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

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Ro 1:1-17. Introduction.

1. Paul—(See on Ac 13:9).

a servant of Jesus Christ—The word here rendered "servant" means "bond-servant," or one subject to the will and wholly at the disposal of another. In this sense it is applied to the disciples of Christ at large (1Co 7:21-23), as in the Old Testament to all the people of God (Isa 66:14). But as, in addition to this, the prophets and kings of Israel were officially "the servants of the Lord" (Jos 1:1; Ps 18:1, title), the apostles call themselves, in the same official sense, "the servants of Christ" (as here, and Php 1:1; Jas 1:1; 2Pe 1:1; Jude 1), expressing such absolute subjection and devotion to the Lord Jesus as they would never have yielded to a mere creature. (See on Ro 1:7; Joh 5:22, 23).

called to be an apostle—when first he "saw the Lord"; the indispensable qualification for apostleship. (See on Ac 9:5; Ac 22:14; 1Co 9:1).

separated unto the—preaching of the

gospel—neither so late as when "the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul" (Ac 13:2), nor so early as when "separated from his mother's womb" (see on Ga 1:15). He was called at one and the same time to the faith and the apostleship of Christ (Ac 26:16-18).

of God—that is, the Gospel of which God is the glorious Author. (So Ro 15:16; 1Th 2:2, 8, 9; 1Pe 4:17).