(1) Walk Thru The Word: Romans 15: 22-33  (ESV)

Paul’s Plan to Visit Rome

22This is the reason why I have so often been hindered from coming to you. 23But now, since I no longer have any room for work in these regions, and since I have longed for many years to come to you, 24I hope to see you in passing as I go to Spain, and to be helped on my journey there by you, once I have enjoyed your company for a while. 25At present, however, I am going to Jerusalem bringing aid to the saints. 26For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints at Jerusalem. 27For they were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material blessings. 28When therefore I have completed this and have delivered to them what has been collected,b I will leave for Spain by way of you. 29I know that when I come to you I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ.

30I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf, 31that I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 32so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. 33May the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

In Love Strive Together In Prayer

30I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf, 31that I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 32so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. 33May the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

(3) Message map  — Romans 15: 22 – 33

Romans Lesson #28

“Paul Gets A Do-Over To Bless Jerusalem” & God Sends Him To Rome in A RoundAbout Way”

  • Rom 15: 22-23 The Holy Spirit Hinders To Holds Us Up until the Work is Done!
  • Rom 15: 24 & 28 , 24&28 Paul hopes to enjoy being helped on His journey to Spain.
  • Paul Was Knocked Downed at Damascus To Get Up & Reverse Course to Serve Saints in Jerusalem
  • God Sends Him To Rome in A RoundAbout Way”
  • Rom 15:30 Our Success Lies in Loving & Striving Together in prayer

(4) Rom 15: 17-19 Paul’s Missionary Journeys

See colored Map of all journey’s, including Paul’s Prisoner Passage

(5) Romans 15: 22-23  (ESV)  The Holy Spirit Hindered Paul

22This is the reason why I have so often been hindered (impeded, detained interrupted, God, through the Holy Spirit “introduced an obstacle that stands sharply in the way of a moving object” (Souter); (figuratively) sharply impede, by cutting off what is desired or needed; to block (hinder)) from coming to you. 23But now, since I no longer have any room (fulfilled every opportunity in this place/region God  had marked off for him) by the Holy Spirit) for work in these regions, and since I have longed for many years to come to you,

The Holy Spirit may hinder us …  

  1. from committing some sin we’d like to do
  2. from giving up on an initiative too soon to develop our patience and perseverance.
  3. from doing some good thing we desire to do, because He has something that is better in terms of it being God’s perfect will
  4. as He works behind the scenes within people’s hearts to prepare them to receive the message and ministry.

(6) Romans 15: 22-23  (ESV) Paul is the pastor of a church he’s yet to visit

22-23 At this point in time, it appears Paul had yet to visit Rome, yet is credited with founding the church there.

  • As Paul traveled throughout the Roman Empire, God had used him in the CONVERSION of many people from Rome (Rom 1:8-15)
  1. Rom 1:8-12 8First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. 9For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you 10always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. 11For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— 12that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. 13I do not want you to be unaware, brothers,c that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians,d both to the wise and to the foolish. 15So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome..
  2. At the Day of Pentecost We See The Gospel Is Presented to People from Many Places Throughout the Roman Kingdom

5Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. 7And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? 9Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, 11both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.”

  • These CONVERTS returned to Rome, Paul told them where to find the other converts who also went or returned there and formed the church.
  • These growing Christians sent word to Paul about the questions, praises and challenges they had, which prompted him to write the letter to the Romans., as well as perhaps send others to assist them.

(7) The Bible Only Mentions Spain in Rom 15: 24 & 28 & Illyricum in Rom 15: 19 … 

While Scripture does not record Paul making it to Spain, as he says he had plans to do so, it is possible, nonetheless, that he made it there in a trip that is not chronicled in Scripture.

In Romans 15:19 Paul says,  “Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about to Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

Since Illyricum only is mentioned this one time in Scripture, regarding the missionary journrey’s of Paul, we might surmise …

  • The record of Paul’s journey’s listed in Acts and other places is not exhaustive.
  • Paul probably made numerous “side trips” to locations nearby his main stops that are recorded in Scripture.
  • Prominent Bible scholars, like J. Vernon McGee, believe Paul went to Spain, and even got into England spreading the Gospel of Christ.

