Grace for Those Who Believe
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; to all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:5-7)
It’s not a stretch at all to say that everything the believer has … in this life or the next … comes from Jesus Christ (John 15:5).
Paul the apostle recognized this, and acknowledged two major things he’d received from the Lord that enabled him to preach the gospel and win people to Jesus Christ. Those two things were grace and apostleship. Grace is God’s unending supply of Divine favor flowing in our direction; apostleship was the ability and calling given to the foundational leaders of the church (Ephesians 2:19-22).
Paul’s salutation was addressed to all believers in Rome, to those whom he described as beloved of God and saints. These descriptions are accurate for every person placing his or her complete trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, and not just for an elite few who have been canonized through some ecclesiastical process (relating to the church). God loves the believer in Christ and calls him/her a saint, which means “holy or separated one.”
Paul sends along to the Roman Christians the New Testament equivalent of the Old Testament High Priestly blessing (see Numbers 6:22-27) … the blessings of grace and peace. These blessings have been called the “Siamese twins of the New Testament,” because they are always coupled together in the greetings of most of the epistles. The interesting thing is that they always appear in the same order: first grace, then peace. There is a reason for this … one cannot know peace with God until one first receives the grace of God. Grace is received through faith in the gospel (Ephesians 2:8-9). Both grace and peace come from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. They are included in the package wrapped up and identified as the free gift of salvation.
For Further Review
1. Consider your own life in the light of Paul’s acknowledgment of the gifts he’d received from the Lord. What have you received from God? To help with your answer, perhaps consider this question: what do you have that you have not received? (1 Corinthians 4:7)
2. Are you a saint? If yes, how do you know? If no, then why did you answer as you did?
3. What is the grace of God? Describe God’s grace using your own words. Identify at least three ways in which the grace of God is manifested in your life.
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