Romans 1-2

Romans 1

Servant, Apostle. Set Apart for the Good news. Let’s do some defining.

A SERVANT  is often referred to as a slave, but in this case, it is not a negative action, but rather, it is an honor for Paul to be join the likes of Moses, Joshua, and David. These men were also servants and messengers of the Lord, like the Prophets, and for Paul to be called one is an honor. When you love something very very much, don’t you almost slave over it? You want to wash dishes for your spouses to show them that you love them. Often times, words are empty and not enough, and following through with a demonstration is putting to action what you talk about.

An APOSTLE is someone with equal authority to the original 12 disciples called by Christ; had seen the risen Lord, had authority to speak and write words of God and contributed to the establishing of the Church. Paul was qualified because he encountered Christ on the road to Damascus.

Being SET APART for the Gospel meant that when you truly become a Christian, your life starts to transform into something else entirely not your own. This is practical when you think about how you start to change behavior when your group of friends change or even your maturity. Things you couldn’t imagine giving up suddenly become things you never think about. Being “set apart” means that you love for Jesus- you TRULY live for Jesus.

Verse 3 tackles the claim that Jesus was a descendent of David, and we saw yesterday in Matthew, that the genealogy proves He was.

Jesus brings us Grace and Peace, and all is asked is for some obedience. Obedience helps bring about the setting apartness that the Gospel of God brings us. Grace is the  unmerited favor of God’s love for us- loving us despite the fact we don’t deserve it- and Peace is often thought of as the absence of conflict, but in the Bible, it is a modern twist on the old testament concept of shalom. Shalom is when everything is a person’s life is in harmony and all is well. Jesus brings us love we don’t deserve and a peace that makes everything well! How amazing is that! I think it beats Karma anyway!

Paul has a heart to go to Rome, and writes this letter to encourage the Church that is being established there. It is cool to point out that Paul is THANKFUL for those in Rome because their faith is being proclaimed throughout the WHOLE world! Rome was the center of the Roman Empire, and thus, the possibility for the Gospel to be spread was possible do to the amount of territory they conquered.

Paul also keeps them in PRAYER constantly. Comprehension check; Paul is THANKFUL and PRAYS for others all the time. We see that he desires to STRENGTHEN other believers by holding nothing back and encourages them in their faith. Encouragement is essential to cultivating a foundation in the Lord. Community helps sustain you when you feel alone- to pray for one another to speak wisdom and encouragement to one another. It only takes Jesus to save you, but it helps to have a community to cultivate and help you grow in your faith.

Paul lays out the claim that he is not ashamed of the Gospel because it holds salvation for our sins to anyone who believes! Jesus, was born to fulfill the reconciliation that was lost when Adam and Eve partook of the fruit in the Garden. Jesus dying and then rising to life three days later is our greatest treasure. He is our righteousness and the righteous shall live by faith. Have faith, dear reader!

Paul warns of men worshipping the creature rather then the Creator. This is how the path of sin and man’s inability to love God emerges. MAN rejects God. It is never God.

I challenge you to read verses 28-32 and search your heart against what is written. Do you harbor malice and deceit? Do you gossip and slander? Check yo self!

Romans 2

We all practice the very same things, so to judge another is to judge yourself. Grace is the love that we don’t deserve and we need to think about our own hearts and lives before we go out accusing others. The only one fit to Judge is the the PERFECT one. God. God is the ultimate judge, so be weary when you judge others- He judges your motives and your heart too.

God does judge. He doesn’t hide that fact. But, there are ways to win His favor. Simply put? Love Him with your WHOLE heart. A heart that has grace and PEACE within it. One that has be transformed by the Gospel. A life like that, pleases God. However, don’t be discouraged if it takes a longer period of time to obtain then others. Life is meant to give us the time for change, and often, change takes time. Others might experience change overnight! Still, others may take years to change habits and behaviors. Don’t be discouraged, just keep the faith.