ROIMANS - CHAPTER 15 "THE ONE NEW MAN"
"THE ONE NEW MAN"
Romans – CHAPTER 15
Pastor Carolyn Sissom
Tuesday, October 10, 2023
Paul again boldly declares the full power of the Trinity as His authority and commission as Apostle to the Gentiles to set forth this great Epistle.
When He opened with his salutation in Romans 1:1, he told them who he was, his authority and His message.
Rom. 1:1: Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostles, separated unto the gospel of God.
In 15:15, he states the authority of his boldness to present to the world, and eternity the doctrines outlined in this epistle.
Romans 15: 15-17: I have written more boldly to you on some points, as reminding you, because of the grace given to me by God (Theos). That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost. Therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God.
1. Grace given to me by God (Theos – operations of the Trinity).
2. Gospel of God (Theos- Word of the Trinity).
3. Sanctified by the Holy Ghost (Pneuma – Holy Spirit).
4. Glory in Christ Jesus (the anointed One – the Messiah, the Son of God---the administration/office/minister of Apostle).
By using the priestly picture of offering up the Gentiles, Paul is before God as an officiating priest whose task it is to present the Gentile world to God as an unblemished offering. Through Paul’s ministry in the power of the Trinity, you and I are part of that offering. Inasmuch as the Gentiles received the Holy Spirit, we were made holy. Between Paul’s preaching under the anointing as a minister of Jesus Christ, God’s Grace, and the Spirit’s sanctifying work, God continues to receive this holy offering.
Paul is Christ’s appointed Apostle to the Gentile world, and God’s priest to offer to Him a sacrifice consisting of Gentile converts won to the gospel and nurtured in the faith (Phil 2:17). This is a specific application of the priesthood of all believers, whereby all Christian ministry is viewed as an offering to the LORD (17-21).
We are part of Paul’s offering.
“For 1400 years one nation was singled out by God as His chosen people. While it was vaguely hinted in the Old Testament that Gentiles would one day praise God with the Jews, it was never dreamed that they would become ONE BODY IN CHRIST. No one in their right mind would have ever suspected such a thing. This was another astonishing thing revealed to Paul. He was chosen to reveal the Gospel of Christ that both the Jews and Gentiles are the one new man making up the Body of Christ…”
Eph. 2:15: Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace.
The law of commandments refers to the Law of Moses: laws of offerings, laws of temple worship, and laws for the Priests in the Old Covenant.
Romans 15:8-9: Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision (Servant of the Jews) for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers. And that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy; as it is written, ‘For this cause, I will confess to You among the Gentiles and sing to Your name’ (Ps: 18:49; Ps. 117:1).
The Lord’s ministry was to the Jews. He came, as He said, to the lost sheep of Israel (Matt. 15: 24-26). Paul says He did this so that it might be clearly seen that God doesn’t forget His promises. It was proof that when He promises something He does it. He had promised to send a Messiah to Israel, and He sent Jesus. To the Jew first… When the Jews rejected their Messiah, then the prophecies concerning the Gentiles were then activated.
However, it was not Jesus who dealt with the Gentiles. It became the task of Paul and the other Apostles. It was through their ministry that the Lord invited the Gentiles to partake of His finished work on the cross.
15:10: And again, He says,
Rejoice you Gentiles with His people (Deut. 32:43).
15:11: And again,
Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles; and laud Him, all you people (Ps. 117:1).
15:12: And again, Isaiah says,
There shall be a root of Jesse, and He that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in Him shall the Gentiles trust (Isa. 11:10).
Paul wants the Jew and the Gentile to realize the place of the other in God’s Kingdom is not accidental but has always been a part of God’s plan. These verses confirm to the Jews that the Gentiles have a rightful place in the Kingdom. We are indebted to the Jews for what we have inherited. “Salvation is from the Jews.” Thus, the Jew can’t feel superior because he was first in God’s redemptive plan, and the Gentile can’t feel superior because we are free from all the hang-ups, traditions, offerings, temple worship and special days of the Jews. The words Jew and Gentile now replace the words, weak and strong. The Jew is weak because of his scruples in connection with the Law, and the Gentile is strong because of the Blood of Jesus which allows us to enjoy the Royal Law of Liberty in the Lord (the King’s law (royal law) – James 2:8).
