“And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the Gospel of Christ.”

“I am sure that, when I come unto you”
Literally:  “And I know that I will come to you.”  He assures them that his coming will be full of blessing to them in Christ. These allusions to his future movements are positive proof that this was written before Paul was a prisoner.

           I AM SURE: (Grk.–oida)—Literally in the Greek, “I know;” expressing the fullest confidence, a confidence that was greatly confirmed by the success of his labors elsewhere.

“that, when I come unto you”
Literally:  “I will come to you”–

“in the fullness of the blessing”
Literally:  “in the fullness of {the} blessing”–This should be his ever-burning desire in preaching.

            Paul did go to Rome; but he went in bonds, Acts chapters 27 and 28. But though he went in this manner, he was permitted there to preach the gospel for at least two years; nor can we doubt that his ministry was attended with the anticipated success, Acts 28:30-31.
            God may disappoint us in regard to the mode in which we purpose to do good; but if we really desire it, He will enable us to do it in His own way. It may be better to preach the Gospel in bonds than at liberty; it is better to do it even in a prison, than not di it at all. Bunyan wrote the Pilgrim's Progress to amuse his heavy hours during a twelve years' cruel imprisonment, If he had been at liberty, he probably would not have written it at all. Paul preached; but preached in chains. The great desire of his heart was accomplished, but a prison was the place in which to do it.

OF THE GOSPEL:  (Grk.–tou euangeliou)–These words are not in almost every MS. of importance.

There is no doubt they should be omitted. “I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ” would be the proper rendering of this phrase. The fullness of the blessing of Christ is really more than the fullness of the blessing of the Gospel of Christ.  He hoped to come to them not only with the blessing of the Gospel, but endued with the gifts and graces of the Lord Jesus Himself; which he was now a constant instrument, in the hand of God, to dispense among those who were converted to the Christian faith. Nor was Paul mistaken in this confidence, though his visit to Rome was in very different circumstances from what he expected. See Acts 28:16-31.

“Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me.”

            “Now I beseech you, brethren”
            Literally:  “But {And} I exhort you.”           

NOW: (Grk.–de)literally: “but” or “and”—suggesting a necessity arising out of what follows…“but I beseech you”             

“I beseech you”
Literally;  “I exhort you…”  This is almost a verbal repeat of 12:1.

for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake”
Literally:  “By the Lord of us, Jesus Christ.”  It means, out of love and regard to Him; in order to promote His honor and glory, and to extend His kingdom among men.

Paul desired to be delivered from the hands of the Jews, that he might promote the honor of Jesus Christ among the Gentiles.

“for the love of the Spirit,”
Literally:  “By the love of the Spirit.”  By that love of
God which the Holy Spirit sheds abroad in your hearts.

          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 Savior 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.”
          And for the love of the Spirit.  By the mutual love and sympathy which the Spirit of God produces in the minds of all who are the friends of God.  That which He produces in the hearts of Christians towards God and towards one another.

“that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me.”
Literally:  “That you agonize with me.–Paul felt that much depended on the success of his present mission to the Christians at
Jerusalem, and their acceptance of the charitable contribution which he was bringing with him, in order to conciliate them to the reception of the Gentiles into the Church of God without obliging them to submit to circumcision.

I beseech you now to manifest that love by praying earnestly for me. This urgent request of Paul’s for his brethren's prayers, shows a strong confidence in their faith and devotion. Compare v. 29. This is implying that Paul had his grounds for anxious fear in this matter.

          STRIVE: (Grk.–sunagônzomai)—That you agonize with me, or in company, as in the gymnasium, or in the arena. Here Paul makes the most solemn appeal for the supplications of the saints to be found in all his epistles.  This Greek word is used only here in the N.T.

That you unite with me in earnest prayer. The Greek word rendered as “strive” (sunagônzomai) literally means:   to fight along with.”  It 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 Paul was, in arduous efforts among the heathen, that they may be kept from the many dangers to which they are exposed in their journeying in pagan lands.

Notice that all three Persons of the Godhead are mentioned in this verse:
CHRIST:  “Lord Jesus Christ’s sake,
HOLY SPIRIT:    “the love of the Spirit,”

GOD THE FATHER:  “in your prayers to God”

VERSE  31:
“That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints.”

Paul really requests prayer for two fears that he has:
1.      That the unbelieving
Jews—especially the religious leaders–in Judea may seek to kill him, and,

2.      That the Jewish believers–because of their prejudice and pride–may refuse his gifts from those they consider to be heathen. 

