THE LESSON BACKGROUND.
In Romans chapter 13, Paul spoke about the relationship between the Christian and civil government and how we must be subject to our civil leaders because they have God ordained powers to work on our behalf (see Romans 13:1-7). In verses 8-14, the apostle taught the importance of showing love to our neighbors. In chapter 14, Paul addressed the issue of debatable things. These were debates over things that are not specifically said to be wrong, but some people may think they are wrong, like eating certain foods. Paul addressed these debates advising his readers not to judge people for doing things that the Bible does not address as sinful (see Romans 14:1-23). Then in chapter 15, the apostle gave his final messages to the Romans before he closed his letter with chapter 16. In Romans 15:1-3, Paul continued his argument from chapter 14 encouraging his readers to focus on the needs of others instead of self. Then in verse 4-13, Paul told his readers that Jewish and Gentile believers are one in salvation. Our lesson text for this week begins with verse 15.