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Giving out the Gospel

line Giving out the Gospel

Pause and Consider

0631

01.31.18

‘Giving out the Gospel’

 

I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.  So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. (Romans 1:14, 15)

We have been considering the opening verses of the Book of Romans, Paul has never been to this church.  He conveys his concern to the Roman believers as he writes to them.  We have looked at four of his five concerns.  He was thankful for them, he was praying for them, he yearned to visit them, and he longed to have a part in their spiritual growth.

Today we see in our text that he was eager to give them the gospel (14). Note how he describes himself as being a debtor.  Of course a debtor is someone who owes something to another person. Paul felt a moral obligation to all people, and the Romans in particular, because of God’s call upon him as the Apostle to the Gentiles.  Rome was the center of the Gentile world in his day.

He wanted to give the gospel to the cultured and the uncultured, the wise and the unwise.  ‘Barbarians’ refer to those who did not speak the Greek language.  ‘Barbar’ speech is gibberish, much like today we might say ‘yadda, yadda.’ To the proud Greeks, anyone not of their culture was uncouth. In our culture, for example, those who claim to be descended from those who came over on the Mayflower tend to look askance at all others as beneath them.  But Paul was not like that—he wished to give out the gospel message to everyone!

To whom do I owe a debt of gratitude?  For my salvation, of course I am indebted to the Savior, as He died in my place.  Much like Timothy, I am also indebted to my godly mother and grandmother who shared with me the gospel in my youth.  The Bible camp I attended was where I clearly heard the message of saving faith—that Christ had died for me, and I needed to turn from my sin and trust in Him for the forgiveness of sin.  Finally, the local church in which I grew up was very instrumental in my spiritual growth.

To whom am I indebted to give out the gospel message?  My family, neighbors, friends, passers-by, and indeed the world.

Paul was not only ready to share the gospel, he was eager to share it (15).  The Psalmist declared, “Let the redeemed of the LORD say so.”  That is what I am attempting to do in this article.

If you are a believer, are you ready and eager to give out the gospel message?  It is important to share your testimony.  Gospel tracts ought to be at the ready.  We need to ask the Lord for opportunities to what God’s grace can accomplish in a life.  We need to seek for opportunities to share Christ.  We need to seize those opportunities. If we wait for the perfect time, we likely will never speak out.

What is the secret of Paul’s eagerness, his longing, his yearning?  For him to live was Christ (Phil 1:21). He was ready to spend and be spent (2 Cor 12:15). He strove according to Christ’s mighty work in him. (Col 1:29) He was what he was by the grace of God (1 Cor 15:10).

Though Paul had not met most of the Roman believers, he loved and cared for them.  He longed to be with them and to help them grow in their relationship with the Lord Jesus.  He wanted many others in that great city to experience the forgiveness of sin.  As Amy Carmichael, the missionary of old wrote, “You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.”


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