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Romans 15:16 – approach present of the nations

07-03-2022 - Posted by Hans

…because of the grace being given to me from God, for me to be minister of Christ Jesus for the nations, acting as a priest of the evangel of God that the approach present of the nations may be becoming well received, having been hallowed by holy spirit.

Paul was granted a unique grace that also typifies his message. He heralded “the evangel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24) and also “the administration of the grace of God” (Eph.3:2) was entrusted to him. Why? “…for me to be a minister of Christ Jesus for the nations.”

From the word for “minister” (Gr. leitourgos) that Paul uses here, our Dutch word “liturg” is derived. It denotes a public office, as do representatives of the government (Rom.13:6). In the Septuagint (LXX), “liturge” often refers to “ministers” in the temple, as priests were (Isa.61:6).

Not the priests in the temple of Jerusalem, but Paul “acting as a priest” among the nations, bring forth the acceptable offering before God. Not sanctified by outward rites but “having been hallowed by holy spirit.” Wherever “the gospel of God” (cf. Rom. 1:1) finds a response to a listening ear, “the approach present of the nations” is supplemented. This approach present is the ecclesia. Destined for heaven!