Paul shows his real motives for serving the Lord Jesus Christ.
Charles E. Whisnant, Pastor/Teacher, November 08, 2009
Paul had a heart to see people grow spiritually. Spiritual growth of believers was the key to his ministry.
FOR GOD WHOM I SERVE IN MY SPIRIT: (John 4:23,24, Acts 19:21; Php 3:3 Romans 1:9}
Serve: the term is used in reference to the worship and service of the true God. The greatest worship a believer can offer to God is devoted, pure, heart-felt ministry. Godly service calls for total, unreserved commitment. Paul served God with everything he had, beginning with his spirit that is, flowing out of a deep desire in his soul.
Service that is not shallow, not external, not formal, not legalist but deep in the heart of the soul. John 4:23, Ephesians 6:6-7. It’s a work that is done because you desire to, more than anything else. It’s the Romans 12:1-2 kind of service.
Paul didn’t serve Christ on three missionary journeys for money, rewards, fame, out of pressure or that it was just for fun.
Paul’s worship and service were inner related. His worship was an act of service, and his service was an act of worship. It was not that of a duty of drudge, going through endless trips and travel and teaching. It was service immersed in zealous, believing prayers. It was willing, devoted, tireless service, fired by a spirit that loved the Lord Jesus completely. It was a flaming passion to make known the good news about God’s Son.
The Right Motives for Service:
- Paul is saying that his service to God is completely sincere and internally motivated. Though he served from a deep sense of duty (“I am debtor,” Romans 1; 12), his ministry was not just a job, not just an obligation. His heart was in it.
1A A Thankful Spirit. 8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
- Paul is saying I love this work. Paul’s thankfulness was in the gratefulness that he could serve the Lord. A thankful spirit even when things were not going so well in Ephesus, or Philippi, or Corinth.
2A A Concerned Spirit.9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;
- Paul must have had a long "prayer list" for it seems he is always mentioning someone he is praying for in one of his epistles. Could there be any relation between his unceasing prayer and his incredible power in ministry?
3A A willing of God in His Spirit . 10 Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.
- Paul’s worship and service were inner related. His worship was an act of service, and his service was an act of worship. It was not that of a duty of drudge, going through endless trips and travel and teaching. It was service immersed in fervent, believing prayers. It was willing, devoted, tireless service, fired by a spirit that loved the Lord Jesus supremely. It was a flaming passion to make known the good news about God’s Son.
4A An obedient or submissive spirit. Vs 10b
- By the Will of God (2307) means what one wishes or has determined shall be done or that which is desired or wished for. It refers to a desire which proceeds from one’s heart or emotions. This term expresses the result of one’s purpose or desire.
- Paul prayed himself right into it. He prayed for the Romans and Paul said, I would like to be used in the answer to my prayer. God made Paul the tool for the answer to his prayer.
- Paul was regulated by a commitment to the will of God.
· James 4:13-15 God is to be involved in everything we do.
- There is a limited factor in Paul’s decision. God’s will. Which says Paul had a high level of confidence of knowing that God has the best plan for his life.
5A A loving spirit. 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established
Romans 1:11 For I long(present active indicative) to have affection for to see (aorist (effective action) Paul performs action) He wanted to see them you so that I may impart (aorist active subjunctive) which expresses Paul’s purposes for coming some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established (APN)
- Paul could not wait to come to Rome; he agonized over the spiritual condition. Paul wanted to give them something of spiritual value. He wanted to share himself with them that which was spiritual “grace”. John 7:38-39. As a gracious gift from God to Paul, by the operation of the Spirit of God upon his spirit, he wanted to give to them that which God had given him.
- Paul’s desire was to share, not the physical but to impact them spiritually. Ephesians 4:12
- Paul endeavored to impart depth in to their lives and it’s a difficult task. Romans 1-11.