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BCF
Nov 22nd 2008, 06:58 PM
I am starting this thread b/c this issue has come into conversation during our Sunday School class at Church. There is some disagreement as to what Paul is saying, and the purpose as to why he is saying what he is, in the following verses in Romans.

Romans 15:25-29, "But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. 26. For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. 27. It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things. 28. When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain. 29. And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the Gospel of Christ."

The disagreement is this.....I and some others are saying, that Paul is saying that he is going into Jerusalem to help those saints who are poor in Spirit, not poor in money. Most of the class is saying that Paul is going to help the poor in Spirit with money, simply b/c he is going to make a contribution to the poor in Spirit with carnal things. Just like the Gentiles who are partakers of Spiritual things should have. I and like I said some, just do not see it that way. I believe that we could make a contribution to the poor without giving money....and by duing so would be sowing a fruit of Love that God could work with. Just like Paul talks about in verse 28.

Anyway's, I just thought I would throw this out their to all my friends here at BibleForums, and see what we could come up with on a chat.

Thanks,

Dave

Mysteryman
Nov 22nd 2008, 08:33 PM
I am starting this thread b/c this issue has come into conversation during our Sunday School class at Church. There is some disagreement as to what Paul is saying, and the purpose as to why he is saying what he is, in the following verses in Romans.

Romans 15:25-29, "But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. 26. For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. 27. It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things. 28. When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain. 29. And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the Gospel of Christ."

The disagreement is this.....I and some others are saying, that Paul is saying that he is going into Jerusalem to help those saints who are poor in Spirit, not poor in money. Most of the class is saying that Paul is going to help the poor in Spirit with money, simply b/c he is going to make a contribution to the poor in Spirit with carnal things. Just like the Gentiles who are partakers of Spiritual things should have. I and like I said some, just do not see it that way. I believe that we could make a contribution to the poor without giving money....and by duing so would be sowing a fruit of Love that God could work with. Just like Paul talks about in verse 28.

Anyway's, I just thought I would throw this out their to all my friends here at BibleForums, and see what we could come up with on a chat.

Thanks,

Dave
The answer is in verse 27 - he is going for "both" reasons. To give literally to those who have need as well as to those who need spiritual enlightenment. So it is both.

threebigrocks
Nov 22nd 2008, 09:46 PM
Precisely. The converted Gentiles saw those converted Jews in Jerusalem as brothers and sisters. They acknowledged one body of believers, and cared and loved them enough because of being one to send on physical provisions and money or whatever it was that Paul was going to bring with him to Jerusalem. It's like us sending clothes or giving a donation to support missions or something like that.

It is both. What is spiritual will manifest in the physical, and in this case it's giving with a joyful heart. :)

th1bill
Nov 22nd 2008, 10:48 PM
I totally agree. When we send out men into the field it the Central and South American regions we make certain they will deliver the Gospel Message but it has been found that it is most effective and best received when some sort of Medical, Dental or some other absent form of help is there to attract them. Poor folks, everywhere need! When we come to fill their needs we make friends right away and they become interested in why we would do such a thing. This is true everywhere. I have an American friend that was born in Vietnam and grew up there because his father ahd mother followed the footsteps of his grandparents and ministered to the people of that far away land. They were effective because they chose to live in that forgotten land with the people there and because they received Mission Gifts from the US they were able to render aide to those folks that noone could afford there. Paul was setting an example that is followed to this very day.

FaithfulSheep
Nov 23rd 2008, 12:18 AM
According to Strong's, it is referencing being poor in money, but I really see how it could be both. And oftentimes, those who are poor in money are poor in spirit as well. ;)

Lamplighter
Nov 23rd 2008, 12:46 AM
Good answers so far.

But if the poor people would have given 10% of their money to the Church, then they would have not been poor. They would have had a nice car, house, and designer clothes just like Jesus had.:D

BCF
Nov 23rd 2008, 12:57 AM
I don't know......I just think that Paul is tring to get something a lot deeper across here then what we see. Maybe I just look at scripture more deeply then I should.

Biastai
Nov 23rd 2008, 03:48 AM
"James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the Jews. All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do."
Galatians 2:9,10

"Now about the collection for God's people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem. If it seems advisable for me to go also, they will accompany me."
1 Corinthians 16:1-4

Here are other scriptures referring to this collection for Jerusalem. I am of the opinion the original poster's cited passage was referring to strictly money. It must've been a rather large sum since Paul was accompanied by delegates from many churches on his way to Jerusalem to avoid suspicions and accusations of extorting money for personal use as seen here...

"He was accompanied by Sopater son of Pyrrhus from Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy also, and Tychicus and Trophimus from the province of Asia. These men went on ahead and waited for us at Troas. "
Acts 20:4,5

These observations were made by Clarence T. Craig in his The Beginning of Christianity. He added that Paul took this collection very seriously in an effort to heal the breach between the Nazarene Christians and Gentile Christians resulting from the altercation at Antioch in Galatians 2. Paul was striving for unity of the faith once again as he is shown to do throughout his letters.

BCF
Nov 23rd 2008, 04:12 AM
I just don't believe that Paul was going into Jerusalem to sow unto them the fruit of money, and then call it a service of God. That just don't make any sense to me what so ever.

kenrank
Nov 23rd 2008, 04:25 AM
IMHO, it's both as seen in verse 27b:

"For if the gentiles have shared in their spiritual matters, their duty is also to serve them in material matters."

I don't think Paul is necessarily going there to give anyone money, as much as while he is there to edify them spiritually, he will help, as others have, meet their material needs. This might be money, it might be food, it might be clothing, it could be something as simple as a warm blanket. A need is a need, we all have them. And we should always seek to not only feed our brethren in need with an edifying word, it may come down to sharing a plate with them.

Peace.
Ken

Alaska
Nov 23rd 2008, 08:37 AM
I just don't believe that Paul was going into Jerusalem to sow unto them the fruit of money, and then call it a service of God. That just don't make any sense to me what so ever.

Maybe you haven't been poor enough or hungry enough or have seen others poor or hungry enough to appreciate how much of a service from God it is to minister to those in genuine need.
The Gentiles had been made partakers of the spiritual things arising from the Jewish nation since Jesus was a Jew and Christianity began to be spread from Israel, hence the Gentiles were made partaker of their spiritual things. Paul is presenting this as an incentive for the Gentiles who believe as a way to look at this need as greater than simply Christian giving to Christian in need. To think about it would make the Gentiles debtors to the Jewish Christians in the sense that Christianity came forth from the Jewish nation for which they should be thankful and for which they should willingly give what they could spare.
Paul speaks much more about this in 1st and 2nd Corinthians.
The poor saints at Jerusalem has nothing to do with "poor in spirit", which is a good thing to be. This is a direct reference to the distress the believers in Jerusalem were facing due to shortage of necessities perhaps due primarily to the famine made reference to in Acts.
The reference to what Strong wrote as a comment on this is correct.
Reference is made in Acts to the famine and the effort Paul and others made to send relief to the suffering Christians in Israel.

mordecai85
Nov 23rd 2008, 10:52 AM
Looking at verse 27, Paul isn't directly stating that he is going to Jerusalem to assist the saints there in spiritual things, but to deliver a contribution to the poor among the saints.

v.27b- "For if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material blessings". The first section of this sentence is referring to the Gentiles joining the Jews in becoming children of God, and thus, have an obligation to the Jews (and vice-versa) to do what they can to edify the Church. Verses 26 and 27 state that the Gentiles in Macedonia and Achaia have brought together a contribution to give to the poor saints in Jerusalem, and they were pleased to do so! This passage doesn't mention anything specific about Paul encouraging the saints in Jerusalem. Paul's work in the Gentile nations have come to an end (v.23), he was on his way back to Jerusalem to give the saints this contribution and then planned to travel to Spain via Rome. He may have contributed to the saints with respect to spiritual things personally, but we're not told of this in this passage.

kenrank
Nov 24th 2008, 03:16 AM
Looking at verse 27, Paul isn't directly stating that he is going to Jerusalem to assist the saints there in spiritual things, but to deliver a contribution to the poor among the saints.

v.27b- "For if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material blessings". The first section of this sentence is referring to the Gentiles joining the Jews in becoming children of God, and thus, have an obligation to the Jews (and vice-versa) to do what they can to edify the Church. Verses 26 and 27 state that the Gentiles in Macedonia and Achaia have brought together a contribution to give to the poor saints in Jerusalem, and they were pleased to do so! This passage doesn't mention anything specific about Paul encouraging the saints in Jerusalem. Paul's work in the Gentile nations have come to an end (v.23), he was on his way back to Jerusalem to give the saints this contribution and then planned to travel to Spain via Rome. He may have contributed to the saints with respect to spiritual things personally, but we're not told of this in this passage.

