Summary: A verse by verse, precept upon precept study of the first half of Paul's salutation in his letter to the church at Rome.
Romans – Verse by Verse 1:1-7
Romans 1:1-7 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
1 Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle and singled out for God’s good news— 2 which He promised long ago through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures— 3 concerning His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was a descendant of David according to the flesh 4 and who has been declared to be the powerful Son of God by the resurrection from the dead according to the Spirit of holiness. 5 We have received grace and apostleship through Him to bring about the obedience of faith among all the nations, on behalf of His name, 6 including yourselves who also belong to Jesus Christ by calling:
7 To all who are in Rome, loved by God, called as saints.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Verse 1 – 1 Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle and singled out for God’s good news—
Slave = Doulos
In Biblical usage: a slave, bondman, man of servile condition
1. a slave
2. metaph., one who gives himself up to another's will; those whose service is used by Christ in extending and advancing his cause among men
3. devoted to another to the disregard of one's own interests
4. a servant, attendant
Apostle – Apostolos - He that is sent, a sent one – commissioned by Christ. Certainly applied to the twelve, but Paul is not in the twelve, nor is Barnabus, Timothy or Silvanus. Nor do we have reason to believe, as many reformed scholars assert, that Apostleship is limited only to those who had physical contact with Jesus. Such scholars would include Paul because of his encounter on the road to Damascus, and possibly his later discipleship, in what he called the “third heaven.”
But they would not include others that the Bible does include.
Singled out – Aphoreedzho - marked off from others, separated, limited for some purpose.
I believe God has a unique, specific purpose, . . .a special calling for every believer who is willing to be singled out and yield to that call. And I know it's incredibly difficult, especially if you have a serious case of humility, to accept that you have a mission, but every Christian, like the “Blues Brothers,” is supposed to be on a “mission from God.”
You and I insult the grace of the One Who is calling us when we tell Him, “Surely not me. You've got the wrong person.”
But listen, if you think that's just my opinion, or an effort to puff you up or flatter you, in some way, you need only look at verse 6.
“including yourselves who also belong to Jesus Christ by calling:”
How do we belong to Him? Called to do what? Sit? Soak? Or serve?
Paul says here, by way of introduction that he's singled out, for “God's good news,” which is one word in Koine Greek, Eugellian.
1. The glad tidings of salvation through Christ
2. the proclamation of the grace of God manifest (made possible and present) and pledged in Christ
3. the gospel
4. as the messianic rank of Jesus was proved by his words, his deeds, and his death, the narrative of the sayings, deeds, and death of Jesus Christ came to be called the gospel or glad tidings.
Vs. 2 which He promised long ago through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures—
Watch the prepositions – sticking strictly with English.
Which – He promised long ago.
Through – His prophets
In – the Holy Scriptures
Now, one way of looking at this, is that Jesus is the proof that OT Prophets spoke for God. He is the proof of the nature and character of God and His life, death, burial and resurrection bear testimony to the veracity, truthfulness and trustworthiness of all of Scripture.
It's very frustrating, at times, to speak with skeptics who do not, either comprehend or understand that the Bible knows nothing of the “straw man” argumentation of modern skeptics and secularists who claim that faith and reason are polar opposites.
We are nowhere encouraged to take blind leaps of faith, or to exercise faith opposed to reason and critical thinking. In fact, the Bible writers repeatedly offered historical, philosophical, testimonial and testable evidence for the trustworthiness of the Lord Jesus and of the accounts they were providing.
Vs. 3 – 4
3 concerning His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was a descendant of David according to the flesh 4 and who has been declared to be the powerful Son of God by the resurrection from the dead according to the Spirit of holiness.
I love the writing of Max Lucado. He packs so much into each sentence – advancing his case, leading us forward and making his points with such poignancy and brilliance that it's a wonder to behold. But even Max Lucado's writing cannot pack so much into so little space as Paul does in these first several verses of his letter to the Romans.