8First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. 9God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you 10in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.
11I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong 12that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. 13I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.
14I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. 15That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome.
16I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."
Who is encouraged by your faith?
(Romans - 11, 12) - 11I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong-- 12that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.
In verse eight Paul states that he gives thanks to God for the faith that the Roman church has, a faith that is being reported throughout the world.
Now this faith that the Roman church had, was made up from the faith of the individuals that made up the body of that church.
It takes a lot of faith to make a church that has that kind of effect on people. Faith that would cause other Christians in far away places to hear about you. Faith that in return brings glory to God.
The question is in looking at yourselves as individuals, what kind of faith do you have? Is it a faith that people see in you? Is it a faith that people talk about to one another? Do people talk about it at your work? Do they talk about it in your neighborhood? Do they talk about it in our church?
You see if people are not talking about the faith they see in us then maybe it is for a reason. There may be nothing for them to see and talk about.
We need as Christians to always have our faith out in front of us. If we put it out there people will notice it. If they notice it then they may be encouraged by it. If they are encouraged by it then God can use that to either bring someone to faith or help another Christian grow and mature in their own faith.
That faith that people see, the Bible calls our light - (Ephesians 5:8) 8For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.
We are the light - (Mathew 5:16) 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Be a light for God! Don’t hide it and don’t be ashamed of it, but put it right out in front of you.
It is our job as Christians to not only be an encouragement to those who are not, but also to those that are.
I personally need to be fed by your faith in God and in Christ. Seeing your strong faith encourages me to be a better and stronger servant for Christ. It also encourages me to be a better and stronger servant for you.
Last Friday night at our Bible study we looked at 1 Corinthians 12 and at what the Bible tells us about how we are all as individual Christians a unique and equally important part of the body of Christ. We read how important it is to understand each and every one of our gifts and how we need to all work together in harmony.
Are you uncomfortable sharing the gospel sometimes?
(Romans 1:16) - I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.
We are afraid sometimes to share the gospel aren’t we? Afraid to tell maybe even someone we could care about that Christ came to this earth to die freely on the cross for sinners and to pay in full the payment that God called for. I know it is hard for me at times.