Romans 1:8 Faith Proclaimed All Over the World

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world.

Faith Proclaimed All Over the World

Paul had never been to Rome and the faith there was still thriving.  The Jewish Christians were exiled at one point, but after a reversal in Roman thinking they were allowed to return.  Could this be how news of Roman faith spread through the world?  It has been said that ‘all roads lead to Rome.’  This idiom describes the inevitable common destination of many different courses of action.  The idiom is rooted in the reality that Rome was centered politically and culturally on the city by the same name.  Ideas in the empire made their way to Rome and Rome disseminated ideas.

Faith in Jesus had journeyed to Rome in Paul’s time and now it was spreading from there.  Paul’s strategy reflected the reality that if you can influence cities, you influence the countryside.  If you can get the hub, all the various spokes are dealt with.  Paul is grateful that, without him, the new faith of Christianity is disseminating from Rome.

Are we thankful for the cities in the world and the believers in those cities who work in the name of Jesus.  It’s easy to see how a city like L.A. might get a reputation for purveying smut and violence.  However, there are Christians in that city.  Some film-makers want to make films which glorify God and not man.  People attend churches there that faithfully preach biblical truth and broadcast that truth across the airwaves.  Also, there are Christian schools which take in wealthy international students and share Jesus with these students when they attend classes.  In cities there are many opportunities to be a powerful beacon of light.  In the darkness of depravity (Rome too was depraved) the light shines more brightly.

Prayer

May we give thanks for and support Christians who serve faithfully in the cities of the world.  If we live in a city, show us and equip us to use the opportunities that city-life brings to be a hub of communication.  May we broadcast the good news of hope and rejoice as others are saved.

Questions

  1. What does it mean to thank someone through Jesus Christ?
  2. What is the reason Paul gives for thanking them?
  3. Who do you think was proclaiming Roman faith throughout the world and why?
  4. Are you thankful that the faith of other cities is proclaimed?  Which urban centers have well-known churches?  Does Willow Creek make your list?  What about Hillsong?
  5. Could you personally be a part of a strategy to reach the world by targeting an urban center like Rome first?  How?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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15 Responses to Romans 1:8 Faith Proclaimed All Over the World

  1. Andrew Moore says:

    I think it’s interesting to see how the gospel is received in various different contexts. In “moral” communities, where everyone knows how to behave, the gospel can seem obnoxious and offensive to non-believers who don’t believe they have a need for a savior. However, it can be in the darkest of areas where the truth of Jesus is received and recognized for what it truly is.

  2. 1. I think it means that it is because of Christ and the work that He has done and is doing that enabled Paul to say that.
    2. He is thankful because their faith is being proclaimed throughout all the world.
    3. I think it was likely the people who traveled to and from Rome using the roads.
    4. I am thankful for the faith in other cities, but I don’t think about those churches, give thanks, or pray for them as often as I should. This is definitely an area that I need to work on.
    5. I could definitely be apart of something like that, but I think everywhere you go there are consequences or overflow from ministry that reach other people you never come in contact with, or at least I would hope so.

  3. Emmy R says:

    My friends and I were just talking about the crazy needs all over the world, and discussing how little we can change. Although, it is a good reminder that although we cannot change much, with God working through us we can start something that can have a rippling effect through the world.

  4. Nate Silvieus says:

    When I was in high school I heard an illustration that I have never forgotten. When you are standing in a well lit room and open a dark closet, the room you are standing in does not become dark, rather the dark closet is penetrated with the light from the room you are standing in. A simple concept that I had never really thought about before. I immediately thought of this illustration when reading this. Big cities can have such a horrible reputation for their violence, immorality and corruption, but in each of these cities there is a Christian community that is shining against all of this darkness and they absolutely stand out, bringing the truth of the gospel to many people.

