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       . . . Romans 1:1-7, 13-17
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first, and also for the Greek."  Romans 1:16 (NKJV) 
The epistle to the Romans is a brilliant theological treatise.  Paul was writing from Corinth to a church he did not establish, to believers he had never met, and to an area he had never visited.  Nevertheless, he knew the Roman believers were widely known for their boldness and enduring faith.  "Paul's aim was for men to know Christ more clearly, to love Him more dearly, and to follow Him more nearly." (Richard of Chichester's prayer)
Saul (Hebrew name) now Paul (Greek name) described himself a servant (
doulos, one owned as a slave) of Jesus Christ and an apostle (one sent out on behalf of someone in authority).  Although not one of the original apostles, God called him and set him apart as an apostle (See Acts 9).  Christ was God's son, a descendant of David by the flesh, according to holiness by the resurrection of the dead.  Paul was referring to the consistent holiness Jesus demonstrated from His birth to death on the cross.  Even in our "corrupt culture" today, believers can live holy lives by embracing the grace, peace, and power that comes from Christ in us, the hope of glory.
THE GOSPEL DEBT  (Romans 1:13-15)
Paul expressed a strong desire to proclaim the gospel (good news) in Rome, especially in areas where Gentiles could respond.  In fact, Paul said he was a debtor to Jews, Gentiles, and Barbarians . . . wise and not so wise.  He was eager to preach the gospel in Rome.  But first he needed to fulfill an obligation to carry a relief offering to Jerusalem for suffering believers.  He also mentioned the possibility of a crusade in Spain.
THE GOSPEL DECLARED  (Romans 1:16-17)
Paul repeated that he was not ashamed to declare that salvation is found through faith in Christ alone.  The gospel displays the power of God for salvation to all who believe to the Jew first and then to the Gentiles.  Notice that Scripture does not say everyone would be saved.  Salvation is exclusive to those who believe in and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  Martin Luther said Christians should read Romans every day as the daily bread of the soul.  The more Romans is studied, the more precious it becomes.
Charles Foxworth
Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Education (Ret.)--Louisiana Tech University -- Ruston, Louisiana
Supply Minister for Concord/Union Baptist Association -- Ruston, Louisiana 
eThoughts Team -- Extended Week-day Free Devotionals -- Vol. IX, No. 02-19G -- Archived 
Dr. Nelda Hughes Spinks, Professor Emerita -- Editor and Publisher
Scripture is taken from THE NEW KING JAMES VERSION, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.  All Rights Reserved. 
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