Romans 15:14-16:27 - Hearing Paulís Heart
Intro: One of the things that I love about studying the scriptures are the opportunities that we are given to get a little glimpse of the great, men & women of God.
A) I love those places in scripture that allow us the opportunity to see the heart behind the man .
††††††††† 1) Chance to get up close & personal !† Printed cards vs. Hand written
A) David & His Psalms / such depth / such intimacy & honesty/† Solomon in Proverbs & Ecclesiastes - wisdom & insight into heart of† man
B) Jeremiah & his lamentations - & Paul in his prayers for the Church - all great insights into the† heart behind the man!
C) But one thing that always seems to be in the back of my mind is the reminder that the Bible is the inspired word of God !† God breathed
1) †In essence God instructed these men - on what to write
D) Which sheds some interesting light on the heart behind the man - the writers of scripture - Godís heart !
1) †Those Psalms - those prayers are Godís heart for us
What an amazing thing to be linked w/ the heart of God
A) David †A man after my own heart
B) God saying to the people of Israel - I will give you shepherds after my own heart !
C) When Brian was here before he left - he made a statement that really blessed me when he said that Rob & I have the same heart !
1) †I know Brian well & I love his heart - was a very encouraging thing to hear†
D) But hopefully we are both becoming men after Godís heart !
Paul was such a man & in our study we are going to see a picture of Paulís heart / Godís heart
A) About the ministry & the people he ministered w/ & the people he ministered to & to the Romans to whom originally written .
14† Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.
B) Paul begins by admonishing them - blessed that they are full of goodness -
Characteristic of the fruit of the Spirit - Love
C) Filled w/ Knowledge - They had a good grasp of the truth !
D) And that they were ministering to each other - all signs of a healthy church
1) †Filled w/ love - founded on & standing on , clinging to the truth & ministering to one another .†† GREAT STUFF
But I also like what Paul does in v. 15 Nevertheless, brethren, I have written more boldly to you on some points, as reminding you, because of the grace given to me by God, 16† that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
A) Paul says that in order for me to be a good minister of the Lord - fulfilling my calling among to bring the gospel of Jesus to the gentiles
1) †I have chosen to remind you of certain things !
B) Peter said similar thing in 1-Pet. 1:12,15 12† For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. 13† Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you,
15† Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease.
C) Peter & Paul making note of the fact that we always need to be reminded !
1) †Incredible† how we have the tendency to forget the things that we want to remember & remember the things we would like to forget !
D) Paul said to his young protťgť Timothy 1Tim. 4:6† If you instruct ( Also Put in remembrance ) the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ,
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Paul followed his own advice !
Next Paul shares where his power came from in the ministry / what his priority was in ministry - V. 17-19 17† Therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God.† 18† For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient;
19† in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.††† ( His Power was through the H.S. / Priority was the Gospel)
A) Paul shares here 3 incredible blessings that took place in his life
B) Gentiles - came to belief ! / signs & miracles accompanied his ministry
1) †And that he himself was able to preach the gospel throughout the entire 1,400 miles from Jerusalem to Illyricum- Present day Yugo
C) I love this - Paul a 30 yr veteran of ministry - who saw God do more in his own life then any of us could every dream - he is so excited about ministry
D) He is incredibly excited about seeing people - come to Christ - watching God work in peoples lives - & having the chance to share the gospel
E) Sometimes I am grieved by the attitude that has crept into the modern day Church - wants to question the validity of everything .
1) †People come forward at Church or at a crusade & there are those who sit back not even rejoicing but thinking
F) I wonder how many of those people will really walk w/ the Lord - stats say only - 25%
1) †To me that is so sad & one thing is for sure very view of those people will ever get involved in† seeing that† those people get grounded .
G) My heart is just to rejoice ! Amazement ! God is so good ! - And something is happening in those peoples lives !
Paul had seen it all & He was stoked to see people come to the faith !
A) Another thing I think we need to watch out for is the tendency to take our opportunities to share - lightly or for granted .
B) Because we can - hop on a plane & tomorrow be in Hungary or Russia or London - we sometimes - lose sight of what a big deal it is that God uses us
C) Paul was blown away - overjoyed I was able to preach the gospel over that whole 1400 mile region ( From Israel to Yugo )
D) Now Paul was called to be a missionary - on the move - ( Perhaps that is not your calling - ) Home - Vista - OSCD
1) †Maybe you would make it a goal - prayer - share w/ every home on your street !
