Introductions are usually pushed aside. We view them as obligations, nothing more than a formal way to tell people you’ve started writing or speaking. Especially when writing professionally, they are viewed as an annoyance.
Yet, what if I told you that an introduction could depict an entire life’s work?
In the letter to the Church in Rome, we can be tempted to skim through the introduction. After all, if you’ve read Paul’s letters frequently enough, we tend to think we know how he will start. He usually greets the church, and lists some qualities about them before launching into the body of his letter.
If we’re not paying attention, we could miss the enormity that comes in the first verse of Romans. Paul writes,
“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God…” (Romans 1:1)
In a few penned words, Paul not only gave a summary of his entire life, but also gave us a great summary of what ours should be all about.
Breaking it down, Paul starts by referring to himself as a servant. Christians, we’ve got some pride issues going on. We like to ‘serve’, but we want that to be very set apart and specific in our lives. We don’t want to view ourselves as the servants of others.
Yet, Paul described himself as a ‘servant of Christ Jesus’, the equivalent of a slave. If you’re striving to follow after Christ, you don’t just serve-you become a servant. After all, we’re seeking to glorify and know the One who laid down his very life for an undeserving humanity, who washed the feet of the man who betrayed him. How could we become anything less?
Secondly, Paul wrote that he was called to be an apostle. ‘Apostle’ is defined as “a vigorous and pioneering advocate or supporter of a particular policy, idea, or cause.” Not only was Paul called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ, but we are as well. We are to be the vigorous pioneers of faith on this planet; we are to reach the unreached, the lost, the ones cast aside. We are to be on fire for the cause of Christ.
Finally, Paul was ‘set apart for the gospel of God’. If you’ve been saved by the good news of Jesus Christ, you’ve been set apart for it as well. No longer do you drift through life; you have a great calling, a high purpose, and that is to see all humanity come to know the glorious salvation that Jesus offers and to see the kingdom of God brought to earth.
Romans 1:1 may have been Paul’s introduction, but it doesn’t just belong to him; it is the introduction of anyone who has been saved by Jesus.
“Kelvey Vander Hart, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God.”
Don’t skip introductions folks. You may miss your life’s work in doing so.