15:13: Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
This verse is something of a benediction. However, it contains a precious idea. If Christians will believe what God has been saying through Paul and by Faith deny themselves for the sake of each other, then God will pour out a blessing of “Joy” and “Peace” upon them. For we have a High Priest who is made not after the law of a carnal commandment.
Romans 15: 1-4: We then who are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, ‘the reproaches of them that reproached you fell on Me’ (Ps. 69:9). For whatsoever things were written long ago were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope
If we will bear each other (as a burdens) by faith, then God through the Holy Spirit will make us overflow with hope, thus fulfilling the law of Christ (Gal. 6:2).
Paul again affirms that every part of the Old Testament was written for our instruction and is not to be limited to the time in which it was written. 2. Tim. 3:16: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
Romans 15: 5-6: May God, the source of our “Confidence” and “Patience,” grant that you would have but one mind between you in your care for one another; and thus, be able to praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with one mind and voice between you.
One mind does not mean complete unity on all points of doctrine. It is necessary to have agreement on the basic doctrines; however, there is room for minor distinctions with the diversity of the gifts and callings within very diverse vessels and cultures. This does not mean that we can sin or go off into false doctrines or heresy. We each have different callings and different functions in the Body of Christ. We don’t all have a full-time mercy ministry; yet we are vessels of mercy. We don’t all have a full-time Evangelist ministry; yet we are all evangelists. We are not all Prophets, yet all can prophesy, etc.
When we are conscious of the LORD in our midst, we become disposed to do what will please Him. In such an atmosphere, it doesn’t matter who has more revelation, truth, liberty, maturity, gifts, or callings. Our one-mind will result in exalting and praising the Lord with our gifts and callings in the Body of Christ. There will be no competition or comparison. All will know that it is the Spirit of Life in Christ and rejoice. When pleasing Him becomes the chief desire, our differences fade into the background.
It doesn’t matter whether a man is a Jew or a Gentile; if he receives Christ, he is baptized into the one body of the One New Man where all are equal. This is why Paul went about saying, “There is no difference…between Jew and Gentile.” His words were absolutely shocking to those who believed God created a great difference between the Jews and other nations.
Christians are citizens of Heaven, a heavenly people with a heavenly life and a heavenly future. Col. 1:13: Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the Kingdom of His Dear Son.
Paul now resumes the charm displayed in chapter One. There he told his readers how he had been hearing good things about them all over the world (Romans 1:8). He now tells them he knows they are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to admonish one another (Vs. 14).
After setting forth some of the most profound truths ever entertained by the human mind, he says he realizes they already know these things. Not only that, but they know them well enough to advise one another about them. Here he speaks in true humility.
15: 18-19: I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God (Theos); so that from Jerusalem, and round about Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.
Paul’s preaching was accompanied by signs and wonders, yet his ministry was very different from that of Moses. The old Law giver operated in a grand fashion. He displayed God’s power before the nations of the world, crushing the most powerful of them all---Egypt. Moses was outwardly majestic as he led the nation of Israel in one continuous miracle for 40-years. His credentials were a pillar of cloud and fire. Those who opposed him were supernaturally destroyed. On one occasion, the earth opened and swallowed thousands of them. But it was not like that with Paul. Instead of fame, he bore the shame and rejection of his Master. He was despised by many wherever he went, even stoned on occasions. Ultimately his head was chopped off as were so many of the other disciples.
Yet the miracles which attended his work were mighty. A prison was opened for him at Philippi. A magician became blind on his command. A dead youth was restored to life when he touched him. But those were not Paul’s credentials. His greatest miracles were transformed races of people, the Gentiles. He spoke and God worked in men’s hearts, and they became sons of God. One of his biggest miracles was changing sinners into saints and getting them to grow in the likeness of Christ. So great was the effect of this miracle that he kindled spiritual bonfires wherever he went.
