1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— 2 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3 regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life[a] was a descendant of David, 4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power[b] by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. 5 Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from[c] faith for his name’s sake. 6 And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. 7 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.
History records that Augustine, Martin Luther and John Calvin all had life-changing encounters with God as a result of reading and pondering on the Book of Romans. Martin Luther said that Romans is “The chief part of the New Testament and the perfect Gospel… the absolute epitome of the gospel”
The apostle Paul wrote the book of Romans ahead of his planned visit to the Christians in Rome. He was aware that he may never make it to Rome, and so he wrote them a letter so comprehensive that the Christians there would have a full understanding of the gospel even if Paul himself were not able to visit them.
I remember reading the book of Romans as a young person and struggling to understand some of its complex concepts, but over the years as I have read and re-read this book, it has been instrumental in shaping my understanding of God and the gospel.
I am so grateful that Paul fulfilled his assignment as a “devoted slave to Jesus Christ” authorized by God to write this letter to the Romans. He probably never dreamed that we would still be studying it over 2000 years later.
Each one of us has things that God has assigned us to do. They may well seem small and insignificant in our eyes, but we will never know the full impact of our obedience and service to God in this life.
Stay the path and be faithful in the little things. You just never know what God is up to as He works through you and me.
Written by Shelley Witt