Romans 15:14-33- Paul: Minister to the Gentiles
Explanation- Paul expresses his satisfaction with the Roman believers. They are full of the goodness of God and have been granted all knowledge and the ability to express that knowledge in the form of instruction to one another. In the points where Paul has written boldly, he does so on the basis of his apostolic authority. As a minister to the Gentiles, it was his duty to ensure that the Gentile churches were operating the way that they should have been. Because this is his calling from God, he has reason to be proud of his work. This is not the negative sense of pride but has to do with a deep gratitude to God for all that He is doing through Paul. He says that he will only boast in what Christ is accomplishing through him, and that is the drawing of the Gentiles unto obedience to God. This was done through teaching and example, signs and wonders, and, most importantly by the power of God. The fruit that is bearing all the way from Jerusalem to Illyricum testifies to the power of God at work through the apostle Paul. For this reason, he continues to seek new areas where the Gospel has not been preached.
It is because of Paul’s extensive preaching to the nations that he has thus far been hindered from coming to Rome. Yet, he testifies that he is running out of places to preach and is desirous to come unto them. Paul then speaks of bringing aid to the Jerusalem church. There were Gentile Churches that were helping with this aid, and Paul states that it is right for them to do this because they have had their share in spiritual blessings and should be more than willing to provide material blessings to others in the body who have need.
In his final appeal to the Romans, he charges them to strive together in prayer for the work that he is doing. In heading to Jerusalem, he knows that he will surely face vicious opposition from the unbelievers there, and if it is the Lord’s will, he will seek deliverance from their evil intentions. He also desires that his gifts to these congregations would be acceptable and that the saints in Jerusalem would see it as a gift from their foreign brethren.
Application- Paul’s ministry was indeed a weighty one. He was called to do what no man before him had ever done. That is, preach the Gospel to the multitude of Gentile nations. His ministry cost him much, but his attitude was one of humility and thanksgiving. Paul knew that the Lord had called him to this task, and it would be the Lord who would see him through. Let this give us encouragement in our own ministerial efforts. The labor that we conduct is nowhere near that of Paul’s, yet it is still conducted in the strength that God provides. If He has called us to such ministry, let us seek to be like Paul and express gratitude and thanksgiving toward God for counting us worthy of such a task.