Paul’s Gentile Ministry Rom 15:15-33 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Paul ministered by grace – Rom 15:15 – grace given of God to minister to Gentiles [v.16]. According to 1 Cor 15:10 it takes grace to minister.
Paul ministered primarily to Gentiles – Rom 15:16 – Jesus ministered to Jews [Rom 15:8; Matt 15:24] and the apostles ministered to Jews [Matt 10:5-6, Gal 2:7-9]. Paul’a was a Gentile ministry primarily, but he also ministered to Jews [Acts 9:15]. Gentiles were a sanctified offering to the Lord [Rom 12:1]. They had been “sanctified by the Holy Ghost.” Contrast Gal 2:15.
Paul ministered by the power of God – Rom 15:17-18 – he’s bragging, but to the glory of God. He ministered through Jesus. Those things pertain to God. Christ wrought by him in a Gentile ministry.
Paul ministered by signs and wonders of the Spirit – Rom 15:19 – though the signs were required for Israel [1 Cor 1:22], Paul was an apostle and had the signs [2 Cor 12:12]. He used those things for the benefit of the Gentiles, as well. Further, he was testifying to Jews and signs are important in testimony to them. Illyricum is a province on the east shore of the Adriatic Sea north of Macedonia. He fully preached the gospel throughout this region [Acts 20:26-27].
Paul ministered in Rome – Rom 15:20 – Peter wasn’t the Pope of Rome. Paul went here and built on no other man’s foundation. Paul went west into Illyricum and Peter went east into Asia where Paul was forbidden to go [Acts 16:6-9; 1 Pet 1:1, 5:13]. Peter was in Babylon; not Rome.
Paul ministered to many nations – Rom 15:21 – Paul quotes Is 52:15. The context of Is 52:14 and Is 53 is the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, which includes Gentiles. The Ethiopian eunuch was reading Is 53 when he got saved [Acts 8:27-35].
Paul desired to minister to Rome – Rom 15:22-24 – but he was much hindered because of his work in other areas. Since he had completed his Gentile ministry in those regions [Rom 15:23], he desired to stop in Rome on his way to Spain [Rom 15:24]. Perhaps Paul went to Spain when he was in his own house in Rome [see Acts 28:16, 23, 30].
Paul ministered in Jerusalem – Rom 15:25 – in Jerusalem Paul desired to minister to the saints [Gal 2:9-10] and to deliver the gift from the Gentiles in Macedonia and Achaia [Rom 15:26; 2 Cor 8-9; 1 Cor 16:1-3]. Antioch first gave to these poor saints in Acts 11:27-30. According to Rom 15:27 it is our duty to minister to the minister [1 Cor 9:11-14] and to the poor saints. Rom 15:28 shows us that giving is a “fruit” of the Christian life.
Paul ministered the gospel – Rom 15:29 – Paul preached the gospel in his Gentile ministry in its fullness [Rom 15:19; Acts 20:26-27].
Paul ministered with help from prayer – Rom 15:30 – he asked the Romans to strive in prayer together for him: to be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea [Rom 15:31; Acts 21:31-32]; to have his service accepted [Rom 15:31; Acts 21:17-19]; and to come unto them with joy by the will of God [Rom 15:32]. He got there but not exactly the way he had envisioned [Acts 21:4; 23:11].