Greetings and Call
When I first read Romans 1:1-15 after being asked to write this devotional, I was honestly slightly offended. The first thought that popped into my mind was, “How am I supposed to write about these verses? It’s just a greeting.” Of course, it’s a greeting and much more. It just took me some time to see that. In these fifteen verses, Paul writes an introduction/greeting to “all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints.” He speaks of himself as “a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle...” and then relays his thanks to God because of them and expresses his desire to be with them. That’s basically what I got out of it on the first read through. But I was reading it again just a few days ago and something really jumped out at me: something that completely changed my view of this passage. Verse five says, “Through whom (Jesus Christ) we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations…” This verse sets forth two incredibly important principles: (1) the fact that we have been saved by grace, and (2) the fact that we now have a mission. Now, I understand that when Paul wrote this, by apostleship, he most nearly meant the actual apostolic position in the church; however, the non-technical definition of apostle is more along the lines of “messenger” or “ambassador.” I think this also applies here. In our salvation through Christ, we have been given both a gift and a mission. We are called to be lights of God in the world: showing the love that we have been shown, teaching the truth that we have been taught.
Stepping Out in Lent – This Lent, let your light shine before others as you live out your faith.
Author – Josh Ciarlariello is first and foremost a Christian and secondly a student. He is a junior at Community Christian School who enjoys physics and philosophy but really doesn’t enjoy talking (or writing) about himself.