St. Paul’s Letter To The Romans Chapter 15

CHAPTER 15 PART II & 16:1-27:

Beloved Heavenly Father,

Help us to love You Father as St. Paul loved You’to love You
without self interest and with the passion of completely abandoning ourselves
into Your eternal will. Your servant Paul understood the kind of
self-sacrificial love that is worthy of Christ.  Thomas `a Kempis expressed that
kind of love when he wrote: “Jesus today has many who love his heavenly
kingdom, but few who carry his cross; many who yearn for comfort, few who long
for distress. Plenty of people he finds to share his banquet, few to share his
fast.  Everyone desires to take part in his rejoicing, but few are willing to
suffer anything for his sake.  There are many that follow Jesus as far as the
breaking of bread, few as far as drinking the cup of suffering; many that revere
his miracles, few that follow him in the indignity of his cross; many that love
Jesus as long as nothing runs counter to them; many that praise and bless him,
as long as they receive some comfort from him; but should Jesus hide from them
and leave them for a while, they fall to complaining or become deeply depressed.
Instill in us that deep devotion, Lord and send Your Holy Spirit to guide
us in the last lesson of St. Paul’s letter to the Christians of Rome.  We pray
in the name of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen
  [quoting from Imitation of Christ: Thomas a Kempis, Book


+ + +


“The Church is bathed in the light of the Lord, and pours
her rays over the whole world; but it is one light that is spread everywhere,
and the unity of her structure is undivided.” 
St. Cyprian [251AD], The
Unity of the Catholic Church


“And all these
things which were written so long ago were written so that we, learning
perseverance and the encouragement which the Scriptures give, should have hope.
Now the God of perseverance and encouragement give you all the same purpose,
following the example of Jesus Christ, so that you may together give glory to
the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with one heart.” 


Please read Romans
: Paul’s Apostolic mission in writing to the Christians of

14  My
brothers, I am quite sure that you, in particular, are full of goodness, fully
instructed and capable of correcting each other.
15 But I have special confidence in writing on
some points to you, to refresh your memories, because of the grace that was
given to me by God.
16 I was given
grace to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, dedicated to offer them
the Gospel of God, so that Gentiles might become an acceptable offering,
sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 
17 So
I can be proud, in Christ Jesus, of what I have done for God. 
18 Of course I can dare to speak only of the
things which Christ has done through me to win the allegiance of the Gentiles,
using what I have said and done,
by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God.  In
this way, from Jerusalem and all around, even as far as Illyricum, I have fully
carried out the preaching of the Gospel of Christ;
20 and what is more,  it has been my rule to
preach the Gospel only where the name of Christ has not already been heard for I
do not build on another’s foundations;
in accordance with Scripture: Those who have never been told about him
will see him, and those who have never heard about him will understand.”


Paul’s compliment to the Roman church in verse 14
recalls his compliment to the Roman Christians when he began his letter in Romans 1:8 when
he wrote: “First I give thanks to my God through Jesus Christ for all of you
because your faith is talked of all over the world.
Paul is
acknowledging that the Roman Christians are a strong community of faithful
believers, knowledgeable in the Gospel and diligent in their obedience to the
teachings of Jesus Christ.  But, he reminds them [“to refresh your
], that as an Apostle, chosen by Jesus Christ, he has a duty
and a calling by the Holy Spirit to instruct and correct them.


Then in Romans 15:16
Paul describes his Apostolic ministry in very forceful terms that points to the
liturgical function of his ministry where Paul, serving the Gospel of Jesus
Christ as a priest, offers up a sacrifice made holy and acceptable (sanctified)
through the power of the Holy Spirit.  In this passage Paul identifies himself
in the Old Covenant liturgical language of priesthood by using the significant
Greek word hierogon.  First Paul uses the Greek word leitourgos
which conveys the meaning of “one who performs duties under the supervision of a
superior” [also see Romans 13:6 and
] when he identifies himself as a “minister” / leitourgos: “I
was given grace to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles…”. 
this word is reinforced by the verb hierourgein, which in the present
tense is always used in the Greek Septuagint translation of the Old Testament
and in secular writings from this period [see Philo of Alexander and Flavius
Josephus] in the context of priestly service in offering sacrifices.  In
that context this passage can also be translated: “to be a minister of Christ
Jesus to the Gentiles, serving the Gospel of God as a priest, in order
that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy
[see Father Brendan Byrne, S.J. Sacra Pagina Series, volume 6:
page 434-435].  This imagery is expressed in terms of the ordained
priest’s ritual of prescribed and holy sacrifice upon God’s holy Altar.


