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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 life.

Paul makes clear that he is not willing to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished. The character of Paul is so important here. He is completely humble in his attitude. He had been used by God to see thousands of people come to Christ. He had written epistles that were direct revelation from God. Who gets the glory? Christ.

The Gentiles had been brought to obedience in word and deed. They not only talked the talk , they walked the walk. If that had not been the case all that would have been accomplished would have been that the Gentiles were hypocrites. If our claim to faith is not matched by action the world will see nothing but phonies.

Who are you proud of in Christ Jesus? Who has he helped you to disciple for him? How can you present people to the Lord who are obedient in word and deed?