Tuesday, 28 January 2014
But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. Romans 15:25
Before he makes any anticipated visit to Rome on his way to Spain, Paul notes that he first intends to go “to Jerusalem to minister to the saints.” This is one of many internal clues that the epistle is authentic. In Acts 19:21, we read this –
“When these things were accomplished, Paul purposed in the Spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, ‘After I have been there, I must also see Rome.'”
Acts supports Paul’s words in Romans and his words here and in other epistles support the account in Acts. The Bible is a unified work which internally validates itself again and again. As we read its pages, we can have the confidence that there truly was a guiding Hand of inspiration as the Holy Spirit breathed out God’s word through the various authors.
In both 1 & 2 Corinthians, Paul speaks of the collection for the saints in Jerusalem and he will explain the necessity for this collection and ministry a bit more in the verses ahead. It must be remembered that Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles and therefore, in order to maintain harmony between the Jewish believers and the Gentiles, whatever he could do for the Jews in Jerusalem would help in that endeavor. And so he painstakingly and meticulously prepared his collection for them and wanted to be present when it was transferred to those in need in Jerusalem.
Life application: Gifts and offerings are still as important today as they were in the early church. They should be considered carefully and given in a way which the most beneficial use of the money is made. Why would anyone give to a church which supports issues such as abortion or sexual perversion, either locally or within the hierarchy? We are accountable to the Lord for what we do with our gifts, so just as Paul did, cautiously consider how you will handle your giving.
Lord, I have really benefitted from so many others as I’ve studied and learned Your word. Translators, commentators, pastors, and teachers have all been a part of getting Your word to me in a way which I can understand and grow. Today I thank you for those who have so meticulously handled this precious book for my use and benefit. How blessed I am in this way. Thank You for these faithful souls! Amen.