E) Paul glorified the Lord for the ministry he was able to accomplish - & said it was all through the power of the H.S. / Priority - gospel
Now Paul also reveals that he approached ministry w/ a policy & a plan v. 2-29
20† And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man's foundation,
21† but as it is written: "To whom He was not announced, they shall see; And those who have not heard shall understand."
22† For this reason I also have been much hindered from coming to you.
23† But now no longer having a place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come to you,
24† whenever I journey to Spain, I shall come to you. For I hope to see you on my journey, and to be helped on my way there by you, if first I may enjoy your company for a while.
25† But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints.
26† For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem.
27† It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things.
28† Therefore, when I have performed this and have sealed to them this fruit, I shall go by way of you to Spain.
29† But I know that when I come to you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.
A) Paulís policy was a simple one - he wanted to go to uncharted areas - so that he wouldnít be building on another manís foundation.
B) Good policy to have - Pastor Chuck has a similar philosophy that I believe more guys going out should pay attention to .
1) †Chuck says that if you are looking for a place to go & plant a Church there needs to be a reason for your existence
C) Meaning that if there is another Church there in that city or in that area that is like has a Calvary Chapel style of ministry or is a Calvary
1) †You are not needed there!††† Reason for your existence - not building on another man foundation. / sheep shifting
D) Yrs ago there was a certain Denomination that - sought to build upon Calvary Chapels foundation.
1) †Every where there was a thriving Calvary - They would start a church down the street . († Worship was their draw - )
E) That was not Paulís mode of operation .
F) This verse has also caused some men I know to purpose in their hearts - to never take over another person church
1) †That is fine as a personal conviction - but biblically not really sound because - if a Pastor is doing his job - foundation will be Jesus
2) †Who we are all supposed to be building upon!
So Paul policy was to go to uncharted areas - so that he didnít build on another mans foundation!
And since Paul was a visionary - He had a plan -
A) Paul was led by the Spirit but that didnít mean that he approached ministry in a haphazard come what may style
B) The H.S. would impress places & people on Paulís heart - He would begin to pray & look for leading & opportunities to go to those places
C) Paulís plan : He was in Corinth when he was writing this - but he was heading down to Jerusalem
D) But there were 2 other places on His heart ! -†† Rome where these believers were - and Spain.
1) †Did he ever make it to those places ?
Well we know that he made it to Rome - but it was in a different way than what he had envisioned Iím sure / all expenses paid
A) Thy word lamp unto my feet - light unto my path
B) Paulís vision for Rome was a Lamp -† in v. 32 Paul mentions coming to them w/ joy -
C) Did he come w/ Joy ? Well he came in Chains / but I would also say that he did come w/ Joy -
1) †Joy is different from happiness / happiness based on outward experiences - Joy is inward peace
D) Joy is a by product of that peace which surpasses all understanding !
Was Paul used in Rome - Yes - Philippians talks about the gospel being shared throughout the whole Palace guard
Was Paul refreshed in Rome - Yes - Believers were able to visit him - time one on one w/ them - small groups -
Did Paul make it to Spain ? We donít know - we do know that - he was let out of Prison for a time & took one - more missionary journey
A) Did he make it to Spain - I personally believe he did - because in writing to Timothy - right before his death 2Tim. 4:7
I HAVE FINISHED MY COURSE !!!!!!!!!
Now the Last thing we see Paul does here is asks for prayer ! v. 30-33
30† Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me,
31† that I may be delivered from those in Judea who do not believe, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints,
32† that I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and may be refreshed together with you. 33† Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
Paul uses a powerful word in asking them to pray w/ & for Him!
A) Paul says strive w/ me in prayer - word Strive is the word agonizo in the Greek / English = AGAONIZE
B) Word that SPEAKS OF being fervent - word that speaks of being passionate / of laboring in prayer !
C) Same request that Pastor Brian has made of us !
Paul asked that they would pray for 3 things 1st v.30 That he might be protected from the unbelievers in Jerusalem
A) 2nd V.31 that That he might be accepted by the Believers down there
B) 3rd†† That he might be able to come to Rome w/ Joy !
Was Paulís prayer answered ?†† At first glance - say no / Protected?
A) Paul took a beating that at the hands of the unbelieving Jews & Luke records that they were going to kill him until Cladius Lycinius showed up
B) So yes he was protected
C) Was He accepted by the Believers - Yes - although at one point they seemed to desert him .
D) We already talked about - did he make it to Rome .
C) Here we are reminded that Prayer is not our getting our way w/ God / but Him getting his way w/ us !
CH. 16 Paul was not only a soul winner but he was also a friend maker
Ch.16 evidence of that fact
A) This Ch. Contains a list of names of 33 people who were on his heart at the time of this writing
B) The first group v.1-16 are special ones who were a part of the church there in Rome .
C) And the 2nd group were those who were w/ Paul in Corinth who were sending their greeting as well !
D) We are not going to comment on all of these names but there are a few who are of special interest that I want to draw your attention to
††††††††† 1) See in these people some of the gifts we have been studying about
16:1† I commend to you Phebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea,
2† that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also.
A) Phebe is another name for Diana - Servant of the Church in Cenchrea
B) Word servant = Deaconess - Writings of the early church fathers deaconesses did 3 things
1) †They visited the sick
2) †helped young women in their walks
3) †They tended to the poor.
C) Gift of ministry - or helps
3† Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus,
4† who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.
A) Tent makers who assisted Paul / left in Ephesus† / where they had a† big impact on the ministry of Appollos
††††††† 1) Gift of teaching , ministry & exhortation
Skip to V. 7†† Greet Andronicus and Junia, my countrymen and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.
A) Apostles in the sense that they were sent out by the H.S.
v. 12† Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, who have labored in the Lord. Greet the beloved Persis, who labored much in the Lord.
A) Two Sisters who names mean Dainty & Delicate yet Paul says they labored for the Lord - Labor is actually - they sweated !!
B) They rolled up their sleeves for the Lord !
My Personal favorite †V. 13† Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.†† Rufus - Love that name
A) Most commentators believe that this is the same Rufus mentioned in Mark 15:21 who was the son of Simon the Cyrene -
B) Seems that carrying the cross of Jesus had a profound impact upon his life because his son - Rufus became a part of the Church.
Another great name
V. 15† Greet Philologus †( Philos - Logos - ) Lover of Godís word !
After giving a greeting to his friends Paul gives them a warning v. 17- 18
17† Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.
18† For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.
A) Avoid those who preach a different gospel - Gal . Let them be accursed !
B) V.18 simple those who are sincere - some are so sincere to learn that they will talk to anybody who comes across spiritual
1) †Paul says you need to know what they think about Jesus - Is He Lord, Is He God - Is He the only way to salvation
C) If not have nothing to do w/ them !
D) Avoid for 2 Reasons - Protection - Satan is clever
1) †#2 Prioritization - There is so much to do for the Lord why spend your time arguing w/ those who - are not really open to hear the truth
V.19† 19† For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil.† 20† And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
A) Be wise in the good things - but simple ( or Naive concerning evil )
B) Meaning - I donít feel like I need to sit down & watch MTV to know what is going on in secular music today
1) †Watch movies -
C) I know Hollywood is getting worse not better -
D) Spend time - in study - learning - growing- filling my mind w/ good things
1) †Menconi ministries
E) Satanís days are numbered - that is what I need to remember - God has won- He is going to claim His prize in due time !
In V. 21-24 Paul gives a greeting from those who are w/ Him
A) Like tell them I said hi too - Paulís heart - had become their heart as well
B) Once had a Pastor tell me - if it doesnít involve me - Iím am not interested
C) Avoid falling into that mentality !
Conclusion 25† Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began
26† but now has been made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures has been made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith;
27† to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.
Mystery : Gr. Musterion It doesnít mean that which canít be figured out , but rather that which was previously hidden
Roman 11:25 25† For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Gentiles brought in
Eph. 2:2-6† 2† if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you,
3† how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, 4† by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), 5† which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: 6† that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel,
Gentiles are on the same plane†† as the Jews
1 Cor. 12:13 13 †For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body; whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free; and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.†
Col 1:25-27††† 25† of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God,
26† the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints.
27† To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.