Imparting the Spiritual Gift
The apostle Paul wrote the church located at Rome. He had never visited this church, which may have been founded, by the visitors from Rome, at Jerusalem, during Pentecost in Acts 2 (A.D. 33). Paul wanted to visit them, “that I may impart some spiritual gift to you (Rom 1:11b). Paul also indicated the benefit the Christians, at Rome, would receive from him, “that you may be established (Rom 1:11c).”
There have been a number of interpretations attached to Paul’s desire in Romans 1. The Pentecostals are sure Paul wants to teach the Romans to speak in tongues. Others are sure that there are more gifts of the Spirit, maybe even the Spirit Himself, but the second clause is the key to the right interpretation.
When Paul would go to a place, and to a people, what was his custom? It was to preach the Gospel of God to them, and he would sometimes spend elongated days and even months (Corinth and Ephesus), teaching the church sound doctrine.
The Greek word Paul chose to describe His purpose is sterixthnai, from sterizo, from stereos, meaning: steadfast; strong; or sure. Paul’s desire was for the establishment, the strengthening of the faith, of the Roman Christians.
Faith increases when God, by His grace, adds knowledge of the truth to His people. Paul recognized His mission was to preach and teach Christ, the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies and types. The mystery of long ages past had been revealed, and Paul was an apostle to the Gentiles, for the purpose of establishing them in the Christian faith (Rom 16:25). As Paul was established in the faith, following God’s conversion of him, on the road to Damascus (Acts 9), so the establishment of others was his ministry (2 Cor 1:21). It is God who establishes all things, but especially, the positioning and educating of His saints.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Prv 1:7). God causes His people to fear Him, that is, to know Him. Knowing God is the irresistible call of the redeemed people of God, who hunger and thirst for righteousness (Mt 5:6), and who are satisfied in Him (Jn 6:35). God is true (Rom 3:4), and growing in the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim 2:4), is growing in Christ (2 Pet 3:18). It is granted by God (2 Tim 2:25). Paul wrote Titus with this same identification. Paul was a slave and apostle of Christ for the faith of the elect, and for their receiving the knowledge of the truth (Titus 1:1).
Jesus Christ brought grace and truth at His first advent (Jn 1:17). He was grace and truth incarnate (Jn 1:14; 14:6). By giving us the gift of His Spirit, the Spirit of grace (Zech 12:10) and the Spirit of truth (Jn 14:17; 16:13), we become preachers of grace and truth, which is the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. “We proclaim Him,” Paul wrote the church at Colossae, admonishing (gentle warning) and teaching so that every man may be presented complete in Christ (Col 1:28), holy and blameless (Eph 1:4; 5:27; Col 1:22).
Preaching has variables. One man preaches without the power, the authority, and the demonstration of the Spirit of God at work. He may preach psychology, philosophy, self-help Christianity, history, contemporary issues, but this is not preaching Christ crucified. Christ is the singular topic of the Christian minister (1 Cor 2:2).
The child of God, indwelt with the Spirit of God (Jn 14:17; Rom 8:9, 11), has grown to maturity by the Word preached in the Spirit. When an impostor comes along to preach politics, or the interfaith agenda, the spirit of discernment, in the believer, is triggered. He will not listen to that man, nor his message.
Born again believers, growing to spiritual maturity, want one type of spiritual food, the bread of life, who is Christ. The man of God, energized by the powerful Spirit of God, imparts the spiritual gift of teaching for the strengthening of his hearers’ faith. He gives them knowledge of Christ, whose Word is his delight. This Word increases the delight of those who marvel at the grace of God, bringing them the unfathomable riches of the glory of God.
Christian, flock to the man of God in the true church of God, who has immersed himself in the study and meditation of the Bible. His love for God’s Word will become your love of God’s Word, as he imparts this spiritual gift to strengthen you for God’s glory and your joy.
Spokane Valley, Washington
November 30, 2021