ROMANS, Lesson 1 On a number of occasions he had set out for Rome only
to be hindered and frustrated in his journey. But he continued to pray for the opportunity to go to Rome.
This was his desire but up to this time it had not been God's will for him to go.
His purpose is to impart to them some spiritual gift The pronoun is indefinite, notice the translation "some".
So this does not look at our spiritual gifts that will be discussed later in Romans 12. Paul uses this word in a general
sense. This gift was the Word of God that was effective both for the salvation of the lost and the building up of believers.
The word "impart" is an aorist tense verb looking ahead to a point in time of communicating truth.
The Greek word METADIDWMI, means "to give", as in the sense of giving an offering. So it is the giving of that which one
has to another. Paul has doctrine and wants to give that to the believers of Rome.
THE PURPOSE: "that you may be established."
"Established" is STEIRIZW and it is an aorist passive infinitive, and the grammar teaches us a great deal about this process.
The "establishing" occurs at points in time: the time of gospel hearing, the time of accepting by a faith decision, and
the time applying the God's communicated Word..
The passive voice shows that we are established or set firmly in place by the Word, not by ourselves. The Word of God acts
on us; we receive this stability.
The infinitive looks at a result; stability is a result of the hearing, understanding, and believing in or trusting in
and the applying of the Word. It is initiated in us by the Word not by ourselves.
The word "stability" is often used for steadfastness of mind, the mental resolve and steadfastness that comes from the
mind being influenced by BD.
SO PAUL PLACES THE EMPHASIS on what he wants to share with them, not on what he can do. He will bring the gift of Bible
teaching; then it is the doctrine, not Paul, that will establish them.
"that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other's faith, both yours and mine."
The communicator, Paul, is encouraged when others become established.
An interesting principle is involved here. Giving that which God has given to you does not impoverish you but enriches
Normally when we give we think in terms of loss. But here Paul see that when he has the opportunity to teach positive believers
he is blessed.
This is emphasized by the word "encouraged". In the Greek, it is preceded by the prefix SUM which means that this will
be a joint encouragement.
This is the only use of this word in the Greek New Testament. Zodhiates defines it as receiving (passive voice) solace,
comfort, encouragement in the society of other believers.
This kind of godly encouragement is something that can only be done in the community of the Local Church.
The motivation for this joint encouragement is found each other's faith. Paul was impressed and encouraged when he saw
others who lived by faith.
None of us faces the same challenges and difficulties in life, but we do face similar situations. It is an encouragement
to us when we come to see how others live by faith, firmly established in the Word, facing similar situations.
In other words, our faith rubs off onto other believers.
"And I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that often I have planned to come to you, and have been prevented thus
far, in order that I might obtain some fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles."
The Fourth Window into Paul's soul:
"I have planned..."
Here Paul is assuring them that his longing to come to them is not merely in words; he has ROMANS,
ROMANS, Lesson 1 Page 15 planned to come to Rome, but to this time he has been
prevented in doing so.
The word "planned" means to make something a priority. This mission to Rome had, at times, been a priority to Paul.
The verb is aorist tense, middle voice, indicating that this trip would be for his benefit as well as theirs, as stated
in the prior verse.
Romans 15:23, But now, with no further place for me in these regions, and since I have had for many years a longing to
come to you.
The word "prevented" is a passive verb indicating that HE did not prevent this mission from occurring but was prevented
by outside sources.
Several things can prevent us from doing what we desire.
Satan can hinder our plans.
I Thessalonians 2:18, For we wanted to come to you - I, Paul, more than once - and yet Satan thwarted us.
Satan can hinder us; yet even when that happens we know that God is greater and He is in control. When this occurs it is
because God allows it.
God can hinder our plans.
Acts 16:6-10, And as they passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to
speak the word in Asia; and when they had come to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did
not permit them; and passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a certain man
of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, Come over to Macedonia and help us. And when he had seen the vision,
immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.
Our present responsibilities can keep us from fulfilling our desires.
Romans 15:20-22, And thus I aspired to preach the gospel, not where Christ was already named, that I might not build upon
another man's foundation; but as it is written, They who had no news of Him shall see, And they who have not heard shall understand.
For this reason I have often been hindered from coming to you.
But we can also see that accepting a responsibility that is not our own can also hinder us:
Romans 15:24-26, Whenever I go to Spain - for I hope to see you in passing, and to be helped on my way there by you, when
I have first enjoyed your company for a while - but now, I am going to Jerusalem serving the saints. For Macedonia and Achaia
have been pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem.
So what stands between you and following God's plan for your life? You do, no one else, nothing else. God is in control
except when we take control from Him.
The best way for a Christian to operate is found in:
Proverbs 16:9, The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.
"That I may have some fruit among you also."
Paul desires to come to them so that he can have fruit or production among them:
Two things can be said of fruit:
Fruit is born naturally, it is unforced and comes about as a result of proper conditions.
Fruit denotes that which is genuine. Plastic bananas are easy to identify and they don't taste very good.
The production we seek, the fruit we desire to bear, will come not because we are trying to make fruit but because we observe
the proper conditions of faith.
And it will be genuine fruit when it comes from faith.
"I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish."
The fifth window to Paul's soul states that He is under obligation. Paul understood his mission in life, his job as an
apostle. ROMANS, Lesson