For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.
To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world.
For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you
always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you.
For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—
that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.
I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles.
I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish.
So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
What a lovely way to open a letter, with love and good will.
“…Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. …”
Much like the opening to the Lord’s Prayer in recognition of who God is and praise and adoration for him. Do we include one another in our prayers as Paul did?
“…God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers,…”
There is a connection between believers that goes beyond the physical. It is a recognition of brothers and sisters of the kingdom of God, a spiritual kingdom that has power over the physical world.
“…the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes,…”
Paul answers the question; what is the gospel?, in this introduction. He states it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. There is freedom from the bondage of a law-document that hoped to get salvation. There is nothing we can do to achieve salvation; that is, redemption from the penalty of sin; death. All that is necessary to receive that redemption and absolution from the wages of sin is to believe that Jesus is the promised Christ and he paid our sin debt for us. That belief ignites the power of God in us and burns the chains of sin from us, setting us free. Good, isn’t it? In this gospel we receive God’s righteousness through Christ and faith in what he has done; that it was done to free us.
“…For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith,…”
Now we do, but not out of obligation and not in hope that we will see God, for all will see God. Now, we do because we receive his spirit and we want to. We too, hear the voice of God in our spirit and follow his will. What we do we do in response to love. All that we do every day, all day, is for his glory.
“…”The righteous shall live by faith.” …”
Blessed be the name of the Lord.