Romans 15:22-24 / Man’s Plan vs. God’s Plan (Sermon notes and Audio)

Posted on September 21, 2014


This is the sixtieth in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of Romans. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the morning of September 21, 2014. This message deals with the supremacy of God’s will over our own, and the need for Christian fellowship. This post contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes and a study outline. Please note that the sermon notes are not a full transcript.

AUDIO – Listen Now:


Rom 15_22-24




Romans 15:22-24

What was the reason that hindered Paul from coming to them?

As we see in the previous verses, Paul’s mission was to preach the Gospel where it had not been heard.

As Paul previously noted, the church in Rome was full of knowledge. Therefore, they had heard, and knew the gospel well.

As we previously saw, Paul’s primary focus as an evangelist was the unsaved. These; likewise, are the church’s primary focus.

This evangelism of the unsaved, happens primarily outside these church walls.

The focus of our assemblies are to prepare us for this task, both individually and corporately.

In here we feed the believer, out there we seek the lost.

Even so, Paul’s current work was done, and he had a great desire to fellowship with these saints.

Paul was referring to the completion of his work in Corinth, the city from which he most likely wrote this letter.

Most of Paul’s three-month stay in Achaia (see Acts 20:3) was probably spent in Corinth.

He believed that he had accomplished what God wanted him to do there, and he was looking forward to taking the Good News to new lands west of Rome.

He had sufficiently covered the Corinthian region with the Gospel, and could move on.

As such, he hoped to fulfill his long standing desire to fellowship with the saints in Rome

His visit; however, would be part of a bigger plan.

Paul hoped the church at Rome would supply him with an escort and supplies to make the journey to Spain.

Until now Antioch had functioned as his base, but this was too far from places like Spain.

It would be a very great help to Paul if the Christians at Rome could see their way clear to acting as his home church, while he went forward into the regions to the west.

Nonetheless, sometimes even our most well intentioned plans are not God’s will.

Proverbs 16:9

Little did Paul know that he would eventually get to Rome, but it would be in chains, not as a free man.

Yet, even in his imprisonment, God used Paul in a mighty way.

He wrote many letters from his cell, which are now a part of our Bible.

However, Paul’s desire for Christian fellowship was not misguided.

We should all seek to enjoy the company of our brethren.

Hebrews 10:25

Christian fellowship is essential in the life of a believer, and Paul greatly missed that fellowship while he was imprisoned.

2 Timothy 4:9-11

Not only that, he had a desire to read the Word of God. He specifically asked for it to be brought to him.

2 Timothy 4:13

What an example we see in Paul. In his distress he desired Christian fellowship and the Word of God.

What a contrast this is to the world today. It’s in our distress that we often turn away from God.

Instead, we will turn to alcohol and drugs. We will seek our friends in bars and on the streets, rather than in church.

We seek secular advice and counsel, rather than the Word of God.

We listen to men, who are forced to theorize how the brain works, because they scarcely understand it. Yet we won’t listen to the one who created it.

We will accept worldly foolishness over God’s wisdom.

Paul; however, desired the Word of God, and the company of Christians.

Indeed, this is where we need to turn in our times of distress.

The Lord is our help.

Psalm 40:17

Psalm 63:7

From where does your help come?

Posted in: Sermons