Romans 1:5-7 Commentary
Romans 1:5-7- By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: 6 Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: 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.
The “whom” here refers to Christ, in Christ Paul received grace and his apostleship, not by any worthiness found in Paul. This fits in perfectly with what he stated of his calling in verse 1 one, he was called and separated for the gospel by God. The reason for this calling is that he would take Christ’s name to the nations and bring people to obedience to the faith of Christ. This is what was said of Paul by the Lord to Ananias in Acts 9 about Paul,
15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. Acts 9:15-16
Paul was given a ministry by Christ, not just to stay locally in Jerusalem (to minister to Jews only), or to pastor one church, but to bear his name before all types of nations, to plant many churches, and to raise up leaders in those churches to bring people into the true faith and obedience to Christ. All this is done for the glory of Christ’s name. The spread of the gospel, the salvation of both Jew and Gentile, is “To the praise of the glory of his grace… (Eph 1:6)”, or to the praise of God, not to the praise of men!
Paul points out to the Christians in Rome that they too count themselves among “the called of Jesus Christ”. No doubt Paul had explained to those in Rome about God’s foreknowing, predestinating, calling, justifying, and glorifying of His chosen people (Rom 8:29-30). These words fit with the very words Christ spoke in John 6:37-40, 44, 65,
“37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that everyone which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day….44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day…..65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
In these verses Jesus explains the doctrine of election. God the Father chose people before the foundation of the world and “gave” them to Christ (verse 37, 39), He then draws them (or calls them) to Christ (verse 44), and Christ promises them two things-
1. That it is God’s will that they be saved and NONE of them is lost.
2. That Jesus will NEVER cast out those who the Father draws to Him; they are guaranteed to be raised up the last day!
(For further reading on this read Ephesians chapter one, Romans 8:28-39, and you can listen to our podcast on Ephesians chapter 1)
The final point I will pull from these verses is the use of the word “saint”. I grew up Catholic and was always told that to be a “saint” you had to be canonized by the church. I was told that being a saint meant you were some type of “special Christian”. This is not true in the biblical sense of the word. All through the bible the “saints” are those who are called to be a part of Jesus’s body, the church. To be a saint is to be “a most holy thing or person to God” and this is what we are in Christ. In our justification found in Christ we are made a holy person to God.