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Romans 15:17-19

Rejoicing in Christ

17 I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God. 18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, 19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

The ministry to the Gentiles is, for Paul, a reason to rejoice. The Greek word that is rendered as "glory" usually means, "to boast or rejoice." His boasting or joy, however, is not in himself or his works but in Christ and as to the things pertaining to God.

The challenges set before him were opportunities to see the power of God through Jesus Christ. The victories that he experienced as he led Gentiles from the darkness into the light of the gospel were due to Christ. The miracles wrought among the people were not of his own power but the power of God. Paul was able to give the gift of eternal life to multitudes of people because of the ministry that was given to him by Christ. This was the reason for the great joy that he expressed in this passage.

Furthermore, Paul says that he would not dare to speak or boast about anything which Christ had not done by him to bring the Gentiles into obedience to the gospel. He would not boast of anything done by his own efforts or in his own strength; nor would he take credit for anything that Christ had done through someone else. It made no difference whether it had been accomplished by the preaching of the word or by some works or miracle that had been done. Only that which was done by Christ through Paul was worthy of any boasting.

"And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them." (Acts 19:11-12) These were done "by the power and Spirit of God."

From Jerusalem as the center of his ministry to Illyricum, “a province lying to the northwest of Macedonia, bounded north by a part of Italy and Germany, east by Macedonia, south by the Adriatic, west by Istria,” he preached the gospel of Christ by the power of signs and wonders, which were done by the Holy Spirit.

Paul never wanted to take credit for anything, but he was quick to boast about the wonders that God had done through him. He understood that his life and his ministry were not about him but about Jesus Christ. God had indeed done many marvelous miracles in the life and ministry of Paul, but Paul would never claim that he was anything other than an instrument in God's hands.

"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief." (1 Timothy 1:15) That was Paul's testimony, the words of a great but humble man.

Before The Throne:

It is not about you! Nevertheless, if you are a Christian, you have reason to rejoice. Thank the Lord for the miracles He has done in your life. Praise Him for calling you to be a part of His royal priesthood. Ask Him to use you to bring others into obedience to the gospel of Christ. Do not keep your praises to yourself. Pray for the opportunity to praise Him wherever you go, every day and every hour.

For Further Study:

** whereof. Rom 4:2; 2Cor 2:14-16; 2Cor 3:4-6; 2Cor 7:4; 2Cor 11:16-30; 2Cor 12:1, 11-21; ** in. Heb 5:1;

(v.18) ** I will. Prov 25:14; 2Cor 10:13-18; 2Cor 11:31; 2Cor 12:6; Jude 1:9; ** which. Mark 16:20; Acts 14:27; Acts 15:4, 12; Acts 21:19; Gal 2:8; 1Cor 3:6-9; 2Cor 3:1-3; 2Cor 6:1; ** to make. Rom 1:5; Rom 6:17; Rom 16:26; Matt 28:18-20; Acts 26:20; 2Cor 10:4-5; Heb 5:9; Heb 11:8; ** by word. Col 3:17; 2Thess 2:17; Jas 1:22; 1John 3:18;

(v.19) ** mighty. Acts 14:10; Acts 15:12; Acts 16:18; Acts 19:11-12; 2Cor 12:12; Gal 3:5; Heb 2:4; ** by the. Matt 12:28; Acts 1:8; 1Cor 12:4-11; 1Pet 1:12; ** so that. Rom 15:24; Acts 9:28-29; Acts 13:4-5; Acts 13:14, 51; Acts 14:6, 20, 25; Acts 16:6-12; Acts 17:10, 15; Acts 18:1; Acts 18:19; Acts 19:1; Acts 20:2; Acts 20:6; ** fully. Rom 1:14-16; Acts 20:20; Col 1:25; 2Tim 4:17;


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