Romans 15:14-16: Paul: Apostle to the Gentiles
You might think now that we have finished the doctrinal part of the letter to the Romans the last chapter and a half are unimportant and will be a let-down. You could not be more wrong. This last section of Romans gives us a tremendous window into the nature of Paul’s ministry helping us to think about our own ministry as a church. As well as a window into the life of the early church. In this closing section of the letter Paul reverts to personal comments as he did in the introduction of this letter. And just as Romans has the longest introduction to any of Paul’s letters so it also has the longest conclusion in all his letters. Paul has never met the Roman church yet he is wanting to include them in his plans as he goes to preach in places where Christ has not yet been preached. So Paul includes in this final part a deeper look into his ministry so the Romans would be willing partners with him. Paul describes himself as a minister to the Gentiles, as an apostle, as a church planter, as a missionary, as a church ambassador and a persecuted Christian in v14-33. All of this information is because Paul wants to make a stop in Rome to be helped on his way by them, v24.
‘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 God16 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.’
So today we are going to look at v14-16 where Paul tries to encourage the Roman church lest they be discouraged by some of his strong exhortations, v14-15. Then he outlines the basis for his liberty with them by explaining his ministry as the apostle to the Gentiles. These then are our two headings, Paul’s view of the church and Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles.