The Meaning of Romans 15:27 Explained

Romans 15:27

KJV: It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things.

YLT: for it pleased well, and their debtors they are, for if in their spiritual things the nations did participate, they ought also, in the fleshly things, to minister to them.

Darby: They have been well pleased indeed, and they are their debtors; for if the nations have participated in their spiritual things, they ought also in fleshly to minister to them.

ASV: Yea, it hath been their good pleasure; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, they owe it to them also to minister unto them in carnal things.

What does Romans 15:27 Mean?

Verse Meaning

The money that Paul was collecting was both a love-gift and an obligation. He could say that the givers owed it because the gospel had come from Jerusalem and Judea to the Gentiles. Believers in Asia Minor also contributed to this fund ( 1 Corinthians 16:1; Acts 20:4).

Context Summary

Romans 15:22-33 - Ambitious To Render Service
The Apostle felt that it was in the line of the divine will that he should visit Rome, Romans 1:10. Relying, as he did, on the efficacy of prayer, it is not surprising to find him urging his Roman friends to unite with him in asking, as in Romans 15:31-32, that his way may be made plain. The prayer was not answered quite as he expected. He little thought that he would come as a prisoner, bound to a soldier, and at the expense of the Roman Empire. Yet he came with joy, and found refreshment and rest with the beloved circle of disciples whom he enumerates in the following chapter. How little do the most of us know of this striving in prayer! But how near we get to absent friends when we pray like this! "Strive together with me."
The love of the Spirit is a very delightful phrase. It bears witness to the personality of the Holy Spirit, for love cannot be attributed to an influence. It also shows the confidence with which we may commit ourselves to His gracious indwelling and prompting. He is the Holy Spirit, but we need not shrink from Him as an awful guest. It also reminds us how deeply He may be grieved. There is no grief so poignant as that which is suffered by love. [source]

Chapter Summary: Romans 15

1  The strong must bear with the weak
2  We must not please ourselves;
3  for Christ did not so;
7  but receive one another, as Christ did us all;
8  both Jews and Gentiles;
15  Paul excuses his writing;
28  and promises to see them;
30  and requests their prayers

Greek Commentary for Romans 15:27

Their debtors [οπειλεται αυτων]
Objective genitive: the Gentiles are debtors to the Jews. See the word οπειλετης — opheiletēs in Romans 1:14; Romans 8:12. [source]
For if [ει γαρ]
Condition of the first class, assumed as true, first aorist active indicative To minister unto (λειτουργησαι — leitourgēsai first aorist active infinitive of λειτουργεω — leitourgeō with dative case αυτοις — autois to them), but here certainly with no “sacerdotal” functions (cf. Romans 15:16). In carnal things Things which belong to the natural life of the flesh (σαρχ — sarx), not the sinful aspects of the flesh at all. [source]
To minister unto [λειτουργησαι]
(λειτουργησαι — leitourgēsai first aorist active infinitive of λειτουργεω — leitourgeō with dative case αυτοις — autois to them), but here certainly with no “sacerdotal” functions (cf. Romans 15:16). [source]
In carnal things [εν τοις σαρκικοις]
Things which belong to the natural life of the flesh (σαρχ — sarx), not the sinful aspects of the flesh at all. [source]
To minister [λειτουργῆσαι]
See on Romans 13:6. By using this word for priestly service, Paul puts the ministry of almsgiving on the footing of a sacrificial service. It expresses the worship of giving. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Romans 15:27

Acts 13:2 As they ministered to the Lord [λειτουργουντων αυτων τοι κυριωι]
Genitive absolute of λειτουργεω — leitourgeō old verb, used of the Attic orators who served the state at their own cost λεως — leōs or λαος — laos people, and εργον — ergon work or service). Common in the lxx of the priests who served in the tabernacle (Exodus 28:31, Exodus 28:39) like λειτουργια — leitourgia (Luke 1:23) which see. So in Hebrews 10:11. In Romans 15:27 of aiding others in poverty. Here of worship (prayer, exhortation, fasting). The word liturgy grows out of this use. [source]
Romans 12:13 Distributing [κοινωνοῦντες]
Rev., communicating to. The meaning is sharing in the necessities; taking part in them as one's own. So Romans 15:27; 1 Timothy 5:22; 2 John 1:11; Hebrews 2:14; 1 Peter 4:13. See on partners, Luke 5:10; see on fellowship, Acts 2:42; see on 1 John 1:3; see on 2 John 1:11. [source]
Galatians 6:6 Communicate [κοινωνείτω]
Hold fellowship with; partake with. Not impart to. The word is used of giving and receiving material aid (Philemon 4:15): of moral or spiritual participation (Romans 15:27; 1 Timothy 5:22; 2 John 1:11): of participation in outward conditions (Hebrews 2:14): in sufferings (1 Peter 4:13). [source]
Galatians 2:10 The poor [τῶν πτωχῶν]
The poor Christians of Palestine. Comp. Acts 24:17; Romans 15:26, Romans 15:27; 1 Corinthians 16:3; 2 Corinthians 9:1. For the word, see on Matthew 5:3. In lxx ordinarily of those who are oppressors, or of those who are quiet in contrast with the lawless. [source]
Philippians 2:17 Sacrifice and service [θυσίᾳ καὶ λειτουργίᾳ]
Sacrifice, as uniformly in the New Testament, the thing sacrificed. Service, see on ministration, Luke 1:23, and see on ministered, Acts 13:2. In the Old Testament, used habitually of the ministry of priests and Levites; also of Samuel's service to God; 1 Samuel 2:18; 1 Samuel 3:1. Of service to men, 1 Kings 1:4, 1 Kings 1:15. In the apostolic writings this and its kindred words are used of services to both God and man. See Romans 13:6; Romans 15:16; Luke 1:23; Romans 15:27; 2 Corinthians 9:12; Phlippians 2:25. [source]
1 Timothy 5:22 Neither be partaker of other men's sins [μηδὲ κοινώνει ἁμαρτίαις ἀλλοτρίαις]
Letter, make common cause with. See on communicating, Romans 12:13. Comp. Romans 15:27; 1 Peter 4:13; Ephesians 5:11. By a too hasty and inconsiderate restoration, he would condone the sins of the offenders, and would thus make common cause with them. [source]
Hebrews 13:16 But to do good and to communicate forget [τῆς δὲ εὐποιΐ̀ας καὶ κοινωνίας μὴ ἐπιλανθάνεσθε]
Lit. but be not forgetful of doing good and communicating. Ἑυποιΐ̀α beneficenceN.T.oolxx, oClass. For κοινωνία communicationof alms, etc., see on Luke 5:10; see on Acts 2:42. See also Romans 15:26; 2 Corinthians 8:4; 2 Corinthians 9:13. Comp. the verb κοινωνεῖν toimpart, Romans 12:13; Romans 15:27; Philemon 4:15. [source]
Hebrews 10:33 Whilst ye became companions [κοινωνοὶ γενηθέντες]
Rend. by becoming partakers. More than companionship is implied. For κοινωνοὶ see on Luke 5:10. The noun and its kindred verb in N.T. almost exclusively of ethical and spiritual relations, as 1 Timothy 5:22; 1 Peter 4:13; 2 John 1:11; 1 Corinthians 10:18; 2 Corinthians 1:7; Philemon 1:17. Even when applied to pecuniary contributions they imply Christian fellowship as the basis of the liberality. See on Romans 12:13; see on Romans 15:27; see on Philemon 4:15. [source]

What do the individual words in Romans 15:27 mean?

They were pleased for and debtors they are of them If for the things spiritual have shared in the Gentiles they ought also in the material things to minister to them
εὐδόκησαν γάρ καὶ ὀφειλέται εἰσὶν αὐτῶν εἰ γὰρ τοῖς πνευματικοῖς ἐκοινώνησαν τὰ ἔθνη ὀφείλουσιν καὶ ἐν τοῖς σαρκικοῖς λειτουργῆσαι αὐτοῖς

εὐδόκησαν  They  were  pleased 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Plural
Root: εὐδοκέω  
Sense: it seems good to one, is one’s good pleasure.
ὀφειλέται  debtors 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: ὀφειλέτης  
Sense: one who owes another, a debtor.
εἰσὶν  they  are 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Active, 3rd Person Plural
Root: εἰμί  
Sense: to be, to exist, to happen, to be present.
αὐτῶν  of  them 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Genitive Masculine 3rd Person Plural
Root: αὐτός  
Sense: himself, herself, themselves, itself.
τοῖς  the  things 
Parse: Article, Dative Neuter Plural
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
πνευματικοῖς  spiritual 
Parse: Adjective, Dative Neuter Plural
Root: πνευματικός  
Sense: relating to the human spirit, or rational soul, as part of the man which is akin to God and serves as his instrument or organ.
ἐκοινώνησαν  have  shared  in 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Plural
Root: κοινωνέω  
Sense: to come into communion or fellowship with, to become a sharer, be made a partner.
ἔθνη  Gentiles 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Neuter Plural
Root: ἔθνος  
Sense: a multitude (whether of men or of beasts) associated or living together.
ὀφείλουσιν  they  ought 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Active, 3rd Person Plural
Root: ὀφείλω  
Sense: to owe.
καὶ  also 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: καί  
Sense: and, also, even, indeed, but.
σαρκικοῖς  material  things 
Parse: Adjective, Dative Neuter Plural
Root: σαρκικός  
Sense: fleshly, carnal.
λειτουργῆσαι  to  minister 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Infinitive Active
Root: λειτουργέω  
Sense: to serve the state at one’s own cost.
αὐτοῖς  to  them 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Dative Masculine 3rd Person Plural
Root: αὐτός  
Sense: himself, herself, themselves, itself.

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