Romans 1:1 – Paul is his name among the Gentiles his name in Israel is Saul. To this day on the first Sabbath after a boy is circumcised he is given his Hebrew name in the Temple. If he lives in the diaspora he has a name that is suitable for his assimilation into the culture he lives in. My Hebrew name is Melech (king), which actually came from my American name “Roy”, which in both Spanish and French come from the word meaning “king”. Saul in Hebrew means “asked for”.
Paul describes himself as a “Bond Servant“. A bond servant was a slave who willingly gave himself permanently to the service of his master (Exodus 21:2ff). This kind of slave no longer had a will of his own, a plan of his own, a wish of his own; he surrendered all to the will of his master. Such was Paul’s understanding of his complete surrender to the will and call of God, who had purchased him from indebtedness to the god of this world so that he might serve a different master. The purchase price was the Blood of Jesus (1 Corinthians 6:20; 7:23).
Called as an Apostle – According to Scripture apostles were those who had seen the Lord, and been able to testify of him and of his resurrection from personal knowledge (John 15:27; Acts 1:21, 22; 1 Corinthians 9:1; Acts 22:14, 15). They must have been called to that office by Jesus (Luke 6:13; Galatians 1:1). Another qualification was the power of working miracles (Mark 16:20; Acts 2:43). The result is that most scholars believe that the apostles could have had no successors and that the office of an apostle ended with their home going. There is another meaning for the word “Apostle” and that is found in 2 Corinthians 8:23 and Philippians 2:25 where the word “messenger” uses the same Greek word.
But this usage is different and distinct from the title Apostle. “The twelve,” as they are called (Matthew 10:1-5; Mark 3:14; 6:7; Luke 6:13; 9:1) were given the “keys of the kingdom,” and by the gift of his Spirit fitted them to be the founders and leaders of the church (John 14:16, 17, 26; 15:26, 27; 16:7-15). Judas Iscariot, one of “the twelve,” was removed by his betrayal, and Matthias was substituted in his place (Acts 1:21). Paul was added to their number by the Lord (Acts 9:3-20; 20:4; 26:15-18; 1 Timothy 1:12; 2:7; 2 Timothy 1:11).
Set Apart for the Gospel – Paul was set apart in 3 different ways, first from the womb (Galatians 1:15), Then as a chosen vessel of the Lord in Acts 9:15, and then set apart by the Spirit of God for the work of the ministry (Acts 13:2). In order to be set apart for a work we must be separated from something. As believers we are separated from the world to the Lord. We like Paul are set apart as well to proclaim the Gospel.
The expression “Gospel” means literally “Good News”, a and is primarily derived from Isaiah 52:7 How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation, And says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” and Isaiah 61-62. The Good News is primarily the “Power of God” for redemption, wisdom, righteousness, and sanctification. (1 Corinthians 1:18, 30).
Romans 1:2 Which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures – The Gospel is not something new it was something that has been revealed from the fall of man in Genesis 3:15 and was revealed to God’s saints through the unfolding years.
Jesus said of Abraham (John 8:56) “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” (John 5:46) “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. While the church is something “new” the Gospel is not. The Talmud, the Jewish commentary of the Older Testament declares “All the prophets prophesied not, but for the days of the Messiah.” (Sanhedrin 99a). The world was not created but only for the Messiah (Sanhedrin 98b)
Romans 1:3 – The gospel concerns “God’s Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” He is both the Subject and the Author of the gospel. By Him and through Him the gospel was created and declared. He is the One who brings the good news of God to man. The gospel concerns two wonderful truths. The first is that God became a man. He was made of the seed of David; that is, he was born as a man, as a descendant of David. Concerning the incarnation it is important to understand the distinction between what the Roman Catholic and what Scripture teaches.
They teach that Mary was the mother of God, but this is not accurate, Mary mothered a body for God to dwell in. The flesh is not God it is was a tabernacle for God. That is why the NASB is so good for it interprets the Scripture rightly when it says “according to the flesh.” This is the essence of John 1:14. This tabernacle was prophesied as descended from David who was the greatest ruler of Israel. He took up residence among us and had a human nature, and because He had a human nature, He suffered all the trials of life which we suffer. He did this in part so that we might know that He understands our trials and sorrows in life.
Romans 1:4 – The second wonderful truth of the gospel is most profound, for it proclaims the divine nature of Jesus Christ. Jesus was the Son of God before He came into the world. He is declared to be the Son of God by two things. The Spirit of holiness that dwelt in Him which declares Jesus to be the Son of God. His life on earth proved this in that He lived as a man for thirty some years and never sinned. A second proof was the resurrection from the dead.
All other men are dead and gone. The proof is demonstrated by one simple question: “Where are they? Where are our mothers, our fathers, our sisters, our ancestors?” Once they have left this world, they are gone and the earth never sees them again. But not the Messiah. He died, but He arose and walked on the earth again. in Romans 1:3 He is born and in Romans 1:4 He is declared to be the Son of God. This is clearly a further clarification by Paul of the Diety of the Messiah. The indication or sign of His Sonship was His resurrection.
In John 11:25 – Jesus said to Martha that He was the resurrection and the life. In John 2:19 He declared “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up”, which is another reference to His resurrection. This is the essence of God’s Good News. As Hebrews 1:1-2 tells us “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.”
Romans 1:5-6 Paul had received God’s grace and God’s mission. Note the word “we.” Paul now speaks of all believers, not only of himself. We too have received God’s glorious grace, which includes His favor, His mercy, His love, His salvation. God’s grace includes all that God has done for us and all the blessings He showers on us. It includes His love for us from eternity past. (Ephesians 1:3-4; 2 Timothy 1:9).
It also includes His saving us freely, (Romans 3:24; Ephesians 2:8-9). It also includes His care and looking after us day by day (Philippians 4:19). The wonderful assurance that the work He has begun in our life He will complete Philippians 1:6). Like Paul we too are “called” we have been saved by Jesus. We also are called to the mission and task of Jesus to be His servants and ministers of the Good News.