Romans chapter 15, Message 6
In these messages on chapter 15, we have seen the –
I. Identification with the Lord. 15:1-7
II. Interdependence in the Lord. 15:8-12
III. Intercession to the Lord. 15:13
IV. Interest in the church. Romans 15:14-29
Last week we saw that Paul began his concluding remarks with these –
A. Encouraging words. Romans 15:14
1. Filled with goodness.
2. Filled with knowledge. Paul commended them –
3. Filled with care.
Following these encouraging words, Paul set forth –
B. Explanatory words. Romans 15:15-29
1. Duty of ministry. Romans 15:15,16
Paul was dedicated to his service unto the Lord in the ministry to the Gentiles –
“…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.
Tonight we will see what he wrote about –
2. Diligence in ministry. Romans 15:17-21
a. The mandate received from the Lord. 15:17
Paul stated “…I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ…” because the Lord gave him the ministry and he was faithful to the call of God!
Acts 26:14-18 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
b. The ministry rehearsed to the church. 15:18-22
1). His integrity. 15:18a
He would not claim for himself the work of others. The testimony of the churches spoke for him and he had no need to build himself up –
“…I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me…”
Many had been saved and churches had been established which would carry on the evangelization of the world from their locations outward, following the pattern which the Lord set forth as recorded in Acts 1:8 – begin where you are and reach out into all the world.
2). His intention. 15:18b-21
a). To preach with power. 15:18b-19a
“…to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, through signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God…”
b). To present the Gospel to those that had never heard. 15:19b-21
“…so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation: But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.”
Paul explained that the ministry did not originate in his mind or the desire of his heart, or even the dangers of remaining in the area of Jerusalem. This ministry to the world was commanded by God and prophesied by Isaiah –
Isaiah 52:13-15 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.
Paul was sent forth by the Lord to exalt His name among the Gentiles. The message was not what the people would expect, thinking that power is always manifested in celebrity. The King came as the Servant, a thing unexpected by men. He had preached the gospel and churches had been established that would continue to evangelize throughout their areas. He was now free to venture further to the West, Rome and beyond –