I am a Bible teacher. I teach mostly by these articles on the Internet, and you can learn much from them.
However, if I ever visited your church to teach, your experience would be very different. I would be able to teach in a completely different manner; and you would be able to learn so much more.
Something similar happened in Paulís life, and he was very aware of it. Although he had never been to the church at Rome, he could still do many things to help it. He was praying constantly for the Christians there (verses 9-10). He was able to teach them by his letter. He could even bless them (verse 7).
However there were some things that Paul had to be present in order to do. He needed to be there in order to declare Godís message to the inhabitants of Rome (verse 15). He, and Romeís Christians, could only encourage each other when they were together (verse 12). Also, Paul desired to share with Romeís Christians a gift from the Holy Spirit. Probably, Paul means one of the gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:8-11.
The same thing happened to Paul at Ephesus (Acts 19:1-7). Paul placed his hands on the Christians there as he prayed for them. Then the Holy Spirit came upon them. They spoke in languages that they had not learned. They also prophesied (in other words, they spoke words in their own language which the Holy Spirit gave to them, perhaps to praise God).
Of course, God could have given such a gift to the Christians when Paul was absent. However, then Paul would not have been able to share that gift with them. So, God chose to do it in this way; he wanted Paul to be there. The purpose of these gifts was to make the Christians stronger in their relationship with God.
Please use the links at the top of the page to find our other articles in this series. You can download all our articles if you go to the download page for our free 700+ page course book.
© 2018, Keith Simons.