In his remaining words to the Church at Rome, Paul has a particular desire to share the main calling of his ministry. (You can sense his passion that this calling lives on beyond his earthly life.)
He reminds the reader the points of doctrine have not necessarily been raised because they do not know them already, but because it is important to be reminded often lest they forget. This is an important point of ministry, and it helps us remember good doctrine is to be reminded of good doctrine.
This is not meant to cause offense at all, but to acknowledge we are very forgetful when it comes to righteous teaching – yet easily retain bad learning.
So, we must face the fact that to remain pure is going to be a constant battle which is going to require both diligence and vigilance. Hard work in study and learning toward a good goal is the answer, and we should never be ashamed to hear a good word over and over again. Teaching God’s Word is to bear a resemblance to meditating on God’s Word…
Not only that, but everyone has a need to hear good doctrine for the very first time, and since The Church is being added to all the time, this means the new believers are to be taught amongst the mature believers, and the mature believers are to be both content and edified by hearing God’s Word again and again – even when they’ve heard it before. (Never be offended by hearing good doctrine more than once.)
We also may have noticed how often God repeats Himself in His Word. We can only surmise from His repetitive points that He places a particular emphasis on those particular points for a reason. (BTW – You will only see this repetition at the frequency God desires when you study through ALL God’s Word, as Paul has advocated in Acts 20:27.)
Oh, how close Paul holds the Gentiles to his heart. They are his calling and his passion. They are the reason he has ventured into the dangerous world he has traversed all the way from Jerusalem to Illyricum. He has made it his aim to bring the doctrine of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all the places where it has never been heard before.
And finally, he acknowledges his anticipation his ministry to the Gentiles may cause him harm when he goes back to Jerusalem – where the Jews have heard (incorrectly) he teaches against Moses and The Law. Even the Jewish believers in Jesus Christ have struggled with the nature of Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles. Thus, his final point of doctrine in this passage is: it is permissible to pray for yourself, and it is also permissible to have others join you in praying for yourself. This is NOT selfish, especially when it pertains to carrying an offering from the Gentile believers to the Jewish believers to help them overcome their difficulty with Gentile believers. We learn the Gentile believers’ debt to the Jewish believers is great and is proper to be both paid to and received by Jewish believers to assuage the hard feelings Paul anticipates.