Romans 15:13-22

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

Text: Romans 15:13-22

PAUL'S FUTURE PLANS

INTRODUCTION:

In Romans 15:12 Paul completes the body of his epistle to the Romans, and in Romans 15:13 he begins his conclusion.

In this conclusion Paul does several things: 1) he wishes God's best upon the Roman believers (15:13); he shares his heartbeat and the principles of action in his ministry (15:14-22); he shares his future plans with them (15:23-29); he requests prayer from them (15:30-33); he commends Phoebe to them (16:1-2); he sends greetings to various people (16:3-16); and He makes some closing comments.

I want to show you from Romans 15:13 and following, some things we can learn from the ministry of the Apostle Paul and how they can affect the way we live and serve the Lord.

I. PAUL WISHES GOD'S BEST UPON THE ROMAN BELIEVERS - 15:13

Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Now the God of hope is now the God Who gives hope or now the God Who produces hope. It is literally the God of the hope. Is this some specific hope, e.g. the rapture? or is it a generic use of the article so that it is the entire class of things which might be regarded as hope?

Fill you expresses a wish = May God fill you, may He make you full, or may He fill you full.

With all joy indicates that God is the source of all joy.

And (with all) peace indicates that God is the source of all peace.

In believing = while you believe. Belief accompanies the filling with joy and peace.

That ye may abound indicates purpose (i.e. in order that you may abound or for the purpose) that you may abound. It could possibly indicate intended result (i.e. with the result that) you may abound.

Abound = have in abundance, be rich

In hope = lit. in the hope. Is it a reference to the previous mention of hope? Is it some specific hope, e.g. the rapture? Is it a generic use of the article so that it is the entire class of things which might be regarded as hope?

Through (i.e. by means of) the power of the Holy Ghost indicates the means of this abounding in hope and of the filling of the believer with all joy and peace.

We must recognize that we can make this wish come true in our own lives. It will come to pass in our lives as we submit our hearts and minds to the Word of God.

Joshua 1:8 - This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Psalms 1:1-3 - (1) Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. (2) But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. (3) And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

II Timothy 3:15-17 - (15) And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (16) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (17) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

II Corinthians 3:18 - But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

II. PAUL'S HEARTBEAT AND PRINCIPLES OF ACTION IN HIS MINISTRY - 15:14-22

Romans 15:14-22 - (14) And 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. (17) 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. (20) 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. (22) For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you.

Romans 15:14 And 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.

In verse 14 Paul tells the Roman believers what his honest opinion of them is.

And I myself also is emphatic and refers to Paul.

Am persuaded of you is have been convinced concerning (or about) you or am certain concerning (or about) you. Its tense indicates a settled conviction. He considered this matter in the past; he had made up his mind; and he has continued to hold this opinion. He has reached a settled conclusion on the matter.

My brethren indicates that Paul considers these Roman believers as his fellow believers.

What Paul is persuaded is that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.

Ye also is you also yourselves and is used for emphasis.

Are full of goodness indicates that they were good people who wanted to do what was right in the Lord.

Filled with all knowledge indicates that they were knowledgeable, particularly regarding spiritual truths taught in the Word of God.

Filled indicates that something has been completed in the past and remains that way. It thus indicates an existing state of being. They were filled full of all knowledge in the past, and they continued full of that knowledge.

Able also to admonish one another is able also to instruct (or warn) one another. Thus, these believers were able to stand on their own before the Lord and to live for the Lord with the aid of the Holy Spirit. They were apparently a fairly mature group of believers.

Romans 15:15 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.

Nevertheless = indicates a mild contrast = but

Brethren indicates that Paul is writing to those whom he considers fellow believers.

I have written = I wrote. It is an epistolary aorist. Though he was actually writing this letter in the time then present, he was writing it from the viewpoint of the readers who would not receive it until sometime after it had been written. By the time they read it, he could say I wrote or I have written.

The more boldly = rather boldly

In some sort = in part

As putting you in mind = while reminding you

Because of the grace that is given to me of God = on account of the grace given to me by God.

Grace is the spiritual gift of apostleship which Paul had been given by God. It is because Paul is an apostle that he has written rather boldly unto the Romans in order to remind them of some things.

Romans 15:16 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.

In verse 16 Paul explains what the grace given to him by God is. It is that I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles.

Minister is the term meaning servant and in our literature is always used with religious connotations. Paul's gift given to him by God was that he should be an apostle to the Gentiles. He is serving Jesus Christ.

To the Gentiles is unto the Gentiles or among the Gentiles.

Ministering the gospel of God indicates that Paul is performing a holy service or acting as a priest, or performing sacred rites. He is serving God by making this gospel given by God known to men.

That the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable is a purpose clause.

That should, therefore, be understood in the sense of in order that or for the purpose that

The offering up of the Gentiles is sacrificial language meaning the presenting of the Gentiles or the sacrificing of the Gentiles

Might be acceptable is might be pleasant, might be welcome, or might be easily acceptable. The implication is that Paul as the apostle to the Gentiles is going to present the Gentiles to God; and when he does, God is going to accept them or welcome them because of what Christ had done for them on the cross.

