Givers and Receivers

from Lynda Lindsey

For I long to see you, that I may import to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you——that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. Romans 1:11-12

So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. 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. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” Romans 1:15-17

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Paul, a servant of Christ, called to his apostleship by the Lord and set apart for the advancement of the gospel, longs to see the saints in Rome, eager to both give and receive, spiritual truth and encouragement. Paul’s life mission is to make the gospel known, to encourage all men and women everywhere to yield their lives to the obedience of Christ. Paul delights in encouraging and strengthening disciples to grow strong in faith and in seeing non-believers come to saving faith in Christ. Paul, a giver, a deliverer of the gospel, longs for God’s righteousness to be revealed by faith to all.

Paul models his life and ministry after Jesus, the giver of life and light. God is a giver; God gave His only Son to us to save us, to deliver us from the power of sin and death. Jesus willingly gave His life on the cross so we might have eternal life. The Holy Spirit gives us power to live transformed lives, as well as gifts with which to serve one another. Paul desires the recipients of the gospel to know that salvation is not our own doing; it is the gift of a generous God, who by grace has saved us through faith. We are saved by faith, walk by faith, and continue walking by faith. 

Receiving the good news is more than just assent to a belief. It’s life changing and transforming. Because we are declared righteous before holy God and are regenerated and made new, our thinking and actions change. We walk no longer in the futility of darkness but in the light of hope. Our repentant hearts, no longer hard and closed, are soft and open toward God. Acknowledging God, we renounce idolatry. We love, honor, obey, and worship God, and God alone. Be both a giver and a receiver of the good news, because God’s supply of Good News is inexhaustible!