That is all I can say about yesterday’s L3 reading in Romans 1. Usually I read this passage and get really bogged down in the sins of the world & my own sins and the consequences of those sins & the war waging within me about those sins….etc. Whew. Tiring, right? Well, yesterday God was like NO! I AM victorious over sin. I AM victorious over your flesh. Therefore, live victoriously. SO He showed me a really cool verse in like the prologue of the first chapter, before even the greeting Paul gives to the Romans of Grace & Peace [really awesome side note: Peace=shalom=a person’s life with God and with everything else is in ordered harmony, both physically and spiritually, and “all is well”(ESV study note)].
So, verse 5. I’m gonna start at the end of verse 4, because it makes more sense.
“…Jesus Christ, our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship, to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of His name among all the nations.”
AHHHHH! …said my heart, because one of the spiritual gifts God has given me is Apostleship. And for a long time, I’ve struggled with what that looks like. But this verse really clarified it for me & just excited me as to how God is going to work out this gift in my heart and in my actions for His glory! 🙂
Breakdown of the Verse:
- “Grace” = God’s unmerited favor; Titus 2:11, “the grace of God has appeared…bringing salvation”; Titus 3:7, “justified by grace”; Ephesians 2:9, “by grace you have been saved, through faith”
- “Apostleship” = (from Dictionary.com) “A title borne (bestowed upon/given to) persons sent on foreign missions.” HOW EXCITING IS THAT?! God totally has called me to that; and I have the gift of apostleship within me, which enables me to fulfill my calling in Christ, not by my gifts & talents, but by HIM who works within me! (Phil 2:13)
- “Obedience by faith” = the reason for grace & the gift of apostleship; later in verse 17 Paul will say that “the righteousness of God is recealed beginning and ending with faith;” having saving faith in Christ’s sacrifice was not meant to be the end of salvation or the denouement (end resolution) of the gospel. It’s only the beginning of the story. One must now (after saving faith) take up their cross, following Christ in glorious obedience!
- “for the sake of His name” = Not mine! For HIS glory, Not mine!
- “AMONG ALL THE NATIONS” = !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m really excited about that part of the verse…Can’t you tell?
So, this verse just really got me excited about spiritual gifts, especially the one (apostleship) given to me. For this entire school year, this gift has seemed really far off & I didn’t really understand it. But God gives us the ability to understand it! 🙂 And now that I do, I see how God has worked it out in my life from the get go of me turning to Him with my entire heart!
I pray that God will also reveal to you your spiritual gifts & show how He has worked them in you with purpose & how He has, is, and will continue to work that purpose out for His glory.