Paul’s “I Am” Statements
Some wonder why genuine Bible believing Christians want to share the gospel of God’s unconditional love and grace with others. It is most important that all people hear the good news of salvation by receiving Jesus Christ as Savior, for it is the only way of eternal life and victory over the penalty and the ravages of sin in their lives’ during our short time on earth.
No other religious figure in all of human history other than Jesus of Nazareth ever claimed to be the sinless “Son of God” who alone was QUALIFIED to die as the just payment in full for “the sins of the world” and reconcile man to God.
Many today expend their efforts on political activism, which at best may have short term benefits, if at all. For political activism and man’s laws do not have the necessary power to change the corrupt hearts of all people. But Paul’s “gospel of the grace of God” justly offers all mankind forgiveness of sins and the free gift of salvation with its blessings that reach to eternity, having eternal benefits for those who received Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that [salvation is] not of yourselves: it is the Gift of God: 9 Not of works [not of human effort], lest any man should boast.” Eph. 2:8-9
There is no “work” necessary for salvation today. Salvation is the free “gift of God” upon one’s believing. But, we as believers are engaged in a battle for the lost souls of men. May we never be distracted by do-goodism of religion and political activism. Jesus never engaged the pagan Romans at all in that way, never opposing or trying to change the Roman system and its ways. Thus, Paul wrote;
“No man that warreth Entangleth Himself With The Affairs of This Life; [this so] that he may please him [Jesus] who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” 2 Timothy 2:4 (KJV)
Relatedly, three times in Romans 1:14-16, the Apostle Paul uses the phrase “I am.” and each time it carries an important message for every true believer in Christ.
- First, Paul says in verse 14: “I AM DEBTOR” — meaning a debtor to all men, to tell them about the saving grace available due to the Cross-work of Jesus Christ in payment for all of our sins.
“I AM DEBTOR both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.” Romans 1:14 (KJV)
But why was Paul indebted to people he had never even seen?
There are several reasons.
For, Paul knew he had in his hand, mind, and heart, what lost people need in order to be saved from the penalty and power of Sin.
Consider this; if I see a man drowning and I have a life buoy in my hand but do not throw it to him, am I not a murderer if he goes down for the last time? If I see millions of lost souls around me and, while knowing the message of salvation, I do not tell them the truth, am I not guilty if they die without Christ.
Unsaved lost souls will miss out on His total forgiveness of ALL sins… to enjoy His peace and rest in their hearts while in this present evil world. But what’s more… they will miss out on dwelling and reigning eternally in “the heavenly places” with Christ for eternity.
Most Christians do not realize this but, there in heaven we will engage in the genuine ‘good work’ of co-reigning with Christ in and over all “the heavenly places” forever.
“If we suffer [endure, in faith], we shall also reign [Gk. simbasilieou, co-reign] with him: …” 2 Timothy 2:12 (KJV)
“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle [our body] were dissolved [die and decay], we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, “eternal in the heavens.”
2 Corinthians 5:1 (KJV)
Further, Paul felt himself a debtor to others, because the Christ who had died for his sins had also had died for all the sins of all others too. As Paul says;
“15 … he [Jesus] died for all, [so] that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” 2 Cor. 5:14-15
Finally, the Christ who had died for Paul’s sins, also had commissioned Paul to tell ALL men of His ‘unconditional love and saving grace in Christ.’ Thus, Paul said;
“Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! For… a dispensation [dispensing] of the gospel is committed unto me” (1 Cor. 9:16-17).
“For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle [Gk. apostolos, a sent one] of the Gentiles, I magnify [honor] mine office:” Romans 11:13 (KJV)
- Paul could say further what every genuine believer should be able to say:
“14 I am debtor… 15SO, as much as in me, I AM READY to Preach the Gospel…” (Rom.1:14a, 15a).
Thus, Paul was ready to discharge his debt because he had received that gospel of God’s grace which was to be discharged. Paul had received the wonderful “gospel of the grace of God” whereby all men and women could be saved from their sins through the cross-work of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ life saving cross-death was according to will of God as the ultimate expression of God’s love, mercy and grace.
For Paul’s gospel is the free offer of God’s Grace in Salvation. Paul did undeniably make this the message known to others with all that was in him, traveling throughout the then known world of his day, being opposed, mocked, stoned, shipwrecked, and bitten by a snake, suffering all along the way.
3. And now Paul’s third “I am”:
“I am debtor…So, … I am ready… For I AM NOT ASHAMED of the gospel of Christ, for it is The Power of God Unto Salvation to every one that believeth…” (Ver. 16).
Paul was always proud to have Christ as his mighty Saviour from sin.
Do you know Christ as your Savior? If not, then you can open your heart and simply believe the gospel to receive Him as your personal Savior, by faith, right now!
“And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…” Acts 16:31
If you do know Christ as your Saviour, you also can tell others of His saving grace?