I think verse 27 is saying the Gentiles do BOTH. "For if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, THEY ought also to be of service to them in material blessings"

Paul himself surely would have done both as well. When you consider the rest of his writings in conext as compared to these, it isn't likely he stopped to drop 10 bucks in the money bucket and then went on his way.

But, that's just my take. I am nothing if not an armchair bible scholar! ;)

Peace.
Ken

mordecai85
Nov 24th 2008, 04:46 AM
I think verse 27 is saying the Gentiles do BOTH. "For if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, THEY ought also to be of service to them in material blessings"

Paul himself surely would have done both as well. When you consider the rest of his writings in conext as compared to these, it isn't likely he stopped to drop 10 bucks in the money bucket and then went on his way.

But, that's just my take. I am nothing if not an armchair bible scholar! ;)

Peace.
Ken



Even though it might seem unlikely for Paul to just quickly stop off at Jerusalem and drop off some money for the saints there, that's what verse 28 is saying.. "When therefore I have completed this and have delivered to them what has been collected, I will leave for Spain by way of you." The purpose of this passage is to describe his intentions to see the believers in Rome because it has been a long period of time since he had seen them.

Basically, what is happening here is that Pauls work in the areas he's been in has finished and he plans to begin his outreach work in Spain, the 'end of the earth' back in Paul's day. Acts 24:17 backs up Paul's main purpose in Jerusalem when he brings his defence before Felix- "Now after several years I came to bring alms to my nation and to present offerings". Of course, we know Paul most likely never made it to Spain, but was sent to Rome under house arrest.

I reiterate again that verse 27 is talking about the Gentiles salvation and joining the Jews in spiritual blessings through knowing the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Now that both Jews and Gentiles have come into the blessings from God (salvation), they are obligated to assist the Jews in material blessings. This verse isn't talking about the Gentiles providing spiritual blessings to the Jews. Only Christ can bring salvation. Its saying that the Gentiles are 'sharing' in spiritual blessings, of which is referring to salvation, promised to them by God to Abraham, back in Genesis 22:18. This passage I don't think, is referring to personal encouragement or teaching.

Hope that helps..? ;)

kenrank
Nov 24th 2008, 05:06 AM
Brother Mordecai, I like your writing style. It is clear and your points are well made.

I have a question though, why do you associate a "spiritual blessing" as related to salvation? Obviously salvation is a spiritual blessing, but so can many other things.

This conversation could become a spiritual blessing to each of us. For me, I could learn from your words, be edified, and that is indeed a spiritual blessing. A word of knowledge given by God about a portion of scripture I have had problems with for a time, is a spiritual blessing. A song in praise of YHWH is a spiritual blessing. A man like Paul traveling through to give an edifying word to people already called "saints," is a spiritual blessing.

I could make the arguement, though I won't because there isn't much of a point, that salvation doesn't really happen now...but rather at the return of Messiah. He who endures until the end will be saved, after all.

So while I agree with you, now that I have re-read it again, that Paul's work was done there...I am not convinced that the spiritual blessing is only salvation.

Peace.
Ken

mordecai85
Nov 24th 2008, 10:45 AM
Brother Ken,

I've looked at the passages again in light of what you've said and would agree with you that spiritual blessings in this context would involve both salvation and the types of blessings we can receive daily. What I'm trying to point out is that the Jews were the first to receive spiritual blessings due to God's love to them (as descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob). When Paul wrote this letter to the Romans (est approx 54AD), Gentiles had only come into spiritual blessings for only, approximately, the previous 26 years. Their acceptance from God, as children of God, was relatively recent. But in light of what you've said, they would obtain salvation and thus, receive their spiritual blessings, just like you or me.

But with respect to the topic, Paul's intended purpose for coming to Jerusalem was to deliver the gift to the Jewish believers on behalf of the Gentile believers.

Hope that clears things up a bit...
:spin:

daughter
Nov 24th 2008, 11:25 AM
I just don't believe that Paul was going into Jerusalem to sow unto them the fruit of money, and then call it a service of God. That just don't make any sense to me what so ever.
What then do you make of Biastai's scriptural proofs? They seem conclusive.


"James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the Jews. All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do."
Galatians 2:9,10

"Now about the collection for God's people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem. If it seems advisable for me to go also, they will accompany me."
1 Corinthians 16:1-4

Here are other scriptures referring to this collection for Jerusalem. I am of the opinion the original poster's cited passage was referring to strictly money. It must've been a rather large sum since Paul was accompanied by delegates from many churches on his way to Jerusalem to avoid suspicions and accusations of extorting money for personal use as seen here...

"He was accompanied by Sopater son of Pyrrhus from Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy also, and Tychicus and Trophimus from the province of Asia. These men went on ahead and waited for us at Troas. "
Acts 20:4,5

These observations were made by Clarence T. Craig in his The Beginning of Christianity. He added that Paul took this collection very seriously in an effort to heal the breach between the Nazarene Christians and Gentile Christians resulting from the altercation at Antioch in Galatians 2. Paul was striving for unity of the faith once again as he is shown to do throughout his letters.

Remember, Jesus never looks down on physical gifts. He doesn't look down on the widow's mite, and He reminds us that "whoever gives a cup of water for my sake will not lose his reward."

I've met desperately poor people, and I don't think that ministering to their physical needs is somehow less "spiritual" than ministering to their souls. You can do both.

BCF
Nov 24th 2008, 05:15 PM
What then do you make of Biastai's scriptural proofs? They seem conclusive.


Hi Daughter,

I agree that Biastai's comments are very good Scriptural proof as well as other's comments were also, if I believed Paul would have been making the contribution. But Paul wasn't. Not according to these passages. According to these passages Paul is going to sow a fruit. The fruit that Paul is sowing is not money......IMO.

When we look at these verses Paul starts out by saying that he is going to Jerusalem to minister unto the saints, not the poor saints. "But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints." Now from what I gather from scripture a saint is a believer in Christ or a Christian, and a poor saint is a non believer or non Christian. According to verse 25 Paul is going into Jerusalem to minister unto Christians.

Paul did not make a contribution to anyone according to verse 26. In verse 26 it was Macedonia and Achaia who made a contribution, and their contribution was not to the saints or Christians. Their contribution was to the poor saints or non Christians. "For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem."

Now according to what Paul writes, these people of Macedonia and Achaia were not Jews....they were Gentiles. From what I can gather from scripture a Gentile is a non Jew. And it was those Gentiles of Macedonia and Achaia who made the contribution to the poor saints (non Christians) in Jerusalem.... not Paul.
According to what Paul writes, these Gentiles who were partakers or who have received their Spiritual gifts, were not using their Spiritual gift with good fruit. In other words they were going through all the motions by giving the contributions.....whatever they were. But they were not giving it for the Glory of God. They were giving it for the Glory of themselves. "It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things."

Now, because this was being done.....Paul had to go by Jerusalem a show those Gentiles who were saints (Christians) how to sow good fruit with their giving and contributions that they do. "When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain" Now, what was the fruit that Paul was going to sow? The only fruit that I could think of for Paul to sow out of the fruit of the Spirit....would be Love. I believe Paul was going to Jerusalem to show these Gentiles how to give a contribution to someone in need with the Love of God behind it.....and not the Love of themselves. I do not believe that Paul was going there for any other reason....simply b/c that is the way Paul wrote it out in the Scripture. And he says so in the very next verse...."And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the Gospel of Christ." Why was Paul so sure that after he sowed this fruit that he would be going to Spain in the full blessing of the Gospel of Christ? Because Paul believed that God would bless him through what he was doing for God.....that's why IMO.

So like I said.....yes....many have made good points through scripture and I do not deny that Paul may have made trips other times to Jerusalem and maybe other places to give money or whatever was needed. But in this case I do not believe that was his reason for going. I believe that it went a lot deeper then what we want to believe. It's just like some wrote on here as answers about giving to Missionary Groups or even to our Church.
When we give to our Church or to these Groups money or whatever.....we should be only giving out of Love for God and nothing else. If we are giving for any other reason other then the Love of Our Lord.....our giving is nothing but a noisy cymbal.

Anyways.....that's my opinion....and it may be wrong.....
but it follows along with everything else that Paul was teaching in the book of Romans and his Ministry.

