Romans chapter 15, message 5
In these message on chapter 15, we have seen the –
I. Identification with the Lord. 15:1-7
II. Interdependent in the Lord. 15:8-12
III. Intercession to the Lord. 15:13
Tonight we turn to the –
IV. Interest in the church. Romans 15:14-29
Paul began his concluding remarks with these –
A. Encouraging words. Romans 15:14
He shared his heartfelt estimation (“…I myself also am persuaded…) of the people (…brethren…). He held this respect for them prior to writing this letter to them as we can see from his comment in –
Romans 1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
He had not visited Rome and knew them only through their reputation. Their testimony reported by others revealed that they were –
1. Filled with goodness.
In this letter to the church in Rome, he stated that, even though he did not know them personally, he believed the Holy Spirit had also been working in them for the glory of God. The testimony that he had heard was the same as the testimony that he had seen in many of the churches, such as the church in Galatia –
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
2. Filled with knowledge. Paul commended them –
The Jews provided a library of the knowledge of God and His will, as Paul reminded them in chapter 3, verse 2 “…that unto them were committed the oracles of God”. The Old Testament prophesied of the promised Messiah and the gospel identified Him, Jesus of Nazareth, and revealed the truth of their need of repentance and faith. They, both Jew and Gentile, continued to grow through preaching teaching, and above all, the Holy Spirit’s illumination of the Word guided them in truth.
3. Filled with care.
Goodness and knowledge are manifested in love for one another. We must realize, as they did, that we are able to teach one another. This is the responsibility and the privilege of the members in the church. Note that this is to be the common practice of churches, not just the church at Rome. Refer to the letter to the Colossians –
Colossians 3:12-17 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
Notice the last statement “…giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” In other words, when the time comes to serve the Lord, do it willingly, gladly, thankfully! Serving God should never be a bother to us, something to complain about and wish someone else would do the work.
His desire in writing to them was to equip them that they would increase their goodness, knowledge and care, challenging them to continue teaching one another to grow in the Lord. This was the ministry of the Apostle, given by the Lord –
Ephesians 4:11-13 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
Following these encouraging words, Paul set forth –
B. Explanatory words. Romans 15:15-29
1. Duty of ministry. Romans 15:15,16
2 Peter 1:12-13 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;
Paul was dedicated to his service unto the Lord in the ministry to the Gentiles –
2 Corinthians 11:23-28 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
He revealed his love for the Lord in his purpose –
“…that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.”
His desire was that the church would honour God, bringing glory to the Lord –
Ephesians 5:26-27 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.