5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the nations for the sake of his name,
This is probably one of the most “theologically thick” verses in all of Romans…
But I just want to give you 3 thoughts that I hope will encourage you today.
1. For those of us who are in Christ, we’ve all been given grace. We’ve all been the grace to fulfill the task that God has called us to! Paul had been given grace in order to be able to fulfill his task as an Apostle, but we know that we’ve all been given grace to do many different things in Christ’s kingdom. Whether you’re a construction worker, plumber, book store manager, student, mother, father, architect, web designer, marketing executive, husband, wife or anything else…if you are in Christ, then you can rest assured that God will give you the grace to perform the task that He’s called you to! There are many times when we forget that God will sustain with His empowering grace, and it’s at those times that we can burn out. But, if we will just remember that it’s not up to us to “perform” perfectly, but instead to rest in what Christ has already done on our behalf, then, no matter what task God has called us to, we can accomplish it!
2. Paul’s mission, and subsequently our mission, is to bring about the “obedience of faith among all the nations”.
This means that we are called to bring about both “obedience” and “faith” in those who we come into contact with. Why is this important? Because this means that we are called to do so much more than just make “converts” or get “decisions” for God from people. Instead, we are called to begin, continue, struggle through and sustain real, life-on-life relationships with the people we come into contact with, all for the sake of being able to teach them, not just what it means to “know Christ” but also what it means to “follow Him”.
This is a wonderful task that we’ve been called to! To think that the way that God has chosen to bring about “discipling nations” is through simple, Christ-centered relationships is, at least to me, overwhelming. See, God doesn’t just want you to meet someone long enough to “convert” them. God wants to give us “eternal friendships” in the form of fellow disciples! To think that God would give us such an enjoyable task as growing more and more together as we grow to be more and more like Christ! I hope this is how you see the call to “make disciples of all nations”. I hope you see it as a gift from God to you. I hope you see it as a means of knowing more and more people who have the exact same “favorite love” as you do! No other “religion” gives it’s followers such a wonderful way to spread their beliefs!
3. Paul shows us that all of this work is “for the sake of” Christ’s name!
God has declared that this entire universe exists to make much of His “beloved Son”. And that’s the reason that we’ve been given the grace to be able to accomplish the tasks that God has called us to, namely, the making of disciples!
But again, this is a joyous thing! We exist to simply spread the good news about the most wonderful thing we’ve ever encountered! Think about it, if your entire vocation was simply to tell everyone you met about how ______(insert favorite sports team here) had won the national championship, wouldn’t you find that to be a joyful calling? Well then how much more should our joy be found in our God-given calling to magnify the name of Christ? It is not simply the most important calling we could have, but it is the amazing, wonderful, joyful, blessed calling we could ever have!
To say we exist to magnify the name of Christ is to say that we exist to show others EVERYTHING we can about our wonderful, merciful, joy-providing, peace bringing, sin taking, righteousness giving Lord and Savior!
I hope that today you can find joy in “letting your light shine” in such a way that others might see your good works, and your good words, and “glorify your Father in Heaven!”