Romans 15:14-22 recently stood out to me as guidelines for the mission God has called his church to.
- “competent to instruct one another” (Rom. 15:14) – this is God’s goal. I fear we look too often for 1 “professional” minister to do all the instructing. God wants us to all grow into that ability, instructing one another. Reminds me of Heb. 5:12 – “by this time you ought to be teachers” (note that this is written to non-leaders, see Heb. 13:24)
- “the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel” (Rom. 15:16) – we are all called to be priests on the basis of Christ’s work (see 1 Pet. 2:9). Our priestly duty includes proclaiming the gospel
- “an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 15:16) – the only way we can walk out this Christian life in a God-pleasing way is via the Holy Spirit
- “my service…what Christ has accomplished through me” (Rom. 15:17-18) – note that in v. 17 Paul calls it his service, but in v. 18 he says that this was, in reality, “Christ working through me”. Reminds me of 1 Cor. 15:10–“I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”
- “leading the Gentiles to obey God” (Rom. 15:18) – it’s not just them trusting Jesus for salvation (though that is essential). But the goal is obedience unto God (again, only possible via the Holy Spirit)
- “…by what I have said and done–by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God.” (Rom. 15:18-19) – 3 ways they came to faith: (1) by what Paul said, (2) by how Paul lived, (3) by the power of the Spirit. This corresponds directly with 1 Thes. 1:5 where the same 3 categories are listed as bringing the Thessalonians unto faith. Are we walking faithfully in all 3 of these to bring people to faith?
- “preach the gospel where Christ was not known” (Rom. 15:20) – there are still a lot of people around us who don’t know what the gospel is. May this be part of our strategy to seek them out. Oswald J. Smith – “No one has the right to hear the gospel twice, while there remains someone who has not heard it once.”