Question: What is the significance of this imagery in
terms of Paul’s Apostolic mission and the inclusion of the Gentile Christians
into the New Covenant’a New Covenant formerly given into the hands of the
faithful remnant of Jews who embraced Jesus as the promised Messiah?

Answer:  The formerly “unclean” Gentile “goyim”
[nations/ gentiles] have been cleansed by the power of God the Holy Spirit and
Paul, as the Apostle to the Gentile nations’is through the grace of God
performing a priestly function’offering, by the cleansing power of baptism
through the Holy Spirit, the Gentile nations as a pleasing sacrifice to God.  In
the terms of Paul’s Apostolate, he is communicating to the Christians of Rome,
Jew and Gentile united in Christ, that his position in the Church of Jesus
Christ, and indeed, his unique position in Salvation History, is defined and
fulfilled in the offering of the Gentile nations to God as promised by the
prophets.  Paul is the means by which the Holy Spirit has fulfilled those
promises and he is therefore in a unique position to teach the Church in this
regard concerning the inclusion of the Gentiles into the covenant.


Israel had been offered up to God as a holy people in the
ratification of the Covenant at Sinai becoming Zion’God’s holy people, the kahal
or Church [“the called-out ones”],  and now the Gentiles have entered into the
Covenant of Zion “called out” by God as full members’equal citizens of the
Kingdom of Heaven on Earth!  Please see Isaiah 45:14;
60:5-17; 61:6; and 66:18-20 for
promises of the escatological Zion in which Yahweh comes to gather “every
nation and every language”
to “witness my glory.”  And of the promise
that, “some of them I shall make into priests and Levites”‘some of
those converted Gentiles will actually become priests and ministers of the
  It is these purified Gentiles that Paul has offered to God as
“living sacrifices” [see Romans
].  It is in this same liturgical sense of a living sacrifice of
believers offered up to God that Peter writes in 1 Peter 2:5,
“set yourselves close to him, so that you, too, may be living stones making a
spiritual house as a holy priesthood to offer the spiritual sacrifices made
acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”


Question: Therefore, in what particular way does Paul
see the conversion of the Gentile people he has let to Christ?

Answer: As his sacrifice offered to God’the conversion
of the Gentiles is a liturgical function in which not just the Gentiles but
now with the addition of the Gentiles the whole human race becomes an acceptable
offering to God
‘an acceptable sacrifice that has been sanctified by the Holy


In Romans 15:17
Paul “boasts” that he can be proud of what he has done for God in Christ Jesus
when previously he had warned the Romans about “boasting” of their good deeds.
But this is an acceptable “boast” because it is based upon and brought to
completion through the power’not of Paul’but of the Holy Spirit and the Gospel
of Jesus Christ to whom Paul gives full credit [see Romans 6:3, 11].


Question: In Romans 15:19
Paul writes that he has provided “signs and wonders” in testimony of the Gospel
of Jesus Christ.  What is the significance of this statement?  See Acts 1:8; and 19:11-12

Answer:  “So remarkable were the miracles worked by
God at Paul’s hands that handkerchiefs or aprons which had touched him were
taken to the sick, and they were cured of their illnesses, and the evil spirits
come out of them.”
Acts 19:11-12.  In
Paul testifies that “signs and wonders” and the power of the Holy
Spirit has brought the Gentiles to faith in Jesus Christ.  In Acts 1:8 Jesus had
promised His disciples, “…but you will receive the power of the Holy Spirit
which will come on you, and then you will be my witnesses, not only in Jerusalem
but throughout Judea and Samaria, and indeed to earth’s remotest end.”
is acknowledging that it is this power that has given him success in his mission
to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  “Signs and wonders” are important to the
Jews for whom the recognition of a true prophet was based upon the “signs and
wonders” he worked as evidence that he truly was God’s representative.  Moses
was the premier prophet in this regard in the “signs and wonders” he worked
during the Exodus experience and this is what the crowds asked Jesus to
prove’that He was truly acting as a legitimate prophet, when they said to Him in
John 6:30,
“What sign will you yourself do, the sight of which will make us believe in
Jesus did work “signs and wonders” greater than Moses in His ministry
and many came to believe He was indeed the Son of God but still, many did not
come to belief.


