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To the Called of Jesus Christ

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Romans 1:1–7 KJV 1900
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: 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.
Nowadays when we write a letter the common practice is to begin by addressing the one whom we are writing to. Such as “Dear Tommy” and then after we have written the content of our letter we finish with “Your Truly Robert Braly” Although with emails and txt messages we now begin with hey and end with R. In ancient letter writing the practice was to begin with an introduction of yourself “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ then address the recipient “To the called of Jesus Christ in Rome”
Paul has given a through introduction of himself, a very thoughtful and careful introduction of himself. He has already taught us so much about God’s good news just in the way in which he introduces himself...
So now he turns to the recipients and the first thing he addresses with them is that they are...

The Called of Jesus Christ

Romans 1:6 KJV 1900
Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:
Among whom
“we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations” Who were they? Among all nations. This is another way of saying you were Gentiles. All other nations in contrast to Israel. Paul was the apostle to the gentiles or among all nations. and he says among whom are ye. This is a reminder of where they came from. They were Gentiles they were not God’s chosen people they were not a people but now. they are also, like Paul, the called of Jesus Christ. Peter put it this way.
1 Peter 2:9–10 KJV 1900
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
not a people but now
had not obtained mercy but now
What is it that caused the “but now”? The call of Jesus Christ. It is His call that brings us out of darkness and into his marvellous light. This completely changes our identity from not a people, other nations, to the called of Jesus Christ. We are now the people of God. But before this call we are in darkness. We are hopeless.
2 Corinthians 4:3–6 KJV 1900
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
So we are called out of darkness into the light from not being a people to being the people of God But Paul also mentions something else that we are called to
Romans 1:7 KJV 1900
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.
Called to be saints. we are called to holiness. The word holy is a difficult word for us to hear, it’s like righteousness. the word itself seems to condemn us. the reason that I think we don’t like it is because we believe we can never attain to it. It’s like perfection. But what if we could have holiness, righteousness, perfection. When a baby is born he or she cannot walk. it’s impossible for them to walk but they strive for it because they see their parents walking around with no trouble. As they strive their muscles get stronger and stronger until one day they stand up and take a step or two and then they fall down again. But they keep on working at it until they eventually can walk and then run and jump. They do this because God made them to walk. God made us to be holy. He said be ye holy as your Father which is in heaven is holy. So we see that our Father is holy and we must keep striving for holiness in our life despite the fact that we fall time and time again because holiness is what we were called to. And I can hear some say yes but we won’t be holy until we go to be with the Lord. Yes but for us who have eternal life death is just another phase of life. Like going from being a baby to a toddler or from adolescents to adulthood. You have been called to be holy, don’t wait until the next phase of life to start developing you muscles.
So Paul addresses the called of Jesus Christ next He says that they are...

The Beloved of God

Romans 1:7 KJV 1900
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.
Those who are called of Jesus Christ are the beloved of God. No the Bible tells us that God loves everyone right?
John 3:16 KJV 1900
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Matthew 5:44–45 KJV 1900
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
We are asked to love our enemies because God loves His enemies as evident by the sun rising and the rain falling on the evil and unjust.
But this love is not the love of God that is spoken of in Romans 1:7. There is a special kind of love which God has for His people. The church is the bride of Christ and He loves His bride with a deep love, in that he says I am my beloved and my beloved is mine. He chose his bride He called you and you are His beloved.
So Paul addresses the called of Jesus Christ in Rome the beloved of God called to be holy and the first this he wants to say is a blessing on God’s people.
Romans 1:7 KJV 1900
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.

Grace and Peace to You

What is this grace? Paul has already said that he has received the grace of apostleship but i don’t belief that he prays for the grace of apostleship for all the saints in Rome. They are the called of Jesus Christ the beloved people of God so it’s not he grace of saving faith. If we remember the definition of grace from a few weeks ago that grace is undeserved kindness. We see then that God’s grace, His kindness is something which we need continually regardless of the fact that we never deserve it. We need His grace to abound. May God grant us grace each and every day. He has given us open access to the throne of grace through the blood of Jesus Christ that we might find grace and mercy whenever we need it. So may God’s grace abound and peace. Grace must be first before we can have peace. Peace only comes from peace with God. We cannot have peace with God until we have reconciliation with God. We cannot have reconciliation with God until we have grace through Jesus Christ. The Gospel of God is that Jesus became a man live among us as one of us and died on the cross for us. He took all the unrighteousness of all mankind on himself and died for our sins so that He might put His righteousness on us and we can be reconciled with God then and only then can we have peace. And just as Paul prays for grace to abound he also prays for peace to abound. That we might rest in the peace of God which passes all understanding. This grace and peace is from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. And this was Paul’s prayer for the saints in Rome and it my prayer for you all this morning.
May the grace of God which brings reconciliation through Jesus Christ our Lord and the peace of God which passes all understanding be with you all.
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