Paul’s ministry in detail is such an endless wonder to explore. When I think of the struggles we have today with getting the gospel to those who have never heard, I am constantly encouraged and motivated by carefully looking at Paul. Saved from a wretched life of opposing God’s plan, he became the greatest advocate and example of working God’s plan. Here is another verse from Romans 15 that shows Paul’s heart and passion, and what Christ accomplished through Him.
“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” (15:19).
Though Paul wrote Romans somewhere between his second and third missionary journey, he had fulfilled this part of his ministry. His second trip to this area was to strengthen and encourage the churches that had been planted. Illyricum was an area just northwest of Macedonia. It appears that when Paul answered the vision to go into Macedonia, the power of the Spirit in his preaching spread the gospel to areas beyond where he actually traveled (See Acts 16:9; 1 Thessalonians 1:8).
In an age when so many think that we must add something to the gospel in order for it to appeal and be accepted by the human heart, Paul added nothing, yet it spread rapidly and in power. Have we tried to supplement the power of the Spirit with human methods? Such efforts actually detract from what God wants to do. Let us rethink what we are doing and make sure it is in alignment with God’s plan and methods.
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