Monday, December 10, 2007

2007-12-09 PM The Plan For Outsiders - Romans 15 Part 1.mp3

The Plan for Outsiders

Romans 15:1-21
Dr. Edwin P. Elliott

I. Outsiders Represent Opportunity

A. People who have the strength which inherently develops from understanding the gospel need to have consideration for those who do not; Paul had laid the platform for this analysis as he developed the interaction of Jews and Gentiles. “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” (Romans 15:1)

B. The welfare of the less developed believer must be the object of the experienced believer. “Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.” (Romans 15:2)

C. Paul’s approach is simply an application of the pattern demonstrated by the Savior Who suffered as a substitute for His people to secure redemption for them. “For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.” (Romans 15:3)

D. The Scriptures are filled with such instructive patterns. “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)

1. All Scripture is instructional.All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (2 Timothy 3:16)

2. As believers learn, they must teach in turn. “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-6)

E. The unity which results from mentoring glorifies God. “That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 15:6)

II. God’s Instructional Process Requires Outsiders

A. In gathering and accepting outsiders, believers replicate the outreach of the Savior. “Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.” (Romans 15:7)

B. What Christ did actually fulfilled God’s promises to the ancients and set in process the conversion of the Gentiles or outsiders. “Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.” (Romans 15:8-9) [v9 from Psalm 18:49]

C. The prophets laid out the pattern and process, projecting the world religion Christianity has become. “And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people. And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people. And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.” (Romans 15:10-12) [v10 from Deuteronomy 32:43; v11 from Ps 117:1; v12 from Isaiah 11:10 in LXX]

D. Faith in God develops hope. “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 15:13)

III. Paul Took the Gentile Mission Personally

A. Paul believed his audience could do what he asked. “And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.” (Romans 15:14)

B. Ministering on the edge of the faith and the hope which develops from it is a privilege. “Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God, 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.” (Romans 15:15-16)

C. Paul’s life became fulfilling as he lived out what he had learned from Jesus. “I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God.” (Romans 15:17)

D. Paul strove to emphasize what Christ had done through him and to ignore things which he might have done himself or which Christ might have accomplished in some other way. What has God done through me? “For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath 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; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.” (Romans 15:18-19)

E. Paul’s ambition was to take the gospel where it was not known. “Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation:” (Romans 15:20)

F. Knowing that one is doing what God proposes is a powerful motive; every believer should share in Paul’s ambition. “But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.” (Romans 15:21) [Isaiah 52:15 LXX]

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