Question: What did Paul teach about “signs and
wonders” in 1
Corinthians 1:21-31

Answer: The Jews want “signs” [the literal translation
in verse
]’supernatural acts that point to the power of God while the Gentiles want
“wisdom”‘logic based on reason, which is for the Gentile Greeks stronger than
miracles.  Paul admits it is human to demand proof and the desire for “proof” is
not in itself reprehensible but it is unacceptable when the demand for “proof”
denies the gift of faith.  The Cross of Jesus Christ and His Resurrection is all
the proof one needs, “but to those who have been called, whether they are
Jews or Greeks, a Christ who is both the power of God and the Wisdom of
  Christ is both the “sign” and the “wisdom.”


Question: How far does Paul write that he has carried
the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

Answer: From Jerusalem to Illyricum.   The Roman
province of Illyricum is modern day Albania.  Paul has accomplished the mission
set for him by the Holy Spirit, having spread the Gospel from one end of the
eastern half of the Roman Empire to the other.  Now the Holy Spirit will
challenge him to complete the same pattern in the West, expanding the Gospel
message from the ends of the West in Spain to the other end of the western Roman
Empire which would be Britain.  Was this part of Paul’s broader plan to repeat
his success for spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the west?


Question: What does Paul say is his rule in preaching
the Gospel?

Answer: He is strictly a missionary who founds
Christian communities and does not build on someone else’s foundation.  He
establishes the Church and then leaves it to others to continue nurturing the
growth of the communities he founded.


Paul then quotes Isaiah 52:15c
in Romans
with his typical introductory statement: “in accordance with the
Scripture,” “Those who have never been told about him will see him, and those
who have never heard about him will understand.”

Question: Who is it who has never been told about him
who will “see” and “understand”?  Who is it these people did not know before
Paul and the Apostles?

Answer: Before the ministry of Paul and his companions
in Christ the Gentile nations did not know Christ but through the power of the
Gospel of Jesus Christ they came to “see” and to “understand” Christ and to
received the gift of salvation.


This Isaiah passage is from the Fourth Song of the Suffering
Servant which takes up the theme of suffering and the persecution which the
“Servant” of God will endure.  Paul also quoted the next verse, Isaiah 53:1 in
. Paul does not mean to compare himself with Christ by quoting this
passage’he means to say that he is sent by Christ to those who have never seen
or heard about the Savior and he leads them to understanding by the power of the
Holy Spirit.  This verse will, however, become prophetic for him in the coming
spring and the next two years when Paul will witness before governors and kings:
, “…and kings will stay tight-lipped before him, seeing what had
never been told them, learning what they had not heard before.”
[see Paul’s
witness to Roman governors and King Agrippa I in Acts 24:24-27; 25:13-26:32].


Please read Romans
: Paul’s future plans

22 That is why
I have been so often prevented from coming to see you;
23 now, however, as there is nothing more to keep
me in these parts, I hope, after longing for many years past to visit you, to
see you when I am on the way to Spain’
and after enjoying at least something of your company, to be sent on my
way with your support. 
25 But now I
have undertaken to go to Jerusalem in the service of the holy people of God
26 since Macedonia and Achaia
have chosen to make a generous contribution to the poor among God’s holy people
at Jerusalem. 
27 Yes, they chose to;
not that they did not owe it to them.  For if the Gentiles have been given a
share in their spiritual possessions, then in return to give them help with
material possessions is repaying a debt to them. 
28 So when I have done this, and given this
harvest into their possession, I shall visit you on the way to Spain.
29 I am sure that, when I do come to
you, I shall come with the fullest blessing of Christ.
30 Meanwhile I urge you, brothers, by our Lord
Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, that in your prayers to God for me
you exert yourselves to help me;
praying that I may escape the unbelievers in Judea, and that the aid I am
carrying to Jerusalem will be acceptable to God’s holy people.
32 Then I shall come to you, if God wills, for a
happy time of relaxation in your company. 
33 The God of peace be with you all.  Amen.”


Again Paul announces his intension of visiting the Roman
Christians as he previously mentioned in the opening of his letter in Romans

Question: What mission does Paul write that he must
complete before coming to visit them?  See Romans
; Acts
; 1
Corinthians 16:1-4

Answer: He must deliver the Gentile’s contributions to
the mother Church in Rome.  This is a mission that has been planned since Paul
first wrote about it in 1
Corinthians 16:1-3
and repeated the plan in 2
Corinthians chapters 8-9


Question: Notice that twice, in verses 26 and
Paul stresses that the donation of the Gentiles to the Church in
Jerusalem is voluntary. What debt or obligation does Paul consider the Gentiles
have to the Church in Jerusalem and why?

Answer: Paul considered it the obligation of the
Gentiles as younger brothers who have been welcomed back into the family of God
and therefore now have a share in the spiritual blessings of the covenant to
express their solidarity with the Jews as their older brothers and sisters in
faith by support the members of the Church in Jerusalem who were in need of
material support.  Many orthodox Jews of the Diaspora would come to Jerusalem to
die, leaving behind their widows and orphans.  Many of these abandoned widows
became Christians and were a financial burden for the Jerusalem church.  In this
gesture of solidarity from the Gentile Christians is also the reminder that the
Gentiles are the “wild olive branches” that have been grafted on to the original
root’the Patriarchs, the fathers of the Jews [see Romans
], and the “wild branches” have an obligation to share not only in
the blessings but in the suffering.


Notice the title given to those who suffer in Jerusalem in verse 26,
“to the poor among God’s holy people.”  Does it not recall the blessings
promised the poor and humble in Jesus’ Sermon on the Plain in Luke 6:20-21? ‘
” How blessed are you who are poor: the Kingdom of God is yours.  Blessed are
you who are hungry now: you shall have your fill.  Blessed are you who are
weeping now: you shall laugh.”
  The Gentiles of Greece and Asia Minor
[Galatia contributed to the relief fund], are now the bearers of God’s promised
blessing.  [See other passages associated with the blessed poor and humble in Psalms 69:32;
72:2; Proverbs
; 29:13; Isaiah 14:32;
25:4; 29:19].


Question: Where does Paul plan to go after visiting
the Romans and what is he hoping the Roman church will give him?

Answer: He plans to spread the Gospel in Spain and is
his hoping for their emotional support and probably for their financial
support’what every missionary evangelist needs for the success of his

Question: What 2 requests does Paul make of the Roman

Answer: That they will pray for the success of his
mission to Jerusalem and the preservation of his life.


Please read Romans 16:1-16:
Greetings to Roman Christians

1 I commend to
you our sister Phoebe, a deaconess of the church at Cenchreae;
2 give her, in the Lord, a welcome worthy of God’s
holy people and help her with whatever she needs from you’she herself has come
to the help of many people, including myself. 
3 My greetings to Prisca and Aquila, my
fellow-workers in Christ Jesus,
4 who
risked their own necks to save my life; to them, thanks not only from me, but
from all the churches among the Gentiles,
and my greetings to the church at their house.  Greetings to my dear
friend Epaenetus, the first of Asia’s offerings to Christ.
6 Greetings to Mary (Maria), who worked so hard
for you. 
7 Greetings to those
outstanding apostles, Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and fellow-prisoners,
who were in Christ before me. 
Greetings to Ampliatus, my dear friend in the Lord. 
9 Greetings to Urban, my fellow-worker in Christ,
and to my dear friend Stachys. 
Greetings to Apelles, proved servant of Christ.  Greetings to all the
household of Aristobulus. 
Greetings to my kinsman, Herodion, and greetings to those who belong to
the Lord in the household of Narcissus. 
Greetings to Tryphaena and Tryphosa who work hard in the Lord; greetings
to my dear friend Persis, also a very hard worker in the Lord. 
13 Greetings to Rufus, chosen servant of the Lord,
and to his mother’a mother to me too. 
Greetings to Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the
brothers who are with them.
Greetings to Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas
and all God’s holy people who are with them. 
16 Greet each other with the holy kiss.  All the
churches of Christ send their greetings.”


