Romans Podcast Expository Files 2018 Berkley - Page 12

Romans ~ “I want to see you”
Rom. 1:11-13
Modern technology has handed us communication methods we never imagined. With the
touch of a screen, you can contact a friend or respond to their message. It is convenient and
quick, but not the same as personal contact.
When Paul wrote to the church at Rome he was using what we consider to be ancient
“technology.” Certainly his words (from God to the people) were necessary and eternally
valuable. But he wanted to be there.
“For I long to see you,” he said (Rom. 1:11). This anticipated personal visit was (1) to better
equip them for service, through spiritual gifts, and (2) for their mutual encouragement – “that
is,” he said, “that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.”
Paul had intended to visit them but had been prevented by a variety of circumstances. For
Paul, it was like waiting for a harvest. Patience was required but the desire to see them face to
face was robust.
He put it this way: “I want you to know, brothers, 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.”
This reminds me of John, at the end of his Second Epistle: “Through I have much to write to
you, I would rather not use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to come to you and talk face to
face, so that our joy may be complete.”
I want you to think about what this says, about the value of our personal contact with each
other. May I suggest, don’t let modern technology rob you of the mutual encouragement of
being with your brethren.
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