And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brothers, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge…
The didactic and hortatory portions of the Epistle are now over, and a few personal explanations and salutations are all that remain. They need not detain us long. And here we have -
I. PAUL'S REASONS FOR WRITING TO THE ROMANS. (Vers. 14-21.) It is not because the Church at Rome is deficient in either knowledge or preaching power. The list in last chapter shows how many able men and women composed the Church. But the reason is:
1. Because Paul is apostle to the Gentiles. The Church at Rome should enjoy his care as well as the other Gentiles. The only difference is that in this case he has not been the pioneer, as he had been in so many other Gentile Churches. And regarding this apostleship he is careful to speak of:
(1) Its sacred character. He has not only been a minister of Jesus Christ (λειτουργὸς), but has also been "doing holy service" (ἱερουργοῦντα) in the matter of the gospel of God, that the Gentiles might be got ready as an offering. It is a pre-eminently holy office which the apostle has been exercising.
(2) The means employed have been the gospel of God. Paul carried "good tidings" from God to the Gentiles, and this splendid Epistle shows how full a message he brought. Then:
(3) Its end was that the Gentiles should become an acceptable offering. Consecration is the great purpose of salvation, to make them obedient in word and deed and dedicated in heart and life to God's glory.
(4) He has had a wide success in his enterprise. Signs and wonders have been wrought by the power of the Spirit of God round a large district of the heathen world.
2. But having been prevented hitherto frets coming to Rome, he indites this Epistle to them. It is as a token from the unavoidably absent apostle that he writes the Epistle.
II. HE SKETCHES HIS PROGRAMME FOR THEM. (Vers. 22-28.) And first he has to go up from Corinth with money for the poor saints of the mother Church at Jerusalem. From that Church the gospel has come to the Gentiles, and it is only reasonable that there should be now a return in the time of their need. A return in carnal things is to be expected after the reception of spiritual things. He hopes when he has got through this service at Jerusalem to come by Rome to Spain. He hoped to make his advent to Rome as a free man - he did not then think it would be as a prisoner.
III. HE IS CERTAIN HE WILL COME AS A BLESSING TO THEM. (Ver. 29.) He is inspired with moral certainty that his advent will not be in vain. It is such an assurance of blessing through us that should animate every worker for the Master. Rome was to feel the effects of Paul's visit for years. And so it did.
IV. PAUL'S REQUEST FOR INTERCESSION. (Vers. 30-32.) His assurance of blessing, instead of minimizing, only intensified his prayer, and led him to ask others to intercede for him. And here we notice:
1. The ground of the request. It is "for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit." By all that Christ has been for them and the Spirit has been with them and in them, he asks them to intercede.
2. The substance of the request. For deliverance from unbelievers in Judaea, for acceptance among the poor saints, and for a joyful and refreshing advent to Rome. Of these the last two were answered and the first was denied. Yet his apprehension by the unbelievers was overruled for great spiritual good.
V. THE BENEDICTION. (Ver. 33.) The God of peace, the great Peace-maker, is asked to be with them, making them a peaceful, happy Church at Rome. It is a message of peace that an apostle brings. - R.M.E.
Parallel VersesKJV: And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.