on God's Son. His descent from David roots him in history;
his unique identity as Son of God was shown by the Spirit when Jesus was raised from the dead, setting him apart as the Messiah, our Master.
Through him we received both the generous gift of his life and the urgent task of passing it on to others who receive it by entering into obedient trust in Jesus.
You are who you are through this gift and call of Jesus Christ!
And I greet you now with all the generosity of God our Father and our Master Jesus, the Messiah.
I thank God through Jesus for every one of you. That's first. People everywhere keep telling me about your lives of faith, and every time I hear them, I thank him.
And God, whom I so love to worship and serve by spreading the good news of his Son - the Message! - knows that every time I think of you
in my prayers, which is practically all the time, I ask him to clear the way for me to come and see you.
The longer this waiting goes on, the deeper the ache. I so want to be there to deliver God's gift in person and watch you grow stronger right before my eyes!
But don't think I'm not expecting to get something out of this, too! You have as much to give me as I do to you.
Please don't misinterpret my failure to visit you, friends. You have no idea how many times I've made plans for Rome. I've been determined to get some personal enjoyment out of God's work among you, as I have in so many other non-Jewish towns and communities. But something has always come up and prevented it.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)