Romans 1:5 – For His Name

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

What is the biblical motivation for getting the gospel out to the nations? Some might say that it’s obedience to the Great Commission, which would seem logical since Paul has already stated that as an apostle he is working to bring about the obedience of faith, but as honorable as obedience is it is not the highest motivation for missions.

Others might say that the proper motivation for getting the gospel out is the love we have for the lost. This too is a high motivation. Paul speaks of his ministry in this way in 2 Corinthians 5 when he says that we will all stand before the judgment seat of God and then he says “Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others.” The fear that “others” will be judged by God and condemned does have some motivation for Paul to preach the gospel that some might be saved. But this is still not the highest motivation.

So what is the highest motivation for the gospel, for missions? Paul says it’s for the sake of his name. That is, our highest motivation to give someone the gospel is the glory of God. This should be our passion, our zeal, our desire, our motivation – the glory of Jesus Christ.

John Stott in his commentary on Romans says:

If, therefore, God desires every knee to bow to Jesus and every tongue to confess him, so would we. We should be ‘jealous’ (as scripture sometimes puts it) for the honour of his name – troubled when it remains unknown, hurt when it is ignored, indignant when it is blasphemed, and all the time anxious and determined that it shall be given the honour and glory which are due to it.

What compels you to give the gospel to your neighbors, friends, and co-workers? It should be because you desire to be obedient to the Great Commission and it should be because you love them and desire that they would not be condemned to hell, but above all else it should be because you want the name of the Lord to be great, that you want Christ to be glorified, that you are motivated for the sake of his name.

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