What does Romans 15:18 mean?
ESV: For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience — by word and deed,
NIV: I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done—
NASB: For I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me, resulting in the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed,
CSB: For I would not dare say anything except what Christ has accomplished through me by word and deed for the obedience of the Gentiles,
NLT: Yet I dare not boast about anything except what Christ has done through me, bringing the Gentiles to God by my message and by the way I worked among them.
KJV: For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed,
NKJV: For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient—
Verse Commentary:
Here Paul models for us how believers can be proud of our work while still walking in humility. In short, Paul refuses to take personal credit for his accomplishments. Christ has accomplished this work through him. Though Paul is the one who obeyed, he merely participated in the work Christ was accomplishing. He recognizes himself as an instrument of God to be used for God's purposes.

Still, he is proud of what God has used him to accomplish—bringing the Gentiles to obedience. Paul emphasizes the obedience of the Gentiles here and not their faith. He has been clear throughout Romans that belief in Christ itself is an act of obedience to God (Romans 1:18–23). In addition, faith in Christ leads to greater obedience to God in all areas of life as we walk in the Spirit.

Before Christ, nobody would have expected the larger Gentile world to begin to live in obedience to Israel's God. Paul is fulfilling his mission to take the gospel to the Gentiles and, by Christ's power through him, many Gentiles around the world have begun to come to God, to obey by believing in Christ. Paul recognizes that he is at the forefront of a world-changing movement.

He begins to list how Christ has accomplished this work through him, beginning with "word and deed." Paul has used words to spread the good news of salvation through faith in Christ far and wide. His deeds have included heroic acts of service, as well as miraculous signs and wonders.
Verse Context:
Romans 15:14–21 begins with Paul's assurance to the Roman Christians that, though he has been bold in instructing them, he knows that they are full of goodness and knowledge. His mission from God is to preach the gospel to the Gentiles who have never heard it before. He is proud of the work that Christ has accomplished through him in bringing Gentiles to faith in Christ. He knows Christ has done this through the power of miraculous signs and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Chapter Summary:
Romans 15 begins with Paul's encouragement to those strong in faith: to please other Christians before themselves so the church can be unified. Christ came to fulfill God's promises to Israel and about the Gentiles. Paul is satisfied with the faith and practice of the Roman Christians. His work of taking the gospel to unreached regions of Gentiles in his part of the world is completed, and he longs to come see them. First, he must deliver financial aid to Jerusalem, a trip about which he asks them to pray along with him.
Chapter Context:
Romans 15 concludes Paul's teaching that those strong in faith ought to sacrifice their own desires to live in harmony with other believers. Paul shows that God always planned to welcome the Gentile nations, and his mission is to introduce Gentiles to the message of salvation by faith in Christ. He longs to visit the Christians in Rome and plans to do so as soon as he delivers financial aid to poor Christian Jews in Jerusalem. He begins Romans 16 by greeting many friends and acquaintances in Rome by name, as part of a drawn-out ending to this letter.
Book Summary:
The book of Romans is the New Testament's longest, most structured, and most detailed description of Christian theology. Paul lays out the core of the gospel message: salvation by grace alone through faith alone. His intent is to explain the good news of Jesus Christ in accurate and clear terms. As part of this effort, Paul addresses the conflicts between law and grace, between Jews and Gentiles, and between sin and righteousness. As is common in his writing, Paul closes out his letter with a series of practical applications.
Accessed 6/21/2024 5:18:05 PM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.