posting this so i will have a copy saved in "internet land" in case
our computer crashes
The Letter to the Romans Bible Study
Words: Apostle and Grace
Main Resource - “The Epistle to the Romans” by Karl Barth
Romans 1:1-7 “The Author to His Readers”
1. Paul, a bond servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,
Paul introduces himself as a ‘slave’ of Christ Jesus. All of this writing that follows is being done by one whose pen touches paper not as a great genius who has searched it all out, but as a servant transmitting to his reader, that which he has been told and shown. The bond servant is a slave by choice, willingly giving up his own will to the the will of another. The call to be an apostle is God’s decision, the call to enter ministry is God’s call. He is a man, like other men but he has been called of God to be an apostle. APOSTLE This word must be pondered. An apostle is a “sent one.” The authority of the one sent relates back to the one who did the sending. Sent by God, called out by God, separated from time and humanity in one aspect of His life, His relationship to God. This call demands a hearing - but because it is a call from God it does not exalt the individual. God’s call is the ground of his authority .
1 Corinthians 4:9-13 For I think, God has exhibited us as apostles last of all as men condemned to death because we have become a spectacle to the world both to angels and to men. 10 We are fools for Christ’s sake but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor. 11 To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and our poorly clothed, and are roughly treated and are homeless; 12 and we toil working with our own hands; when we are reviled we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; 13 when we are slandered we try to concillate we have become the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now. This first quote regarding apostles is the one that is most overlooked, for obvious reasons. The ‘high cost’ of this call is basically everything.
Ephesians 4:11-16 And He gave some as apostles and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ 14 as a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness and deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the Head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together, by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. Apostles are foundational.
Ephesians 2:19-22 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and are of God’s household 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets Christ Jesus Himself being the corner(stone) 21 in whom the whole building being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. Apostles and prophets are the foundation, Christ is the cornerstone, this calling has to be the most humbling calling of all and it caused Paul to call out, (2nd Corin. 2:16 “who is sufficient for these things.”
Back to verse one. Paul is set apart to or for the gospel of God. He does not say he is set apart “from” which would indicate rules and regulations -not much joy. Holiness isn’t what you set yourself apart from but who and what God sets you apart “to” Himself and His gospel. This Gospel of God, is God’s plan, all about Jesus. No one has been accused more of having his own religion, his own gospel as Paul and nothing could be further from the truth. Paul speaks and reveals God’s Gospel. This is very key to the rest of the book. God is utterly distinct from men. Salvation comes to men from God because they are incapable of knowing Him - they have no right, no claim to anything from Him.
Romans 1:2 which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy scriptures This emphasizes that this is the fulfillment of the ancient religion of the Jews. This is not a new thing. This is the culmination, the pinnacle of what has come before.
Romans 1:3 concerning His Son who was born a descendant of David according to the flesh The humanity of Jesus, fully human. The promised Messiah who had to come from the line of David. The sovereignty of God in preserving that lineage, and making it all work out. Many things could be meditated on in this verse.
Romans 1:4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord. So important to watch the words here, in verse 3 “born” fully human, in verse 4 “declared” because His divine self has always existed as part of the trinity of God. The resurrection from the dead is the statement that confirms the truth that has always been. He is fully God. Jesus Christ the intersection of God and man. The unknown world of the Father, with the known world of His creation, that had fallen our of union with Him. In the O.T. there are resurrections and of course Jesus resurrects some people in the N.T. so what is different about Jesus resurrection? How does it make the declaration ‘Here is the Son of God!’? All other resurrections came back with the same body, the same tendency to sin, the same destination, to die again, the wages of sin. Their resurrections were performed by a power outside of themselves. Jesus’ resurrection is by His own power, to a new spirit/body. 2 Corinthians 13:4 For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we are also weak in Him, yet we will live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you. This one time event is repeated over and over again when He reveals Himself and is recognized as the Messiah, Victor, King with a kingdom that He comes to establish and live thru us. Thru His presence in our life we are dissolved as men and established in God. There is “the change” that then leads to the growth process, of becoming like Christ.
Romans 1:5 thru whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among the gentiles for His name’s sake,
Grace and apostleship are received. GRACE - the most important part of understanding this word is grasping that we have NO PART in it. Meaning it is given to us freely and completely from God without any merit or earning or ‘because’ from our end. When we do obey, it is a “buying our dad a present with his money” type of thing. His grace and the ‘sent ones’ who come into our lives ‘bring about’ the ‘obedience of faith.’ Grace is only grace when it is recognized as incomprehensible. Only by revelation only by receiving from “above” can we “see.” “the obedience of faith” Our obedience flows from the faith that God gives us and His life flowing thru us because of that faith. It is His work in us and He gets all the glory. All that is done is done “for His name’s sake.” The mission that grace empowers us to fulfill consists of honoring His name with our lives. We do not belong to ourselves or to the world’s corruption. We are saints separated, called to holiness, belonging to Him. The answer to the question, “Why do I exist?” is; that the name of Christ would be exalted. God doesn’t tell sinners “behave” He tells us “believe.” Tremendous frustration enters into the Christian life thru the door of “trying hard.” His life is given for us, not be admired from afar, not to be imitated, but to flow thru us.
Romans 1:6 among whom you are also the called of Jesus Christ. You know something is up when EVERY translation that you can find uses the same word and “called” was used in every version I checked. It can mean invited, or it can mean divinely selected or appointed. This group in Rome was ‘among’ the gentiles that God was bringing to Himself. What an honor, and unspeakable, privilege and blessing… and there was more!!
Romans 1:7 to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. “beloved” of God. That being loved by God is the call of the saint. That love flows to us and causes in us the “change” that starts the process of letting that love flow out of us to others. We are given all that we need to live the Christian life, ‘grace and peace.’ The grace for you to make it thru every situation in life is ‘there.’ Also in this verse is all the proof you ever need of the divinity of Jesus Christ. The ‘grace and peace’ come from ‘God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.’ By connecting them with ‘and’ and identifying them as the source of the ‘grace and peace’ they are being placed on a equal level, side by side. No man, no created being, is ever put in that place. Jesus is Lord, Jesus is God, period. Our trust and prayer fix on God, as He is the Father of Christ; and on Christ, as He presents us to the Father.
All this truth and life flows to us thru the Holy Spirit. The trinity uphold and enables us to live the Life.