In the last post we saw how Paul in verses 1-4, brilliantly argued how and why the Gospel has authority and why it is true. We also saw why he has the authority to preach the gospel. In this post we will see why and how Paul was chosen to be an apostle, what was the goal of preaching the gospel and what was the extent of his calling.
(ESV Strong’s) 5(a) through whom we have received grace and apostleship
This verse continues from verses 3-4 where Paul described who Jesus is. Paul described that Jesus was born from the line of David, which puts Him in line for the throne, and therefore a king. He described Jesus as the Son of God and declared as such when He was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul also described Jesus as our Lord.
Paul now in verse 5(a) says that it is through this same Jesus Who is a King, a Son of God and our Lord, that they have received grace and apostleship. Please note the order, it was first grace from God then apostleship. In other words, Paul was chosen, not because he deserved it but, he was chosen despite the fact that he did not deserve to be chosen. God through Jesus, showed him mercy and grace and by His will allowed for him to be chosen as an apostle. Again Paul is proving that God is Sovereign. Paul can only glorify God and Jesus for not only his salvation but also for his apostleship.
What was the purpose of Paul’s Preaching?
(ESV Strong’s) 5(b)-6 to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, 6 including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,
What was Paul’s Task?
Paul’s task was to bring about obedience of faith. The Greek word translated here as “obedience” means a state of being in compliance. In this verse it simply means Paul’s task was to (Gk-EnLex_NT) promote obedience to the message of faith. Paul’s task was not only to preach the gospel message but, it was also to ensure that people obey the gospel message. He needed to ensure that people who hear and accept the message, also place themselves in submission to the gospel message. It doesn’t help to hear and accept the gospel message and then fail or refuse to obey what it says.
Who Received Glory from Paul’s Task?
Paul was to preach the gospel message and ensure obedience to it, not for his own sake but for the sake of the name of Jesus Christ. It was Jesus who was getting all the glory in the work that Paul was doing. That is why Paul started by saying that he is a servant or a slave of Jesus Christ. This is one of the ways how you differentiate between false preachers and true ones. You must ask this question: Who gets the glory, the preacher or Jesus?
What was the extend of Paul’s Task?
Paul was to preach the gospel and ensure obedience to the gospel, in such a way that it gives Jesus all the glory, to ALL the nations, including the gentiles who were in Rome. The gospel message was not reserved only for the Jews but, it was and it still is for every single person on earth. It doesn’t mean that everyone will accept it but, it must still be preached to all, and that was the extend to which Paul was to preach the gospel and ensure obedience to it.
If Paul only preached the gospel and did not ensure that there was obedience to it, he would have failed in his task. If Paul was to preach the gospel, ensure obedience to it, but took all the glory instead of giving all glory to Jesus, he would have failed his task. All three are required if Paul was to succeed in his task. By extension, this applies to every preacher today. Our task will be a complete failure if we fail in one of these requirements. We must also preach the gospel and ensure obedience to the gospel, in such a way that all glory goes to Jesus Christ, otherwise we are failing our tasks as preachers.
Paul’s Normal Greeting to His Readers
Romans 1:7 (ESV Strong’s)
7 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.
Paul concludes this section with his normal greeting to the saints or Christians in Rome. Please take note how Paul describes them. He says they are loved by God and called to be saints or Christians. Paul is not describing them as those who love God and chose to place their trust in Jesus. If he had said this, the glory would have gone to Rome Christians instead of God. They way Paul puts it, God and Jesus get all the glory for loving them and calling them to be Christians. Right from the onset, Paul practices what he preaches. Also, right from the onset, Paul gives glory to God for the salvation of the Roman Christians. They did not save themselves but we’re saved by God who loved them and called them to be saints.