Romans- Session 14- Gospel Partnership- Romans 15:14-21; 30-33

Session 14- Gospel Partnership

Text: Romans 15:14-21; 30-33

Lesson Resources:

  • Video Summary:

Subject:  Partnership

Central Theme:  Partnership in Gospel Ministry

Objective Sentence:  Every believer can partner in Gospel ministry by influencing believers to engage in four strategic activities.

Keyword:  activities

Activity #1- Pursue your calling. V.14-16.

Activity #2- Promote only Christ. V.17-19.

Activity #3- Proclaim to the Lost. V.20-21

Activity #4- Pray with other believers. V. 30-33

Introduction:

Connection:

  • What is a common task that you must do that is way easier with someone helping you?
  • There certainly are tasks that it makes sense to do by yourself.
  • Some of the most important tasks that must be done take more than one person.
  • Teamwork and partnership are critical to being effective…
    • …in business.
    • …in family life.
    • …in local communities.
    • …in the local church!

Tension:

  • This is certainly true when it comes to Gospel ministry.
  • There is more ministry that needs to be done than any one person can do.
  • This is why God has called leaders to equip believers to do the work of the ministry.
  • As Paul comes to the end of this important letter he begins to focus on this church at Rome.
  • He exemplifies for them what it means to partner in the Gospel ministry.
  • His influence is being used to partner with them in Gospel ministry.
  • We can observe some things that he tells them to see how to encourage others to do this kind of ministry together.

Every believer can partner in Gospel ministry by influencing believers to engage in four strategic activities.

Activity #1- Pursue your calling. V.14-16.

 

14And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.  (15)  Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God,  (16)  That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.
Romans 15:14-16

 

Explanation:

  • Paul was sincerely concerned about describing his true motives for writing this letter to the church at Rome.
  • It was a church that he did not start and had never met face to face.
  • At the end or writing such a substantial, bold, and direct letter to them he wanted them to know his heart for them and his calling from God to them.
  • He makes a statement in verse 14 about His belief about God’s working in them.
  • He says that he was confident that they were full of goodness, filled with knowledge, and able to admonish one another.
  • This is language that encompasses a broad and deep understanding of spiritual maturity.
    • They valued things that were good.
    • They understood and valued the Word of God that they had.
    • They used their valuing of what is good, and their knowledge of the Word of God to encourage the good and discourage the bad in one another.
  • He goes on to say that even though he believes this about them, he has written them this bold letter because of God’s calling and grace in his life.
  • Their church was a gentile church, and God had called Paul to be the apostle to the gentiles.
  • In sending them this letter He was being obedient to God in helping to encourage and build up the gentiles in this church and thereby glorify and honor God.

Application:

  • I am struck by the threefold description of those in this church.
  • I propose three application questions that are driven by this description:
    • Do I properly value and exhibit goodness?
    • Am I growing in my knowledge of God’s wisdom and knowledge?
    • Am I in relationships where calling out sin and encouraging one another happens?
  • Also, I think Paul balances the perceptions of the people here with the authority with which he speaks to them.
  • He understands how he could be taken, but also gives them the reason why he risks that perception.
  • He was living out His calling from God.
  • This is the kind of courage and discernment we must exhibit as people who are disciples of Jesus Christ.

Activity #2- Promote only Christ. V.17-19.

I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God.  (18)  For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed,  (19)  Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.
Romans 15:17-19

Explanation:

  • Because God had called and empowered him to be the apostle to the gentiles, Paul says he has much for which he can glorify God.
  • Many gentile people had become obedient to the Word of God because of Christ’s working in Paul.
  • The Holy Spirit had used signs and wonders in and through Paul so that Paul would have the chance to preach the gospel to many gentile people.

Application:

  • Any good that happens as a result of our ministry happens because of what God has done in and through us.
    • We should not take the credit for what God has done. He saved us. He indwells us with His Spirit. He brings about the change in others.
  • Any good that happens as a result of our ministry happens because of the Truth of the Gospel.
    • God glorifying ministry is Gospel ministry. For the believer, all ministry we do should point to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for our sins.

Activity #3- Proclaim to the Lost. V.20-21

 

Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation:  (21)  But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.
Romans 15:20-21

Explanation:

  • Paul has been describing God’s calling on his life as a proclaimer of the Gospel to the gentiles as the rationale for writing this letter to a church he did not found and had not met.
  • As he writes these verses, he declares his desire to preach the Gospel where Christ was previously unknown.
  • His desire and calling were to be a pioneer, proclaiming the Gospel where it had previously not been spoken. He quotes Isaiah 52:15, which says,

Isa 52:15  So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.

