To the People of Rome…
As we move onto another book from the New Testament, we begin by reacquainting ourselves with Paul:
“Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised previously through his prophets in the holy scriptures, the gospel about his Son, descended from David according to the flesh, but established as Son of God in power according to the spirit of holiness through resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.” -Romans 1:1-4, NAB
One of the greatest parts of this verse may be something that some may overlook. To me, it is fantastic that Paul does not only consider himself a follower of Christ, but a slave of Christ. A slave is someone whose life truly belongs to someone else, and Paul is saying that it is Christ who owns his life. He has freely given his entire life to serve Christ and His Kingdom.
Next, we look at why Paul was an apostle. He did not choose to be an apostle. He did not become an apostle for the fame or glory of it. In fact, prior to his encounter with Christ, Paul was known for persecuting Christians. So, why did he become an apostle? Because Christ called him to do it. Now, we may not all have a personal encounter like Paul’s, but we are all called just the same.
Finally, the introduction wraps up by stating the essential truths of our faith: Christ came to fulfill the words of the prophets, as a descendant of King David, and He came to rescue us through His death and resurrection.
Over the next few weeks, we will learn more about the lessons that Paul wanted to teach the Romans, and how we can apply them to our own life. We will see a number of similarities to our earlier studies on 1 Corinthians and the books written by Peter, but we may learn a few new things along the way as well. I hope you continue to follow along as we take an in-depth look at our beautiful Scripture.