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ROMANS 1:1-4

"Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,

(Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)

Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;

And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead ...."


We shall, Lord willing, now study this Text in a verse by verse manner.


 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15







As Paul begins his Epistles (thirteen of which bear his name as the writer) he uses one of two names for himself.

Either he is an "apostle" of Jesus Christ or a "servant" of the Lord.

Here in Romans he is both!

"Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God ...." Romans 1:1

The noun "servant" translates "doulos" and means a common bond slave.  This title is usually associated with the lowest of all the Roman slaves.  Paul, a former Pharisee and graduate of Gamaliel's school of theology and meticulous keeper of the law ... calling himself a "slave?" Yes, a slave of Jesus Christ. Not a slave against his own will, mind you! But a slave of Jesus with joy and gladness, voluntarily!

Then the word "apostle" (in Greek = "apostolos") means "a sent one" and carries the idea of a delegate commissioned by the King and invested with authority to bear a message!

Generally speaking, Paul uses the term "apostle" when he needs to emphasize rank or power, when giving commands or correcting some errant situation.

His "servant" name is reserved for those whom he loves, whose loyalty and respect are unquestioned!

Do notice the order of these two names or titles please.  One must first learn to be a servant, a slave ... before he can be a leader!

Every Christian is a servant because Jesus is Lord, Master, Governor of all!

But as an "apostle," Paul particularly notes his "call" to the ministry.  "Kletos" describes one who has been summoned or invited or even constricted to a certain duty ... for his master!

Next Paul has been "separated" unto the Gospel!  Gospel, meaning "good news" certainly includes the Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus ... but might be summarized by saying Christ Jesus and all He is ... or has done ... or is doing ... or is yet going to do!  The Gospel is Christ our Saviour and Lord!

But what does "separated" mean?

The verb, "aphorizo," contains what has become our English word "horizon." You know, that line that one sees where it appears sky and earth meet ... running across the landscape!

The idea of the word is "to mark out" or "to outline" a boundary somewhere. When combined with "apo" as here, it means to be set apart, away from something (the world) and placed within something (the Gospel) for the rest of one's life!  One Text says " to mark off by bounds or limits."

The first time it's used in the New Testament, it is translated "sever" in the King James Bible.  Jesus said in Matthew 13:49 ... "So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."

Paul is consecrated to the Preaching of the Word of God!

Every God-called preacher should be!

In a real way, Romans 1:1 has just given us Paul's spiritual biography, step by step! How exciting!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




The second verse in Romans is a brief commentary on the entire Old Testament!

Speaking of the Gospel, Paul writes: "Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures." Romans 1:2

The verb "had promised" translates "proepaggellomai" and means "to announce" something "before" it arrives.

The Old Testament Prophets and Poets and other Writers had taught in advance about the coming Saviour!

Let's read the closing part of Romans 1:1 now, combining it with verse 2 which follows. "... the gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)"

It's the Gospel which is promised afore!

But when did the Old Testament preach the Gospel?

Where are its "hints" and "foreshadows" of such good things to come?

Galatians 3:8 gives us one specific instance!  "And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed."


Abraham, a Father, miraculously produced a Son!

That Son died (in symbol) on a mount in the land of Israel ... but returned alive to the people waiting down below! 

The Son then took a wife, a Bride!

And He became the Father of a whole nation!

All these facts combine to produce a beautiful composite of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ!

The Gospel ... preached in Abraham's day!

And add this please.

Abraham saw this ... and believed!

Romans 4:3 says: "For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness."

Then Galatians 3:6 adds: "Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness."

Even James 2:23 declares: "And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God."

By the way, Simon Peter says the same thing as Paul!  "Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow." 1st Peter 1:10-11

That may be referring to Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22 and many other such portions of Scripture.

The Gospel!

In the Old Testament!

Many times over!


                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




This third verse is loaded with Bible doctrine!

"Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh." Romans 1:3

Our four verse Passage, ultimately dealing with the Resurrection of Jesus, has many supporting points of truth too.

The opening preposition "concerning" translates "peri" in Greek and means "about" or "with reference to" or literally "surrounding."

This third verse is all about Jesus!

He is God's Son, "huios" in Greek, not "teknion" here.  The distinction between these two nouns may deal with dignity and authority. Often "teknion" just means a son who has the family likeness. It at times was even used of a follower of a great teacher. While these are both great meanings, they fall short of the beauty of "huios," the son. Here we have an emphasis on genuine relationship!  A "huios" son has all the privileges and opportunities that honored position brings!

