Apostolic Aim

Romans: The Glory of the Gospel Part 38

Apostolic Aim – Romans 15:14-21

Mosaic Rockford – Dave Spooner – Aug. 5th, 2018

 

Intro:

  • This series started on the last Sunday in Aug. 2017 and it will be concluding 3 weeks from now on the last Sunday in Aug. 2018, taking us one year to go through the book of Romans (taking a few breaks along the way). If you firmly grasp the teachings of Romans, you will have a very solid foundation and understanding of the Christian faith.  In living these truths out in your life, you will know what to do in the present and have reward in eternity.
  • If you have missed any sermons in this series, all the materials can be found on our website with the notes available to download and the sermons to listen to.
  • This morning we are looking at the section where Paul talks about His calling and ministry. We learn about his calling and benefit from His ministry along with learning, benefiting and partnering from ministry today.
  • As we have seen, the Bible was written for our instruction. These words were written for us so we can be encouraged in our faith, strengthened in our service, and filled with hope in all things for what is yet to come. The words of scripture are available for our information and cause transformation by the demonstration of the power of Christ in us for the glorification of God to every nation of the world.
  • I am thankful for the heart of God. I am thankful for the servants of God. I am thankful for the word of God and the privilege we have to know Him and make Him known.
  • Paul, in this next section, leads with what brings him satisfaction as an apostle.

 

Apostolic satisfaction

 

Rom 15:14 ESV

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.

 

  • These things bring Paul satisfaction in His ministry: people are full of goodness; people are filled with knowledge; and people are able to instruct one another. It is interesting to note that Paul does not include numbers and quantity in this list but measures his success and satisfaction by quality.
    • Full of goodness – the result of Paul’s ministry is good people: people who are full of goodness.
    • Filled with knowledge – not that they are just good people, but they know things and they are full of knowledge.
    • Able to instruct one another – not only are they good people and are full of knowledge that they can pass onto others, but they have the ability to teach and interact with others.
  • These things should be the benchmarks of how we measure successful and satisfying ministry.Is what you are doing resulting in people who are good, people who are knowledgeable of the word of God and can apply it, people who are able to pass these things along in connected community? Look for these results from your ministry. If those things are not present, make changes. Look for these results in ministry, if they are not there – don’t be apart of that ministry.

 

Apostolic instruction

 

Rom 15:15-17 ESV

But on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God 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. 17 In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God.

 

  • Those who are ministering to you have a commission and obligation to boldly tell you the truth from the word of God. If I (or any minister) do not do that, I am not a servant of God and I am not serving you.
  • Ministers are called to be ministers of Christ Jesus, doing what He did, teaching what He taught, pointing all people to Him and bringing Him honor and glory. We are to preach and teach the gospel of God because this is the work of God. Priestly serving is being an ambassador of God to the people, presenting and preparing people to God.  The people are the offering that are given to God – and they are acceptable to God when they are sanctified by the Holy Spirit. This also means that not all people are acceptable to God, but only those who have been sanctified (made holy) by the Holy Spirit. These are the ones who are acceptable.
  • Those who do these things are ministers and have reason to be proud of their work. These are the ministries and work that all of us should be apart of.

 

Apostolic demonstration

 

Rom 15:18-19 ESV

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, 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;

 

  • Paul chooses only to speak about what Christ has accomplished through him to bring the Gentiles to obedience. This is not to bring attention and glory to themselves, but to Christ. The focus is on what Christ has done as evidenced in the lives of believers. The demonstration of the power of God is seen in lives that are dedicated to obeying Christ and from the power of the spirit of God shown in signs and wonders. Their teaching should be the word of God and their lives should show the power of God in its many forms. This is also to be true of our teaching and in our lives.
  • Signs and wonders are given to confirm in evangelism that what is being said is true and to affirm in discipleship their continued obedience in Christ. The power of God is the power to transform – bodies, minds, situations and lives.

 

Apostolic ambition

 

Rom 15:20-21 ESV

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.”

 

  • The ambition of Paul was not for a comfortable life with a big bank account in a desirable location, but to go and preach the gospel to those who have not heard. His goal was to lay the foundation of Christianity in new cultures and places.These are the people you can trust. These are the people you are to learn from and follow.  Don’t be deceived in following someone or something else with a different ambition.

 

Conclusion

  • Know how to properly evaluate any ministry. Ask the following questions: Does the ministry produce people who are full of goodness or people who are full of themselves?Does the ministry produce people who are knowledgeable about the Bible and can pass these things along to others? Be these kinds of people and join these kinds of ministries.
  • Look for ministers and friends who will tell you the truth and also live the truth in their own lives. Be a person who is like this.
  • Join yourself with churches and ministries that are working to bring the gospel to places and people who have not heard.
  • Pray