Day 1

Set Apart for the Gospel

from the Romans reading plan

Romans 1:1-17, 2 Samuel 7:12-16, 2 Corinthians 5:17

Welcome to Paul’s letter to the Romans.

Martin Luther said of this epistle, “It is well worth a Christian’s while not only to memorize it word for word but also to occupy himself with it daily, as though it were the daily bread of the soul.” Why did Luther hold Romans in such high esteem? Because, he said, “this letter is truly the most important piece in the New Testament. It is purest Gospel.”

What makes Romans so special? While all Scripture is God-breathed and equally valuable, Romans is unique in that it is the most comprehensive, well-organized expression of Christian doctrine assembled in one place in the Bible.

Luther wasn’t the only person who regarded this letter in this way. Paul did too. We see this in today’s reading when Paul actually gives us his thesis for the entire book:

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith.”
– Romans 1:16-17 CSB

The reason Paul is so eager to preach Christ is that he believes the gospel has the power to give life where there is none. Jesus alone is the way to salvation. The message of Christ is free to all and powerful enough to save those who believe.

Paul wrote this letter to explain to Jewish and Gentile converts alike what it means to believe in and be redeemed by Jesus Christ. This book reaches back deep into the Old Testament. It walks us through the origin and problem of sin, the reality of guilt, the impossibility of saving ourselves, and the ultimate rescue we’re given in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Romans is meant to be thorough—a practical, theological guide for the follower of Jesus. This book calls believers to trust Christ as it unfolds what it means to live by faith. By faith we anticipate our eternal home. But by that same faith, we also learn how to live as followers of Christ in this world. Romans speaks to both.

The gospel of Jesus Christ, Paul says, is the righteousness of God—meaning it is the way by which we are able to stand in the presence of God and live. In the work of Jesus, we see the character of God on display. In this letter we find a God of compassion, patience, and justice. We see unfathomable love displayed to complicated and broken people—a generosity of grace and mercy.

Whether you are new to what it means to follow Christ, or you have read this letter many times over, read the book of Romans as though it is telling a single story—the story of how God rescues us through the sacrifice of Christ.

 Written by Russ Ramsey

Post Comments (23)

23 thoughts on "Set Apart for the Gospel"

  1. Adam says:

    Recently our church started a series about the Gospel of which I am one of the teachers. It’s surprising (thought we shouldn’t be) that God laid out the plan to bathe me in His truth, yet I already, like Paul, begin to see the obligation. When we are given new life through the gospel we grow to be something… In Todd Wilson’s book, More, he says that when we wonder for what we are made there are two parts: every Christian is made to BE-DO-GO both generally and uniquely. Paul says you are called to belong to Christ, to be a disciple that living by faith makes disciples right where you are. Then as you grow in doing the routine things of the Christian life, you begin to understand your unique BE-DO-GO as Paul did. First a child must learn to be independent before they can achieve the dream of being a fireman. It all starts, however, with the gospel.

  2. Michael Paul says:

    We talked about this some in our Homegroup last night as we began the introduction. Today, in the reading I am particularly struck by Romans 1:17 that God provides and empowers the very faith which he requires obedience to (v.5). The Gospel truly is overflowing with Grace. “The power of God to salvation for everyone who believes…” (v.16) Obedience through faith in the finished work of Christ. Paul declared that we who are ‘Just’ will ‘Live by this Faith’.

  3. David says:

    – Do I feel obligated to those who have not heard the gospel?
    – Do I trust the power of the Gospel for the salvation of others?
    – God, let me live by faith!
    – God fulfilled this promise to David in the person of Jesus.
    – I can trust God to keep His promises to me.
    – Is there anything that I am not trusting to Him?
    – God, may my life be a better reflection on the new creation I am in Christ.

  4. Preston Rojas says:

    I’m really excited for this devo! I’m praying that God would use it in my life to stir up my faith and instill an inner hunger and thirst to seek him more in my everyday life. Praying, that while I seek God through this devo, he would make himself so know to me in a way that’s so fresh that I wouldn’t be able to do anything except for act on it!

  5. Michael Lansdowne says:

    “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17

    I say this but am I truly not ashamed. I oftentimes find myself praying at the dinner table with my family alone as if I it would be a burden to pray with my family. Sometimes I feel fearless and others I honestly think I’m afraid. I hate the sound of those words but it’s true. Their is so much more in me but I don’t know what to do. I feel like sometimes I’m just holding myself back and not allowing God to shine through me at all times. This is one of those verses that I need to commit to memory. Not just to say it but to believe it and live it also. I am Not Ashamed! Lord may these words drive deep into my spirit that I may make them true in heart my of hearts and my actions. That I also may set a better example for my family, friends, and all those that I may encounter. In Jesus name, Amen.

  6. Chris Greenwood says:

    I am looking forward to seeing what the Lord will teach me as I travel through this book again.

  7. George Paz says:

    Though the gospel was only hinted at in the Old Testament, it is now shown in full detail in the New. It is through Christ that mankind can be saved from their sins, and it is this gospel that is strong enough and powerful enough to save even the worst of sinners. This is why Paul was not ashamed to preach it. It is for the wise and the foolish, it is a message about God himself, it is attested to by the Holy Spirit, it is proven true by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, it has been promised ever since the Old Testament, and it has the power to save anyone who repents and believes.

    Lord, give me the courage and faith to stand for the gospel. I truly believe it in my heart, but help me to live it out. Help me to be bold in sharing the gospel with others, that they may be confronted with the truths of Christ and be saved. Help me also not to lose sight of the foundation of my faith–the Gospel. Encourage me, challenge me, and sanctify me through each day. Amen.

  8. Charles says:

    When I first started to have a relationship with Jesus and trying to understand what it was all about, I was drawn to the book of Romans. It just made a bunch of sense to me. When I read it, I understood more than most of the other.l books in the Bible. My favorite verses comes from Romans 5:3-5. It makes the Gospel so simple but yet I still knew there was so much power in it. What’s neat is that the Gospel is being retold and explained by Paul, who unlike the 12 disciples, did not directly deal or spend time with Jesus in the physical world. So his experience from the Gospel came after the death and resurrection of Jesus. But yet all of his experiences stays accurate with how Jesus was and what Jesus taught in the MMLJ. I have salvation because of Jesus, and anyone who believes in Him can have it too.

  9. Nate widow says:

    I think I’m going to love this book. I love the idea of being saved, and given a second chance. I am broken in so many ways, but this part gives me hope.

  10. David Valdez says:

    Paul adored the Romans.

  11. Nathan Gassaway says:

    I am amazed at the love of Christ, though I am so in worthy, He loves me beyond all measure. I believe we may never fully understand just how much God truly loves us. May we share His love with all around us. May we pray to love those that are un-lovable.

  12. Nathan Selby says:

    I think I need to really think and learn what it means to live by faith. My faith hasn’t been there as of late. I am too caught up in sin, sin that has plagued me my whole life. I feel lost. But also excited to learn about this book. And the story of how Christ can save us through faith.

  13. Jeremy Wilson says:

    V.1 : We are not our own anymore. We are “slaves of Jesus Christ” the moment we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. Our job as His slaves is to be Holy (set apart) FOR the Gospel (good news).

    V.2-6 : Paul expounds on what exactly the Gospel is: the promise of God from long ago through the Scriptures. These all point to Jesus as the Messiah, God’s Son sent in all of God’s power to redeem us through His not only His death, but also in the power of the resurrection. Through Him alone we receive the grace of God and His holy calling to reconcile all nations to Himself.

    Above all, or ministry is the ministry of reconciliation because we have been reconciled to God through Christ’s sacrifice.

    V.7-15 : Paul’s greeting to Roman believers.
    He gives thanks upon even hearing of their belief in Christ. He lets them know that he has been praying for them as an encouragement to grow in the faith and to know another cares deeply do their relationship with God. Paul finally relates that he has always wanted to come see them, but God’s will and desires for Paul’s ministry outrank Paul’s own desires. He is “obligated both to Greeks and barbarians.” (Paul was called by God to go to Europe before ever being led by God to go to Rome.).

    V.16-17 : “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel”
    The gospel makes no sense! Why would God come down in the form of Jesus to save us by dying? How does that save anything or anyone? God’s power is mysterious. God’s ways are higher than our own. We cannot even begin to contemplate them! Paul states that we can be proud of he gospel because it is the power of God to bring Salvation to all. He states that “in it (the Gospel) God’s righteousness is revealed from faith to faith.” As we believe in Christ, our faith in Him grows. As we act in obedience to His commands, our faith grows. It makes no sense that we grow more faithful the more we do what we are told out of faith, but that is exactly how God works! “Blessed is he who has seen and believed, but even more blessed is the one who has not seen but still believes.”

    Paul is setting up the whole scene for us in the first portion of the book.

  14. Adam says:

    It is encouraging to me, to consider the message and work of Christ as the “power of God for salvation to all who believe.” It is the power to give life where life has ceased. It is the power to overcome death itself, and all shadows of its existence. What hope! What joy is found in the knowledge of God’s vast store of mercy and grace!

