Romans 15:27-33 Commentary

To go directly to that verse

Click chart to enlarge
Chart from recommended resource Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission
Romans Overview Chart - Charles Swindoll

Source: Dr David Cooper
Click to Enlarge

R      Ruin  (Romans 1:17 – 3:20) – The utter sinfulness of humanity
O      Offer  (Romans 3:21-31) – God’s offer of justification by grace
M      Model  (Romans 4:1-25) – Abraham as a model for saving faith
A      Access  (Romans 5:1-11) – The benefits of justification
N      New Adam (Romans 5:12-21) – We are children of two “Adams”
S      Struggle w/ Sin  (Romans 6-8) Struggle, sanctification, and victory


Romans 1:18-3:20 Romans 3:21-5:21 Romans 6:1-8:39 Romans 9:1-11:36 Romans 12:1-16:27
God's Holiness
God's Grace
God's Power
God's Sovereignty
Jew and Gentile
Gods Glory
Object of
of Sin
of Grace
Demonstration of Salvation
Power Given Promises Fulfilled Paths Pursued
Restored to Israel
God's Righteousness
God's Righteousness
God's Righteousness
God's Righteousness
God's Righteousness
Slaves to Sin Slaves to God Slaves Serving God
Doctrine Duty
Life by Faith Service by Faith

Modified from Irving L. Jensen's chart above

Romans 15:27 Yes, they were pleased to do so, and they are indebted to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are indebted to minister to them also in material things (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: eudokesan (3PAAI) gar kai opheiletai eisin (3PPAI) auton: ei gar tois pneumatikois auton ekoinonesan (3PAAI) ta ethne, opheilousin (3PPAI) kai en tois sarkikois leitourgesai (AAN) autois

Amplified: They were pleased to do it; and surely they are in debt to them, for if these Gentiles have come to share in their [the Jerusalem Jews’] spiritual blessings, then they ought also to be of service to them in material blessings. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

NLT: They were very glad to do this because they feel they owe a real debt to them. Since the Gentiles received the wonderful spiritual blessings of the Good News from the Jewish Christians, they feel the least they can do in return is help them financially. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Wuest: They were pleased to do it; and surely they are in debt to them, for if these Gentiles have come to share in their [the Jerusalem Jews’] spiritual blessings, then they ought also to be of service to them in material blessings. 

Young's Literal: for it pleased well, and their debtors they are, for if in their spiritual things the nations did participate, they ought also, in the fleshly things, to minister to them.

YES, THEY WERE PLEASED TO DO SO AND THEY ARE INDEBTED TO THEM: eudokesan (3PAAI) gar kai opheiletai eisin (3PPAI) auton:

They refers to the saints at Macedonia and Achaia (Ro 15:26-see notes)

Pleased (2106) (eudokeo from = well, good + dokéo = think. See word study on related word eudokía) means literally to think well of and thus to approve of or take pleasure in. From its usual sense “to take pleasure or delight in,” a further sense evolved meaning “to decide for,” “to select,” “to prefer,” and from this evolved the sense “to want,” “to will,” “to be willing or ready.” This latter meaning is the emphasis in this passage. In reference to the charitable giving, Paul makes it clear that the Gentile's gift was a freewill offering.

The Gentile believers were pleased to give such a gift to the suffering Jewish believers in Judea. They did it voluntarily. They did it willingly, not out of compulsion. They gave according to the spirit with which Paul encouraged the Corinthians to give…

Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver. (2Cor 9:7) (Comment: In fact the charitable giving which Paul is describing here in Romans 15 is the collection that we read about in 1Corinthians 16:1 and 2Corinthians 8 and 9)

Indebted (3781) (opheiletes from opheilo = owe) ("our debtors" - Mt 6:12-note) describing one who owes anything to another person, especially money but also used metaphorically as here of those bound by some obligation or duty. The idea is to consider something as good and therefore worthy of choice.

Opheiletes - 7x in 7v in the NAS - Mt. 6:12; 18:24; Lk. 13:4; Ro 1:14; 8:12; 15:27; Gal. 5:3 and is rendered in the NAS as culprits(1), debtors(1), indebted(1), owed(1), under obligation(3).

Paul makes it clear that the Gentiles had a moral obligation and debt to pay for they had received the gospel from Jewish believers.

J Vernon McGee puts it this way…

Macedonia and Achaia were obligated to Jerusalem. Now some of the saints in Jerusalem were having financial difficulties, evidently because of persecution. Macedonia and Achaia could now pay a spiritual debt in the coin of the realm. This is foreign missions in reverse! It is the missionary church helping the home church. This very thing may take place in our nation, by the way, in the not too far distant future! (McGee, J V: Thru the Bible Commentary: Nashville: Thomas Nelson)

In a similar way, Paul felt a moral obligation or debt to preach the gospel writing

I am under obligation (opheiletes) both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. (Ro 1:14-note)

Likewise believers are under a moral obligation to mortify or put to death the deeds of the flesh (kill them or they will kill you) by the Spirit as Paul says in chapter 8 of Romans writing:

So then, brethren, we are under obligation (opheiletes), not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh -- for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. (Ro 8:12, 13-notes)

FOR IF THE GENTILES HAVE SHARED IN THEIR SPIRITUAL THINGS THEY ARE INDEBTED TO MINISTER TO THEM ALSO IN MATERIAL THINGS: ei gar tois pneumatikois auton ekoinonesan (3PAAI) ta ethne, opheilousin (3PPAI) kai en tois sarkikois leitourgesai (AAN) autois:

  • Ro 11:17; 1Corinthians 9:11; Galatians 6:6; Philemon 1:19
  • Romans 15 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

If (1487) (ei) introduces a first class conditional statement which implies that the condition had been fulfilled. Thus one could render it "Since the Gentiles have shared".

Gentiles (1484) (ethnos) is used principally for peoples not Jewish and thus depending on the context can describe Gentile, heathen, nation, people. From a Jewish perspective the phrase the nations (tá éthne), indicates Gentile nations or the Gentiles in general.

Shared (2841) (koinoneo [word study] from koinos = that which is in common, belonging to several or of which several are partakers - the verb koinoneo is related to the noun koinonia [word study] translated "contribution" in Ro 15:26 - note) means to to share one's possessions, with the implication of some kind of joint participation and mutual interest. This Greek word is used in a marriage contract where the husband and wife agree to a joint-participation in the necessaries of life. The key idea in the word is that of a partnership, a possessing things in common, a belonging in common to.

Spiritual (4152) (pneumatikos from pneuma = spirit) relates to the human spirit, as the part of man which is akin to God and serves as his instrument or organ. It refers to the nonmaterial rather than the material part of man. It is used predominately of what belongs to the supernatural world as compared to that which belongs to the natural world. Note that the suffix "-ikos" on the end of an adjective means signifies “-like”. Thus pneumatikos means “belonging to the spirit" or "of the nature of the spirit" and so "pertaining to that which is spiritual".

Pneumatikos - 26x in 21v in the NAS - Rom. 1:11; 7:14; 15:27; 1 Co. 2:13, 15; 3:1; 9:11; 10:3f; 12:1; 14:1, 37; 15:44, 46; Gal. 6:1; Eph. 1:3; 5:19; 6:12; Col. 1:9; 3:16; 1 Pet. 2:5

The spiritual things of which the Gentiles partake are the spiritual blessings of salvation, specifically the gospel truths first preached to the Gentile believers by the Jewish apostles, prophets, teachers, and evangelists. Thus the Gentiles are debtors to the Jews for as our Lord taught “Salvation is of the Jews” (Jn 4:22).

Indebted (3784) (opheilo) means to be indebted to someone in a financial sense and thus to owe something to someone. Figuratively as used in this verse it means to be under a moral obligation to meet certain expectations. It can also mean to be to be constrained by circumstance. Gentiles are debtors to the Jews.

Opheilo - 35x in 34v in the NT - Matt. 18:28, 30, 34; 23:16, 18; Lk. 7:41; 11:4; 16:5, 7; 17:10; Jn. 13:14; 19:7; Acts 17:29; Rom. 13:8; 15:1, 27; 1 Co. 5:10; 7:36; 9:10; 11:7, 10; 2 Co. 12:11, 14; Eph. 5:28; 2 Thess. 1:3; 2:13; Philemon 1:18; Heb. 2:17; 5:3, 12; 1 Jn. 2:6; 3:16; 4:11; 3 Jn. 1:8 and is rendered in the NAS as had(1), have(1), indebted(2), must(1), obligated(3), ought(15), owe(4), owed(4),owes(1), responsible(1), should(2).

Middletown Bible Church writes that "Gentiles are debtors to Jews. We owe them so much because "salvation is of the Jews" (John 4:22). We owe them so much because the Bible is from the Jews. Indeed, even the authors of the New Testament were Jewish, with the only exception being Luke. We are debtors to the Jews because their God has become our God. Their Messiah has become our Saviour! Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things! It is only fitting that Gentiles should minister to them in carnal (material) things. Great spiritual blessings have come from them to us. It is appropriate then that great carnal or material blessings should come to them from us. We should help our Jewish brethren in every way we can. In a way we are also debtors to unbelieving Jews because of their godly heritage, even though they are not presently representing that heritage. The believer in Christ should be the best friend the Jew has in this world! (Romans 15)

Minister (3008) (leitourgeo from leitourgos [word study] = public servant from léïtos = of the people [NIDNTT says it from "laos" = people] + érgon = work) means to be a worker of the people or a public servant. In classical Greek the root word leitourgos referred especially to persons performing public duties, or works of public use and so to perform religious or charitable functions (worship, obey, relieve). It meant to render special formal service, and thus leitourgeo can literally describe a priest who officiates or ministers.

