Skip to main content
#
RCCG Miracle Land Dundalk
Latest Posts
Archive

Wednesday, December 16 2020

Contributor: Leye Olayiwola

INTRODUCTION: In our in-depth study of the opening verses of Romans 15, Apostle Paul admonished the strong believers to bear with the failings of the weak, because this reflects and exemplify the true spirit of love. He cited Jesus Christ’s example of not pleasing Himself and having to work for the good and edification of others. This is what we are admonished to emulate as fellow believers.
Today, we conclude on Paul’s letter to the Romans in Chapter 15 where we find biblical concept of Christian ministry modeled by the apostle Paul. Three times the apostle Paul calls upon his readers to follow his example or imitate him (see 1 Corinthians 4:16, 11:1; Philippians 3:17). In this section at the close of his letter to the Romans, we will glean from Paul’s view of ministry and keys to a fruitful work (ministry) with the Lord.

AFFIRMING OTHERS – Verse 14
“14 Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.” (NKJV)

Following Paul’s example, we should affirm the giftedness and values of other’s in the body of Christ while serving the Lord in line with our gifts and calling, giving Him the glory for any results. Paul affirms the brethren’s goodness and their knowledge of God.

THE MANDATE OF PAUL’S MINISTRY - Verses 15-17
“15 Nevertheless, brethren, I have written more boldly to you on some points, as reminding you, because of the grace given to me by God, 16 that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 17 Therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God.” (NKJV)

Paul discusses his ministry to the Gentiles always with a conscious awareness of the call of God. He didn’t just decide that the gospel ministry was a good career choice, he was sovereignly called out by God to be an apostle. Paul explains his boldness in writing to the Romans by appealing to this call in verses 15-19. This is a reference to God’s declaration to Ananias after his dramatic conversion on the road to Damascus. In Acts 9:15, God tells Ananias that Paul is “a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.” Paul consistently appeals to his call in defending his apostolic ministry (See Galatians 1:15-17 and Ephesians 3:1-8). In verse 16, Paul describes his ministry among the Gentiles as a priestly ministry.

Relevance:
•God is still calling men to proclaim His gospel. We must distinguish between the call which Paul received and which pastors, preachers, missionaries, etc. receive today. God is still calling men into the gospel ministry to proclaim the teachings of the apostles!

•How does God call a man? First, there is the internal call of God. This is what Paul refers to in1 Tim. 3:1 when he says “If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.”This godly desire is partial evidence of God’s call in a man’s life and essential to gospelministry. This is not to be a desire for power, position or prosperity, but a desire to preach, teachand shepherd God’s flock. Second, there is the external call which includes the confirmation ofothers. This is evident when other Christians recognize that your life and desire comparesfavorably with the Bible’s teaching about what a minister of the gospel should be. This is alsoevident when given opportunities to minister and God’s people seem to be helped by Godthrough your ministry.

•Finally, we must recognize that every believer has been called to proclaim the gospel of Christ.Paul’s reference to “the grace given” to him by God as a called apostle recalls Paul’s owndescription of all believers in Rom.12:3-8. Each of us have been called by God into a specificministry that we need to be fulfilling. Paul states that each believer has been called to proclaimthe gospel as an ambassador of Christ in 2 Corinthians 5:17-21
This is the mandate that each of us has received and it is the foundation for biblical ministry. We are ambassadors! We don’t get to invent the message, but we must proclaim the message that we have been given! But what is this message?

THE MESSAGE OF PAUL’S MINISTRY - Verses  18-19

“15 Nevertheless, brethren, I have written more boldly to you on some points, as reminding you, because of the grace given to me by God, 16 that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 17 Therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God.” (NKJV)

What was it that the apostle Paul was called to proclaim? He refers to it in verses 16, 19 and 20. It is the gospel! Note how everything that Christ has accomplished through Paul is for the purpose of the proclamation of the “gospel of Christ” in verses 18-19. All signs and wonders by the power of the Spirit were not an end in themselves, but rather served to magnify and verify the message of the gospel! What was the gospel message which Paul proclaimed? Paul outlines for us the message that he had proclaimed in Corinth in 1 Cor.15:1-5 (Read) The message of Paul’s ministry was nothing less than the gospel of Jesus Christ and this is also our message. This is the heart of Christian ministry. Without this message, there is no ministry, indeed there is no Christianity! But what motivated the apostle Paul to proclaim this message?

THE MOTIVE OF PAUL’S MINISTRY - Verses 20-21
“20 And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation, 21 but as it is written: “To whom He was not announced, they shall see; And those who have not heard shall understand.” (NKJV)

Paul’s motivation to preach the gospel is found in verses 20-21. His desire, aim, goal is to proclaim Christ where He has not yet been named. He is motivated by an understanding of the condition of those who have not heard that he described earlier in Romans 10:14,
“How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?”

But Paul’s motivation for proclaiming the gospel to those who have not heard is thoroughly biblical as demonstrated by his quotation from Isaiah 52:15 in verse 21. This verse fits with Paul’s emphasis in this passage of showing the importance of taking the gospel message to those “to whom He was not announced” and “those who have not heard”. Paul knows that there are people all over the world for whom Christ has died who have not yet heard the message of Jesus Christ. This motivates Paul!

Relevance:
This is what should be our motivation as well. Yes, we should be motivated by the lostness of mankind and the horrors of hell, but ultimately we should be motivated by a desire to see Christ praised by all peoples for the eternal glory of God.

KEYS TO FRUITFUL SERVICE (Verses 22 - 33)

We will consider some of the reasons for (keys to) Paul’s fruitful ministry in the concluding verses of this chapter.
A. FLEXIBLE PLANNING IS A KEY TO FRUITFUL SERVICE – Verses 22 - 24
“22 For this reason I also have been much hindered from coming to you. 23 But now no longer having a place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come to you, 24 whenever I journey to Spain, I shall come to you. For I hope to see you on my journey, and to be helped on my way there by you, if first I may enjoy your company for a while.” (NKJV)

In verses 20 and 21, Paul mentioned his firm commitment to Pioneer missions: his resolve to preach the gospel in places where Christ has never been named. You see, it seems as though there are always new areas where the gospel had never been preached, and always that inner compulsion in the apostle Paul to go there and tell them about Jesus. And he says in verse 22 it's for this reason I've been much hindered from coming to you. You see the gospel had already been preached in Rome, and the church had already been established there, so getting to Rome was not one of his top priorities. They didn't need him there like some other parts of the world did. But now he plans to remedy that (verses 23-24), however, Rome was not his final destination. He planned visiting Spain also.
Paul always had a plan. He knew where he was going and why. He probably lived by that familiar adage, "To fail to plan is to plan to fail." He didn't want to fail in doing the job God called him to do, so he planned. That was one of the reasons he accomplished so much for God's glory.

B. FULFILLED PROMISES IS A KEY TO FRUITFUL SERVICE – Verses 25-29
“25 But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. 26 For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem. 27 It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things. 28 Therefore, when I have performed this and have sealed to them this fruit, I shall go by way of you to Spain. 29 But I know that when I come to you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.” (NKJV)

There was something Paul had to do before he traveled to Rome (Romans 15:25-26). Collecting a gift from the Gentiles for the relief of poverty-stricken Jewish believers in Jerusalem was one of Paul's major concerns and one of his major projects (refer to 1 Cor.16:1-4; 2 Cor.8:1-4). There were several reasons for that.

• The church in Jerusalem was desperately poor. Famine had taken its toll on the people. And besides that, the Jewish religious leaders were doing everything in their power to oppress the Christians, even denying them employment whenever they could.

• Another reason for Paul's concern is found in that word contribution (verse 26): "a certain contribution for the poor among the saints." It is actually the word koinonia, meaning "fellowship" or "partnership." That's what he calls an offering: a partnership.

• A third reason for Paul's concern is described in Romans 15:27. Believers in Jerusalem had shared the gospel with the Gentiles, the wonderful news of forgiveness and life in Jesus Christ. Now the least the Gentiles could do was minister to the physical needs of their Jewish brothers and sisters who were suffering so much and who had so little. Paul saw it as a debt they owed. But it was more than just a debt, it was actually a promise he had made on a previous trip to Jerusalem, when Paul met with James and Peter and John (Gal. 2:10). And Paul was not one to go back on his word. He did what he said he would do. When he made a commitment, he followed through and kept his promise. It was one of the reasons why he accomplished so much for the glory of God and had so much joy and blessing in ministry (Verses 28-29).

C. FAITHFUL PRAYER IS A KEY TO FRUITFUL SERVICE – Verses 30-33
“30 Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me, 31 that I may be delivered from those in Judea who do not believe, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 32 that I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and may be refreshed together with you. 33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen." (NKJV)

Everything of eternal value that we are ever privileged to accomplish is accomplished by God's power working through us in answer to somebody's prayer: our own or somebody else's, or both. And that is why Paul pleads with the Romans to pray for him (Verse 30).
Don't miss that word strive. There is a conflict raging between the forces of good and the forces of evil, and the battle can only be won through prayer. We shall never enjoy success in our spiritual service and the joy it brings apart from prayer. So let's pray for one another. It is so vitally essential. So what were Paul’s prayer requests?

• That he would be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea. That was an important request. The unbelieving Jews in Judea and Jerusalem hated the Apostle Paul and they wanted to see him dead.

• That his service would be received by the believers in Jerusalem. Many of the Jewish Christians resented him for not insisting that his Gentile converts follow the whole Jewish law. Some of them even considered him a traitor to his nation for directing his primary ministry to Gentiles.

• That with the first two prayers answered, he might head for Rome in the will of God, filled with joy, where he hoped to find spiritual refreshment in fellowship with the Roman Christians in preparation for his evangelistic thrust into Spain.
So what is it you have been praying for?

This study is culled from https://pastorhistorian.com/2006/04/24/a-biblical-model-for-ministry-exposition-of-romans-1514-33/; http://spiritualgold.org/transcripts/ROM-35.html

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 03:03 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Comments:

Post comment
Name
 *
Email Address

Message
(max 750 characters)
*
* Required Fields
Note: All comments are subject to approval. Your comment will not appear until it has been approved.

OUR SERVICES

Sunday Worship
First Service @10AM
Second Service @11:45AM

Wednesdays
Bible Study @7PM

Fridays
Communion Service @7PM

OUR LOCATION

The Redeemed Christian Church Of God
Miracle Land Parish Castletown Road, Castletown,
Dundalk, County Louth,
Ireland

CONTACT US

Telephone: +353 (0)429328484
Mobile: +353 (0)879806684

All rights reserved. ©2021 RCCG Miracle Land.

Powered by Lacepoint

We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies, revised Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.