Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, [a]called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning His Son, who was born of a [b]descendant of David according to the flesh,4 who was declared the Son of God with power [c]by the resurrection from the dead, according to the [d]Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship [e]to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake, 6 among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;
7 to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as [f]saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 1:1-7
The apostle Paul begins the letter to the believers in Rome with an introduction. When Paul wrote this letter he had not yet been to Rome with the believers there so he is given them an introduction of who he is. The apostle Paul calls himself a bond-servant because he understood the price Jesus paid for his salvation. Everything Paul had in Christ and accomplished for God’s kingdom was because of the grace of God.
The apostle Paul was called by God and set apart to be an apostle. The apostle Paul did not choose to become an apostle. He was called by the Lord and the Lord arrested him on the road to Damascus. The apostle Paul at the time was trying to destroy the church and God in His mercy revealed Himself to Paul and Paul devoted his life to the gospel. The Lord would use Paul greatly throughout the early church to write a majority of the New Testament.
The gospel was promised through the prophets long before Jesus was ever born. There are many passages that point to the coming Messiah but a few are found in Psalm 22, Isaiah 52:13-53:12, and Genesis 3:15. God’s plan from the beginning was that Jesus would come and die in the place of humanity. God knew when He created the angels that Satan and a third of the angels would rebel against Him. God knew when He created Adam and Eve that they would sin. But because of the love and mercy that God Almighty has the plan was established before the foundations of the earth that Jesus would come and give His life.
When we examine the genealogy of Jesus in both the gospel of Matthew and the gospel of Luke we find that Jesus is traced by to the line of King David. God established a covenant with King David that he would always have a descendant to sit upon the throne and this was fulfilled through Jesus. Jesus lives and sits at the right hand of the Father and some day He shall return and establish His kingdom upon the earth.
Jesus testified to who He was through His death and resurrection. Jesus performed many miracles while He was upon the earth. He lived a life without sin and through His death and resurrection demonstrated and certified His claim as the Son of God. While Jesus walked the earth He claimed to be the Son of God. Those who crucified Jesus saw Him as nothing more than a blasphemer. But as we know now He rose from the grave and broke the curse of sin and death.
The apostles were apostles by the grace of God. None of the apostles choose to be apostles. They were called by the Lord to follow Him and simply choose to follow Jesus as servants. But the Lord equipped and anointed them to be apostles. They were sent forth in the power of the Holy Spirit and established the foundation on which we find the church is built today. Today we as the body of Christ carry on this mission taking the gospel to the utter ends of the earth.
All of us who come to Christ come to Him by the grace and mercy of God. We are drawn by the Holy Spirit and it is through the blood of Jesus and our faith and trust in Jesus that we have peace with God. All of us who are in Christ are saints because of our faith in Jesus Christ. Before we come to Christ we are sinners who are born into sin. But once we place our faith and trust in Christ we are no longer sinners. Our identity is found in Christ and we are declared righteous. We are adopted into God’s family and we are saints in God’s kingdom. Being a saint is not something that is earned and it is not something that is declared or determined by the church. It is simply based upon our faith and trust in Jesus Christ.
Two of the greatest things we have as a result of faith in Jesus is grace and peace with God the Father. Before we come to Christ we are separated from God and therefore our lives are devoid of the peace of God that is beyond all human understanding. But when we come to Christ the peace of God fills our lives and as we grow in maturity the peace of God consumes our lives in every area.