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Grace to build

on May 27, 2020 in 2020 | 0 comments

Grace to build

by Ivan Ho 27 May 2020

 

Nevertheless, brethren, I have written more boldly to you on some points, as reminding you, because of the grace given to me by God, 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. Therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God. 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— 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. 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, but as it is written: “To whom He was not announced, they shall see; And those who have not heard shall understand.” For this reason I also have been much hindered from coming to you. But now no longer having a place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come to you, 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.
Romans 15:15‭-‬24 KJV

 

The power of grace over Paul the apostle.

  1. Because of the grace given to me by God, that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles.

Paul was a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles rather than the Jews. That was God’s grace over Paul’s life, to minister primarily to the gentiles (the nations, non-Jews). He needed to work within that grace over his life. That unique calling kept Paul within set boundaries.

Too many people are trying to function outside of God’s grace and try to become what they are not. Just because we can does not mean we should. We must work within God’s grace or we would become a disgrace.

 

  1. Ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.Therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God.

We must not glorify things which do not pertain to God. All the things that man accomplished without Christ will not last, including the things that we do in church. Note the word “therefore”, referring to “ministries of the gospel of God” sanctified by the Holy Spirit. These are the things pertaining to God which gave Paul reasons to glory in Christ Jesus.

 

  1. 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.

Paul dared not to speak any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through him. In other words, Christ must first build things in our lives, in words and deeds, before we build on others. Just because we have a bible college degree doesn’t necessarily mean we are qualified. Just because we have been to some apostolic conferences does not mean we become apostles either. We must allow God the time to build into our lives before we speak those things which Christ has built in us.

 

  1. 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.

The gospel of Jesus Christ must be preached by the power of the Spirit of God with demonstration of signs and wonders. The gospel of the kingdom is not an intellectual, brain teasing information that touch only our minds. Without the Holy Spirit, the sermons we preach, the songs we sing, the things we do would have no power to change lives.

 

  1. I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation.

To many, any cities where the churches are already established are the places to be. There are far too many overload of workers in certain places but in other cities where the gospel of Christ are mostly needed, not many want to go there. People keep building on another man’s foundation, and the building gets bigger and bigger where the congregations become fatter and fatter. Paul made it his aim not to preach the gospel where the gospel of Christ was named, lest he would build on another man’s foundation, in order to fulfill the scripture: “But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.” (Romans 15:21 KJV)

We need to stay in a place so Christ can build things into our lives. When we are ready, God will send us out either into the marketplaces or to other cities and nations to preach Christ there.

 

  1. For this reason I also have been much hindered from coming to you.

Paul did not go to any place where he was invited. “For this reason” i.e. the reason mentioned above, Paul was hindered to travel to certain places even if he wanted to see those whom he ministered to in the past. He was on a mission, an apostle sent by God to places where the gospel of Christ are most needed.

Being hindered also means that certain doors are shut, not by man but by God. Paul wanted to minister in Asia but the Holy Spirit forbidded and instructed him to go to Macedonia instead. Acts 16:6‭-‬10

We must learn not to follow our own hearts and go here there and everywhere. When God opens a door, He also shuts others. We must follow the guidance of God to enter into the things He has prepared for us.

 

  1. 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.

In Paul’s missionary journeys, along the way he frequently revisited those cities where he preached the gospel in the past. He needed to strengthen what he had established and also be strengthened by the brethrens.

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