Now lets go back to Romans 15 where we left off.
8. Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers
9. And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name
10. And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people
11. And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people
12. And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust
Now here we find 4 out of context quotes where the Lord reminds us that the Gentiles were always part of His Plan. [The word for Gentiles can also be translated heathen or nations.] The first, in verse 9, is from 2 Samuel 22:50, and s repeated in Psalm 18:49. The Second in verse 10 is found in Deuteronomy 32:43. The third found in verse 11 comes from Psalm 117:1. And the last in verse 12 is taken from Isaiah 11:10.
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
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
Look at how He describes the believers in verses 13-14. Is this a description of today's church? Not exactly, rather it is a portrait of the End Time Church, one that's filled with righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, one where the Kingdom of God is established; and where belief equals obedience. A Church where the people are overcomers because they love not their lives, even unto death. It's a Church that is bearing the Fruit of the Spirit!
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
These last 4 verses are very important. What he is saying here is something like this.
I am praying that you be of a certain mind. [Ready, willing and obedient.]
I already know that you are of this certain mind.
Nevertheless, I write boldly to remind you to be of this certain mind.
SO THAT the offering up [not just the offering] of the Gentiles might be acceptable. Here he is looking back to Romans 12:1, where he speaks of a sacrifice acceptable unto God.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1
Now here the phrase which is your reasonable service speaks of obedience. Service in this verse is sometimes translated 'worship'. It means that we can worship God by being obedient and offering up [or laying down] our lives as a holy sacrifice.
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
Notice here once again the emphasis on the Gentiles obedience to the gospel. This is described as obedience in word and deed showing that there is fruit of the spirit present.
Continuing on in 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
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
These verses once again speak of the gospel being preached unto all the world. Firstly as something that is finally accomplished, and secondly reminding us that it had to be done before He could come to us. It's the fruit among the Gentiles. It's the fruit of the earth that gives us the number of saints in the end time harvest. It's the fruit of the spirit that gives the obedience that makes the sacrifice acceptable.
And the gospel must first be published among all nations. Mark 13:10
Continuing on we read.
23. But now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you
24. Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company
But now, he says, I take my journey! This meaning, now that the gospel has been preached to all the world, the fullness of the gentiles is come in. The Fruit is harvested. And so now I can come again.
25. But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints
And now I go unto Jerusalem, where as we read in Zechariah:
Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, ... (Zechariah 14:3-4 KJV)
Continuing on we read.
26. For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem
Because, the Gentiles, Macedonia and Achaia, [two witnesses, if you will], have made the contribution of martyrdom in obedience to the gospel.
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