How do we serve with our spirit in the gospel? “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” (Romans 1:9 NKJV). Here is the Modern Language Bible translation. “For God, whom I serve with my spiritual self in the good news concerning His Son, bears me witness how constantly I mention you whenever I am at my prayers.” We are spirit, soul, and body. The soul stands between the body and the spirit. Our body connects to the world around us as we receive external sense information from the body to make decisions. Our spirit connects to the Spirit of God and receives information to help us make decisions. When we serve the body, we are in the flesh.
When we serve the Spirit, we are in the spirit. We serve the Spirit when directed to act according to the directions of God. Paul said he was serving the spirit in the gospel—in the spread of the Gospel. To serve is to minister, even worship the Father by listening to the Spirit and acting accordingly. We walk in the spirit because we directed by the indwelling Spirit.
Do Believers still pray today? “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” (Romans 1:9 NKJV). Life today is hectic and busy. When I retired, I expected to have plenty of time to do what I wanted to do. I remember when I was about to retire from IBM, I attended a retirement seminar. One thing I heard from the speakers was that unless you do some time management, your days will slip by and you’ll get nothing done. Your time will fill with unexpected things.
Time is a precious commodity. With writing for our websites, I don’t seem to get to other writing I want to do. Prayer can take a back seat. I don’t know if Paul had regular times of prayer, but when he prayed, he thought of those he ministered to and those he hoped he would minister. In Philippians 1:3, Paul said, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you.” In addition, in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 he said, “Pray without ceasing.” Listen for the Holy Spirit to bring remembrance of someone and then pray for him or her.
Do they speak of your faith throughout the whole world? “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world” (Romans 1:8). The Roman world wasn’t quite as big then, but that is quite a statement. Today it’s possible with the internet. Ninety-three countries have visited our website. We can get the Gospel into every country of the world. Christian TV stations beam the Gospel into every country. It’s amazing what they can do. When they say www, they really mean the World Wide Web. All countries have received the Gospel. It’s through Jesus we can celebrate these accomplishments. I don’t know but Jesus may have told Paul that someday the Gospel will spread around the world as it is today.
What are people speaking about you? Are they speaking about your faith? We live in an age of protest. If you don’t like something, then protest is the way of the world. The world is divided in so many ways. Instead, we believers should be known by our faith and love. Instead of talking about how bad things are, talk about how good Jesus is. Instead of passing on division, let’s respond in unity.
Are you thanking God for those around you? “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world” (Romans 1:8). This was first in Paul’s mind and heart. We have to remember when we are seeing scripture that it is not just Paul saying this but also the Holy Spirit who prompted the words. Instead, one the first things on our mind is to pray for me, but it should be praying for others. Charlene and I are certainly thankful for each person who reads this message on our websites or on media such as Facebook, Twitter, and many others. We don’t know who all reads the messages and receives the word of grace.
We thank you all, and must quickly add that it is all through Jesus that this is even possible. I think we have forgotten that we aren’t the only ones who need divine help through the daily trials, which appear each day. We really need thank God for each other and pray blessings on each person we meet through the day. It helps take self out of the equation and not so much ‘woe is me’ syndrome. If you know I’m thanking God for you, then I can know you are thanking God for me.
Do you have beautiful feet? Feet hold the weight of your body and carries you to your daily destination. Paul said quoted Isaiah 52:7 when He saw the beauty of those who spread the good news. “And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:15). The world is in turmoil and chaos. Peace seems a far way off. However, the Gospel of Grace is the good news of peace. Peace begins in your heart. Blessed are the peacemakers. Peacemakers have peace to share—the gospel of peace.
As believers, we have peace. Jesus gave us His peace. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27 NKJV). Are we sharing peace or are we part of the turmoil? Are we spreading the gospel of peace or the bad news of protest and division? Let the good news of peace flow through you to everyone you meet. Show off your beautiful feet.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (Romans 1:16 NKJV), and the American, the African, the Latino, the European, everyone. The gospel of Christ is the gospel of what He did on the Cross for you. It’s the good news He released from His death. It’s power. It’s “dynamis” power—explosive miracle-working power. This power can take a sinner and make him a saint. This power can make an unbeliever a believer. It is what the Apostle Paul could unashamedly proclaim as the Gospel of the living Jesus Christ.
It is the power of salvation—soteria in Greek—the power to save, to heal, to deliver, to protect, to provide, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Moreover, it is for everyone that believes. Believes what? Believes in the finished work of Jesus through His death and resurrection. Profess that Jesus is Lord. Accept God’s amazing grace offered freely to anyone and everyone. The shamed can now become unashamed through the power of the Gospel of Grace.
Jesus came preaching the Gospel. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, Luke 4:18 (KJV) This is a prophecy of Isaiah 61:1. His words were good news of great joy. It was good news to the poor, good news to the brokenhearted, good news to those held captive, good news to the blind, and good news to the oppressed. Jesus was full of good news to hurting people.
Jesus came bearing the Gospel of grace, even though it wouldn’t be official until His death. All these had both a physical and spiritual meaning. These people finally saw a way out of their tragic circumstances. The religious offered no hope. The law offered no hope. There was no good news to the weary traveler. However, Jesus came with hope, love, and compassion for the brokenhearted. He healed, delivered, freed, and gave the gospel of the new kingdom of God. Grace and truth came by Jesus. Jesus is the good news.
I grew up in a church where the preacher often asked the question, “Does somebody have a testimony?” In fact, some evening services were mostly devoted to testimonies. To testify is to be a witness of something. It is what you saw or heard or what happened in the situation. The Apostle Paul had one thing to do and that was to testify to the Gospel of the grace of God. “But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24 NKJV).
He was preacher and witness to the amazing grace of God. To testify is to proclaim the good news as you see it—as it has affected you. “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). It’s a call to testify to the amazing grace of God. We are each witness to its power to overcome the obstacles in our lives. It a witness of the work of Jesus in our everyday lives.