We’ve Received a Great Gift and a Glorious Purpose
From Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God. This gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, concerning his Son who was a descendant of David with reference to the flesh, who was appointed the Son-of-God-in-power according to the Holy Spirit by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him we have received grace and our apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles on behalf of his name.
You’ve heard of Jesus.
- Descendent of King David
- Appointed Son of God with Power
- The Holy Spirit and the Prophets talked about Him
- Raised from the dead by the power of God.
But do you know what that means for us? In a thumbnail sentence, Paul sums it up:
Through him we have received grace and our apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles on behalf of his name.
That means we’ve received grace. We have received something beyond anything we could ever deserve. It’s not called grace if it is owed to you or if you earned it. It’s not called grace if it is due out of justice. It’s called grace because it’s the opposite of all of those things.
Apostleship means we’ve been sent with a message. We’ve been sent out with this message of the grace we’ve received. If you take a box of Grippo’s to a party in Louisiana, it doesn’t take much to say “These are the best chips you’ve ever had, try them.” Within 20 minutes, strangers are coming up to you and saying “Did you try these BBQ chips? They are amazing! Where did they come from?” That is apostleship and evangelism of potato chips.
We’ve been given grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith on behalf of Jesus. We aren’t carrying out a law, or even re-stating the 10 commandments. We are brininging about the obedience that comes from faith in Jesus. This obedience obeys a Man that came and even now lives 2000 years later. This grace and apostleship bring about more and more people being in relationship and friendship with this guy that is everything the previous 3 sentences say about Him.
We’ve received it. Even more language of freedom is used by Paul here. We aren’t under a new law that says ‘be apostles’ but we’ve received a calling, a friendship, and a mission. It was offered and paid for, and we – by faith – took it. Now that we have it, all we can do is show up at the party and tell people about the most amazing thing ever. Within a short time, strangers will be approaching us back and saying, “Have you heard of Jesus? Have you received His grace?”