Okay last week I introduced you to the Apostle Paul and talked a little about Rome and the church in Rome. So let’s get started on our trek through the Book of Romans. It will help if you have your bible opened to Romans chapter 1 so you can follow along.
Paul starts Romans, much like he does all of his letters, with a greeting. This is probably the longest of his greetings and this first post will focus pretty much just on this greeting because it is loaded with some pretty useful information. We don’t want to skip over scripture or read through it quickly just cause you think it’s only the “Hi, how are ya” part of the letter.
First he introduces himself:
- As a servant of Christ. Showing his commitment and devotion. Servant here is a significant designation for us as christians. We are all called to serve Christ, that is an obvious assumption in being called a follower of Christ, but in our daily lives what does that really mean? The Church is the Body of Christ and since it is the Body of Christ we are to serve the Church. Not the “building and the programs” that we call the church, but the “PEOPLE” that Christ calls the Church. Part of serving the people may include the building and programs but the focus is “The People” the Body of Christ. Since we do not know all who are or will be part of the Body of Christ, having a servant attitude toward all people in general is being a servant of Christ.
- As an Apostle, showing his commission before the Lord. He is a messenger, one sent out by God to proclaim God’s Word “The Gospel” and God’s purpose, not Paul’s purposes.
- He is set apart for the Gospel showing his mandate or the reason for his apostleship and we also know from Acts and in just a few verses that he has a special calling to preach the Gospel to the Gentile world.
Next Paul goes into introducing the Gospel to his readers.
- First Paul makes it clear it is God’s gospel not something he is making up or claiming as his “great idea”.
- It is the Gospel God promised through the Prophets, again not a new thing, Jesus “The Gospel” “The Good News” is not a New Testament idea. He is spoken of and looked froward to throughout the Old and New Testaments. Jesus is the Gospel and you will find him in every book from Genesis to Revelation.
Now he introduces Jesus himself.
- He is of the line of David. Fully human and a fulfillment of prophecy.
- He is the Son of God, in all his power, and through the Spirit of Holiness is equal to God and indeed is God.
- He was in fact resurrected from the dead, defeating death, which it turns out is very very good for us!
- He is the Christ, the Messiah, our Lord, and our Lord is God!
Next he talks about his ministry
- The source of his ministry is Christ
- The focus of his ministry is the Gentiles
- He received his ministry, his calling, by Grace.
Now we are introduced to his audience, the original audience, not you.
- First off they were already believers: “belong to Christ”, “loved by God”, “called to be his Holy people”
- They were known for their faith
- He prayed for them often.
- He desired to go to Rome and meet with them in person. At this time he is prevented from going to Rome, but we find in Acts that he eventually makes it there. It happens to be as a prisoner, but God still gets him there.
- In verse 15 we see that he is eager to preach the Gospel to them. In knowing that they are already Christians this helps us realize that the Gospel is not just a “get the heathen saved” thing we share with nonbelievers, but a valuable ongoing part of our Christian walk. It should continue to be the focal point of our teaching and conversation as brothers and sisters in Christ.
In closing of Paul’s introduction here he kind of summarizes the Gospel in verses 16-17.
- Number one he is not ashamed of it, and neither should we be.
- It is powerful, “dunamis” were we get the word dynamite, it is explosive power!
- It is for salvation, life changing, not just a free pass ticket out of hell!
- It is for “all” who “believe”!! Emphasis on “ALL” as in everyone and “BELIEVE”. Belief in Christ as your Savior is the complete and total, beginning to end, list of the requirements needed for salvation in the Gospel of Christ! Anything else is not the Word of God!!!
- It is a revelation of God’s righteousness and that righteousness will cause us to live by faith.
Well that wraps up the first 17 verses of Romans. I hope this has helped open this up to you a little more. If it brings up questions please leave a comment and I will get back to you. God bless and we will continue on in a couple days.
GOD is GOOD!!!