“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. ”
So as some may notice I’ve been speeding up the walk through Romans a little bit by doing 2 or 3 verses each post, the reasons being 1: that context is seen better this way. And 2: that it would take years to make it through the whole book. So I’ve decided to do bigger chunks, hoping we all learn something new and are encouraged by it!
Also, I’m gonna be taking a break from studying “Core Doctrine” unless I feel like writing more about it, or that it would help clear up any preconceived notions about me and the like (aka if I’m a closet liberal or something, which, by biblical definitions i’m not just so ya know!).
So. Back to the verses.
We notice firstly how personal this is (v.8). Paul has a love for the church in Rome and it’s seen very clearly in many of his greetings to many of the church’s he’s written too (c.f. Phlm 1:1-3, Gal 1:1-2).
There are many practical things in these verses, I’ll break some down in 3 parts.
Firstly we see Paul was thankful for the saints (believers) in Rome. But his thankfulness was in the right place, he was thankful to Jesus for giving him his great friends he knew and loved. Knowing that they are a gift that was freely given.
Secondly, Service. Paul put his thankfulness into the outward activity by serving Christ faithfully.
But the reason (purpose) he determined to serve faithfully was for the sake of the gospel. He was faithful to his calling not in his own strength, but because of the call of Christ to be an apostle for the gospel.
Lastly, Paul shows much care for the people he’s writing too by mentioning that he’s always praying for them (a good attitude to have towards people!) and praying also that he may be able to visit them if God will allow it. Paul appreciated the value of community! He missed the people he cared for, he loved them with a Christ-like love.
Though I know this passage is more practical and a picture of a godly example, it is still God’s word. And we can learn from it!
I hope we all, as those in Christ will exemplify that thankfulness for those around us, and live for the purpose of sharing Christ to the world ultimately for His sake. Not for our own name.\
Thanks for reading!