A message delivered to Northland Bible Church by Henry Mukonda,
Pastor of Kitwe Evangelical Church, Zambia, Africa
The Gospel was of primary importance in Paul's life and ministry. He wanted others to share this perspective. The word "Gospel" is mentioned 4 times in chapter one (Romans 1:1, 9, 15, 16). We will consider the first seven verses of Romans chapter 1, as Paul's invitation for people to receive this Gospel and make it the mission of their life to share this Gospel to others.
Servant, Apostle, Separated - Romans 1:1
The word "servant" actually means "slave." We just don't help Christ. We belong to Him. Understanding who you are is a matter of knowing to whom you belong.
An apostle is "one who is sent as a delegate". We are Christ's representatives or ambassadors.
To be "separated unto the Gospel of God" means that we are "set apart" for the purpose of doing the work of the Gospel.
What is the Gospel of God? - Romans 1:2-4
- It is the Gospel which has been foretold by the prophets of the Old Testament.
- It is the Gospel that reveals a Savior who came to us through the line of the beloved King David.
- It is the Gospel that powerfully changes us through the spirit of holiness. It is not a philosophy of the world, through men. It is from God.
- It is the Gospel whose power is demonstrated by the resurrection of Christ from the dead.
We…not me - Romans 1:5-6
As Paul describes his unique calling in the first verse, now he is telling us that we all have a calling. We believers have all received grace. We all have a mission and are sent to do the work of the Gospel. In Romans 1:6, many translations us the word "among." The ESV uses the word "included." That helps us understand that we all are called to be His separated people ("saints" - Romans 1:7). We all are sent to serve.
We have so great a salvation that has been given to both Jew and Gentile (Romans 1:16). This salvation should produce gratitude, love, and service. The work of the Gospel is both a privilege and a responsibility. We have the right to do it. We should run with it. Paul is saying to us, as a spiritual family, "You belong here. You work here!"
In another place, Paul said, "For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified" (I Corinthians 2:2). He also said, "…Woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel!" (I Corinthians 9:16).
The Lord is near - Romans 1:7
- We are beloved of the Lord
- We have been called to be His people.
- He gives us grace and peace.
- The Lord is near us and He could come for us, to take us home anytime! May we be found faithful at His coming.