Skip to content

2. The secret of Paul’s ministry
(Romans 15:17-21)
17Therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God.18For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient—19in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.20And 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,21but as it is written: "To whom He was not announced, they shall see; and those who have not heard shall understand."

Paul rejoiced and glorified his ministries and victories publicly. He instantly professed, however, that his works and words did not come from him, but from Jesus Christ, who dwelt in him, and worked and spoke through him. The apostle of the Gentiles did not have the courage to speak about results and impacts, which were not produced by Christ himself, but he considered himself a slave of the Savior, obedient to his guidance. This is the secret in the life of the apostle; that he was “in Christ”. He thought the thoughts of Christ, spoke with what Christ inspired in him, and did what he ordered him to do. This is the red line in writing the Acts of the Apostles, and the secret in every preaching in churches today. The aim of the living Lord Jesus Christ in the life of Paul, who made himself his slave, was to lead the barbaric peoples to obey Christ by faith.
Paul’s speeches and writings were not sufficient for this service; therefore, he had to suffer weary travels, eat strange foods, work manual jobs, and do miracles. He clearly testified that all his speeches, works, and miracles were completed by the power of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and not by himself. The secret of his effectual services was his complete self-denial, and the magnification of Christ, the Savior.
Paul declared the spreading of his ministry from Jerusalem to Anatolia, and to Western Greece. All of these provinces were subjected to the Roman state, and Paul traveled in most of his weary and dangerous journeys on foot, not on horseback or in a chariot. He exhausted himself in his ministries to gain the disbelievers, ignorant, and pagans to Jesus. He also confirmed that the honor of his ministry was to communicate the gospel of Christ to the cities, towns, and provinces where the name of Jesus was unknown to them. He did not want to build on the foundation of others, but he was the first to minister where nobody else ever preceded him in the dangers and hardships which he had suffered. By his ministry, he fulfilled the divine promise made to the prophet Isaiah: “So shall He sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths at Him; for what had not been told them they shall see, and what they had not heard they shall consider” (Isaiah 52:15).
The Jews, as a majority, were not convinced with this divine plan, having considered themselves as the only people of God. But Paul explained the truth of his ministry among the Gentiles, founded on the biblical proofs, and the promises of God to the Gentiles.

O heavenly Father, we thank you through Jesus Christ, because his faithful servants did not speak in their own names, or work by their own power, but spoke and worked in the name of Christ, and gained his power. Keep your servants from all words and deeds, which might be produced by their own will, and establish them in the spiritual body of Christ forever.
What is the secret in the ministries of the apostle Paul?