As used in this verse leitourgeo describes the performance of religious duties in the sense of a Christian performing services to God through such activities as prayer, teaching, etc.

Leitourgeo is used 2 other times in the NT (Acts 13:2 = "And while they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." and Heb 10:11 = "And every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins") and 86 times in the Septuagint (LXX)

Ex 28:35, 43; 29:30; 30:20; 35:19; 39:1, 26, 32; 40:30; Num 1:50; 3:6, 31; 4:3, 9, 12, 14, 23f, 26, 30, 35, 37, 39, 41, 43; 8:22, 26; 16:9; 18:2, 6f, 21, 23; Deut 10:8; 17:12; 18:5, 7; 1 Sam 2:11, 18; 3:1; 2 Sam 19:18; 1 Ki 1:4, 15; 8:11; 19:21; 2 Ki 25:14; 1 Chr 6:32; 15:2; 16:4, 37; 23:13, 28, 32; 26:12; 27:1; 2 Chr 5:14; 8:14; 11:14; 13:10; 15:16; 17:19; 22:8; 23:6; 29:11; 31:2; 35:3; Neh 10:36; Ps 101:6; Jer 52:18; Ezek 40:46; 42:14; 43:19; 44:11f, 15ff, 19, 27; 45:4f; 46:24; Dan 7:10; Joel 1:9, 13; 2:17)

Thayer writes that leitourgeo means "in Attic, especially the orators, "to serve the state at one's own cost; to assume an office which must be administered at one's own expense; to discharge a public office at one's own cost; to render public service to the state… universally, to do service, to perform a work; Vulgate ministro (A. V. to minister); of the priests and Levites who were busied with the sacred rites in the tabernacle or the temple (as in the Septuagint)

Paul's use of this specific word (leitourgeo) helps understand the thought he is conveying here (e.g., this word gives us our English word "liturgy"), that is, that the Gentiles are performing a "priestly service" Thus Paul elevates the ministry of almsgiving on the footing of a sacrificial service, in every sense an act of worship to God. In sum service to God's people is service to God. Let us all keep alert to the opportunities we have to minister in this way and do so with hilarity.

As an aside, it is notable that his was not the first time a collection was taken to the church in Jerusalem. About ten years earlier, Paul and Barnabas brought a collection from the church in Antioch of Syria to help the Jerusalem church during a time of famine (Acts 11:30; 12:25).

If somebody blesses you spiritually, and the only way you can thank him is with material things, then do it, That is God's program, to give back in material things for the spiritual blessings you have received. Jesus declared that

"It is more blessed to give than to receive." ( Acts 20:35)

John MacArthur notes that "It was not that the Gentiles’ being spiritually and materially indebted to the Jews made their generosity any less meaningful or loving. Duty does not exclude willing and joyful compliance. Even the most demanding duty or indebtedness can be fulfilled out of love." (MacArthur, J: Romans 9-16. Chicago: Moody Press)

Material things - literally fleshly things which is an interesting thought to ponder!

Material (4559) (sarkikos from sarx = flesh + ikos = as noted above this suffix means "-like" = “belonging to the sarx" or "of the nature of the sarx") means that which belongs to the nature of the flesh and so that which is from the earthly sphere of existence and which is thus material or physical, the meaning intended in this passage. In other contexts sarkikos, of the nature of the flesh, conveys an entirely different meaning, referring to the behavior which is characteristic of the fallen flesh (sarx - specifically the evil disposition), but that is clearly not the meaning in this verse.

Sarkikos - 7x in 6v in the NAS - Rom. 15:27; 1 Co. 3:3; 9:11; 2 Co. 1:12; 10:4; 1 Pet. 2:11

In a similar manner Paul writes to the saints in Galatia exhorting them to…

let the one who is taught the word share all good things with him who teaches. (Gal 6:6)

Comment: "share" commonly refers to sharing of material goods. Paul is saying that the responsibility of Christians to provide financial support for those who devote full time to preaching and teaching the Word of God.

William Newell writes that in this verse "is announced also the principle which Paul states concerning himself to the Corinthians: "If we sowed unto you spiritual things, is it a great matter if we shall reap your carnal things?" … And although he "did not use this right, " he declares that "the Lord ordained, that they that proclaim the gospel should live of the gospel" (1Cor 9:11,12 = "If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we should reap material things from you? If others share the right over you, do we not more? Nevertheless, we did not use this right, but we endure all things, that we may cause no hindrance to the gospel of Christ."). To the Levites only, among the tribes, was given no inheritance, Jehovah saying, "I am their inheritance." But others were to minister unto them of their substance, so that, when the Israelites were faithful, the Levites had plenty; and when Israel forgot Jehovah, they forgot the Levites. (Romans 15)

Romans 15:28 Therefore, when I have finished this, and have put my seal on this fruit of theirs, I will go on by way of you to Spain. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: touto oun epitelesas (AAPMSN) kai sphragisamenos (AMPMSN) autois ton karpon touton, apeleusomai (1SFMI) di humon eis Spanian:

Amplified: When therefore I have completed this mission and have delivered to them [at Jerusalem] what has been raised, I shall go on by way of you to Spain. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

NLT: As soon as I have delivered this money and completed this good deed of theirs, I will come to see you on my way to Spain. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Wuest: When therefore I have completed this mission and have delivered to them [at Jerusalem] what has been raised, I shall go on by way of you to Spain 

Young's Literal: This, then, having finished, and having sealed to them this fruit, I will return through you, to Spain;

THEREFORE, WHEN I HAVE FINISHED THIS, AND HAVE PUT MY SEAL ON THIS FRUIT OF THEIRS: touto oun epitelesas (AAPMSN) kai sphragisamenos (AMPMSN) autois ton karpon touton:

Spurgeon - He was sure of that, but he did not know how he would go in other respects. He did not know that he would go to Rome as a prisoner; he could not foresee that he would be sent there as an ambassador in bonds; and little, I wean, did he care in what manner he would go, so long as he bad the absolute certainty that he should go “in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.”

Paul's desire was to take the love gift to the needy saints in Jerusalem.

Finished (2005) (epiteleo [word study] from epí = intensive, in the sense of meaning "fully" + teleo = to complete, bring not just to the end but to the destined goal from teleo in turn from télos = end, goal. Note: télos originally meant the turning point, hinge, the culminating point at which one stage ends and another begins; later the goal, the end. Marriage and death are is in this sense both a telos) conveys the intensified meaning to "fully complete" or to fully reach the intended goal, to accomplish fully or to make perfect. The historian Herodotus writes that epiteleo was used of performing of religious services and refers to the act of completing something. Epiteleo was the normal Greek word for fully completing the ritual of any sacrifice.

Epiteleo - 10x in 9v in the NAS - Ro 15:28; 2 Co. 7:1; 8:6, 11; Gal. 3:3; Phil. 1:6; Heb. 8:5; 9:6; 1 Pet. 5:9 and is rendered in the NAS as accomplished(1), complete(1), completion(1), erect(1), finish(1), finished(1),perfect(1), perfected(1), perfecting(1), performing(1).

Epiteleo is the same verb Paul choose to describe God's work in believers in Philippi writing that he was confident…

"that He who began a good work (may refer to their salvation or their active financial participation in the furtherance of the gospel) in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus (not the Day of the Lord but the day that looks to the final salvation, reward, and glorification of believers - see summary discussion of The Three Divine Days)." (Php 1:6-note)

Paul was anxious to complete this project of the collection of money for the Jerusalem poor. But in this verse Paul gives us all a good practical principle for life: He is not going to quit until he is through. He will wrap it up well and do it right. Do you finish what you begin in the realm of spiritual matters? What about when you tell someone you will pray for them… do you "finish" that good work?

Seal (4972) (sphragizo [word study] from sphragis = seal) a seal signifying ownership & guarantee of the correctness of contents. To set to, is to affix. To set to a seal is therefore to attest a document. Paul secured to the Macedonian and Achaian saints the product of the contribution. In other words Paul’s mission to Jerusalem would not be finished (epiteleo) until he had successfully and safely delivered the contribution. The "fruit" (charitable gift) was sealed to them when it was safely delivered and securely in their possession. The gift had already been gathered but it had not yet been delivered.

Sphragizo - 15x in 14v in the NAS - Mt 27:66; Jn. 3:33; 6:27; Ro 15:28; 2Co 1:22; Ep 1:13; 4:30; Re 7:3, 4, 5, 8; 10:4; 20:3; 22:10 and is rendered in the NAS as put a seal(1), seal up(2), sealed(9), set a seal(3).

Leon Morris has an interesting discussion of the meaning of "seal" in this verse noting that when Paul speaks of “having sealed to them this fruit”, the NIV understands it in the sense made sure that they have received it. This may be the way to take it, but the meaning of “sealing” in this context remains doubtful. It is known that produce such as wheat and barley was put in sacks and sealed; this was the last thing done and indicated that everything was in order. It may be that that is the way we should understand it: Paul’s seal meant that the money was there in full amount. A somewhat similar view is that which starts from the seal as a mark of personal authentication; Paul’s seal was his guarantee that all had been done well. It has been held that Paul’s very presence certified the gift and set the seal on his apostleship. Knox holds that when the money has been given and received in the right spirit “Paul will have ended his divinely appointed work in Asia Minor and Greece; the ‘fruit’ of his mission will have been ‘sealed.’ ” There are other views, and at this distance in time we cannot be sure of the precise significance of the sealing. But it is clear that in some way it pointed to official assurance that all was well. (Morris, L. The Epistle to the Romans. W. B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press)

Fruit (2590) (karpos [word study]) refers to literal fruit but metaphorically (as in this context) refers to deeds, works or conduct. Scripture catalogs three kinds of spiritual fruit: (1) spiritual attitudes that characterize a Spirit-led believer (Gal 5:22, 23); (2) righteous actions (Ro 6:22, Hebrews 13:15); and (3) new converts (Romans 16:5)

Karpos - 67x in 57v in the NAS - and is rendered in the NAS as benefit(2), crop(5), crops(2), descendants*(1), fruit(43), fruitful(1),fruits(4), grain(1), harvest(1), proceeds(1), produce(4), profit(1).

Matt. 3:8, 10; 7:16ff; 12:33; 13:8, 26; 21:19, 34, 41, 43; Mk. 4:7f, 29; 11:14; 12:2; Lk. 1:42; 3:8f; 6:43f; 8:8; 12:17; 13:6f, 9; 20:10; Jn. 4:36; 12:24; 15:2, 4f, 8, 16; Acts 2:30; Rom. 1:13; 6:21f; 15:28; 1 Co. 9:7; Gal. 5:22; Eph. 5:9; Phil. 1:11, 22; 4:17; 2Ti 2:6; 4:13; Heb. 12:11; 13:15; Jas. 3:17f; 5:7, 18; Rev. 22:2

In the present context fruit speaks of the love-gift (a gift of money inspired by Christian love) from the Gentile believers of Macedonia and Achaia, given sacrificially for the poor saints in Judaea. In a real sense the love-gift was “fruit” in that it was the product of gospel seed-sowing.

In Philippians 4:17 Paul uses karpos writing…

Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit (fruit - karpos) which increases to your account. (Php 4:17-note) (Comment: Here karpos is used of fruit that grows like interest in a savings account. The Philippians were in effect storing up for themselves treasure in heaven -- see Mt 6:20-note. The gifts they gave to Paul were accruing eternal dividends to their spiritual account).

I WILL GO ON BY WAY OF YOU TO SPAIN: apeleusomai (1SFMI) di humon eis Spanian:

  • Ro 15:24; Proverbs 19:21; Lamentations 3:37; James 4:13, 14, 15
  • Romans 15 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

By (dia) means through. It is used in relation to space, for instance, “The road runs through the territory.” Paul was intending to go through Rome on his way to Spain. "I will come through you".

Romans 15:29 I know that when I come to you, I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: oida (1SRAI) de oti erchomenos (PMPMSN) pros humas en pleromati eulogias Christou eleusomai (1SFMI)

Amplified: And I know that when I do come to you, I shall come in the abundant blessing of the Gospel of Christ. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

NLT: And I am sure that when I come, Christ will give me a great blessing for you. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Wuest: And I know that when I do come to you, I shall come in the abundant blessing of the Gospel of Christ.

Young's Literal: and I have known that coming unto you -- in the fulness of the blessing of the good news of Christ I shall come.

AND I KNOW THAT WHEN I COME TO YOU: oida (1SRAI) de oti erchomenos (PMPMSN) pros humas:

Know (1579) (eido, oída, perfect tense of obsolete eido) speaks of knowledge which comes from one’s state of being or of intuitive knowledge. The idea of oida is that Paul's knowledge is absolute, positive and beyond a peradventure of a doubt.

Morris notes that…

Paul closes this part of his letter on a note of quiet certainty (I know); his certainty is one of faith, but none the less certain for that. (Ibid)

Here Paul expresses a measure of confidence that he will finally be able to fulfill his longing to visit Rome, once the Jerusalem task is completed.

I know (perfect tense conveys the idea I have come to know and am in a state of knowing) he says; “I will come,” he says. It speaks of his certainty of his coming.

We know from the book of Acts that he did indeed go to Rome, though not exactly according to his original plan. In any case, he was sure that when he came, it would be with the full blessing of Christ. That is, he knew that Christ’s blessing would be upon him, and he knew that he would be able to bestow the fullness of Christ’s blessing upon them (Ro 1:12-note).

I WILL COME IN THE FULNESS OF THE BLESSING OF CHRIST: en pleromati eulogias Christou eleusomai (1SFMI):

  • Ro 1:11,12; Psalms 16:11; Ezekiel 34:26; Ephesians 1:3; 3:8,19; 4:13
  • Romans 15 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

"I will bring the full blessing of Christ." (GWT)

"Christ will give me a great blessing for you." (NLT)

Fulness (4138) (pleroma from pleroo [word study] = make full, fill, fill up) means the full measure, the abundance with emphasis upon completeness.

THOUGHT - Would it be that such could be said to be true of all of Christ's disciples - that they would come or go wherever He sends us "in the fulness of the blessing of Christ"!

Pleroma - 17x in 17v in the NAS - Matt. 9:16; Mk. 2:21; 6:43; 8:20; Jn. 1:16; Rom. 11:12, 25; 13:10; 15:29; 1 Co. 10:26; Gal. 4:4; Eph. 1:10, 23; 3:19; 4:13; Col. 1:19; 2:9 and is rendered in the NAS as all it contains(1), fulfillment(2), full(2), fulness(10), patch(2).

Blessing (2129) (eulogia from eu = good, well + lógos = word; See word study on eulogetos) is literally a good word and by metonymy (figure of speech consisting of use of name of one thing for that of another of which it is an attribute or with which it is associated - e.g., "Washington" for the US government), blessing, favor conferred, gift, benefit, bounty

Eulogia - 16x in 14v in the NAS - Rom. 15:29; 16:18; 1 Co. 10:16; 2 Co. 9:5f; Gal. 3:14; Eph. 1:3; Heb. 6:7; 12:17; Jas. 3:10; 1 Pet. 3:9; Rev. 5:12f; 7:12

Paul was confident in the power of God and persuaded that God, Who had so richly crowned his labors in other places, would ensure that his visit to Rome would be accompanied with abundant blessings. He was engaged in the service of a Christ Who was faithful, one on Whom Paul could place the utmost reliance. So whatever happened, he was sure of the blessing of the Lord. Can you imagine the blessing of hearing of Paul's deliverance from his enemies in Jerusalem & then his incredible sea voyage and shipwreck on Malta. What a blessing it must have been to hear this great saint boasting in what God had accomplished through him.

A. T. Robertson - Paul had already said that he had a charisma pneumatikon (spiritual blessing) for Rome. He did bring that to them."

In the first section of this letter Paul wrote…

For I long to see you in order that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established, that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other's faith, both yours and mine." (Ro 1:11, 12-notes).

The Bible Knowledge Commentary agrees saying "with Christ’s blessing to share with them" (Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., et al: The Bible Knowledge Commentary. 1985. Victor).

This is a striking comment in view of the manner in which Paul’s aspirations were fulfilled (Acts 28:11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16) because at the time he wrote this letter Paul was unaware that when he finally arrived in Rome, he would be in chains. Even so it was in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel. This is exhibited in the fact that Colossians, Philemon, Ephesians, and Philippians were all written from Rome during his first imprisonment there.

Godet - Would a forger of this epistle, in the second century, have drawn a picture of the future so opposite to the way in which things really came to pass? (Godet, F L: Commentary on Romans. Kregel. 1998)

These allusions to his future movements are positive proof that this was written before Paul was a prisoner.

Mounce observes that "Always in the mind of the apostle was the spiritual potential of every personal contact. His sensitivity to the spiritual needs of others is everywhere evident. What for many would be merely a pleasant contact becomes for the apostle an occasion to share the blessings of Christ. (Mounce, R. H. Romans: The New American Commentary. Broadman & Holman Publishers)

MacArthur - Because he lived continually in obedience to the Lord, his life was always blessed. Obviously, that blessing did not exclude physical hardships and afflictions, as he mentions in (verse 31 and in many of his other letters. But nothing physical could rob him of the fulness of that spiritual blessing… What is often referred to as the “health and wealth gospel” was the furthest thing from Paul’s mind. His obedience to Christ cost him dearly in both of those areas. Because of his service to Christ, he suffered imprisonments, beatings, stonings, dangers from Gentiles as well as Jews, and a host of other hardships (see 2Cor 11:23, 24, 25, 26, 27). But none of those outward problems could rob him of his inner blessing. To the contrary, he wrote, “my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else, and… most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear… In every way,… Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice, yes, and I will rejoice” (Php 1:12, 13, 14, 18-see notes Php 1:12-14; 18). Paul’s hardships gave him greater opportunity “to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles” and to offer them as an offering to God, “acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit” (Ro 15:16-note) and thereby receive the blessing that only such selfless service to the Lord can bring. He knew “the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension”; he knew “how to get along with humble means” and “how to live in prosperity”; and God supplied all his “needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Php 4:7, 12, 19-see notes Php 4:7; 4:12; 4:19). (MacArthur, J: Romans 9-16. Chicago: Moody Press)

Romans 15:30 Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: Parakalo (1SPAI) de humas (adelphoi) dia tou kuriou hemon Iesou Christou kai dia tes agapes tou pneumatos sunagonisasthai (AMN) moi en tais proseuchais huper emou pros ton theon

Amplified: I appeal to you [I entreat you], brethren, for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love [given by] the Spirit, to unite with me in earnest wrestling in prayer to God in my behalf. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

NLT: Dear friends, I urge you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. Do this because of your love for me, given to you by the Holy Spirit. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Wuest: I appeal to you [I entreat you], brethren, for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love [given by] the Spirit, to unite with me in earnest wrestling in prayer to God in my behalf. 

Young's Literal: And I call upon you, brethren, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in the prayers for me unto God,

NOW I URGE YOU, BRETHREN, BY OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AND BY THE LOVE OF THE SPIRIT : Parakalo (1SPAI) de humas (adelphoi) dia tou kuriou hemon Iesou Christou kai dia tes agapes tou pneumatos:

  • 2 Corinthians 4:5,11; 12:10; 1Timothy 6:13,14; 2Timothy 4:1
  • Ps 143:10; Philippians 2:1
  • Ro 5:5 Gal 5:22
  • Romans 15 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Notice in this verse the occurrence of the three Persons of the Godhead, verses such as this leading to the teaching of the doctrine of the Trinity, despite the fact that the word Trinity does not occur in the Bible.

Urge (3870) (parakaleo [word study] from para = beside, alongside + kaleo = call) conveys the basic idea of calling one alongside to help, give aid, or give strength. Parakaleo was used to describe the defense counsel in a court of law who functioned as the advocate and pled the cause of the accused. The present tense pictures a continual exhortation or imploring.

Paul understood the power of prayer and his continual need for it in his missionary activities. Missionary work and it's need for fervent prayer today is no different than in Paul's day. Do you regularly strive, and even agonize, in prayer with other believers for your missionaries?

In classic Greek parakaleo [word study] was also used of one exhorting troops about to go into battle which is an interesting parallel as in the present verse Paul is asking the Roman saints to join him in fighting the "battle" marching forth on their knees in earnest agonizing prayer. It is not uncommon for Paul to request prayer from his correspondents (2Cor 1:11, Eph 6:19-note, Col 4:3-note, 1Thes 5:25-note, 2Thes 3:1), so this passage is quite in character for Paul.

By the love of the Spirit could mean the love the Spirit enkindles in believers or the love that the Spirit has for them. Since the NT more often refers to the love that the Spirit brings about in believers (cf poured out or shed abroad in our hearts - Ro 5:5-note, borne as fruit of abiding in His Spirit and His Spirit in us -Gal 5:22-note) the former meaning would be the more likely understanding.

Love (26) (agape) (for more discussion see notes on 1Cor 13:4) in the NT usually refers to unconditional (as in this verse), sacrificial, supernatural love, that quality of love that God is (1Jn 4:8,16), that love which God shows (Jn 3:16, 1Jn 4:9) and (to praise of the glory of His amazing grace - Ep 1:6-note) that quality of love that God's Spirit enables us as His children (Jn 1:12, Ro 8:16, 17-note) to manifest (see fruit of the Spirit - Gal 5:22-note). Do not "try" to "manufacture" this love, but instead learn daily (even moment by moment) to "die" ("to self", cp Mk 8:34, Lk 9:23, Ro 6:11-note, Ro 6:12, 13-note, Ro 6:14-note Ro 7:5, 6-note, Col 3:5-note, Php 2:12-note, Php 2:13-note, Ezekiel 36:27 = a promise associated with the New Covenant) that you might manifest this supernatural Christ-like love (cp Ep 5:1,2-note) to a lost, dying world (Eph 2:1, 2:2-note, Ep 2:3-note) in which even natural love is growing cold (cp "unloving" in 2Ti 3:3-note, Ro 1:31-note, cp Jesus' admonition regarding love in the last of the last days = Mt 24:12). (See John Piper's related sermon = The Greatest of These Is Love - Dying As a Means of Loving)

Now I urge you - Paul introduces his exhortation to the Roman saints to intercede with the Almighty for his protection and ministry. If we got such a request from Paul, would it not stoke the embers of prayer in our heart to pray without ceasing for him? I think it would. Why then are we so lax and lackadaisical when we receive requests from our missionaries to pray (perhaps you are not, but all to often I am and yet they are God's "Pauls" in these last days and to intercede for them is an incredible privilege. Don't miss the opportunity!) Before giving that exhortation, Paul declared unequivocally that the overriding purpose for his request was to glorify our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ray Stedman - Prayer is born of the Spirit of God within us, awakening a desire to help, a sense of love and compassion. We pray to honor the Lord Jesus. This is what will stir people to pray more than anything else -- not beating them with a whip. I learned that long ago. It is when people begin to see that the honor of Christ is involved, and the love of the Spirit is fulfilled when you pray, that they will really begin to pray. That is what the apostle appeals to here. (See complete sermon Imitators of Christ)

TO STRIVE TOGETHER WITH ME IN YOUR PRAYERS TO GOD FOR (on behalf of) ME: sunagonisasthai (AMN) moi en tais proseuchais huper emou pros ton theon:

  • Ge 32:24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29; 2Corinthians 1:11; Eph 6:19; Col 2:1; 4:12
  • Romans 15 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

It is not uncommon for Paul to request prayer from his correspondents (2Co 1:11; Ephesians 6:19-note; Col. 4:3-note; 1Th 5:25-note; 2Th 3:1), so this passage is quite in character.

Strive together (4865) (sunagonizomai from sun = together + agonizomai = strive, contend for victory, as in public games - click word study of agonizomai) means to struggle or fight together with another (on your side not against). To struggle in company with. This Greek word group gives us the English word “agonize.”

The analogy here is taken from an athletic contest, specifically a wrestling contest, a wrestling in prayer. Paul asks the Roman saints to contend with him in prayer against the opposition of the hosts of wickedness, contending with him as athletes would do with one another, with intensity of purpose and in perfect cooperation. Paul asked that the saints at Rome exercise the ministry of prayer in restraining evil. That is what prayer is so oftentimes -- a way of putting a barrier around someone and protecting them in their ministry.

Warren Wiersbe - The words “strive together”… suggest an athlete giving his best in the contest. Perhaps the words “wrestling together” better express the idea. This same term is used of the praying of Epaphras in Colossians 4:12 (note) This verse does not mean that we must fight with God to get what we need. Rather, it means our praying must not be a casual experience that has no heart or earnestness. We should put as much fervor into our praying as a wrestler does into his wrestling! (Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor)

The word was originally used of athletic events, especially gymnastics, in which contestants, such as wrestlers or boxers, struggled against each other. Jesus used the word when He told Pilate,

My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting [agonizomai]) (Jn 18:36).

Comment: You will be richly rewarded by studying the other NT uses of agonizomai to help picture what Paul is urging them to engage in - Lk 13:24, 1Co 9:25,Col 1:29-note, Col 4:12-note, 1Ti 4:10, 1Ti 6:12, 2Ti 4:7-note.

The idea of the Greek term was that of the concerted action of a group of athletes working in harmony against opposition. It meant “to contend along with, to share in a contest.”

The root word (agon [word study]) (73) (translated "race" in Heb 12:1-note, "fight" in 2Ti 4:7-note & 1Ti 6:12, "opposition" in 1Th 2:2-note, "struggle" in Col 2:1-note, "conflict" in Php 1:30-note) comes into our language in the word "agony."

What a plea this is for unity among the saints and the expenditure of agonizing effort in concert against evil rather than the use of that energy in contention against one another.

The subsequent verses show there were 4 things Paul wanted them to strive together with to achieve:

(1) delivered from disobedient in Judea

(2) service to Jerusalem be acceptable to the saints

(3) might come to them in joy and

(4) might find rest in their company.

In sum, Paul is not imploring the Roman saints to offer up stiff, formal, tepid pious platitudes ("Lord, bless the missionaries") but for a whole hearted involvement implicit in his use sunagonizomai. The little prefix "sun [word study]" means "with" but specifically points to an intimate oneness, a vital union of two agonizing together in this case in prayer.

Do modern day saints attach as great a significance to the value of intercessory prayers as the apostle Paul? I fear not. We have 2000 plus attending our Bible believing church on any given Sunday and less than 20 in the prayer meeting!

Leon Morris concludes that "There is a very real struggle going on between the forces of good and evil, and a most significant part of that struggle is prayer. Thus E. Stauffer can say, “the form of the battle is prayer. In prayer there is achieved unity between the will of God and that of man, between human struggling and action and effective divine operation. In prayer, too, there is fulfilled the fellowship of conflict and destiny between man and man. In prayer one man becomes the representative of the other, so that there is here opened up the possibility of one standing in the breach for all and all for one” (TDNT, I, p. 139). It is this kind of powerful praying for which the apostle looks." (Morris, L. The Epistle to the Romans. W. B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press)

Newell adds that…

Here Paul makes the most solemn appeal for the supplications of the saints to be found in all his epistles. "Prayer changes things!" And many things needed to be wrought by God, if Paul's Divinely-guided journey to Jerusalem was to be successful.

First, there was the inveterate hatred of the Jews toward Paul as the minister of grace to the Gentiles; the Jews were indeed "disobedient." Paul describes them in 1Th 2:15,16-note. (1)

Second, there was the natural disinclination even on the part of Jewish Christians, through prejudice and pride, to accept for their poor an offering at the hands of Gentiles.

