Thursday, July 10, 2008

Walking Through Romans pt 16 chapter 15

Walking Through Romans pt 16 chapter 15

Romans 15

1We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 3For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me." 4For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

5May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, 6so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

7Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. 8For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews n behalf of God's truth, to confirm the promises made to the patriarchs 9so that the Gentiles may glorify God for his mercy, as it is written: "Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles; I will sing hymns to your name." 10Again, it says,

"Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people."

11And again, "Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles,

and sing praises to him, all you peoples."

12And again, Isaiah says,

"The Root of Jesse will spring up,

one who will arise to rule over the nations;

the Gentiles will hope in him."

13May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

14I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another. 15I have written you quite boldly on some points, as if to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me 16to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles with 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.

17Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. 18I 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— 19by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ. 20It 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. 21Rather, as it is written:

"Those who were not told about him will see,

and those who have not heard will understand."

22This is why I have often been hindered from coming to you. 23But now that there is no more place for me to work in these regions, and since I have been longing for many years to see you, 24I plan to do so when I go to Spain. I hope to visit you while passing through and to have you assist me on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while. 25Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the saints there. 26For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. 27They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews' spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings. 28So after I have completed this task and have made sure that they have received this fruit, I will go to Spain and visit you on the way. 29I know that when I come to you, I will come in the full measure of the blessing of Christ.

30I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. 31Pray that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea and that my service in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints there, 32so that by God's will I may come to you with joy and together with you be refreshed. 33The God of peace be with you all. Amen.
In part this chapter need be connected with Romans 14 and if one is true to the author one should read it in one continuous read. Paul builds from honoring the weaker brother concerning meat, and build further that we need also treat our neighbor who may or may not know Christ in ways that may build them up. It is in doing good to others that one may lead or even earn the privilege to talk to someone about Jesus.

It is a privilege that we get to share the Gospel with anyone about Jesus our King! How great an honor it is sharing with someone the truth that is Jesus. Paul states it rather curiously though in that Jesus never sought His own pleasure that even the insults heaped upon us are on Him. Everything in the Bible that was already writing was for us to show us that Jesus is the Messiah and King. This news was so we could endure sufferings and to be encouraged that we are His and suffering is not in vain.

The Jews and Gentile have come down a long road with Paul. He has shown them that they are one in Christ and exhorts them to seek unity and stop the strife between them. This unity was not based on doctrines, though important, but on Christ Jesus. It should humble us that Jesus, King of all creation, humbly became a servant to the Jew so that a Gentile could be saved. In that this is true, as a Gentile we should rejoice in the loving kindness of God that He did not forsake us but also added the Gentile to the plan of salvation that was Jesus.

Paul speaks bold then and now. His words remind us of the urgency that we should have in keeping the truth of Christ Jesus and the Grace that comes through Him as central to our thoughts as a people of faith.

I believe Paul had confidence in the Roman believers to teach and instruct each other because Paul knew the Holy Spirit was the one teaching. Paul speaks of what God has done by the power of the Holy Spirit and boasts in that and not his own works and teachings. This should be as it is with one of faith. We need to not only boast of the working of the Holy Spirit, but depend on Him as we walk daily.

Paul must have had stories. In a way I wish he would have written the accounts of what God had done. Now, many stories are recorded in the Book of Acts, yet I suspect that there are so many more that Paul had to tell. His desire was to go where Christ Jesus had not yet been preached. This was a good plan as to build on a fresh foundation is much easier than trying to tear down old buildings to build afresh. Paul had worked hard in the regions he had already been and was still looking toward Spain. We do not know if he ever made it, but as one teacher I heard pointed out, God gives us the vision and the drive, and even if it is not we who make it to Spain thought that be our goal, the path was made ready to Spain to receive the Gospel and Jesus.

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