Summary of passage: Paul greets the people of the early Roman church, identifying himself as a servant of Jesus and an apostle of God’s Word, which was promised long ago. Jesus is the Son of God as declared by his resurrection. Through Jesus Paul and others call the Gentiles to Jesus. You (the early Christian church in Rome made up mostly of Jewish converts) are called to Jesus as well.
3) He’s “a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, and set apart for the gospel of God.” In Acts is the story of Paul’s conversion. Jesus appeared to him and called him to convert the Gentiles as Jesus told Ananias. Paul preached in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. Paul explains to Timothy that he was the worst of sinners, but through God’s mercy and grace Paul was given the task to save sinners.
4) Part personal Question. My answer: Jesus is the Son of God and we are called to belong to him. It is good cause we are forever granted eternal life by God’s side. Just being a Christian is goodness defined no matter your circumstances. Living in the dark is a terrible place to be. Having Jesus by my side every second of every day is a blessing with no words. In all aspects of my life, good and bad, He is good. I am blessed beyond words.
5) Part personal Question. My answer: They are called to belong to Jesus through grace and are called to apostleship as well. They are loved by God and called to be saints. He offered them grace and peace. We are all loved and called by God’s grace alone to be His. We are also called to tell others the good news. It reminds me I am loved and cherished and I need to show grace and mercy and Him to others.
Conclusions: Great introduction by Paul, summing up who he is and pouring out love to the Romans. Reading Paul’s conversion right off the bat reminds us all how Paul was the ultimate sinner until God called him. He did terrible, terrible things and was on his way to do more terrible, terrible things when God intervened. So there’s always hope. For you or a loved one. God knows. His timing is perfect. Trust in Him.
End Notes: Background on the writing of Romans: The life and ministry of Paul (previously known as Saul of Tarsus) is in Acts chapters 8 through 28, Galatians 1 and 2, and 2 Corinthians 11 and 12.
In ancient times writers put their names at the beginning of letters. Almost all scholars agree Paul wrote Romans from the city of Corinth as he wintered there on his third missionary journey as described in Acts 20:2-3. This is based on Romans 16:1, 23 and 1 Corinthians 1:14. The book is dated from 53 to 58 AD.
When Paul wrote the Book of Romans, he had been a Christian preacher for some 20 years. On his way to Jerusalem, he had three months in Corinth without any pressing duties. He perhaps thought this was a good time to write ahead to the Christians in Rome, a church he planned to visit after the trip to Jerusalem.
However, as Paul endeavored to go to Rome, the Holy Spirit warned him about the peril awaiting him in Jerusalem (Acts 21:10-14). What if he were unable to make it to Rome? Then he must write them a letter so comprehensive that the Christians in Rome had the gospel Paul preached, even if Paul himself were not able to visit them.
Because of all this, Romans is different than many of the other letters Paul wrote churches. Other New Testament letters focus more on the church and its challenges and problems. The Letter to the Romans focuses more on God and His great plan of redemption.
Romans 1:1-7: Paul is first a servant of Jesus and then an apostle. This order is important. The Greek word used here is complete and utter devotion. Next, Paul is an apostle or messenger of God, which means it’s God’s words, not his.
Romans is all about God.
Fun Fact: The word “God” occurs 153 times in Romans; an average of once every 46 words – this is more frequent than any other New Testament book. In comparison, note the frequency of other words used in Romans: law (72), Christ (65), sin (48), Lord (43), and faith (40). Romans deals with many different themes but as much as a book can be, it is a book about God.
The gospel is not new, Paul says. It’s been around since the prophets.
Christianity centers on Jesus, who is both human and divine. Period.
Our Lord signifies deity and God.
History of First Christian Church in Rome: Paul had never been to Rome, and he did not found the Roman church. Most of Paul’s letters were to churches he founded. Acts 2:10 describes how there were people from Rome among the Jews present at the Day of Pentecost; so when they returned home, Christians needed a place to worship. Furthermore, being the center of the known world at that time in history, Christians continually migrated to Rome from all parts of the Empire. It shouldn’t surprise us that a church started there spontaneously, without being directly planted by an apostle. Moreover, there is no Biblical or historical evidence that the Apostle Peter founded the church in Rome.
Even so, through mutual acquaintances or through his travels, Paul knew many of the Christians in Rome by name because he mentions them in Romans 16. Hence, he knew two things about them and every true Christian: they were beloved of God and saints.
The Christians became saints through the calling. “to be” is added by translators. All Christians are holy since they are set apart to God and have the Holy Spirit within.
This greeting is used by both Paul and Peter in all their letters. It combines the traditional Greek greetings with Hebrew. The greeting is echoed in the conclusions, serving as an apostolic benediction on those addressed.