Cornerstone Bible Church
Worship Service- sept 11, 2022
      • Romans 15:22–29ESV

  • Christ Our Hope In Life And Death
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        The Grove

        October 5, 2022 - 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
        Moses Journey to the Promised Land
  • Christ The Sure And Steady Anchor
  • Almost Home
  • 1

    Have you ever broken a commitment before? Maybe it was a personal commitment. 'I'm going to read more or I'm going to eat better,' and you fail at it. Maybe it is a work commitment, you tell your boss you would do a little something extra, but then you don't. Maybe you told someone you would meet with them and you don't go. Maybe you were on the receiving end of this. Someone made a commitment to you and they didn't come through, how does that make you feel when you are on the receiving end of someone not fulfilling a commitment? Fulfilling a commitment is very important. We live in a day and age where commitments are meaningless. Young people aren't getting married, they live together, they have kids together but they won't take the necessary steps to prove they are committed to one another and get married. People don't even fulfill their commitments in the workplace. Just recently there was a great resignation. Where people essentially went on strike because they didn't want to go back to in-person work. That is a lack of commitment, they forgo their obligation for ease instead of sticking to what they committed to. When people don't fulfill their commitments, for whatever reason, it affects other people. A lack of commitment not only hurts others but as Christians, a lack of commitment dishonors God and hurts His church.
    This morning we are going to look at the example of a godly man who sticks to his commitment and the impact it has on others.

    Believers Sticking to their Commitment to Serve Jesus Impacts Others

    2

    Turn with me in your Bibles to Romans 15:22-29; Romans 15:22–29 (NASB95): 22 For this reason I have often been prevented from coming to you; 23 but now, with no further place for me in these regions, and since I have had for many years a longing to come to you 24 whenever I go to Spain—for I hope to see you in passing, and to be helped on my way there by you, when I have first enjoyed your company for a while— 25 but now, I am going to Jerusalem serving the saints. 26 For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. 27 Yes, they were pleased to do so, and they are indebted to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are indebted to minister to them also in material things. 28 Therefore, when I have finished this, and have put my seal on this fruit of theirs, I will go on by way of you to Spain. 29 I know that when I come to you, I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ.
    Paul is a man who knows the importance of sticking to commitments, and we can learn a lot from Paul’s faithfulness to God and sticking to his mission and not waving from it.

    Stick to Your Commitment

    3

    In verse 22 Paul writes," For this reason I have often been prevented from coming to you." So what has prevented Paul from coming to Rome? Well to keep it in context, what we say is Paul's mission, is to give the gospel to those who haven't heard it. So what prevented Paul from coming to Rome? It was his commitment to spreading the message of Jesus Christ he was committed to spreading the good news in the Asia Minor Region. Paul knew he had to stick to his commitment. He had to see it through.
    It was Paul's commitment that kept him on mission. It was Paul's commitment to fulfilling God's call for him. This call was specific, he would be the apostle to the Gentiles. Jesus sent Paul to the Gentiles to plant churches in the major cities where he could travel somewhat easily, and in his region. His commitment kept him on mission, knowing this was for God's glory. Now the time for Paul to move on has come. In verse 23 Paul says,' Romans 15:23 (NASB95): 23 but now, with no further place for me in these regions, and since I have had for many years a longing to come to you
    Paul believes he has fulfilled his mission in this region. He has traveled this area for years, having made three journeys through this region. Going to major cities like Corinth, Philippi, Thessalonica, Ephesus, Berea, and Galatia. Shaving the gospel and planting church and then returning to help those same churches to strengthen them. In each church, he planted he left a pastor and elders to lead and guard the people and to fulfill the great commission. Paul knew these men and knew they were committed to the mission of the gospel. And believing wholeheartedly there was no more for him to do there. It was time to move on. Paul was personally ready to embark on his fourth missionary journey. This time to areas not yet reached.
    Verse 24, Romans 15:24 (NASB95): 24 whenever I go to Spain—for I hope to see you in passing, and to be helped on my way there by you, when I have first enjoyed your company for a while— Paul's commitment to spread the gospel and to strengthen the church motivates him to go to Spain. An area not yet reached, as far as Paul is concerned. Some also believe Paul is committed to fulfilling an Old Testament prophecy by going to Spain. Isaiah 66:19 says this, Isaiah 66:19 (NASB95): 19 “I will set a sign among them and will send survivors from them to the nations: Tarshish, Put, Lud, Meshech, Tubal and Javan, to the distant coastlands that have neither heard My fame nor seen My glory. And they will declare My glory among the nations.
    Tarshish is associated with Spain and so some take this to be a part of the motivation for Paul to go to Spain. This may very well be true, we don't know. What we do know is Paul's commitment is to see God glorified through all the nations. We also know when Jesus acceded to heaven He told the disciples in Acts 1:8; Acts 1:8 (NASB95): 8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Paul might not have been standing there when Jesus said this to the disciples but I'm confident Paul knew the gospel was to go to all the world. He even says that in this letter. Romans 10:18 (NASB95): 18 But I say, surely they have never heard, have they? Indeed they have; “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, And their words to the ends of the world.”
    Since Paul is the apostle to the Gentiles it only makes sense he should go to the ends of the world to spread the gospel. That is why he wants to go to Spain. Now it's not known if Paul made it all the way to Spain but that was definitely his target. And his hope and plan was not just to stop in at Rome as a casual visit but to enlist their help and to be sent out by the Roman church. His hope, his expectation was to come to Rome and set up his go west Homebase or go west headquarters. When he says he wanted to be helped on his way is not just financial but even find some people who could partner with him to go on this journey. People who might have been familiar with the journey to Spain. People who would know some strategic city to go to, maybe even know some people in those cities. Paul wanted to find committed Christians who were committed to sharing the gospel, and maybe even be ready to stay behind in the churches that are planted so they can help strengthen them. See Paul understands very well, this is not a one-man mission. His commitment is to spread the gospel his mission is to go to the gentiles, his goal is to see God glorified and he has committed to doing this work solely for God but not solo. I believe that's why he wrote such a detailed letter concerning the gospel to a people he says he had no need to write this to becuase he beleived they knew it. There is no question after reading this letter Paul has a thourogh knoweldge of the gospel message and understands fully the Old Testiment. Paul's committed to the LORD and the mission is crystal clear and if I were sitting in the church in Rome being Portugese and I knew his commitment to the gospel and understanding my call in God's kingdom work I know what I would want to do. I would want to lead through the western portion of the Roman Empire all the way to Spain. I would commit my life to fellow him and lead him all at the same time. And it's not like he is only going to pass through. He says, "when I have first enjoyed your company for a while." Paul wants to know these people. It's important to him. The McConelle's were just here a few weeks ago, and they didn't just come and go but enjoyed time together with us. They are family and we should treat them as such and that is what Paul was hoping to encounter, spending time with family he has never met. Paul's commitment is not just for mission, he has a commitment to God's  people too. It shows with his desire to enjoy the company of the Romans but also with his desire to see the Christians in Jerusalem taken care of. Let's look at verse 25.Romans 15:25 (NASB95): 25 but now, I am going to Jerusalem serving the saints. Paul can't go on to the church in Rome until he completes his prior commitment, to the saints. This commitment isn't to bring them the gospel but it is, in fact, to bring them the fruits of the gospel.

