Yellow Balloons Devotional Series: Advent

Romans 1:1

The Apostle Paul writes to the world-renowned believers in Rome, the center of the world at that time, in order to answer a slanderous charge made to them against Paul and his message. Paul’s detractors claim his emphasis on faith overturns the law. Paul says that ” just living by the law” does not achieve personal justice before God, while “just living by faith” does. Paul then demonstrates what a just life looks like: harmonious living with Jesus as the leader. Paul also makes clear the choice a believer has: to walk in faith and the power of the resurrection and experience resurrection life, or walk in sin and unnecessarily experience the negative consequences.

Paul makes clear his respect for the believers in Rome, acknowledging that their “faith is being proclaimed throughout the world” (Romans 1:8)and states his central theme that the just or righteous live by faith empowered with resurrection power, while unjust living based on our own pride and strength leads to wrath and destruction.

Paul starts out his letter by giving his credentials and explaining his purpose in ministry.

The Apostle Paul writes this letter to the believers in Rome at the height of the power of the Roman Empire. There was no higher authority in the world than Rome. “All roads lead to Rome” was literal as well as figurative. The highest authorities on earth representing Jesus were the Apostles. Paul establishes his authority as an Apostle but also makes clear that his authority called him to be a bond-servant of Christ Jesus. A bondservant was a servant who chose to stay bound to his master for life. Jesus called Paul and set him apart to proclaim the gospel about Jesus and what Jesus provides for humankind, and Paul chose to accept the invitation, and made a lifelong commitment to follow Jesus regardless of the cost.

Biblical Text

1 Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,