Rom 15: 20-21: Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, less I should build upon another man’s foundation; But as it is written, ‘To whom He was not spoken of, they shall see and they that have not heard shall understand’ (Isa. 52:15).
He does not want to take any credit for other people’s work, like some “superlative apostles’ he has come across (2 Cor. 10:13; 11:4).
The LORD gave us the book of the Law of Moses through His servant Moses (Josh. 8:31). In this epistle alone, through the Spirit of God in Paul, the Lord revealed to us some of the laws of His Kingdom:
1. T he law of the Spirit of life in Christ.
2. The law of Righteousness in Christ.
3. The law of Faith righteousness.
4. Chosen by God to be His forever.
5. Justified by faith and made the righteousness of God in Christ.
6. Removed from the Adam family (death) and placed into the Christ family (life).
7. Received the Holy Spirit Who not only makes it possible to have direct fellowship with God but enables us to live Godly lives.
8. Removed from under the Law to live as led by the Spirit.
9. Guaranteed to appear with Christ in glory which reduces any earthly suffering to a trifle by comparison.
10. So secure is our salvation that nothing can separate us from Christ.
11. The Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Rom. 15: 22-24: I have been hindered from coming to you. But now no longer having a place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come to you, when I journey to Spain, I shall come to you. For I hope to see you on my journey, and to be helped on my way there by you, if first I may enjoy your company for a while.
Paul’s objective was to do pioneer work in Spain, as there were already Christians in Italy. But he would call at Rome on the way, and indeed sought their commendation and backing in the Spanish mission. Such is the force of “to have you assist me on my journey.” Rome was to be his base of operations.
Before setting out for the west the apostle had an errand, he must first take the proceeds of a collection for the poor to the church in Jerusalem. James, Peter, and John had asked Paul to remember the poor in this way in return for their recognizing his missionary work among the Gentiles (Gal. 2:10).
To Paul’s mind the only thing standing between him and his proposed visit to Rome was this errand to Jerusalem. However, his relationship with the church in Jerusalem had deteriorated. Would the Jerusalem church accept his gesture of unity and fellowship? In their eyes Paul had let down the Christian cause badly by unscriptural policies (Ac. 21). Could they have fellowship with such a brother?
They accepted the money but demanded proof of Paul’s’ orthodoxy. James in embarrassment had to give way to the pressure of “myriads” and make Paul submit to a test of soundness. Amid all those thoughts of danger and disunity Paul turns to the God of peace and as he commits his readers to Him, no doubt he also casts himself upon Him.
Rom. 15: 30-31: I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in your prayers to God for me; that I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints; That I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed. Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
He asked first for their prayers that he might be delivered from the unbelieving Jews who were always his bitterest enemies. As Paul traveled through Asia and Greece, they tried to kill him several times. They hated him for his stand against Judaism and the law. He had his hands full. The Christians Jews in Jerusalem were still bound in the traditions and the Jews hated him (Acts 21).
It was to a spiritual battle that he was requesting prayer, not spiritual chitchat. When it comes to battling in the Spirit, there is nothing equal to the power of a group of Christians who are of one mind and heart concentrating on a single target in prayer.
In this chapter, Paul has referred to God as the source of our “patience,” “hope,” and “peace”.
When studying and preaching, I feed myself and I am the one most blessed to have the privilege to handle the Word of God in all meekness seeking the Lord sermon after sermon that I am able to preach “in season.”
Carolyn Sissom, Pastor
Eastgate Ministries Church, 10115 West Hidden Lakes Lane, Richmond, Tx.
Scripture from K.J.V. unless otherwise noted. Text from F.F. Bruce Bible Commentary, Leslie C. Allen, and Lovett’s Lights on Romans by C. S. Lovett; sermon notes by: Carolyn Sissom. Comments and conclusions are my own as led by the Holy Spirit and not meant to reflect the views of those from whom I have entered their labors.