Paul’s Desire to Preach at Rome Rom.1:8-17 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In Rom 1:8-17 we see Pauls desire to preach at Rome. He had been praying for them for quite some time and hoped that through preaching the gospel he might establish their faith in Christ and have some fruit among them.
Paul’s desire to preach at Rome was motivated by:
Their widespread testimony – Rom 1:8 – their faith was spoken of throughout the world, practically speaking. From country to country where he had been preaching, he had heard what God was doing there and he wanted to help.
His continual prayers for them – Rom 1:9-10 – Paul had been praying particularly and regularly for the Romans. Notice that he limited his request to go to Rome by the will of God. He wanted to go only if and when God was willing. This reminds us of Jesus’ prayers in Gethsemane. Thankfully, we have the Spirit of God to intercede on our behalf according to the will of God, Rom 8:26-27.
Their spiritual need – Rom 1:11-12 – he wanted to impart a spiritual gift to them [not like the gifts of the Spirit in 1 Cor 12]. He wanted to give them something to specifically establish them in the same faith that he had [the “mutual faith”]. You can see the nature of his “gift” by what he wrote in the remainder of this epistle.
His desire for fruit among them – Rom 1:13 – Paul often traveled to areas where there were believers and he had fruit among them and in regions beyond them [2 Cor 10:13-16]. He was careful not to build upon another man’s work. Paul had made plans to travel to Rome several times before but he was “let” (hindered from going).
His general indebtedness to the lost – Rom 1:14-15 – Paul believed that he owed it to the Gentiles to preach the gospel [1 Cor 9:16-17]. That’s why he often preached it without compensation from those he had won to the Lord [1 Cor 9:18]. He said that he had become all things to all men that he might by all means save some [1 Cor 9:19-22]. Notice that in these two verses he mentions the Greeks, the Barbarians and the Romans. A barbarian, in this context, is not an uncivilized person but rather a non-Greek or non-Roman alien or foreigner [1 Cor 14:11].
His boldness in preaching the gospel – Rom 1:16-17 – Paul was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ even though he was routinely persecuted for preaching it. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth, though it is but foolishness to those who don’t believe [1 Cor 1:18]. Paul preached it to the Jew first because salvation is of the Jews [Jn 4:22; Acts 3:25-26; 13:44-46; 28:25-28].
In the gospel is the righteousness of God revealed [Rom 10:3-4; 2 Cor 5:21]. When Paul says “from faith to faith” he is describing the transition [Gal 3:23-25] from faith in the Old Testament in Hab 2:4 [“his” faith] to faith in the New Testament in Gal 2:16 [the faith “of Christ”].
Conclusion: Paul eventually made it to Rome by the will of God [Acts 23:11; 28:14-16].