Notes from Norman
By Norman P. Grubb
Then Paul adds a word on scripture which is good. It is the one place in the whole letter where he says Scriptures are valuable to you, keep reading your scriptures. That is Verse 4. He is referring you to learn what kind of a person Jesus was. He didn’t come to please Himself. So, he says, “Through patience and comfort of the scriptures you might hope.” He is reminding the Romans that they have this feeding on the scriptures to build them up in the faith of God. Then he is saying, “Have this mutual fellowship—with one mind and one mouth glorify God and receive each other,” so that you are operating the fellowship.
Then he says Jesus Christ came to the minister of truth to the circumcision, to confirm God’s promise to Israel. Through Israel the world might have the Gospel. But, because Israel rejected it; it came out in spite of Israel. God had originally said to Abraham, “Abraham, if you go through with me, not only will I make you a blessing, but in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” So, there was a universal blessing right in the very first revelation which came to mankind in the purposes of God, which was the universal purpose. All families of earth will be blessed. That is God. Jesus Christ did come first to bring truth to His own people. They rejected it except for some special ones—then through those special ones, out to the world.
Paul says, “I have the privilege of being the mainline minister to the Gentiles” and then he gives three quotations that always had been in God’s purposes. He says, referring back to the scriptures, “Rejoice ye shall be a root of Jesse, and He shall the Gentiles trust.” So, he picked out these wonderful foreseeing phrases that come in the prophets—that the Gospel was for the whole world; These supposedly outside people were without God and without hope—this world outside of Jewry, Israel. “That is why I have hope in you. Actually you are not my harvest field. The Roman church or called the Church at Rome was not my harvest field.” He said this beautiful word, “I am persuaded my brethren you are full of goodness and knowledge and so on.” I like that. He had the positive attitude towards the Church of Christ. He didn’t pick up niggling little things. He said, “The God of hope fill you with joy and peace. I am persuaded you are full of goodness and, with all knowledge, able to admonish one another.”
So, I confirm you. Christ in you is your goodness, we would say. We have already said that, and you have the knowledge so you can build one another up. He spoke positively to this church to whom he was writing whom he had not yet visited. Then he said, “I write this to you because I have had this special privilege that the grace was given me of God. So, I write boldly to you, God’s grace has been given me to be a minister to the Gentiles, that this grace of my going to the Gentiles might be acceptable being sanctified by the Holy Ghost. My privilege always has been to go to people who have never heard. This is his last great word, “I won’t speak of things which Christ has not wrought by me.”
We have an individual ministry, this is the purpose of God. Each of us should be able to say, “This is my individual ministry, this has happened through me.” So, I am not working on another man’s foundation. There may be certain situations that we may be able to say, “Yes, this is happening through me.” So, I am not working on another man’s foundation. There may be certain situations that we may be able to say, “Yes, this is happening through me.” That is God’s purpose for all of us. Paul says, “I won’t dare speak of the ministry of Christ wrought by others. Through mighty signs and wonders, I have completed the telling of the good news of Christ all the way from Jerusalem around to Illyricum. I have strived to preach the Gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I build on another’s foundation.”
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