Sermon: Longing to Visit Those Who are Loved by God Romans 1:7-13

Longing to Visit Those Who are Loved by God

Romans 1:7-13


Truth Taught- As Christians meet together they are to be building up one another’s faith.

Introduction

So far in the introduction of Romans, Paul has given us a brief biography explaining who he is, what his credentials are, and what sort of call he has been given. Based on his roll of a called Apostle, he can speak with authority about this Gospel of God that has been entrusted to him to then give to others. He is God’s man with God’s Gospel preaching to God’s people. Sounds like a very good recipe for conversion and growth.

Now, we’re going to see another element that is at work in the lives of God’s people. We are affected by the truth found in God’s Word. We see the reality of sin and of salvation. God also wants us to see the fact that our excitement in these wonderful truths helps to strengthen the faith of others.

Human Need

When we meet together we should seek the growth of all the believers in our fellowship. Too often our focus is turned inward on ourselves. This passage shows us what our focus should be when we gather together for worship and prayer.

Father, this is Your Word. May it not return to You empty, may it accomplish that which You purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which You sent it. It is sharp and active like a double-edged sword. Mold us into the image of Christ…

Romans 1:7–13 (ESV)

To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

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 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.
1. To all Those in Rome Who are Loved by God

To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We should see together three things about these and all who are loved by God including all true Christians today.

  1. All Believers are Loved by God

It is such an amazing truth that for those whom God sets His love upon through Christ are His precious saints. Our lives change forever when we are loved by God. Remember, in Rome there were disputes among the believers as to who should have roles of leadership etc. The Jews and the Gentiles were not unified. Here, the Apostle tells us that God loves you not based on your ethnic background but He loves all believers the same.

Romans 8:38–39 (ESV)

38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  1. All Believers are Called to be Saints

called to be saints

This title saints is an OT word that means the people of God. Every Christian is called to be a saint. We often think this term is used for someone who is holier than thou type person, one who thinks his spirituality is far superior than someone else’s. However, when the Bible uses the word saint it means God’s called out, set apart people. To be called to be saints means that these Gentiles were not born saints but in a very real sense, God has called them from among the world and set them apart for His own people.

As believers, we are called by God to be His people. As a new Christian, you might not yet realize specifics of your giftedness but from the very beginning you are called to be God’s child. Seek obedience to all that you know God has for you.

  1. All Believers are the Recipients of God’s Blessing

All Christians everywhere are the recipients of God’s grace and peace. This formula comes from the priestly blessing found in…

Numbers 6:22–27 (ESV)

22 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 23 “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them,

24    The Lord bless you and keep you;

25    the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;

26    the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

27 “So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.”

What’s important for us to understand as far as evangelism is concerned is that as wonderful as all these promises are to God’s people there are still multitudes that are outside of Christ. These promises are not meant for those who do not know Christ as Lord and Savior.

  1. Thankful for All Who are Loved by God

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 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.

In this section we are going to see three ways we can encourage the faith in other believers.

  1. Being Thankful for the Faith of All Believers

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

Notice what Paul is thankful for…He’s thankful for all the believers in Rome. He does not make any discrepancy between the rich believers or the believers of Jewish or Gentile descent. He doesn’t differentiate between the believers who are mature and seeking Christ first verses the new ones who are just beginning their walk with Christ. He makes no difference and shows no favoritism, he is thankful for them all.

Next, he shares with them why he is thankful for them… because your faith is proclaimed in all the world.
Paul does not show favoritism in his thankfulness, he is thankful for all of the Christians in Rome because they do not show favoritism as they witness to others. They have been proclaiming the faith throughout all the world. It is no mistake that he uses all here twice…I’m thankful for ALL of you because you are proclaiming the Gospel to ALL the world. They were risk-taking Christians. They were sharing their faith in a time when witnessing to others had great costs. They were, no doubt, suffering because of their faith. They suffered under the Emperor’s persecution of Christians.

