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
This is quite the introduction to the book of Romans. The apostle Paul begins by listing himself and refers to himself as a bond servant. The apostle Paul more than anyone understood that his salvation was simply a result of the grace of God. Paul didn’t deserve salvation like all of us, but the Lord chose and set him a part for God’s plans and His purposes. The apostle Paul was chosen by the Lord to establish the foundation and begin to take the gospel to the uttermost.
Throughout the old testament we are given prophecies that point to the messiah who is to come. The nation of Israel thought their messiah would be a conquering king like king David and failed to understand that Jesus had to come and give His life so that they could be set free from the slavery of sin. But when we examine many of the prophecies that speak about the coming Messiah and we look and examine the life of Jesus Christ we see that He fulfilled every prophecy that concerned His first coming and will one day finish the rest when He returns to establish His kingdom.
Through the linage established in Matthew and Luke we see that Jesus was indeed a descendant of King David. God established a covenant with King David that he would always have a descendant to rule upon the throne and this was fulfilled through Jesus Christ. For there is coming a day when Jesus shall return and established His kingdom upon the earth. The linage of Jesus in Matthew follows the line through Joseph, while the linage in Luke follows the linage through Mary. God so orchestrated all things to fulfill His sovereign will and His purposes.
It was the resurrection that once and for all truly proved that Jesus was indeed the Messiah. Yes when Jesus walked the earth He did many miracles and John even writes that if everything Jesus did was written down there would be enough books to contain the accounts. But through the resurrection Jesus demonstrated His Lordship and authority over death and the grave. Because of the resurrection we know that Jesus lives forevermore and that because of the resurrection that nothing is impossible. It is the resurrection and Calvary that is foundational and central to the truth of the gospel message.
Paul knew that it was only by grace that he was called to be an apostle. He didn’t choose to be an apostle and he hadn’t done anything to earn it. But because of God’s grace and mercy Paul was given the high calling of taking the gospel to the gentiles. Before Paul every came to know Christ, he was a man driving to destroy Christianity. But on that day on the Damascus road his life would be changed for an eternity and he would be used to write a majority of the New Testament and establish the foundation of Christianity.
We who are in Christ today and for every believer throughout history who have chosen to follow Jesus Christ are only saved by the grace and mercy of Almighty God. None of us have done anything to earn our salvation. No of us have been deserving of salvation. We are simply saved by the grace of God and when we remember and understand this truth we will always walk in humility throughout our life on this earth.
Those who come to faith in Jesus Christ is the definition of a saint. Being referred to as a saint is not something earned. A saint is simply a sinner saved by grace. Some have distorted this and made it seem the church determines who are saints and that some how it is by merit. But this is simply a distortion of the truth. Anyone who comes to Christ and receives Him as Lord and Savior are a saint. Our righteousness is not established by our works or the way we live our lives, but it is simply found in the perfection of who Jesus is. As we grow in Christ the nature and character of Christ is established within us and we develop and outward righteousness.