Keeping the Old Sword Sharp: Romans 1:11-12
“11) For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established; 12) that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine.” Romans‬ ‭1:11-12‬
In these two verses Paul reveals his heart toward others. He longed for the believers who lived in Rome. He wanted to meet them and build them up. The idea of “imparting some spiritual gift to them” had in it the root idea of “enhancing their grace walk with Jesus.” He wanted to impart value to their spiritual lives and service.
I do not believe the Roman believers were deficient in any of the manifestations of the Spirit spoken of in 1 Corinthians 12-14. Rather, I believe Paul was talking about mentoring them in daily Christian living, fruitful ministry and godly wisdom.
Let’s face it, the Christian life is very opposite of secular values. In fact, it is a radical culture shock for a worldly non-Christian to enter into the “ways of God” that accompanies salvation. When someone is born-again a change takes place on the inside that is hard to comprehend or understand. Inner values begin to change. Paul longed to be present and guide the new Roman believers through this transformation process.
Verse 12 reveals the underlining mystery of true ministry. You cannot pour into others without being blessed yourself. When you encourage others, they encourage you. This is part of the bond of genuine Agape love.
This mystery has shaped my view of discipleship. It is never a one way street. Paul understood that even the newest believer could speak into his life as well. When you pour into others it becomes reciprocal. Iron sharpens iron! You stay sharp by helping others become sharp. Paul knew he could learn from the Romans as well. He was forever a student. He longed to keep his old sword sharp.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global