Romans 1:11-13

11. For I long to see you, in order that I may share with you the Spiritual gift for the strengthening of you. 12. But this is to be encouraged together in you through each other’s faith, both yours and mine. 13. I should like you to know, brothers, that I have often meant to come to you, and was prevented until now, in order that I might achieve some results [1] among you and in the other nations.

In 1964 Dusty Springfield covered a song first recorded by Dionne Warwick that starts, “Wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin’.” Granted Dusty was singing about how to keep a man once you have one, but St. Paul was also “wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin’.” about going to Rome and seeing those Roman Christians there.

Paul wasn’t going there for his own glory, amusement, or praise. Instead it was to give them the ‘spiritual gift,’ that is preaching and teaching of the Word and the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ, to strengthen them. It is only through the Holy Spirit infused words of Pauls mouth and not great rhetorical skills or an ability to entertain that Paul would achieve some results not ‘in’ those Roman Christians, but ‘among’ them.

Paul doesn’t have to achieve some results in them, or have them ‘bear fruit’ because they already have the Gospel, he’s just giving them some more. Paul is mainly referring to evangelism, the proclamation of the Word for all the world to hear, especially those in Rome, the capitol of the Empire. A ground that was fertile and ready to bear much fruit for the sake of the Gospel, just like many places in the world today. Lord send us workers for your harvest field.

[1] “harvest some fruit”


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