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Romans 15:22: This Is The Reason Why I Have So Often Been Hindered From Coming To You.

Romans 15:22 [22] This is the reason why I have so often been hindered from coming to you. (ESV) Paul was quite the traveler. As an Apostle to the Gentiles his task was literally to take the Gospel to the entire known world at the time. Many of the Epistles that Paul writes are letters written to places where he has already been. He preached the Gospel, many were saved, churches were planted, and Paul moved on to a new area. Rome was a place that Paul had never been to. He writes this entire letter to people whom he had never met. As an Apostle to the Gentiles he wanted to give them the good solid teaching they needed to grow in their faith. Likely, someone who was converted on the Day of Pentecost went back to Rome and first shared the Gospel there. Paul says that he has been often hindered from coming to Rome. He could have argued that all kinds of circumstances would not permit him to get to Rome. Paul would not have blamed circumstances. He would have understood that it w
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Romans 15:20-21: And Thus I Make It My Ambition To Preach The Gospel, Not Where Christ Has Already Been Named

Romans 15:20–21 [20] 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, [21] but as it is written, “Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.” (ESV) We need to be reminded continually that the message of the Gospel is intended to move all across the world. Jesus said that his followers were to preach the Gospel, starting in Jerusalem, and continue preaching the Gospel to the whole world. Christians have not always been good at delivering the Gospel message as far and as often as they should. In the first century church it took intense persecution to motivate the disciples in Jerusalem to bring the Gospel to Judea and Samaria. Once the disciples fled to new regions they shared the Gospel wherever they went. Would the disciples have preached the Gospel without the persecution? We may never know. Some probably would have stayed in their co

Romans 15:19: By The Power Of Signs And Wonders, By The Power Of The Spirit Of God

Romans 15:19 [19] 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; (ESV) God had used the Apostle Paul to do amazing works in bringing the Gentiles to faith and obedience in Jesus Christ. How was Paul able to be authenticated in delivering his message to people all over the world? By the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God. God spoke through apostles and prophets then. Now we have the completed canon of Scripture which is our authority. Paul describes how the Gospel has been brought from Jerusalem all the way to Illyricum. As is usually the case, we read such a location and have no idea where the Scripture is referring. The area of Illyricum is the area of former Yugoslavia and current Northern Albania. From Jerusalem to Illyricum is an area spanning approximately 1400 miles. Before there was such a thing as automobile

Romans 15:17-18: In Christ Jesus, Then, I Have Reason To Be Proud Of My Work For God.

Romans 15:17–18 [17] In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God. [18] 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, (ESV) Is the Apostle Paul boasting? Is he celebrating pride? That would be sinful! What is going on in these verses? Paul was called to be an "Apostle to the Gentiles." It was his commission to proclaim the Gospel and make disciples out of all the pagan peoples who did not have the Law of Moses. Paul took his calling very seriously. Was he proud of what God had accomplished through him? Yes! Where is Paul's pride? In Christ Jesus, he has reason to be proud. In other words, as he has obediently done what Christ has called them to do, he has seen lives changed and transformed. He is proud. He is not proud in his own efforts. He is proud in his wonderful Savior who has done the real work of bringing people from spiritual death to li

Romans 15:16: To Be A Minister Of Christ Jesus To The Gentiles In The Priestly Service Of The Gospel Of God

Romans 15:16 [16] 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. (ESV) The time of the Early Church was a time of great transition. Up until Christ coming and bringing redemption to all who believer the people of faith were the Jews. If you wanted to worship God the only appropriate way was to go through a priest who would offer sacrifices on your behalf to God. All of the sacrificial system was fulfilled in Christ. Now, there was a new way to righteousness. This time of transition was a challenge for all involved. The Jews had to move from an approach to God that involved keeping the Law. The Law was fulfilled in Christ. Now the way of salvation was a way of faith. There were some traditional aspects that were now gone. It was hard for them to move away from their traditions. It is hard for all of us to move from our traditions. For the Genti

Romans 15:15: But On Some Points I Have Written To You Very Boldly By Way Of Reminder

Romans 15:15 [15] But on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God (ESV) In the previous verse Paul paid the church at Rome a huge compliment. He said that they were, "full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another." I cannot imagine the Apostle Paul saying such a wonderful thing about a church of today. In spite of these words of affirmation Paul says that he has also had to write to the Romans very boldly on some points. The fact that Paul has to speak boldly in reminding Christians of some essential points of doctrine is not unusual. The reality is that all believers in Jesus Christ can use frequent reminders on doctrinal truths. The enemy of our souls, the Devil himself, is always at work trying to undermine the truth that we have already received. As we consider the previous chapters in the book of Romans we discover that the Apostle Paul addressed the sinfulness of all m

Romans 15:14: I Myself Am Satisfied About You, My Brothers

Romans 15:14 [14] 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. (ESV) The Apostle Paul was a strong man. His words to the churches in all of his letters are full of doctrinal truth and instruction that are not for the faint of heart. In this letter to the church at Rome he had to correct them in their understanding of how to deal with issues that could potentially divide them. Paul had never even been to Rome yet. He had not met these believers. Paul is telling the church at Rome in this verse that the reason they were able to receive his strong words was because of their spiritual maturity. He declares that they are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. This is an incredible compliment that Paul would not offer to every church. This concept of being filled with goodness and knowledge speaks of a group of believers who had listened to t