Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com/
“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake. And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”
These first verses in the book of Romans are Paul’s introduction to his readers. Paul spent the early days of the church spreading the word about Jesus Christ to Gentiles (non-Jews). Sometimes he was able to go and visit a place, other times he wrote a letter as he did here to the people of Rome. The first thing he does is present his credentials (“servant of Christ Jesus”), present his message (“Jesus Christ our Lord”) and targets his audience: “To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people: Grace and peace to you…” (Romans 1:7) As we study and examine God’s word, as we reflect and examine our hearts, let us never forget who we are: You and I, WE are those who are loved by God and called to be his holy people. Today, I will be praying that you see God’s grace and peace in your day.