Subject 9 : Romans (Commentaries on the Book of Romans)

[Chapter 15] Let Us Spread the Gospel Throughout the Entire World

“We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification” (Romans 15:1-2).
Those who believe in God’s righteousness must not seek their own righteousness, since Jesus Christ did not seek His either. The righteous live for the Kingdom of God and spread the gospel for the good of others. Paul said that the strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak instead of pleasing themselves.
Believers of God’s righteousness must preach the gospel so that they can cleanse the sins of others with the baptism and blood of Jesus Christ. This is the reason why God hates those who are lazy and do not spread the gospel to save sinners. We must therefore not seek our own righteousness but spread God’s righteousness to others. We must deliver the gospel of the water and the Spirit so that sinners can be saved through faith. We must also edify each other.

Do not build the house of faith on another man’s foundation

Verse 20 states, “And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation.”
There was something peculiar in the gospel that Paul preached. It is that he strived to spread only the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Believers of God’s righteousness must strive to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit, just as Paul did. In order to make this happen, we must seek the good of others, instead of our own. People who seek the good of others do so because they have been crucified with Christ and resurrected with Him. Those who believe in Christ are not dead, but alive.
 “For this reason I also have been much hindered from coming to you. But now no longer having a place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come to you, whenever I journey to Spain, I shall come to you. For I hope to see you on my journey, and to be helped on my way there by you, if first I may enjoy your company for a while. But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things. Therefore, when I have performed this and have sealed to them this fruit, I shall go by way of you to Spain. But I know that when I come to you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ” (Romans 15:22-29).
Paul was an itinerant preacher and overseer of God’s church
While Paul was on his way to the Jerusalem Church to serve its Christians, he delivered the contributions from Macedonia and Achaia to them. Paul added that if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things. The saints in the Jerusalem Church were in the midst of persecution at that time and could not free themselves from their material deficiencies. The Jerusalem Church, which was suffering great persecution for believing in Jesus Christ, was greatly consoled by the Gentile brothers and sisters.
In the present as in the past, it has become a tradition for God’s churches to share their wealth with the needy instead of enjoying it by themselves. The Spirit-filled believers especially cannot live for themselves alone. Why? Because the Holy Spirit dwells in them! They are the born-again who are led by the Holy Spirit who resides in them.
It is wonderful that the Gentile churches supported and funded the Jerusalem Church. This was the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit supported the Jerusalem Church for the gospel of the water and the Spirit, not for any individuals, and granted it material relief as well. At that time in Israel, many were beaten, thrown in jail, even killed for their faith in Christ as their Savior.
On TV documentaries, we can often see the remains of the Catacomb martyrs and their hideouts in mountain caves. This was what the Jerusalem Church had to go through at that time. We, too, must give a helping hand to God’s churches when they are facing difficulties.
We may brush off the importance of the mutual help that the Early Churches extended to each other, but this was a time when the believers had to live in hiding to flee from persecution. Only the Holy Spirit could make the sharing possible in these circumstances. Because the Jerusalem Church was under persecution, it was natural for other churches to help it. Because this was the work of the Holy Spirit, it was fitting and beautiful.
You, a believer of God’s righteousness, should take part in such works as well. The member churches of The New Life Mission raise fund and invest it in spreading the gospel to the entire world. All of them have some type of financial difficulty to cope with, but they are still eager to spread the gospel to save souls.
Paul worked as a tent-maker to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit. When there was someone who could care for the church that he founded, he entrusted the church to him, and went on his way to another region to preach the gospel—all the while earning his living through tent-making.
Just as you do not live for yourself alone, our ministers do not live for themselves. Those who have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them devote themselves to God’s works—that is, to saving the lost from all their sins. Both the ministers and the lay members of our mission serve the gospel through “tent-making ministry,” where they hold their own jobs to support themselves and at the same time contribute to the spreading of the gospel, both financially and by volunteering.
Like this, we can find many similarities between Paul’s ministry and that of God’s church today. We have the same frame of minds, and live lives that please the Holy Spirit. What is on our minds when it is bitterly cold? We surely think of our fellow Christians and servants of God and wonder if they are suffering from the cold. We, the born-again Christians, care and watch out for one another. All the righteous in the Bible needed one another and served God’s righteousness together. This life of faith is the real lives of the righteous.
We have lived with such mind-sets. When we first started to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we had to begin from scratch, as we had nothing. We were so financially strapped that we often had a hard time trying to come up with a few hundred dollars to pay the rent and the bills for the church building. But we still devoted ourselves to our literature ministry throughout this country.
When we were faced with financial difficulties, it was God who solved them for us allowed us to see the fruits of our ministry. Because the Holy Spirit abides in our hearts, our desire to spread the gospel is burning in our hearts, no matter what difficulties are ahead of us. We want to share God’s love with all the lost souls by preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit, just as God’s churches and the righteous written in the Bible did.
We can find that the born-again Christians of the Early Church looked after one another and that we, too, do so. This is not possible without the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has been spreading the righteousness of God throughout the earth through the devotions of the born again and will continue to do the same.
Even if we are faced with the end of days!
People say that we are now living in the last age, when all the difficulties prophesied in the Bible will come to be fulfilled.
Catastrophe and disaster will engulf the whole world in the last days. As believers, we must stand more firmly in our faith in the righteousness of God and preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit even more diligently. Those who believe in God’s righteousness must have the heart to look after and love one another in this last age. Our own hearts may be hardened as the hearts of the world harden, but we can overcome this world in the end, because we have the Holy Spirit in us. No matter what the circumstances, we need to look after God’s churches and souls. We must look after those who require our assistance, love them, think of our fellow brothers and sisters, and spread the gospel till the end.
