not to build on a stranger’s foundation

January 2015 (19)

Romans 15:14-21

14 But I myself am fully persuaded about you, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another. 15 But I have written with more intensity to you on some points so as to remind you, because of the grace given to me by God 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. I serve the gospel of God like a priest, so that the Gentiles may become an acceptable offering, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 17 So I brag about Christ Jesus — about the things that pertain to God. 18 Because I will not dare to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in order to bring about the obedience of the Gentiles, by word and deed, 19 by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem even as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 20 And what I want to do is keep preaching where Christ has not been named, so as not to build on a stranger’s foundation, 21 but as scripture puts it: “Those who were not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.”[1]

not to build on a stranger’s foundation

Paul had been teaching the Romans to foster unity among themselves by bearing with their differences and exalting Christ as a whole. Now, he tells them that this is what the LORD has done through him and his ministry. He has been able to bring unreached people to Christ, and establish churches throughout the Roman empire . What’s more, those churches are made up of a people from various backgrounds, just like the church at Rome is. This is how the Holy Spirit works.

When people conjecture about why there does not seem to be much growth happening among traditional churches today, they often miss one valuable fact. Paul’s churches were designed as examples of God’s desire to reach the whole community. They were multi-ethnic and multi-cultural. Perhaps the Holy Spirit wants to plant churches like that today as well.

LORD, we do not want to build on a stranger’s foundation. Show us how to plant churches that bring glory to you.


[1] Isaiah 52:15.

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About Jefferson Vann

Jeff is a Christian missionary.
This entry was posted in church, missions, unity and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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