Ultimate victory

Dear friends, I’m convinced that you’re full of great talent and that there’s enough people of ability among you to give each other advice.

However, I’ve taken the liberty to remind you of certain points because God, in his great mercy, has given me the responsibility of bringing the Gentiles before him as an offering cleansed by the Holy Spirit.

I take pride in what Christ Jesus has done through me in my service for God. But I wouldn’t want to boast about anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in bringing Gentiles to obey God through what I’ve said and done, for remarkable events occurred due to the power God’s Holy Spirit. So, from Jerusalem to Illyricum I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ. I’ve always made it my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ isn’t yet known, because I don’t want to build on anyone else’s foundation. So, as it’s written: “Those who have never been told about him will see, and those who have never heard of him will understand.”

Now you can see why it’s taken me so long to come to visit you in Rome.

But now I’ve finished my work in these regions and, after years of longing to see you, I plan to call in to visit you on my way to Spain. Then, after I’ve enjoyed your company for a while, you can encourage me onward on my journey.

But before I come, I need to go to Jerusalem with a gift for the Lord’s people there. The believers in Macedonia and Achaia have made a collection for the poor amongst the Lord’s people in Jerusalem. They were happy to do this, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the spiritual benefits of the Jews, it’s only right that the Gentiles should share their material benefits with them. So, as soon as I’ve delivered this gift, I’ll go on to Spain, but call in to see you on the way. I’m sure that when I come, we’ll all be richly blessed together.

Dear friends, I ask you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit to join in my struggle by praying to God for me. Do this because of your love for me, given to you by the Holy Spirit. Ask that I’ll be kept safe from those in Judea who refuse to believe. Pray also that the gift I’m taking to Jerusalem will be favourably received by the Lord’s people there. Then, by God’s, I shall come to you with joy and be refreshed by your company.

And now may God, who gives us peace, be with you all. Amen.

* * *

I urge you, my friends, to watch out for those people who cause divisions and hinder you by teaching things contrary to what you’ve been taught. Keep away from them, because they’re not serving Christ but their own personal interests. With soft words and flattery they deceive the unwary. We all know how faithful you are and it makes me personally very happy, but I want you to be informed about what’s good and ignorant of evil.

Remember, the God who give us peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you all.

* * *

Now to him who’s able to strengthen you in accordance with the gospel – the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, which is the revelation of that plan kept hidden in ages past, but now made known in the prophetic writings as our eternal God has commanded, that all the Gentiles may come to the obedience of faith – to the only wise God be glory for ever through Jesus Christ! Amen.

Paul

 

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