Powerful God, help me to remember that no problem is too small to escape Your concern and no perplexity is too great to resist Your solutions. How great You are!
Read ROMANS 1:8–17
Paul’s Longing to Visit Rome
8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. 9 God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you 10 in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.
11 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— 12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters,[a] that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.
14 I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. 15 That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome.
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last,[b] just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”[c]
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
As Paul commends his ministry, pray for others you know who are also called.
Paul did not found the church in Rome, unlike the other churches with which he had a close, almost parental, relationship. However, all roads led quite literally to Rome and he had a burning ambition to preach to the Romans and even further afield.1 These new churches were in the early stages of development in every respect: in doctrine, in organization, in leadership. This was exciting but also precarious. New believers could take wrong turns and possibly trust the wrong people. For this reason Paul has to gain their trust, establish his credentials, and give them every reason to trust him as a servant and apostle of Christ. That he himself was trustworthy by reason of his having been set apart by God for his mission is beyond question (v 1).
Paul’s message has already been outlined. He now adds more. He is grateful for the Roman believers (v 8). He prays for them constantly (vs 9,10). He wishes to encourage them in the faith and to be encouraged by them (v 12). He feels himself under divine obligation to preach the gospel and is eager to do so (v 15). Supremely, he is not ashamed of the gospel but believes passionately in its power and its message. Through it, God’s will to make both Jews and Gentiles right with God’s own self becomes effective through faith (v 17). These were and are the qualities that make a person a reliable and godly minister of the gospel. We should look to no one as a spiritual guide who does not exhibit them.
Paul’s ambition to reach Rome was eventually fulfilled when he was taken there as a prisoner. Fulfilled it certainly was, for at least two years in which he taught about Christ ‘with all boldness and without hindrance’.2 In the meantime they had his letter. As do we.
‘As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you.’3
Thank You Lord that You have made me for community. In my social relationships, may unity prevail.
1 Rom 15:23,24; 2 Cor 10:15,16 2 Acts 28:11–31 3 John 20:21