Paul’s Epistle to the Romans 1: 1 – 7

Paul’s Epistle to the Romans 1: 1 – 7

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God – the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake. And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.

To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

*       *       *

I’m frightened as I approach this epistle.

The biblical scholar and former Bishop of Durham, N T Wright, has written about Romans: “What nobody doubts is that we are here dealing with a work of massive substance, presenting a formidable intellectual challenge while offering a breath-taking theological and spiritual vision.”

The difficulty for me is that there is a great deal of the epistle I find difficult to believe.

Nevertheless, I believe that the Holy Spirit is urging me to read and blog about the epistle, so that’s what I’ll do. It may change me profoundly. However, whether my understanding of my faith is changed or not, it will be deepened.

The issues I expect to be difficult are Paul’s view of God’s wrath; his view of God’s love; his view of the nature of Jesus’ death on the cross; and his view of human sexuality. In other words, an awful lot of the epistle.

Does that matter? I look at the heading of this letter to the Romans:

“And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.

To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Paul wrote this from Corinth to the Christians in Rome around about AD 57. It’s not just a letter to the Roman Christians, though. It’s an epistle, which is quite distinct from a letter. It is written for a general readership, and is intended to be persuasive. As such, it is addressed to us today, to me. It says I am loved by God, and called to be one of his holy people. It blesses me with God’s grace and peace.

Paul has written to me; it’s important; I must make sure I’m paying attention.

Prayer

Heavenly Father

Thank you for your love. Thank you for Jesus. Please help me to read the bible and learn from it whatever I need to follow Jesus and to do your will. Please help me to have the humility to realise when I’m wrong and need to change my thinking.

In Jesus’ name, Amen

Published by pennygadd51

I write. I've written many pieces of flash fiction, dozens of short stories and two novels, with a third in progress.

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