BY WORD AND DEED
Sovereign and Powerful God, lead me deeper into the strength that never fails as I walk with you.
Read Romans 15:14–22
Paul the Minister to the Gentiles
14 I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another. 15 Yet I have written you quite boldly on some points to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. He gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
17 Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. 18 I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done— 19 by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ. 20 It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation. 21 Rather, as it is written:
“Those who were not told about him will see,
and those who have not heard will understand.”[a]
22 This is why I have often been hindered from coming to you.
- Romans 15:21 Isaiah 52:15 (see Septuagint)
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectThank God for those through whom the gospel reached you. Reflect on whether it was through their words or deeds that you most clearly heard the gospel.
Paul has no prior relationship with the church in Rome to which he can appeal (Romans 1:11–15; see also 1 Corinthians 4:1–5). Instead, he points to two things as proof that the household churches in Rome should listen to his teaching and help him in his continuing mission.
Paul stresses first his priestly role as a minister of the Messiah Jesus in proclaiming the gospel to the Gentiles. Perhaps again, he’s trying to help the strong and the weak to embrace one another, for he stresses the gospel as a fulfillment of what has gone before (v 16). If Paul is calling them to make their living sacrifice, he wants them to understand that this is his own – a priestly offering, one which is acceptable to God, sanctified by the Spirit, and in which he rejoices (vs 16,17).
But Paul also emphasizes this proclamation has been through word and deed (v 18): the favor of Christ in his ministry hasn’t just been seen through words, but also through the miraculous (v 19a). In this way, Paul’s been enabled to fully proclaim the gospel (v 19b). Nor is he now changing the pattern of his ministry: they haven’t needed him (vs 14,20,22), and he’s looking beyond them to territories where Christ isn’t known (see Romans 15:24,28).
To whom might God be sending you? How might he want you to proclaim his love?
Holy Spirit, Paul listened to Your voice and shared the gospel joyfully and gladly. Show me clearly where I need to share the gospel in obedience to you.
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