Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,
If you were to begin a letter to a local church like Paul does in Romans 1:1, how would you identify yourself? Paul identified himself as a servant. The word, “servant”, means “slave” or “one fully committed to another”. A slave always does what his master or lord commands. Paul sees himself as a slave of Christ Jesus, as a person fully committed to his Lord, Jesus Christ. Do you think of yourself as a slave of Jesus Christ? If you do, do you think Jesus agrees with you? Do you think the people around you think of you as a slave of Jesus Christ? Paul writes what a person does who presents himself as a slave in Romans 6:16. A slave seeks to obey the one he serves as a slave. Are you finding out what Jesus is commanding you to do and doing it?
Paul identified himself as an apostle. In 1 Corinthians 12:28 Paul lists some assigned tasks people have in the Body of Christ, the Church. An apostle is a leader sent to start new churches and oversee the churches as they establish local leaders, called elders, shepherds or pastors. The authentic apostle has been given the ability to perform signs, wonders, and mighty works (2 Corinthians 12:12). If the person who claims to be an apostle can’t with utmost patience perform signs, wonders and mighty works, that person is not a true apostle. What assigned task in the Body of Christ, the Church, has God given you? If you don’t know, do the following: (1) Ask God to reveal your task to you, (2) Ask your local elders to help you know your assigned task, (3) Read the New Testament and try to identify what task you have been given. Once you know, then make every effort to fulfill your assigned task just as Paul did (Colossians 1:28-29).
Paul knew he was set apart for the gospel of God. All of us are set apart for the gospel of God. We only differ in the scope of our responsibility. Tomorrow we will look more closely at what being set apart for the gospel of God means to each of us who are slaves of Christ Jesus.