Book of Romans Study Party One
By Terry Cheek Th.D.
As spring unfolds to greet us with new life, you can begin with me a new series, an expository study of the book of Romans. Studying Romans will require a few things: time, patience, and persistence; for this writer and you, the reader. As a writer, I commit to you prayerful and dedicated attention to God’s word. As you read these articles, will you commit to pray with me for God to lead us through this work?
The church of Rome had been on Paul’s mind and heart for some time. He desired to visit the church, but circumstances prevented him. Paul’s epistle fills a conviction until he can make the trip in person. This epistle has been called by many scholars Paul’s finest work. Around the mid-first century, Rome was a hotbed of tension, culminating in political action from Emperor Claudius dictating the eviction of Jews from Rome. With the exception, the church remained well established and well respected as an example of faith and dedication. This powerful testimony made its way to Paul in Corinth. He was full of praise to God and encouragement to the church of Rome. However, Paul was also worried about worldly influence, temptation and deception. With some of the background set, the study of Paul’s epistle to the Romans can begin.
Understanding without a doubt that Paul wrote this letter is undeniable if you accept the Bible as God’s inerrant and inspired word. Paul begins with his roman name. In Romans 1:1, “1Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,” Paul uses potent words to begin this epistle; servant, apostle, separated, and gospel. These words point out who he is and his calling. There can be no denial of Paul’s authority by those reading this epistle.
To lay a strong foundation for this series, we need to look deeper at each one of these words. These are not just middle-English words. They convey a serious and authoritative basis for our study. Servant translates the Greek word 2doulos, which is used by Paul when talking about Christ’s relationship to the Father in Philippians 2:7 “3But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:” Servant expresses Paul’s commitment to Christ. At the same time, an apostle (Greek, 4Apostolos) establishes Paul’s authority as Christ’s appointee. This authority refers to preaching and founding, disciplining, and supervising churches. I will combine the final two words into a brief comment of understanding. Paul becomes separated from the world to proclaim the gospel. As a Pharisee, Paul had set his life apart with strict observance of Jewish law, ceremony, ritual, and custom. As a born-again Saint of God, Paul’s life work will become proclaiming and furthering the gospel. The Holy Spirit records Paul’s being set apart for God’s work in two places. Act 9:15 “5But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:” and also Galatians 1:15-17 “ 6But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me, but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.” I am going to stop my first article at this point. There is a tremendous weight and responsibility given to each Saint of God to realize how the first verse of Romans chapter one shapes our lives. Every Saint must see themselves as a servant set apart to carry the gospel by word and deed every day of our lives. Until next month, read this over and over again this article and prayerfully seek Paul’s passion in your life.
Until we meet again, in print or person, may God bless you is my prayer!
1 King James Bible (Thomas Nelson Publishers., 2011)
2 Strongs exhaustive concordance of the Bible (Strong, Kohlenberger, Swanson, and Strong, 2005)
Terry is the Executive Director and broadcaster of The Inspiring Word media ministry
You can contact Terry by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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