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ROMANS 1:1-3

Our exhaustive study of The Book of Romans.  We conduct scripture cross-references so that Scripture interprets Scripture, word searches to correctly understand each word meaning, historical and cultural contextual understandings, and commentaries from J. VernonMcGee, Charles Hodge, John MacArthur, Charles R. Swindoll, Martin Luther, Charles Spurgeon, Matthew Henry, and David Guzik.  We will use the ESV, NASB, and or HCSB translation due to their reliance on the most reliable biblical manuscripts.

The time, era, and historical context of The Book of Romans:

No real historian questions who wrote this book, it was the Apostle Paul.

He wrote this letter around 56AD in Corinth to the believers in Rome.  He never got the chance to actually visit the Christians in Rome.


Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,
Παῦλος δοῦλος Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ κλητὸς ἀπόστολος ἀφωρισμένος εἰς εὐαγγέλιον θεοῦ
 A bond-servant, δοῦλος, "a slave, bondman, man of servile condition, devoted to another to the disregard of one's own interest." 

An Apostle, ἀπόστολος, "a delegate, messenger, one sent forth with order, officially a commissioner of Christ, specially applied to the twelve disciples whom Christ selected, out of the multitude of his adherents, to be his constant companions and the heralds to."

Paul is literally a slave to Christ.  But, do not make the mistake to apply an "American" or more modern historical concept of "slave" to this.  That would be a different context and perception.  Being a slave to Christ "is a higher title than monarch of the world."  This form of slavery is righteous and holy.

He was called, not by himself, as an Apostle.  Consider what the word means, a specific person personally selected by Christ out of all his followers to be heralds of his deepest truths.  It was God himself who called him out of all his others to be a herald of God's deepest truths to be revealed to all those who believe.  Here we see that the Office of Apostle is a very special and unique position.  Not all Christians are called to be one.  Seeing Christ personally, still, isn't the only qualifier.  There were over 70 other apostles but Jesus had hundreds of followers, even thousands maybe that heard him teach personally.  Yet, only 12 had this divine position.  Anyone who claims to be an Apostle, are assuming the same office as The Apostle Paul...  The same Apostle that was literally raising people from the dead to confirm his office in Christ. 

The order of which he gave these titles is important.  He was FIRST a servant of Christ, and SECOND he was an Apostle of Christ.  This can be understood in a couple different ways.  First, before assuming the office of Apostle, one must first BECOME a bond-servant/slave of Christ.  This only makes sense.  But this also means that anyone claiming to be an Apostle, but does not SERVE Christ is clearly a fraud.  Second this also means that being an Apostle requires being a Servant to Christ's people first and foremost.  We can deduce that for ANYONE to have some sort or oracle or prophetic office, they must first have faith in Christ alone.  Therefore, making all other religions false.

This servant-hood and position was not optional, it was going to happen regardless of what Saul felt.  Paul didn't one day wake up and decide to become a slave to Christ.  God didn't just hope he would agree to become an Apostle.  Saul (Hebrew name of Paul) was on his way to arrest and capture Christians, hired by the Roman authority.  On his way with a murderous and malicious mindset, God blew him off his horse and spoke directly and personally to him (Acts 22:7-13).  He then left his job as a contracted Roman mercenary and spent 3 years isolated studying and listening to The Holy Spirit's teaching him, personally. He then went to meet with the other 11 Apostles and THEY validated him as being true and of God personally.  BUT all of this was God's Will.  He was enslaved by God and called by God to BE an Apostle.

He was "set a part,"  ἀφορίζω, which means: "to mark off from others by boundaries, to limit, to separate, to appoint, set apart for some purpose." 

Paul was marked off, separate, appointed for a purpose, and that purpose was The Gospel of God. 

