Monday 17 April 2017

Bible Book:

“Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the gentiles for the sake of his name.” (vv. 4b-5)

Romans 1:1-7 Monday 17 April 2017

Psalm: Psalm16


The letter to the Romans is the onlyletter addressed to a church which Paul did not establish and aboutwhich he knew very little. Paul wrote it in approximately AD58.Rome was at the heart of the mighty Roman Empire. Paul wanted tospread the good news of Christ beyond Asia Minor and he hoped thata letter to the Romans would encourage them to act as a base forsuch witness. The letter contains important theological concepts,for example that people live by grace and not by the law. It hasinfluenced many people throughout the centuries, most notablyMartin Luther and John Wesley.

Paul called himself a slave or servant(verse 1), because he believed that he belonged to Christ. ForPaul, it meant the obligation of a great love and the honour of agreat office. Paul acknowledged that he had been called to be anapostle. The word means messenger, or one sent by God. And thiscall came from Jesus, from the lineage of David - in other words, ahuman being. A reference to the prophets (verse 2) is a referenceto the prophets in the Hebrew scriptures (Old Testament) whoexpected that the Messiah (the anointed one) would come. This Jesushad died and had been raised from the dead. In verse 5 Paul spreadsthe net wider, as it were. Christ had not only called him, but alsoothers to be apostles. And this came about because of grace. Graceis unconditional mercy that is not earned, but is given awayfreely. Christ wants people to proclaim the message to "bring aboutthe obedience of faith". Obedience used in this sense does not meanobedience because of coercion. Instead, it is an obedienceresulting from grace and love. If you love someone very much youwant to please them. Obedience to Christ comes as a result ofpeople's love for God, which as its starting point is God's lovefor God's people.

To Ponder

  • What significance does grace have in a world where nothing isfree, in the sense that, in a commercial context, something offeredas a free gift always has a catch?
  • How do you respond to the fact that through Christ you havereceived an apostleship?
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