Romans 15:16
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, so that my offering of the Gentiles may become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

King James Bible
That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.

Darby Bible Translation
for me to be minister of Christ Jesus to the nations, carrying on as a sacrificial service the message of glad tidings of God, in order that the offering up of the nations might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

World English Bible
that I should be a servant of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, serving as a priest the Good News of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be made acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

Young's Literal Translation
for my being a servant of Jesus Christ to the nations, acting as priest in the good news of God, that the offering up of the nations may become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:16 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

The minister - λειτουργὸν leitourgon. This is not the word which is commonly translated "minister" διάκονος diakonos. This word is properly appropriated to those who minister in public offices or the affairs of the state. In the New Testament it is applied mainly to the Levitical priesthood, who ministered and served at the altar; Hebrews 11:11. It is however applied to the ministers of the New Testament, as discharging "substantially" the same offices toward the church which were discharged by the Levitical priesthood; that is, as engaged in promoting the welfare of the church, occupied in holy things, etc.; Acts 13:2, "as they "ministered" to the Lord and fasted," etc. It is still used in a larger sense in Romans 15:27; 2 Corinthians 9:12.

To the Gentiles - Compare Romans 1:5; Acts 9:15.

Ministering - ἱερουργοῦντα hierourgounta. Performing the function of a priest in respect to the gospel of God. The office of a "priest" was to offer sacrifice. Paul here retains the "language," though without affirming or implying that the ministers of the New Testament were literally "priests" to offer sacrifice. The word used here occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. Its meaning here is to be determined from the connection. The question is, What is the "sacrifice" of which he speaks? It is the "offering up" - the sacrifice of the Gentiles. The Jewish sacrifices were abolished. The Messiah had fulfilled the design of their appointment, and they were to be done away. (See the Epistle to the Hebrews.) There was to be no further "literal" sacrifice. But now the "offerings" of the Gentiles were to be as acceptable as had been the offerings of the Jews. God made no distinction; and in speaking of these offerings, Paul used "figurative" language drawn from the Jewish rites. But assuredly he did not mean that the offerings of the Gentiles were "literal" sacrifices to expiate sins; nor did he mean that there was to be an order of men who were to be called "priests" under the New Testament. If this passage "did" prove that, it would prove that it should be confined to the "apostles," for it is of them only that he uses it. The meaning is this: "Acting in the Christian church substantially as the priests did among the Jews; that is, endeavoring to secure the acceptableness of the offerings which the Gentiles make to God."

That the offering up - The word here rendered "offering up" προσφορά prosphora commonly means "a sacrifice" or an "expiatory" offering, and is applied to Jewish sacrifices; Acts 21:26; Acts 24:17. It is also applied to the sacrifice which was made by our Lord Jesus Christ when he offered himself on the cross for the sins of people; Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 10:10. It does not always mean "bloody" sacrifices, but is used to denote "any" offering to God; Hebrews 10:5, Hebrews 10:8,Hebrews 10:14, Hebrews 10:18. Hence, it is used in this large sense to denote the "offering" which the Gentiles who were converted to Christianity made of themselves; their "devoting" or dedicating themselves to God. The "language" is derived from the customs of the Jews; and the apostle represents himself "figuratively" as a priest presenting this offering to God.

Might be acceptable - Or, approved by God. This was in accordance with the prediction in Isaiah 66:20, "They shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations," etc. This does not mean that it was by any merit of the apostle that this offering was to be rendered "acceptable"; but that he was appointed to prepare the way, so that "their" offering, as well as that of the "Jews," might come up before God.

Being sanctified - That is, "the offering" being sanctified, or made holy. The sacrifice was "prepared" or made fit "to be" an offering, among the Jews, by salt, oil, or frankincense, according to the nature of the sacrifice; Leviticus 6:14, etc. In allusion to this, the apostle says that the offering of the Gentiles was rendered "holy," or fit to be offered, by the converting and purifying influences of the Holy Spirit. They were prepared, not by salt and frankincense, but by the cleansing influences of God's Spirit. The same idea, substantially, is expressed by the apostle Peter in Acts 10:46; Acts 11:17.

Romans 15:16 Parallel Commentaries

July 13. "Even Christ Pleased not Himself" (Rom. xv. 3).
"Even Christ pleased not Himself" (Rom. xv. 3). Let this be a day of self-forgetting ministry for Christ and others. Let us not once think of being ministered unto, but say ever with Him: "I am among you as He that doth serve." Let us not drag our burdens through the day, but drop all our loads of care and be free to carry His yoke and His burden. Let us make the happy exchange, giving ours and taking His. Let the covenant be: "Thou shalt abide for Me, I also for thee." So shall we lose our heaviest
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Two Fountains, one Stream
'That we, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, might have hope.... 13. The God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope.'--ROMANS xv. 4, 13. There is a river in Switzerland fed by two uniting streams, bearing the same name, one of them called the 'white,' one of them the 'grey,' or dark. One comes down from the glaciers, and bears half-melted snow in its white ripple; the other flows through a lovely valley, and is discoloured by its earth. They
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)

The Scripture a Necessity.
"For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope."--Rom. xv. 4. That the Bible is the product of the Chief Artist, the Holy Spirit; that He gave it to the Church and that in the Church He uses it as His instrument, can not be over-emphasized. Not as tho He had lived in the Church of all ages, and given us in Scripture the record of that life, its origin and history, so that the life was the real substance
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

The Early History of Particular Churches.
A.D. 67-A.D. 500 Section 1. The Church of England. [Sidenote: St. Paul's visit to England.] The CHURCH OF ENGLAND is believed, with good reason, to owe its foundation to the Apostle St. Paul, who probably came to this country after his first imprisonment at Rome. The writings of Tertullian, and others in the second and third centuries speak of Christianity as having spread as far as the islands of Britain, and a British king named Lucius is known to have embraced the Faith about the middle of
John Henry Blunt—A Key to the Knowledge of Church History

Cross References
Acts 9:15
But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel;

Romans 1:1
Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,

Romans 11:13
But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry,

Romans 12:1
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

Romans 15:19
in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit; so that from Jerusalem and round about as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

Romans 15:20
And thus I aspired to preach the gospel, not where Christ was already named, so that I would not build on another man's foundation;

1 Corinthians 3:5
What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one.

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