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Romans 1:8-12 Commentary and application

Romans 1:8-12- First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. 9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; 10 Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you. 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end you may be established; 12 That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.

In reading these verses one thing stands out above all else to me; Paul’s sincere love for his fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Paul takes joy in praying to God and giving thanks for the faith He has granted to those who live in Rome. Paul says that he makes mention of them, without ceasing, in his prayers. No doubt Paul has God’s people on the forefront of his mind in all he says and does.

He also talks about how he desires to take a journey to Rome so that they can mutually encourage each other’s faith. This points out to us how important fellowship is to our faith. Fellowship is important to both the gospel minister and to those in the congregation. This shows us that no matter how mature you are in the faith, or how young you are in the faith, fellowship is an important part of being established in the faith! The writer of Hebrews also talked about the importance of fellowship when he said,

“ 23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Heb 10:23-25

He tells them not to forsake gathering together. This gathering together should be for the gospel to be preached (or taught) to Christians, this is what Paul was talking about when he mentioned “imparting a spiritual gift” to them. Paul desires to come to them, preach the gospel to them, encourage them to strive to do good, grow in holiness, and serve God. As a Christian we are commanded to be in fellowship as a part of our faith. We are not meant to be “lone wolf” Christians, with no connection to others. Fellowship is a deep part of our growth in faith.

Practical application-

1. Prayer life-

Whenever I read about Paul praying for fellow Christians it makes me take a long, hard look at my own prayer life. Some questions it should make us ask-

Am I praying daily?

If we call God our Father do we talk to Him like one? Would it be normal to ignore your earthly dad for a day, a week, a month, or a year? How much more should it not be normal for us to ignore our heavenly Father throughout the day. We have a constant access to God at all times, let’s pray like it!

What am I praying for? Do I give thanks to God enough or do I just constantly make requests for things I want? Do I give thanks for other people’s faith? Do I love my Christian brothers and sisters enough to pray for them WITHOUT CEASING?

2. Fellowship-

We are commanded in the word of God to be in fellowship with other Christian brothers and sisters. This fellowship is a vital part of maintaining, and growing, our faith. This fellowship should encourage us to do good works and to grow in holiness. The gospel is not just for unbelievers but also to encourage believers. I know in many parts of the world there are obstacles to this command. In America much of the church has been overrun by “feel good” preaching, prosperity preaching, heresy, and the likes. In other parts of the world there is persecution and people must gather together at night, in houses, or in secret. Whatever the issue is this does not give us an excuse to abandon the gathering together. We must continue to search until we find the place the Lord brings us to. Fellowship is vital if you desire to grow as a follower of Christ. We are called sheep by our Lord and sheep are to stay together under the watch of the Chief Shepherd!

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