II. PERSONAL INTEREST Rom 1:8-13
i. "I THANK MY GOD" Rom 1:8
a. "FOR YOU ALL."
b. FOR THE TESTIMONY
ii. "I MAKE MENTION OF YOU." Rom 1:9-10
a. GENERALLY - UNCEASINGLY
b. PARTICULARLY - THAT HE MIGHT SEE THEM
iii. "I LONG TO SEE YOU." Rom 1:11-13
a. TO IMPART Rom 1:11
b. TO RECEIVE AND IMPART Rom 1:12
c. TO RECEIVE Rom 1:13
III. THE REASON OF THE LETTER Rom 1:14-15
i. "I AM DEBTOR." Rom 1:14
a. THE DEPOSIT OF THE GOSPEL.
b. THE CREDITORS.
1. Greeks and Barbarians.
2. Wise and Foolish,
ii. "I AM READY." Rom 1:15
a. THE ABILITY.
"So." Deposit is Dynamic,
b. THE LIMITATION.
"As much as in me is"
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II. PERSONAL INTEREST
His reference to his readers led the apostle to words
concerning them, and his relation to them, full of personal interest.
His threefold attitude toward them is revealed in the key sentences of
this paragraph. It was that of thankfulness, of prayer, and of desire.
That the Church of Rome was victorious in its
Christian life is evidenced by the fact that the apostle spoke of its
faith as proclaimed throughout the whole world. In that sentence,
moreover, we have a revelation of a mental attitude full of
suggestiveness. This man was a Roman citizen, and he knew how the eyes
of the world were upon Rome, and therefore how testimony borne there
must inevitably exert its influence over the widest area.
All that he had heard of the disciples in Rome had
filled him with thankfulness, and with earnest desire that they might
fulfill their responsibility. He had served them unceasingly by prayer,
although he had never seen them. His praying had been particular and
definite along one line at least, that of his desire to visit the
imperial city. That desire was not created by a passion for pleasure,
nor was it promoted by the curiosity of the student. He knew that Rome
was the centre of the world-movements of his time, and consequently a
strategic centre from which to carry the Gospel message to the most
distant places. His desire to come to them was that there might be
mutual strengthening in all fitness for the service of the Lord. He
would fain impart to them some spiritual gift, and receive from them the
enrichment and comfort of his own ministry.
III. THE REASON OF THE LETTER
In stating the reason of his letter the apostle wrote
those ever-memorable and illuminative words which declared him to be a
"debtor both to Greeks and to Barbarians, both to the wise and to the
foolish.'' In the light of what he had said concerning the double issue
of his coming to Rome, that of giving and receiving, there is clear
explanation of what he meant by being debtor. He considered that the
Gospel which had made him, and those to whom he wrote what they were,
was a deposit which he held in trust for all such as were in the same
conditions of need. The gift bestowed upon him was also intended for the
Greeks and the Barbarians, for the wise and the foolish. He looked upon
all these as being his creditors. So long as they were without the
Gospel message which he possessed, and which was a trust committed to
him not for himself only, but for them also, he was their debtor.
He was conscious also of the fact of his ability to
discharge that debt. The sense of debt was the inspiration of service;
and the consciousness of the power of the Gospel was in itself equipment
for service. There is the evidence of limitation in the words "as much
as in me is," but they are also characterized by absolute lack of