In the Roman Empire, the servant was considered a piece of property to be bought and sold at the whim of the wealthy. He had few rights, and disobedience to his master could legally result in his death.
As a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, Paul had also been bought, not with Roman currency, but with the precious blood of his Master, Jesus Christ. A costly price! This purchase, however, did not result in bondage for the apostle, but it afforded him liberty from the fetters of sin and death. It is a privilege to be a servant of the Son of God.
The Roman slave was chosen by his master on the grounds of his abilities or other merits. But Paul wasn’t chosen through any of his merits but by the grace and love of his Lord.
The apostle was not ashamed of his servitude to Christ, for he boldly states it in the opening of his Roman epistle. He was aware that servants were considered inferior to those with a higher social status. Still, Paul chose to describe himself as such, although he could have claimed to be more.
Paul was a Jew and a Pharisee, a leader in the Jewish faith, and a scholar of Scripture.
He held Roman citizenship, which carried certain privileges. Paul was well-educated and possessed great intellectual abilities.
To the world, such a man would be thought a fool because he used his talents for the Lord’s service. But Paul was a happy and grateful servant of Christ. Are you ashamed to be called the servant of the Lord Jesus Christ?
Immense and valuable gems are found in the first three verses of Genesis. Herbert Spencer, who was an agnostic, said that these verses contained, “Five manifestations of the unknowable.” These are: 1)Time. “In the beginning.” 2)Space. “Heaven.” 3)Matter, “Earth.” 4)Force. “The Spirit of God.” 5)Motion. “The Spirit of God moved.”
Little wonder Bullinger said, “Genesis is the seed-plot of the Bible and is essential to the true understanding of its every part.” The reformer Philip Melancthon added, “The whole book of Genesis excels in sweetness all other books and histories.”
There are those who deny the Trinity because the word is not found in Scripture. But this is not true for the Trinity is found in many places including the first three verses of Genesis. “God” the Father is found in the first verse. “The Spirit of God” is in verse two. And “Jesus,” the Word of God [John 1:1] is in verse 3.
NEW TESTAMENT POLITICAL HISTORY
When studying the Bible, it is helpful to be somewhat familiar with its chronology. Today we give a brief list of dates surrounding the birth of Christ. Do remember that it is not possible to precisely fix each date. Also, due to a calendar error in history, Jesus was not born in the year ‘zero’ but probably in 4 or 5 BC. These dates are reasonably accurate.
36 – 4BC. Herod the Great reigns in Jerusalem.
31BC -14AD. Augustus Caesar is the Roman Emperor.
Circa 4 or 5BC. Jesus is born in Bethlehem.
4BC- 39AD. Herod Antipas rules in Galilee and Perea.
14 – 37AD. Tiberias Caesar succeeds Augustus as Roman Emperor.
Circa 25-27AD. John the Baptist’s ministry.
26 – 36AD. Pontius Pilate is procurator of Judea.
Circa 27AD. Jesus begins His Judean and Galilean ministry.
Circa 30AD. The Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension of Jesus.
(Note. Circa is Latin for ‘about’.)
WORTH THINKING ABOUT
The Rev. Richard C. Halverson (1916-1995) was an American Presbyterian minister and author who served as chaplain of the U.S. Senate. (1981 – 1995)
“In the beginning, the church was a fellowship of men and women centering on the living Christ. Then it moved to Greece where it became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome, where it became an institution. Next, it moved to Europe, where it became a culture and, finally, it moved to America, where it became an enterprise.” [Submitted by Rev. Chris Kim].
Halverson also said, “When we as a nation, strive in vain to preserve the beauty of our national life, forgetting our Biblical roots, we are doomed.”
“Abortion . . . interferes with God’s plan – a plan He willed before He created the universe.”