We now turn to what Paul has to say about his audience at Rome.
Called to belong to Jesus Christ
Paul uses called three times in these opening verses. Remember that Paul was called to be an apostle. He now wants his readers to know that they are called to belong to Jesus Christ. One of our callings is to belong to our Lord. We are His and nothing can dismiss that relationship.
called to be saints
Not only do we belong to Christ but we are saints. the plural here denotes the community of Christ not so much individuals. Set apart, in our minds, usually means from something. In the New Testament being set apart is positive in nature. We are set apart to God.
loved by God
Not only do we belong to Jesus and are separated unto God but we are loved by Him. How can a holy god love a sinner such as I? It is only because of His Son's work on the cross. Apart from the blood of Christ the love of God would not be extended to us. He loves us and has our best interest in mind. This is not some mushy love but a love that will never let me go.
grace and peace to you from the Father
finally, Paul writes his normal greeting of grace and peace. We must know grace before we can have peace. Peace is not so much the absence of conflict but the positive side of a relationship that brings a calm assurance.
- I belong to Jesus. That is a calling on my life. Nothing I do can break this calling because it all depends upon Him. Let thanksgiving flow from my lips that I am His.
- the more I realize the positive side of being separating unto God the more the being separated from sin will happen. Cast my eyes on Christ and His work.
- Contemplate the love of god for me daily. Let that consume my thoughts. Let me reflect upon the love of Christ as He died for me.
- Flowing out of the love of god for me, let me never forget His grace that brings peace in my life. when I am troubled, bring my heart back to the grace and peace that I have from God through Jesus.