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.Romans 1:7(NASB)
There were a number of different church fellowships that met in Rome and Paul's letter to the Romans was written to, "ALL who are beloved of God - in Rome." We discover in the final chapters, that this epistle was not written to a particular church or group of churches but was uniquely written to all individual believers living in the province of Rome.
Unlike many early church fellowships to whom Paul wrote, the church in Rome was not founded by the apostle. Nevertheless, Paul had a deep love for the believers and determined in his heart to visit them. He no doubt received reports about the well-being and spiritual progress of these saints of God from mutual acquaintances who would visit this great Roman city. And Paul wanted to be sure that they knew to truth of the Gospel.
Paul sent a warm greeting, "to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints," and he included his traditional Pauline salutation, "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ," but first, he introduced himself as, "Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, who was called as an apostle, and set apart for the gospel of God."
Paul not only wanted to explain about his calling and credentials as an apostle of Christ, but also wanted to clearly outline the gospel of God to these believers. He wanted them to know the gospel concerning God's Son, Jesus Christ Who was born as a physical descendant of King David as promised through prophets of God in the Holy Scriptures. But he also wanted them to be grounded in the truth.
Christ was clearly identified as the seed of David according to the flesh, but He was also to be identified as the Son of the Most High God according to the Spirit, as evidenced through His supernatural Resurrection from the dead and Ascension into heaven.
Paul was Christ's apostle to the Gentiles, through whom much detailed revelation concerning the gospel of grace, the Body of Christ, Christian living, and other important revelations were given. For this reason, Paul felt it necessary to give a clear declaration of the gospel of grace at the start of his letter before presenting his heart-warming greeting to them... so that he could set out for them an all-inclusive, detailed doctrinal dissertation. He wanted to set out the plumb-line for truth before these beloved saints so that they were not tossed about by any wind of doctrine or tricked into adopting Judaistic legalism.
Romans is the seed-bed for all Church-age doctrine. It covers areas such as regeneration, justification, sanctification, glorification, propitiation, adoption, predestination, and many other doctrinal truths that had been hidden from past generations. And so before Paul set out the most comprehensive doctrinal statement anywhere in Scripture, he addressed his readers in two beautiful ways, 'beloved of God' and 'saints'. The Christians in Rome were already 'saints'. They were already 'beloved of God'.
Paul wanted them to KNOW it is by faith in Christ that we are beloved of God. It is by believing in Christ that we are saints, for we have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ and become the object of His good pleasure and His divine love. By faith in Christ we are called out of the world to be saints of the most high God. We are holy unto the Lord and are to be instruments of righteousness - set apart for Him - and the intertwined blessings of grace and peace (charis and shalom) is the beautiful benediction that anoints the heads of all the people of God, "Grace to you and Peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."
Having been saved by grace through faith, all who are beloved of God are not only called to be saints, but are supplied with the sufficient grace that enables, empowers, equips, and commissions each child of God in their own appointed mission and ministry.
And peace with God, which was gained at the Cross, is enlarged and extended... as the precious peace of God which passes all understanding, guards our hearts, protects our minds, and reigns in our lives, when we cast all our cares upon the Lord - so that in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, we are permitted to make our requests known to Him.
The gifts of grace and peace come from our Heavenly Father and also from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Grace is bestowed first when we trust in Christ for our salvation, and the peace of God flows from our union with Him. Grace and peace are bestowed on all the saints who are beloved of God - just as they were given on the saints in Rome, in these opening verses of Paul's great treatise to the Romans.
Romans has been one of the greatest discourses on Church age doctrine and Christian living, that not only defines the gospel... but gives some of the greatest insights into the glorious gospel of Christ - which is the power of God unto salvation to ALL who believe.
Heavenly Father, how I thank You for the good news of the gospel of Christ and the truth it has revealed, so that by faith in Christ I have been redeemed by His precious blood and become beloved of God and called to be set apart to Your praise and glory. May Your equipping grace and perfect peace pour through me to others, so that the love of Christ may be shed abroad to the honour of Your name. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.