Wednesday, 29 January 2014
For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem. Romans 15:26
As the book of Romans supports the book of Acts (and vice versa), what Paul writes here also supports his other writings in many ways. In this verse, he notes “a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem.” This in turn supports verses such as 1 Corinthians 16:1-4 (which then refers to something he said in Galatians 2:10).
And the gift, when being prepared, is later noted in the following two passages from 2 Corinthians –
“Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia: that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality. For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.” 2 Corinthians 8:1-4
“Now concerning the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you; 2 for I know your willingness, about which I boast of you to the Macedonians, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal has stirred up the majority.” 2 Corinthians 9:1, 2
Time and again, these letters and the other books of the New Testament refer to, and rely on, one another. There is ample evidence that they are a harmoniously tied-together body of work which is consistent and reliable. We need not worry about those false scholars to attempt to interject doubt into the reliability and authority of Scripture.
Having noted that, the verse being analyzed begins with “For.” It is based on what he had just said to the Romans in the previous verse – “But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints.” His reason for going to minister there is explained now. And that reason is that “it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make” their contribution. This was a voluntary and even joyous offering for the needy saints in Jerusalem. The Macedonians are referred to in the verses from 1 and 2 Corinthians noted above. “Achaia” is the area where Corinth was the capital.
These willing people had prepared an offering which Paul would personally oversee in order to ensure that it arrived in Jerusalem for its intended recipients. Paul took great care in ensuring that everything concerning the money was handled openly and honestly during this process.
Life application: Again today, as is the case throughout Scripture, the Bible confirms itself internally and it ensures us that it is a unified whole given to us from the wisdom of God and breathed out by His Holy Spirit through chosen prophets and apostles.
Lord, if ever I am asked to deny my faith or lose my life, I would rather die a thousand deaths than breathe a single word of denial. What could the executioner do to me but hurry me into Your presence – the very place I wish to be! Thank You for the promise of eternal life which is truly life and which comes through my Lord, JESUS. Amen.