Romans 1:1
"Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God."

PAUL paulos SLAVE doulos OF-ANOINTED  christos JESUS iesous CALLED kletos COMMISSIONER apostolos HAVING-BEEN-FROM aphorizo INTO eis WELL-MESSAGE euaggelion OF-God theos

The first 7 verses are one sentence in the Greek.

"Paul" is his Roman name.  He began to use it when he began to work among the Gentiles on his first missionary trip. (Acts 13:9)  Many Jews of this tiime had a Hebrew and a Roman name.  Since Paul was born a Roman citizen in Tarsus he would have been given a Latin name also at birth.  His full name would have been Saulos Paulos Benjaminos.

Paul was the one entrusted with the mystery of Christ and the responsibility.

In Paul’s other letters he identifies himself with others that are with him.
1 Corinthians - Sosthenes
2 Corinthians – Timothy
Galatians – “all the brothers with me”
Ephesians – (only Paul)
Philippians – Timothy
Colossians – Timothy
1 Thessalonians – Silas, Timothy
2 Thessalonians – Silas, Timothy
1 Timothy – (only Paul)
2 Timothy – (only Paul)
Titus – (only Paul)

"servant" ("doulos") means slave or bondservant.  It emphasizes bondage and that the slave belongs to another person.  The Christian meaning meant complete devotion and does stress oppression.

God calls Abraham the same in Genesis 26:24, "I am the God of your father Abraham.  Do not be afraid, fo r I am with you. . . . for the sake of my servant Abraham."

1 Corinthians 3:5 "What, after all, is Apollos?  And what is Paul? Only servants (diakonos – our word deacon; a Greek word used for table waiters) through whom you came to believe – as the Lord has assigned to each his task.”

1 Corinthians 4:1 “So then, men ought to regard us as servants (huperetes – an under rower, subordinate rower
1        any one who serves with hands: a servant
2        in the NT of the officers and attendants of magistrates as -- of the officer who executes penalties
3        of the attendants of a king, servants, retinue, the soldiers of a king, of the attendant of a synagogue
4        of any one ministering or rendering service, any one who aids another in any work,
an assistant , of the preacher of the gospel

Joshua  1:2, "Moses my servant is dead."
Amos 3:7, "Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets."

Paul is putting himself in line with other great men and prophets of God.
One difference may be that in the OT they were servants of God, Paul considers himself a personal servant of Christ Jesus.

"Christ" is the Greek word "christos" ("anointed one") and is the word for Messiah.  The OT foretold the Messiah would come.  There were many priests, kings and prophets, but there would only be one man that filled the office of the Messiah.
"Jesus" is the name of the man or as Jesus called himself "the son of man."  It was this man who was anointed to be the "anointed one" or the Christ, the Messiah.

"Apostle" identifies Paul’s authority under Christ within the Church.  “Doulos” identifies Paul as a servant of Christ, but “apostolos” expresses Paul’s position as the one who establishes the gospel and churches.  “Apostolos” means "one sent forth, someone who is sent, a messenger” " (apo, "from," stello, "to send").

The word apostle can refer in its general sense to every believer, “someone who is sent, a messenger.”  The main use of the word in the NT is to refer to the twelve apostles called by Jesus: the eleven plus Matthias.  Paul would also be placed in this technical use of the word when it refers to this group.  These thirteen where:
1) Called personally by Jesus
2) Encountered the resurrected Christ
3) Given direct revelation of God’s word
4) Given power to heal and cast out demons (Matt.10:1)
5) Given signs to verify their teaching authority was from God (2 Cor. 12:12 – “The things that mark an apostle – signs, wonders and miracles – were done among you with great perseverance.”)
6) Given revelation that became foundational to the church for the entire age (Eph. 2:20 – “. . . members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets,  with Christ Jesus as the chief cornerstone.”)
7) Given authority over the church around the world and through out the age

There are others who were also called apostles giving the word a wider reference.
1) Acts 14:4,14, Barnabas and Paul
2) Rom. 16:7 of Andronicus and Junias
3) 2 Cor. 8:23 two unnamed brethren are called 'apostles of the churches’
4) Phil. 2:25 Epaphroditus is referred to as 'your apostle.' NIV – “who is also your messenger” is literally in the Greek “your apostle (NIV – “messenger”) and minister (minister is “leitourgon”- a public minister, a servant of the state, a minister, servant, military laborers, one busied with holy things, a priest, the servants of a king
5) 1 Thess. 2:6 of Paul, Silas and Timothy


Verses describing the unique position of the 12 apostles:
Matt. 16:17-19; 19:28; Luke 22:29, 30; John 16:12-14; 20:21-23; Acts 1:2-8, 15-26; Ephesians 2:20.


Verses describing the qualifications for an apostle:
John 15:16, 27; Acts 1:21; 2:32; 3:15; 10:39-41; 26:16,17; 1 Corinthians 9:1, 2; 15:8;

 II Corinthians 12:11-13; Galatians 1:1, 12

Paul was “called” an apostle.  The Greek does not have “to be” in it.   So it says “a called apostle” It was never in his mind something he had earned or attained.  There are many kinds of apostles: “self appointed apostles”, “man ordained apostles”, “vocational apostles”.  Paul was “a called apostle”.   This word form usually has the passive meaning.  The word “called” means designated and set apart.  

“Set Apart” means “to mark off, to separate by a boundary.”  It is a perfect passive participle indicates that this was done to Paul without his assistance.  Paul had set himself apart to be a Pharisee, but God set him apart for the gospel.  The word “Pharisee” means
separated one” and comes form the same root as the word translated “set apart”.  The Pharisees where set apart by men and by tradition.  Paul uses this verb in Galatians 1:15 and says that he was set apart “from birth”.  

Acts 9:15, The Lord said to Ananias concerning Paul, “This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel.”

The idea of the believer being separated is often in the negative context.  We think of being separated from the world, from sin, from certain activities, etc.  Paul is separated to something.  He was separated “to” the gospel.

“Gospel” means “good news”. “Gospel” is the word “euaggelion”. This word was commonly used in Paul’s day.  “Euangelion” was used to describe good information concerning the reigning emperor.  The announcement that an heir of the Caesar was born or had taken his throne would be preceded by saying “Euangelion”, or “good news”.  It was “good news” or “gospel” when an emperor had a son.  A quote from 9 BC referring to day when their emperor Caesar Augustus was born says: “the birthday of the god was for the world the beginning of tidings of joy on his account.” Paul was separated not just to preach the gospel but to the gospel itself.  He was a gospel man.  He was called to preach but more he was called to be consumed with the gospel.  The gospel was to be his life not only his message. “God”  - “the gospel of God”.  Especially in the city of Rome where the Caesars ruled Paul wanted to let the Romans know that he was set apart for the “euangelion” of God.  
The good, favorable message of God.   Emphasis is on where the gospel originates.


Romans 1:2


o WHICH                   proephggeilato BEFORE   HE   PROMISED    

dia  twn  THROUGH            profhtwn  autou   HIS   PROPHETS      

en IN                  grafaiV WRITINGS             agiaiV HOLY



“The gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets

 in the Holy Scriptures”


The gospel was not new nor was it a new message.

The gospel was promised and recorded in the Old Testament


Jesus appealed to the Old Testament to validate his message.

Luke 24:25-32, 44-47


The apostles continued this practice of calling on the OT to defend their message.


All of Paul’s major themes in this book will be backed up with OT scriptures and examples.


The difference is that in the OT the gospel was PROMISED and BELIEVED, but in the NT the gospel has been fulfilled and its application to our lives is a REALITY for those who BELIEVE.