How thankful are you for the faith that believers show around you? Are you thankful for the faith of your spouse? How do you encourage their faith? How do you help them grow in their faith? What about your children? Others around you? Your Church family? Are you growing in your faith so that you can be an encouragement to others?

Paul knows that one of the best ways to encourage other’s faith is to be thankful for their faith and encourage them in their faith.

  1. Praying for he Faith of All Believers

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.

Another way he encourages the faith of those in Rome is to pray for them and to let them know that he prays for them. I can speak firsthand to all of you that when you are praying for me and the worship services, sermon preparation, etc it is a tremendous encouragement for me.

Again, are you praying for your spouse? Are you praying for your family? Those around you? You Church family? Also, tell them you’re praying for them. Encourage their faith.

  1. Longing to Be With All the Believers

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.

Notice the Apostle’s third means to encourage those in Rome. He longs to be with them. Christians should long to be with other believers.
1 John 3:14 (ESV)

14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.

Here’s a wonderful mark of true belief. Do you enjoy to be with other believers? 1 John tells us that it is a mark of a real believer to want to be with and show love to other believers. It’s really no surprise then that Paul longs to be with them.

Notice with me why he want s to visit them…

He first desires to 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—

His first motivation to be with them is not his own growth but their growth and maturity in faith. I really think for the most part Christians today show their self focus when they’re first reason to attend Church is for their own growth. Beloved we should desire to be with believers in worship to encourage their faith.

Hebrews 10:24–25 (ESV)

24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Have you ever had the thought that I’m going to be at worship every week and get there early so I can encourage the faith of my church family?

Most of the time, when I speak to those who are considering visiting our Church, they want to know what does your church have to offer me? Do you have… This really shows the sad reality of today’s self-centered Christian.

The Apostle has something permanent in mind. His visit will just be for a short time but what he leaves with them will last all their lives. Notice that he uses the phrase to impart spiritual gifts to them. Paul is not going to give them these gifts because they can only come from Jesus Christ. However, by his teaching and care for them their gifts will be fanned into flame.

It’s very helpful to hear what John Calvin say about this idea…

He has here strikingly pointed out the use of gifts by the word, imparting: for different gifts are distributed to each individual, that all may in kindness mutually assist one another, and transfer to others what each one possesses.[1]

He even tells us that these gifts that Paul will fan into flame will not only benefit those who are currently believers, but their gifts will also be distributed among others as they exercise them. This too is an important dynamic that when we exercise our gifts in the local church others will be encouraged to begin expressing and using their gifts as well.

1 Corinthians 12:11 (ESV)

11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.

So, spiritual gifts are for the building up of the

It is a reality that when we encourage others, we too are strengthened…
that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.

The Apostle, as great as he was, still needed to be with other believers to grow in his faith. So, his strategy was to meet with them so they both would grow together.

He desires to visit them to strengthen their faith

He desires to visit them to strengthen his own faith

He desires to visit them to reap a harvest among them.

He is praying that by being with them that they both will grow in their faith and that through his ministry some will, in fact, come to Christ.

When the world sees a growing, evangelistic, loving church there will be some who come to Christ through the love the church shows them.

So, what has prevented Paul from going to Rome? He is not omnipresent and it wasn’t God’s plan yet. thus far have been prevented

Even though he had great desire to be with them, God had him working in other places. The Gentiles in other areas still needed to hear the Gospel. God was not finished getting the Gospel out to other people. Paul’s ministry had him very busy in other regions.

Application

Are you thankful for the faith of others?

Are you faithful in attendance for the building up of others?

 

For Further Study:

Read 1 Thessalonians 3:6-13

How was Paul and the others encouraged even though they were suffering persecution?

 

How can you be an encouragement to others in you family/local church?

 

Why is it so important to be faithful in attending worship services and other gathering of the church?

 

How does your faithfulness encourage the new Christian?

 

How does your faithfulness encourage the leaders of the Church?

[1] https://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/calcom38.v.iii.html

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