How willing are you to learn from those younger or less experienced in the Lord than you?
Romans 1:8-13 (NLT) [Read passage]
When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours.
Romans 1:12 (NLT)
Yesterday, we saw both Paul’s authority as an apostle and his submissiveness as a servant. This deft two-handedness can also be seen in these, his opening words to the Roman Christians.
As an apostle, he affirms them for their faith (v 8), tells them of his unceasing prayer for them (v 9) and his desire to visit them and impart some faith-strengthening gift to them (v 11). Later in the passage, he declares his apostolic calling to preach to Gentiles across the known world (v 13).
In these verses, he sounds like a prince of the church, fanning the Christian movement into flame across national borders. But see how, as a humble servant, he also acknowledges that whilst he might have something to offer the Roman Christians, he fully expects that they will be able to encourage his faith too (v 12). Such humility moved Calvin to write, ‘Note to what degree of modesty his pious heart submitted itself, so that he did not disdain to seek confirmation from inexperienced beginners.‘ In so doing, Paul demonstrates his belief that all Christians are gifted and indispensable parts of the body of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 12:12–31). He reckons that even the newly converted Roman Christians might have a thing or two to teach him.
Write two lists: those whom God is calling you to serve; those from whom you should be open to accept ministry and encouragement.