These Jewish believers might even consider these gifts to be some sort of bribe, in return for which standing of his upstart churches might be acknowledged by them as actually being in the Kingdom of God It was possible that this gift would be taken as other than what it really was:  a pledge of brotherly love.          

“That I may be delivered from them that do not believe”
Literally:  “That I be delivered from those disobeying.”–The unbelieving Jews in Judea had been opposed to Paul's conversion.

They could not forget that he had borne letters of commission from them to persecute the Christians at Damascus. They regarded him as an apostate. They had heard of his success among the Gentiles; and they had been informed that he “taught all the Jews among the Gentiles to forsake the laws of Moses,” (Acts 21:21). Hence Paul could not but be aware that, in returning to Judea, he exposed himself to peculiar dangers. His fears, as the result showed, were well founded. They evinced all the opposition to him which he had ever anticipated, Acts 21:21.

 “them that do not believe”
Literally:  “them that are disobedient; disobeying; being disobedient; that do not obey,” that is, to the truth, by no believing it; as in 2:8.

 Paul knew that his countrymen, who had not received the Gospel, lay in wait for his life; and, no doubt, they thought they should do God service by destroying him, not only as an apostate, in their apprehension, from the Jewish religion, but as one who was laboring to subvert and entirely destroy it.  He knew too well the bitter hostility of the Jews to him, and that his visit to Jerusalem would be beset with dangers. He goes there with some foreboding. See Acts 20:22; 21:13. He saw the storm that was gathering over him in Judea, which, if at all, would certainly burst upon his head when he reached the capital; and the event too clearly showed the correctness of these apprehensions.

“that my service which I have for Jerusalem”
Literally: “And that my  ministry which is to Jerusalem.”

 SERVICE: (Grk.–diakonia)–This probably refers to the contribution which he was carrying to the poor saints at Jerusalem.         

“may be accepted of the saints.”
Literally:  “May become acceptable to the saints.”  May prove acceptable to the poor, needy believers there.

           MAY BE ACCEPTED: (Grk.–euprosdektos genetai)–Signifying a “very favorable acceptance.”  We learn from Acts 21:21, that the Jewish brethren looked with great prejudice on Paul's work among the Gentiles, and that various rumors were circulated among them.  There was a real danger of schism in Christianity.

THE SAINTS: (Grk.–hagoi)– Here he seems to imply a possibility of even the Jewish Christians not receiving him, with the alms he brought them, kindly.

Paul was apprehensive lest the narrow jealousy of the Jewish converts against the free reception of their Gentile brethren, should make this gift of theirs to the poor saints at Jerusalem less welcome than it ought to be. He would have the Romans therefore to join him in praying to God that this gift might be gratefully received, and prove a cement between the two partiesPaul’s grounds of “doubt” and “hesitation” whether they would be willing to receive this, seem to have been for two reasons.
1.      Many, even among Christians, might have had their minds filled with prejudice against the Paul, from the reports constantly in circulation among the Jews, that he was opposing and denouncing the customs of Moses.

Hence, in order to satisfy them, when he went up to Jerusalem, he actually performed a “vow” in accordance with the Law of Moses, to show that he did not intend to treat his laws with contempt; (Acts 21:22-23, 26-27).  This was really Paul compromising his ministry of GRACE   with the Law.

2.      Many of the converts from Judaism might be indisposed to receive an offering made by “Gentiles.”  

            They might have retained many of their former feelings: that is, that the Gentiles were “polluted,” and that they ought to have no fellowship with them. Early opinions and prejudices wear off by slow degrees. Christians retain former notions long after their conversion; and often many years are required to teach them enlarged views of Christian charity.        

            We should not be amazed that the Christians in Judea should have been slow to learn all the ennobling lessons of Christian benevolence, surrounded as they were by the institutions of the Jewish religion, and having been themselves educated in the strictest regard for those institutions.
            But there was yet another problem facing Paul there in Jerusalem; namely, there was the constant willingness on the part of the Roman governors of Judea to “gain favor” with the Jews by yielding, as far as possible, to their demands in matters of their religion.  All these had to be overcome, and through God’s appointed way—through prayer.

