"For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine." - Rom 1:11-12
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Have you ever heard a famous saying, “A good Roman can go anywhere”? The intention of the statement is that the solid understanding of the book of Romans helps Christians to understand all the other books of the Bible - the Old Testament and the New Testament. Studying Paul’s epistle to the Romans, we can learn the content of the Christian faith like nowhere else in the New Testament.
Paul opened his letter with greetings and his longing to visit the Christians in Rome, and meet them in person. So that he might use his gift to strengthen the Christian Romans' spiritual life. (v.11), after that, he hoped that they might be mutually encouraged by each other's faith (v.12).
What are the spiritual gifts? Some of us think they are prophesy, healing, miracles, teaching, preaching, wisdom, etc. Actually, it is more than those just listed. According to its original language (v.11), it is the gift of faith, knowledge, holiness, virtue. Such as, when someone needs to vent, we are there to listen without any judgment and interruptions. When someone is in a challenging situation, we are there to encourage. When someone is lonely, we are there to care. When someone is weak, we are there to support. So a spiritual gift is an ability given by the Holy Spirit to express our faith effectively (in word or deed) for the strengthening of someone else’s faith. It is not important to label the deeds as a specific spiritual gift, but it is important to have much desire to strengthen people’s faith.
Dear Brothers and Sisters, for our own reflections:
- Have I asked God to give me a pure heart to be led by the Holy Spirit?
- Have I asked God to let me cross the path of someone at the end of this day so that I can share my spiritual gift to strengthen him/ her in God's promises and be more joyful in His grace?
Amen. God bless you.
Reflection on Romans 1:8-15 by Veralin Uneputty