Disciples or Apostles?
Before we start, we need to understand the meaning
of these two words. Disciple means a student or learner -- talking
about a person that is listening to and learning from another person.
Apostle means to be sent out. This is a person that has finished
learning what they are supposed to do and is now sent out to do
the work. Depending on where you are in your Christian growth, you
could be either a disciple or an apostle or maybe both. (See Matthew
Romans 1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship,
for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
To find out who Paul is talking about here, we need
to look at Romans 1:3-4. Notice it says here that we received grace
and apostleship from Jesus Christ because of our obedience.
Romans 1:6 Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus
Christ: Jesus also calls us to do what He tells us to do.
Romans 1:7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God,
called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father,
and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul here in the second part of the verse is giving
a greeting to the Christians in the Roman Church.
Romans 1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ
for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
Notice here that Paul is thanking God for them and
the fact that their faith is known throughout the whole world. That
is a good thing for anyone to be able to say about another person.
That would be the same today if Ron Wilcoxson or Jim Sloan was to
write a letter to us saying that they heard about our faith and
thanked God because of our faith being known far from just Hutchinson,
Romans 1:9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with
my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing (stopping)
I make mention (speak) of you always in my prayers;
Notice two things here: 1 -- Paul is serving God
and 2 -- Paul is always praying for others.
We need to be following Paul's example here of understanding
where we get our grace and call from, thanking God, serving God,
and praying for others.