Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
1Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— 2the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, 4and who through the Spirit[
] of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God[b] by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. 5Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. 6And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.
7To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul sends greeting to the church at Rome. Interesting enough, Paul had never been to Rome-yet, and none of the original disciples had made yet. Rome was the center of the world, at least the western world. Evidently, some of the Jewish Christians commissioned at Pentecost had gone to Rome and spread the news of Christ.
In verses 2-4 Paul summarizes the Christian Faith. Now that is a way to start any letter. He also states right off that God has called him to be an apostle, and as such has authority to counsel and guide the young church.
Paul wants to go to Rome, and has bought himself Roman citizenship, a wise purchase that saves his life several times during his ministry. Rome is the big city, and residents probably considered themselves to be a little superior, but Paul is not afraid. It is also the place where Paul is finally condemned and executed, and he knows this. Because of the power and prestige of Rome, if the growing church was to survive and be a force in the world, all roads led to Rome. If Christianity had stayed in Jerusalem, or even branched out into Asia Minor, it would always just be a local custom. By changing Rome, it changed the world.
Prayer- Lord, help us to read this letter to your church in a long gone time and learn. Help us decide what sin is, and how to live and grow in spite of sin. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.