This is the reason why I have so often been hindered from coming to you. But now, since I no longer have any room for work in these regions, and since I have longed for many years to come to you, I hope to see you in passing as I go to Spain, and to be helped on my journey there by you, once I have enjoyed your company for a while. At present, however, I am going to Jerusalem bringing aid to the saints. For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints at Jerusalem. For they were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material blessings. When therefore I have completed this and have delivered to them what has been collected, I will leave for Spain by way of you. I know that when I come to you I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ (Rm. 15:22-29).
Though it may seem unclear on the surface of our present text, the entire Epistle to the Romans has been building up to this point. For the apostle Paul has at this point concluded the purpose of his letter, which was declared in v. 1:5, viz. “To bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of [Christ's] name among all the nations.” For he brackets his entire letter by this objective, stating again in v. 15:18, 19, “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, by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God.” Everything in his letter can be traced to this purpose, and it is a purpose that is founded in a passage written by the prophet Isaiah concerning the End of all things.