EarlyCall
Nov 24th 2008, 05:59 PM
Romans 15:25-29, "But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. 26. For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. 27. It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things. 28. When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain. 29. And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the Gospel of Christ."

To make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem.

First, Paul isn't making the contribution and is only the messenger. The contribution comes from those in Macedonia and Achaia. To who? The poor saints in Jerusalem.

Poor here seems to mean poor. And what does God say we are to do in James when we meet soemone in physical need?

Why try and make this something it is not? It says poor and it says contribution, and short of it being spelled out, then use commonsense, logic and reason. And apply all the word of God - including James.

What did Jesus have Judas carry around with him if not a purse of money meant for the poor? Obviosuly giving money to those in need does not violate God's will but in fact follows through on it.

BCF
Nov 24th 2008, 06:20 PM
Hi EarlyCall,

What makes you think that in this case
Poor here seems to mean poor.

There is such a thing as a Christian being poor in Spirit.
Jesus said in Matthew "Blessed are the poor in Spirit: for their's is the kingdom of heaven."

As far as a contribution goes....just giving of ones time is considered a contribution.

So I really don't follow where you could be going with your answer.

Biastai
Nov 24th 2008, 06:57 PM
When we look at these verses Paul starts out by saying that he is going to Jerusalem to minister unto the saints, not the poor saints. "But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints." Now from what I gather from scripture a saint is a believer in Christ or a Christian, and a poor saint is a non believer or non Christian. According to verse 25 Paul is going into Jerusalem to minister unto Christians.

Paul did not make a contribution to anyone according to verse 26. In verse 26 it was Macedonia and Achaia who made a contribution, and their contribution was not to the saints or Christians. Their contribution was to the poor saints or non Christians. "For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem."


"Saints" is a reference to the apostolic mission or the Jewish Christians who remained in their homeland. It is sometimes translated "God's people" in English versions, and a "poor saint" is nowhere a reference to a non-believer. Why those believers in Jerusalem became materially poor can only be speculated. Their selling of possessions and pool-sharing of the proceeds done as a temporary measure to provide for themselves (mistakenly due to the expected imminent Parousia) may have had something to do with it (again, C. T. Craig, The Beginning of Christianity).

More information has come to my mind thanks to the Thanksgiving sermon I heard yesterday...

"There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the saints. For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action. But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove hollow, but that you may be ready, as I said you would be. For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to say anything about you—would be ashamed of having been so confident. So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given."
2 Corinthians 9:1-5

"This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!"
2 Corinthians 9:12-14

Here, Paul is trying to spur the Corinthian church to the generosity which they apparently planned beforehand by telling of the Macedonians' contribution. The Corinthians were significantly richer than the Macedonians because of their commercially advantageous position on the Isthmus of Corinth. The Macedonians gave surprisingly generously out of their poverty (foreshadowing perhaps the writing of the widow's mite). Beware of trying to read certain meanings into scriptures. This really does seem to be referring to money. But does that make it any less noble? One's thankfulness is not complete unless giving is involved. It is why Thanksgiving involves feasting as well as feeding the hungry.

BCF
Nov 24th 2008, 09:52 PM
"Saints" is a reference to the apostolic mission or the Jewish Christians who remained in their homeland. It is sometimes translated "God's people" in English versions, and a "poor saint" is nowhere a reference to a non-believer. Why those believers in Jerusalem became materially poor can only be speculated. Their selling of possessions and pool-sharing of the proceeds done as a temporary measure to provide for themselves (mistakenly due to the expected imminent Parousia) may have had something to do with it (again, C. T. Craig, The Beginning of Christianity).

More information has come to my mind thanks to the Thanksgiving sermon I heard yesterday...

"There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the saints. For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action. But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove hollow, but that you may be ready, as I said you would be. For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to say anything about you—would be ashamed of having been so confident. So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given."
2 Corinthians 9:1-5

"This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!"
2 Corinthians 9:12-14

Here, Paul is trying to spur the Corinthian church to the generosity which they apparently planned beforehand by telling of the Macedonians' contribution. The Corinthians were significantly richer than the Macedonians because of their commercially advantageous position on the Isthmus of Corinth. The Macedonians gave surprisingly generously out of their poverty (foreshadowing perhaps the writing of the widow's mite). Beware of trying to read certain meanings into scriptures. This really does seem to be referring to money. But does that make it any less noble? One's thankfulness is not complete unless giving is involved. It is why Thanksgiving involves feasting as well as feeding the hungry.

