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 human nature was a descendant of David, 4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. 5 Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. 6 And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. 7 To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. NIV
It's amazing how much Paul packed into these seven verses. In them we see the trinity, prophecy, the gospel, the lineage of Christ, our calling as believers, and our hope. As well as a greeting to the Romans.
Over the next few posts, I will need to break this passage down verse by verse. But today, I wanted to look at it in its entirety simply to see that being a Christ follower is not complex. Here we see it summarized in six short verses. Isn't that amazing? The power of the Creator who sent His Son to change the world and bring it hope can be written about in just a few words. And yet, we want to make it so complicated.
Jesus Christ did come to upset the apple cart, but not to complicate. In fact, His presence brings more clarity to our lives than we will ever experience through any other means. He is our only hope. We simply must believe and walk in that faith. How beautiful is that?
Father, I continue to complicate your gospel and commission by placing it in time and space; by breaking it down into too many parts; by letting it be overshadowed by my sin and chaos. And it is much simpler than that. Forgive me, Lord. You love me; I accept Your love and forgiveness; I will live to serve You. Period. So be it.
- Read this passage again 2-3 times slowly. Let your mind and heart absorb all it has to say.
- Read this passage here in other versions. Notice below the passage, you can click on "view in parallel." Then you can select other versions to read. I particularly like the English Standard Version of this passage.
- Define gospel.
- Read The Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20.
- Write out for yourself in a few words a definition of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Great Commission. Memorize it to be your 30-second explanation you can give if someone asks you what you believe.