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Volume 30 - Page 155 of 179 Index | Zoom | |
#84. Romans 15: 8 - 16: 23.
Gentiles, acceptable to God, not acceptable to their fellows (15: 17-33).
pp. 182 - 187
The Apostle supplements his statement that his ministry was like that of a priest, so far
as the Gentiles were concerned (Rom. 15: 16), by further evidences both from his own
ministry (Rom. 15: 17) and from the Scriptures (Rom. 15: 21) and then outlines his plans,
which had in view a visit to Rome and Spain (Rom. 15: 22-24), which, however, were to
be preceded by a special journey to Jerusalem for the purpose of taking the gift of the
Gentile churches to the poor saints at Jerusalem (Rom. 15: 25-33).
While it humbled him, as he realized his own unworthiness, the gift of grace that made
the apostle Paul such a devoted minister of Christ to the Gentiles, gave him good ground
for "boasting in Christ Jesus in things pertaining to God". Paul "magnified" his office
(Rom. 11: 13).
In verse 15 the Apostle uses the word, tolmeroteron, "boldly" and in verse 18 tolmao,
"dare". He will venture to speak of what his office is and what, by grace, he has
accomplished, but not of anything that Christ had not wrought through him.
To bring about the obedience of the Gentiles, word, deeds, signs and wonders had
been pressed into service. There may be an intentional parallel between the "word" and
the "power of the spirit of God", and the "work" and "the mighty signs and wonders".
In an earlier epistle he had brought forward this same ground of boasting:
"I am become a fool in glorying (boasting); ye have compelled me: for I ought to
have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest of the
apostles, though I be nothing. Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in
all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds" (II Cor. 12: 11, 12).
Further, the Apostle draws attention to the ground he had covered:
"so that" (i.e. to speak simply of his own labours) "from Jerusalem in a circle as far as
Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ" (Rom. 15: 19).
Illyricum is the land lying along the Adriatic Sea opposite the east coast of Italy, and
which adjoins Macedonia on its northwest boundary. It marks the furthermost bounds of
the Apostle's journeys up to the time of writing the epistle to the Romans. A glance at
the map will show that, taking Jerusalem as a centre, the missionary journeys of the
Apostle were prosecuted in ever widening circles. First, the missionary journey to
Cyprus and the Province of Galatia (Antioch and Pisidia, Iconium, Lystra and Derbe), see
maps Volume XVII, page 35.
Next, the journey to Troas, whence Macedonia,