The Berean Expositor
Volume 16 - Page 127 of 151
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if the other. This faith obedience was for all nations, and on account of His name.
Among these nations were the believers at Rome. They were "the called of Jesus
Christ", "the beloved of God" and "called saints". To such the apostle sends the
"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."--"Grace"
by itself was the light hearted Greek salutation (Acts 23: 26). "Peace" (shalom), the
deeper greeting of the Hebrew. The two are combined by the apostle. Such is the
greeting of the apostle placed at the opening of this weighty epistle. Like all the works of
God, it is entirely in keeping with its position. Witness how in its short compass it
contains weighty words concerning:--
Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles.
The gospel as it relates to Christ.
Christ considered according to the flesh and the spirit.
The sphere of Paul's ministry.--"All nations."
The nature of his testimony.--"Faith obedience."
The incentive for both minister and believer.--"For the sake of His Name."
May we be permitted to make a few observations for the help of those who are
engaged in the ministry of the Word.  You are not your own master, nor your
congregation's servant. You like Paul are the bond slave of Christ. Whether you labour
with your hands in the work-a-day world, or whether your whole time is devoted to the
ministry, you are separated unto the gospel of God. You cannot preach that gospel and
doubt the O.T. Scriptures. Neither can you preach that gospel and fail to preach Christ.
Even though you preach Christ you will not preach a full gospel without Christ risen.
Your own obedience and the obedience enjoined by you upon others is not a legal
obedience, but an obedience of faith. Grace and peace be with all such.
Paul: the man and the message (1: 8-17).
pp. 113 - 121
"Plans pertain to the heart of man, but the last word is from the Lord" (Prov. 16: 1).
These words apply not only to the average man, but even to an apostle. Paul had on
more than one occasion experienced the crossing of his plans. Nevertheless he had
proved that the "last word" of the Lord excelled the dearest plans of the heart of man.
"Forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia", he "assayed to go into
Bithynia, but the Spirit suffered him not", and therefore taking the only course left he
found himself at Troas, there to see the vision of the man of Macedonia, and to "gather
assuredly" both the will of the Lord and the reason for the closed doors in Asia and
Bithynia (see Acts 16: 6-9). On another occasion the Corinthians apparently suggested
that he made promises but did not keep them, and the paraphrase of Chysostom on
II Cor. 1: 17 is:--