We must devote ourselves to the salvation of others rather than seeking our own righteousness. There are still so many souls, out there all over the world, who have not heard the gospel of the water and the Spirit. People in many countries have never heard the gospel of the water and the Spirit, nor had a chance to know God’s righteousness. We must set our minds like the soldiers who are fighting to win the lost souls and nations with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This mission comes not from coercion, as if we are compelled by force, but it naturally arises in the hearts of those of us in whom the Holy Spirit dwells.
The Great Commission to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit to the ends of the earth is active in our hearts today. What I want to tell you is that the more difficult this world becomes, the more sufficiently God pours His Holy Spirit on us. We are spreading the gospel through our printed and electronic books offered to those who thirst for the truth, free of charge. We will constantly carry on our ministry worldwide through the Internet.
Although we are not any wealthier than the Americans or the Europeans, we can still give them the gospel that contains the righteousness of God. We have the same mind-set as Peter who said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6).
We can freely give them the gospel that has fulfilled the righteousness of God, which they had not known. Even though we are no better off than anyone else when measured by the worldly scales, we are the servants of God who can give the gospel that contains the righteousness of God. Those who, having come across this gospel through our ministry, come to know and believe in this gospel will be greatly blessed.
This is the Internet era, and with it God has provided us a way to open the whole world. We have seen how grateful and joyful people were when we gave them the gospel that has fulfilled God’s righteousness. The gloomier the world becomes, the more thankful and powerful we will become while preaching the gospel of God’s righteousness to the lost. Would the world end like this, or would God give us more chances to spread His gospel? This is what we should think and pray about. Everything will be perfectly fulfilled by the Holy Spirit.
I also used to be selfish, and only cared about my flesh before I was born again. Not only I, but we all were like this. Those who live only for the pleasures of the flesh may claim that they have love, but in truth they cannot actually love others. This is the difference between those who have the Holy Spirit and those who do not. Sinners can only live for themselves, but those with the Holy Spirit has the power to live for someone else, and do actually live for others. The Triune God gives His believers the power to live for other souls. Because God dwells in their hearts and leads them on, they can do His righteous works.
No matter how many churches there are in this world, almost all of them have now become merely secular enterprises. They spare no money to build their extravagant churches and they have huge budgets that are in the millions of dollars, and yet only a tiny fraction of their wealth, if at all, is given for charitable works. They have gone mad to gain more wealth from this earth, discarding their real mission of saving souls from sin as secondary and unimportant. They cannot be a part of the church of God, for His church does not pursue its own interests over those of God.
The true church of God uses its resources to save the lost souls in transparency and honesty. As the Bible says, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy" (Matthew 5:7), God has given us the heart to look after the souls of this world and lead them to redemption, and He has made all these things possible. The gospel of the water and the Spirit has now been put together into publications that have been translated into almost 40 languages and over 60 titles, each of them testifying God’s righteousness to those who are facing their spiritual death.
How pleased would God be if we prayed more earnestly and spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit to more sinners to save them, before this world is engulfed in the Great Tribulation and comes to its end? Let us not be discouraged but be faithful until the very end.
In the past, the poor could survive by helping each other. But we have now entered an era of limitless competition in which only the strong can survive. Whenever we look at this generation, we are convinced of our duty that we must spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit to those who still have not heard it. We all have the heart to deliver the gospel that will bring peace to those who are tired and weary from their unending struggles in this harsh world. Let us deliver the spiritual blessing of the gospel of the water and the Spirit to them. We can live for Christ with our faiths in God’s righteousness, for He has taken away all our sins.
The gospel that contains God’s righteousness will spread tenfold, a hundredfold, a thousand-fold, and a million-fold more swiftly now. We will have so much work to do, so let us be faithful. Those who are talented should give their talents to the Lord and spread the gospel to each and every soul. We must all work to spread the gospel according to our God-given talents. We have no power of our own, but I believe that if we pray to God according to the Holy Spirit that stirs in us, God will grant all our wishes.
Christ has given us His true love that loves the sinners. We have been saved from the sins of this world by our faith in the righteousness of God. This is why we must work harder to spread the gospel, even as it become more difficult to live in this world. We have the duty to give the gospel to those who have not heard it yet.
God said, “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal” (Romans 11:4). There are still so many in this world who need to receive the gospel of the water and the Spirit. So many souls, whether pastors’, theologians’, or the laymen’s, are rising up.
That we are able to work for the gospel is because of the love of Christ. We still have so much work to do, and at times we feel overwhelmed by them. But we should be more faithful and spread the gospel even more diligently as we face more difficulties. This is the heart of Christ. I pray that you, a righteous, do not think of only yourself. If you think of only yourself, there is no need for faith or prayers because you are just trying to live for yourself and have nothing to do with the lost souls. But if you have to earn your wages to support yourself and other souls as well, what would happen? You would pray to God for help because you are weak.
This is how our faith and prayers grow. This is why God says,
“There is one who scatters, yet increases more;
And there is one who withholds more than is right,
But it leads to poverty” (Proverbs 11:24).
Sharing the gospel of the water and the Spirit with others is the most righteous life of Christians. A spiritual life is one that spreads the true gospel that leads people to Christ. Let us look after our neighbors and their souls and spread the gospel throughout the entire world. May the blessing of God’s righteousness always be with you.
Hallelujah! Let us praise our Lord! I thank Him for allowing us to do His righteous and good works, and for delivering us from the power of the darkness and leading us into the Kingdom of the Son.
This sermon is also available in ebook format. Click on the book cover below.
The Righteousness of God that is Revealed in Romans - Our LORD Who Becomes the Righteousness of God (II)