“By Whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for His Name.

         Of whom is Paul talking about in this verse?  “We” can only apply to believers.  One of the saddest errors in Biblical studies, or thinking, is to assume that everything in the Bible is for everyone.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  There is nothing in the Bible for the Buddhist, the Muslim or for unregenerate Americans except the offer of salvation that is offered free to them.
         There is no precious promise to which the unsaved soul may cling in life and in death. Also, too many times Christians will read some promise in the O.T. that was given to Israel,  and then think it can apply to everyone, or especially to Christians. Please understand that Israel is Israel and the Church is the Church–they are NOT the same; they are two separate and different creations of God.
         Please understand that the offer of God’s saving grace is universal; but the rest of the Bible is written to those who have accepted that offer of grace, and who have been brought under the pardon that was purchased by Christ on the cross.  To put it simply:  Only those who have been saved through Christ’s redeeming work are in this body of believers, and all those who are believers are saved.

“By Whom”
Literally: “Through Whom.”--as the ordained channel.  Christ is the ordained channel through Whom the Gospel has come.  Paul is returning to speaking of his authority of apostleship to preach the Gospel; that it came from the Lord Jesus Christ, and not from man—“I nether received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Gal. 1:12).

Paul here returns to the subject of the salutation of the Romans, and states to them his authority to address them. That authority he had derived from the Lord Jesus, and not from man. On this fact, that he had received his apostolic commission, not from man, but by the direct authority of Jesus Christ, Paul not unfrequently insisted. Galatians 1:12, “For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 15:1-8; Eph. 3:1-3)

1.     We Have Been Given Grace

“we have received grace
Literally:  “We received grace”-
GRACE is the general gift bestowed on all believers.  Understand that GRACE is Undeserved Favor.  It is, “the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man” (Titus 3:4).
1.      Love that goes upward is worship.

2.      Love that goes outward is affection.
3.      Love that stoops down is GRACE.
This is all summed up in Rom. 5:8:  “But God commendeth (displayed) His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

2.       We Have Been Given Apostles

“and apostleship”–

        APOSTLESHIP:  (Grk.–apostolēn)–The special grace given to Paul.  There are those who believe that the plural form was put here for the singular.

          It was usual for those who we clothed with authority to express themselves in this manner; as Queen Victoria is often shown as saying, We are not amused.”  Also, by his use of the plural, “we,” Paul could mean all the apostles, as, “We, the apostles, have received the appointment from Jesus Christ.”  However, in his N.T. Word studies, Vincent argues that this could only apply to Paul, and not include all the other apostles, for the end of the verse, “among all nations,” could only apply to him, the apostle to the Gentiles.
         Note the order of things mentioned—grace first, then the office of apostle, which is really the order in which he received them.  Paul received grace (favor) from God at his conversion, and then he received the apostleship, for the publication of the Gospel of grace.  Grace, the general gift given to all believers, apostleship, the specific gift given to Paul, and the other apostles.

           GRACE AND APOSTLESHIP:  (Grk.–charin kai apostolēn)–The connecting Greek word “kai” (and) has the force of saying, “and in particular” the apostleship.   The peculiar influence and the essential qualifications which such an office requires. Without the GRACE, (favor, and peculiar help of God), he could not have been an apostle.

Paul had an extraordinary conversion, and an extraordinary call to preach the Gospel. Probably “grace and apostleship” means the same as, “the apostolic office;” (Grk.–charin tes apostoles)–for so the word charis means in (12:3; 15:15; 1 Cor. 3:10; Eph. 3:8).  

 “for obedience to the faith”
Literally:  “To obedience of faith.”–The necessary consequence of genuine faith In order to produce, or promote obedience to the faith.  To induce them to render that obedience to God which faith produces.  There are two things implied here: 

1.     That the design of the gospel, and of the apostleship, is to induce men to obey God;
2.     That the tendency of faith is to produce obedience. 
There is no true faith which does not produce that.  In order to men's yielding themselves to the belief of God's saving message, which is the highest of all obedience.

That by this office, which I have received from God, and the power by which it is accompanied, I might proclaim the faith, the Gospel of Jesus; and show all nations the necessity of believing in it, in order to their salvation. Here is:
1.      The Gospel of the Son of God.
2.      An apostle divinely commissioned and empowered to preach it.
3.      The necessity of faith in the name of Jesus, as the only Savior of the world.
4.      Of obedience, as the necessary consequence of genuine faith.

“among all nations”
Literally: “In all the nations.”–Spreading the Gospel to all people, even Gentiles, or heathen. Of obedience, as the necessary consequence of genuine faith  This was the original commission that Jesus Christ gave to His apostles, and the special commission that Paul received at his conversion. 

At first, the apostles did not understand that Gentiles could be saved.  It took Peter’s experience with the Roman centurion Cornelius (Acts 10).  There were Jewish believers there in the church at Rome that had this same problem. 

         NATIONS:  (Grk.–ethnos)–This is the root word from which we get our English word, “ethnic,” or race.  That is, that all nations may embrace the faith of Christ.

“for His Name sake”–This could mean, on account of His Name, or by the authority of His Name; or more literally, “for the sake of” His Name.  In I John 2:12 we read, “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His Name’s sake.”

“Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ”

“Among whom”
Literally: “In whom”–Among the Gentiles who had become obedient to the Christian faith in accordance with the design of the Gospel.  This shows that the church in Rome was made up, at least partly, by Gentiles.  This is proven in chapter 16 by the names of the persons whom Paul salutes.

“are ye also”
Literally:  “are you also”–Paul is speaking here specifically speaking to the Gentile believers of the Roman church, for Paul ascribed nothing special to the Roman believers. Paul is strengthening their faith and preparing them for his proposed visit.  He now begins to tell them about their position in Christ.  He shows them five things that are theirs because of the position in Christ.

You Romans are all also invited to believe in Christ Jesus, for the salvation of your souls; and to you, with the rest, my apostolic mission extends. This appears to be the most obvious sense of the word called in this place; to be called by the Gospel is to be invited to believe in Christ Jesus, and become his disciples. The word sometimes means constituted, or made, as in v. 1.

1.   They are Called of Jesus Christ

 “called of Jesus Christ”
Literally:  “Called out of {by} Jesus Christ.” Here we have the same Greek verb used back in verse 1 for “set apart; designated” that Paul used in referring to himself, or his own calling, but here referring to those Romans whom Jesus Christ has called to be His followers. 

        CALLED:  (Grk.–klētoi)–Literally: “called out.”  We find this Greek verb also being applied to the Greek word (ekklēsia) that is rendered as “church,” but which literally means, “a called out assembly.”

        Those whom Jesus Christ has called to be His followers. The word “called” (see ver. 1) denotes not merely an external invitation to a privilege, but it also denotes the internal or effectual call which secures conformity to the will of one doing the calling, and is thus synonymous with the name Christians, or believers.

“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,”
         Literally:  “To all those being in Rome.”  To all that bear the Name of Christ (i.e., Christians) in Rome.  This phrase is not in some manuscripts.  It may be possible that this letter was really a “round-robin” letter to all the believers in Italy.

2.   They are Beloved of God

       BELOVED OF GOD–(Grk.–agapētois Theou)–Whom God loves.  This is the privilege of all Christians.  In John 3:16 we are told that God loved the world, but here we are told that the believers (saints) are beloved of God.

3.   They are Called Saints

“called to be saints”
Literally, “called (or constituted) saints”  not called “to be” saints..  The phrase is not in the future tense, rather it is in the present tense—a present condition. So called, or so influenced by God who had called them, as to become saints. 

         This phrase could also be translated as, “saints by way of calling.”  It asserts that they are what they are called.  Also the Greek word (hagios), here translated as saints, literally means, “holy ones.”  The believers have been separated from other men, and other objects and pursuits, and consecrated to the service of God.

The term, “saints,” is applied to Christian in three senses in the N.T.:
1.      As members of a visible and local community (Acts 9:32; 41; 26:10).
2.      As members of a spiritual community (I Cor.  1:2; Col. 3:12).
3.      As individually holy ((Eph. 1:18; Col. 1:12; Rev. 13:10).

         “Saints” is the title of all believers.  The Catholic Church finds its “saints” among the dead, but God gets His from the living—both physical and spiritual“God is not the God of the dead, but of the living”  (Matt. 22:32).  To God, a saint is not one who is exalted; rather, a saint is one who exalts Jesus Christ.  A person becomes a saint when Jesus Christ becomes his Savior. 
         There are really only two types of persons in this world—saints and ain’ts.  If you have not accepted Christ as your Savior, you are an ain’t.  If you have accepted Christ as your own personal Savior, then you are presently a saint.

4.   They Are the Objects of Grace and Recipients of Peace

         “grace…peace”– Paul here is using the common greeting to both Gentiles and Jews.  Grace and peace is Paul’s formal introduction in all of his letters.

         GRACE:  (Grk.–charis)–literally “favor”—was the common greeting among Greeks and Romans.  What Paul is saying, is, “May you be partakers of the Divine favor, the source from whence every blessing comes.     

         PEACE:  (Grk.-eirēnē)-“Peace” was the common greeting among Jews—(Hebrew:  shalom), but here, because this is the Greek text, the Greek word, (eirēnē) is used.  This Greek word is used in every N.T. book except in I John. 

The Lord Jesus several times greeted His disciples with the phrase, “shalom Aleichem,” (“peace be unto you”).  Grace and Peace is Paul’s formal introduction in all of his letters.

“from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ”
Literally:  “from God our Father and {the} Lord Jesus Christ”–Before one can have the peace of God, he must first receive the grace (favor unmerited) from God. 

         In this apostolic prayer Jesus Christ is joined with the Father as the Source from which grace and peace flow; which could not be, were He not equal with the Father in power and glory. Grace is the favor of God bestowed on men through Jesus Christ, and peace is its effect. Grace and peace, with all their blessings for this life and the future, come from the Father and the Son. For them men are indebted to both the Father and the Son; and to both should give all honor and glory. Rev. 5:13.
         Paul wishes them all the blessings which can flow from GOD, as the fountain of grace, producing in them all the happiness which a heart filled with the peace of God can possess; all of which are to be communicated to them through the Lord Jesus Christ.  Here Paul is declaring the deity of Jesus Christ, by listing Him alongside of God the Father, and the means of the favor (grace) from God the Father.