Romans 1:1-17 Sunday School Notes:
Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which was foretold by the his prophets in the holy writings. The gospel is about his son, born of the line of David according to the flesh, declared God's son in power, according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him we have received good-will and apostleship for bringing about the obedience of faith in all the nations for the sake of his name. (Geoff Translation)
Paul has a gospel.
Paul's gospel is God's gospel.
Paul's gospel is his announcement that Jesus Christ is Lord. That he lived his earthly life as King David's heir and that he lives today a resurrected life as the Lord of history.
Paul's gospel is very similar to what we see in the four gospels.
Read Mark 1:1-17 and 16:1-8
Jesus was foretold in the Old Testament. Jesus lived as the Messiah (the Christ). Jesus preached God's kingdom and lived as the acting king of this kingdom. Jesus is currently Lord because after his crucifixion he was raised from the dead. Jesus calls people to trust in himself and he trains people for moral transformation (the obedience of faith). Jesus commissions people to preach his same gospel.
Paul was set apart for God's gospel just like all disciples of Jesus Christ: to make more disciples. To train them to obey Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:16-20). Paul calls this the obedience of faith.
Paul believes that the gospel message marks a radical shift in human history. The Jesus event is a move from the present evil age, into the new creation. Jesus' resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, for Paul, are the evidence of this fact (Romans 8:14-30).
Paul has a dream. An ambition that consumes his life: “the obedience of faith in all the nations.”
Jesus has a dream: disciples from all nations.
Another way to put it: the moral transformation of individuals so that they can live in a society marked by God's goodness.
What is your dream?
Can it fit into Paul's dream? Jesus' dream?