Sorry it’s been so quiet here, life sure can derail the best laid plans. But summer is in full swing and school has been out for me so now is the time to get back into a pattern of posting.

I’ve been studying the book of Romans lately and have actually been pretty intrigued with the flow of this epic work. Even in the Paul’s opening of the letter we see the work of a master orator.

The flow of these first few verses is very logical and and one thought leads naturally into the next. The first thing that Paul mentions is that he has been set apart for the gospel of God. This got me to thinking: have I been set apart for a specific purpose? Better yet, have you?

As we examine Paul’s life we see a unique calling and interaction with God that many today consider to be something special. Paul had experiences with God that even in the Old Testament would have been strange. There are only a few people with anything remotely similar (Moses seeing the afterglow of God’s glory and Isaiah’s vision come to mind) and so Paul can say with clarity and conviction that he has been set apart for the gospel of God.

After this statement of his life’s purpose he then gives a brief statement about the gospel to which he was called. He says, “which he (God) promised beforehand through this prophets in the holy Scriptures concerning his Son…” What this tells us is that, one, God had promised the gospel would come. We find examples of this throughout the Old Testament and clearly the Jewish people were eagerly awaiting the promised Messiah. But Paul adds something that should not be overlooked. He says that the promised gospel specifically was concerning God’s Son.

Now if we examine Jewish understand of who the Messiah would be God’s Son was no where in the picture. A political reformer, yes; a warrior who would free them from bondage, yes; God’s Son…? But Paul says that that is what God had promised. When we look back on the pages of Scripture and the prophecies that have been made we can see how Jesus was indeed the intended target of those prophecies. But we have to be careful that we don’t read Jesus into everything of the Old Testament. Is Jesus there, sure; was he the primary, near, fulfillment…probably not. It was only through the future revelation of God that we can understand the fuller meaning of those prophecies.

But what does all this mean for our lives and how does this help bring our lives into focus with Jesus? First understanding that God had Jesus in mind helps us to see the omniscience of God. He knows the beginning and the end and he has made all the plans necessary for the salvation of man. We can also understand that our perspective may be wrong. The Pharisees at the time of Jesus missed who he really was (for the most part) and they had a particular expectation of who the Messiah would be. Now we have the book of Revelation that many have pondered over and wondered about, perhaps the best thing to do is view the prophecies about the return of Christ with a very loose grip. We may be right in our interpretation, but we could be completely wrong. Thankfully prophecy is one of those areas that we can say we don’t fully understand, but there are many areas of theology that we can be very secure in our understanding of.

As we continue to explore the book of Romans we will see some of the amazing logic and argumentation of the great apostle, and we should gain a fuller understanding of God’s working in our lives because of what Christ has done.

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