Romans 15:30
Now I beseech you, brothers, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in your prayers to God for me;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(30) The love of the Spiriti.e., the love inspired in them by the Spirit—flowing from the Spirit.

Strive together with me.—Second my own earnest entreaties.

Romans 15:30-33. Now I beseech you for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake — That is, by all which he has done for you; and for the love of the Spirit — That is, by the love to God, and Christ, and his saints and servants, which is the fruit of the Spirit: that ye strive Συναγωνισασθαι, that you agonize together with me; or, as Doddridge renders it, that you join your utmost strength with mine — In your prayers to God for me; the original expression being derived from a word which signifies exerting the greatest strength and agility, such as the combatants exerted in the Grecian games. They must pray for themselves, who would have others strive together with them in prayer. Of all the apostles, Paul alone is recorded as desiring the prayers of the faithful for himself; and this he generally does in the conclusions of his epistles; yet not without making a difference. For, he speaks in one manner to them whom he treats as his children, with the gravity, or even severity of a father, such as Timothy, Titus, the Corinthians, and Galatians; in another, to them whom he treats rather like equals, such as the Romans, Ephesians, Thessalonians, Colossians, Hebrews. That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judea — “The unbelieving Jews at Jerusalem had got notice of Paul’s success in converting the Gentiles, to whom he preached salvation, without requiring them to obey the law of Moses. And being falsely informed that he taught all the Jews which were among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, &c., (Acts 21:21,) they were exceedingly enraged against him.” Of this the apostle being well apprized, and knowing of what importance the preservation of his life was to the church, is thus urgent in his requests for the continued, fervent prayers of the brethren at Rome, that he might be preserved from the power of these enemies of Christ and his servants; and that his service in making the collections might be well received by the saints there. These were evidently the grand reasons why he was so earnest in desiring the prayers of the faithful for him; for, had his own personal safety alone been the object of his solicitude, independent of the prosperity of God’s work, and the salvation of the souls of the Gentiles, he doubtless would have desired to depart, and be with Christ, which he knew would be far better than remaining longer in the body, in this world of sin and sorrow. That I may come unto you with joy — “As the apostle proposed to visit the Romans after delivering the collections at Jerusalem, he earnestly wished that that service might be acceptable to the brethren there; because, if it was well received, it would have great influence in producing that happy union of the Jews with the Gentiles, which he had so much at heart to accomplish, and make him come to Rome in great joy. But how much he was disappointed in his generous design, and in what disadvantageous circumstances he came to Rome, the history of the Acts informs us.” See chap. 21.-26. Now the God of peace — Who is at peace with us, being reconciled to us in Christ, and causes us to know, by experience, that the fruit of the Spirit is peace, — even a peace passing understanding, — be with you all — Whether I am present or absent. Amen. 15:30-33 Let us learn to value the effectual fervent prayers of the righteous. How careful should we be, lest we forfeit our interest in the love and prayers of God's praying people! If we have experienced the Spirit's love, let us not be wanting in this office of kindness for others. Those that would prevail in prayer, must strive in prayer. Those who beg the prayers of others, must not neglect to pray for themselves. And though Christ knows our state and wants perfectly, he will know them from us. As God must be sought, for restraining the ill-will of our enemies, so also for preserving and increasing the good-will of our friends. All our joy depends upon the will of God. Let us be earnest in prayer with and for each other, that for Christ's sake, and by the love of the Holy Spirit, great blessings may come upon the souls of Christians, and the labours of ministers.For the Lord Jesus Christ's sake - Greek, By or through διά dia our Lord Jesus Christ; It means probably out of love and regard to him; in order to promote his honor and glory, and to extend his kingdom among people. Paul desired to be delivered from the bands of the Jews, that he might promote the honor of Jesus Christ among the Gentiles.

And for the love of the Spirit - διά dia. By the mutual love and sympathy which the Spirit of God produces in the minds of all who are the friends of God. I beseech you now to manifest that love by praying earnestly for me.

That ye strive together with me - That you unite with me in earnest prayer. The word "strive" denotes intense "agony" or effort, such as was used by the wrestlers in the Greek games; and then the "agony," or strong effort, which a man makes in prayer, who is earnestly desirous to be heard. The use of the word here denotes Paul's earnest desire that they should make an "intense" effort in their prayers that he might be delivered. Christians, though at a distance from each other, may unite their prayers for a common object. Christians everywhere "should" wrestle in prayer for the ministers of the gospel, that they may be kept from temptations; and especially for those who are engaged, as the apostle was, in arduous efforts among the pagan, that they may be kept from the many dangers to which they are exposed in their journeying in pagan lands.

30. Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit—or, "by the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the love of the Spirit"—not the love which the Spirit bears to us, but that love which He kindles in the hearts of believers towards each other; that is "By that Saviour whose name is alike dear to all of us and whose unsearchable riches I live only to proclaim, and by that love one to another which the blessed Spirit diffuses through all the brotherhood, making the labors of Christ's servants a matter of common interest to all—I beseech you."

that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me—implying that he had his grounds for anxious fear in this matter.

In the conclusion, he commends himself to their prayers. This is usual with him in his other Epistles: see Ephesians 6:18-20 Colossians 4:3 2 Thessalonians 3:1 Hebrews 13:18.

I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake: q.d. If not for my sake, yet for his sake, who is most dear to you.

And for the love of the Spirit: q.d. If you love the Spirit of God; or rather, if the grace of love be wrought in you by the Spirit, show it in this thing. This pathetical way of speaking is frequent with this apostle: see Romans 12:1 Philippians 2:1.

That ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me; that you strive as those that be in an agony; it is a military word: he bespeaks their earnest and importunate prayers in his behalf. Jacob prayed after this manner; so did Elijah, and Epaphras, Colossians 4:12. He prayed himself, and he desired them to join with him, and help him, as Aaron and Hur helped Moses. Now I beseech you, brethren,.... Having declared his intention of coming to them, and his confidence of it, he entreats an interest in their prayers; and which he urges from the consideration of their mutual relation as "brethren"; and therefore should love one another, and show it, among other things, by praying for each other to their common parent, in whom they have a joint interest, saying, as directed by Christ, "our Father which art in heaven", Matthew 5:45; thereby signifying, that they prayed not for themselves only, but for all the brethren, all the children of God: and this the apostle further urges,

for Christ's sake; whose servant he was, and in whose cause he was engaged, whose Gospel he preached, and whose glory he sought; and therefore, if they had any regard for Christ, and the good of his interest, he beseeches them that they would pray for the continuance of his life and usefulness; since for him to live was for the good of the churches of Christ, though for him to die would be his own personal gain: and which he also stirs them up to,

for the love of the Spirit; meaning either the love of the Father, and of the Son, which was shed abroad in their hearts by the Spirit, which he had directed them into, and they had a comfortable sensation of; or that love to God, to Christ, and one another, which the Spirit of God had wrought in them in regeneration; or that love with which the Spirit of God equally loved them, as the Father, and the Son; and which he had shown in their conversion and sanctification, in applying all grace unto them, and indwelling in them as the Spirit of adoption, and as the earnest and pledge of the heavenly inheritance.

That ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me. The apostle prayed for himself, as he had been wont to do ever since he was a converted man; but knowing well the force of united social prayer, he desires the assistance of others. He represents prayer as an agony, an holy conflict, and striving with God, a wrestling with him, as Jacob did, who held him, and would not let him go without the blessing, and had power with him, and prevailed. The phrase denotes the fervency of prayer, the strength, labour, and energy of it; see Colossians 4:12; and also intimates, that the apostle foresaw he should have a combat with many enemies where he was going, and should be in great danger by them; and therefore desires they would join him in the use of their spiritual armour, and in that particular part of it, prayer, which has been often used to good purpose against the enemies of the Gospel: he does not desire these Romans to beg the assistance of their senate or emperor: but to pray to God for him, and join with him in their prayers to him, who is a God hearing prayer, and able to save. The petitions he would have them put up to him, are as follow:

Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the {t} love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me;

(t) For the mutual union, with which the Holy Spirit has united our hearts and minds together.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Romans 15:30-31. Even now (comp. Acts 20:22-23; Acts 21:10 ff.) Paul anticipates that persecutions await him in Judaea on the part of the unbelieving (ἀπειθούντων, inobedientium, who refuse the ὑπακοὴ πίστεως; comp. Romans 11:30-31; John 3:36; Acts 15:2); but even on the part of the Palestinian Christians (τ. ἁγίοις), he is not sure of a good reception for his διακονία, because he, the anti-Judaic apostle (comp. Romans 10:21; Acts 21:21), had set on foot and conducted a Gentile-Christian collection. Hence the addition of the exhortation (παρακαλῶ) to the readers, subjoined by the continuative δέ, and how urgent and fervent!

διά] belonging to παρακ.: by means of a moving reference to Christ, as Romans 12:1, 2 Corinthians 10:1.

The ἀγάπη τοῦ πνεύμ. is the love wrought by the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22); it Paul calls in specially by way of inciting his readers to compliance.

συναγων. μοι ἐν ταῖς προσευχ.] to contend along with me in the prayers which you make, hence: in your prayers. A very correct gloss is ὑμῶν (after προσευχ.) in codd. and VSS.; not one disfiguring the sense, as Reiche thinks, who explains: in my prayer. So also Ewald. Paul might certainly, according to the sympathy of the fellowship of love, claim the joint striving of the readers in his prayers; but ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ, which would otherwise be superfluous, points most naturally to the conclusion that the προσευχαί are those of the readers; comp. 2 Corinthians 1:11; Colossians 4:12. The ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ πρὸς τὸν Θεόν is closely, and without the article, attached to ταῖς προσευχαῖς (similarly to προσεύχεσθαι ὑπέρ, Colossians 1:9, et al.) in the prayers which you address to God for me (for my welfare). Fervent prayer is a striving of the inner man against the hostile or dangerous powers, which it is sought to avert or overcome, and for the aims, which it is sought to attain. Comp. on Col. l.c.

