January 26: Loving God's World (Romans 15:14-21)
Having encouraged the saints in Rome to love one another out of a desire to bring glory to God, Paul now addresses his driving ambition, which is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ among people who have never heard even the name of Jesus. For Paul, this ambition is an extension of the Messiah's mission as foretold by Isaiah (v. 21, which quotes Isa 52:15). But his ambition is also the result of the command God gave him to take the gospel to the nations (v. 16). This Sunday, Tom will explain this passage, and then we will hear from Steve P, who is pursuing the same ambition as Paul: "to preach the gospel where Christ has not already been named."
I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. But on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God. For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ; and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else's foundation, but as it is written,
“Those who have never been told of him will see,
and those who have never heard will understand.” (ESV)
Review and Apply
- According to this passage, what is Paul's understanding regarding the work of missions?
- What do you think are some of the implications of this passage might be for our church?
- What do you think are some of the implication of this passage for you individually?
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