Romans 1: The First Sentence

It’s been ten days since my last post!  I’ve been out of town and busy recently, but hopefully you’ll receive a new post each day here on out.  But I’ll inform you whenever I plan any breaks in writing.  Over this break I’ve decided on my next series: Romans.  As for how much we’ll tackle each day, that depends.  But that’s enough yakety yak:  let’s dive in.

Here’s the passage(NIV):

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 earthly life was a descendant of David, 4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.

So, to start off with verse 1, we see that one of Jesus’ servants, Paul,  was called to be an apostle and was set apart for the gospel of God.  Obviously, I don’t want to get too minuscule, but for the first section called to be an apostle, we see in Acts 9 the story of Paul’s transformation.  That’s for another time, but I would encourage you to read that right now if you’ve got the time.

Verse 2 is the second part of Paul’s first sentence (anyone whose taken a peek at any of Paul’s letters know that Paul adores long winding sentences).  This verse expounds on what he was saying about the gospel.  It’s a cool verse – the gospel promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures.  Paul’s saying that the gospel was promised and prophesied long before it occurred.   I think it’s worth going a little bit into what he means by giving maybe one example.  An example would be Isaiah 53.  Let me just include verse 5: But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

It’s quite time for verse 3, which is another part of this eloquent sentence.  The big jewel in here is the part descendant of David.  Jesus, on an earthly level, was actually a great-great-great-great(to infinity and beyond) descendant of David.  If you’re interested in this, check out Matthew 1 for an insomnia cure.  No, seriously though, it’s actually quite fascinating.  What’s cool about this verse is that God uses imperfect people (as an example, David murdered a man to marry his wife)for his great plan.

The last part of the sentence, verse 4, states that the Spirit raised Jesus from the grave (if you’re interested, I’ve written a paper on the resurrection which you can find on the site).  So, the Spirit raised Jesus, and this proved Jesus to be the Son of God (again, more explanation in the paper).

That’s a lot for the first sentence!  Let’s finish by taking one thing away from each sentence, and then connect it all to the gospel.

Verse 1:  God uses the craziest of people.  Paul was a murderer to Christians, but then became the writer of the most books in the New Testament!

Verse 2:  God promised way beforehand to save His people.

Verse 3:  Again, God uses the craziest of people.  Jesus’ great-great-great-great… grandfather was David.

Verse 4:  Jesus is risen as the Son of God

So how does this all connect to the gospel?  I would say the Isaiah 53 passage fits most.  I want to end on verse 5:  But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

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