Gardendale Nazarene

to live completely for Christ...

Paul's Calling, Your Calling | Pastor's Blog | Gardendale Nazarene

Paul's Calling, Your Calling

Last Sunday morning, we began our series on Romans. We will be in Romans until the middle of July. Due to its depth and complexity, we know that it is nearly impossible to cover all that Romans has to offer.

I'd like to take a moment to jump back to the opening of Romans. At the opening of the letter, Paul makes three statements that we will miss if we are not careful.

"Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God..."

Let's break these down statements down.
  • Servant- We translate the Greek word, doulos, as servant. This is one of my favorite Greek words and I can hardly pass it up without mentioning it. The word is technically translated as 'slave'. A doulos is someone who has submitted to someone else's will. The will of the master has replaced the will of the servant.
  • Apostle- Apostle translates easily from the Greek, apostolos. An apostle is a delegate who is sent with orders. They are no longer on their own mission. Rather, they are one someone else's mission.
  • Set apart- The Greek here is aforidzo. Paul is pulling from his Jewish roots in this statement. One is not set apart just to be cut off from others. One is set apart for a purpose. Paul explains his purpose- 'for the gospel of God'.

Each of these words illuminates a different part of Paul's understanding of his calling. But, there is also an underlining statement that we often miss.

Look back at the verse.

Paul is a servant of whom? Jesus
Paul is called by whom? The Holy Spirit
Paul is set apart for the gospel of whom? God

Now, read the next few verses.

"which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, 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, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,"

In verse 1, Paul is laying out his vocation (his calling). In the next 5 verses, he is telling us something. His calling is also your calling! Paul reminds us 'we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith' for the world. This calling comes through the life of the Trinity!

I know that this calling is a bit daunting. Remember, the same Spirit that was with Paul is with you. You are not called to do this alone!

May we rejoice in the calling that is upon us all!