I’m surely not the first to notice this, but the intro to Romans 1 is purposefully chiastic:
A. Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle
B. which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures
C. concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, born of the seed of David, according to the flesh
B’. declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead.
A’. Through Him we have received grace and apostleship… among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ…
What’s really cool about this is that the structure implies several things:
First, what Paul has received as a servant of Jesus, called to be an apostle, is on par with what the Romans have received: “you also are the called of Jesus.” “Grace and apostleship” are part of the same Christmas package from Jesus.
Second, moving concentrically inward, this Christmas gift was promised by the prophets and reaffirmed in the resurrection of Jesus. Through the resurrection of Jesus, we have received grace and apostleship.
And third, the center is Jesus, the Son of God, born of the seed of David, according to the flesh. Even the language is descending into our story: Son of God –> Seed of David –> According to the Flesh.
In other words, the whole introduction is about God’s life being born in our world, in our story, in us. If it was conceived in the womb of a virgin, then it can be born in us. If the Son of God can invade the messed up family of David, surely He can invade our family. If He has risen from the dead, then not only has He invaded, but He has also conquered and assured us that His grace and peace are ours.