Romans 1.8-15 – Mutual strengthening

During our weekly worship services at Saar Fellowship we have been studying the letter to the Hebrews and one thing we have taken away so far is that no true decision to live for Jesus, to submit to His Lordship over our lives and our eternal destination, no true decision for Jesus results in the desire to NOT fellowship with other believers.

 

Paul is writing something similar here to the Romans,

8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. 9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you 10 always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— 12 that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.

Paul says he is praying for this new church in such a prime position (your faith is proclaimed in all the world, the Roman Empire was used to spread the Gospel to the entire known world at the time) and he wishes to visit (asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you). 

His reason for wanting to visit, at least the first reason he gives, is to impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you. Now, at first glance maybe we think Paul is some kind of purveyor of spiritual gifts. Perhaps Paul can lay hands on people and he has the inherent power to heal/empower/strengthen. But, if we read the rest of that sentence, we see what he really means, look at it all together without verse numbers,

For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you — that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. 

So Paul wants to see the Romans to be mutually encouraged, him to them and them to him. He wants to reap some harvest, and preach the gospel.

Mutual strengthening. 


Spending time with other believers in spiritual fellowship is imparting your spiritual gifts to them. 


Where we lack, others abound. 

Where we struggle, others soar. 

Where we don’t know, others do know. 

Where we have no experience, others do.

This is why it is so important we are part of a Bible-believing, Jesus-loving fellowship of like minded believers, because what we lack, they will supply, and what they lack, we will supply.

Point to ponder today – Am I part of this kind of fellowship? Where can I add my spiritual gift for the building up of the body?

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