February 22 - Romans 15:14-16

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Romans 15:14-16 – A Minister to the Gentiles

I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another. Yet I have written you quite boldly on some points to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. He gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

Paul reminds the Romans that even though he has spoken to them about some very difficult things, he doesn't think any less of them. In fact, in Romans 1:8 he said "First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world." This church was full of faith and Paul's only purpose in writing to them was to encourage them to continue in that faith.

The things he wrote to them in this letter weren't for Christians who had no depth. These were weighty matters and he knew that they would take it to heart and think about it quite deeply. This church was a very strong group of people who were well known throughout the region for their faith. These are leaders that he was writing to. They were filled with knowledge and had the expertise in matters of faith so that they could teach each other.

When Paul tells the Roman church that it is "full of goodness," this doesn't mean that they do some good things, the word 'full' here means 'plentiful supply.' They lived out the faith every day. This was the reason they were so well known.

If they were so good, why would Paul think it necessary to write to them? He answers that in verse fifteen. More than likely, he was reminding them of things they already knew, but also speaking to them about things they hadn't yet put together regarding how to live as a Christian. He was broadening their walk with God … expanding their horizons … giving them more to consider and asking them to become stronger Christians.

He can do this because of the grace God gave him to take the message of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, so that they might become an offering … a sacrifice to God.