    Lord, if only I could harness the ugly flesh which contends with my spirit, which you are renewing day by day. If only I could bring it under submission. How I fail to live in light of the truth, the beauty, the insurmountable love which which you have lavished on me.

  15. Myles says:

    I am not ashamed of the gospel. Understanding the the power of salvation in Jesus Christ is something I am growing in every day. It’s something that God is teaching me and something that have barely even begun to scratch the surface in.

  16. Trey says:

    Romans starts with this picture of life with God in ever part. He’s all of me. Or at least he should be. God is the reason I exist, Christ is the reason I am not damned, and His Spirit is the reason I Amy do good. He is the center, the outside, and the creator. How different I would live if I let this be true in my day to day

  17. Rob Kophamel says:

    V6 ‘whom I serve in my Spirit’
    Interestingly, Paul doesn’t note here that he serves the Lord in action but in spirit. It is the heart that God looks at, and it is our spirit which pleases him – our actions come as a result of our hearts desire.

    V15-17 Oh to have that eagerness to make others aware of the Gospel. Father, forgive me for the times I have been ashamed of the gospel, where I have perhaps skipped over a leading conversation or where I have lost confidence in your word. The power of the Word is uncontainable, and has the ability to impact every life. Oh that the world would be able to stand in Your presence and live, that they would believe. Father, increase my belief. Help me to trust in the power of your word for my salvation.

  18. Michael says:

    I was struck by the greeting this morning. So often I just gloss over it although I know it is rich in encouragement but this morning 1:4-6 really brought everything to a 30,000 foot view.

    “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.”

    This took me through the whole gospel and worked it out in to a practical application in my life. Very encouraging.

  19. Drew Patrick says:

    Romans Day 1

    He reads truth study guide

    Is there a command to obey

    Romans – verse 14. Obligates to share gospel with everyone

    Is there an example to follow

    Romans- Paul, eagerness for the gospel, the way he prays for who he ministers too.

    The reason Paul is so eager to preach Christ is that he believes the gospel has the power to give life where there is none. Jesus alone is the way to salvation. The message of Christ is free to all and powerful enough to save those who believe.

    Is there a promise to claim

    Romans- v 11 . spiritual gifts to
    Claim mutually encourage by each other’s faith

    Is there a sin to avoid

    Romans – none

    Is there a principle to follow

    Romans – community together

    The gospel of Jesus Christ, Paul says, is the righteousness of God—meaning it is the way by which we are able to stand in the presence of God and live. In the work of Jesus, we see the character of God on display

    Other thoughts
    Romans – v17. Righteous will live by faith.

  20. Del’Shawn says:

    Romans reminds us that our Christian faith is our salvation. It is our power over the demonic principalities of this world. It is our shield in battle. It is our hope in times of darkness. It is our peace in the calm of the storm. That is our hope. It is our key to unlocking the riches that not only await us in heaven but in this world. The word says, “The righteous walk by faith,” and it also says, “The prayers of the righteous availeth much.” God hears the righteous and delights in their way. He gives him strength to endure the hardships of this world but to also openly embrace the blessings that await us.

  21. David says:

    Paul is eager to preach the Gospel to those who are already saved. A message of salvation to those already saved? What? Has Paul already run out of material? No! The Gospel has enough substance to it to last for eternity and not be fully mined of its riches. It is the righteousness of God, the power of God. A message of hope, that He has adopted us in and will not abandon us nor forget about us. For if He was willing to offer up His only begotten Son on our behalf, do we really expect Him to hold out on us in other areas?

  22. Chris says:

    Having been blessed to memorize 15+ verses in the book of Romans in my men’s group, I discovered early on the importance of this particular book.
    This book allows a Christian like me to tell the story of the Lord and His desires for us as we walk through this life not alone but with Him.
    Through the guilt and shame of what I have done in this life, God is building in me a grateful heart to not do what is right to check off a box. But to do what I’m called to do because of the soul reason of Him dying on a cross and allowing me the opportunity to spend eternity with Him. In turn, I am allowed to breathe each day the life He has given me in to others.

  23. Aaron Boyer says:

    In today’s culture and in our nation being a follower of Christ you are considered a radical or perhaps crazy! Let me never be ashamed of my Lord! We are instructed to make Him known and our lives should be surrendered to Him! Set apart, different light and salt! That He may be glorified thro all we not only say but do! Acknowledge Him in front of men and He will acknowledge you before the father! Lord give us the strength to be witnesses of Him as we are called to do! Listen the early disciples were called before the Jewish religious leaders and told not to mention Him, Jesus under penalty of death! Let us say how can we keep quiet with all we have seen Him do!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.