Received Grace… For Obedience

Romans 1:1-7

  1. Purpose
    1. The book of Romans was written to a young, predominantly Gentile church that, although may have had roots going back to early Jewish converts to Christianity at Pentecost, was likely established through strategic efforts by Paul during his 2-3 year training ministry in Ephesus (the 29 names highlighted in the salutation of Romans 16 reveal a Roman leadership comprised of individuals close to Paul and/or disciples under his ministry). Near the very end of Paul’s 3rd church planting endeavor (i.e. missionary journey), just prior to his final trip to Jerusalem, Paul wrote Romans as a doctrinal primer for a young church.
  2. Structure
    1. The structure of Romans points to it being something of a doctrinal primer for discipleship of a young church. Romans outlines what to believe (Ch. 1-8), how to live (Ch. 12-15:7) and also a section (Ch. 9-11) dealing with the importance of and God’s future plans for the children of Israel. This section (Ch. 9-11) highlights [I believe] the predominantly non-Jewish nature of the Roman church and gives us insight into the cultural/racial tensions found in the early church.

1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, 2 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) As we considered in our study last time, Paul was a servant of Jesus that had discovered his call and gifting to be an apostle, who was ultimately appointed to the work of gospel proclamation by God. Every Christian is Which he had promised

  1. God Gave Prophetic Promises
    1. The gospel of God was promised of God through the prophets, prior to the fulfillment of it in Jesus.
      1. Isaiah 1:18 ~ Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
      2. Jeremiah 31:31-34 ~ Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day [that] I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: 33 But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
      3. Ezekiel 36:25-27 ~ Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do [them].
  2. God makes good on His prophetic promises.
    1. Deuteronomy 7:9 ~ Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he [is] God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;
  3. Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s prophetic promise
    1. There are 300+ Messianic Prophecies in the Old Testament that were fulfilled in Jesus at His first coming.

3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; 4 And declared [to be] the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: Concerning His Son

  1. The Gospel (v. 1) is that which concerns God’s Son
    1. Son of God is a title given to the eternal Word of God (John 1:1) after He was incarnated as a man (Jn. 1:14).
    2. Son does not mean “made” or “created” — rather it speaks of one having the same nature as, but differing in form. Jesus is eternal God, but became a man in full human flesh
      1. Eternality
        1. John 1:1-3 ~ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
        2. Colossians 1:15-17 ~ Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
      2. Incarnation
        1. John 1:14 ~ And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
        2. Philippians 2:5-8 ~ Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
        3. Hebrews 1:3 ~ Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
    3. Jesus was and is fully eternal God. But during His earthly habitation He took on the form of a man. Fully God and fully man. The theological term is the Hypostatic Union
      1. From the Greek: ὑπόστασις hypóstasis, sediment, foundation, substance, or subsistence
        1. In Hebrews 1:3 [above] “Express image of his person” in the ESV reads “exact imprint of his nature.” Person and Nature there are ὑπόστασις in the Greek.
    4. His Sonship (i.e. humanity) is illustrated here by His descendence from David.
  2. The Gospel is that which concerns God’s son Jesus Christ our Lord, who became a man (incarnation) through the royal line of King David after the flesh.And He [Jesus] was marked out, declared or proven to be the Son of God with power by the fact that he raised from the dead.
    1. The resurrection is the central and most important fact of the gospel.
      1. 1 Corinthians 15:1

5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: Grace and Apostleship, for Obedience

