Sermon: Grace Community Church, You are Ready for Gospel Ministry

Sermon: Grace Community Church, You are Ready for Gospel Ministry in 2019 and Beyond

Romans 15:14–21

Grace Community Church, You are Ready for Gospel Ministry

in 2019 and Beyond

Romans 15:14–21

Truth Taught – In Paul’s estimation the Christians in Rome were ready for Gospel Ministry and so are we.

 

Introduction

Are you ready for Gospel Ministry in 2019? The Apostle Paul tells us we are ready. We have been prepared for Gospel Ministry for our communities and family. Beloved, God says we are ready.

As we think about the Gospel and Gospel Ministry, we must know what the Gospel is and what God’s goal(s) are for the Church in sharing the Gospel with others.

1 Corinthians 15:3–4 (ESV)

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,

What is God’s goal as we share the Gospel?

It seems there are two main thrusts. First, it’s God’s desire to save those who have never heard the Good News that Jesus came to save sinners. Second, the people who have never heard come from two types. We have those from other cultures and nations who have never heard the Good News, and we have the next generation that has never heard the Good News. In both examples, other nations and other generations, we must include those who have never heard it accurately.

God’s goal is to create a new society made up of all nations and all generations coming together under the banner of Jesus Christ. Christianity is not just for certain people but for all people from all cultures and generations.

Revelation 7:9–10 (ESV)

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

Now, I want to say that this last Sunday of the year I am so blessed to be your pastor, and as I was reading this section this week, my thoughts kept going from the text and the Church in Rome that Paul was writing to, to you here at Grace Community Church. None of us are perfect. I do believe, however, we are all very capable of being used by God to share the Gospel and instruct others. We are very capable of being used by God to bring other cultures and other generations to Jesus Christ.

We must never forget that the Gospel is the power of God to save sinners and to bring them into His kingdom.

Romans 1:16 (ESV)

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

As we think about a Gospel Ministry, we must have the proper motivation. There is a humanistic way of looking at the Gospel. It is the power of God to save us. However, the Gospel message is not first and foremost meant to keep people from going to hell. We are not saved from hell; we are saved from our sins. Salvation’s purpose is to create a people who will make up a worshipping community for King Jesus for all eternity. We pray for our lost friends and family in hopes that they don’t spend an eternity in hell, but the Bible teaches us that there is a greater, more consistent, more God-honoring motivation. Jesus is worthy to have a people to worship Him. Gathering a worshipping people is a greater more biblical motivation than simply not going to hell when we die.

Revelation 5:12 (ESV)

12 saying with a loud voice,

       “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,

       to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might

       and honor and glory and blessing!”

Two centuries ago the Moravians were a band of amazing missionaries. They were not like missionaries today who won’t go to the hard places nor go anywhere without proper funding. No, these missionaries went to places that they knew they would never come back from. One account is of two young men boarding the ship to take them to the deepest darkest regions of remote Africa. There was an island off the coast made up of slaves. These were people who had committed crimes or for other reasons were made to work as slaves. In order to have permission to enter this remote island they had to sell themselves into slavery never to return home. As the ship left the port, and their families waved goodbye, and as the ship got smaller and smaller on the horizon, one of the young men shouted to his family . . . May the Lamb who was slain receive the reward of His suffering. That cry became the motto for Moravian Missions. They believed Jesus was worthy to have worshippers even from the criminals who lived on that island.

Prayer

Romans 15:14–21 (ESV)

14 I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. 15 But on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 17 In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God. 18 For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, 19 by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ; 20 and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, 21 but as it is written,

       “Those who have never been told of him will see,

and those who have never heard will understand.”

  1. GCC, You are ready

14 I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. 15 But on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God

a. GCC, you yourselves are full of goodness

Our church like the Church in Rome has been shaped by grace. We are not good by ourselves, but as God is working in us to make us like Jesus, we are good. We’re good in the sense of knowing how to treat others who are like us and also those who are not like us. Remember what God told us about loving others and caring for them?