“All the churches of Christ send their
This form of greeting is not found anywhere else in Paul’s
letters.  This special greeting again illustrates the position of honor of the
Roman church whose “faith is talked of all over the world.” Romans 8:1.


In Romans 16:1
Paul commends to the Roman congregation the deaconess Phoebe who Paul writes of
endearingly not as “his” sister but as “our” sister, meaning “our sister” in the
precious Blood of Jesus the Christ’it is a kinship affiliation that is stronger
than the physical bond in the natural family.  The title he assigns her,
deaconess, identifies Phoebe to the Roman church as a woman of importance “in
service” to the Church in the East.  She may have been a woman of independent
wealth because Paul mentions that she has come to the aid of many people,
including himself.  From this passage most scholars believe Phoebe was entrusted
by Paul with delivering this most important letter to the Roman church. Paul
must have placed great confidence and trust in this holy woman.


After his request for Phoebe’s welcome Paul greets a large
number of Roman Christians’with many of whom he has strong ties and some are
apparently only acquaintances.  We may have wondered how Paul could speak so
boldly about the “weaknesses” within this community which needed to be
overcome’now we know how Paul was so well acquainted with the problems that
threatened the unity of this faith community’he had inside information!


We will look more closely at this list after Paul sends
greetings from his co-workers in Corinth in 16:21-23, but
Prisca and Aquila deserve special mention.

Question: When did Paul first meet this devoted Jewish
couple in whose home the Church gathered in Corinth?  What was the probable date
of their first meeting? Hint: see Acts 18:1-3.

Answer: Emperor Claudius’ expulsion of Jews and
Christians from Rome is generally dated to 49AD so Paul’s meeting with Pricilla
and Aquila must have been sometime after the eviction of Jews and Christians
from Rome and after the Council of Jerusalem which is also dated to 49AD’an
opportune time to meet since the Church leadership (Peter and others) had also
been expelled from the Roman capital.  The 5th century Christian
historian Orosius wrote that Claudius expelled the Jews in the ninth year of his
reign, which in our calendar would be from January 24, 49 – January 23, 50AD
[Seven Books of History Against the Pagans, 7.6].  Sometime after meeting
these holy Jewish Christians from the Roman Church, Paul was brought before the
Roman governor of the province of Achaea [Greece] in the city of Corinth for
charges leveled against him by the Jews.  An inscription discovered at Delphi,
Greece, helps to approximate the date Junius Gallio was Roman proconsul of
Achaea.  His appointment could not have been earlier than the late spring of 50
and he must have continued in that position [if he served a two year term] not
later than the early summer of 54AD.  During Claudius’ reign as Emperor, an
official like Gallio normally left Rome in the early spring and arrived at his
post by the late spring or early summer.  Such men usually served for a term of
1 year but it was not unusual for them to serve 2 years, as in the case of Roman
governor of Judea-Samaria-Galilee, Marcus Antonius Felix. [Note: prior to
Claudius’ rule Roman governors served much longer terms.  Pontius Pilate was
governor for 10 years from 26-36AD].


Question: Paul developed a lasting friendship with
this couple.  In what other ways did they serve the Church and support Paul in
his ministry?  See Acts 18:1-3, 18-26; 1
Corinthians 16:19

Answer: Aquila was a Jewish Christian from the Roman
province of Pontus in Asia Minor.  Pricilla and Aquila are the model Christian
couple devoted to God, to serving the Gospel of Jesus Christ and devoted to each
other.  Paul stayed with them in Corinth where they worked together in the trade
of tent-making [or prayer shawl making; tillit in Hebrew can mean “tent” or
“prayer shawl”]; their home was the first Christian gathering place in Corinth.
According to Acts
when Paul’s mission was competed in Corinth they left with him and
traveled to Ephesus where they also established a church-home [1
Corinthians 16:19
].  In Ephesus they met a gifted Christian orator named
Apollos and gave him more complete instruction in the Word.   They returned to
Rome some time after Claudius’ edict was revoked [54AD] where they also offered
their home as a “church-home” to Roman Christians.  During their years of
friendship and service in the Church they willing risked their lives for Paul
and were most likely his best source of information concerning the spiritual
health of the Roman faith community.


