"That I might be a minister of Jesus Christ..."
Text: Romans 15:16
A GOOD SENSE OF CONSCIOUSNESS
What are we conscious of most of the time? For Paul, it was this sense of being a “minister” of Jesus Christ.
“That I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles,
ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles
might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit”
1. A minister (leitourgon)
There are two words that Paul used frequently to describe his ministry for the Lord.
a) The more frequently used word was “diakonon”.
i) This word was used to describe the work of a humble servant.
ii) This word is used to describe a person who is prepared to do menial labour.
iii) This is the word that is often translated “deacon”.
b) The less frequently used word was “leiturgon”.
i) It is used of priests who were assigned to their temple duties.
ii) It described a person who is “on duty”.
iii) Paul used this word to describe how he felt that he was on duty serving the Lord as a faithful servant-priest.
2. Ministering the gospel (hierourgounta)
Paul used a most interesting word that is here translated as “ministering”. This word was derived from the work of priests. Thus in Paul’s mind, he saw himself like a priest serving the Lord faithfully.
a) He was first and foremost ministering to God (as priests who are conscious of this truth).
b) He was aiding the Gentiles in making their “offering” to God.
c) This offering must be presented correctly and carefully so that it would be “acceptable to God”.
We have a classic picture of how Paul understood his ministry to the Gentiles!