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SCRIPTURE READING: ROMANS 15:14-17
The letters in the New Testament are long, aren’t they? There weren’t telephones, e-mail, or rapid travel, so when a letter was written, they included everything they wanted to say. Paul started with compliments (1:8), but went on from there to rebuke and admonish. Winding down the letter, he addressed them as “brothers,” complimenting them for their goodness, knowledge, and ability to help each other. He conceded that he had spoken to them “quite boldly” about some things– not because they didn’t know them already, but “as if to remind you.”
But, he told them, he had the right to do this, because God had given him a ministry to the Gentiles (remember 11:13?). It’s easy enough to understand that he had a “priestly duty” to proclaim the gospel– but what did he mean by saying the Gentiles “might become an offering acceptable to God”?