(8) Romans 15: 25-27  Paul’s Divine Reversal from Persecutor to Protector of Jerusalem Christians

25At present, however, I am going to Jerusalem bringing aid (care for the needs of others as the Lord guides in an active, practical way) to the saints. 26For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased (what seems good and acceptable) to make some contribution (contributory help, participation) for the poor among the saints at Jerusalem. 27For they were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have come to share (have fellowship with) in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material blessings.

For if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual (the invisible sphere in which the Holy Spirit imparts faith, reveals Christ) blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material blessings.

Acts 11:27-30 was Saul’s (Paul’s) first opportunity to be a blessing to the Jerusalem Christians he formerly persecuted, when he and Barnabas brought relief (Spirit-empowered service guided by faith (4102 /pístis, “the Lord’s inbirthed persuasion) during a great famine that took place in the days of Claudius.  BTW — Paul and Barnabas return from that trip in Acts 12: 25, bringing John Mark with them.

Acts 11:27-30 was Saul’s (Paul’s) first opportunity to be a blessing to the Jerusalem Christians he formerly persecuted.  27 Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 And one of them named Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world (this took place in the days of Claudius). 29So the disciples determined, every one according to his ability, to send relief to the brothers living in Judea. 30 And they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.

Acts 12: 25  “And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had completed their service, bringing with them John, whose other name was Mark.”

(9) Acts 7—9, Paul was on the wrong side of Jesus in Jerusalem  

Because of persecution the Jerusalem Christians were poor, as they were targeted as their church was the early center of evangelical activity. 

Acts 4:3 Peter and John are arrested in Jerusalem and brought before the High Priests Council and in Acts 4:19-20, stand their ground, saying “…in the sight of God …we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”.

“Paul Gets A Do-Over To Bless Jerusalem” & God Sends Him To Rome in A RoundAbout Way”Rom 15: 22-23 The Holy Spirit Hinders To Holds Us Up until the Work is Done! Rom 15: 24 & 28 , 24&28Paul hopes to enjoy being helped on His… Click To Tweet

Acts 4: 29-31 The Disciples respond to persecution by praying for boldness!

 29And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

Acts 5:1-32 the apostles are arrested and miraculously escape from jail, and in  Acts 5:29, give their famous, “we must obey God and not man” speech!

Acts 8: 1-3  1And Saul approved of his execution.  And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the 3But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison.

Acts 12:1-2 Herod killed James, John’s brother, and arrested Peter again! although an angel leads Peter to escape (Acts 12: 3-17), the sentries are put to death (Acts 12: 18-19)

In Matt 23;37 & Luke 13:34 Jesus predicts the desolation of Jerusalem for rejecting its prophets.and says, 37“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! 38See, your house is left to you desolate. 39For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

(10) Acts 7—9, Paul Was Knocked Downed at Damascus To Get Up & Reverse Course to Serve Saints in Jerusalem 

In Acts 7:54-60 Paul supported The Stoning of Stephen, as the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul,” who in Acts 13:9 also is called Paul. 

Acts 9:1-2 1But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples (convinced and committed close followers) of the Lord, went to the high priest 2and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the way, (metaphorical for Christian pilgrims journeying through earth, following Christ) men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

Paul’s persecution plans are interrupted, as he is converted in Acts 9: 3- 6

Acts 9: 3- 3Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. 4And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” 5And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 6But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.”

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Acts 7:54-60 54Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. 55But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. 58Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

(11) God Fulfills Paul’s Desire by Sending Him To Rome in A RoundAbout Way & traveled to Rome as a prisoner

In Romans 15: 22-23 we observed that the Holy Spirit Hindered Paul from going to Rome.  In Acts 22 –

In Acts 23:11 The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.”

