Monday 05 March 2012

Bible Book:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." (v. 7)

Romans 1:1-15 Monday 5 March 2012


It was the norm for ancient letters to begin by identifying thewriter and recipients. This introduction to the letter to theRomans follows that pattern, and also encapsulates some keytheological ideas and the motivation of the writer, Paul.

Paul had once been called Saul, a persecutor of Christians. He thenhad a dramatic encounter with Christ (Acts9). He calls himself an apostle, a term commonly used aboutthose who had seen Christ and had a key role in the early Church.His key role was to "bring about obedience of faith among Gentiles"(v. 5), although this letter was for both Jewish and Gentilebelievers in Rome. The term Gentile takes the Jewish viewpoint andmeans all non-Jews. The later term, barbarian (verse 14), takes theGreek viewpoint and means all non-Greeks.

Paul sums up the "gospel", meaning good news, in verses 2-6. It wasabout Jesus Christ, described as "descended from David" (v. 3),meaning that he fulfilled the promise held by the Jews of apowerful leader appointed by God. Jesus Christ is also described byPaul as "the Son of God with power" (v. 4), suggesting that byrising from the dead Jesus Christ has gone beyond that Jewishpromise.

All the believers in Rome were God's beloved and they were allcalled to be saints. This term 'saint' was not reserved for specialbelievers, but would have reminded all the readers that they wereGod's people, called to live with a different set of priorities tothe prevailing culture.

Paul shares his longing to visit them and he wished to share aspiritual gift with the church. Spiritual gifts include manydifferent kinds of skills or aptitudes given by God and lists ofthem, which are probably not exhaustive, are given in Romans12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12-14, and 1 Peter4:10. Here as elsewhere in the Scriptures, it is clear thatthis spiritual gift was to be used to strengthen and build thecommunity of believers.

To Ponder

How would you describe your life and purpose tosomeone else in a letter or email?

How do you feel about calling yourself a saintand living in a different way to the culture surrounding you?

What kind of gifts do think you have or would youlike to have to encourage and strengthen others in their faith inJesus Christ?

Previous Page Sunday 04 March 2012
Next Page Tuesday 06 March 2012