Third, there was the constant willingness on the part of the Roman governors of Judea to "gain favor" with the Jews by yielding as far as possible to their demands in matters of their religion. All these difficulties had to be overcome, -and by what means? By God's appointed way-through prayer. (Romans 15)

Romans 15:31 that I may be rescued from those who are disobedient in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may prove acceptable to the saints; (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: hina rustho (1SAPS) apo ton apeithounton (PAPMPG) en te Ioudaia kai e diakonia mou e eis Ierousalem euprosdektos tois hagiois genetai (3SAMS)

Amplified: [Pray] that I may be delivered (rescued) from the unbelievers in Judea and that my mission of relief to Jerusalem may be acceptable and graciously received by the saints (God’s people there), (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

NLT: Pray that I will be rescued from those in Judea who refuse to obey God. Pray also that the Christians there will be willing to accept the donation I am bringing them. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Wuest: [Pray] that I may be delivered (rescued) from the unbelievers in Judea and that my mission of relief to Jerusalem may be acceptable and graciously received by the saints (God’s people there), 

Young's Literal: that I may be delivered from those not believing in Judea, and that my ministration, that is for Jerusalem, may become acceptable to the saints;

THAT I MAY BE DELIVERED FROM THOSE WHO ARE DISOBEDIENT (non-persuasible ones, unbelievers) IN JUDEA hina rustho (1SAPS) apo ton apeithounton (PAPMPG) en te Ioudaia:

  • Acts 21:27-31; 22:24; 23:12-24; 24:1-9; 25:2,24; 1Th 2:15; 2Th 3:2
  • Acts 14:2 19:9 Ro 2:8 10:21 11:30, 31
  • Romans 15 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Spurgeon - For there were some saints in Jerusalem who were very narrow-minded, and who hardly thought it right to accept anything from Gentiles. They had not got clear of their Jewish bonds, and Paul was a little afraid lest what he was taking to them might not be acceptable, so he asked the Romans to pray about that matter. Is there anything about which believers may not pray? If there he, then we have no right to have anything to do with it. Bring everything before God in prayer, for all right thing way lawfully be prayed about. So Paul asked the Christians in Rome to pray about that matter of his journey to Jerusalem, and also to pray for his return,-

That (hina) is used to express purpose, in this case the purpose of the prayer he was calling for.

Paul’s request to be delivered was not for the purpose of his being spared further persecution or even death. He unselfishly wanted to be delivered only to the extent necessary for him to complete the ministry the Lord had given him. Long before he arrived in Judea, he knew that trouble awaited him. (Acts 20:22, 23, 24, 21:10, 11).

Delivered (4506) (rhuomai [word study] or ruomai or rhyomai is derived from rhúo = to draw, drag along the ground) means to draw or snatch to oneself and invariably refers to a snatching from danger, evil or an enemy. This basic idea is that of bringing someone out of severe and acute danger, and so to save, rescue, deliver, preserve. Rhuomai emphasizes greatness of peril from which deliverance is given by a mighty act of power. In the NT rhuomai is always associated with God as the Deliverer and with a person as the object of His deliverance.

Rhuomai was used in a secular writing to describe a soldier going to a wounded comrade on the battlefield and carrying him to safety (he runs to the cry of his comrade to rescue him from the hands of the enemy) (Godet)

Rhuomai is used 17 times in 15v in the NAS - Matt. 6:13; 27:43; Lk. 1:74; Ro. 7:24; 11:26; 15:31; 2 Co. 1:10; Col 1:13; 1Th 1:10; 2Th 3:2; 2Ti 3:11; 4:17f; 2Pe 2:7, 9 and is translated in the NAS as: Deliverer, 1; deliver, 3; delivered, 1; rescue, 3; rescued, 7; rescues, 1; set… free, 1. It is interesting that seven of the 17 NT uses of rhuomai are actually OT quotes or allusions to the OT!

NIDNTT notes that rhuomai is found in

found in classic Greek. from Homer onwards and also in inscriptions and papyri. It is used of deliverance and keeping by both the gods and men. (1) Ajax prayed to “Father Zeus” to save (rhuomai) the Achaians from the dark night (Homer, Il. 17, 645). “Only Zeus and the other gods saved (rhuomai) thee”, cried Achilles to Aeneas (Il. 20, 194). Such deliverance extends not only to individuals in battle, but to various dangers, afflictions and also the protection of property (Il. 15, 257, 290; Hdt. 1, 87 ek tou kakou, “from evil”; 5, 49; 9, 76; 4, 187; 6, 7; 7, 217; other instances in W. Kasch, rhyomai, TDNT VI 1000). (2) On the human level the verb. is applied to the action of princes in delivering cities and countries (Homer, Il. 9, 396), women and children (Il. 17, 224), the outcast (Soph., OC 285). Moreover, rhuomai can be used of inanimate objects. Thus, walls (Il. 18, 515), helmets (Il. 10, 259), and armour (Il. 23, 819) are said to protect. On the other hand, Odysseus cannot save his comrades who have destroyed themselves by sin (Od. 1,6f.), and there are cases where not even the gods can save (Il., 15, 141; Od. 12, 107; Aesch., Sept. 91; cf. W. Kasch, ibid.). (Brown, Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986. Zondervan)

Rhuomai means to rescue, deliver, as when we first became believers and the Lord…

delivered (rhuomai) us from the domain (exousia = the right and the might = executive power, jurisdiction) of darkness (skotos = spiritual darkness ruled by Satan, Acts 26:18, Ep 2:2-note), and transferred (removed us from. one place to another, causing a change in someone's official position) us to the kingdom (denoting sovereignty, royal power, dominion) of His beloved Son" (Col 1:13-note)

Comment: Since rhuomai means to draw to oneself, here we see the great picture that God drew us out of Satan’s kingdom to Himself. That event was the new birth. We are not gradually, progressively delivered from Satan’s power. When we placed our faith in Christ, we were instantly delivered.

A great example is wading in a rushing river and suddenly being caught in the current utterly helpless. As you cry out someone hears you and holds out their hand as you go rushing by. As you lie their beside the river safe in the presence of the one who pulled you out, you still are in the presence of the dangerous rushing current… you can hear it… you can see it… but you've been delivered from danger you are now safe. How foolish to walk right back into that current and let it sweep you away!

Jesus when ask by his disciples how they should pray gave as part of his answer that they should ask…

And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver (rhuomai - in the form of a command) us from evil. (Mt 6:13-note)

Zacharias, father of John the Baptist, spoke of the prophecies given by God…

To show mercy toward our fathers, and to remember His holy covenant (overview of covenant), the oath which He swore to Abraham our father, to grant us that we, being delivered (rhuomai) from the hand of our enemies, (not the purpose of this great rescue was so that we) might serve (click study of latreuo) Him without fear in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days. (Luke 1:73, 74, 75)

Paul used rhuomai two times earlier in Romans (Ro 7:24-note, Ro 11:26-note)

Writing to to the Corinthians Paul used rhuomai three times describing deliverance, explaining that God…

delivered (past) us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver (future) us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver (more distant future) us, (2Cor 1:10).

Comment: God delivered Paul from this past affliction, would continue to deliver him from the same or similar afflictions in the future, and would always deliver him.

Paul described the Gentile believers in Thessalonica who had turned to God from idols to as those who were waiting…

for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who delivers (rhuomai) us from the wrath (holy revulsion of God’s being against that which is the contradiction of his holiness) to come." (1Th 1:10-note)

Comment: Rhuomai is in the present tense indicating that is our Savior continually delivers us. The middle voice is reflexive {"He Himself rescues us"} and emphasize His personal involvement in the rescue. He initiates the and participates in the carrying out of the rescue.

Paul asked the Thessalonian saints to pray…

that the word of the Lord (might) spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with (the Thessalonian saints) and that (he, Timothy and Silas might) be delivered (rhuomai) from perverse (“out of place,” = what is unbecoming or inappropriate) and evil (poneros= malignant, aggressively wicked) men; for not all have faith." (2Th 3:1, 2)

Paul used rhuomai three times in some of his last recorded words testifying that even though he had experienced..

persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord delivered (rhuomai) me!… At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me; may it not be counted against them. But the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me, in order that through me the proclamation might be fully accomplished, and that all the Gentiles might hear; and I was delivered (rhuomai - past tense deliverance) out of the lion's mouth. The Lord will deliver (rhuomai = his assurance of future tense deliverance was under girded by the deliverances the Lord had brought in the past - we too can be fully confident no matter what evil, peril or difficulty He has allowed in our life) me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen." (2Ti 3:11, 4:17, 18-see notes 2Ti 3:11, 4:17, 18)

Peter encourages the saints writing that if God…

rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day with their lawless deeds), then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment." (2Pe 2:7, 8, 9- see notes 2Pe 2:7-8; 2:9)

Kenneth Wuest commenting on the last of Paul's deliverances (2T 4:17-note), writes that…

The word deliver (rhuomai) is from a very tender word in the Greek text. It means “to draw to one’s self out of harm’s way.” Paul was standing alone before the great tribunal, yet not alone, for the unseen Christ, standing at his side, drew Paul to Himself out of harm’s way." (Wuest, K. S. Wuest's word studies from the Greek New Testament : Grand Rapids: Eerdmans) Will He not do the same for us beloved… drawing us to His side as He snatches us time and again from the "lion's mouth"! 

