In recent years the “gig economy” or “sharing economy” has become so prevalent that, according to Pew research, 72 percent of American adults have used one of its sharing or on-demand services. Every day, companies like Uber, Thumbtack, and TaskRabbit match available workers with jobs.
As an apostle, Paul had been given a very specific task by God. Earlier in Paul’s life, he had dedicated himself to persecuting the church. He used his energy to stop the spread of the good news of Christ.
But from the moment of his conversion on the Damascus road, Paul’s life took an entirely different direction (see Acts 9:1–19). From that day, he was “set apart for the gospel of God” (v. 1) to “call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith” (v. 5). No longer would he squelch the gospel and stomp on the church. Instead, he would lead the church to proclaim salvation through Jesus Christ to all nations.
The people to whom Paul wrote also had a calling. The church at Rome was made up of individuals who each, like Paul, belonged to Jesus Christ. They had been used in a variety of ways in the church, but they shared a common faith (see Rom. 16:1–16). Together with the Apostles, they could trace the promises of the Messiah throughout the Old Testament until His appearing (v. 2). They knew firsthand the love of God, and they worshiped Christ as Lord (vv. 4, 7). And as we see in Romans 1:8, their obvious and active faith had far-reaching, evangelistic effects.
Marked by the preaching of the gospel and the exercise of our faith, the church today receives its job from the Lord: “His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known” (Eph. 3:10).
The important task of proclaiming the love of God in Christ to the world has been given to the church. As part of the church, each Christian joins this work by prayer, financial support, a life of godliness, and active participation in the ministry. How is your local church taking up the task of evangelism? How are you participating?