Romans 1 – New American Standard Bible (NASB)
1 Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning His Son, who was borthe Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake, 6 among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ; 7 to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
When I first read this passage my inclination was that it didn’t meet my study criteria of looking for ways to understand the effect and application of Grace in today’s world and in my life. Here’s what changed my mind.
“…through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;…” And here’s why.
This Sunday I’ll be in church. I’ve chosen my churches carefully since becoming a believer. I know it’s just a building filled with people who are drawn there for many reasons. It’s likely there would be a very small number of people who would declare one of those reasons to be “needing the obedience of faith.” But up in front stands a man who has been given that charge of Grace, “in His name,” regardless…
• Regardless of what we think we need or what he knows we need, he speaks of offered Grace.
• Regardless of our recognizing his elevated status he confesses his own need for Grace.
• Regardless of strife in the body, he hopes Grace will prevail.
• Regardless of exhaustion when sacred and moral duties use up all his energy and time, it’s Grace that makes him put one foot in front of the other.
• Regardless of sometimes being a wounded target, it’s Grace that heals and encourages.
• Regardless of all the evidence to the contrary it’s Grace that lets him look out at our faces and believe “you also are the called of Jesus Christ.” That’s real-time, real-life Grace…Regardless.