We often overlook important truths when reading the opening and closing statements of Paul’s letters thinking, perhaps, they contain only customary formalities without much in the way of edifying content. But we would be mistaken to think this. The opening line of his letter to the Romans is a case in point. “Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God...” Romans 1:1 Here Paul asserts three things about himself: (1) that he is a servant of Christ Jesus, (2) that he is called to be an apostle, and (3) that he had been set apart for the gospel of God. Each of these tells us a great deal about him that is vital for us to know. First, he was “a servant of Christ Jesus.” The Greek word ( doulos ) is variously translated in the ESV as “servant” (most often), “bondservant,” or “slave.” It refers to someone who is under another person’s authority. It is used both literally and figuratively in Scripture, of both voluntary and involuntary service.