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.” (ESV)
We see the Apostle Paul’s:
- Satisfaction with the Flock
a. Goodness declared (v 14).
Paul’s words echoes the words of the Lord Jesus Christ regarding good fruit (Mat 7v17-18), also Peter in 2 Pet. 1:12 and Paul again in 1 Cor. 1v4-8.
b. Grace delivered (v 15).
The grace given to Paul by God he delivers to the congregation. We are not perfect, but by the Lord’s grace we are saved, which enables us to receive correction in grace. We are justified and sanctified, but not glorified yet.
- Service to the Flock
a. The Serving of the Gospel only (v 16).
b. The Sanctification of the Gentiles as offering (v 17).
In Paul’s mentioning of the priesthood he refers to Exodus 19:5-6:
‘Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, you shall be My treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”
- Servility to the Faith
Paul commits faithfully to:
a. preach the accomplishment of Christ (v 18).
b. present the authority of Christ (v 19a).
- Satisfaction in Fulfillment
a. The attainment of his goals (v 19b).
b. His ambition to preach the Gospel (v 20a).
- Spreading of the Faith
a. New Directions (v 20b).
b. New Disciples (v 21).
Paul had a passion to preach to those who have not heard.
We must have the same passion.