Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Romans 1:6-8
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Romans 1:6
v6: Having said that his assignment as an apostle is to make disciples among the Gentiles (v5) Paul now says “among whom you are also the ones called of Jesus Christ.” As his letter progresses he will address numerous issues that are of concern to Jewish believers, and there must have been many who were part of congregations scattered throughout the city, but in order to stay true to God’s directive (Ac 9:15) he directs his attention to the Gentile believers there (Ro 1:13-15; 11:13, 14). He notes that God called him to “all the Gentiles,” and this would mean that the Gentiles in Rome were also part of his apostolic assignment. They too had been “called” to the “obedience of faith” (v5) in Jesus Christ.

Monday: Romans 1:6
v6 (continued): Before we go any further in this letter we need to define a word Paul uses repeatedly. The word is “call” (called, calling). It has two basic meanings and the reader must determine by the context which is being used. It means either to invite (summons) or to name someone. In Romans 9:24-26 we see both meanings of the word placed side by side. In verse 24 we find an example of “call” being used to describe an invitation or summons. Those who have received God’s mercy, both Jews and Gentiles, are those whom He has “called.” The word pictures God calling us when we were lost and beckoning us to come to Him.

Tuesday: Romans 1:6
v6 (continued): Jesus beautifully illustrates this use of calling as an invitation in the parable of the Marriage of the King’s Son (Mt 22:1-14; Lk 14:15-24). There, slaves are sent out to invite people to come to a wedding feast. Some refuse and others accept. At the end of the parable Jesus makes it clear He is picturing those who heed and those who refuse God’s invitation to eternal life. It is in this sense of the word that Paul tells the Roman Christians (Ro 1:6) that they are also the “called of Jesus Christ.” Many have heard the invitation and responded, but he also recognized that there were many more in that great city who still needed to be invited to the “wedding feast.” He believed it was part of his assignment to come there to help invite them.

Wednesday: Romans 1:6, 7
v6 (continued): In Romans 9:25, 26 we see the word “call” used in its second basic meaning: to name someone. Paul quotes two verses from Hosea (2:23; 1:10) in which God promises that in the coming Messianic Age He will change the name He calls the northern tribes. Because of their faithlessness He had rejected them, calling them “not My people,” but in the future He would again accept them, calling them “My people” and “sons of the living God.” So, once again, as we read Romans we will want to keep these definitions in mind each time we encounter the word “call.” v7: Paul uses two powerful terms to describe the believers in Rome. He wants them to know how God the Father thinks of them now that they have responded to His call to believe in His Son (v6): they are “beloved of God” and “the ones called holy.” God loves them with the same selfless love Jesus demonstrated on the cross (agape), and sees them as holy, completely without sin (Ro 5:1; 8:1, 33-39; Col 3:12; 1Th 1:4; 2Th 2:13). He will expand on both of these themes as the letter progresses.

Thursday: Romans 1:7
v7 (continued): Then comes the familiar blessing Paul uses so often in his letters, “grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (1Co 1:3; 2Co 1:2; Gal 1:3; Eph 1:2; Php 1:2; Col 1:2; 1Th 1:1; 2Th 1:2). His prayer is that grace and peace will be poured out on them in abundance from both the Father and the Son. Given the way he often describes the relationship between the Father and Son he undoubtedly thinks of the Father as the ultimate source of these blessings and the Son as the agent through whom we are enabled to receive them (Ro 11:36; 1Co 8:6; 11:12; Col 1:16, 19, 20). It’s not certain why Paul chose to emphasize these two qualities (grace and peace) to pray over the church, but by opening so many of his letters with this same blessing (or a slight variation) it becomes obvious he felt that all Christians are in constant need of these two gifts of God. One possible source which might have inspired him is the traditional Aaronic blessing found in Numbers 6:24-27. The high priest invoked grace (God’s favor; also: Ex 34:6) and peace over the people, and Paul would have heard those words all his life. It would be natural for him to speak a modified version of this blessing over believers.

Friday: Romans 1:8
v8: Before moving into the main body of his letter, Paul first wants to explain why he hopes to come to Rome. Over the years everywhere he went people kept telling him about the healthy churches that were growing in that city, and his response has always been to give thanks to God, and he does so again now as he writes to them. He had never been allowed to evangelize there, yet God had done a mighty work in the capital city of the empire. There is no record of who first carried the gospel to Rome. It may well have arrived in the hearts of pilgrims from Jerusalem full of the Holy Spirit following Pentecost (Ac 2:10). And we know Aquila and Priscilla were there for a time and they were mature apostles in their own right (Ac 18:2, 3, 18, 26; Ro 16:3-5; 1Co 16:19; 2Ti 4:19). But up to this point Paul had played no part in the faith in Christ that was spreading through the city.

Saturday: Romans 1:8
v8 (continued): We need to look more closely at Paul’s choice of words in his giving of thanks to God. He says “I thank my God through Jesus Christ.” First of all, by addressing God as “my God” he isn’t implying that God is not our God as well. In this section of his letter he is telling us about his personal prayer life as it relates to the Romans. He uses this same word (“my”) when he tells the Corinthian and the Philippian churches about his prayers for them (1Co 1:4; Php 1:3). His choice of words gives us a glimpse into his heart. He has a vital and consistent prayer life and when he is in his “prayer closet,” God is his God. His conversations there are intimate and personal with his Lord and Friend.

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