First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.Romans 1:8(KJV)
Paul did not found the church at Rome.. but being a chosen servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, an apostle appointed by God, a preacher of the glorious gospel of grace and a missionary to the Gentile nations.. who had been commissioned by God - he expressed his deep love and genuine concern for the spiritual well-being of the Christians there.
Some anonymous believer in Christ must have been responsible for teaching the people in Rome about the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.. and the forgiveness of sins for all who believe on His name - and Paul expressed his thanks and praise to God for all these beloved Christians at Rome.. and for their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, which he informs us was being : spoken of throughout the whole world.
Paul was not jealous that someone else has planted this flourishing church community in the prestigious capital-city of the great Roman empire. He was not resentful that this thriving ministry was not the result of his own personal labour - for Paul knew that jealousy and strife among believers, is a result of a proud heart and fleshly behaviour. He knew that one plants the seed of the Word while another is called to water it - but it is God alone, Who gives the increase.
Paul is a great example of a man who always tried to encourage and edify the saints, while ensuring that he did not compromise the truth of the glorious gospel of grace. Paul knew that He had been called to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery - which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
And so God's chosen apostle and bond-slave of the Lord, who was called to declare to Jew and Gentile alike the wisdom of God, (which had been kept hidden glory before time began - and the glorious destiny to which we have been called), opened his epistle to these believers with grateful thanks to God, through Jesus Christ for all of them all. And Paul thanked God that their faith was spoken of throughout the whole world.
May we adopt this attitude of humility in the work to which God has called us - and thank God that He is building His church and that we are granted by grace, to be fellow-labourers in His vineyard.
Heavenly Father, thank You that I am a new creation in Christ and that You have placed me in the corner of Your vineyard, for Your good pleasure.. and gifted me in the work that You would have me to do. Keep me from imagining that I am the only real labourer You have called to witness and work to Your praise and glory, and help me to rejoice in the work that you are doing in the lives of so many believers - in so many ways. Help me to be an encouragement to other saints.. in the work in I do and the words I say - to Your praise and glory, in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.
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