Romans 15:25-29 But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things. When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain. And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ. KJV
Paul, as we declared in the previous study, was always concerned for the churches in every place that bore witness to the testimony of our Lord Jesus Christ, whether or not it was a church founded or established by him mattered not to Paul, but the people that Christ died for and made new creations in Himself was always Paul’s sincere concern. Therefore, Paul makes known to these Christians in Rome that his first priority is to get to Jerusalem and deliver the financial gift placed in his hands for the saints who were in dire need. Paul’s service to the poor brothers and sisters in Jerusalem on this occasion was simply as the instrument by way our Lord Jesus Christ brought them the relief they so needed. It was not Paul who dug into his own pocket and furnished them money (although he may have contributed some of his own money to the gift), but his contribution of voluntarily being the one who brought the gift of relief was just as important as the actual monetary gift itself and showed forth as much sacrificial love as the brothers and sisters in Macedonia and Achaia who gave the money.
Paul used the English phrase “it hath pleased” when referring to what the sisters and brothers in Macedonia and Achaia did when they heard of the condition those in Jerusalem were living under, this phrase is translated by the Greek word eudokeo which means to think well of or approve or to be willing and to take pleasure in. Those who were blessed by our Lord Jesus Christ in Macedonia and Achaia to have their own living needs met were moved with compassion for those sisters and brothers in our Lord’s Mystical Body that were suffering for lack of living needs such as food, clothing, and shelter as our Lord Jesus was when the Scripture said this of Him, Mark 6:34 And Jesus, when He came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and He began to teach them many things. KJV Mark would go on to document for us this occasion where our Lord Miraculously fed 5,000 hungry men (not counting the women and children). However, we must not miss what Mark wrote in verse 34 above that our Lord’s Compassion for these people was more aroused because of their spiritual hunger and depletion even more so than their physical need for food, so as the passage says, “He began to teach them many things.”
Paul now makes a great point to these Christians in Rome (the majority being Gentiles) that because the gospel of Christ death, burial, and resurrection from the dead was brought to the Gentile people by Jews, then it is only natural that the Gentiles would because of much gratitude share with the Jewish believers these temporal corruptible things of the world, when they (the Gentiles) have received what is eternal and incorruptible by way of the Word of God. Paul in writing to the Christians in Rome and to the Christians in Corinth clearly verbalizes by what he had witnessed in the actual giving hearts of the Gentile believers for those saints who were poor and in need in Jerusalem that crushes every phony, fraudulent, and false claim made by those who espouse this fake prosperity gospel, for Paul never declares to those in Rome or Corinth that God would make them wealthy if they give to other believers, but Paul said this, 2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed. NKJV Paul declared to the Gentile Corinthians with these words that God the Father is going to continue to meet your needs that you may have even extra that you will be able or of ability or power to give to struggling believers as the need arises, not that you would be able to or of power to buy you a private jet airplane or drive a Bentley automobile or other wasteful useless things to Christ Mystical Body.
Paul then goes on to squash and crush further any twisting or manipulating of Scripture to justify the prosperity gospel by saying this, 2 Corinthians 9:10-15 Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God. Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all, while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! NKJV Paul is saying God the Father will give financially to those who will be mindful to give to His children down here in need of earthly goods to live and survive their pilgrimage, but never to establish someone’s own earthly empire of plush and rich living, but that God will receive glory when His children are taking care of one another from a sincere heart of love and obedience to Him.
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Jim Elliot
“The heart of the giver makes the gift dear and precious.” Martin Luther
“God doesn’t need us to give Him our money. He owns everything. Tithing is God’s way to grow Christians.” Dr. Adrian Rogers
“In all of my years of service to my Lord, I have discovered a truth that has never failed and has never been compromised. That truth is that it is beyond the realm of possibilities that one has the ability to out give God. Even if I give the whole of my worth to Him, He will find a way to give back to me much more than I gave.” Charles Spurgeon
“If giving to any ministry or individual believer or group of believers or Christian telethon or Christian TV station or any work that purports to serve our Lord Jesus Christ is done by you in order that you would receive back double, triple, or more than you gave, then your giving was in vain, unprofitable to you, and unprofitable to God the Father and even an offense to Him.” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…