Rom 15:26-29 “For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things. When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain. And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.”
In verse twenty-five, Paul told the saints at Rome that he was going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints there. We can be sure that Paul’s ministry in Jerusalem included preaching the gospel of Christ. However, he plainly shows here that to be an effective minister, we must truly be servants. There were material needs among the saints at Jerusalem that Paul was also going to minister to.
The means to meet this ministry were given into Paul’s hands, but they did not originate with Paul. He was bringing with him a certain contribution from the brethren of Macedonia and Achaia. Notice the phrase that Paul uses when telling the brethren at Rome about this. It “pleased” them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a contribution.
From time to time, we may learn of certain needs among our brothers and sisters in other places. While it is obvious that no single one of us can contribute to every need everywhere, each of us can do our part at the appropriate time. We should give as God has prospered us and purposed in our hearts. When we give in this manner, it is pleasing (something we do willingly).
Those in Macedonia and Achaia had reason to contribute to the saints as Jerusalem. Paul teaches here that they owed a debt. The Gentiles had been made beneficiaries of the spiritual gifts that had come out of Jerusalem. Therefore, they had an obligation to help them in their time of physical and material distress.
Paul was reinforcing to the Roman brethren (and us) that spiritual things have real value. They are so valuable that we should be willing to part with material goods for the sake of those who have shared with us spiritual things. Paul was also admonishing the Romans that they had the same debt as those in Macedonia and Achaia. We should always be willing to contribute to the welfare of the saints who have supplied us with spiritual things.
Again, notice Paul’s willingness to put his own desires secondary to the ministry to the saints. He longed to go to Rome, and had desired to do so for a long time. Yet, he put this off again in order to deliver the contribution to the saints at Jerusalem with his own hand. We should always be diligent to seal the fruit that God has delivered into our hands for the purpose of ministering to others.
Paul had many trustworthy companions. He could have sent this contribution on to Jerusalem with Luke or Timothy or another of his companions. However, it had been delivered into Paul’s hands. Paul recognized a responsibility that was his to complete and not merely to hand it off to someone else.
Paul found a great assurance in being faithful to the delivery of this ministry. It was not just an assurance that he would make it to Rome. The joy of this assurance was in how he would be there. How wonderful to declare that “I am sure I will come in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.”
May God also grant us the great mercy of being sure of coming in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ!