Romans 15:14-21 | Part 4
1 Peter 2:5 | “...you yourselves, as living stones, are being built into a spiritual house, for a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
God is building a spiritual house & calling all people everywhere to “come home”
We are the living stones that God desires to use to build His house
He is forming & fashioning us so that we fit perfectly into His grand design
He has a beautiful, specific purpose for each of us
What is the CONTEXT for the Book of Romans?
Who was the apostle Paul?
Saul of Tarsus
Saul was a Pharisee.
A devout, religious Jew.
Passionate about the Law & Torah.
So passionate & devout that he was actually persecuting the early Christians
He was there at the stoning of Stephen in Acts 6 & 7
Acts 8:1 – “Saul agreed with putting him to death.”
But then on his way to Damascus…
Saul sees this crazy bright Light
gets blinded for 3 days
& was literally knocked off his high horse by the risen Jesus.
“Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” – Jesus
Saul becomes a follower of Jesus (disciple)
starts preaching the gospel everywhere he goes
eventually commissioned to preach the gospel to the Gentiles
Paul has never been to the church in Rome.
So, how does he seem to know so much about the issues in the Roman church?
Acts 18:1-3 | 1 After this, [Paul] left Athens and went to Corinth, 2 where he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul came to them, 3 and since they were of the same occupation, tentmakers by trade, he stayed with them and worked.
church in Rome is initially made up of Jewish & non-Jewish (Gentile) believers.
Emperor Claudius kicks all the Jews out of Rome.
During this time, Paul connects with Priscilla & Aquila
About 5 years go by.
Then all the Jews, including Christian Jews, were allowed to return to Rome.
So imagine this…
For 5 years, the church in Rome was only made up of Gentile Christians
Then all of a sudden, the Jewish Christians come back to Rome & rejoin the congregation.
Lots of division. Arguing. Disunity. Judgment.
Paul’s main purpose in writing this letter to the Romans is UNITY.
Paul wants Rome to be a launching point for his future missionary journeys to Spain.
ROMANS 15:14 | My brothers and sisters, I myself am convinced about you that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another.
“My brothers and sisters…”
Paul has never met these Romans, but he considers them family
“…I myself am convinced about you that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another.”
Paul knows that these Romans are capable Christians
ROMANS 15:15-16 | Nevertheless, I have written to remind you more boldly on some points[i] because of the grace given me by God 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, serving as a priest of the gospel of God. God’s purpose is that the Gentiles may be an acceptable offering, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
Paul’s reminder is this letter to the Romans
“The gospel reveals how a righteous God is righteously righteousing the unrighteous.” -Andrew David Naselli
How does Paul do this?
Why does Paul say that he can do this?
Because. Of. Grace.
ROMANS 15:17-19a | Therefore I have reason to boast in Christ Jesus regarding what pertains to God. 18 For I would not dare say anything except what Christ has accomplished through me by word and deed for the obedience of the Gentiles, 19 by the power of miraculous signs and wonders, and by the power of God’s Spirit.
Paul is saying that Christ is the One that has been working through him
Paul is speaking. Paul is working…doing the deeds…
But it is Christ who is the One doing all of the accomplishing
Christ is the One doing all the saving of the Gentiles.
ROMANS 15:19b-21 | As a result, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum.[j] 20 My aim is to preach the gospel where Christ has not been named, so that I will not build on someone else’s foundation, 21 but, as it is written, Those who were not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.[k]
Paul preached the gospel around about ⅓ of the world
Not all of us are called to live overseas as missionaries
But all of us are called to be missionaries where God has placed us
“As you are going, make disciples of all nations…”
We are meant to do this thing together
God is growing His family. God is building up His family
He’s got more sons & daughters out there…
& He’s calling out to them to come home…through us!