I was listening to a sermon by John Piper last night. His text was Romans 1:1, which reads, "Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God." I was curious as to how he would treat the text and keep my attention for the full forty minutes my web browser indicated the sermon would last. There's seemingly little to work with here. It's simply an introduction.
There's more than meets the eyes, though. Paul isn't so much telling us who he is, he's telling us whose he is. If we look carefully, we see someone behind the scenes in the text. There's someone greater than Paul at work. It's this person that Paul seeks to introduce.
Whose is Paul? Christ's! We see him introduced as a servant of Christ. A servant is one who serves someone greater. That someone greater in this text is Jesus. Next, we see that Paul was called to be an apostle. To be called, means someone has called, right? Paul was called by who? God in Christ Jesus. Finally, we see Paul was set apart for the gospel of God. To be set apart, means someone has done the setting apart. Who was setting Paul apart? God in Christ Jesus.
This text is filled with references to whom Paul belonged. Yet, in life, we're always concerned with the question, who am I? We're always striving to know who we are and what our purpose in life happens to be. It seems the greater question may be: whose are we? Purpose and meaning come from a right relationship with our Creator.
If you're not sure whose you are, contact me through the contact tab on this site. I'd love to help you figure that out.