The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
We begin a survey of Romans today. In chapter 1 verses 1-7 the apostle Paul greets the church at Rome. He first introduces himself, as is typical of an ancient letter. Notice how he presents himself? He is an apostle, someone sent with a message from God. He has been set apart for the Gospel. What is this Gospel? It was announced in advance through the propehets. It can be reviewed in Scripture. It is about God’s son, who is also a physical descendant of David. He was shown to be God’s Son by being resurrected through the power of the Holy Spirit. He is indeed our Lord.
As we expected to be introduced to the author, Paul, we were actually introduced to Jesus, the Son of God. Verse five points out that it is through Jesus that Paul has been made an apostle. But what’s an apostle, after all? An apostle is someone who has been sent by someone else with a message. We might use the term “ambassador” as a fairly good parallel. The message God has given Paul, the same message He has given us, is that of Christ, crucified for sinners, raised from the dead, making peace with God.
We can watch for the entire message of Romans to be about Christ for sinners. As he has called Paul, he also called the Romans to bear the message of the Gospel. He calls all his people, everywhere, in every age, to bear witness to the Gospel. May he give us the strength to do so.
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