Hi Biastai,

What you are saying may very well be Paul's reasons for what he had to say to the Corinthian Church. Paul may have also been boasting about the Macedonians to the Corinthian Church. I do not deny anything that Paul was during for the Corinthian Church. And I'm not trying to read into anything that is not there.

These verses that you are quoting out of Corinthians is about the purpose of giving, and the readiness in giving. What I am talking about in Romans has nothing to due with Paul giving anything but his time as I have outlined before. All Paul is referring about in the verses that I am talking about pertains to Paul's plans for traveling to Jerusalem first....before he made his journey to Spain. It has nothing to do with Paul giving anything, other then his time to perform a service to God in regards of a gift which he would be sowing.

As far as the word saint goes as you define it (Gods People) We are all God's People through the shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. It don't matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile. Such was the case in Paul's teachings. Well my friend under your definition of a Saint (God's People)that would mean someone who is a Christian. Well , it would seem to reason that a poor Saint not only could mean poor in money.....but it could also mean poor in Spirit. If someone is poor in Spirit....it is a good chance that they could be a non Christian. Someone who is a Christian would not have a poor Spirit...simply b/c they have the word of God to lift them up. If they don't have the word of God to lift them up....they have the Spirit of God through prayer to do so. A non Christian on the other hand....has the same resorces...just chooses not to use them.....simply b/c they don't believe. And if they don't believe...they are not a Christian.

If we think of the term poor saint meaning a Christian who is lacking money.....what do you call those Christians who do not lack any money and are saints (God's People) through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, b/c they believe in God.....but don't do anything to help anybody b/c they have the Spirit of greed? Maybe you don't believe that their are no Christians in this world like that....but their are. I don't know what you would call those kind of Saints......but I would call those kind of Saints Poor Saints. Not b/c they lack money....but b/c they lack LOVE. And from what I can see and read in Romans 15-25-29, that's what Paul was going to do. Sow a seed of Love unto the poor in Spirit saints who did not know how to give from their heart.....only from their minds.

Biastai
Nov 25th 2008, 12:13 AM
Hi Biastai,

What you are saying may very well be Paul's reasons for what he had to say to the Corinthian Church. Paul may have also been boasting about the Macedonians to the Corinthian Church. I do not deny anything that Paul was during for the Corinthian Church. And I'm not trying to read into anything that is not there.

These verses that you are quoting out of Corinthians is about the purpose of giving, and the readiness in giving. What I am talking about in Romans has nothing to due with Paul giving anything but his time as I have outlined before. All Paul is referring about in the verses that I am talking about pertains to Paul's plans for traveling to Jerusalem first....before he made his journey to Spain. It has nothing to do with Paul giving anything, other then his time to perform a service to God in regards of a gift which he would be sowing.

As far as the word saint goes as you define it (Gods People) We are all God's People through the shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. It don't matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile. Such was the case in Paul's teachings. Well my friend under your definition of a Saint (God's People)that would mean someone who is a Christian. Well , it would seem to reason that a poor Saint not only could mean poor in money.....but it could also mean poor in Spirit. If someone is poor in Spirit....it is a good chance that they could be a non Christian. Someone who is a Christian would not have a poor Spirit...simply b/c they have the word of God to lift them up. If they don't have the word of God to lift them up....they have the Spirit of God through prayer to do so. A non Christian on the other hand....has the same resorces...just chooses not to use them.....simply b/c they don't believe. And if they don't believe...they are not a Christian.

If we think of the term poor saint meaning a Christian who is lacking money.....what do you call those Christians who do not lack any money and are saints (God's People) through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, b/c they believe in God.....but don't do anything to help anybody b/c they have the Spirit of greed? Maybe you don't believe that their are no Christians in this world like that....but their are. I don't know what you would call those kind of Saints......but I would call those kind of Saints Poor Saints. Not b/c they lack money....but b/c they lack LOVE. And from what I can see and read in Romans 15-25-29, that's what Paul was going to do. Sow a seed of Love unto the poor in Spirit saints who did not know how to give from their heart.....only from their minds.

