Summary: Since we are made righteous through the gospel, our call to belong to Jesus Christ includes serving the gospel.
You are called to belong to Jesus Christ. You are called to a life of obedience to God, to a life of serving the gospel of God. How will the call to belong to Jesus Christ affect your life? What will influence your service for the gospel when you experience the salvation that comes from God through faith in Jesus Christ? Many people have heard the gospel message, that God sent His Son Jesus into
the world to live among men, and that he died and was raised from the dead to show us that He is the Son of God. Through the gospel message, many have come to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and by believing they have received the forgiveness of sin and the promise of eternal life. Through the gospel message, those who believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God now belong to Christ, and are called to a life of obedience to God, to a life of serving the
gospel of God. How should the call to belong to Jesus Christ affect your life? What should influence your service for the gospel of God when you experience the salvation that comes from God through faith in Jesus Christ?
In verse 1 of the first chapter of Romans, Paul describes himself as a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, and set apart for the gospel of God. By being set apart for the gospel, Paul does not mean that he is to be set apart from society and kept in isolation; indeed, while Paul preached the gospel, he still supported himself as a tent-maker, and he interacted freely with all levels of pagan society. Instead, Paul was set apart to a commitment of serving God as a preacher of the gospel to all people. Paul's work as a servant of Christ Jesus was often difficult. Paul describes his life as a servant of Christ in his Second Letter to the Corinthians. Paul had been imprisoned. He was beaten. He had been shipwrecked three times. He had gone hungry. He was under mental pressure as he bore the heavy responsibilities of the churches he was serving. But Paul remained committed to preaching the gospel even though he faced the kind of hardship that would make most people want
Why was Paul willing to endure hardship as a servant of Jesus Christ? Wasn't it enough for Paul to accept Christ as his Savior and continue living quietly as a tent-maker? What would cause each of us to want to serve Christ even though we might have to endure hardship by serving Him? Paul was willing to be set apart for the gospel because Paul knew that he was made righteous by the same gospel message he was preaching to others. Turn to Phil. 3:4. Beginning in v. 4, Paul describes his life as an unbeliever, as a man who
thought he could not possibly need the grace of God for his salvation. (read Phil. 3:4-6) Before his conversion, Paul was self-sufficient; he had confidence in his own life because of his Jewish ancestry, and the privileges that came from being a Pharisee. Paul sought to get right with God by performing religious rituals, and by trying to live a good life according to Jewish custom. Upon his conversion on the road to Damascus, Paul discovered that the only way to become righteous with God was by believing in Jesus Christ. We read beginning in v. 8 that Paul gladly gave up his high position
as a Pharisee so that he could serve God fully. Paul was willing to give up the privileges of his former life because he recognized that it was God who made him righteous, and there was nothing that Paul could do to match the righteousness that God provides to those who put their faith in Jesus Christ.
Because Paul was set apart as a servant of the gospel of God, we read in the first chapter of Romans that Paul's authority as a servant of the gospel came from the grace that he received as a believer in Jesus Christ. (read vv. 2-5) Paul recognized that the power of the gospel message is found in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The good news that Paul was to give as a preacher of the gospel was that God has provided salvation though Christ, and that salvation and eternal life are given to those who believe in Christ.
Paul served as a preacher of the gospel of God because when he was called to belong to Jesus Christ, he was also called to a life of service to the gospel. Paul recognized that the gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes, and that the gospel provides a righteousness from God that comes through faith in Jesus Christ. Paul was willing to endure hardship as a servant of