Romans 15 – How to Have Great Hope 羅馬書 15 – 如何大有盼望
Thursday, 22nd June 2023
Sister Emily Huang
Section One V1-13 Glorify God with One Mind and One Mouth一心一口榮耀神
V1-6 ‘We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbour for his good, leading to edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.” For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.’
God created us all differently, but when God put us together in one spiritual family, then we can help each other, support each other, accept each other, and build each other up. It’s not about fighting who is right and who is wrong, but to please God and benefit one another. Furthermore, we can hove hope while helping one another, because our hope and our joy are from God, and when we glorify Him with actions one mind and one mouth, God will be pleased with us. We are one body in Christ, and we can glorify God as one.
V7-13 ‘Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God. Now I say that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers, and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy, as it is written: “For this reason I will confess to You among the Gentiles, and sing to Your name.” And again he says: “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people!” And again: “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples!” And again, Isaiah says: “There shall be a root of Jesse; and He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, in Him the Gentiles shall hope.” Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.’
God’s Word gives us hope, even those who did not know God before, even the Gentiles, can receive eternity. God is a good God, He gives hope to all people, we may feel God is very far away, but He is actually with us all these years. The Gospel is still being spread all around the world, especially in the places of restriction, do not feel discouraged, but believe God can turn the impossible into possible. We glorify the God, Who is worthy, Who gives us hope, peace and joy.
Section Two V14-21 Make it an Aim to Preach the Gospel 立志傳福音
V14-16 ‘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. Nevertheless, brethren, I have written more boldly to you on some points, as reminding you, because of the grace given to me by God, 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.
Paul was very humble, he was well-known and had high status, but he called himself a servant. And he was bold to write to the churches of Rome, to teach them and to guide them. Do we also have the same boldness to teach and to help one another? Furthermore, what is our attitude towards people’s teaching? The churches of Roma were doing many good things, and Paul gave them teaching not because he was putting them down, but because he wanted them to be better. When our authority is talking to us, can they also have this boldness to talk to us? Our attitude and how we receive teaching will really affect how much teaching our authority is willing to give and how well we will receive this teaching that benefits us.
V17-19 ‘Therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God. 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— 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.’
To preach the Gospel is not by our strength but by the power of the Holy Spirit, and when we know this truth, we will not feel discouraged when people don’t receive our teaching. And we will also not be proud when they receive it, because it’s all from God, what we can do is to be a vessel, and to not give up.
V20-21 ‘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, but as it is written: “To whom He was not announced, they shall see; and those who have not heard shall understand.”’
Paul made it his aim, his ultimate goal, to preach the Gospel. What is our aim? Do we have the same mind as Paul to preach the Gospel? Paul chose the hard places to preach the Gospel, he knew what he wanted, and he was determined. He was not afraid of difficulties and challenges, because all he wanted was for the Gospel to be preached to the end of the earth. This is also Paul’s faith, to believe that everyone can believe in God, no matter how hard it is. Let us have the same goal, the same hope, and the same mind, to preach the Gospel to those around us by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Section Three V22-33 Bear Blessings and Sufferings Together 有福同享有難同當
V22-24 ‘For this reason I also have been much hindered from coming to you. But now no longer having a place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come to you, 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.’
The Gospel has really been spread as we can see in the world today. During Paul’s time, Spain was a place without Gospel, but now we know there are Christians everywhere. Paul’s love for the Gentiles continues to influence our lives today. Can we also have the same hope to know that God looks after us and those we love to eternity?
V25-29 ‘But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem. 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. Therefore, when I have performed this and have sealed to them this fruit, I shall go by way of you to Spain. But I know that when I come to you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.’
When we really experience the blessings of God, are we willing to also bring these blessings to others? When we give thanks to those who are willing to teach us, when we appreciate those who helped us in the past, we are also sharing the blessings of God together. Paul was under great prosecution, a lot of people and things were against him, but he did not give up on loving others and preaching the Gospel to others. He also continued to have faith in God, and plead those who were working with him to pray for him.
V30-33 ‘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, 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, that I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and may be refreshed together with you. Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.’
Do we also see others experiencing suffering and hardship? Do we have the same mind to pray for them and to share their suffering? Our prayers are powerful, when we know there is nothing we can do to help, we must pray more, to strive to pray and intercede for one another. We can bear blessings and sufferings together as the Body of Christ.