Monday, December 1, 2014

Paul Lifts the Gospel

In the 1st chapter of Romans we see Paul encouraging the church in Rome.  He is very clever at doing this and establishes where is heart is at right from the get-go. Just as Jesus was lifted on the cross, Paul Lifts the Gospel to another plain...Let's look at it together...

1 Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,

Verse 1: Paul establishes himself as an Apostle and servant of Jesus Christ. He does this in many of his letters because he had a bad reputation of persecuting Christians before his conversion experience on the road to Damascus. Have no doubt Paul is a 100% changed man.   And such are we changed as well, if by faith, we have accepted the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and have repented of our sins and move forward in our lives following the Christ who sacrificed himself for us!

2 which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures,

Verse 2: This Gospel, this GOOD NEWS that comes from God himself was a promise that the Old Testament pointed to. Now we have the New Testament a new way with which God will save souls bent on self-destruction. This Gospel is Jesus and what he did on the cross for us! But bear in mine, Paul did not have the New Testament. He only had the Old Testament and so, he shows that Jesus is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. These are the "holy Scriptures"!

3 concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, 4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake, 6 among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;

Verses 3 through 6:  Paul never misses an opportunity to present the Gospel of God and so, here, we see him presenting it in a capsulated form. Paul is talking to jewish Christians in Rome and so he establishes the fact that Jesus is a Jew...and not just any Jew, but a "descendant of David according to the flesh"! This is important when talking to jewish Christians and encouraging them in their faith. this Jesus, a Jew was shown to be the son of God but not just for the Jews alone but also for the Gentiles.  You see, for a Jew, there were just 2 types of people.  Jews and Everyone else who was not a Jew...the Gentiles or Goim...they were all considered to be barbarians and unclean people.  You would never see a real Jew have anything to do with a Gentile...that is until the Gospel of Jesus was established and Paul says that this Gospel reconciled even the gentiles to God through the sacrifice of Jesus' death on the cross!  This is indeed GOOD  NEWS...for everyone now!

7 to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 7: Paul encourages and blesses.  We, as Christians need to do this more often.  There were plenty of problems in the Roman church for Paul to address, but he starts off the tone of the rest of the discussion by showing the Romans how much love he has for their church and how much love that God has for them as well.  Notice he is talking to believers those "called as Saints" but he is very emphatic in stating that he wishes them grace and peace from both God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!

This is my blessing for you as well! Grace and Peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ! Amen!

Blessings All!