Here are my answers from blog post #2 on Romans
- What does it say?
This is a normal introduction for a letter of that time. The writer would put their name at the beginning. In this introduction, Paul is literally introducing himself and presenting his credentials to the Christians in Rome.
He calls himself a servant of Christ. The Greek word for servant here is ‘doulas’, which means ‘a slave completely belonging to his master’.
He tells them that Christ himself called him to be an apostle and set him apart for the gospel.
He also defines what he believes about the gospel in order to show that he shared a common faith with the Roman believers.
He then addresses the letter to ‘all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people’, wishing them peace (shalom) and grace. This is also the common way of beginning a letter during that time.
- What are the timeless truths?
We are called by Christ to be his holy people, servants of Christ, set apart for the gospel.
The Gospel as Paul defined it in these verses is what we believe about Christ today and going on into eternity. He was foretold by the prophets, He was an earthly descendant of David, he is the Son of God, He rose from the dead through the power of the Holy Spirit, through him we all received grace and apostleship to call all gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his namesake.
We are all called to Apostleship. This means we are called to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that he has commanded us.
Obedience comes from faith. See Hebrews 11:8 and James 2:14-26. The evidence of true faith is obedience to Christ.
- What is God trying to say to ME?
There are no wrong answers to this question. This one is personal between you and God. Here are some possibilities though:
- God has called you to be Holy. Is there sin in your life you need to deal with?
- God has called you to apostleship. Whom are you sharing the gospel with? Who should you be sharing the Gospel with?
- Faith leads to obedience. Has your faith led to obedience? Do you need to repent and ask Jesus to increase your faith? Do you need to spend more time deepening your relationship with Christ?
Deepening your faith and relationship with Christ will result in increased obedience, not the other way around. Trying to make yourself be obedient, more often leads to legalism and religiosity. Focus on Him and He will transform you from the inside out.