This morning a visiting Anglican Bishop preached at my church. He gave an amazing talk. He is from England and works for the Archbishop of Canterbury. He preached on Romans 1:8-16
“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. 9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you 10 always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— 12 that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers,[a] that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians,[b] both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (ESV)
“I am not ashamed” is so convicting. How often have I shared the Gospel with people? Not often…I live it, which is part of it, but can someone always tell by my actions that Jesus Christ is Lord? Probably not. We need to worship God with our whole heart and not just on Sundays. We need to worship Him Monday through Saturday as well.
In vs. 14 it says I am under obligation to both Greeks and barbarians… Obligation also means in debt. I am in debt to those that don’t know the Gospel. I owe them. Just like I owed money on my student loans. I owe it to people who don’t know Christ to live out His truth in my life each and every day. To show God’s grace to those around me each and every minute of each and every day. Wow.
One thing he mentioned was you can be in debt when you’ve been given something for someone else and you keep it for yourself. So true. We are all sent, we are all representatives of God, of the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We should all bear witness. If you want to share good news, we all have to be good news. We can’t act horribly to people and then turn around and tell them to believe in Jesus Christ, why would they believe us? Why should someone listen to us when we aren’t living the Gospel?
“12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?[a] And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”” ~ Romans 10:12-15 (ESV)
We, as Christians shouldn’t wait for people to come to us, we should go to them. We need to reach them in whatever way possible. We have to go to the inner cities to reach people where they are. We have to go to Asia and Africa and South America and Europe and to the far reaches of the earth. We are called, we are sent, we must go.
I am in debt to those in Africa whom God has called me to go to.