The sermon this week breaks down the first verse of Paul’s introduction to Paul’s Letter to the Romans. It is the longest introduction of any bible letter and also the longest of any non-biblical letter in the ancient Greco-Roman world. In verse 1, Paul uses ten words to describe himself:
1. He is a Servant of Christ Jesus (His Master)
2. He is called to be an Apostle by Christ Jesus (His Vocation)
3. He is set apart for the Gospel of God (His Purpose)
You and I should pay careful attention to Romans because Paul accurately knows who he is and can therefore effectively help us to know God, the gospel, and ourselves.
The identity of Paul articulated in Romans 1:1 is astonishing in context of who he once was, and this transformation of master, vocation, and purpose can only be explained by his face-to-face meeting with the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9; 22; 26).