"Distributing to the needs of the saints..."
Text: Romans 12:13
A GREAT OLD TESTAMENT TEACHING
Paul was steeped in the Old Testament Scriptures. While he did not teach that the Law could offer salvation, neither did he dismiss the deep values that were to be found there. One of the things that God sought to teach ancient Israel was to care for the poor (Cf. Deuteronomy 15:7-11).
A GREAT CONCERN FOR THE POOR
Paul developed a heart of great compassion for the poor. He wanted his readers to be sure that they cultivated a heart of practical concern for the poor.
“Distributing to the needs of the saints,
given to hospitality.”
1. Distributing to the needs of the saints
a) This was practised well by the Jerusalem Church (Cf. Acts 4:34-37).
b) This was something that was commended by the apostles there (Cf. Galatians 2:10).
c) Paul was personally involved in relief work- when famine struck Judea (Cf. Acts 11:27-30).
d) What were the compelling reasons for this concern?
i) There were needs to be met.
ii) The people in need were fellow “saints”.
iii) There should be natural concern because we are “the body of Christ”.
iv) A genuine faith in Christ should express itself in ministering to the needs of the saints.
2. Given to hospitality
a) This was highlighted on purpose.
b) Those who are able to show hospitality do a great work in caring for people in need.
c) In particular, those who had to travel far and wide to preach the Gospel would benefit (Cf. Philemon 4-7)
The believer expresses his faith best in practical good works (Cf. James 2:14-26).