Summary: Five reasons we should be involved in our church
We all know people who find themselves in debt “up to their eyeballs.” The majority of the time it is due to their own foolish lifestyle. They seem to be constantly expecting someone to bail them out without any sacrifices on their part. Some feel that the sole purpose of the church is to be a lifeline for them to meet their obligations. And they are not far from being wrong.
Over the next few weeks we are going to roam through the Book of Romans with Paul. We will be studying such topics as sin, salvation, Christian growth, God’s sovereignty, and our service.
Romans is a letter written to the church that was established in Rome by Jews who had come to the faith on the day of Pentecost. None of the disciples including Paul had visited them yet. So Paul, who was in Corinth at the time, decided to write them a letter of encouragement and instruction.
Follow with me in your Bible as Paul introduces himself to the members of the church in Rome.
Romans 1:1-10 This letter is from Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, chosen by God to be an apostle and sent out to preach his Good News. God promised this Good News long ago through his prophets in the holy Scriptures. The Good News is about his Son. In his earthly life he was born into King David’s family line, and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord. Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority as apostles to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey him, bringing glory to his name.
And you are included among those Gentiles who have been called to belong to Jesus Christ. I am writing to all of you in Rome who are loved by God and are called to be his own holy people. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
Let me say first that I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith (faithfulness) in him is being talked about all over the world. God knows how often I pray for you. Day and night I bring you and your needs in prayer to God, whom I serve with all my heart by spreading the Good News about his Son.
One of the things I always pray for is the opportunity, God willing, to come at last to see you.
In his greeting Paul makes a couple of points. One of them is to remind the Jews that have established the church that they are in a Gentile region. He says he has been given the authority through Jesus to bring the Gospel to the Gentiles and to remind them that they are included in with the Gentiles and not held with a higher esteem.
Paul also points out their faithful living. He complements them on not just declaring to be followers of Christ but by actually setting an example of faithfulness by the way they live. And this example of righteous living has become known among other churches world-wide.
In the next five verses he paints a picture of the church community and why we need to be involved.
1) To bring your gift.
Romans 1:11 “For I long to visit you so I can bring you some spiritual gift that will help you grow strong in the Lord.”
Each of us has a gift given by the Holy Spirit to be used to strengthen the church. Notice Paul writes “I can bring you some spiritual gift that will help you grow strong.” Paul is not sure what they are lacking in their growth so his desire is to come to them and impart a gift that will compensate for what they lack. That is the beauty of the church. Here is a place where you can begin to discover the gift or gifts you have to serve Jesus. The Holy Spirit will empower people to serve where needed in order for the church to grow strong. And as we grow more people will begin discovering the gift given to them by the Spirit.
You may say “I have no gift of service to offer.” If that is the case then the Bible lies.
Here is what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12:7“A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.” We are assured by God’s Word that all of us as believers have something to offer. The problem is we often do not want to use the gift that has been given us. If someone gives you a toaster but you never put a slice of bread in it, then what purpose does it really serve? We must step forward and meet each others needs so our gift is not wasted.