Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (2) (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) (3) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; (4) And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:Rom 1:1-4
The letter to the church at Rome is one of the most significant letters ever written. Understanding this letter is not only pivotal to understanding the whole of scripture, but is also pivitol to understanding a right theology of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
As Paul often does at the beginning of his, this letter begins with an introduction that serves as a clue to the entire theme of the book. He calls himself by three descriptions.
First, he claims to be “a servant of Jesus Christ”. The word for servant is the word for slave. Paul calls himself the slave to Jesus Christ.
Second, he says he is called to be an apostle, or sent one. In his calling to be an apostle we see his third description as “separated unto the Gospel of God”. The Gospel, being the good news that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again for our sins is the hope for the world. Paul was saying that He was separated by God unto the declaration of this message, the Gospel.
He goes on in the introduction to describe th Gospel itself. He says of the gospel that it was “promised afore by his prophets”. One of the ways we know the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be true is that it fulfilled prophecy. Jesus fulfilled in his birth, life, death, burial and resurrection prophecies that no mere man could have fulfilled. He also said that the Gospel is “concerning Jesus Christ our Lord.” The Gospel is about Christ. The Gospel proclaims Jesus to be both Christ and Lord. How was His position substantiated? He was “declared to be the Son of God with power…by the resurection from the dead.” We can know that Jesus can forgive sins, defeat death, and resurrect our bodies because His very resurrection itself substantiated that claim. How do I know that Jesus Christ was the Son of God? He got up out of the grave after telling us that He was going to rise again. He is the only begotton Son of God!
In the course of studying this excellent letter we will be examining the Gospel. If the Gospel is true, then understanding and living according to its’ truth is more important than any other pursuit. By the Gospel we can know Christ. By the Gospel we will be resurrected from the dead. By the Gospel, we live out lives on mission, making Christ known to the nations and to those around us. There is a sense in which we who know and believe in Christ are sent and separated unto the Gospel of God.
1. Have you accepted Christ as your Savior? Have you believed the Gospel?
2. Who do you need to share the Gospel with today?
3. Is there any part of your life that shows that you are not living in light of the truth of the Gospel?