Book of Romans Study: Servant of Jesus Christ
Topic: Book of Romans
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Romans 1:1 KJV)
As is the custom in most of his epistles, Paul begins by extending greetings and offering thanks. Identifying himself as a bond-servant of Christ, he mentions his apostleship and its mission in the gospel of God concerning His Son: to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles (Romans 1:1-6). Addressing the recipients of his epistle as "all who are beloved in Rome, called as saints," he extends to them the popular two-fold greeting of that day: "grace" and "peace" (v. 7). He is thankful for their well-known faith and reveals his desire to visit Rome and to proclaim the gospel there (vv. 8-13). The motivation behind that desire is his sense of obligation and bold conviction that the gospel is God's power to save (vv. 14-17).
The mention of "salvation" naturally leads to the need for all men to be saved. Paul begins to demonstrate this need on the part of the Gentiles. He explains that because of the Gentiles' failure to acknowledge the eternal power and divine nature of God as revealed in the world around them, and for their subsequent pride and idolatry, they were therefore exposed to God's wrath from heaven (vv. 18-23). This wrath manifested itself in God simply letting them reap the fruits of their vanity. By giving them over "to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts," "to vile passions," and "to a debased mind," the result was such corruption that even those who knew better were caught in its clutches (vv. 24-32).
The Book of Romans begins with “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle…” Even though he doesn’t feel to deserve to call as apostle (I Corinthians 5:9), Paul called himself as “a servant of Jesus Christ.” The word “servant” means slave or slavery, a person bound in servitude to another human being as an instrument of labor; one who is no longer free and has no rights.” (Youngblood, Ronald F., General Editor; F.F. Bruce and R.K. Harrison, Consulting Editors, Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1995.)
In this first verse in Romans 1, Paul told his Roman citizens that he now belongs to Jesus Christ. He is not what he was before, but he changed his identity to the Person who changed his heart from the stony heart to a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). His stony heart was rotten, which darkness overshadowed from seeing the whole character of God in the Old Testament. Now, his new birth is able to show the fullness of God’s character.
Being a servant of Jesus Christ doesn’t mean that He would make us prisoners of slaves as what King Pharaoh did to the children of Israel. Even though we are prisoners of Jesus Christ, He wants to take care and love us as His own children. Jesus didn’t let Paul suffer forever on the way to Damascus (Acts 9). Jesus called Paul to bear Hi name before Gentiles, kings and children of Israel (Acts 9:15). God had a purpose for Paul, so do we.
Jesus called us to be a witness of His name to the whole world. Matthew 28:18-20 state, “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Posted by MGJC Web Ministry
at 12:01 AM EDT