Reasons to go to Church

Romans 1:8-13

An engineer who was unemployed for a long
time decided to open a medical clinic. He puts a
sign outside the clinic: “A cure for your ailment
guaranteed at $500; we’ll pay you $1,000 if we
fail.”

A Doctor thinks this is a good opportunity to
earn $1,000 and goes to his clinic.

Doctor: “I have lost my sense of taste.”
Engineer: “Nurse, please bring the medicine
from box 22 and put 3 drops in the patient’s
mouth.”

Doctor: “This is Gasoline!”
Engineer: “Congratulations! You’ve got your
taste back. That will be $500.”

The Doctor gets annoyed and goes back a couple
of days later to recover his money.
Doctor: “I have lost my memory, I cannot
remember anything.”

Engineer: “Nurse, please bring the medicine
from box 22 and put 3 drops in the patient’s
mouth.”
Doctor: “But that is Gasoline!”
Engineer: “Congratulations! You’ve got your
memory back. That will be $500.”

The Doctor leaves angrily and comes back after
several days, more determined than ever to
make his money back.

Doctor: “My eyesight has become weak.”
Engineer: “Nurse, please bring the medicine
from box 11 and put 3 drops in the patient’s
eyes.”
The nurse walks in carrying box #22.

Doctor: “Wait, that’s the box with the gasoline
in it!”
Engineer: “Congratulations! You’ve got your
vision back! That will be $500.”

Today our text is found in the 1st chapter of Romans.

Romans 1:8-13

This is part of the introduction of his letter to the
church in Rome. Paul has never been there before,
but he truly desires to go.
He shares his prayer with them as a way to encourage
them.

Notice these 4 aspects of his prayer for the church

It was a Thankful prayer – Paul thanked God for the
church and for their faith. Remember this is not the
church in Jerusalem. It was the church in Rome:
pagan central. This city was known for many things,
religion was not one of them.

But this church was doing something right. People
were growing spiritually, the church was ministering
to its community. It was a beacon of hope and people
had taken notice. The word of their faith was
spreading throughout the world.
What a testimony for a church!!
Paul is thankful that the gospel is being preached.

It was a Sincere prayer – Paul sincerely wanted to go
to that church and interact with the believers there.
He writes that God is his witness in his prayers for
them. He earnestly prayed for them and was sincere
in his prayers.

It was a Continuous prayer – Paul writes that he prays
for them unceasingly and he always makes mention of
them in his prayers. It sounds like he had them on his
prayer list and he lifted them up daily to the Father.

It was a Submissive prayer – Paul prays that his
coming to them would at last be according to the will
of God. He didn’t want to do anything unless it was
God’s plan and God’s time. We can learn a lesson
from this type of prayer. Too often we present our
requests to God as a laundry list rather than seeking
His guidance and leading.

Paul wanted to go to the church in Rome
He prayed for the opportunity to go and in vv.11-13
he gives his 3 reasons for wanting to go to the church

To Give Something – he wants to impart some
spiritual gift to them. Paul is aware that spiritual
gifts come directly from the Lord. What he means
is that he wants to be a channel of blessing to
them. He is going to encourage them and
strengthen them. The word establish also means
to strengthen. He’s going to build them up and
help them continue to grow in their faith. Paul
wanted to give of himself. He wanted to
encourage the believers, to serve them and be a
blessing to them. Sadly today some people look
for a church so they can be served. It’s the
opposite of what Jesus came to do. He came NOT
to be served, but to serve and give His life a
ransom for many.

To Get Something – v.12 Paul writes that he is
expecting to be encouraged together with them.
He is expecting a blessing by joining them in
worship. If you come to church expecting a
blessing you might just find one. You may hear it
in a song, you may hear it in the sermon, you
may see it in a smile or something said in
passing. Don’t confuse going to church to get
something with those people who come to church
for the wrong reasons. Some people come to
church seeking power and control. They are
coming to get something, but it’s not spiritual in
nature. It’s related to their selfish desires. When I
say Paul expected to get something from coming
to church, I mean he expected mutual
encouragement. He mentions each other’s faith.
When people of faith join together expecting to
receive a blessing, they will be a blessing as well
as receive one.

To Gather Something – Paul knows his ministry
is to Gentiles, of which there were plenty in
Rome. He also knew that God was using him
where he was and that he wasn’t going to be able
to get to Rome until God allowed it. He has been
on enough missionary journeys to understand
how God works. He remembers the time he went
through Asia and God didn’t allow them to reach
hardly anyone. At Rome, Paul expects to see
some fruit from the fertile soil that has been
planted previously by someone else. He knows
there are still more people who need to turn to
Jesus as savior. He also wants to see people
rooted and strengthened in their faith. Godly
people are growing people.

This reminds me of the words of Jesus in Luke 10
when He sent out the 70 to share the gospel. He said,
The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;
therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out
laborers into His harvest.”

Do you come to church to gather something? Are you
praying for God to do something each week when you
come to church? Paul was! We should too.

A student attending college with Charles Spurgeon
was complaining about not having any public
decisions at a meeting he preached. Spurgeon
overheard and went and asked the young man if he
expected decisions every time he preached. The
young man answered well…No.
Spurgeon responded, that’s probably why you didn’t
have any.
We need to expect to see God moving and changing
lives every time we meet. He is able to do far greater
than we think of or imagine.

APPLICATION

There are two action items we should consider as a
result of hearing this sermon.

Pray for our Church
If you aren’t sure what you should be praying for. I’ve
got a couple of starters for you.
Pray for your pastor
Pray for members
Pray for community and that we would be an impact

Pray in the same way Paul did;
Thankfully
Sincerely
Continually
Submissively

Participate in Ministry
God has given you gift and He wants you to use them
The church is made up of many members but we are
all one body. We must work together to accomplish
the goal of reaching the lost and discipling young
believers into mature believers.

You may think the church is too small, we don’t have
anything for you to do. You would be wrong.
We have opportunities to work with babies, children,
youth, sound, tech, and so much more. If you want
more detail, please see me after service and I will
give you details and sign you up!!!

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