Standing Firm: Walking through Romans – Chapter 15 part 3

In our text today, Paul has shifted from his discourse pertaining to common practical thoughts and begins to close out the letter.

Here we will see Paul reaffirm his calling as a minister/priest to the Gentiles.

My big idea for today is that we as a body are capable under Holy Spirit. We are capable to share, encourage, and even instruct, at times, to promote the growth and expansion of the body of Christ. My prayer for us today is that this divine ability will manifest itself in the unification of the body of Christ and in this we will mature in the likeness of Christ Jesus. If you have your Bibles today you can join me as we turn to, you guessed it Romans Chapter 15 starting at verse 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.”

Romans 15:14-21

In order to help me share with you today, I have separated my thoughts into 2 sections or points. Paul is reminding us of two spiritual truths/examples that he wants us to follow. He is invoking the trust of a spiritual parent and giving instruction, again based on his own example. Let’s take a look at my first point.

We Must Take Responsibility For Encouraging The Growth Of The Church.

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.

Romans 15:14-17

Let me flip this around really quick. Paul is giving some final instructions in a backward kind of way. He’s using flattery here to butter them up for a final instructions. Like if I were to say, “I know you are so good that I don’t need to remind you, but I’m going to remind you anyway. In addition, Paul is reinforcing his authority by reminding them of his credentials as a Christ appointed minister to the Gentiles with the priestly duty of proclaiming the Gospel of God.

I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another.

Romans 15:14

Paul serves up the compliment then he delivers the sternness. Paul himself is convinced that the church/body of Christ is able under the power of the Holy Spirit to teach and edify/encourage one another in the things of God and in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This instruction, if you will, is intended to fit into the previous teachings that anticipates spiritual growth and maturity.

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.

Romans 15:15-17

You have been sanctified and are growing in the likeness of Christ Jesus. This is the partnership where each individual, with help from the holy spirit, take responsibility for his/her spiritual inventory. And then helps others do the same.

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 5:21

Jesus Christ was righteous, not just for the sake of God’s glory, but that we may become righteous, as well. God did not save me and you just so we can be saved. He wanted us to be his partners in bringing other to faith as well as helping other believers become strong. How many here have read the instructions on the shampoo bottle? I know you’re thinking, here we go, Pastor has lost it. But just hang with me for a bit. I promise it will all make sense. When they first began to put directions on shampoo, it read something like this: Wash, rinse, repeat. Sounds simple, right? Now they sold shampoo for years without directions and everyone knew what to do. However, when people began to read the instructions sales went through the roof. Great story, why does this matter? Because God has washed you in the blood of Jesus Christ to cleanse you from sin and for you to be the repeat function in the salvation of others. Paul’s use of authority is to bring emphasis to his instruction. He’s telling them that his words are not to be taken lightly.

Let’s move to my next/final point.

We Must Speak Only What Christ Has Accomplished Through You.

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.”

Romans 15:18-21

They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.

Revelation 12:11

For us we know that Paul does not need to flex his credentials for us to hear him clearly, his reputation over the last 2000 years has preceded him. Yet we need to remember that God has called us to be a people who would encourage and lead each other in spiritual growth. We are capable of great and meaningful relationships, especially under the power and influence of the Holy Spirit. In addition, God has called us to share all that he has done in our lives with others wherever that might be.

Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”

Mark 5:19

I had a professor, Dr Jerry Stroup. He said and I know that Sharon said as well, “people are in 1 of 2 categories, they are either missionaries, or a mission field. Our best hope to connect with others is to share what God has done for you.

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.

Romans 15:18

Then step back in faith and watch the Holy Spirit take over. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see anything happen but remain faithful because God might call you back to water the seed that has been planted.

God made us capable to love and be unified. To work in concert with him to share our testimonies with others so that he may do a work in them.

Will you be open today to stepping up to encourage someone today in Jesus and share all that the Lord has done for you? Sharing all the ways God has shown you mercy and grace. Will you allow the Holy Spirit to wash and repeat someone through your testimony.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

Jesus, He’s the Son of the living God, and we can receive from Him today His Righteousness, His purpose and His calling. Will you call on him today? Your salvation/forgiveness is just one prayer away. Will you trust in his ability to do what He said He would do? Will you believe today? Many of you need a fresh touch from God today. Is there some form of unbelief or a fracture of trust as it relates to God in your life today? God wants to redeem and restore those areas of your life? He wants to restore Joy and hope for you today.

You’re hearing this now and the Holy Spirit has brought someone or something to mind. He wants to speak life into this today. He wants to bring healing in this area today. There are areas of deep regret when it comes to your relationship with God and you have rejected Christ as your savior …It’s not too late.

It’s not too late to humble yourself before him today, hold out your arms and open your hands to receive from him today. Will you say yes to Jesus, today? Will you bow your heads with me? Some of you already know the Lord, but maybe he’s put something on your heart that you need to deal with, you need to ask his forgiveness today. If that’s you will you just acknowledge that to him today. This is just you and God here. Now someone here may not have that relationship with Jesus and today you’ve felt him tugging at your heart, you’ve been hurt, and you’re guarded, I know. Jesus is here and wants set things right in your life. If you’ll say Pastor, I want Jesus to be my Lord and savior. Remember, it’s just you and God here. Will you pray with me today, We’ll pray here as a family and you can repeat after me

Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner. I ask you today for your forgiveness. I believe that you died for my sins and on that 3rd day, you rose from the dead. I ask you to come into my heart today. I trust and follow you as my Lord and savior. Guide me and help me to do your will. In Jesus’ name Amen.

“‘“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’

Numbers 6:24-26