It is hard for us to understand the strain of Paul’s ministry, for he did not have the comforts we have today. Every day Paul relied on God for his food, a place to clean up, a change of clothes, and a place to lay his head. He crossed seas during storms, walked over mountain ranges that were not yet free of snow, was jailed, beaten, left for dead, and chased from towns.
If Paul were here we would ask him, “Why the hurry, why the urgency, why the suffering?” And he would say, “I am a debtor,” (Rom 1:14 KJV).
I am a debtor are the words of every Christian Church. The Church is in debt to the world. Not that the world has given the Church anything, but Jesus has given the Church something for the world. Yes, it is true the world hates God, but it is truer that God loves the world. Yes it is true that the world will not have God, but it is truer that God wants the world. And for this reason God has given the world the Church. If the Church appropriates Christ’s Gospel, and sings her songs about it, thanks God in her worship for what He has done for her, and stops there, she is playing the harlot, she is prostituting her very nature to base uses. This is harsh language, but until the Church takes the Gospel and gives it to the world we are dishonest, for we, like Paul, are in debt.