13 Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles. 14 I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. 15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.Rom 1:13-15
I purposed to come to you…
Paul wanted the Romans to know how much he desired to come to Rome. Paul desired to get to them and meet them face to face.
But was let hitherto
Why was he prevented from coming? Was it a move of the Holy Spirit in his life preventing him from coming? Was it some circumstancial problem that kept him away? Was it the demands of ministry that he had been performing that made it difficult to leave? He did not want the Romans to think that His absence had anything to do with his desire to come. He had purposed and planned to come to Rome but had been prevented.
That I have some fruit among you
Why did he want to go? So that he would have some kind of fruit among them. What did he mean by fruit? The Bible sometimes refers to fruit as good works, growth in character or at times evangelistic impact. Because he speaks of preaching the gospel in Rome I believe He is referring primarily to the fruit of evangelistic impact. He wants to see people in Rome trust in Christ, just as he had seen “among other gentiles”.
I am a debtor…
Paul felt obligated to the Greeks and barbarians, to the wise and the unwise. The Greeks were as a society more formally educated. They were sophisticated in comparison to the barbarians. The barbarians were those gentiles not part of the educated, upper class. Why did he feel a debt to them? Because He had been give both grace (salvation) and apostleship. He was saved and called to them by the Lord.
So..ready to preach…at Rome also.
Paul had purposed to preach to them. He had a message to preach to them. He had an obligation to preach to them. He was ready!
Those of us who know Christ as Savior have been given God’s grace through salvation. Because we know Christ and are living on this earth we have an obligation as well. A call to follow Jesus is a call to discipleship and disciplemaking. Jesus called his disciples by saying follow me and I will make you fishers of men. We ought to be ready to proclaim the gospel to those who don’t know.
- Are you ready to share the gospel?
- Are you actually sharing the gospel?
- Do you feel a debt to those who don’t know?