Romans 15:14–21 (ESV)
Paul the Minister to the Gentiles
14 I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. 15 But
on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering
of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 17 In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God. 18 For I will not venture to speak of anything except
what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, 19 by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around
to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ; 20 and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, 21 but
as it is written,
“Those who have never been told of him will see,
and those who have never heard will understand.”
Paul lays out the practice and scope of his mission work. Apart from God’s intervention through
servants such as Paul, we would not have seen, heard, or understood God’s grace. Christ’s servants are to respond to His calling and use their gifts in dedicated service as Paul did. Anything we do is simply “what Christ has accomplished
through” us (v 18). It is all by grace and is sanctified and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
I pray: Lord, I praise You that the message of Your grace has reached
me and that I have come to believe it by the power of Your Holy Spirit. Use me and the gifts You have given to me as an acceptable offering to You. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1940.