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.
Sometimes it is hard to speak God’s Word to others. Ask for God’s help and grace as you reflect on your own calling.
Paul (and his scribe, Tertius)1 are nearing the end of their writing of this great epistle. Like any preacher or letter writer, Paul now pauses to reflect on what he has said and the impact it might have on its recipients. He has said things that some would not like, others would find discouraging, and many would find challenging. Paul’s gracious pastoral voice commends, explains, and reminds them of the reasons for his strong words (v 15).
He reassures them, confident of their good intent and their abilities (v 14). His words bring gentle expectation of their compliance with what he has been teaching. He acknowledges that these gospel truths may be hard to hear (v 15). He explains the reasons he dares speak are found in the gospel of Christ and in his priestly calling to be a minister to Gentiles (v 16). Paul reminds them of the radical change that Jesus has brought to their world. In this new situation, he is the priestly minister who helps them to bring their whole-life sacrifice (v 16).2 He reminds the Jewish believers that such an offering is acceptable, ‘sanctified’ by God through the Holy Spirit.
Perhaps there is a hint that Roman believers may question why Paul hasn’t visited them yet. So he reaffirms the reasons for writing this letter: it is only done in the name of Christ and for his glory; his words are part of his God-given mission to the Gentiles (vs 7–12,18). This ministry has been affirmed by the Holy Spirit, from Jerusalem as far as Illyricum (probably on the Adriatic coast) (v 19). Fulfilling this ministry has kept him busy – but his words suggest a longing to see them (v 22). In uncertain times, we, like Paul, do not know how our stories will continue.
Lord Jesus – in spite of difficulties and uncertainties – help me to stay committed to you and to your purposes as I serve others today.
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.
1 Rom 16:22 2 See also Rom 12:1
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