Romans Lesson 1 Day 2
My answers to BSF study questions
The Book of Romans has life changing truth but it must be approached with effort and determination to understand what the Holy Spirit said through the Apostle Paul.” David Guzik
3. Paul (formerly Saul) introduces himself.
Paul doesn’t begin his letter the way we would by saying “Dear Romans.” He begins with a short summary of his calling. In 1 Timothy and Philippians Paul includes more of his back story and testimony. The book of Acts includes other details about Paul’s history and his life-changing encounter with Jesus.
Paul’s “pedigree” from Philippians 3:5-6
- “Circumcised when (he) was eight days old (in accordance with the Law)” (AMP)
- “…born of the nation of Israel, descended from the tribe of Benjamin.” (Voice)
- “a Hebrew born of Hebrews” (Voice)
- Paul “observed the law according to the strict piety of the Pharisees, separate from those embracing a less rigorous kind of Judaism.” (Voice)
- “Zealous? Yes. (He) ruthlessly pursued and persecuted the church. And when it comes to the righteousness required by the law, (his) record is spotless.” (Voice)
Paul before he met the resurrected Jesus
- “Saul—A fuming, raging, hateful man who wanted to kill every last one of the Lord’s disciples. (Acts 9:1 Voice)
- On a mission, authorized by the high priest, to arrest, lock up, and kill all of Jesus’ followers, both men, and women
- Slandering and blaspheming the things of God
- Aggressively persecuting and attacking God’s people
- Blinded by a sudden flash of light from heaven (Acts 9:3)
- Saul fell to the ground. (This reminds me of the shekinah glory in Solomon’s temple when the priests could not stand up and minister.)
- “Paul (Saul) heard the voice of Jesus asking, “why are you persecuting Me [harassing, troubling, and molesting Me]?” (AMP) Jesus told Paul,”you are actually persecuting me.” Then Jesus said, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” (Acts 9:6 AMP)
- “The men with Saul also heard the voice and were terrified.”
- Jesus sent Ananias to restore Saul’s eyesight. When Ananias laid his hands on Saul, something that resembled scales fell from his eyes. Saul got up and was baptized. Then he ate some food for the first time in three days.
Paul after he met the resurrected Jesus
- Paul calls himself first a servant of Jesus, the Anointed.
There were several ancient Greek words used to designate a slave, but the idea behind the word for servant (doulos) is “complete and utter devotion, not the abjectness which was the normal condition of the slave.” (Morris)
“A servant of Jesus Christ, is a higher title than monarch of the world.” (Poole) (Source David Guzik)
- Secondly, Paul calls himself “authorized as an apostle to proclaim God’s words and acts.” (Romans 1:1 MSG)
An apostle is a messenger and ambassador. The purpose of such “sending away” is to convey messages, and thus “messenger” is a common alternative translation. The term may be used metaphorically in various contexts, but is mostly found used specifically for early associates of the founder of a religion, who were important in spreading his teachings. (Wikipedia)
See the following link for two broader definitions from Smith’s Bible Dictionary and Easton’s Bible Dictionary
- Strengthened and empowered to carry out this ministry
- Appointed to tell the good news
- Paul is now on a “mission is to spread the one true and obedient faith to all people in the name of Jesus.” (Romans 1:5 Voice)
- Received mercy and grace—forgiven
- “Judged and counted me faithful and trustworthy” (1 Timothy 1:12 AMP)
4. Paul “appointed to tell the good news” (Romans 1:1 Voice)
The Gospel Paul preached wasn’t a new idea. God planned and promised it long ago. Prophets shared the good news through the spoken word to their generation and wrote it down so it was passed down through the Holy Scriptures.
The entire gospel revolves around Jesus Christ, God’s plan to rescue man through His son, Jesus Christ.
I believe deep in my heart that God raised Jesus from the pit of death and I voice my allegiance by confessing the truth that “Jesus is Lord,” so I am saved! (paraphrase of Romans 10:9 Voice)
5. The Believers in Rome are included!
All the good news that God promises throughout history—God’s offer of unmerited favor—isn’t just for the Jews. The Gentiles are included!
The believers in Rome are called by Jesus, God’s anointed one because the good news reached their ears. This good news can’t be confined. It changes lives.
They are God’s beloved saints.
Their faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
I’m included, too!
I am a Gentile by birth. Thankfully, the descendants of Abraham don’t have this good news all to themselves.
“Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you…” (Matthew 28:19-20 AMPC)
“All nations whom You have made shall come and fall down before You, O Lord; and they shall glorify Your name.” Psalm 86:9 (AMPC)