Question: What request does Paul make in Romans 16:16
and what is the significance?

Answer:  In Romans 16:16
Paul requests that the Romans:
Greet each other with the holy kiss.”
And then adds: ” All the
churches of Christ send their greetings.”

In both the Old and New Testaments [as well as in modern
times] the kiss, exchanged between persons of the same sex or persons of
opposite sexes, has been a common token of affection at greetings and farewells
between persons of the same family or kingroup/ethnic group, by blood or
marriage, and a kiss was also given as a sign of submission and homage.

For Biblical examples:

Paul is asking the Christians of Rome, on his behalf, to
exchange this sign of affection and solidarity with each other as members of
“the family” which is the universal family/Church of God.  This ancient greeting
survives in the Catholic Mass in the ritual of the Pax: the sign of peace, a
rite described in St. Justin Martyr’s letter to the Roman Emperor Antonius Pius
[138-161AD] explaining how Christians worshipped circa the year 150/155AD and
that in the liturgical celebration Christians exchanged a “kiss of peace” with
one another who share the family solidarity of belief in Christ Jesus,
reconciling with each other in brotherly love before receiving the Eucharist
[which we do in obedience to Jesus command in Matthew


St. Paul appeals to the Roman Christians for their prayers as
he prepares for the journey to Jerusalem that he planned to make in what would
probably be the spring of 58AD, and he gives them a final warning.

Please read Romans
: Paul’s final warning

17 I urge you,
brothers, be on your guard against the people who are out to stir up
disagreements and bring up difficulties against the teaching which you learnt.
Avoid them. 
18 People of that sort
are servants not of our Lord Christ, but of their own greed; and with talk that
sounds smooth and reasonable they deceive the minds of the unwary. 
19 Your obedience has become known to everyone,
and I am very pleased with you for it; but I should want you to be learned only
in what is good, and unsophisticated about all that is evil.
20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under
your feet.  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”


This final warning is similar to Paul’s parting words in
other letters; for example, see Galatians
.  He is probably referring to the Jews who try convince Jewish
Christians to reject the New Covenant or Jewish Christians who cannot accept a
unified brethren and reject the Gentile Christians [see Galatians
; Philippians
].  In this case, Paul advises, debating the issues can only go so
far’there is a point when such discord can become harmful to the believer and he
should walk away.  It is wise in such cases to remember Paul’s warning in Romans 14:23:
“…every action which does not spring from faith is sin.”  Our actions
must be prompted by a conviction of faith.


In Romans 16:19
Paul again compliments the Roman Christians: “Your obedience has become known
to everyone, and I am very pleased with you for it..”
  And then he
admonishes them to discern between what is good and what is evil and promises in
verse 20:
“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.”

Question: To what Old Testament promise is Paul
alluding in this verse? 

Answer: He is recalling God’s promise in Genesis 3:15
that the “seed of the Woman” will have the power to “crush the head of the
serpent”.  Jesus has fulfilled this promise with His Resurrection, but
Christians, as the collective “seed of the Woman, Mary” are still in battle
against Satan but we have take courage because we have already been promised the


Before Paul concludes his letter he names members of the
Corinthian church who are friends as well as his companions and fellow workers
in Corinth.  Many scholars do not believe this section of Paul’s letter from 16:21-27 is
part of the original document, arguing that verse 20 is
the original closing formula of the letter.   Perhaps that is possible but these
verses are included in all but a few of the ancient copies of Paul’s letter to
the Romans and some of those omit the entire list of names, perhaps because
those copies were used in the liturgical readings just as we omit parts of
Scripture from certain passages of Scripture used in our liturgical readings
[i.e. the lengthy Old Testament genealogies].  Isn’t it also possible that those
with Paul’maybe even looking over the shoulder of his secretary, wanted to be
included and suggested that their greetings be added along with the greeting of
Paul’s secretary, Tertius which made it necessary to close the letter with the
lovely doxology which follows the greeting of the Corinthian Christians in verses 24-27?
Haven’t we all had such an experience?  Isn’t it likely that Paul’s fellow
laborers in the “great harvest of souls” would take an interest in his letter to
the very important Roman Christian community where many of them had friends who
were serving Christ in the center of the pagan Roman Empire?

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