    Fulfilling Commitments Impacts others

    4

    Look with me at verses 26 and 27. Romans 15:26–27 (NASB95): 26 For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. 27 Yes, they were pleased to do so, and they are indebted to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are indebted to minister to them also in material things. As Paul writes this letter to the Romans he was traveling through the regions at Macedonia and Achaia visiting churches he had planted and collecting a contribution from there for the people in Jerusalem. Acts 19:21 (NASB95): 21 Now after these things were finished, Paul purposed in the Spirit to go to Jerusalem after he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.” it was during this trip Paul wrote what we have today as 1 Corinthians and Romans. Notice though how Paul 'purposed in the Spirit,' he had made a commitment before God to go to Jerusalem and he would only do this after his journey through Macedonia and Achaia. As Paul traveled through these regions and visited churches he had planted, they provided a contribution to Paul for the purpose of caring for poor saints in Jerusalem. Now look at what the text says, 'they were pleased to do so.' They didn't give out of compulsion but gave out of a heart of joy for what God has done. The Gentile churches are pleased to make this contribution because they are morally indebted to the Jerusalem saints.  The gospel has come to them because it first went to Jerusalem. The Gentiles, understand why they have received spiritual things. They received spiritual things because God had kept his own commitment to Himself. He redeemed mankind, and creation to Himself through His Son. Turn with me to Colossians 1, we will start in verse 13. Colossians 1:13–20 (NASB95): 13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.Colossians 1:21–23 (NASB95): 21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— 23 if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister. These are the spiritual things they have received. They now are able to be commited to the Lord, because they know who He is and they fully understand they have been rescued. Because of Jesus' commitment and the message of this commitment coming to them now they will commit to caring for God's people who are in need. They do this through material means. There is nothing wrong with that. It is Biblical to care for those who care for as spiritually. 1 Corinthians 9:11 (NASB95): 11 If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 1 Corinthians 9:14 (NASB95): 14 So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel. Philippians 4:17–18 (NASB95): 17 Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account. 18 But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God.
    So Paul is commited to serve God, to serve God's people and his commitment to the gospel message motivates others to be commited to God and the gospel message. And Paul realizes the importance of keeping his commitment.

    Fulfilling Your Commit is backed up by Jesus

    5

    Romans 15:29 (NASB95): 29 I know that when I come to you, I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ. Paul doesn't do anything for himself. Everything he does is because of God. Could Paul have jumped on a ship in Corinth and sailed to Rome and let someone else take the money to Jerusalem. Sure. But then what would have happened to Paul's conscience. Probably would've eaten away at him. Paul made a commitment to God, and he knew it had to be kept. He knew it was the only way he could move forward and see the ministry thrive and strengthen. Keeping our ecommitments are important, when we break a commitments we are not just hurting people, we dishonor God and we hurt ourselves. This isn't meant to scare you from making a commitment but see Paul as our example to honor our commitments no matter what because the greatest blessing we can receive is knowing it's back up by Jesus.
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