Tuesday after the Sixth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Romans 15:14-33 (NKJV)
14 Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. 15 Nevertheless, brethren, I have written more boldly to you on some points, as reminding you, because of the grace given to me by God, 16 that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 17 Therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God. 18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient—19 in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 20 And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation, 21 but as it is written: “To whom He was not announced, they shall see; And those who have not heard shall understand.”
22 For this reason I also have been much hindered from coming to you. 23 But now no longer having a place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come to you, 24 whenever 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. 25 But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. 26 For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem. 27 It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things.
28 Therefore, when I have performed this and have sealed to them this fruit, I shall go by way of you to Spain. 29 But I know that when I come to you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ. 30 Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me, 31 that I may be delivered from those in Judea who do not believe, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 32 that I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and may be refreshed together with you. 33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
Saint Paul sets an example for us all as disciples of Christ, for an apostle’s plans are not his own, to make or alter as he pleases. The apostle is an instrument in the hands of the Trinity. God has given him grace to be a minister of Christ Jesus, and the offering which his priestly ministry presents to God (Gentiles won to the obedience of faith) is sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the apostle cannot move westward, to Rome and Spain, until God’s business has been finished in the East, until he has fully preached the Gospel of God where God wants it preached. Only then can he come to Rome in the high-hearted assurance that he comes in the fulness of the blessing of Christ.
Paul invites the saints in Rome to join in the joy with the called apostle by requesting two services of them. He asks that their prayers accompany him to Jerusalem, where he has cause to fear the hatred of his staunch enemies, the unbelievers in Judea, and the suspicions of Judaic Christians. He wishes, moreover, to be sped on his journey by the churches of Rome.
Thus the Gospel creates the apostolic, missionary church. We too should be willing to allow our lives and plans to be used by God for the building up of His kingdom in the way and time of His choosing, not our own.