Romans 1:11 "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."
Dear CBC Family,
I wanted to send out a quick email to let you know I was praying for you this morning. One of the privileges of being a pastor is to pray for the church. As I was seeking the Lord’s help and blessing for you I was reminded of our text for this weekend. Paul says in Romans 1 that he is a “debtor” to the people. That is an amazing statement since it is God who gave him grace. Why isn’t he a debtor to God? Without giving the whole message here I will simply say that Paul is saying that the grace he has received has put him in debt to others to preach the gospel in order to bring about the obedience of faith among the nations. Grace does not make you a debtor to God, but it does make you a debtor to others who need grace just as you did.
This calling is not just for Paul, but also for us. The Holy Spirit literally calls it in the text an “obligation”. The Bible says we are under obligation to others and we should fulfil the debt owed. This study is so important in our day when, just as in the days of the judges, people want to do what is right in their own eyes. True faith feeds off the gospel of the grace of God. And true obedience feeds off of that faith alone.
Paul says he longs to go to Rome and “impart to them some spiritual gift”. The reason the gift is given is to fulfil the debt. Can you imagine how different the world could be if every Christian began to simply be obedient to what the Bible really teaches? The problem seems to be that we do not want to obey but rather reinvent what we think the Bible teaches based upon our comfort level.
Join us, and bring a friend, who needs to understand what God’s call to the church and His people is all about! Why waste time and effort on things we “think” God is in when you can “know” what He is all about by learning His word? “I am the Lord I change not” Mal 3:6 says. What He said in the first century is exactly what He wills for His own today.
I attended a wedding last Saturday and spoke to a couple for an extended time. The woman told me that she attended “home church” and watched a pastor on the internet. First, I informed her that the first century “home churches” were actually led by elders from the big church, which everyone attended, who during the week went and instructed the people from house to house. This wasn’t, as people think today, just a group of people who gave their own opinions about what the Bible meant in a living room. I also tried to convince them that church was not only about receiving, but more importantly participating, so how could they say they were a part of a church they don’t attend? These are the attitudes that grip us when love waxes cold. May that never be said of CBC. Rather, “let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, but all the more as we see the day approaching”. Perhaps this weekend the Lord will see fit to impart to each of us a spiritual gift that we might use to mutually encourage each other’s faith. How important is the body life of the church where people understand that every member is a steward of grace to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of His great name.