Paul’s Authority Rom. 1:1-7 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Paul began this letter with his greeting and stated authority for writing this letter to the Romans, since he wasn’t the one who had led them to the Lord like he had the Corinthians [1 Cor 4:15] or the Thessalonians [1 Thes 1:5, 2:13]. Pauls authority was clearly established in the opening of this letter. Paul wrote to them on:
The authority of his apostleship – Rom 1:1 – Pauls authority among the Romans came from:
- Paul’s office – a servant of Jesus Christ. This is what all “the great” men of God were [Matt 20:25-28].
- Paul’s calling – called to be an apostle. There were the original twelve [Lk 6:13-16], then Matthias replaced Judas [Acts 1:25-26], and then there were Paul [1 Cor 15:9], the apostle to the Gentiles [Rom 11:13], and Barnabas [Acts 14:14, probably added after James was killed [Acts 12:2]. Apostles had the signs of an apostle, that is they were able to do signs and wonders [2 Cor 12:12; Acts 2:43]. Finally, there were false apostles [2 Cor 11:13; Rev 2:2]. There is no such thing as “apostolic succession,” the uninterrupted transmission of spiritual authority from the apostles through successive popes and bishops.
- Paul’s ministry – separated unto the gospel of God. His “separation” to preach the gospel was literal. He was separated from his mother’s womb as a preacher [Gal 1:15-17] and he was separated from the church in Antioch as a missionary [Acts 13:2].
The authority of his gospel – Rom 1:2 – he was called to preach the gospel of God which was promised by the prophets in the Old Testament [1 Pet 1:9-12; Lk 24:25-27]. See cross references from Lk 24:27, such as, Gen 22:1-18, Deut 18:15-18, Is 7:14, Is 9:6-7, Is 50:6, Is 53, Zech 9:9 and so forth.
The authority of his Saviour – Rom 1:3-4 – God’s Son Jesus Christ our Lord was:
- The Son of man – Rom 1:3 – he was made of the seed of David. With this simple statement he answers the question that the Pharisees could not answer in Matt 22:41-46. Jesus Christ was indeed of the seed of David according to the flesh [Matt 1:1, 6; Lk 3:31] but he was also “his Son,” the Son of God [Rom 1:4; Lk 1:34-35] and, therefore, the Lord and the Messiah.
- The Son of God – Rom 1:4 – he was “declared” to be the Son of God with power by the Holy Ghost [Acts 10:38-39]. He did miracles that only God could do. And he was declared to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead [Acts 10:40]. Many believed in a general resurrection “of” the dead at the last day [Jn 11:23-24]. But the miracle of Jesus’ resurrection is that he rose “from” the dead [Mk 9:9-10]. His resurrection the third day completed the gospel [1 Cor 15:3-4].
The authority of his jurisdiction – Rom 1:5-7 – Paul was called to preach among “all nations.” Therefore, he was not limited to a specific church, city, or country. He didn’t confer upon himself this call, but was rather gifted by the grace of God [Rom 12:6; 1 Cor 15:9-10]. His duty was to preach “obedience to the faith.” That is when people heard the gospel they were to believe it [Rom 16:26, 6:17, 10:16]. The Romans believed it and therefore they were “called” of Jesus Christ to be “saints.” And as saints they were the “beloved of God,” [Eph 1:6] no matter what they had been before they were saved.
Conclusion: with Pauls authority and introduction of himself to the Romans, they would be more inclined to hear what this “apostle” had to say. Otherwise, based on his reputation, they may have been inclined to question what business he had writing them.