For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;
Here is a question for you: do you long to see the church? I mean do you long to be with the crowd of Christians, worshipping Jesus, living with the church, helping them in their problems, putting up with their carnality, helping them to grow up, laying down your life for them.
Listen the body of Christ is the church. If you don’t long to see the church, you don’t really love Jesus. You might have emotional feelings about Him, but love is expressing in how you treat someone.
Paul longed to see the Romans. In the midst of 2 Corinthians 11 when Paul is talking about some of the situations he went through in his life, he puts the burden of his love for the churches as being more difficult than being beaten with sticks or lashed with a whip!
How much do you long to be with the church?
And what was Paul’s motivation for being with other Christians? It was not to get.
I will say this, most Christians go to church to get. That is true. It is an absolute indictment on the church, its structure, its understanding of love, its understanding of the kingdom of God.
Most Christians leave church and they rate the service. They comment on what the worship was like (I won’t spend the time necessary to explain how you cannot rate worship!), they make their judgment on how anointed the preacher was, and they assess how good the offering was. They never came to give, they never came to offer.
Well, they came to offer some cash, to tip good and pay their protection money, and to sit on the seat. But that is not the offerings that God is looking for.
Paul longed to be with the church to offer (impart = Gk. metadidomi – to offer, cf. Luke 3.11) a spiritual gift to the church. Paul wanted to go to church to offer spiritual life to the church – to impart faith, to teach the Word, to inspire with His testimony, to give a message in tongues, to prophesy over people, to have a word of wisdom for someone, to help a sheep find their way.
Why do you go to church?
Are you imitating Paul the way he copied Jesus? (1 Cor. 11.1).
Are you longing to go to church to offer something?
Not for your glory, not so people write about you or praise you or thank you, not to establish your ministry – but to establish (Gk. sterizo – to make constant, to make strong or to make stable) the church.
Is your joy found in going to church?
Is your goal in going to church to strengthen the church and offer something?
Is your motive in giving and imparting spiritual wisdom and revelation and gifting, selfless and to make strong the church?
If so, you can say that you are copying Paul like he is copying Christ.
If not, you have some adjusting to do in the way you think about the church and about Christians!
Glory and freedom,