Grace to You
What can we learn from a study and reflection on even a small passage of Scripture? Here, we reflect on Romans 1:1-7 with Dr. Richard Krejcir.
Gratitude for Redemption (Romans 1:1-2)
“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God — the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures.”
Our primary call is not to be perfect church-goers, but to be models of God’s character and to proclaim His Word. We do this because of our gratitude for our redemption. Our ability to be good is only because of the “effect” of redemption (what Christ did for us on the cross, which we did not deserve) not the “cause,” (the cause is how we are, receiving grace and forgiveness). Never confuse the two, or you will have pride and arrogance because you will think you deserved it.
To cement this point, look at what Paul calls himself: a “bondservant”. This was the lowest form of a slave in Paul’s time – they were totally at the master’s disposal and even expendable. Paul gave up his career, status, family and all of his material positions to serve Christ.
Reflect: How does this make you feel? How does this motivate you in your faith and Christian living?
Christ our Lord (Romans 1:3-4)
“Regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.”
My purpose and reality is what Christ did for me, my redemption, and so what is my response? Our growth and maturity will mean the removal of our aspirations, with His purpose replacing them. Our faith cannot be from our good nature because we do not have one.
Reflect: Is there something that needs to be removed from your life so you can grow closer in your relationship with Christ? Do you live with him as Lord of your life?
Through Christ we have Grace (Romans 1:5-6)
“Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake. And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.”
“Disciple” means one who learns and applies what they learn, and this is our chief call in life (Matt. 28:18-20).
Our salvation is purchased and secured by Christ, and God’s promise from the Old Testament is fulfilled by Christ. He came to us as a man, one of us to live a perfect life on our behalf as He takes on God’s wrath for our sin. He takes our place, the punishment we deserved. He does this by love and by grace. Then He offers His grace to all of us who are willing to accept it by trusting in Him.
Paul was overjoyed by this, as we should be. He considered himself the lowest of slaves, unworthy to receive Christ. Paul fully realized that this grace is totally undeserved and he couldn’t wait to tell the world about it! He was a true disciple, sharing and applying his knowledge of God for the good of others.
Reflect: Do you hear the call of God? Has the reality of Christ impacted you?
Grace to You (Romans 1:7)
“To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Paul sends his blessings in the name and utterance of our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul realized the reality of the Gospel. Even though he was a highly educated and influential leader with a high position (politically as a Roman citizen and in his Jewish sect of a Pharisee), he knew he was lost. He knew he did not deserve God’s grace. We are never to take his grace for granted.
Paul’s driving force was not his character, but living in Christ’s service. If we focus only upon ourselves we will fail badly in life, as our purpose is Christ. Our growth and maturity will sometimes mean the removal of our aspirations with His purpose replacing them.
Reflect: Have you struggled with surrendering your priorities in life so you are centered upon the Lord and not yourself? How can this style of meditation on a passage of Scripture help you focus on Christ and his grace in your life?
Read an earlier post by Richard here.