Life With Ambition

Sermon from CCM Ladybarn


This sermon was preached by Andy Brownlee at the Ladybarn site of Christ Church Manchester on Sunday 21st October 2018.


This message was part of the ‘SERIES NAME’ series, preached at Christ Church Manchester’s church in Withington in EARLY/MID/LATE YEAR. The full series included the following sermons:


This sermon was based on Romans 15:14-33.

Paul the Minister to the Gentiles

14I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. 15But on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God 16to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 17In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God. 18For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, 

19by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ; 20and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, 21but as it is written,
“Those who have never been told of him will see,
and those who have never heard will understand.”


Paul’s Plan to Visit Rome

22This is the reason why I have so often been hindered from coming to you. 23But now, since I no longer have any room for work in these regions, and since I have longed for many years to come to you, 24I hope to see you in passing as I go to Spain, and to be helped on my journey there by you, once I have enjoyed your company for a while. 25At present, however, I am going to Jerusalem bringing aid to the saints. 26For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints at Jerusalem. 27For they were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material blessings. 28When therefore I have completed this and have delivered to them what has been collected, I will leave for Spain by way of you. 29I know that when I come to you I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ.


30I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf, 31that I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 32so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. 33May the God of peace be with you all. Amen.


Spiritual Growth

  • As Christians we’re to be ambitious for the things of God. We’re to be ambitious about seeing more of him in our life, we’re to be ambitious about seeing the kingdom of God increase.
  • The first ambition we see Paul has in this passage, to see Spiritual Growth.
  • It is important for us to be reminded of the truths of God, that Jesus has died for us, we are redeemed, we’re forgiven, our future is secure with him, he is with is, he is control, he is good. We can help each other grow spiritually when people are struggling, reminding them, sensitively and lovingly of these things of God.

Preach the Gospel Where Christ is Not Known

  • Paul is saying that it has always been his ambition to preach Christ where Christ is not known, and so he preached the gospel right across the Mediterranean from Jerusalem all the way around to Albania.

  • Maybe for you there are places in your life that you go to regularly where Christ is not known. Maybe your office is a place where Christ is not known. You’re the only Christian there. Maybe your family is a place where Christ is not known. Do we have an ambition to share the gospel there?

  • We have to be intentional about sharing the gospel we all do. If you aren’t then I just want to ask what are the barriers? What’s stopping you from doing that?

Help The Poor

  • Instead of just going to Rome directly Paul is going to make a 2000 mile round trip to Jerusalem before getting to Rome. Why? to bring money to support to the poor in Jerusalem.
  • Paul knew that people could say they were Christians but the proof would be how they part with their cash. If they would give to the poor then that would show that the Gospel had made deep roots in their hearts.
  • The Bible says where your treasure is there your heart is also. This works the other way too, where your heart is your treasure tends to follow. When your heart has been captivated by Jesus you start sending your money that way.


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