Greetings to all. We are learning of the who, why, where, when of Romans. We left off finding out more about Paul, the author. Why did he write this important book? First we must understand how much has taken place between when Paul was converted and this time, around A.D. 58.
One of the first things his new Lord communicated to Paul was how much sacrifice would be required of him to fulfill his ministry. The Apostle recounts some of this in 2 Corinthians 11: “From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one (flogging, very brutal). Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep;
“in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, …of the Gentiles, the city, the wilderness, the sea, false brethren, in weariness, in toil, in sleeplessness, in hunger and thirst,…cold and nakedness…” vs. 24-27. You get the idea.
He had helped establish churches throughout Asia Minor and was on his way to Jerusalem with a collection taken up from all these churches for the very poor Jerusalem believers. But he had never been to Rome. And it was one of his dearest ambitions to go there. He said it this way: “I long to see you (Rome church) that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you so that you may be established– that is that I may be encouraged with you by our mutual faith…”Romans 1:11.
His great heart ached to touch these Gentile believers with sound doctrine and spiritual encouragement. At that time, in that ancient world, Rome was at the epicenter of civilization. The best and the worst were there. There were elements that could destroy this young church, and Paul wanted to protect them and add to their faith.
Paul also had visions of reaching Spain, a gateway into Europe and beyond. He says in Romans 15:24, “I hope to see you in passing as I go to Spain.” Within Paul beat the heart of a missionary. He wanted always to established and strengthen the existing churches, but he never lost a vision for those who had never heard the gospel of Christ. It could be that Rome would provide an excellent base of operations from which to launch such a daunting missionary journey.
Make sure to tune in tomorrow as we wind up the intro to Romans. If you want to get a head start, begin reading Romans chapter one. Make notes, jot down any questions,and we’ll learn together.
None of my readers has posted a comment or question as yet. It is the best way to learn. Who dares to be the first? Will it be you?:). Until next time, God bless you all…Mike.