Believed to have been written in the fall of A.D. 57 by the apostle Paul, the epistle to the Roman church is known as the flagship of the Pauline series of letters of the New Testament.
An essential tool used in rebuke as well as inspiration, this powerful epistle is described as “the chief part or cathedral of the Christian faith” and “the grandest, boldest, most complete composition of Paul.”
This ministry teaches that Romans is a God given weapon to be used against evil, for the benefit and the advancement of the gospel. This letter is a gift brought on by the Holy Spirit meant to help strengthen Christians as we are exposed to the world and all that is in it.
The letter to the Romans begins with a typical greeting where the author identifies himself as an apostle and bondservant of Jesus Christ.
“1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— 2 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3 regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, 4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 1:1-4)
In his greeting Paul acknowledges the prophecy and genealogy of Christ through the virgin mother Mary from the lineage of David, points out Jesus was both a human being and God’s son.
The apostle then points out the mission which through Christ, and the grace of God, calls on all believers to obey the law of Christ.
“5 Through him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith.” (Romans 1:5)
Accepting God’s mission for our lives we are commanded to advance the gospel through the preaching of the word to all those who will listen, both Jews and Gentiles.
“6 And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. 7 To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 1:6-7)
Paul wished peace and grace upon his readers and continues on with praises for those within the Roman church as their faith advances along side the gospel.
“8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.” (Romans 1:8)
Written from Corinth (Greece) Paul wanted the Romans to know they were constantly in his prayers and that his wish was to soon travel to Rome. The apostle might not have known the circumstances by which his forthcoming visit to Rome would be one that would involve suffering and imprisonment.
“9 God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you 10 in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.” (Romans 1:9-10)
By preaching the gospel believers contribute to the advancement of the gospel as they reveal the truth about Jesus Christ past, present and future.
Since no other apostle had even visited Rome at the time this letter was written, the great city held a special place in Paul’s heart. Until God’s plan would have the apostle in the city where he would personally impart spiritual gifts upon them, Paul was planning on continuing his mission to be counted as a blessing to the Romans.
“11 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— 12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” (Romans 1:11-12)
The apostle shares his frustration with the delay in his ability to visit Rome, a place where he had long planned to plant a church where his works would reap a harvest in tune with the other churches he has planted among the Gentiles.
“13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.” (Romans 1:13)
Paul was known as “the apostle to the Gentiles” and at the time Rome was by far the largest Gentile metropolis within his reach.
“14 I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. 15 That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome.” (Romans 1:14-15)
Whereas before Paul divided his mission field by race, the Jews and Gentiles here he uses intelligence to differentiate the group of people he is led to preach to.
“16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17)
Paul stated he was “not ashamed of the gospel” by which he wanted to promote the fact he was empowered by the word and by the Holy Spirit which leads to salvation through God’s grace.
The apostle laid out salvation as a gift first given to the Jews then through the gospel, to the Gentiles. As a missionary Paul used the gospel to reveal the truth about salvation, that all those who believe and have faith in Jesus Christ will inherit the kingdom of God.
What we must learn from these verses is Paul’s wish, his longing to visit Rome, would eventually come true as he later did get to advance the gospel within this great epicenter for Gentiles. God’s plan however would not take him there leisurely rather Paul would take a road less traveled, one littered with suffering and sacrifice.
The same might apply to our lives as a wish, a prayer gets answered in ways we could not imagine. What is important is the greater goal according to God’s perfect plan, the advancement of the gospel of Jesus christ and the salvation of many. Let us pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre