“Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of god; so that from Jerusalem, and round about Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.”
This more fully explains the preceding clause: through the power of the Holy Ghost he was enabled to work among the Gentiles mighty signs and wonders; so that they were flly convinced that both his doctrine and mission were Divine; and therefore they cheerfully received the Gospel of the Lord Jesus.

“Through mighty signs and wonders
Literally:  “In power of signs and wonders.”– Through the might of signs and wondersi.e., through those extraordinary powers which found their expression in signs and wonders.   In working miracles and in renewing and sanctifying the hearts of men.

          “Signs and wonders” is the phrase regularly used throughout the N.T. for the Christian miracles: so frequently in the Gospels. The two words are very similar in meaning and they denote the same acts, but they connote different aspects in which those acts may be regarded. The primary purpose of a miracle in the First Century was to prove that the person performing the miracle spoke or wrote by the power of the Holy Spirit, and therefore his words were from God and authenticated by God.
          By stupendous and striking miracles. Paul here refers, doubtless, to the miracles which he had himself wrought. See Acts 19:11-12, “And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul,” etc. This describes what extra-ordinary help had been given–the power to work miracles and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

        SIGNS:  (Grk.–semeion)–The word “signs” tends to bring out the symbolic character of the miracle, the spiritual truth of which it was, as it were, the physical expression. Here the emphasis is upon the attesting power of the miracle. 

       WONDERS: (Grk.–teras)-Literally: “something strange,” causing the beholder to marvel, is always used in the plural, always rendered, “wonders,” and generally follows “signs.”

This word is used when the emphasis is upon the extraordinary character of the miracle which draws attention to the miracle and impresses it upon the memory of the beholder. In the word “wonders” stress is laid rather upon its character as a portent, a display of supernatural, divine power. That Paul himself claimed miraculous powers is a fact that cannot be doubted.

“by the power of the Spirit of God;”
Literally:  “In power of {the} Spirit of God.”  In working miracles and in renewing and sanctifying the hearts of men.  The
“Holy Ghost," as the true reading seems to be. This seems intended to explain the efficacy of the word preached, as well as the working of the miracles which attested it. The “power of the Spirit of God” is exemplified both in “deed” and in “word.”

          POWER:  (Grk.–dunamis)–This Greek word for power, or virtue, is used twice in this verse.  It is first applied to signs and wonders, to show their efficacy; and then to the Spirit of God, to show that he was the efficient cause of that efficacy.

“From Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum,”
Literally:  “From Jerusalem and in a circuit as far as Illyricum.”–The Greek more properly means, “from Jerusalem and its surroundings even to Illyricum.”

The “surroundings” of Jerusalem would be (1) Judæa, where Paul did a work known only from Acts 26:20 and (2) neighboring regions, as Syria, and perhaps “Arabia;” (Galatians 1:17). Paul’s work really began at Damascus; but Jerusalem was his most distant center of operations.  Acts 13-19 forms the best comment on this verse.  

          JERUSALEM:  (Grk.–Ierousalem)–Jerusalem, as a center of his work; the center of all spiritual operations and preaching under the Gospel. This was not the place where Paul began to preach, (Ga 1:17-18) but it was the place where the Gospel was first preached, and the apostles began to reckon their success from that as a point.

          AND ROUND ABOUT:  (Grk.–kai kukloi)—That is, in a circle. In a sort of rough curve, embracing a large portion of Asia Minor, and finally turning towards the starting-point again in Illyricum. That is, taking Jerusalem as a center, Paul had fully preached round that center until one comes to Illyricum.

          ILLYRICUM:  It is a country of Europe, extending from the Adriatic gulf to Pannonia: according to Pliny, it extended from the river Arsia to the river Drinius, thus including Dalmatia on the east. It is located directly across from the Italian “boot” on the east side of the Adriatic Sea.

The precise limits of Illyricum have not been determined by either ancient or modern geographers.  It was probably divided by Augustus Caesar into two provinces, the upper and lower.  It now forms part of Croatia, Bosnia, Istria, and Slavonia, and what was once the country of Albania.

Illyricum In Paul's Day

Paul preached not only in Damascus and Arabia, but also in Syria, Asia Minor, in all Greece,  and in the Grecian Islands; and in Macedonia. There is nowhere in the Acts express mention of Paul's going into Illyricum; nor does the expression imply that he preached the Gospel within it, but only unto its borders. It may have been that when he was in Macedonia he did cross over into Illyricum; and this is rendered somewhat probable from the fact that Titus is mentioned as having gone into Dalmatia, (II Tim. 4:10) which was a part of Illyricum.

“I have fully preached the Gospel of Christ”
Literally:  “To have fulfilled {the preaching of} the Gospel of Christ.”–That is, I have not only proclaimed the word, but made converts and founded Churches.”

