Paul’s Plan to Visit Rome

A notorious miser was called on by the chairman of the community charity. “Sir,” said the fund-raiser, “our records show that despite your wealth, you’ve never once given to our drive.” “Do your records show that I have an elderly mother who was left penn … More

Giving

Paul had not been hindered in going to Rome because of Satanic opposition or physical obstacles, but by the challenge of completing his work right where he was. He was the type of person who finished one job before he started another one. Paul had a desire for many years to go to Spain (v. 24) but there is no record in Scripture that he ever did.

Paul had taken up special offerings in the Gentile churches in Greece for the suffering saints in Jerusalem. He viewed this offering as the paying of a debt (v. 27). The Gentiles had received their Spiritual wealth from the Jews, and now they had opportunity to return material wealth in meeting a very real need. Paul also considered himself a “debtor” to the whole world (Romans 1:14). We Christians ought to feel an obligation to Israel, and to pay that debt by praying for Israel, sharing the Gospel, and helping in a material way if the need presents itself. Anti-Semitism has no place in the life of a dedicated Christian.

This offering that Paul was delivering to the saints in Jerusalem was not only the payment of a debt, but it was also “fruit” (v. 28). It was just a natural result of their walk with the Lord. When the ministry of the Holy Spirit is evident in a church, giving is no problem. Paul again tells of his plans for coming to Rome on his way to Spain after delivering the offering in Jerusalem (v. 28). We know that he eventually got to Rome, but not when, or in the manner that he had anticipated (Acts 27-28). However, as we stated before, there is no proof that he ever got to Spain. As Christians we should plan ahead, but we need to be flexible.

Application

Who were the ones who were directly responsible for bringing me to the Lord? Do they have any needs that I could help them with at this time? It could be a spiritual, physical or financial need.

Romans 15:20-29 (English Standard Version)

And thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else's foundation, but as it is written, "Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand." This is the reason why I have so often been hindered from coming to you. But now, since I no longer have any room for work in these regions, and since I have longed for many years to come to you, I hope to see you in passing as I go to Spain, and to be helped on my journey there by you, once I have enjoyed your company for a while. At present, however, I am going to Jerusalem bringing aid to the saints. For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints at Jerusalem. For they were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material blessings. When therefore I have completed this and have delivered to them what has been collected, I will leave for Spain by way of you. I know that when I come to you I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ.

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