We are not to just please ourselves but to build up our neighbor, to please them. Even Jesus did not build up himself:
“The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.”
All that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that when we see the endurance and encouragement in Scripture we might have hope.
May the God who gives you this endurance and encouragement also give you unity among yourselves as you follow Jesus Christ so that together you may glorify the God and Father of Jesus.
Accept one another as Christ accepted you; this brings praise to God. Christ has become a servant to the Jews because God is true- this confirms the promises made to the patriarchs so that the Gentiles may also glorify God:
“Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles; I will sing hymns to your name.”
“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.”
“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and sing praises to him, all you peoples.”
“The Root of Jesse will spring up, one will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in him.”
May God’s hope fill you with joy and peace as you trust him, so that you will overflow with hope by the Holy Spirit’s power.
I know. I know…you are good, filled with knowledge and able to teach one another. But, I’m writing to tell you again because God’s given me the gift of proclamation. I proclaim it, this Good News so that the Gentiles may also be an offering to God, made holy by the Holy Spirit.
Because of this, I praise Jesus Christ through my work. I won’t say or do anything with you except what Christ has done in following my call of making disciples of the Gentiles- all I can do is obey through the power of the Spirit. From Jerusalem to Illyricum I’ve only proclaimed the Good News. My desire is to preach the Good News where it is not known; I’m not interested in building on the foundation of another. As it says:
“Those who were not told of him will see and those who have not heard will understand.”
And this is why I’ve not yet visited. But, my work is coming to an end. I plan to see you on my way to Spain. But I need your help. Right now, I’m on the road to Jerusalem- Macedonia and Achaia were faithful in their financial gifts to the poor in Jerusalem. Since the Gentiles received the gift of salvation from the Jews through Christ, it is only fitting to return a gift to them, even if merely financial. When I come to you, I’ll be bringing the full measure of Christ’s blessings.
By Jesus and the Spirit, pray for me. In this, you’ll struggle with me. Pray for: safety from unbelievers; that the gift will be received graciously; that I’ll come to come to you joyfully; and that I’ll be refreshed by my time with you. God’s peace be with all of you. Amen.