Monday

...declared to be Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness by resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord. (v. 4)

Romans 1:1-7 Monday 12 April 2021

Psalm 115

Background

This is Paul’s introduction of himself to the Christians in Rome, which he hopes to visit in the near future. He has friends there (see chapter 16) but is not known to the majority. In the background is the fact that some Jewish Christians regarded him as a heretic for converting Gentiles without requiring conformity to Jewish practices, especially circumcision. The letter therefore sets out at length his understanding of faith in Jesus.

He stresses that the gospel has continuity with the Old Testament but is specifically about Jesus who is the promised Messiah on two counts. Physically he is a descendant of King David, as the Messiah was expected to be, but by his resurrection from the dead he is shown also to be Son of God. It is from Jesus that Paul has received the message and the authority to proclaim it to Gentiles.

The phrase ‘spirit of holiness’ is unusual. Many commentators and translators take it to refer to the Holy Spirit at work in Jesus’ resurrection. Others like those who produced the NRSV take it to refer to the holiness of Jesus’ own spirit. Although crucified, Jesus was holy.

Paul sends greeting to all the Christians in Rome, knowing that some who hear the letter read to them will be Jewish Christians who have doubts about him.


To Ponder:

  • What do you think the words ‘obedience of faith’ mean (verse 5)?
  • Are all Christians called to be saints (verse 7)?
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