Rhuomai is used 189 times in the Greek translation of the Hebrew OT (Septuagint = LXX). Below are some of the OT uses to help you see the meaning this great verb rhuomai. Remember to read the verses in context for optimal accuracy in interpretation. Take note of who or what is delivered, what the deliverance is from and how often rhuomai is part of a prayer (this truth really expands the meaning of the use in the "Lord's Prayer" Mt 6:13-note). Finally note how often rhuomai is used in the Psalms (60/189 occurrences in the NASB).

Note also that the Septuagint (LXX) also uses rhuomai to translate "redeem" or "Redeemer".

Ge 48:16 The Angel (in context this person is Angel of the LORD = preincarnate Christ) who has redeemed (Hebrew = goel [first use in Scripture], Lxx = rhuomai) me from all evil, Bless the lads; And may my name live on in them, And the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; And may they grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth."

Ex 6:6 "Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, 'I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver (rhuomai) you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.

Ex 12:27 that you shall say, 'It is a Passover sacrifice to the LORD who passed over the houses of the sons of Israel in Egypt when He smote the Egyptians, but spared (delivered - rhuomai) our homes.'" And the people bowed low and worshiped.

Ex 14:30 Thus the LORD saved (rhuomai) Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.

Jdg 6:9-note 'And I delivered (rhuomai) you from the hands of the Egyptians and from the hands of all your oppressors, and dispossessed them before you and gave you their land,

Jdg 8:34-note Thus the sons of Israel did not remember the LORD their God, who had delivered (rhuomai) them from the hands of all their enemies on every side;

2Sa 12:7 Nathan then said to David, "You are the man! Thus says the LORD God of Israel, 'It is I who anointed you king over Israel and it is I who delivered (rhuomai) you from the hand of Saul.

2Sa 22:18 "He delivered (rhuomai) me from my strong enemy, From those who hated me, for they were too strong for me.

Neh 9:28 "But as soon as they had rest, they did evil again before Thee; Therefore Thou didst abandon them to the hand of their enemies, so that they ruled over them. When they cried again to Thee, Thou didst hear from heaven, And many times Thou didst rescue (rhuomai) them according to Thy compassion,

Ps 6:4-note Return, O LORD, rescue (rhuomai) my soul; Save me because of Thy lovingkindness. (This introduces a new synonym for salvation, connoting an action of drawing off or out

Ps 7:1-note Shiggaion of David, which he sang to the LORD concerning Cush, a Benjamite. O Lord my God, in Thee I have taken refuge; Save me from all those who pursue me, and deliver (rhuomai) me,

Ps 17:13-note Arise, O LORD, confront him, bring him low; Deliver (rhuomai) my soul from the wicked with Thy sword,

Ps 18:1-note For the choir director. A Psalm of David the servant of the Lord, who spoke to the Lord the words of this song in the day that the Lord delivered (rhuomai) him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. And he said, "I Love Thee, O LORD, my strength."

Ps 18:17-note He delivered (rhuomai) me from my strong enemy, And from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me.

Ps 18:19-note He brought me forth also into a broad place; He rescued (rhuomai) me, because He delighted in me.

Ps 18:43-note Thou hast delivered (rhuomai) me from the contentions of the people; Thou hast placed me as head of the nations; A people whom I have not known serve me.

Ps 18:48-note He delivers me from my enemies; Surely Thou dost lift me above those who rise up against me; Thou dost rescue (rhuomai) me from the violent man.

Ps 22:4-note In Thee our fathers trusted; They trusted, and Thou didst deliver (rhuomai) them.

Ps 22:20-note Deliver my soul from the sword, My only life from the power of the dog.

Ps 25:20-note Guard my soul and deliver (rhuomai) me; Do not let me be ashamed, for I take refuge in Thee.

Ps 31:1-note For the choir director. A Psalm of David. In Thee, O LORD, I have taken refuge; Let me never be ashamed; In Thy righteousness deliver (rhuomai) me.

Ps 31:15-note My times are in Thy hand; Deliver (rhuomai) me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me.

Ps 34:4-note I sought the LORD, and He answered me, And delivered (rhuomai) me from all my fears.

Ps 34:7-note The Angel of the LORD (in context this person is Angel of the LORD = Christ) encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues (rhuomai) them.

Ps 34:17-note The righteous cry and the LORD hears, And delivers (rhuomai) them out of all their troubles.

Ps 34:19-note Many are the afflictions of the righteous; But the LORD delivers (rhuomai) him out of them all.

Ps 39:8-note Deliver (rhuomai) me from all my transgressions; Make me not the reproach of the foolish.

Ps 40:13-note Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver (rhuomai) me; Make haste, O LORD, to help me.

Ps 41:1-note For the choir director. A Psalm of David. How blessed is he who considers the helpless; The LORD will deliver (rhuomai) him in a day of trouble.

Ps 43:1-note Vindicate me, O God, and plead my case against an ungodly nation; O deliver (rhuomai) me from the deceitful and unjust man!

Ps 50:22-note "Now consider this, you who forget God, Lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver (rhuomai).

Ps 51:14-note Deliver (rhuomai) me from bloodguiltiness, O God, Thou God of my salvation; Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Thy righteousness.

Ps 56:13-note For Thou hast delivered (rhuomai) my soul from death, Indeed my feet from stumbling, So that I may walk before God In the light of the living.

Ps 59:2-note Deliver (rhuomai) me from those who do iniquity, And save me from men of bloodshed.

Ps 69:14-note Deliver (rhuomai) me from the mire, and do not let me sink; May I be delivered from my foes, and from the deep waters.

Ps 69:18-note Oh draw near to my soul and redeem it; Ransom (rhuomai) me because of my enemies!

Ps 71:2-note In Thy righteousness deliver (rhuomai) me, and rescue (exaireo) me; Incline Thine ear to me, and save me.

Ps 71:4-note Rescue (rhuomai) me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, Out of the grasp of the wrongdoer and ruthless man,

Ps 72:12-note For he will deliver (rhuomai) the needy when he cries for help, The afflicted also, and him who has no helper.

Ps 79:9-note Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Thy name; And deliver (rhuomai) us, and forgive our sins, for Thy name's sake.

Ps 81:7-note "You called in trouble, and I rescued (rhuomai) you; I answered you in the hiding place of thunder; I proved you at the waters of Meribah. Selah.

Ps 82:4-note Rescue the weak and needy; Deliver (rhuomai) them out of the hand of the wicked.

Ps 86:13-note For Thy lovingkindness toward me is great, And Thou hast delivered (rhuomai) my soul from the depths of Sheol.

Ps 91:3-note For it is He who delivers (rhuomai) you from the snare of the trapper, And from the deadly pestilence.

Ps 97:10-note Hate evil, you who love the LORD, Who preserves the souls of His godly ones; He delivers (rhuomai) them from the hand of the wicked.

Ps 106:43-note Many times He would deliver (rhuomai) them; They, however, were rebellious in their counsel, And so sank down in their iniquity.

Ps 107:6-note Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble; He delivered (rhuomai) them out of their distresses.

Ps 107:20-note He sent His word and healed them, And delivered (rhuomai) them from their destructions.

Ps 109:21-note But Thou, O God, the Lord, deal kindly with me for Thy name's sake; Because Thy lovingkindness is good, deliver (rhuomai) me;

Ps 119:170-note Let my supplication come before Thee; Deliver (rhuomai) me according to Thy word.

Ps 120:2-note Deliver (rhuomai) my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, From a deceitful tongue.

Ps 140:1-note For the choir director. A Psalm of David. Rescue me (rhuomai), O LORD, from evil men; Preserve me from violent men,

Ps 142:6-note "Give heed to my cry, For I am brought very low; Deliver (rhuomai) me from my persecutors, For they are too strong for me.

Ps 144:7-note Stretch forth Thy hand from on high; Rescue (exaireo) me and deliver (rhuomai) me out of great waters, Out of the hand of aliens

Ps 144:11- note Rescue (rhuomai) me, and deliver (exaireo) me out of the hand of aliens, Whose mouth speaks deceit, And whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.

Pr 10:2 Ill-gotten gains do not profit, But righteousness delivers (rhuomai) from death.

Ps 11:6 The righteousness of the upright will deliver them, But the treacherous will be caught by their own greed.

Pr 12:6 The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, But the mouth of the upright will deliver (rhuomai) them.

Isa 47:4 Our Redeemer (Deliverer = rhuomai), the LORD of hosts is His name, The Holy One of Israel.

Isa 54:5 "For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the LORD of hosts; And your Redeemer (Deliverer = rhuomai) is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth.

Compared to "save" (sozo), "rhuomai" is more the idea of rescue or draw to oneself whereas "sozo" (save) is more the idea of preserve from.

Today in the Word has the following illustration of a rescue which still pales in comparison to the believer's rescue from the dominion of sin and Satan…

Rescue of a Wing Walker: Wing-walker Lee Oman slipped from his perch underneath a Waco biplane and dangled from a safety line 1500 feet over the Hillsboro, Oregon, airport during an air show. At first, everyone in the crowd of 40,000 thought the fall was part of Oman’s daring midair act. But after the plane had circled the airport for 20 minutes, it was obvious something had gone wrong. Oman had fallen and didn’t have the strength to pull himself back up. When they saw what was happening, several men jumped into a pickup truck and sped onto the runway. The pilot of the biplane saw the truck and realized what the would-be rescuers had in mind. He gently lowered his dangling human cargo over the vehicle until Oman was within reach. While one man grabbed Oman and pulled him into the truck bed, another cut the wing-walker’s nylon safety harness. Oman was free of the plane’s deadly grasp.

