1. Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God.
Paul – Just a tiny general note. People put their names at the beginning of the scroll. It saved the
reader from having to scroll through the entire scroll to identify the sender. Some scrolls could
be up to 30 feet long.
Servant – The Greek text uses the word slave. However, the term for a servant, an entirely
different Greek word, can be used in most cases interchangeably—the key to getting the right
nuance of the word here. It also fits very well with the OT idea that great men like Moses,
Elijah, and David were servants of God. Paul wants to give the Romans the idea that he is
subject to God until death. He does not owe loyalty to anyone but God. He is God’s and God’s
alone. He was called to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Called – Self-explanatory here. Paul is pointing out that God called him for the work of the
Gospel. This calling is from God. Not anything that he could have done. We, as Christians, are
also called from our previous sinful lives into the new life in Christ.
Apostle – Paul uses the word apostle in 3 ways in his writings. First, he uses it in the general
sense as a messenger. Second as an accredited missionary. Third, as in this case. He is using it to
describe a group of people called by God. These people have seen the risen Christ. The Holy
Spirit explicitly chose them. They were able to perform signs and wonders. Finally, their words
bore the authority of God, Himself.
Separated – To separate or mark out one person from a group for a specific purpose.
Unto the gospel of God – What Paul is trying to do here is make sure that he and the Romans
are on the same page; he will define the gospel later in the letter.
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