Here’s How God fulfilled the desire He put within Paul to go to Rome:

22-23 Paul wanted to “pass through” Rome on his way to Spain. However, Paul is arrested in Jerusalem and spends about two years (c. 57-59) in the Roman prison in Caesarea Maritima before he is shipped off to Rome for trial before a Roman court (Acts 25). So Paul’s “best-laid plans” to go through Rome of his own volition and then on to Spain appear to have been interrupted within the will/permissive will of God. (https://earlychurchhistory.org/beliefs-2/st-paul-went-to-spain/)

Acts 21 When Paul goes to Jerusalem in Acts 21 he testifies of what Christ has done in his life, and is arrested.  There is some controversy based Acts 21: 4- 14 that Paul should not have gone to Jerusalem, because it was prophesied that he’d be arrested there  

  • Acts 21: 4- 14 4And having sought out the disciples, we stayed there for seven days. And through the Spirit they were telling Paul not to go on to Jerusalem. 5When our days there were ended, we departed and went on our journey, and they all, with wives and children, accompanied us until we were outside the city. And kneeling down on the beach, we prayed 6and said farewell to one another. Then we went on board the ship, and they returned home. 7When we had finished the voyage from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais, and we greeted the brothersb and stayed with them for one day. 8On the next day we departed and came to Caesarea, and we entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. 9He had four unmarried daughters, who prophesied. 10While we were staying for many days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11And coming to us, he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘This is how the Jewsc at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’” 12When we heard this, we and the people there urged him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” 14And since he would not be persuaded, we ceased and said, “Let the will of the Lord be done.”

Acts 22 Paul gives his testimony of his experiences with Christ, and how his testimony was rejected in Jerusalem, and Christ sent him to minister to the Gentiles and a riot ensues and he is arrested. Paul avoids flogging/scourging by stating he is a Roman citizen by birth, not as the tribune who had to purchase his citizenship at great expense.

  • Acts 22: 22-29 22Up to this word they listened to him. Then they raised their voices and said, “Away with such a fellow from the earth! For he should not be allowed to live.” 23And as they were shouting and throwing off their cloaks and flinging dust into the air, 24the tribune ordered him to be brought into the barracks, saying that he should be examined by flogging, to find out why they were shouting against him like this. 25But when they had stretched him out for the whips,d Paul said to the centurion who was standing
  • by, “Is it lawful for you to flog a man who is a Roman citizen and uncondemned?” 26When the centurion heard this, he went to the tribune and said to him, “What are you about to do? For this man is a Roman citizen.” 27So the tribune came and said to him, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” And he said, “” 28The tribune answered, “I bought this citizenship for a large sum.” Paul said, “But I am a citizen by birth.” 29So those who were about to examine him withdrew from him immediately, and the tribune also was afraid, for he realized that Paul was a Roman citizen and that he had bound him.

Acts 23 Paul tells avoids being murdered by setting the Sadducees and the Pharisees against one another over the resurrection.

  • Acts 23: 6-11 6Now when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.7And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. 9Then a great clamor arose, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees’ party stood up and contended sharply, “We find nothing wrong in this man. What if a spirit or an angel spoke to him?” 10And when the dissension became violent, the tribune, afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him away from among them by force and bring him into the barracks.
  • Acts 23:11 The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.”
  • Acts 23:12-24 Paul’s sister’s son discovers a pet to ambush and kill Paul & the tribune orders two centurions to “Get ready two hundred soldiers, with seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen to [bring Paul to] Caesarea. a 24Also provide mounts for Paul to ride and bring him safely to Felix the governor.”. 12When it was day, the Jews made a plot and bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. 13There were more than forty who made this conspiracy. 14They went to the chief priests and elders and said, “We have strictly bound ourselves by an oath to taste no food till we have killed Paul. 15Now therefore you, along with the council, give notice to the tribune to bring him down to you, as though you were going to determine his case more exactly. And we are ready to kill him before he comes near.” 16Now the son of Paul’s sister heard of their ambush, so he went and entered the barracks and told Paul. 17Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the tribune, for he has something to tell him.” 18So he took him and brought him to the tribune and said, “Paul the prisoner called me and asked me to bring this young man to you, as he has something to say to you.” 19The tribune took him by the hand, and going aside asked him privately, “What is it that you have to tell me?” 20And he said, “The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as though they were going to inquire somewhat more closely about him. 21But do not be persuaded by them, for more than forty of their men are lying in ambush for him, who have bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they have killed him. And now they are ready, waiting for your consent.” 22So the tribune dismissed the young man, charging him, “Tell no one that you have informed me of these things.”  23Then he called two of the centurions and said, “Get ready two hundred soldiers, with seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen to go as far as Caesarea at the third hour of the night.a 24Also provide mounts for Paul to ride and bring him safely to Felix the governor.” 25And he wrote a letter to this effect:
  • Acts 23:35 Paul is detained under guard in Herod’s Praetorium (aka “Herod’s judgment hall”), which is Herod’s palace at Jerusalem occupied by the Roman governor, where also are the quarters of the praetorian guard in Rome
  • Barnes Commentary says “Herod’s judgment hall” is in Greek: the praetorium of Herod — the place where justice was administered. This is where we get the concept of the “halls (courts) of justice.” This had been raised probably by Herod the Great as his palace, or as a place for administering justice. It is probable, also, that prisons, or places of security, would be attached to such places.
  • Cambridge Bible Commentaries says — In Herod’s judgment hall – Greek: in the praetorium of Herod. The word used here denoted formerly “the tent of the Roman praetor”; and since that was the place where justice was administered, it came to be applied to “halls (courts) of justice.” This had been raised probably by Herod the Great as his palace, or as a place for administering justice. It is probable, also, that prisons, or places of security, would be attached to such places.