And Jesus is God's Son!

The Name "Jesus" means "Jehovah is salvation!"  It is the New Testament equivalent of the Old Testament "Joshua," the deliverer!

"Christ" is an English loan word.  It is derived from "christos" in Greek, meaning the "anointed" One.  This is a distinct reference to Jesus as the Spirit filled and God approved fulfillment of the "anointed" ones of the Old Testament, those being the prophets and priests and kings!  "Christ" identifies our Lord not only as the Saviour, but as our great High Priest and coming King and certainly the greatest Prophet of all!

And "Lord" is "kurios," which means master or possessor or even boss! Prince or chief are synonyms as well. This is a term of respect and even reverence at times.

Now for the verb "was made." What could Jesus, the eternal Son of God, have possible been "made?"  He was made of the seed of David! He became a Jew! One born into the godly and kingly line of future rulers of Israel! "Made" is "ginomai" and means "to come to pass" or possibly "to be born."

As God ... Jesus is eternal.  As David's relative, a Jew, a human being, He had to be born, virgin-born mind you!

"According to the flesh" is Paul's way of assuring us that Jesus Christ literally took upon Himself a human body. He had eyes and ears and flesh and blood (although sinless blood) and legs and feet too.

"Flesh" here ("sarx") does not mean one's old sinful nature ... as Paul sometimes uses it. Rather, it is referring to Jesus' humanity.  He is the God-Man! He is unique!  The only begotten Son of God!

And it is with This JESUS that Paul begins his great letter to the Romans!

It also is with this Jesus that we all must begin our Christian lives!

Apart from Him, there is no Saviour!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




The Scriptures teach us that the Resurrection of Jesus was "proof," was a "declaration" of God the Father, that Jesus was indeed His Son! His Son Who had successfully and victoriously died for sinners!

"And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead." Romans 1:4

That verb "delcared" must claim our attention now.  The all powerful Jesus, approved by the Holy Spirit, justified in the Spirit says Paul later ... was raised from the dead, proving His Deity and validating His whole Ministry!

So God "declared" through the Resurrection!

This verb, "horizo," means to appoint or determine or ordain someone to a certain position! 

Of its eight Bible appearances, seven of them deal with God's pre-ordained Will, His determinate counsel, His sheer Resolve! 

God had decided in advance that Jesus would die on the Cross, providing salvation to lost mankind! "And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed!" (Luke 2:22) Now add Acts 2:23. "Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain."

Then it was resolved by God that Jesus will be the Judge of all the earth some glorious day! "And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead." (Acts 10:45) Plus Acts 17:31. "Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead."

God has also predetermined the ages to come!  He knows history in advance! "And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation." Acts 17:26

And this same God, God the Father, hath determined that Jesus would rise from the dead too! Here's our verse again! "And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead."

The Resurrection, being a decree from God Himself, had to occur!

Just as was Jesus' Death, so was the Resurrection a necessity! A necessity for the salvation of sinners!

And, as always, God did just exactly what He had said!

Jesus, the Son of God!

Jesus, God the Son!

God the Father said so ... again and again!


One place being ... the empty tomb!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




The noun "power" translates "dunamis." It implies great strength or ability ... especially in its "inherent" sense!  Power God has placed within someone through the Holy Spirit!

The preposition "with" is spelled "en" in Greek, signifying fixed position!  Jesus was saturated with Holy Spirit Power!

He was ... "Declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead." Romans 1:4

The "spirit of holiness" is clearly the third Member of The Godhead, the Holy Spirit Himself.

"According to" is "kata" and can at times simply mean "by." 

Then, just because it is so interesting, the noun "resurrection" is derived from the word "anastasis."  This means a "standing" ("stasis") "up" ("ana") of someone! Jesus was dead in that tomb, but on the third day ... He stood up!  He returned to life! He arose!

In this short concluding verse of our Text, we have the method ("with power", and the Means ("the spirit of holiness") and the manner ("by the Resurrection") of Jesus' validation before His Father in Heaven!

All these things being so ... what's next for the Believer in Christ?

What's beyond that grand "horizon" of the Resurrection?

Paul, though here vaguely, tells us: "But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." Hebrews 9:11-12

I will tell you what's beyond the "horizon" ... good things to come!


                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell





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