The Letter to the Romans, chapter 15 Message 7
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.
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!
b. The ministry rehearsed to the church. 15:18-22
1). His integrity. 15:18a
“…I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me…”
2). His intention. 15:18b-21
a). To preach with power. 15:18b-19a
b). To present the Gospel to those that had never heard. 15:19b-21
As we finish the study of chapter 15, we need to read again Romans 10:13-15. We see that Paul –
3. Desired to involve them in the work. Romans 15:22-24
a. Further the ministry of the Gospel. “…having no more place in these parts…”
It was most important that they be involved in missions, getting out the gospel to all the world! The church in Rome would be the launching point of the Gospel being preached in the West.
This is statement defines the purpose of this letter. The church must be focused on preaching the gospel to all the world!
b. Finance the ministry of the Gospel. “…be brought on my way thitherward by you…”
3 John 6,7 Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well: Because that for his name’s sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles.
The truth John wrote in his third epistle is universal in the ministry of missions
3 John 8 We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth.
Which leads us to –
c. Fellowship in the ministry “…if I first be filled with your company.”
This is the theme presented throughout the ministry of the Word to the World – the churches, none having dominion over the other, but all having a partnership with one another – a fellowship –
2 Corinthians 8:3-5 For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.
Philippians 1:3-5 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;
The fellowship, working together in carrying out the commandments of the Lord,
Matthew 28:18-20, is a true partnership in the Lord with everyone involved receiving the blessings of God through obedience to His Will. Paul did not want any church to miss out on this opportunity to serve the Lord –
Philippians 4:15-17 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.
As we near the conclusion of this letter to the church in Rome, it is important for us to know that the doctrinal instruction set forth is not simply a document for theological study, but is God’s Word to unite them in truth, provoke them to obedience, and propel them into all the world carrying out the command of God “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature”.
Paul had been –
4. Delayed by obligations. Romans 15:25-27
Paul had challenged the churches to help the saints in Judea and was preparing the offering to be delivered to them as noted in his letter to the church at Corinth
1 Corinthians 16:1-4 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem. And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me.
He was –
5. Determined to visit. Romans 25:28,29
Romans 15:28-29 When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain. And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.
Paul was convinced that, even though he believed trouble would come to him in Jerusalem, God would send him to Rome and then, with their help, onto Spain. Rome held power over the countries to the west, even unto Britain. Rome controlled Spain and a large community of Jews dwelt there. Paul was enthusiastic in his desire to take the gospel to these people who lived in darkness.
Did Paul make the journey to Rome? No Biblical account of this ministry is given, but Clement of Rome wrote about 35 year after the death of Paul –
“Through envy Paul, too, showed by example the prize that is given to patience: seven times was he cast into chains; he was banished; he was stoned; having become a herald, both in the East and in the West, he obtained the noble renown due to his faith; and having preached righteousness to the whole world, and having come to the extremity of the West, and having borne witness before rulers, he departed at length out of the world, and went to the holy place, having become the greatest example of patience.”
V. Imploring their partnership in prayer. Romans 15:30-33
Paul asked the church in Rome to pray for him in earnest (strive together with me) that he may come to them according to the will of God. This needs to be our desire, that we will fulfil the will of God in our lives.