As with the doxologies of the Bible, every passage including this introduction to Romans
can be loaded with doctrine and reveals to us things such as; who God is, what he is like, how he wants us to know him and how to act as directed by him. When we intimately know our God like this, we can understand His heart for us and thus how we can trust him through the “trials and hardships” of life. But because we have a tendency to rush through these introductions to the “meat” of the rest of the book, we miss out on some of the hidden nuggets that God desires for us to know. (picture credit – Donell Trostrud)
It is said that if the Bible is to be compared to a ring, then Romans is the stone in the set. For the explanation of the Gospel and for the effectual growth of believers, this book is of utmost importance. The New Testament was written during the reigns of some of the most wicked and hostile rulers in history. The believers underwent terrible persecution. Yet believers are to live for Christ regardless of who is in power and for that reason, this book gives us the knowledge of, and confidence in God which we need.
Rom 1:1-7 use this link to Bible Gateway.com / NIV or use your personal Bible.
As we ponder God’s character from the above passage, I wonder if God would answer our signature question below in the following way…
Who are you Lord?
I AM the faithful God who follows through on his promises. I have given you my word so that you may know me and my intentions in this life if you care to know. To Adam I said that I would send a redeemer to destroy Satan’s authority – I did. To Abraham I said that this redeemer would bless all nations (by his death for mankind) – which I did through Christ. To David he would be of his lineage which he is (one day he will sit on David’s throne). All these and many more I have and will accomplish through my Son Jesus Christ. You can trust me to fulfill my word to you. For those who long for my appearing, you will not be disappointed.
I AM the God of history as it is my story that is unfolding through history and not some accidental, random, mindless happenchance. I plan to make a church out of people from every tribe and tongue; both Gentile along with believing Jews to reign with me forever. They will be my bride who will reign with me forever. You can be sure that nothing happens to you which I have not covered by my sovereignty.
I AM the God of Grace and peace. There is only one way to have peace with me, and I provided that way through my grace to you in what my Son did for you. He paid the ultimate price for you to have peace with me. Thus you who respond to my invitation, I will make you my saints and joint heirs of salvation in my Son.
I AM the God who wants to communicate with you. You could not have known any of this unless I called some to be apostles and prophets to relate my heart to you through my Word, the Bible. No amount of internal subjective or external empirical knowledge would have given you an inkling of what I have prepared for those of you who love me.
I AM 100% God, and 100% human. As the only perfect sinless human, only I could adequately and acceptably pay for your sin by my death. And as Almighty God, only I could rise to life again as proof that I have power over death and am able to save you – if you trust me.
I AM the only God and only I have the right to set apart individuals to be my servants and apostles. Only I have the right to command my church to take this message of invitation to all men to obey the Gospel by believing and thus receive eternal life. Only I have the right because I AM your creator and thus I own you and am worthy of your obedience and consequently I AM the one you will give account to for every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is LORD.
History is HIS-story
History is full of God’s working among mankind as recorded in His Word from Genesis 3:15 to the end of Revelation to bring about the redemption of his favorite creation – Us, and which will culminate in His reuniting us with him in the end of this age. From humanity He is creating a people who will be with him for eternity. When the Bible is read straight forward as one cohesive book, we can see his hand at work throughout history to create a people of faith regardless of differing cultures to live together with God culminating in the New Jerusalem in the new world.
God gave us all the information we need in his Word for knowing the Authority of God’s Word, Jesus’ humanity, his Deity, his power over death, his Lordship over all, Salvation in his name and obedience that is His desire from our lives. If Jesus is who he says he is and His Word is what he says it is, and then it behooves us to know it and let its character change our thinking and apply it in our lives.
To believe or not to believe
Vs 5 “The obedience that comes from faith.” All men have the same revelation from The Creation and God’s Word. Saving faith is that which is owned (appropriated- acted upon by receiving) by us as the evidence of our proclamation of believing Gods’ word. Faith is not the same as an intellectual exercise (only mental ascent) it is intellectually agreed with, and then depended upon and confessed to others. Later, in this chapter we will see the results of this great comparison between those of faith and those who do not have faith.
More to come,