I'll put up one more passage that also pertains to this gift.

"And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will. So we urged Titus, since he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.

I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
And here is my advice about what is best for you in this matter: Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have. Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality, as it is written: 'He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little.'"
2 Corinthians 8:1-15

In your original cited passage in Romans 15, Paul also praises the Macedonians' giving as in this passage. You don't think it was in reference to this same gift of which Paul is speaking as well as 1 Cor 16:1-4, Galatians 2:10? The saints are the receivers of the gift.

If I'm reading you clearly, you're saying Paul was coming to evangelize in Jerusalem as opposed to dropping off a monetary contribution. It is unlikely since the delegations were clearly drawn: Peter to the Jews, Paul to the Gentiles (Galatians 2:9). Paul's ministry plans were directed west. Jerusalem takes him way off course from his proposed itinerary for missions. Would he also infer to Peter that he wasn't doing his job properly by doing ministry in Peter's alotted area? He was definitely doing something other than that and was hoping to get there before Pentecost like a true Jew at heart.

As for your definition of "saints", it is a very interesting one. You seem to say "poor saints" would include non-Christians and Christians who lacked enough love to give generously. It would be hard to convince anyone that these would inherit the kingdom of God according to the passage from Matthew you cited earlier. The definition of saints as "God's people" is not mine. It is drawn from the English translations of the Bible.

While I agree with you that being of God's people is universal, it unfortunately wasn't considered that way in Paul's time. There was an unavoidable split between Nazarene and Gentile Christians. Some causes of this can be found in Acts 6 and Galatians 2. Paul was almost alone on this Gentile inclusion controversy, and only a handful of Jews assisted him on these missions. All the scriptural proofs of Abraham being chosen by God because of faith and not circumcision were products of this controversy. It's very easy to take for granted because we Gentiles are now in the fold without opposition. This is the reason why Paul addressed them differently i.e. "apostles," "saints," "God's people."

This gift was one of Paul's biggest concerns. One thing we know about Paul well from his writings is that he could not stand division among believers. He stood up for the Gentile inclusion in opposition to the apostles in Galatians 2, but in his heart, he was greatly perplexed at this split in the church. This is why he vehemently attacked division over petty food laws in Romans 14. It was these food laws which constantly threatened unity between Jew and Gentile (a major act of primitive Christian worship was the Lord's supper). This collection, if done wholeheartedly and energetically, presented before the church in Jerusalem would go a long way in starting the healing process, he hoped.

When we read in Acts about Paul's arrival in Jerusalem, Luke is silent on whether the apostles accepted this gift or not. This is why all our information on this "collection for God's people" is only found in the letters. The procurator hoping for a bribe from Paul during his imprisonment may support that he laid eyes on this pile of money (otherwise, why expect a bribe from one who makes tents to support himself only?). Its still a mystery how Paul financed his appeal to Rome which according to historians was an expensive undertaking (did he use some of it hoping a victory at the Roman tribunal will advance the faith greatly?). Piecing information together like this will inevitably lead to errors which shows in our disagreement in this thread. So while it is clear we differ on many points, its hardly to be unexpected. :hmm:

Ekeak
Nov 26th 2008, 05:05 PM
"Debts" can have many references as well as "poor". I will admit I first thought that "poor" was referring to money. Now that you have brought it to my attention, however, I guess it could mean other things. Perhaps "debts" could be referring to sins. Isn't that in the Lord's Prayer?




Luke 11:1-4 (New King James Version)



Luke 11

The Model Prayer

1 Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”

2 So He said to them, “When you pray, say:



Our Father in heaven,[a]

Hallowed be Your name.

Your kingdom come.[b]

Your will be done

On earth as it is in heaven.

3 Give us day by day our daily bread.

4 And forgive us our sins,

For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.

And do not lead us into temptation,

But deliver us from the evil one.” [c]



New King James Version (http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/?action=getVersionInfo&vid=50) (NKJV)

Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. (http://nelsonbibles.com/)

(http://www.biblegateway.com/bg_versions/bgclick.php?what=94)
Also, wasn't Romans written after Stephen was persecuted, and all that? It could have been referring to the Saints in Jerusalem being poor, because only the apostles were left and the rest were scattered? Interesting stuff. Sincerely, Ekeak.