          FULLY PREACHED:  (Grk.–peplêrôkenai)–Literally, “fulfilled.” This word means, “to fill up; to complete,” and here is used in the sense of spreading abroad, or of filling up all that region with the gospel. (Comp. II Tim. 4:17).  It seems probable that what is intended is the publication of the Gospel in all that country.

“Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation.”

“Yea so I have strived”
Literally: “And so eagerly striving.”I have considered it my honor to preach the Gospel where it was been unknown.

“As I am not ashamed of the  Gospel of Christ,  so I esteem it an honor to preach it, and especially to proclaim it among the heathen; not building on another man's foundation-not watering what another apostle had planted; but cheerfully exposing myself to all kinds of dangers and hardships, in order to found new Churches.”

                        YEA:  (Grk.–houtôs de)—Better rendered as, “and so.”  This is introducing a limitation to his preceding statement.

 STRIVED:   (Grk.–philotimoumenon)—Literally means, “to be ambitious, to be studious of honor;” and then, to desire earnestly

            The word as used here has the sense of “prosecuting a project or proposed piece of work,carrying it on to a successful termination. It is in that sense it is used here. Paul earnestly desired; he made it a point of honor, for which he struggled, to penetrate into regions which had not heard the Gospel. This verb originally meant “to be fond of honor,” and hence, from a love of honor.  Compare II Cor. 5:8; I Thess. 4:11—the correct sense is “to prosecute as a point of honor.”
           Vincent Word Studies in the N.T. interprets this word as, “The correct sense is to prosecute as a point of honor.”  However, his use of the word “prosecute” does not have the legal meaning as it does today; namely because the action of a prosecuting attorney is bringing charges against a defendant.

“not where Christ was named”
Literally:  “Where Christ was not named.”–Paul’s object was to preach the gospel to the destitute who had never before heard it. Paul was a pioneer preacher pushing on to new fields after the manner of Daniel Boone in Kentucky.

The ministers (missionaries) who go and preach the Gospel to those that have never heard it, and who are successful, through the power of the Holy Spirit, in converting them to God, gathering churches, and establishing Christian institutions, are, in a high and peculiar sense, imitators of apostles, and may hope, through grace, to be distinguished partakers of their gracious and glorious reward.

“lest I should build on another man’s foundation”
Literally:  “so that I should not build on another’s foundation.”–That is, he desired to found churches himself; he regarded himself as particularly called to this.

Paul declares the fixed policy of his ministry not to preach where Christ had been heard, but in new fields Where other apostles or evangelists, had laid a foundation, he did not seek to build on (compare II Cor. 10:12-16). . However, this was not a hard and fast rule.  He preached a year at Antioch, in Syria, after the church was gathered (Acts 11:25-26).  Since no apostle or great evangelist had yet visited Rome, his letter to the Romans was no violation of his principle.
            Others might be called to edify the church, but Paul regarded it as his office to make known the name of the Savior where it was not before known. This work was particularly adapted to the ardor, zeal, energy, and bravery of such a man as Paul. Every man has his proper gift; and there are some particularly fitted to found and establish churches; others to edify and comfort them. Paul chose the higher honor, involving most danger and responsibility; but still any office in building up the church is honorable.

“But as it is written, ‘To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see, and they hat have not heard shall understand.’”

“But as it is written”
Literally:  “But even as it has been written.”–In Isa. 52:15.

This O.T. passage is not literally quoted; but the sense of the passage is retained. Paul’s purpose in quoting it is to justify the principle on which he acted. It was revealed that the Gospel should be preached to the Gentiles; and he regarded it as a high honor to be the instrument of carrying this prediction into effect.  Paul applies these O.T. words to his own conduct; not that the words themselves predicted what Paul had done, but that he endeavored to fulfil such a declaration by his manner of preaching the Gospel to the heathen. The course which Paul took was a fulfillment of prophecy.

“and they that have not heard”
Literally:  “And the {ones} not having heard.”Those who had not before heard the
Gospel would, through such labors as those of Paul, hear and obey it.

          Paul, having in the former verses, excused himself for dealing so plainly in his writings with them, here apologizes for his not coming amongst them, explaining that the true reason why he did not visit Rome was that he looked upon his “planting” of churches more necessary than “watering” them, and the preaching of Christ where he had never been named, to be the most needful work. Now at Rome there had already been a church planted, and pastors ordained to build upon that foundation. 
          It was because this that he had hitherto declined coming to
Rome. But now, having no more place in these parts, that is, having no more churches to plant thereabouts, he signifies both his inclinations and fixed resolutions to visit them at Rome, as he took his journey into Spain, and to stay some time with them, that they might be mutually filled and satisfied with, and refreshed by, each other's company.

“For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you.”

            “For which cause”
            Literally:  “Therefore.”–I have been so entirely occupied in this leading purpose of my life, that I have not been able to come to you.

My considering it a point of honor to build on no other man's foundation; and, finding that the Gospel has been long ago planted at Rome, I have been prevented from coming there, purposing rather to spend my time and strength in preaching where Christ has not, as yet, been proclaimed. Being so long occupied with this missionary work, I have been much (or, 'for the most part') hindered.

“I have been hindered from coming to you.”
Literally:  “I also was hindered much from coming to you.”

           HAVE BEEN HINDERED: (Grk.–enekoptomên)-denoting continuous action, and implying a succession of hindrances. I had so frequent and urgent demands on my time elsewhere, that I could not come to you.

         The greatest hindrance to his coming to Rome  hitherto was the duty of preaching in places where Christ was unknown.  His labors from Jerusalem to Illyricum had “hindered” Paul from seeing Christians at Rome as he longed to do.  In I Thess. 2:18 he said, “We would fain have come unto you, I Paul once and again ; and Satan himself hindered us,” whether by direct or direct means we are not told.  (See 1:13).
          Paul wants to take the gospel “way out yonder” and that he plans to come through Rome, which is only natural since Rome was the terminal center of the world.  He was looking for new territory and he has his eyes on the extreme western part of the Empire.

“But now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you.”

“But now having no more place in these parts”
Literally:  “But now having no more place in these regions.”– But now having no more place in these parts. Everywhere around the eastern Mediterranean the name of Christ had been preached, so that churches were formed in all the chief cities.  Hence, Paul wished to seek new fields.

Having nothing farther at present that I can do; which is a frequent meaning of the phrase among the best Greek writers-having no large place or city, where Christianity has not yet been planted, in which I can introduce the Gospel.  Paul was then at Corinth; and having evangelized all those parts, he had no opportunity of breaking up any new ground.

“in these parts”–
Literally:  “In the regions.” In the regions before specified, he had gone over them, had established churches, had left them in the care of elders, (Acts 20:17) and  was now     prepared to penetrate into some new region, and lay the foundation of other churches.

“having a great desire these many years to come unto you.”
Literally:  “Having a longing for many years to come to you.”  See 1:9-13. 


“Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you:  for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company.”

“Whensoever I take my journey into Spain”
Literally:  “Whenever I shall go into Spain.” Ancient Spain . It was a Roman province with many Jews in it. The Greek name for it was Iberia, the Latin (Roman) name for it was Hispania. The Roman  province of Spain included the modern nations of Spain and Portugal; or the entire Iberian peninsula.

           It is remarkable, even here, that Paul does not say that his principal object was to visit the church at Rome , much as he did desire to do that, but only to take it in on his way in the fulfillment of his higher purpose: to preach the gospel in regions where Christ was not named. Whether he ever fulfilled his purpose of visiting Spain is a matter of doubt. Some of the fathers, Theodoret (on Phil. 1:25; II Tim. 4:17) among others, say that after he was released from his captivity in Rome, after he was brought before Nero, that he spent two years in Spain. If he was imprisoned a second time at Rome , such a visit is not improbable as having taken place between the two imprisonments. But there is no certain evidence of this. Paul probably projected many journeys which were never accomplished.
          Where it is very likely the Gospel had not yet been planted; though legendary tales inform us that James (the brother of Jude, and half-brother of Jesus(after the flesh) had planted the Gospel there long before this time, and had founded many churches!  But this is as unfounded as it is ridiculous and absurd; for nothing like what is now termed a bishopric, nor even a parish, was founded for many years after this.

“I will come to you”–These words are not in almost every MS. of note.  If the first clause of this verse be read in connection with the latter clause of the preceding verse, it     will full appear that this rejected clause is useless.

If this clause is creditable, it says that Paul only intended to stop for a season, in passing through, for the reason that there was already a church there. God willed that it should be otherwise.

“I trust to see you in my journey”
Literally:  “For I hope {in} travelling through to behold you .”–As I pass through by you, to be set forward on my journey thither, if first I be somewhat filled with your company: that is, I should indeed like to stay longer with you than I can hope to do, but I must, to some extent at least, have my fill of your company.

“somewhat filled with your company”
Literally:  “ I may be fillled in part.”

           FILLED: (Grk.–empiplemi)–This is a strong expression, meaning “to be satisfied, to enjoy, gratify.  Vine’s Expository Dictionary of N.T. Words defines it as thus:  “to fill full, to satisfy.”

To be filled with a thing is to have great satisfaction and joy in it. The expression to be filled with one, in the sense of being gratified, is sometimes used in the classic writers.  Paul anticipated spiritual enjoyment in his visit to Rome, but his use of the word, “somewhat” or, “in a measure” intimates that he did not anticipate that he would be able to stay long enough to be fully satisfied with such blessed company.

“with your company.   
Literally: “of you;”–Meaning, “by you” or “with you.”  If first in some measure I shall have been satisfied with your company (get my fill of you).  Delicate compliment for the
Roman church.