“What does Paul mean when he says that he was the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles ‘that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost (Rom. 15:16)?”
Under the Law, the Gentiles couldn’t offer themselves up as an offering that would be “acceptable” unto God as Paul tells us to do (Rom. 12:1,2). But now we are “sanctified” or set apart to God by the Holy Spirit—that is, by the Word of the Spirit, the words the Spirit teaches in His Word (1 Cor. 2:13). In His rightly divided Word, He teaches in Paul’s epistles that the grace of God is now available to Gentiles as well as to Jews. Paul told the Ephesian elders,
“…the word of His grace…is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified” (Acts 20:32).
See the connection? The Jews were sanctified, and so their sacrifices
were acceptable to God, and now we too are sanctified by “the word of
His grace” that the Spirit presents in His Word through the Apostle Paul.
So when the Macedonians “gave their own selves to the Lord,” they
were able to do this “by the will of God” (2 Cor. 8:5). They couldn’t
have done that under the Law, for God wouldn’t have accepted their
offering. But under grace, “the offering up of the Gentiles” is “acceptable,
being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.”
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.