Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Called to be Saints

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.
Romans 1:7, KJV

Paul usually introduces himself and states his purpose at the beginning of his letters to the churches. What an introduction he writes for the book of Romans! He tells us who he is, what his subject matter is, and to whom this book is written.

Who is Paul? The answer is in Romans 1:1, Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God. I know Paul spent his entire life as a missionary for Christ, but in reality all Christians are called to be servants of Christ and to be separated unto the Gospel of God. Oftentimes we relegate this distinction to just full-time Christian servants such as pastors and missionaries, putting them on a pedestal above the rest of us common people. God puts no one on a pedestal, nor does He exempt anyone from service to Him with a life separated unto the gospel of God. He puts us all in different walks of life, but we all have the same purpose, and in that sense, we are all full-time Christian servants!

What subject matter has inspired Paul to write this book the the church at Rome?

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:
5 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.

To whom is this book written? To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints. The book of Romans was written for Christians, first in Rome and then for all Christians everywhere.

Then, we have the benediction. Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. These words have a familiar ring; Paul has used these words in other benedictions. I think it is interesting to note that we usually think of a benediction as coming at the end of a worship service, article, or book. Yet, this Bible benediction comes at the beginning.

So what have we learned? We Christians are called to be servants of God, separated unto the Gospel of God. Paul encourages us by invoking grace and peace from God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ are our only true sources of grace through salvation by Christ, and peace in knowing that our God is supreme, all-powerful, all-knowing, and completely able to provide for all of our needs.

Take that thought with you today as you go about the normal duties of life that God has assigned to you.

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.

God Bless You,
Linda

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