Looking for a Harvest

Romans 1:8-13

Romans 1:8—

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.

Our prayers of thanksgiving and praise are to go through Jesus Christ, our High Priest. He presents our prayers and praises to our Heavenly Father.

Word had filtered out throughout the empire that many in Rome were turning to Christ—so much so that in a few years it would shake and rattle the Emperor Nero that persecution against the church would break out. How is the church of today doing? Is our testimony apparent in the world? What is it worth? It seems that even the religious try to hide the fact they are religious! Especially in the United States are many trying to be politically correct. The Church of Rome had a testimony! Their faith was being reported all over the world.

Verses 9-10—

God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you 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.

THE GOSPEL OF GOD is now identified as THE GOSPEL OF HIS SON; later Paul will call it HIS GOSPEL.

PREACHING and PRAYING occupied Paul’s time as it did with the other apostles, who turned over the responsibilities of the church to deacons so they could give their attention to prayer and the ministry of the world.

Paul identified himself as a BONDSERVANT in verse one, but here calls himself a HIRED SERVANT. In the Greek OT, this term always applied to service either to Yawheh or to a heathen god.

This apostle was so committed to God that all his moments were in accordance with His will. He had a strong sense that his own desire to come to Rome would not be fulfilled. So, later he writes in 15:30-33—

I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. Pray that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea and that my service in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints there, so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and together with you be refreshed. The God of peace be with you all. Amen.

His desire to go to Rome is not selfish. Verses 11-12—

I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.

Paul does not assume any airs of superiority, but wants to meet them on their level—if he has anything to confer upon them, they in turn will confer an equivalent upon him—they will be mutually encouraged. Verse 13—

I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, 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.

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