Curt Crist, pastor/teacher of ‘Welcome To Grace Ministries’: http://www.welcometograce.com
Source: #119 Acts and the miraculous [Curt Crist] (21:58-27:51 min.)
“Now, in the last half of verse 18, Paul gives his goal and his mission. He’s telling us why Christ had wrought these things through him.
Romans 15:18 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,
“To make the Gentiles obedient”…now that’s an interesting statement. Obedient to what? What is it that Paul was trying to get the Gentiles to obey? Did you know that Paul identifies this very clearly for us here? Most folks would think “the law, he’s trying to get the Gentiles be obedient to the law”. Not at all! Paul explains very clearly what he wants them to believe and to be obedient to.
In Romans 1 and 16, Paul tells us what he wants the Gentiles to obey. It’s very important to see this, because there are a lot of folks, as I said, who would say “let’s obey the word of God”, but they don’t bother to identify what portion of the word of God is meant for their obedience. They just lump it all together, and they come out with some sort of convoluted conglomeration of two very different programs, mixed altogether. Paul doesn’t make a mistake here, he very clearly identifies what the Gentiles are to obey.
Romans 1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
For obedience to what does it say here? For obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name. When you see the definite article “THE faith”, Paul has a specific belief system in place. He’s not talking about faith in general. He’s not talking about believing that there was a man named Jesus Christ. Paul identifies two things here “by whom we have received grace”. What kind of grace? We know from Paul’s other writings, he’s talking about the distinctive grace that was given him. What grace is it Paul?
Ephesians 3:2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
Not only was a special dispensation committed to Paul, he was given that unique and special apostleship concerning that special dispensing, that he was to be doing. He mentions both there in Romans 1! So what does he want the Gentiles to be obedient to? THE faith! What he’s telling us here, is that we Gentiles in this dispensation are to obey that message of grace that was given to Paul for us. We’re to obey the message of grace that Paul preached. That’s why Paul said numerous times “be ye followers together of me”. That’s what we’re to obey.
Romans 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
This is the unique truth for this age! It’s called the mystery/ the secret.. Paul called it ‘the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery’.
Romans 16:26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
It was always the obedience of faith! It was never anything other than the obedience of faith. It wasn’t obedience to the law of Moses, in order to get those folks saved. It was simply the obedience of faith; it was taking God at his word. It has always been taking God at his word, but if God told you to do something to prove that you are taking him at his word, you would definitely do that thing. Today he’s telling us;
Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
God is not giving you things today, in order for you to have an opportunity to prove or disprove that you’re taking him at his word. Today our service comes not out of apprehension to any of those things. Our service today comes based solely on our appreciation for what Christ has already done. Christ fulfilled the law for us, so we are identified with the righteousness of Christ the moment we take God at his word; obedient to the faith, concerning what Christ accomplished on our behalf. Paul called it the ministry of reconciliation. We should all understand what it is. God is reconciled where the sins of the world are concerned. Why? Because he imputed those sins to Christ, that all who would believe what he imputed to Christ, that that resolved the sin issue forever, would be joined to the person of his Son and have his righteousness freely counted to them, or imputed to their account. That’s what we are to obey today; the obedience of faith, the message committed to the apostle of the Gentiles, the apostle Paul. Paul was given that unique body of truth for the age of grace. So you see, when Paul talks about his task here, in chapter 15, as that of making the Gentiles obedient, he’s not talking about obedience to the law of Moses. He’s talking about obedience in regard to his special unique message and apostleship. He’s not talking about obedience to all the Old Testament rules and regulations, or obedience to the religious rituals and practices connected with God’s program with the nation Israel, in connection with their promise of the land. He’s talking about obedience to the Pauline Revelation.”