Romans 12:9–13 (ESV)

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

It’s so good to pastor a church that knows how to love each other and others. You do a wonderful job in this area . . . you’re ready for Gospel Ministry.

b. GCC, you are filled with all knowledge

You don’t know everything; neither do I. This is the perfect tense, which means we are knowing more and more all the time. Beloved you are filled with the knowledge sufficient for the task of sharing the Gospel. You are full of goodness. You are full of the knowledge needed to share the good news.

c. GCC, you are able to instruct one another

I see this often in the life of our church. You are equipped to instruct one another. We don’t know everything but we know enough, and when we are equipped with true love for others, we can then instruct each other with truth.

All this is true of the Roman Church that Paul wrote to and I see this in you as well.

It’s so amazing how Paul’s perception of this church has changed. When he began this letter, he was on the Gentile Christians hard because they were playing around with the Gospel and not treating their Jewish brothers and sisters correctly. He was on the Jewish Christians because they felt superior to the Gentiles. The reason he is speaking differently to them is because he knows that when they read God’s Word (Romans) they will change. I’m confident that as we read God’s Word we too are changing.

Noutheteō (to instruct/admonish) carries the ideas of encouraging, warning, and advising. It is a comprehensive term for counseling. In this context, it refers to coming alongside other Christians for spiritual and moral counseling. Paul is not referring to a special gift of counseling but of the duty and responsibility that every believer has for encouraging and strengthening other believers.[1]

  1. GCC, See Paul’s Heart

16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 17 In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God. 18 For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, 19 by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ; 20 and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, 21 but as it is written,

       “Those who have never been told of him will see,

and those who have never heard will understand.”

Here, Paul explains his ministry with the prayer that we will copy what he did.

a. The Acceptable Sacrifice

Paul served figuratively as a priest

16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit Since the sacrifice Jesus made, the OT earthly priesthood has been done away with because Jesus is now our High Priest. There will never be any more God-acceptable sacrifices. Here, Paul tells us that he also performed a priestly function. He uses symbolism to try to explain how he saw his own ministry.

1 Timothy 2:5 (ESV)

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

Jesus is our High Priest, and like Paul, all Christians in a very real sense are priests as well.

1 Peter 2:5 (ESV)

you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

As Paul ministered figuratively as a priest the gospel of God to the Gentiles, he did so in order that his offering of believing Gentiles to God, as it were, might become acceptable to Him, being sanctified by the Holy Spirit. In faithful fulfillment of his unique apostolic calling, Paul’s supreme offering to God was a multitude of Gentiles, who by virtue of the Holy Spirit’s power had been sanctified and thus made acceptable for fellowship with the Father.

Like Paul, every believer who is instrumental in winning a soul to Jesus Christ presents that convert, whether Jew or Gentile, as a priestly offering to the Lord.[2]

b. The Whole Counsel of God

17 In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God. 18 For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, 19 by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ;

Everything Paul did, he did through grace and the power of God. That’s why he wrote that he was proud of his work.

Colossians 1:28–29 (ESV)

28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

c. You Will Be My Witnesses

20 and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, 21 but as it is written,

       “Those who have never been told of him will see,

and those who have never heard will understand.”

Paul quotes Isaiah 52 here in verse 21. His point is that we should be willing to share the good news with everyone. We are not all called to be evangelists, but we are all called to be a witness.

We pray this year that GCC will be a witness to others of the amazing work God is doing in our lives. Through fervent prayer and an active Gospel Ministry those who perhaps have never heard the good news effectively will come to an understanding of the Gospel of God.

Grace Community Church, You are Ready for Gospel Ministry in 2019 and Beyond.

*Resources Used:

Romans by Christopher Ash

Romans by Douglas Moo

Romans by John Stott

Romans by John MacArthur

Outline of Romans by Steel and Thomas

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[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1991). Romans (Ro 15:14). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1991). Romans (p. 331). Chicago: Moody Press.

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