Summary: Intro to Romans
Romans 1: 1 Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God 2which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, 3concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, 4and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.”
Paul was obviously the author of Romans. This is made clear just by the simple introduction that he gives at every beginning of his letters. Bondservant comes from the greek word doulous, a common NT word for servant. In Greek culture it was referred to the involuntary, permant service of a slave, Paul elevates this word by using it in its Hebraic sense to describe a servant who willingly commits himself to serve a master he loves and respects (Ex 21:5-6; Gal 1:10; Titus 1:1; Gen 26:24; Num 12:7; 2 Sam 7:5; Isa 53:11).
Apostle means one who is sent. In the NT, it refers to the 12 men Christ chose to accompany Him (Mark 3:13-19) and Matthaias, whom the other apostles chose to replace Judas (Acts 1:15-26). Christ gave them power to confirm their apostleship with miracles (Matthew 10:1; 2 Cor 12:12) and authority to speak as His emissaries. Every New Testament book was written either by an apostle or under his auspices (John 14:26). Their teaching is the foundation of the church (Eph 2:20). Christ Himself selected Paul for this position (Acts 9:15; 22:14; 26:!6; Gal 1:1) and trained him to fulfill this ministry (Gal 1:12,16).
Gospel of God, its noun and verb forms occur at least 60 times in this epistle. The Greek word for this phrase is “good news” (Mark 1:1). Rome incorporated it into its emperor worship. In contrast to this already we can see that Paul places the need for emperor worship in light of the Gospel of Yeshua. This will be an issue we will address in Chapter 13 the responsibility of the believer in government affairs. Paul’s good news in contrast with Rome’s good news is not from the emperor but from the Lord Yeshua. Its message is that God will forgive sins, deliverer from sin’s power and give eternal hope (1:16; 1 Cor 15:1-4) comes not only as a gracious offer, but also as a command to be obeyed (10:16). Paul was consumed with this message (1 Cor 9:23).
Which He promised before: Paul’s Jewish antagonists accused him of preaching a revoluntionary new message unrelated to Judaism (Acts 21:28). The OT is replete with prophecies concerning Christ and the gospel (1 Peter 1:10-12; Matthew 5:17; Heb 1:1). Yeshua was fully God while also full man. Yeshua was of the line of King David (Matthew 1:1). He was truly the Son of God and the Son of Man at the same time. This is the doctrine of the incarnation; that is God become man but still being God. The fact that Yeshua was the descendent of David also links Him to the Davidic covenant. When Christ returns to reign over all, He will fulfill God’s promise to David to give him a dynasty that will last forever (2 Sam 7:8-18).
His Prophets: This clearly refers to all the writers of the Old Testament, which would concern the Law and the Prophets (Acts 24:14). The Law-or the Pentateuch-was written by Moses, whom Scripture calls a prophet (Deut 18:15). Holy Scriptures: The rabbinical writings popular in the first century were often more studied than the Scriptures themselves, which may not have taught the gospel of God, the divinely inspired OT certainly did (Luke 24:25, 27,32,John 5:39; Acts 3:18; 7:52; 10:43; 13:32; 26:22.23; Gen 3:15). The Prophets spoke clearly of a New Covenant (Jer 31:31-34; Ezek 36:25-27; Heb 8:6-13) and of the Messiah whose sacrifice would make it possible (Isa 9:6-7; 53:1-12).
Born: Yeshua was conceived in a virgin’s womb by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35; Isa 7:14) and was delivered normally. This word just emphasizes that He is an actual historical figure. Many well known ancient writers including the Roman historian Tacitus (Annals 15.44), the familiar Jewish historian Josephus (Antiquities, 2.18.3) and Pliny the Younger (Letters 10.96-97) verify Yeshua’s historicity.
Seed of David: The Old Testament had prophesied that Messiah would be in the lineage of David (2 Sam 7:12-13; Psalm 89:3-4, 19,24; Is 11:1-5; Jer 23:5-6). Both mary, Yeshua’s mother (Luke 3:23,31); and Joseph, his legal father (Matthew 1:6,16; Luke 1:27), were descendants of David. John makes believing that Christ has come in the flesh a crucial test of orthodoxy (1 John 4:2-3). Because he is fully human-as well as fully God-He can serve us as man’s substitute (John 1:29; 2 Cor 5:21) and as a sympathetic High Priest (Heb 4:15-16).