In the remainder of Chapter 15 of the Book of Romans, Paul shares some of his history as a church-planter, and some of the things he regards as essential for the continuing life of The Church.
One of those essentials is for the Body of Christ to be able to care for itself, in what we might refer to as, ‘body ministry.’ It is very important, as Paul relates, for the body to be mature enough, (“filled with all knowledge,”) to admonish itself, to keep itself in line with the Word of God.
If the members of The Church cannot be self-governing, admonishing themselves first – and then others – The Church has no hope of surviving. The Church can never depend upon Paul or any pastor or leader to be the sole source of discipline within The Church.
This is not to say The Church is to become a bunch of busybodies looking into the business of others – far from it – but it is to say we are all to be on guard to make sure the apostle’s doctrine remains intact. Paul senses a great need for the apostle’s doctrine to be continued in every generation proceeding from this one, and that same responsibility rests upon us as well.
We are the modern beneficiaries of the great responsibility – despite all attempts of the enemy otherwise – those in the first-days’ Church and following bore to pass down to us an intact Word of God and doctrinal practice so we have the opportunity for a church as pure to the doctrine and practice found in The Book of Acts as The Church in Paul’s day.
This is an amazing testimony if you consider how many entities have been capable of continuing in their founding practices, given the trends within and tastes of every generation proceeding.
Another important principle raised by Paul is for Church leaders to truly understand they are only leaders by the grace of God and for the grace of God.
Paul anticipates the human trait to take credit for whatever gifts of God they may have received, and he speaks of the great need for everyone in The Church, especially leaders, to not only know but to acknowledge whatever gifts they have are God’s gifts and not their own. Therefore, no man is to take any sort of credit for what God has provided, and no man is to even begin to attempt to draw other men to himself.
The role of The Church leader is to point people to Christ, even when signs and wonders are involved as they were with Paul. The power of the Gospel must remain the power of the Gospel and not of any man for man to perceive the power of the Gospel is found in Christ alone.