The Gospel of God

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

‘Paul’ we can see his history written in Acts 7:58; 8:1-3; 9:1-30; 11:25-30; 12:25; 13:1-28:31; Galatians 1:1-24; Philippians 3:1-21; 1Timothy 1:1-20 and 2Corinthians 11-12. His name heads up all of his epistles (except Hebrews). ‘Servant’ [Greek: doulos] bond-slave; one who is the entire property of another (1Cor. 6:19-20; 2Cor. 4:5).

‘Called’ [Greek: kletos] called. Here, called to an office and divinely selected and appointed to fill it (Rom. 1:1; 1Cor. 1:1; Gal. 1:15). Believers can’t claim that they have the same calling as Paul (and the other apostles) had, because they were called to preach what they learnt (Gal. 1:17-18) from Jesus Christ as they wrote to the believers from various congregations.

‘Apostle’ [Greek: apostolos] a delegate, one sent with the full power of attorney to act in the place of another, the sender remaining behind to back up the one sent. In the case of Christians it means God sends them to do what He, Himself would do if He went. Twenty-four apostles are recorded of which the first twelve were Jesus’ disciples: Simon Peter and his brother Andrew, James, son of Zebedee and John his brother (Matt. 10:2); Philip and his brother Bartholomew (Matt. 10:3); James, son of Alphaeus and Judas his brother (Luke 6:16) and Matthew, son of Alphaeus, perhaps brother of James and Judas (Mark 2:14; Luke 6:15); Thomas (Matt. 10:3); Simon Zelotes, brother of James and Judas, according to tradition (Luke 6:15); Judas Iscariot (Matt. 10:4). Then there was Matthias (Acts 1:26); Barnabas (1Cor. 9:5-6; Acts. 13:1-3; 14:4, 14; Gal. 2:9); Andronicus and Junia (Rom. 16:7); Apollos (1Cor. 4:6-9); James, the Lord’s brother (Gal. 1:19; 2:6; Jas. 1:1); Silas and Timothy (1Thess. 1:1; 2:6); Titus (2Cor. 8:23);  Epaphroditus (Php. 2:25); Paul (Gal. 1:1; 2:8), and Jesus Christ (Heb. 3:1)

‘Separated’ [Greek: aphorizo] set apart. Three stages of Paul’s separation: At birth, in God’s mind (Gal. 1:15); at conversion, from Judaism to the gospel (Acts 9:15-16; 1Tim. 1:15-16); at his commission, from secular work to the work of God (Acts 13:2; 26:16-18; 1Tim. 1:11-12)

‘The gospel of God’ the gospel of God (Acts 1:1-5) can be summarized as follows: The gospel defined (Acts 10:15); fulfilment of the promises (Acts 1:2); a revelation (Gal. 1:11-12, 16); historical and prophetic facts of the gospel (Luke 24:44; 1Cor. 15:1-23); a manifestation of: (1) God’s creation (Acts 1:20; Eph. 3:9), (2) Man’s rebellion (Acts 1:21-3:23), (3) God’s love, mercy, and grace (John 1:17; 3:16; Tit. 2:11-12; 3:5), God’s wrath (Rom. 1:18-32),  (5) God’s salvation (Rom. 1:16; 3:24-31; John 3:16; 1Jn. 1:9), (6) God’s plan (Acts 3:19-21; Rom. 8:19-25; Eph. 1:10; Rev. 21-22), (7) Man’s destiny: rebels (Matt. 25:41, 46; Rev. 14:9-11; 20:10-15); the saved (John 14:1-3; Rev. 5:10; 21:1-22:5); confirmation of the gospel (Mark 16:15-20; Rom. 15:18-29; Heb. 2:1-4); ordinances of the gospel: (1) water baptism (Matt. 28:19) and (2) the Lord’s Supper (1Cor. 11:19-34).

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