“Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God . . .”
The Gospel was the favorite subject of the Apostle Paul. He used the term four times in the first chapter of Romans, 15 times in the book, and a total of 71 times in his writings. It was the subject of every letter he wrote, and every message he preached.
When writing to the Corinthian church he declared, “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2
Here, he refers to himself as being “set apart to the Gospel.” The picture he paints is that of an Old Testament Priest, who was set apart to the service of God around the Temple. The priest’s whole life was consumed with the service of the Lord. His daily activities, lifestyle, even his clothing, were ordered by the fact that he was set apart unto the Lord. It is clear, declaring the Gospel was not a random act, a hobby, or even a job for Paul, but rather it was his way of life. He saw every day as an opportunity to share the love of Christ with others, and every encounter as an open door to declare the message of eternal life found in Christ. As this chapter unfolds, Paul gives us at least three reasons why the Gospel message was so important to him.
First, in verses 14 and 15, Paul declares that because of what Jesus has done for him, he sees himself as one who owes a debt to the world. The only way he can repay this great debt is by declaring the hope of eternal life, found in Christ alone. Paul would endure personal suffering, mockery, lack, imprisonment, and ultimately death, in order to ensure that all might hear the message of the cross.
Second, he declares the reason he would risk all for the gospel is because of what the gospel can do. He says it is the power of God to save. The latter half of Romans, Chapter One, declares the condition of man apart from God. This condition would be hopeless if It were not for the Gospel message. God sent His Son to rescue man from the power and penalty of sin.
Finally, when a person puts their trust in Christ, they are redeemed from bondage and restored to a right relationship with God. The gospel alone has the power to accomplish that, and it takes place within a person, as soon as he puts simple faith in Christ. Paul explains, it is then that the righteousness of God is revealed. In other words, when we trust Christ, our sins are taken away, and His righteousness is given to us. This is a transformation that takes place in every person who trusts in Christ. Oh that we would be separated to the gospel!
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