“But now that there is no more place for me to work in these regions, and since I have been longing for many years to see you, I plan to do so when I go to Spain. I hope to visit you while passing through and to have you assist me on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while. Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the saints there. For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings. So after I have completed this task and have made sure that they have received this fruit, I will go to Spain and visit you on the way. I know that when I come to you, I will come in the full measure of the blessing of Christ.” (Romans 15: 23-29)
The Apostle Paul dedicated every moment to serving the Gospel of Christ. He did this out of faith, hope and obligation. Paul traveled from town to town throughout Asia and Europe preaching Christ. Upon entering a town he preached the Gospel and stayed until a small Church formed. Then he went to the next town. In order to maintain communication with the established Churches Paul sent letters addressing issues of concern that he received from them. These letters make up a large part of the New Testament.
At this time, Christians in Jerusalem needed help financially because the Jewish leaders placed a ban of all goods and services offered by the followers of Christ. Paul encouraged Churches in regions of wealth to send help to the Christians in Jerusalem. The Churches in Macedonia and Achaia sent money with Paul for delivery. He says, “They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings.”
All Christians owe a debt to the Jews in Paul’s mind. God called Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to receive a blessing. That blessing fell on all because of the Jewish Messiah Jesus the Christ. Therefore, Christians owe a debt those by whom God brings about a blessing.
Chaplain Don Russel, The Spokane Outreach Center
Friend of Answers2Prayer,
The Arrow Epistle is authored by Chaplain Don Russell and sponsored by The Spokane Outreach Center. S
(Appearing Sunday, July 7, 2002)