Vance Havner tells the following story…

Christ is my message. Some years ago, two boats were passing each other on the Mississippi, when an old [gentleman] said to a … passenger as he pointed to the other boat, "Look, yonder's the captain!" When asked for an explanation, he said, "Years ago, we were goin' along like this and I fell overboard and the captain rescued me. And since then, I just loves to point him out!

This study of rhuomai reminds me of Fanny Crosby hymn

Rescue the Perishing

Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;
Weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen,
Tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save.

In another famous hymn we encounter the idea of rescue

Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.

Disobedient (KJV = Do not believe - Ro 15:31KJV, cp Ro 15:31ESV) (544) (apeitheo [word study] from a = without + peítho = persuade) literally describes one who refuses to be persuaded and who disbelieves willfully and perversely. Apeitheo in the present context means that these individuals possess an attitude of unbelief because they deliberately disobey, consciously resist and rebel against authority and finally manifest an obstinate rejection of the will (truth) of God. The present tense indicates that this is their lifestyle, the way the carry on their life is in continual disobedience against God! To be sure, we all disobey from time to time. That is not what Paul is referring to here. Instead he is describing the individual with an unregenerate heart who habitually, continually disobeys (as a lifestyle) what he or she knows to be the truth.

Apeitheo - 16x in 14v in the NAS - Jn. 3:36; Acts 14:2; 19:9; Rom. 2:8; 10:21; 11:30f; 15:31; Heb. 3:18; 11:31; 1 Pet. 2:8; 3:1, 20; 4:17

Unbelievers were constantly rejecting, ridiculing, mocking, abusing, threatening, and persecuting him—even while he was sharing the glorious news of eternal life with them.

Marvin Vincent in discussing apeitheo in John 3:36 writes that "Disbelief is regarded in its active manifestation, disobedience. The verb peitho means to persuade, to cause belief, to induce one to do something by persuading, and so runs into the meaning of to obey, properly as the result of persuasion… Obedience, however, includes faith. (Ed Note: See discussion of phrase obedience of faith Ro 1:5-note). (Vincent, M. R. Word studies in the New Testament Vol. 2, Page 1-109)"

God answered Paul's request to be delivered from those who are disobedient in His own way and time. In Acts we are told how Paul's nephew "accidentally" overheard a conversation of those men who had determined they would put Paul to death, and carried the word to Paul. Then, after being sent to the centurion over him, Paul was able to thwart that plan and escape out of Jerusalem, and out of the very jaws of death, by means of that "accidental" overhearing of a conversation. That was an answer to prayer as these Roman Christians prayed that he would be "delivered from the unbelievers" in Jerusalem. For example Luke records…

"And as a great dissension was developing, the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them and ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force, and bring him into the barracks. But on the night immediately following, the Lord stood at his side and said, "Take courage; for as you have solemnly witnessed to My cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also." (Acts 23:10,11)

Paul was beaten and imprisoned, but his life was divinely spared because he was a man on a mission and his time (Heb 9:27- note) had not yet come (2Ti 4:6- note, 2Ti 4:17,18- note)

AND THAT MY SERVICE FOR JERUSALEM MAY PROVE ACCEPTABLE TO THE SAINTS: kai e diakonia mou e eis Ierousalem euprosdektos tois hagiosis genetai (3SAMS):

Service (1248) (diakonia [word study]) means to render assistance or help by performing certain duties, often of a humble or menial nature. In context my service refers to a financial contribution.

Diakonia - 34x in 32v and is translated in the NAS as ministries(1), ministry(19), mission(1), preparations(1), relief(1), serve(1),service(7), serving(2), support(1).

Lk. 10:40; Acts 1:17, 25; 6:1, 4; 11:29; 12:25; 20:24; 21:19; Rom. 11:13; 12:7; 15:31; 1 Co. 12:5; 16:15; 2 Co. 3:7, 8, 9; 4:1; 5:18; 6:3; 8:4; 9:1, 12f; 11:8; Eph. 4:12; Col. 4:17; 1 Tim. 1:12; 2 Tim. 4:5, 11; Heb. 1:14; Rev. 2:19

Acceptable (2144) (euprosdektos from = well + prosdechomai [word study] = receive, accept) means well-accepted and refers to a strong affirmation of acceptability. It means to be favorably received.

Euprosdektos - 5x in 5v in the NAS - Ro 15:16, 31; 2 Co. 6:2; 8:12; 1Pe 2:5

In other words, he wanted his ministry to benefit the Lord’s people there, at the birthplace of the church. He was not concerned for what might be called professional success.

Because he and his Gentile companions from Macedonia and Achaia were bringing a financial contribution to the church at Jerusalem, which was still largely Jewish, the service which Paul mentions doubtless referred, at least in part, to that offering. He wanted the saints in Rome to pray with him that the gift would not offend Jewish believers in Jerusalem but rather would prove acceptable to the saints there. He wanted it to be received with loving gratitude for what it was, a gesture of brotherly love and conciliation.

There was a real danger that the contribution he brought from the Gentile churches might not be graciously accepted, even accepted at all; it might be regarded as a bribe, in return for which Paul’s opposition to the law would be condoned, and the equal standing of his upstart churches in the Kingdom of God acknowledged. It was by no means certain that it would be taken as what it was—a pledge of brotherly love; and God alone could dispose ‘the saints’ to take it as simply as it was offered

Paul wants the Romans to pray that the Jewish saints will favorably accept the relief funds. Strong religious prejudices remained against Gentile believers and against those who preached to the Gentiles. There was then and even in our day the possibility of people being offended at the idea of receiving “charity.” It often takes more grace to be on the receiving end than on the giving end!

God answered this request.

“When we had come to Jerusalem the brethren received us gladly… And after [Paul] had greeted them, he began to relate one by one the things which God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. And when they heard it they began glorifying God” (Acts 21:17, 19, 20).

Thus, through that intercession, the service that Paul brought to Jerusalem was accepted by the saints there.

To the saints (40) (hagios [word study]) are sinners who were once in Adam and have been delivered by God into a new kingdom in Christ and set apart for Christ and the glory of the Father. Sanctified ones. Holy ones. The call (actually the command) on our lives now is to be holy (live out experientially what we have been made by God positionally = this process is called [progressive] sanctification, growth in holiness, conformation to the image of His Son, growth in Christ-likeness) as He is holy (Lv 11:44, 1Pe 1:15, 16- note).

Ray Stedman relates a wonderful illustration regarding the need for prayer:

I remember Dr. Ironside telling of visiting up in northern Idaho, years ago, a little group of Christians who didn't believe in prayer. They lived in a remote region around St. Mary's, Idaho, and, in order to get to them, he had to cross a river where there was no bridge or any way to cross except a little boat that was rowed across to pick him up. He used to go up there once or twice a year, ride his horse down to the edge of the river, and then stand on the bank, and yell across, "Le bateau sil vous plait." They spoke mostly French, and this meant, "Bring the boat, please." So they would row the boat over, pick him up, and row him back across the river. Then he would have a ministry there with them for a week or so, and then he would go on. He said that, on one occasion, he had a blessed week with them. At the close of it, he said, as he was leaving, "Now, I do wish you would pray for me. I have a heavy schedule ahead." They said, "We don't pray for anybody." He said, "How is that?" They said, "We don't believe that there is any necessity for prayer." "Well, why is that?" he asked. "Well," they replied, "we believe God meets our needs. God had promised that he would take care of us, so we don't have to pray for ourselves. We believe that this promise applies to every other believer in Jesus Christ, so we don't feel we have to pray for them. Why pray, when God has promised?" "Well," he said, "have you ever noticed that the Apostle Paul asked people to pray for him?" "Yes," they said, "we have noticed that, but perhaps Paul didn't understand all the truth in this matter." (There are some folks who always feel they have a higher theological degree than Paul had.)

Dr. Ironside said, "At any rate, I wish you would pray for me." Then he left and went to Minneapolis, where he contracted a very serious sickness, until he was almost at the point of death. After weeks, he recovered, and, after several months, he visited these people again. When they met him with the boat, and took him across the river, they said, "Oh, when we heard you were sick, do you know what we did? We remembered that you had asked us to pray for you, so we gathered our people together and we had prayer for you." Dr. Ironside said, "Well, thank you, but, you know, if you had prayed for me first, I might never have been sick." Prayer is a mysterious thing that none of us really understands. But we do know that the apostle, with all the marvelous insight and understanding he had into the ways and purposes of God, nevertheless highly valued the prayers of others for him. (Read full message The Minister of Jesus Christ)

Romans 15:32 so that I may come to you in joy by the will of God and find refreshing rest in your company. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: hina en chara elthon (AAPMSN) pros humas dia thelematos theou sunanapausomai (1SAMS) humin

Amplified: So that by God’s will I may subsequently come to you with joy (with a happy heart) and be refreshed [by the interval of rest] in your company. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

NLT: Then, by the will of God, I will be able to come to you with a happy heart, and we will be an encouragement to each other. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Wuest: So that by God’s will I may subsequently come to you with joy (with a happy heart) and be refreshed [by the interval of rest] in your company. 

Young's Literal: that in joy I may come unto you, through the will of God, and may be refreshed with you,

SO THAT I MAY COME TO YOU IN JOY BY THE WILL OF GOD : hina en chara elthon (AAPMSN) pros humas dia thelematos theou:

  • Ro 15:23,24; 1:10, 11, 12, 13; Acts 27:1,41, 42, 43; 28:15,16,30,31; Php 1:12, 13, 14
  • Acts 18:21; 1Co 4:19; Jas 4:15
  • Romans 15 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Paul requests they pray that the Lord might see fit to make the visit to Rome a joyful one. The words by the will of God express Paul’s desire to be led by the Lord in all things. Paul eventually found the joy and rest he was looking for (Acts 28:15), albeit as a prisoner of Rome.

In joy - In the sphere of or the atmosphere of joy. Joy despite circumstances (supernatural joy, the only genuine true joy that endures difficulties - cp Jas 1:2-note) is a gift of God (Ro 15:13-note) and fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22- note).

Joy (5479) (chara [word study]) (and rejoice) is a feeling of inner gladness, delight or rejoicing. Secular dictionaries define joy as the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or the emotion evoked by the prospect of possessing what one desires. The world's definition of joy is therefore virtually synonymous with the definition of happiness, for both of these "emotions" are dependent on what "happens".

Certainly there is joy in human life, such as joy when one experiences a victory ("We will sing for joy over your victory, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners. May the LORD fulfill all your petitions." Psalm 20:5-note) or reaps a bountiful harvest (see Isaiah 9:3), but more often the Bible speaks of joy in a spiritual sense. For example, Nehemiah declared to the down in the mouth (not very filled with joy) Jews that "The joy of the Lord is your strength" (Neh 8:10). Similarly, David pleaded with God to “restore to me the joy of Thy salvation” (Psalm 51:12-note). It is not surprising that joy and rejoicing are found most frequently in the Psalms.

THOUGHT - Need a little supernatural joy in your life? Then take 30' or an hour and ponder these passages asking the Spirit to illuminate the passages and renew you mind with the truths about Joy and Rejoicing as you interrogate the passages asking the 5W'S & H questions =

Ps. 5:11; 16:11; 20:5; 27:6; 30:5; 32:11; 33:1, 3; 35:27; 42:4; 43:4; 45:7; 47:1; 48:2; 51:8, 12; 63:7; 65:8, 13; 67:4; 71:23; 81:1; 84:2; 87:7; 89:12; 90:14; 92:4; 95:1; 96:12; 98:4, 8; 105:43; 119:111; 126:6; 132:9, 16; 137:6; 149:5) and the Gospels = Mt. 2:10; 13:44; 25:21, 23; 28:8; Lk. 1:14, 44; 2:10; 6:23; 10:17; 15:7, 10; 24:41, 52; Jn. 3:29; 15:11; 16:20, 21, 22, 24; 17:13.

Rejoice or rejoicing is found some 43 times in the Psalms = Ps 2:11, 9:14,13:4,13:5, 14:7, 16:9,19:5,19:8, 21:1, 30:1, 31:7, 32:11, 33:21, 34:2, 35:9, 35:15, 35:19, 35:24, 35:26, 35:27, 38:16, 40:16, 45:15, 48:11, 51:8, 53:6, 58:10, 63:11, 65:12, 66:6, 68:3, 70:4, 85:6, 89:16, 89:42, 96:11, 97:1, 97:8, 106:5, 118:24, 119:14, 119:162, 149:2.

C. S. Lewis got a bit closer to the Biblical meaning when he called joy an “unsatisfied desire which is itself more desirable than any other satisfaction.” That statement is a bit obtuse but Lewis then goes on to add that joy "must be sharply distinguished both from happiness and from pleasure". Ultimately Lewis' experienced joy when he discovered that Jesus was the wellspring of all joy.

Joy then is the deep-down sense of well-being that abides in the heart of the person who knows all is well between himself and the Lord. It is not an experience that comes from favorable circumstances but even occurs when those circumstances are the most painful and severe as Jesus taught His disciples declaring…

Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned to joy. 21 "Whenever a woman is in travail she has sorrow, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she remembers the anguish no more, for joy that a child has been born into the world. 22 "Therefore you too now have sorrow; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one takes your joy away from you. (John 16:20-22)

Believers have the Resident Source of joy within for as as Paul teaches

the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness (Galatians 5:22)

By the will of God (Ro 1:10- note) expresses Paul’s desire to be led by the Lord in all things.

Will of God (concentrated in Pauline epistles) (Observe what this phrase means [Ask the 5W'S & H] = a rewarding simple study) - 23x in 23v in the NAS - Mk. 3:35; Ro 1:10; 8:27; 12:2; 15:32; 1 Co. 1:1; 2 Co. 1:1; 7:9, 10; 8:5; Eph. 1:1; 6:6; Col. 1:1; 4:12; 1Th 4:3; 2 Tim. 1:1; Heb. 10:36; 1 Pet. 2:15; 4:2, 6, 19; 5:2; 1 Jn. 2:17


  • Proverbs 25:13; 1Corinthians 16:18; 2Corinthians 7:13; 1Th 3:6, 7, 8, 9, 10; 2Ti 1:16; Philemon 1:7,20
  • Romans 15 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Would it be that this could be said of all local bodies of Christ! Refreshing rather than rebutting or rebuking or reacting, etc.

Find refreshing (4875) (sun = together, with + anapauo = refresh or take rest from aná = again + paúo = cease, give rest) means to refresh oneself or be refreshed with someone. Paul asks prayer that his visit might be one in which he may be refreshed in the midst of a tumultuous and fatiguing ministry.

Paul eventually found the joy and rest he was looking for when he arrived in Italy, Luke recording…

And the brethren, when they heard about us, came from there as far as the Market of Appius and Three Inns to meet us; and when Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage. (Acts 28:15).

Romans 15:33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: O de theos tes eirenes meta panton humon, amen

Amplified: May [our] peace-giving God be with you all! Amen (so be it). (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

NLT: And now may God, who gives us his peace, be with you all. Amen. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Wuest: May [our] peace-giving God be with you all! Amen (so be it). 

Young's Literal: and the God of the peace be with you all. Amen.

NOW THE GOD OF PEACE BE WITH YOU ALL. AMEN: O de theos tes eirenes meta panton humon, amen:

  • frequent title of God in NT Ro 16:20, 1Co 14:33, 2Co 5:19,20, 2Cor 13:11, Php 4:9, 1Th 5:23, 2Th 3:16, Heb 13:20, Ro 15:5, 13
  • Ro 16:24; Ruth 2:4; Mt 1:23; 28:20; 2Co 13:14; 2Ti 4:22
  • Romans 15 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

God of peace - Five times - Ro 15:33; 16:20; Phil 4:9; 1Th 5:23; Heb 13:20

Peace (1515) (eirene [word study] from root verb eiro = to join or bind together that which has been separated) literally pictures the binding or joining together again of that which had been separated or divided and thus setting at one again, a meaning convey by the common expression of one “having it all together”. It follows that peace is the opposite of division or dissension. Peace as a state of concord and harmony is the opposite of war. Peace was used as a greeting or farewell corresponding to the Hebrew word shalom [word study] - "peace to you".

God is the God of peace (same great Name of God in Ro 15:33 Ro 16:20-note Phil 4:9-note 1Th 5:23-note Heb 13:20-note): peace is of His very nature, and in a sense one of His attributes. If man could make only one request in life, the request should be to receive the God of peace. This is the one request Paul made for the Roman believers. Peace does not come from a genie in a bottle nor from the sorceries and sciences of this world. Peace comes only from the Creator of the world, from the God of peace Himself.

See OT Name equivalent to NT God of peace - Jehovah Shalom -Pt1: The LORD our Peace

God is the source of all true peace, the peace “which surpasses all comprehension” (Php 4:7-note). In fact, “He (Messiah) Himself is our peace, Who made both groups,” Jews and Gentiles, “into one” (Ep 2:14-note, Ep 2:11, 12, 13-note).

On the human level, Paul’s life as an apostle was far from peaceful. As far as outward particulars were concerned, he lived in uncertainty and often turmoil. He was under almost continual threat against his physical safety and life. But he knew intimately the God of peace, and he lived himself in the peace and settled tranquility that God gives to those who faithfully abide in His will

Paul sets the example of intercessory prayer. This is striking: while in the midst of requesting prayer, Paul broke out into prayer for the Roman believers. The prayer was for what every man needs -- peace within and peace without.

In Romans 15 we note several "Names" or descriptions of God…

  • God Who gives perseverance and encouragement (Ro 15:5-note),
  • the God of hope (Ro 15:13-note)
  • the God of peace (Ro 15:33-note)

God is truly the source of everything good and of everything a poor sinner needs now and eternally.

Amen (transliterated from Hebrew) (281) (amen from aman = be firm, steady) was a term of strong, intense affirmation and means firm, trustworthy, surely. Amen acknowledges that which is valid and binding. The OT often used "Amen" at the end of a sentence to confirm the preceding words and invoke their fulfillment. Only the Lord Jesus uses "Amen" at the beginning of a sentence and when He began by saying in essence "I tell you the truth" it was time to be quiet and listen for this is a weighty statement that you need to hear.. "Amen" thus guarantees the truth of His saying and affirms His authority. In the present context Jesus uses "Amen" to confirm the special importance of what He was about to say. Jesus was saying, “I say this to you absolutely, without qualification and with the fullest authority.”