Being sanctified by the Holy Ghost means because they have been sanctified by the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit Who has set believers apart for God and His use when they placed their faith in Christ as presented in the gospel message that Paul preached.

Romans 15:17 I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God.

In verse 17 Paul draws a conclusion or inference as is indicated by therefore, which is used in the sense of accordingly, consequently, so, or then.

I have . . . whereof I may glory = I have a boasting. Paul has something in which he may boast.

Through Jesus Christ = by means of Jesus Christ.

In those things which pertain to God suggests in Christian things

Romans 15:18 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.

In verse 18 Paul indicates that he will not boast in something which he has done, but his boast is that which Christ has done through him.

For is probably best understood as continuing the thought of verse 17 and understood in the sense of now.

I will not dare = I dare not, I will not bring myself to, or I will not presume

To speak of any (i.e. anything) of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, i.e. which Christ has not achieved through me, which Christ has not accomplished through me, or which Christ has not done through me. In other words, Paul will speak only of those things which Christ has done through him.

What things Christ has done through Paul are to make the Gentiles obedient by word and deed. It is literally for obedience of the Gentiles in word and deed. God has used Paul to bring about the salvation of the Gentiles and a change in their lives both in the way they speak and in the things they do.

Romans 15:19 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.

Through mighty signs and wonders indicates the means by which Christ wrought or worked through Paul.

Signs and wonders are two terms meaning miracles.

By the power of the Holy Ghost indicates that it is by means of the Holy Spirit that Christ worked through Paul for the obedience of the Gentiles in word and deed.

So that is with the result that.

From Jerusalem indicates the place where Paul began to proclaim the gospel and from where he went round about, i.e. around the northeastern end of the Mediterranean Sea all the way over to Illyricum, a district across the Adriatic Sea from Italy.

I have fully preached the gospel is I have made full the gospel of Christ, I have filled full the gospel of Christ, I have brought to completion the gospel of Christ, or I have brought the preaching of the gospel of Christ to completion. Paul means that he has thoroughly proclaimed the gospel even in the most remote areas from Jerusalem all the way to Illyricum.

Romans 15:20 Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation.

Yea is an emphatic translation of a word ordinarily translated and.

So is thus or in this manner

Have I strived = I have had as my ambition, I have considered it an honor, or I have aspired.

To preach the gospel where Christ was not named. Paul wanted to preach the gospel, but not just anywhere. He wanted to preach it as a pioneer missionary where no one else had ever been with the gospel.

Where Christ is not named is used in the sense of where Christ is not known, i.e. where there are no saved people. So when Paul went to these areas, he did not find any Baptist Churches to work with because there weren't any to be found. There were not even any other Christians there. Would this not seem an exciting ministry to a man whom God had called to be an evangelist? I would think so.

Paul's reason is stated as a negative purpose clause. Lest I should build upon another man's foundation.

Lest I should = in order that I should not or for the purpose that I should not

Build upon another man's foundation implies build a building upon the foundation that another had put down. He wanted to lay the foundation himself and then build upon his own foundation. He did not wish to continue someone else's work. He wanted to begin it himself.

Romans 15:21 But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.

But indicates a strong contrast with what has preceded and is understood in the sense of rather.

As it is written introduces a quotation from Isaiah 52:15 and indicates that people who had never heard the gospel will have an opportunity to understand it and receive Christ as Savior. There are two parallel statements in the quotation which mean basically the same thing.

To whom he was not spoken of is to whom Christ was not disclosed, was not announced, was not proclaimed, or was not taught.

And is likely emphatic and to be understood in the sense of indeed, verily, in fact, certainly, or yea.

They that have not heard is they that have not learned or they that have not been informed about. There was nothing wrong with their ears. They were not deaf. They just had never come in contact with the gospel. Therefore, they could not have heard it.

Shall understand is shall comprehend and is predictive of something will definitely happen at some time in the future.

Romans 15:22 For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you.

For which cause introduces an inference drawn from what Paul has written. It is understood in the sense of therefore or for this reason.

Also I have been much hindered is I was being hindered these many times or I was being thwarted these many times.

From coming to you indicates that which Paul had been hindered from doing.

The gospel was known in Rome. Therefore, Paul's desire to preach the gospel where Christ was not named or known had taken him elsewhere.

CONCLUSION:

In verses 13-33 Paul continues to conclude his epistle by sharing his plans with the Roman believers. He has already proclaimed the gospel from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum; and it is his desire to come to Rome and to have Roman believers help him on his proposed missionary venture to Spain. First, however, he needs to go to Jerusalem to deliver the collection for the poor saints given by the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. After that, he hopes to come to Rome. Meanwhile, the Christians at Rome are urged to pray for him. Little did Paul realize that his plans were soon to be changed.

He would indeed arrive in Jerusalem with the collection for the poor saints there. Then, however, he would find himself being arrested and imprisoned. He would be transported to Caesarea where he would spend nearly two years in prison before being transferred to Rome where he would spend an additional four or five years in prison. All of this would happen because he was doing what God wanted him to do.

We will look at this section next time.