Summary: Paul’s description of his own heart and plans for future ministry
A PERSONAL LOOK AT THE LIFE OF PAUL
* To think about the Apostle Paul is to cause many possible thoughts to enter our minds. He has meant so much in so many ways to so many people. He has changed the very world we live by the very fact of his life and the obedience he gave to Christ.
* Beginning in 15:13 Paul begins to conclude this wonderful letter we call the Book of Romans. He shares what is in his heart, his hopes for the future and for a man who had accomplished so much he communicates a tremendous humility.
* What can explain the life of a man like Paul of Tarsus? I believe that a phrase in verse 15 of chapter 15 gives us our best clue: because of the grace that was given me from God. Grace can explain alot and sometimes it is the only explanation possible. GOD’S RICHES AT CHRIST’S EXPENSE. Unmerited, undeserved riches which in Paul’s
case is amazing. WHAT HAD GRACE DONE FOR PAUL?
GRACE HAD GIVEN HIM A HEART FOR THE CHURCH
A. A Heart That They Might Be GROUNDED In Christ. (13)
Now may the God of hope fill you with joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (14) And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you
yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to admonish one another.
1. Paul’s prayer was that they would have: joy..peace...hope. Not just have a measure of these things but to be filled and abound in them.
a. Three things that the world around us is tragically searching for and can only be found in a relationship with Christ.
b. Paul has already stated that the church in Rome was known around the world for their faith.(1:8)
LEIGHTON FORD(Billy Graham’s bro in law) was traveling by airplane and found himself next to an empty seat. He was looking forward to the extra room when appeared the stewardess with an elderly woman, 96 yrs of age. ‘Mrs ____ will be sitting here next to your sir’. As the flight proceeded Leighton asked the woman, ‘In 96 yrs what is the most important discovery
you have made about life?’ The woman boldly stated that it was that she knew Jesus Christ. Deciding to play devil’s advocate Leighton said, ‘That is not so great, what is so special about Him’. Emotions arose, words flew, and arms flailed as this woman responded to his unbelievable statement. ‘Please maam, I was only kidding you, I too believe in Jesus, in fact I am an evangelist on my way to preach’. ‘In fact, I am the brother in law of Billy Graham’.‘Who?’ ‘Billy Graham, the evangelist’ ‘Don’t know him’ ‘He has been on television, you must have seen him’. ‘Must have been out that night’. Next time Leighton saw Billy he
described what happened and then said, ‘she didn’t even
know who you were’. Billy responded, ‘Isn’t is wonderful that there are millions who don’t know who we are but they know our Jesus’.
CHURCHES KNOWN FOR: Willow Creek/Saddleback/Calvary
Chapel/1st Baptist Dallas What is Immanuel known for?
2. Paul identifies three things to commend the church for.(imagine being commended by the Apostle Paul!)
a. FULL OF GOODNESS - so essential that a church be motivated by a sense of goodness. To be responsive to the needs of one another, to love one another, to reach into each other’s lives to minister to the hurts, the burdens, and the concerns.
1) Church people should be good people. I know that there are some good people out there that don’t go to any church but I have found that as a rule there are no better people than those you find in a church.
b. FILLED WITH ALL KNOWLEDGE - Meaning
complete in the truths of God. Paul was providing in writing what many of them had already come to know
c. ABLE TO ADMONISH ONE ANOTHER - Not just
knowing but desiring and capable of transfering those truths
1) Go to many seminars, hear many teachers, sit through years of study but can you pass it on? Do others know God better by knowing you?
2) Not a word to just Church leaders. A sign of a healthy church is when others teach, encourage, counsel, and inspire one other to go deeper in their walk with Christ.
3. Imagine a church filled with these kinds of people. No wonder the world knew of them.
B. A Heart that they may be GROWING in Christ (15) But I have written very boldly to you on some points so as to remind you again, because of the grace that was given me from God, (16) to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, so that my offering of the Gentiles may become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.