V1. Romans is the first letter of the New Testament. If you’ve just started your journey to read through the Bible with Romans, you have made a good choice. In it you’ll discover how God saw you while you were unsaved and how He sees you now that you know Him as your Savior. This knowledge will give you assurance of having made the right choice. You will still have to learn how to walk on the Christian pathway, but at least you will know the pathway itself is correct.
Paul (as inspired by the Holy Spirit) was chosen by God to speak to you about this pathway in this letter. In verse 1 he tells what he is going to talk about – the gospel of God. The gospel you accepted was not devised by man, but it went out from God. It is His gospel.
V2. In the past God spoke of this gospel through His prophets. You can read about it in the Old Testament, called “the holy Scriptures” in verse 2. During the time of the Old Testament, God tested people repeatedly to see if they would serve Him, but they failed each time. Finally, God made it known that He Himself would act. This happened when He sent His Son.
V3. The contents of the gospel of God are centered in the Son of God. It is the gospel of God “concerning His Son”. This gospel is not a religion, but rather about a Person with Whom you now have a living relationship through faith. Much can be found regarding the Son of God in the Bible. You can only begin to grasp the real meaning of any portion of Scripture if you are able to see what it has to say about the Lord Jesus.
Verses 3-4 mention two things regarding Him that are important to be able to understand the contents of this letter. Firstly, He was “born of a descendant [lit. seed] of David”. As the Son of David, He was entitled to the throne of Israel in Jerusalem. Since Israel has rejected Him, His ascent to the throne has been delayed. In Romans 9-11 you will see how God will fulfill all the promises He made to David.
V4. Secondly, what is spoken of the Lord Jesus comes from the rejection of Him by His people, Israel. He, Who as Man died on the cross, has “declared”, that He also is “the Son of God with power” when He rose from the dead. That He is Son of God with power not only was made clear by His own resurrection, but already during His life on earth, when He raised up other persons who died. Think of Lazarus, the young man of Nain and the daughter of Jairus.
His resurrection from among the dead (since everyone else has remained dead) was “according to the Spirit of holiness”. This is an important addition. Everything the Lord Jesus did during His life was in total agreement with the Holy Spirit. Since all was in harmony with the will of God, we know He committed no evil in His life.
But in the three hours of darkness He certainly did come into contact with evil. He was made sin and bore our sins in His body. Therefore God judged Him for our sins and gave Him the wages of sin, which is death. When He rose from the dead, the Spirit of holiness could unify Himself completely with Him since all sin and wrong deeds were completely judged by Him. If you can now see Who the Lord Jesus is and what He has done, it will not be difficult to acknowledge Him as the Lord of your life, as Paul says at the end of verse 4.
V5-7. Paul was so impressed by this Person that he wanted to go out to all nations to bring people into obedience by faith in Him. I hope something will radiate from your life and mine, both in our words and deeds, so others will come to obedience by faith in the Lord Jesus.
Now read Romans 1:1-7 again.
Reflection: Tell God in your words Who the Lord Jesus is to you.