As for us who are strong, our duty is to bear with the weaknesses of those who are not strong, and not seek our own pleasure.
Let each of us endeavour to please his fellow Christian, aiming at a blessing calculated to build him up.
For even the Christ did not seek His own pleasure. His principle was, 'The reproaches which they addressed to Thee have fallen on me.'
For all that was written of old has been written for our instruction, so that we may always have hope through the power of endurance and the encouragement which the Scriptures afford.
And may God, the giver of power of endurance and of that encouragement, grant you to be in full sympathy with one another in accordance with the example of Christ Jesus,
so that with oneness both of heart and voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Habitually therefore give one another a friendly reception, just as Christ also has received you, and thus promote the glory of God.
My meaning is that Christ has become a servant to the people of Israel in vindication of God's truthfulness-- in showing how sure are the promises made to our forefathers--
and that the Gentiles also have glorified God in acknowledgment of His mercy. So it is written, 'For this reason I will praise Thee among the Gentiles, and sing psalms in honour of Thy name.'
And again the Psalmist says, 'Be glad, ye Gentiles, in company with His People.'
And again, 'Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles, and let all the people extol Him.'
And again Isaiah says, 'There shall be the Root of Jesse and One who rises up to rule the Gentiles. On Him shall the Gentiles build their hopes.'
May God, the giver of hope, fill you with continual joy and peace because you trust in Him--so that you may have abundant hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
But as to you, brethren, I am convinced-- yes, I Paul am convinced--that, even apart from my teaching, you are already full of goodness of heart, and enriched with complete Christian knowledge, and are also competent to instruct one another.
But I write to you the more boldly--partly as reminding you of what you already know--because of the authority graciously entrusted to me by God,
that I should be a minister of Christ Jesus among the Gentiles, doing priestly duties in connexion with God's Good News so that the sacrifice--namely the Gentiles--may be acceptable to Him, being (as it is) an offering which the Holy Spirit has made holy.
I can therefore glory in Christ Jesus concerning the work for God in which I am engaged.
For I will not presume to mention any of the results that Christ has brought about by other agency than mine in securing the obedience of the Gentiles by word or deed,
with power manifested in signs and marvels, and through the power of the Holy Spirit. But--to speak simply of my own labours--beginning in Jerusalem and the outlying districts, I have proclaimed without reserve, even as far as Illyricum, the Good News of the Christ;
making it my ambition, however, not to tell the Good News where Christ's name was already known, for fear I should be building on another man's foundation.
But, as Scripture says, 'Those shall see, to whom no report about Him has hitherto come, and those who until now have not heard shall understand.'
And it is really this which has again and again prevented my coming to you.
But now, as there is no more unoccupied ground in this part of the world, and I have for years past been eager to pay you a visit,
I hope, as soon as ever I extend my travels into Spain, to see you on my way and be helped forward by you on my journey, when I have first enjoyed being with you for a time.
But at present I am going to Jerusalem to serve God's people,
for Macedonia and Greece have kindly contributed a certain sum in relief of the poor among God's people, in Jerusalem.
Yes, they have kindly done this, and, in fact, it was a debt they owed them. For seeing that the Gentiles have been admitted in to partnership with the Jews in their spiritual blessings, they in turn are under an obligation to render sacred service to the Jews in temporal things.
So after discharging this duty, and making sure that these kind gifts reach those for whom they are intended, I shall start for Spain, passing through Rome on my way there;
and I know that when I come to you it will be with a vast amount of blessing from Christ.
But I entreat you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love which His Spirit inspires, to help me by wrestling in prayer to God on my behalf,
asking that I may escape unhurt from those in Judaea who are disobedient, and that the service which I am going to Jerusalem to render may be well received by the Church there,
in order that if God be willing I may come to you with a glad heart, and may enjoy a time of rest with you.
May God, who gives peace be with you all! Amen.