  5. Christa says:

    1. What does it mean to thank someone through Jesus Christ? It is through Paul’s relationship with Christ and His body that he even has the chance to thank the Roman believers; Paul is probably referring to the intersession that occurs when he prays to God through Christ
    2. What is the reason Paul gives for thanking them? Because of their faith which is proclaimed in all the world
    3. Who do you think was proclaiming Roman faith throughout the world and why? I think that the believers who had heard the message of Christ in Rome were taking it out into the world either by traveling out of Rome or by openly sharing it with those who were coming into Rome
    4. Are you thankful that the faith of other cities is proclaimed? Which urban centers have well-known churches? Does Willow Creek make your list? What about Hillsong? I am thankful for the churches that move into the urban settings and faithfully proclaim the good news of Christ in that environment; their faith is such a testimony in those cities. However I often forget to thank the Lord for particular churches and to pray for their ministry in those locations (outside of Chicago)
    5. Could you personally be a part of a strategy to reach the world by targeting an urban center like Rome first? How? I can first of all be a prayer partner for churches in urban settings; I can also seek to actively participate in the churches that I attend as I live out my faith in various locations (now in Chicago, Budapest next semester, and only the Lord knows in the future)

  6. Megumi says:

    1. it means thanking them for obeying Jesus, for something Jesus would also say, “Well done.”
    2. their faith is proclaimed in all the world
    3. people who visited Rome heard about Christianity there and took the news back with them to their place of origin.
    4. Yes, though I am not well acquainted with big names and I doubt whether just pointing out big names is an appropriate measure of the Holy Spirit’s work in a city.
    5. We are starting our ministries by training in the urban center of Chicago

  7. Maria T. says:

    I think Paul was thanking God through Jesus Christ, meaning that he came before God through Jesus Christ in everything, including his thanksgiving. We can only come before God through Jesus Christ. This would be a different meaning than if Paul was thanking someone else through Jesus Christ. Paul also recognizes that the faith of the Romans being proclaimed throughout the world is something to thank God for. He acknowledges that God is the one who orchestrated it, and thus God is the one who deserves thanks for it. When we have our own ministry, it is important to remember that if there is something good, God deserves the thanks and praise, through Jesus Christ.

  8. Michael McCardle says:

    I think that thanking God through Christ illustrates how Jesus is our Great High Priest who intercedes for us in prayer. It is a beautiful thing to see how Paul thanks God when people come to faith. It is easy for us to wish that our enemies never believe, but I hope that our enemies and those who persecute the Church come to know Christ.

  9. Maelynn says:

    Ultimately, it is God who is spreading his word and allowing it to reach the nations. Paul is thankful to God through the work of His Son for those who are hearing and receiving the gospel. This reminds me of the verse that states, “Ask the Lord, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.” It is the work of God to spread the Good News and we are His workers through which He accomplishes it.

  10. Jung Kim says:

    I want to thank God specifically for the missionaries around the world who serve faithfully on their mission field. God has been using them purposefully and tremendously to be the hub of communication and share the good news of hope. I praise God for my parents who are also doing this faithful work to ultimately bring glory to God the Father.

  11. Olyn says:

    I love to see how God spreads His Word all over the world in a huge variety of places, and how it is just as relevant and life giving for natives living on the Amazon, people going to work in offices in New York, farmers in the Midwestern United States, etc. I never used to think of big cities as being sources of spreading the gospel, but living in Chicago has changed my perspective of that as I have seen believers working for God’s kingdom in different parts of the city.

  12. It is reassuring to know that I am not the only person responsible for spreading the good news of the Gospel throughout the entire world. I am thankful for my brothers and sisters who are in third world countries this very minute, trying to make Jesus known. I can make an impact in my current social groups without having to worry about people I will never come into contact with.

  13. Kimberly W. says:

    I am not a city girl; I’d much rather live in a rural area. This post served as a needed reminder of the importance of ministry in cities. Even if God does not call me into doing long-term ministry in a large city, I must remember to pray for those who are serving in the cities.

  14. Christina W. says:

    I think that this post was a good reminder for me about the unique role that cities can play in the spreading of the gospel message. The ministries that can happen in large cities and the influences that come out of major cities are huge. I need to remember to pray for those who are doing ministry in the city and I need to continually be a part of that ministry while I am living in the city.

  15. This really tied in to the theme of Missions Conference: One. The goal was to remind students of the unity of the body of Christ. All over the world Christians are proclaiming the gospel and living in cities where there is a lot of turmoil, and we often forget to pray for the Christians in those cities. Being from San Francisco and now living in Chicago, I’ve grown to see the need for city ministries.

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