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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 Gentile converts they had to move from their idol worship and pagan practices. Who would help them to come to a new understanding of being made right with God? The Apostle Paul was called by God to be a minister to the Gentiles. No one knew more about the "Jewish" way of faith than Paul. He was a "Pharisee of Pharisees." He would act as a priest for the Gentiles.

Just as the Old Testament priest would present the Jews to the Lord, the Apostle Paul is acting in a priestly role to present the Gentiles to the Lord as people of faith, sanctified by God's Holy Spirit. The Jews would have been skeptical of these Gentile converts, so Paul is informing them of God's plan of bringing redemption to everyone, Jew and Gentile.

We do not like our traditions to be messed with. In what way has God challenged you to accept other members of the body of Christ who are "not like you?" In what ways have you learned to accept "new traditions?"