Paul gives three reasons why he is ready to evangelise where his message will be despised. Herein is the power of the Gospel, also an explanation of God’s imputed righteousness, and of how regeneration leads to someone being consciously convicted and persuaded by the Gospel.
Romans is the book of doctrine, without doubt, in the word of God.
And there lies the danger, because it is possible to study this book in too detailed a way, so that it becomes perhaps a little dry, and we miss the wood for the trees. It is so full. It is so profound. You cannot turn too much attention to a single verse in Romans. It lifts up Christ in every chapter, almost in every verse.
Now this letter was written by the Apostle Paul around AD 56 from Corinth to the church at Rome. It is a book of doctrine, as we mentioned. It is a book about justification before God, salvation. It is a book about sanctification. It is a book about soul winning, about making Christ known. It is a book about the love of Christ and very many other things beside.
In the first verse, Paul announces himself to be a servant of Jesus Christ. The Greek says a slave, which reminds us of some things about the apostle. Because although he wasn’t a slave in the sense that he served God by force or involuntarily, no – he was a slave in that he was so indebted; he believed himself to be owned and purchased by the Lord. And so he was in service to him. And he looked to God for his every direction. And he was dependent upon him for his strength and spiritual sustenance. And he obeyed no other. So in all those senses, he is accurately called a slave.
And he’s an example to us. That’s what we are, purchased, voluntary slaves of Christ. We heed no other. And we serve him first and foremost. He is our chief priority.
The apostle Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, was called to be an apostle. He never appointed himself. He couldn’t have done that. He was separated unto the gospel of God. What a word, set apart, separated to the gospel of God. He never had time sightseeing or incidental pleasures. He didn’t have a home or multiple homes. He didn’t have hobbies. He was separated unto the gospel of God. Separated from the world and living entirely for God.
Paul is a model to us all. No self-promotion in the apostle Paul. How different from some of the so-called ministers of God that we see today with publicists and self-promotion and multiple homes and wealth and high pay and all this kind of thing. And the apostle is an example and a reproof to all of that. He was separated unto the gospel of God – the doctrine of which is the great theme of Romans.
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