Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The Gospel in Romans 1

So I'm going to be ensconced in Romans 1 all month. I don't know how frequently I'll blog about it, but pretty often I suspect. This is not a methodical dissection, but day-by-day listening to Paul and considering his words.

The greeting in Romans 1 is very rich. I've read this chapter four or five times in the last few days and a couple of things keep jumping out at me. First, Paul is hanging everything on the gospel. He lives for it, because he believes that through it the world will be transformed.

And second, apart from the gospel, we have sin leading to death, a portrait not only of the deeply entrenched sinfulness of our hearts, but of futility. When I read through the whole letter a couple of days ago I saw this theme recurring: on the one hand, talk of fruitfulness and harvest, on the other, futility and death. Very stark contrasts.

We see that contrast in chapter 1. More on this later, I suspect, but for now I just want to collect some of what Paul says about the gospel here.

  • Paul is "set apart for the gospel" (v.1)
  • the gospel was "promised in the holy Scriptures" (v.2)
  • the gospel concerns God's son, "Jesus Christ our Lord" (v.3,4)
  • Paul serves God "in the gospel of his Son" (v.9)
  • Paul is eager to preach the gospel to the Christians in Rome (v.15)
  • the gospel is "the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes" (v.16)
  • in the gospel "the righteousness of God is revealed" (v.17)

That's it for this morning. There's pleny here to keep us busy all month!

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