ἵνα ῥνσθῶ ἀπὸ κ.τ.λ.] Aim of the joint striving: in order that I may be delivered from, etc. See on Matthew 6:13. It did not pass into fulfilment; even now the counsel of his Lord, Acts 9:16, was to be accomplished.

ἡ διακ. μου ἡ εἰς Ἱερους.] my rendering of service destined for Jerusalem. See Romans 15:25-26. Comp. 2 Corinthians 8:4; 2 Corinthians 9:1.Romans 15:30. παρακαλῶ δὲ ὑμᾶς. In spite of the confident tone of Romans 15:29, Paul is very conscious of the uncertainties and perils which lie ahead of him, and with the δὲ he turns to this aspect of his situation. ἀδελφοὶ (which W. H. bracket) is an appeal to their Christian sympathy. διὰ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰ. Χ. For διὰ in this sense see Romans 12:1. The Romans and Paul were alike servants of this Lord, and His name was a motive to the Romans to sympathise with Paul in all that he had to encounter in Christ’s service. διὰ τῆς ἀγάπης τοῦ πνεύματος, the love wrought in Christian hearts by the Spirit of God (Galatians 5:22) is another motive of the same kind. συναγωνίσασθαί μοι, ἐν ταῖς προσευχαῖς. συναγωνίζομαι is found here only in the N.T., but ἀγὼν and ἀγωνίζομαι in a spiritual sense are found in each of the groups into which the Pauline epistles are usually divided. What Paul asks is that they should join him in striving with all their might—in wrestling as it were—against the hostile forces which would frustrate his apostolic work. Cf. Just. Mart., Apol., ii., 13: καὶ εὐχόμενος καὶ παμμάχως ἀγωνιζόμενος. ἀγωνία in Luke 22:44 seems to denote awful fear rather than intense striving. πρὸς τὸν θεόν is not otiose: Paul felt how much it was worth to have God appealed to on his behalf.30. Now I beseech you, &c.] For similar requests for prayer, see 2 Corinthians 1:11; Ephesians 6:19; Colossians 4:3-4; 1 Thessalonians 5:25; 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2. For the language of the request (“strive together, &c.”) cp. Colossians 2:1-2; Colossians 4:12.

the love of the Spirit] i.e. the love of saints for saints, awakened by the Divine Spirit who “sheds abroad the love of God in their hearts.”—The words admit the explanation: “the love which the Spirit bears to us;” but the want of a distinct Scripture parallel for such language makes it the less probable explanation. For a similar appeal at once to the Saviour’s Name and to holy spiritual affections, cp. Php 2:1; Php 2:5.Romans 15:30. Κυρίου, Lord) He exhorts them by the name of the Lord; comp. by [for] the love, immediately after.—ἀγάπης, love) The love of the Spirit is most widely extended; it brings home [it makes a matter of interest] to thee, even what might seem to belong to another.—συναγωνίζεσθαί μοι, to strive with me) He himself must pray, who wishes others to pray with him, Acts 8:24; Acts 8:22. Prayer is a striving, or contest, especially when men resist. Paul is the only one of the apostles, who asks for himself the prayers of believers. He does this moreover generally at the conclusion of his epistles, but not indiscriminately so in all. For he does not so write to those, whom he treats as sons, with the dignity of a father, or even with severity, for example, Timothy, Titus, the Corinthians, the Galatians, as he does to those, whom he treats as his equals with the deferential regard of a brother, for example, the Thessalonians, Ephesians, Colossians (with whom he had not been), and therefore so also the Romans and likewise the Hebrews. It [the request for their prayers] is introduced with great elegance at 2 Corinthians 1:11; Php 1:19; Philemon 1:22.Verses 30-33. - Now I beseech you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me; that I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints. Here he seems to imply a possibility of even the Jewish Christians not receiving him, with the alms he brought them, kindly. In 2 Oct. 8:18, seq., he had shown signs of being anxious to avoid any possible suspicion of malversation with regard to the contribution. The danger probably arose from the suspicions against himself, his authority, and his motives, entertained by the Judaistic faction. That this faction was then strong at Jerusalem appears from the precautions he was advised to take on his arrival there (see Acts 21:20-24). That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed. Now the God of peace be with you all Amen.



Strive together (συναγωνίσασθαι)

The simple verb is used of contending in the games, and implies strenuous effort. Here earnest prayer.

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