Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
2 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)
3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
6 Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:
7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
If you have been paying attention to the news you know that some of the top universities have been under fire over the past few weeks. Three university presidents, all of whom are women, were called before a committee of congress and question about their views of the anti-semitism that is boiling over in the U.S. and on university campuses and in the classrooms. All three of these presidents gave the same answer. None of them would take a clear stand against the attacks against Jews both verbally and also physically. Since that time, two of the presidents have now resigned their positions as presidents. However, they have not resigned, nor been fired as professors in those same universities.
Some, who pursued the need to get rid of these presidents have applauded their resignations. What is the benefit of having them step aside as presidents, if they still hold their same beliefs as professors. They are still going to poison any students who sit in their classes. A prominent donor to Harvard university has stated that the entire board of that university needs to be changed. His design for who should replace this current board will not fix anything. When people live in a spiritual vacuum, nothing good can come of their lives or their thoughts.
Our studies are not written in a vacuum. They are focussed on God’s Word and they are designed to glorify God and to be a help to the readers. Occasionally I receive a comment from a reader. I am not begging for comments. God knows what I am doing and I want to serve Him faithfully.
We are going to work our way through the book of Romans for the next while. We may detour from there from time to time, but that will be the base from which we will work for the most part.
In verse 1 we learn that Paul was the writer of this epistle. In most of the books of the Bible, God identifies the writer. God is the Author of all Scripture. There are 40 different writers that God used to give us His Word.
The apostle Paul was a servant of Jesus Christ. This is what every born again Christian must be. True Christians have been bought with a price. We do not belong to ourselves. There is a danger in the easy-believism of our day that cheats people out of the truth. Of course a person needs to be gullible to buy into the easy-believism that is being promoted. It is cruel to play on people’s emotions to try to get a desired response. Car dealers do that. Real Estate agents do that. Anyone that is in sales does that. However, Christians are not selling something. We are called of God to testify unto the Lord Jesus Christ.
Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Paul was called to be an apostle. An apostle is not a self appointed person. Every true apostle was chosen by the Lord Jesus Christ and had personally witnessed the appearance of Jesus Christ. We have mentioned before that there are people today who call themselves apostles. They are self-appointed. Their religion may allow for apostles, but their religion is also man-made. We do not have any apostles today. We do not need any apostles today.
Notice as well that Paul was separated unto the gospel of God. One thing that we find is that there are many gospels. The apostle Paul warned of this in Galatians 1. He also warned of the consequences of preaching a false gospel.
Galatians 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
The souls of people are far too precious to God to have “snake oil salesmen” come along and try to deceive people with lies. There is a man, that I know somewhat, who sends out emails from time to time. This man is one of many deceivers. He does not attend any local church. He takes offence to be challenged on that point. He thinks he has been called of God to be the “policeman” of churches and people. Since he refuses to submit to God’s authority he has nothing worthwhile to say. He cannot help anyone because he is disobedient to God’s Word. He is not a servant of Jesus Christ. He is not separated unto the gospel of God. He has developed his own gospel and those who follow him are in grave danger. He is one of thousands of false professors.
We know that in the last days there will be many deceivers. We are definitely seeing an increase of this even in the past year. We also seem to be seeing a increase of those who are readily deceived.
In verse 2 Paul reminded the readers that the gospel of God was promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures. The true gospel is not a recent development. It was not even a recent development in Paul’s day. The apostle Paul will identify this gospel of God further as we move on in this letter. Suffice it to say that you, the reader of this devotional can know the gospel of God if you take God’s Word as your authority.
The Tabernacle and every vessel in that tent was a type of Jesus Christ. All of that pointed to the “seed of the woman” that would bruise the head of the serpent. The Passover lamb, introduced in Exodus 12, is a type of Jesus Christ. There are many prophecies and many pictures that God gave in the Old Testament that speak of the gospel of God.
In verse 3 we see that the gospel of God concerns His Son Jesus Christ our Lord. The word gospel means “good message”. God’s gift of Jesus Christ is certainly a good message. Notice that Jesus Christ is “our Lord”. We have already looked at this in verse 1. Those who are saved have placed themselves under the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, we have a free will. We also must understand that if we are saved, we have willingly surrendered our will to God. We did that when we turned to God in repentance and trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. We are not talking Lordship salvation. We are talking of exactly what the Bible declares. We belong to God in salvation. The Holy Spirit indwells every born again Christian. We need to learn how to walk with God humbly and obediently as His child.
It is very important to carefully teach the lost what salvation is. In Matthew 28:19 Jesus commanded that we are to teach the lost. It is interesting to note how the Holy Spirit works. We know that the jailor did not need much teaching when that earthquake hit in Acts 16. We are not given any detail regarding this man prior to Acts 16. He heard Paul and Silas praising the Lord in prison. He was brought under conviction by the Holy Spirit and he knew that he was not ready to meet the Lord. His testimony in that chapter clearly shows us that he understood that he was changed from being a hater of God to a servant of God. He submitted himself to the will of God. He no longer feared for his life. He now had eternal life and this gift made all the difference in his life.
In verse 3 Paul was directed to remind us of the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ came from the seed of David. As we see in verse 2, the Old Testament prophets prophesied of the incarnation of the Messiah.