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Notes on Romans 1:5


By whom we have received grace and apostleship

God will always give us the resources and provisions to do the things He has called us to do. Paul was called of God to be His representative and messenger and sent out to preach the gospel. Here in verse 5, we read that God gave him the grace to do so. See also Eph. 3:1,2, 7,8.

Grace here refers to that disposition of God whereby He is fully committed to its recipient. It is the favourable disposition of God towards a person with all its attendant benefits.  In another word,  it's the favour of God.

All of God’s gifts to us are given through our Lord Jesus Christ; it is from Him we receive all of God’s gifts- 1 Cor. 8:6. Through Jesus Christ, Paul received grace (and the commission) to go out and preach the gospel. God has provided all that we need in life for us. We access His bountiful provisions and call (purpose for our lives) through our Lord Jesus Christ that is, through the knowledge of the Father and Son: see 2Pt.1:1-3.

Our authority is derived from the Son who has been given all authority in heaven and on earth (Mt.28:18-20) and at whose name every knee must bow and tongue confess His Lordship (Phil. 2:9-11). Paul and his colleagues received their apostleship (their commission or in other words, their command or authority) to preach the gospel from the Lord. Thus when we go out to preach the gospel, we should be conscious of the fact that ours is the authority of Jesus,  Lord of lords and Lord of hosts.

for obedience to the faith among all nations

Again, Paul is here confirming that he has been sent to the Gentiles; his apostleship (commission) is to the Gentiles: Gal. 2:8. The word, ‘nations’ (in plural) is usually, though not always, used in Scriptures to refer to the Gentiles and the Greek word for ‘nations’ is in some places rendered Gentiles in the KJV. What this simply means is that Paul was sent to preach the gospel to the Gentiles.

Preaching the gospel brings about faith which in turn produces obedience. This particular phrase has been rendered “to the obedience of faith” by some translations, that is, to the obedience produced by faith. In verse 1, Paul tells us that he was called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God. In other words, he was chosen of God to be His representative and messenger, sent out to preach the gospel. Now in verse 5, he tells us that the reason he was sent out to preach the gospel is to bring about the obedience that faith produces.
Faith brings about obedience. You will naturally act in accordance with what you believe. As such, whenever we desire obedience to the Lord in any area of our lives, we should turn to the word. By preaching; declaring or, as some are wont to put it, confessing the good news of God to ourselves, we’ll find ourselves naturally yielding to the Lordship of Jesus in that area. See also Jas. 3:1-3.

God desires that all be saved. He doesn’t desire that any should perish but that all should be saved! 1Ti. 2:3, 4; 2Pt.3:9 KJV:  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Paul stated that he has been given a commission to preach the gospel among all nations, not one or some, but all. This commission tallies perfectly with the commission given by the Lord to the apostles just before He left: Mt.28:18,19 (all nations, i.e. not just to the Jews themselves but all the Gentiles in every land); Acts 1:8 (the uttermost part of the earth).

for his name

Or because of who He is. In as much as Jesus is the Son of God (having all authority in heaven, on earth, and underneath the earth) it is fitting that persons everywhere be in obedience to Him- see Phil.2: 9-11 and that He is glorified in them.

Notice that in securing obedience to Himself; His Lordship over all, the Son of God does not use force but love- the good news of what He has done for us. Paul received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience which faith produces among all nations, for His name sake.


Recap

When God calls,  He supplies. All of the provision we need to fully live out God’s plan and purpose have been richly supplied in Christ. Phil. 4:19.

We access our call and the abundant provisions for it through a knowledge of  our Lord Jesus Christ. 2Pt. 1:1-3.

Jesus is Lord over all and is Lord of hosts (Phil.2:9-11).  And as His lawful representatives on earth, (2Cor. 5:20; John 1:12), we are to be conscious of this truth in preaching the gospel (Mt. 28:18-20).

God's word brings about faith (Rom. 10:17) and faith in turn produces obedience to the word heard. Consistently confess God's word to bring about desired changes in character and in life generally.

God wants EVERY single person saved. He doesn’t desire that any should perish but that all should be saved! 1Ti. 2:3, 4; 2Pt.3:9.

In securing obedience to Himself,  the Son of God uses the instrumentality of His word; the good news about His love and what He has done for us. True change is produced not by guilt-tripping but by the message of love. 

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