Wednesday, October 11, 2023


Romans 1:1 and 1:5 - the direction of the minister’s work 

ROMANS 1.1 and 1.5 --

1.1 — Παῦλος δοῦλος Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ, κλητὸς ἀπόστολος ἀφωρισμένος εἰς εὐαγγέλιον θεοῦ, 

1.5 —  δι᾿ οὗ ἐλάβομεν χάριν καὶ ἀποστολὴν εἰς ὑπακοὴν πίστεως ἐν πᾶσιν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν ὑπὲρ τοῦ ὀνόματος αὐτοῦ.

[Author's translation:  Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart unto the gospel of God, ...  (1.5) through whom we have received grace and apostleship leading unto the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name's sake.]
The preposition εἰς (into) has the notion of moving into a certain direction.  It can have the indication of moving away from one thing and moving towards something else. 

As a minister of the gospel, I learn from Paul in 2 areas in these opening verses from Romans.  
Paul described himself as a slave of Christ, sovereignly called/summoned as an apostle, and then set apart unto  the gospel of God.
This describes a whole new direction of life. It speaks of a new purpose, a new mission, a new ambition, a new calling. Paul’s calling consisted of the reality that the Sovereign God, the Lord of heaven and earth had set him apart away from living life for himself (even as a Christian) and doing his own mission and he must now live for the new directional mission, the purposeful ambition, the submissive lifestyle pressing hard after and proclaiming fully the gospel of God. 

Furthermore, just a few verses later, Paul declares that he has received grace and apostleship for a specific direction and purpose: leading toward the obedience (which comes from/is sourced in) faith. Paul’s grace that he received from God and the particular calling of apostleship has a direction, a mission, a goal, a purpose. It is unto — toward the resolute-pursuing — of obedience which springs from faith. 

1. As a minister of the gospel, I derive much help and fresh insight from the careful wording of Paul’s writing here (in Rom .1), as the Spirit of God directed Him to write these particular words — even these prepositions!  My mission, like that of Paul’s, is that I am set apart in the new direction of life for the gospel of God. I don’t live for myself any longer. I don’t dictate my time, my ministry, my opportunities, my schedule, my circumstances. I am fully and wholly God’s. As a slave of Christ, as a pastor of God’s flock, as a called minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I have been set apart unto a resolute, vibrant, consuming, glorious, God-given purpose to advance the gospel of God. 

2.  Additionally, a lesson I glean from this (in Rom 1.5) comes from the reality that God’s grace in the gospel as it works in my own life must lead unto the obedience springing from faith. God wants obedience. He wants heartfelt allegiance. He wants submission. He must take the place of Lord and be sovereign over one’s heart and life. I serve as an under shepherd, caring for God’s people, with the goal of leading them unto (in the direction of) obedience which springs from (saving) faith. 

May God help us as ministers to remain faithful to this calling as ministers of the gospel as we learn from Paul.
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