“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 15:16 ~
The apostle Paul, the apostle of grace, not because grace was never an issue before, but “because of the grace that is given to me of God”. The epistle to the Romans had immediately set forth Paul, “separated unto the gospel of God”. The good news of God in the person and work of His Son, Jesus Christ – the Son of God declared to be with power by the resurrection from the dead. This good news of God had been progressively revealed from Genesis forward: yet, its conclusion was given to the apostle Paul.
To Paul was given to be the minister of Jesus Christ. The understanding the twelve lacked prior to the Lord’s crucifixion and resurrection, as well as, the want of meaning His disciples had following His crucifixion and resurrection of His death, burial, and resurrection was given to Paul. Paul spoke of these eternal and spiritual provisions with “great plainness of speech”. Moreover, a dispensation of the gospel was committed to Paul. God would extend His forbearance, long-suffering, and goodness by not imputing the world’s trespasses against them, instead He would reconcile the world to Himself. God’s much long-suffering and patience would be put on display with a glorious gospel to share. Furthermore, due to His reconciliation of the world (holding back His day of wrath against it) He would do something “unsearchable”, unknown and untold by the mouth of all His former prophets – God would commend the word of His grace in Christ to the world through Israel’s fall, thus deal with the Gentiles by and with such abundant grace. With the dispensation of the grace of God under way and a dispensation of the gospel committed to the apostle Paul, many Gentiles would hear of God’s grace justifying them from all things from which they could not be justified by the law. Many Gentiles would beseech Paul to share more of these things with them as Paul spoke to the Gentiles.
God’s work in Christ exercising His unsearchable judgments to reconcile the world unto Himself, usher in the dispensation of His grace, conclude His good news in His Son, and give it to the apostle Paul to give it to the Gentiles would make known His manifold wisdom and reveal the depths of His grace.
All these judgments displayed and carried out would not only shew His glory, but they would be effectual. Gentiles were and are justified. Gentiles were and are made servants of righteousness. Gentiles were and are led by and of the Spirit to the conformity of image of Christ. God’s work would and will make an offering up of the Gentiles acceptable to the glory of God. In truth, what God did by His grace, given to be manifest to the apostle Paul is reason for hope and rejoicing. These things are thank-worthy and walk worthy of His wonderful works for us and to our glory. Are you filled with thanksgiving? Do you see His mighty hand for you by these things? Do these things constrain your obedience?
Josh Strelecki, Pastor-Teacher