After declaring who Jesus is—both man and Son of God, resurrected from the dead and deserving of the title “Our Lord”—Paul returns to identifying himself to his readers. It turns out that Paul’s identity cannot be separated from that of Jesus, and as believers, neither can ours. “Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ” (Rom 1:5-6).
Paul’s mission field were the churches and believers He was called to minister to, along with unbelievers. But we are also “called of Christ”, and our mission are the unbelievers all around us. As Christ followers, our minds and hearts are no longer veiled by the darkness of sin. “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Cor 4:6)
It would be selfish to keep this good news to ourselves. “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Phil 2:3-4)
Isn’t it in the best interest of others to also come to know our Lord and Savior? “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:5-7)
Since we are also “called of Christ”, we should share His good news in truth because there are many out there sharing a false gospel leading people on the wide road to hell. “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” (1 Pet 2:9-10)
Paul’s point in writing the letter of Romans is to lay out exactly what it means to obey Christ’s call to believe in Him. Paul is preparing to present a clear and thorough description of the good news that all can be forgiven for their sin and made right with God forever by faith in Jesus and what He accomplished when He died on the cross.
“To all who are in Rome [and everywhere], beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 1:7) [emphasis added]. Paul concludes the opening of his letter with his standard blessing. He used it often, but it is meaningful. He pronounced upon his readers grace and peace from both God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
When used, grace always comes before peace. We must receive the unmerited favor of grace from our Lord before we can have His peace. Unbelievers everywhere are looking in all the wrong places to gain peace. We know His peace, and it is up to us to obey Jesus and share our source of peace with others. “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:4-7)
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