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Now, in Romans 1:12 Paul

Now, in Romans 1:12 Paul restates verse 11 in different words: I want to strengthen you with my spiritual gift, “that is, I want us to be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.” Paul does two things here. First, he uses the old “It’s my pleasure” tactic. You remember my sermon on Christian hedonism and humility? I argued that when we say, “It’s my pleasure,” after doing someone a favor, it is an expression of humility. It is like saying, “Don’t get too excited about my self-sacrifice; I’m just doing what I like to do.” When Paul rereads Romans 1:11, he probably says, “Hmmm, that may sound a bit presumptuous, as if I’m the great martyr doing all for their sake, when in fact I look forward to a great encouragement from them for myself.” So as he restates verse 11 in verse 12, he adds that he, too, and not just they, is going to be helped when they meet. That is the first thing he does.

John Piper

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