Romans 1:12-13 NASB
“(13)that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine. (13)I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that often I have planned to come to you (and have been prevented so far) so that I may obtain some fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles.”
Paul deeply desired to encourage and be encouraged by the believers in Rome. This wasn’t flattery, this was transparency in his need to be encouraged by other believers and to give them that blessing as well. This is all done by our faith in Jesus. It is by our conviction in the death and resurrection of Jesus that we have a hope for a future and a desire to encourage others in this conviction and hope. Life is tough, it’ll kick you when your down and place its foot on your neck while you struggle for breath. In God’s sovereignty, He allows suffering, and as we trust Him to see us through the struggles we use the tools He’s given us to help encourage each other. We often trivialize the power God has given us to build each other up. We don’t take the mantle of holding each other up in faith seriously. Paul, perceptibly explains how important the body of Christ is, and each member in it. In chapter 12 we will dive into this at greater length.
As Paul closes his thought, he shows his desire to “obtain fruit” from them. Meaning to see salvations from within their community or fruits of the Spirit from within their church. There ought to be fruit that is produced from the church, and shared with fellow believers and to be a blessing on the non believing. I think it is only right that Paul ought to expect something from the church when he visits. When a guest missionary visits our church, we bless them with encouragement, prayers, finances and a opportunity to share with us as well. A healthy church should receive honorable guests with such a goal in mind.
The reference to the “Gentiles” is Paul’s way of showing his readers that he had received fruit from other converts. This isn’t to guilt trip the church in Rome, but to help teach them how to be fruitful and generous people. There are few things more unpleasing to God then unfruitful and selfish people who know that it is God who has blessed them, but don’t acknowledge it with their actions.