  • This passage in Isaiah is speaking of the “suffering servant”, Jesus Christ, who will come and “sprinkle many nations”.
  • Just as the blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant to cleanse the people of their sins, so the coming of Jesus would provide the opportunity for cleansing to the gentile nations of the earth.
  • Isaiah prophesied these gentile kings will see and consider what had not been revealed to them before.
  • We know that Paul had the opportunity to preach Christ to gentile kings.
  • Paul’s preaching to the gentiles had begun the fulfillment of this prophecy.
  • God’s intention to save the gentiles that had been prophesied was being fulfilled through Paul and is being fulfilled by missionary efforts throughout the nations.

Application:

  • Paul’s responsibility and calling may be different than ours in scope, but not necessarily in substance.
  • God has called us to proclaim the Gospel to ever creature. We have a responsibility to those who have never heard.

Response:

  • Are you involved in the missions program of our church, giving so that people who have never heard may have local, new testament, Gospel preaching churches established to disciple people in places where the Gospel has not been proclaimed?
  • Are you involved in sharing the Gospel where you are? Who do you need to tell today?

 

Activity #4- Pray with other believers. V. 30-33

Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me;  (31)  That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints;  (32)  That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed.  Romans 15:30-32

 

Explanation:

  • Paul begins his conclusion of the letter by asking the local church at Rome for prayer.
  • He prays for them to strive with him in prayer, saying that he is already praying for the requests for which he is about to ask.
  • He asks for prayer regarding his relationships with three specific groups of people.
    • “Those who do not believe in Judaea”
      • There were many people in and around Jerusalem and Judea which saw the Gospel of Jesus Christ as heretical and a threat to their position and power in Judaism.
      • Much of the church was scattering from Jerusalem because of persecution there.
      • Paul was asking for freedom from them so that he could make it eventually to Rome and beyond.
    • The saints in Jerusalem-
      • Paul’s desire was that the gift and ministry that he was taking to Jerusalem would be accepted by those in Christ that were there.
    • Church at Rome-
      • Paul prayed that He would make it to Rome and that He and they would be used to refresh together upon his arrival.
    • It is interesting that these three groups all influence Gospel.
    • There were those who would hinder the gospel mission that Paul prays to be delivered from.
    • Then there were those who he wanted to minster to and partner with that would help the Gospel.

 

Application:

  • Prayer is essential for effective Gospel ministry.
  • It is right and proper for leaders to ask for people to pray. It is essential that leaders pray themselves.
  • We should pray for deliverance from those who would hinder Gospel proclamation.
  • We should also pray for partnership with fellow believers to proclaim God’s Word.
  • Of course, we should also pray for the lost, those who have not heard, that the Gospel would be proclaimed to them.

Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.  Rom 15:33

Explanation:

  • After finishing his list of prayer requests, Paul ends what seems to be the teaching portion of this book with a prayer for them.
  • He prayed that the God of peace would be with all of them.
  • Of course, this title of God would have been profound to the attentive reader of the letter because they now saw God as the one who brought peace specifically by the blood of His Son.

Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.  (10)  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.  (11)  And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.  Romans 5:9-11

  • God had made the positionally at peace with Him because of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
  • We now can experience the presence of the God of peace, and this is exactly what Paul prayed for them.

Application:

  • During difficulty and trial, those who know Christ as Savior can experience God’s peace.  Philippians 4 tells us how to pursue peace:

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  (7)  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Php 4:6-7

  • The peace of God can be experienced through time spent in the presence of God.  We can strive for peace on our knees.

Response:

  • Are you in need of God’s peace today?
  • If you do not know Christ, admit your sin, and call on Him as Savior to save you!
  • If you know Christ as Savior, strive for peace on your knees!

 

Conclusion:

Objective Sentence:  Every believer can partner in Gospel ministry by influencing believers to engage in four strategic activities.

Keyword:  activities

Activity #1- Pursue your calling. V.14-16.

Activity #2- Promote only Christ. V.17-19.

Activity #3- Proclaim to the Lost. V.20-21

Activity #4- Pray with other believers. V. 30-33

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