans 15:14-21 Paul begins to conclude his letter to the Christians in Rome. Never having been to Rome, he wants them to understand his approach, the perspective that he is coming from, and what his plans are as he earnestly looks forward to visiting the church there. What does Paul tell them about his approach to his ministry and his approach to reaching the people of Rome? List the specifics that Paul tells them regarding himself, his message, and his approach. Read also the second half of the verse Isaiah 52:15.
- ANSWER 1: He was chosen by God to reach the Gentiles, and he is to do the work of a priest.
- ANSWER 2: God is behind everything that Paul does. God’s plan is to make the Gentiles into a holy offering, Paul, as priest, will offer them to God as a wholly acceptable living sacrifice, just as he commanded us to do in Romans 12:1.
- ANSWER 3: He lays out his approach to his testimony, and what his witness will be as he speaks to the Gentiles in Rome.
- ANSWER 4: He intentionally tries to go where no one has heard the Gospel, because he wants to be the first to tell them the Good News!
- ANSWER 5: He identifies himself as a builder who "doesn’t build on anyone else’s foundation." He then quotes the second half of Isaiah 52:15 as an articulation of his approach.
- Paul then lays out his plans for a missionary trip in Romans 15:22-29. Why does he say that he is now ready to travel to Rome, and where does Paul say that he is going before he gets to Rome? Where is he headed after Rome?
- ANSWER 1: Paul is ready to travel to Rome because in the part of the world he has been working, there is no new territory for him; others are now carrying on the work that he started.
- ANSWER 2: Before going to Rome, he will first travel to Jerusalem to deliver an offering from the Gentiles. After his visit in Rome, he will travel to Spain.
- How did Paul’s plans turn out? See Acts Chapters 27 and 28.
- ANSWER: Paul eventually got to Rome, some three years or so later, but not as he had planned. He came to Rome as a prisoner of Rome. No one knows if Paul ever visited Spain; it is likely that he did not, so Rome would have been his last missionary endeavor.
- How does Paul conclude this portion of his letter? See Romans 15:30-33.
- ANSWER: He concludes this portion of his letter by asking for everyone to pray for him. Specifically, he asks them to pray for his safe travel, that God will protect him from the unbelievers in Judea. He also asked them to pray that the believers in Jerusalem would be pleased with his work. All of these prayers were answered.
After concluding his instructions to us about how believers are to act towards one another, Paul summarized his approach to his evangelical ministry and asked the people of Rome to pray for him, his work and his safe travel to Rome. While Paul did not arrive in Rome when he had planned, nor by the manner in which he chose, Paul never allowed his circumstances to hinder him from sharing the Gospel. What an example he set for all of us—always strong in faith and always excited about sharing the Good News of Jesus. I pray that Paul will serve as our role model, so that God’s Kingdom grows and His name is glorified.
May God bless you as you continue to study His Holy Word with us.