Acts 24 Paul arrives for a two-year stay in Caesarea and testifies to Paul Before Felix and Drusilla, his who is a Jew (9:24).  Acts 24:27, says, “When two years had elapsed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. And desiring to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul in prison.

Acts 25 Festus holds court to decide between the PARE and Paul who makes a defense that Christ died for sins and is bodily resurrected, and that salvation is by faith in Christ alone. Paul appeals to Ceasar to keep from being released and ambushed and murdered by the PARE.  Acts 25:13 king Agrippa the king and his wife, Bernice arrived at Caesarea to hear Paul

Acts 26, Paul tells Festus and Agrippa, Bernice his testimony, and they find no charge against him, but since Paul appealed Ceasar, he is on his way to Rome, as Jesus stated in Acts 23:11!

Acts 27, Paul sets sail for Rome in an all expenses paid trip, compliments of the Roman government!  The ship is caught in a horrific storm, and Paul tells all aboard that because Christ to him he “must stand before Caesar, God has granted safety to all who sail with him. 25So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. 26But we must run aground on some island.”  The ship will be wrecked, but all will make it to shore safely.  

Phil 1:12 12I want you to know, brothers,e that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, 13so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. 14And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

(12) Romans 15: 30  (ESV)

in Love Strive Together In Prayer

30I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love (agapé, love, benevolence, goodwill) of the spirit (Holy Spirit), to strive (agonize) together with me in your prayer (exchange of wishes; ) to God on my behalf,

STRIVE = Webster’s 1928 — 1. To make efforts; to use exertions; to endeavor with earnestness; to labor hard; applicable to exertions of body or mind.

STRIVE with me in your prayers to God for me. Romans 15:30.

STRIVE to enter in at the strait gate. Luke 8:1.

  1. To contend; to contest; to struggle in opposition to another; to be in contention or dispute; followed by against or with before the person or thing opposed; as, strive against temptation; strive for the truth.

My spirit shall not always strive with man. Genesis 6:3.

  • 31that I may be delivered (rescue from danger or destruction) from the unbelievers in Judea,
  • and that my service (Spirit-empowered service guided by faith from “the Lord’s inbirthed persuasion”) for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints,
  • 32so that by God’s will (God’s “preferred-will,” i.e. His “best-offer” to people which can be accepted or rejected) I may come to you with joy and be refreshed (be refreshed in spirit) in your company.
  • This concept of being refreshed only appears in Rom 15:32. It denotes when people enjoy God’s unique rest together which only results from first fighting God’s battles in the unity of the Spirit. It only occurs in Ro 15:32 in reference to the Roman Christians coming alongside Paul to “struggle together” against those opposing his important mission to help the suffering saints in Jerusalem.
  • True refreshment is an outcome of God’s peace ( quietness, rest, peace of mind; the outcome of when all essential parts are joined together; peace (God’s gift of wholeness) being with [us] all
  • 33May the God of peace be with you all. Amen — means that as stated in John 3:16, everyone

(13) Let’s Pray that God ReAwakens, ReInvigorates & ReEstablish Us in Our Calls In Christ!

 Let’s Pray:

God grant us the grace to be patient as You work Your will in our lives.  Give us the wisdom to think Your thoughts and trust You and see as You see. 

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