Unfortunately, what we have here is a case of doing the right thing, the wrong way.  It should never have been Paul bringing this gift to Jerusalem, for he had earlier been told by Christ to GET OUT OF JERUSALEM AND STAY OUT! (Acts 22:18).  By Paul being so intent on going to Jerusalem shows that he is acting in outright disobedience to Christ; that is, he is acting out of the flesh.  There was nothing wrong in Paul’s collecting this money for the poor believers in Jerusalem.  What was wrong is Paul himself taking it there.  He had many faithful disciples who could just as easily taken it there.  We find in Acts that Paul was warned by the Holy Spirit not to go to Jerusalem, and that if he went there he would be arrested; but he was so intent on going there that he disobedient the Spirit and went anyhow.  And when he went to Jerusalem, he was arrested, just as he had been warned that he would be.
I.          Warned by the Holy Spirit (Acts 20:22-23)
             The Holy Spirit warns Paul of trouble if he continues on his present course.  He ignores the Spirit’s warning:  “None of this moved me” (Acts 20:24).
II.        Warned by Disciples in Tyre (Acts 21:4)
             “…who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.”
             Second warning by the Holy Spirit.
III.       Warned by Agabus the prophet (Acts 21:10-11).
            Third warning by the Holy Spirit.
IV.       Warned by Luke and Friends (Acts 21:12)
            Paul refused to heed.  He even attempts to justify his actions“I am ready to die at Jerusalem for the Name of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 21:13).
            1.        He now seems to be on an ego-trip.
            2.        He is now justifying his actions.

“That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed.”

“That I may come unto you with joy”
Literally:  “That {I may} come to you in joy.”–That Paul’s apprehensions were not groundless, and the danger to which his life was exposed are real, we have already seen in the account given of this visit, (Acts 21-24; and that he had such intimations from the Holy Spirit himself appears from Acts 20:23; 21:11; 20:38. 

Should his journey to Jerusalem be prosperous, and his service accepted, so that the converted Jews and Gentiles should come to a better understanding, he hoped to see them at Rome with great joy: and if he got his wishes gratified through their prayers, it would be the full proof that this whole business had been conducted according to the will of God

WITH JOY:  (Grk.–en chara)—Literally, “in” joy.  Joy to myself in being permitted to come and producing joy to you by my presence.

“by the will of God”
Literally:  “Through {the} will of God”–That is, if
God wills it; if God permits.

After all his desires, and all their prayers, it still depended on the will of God; and to that Paul was desirous to submit. This should be the end of our most ardent desires, and this the object of all our prayers, that the will of God should be done (comp. James 4:14-15). Paul did go by the will of God; but he went in chains.  He did come to Rome, submissive to the will of God (Acts 23:11), but not in joy” (Acts 28:16, 20), though no doubt God was with him and “refreshed” him.

“and be refreshed”
Literally: “And I may be refreshed with you,”–Or find solace with you. Rather, “with you refresh myself,” after all his labors and anxieties, and so be refitted for future service.  Cheered, invigorated, and strengthened for his future labors.

“Now the God of peace be with you all.  Amen.”

“Now the God of peace be with you all”
Literally:  “And the God of peace {be} with all of you.”   The peace here sought is to be taken in its widest sense: the peace of
reconciliation to
God .

1.   “through the blood of the everlasting covenant” (Heb. 13:20; I Thess. 5:23; II Thess. 3:16; Phil. 4:9);
2.      Then the peace which that reconciliation diffuses among all the partakers of it (I Cor. 14:33; II Cor. 13:11); more widely still, that peace which the children of
God, in beautiful imitation of their Father in Heaven, are called and privileged to diffuse far and wide through this sin-distracted and divided world (12:18; Matt. 5:9; Heb. 12:14; James 3:18).

Literally:  “so be it,” or “let it be so.”–Because of the “amen” here some scholars would   make this the close of the Epistle and make chapter 16 a separate Epistle to the Ephesians. But the MSS. are against it. There is nothing strange at all in Paul's having so many friends in
Rome though he had not yet been there himself. Rome was the center of the world's life as Paul realized (1:15).  All men of Paul’s day sooner or later hoped to see Rome.

          This is the close of the doctrinal and hortatory portion of this epistle. The remainder is made up chiefly of salutations. In the verses concluding this chapter Paul has expressed his earnest desire to visit Rome. He besought his brethren to pray that he might be delivered from the unbelievers among the Jews. His main desire was granted. He was permitted to visit Rome; yet the very thing from which he sought to be delivered, the very opposition of the Jews, made it necessary for him to appeal to Caesar, and this was the means of his accomplishing his desire. (See the closing chapters of the Acts of the Apostles.)
          God does often grant our main desire; he hears our prayer; but He may make use of that from which we pray to be delivered as the means of fulfilling our own requests. The Christian prays that he may be sanctified; yet at the same time he may pray to be delivered from affliction. God will hear his main desire, to be made holy; and will also convert that which the Christian fears into a blessing, and make it the means of accomplishing the great end. It is right to express all our desires to God ; but it should be with a willingness that He should choose His own means to accomplish the object of our wishes. Provided the God of Peace is with us, all is well.