Rom 1:11-13 “For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me. Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.”
Allow me to begin this writing with a small disclaimer. Anytime you see me using the phrase “the church at Rome,” please know that I am not referring to the Catholic organization. Also, please know that I am not here to disparage any group (because God has a people in every kindred, nation, people, and tongue – Revelation 7:9). I desire only to prayerfully consider with you Paul’s message to the saints at Rome.
Paul had a great desire to meet the saints at Rome face to face. He heard about their faith everywhere he went (see verse 8). He was convinced that God was blessing them. It was his desire to share in those blessings with them, so he longed (yearned) to see them.
Our attitude towards being with our brothers and sisters in Christ should mirror Paul’s; we should long to be together. We might be tempted to argue that since many of us meet together at least once every week that our longing for one another would be lessened. When we are blessed with an understanding and zeal of God, it gives us a great anticipation of being with each other. It is detrimental to our Christian health to let our desire for one another wane.
Paul had a very specific reason why he wanted to be with them. He wanted to share (impart) his understanding of spiritual things with them. Paul was not expecting to give (be the author) of their spiritual gifts. Instead, he wanted to encourage them in the fellowship of sharing.
We should never think that we have the power to give spiritual gifts to God’s people. However, He does give us the power to share our spiritual gifts with each other. The purpose of this sharing is that we may be steadfast in our mutual faith. We find comfort and encouragement with one another as we share the spiritual gifts that God has given us.
Our spiritual gifts may not be what the world would deem as miraculous power. If you are blessed with a heart to pray with and for others, that is a spiritual gift. Do you have the gift of praising God in song and seeing others draw comfort from it? That is a spiritual gift. All the things we share together that honor God and encourage each other are spiritual gifts.
Paul wanted them to know that he had often intended in his own mind to come to them. However, up until the time of this letter, he had not been able to do so. He wanted to be with them for their comfort and for his growth as well. He looked forward to having fruit in the church at Rome (being prospered) that would abound to God’s glory. His desire in coming to them was the same as it had been with all the Gentile churches he had visited, encouraged, and established.
May we with great desire regularly share our spiritual gifts together that we might bear fruit unto the glory and praise of God!