Paraphrase of the Book of Romans
by E.H. “Jack” Sequeira

Chapter 15

Building Each Other Spiritually

1 To those of you who are mature Christians, please be sympathetic and understanding with regards to the weaknesses of the immature believers who are still babes in Christ. Do not look down on them in self-righteousness. 2 Let every believer have genuine concern for the welfare of others and be helpful in building each other up spiritually, 3 just as Christ did not come to please Himself or to be ministered to but to seek and save lost humanity. He did what was prophesied of Him: “The condemnation and curse that belongs to sinful mankind was heaped upon me” [Ps. 69:9].

4 And, incidentally, these prophecies concerning our Lord’s redemptive activity were penned for our comfort so that we may encourage one another to remain faithful in the midst of persecution, while we wait for our ultimate salvation. 5 May God, who has been long-suffering and patient towards each one of us give you that same attitude toward one another through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, 6 in order that in unison you may glorify God in words and actions—He whom we call Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Therefore, treat and accept each other just as God in Christ accepts us sinners as His sons and daughters.

Salvation Extended to the Gentiles

8 Now, it is true Christ came, as He announced, “but for the house of Israel.” This is because God, in the Old Testament, promised salvation through the Jews or the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This promise He fulfilled in Christ, who, according to His human nature, was a Jew. 9 Nevertheless, while salvation is through the Jews, it encompasses the Gentile world, too; and for this they need to be grateful. And since salvation included all humanity it was prophesied: “The good news of salvation shall be preached among the Gentiles and His praises they will sing” [Ps. 18:49].

10 God’s purpose of including the Gentiles in His salvation is so clearly taught in the Old Testament that I cannot see how we Jews missed it. Here are some examples: “Rejoice you Gentiles along with the Jews!” [Deut. 32:43]. 11 Or, “Praise God all you Gentiles and let all men glorify Him” [Ps. 117:1]. 12 Even the great prophet Isaiah repeats the same truth: “There shall be a descendant of Jesse who will come to redeem all mankind and many Gentiles will believe in Him” [Isa. 11:1,10].

13 In view of this wonderful truth, may the God of our redemption fill you with joy unspeakable, peace that is beyond understanding, and full assurance of your salvation, so that under the influence of the Holy Spirit your hope never diminishes. 14 Not that I am doubting your faith, for I am convinced by the reports received that you Christians in Rome are full of love and good works, grounded in the truth, and able to teach one another.

15 But in spite of this, I have been rather straightforward with you in reminding you of your Christian obligations, seeing that God has set me aside as an apostle, 16 a minister of Jesus Christ, especially assigned to proclaim the gospel to the Gentiles and make them part of the family of God through faith in Jesus Christ and sanctification of the Holy Spirit. 17 And for this ministry I am most grateful to our Lord and Saviour, who is God’s means of our redemption.

Salvation Extended to the Gentiles

18 What I have written to you is not my own opinion but what Christ Himself has revealed to me, commissioning me to win souls among the Gentiles, manifesting to them God’s saving power in word and deeds. 19 That is, through miracles and supernatural acts demonstrating the power of God’s Spirit so that from Jerusalem up to the remotest parts of the Middle East I have fully preached the good news of salvation in Christ.

20 And in doing this, I have especially endeavored to proclaim this gospel in unentered areas, lest I interfere with the witnessing and work of other Christian believers. 21 As a result of this ministry, the following prophecy has been fulfilled: “To those outside the covenant people of God I will be shown, and they who were not looking for the Messiah will rejoice in the truth when Christ is preached” [Isa. 52:15]. 22 And incidentally, it is this ministry that has hindered me from coming to you in Rome until now.

23 But now that I have finished the work commissioned to me and have proclaimed the gospel in all the unentered areas of the Middle East and in view of the fact that I have longed to come to Rome for many years, I certainly am looking forward to this trip. 24 My plans are to travel to Spain and include you in my itinerary. All being well, therefore, I expect to see you Roman Christians shortly and trust I wlll be blessed in your presence.

25 But first of all I have to return to Jerusalem with the special offerings the Greek Christians gave to help the suffering believers there. 26 These Greek Christians have heard about the hard time the believers in Jerusalem were having, and out of real concern have given special donations to aid the suffering Jewish believers. 27 You will be glad to know these Greek Christians were more than happy to give this help, seeing that salvation came of the Jews. They felt that since they, as Gentiles, were included in the redemption promised to the Jews, the least they could do in gratitude was to support the Jewish Christians in their material needs.

28 So when I have delivered the goods to the brethren in Jerusalem and made sure all is well, I will definitely plan to leave for Spain, 29 stopping at Rome on the way, where I will have the opportunity, I hope, to proclaim the gospel of Christ more fully to you.

30 In the meantime, please continue to uphold the love of God which you have received through the indwelling Spirit; and also, please pray for me, that God’s will be done, 31 and that I may not be hindered from coming to you by the enemies of the gospel in Judea. Also, do not forget to pray for the believers in Jerusalem, that they may appreciate my work and the help I am bringing them 32 so that when I come to you I can do so with joy, knowing God has blessed my ministry and will continue to do so in your presence. 33 May our wonderful God, who brings peace into our hearts, be with all of you continually. Amen.
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