  1. By, or through Jesus we have received.
    1. This is the continuation of Paul’s explanation of the Gospel.
    2. The Gospel is that which concerns the incarnate God/Man Jesus Christ.He is in substance both Son of God (proven by His resurrection) and King of men (by His genealogy).
    3. But the gospel doesn’t end there, it continues on to the fact that through this Jesus Christ we receive grace for salvation and a calling unto service.
      1. Through the Gospel and our reception of it, Jesus — who by nature is Christ and Lord (Acts 2:36) — becomes our Christ and Lord
        1. Christ means anointed Savior.Lord means master.
    4. Paul received the Grace of God unto salvation and the calling of God unto an apostleship.
      1. Do we all receive the calling of God unto an apostleship? In one sense, yes.In that each of us are called by God to be ambassadors (i.e. representatives) of God wherever we go.But no, in another sense, in that Paul’s apostolic calling unto the Gentiles was quite specific.
    5. The order of “Grace and Apostleship” are important.We must receive the gracious gift of salvation before the calling unto ambassadorship.
      1. A nation would never send a person out to another nation as an ambassador or dignitary who was not first a citizen of the sending nation. In much the same way a person cannot be sent out as an ambassador of Christ and heaven if they have not first become a citizen of heaven by receiving by faith God’s grace.
        1. Personal grace always before public service.
          1. We are what we are by the grace of God (1 Corinthians 15;9-10)
  2. For obedience
    1. The progression of verse 5 is [I believe] very important.
      1. We receive God’s grace and calling apart from our obedience. We become saints not by saintly living but as saints ought to live saintly lives.
        1. Ephesians 2:8-10 ~ For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
      2. We are saved not by our obedience but for obedience.
    2. What is obedience to the faith?
      1. First and foremost, to obey the Gospel is to believe it.
        1. John 6:29 ~ Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
      2. Secondly, to obey the Gospel is to live it.
        1. Paul in Philippians 2:5, as we considered previously, said, “Let this mind be in you.” We, in obedience to the Gospel must live incarnationally too. Just as Christ manifested the Gospel, we must also.Where?

Among all nations, for His name

  1. I’m not one who is really “in to” tattoos, but if I were I’d consider these Greeks words.
    1. ἐν πᾶσιν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν – this holds the exact same substance as the Great Commission of Christ in Matthew 28:19 where we’re commissioned with an apostolic ambassadorship to teach “all nations” (πάντα τὰ ἔθνη).
      1. These are not nations like we think of them today.The Greek word ἔθνη means “peoples” or “people groups.” These are not determined by national borders or boundaries, but rather cultural, tribal and linguistic distinction.So in a nation you may have many ἔθνη.
  2. For His name
    1. So we go as representative ambassadors for the sake of Christ, His name and Kingdom.

6 Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: Among whom

  1. The people at Rome who were receiving this letter was one ἔθνη among many who were called of Jesus Christ.
    1. Very early on, here in the 6th verse of the letter are we confronted with the important truth that although we are a special people as a result of Christ’s calling, we are not greater or more exceptional in our calling than others that are called.
      1. Why is this important?There was a racial divide in the early church between Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians.We can sometimes develop a spiritual superiority complex that is both unbiblical and sinful.
        1. Romans 12:3 ~ For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
          1. How do we, as the called out of Jesus Christ, not think more highly of ourselves than other that are [apparently] not called out?We recognize the truth of Romans 12:3 that God has given to every man a measure of faith.And by God’s grace, His word came to us which has fanned the flame of faith unto salvation.
            1. Romans 10:17 ~ So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called [to be] saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. To all that be in Rome Beloved of God

  1. 1 John 3:1 ~ Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

Called Saints

  1. This can be read in two distinct ways
    1. Called by God to be saints.So a calling unto sainthood, which is the way that the KJV translators have rendered it.
    2. Called saints by God’s grace.
    3. I’m fine with either way as I think that both are true.We are called saints by God because of His grace and not our works, but we are called unto saintly living by God.To live out our calling.
      1. As I mentioned last time.We are called “Servants of Jesus” whether we actually serve Jesus or not.But it is far better to actually live in line with our calling.It is hypocrisy to be called a servant of Christ and never actually serve Him.
      2. We must walk worthy of our calling as saints.If we’ve been labeled “saints” by God’s grace, then we should endeavor — in and by His grace — to live as saints.

Grace and peace From God our father, and the Lord Jesus Christ

  1. Source & Channel
    1.  God the father
      1. The source of
    2. The Lord Jesus Christ
      1. The channel
  2. Not only are grace and peace seen at the open of nearly all the New Testament epistles, and always in this order because peace is impossible without grace, but these are extended to believers over and over as we are always in continual need of perpetual grace and peace.