BCF
Nov 26th 2008, 07:25 PM
My friends....

After reviewing and much further study on this topic about Romans 15:25-29, I can come to believe that the reason Paul was making his journey into Jerusalem was indeed to deliver a gift of money as stated by many on this thread. I send my apologies to all who I had disagreements with, and to anyone who I may have mislead into believing something else who may have been reading this thread. I came to my conclusion by being led to the Message Bible during my study, which has these verses written like this:

First, though, I'm going to Jerusalem to deliver a relief offering to the Christians there. The Greeks, all the way from Macedonians in the north to the Achaians in the south, decided they wanted to take up a collection for the poor among the believers in Jerusalem. They were happy to do this, but it was also their duty. Seeing that they got in on all the Spiritual gifts that flowed out of the Jerusalem community so generously, it is only right that they do what they can to relieve their poverty. As soon as I have done this, personally handed over this "fruit basket", I'm off to Spain, with a stopover with you in Rome. My hope is that my visit with you is going to be one of Christ's more extravagant blessings.

Although, Paul was talking about taking money to poor people in this case....I still am not convinced that the word poor (not in this case) could also mean poor in Spirit. I personally believe that we have more people who are poor in Spirit....then we have poor in money in this world.

But that is my personal opinion.

Thanks,

Dave

Ta-An
Nov 26th 2008, 07:44 PM
when your stomach is full, you can receive the grace G_d is giving with an open and thankful heart
So he went to do both :)

EarlyCall
Nov 26th 2008, 11:13 PM
Hi EarlyCall,

What makes you think that in this case

There is such a thing as a Christian being poor in Spirit.
Jesus said in Matthew "Blessed are the poor in Spirit: for their's is the kingdom of heaven."

As far as a contribution goes....just giving of ones time is considered a contribution.

So I really don't follow where you could be going with your answer.

But as I mentioned, Paul is merely the messenger. It is not he that is giving the contribution but those that are not going there with him. How then can their time be the contribution? It cannot. And since they cannot give their words or time or something of themselves by being there in person, then the logical conclusion if giving something and giving it to the poor would be money.

You mention Jesus speaking of the poor in spirit. Notice that Jesus did not simply say the poor. Had He done so the audience and we would assume poor as in needing money. This is what everyone normally assumes. Therefore Jesus qualified it with "in spirit". Paul did not qualify it. It is most safe therefore to assume the logical choice of poor as in needing money and thus the contribution would be money and the messenger merely transporting which is why Paul did not include himself as the giver of the contribution.

I don't know how else to put it.

EarlyCall
Nov 26th 2008, 11:15 PM
My friends....

After reviewing and much further study on this topic about Romans 15:25-29, I can come to believe that the reason Paul was making his journey into Jerusalem was indeed to deliver a gift of money as stated by many on this thread. I send my apologies to all who I had disagreements with, and to anyone who I may have mislead into believing something else who may have been reading this thread. I came to my conclusion by being led to the Message Bible during my study, which has these verses written like this:

First, though, I'm going to Jerusalem to deliver a relief offering to the Christians there. The Greeks, all the way from Macedonians in the north to the Achaians in the south, decided they wanted to take up a collection for the poor among the believers in Jerusalem. They were happy to do this, but it was also their duty. Seeing that they got in on all the Spiritual gifts that flowed out of the Jerusalem community so generously, it is only right that they do what they can to relieve their poverty. As soon as I have done this, personally handed over this "fruit basket", I'm off to Spain, with a stopover with you in Rome. My hope is that my visit with you is going to be one of Christ's more extravagant blessings.

Although, Paul was talking about taking money to poor people in this case....I still am not convinced that the word poor (not in this case) could also mean poor in Spirit. I personally believe that we have more people who are poor in Spirit....then we have poor in money in this world.

But that is my personal opinion.

Thanks,

Dave

oops. Sorry for my immediate post before this as I just now saw your post here, after making my post in reply to your earlier post.

I'm repping you for this because you have the courage to be honest instead of slipping quietly into the night of another thread.

:)

BCF
Nov 27th 2008, 07:47 PM
Let me ask this....what is the teaching that Paul is giving here in these verses of Romans 15:25-29, and how could we apply these teachings into our life of today?

Paul here was not the giver of these gifts but the messenger of these gifts. What is it in these verses that we can learn today?