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PRODUCTIVE MINISTRY

ROMANS 15:14-2

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." NKJV


Introduction

              Almost everybody desires to be productive. I want a productive ministry. I want to have my life produce good children who extend my life and make a solid contribution to this world. The Church In Rome had a productive ministry.

 

1. A Ministry producing . . CONFIDENCE.                        v 14-15 b

2. A Ministry producing . . CREDENTIALS.                      v 15 c-16

3. A Ministry producing . . CONGRATULATIONS. v 17-19

4. A Ministry producing . . CONGREGATIONS.    v 20-21



1.       A Ministry Producing . . Confidence.         v 14-15 b


A.          A . . Brotherly Confidence.            v 14

              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.


Introduction

Paul did not start this church in Rome. As he writes to them he affirms them as Brothers in Christ. They share a similar faith in Christ.

            1.         Confident of Their . . Moral Achievements.          v 14 a

                            “. . . that you also are full of goodness,. . .”

            2.         Confident of Their . . Mental Achievements.         v 14 b

                            “. . . filled with all knowledge,. . .”

            3.         Confident of Their . . Ministry Achievements.      v 14c 

                            “. . . able also to admonish one another.”

                        a          The GREEK Word Translated “Admonish”

                                    *          Rom. 15:14 Romans 15:14 To put in mind

                                    *          Acts 20:31, Forewarned is to be forearmed.

 

                                    b.        Pro. 1:5          A wise man will hear and increase learning, And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel, NKJV


B.          A . . Bold Confidence.      v 15


          1.            Bold In . . Writing.    v 15 a

15 Nevertheless, brethren, I have written more boldly to you on some points,. . .”


          2.            Bold In . . Witnessing. v 15 b

                            “. . . as reminding you, because of the grace given to me by God, . . .“


Illustration:        TOPIC: Self-Confidence INDEX: 3188-3189

By 1948 Democratic leaders were casting about for someone other than Harry Truman to run for President, while the Republicans were looking forward confidently to taking over the White House. Even Truman's mother-in-law thought it was a waste of time for Harry to seek re-election. "The Democratic Party might as well immediately concede the election to (Gov. Thomas E.) Dewey," said the New York Post, "and save the wear and tear of campaigning."


Truman's spunk was aroused. He was absolutely certain he could win. But no one believed him. Reporters "laughed hysterically" when he announced he would sweep the nation. On election night the first scattered returns showed Truman leading. About midnight radio commentator H. V. Kaltenborn announced over the air: "Mr. Truman is still ahead but these are returns from a few cities. When the returns come in from the country the result will show Dewey winning overwhelmingly." At 4 a.m. Truman was over 2 million votes ahead. Dewey finally conceded at 11:13 a.m.


Stunned by his defeat, Dewey later said he felt like the man who woke up to find himself inside a coffin with a lily in his hand and thought: "If I'm alive, what am I doing here? And if I'm dead, why do I have to go the bathroom?" Presidential Anecdotes, by Paul F. Boller Jr.


Application:


President Truman was confident. Christians can trust and believe in the acts God produces.


A Ministry Producing . . Confidence.




2.       A Ministry Producing . . Credentials.         v 15 c-16


A.          Credentials of . . Grace. v 15 c

              “. . . as reminding you, because of the grace given to me by God, . . .”

 

              1.           Grace Is 24 times in this book; 1 time this chapter.

              2.           Four times in this verse:

                            Ro 11:6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work. NKJV

 

Illustration                           Cannot add your works to Grace

If you add your works to the cross, you subtract God's grace from the cross. Salvation is 100% grace. --Kent Crockett


B.          Credentials of . . Gospel. v 16 a

              16 that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles,

              ministering the gospel of God, . . .”

 

              1.           Gospel 13 times in this book; 4 times in this chapter.

              2.           Gospel means: Good News about Jesus Christ.


C.          Credentials of . . Gentiles. v 16 b

              “. . . that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable,

              sanctified by the Holy Spirit.


Illustration:          TOPIC: Apostleship of Paul INDEX: 202 DATE: 1/1988.1

There is a sense, of course, in which every Christian has an apostleship. We are all of us to be witnesses, no matter what our other calling, profession or labor. A generation ago there was a wealthy man in the Midwest who was an outstanding Christian layman.


