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To Spain by Rome
Romans 15:22 For this reason I also have been much hindered from coming to you. 23 But now no longer having a place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come to you, 24 whenever I journey to Spain, I shall come to you. For I hope to see you on my journey, and to be helped on my way there by you, if first I may enjoy your company for a while. 25 But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. 26 For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem. 27 It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things. 28 Therefore, when I have performed this and have sealed to them this fruit, I shall go by way of you to Spain. 29 But I know that when I come to you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ. 30 Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me, 31 that I may be delivered from those in Judea who do not believe, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 32 that I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and may be refreshed together with you. 33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen. (NKJV)






The Apostle Paul wrote this letter to the Christians in Rome while on a three month visit to the church in Corinth, Greece in late 56 and early 57 A.D. during his third missionary journey. The letter is heavy with Christian Doctrine, Christian teaching.

The major doctrinal portion of the letter ends with chapter 11. The next section (chapters 12-15:13) takes this doctrine and applies it through practical Christian living.

This passage is part of the third, and final, section of the letter. This section is concerned with Paul’s plans for the future.

Paul begins by writing “For this reason I also have been much hindered from coming to you.” (v. 22). The reason he has not been able to visit the believers in Rome was because he had been occupied in bringing the Gospel to other areas closer to home. He has been moving westward from Jerusalem, and his home church in Antioch, Syria.

Paul continues “But now no longer having a place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come to you, whenever I journey to Spain, I shall come to you.” (vv. 23-24a). He has completed his work in the previous areas, for the time being, and has had a “great desire for many years” to visit the believers in Rome. He is now intending to move on west to Rome and then to Spain

He writes “For I hope to see you on my journey, and to be helped on my way there by you, if first I may enjoy your company for a while.” (v. 24b). Paul’s hope is to see the believers in Rome and enjoy their company “for a while”. He also hopes that they will help him financially to continue his journey to Spain.

Next, Paul tells his plans for the present. He writes “But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem.” (vv. 25-26).

He is returning to Jerusalem to deliver collections to the needy Christians in the area. He had received offerings for them during his visits to the churches in Macedonia and Achaia.

Paul continues “It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things.” (v. 27).

The Christians in Macedonia and Achaia had been “pleased” to give to help the needy in Judea. They were indebted to them for the Gospel that had been sent to them. They were repaying a spiritual debt with a monetary gift.

Paul writes “Therefore, when I have performed this and have sealed to them this fruit, I shall go by way of you to Spain.” (v. 28). Here, Paul summarizes his future plans. He will deliver the collections to Jerusalem, which he refers to as fruit, and then will come to Rome on his way to Spain.

Also, he will “come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.” (v. 29). Anytime the Gospel is preached it comes with the “fullness and blessing” of the Holy Spirit.

Next, Paul asks that the believers in Rome pray with him “through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit.” He writes “Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me.” (v. 30).

Then he gives them his prayer requests and finishes this passage with a prayer for them. He asks the believers in Rome to pray for him and then he prays for them

Paul has four prayer requests. First, he asks “that I may be delivered from those in Judea who do not believe” (v. 31a). He asks for protection from his enemies, the unbelievers in Judea.

Paul met resistance from all sides. The Jews hated him because he converted from being a Jewish Rabbi and persecutor of Christians to a leader of the Christian movement. He was teaching a false religion, according to them. Some Gentiles hated him because of their own pagan religions.

Paul’s second prayer request was that his “service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints” (v. 31b). The converted Jews were still not all that comfortable with converted Gentiles. There was concern that the needy Jews in Judea might not accept charity from the mostly Gentile churches.

His third prayer request was “that I may come to you with joy by the will of God” (v. 32a). Paul’s wish was that his visit to Rome be a joyful one. He knew that his visit was “the will of God”,

Paul’s fourth, and final, prayer request was that he “may be refreshed together with you.” (v. 32b). His prayer was that they might all be refreshed by his visit. Paul would certainly need to be refreshed after the grueling nature of his ministry.

Finally, Paul finished with a prayer of his own for the believers in Rome. He prayed “Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.” (v. 33).

Paul’s plans were to bring the Gospel to Rome and then to Spain. When our plans are God’s plans, they always succeed.

Art Toombs Ministries

Online Bible Commentary