The Gospel of God:  The Gospel, εὐαγγέλιον, "good tiding, the glad tidings of the kingdom of God soon to be set up, and subsequently also of Jesus the Messiah, the founder of this kingdom. After the death of Christ, the term comprises also the preaching of (concerning) Jesus Christ as having suffered death on the cross to procure eternal salvation for the men in the kingdom of God, but as restored to life and exalted to the right hand of God in heaven, thence to return in majesty to consummate the kingdom of Go; as the messianic rank of Jesus was proved by his words, his deeds, and his death, the narrative of the sayings, deeds, and death of Jesus Christ came to be called the gospel or glad tiding."

Paul was enslaved by God to proclaim this message, the Gospel message.  He was called and set apart by God for this purpose.  Notice he was already a servant to Christ but THEN set a part TO something more specific in purpose.  His calling as Apostle set him a apart from all other believers in that HE was purposed with being a herald of divine inspiration, Holy Scripture, which revealed to us The Gospel of God.  The same Gospel of God Jesus proclaimed in Mark 1:14.


which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures,

  προεπηγγείλατο διὰ τῶν προφητῶν αὐτοῦ ἐν γραφαῖς ἁγίαις

 "He promised beforehand," προεπαγγέλλω, "to announce before, to promise before"

 "prophets," προφήτης, "in Greek writings, an interpreter of oracles or of other hidden thing,  one who, moved by the Spirit of God and hence his organ or spokesman, solemnly declares to men what he has received by inspiration, especially concerning future events, and in particular such as relate to the cause and kingdom of God and to human salvation, the OT prophets, having foretold the kingdom, deeds and death, of Jesus the Messiah."

How can God promise something beforehand?  What if those who he promised to fulfill his word decided not to, wouldn't that make God a liar and or a failure?  So is there a risk that God may become a failure in the future if he promises something and doesn't follow through because of "free will?" Its simple.  God is NEVER at risk of ever being anything other than PERFECT.  If God is never at risk of declaring something beforehand than that means whatever the declares of the future, will perfectly take place regardless of anyone's free will.  God PROMISED BEFOREHAND through his chosen prophets this very message Paul is about to lay out.

This shows that The Gospel of God is nothing new.  It is not a "new religion" in the region or in the world.  A message that has been declared for thousands of years through God's prophets of the OT.  Just because the general religious public was ignorant or blind to it, doesn't make it new.

"the holy Scriptures,"  ἅγιος γραφή, "a thing holy, of things which on account of some connection with God possess a certain distinction and claim to reverence, as places sacred to God which are not to be profaned;  a writing, thing written, used to denote either the book itself, or its contents, a certain portion or section of the Holy Scripture. 

God used his creation, namely specific people he called for his purpose to prophecy the coming messiah.  Notice God's ownership.  HIS promises.   HIS prophets.  His writings because they are made Holy because they are HIS revelations under his inspiration and guidance.  Paul makes it clear to all his readers that HE did NOT make this up and this is not something new. 

Paul made it clear that this Gospel of God has been proclaimed in HOLY scriptures and NOT in any of the Rabbinical writings of all the Rabbis and their commentaries on the OT.  Or, even if they did mention some sort of messianic prophesy, they failed to correctly understand it and dive deeper into it.  This also validates The Gospel of God as actually coming from God himself in that it is found wholly in the Holy Scriptures and not some message him or any Rabbi created.

Notice Paul appeals to Scripture alone for his authority and justification for this Gospel of God.  It is not dependent on his interpretation, opinion, or feeling but it IS, in fact, a reality revealed in something greater than his own interpretation, opinion, or feeling.  That holy scripture alone is sufficient to find this Gospel if they were willing to search.


 concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh,

 περὶ τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ τοῦ γενομένου ἐκ σπέρματος Δαυὶδ κατὰ σάρκα

 Don't forget the previous verses, to keep it in context.

Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures,  concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh,

So we were see a more full context of what Paul is talking about.  The Gospel of God is "concerning His Son..."  The primary focus of this holy message is God's Son, Jesus Christ.

Consider the sheer importance of this message.  God himself planned it from eternity past about is Son.  He then selected people to reveal his plan beforehand and promised it to the world about what is Son will do. 

Then Paul starts getting into what exactly this Gospel of God is in Romans 1:3-7.

Continue to Romans 1:4-6

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