People used to ask him what he did. He would reply, "I am a witness for Jesus Christ, but I pack pork to pay expenses." Your apostleship differs in degree but not in kind from the apostleship that was given by God to Paul. -- Donald Grey Barnhouse


Application:


All of us should display these Credentials.


A Ministry Producing . . Credentials.




3.       A Ministry Producing . . Congratulations. v 17-19

 

A.          Congratulations In What . . Pertains To God. v 17

17 Therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God. NKJV

 

Mk 7:37 And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, "He has done all things well. He makes both the deaf to hear and the mute to speak." NKJV


              Lk 1:49 For He who is mighty has done great things for me,

              And holy is His name. NKJV


              Lk 8:38-39 38 Now the man from whom the demons had

              departed begged Him that he might be with Him. But Jesus

              sent him away, saying, 39 "Return to your own house, and tell

              what great things God has done for you." And he went his way

              and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things

              Jesus had done for him. NKJV


B.          Congratulations What Is . . Produced By God. v 18-19

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.

 

 

              1.           What God Produces In A Good Minister.

                            a            God Produces Humility.    15:18a

                                           18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things

                                           which Christ has not accomplished . . .”

 

                            b            God Produces Personal Integrity.    15:18b  

                                           “. . . through me, in word and deed,. . .” 

 

                            c            God Produces Obedience in the Converts.   5:18c

                                           “. . . to make the Gentiles obedient —”

 

                            d.           God Produces Power For Ministry. 15:19a

                                           19 in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the

                                           Spirit of God,. . .”

                                           1)           Workings of Signs and Wonders Do Not Produce

Salvation. Ac 14:11-13 & 18-19   11 Now when the people saw what Paul had done, they raised their voices, saying in the Lycaonian language, "The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!" 12 And Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 Then the priest of Zeus, whose temple was in front of their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, intending to sacrifice with the multitudes. . . . 18 And with these sayings they could scarcely restrain the multitudes from sacrificing to them. 19 Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. NKJV

 

                            e            God Produces Stability.     15:19b

                                           “. . . so that from Jerusalem and round about to

Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.”


              2 Ti 4:6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. NKJV

 

Illustration:                            TOPIC: Boasting DATE: 3/1989.4 TITLE: No Time to Brag

From Mongolian folklore comes this helpful little fable of the boastful frog. Two geese were about to start southward on their annual autumn migration, when they were entreated by a frog to take him with them. On the geese expressing their willingness to do so if a means of conveyance could be devised, the frog produced a long stalk of grass, got the two geese to take it one by each end, while he clung to it by his mouth in the middle. In this manner the three were making their journey when they were noticed from below by some men.


The men loudly expressed their admiration for the device and wondered who had been clever enough to discover it. Whereupon the vainglorious frog opened his mouth to say, "It was I," lost his hold, fell to the earth, and was dashed to pieces. Moral: When you have a good thing going, keep your mouth shut!


Application:       


The frog just had to boast about himself. We must boast in the Lord


A Ministry producing . . Congratulations.




4. A Ministry Producing . . Congregations. v 20-22

              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." NKJV


A.          A Ministry . . Aimed At Creating New Congregations. v 20

              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,


B.          A Ministry . . Arousing New Congregations.           v 21

21 but as it is written: "To whom He was not announced, they

shall see; And those who have not heard shall understand." NKJV



Illustration:          TOPIC: Church TOPIC: Analogies of TITLE: False Signals

A visitor in a strange city was returning from supper when a sign in a store front window caught his eye. It read "Chinese Laundry." He made a mental note of the location because he had been gone long enough to have need of a good laundry. The next morning he arrived at the store with a bag full of soiled clothes. He piled the clothes on the counter before a shocked attendant. "What's that?" the attendant asked. "My laundry," came the reply. "I've always heard that Chinese laundries do excellent work." The startled clerk quickly informed the visitor that the establishment was not a Chinese laundry. "But what about the sign in the window?" "Oh, this is not a laundry, it is a sign shop."


The church sometimes sends out false signals about its purpose. Needy people bring in their dirty laundry only to discover that the cross of forgiveness is only a sign and that the attendants are not equipped to handle soiled lives.


Application:       


1. A Ministry producing . . CONFIDENCE. 


2. CREDENTIALS. 


3. CONGRATULATIONS. 


4. CONGREGATIONS. 







 

*          Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament.