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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Romans 1:7



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.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Called to be saints - Invited to become holy persons, by believing the Gospel and receiving the gifts of the Holy Ghost. Or, here, the word may have the meaning of made or constituted, as above; κλητοις  αγιοις, to all that be in Rome, Constituted saints, for they had already received the Gospel grace, and were formed into a Christian Church.

Grace to you - χαρις υμιν ; May you be partakers of the Divine favor, the source whence every blessing is derived.

I think it necessary, once for all, to give the several acceptations of this word grace which occur in the sacred writings.

  1. The word χαριν  signifies in general favor or benevolence, but especially that favor which is powerful and active, and loads its objects with benefits.  Luke 1:30; : Fear not, Mary, thou hast found Favor, χαριν, with God.  Luke 2:40; : And the child grew - and the Grace of God, χαρις θεου, the favor of God was upon him.  Luke 1:52; : And Jesus increased in Favor, χαριτι  Grace, with God and man.  Acts 2:47; : Having Favor, χαριν, Grace, with all the people.  Acts 4:33; : And great Grace, χαρις, Favor, was upon them all. The apostles were at that time in universal favor with the multitude. In this sense the word occurs in a great variety of places, both in the Old and New Testaments.
  • Hence it is often used for the blessing which it dispenses; for, if God be favourably disposed towards a person, his beneficent acts, in that person's behalf, will be a necessary consequence of such favor.  John 1:14; : Full of Grace and truth; accomplished in all spiritual blessings.  John 1:16; : And Grace upon Grace: he who is full of the most excellent blessings, confers them liberally on all believers.  Acts 11:23; : When he had seen the Grace of God, i.e. had the fullest evidence that they were richly endowed with heavenly gifts.  1 Corinthians 1:4; : For the Grace of God which is given you - the Divine blessings conferred upon you.  2 Corinthians 9:8; : God is able to make all Grace abound toward you; i.e. to enrich you with every benediction. This is also a very common acceptation of the word; and in this sense the word grace or favor is now generally understood among religious people. The grace of God meaning with them some Divine or spiritual blessing communicated.
  • It is sometimes taken for the whole of the Christian religion, as being the grandest possible display of God's favor to a lost, ruined world: and in this sense it appears to be used,  John 1:17; : For the Law was given by Moses; but Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ: where the term Grace is evidently opposed to Law; the latter meaning the Mosaic, the other the Christian, dispensation.  Acts 13:43; : Barnabas persuaded them to continue in the Grace of God; i.e. to hold fast their profession of the religion of Christ.  Romans 6:14; : Ye are not under the Law, but under Grace - ye are no longer under obligation to fulfill the Mosaic precepts, but are under the Christian dispensation. See also  Romans 6:15; and see  2 Corinthians 1:12;  2 Corinthians 6:1;  Galatians 1:6;  Colossians 1:6;  2 Timothy 2:1,  Titus 2:11; : The Grace of God, that bringeth salvation unto all men, hath appeared. The Jewish religion was restricted in its benefits to a few; but the Christian religion proposes the salvation of all men; and the author of it has become a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world.  Hebrews 12:15; : Looking diligently lest any man fall from the Grace of God - lest any man apostatize from the Christian religion, and the blessings of pardon and holiness which he has received through it.  1 Peter 5:12; : This is the true Grace of God wherein ye stand - the Christian religion which ye have received is the genuine religion of God.
  • It signifies all the blessings and benefits which Christ has purchased, and which he gives to true believers, both in time and eternity. See  Romans 5:15,  Romans 5:17, where the grace of God is opposed to death; i.e. to all the wretchedness and misery brought into the world by Adam's transgression.  1 Corinthians 16:23; : The Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all - May every blessing purchased by Christ's passion and death be the portion of you all.  Galatians 5:4; : Ye are fallen from Grace - ye have lost the blessings of the Gospel by submitting to circumcision.
  • It signifies the apostolic and ministerial office, or the authority to propagate the Christian religion, and the unction or influence by which that office is executed; so in the 5th verse of this chapter, ( Romans 1:5;) as has been already noted: By whom we have received Grace and apostleship, or, the apostolic office.  Romans 13:3; : I say, through the Grace given unto me; i.e. I command you, by the authority of my apostolic office, etc. See also  Romans 13:6.
  • It signifies a gift, salary, or money collected for the use of the poor.  1 Corinthians 16:3; : Whomsoever ye shall approve - them will I send to bring your Liberality, την χαριν υμων, your Grace; i.e. the collection made for the poor saints: see  1 Corinthians 16:1.  2 Corinthians 8:4; : Praying us - that we would receive the Gift, την χαριν, the Grace, the contribution made in the Churches of Macedonia, for the relief of the poor. In this sense it is used in Ecclus. 17:22: He will keep the Good Deeds of man, χαριν, the same as ελεημοσυνη, alms, in the beginning of the verse; and it signifies a kind or friendly act, in the same author. Ecclus. 29:16: Forget not the Friendship, χαριτας, of thy surety. Graces or χαρις, was a deity among the ancients; and the three Graces, αι τρεις  χαριτες, were called Pitho, Aglaia, and Euphrosyne; πειθω, mild persuasion; αγλαια, dignity; ευφροσυνη, liberality and joyfulness; and these were always painted naked, to show that all benefits should be gratuitous, this being essential to the nature of a gift. See Suidas, in χαριτας .
  • It sometimes signifies merely thanks or thanksgiving. See  Luke 17:9; : Doth he thank, μη χαριν εχει, that servant?  Romans 6:17; : But God be Thanked, χαρις οε τω θεω .  1 Corinthians 10:30; : For if I by Grace, χαριτι, Thanksgiving, as our margin has it, and properly.
  • It signifies remuneration, wages, or reward  Luke 6:32-34; : If ye love them that love you - do good to them which do good to you - lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what Thank have ye? ποια υμιν χαρις εστι ; what Reward have ye? This appears, from the parallel place,  Matthew 5:46, to be most evidently the meaning: τινα μισθον εχετε ; what Reward have ye? The word is used in this sense by several Greek writers.
  • It signifies whatever is the means of procuring the favor or kindness of another.  1 Peter 2:19,  1 Peter 2:20; : For this is Thankworthy, τουτο γαρ χαρις παρα τῳ Θεῳ, this is the means of Procuring Favor from God.
  • It signifies joy, pleasure, and gratification, which is the, meaning of cara, and with which it is often confounded in the New Testament.  Philemon 1:7; : For we have great Joy, χαριν γαρ εχομεν πολλην . Tobit 7:18: The Lord give thee Joy, χαριν, for this thy sorrow. In this sense the word is used by the best Greek writers; and in this sense it appears to be used,  2 Corinthians 1:15.
  • It signifies the performance of an act which is pleasing or grateful to others.  Acts 24:27; : Felix, willing to show the Jews a Pleasure, χαριτας καταθεσθαι, to perform an act which he knew would be highly gratifying to them.
  • It signifies whatever has the power or influence to procure favor, etc. Suavity, kindness, benevolence, gentle demeanour.  Luke 4:22; : All wondered at the Gracious Words, τοις λογοις της χαριτος, the benevolent, kind, and tender expressions; such as his text,  Luke 4:18, would naturally lead him to speak. He hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, etc.  Ephesians 4:29;  Colossians 4:6; : Let your speech be always with Grace; i.e. gracious, kind, benevolent, savouring of the doctrine of Christ: it is thus used by several Greek writers. See Schleusner. As the word χαρις  Grace, most frequently signifies some blessing or benefit calculated to promote human happiness, it is generally derived from χαρω, I rejoice, because of the effect produced by the blessing.
  • And peace - ειρηνη, the same as שלום  shalom  in Hebrew, generally signifying all kinds of blessing, but especially harmony and unity, and the bond of such unity. The most probable derivation of the word ειρηνη  is from ειρω, I bind, and εν, one - because peace unites and binds those who were, by discord, before disunited. In the New Testament it signifies -
    1. Peace, public or private, in the general acceptation of the word, as implying reconciliation and friendship; and to the etymology of the word the apostle seems to allude in  Ephesians 4:3; : Endeavouring to keep the Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace.  Acts 12:20; : They of Tyre and Sidon desired Peace - they sought reconciliation, with Herod, by means of Blastus, the king's chamberlain.
  • It signifies regularity, good order.  1 Corinthians 14:33; : God is not the God of confusion, but of Peace.
  • It signifies the labor or study of preserving peace and concord; and this is supposed to be its meaning,  Matthew 10:34;  Luke 12:51; and  Acts 7:26.  Romans 14:17; : For the kingdom of God is righteousness and Peace - the Christian dispensation admits of no contention, but inculcates peace.  1 Corinthians 7:15; : God hath called us to Peace - to labor to preserve quietness and concord.  Hebrews 12:14; : Follow Peace - labor to preserve it.
  • It signifies the author or procurer of peace and concord.  Ephesians 2:14; : He is our Peace - the author of concord betwixt Jews and Gentiles.
  • It signifies the Gospel and its blessings.  Ephesians 2:17; : And came and preached Peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
  • It signifies all kinds of mental and corporeal happiness, and especially the happiness of Christians.  Luke 1:79; : To guide our feet into the way of Peace - to show us the way to obtain true happiness.  Luke 19:42; : The things which belong unto thy Peace - that by which thou mightest have been made truly happy.  1 Thessalonians 5:23; : The very God of Peace - God, the only source of true felicity.  John 16:33; : These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have Peace - that ye might have confidence and happiness in believing on me as your only Savior.
  • It signifies good wishes and affectionate prayers.  Matthew 10:13; : And if the house be worthy, let your Peace come upon it. Our Lord commands his disciples,  Matthew 10:12, to salute the house into which they entered; and this was done by saying, Peace be unto this house! that is, Let every blessing, spiritual and temporal, be the portion of this family! See  Luke 10:6;  John 14:27;  Acts 15:33; : They were let go in Peace - they had the most fervent and affectionate prayers of the Church.
  • It signifies praise.  Luke 19:38; : Peace in heaven and glory in the highest! - May all the heavenly host praise God, and give him the highest honor!
  • It signifies benignity, benevolence, favor.  Romans 5:1; : Being justified by faith, we have Peace with God - In consequence of having our sins forgiven, we have a clear sense of the Divine favor.  Philippians 4:7; : The Peace of God which passeth all understanding - the inexpressible blessedness of a sense of the Divine favor. See Schleusner's Lexicon.
  • From God our Father - The apostle wishes them all the blessings which can flow from God, as the fountain of grace, producing in them all the happiness which a heart filled with the peace of God can possess; all of which are to be communicated to them through the Lord Jesus Christ. See the note on  Acts 28:31.

    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.

    Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". 1832.

    Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

    To all that be in Rome - That is, to all who bear the Christian name. Perhaps he here included not only the church at Rome, but all who might have been there from abroad. Rome was a place of vast concourse for foreigners; and Paul probably addressed all who happened to be there.

    Beloved of God - Whom God loves. This is the privilege of all Christians. And this proves that the persons whom Paul addressed were “not” those merely who had been invited to the external privileges of the gospel. The importance of this observation will appear in the progress of these notes.

    Called to be saints - So called, or influenced by God who had called them, as to become saints. The word “saints,” ἅγιοι hagioimeans those who are holy, or those who are devoted or consecrated to God. The radical idea of the word is what is separated from a common to a sacred use, and answers to the Hebrew word, קדושׁ qadowshIt is applied to any thing that is set apart to the service of God, to the temple, to the sacrifices, to the utensils about the temple, to the garments, etc. of the priests, and to the priests themselves. It was applied to the Jews as a people separated from other nations, and devoted or consecrated to God, while other nations were devoted to the service of idols. It is also applied to Christians, as being a people devoted or set apart to the service of God. The radical idea then, as applied to Christians, is, that “they are separated from other men, and other objects and pursuits, and consecrated to the service of God.” This is the special characteristic of the saints. And this characteristic the Roman Christians had shown. For the use of the word, as stated above, see the following passages of scripture; Luke 2:23; Exodus 13:2, Romans 11:16; Matthew 7:6; 1 Peter 1:16; Acts 9:13; 1 Peter 2:5; Acts 3:21, Ephesians 3:5; 1 Peter 2:9; Philemon 2:15; 1 John 3:1-2.

    Grace - This word properly means “favor.” It is very often used in the New Testament, and is employed in the sense of benignity or benevolence; felicity, or a prosperous state of affairs; the Christian religion, as the highest expression of the benevolence or favor of God; the happiness which Christianity confers on its friends in this and the future life; the apostolic office; charity, or alms; thanksgiving; joy, or pleasure; and the benefits produced on the Christian‘s heart and life by religion - the grace of meekness, patience, charity, etc., “Schleusner.” In this place, and in similar places in the beginning of the apostolic epistles, it seems to be a word including all those blessings that are applicable to Christians in common; denoting an ardent wish that all the mercies and favors of God for time and eternity, blended under the general name grace, may be conferred on them. It is to be understood as connected with a word implying invocation. I pray, or I desire, that grace, etc. may be conferred on you. It is the customary form of salutation in nearly all the apostolic epistles; 1 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:2; Galatians 1:3; Ephesians 1:2; Philemon 1:2; Colossians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:2; Philemon 1:3.

    And peace - Peace is the state of freedom from war. As war conveys the idea of discord and numberless calamities and dangers, so peace is the opposite, and conveys the idea of concord, safety, and prosperity. Thus, to wish one peace was the same as to wish him all safety and prosperity. This form of salutation was common among the Hebrews. Genesis 43:23, “peace to you! fear not;” Judges 6:23; Judges 19:20; Luke 24:36. But the word “peace” is also used in contrast with that state of agitation and conflict which a sinner has with his conscience. and with God. The sinner is like the troubled sea, which cannot rest, Isaiah 57:20. The Christian is at peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ, Romans 5:1. By this word, denoting reconciliation with God, the blessings of the Christian religion are often described in the scriptures, Romans 8:6; Romans 14:17; Romans 15:13; Galatians 5:22; Philemon 4:7. A prayer for peace, therefore, in the epistles, is not a mere formal salutation, but has a special reference to those “spiritual” blessings which result from reconciliation with God through the Lord Jesus Christ.

    From God our Father - The Father of all Christians. He is the Father of all his creatures, as they are his offspring, Acts 17:28-29. He is especially the Father of all Christians, as they have been “begotten by him to a lively hope,” have been adopted into his family, and are like him; Matthew 5:45; 1 Peter 1:3; 1 John 5:1; 1 John 3:1-2. The expression here is equivalent to a prayer that God the Father would bestow grace and peace on the Romans. It implies that these blessings proceed from God, and are to be expected from him.

    And the Lord Jesus Christ - From him. The Lord Jesus Christ is especially regarded in the New Testament as the Source of peace, and the Procurer of it; see Luke 2:14; Luke 19:38, Luke 19:42; John 14:27; John 16:33; Acts 10:36; Romans 5:1; Ephesians 2:17. Each of these places will show with what propriety peace was invoked from the Lord Jesus. From thus connecting the Lord Jesus with the Father in this place, we may see,

    (1)That the apostle regarded him as the source of grace and peace as really as he did the Father.

    (2)he introduced them in the same connection, and with reference to the bestowment of the same blessings.

    (3)if the mention of the Father in this connection implies a prayer to him, or an act of worship, the mention of the Lord Jesus implies the same thing, and was an act of homage to him.

    (4)all this shows that his mind was familiarized to the idea that he was divine.

    No man would introduce his name in such connections if he did not believe that he was equal with God; compare Philemon 2:2-11. It is from this incidental and unstudied manner of expression, that we have one of the most striking proofs of the manner in which the sacred writers regarded the Lord Jesus Christ.

    These seven verses are one sentence. They are a striking instance of the manner of Paul. The subject is simply a salutation to the Roman church. But at the mention of some single words, the mind of Paul seems to catch fire, and go burn and blaze with signal intensity. He leaves the immediate subject before him, and advances some vast thought that awes us, and fixes us in contemplation, and involves us in difficulty about his meaning, and then returns to his subject. This is the characteristic of his great mind; and it is this, among other things, that makes it so difficult to interpret his writings.

    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.

    Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". 1870.

    The Biblical Illustrator

    Romans 1:7

    To all that be in Rome.

    The apostolic greeting

    I. Its contents.

    1. Grace.

    2. Peace.

    (a) Reconciliation with God--indifference of fear replaced by love and confidence.

    (b) Inward tranquillity--freedom from mental and moral disturbance; all can cast upon God.

    (c) Amity with all men. When men are at peace with God they will be at peace with each other. Wars and dissentions are utterly foreign to the family of the God of peace.

    II. Their source.

    1. God as Father delights to bestow--

    (a) To confer the highest benefit.

    (b) To see its blessed operation.

    (c) To contemplate its lovely effects.

    (d) To enjoy its everlasting fruits.

    2. God as our Father is the warrant for our confidence in--

    III. Their medium--“The Lord Jesus Christ.”

    1. As God He has grace and peace to give.

    2. As Man He exhibited the perfect enjoyment of these blessings. He was “full of grace”; and He had peace to such an extent that He regarded it peculiarly as His own--“My peace.”

    3. As God-Man Mediator He is qualified and commissioned to bestow them.

    This salutation is

    I. Rich in its import.

    1. Grade.

    2. Peace.

    II. Divine in its efficacy--from God, etc.

    III. Special in its application and design--to all that are beloved, etc. (J. Lyth, D. D.)

    Christian salutation

    Many persons say, “What is the use of salutations? When I meet a lady in the street, why should I raise my hat?” And, by the by, young men, it is worth your while either to salute a lady, or not to. The habit of touching your hat is a vulgar habit. It is like, in letter writing, using “gent” instead of “gentleman.” It is a kind of contraction that is indicative of a lack of proper information. A man says, “Why should I say ‘Good morning’ to a man when I meet him?” or, “Why should friends say ‘Good-bye’ when they part?” That very expression, “Good-bye,” shows what the Western literalising tendency is. There was a time when friends at parting looked gravely at each other, and said, “God be with you”; but now they say “Good-bye,” which is the same thing abbreviated. In the “God be with you” of the West there is no “God,” no “with you,” no anything, except “Good-bye,” which is what a bird is when its feathers have all been plucked off. But why should we have so many of these salutations? Well, for my part, I think that even good folks, without such little ceremonies, are like grapes packed for market without leaves between them. They will crush and come in mashed. Even good folks need to have little courtesies between them to keep them from attrition. And to take society and divest it of all these little civilities would be to deteriorate it, and carry it toward the savage state. I do not think that the bushmen of South Africa trouble themselves about such things. They economise speech and conduct. And as you go up in civilised and Christian communities, you will find more and more, and not fewer and fewer, of them. And when you come to the very height of civilisation and Christianity--the family--you will not only find more of them, but you will find that they are not conventional. There you will hear the mother talking to the little child, and the child talking back; and you will hear them calling each other all manner of fond epithets. The whole of society is chased by golden figures of those civilities that tend to make life rich and happy. And if you think that these things are of no use, it is because you never put your heart into them. When you see a friend coming, and you say, “Good morning,” mean good morning. Let your heart go in kindness toward him. If you meet a person, and you choose to uncover your head, let your heart be uncovered too. When in honour you prefer others to yourselves, put more goodwill, more Christianity into it. Please men more, desire to please them more, and it will swell up the shrunken proportions of these civilities, and make them put new buds and new blossoms out. We need not fewer, but more of these things in human life, to take away its vulgarity, and its hard surfaces, and to enrich it with more flowers and perfumes. (H. W. Beecher.)

    Beloved of God.

    Beloved of God

    This is the glorious distinction of believers. So of Israel (Deuteronomy 33:4). God’s love the origin of believers’ salvation (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:4; 1 John 3:1). God has a common love to all men (Deuteronomy 10:18; John 3:16; 1 Timothy 4:10; Titus 2:11; Tit_3:4); a special love to believers (1 John 3:1; Jeremiah 31:3; Ephesians 1:3-6; Eph_2:4-8). This special love is seen in making them His people and blessing them as such. This love is--

    I. Distinguishing (1 Corinthians 4:7; Romans 8:28-29).

    II. Free and spontaneous (Ephesians 1:2-6; Eph_2:4).

    III. Unchanging and everlasting (John 13:1; Jeremiah 31:3; Isaiah 54:10).

    IV. Infinitely costly (Zechariah 13:7; Isaiah 53:6; Isa_53:10; Romans 8:32).

    V. Operative and efficacious (2 Thessalonians 2:16, 2 Timothy 1:9).

    VI. All-conquering (Psalms 110:3; Romans 8:30; Rom_8:35-39).

    VII. Existing in and for the sake of Christ (Romans 8:39; Ephesians 1:8; Eph_1:6; John 17:23). To be beloved of God is a creature’s highest blessedness, secures every blessing, and, when realised, is bliss itself (Psalms 63:3; Psa_30:5; Song of Solomon 1:2). (T. Robinson, D. D.)

    Called to be saints.--

    Called to be saints

    The text might have been rendered “called saints.” It is requisite to remember this, because you might think that it means “called to be saints” hereafter, as though it would be impossible to be a saint here.

    I. Where and by what means are we called to be saints?

    1. By the election of God and the providence of birth in a Christian land.

    2. By the dedication and grace of baptism,

    3. By those inward calls felt in the heart.

    4. By the many voices of affliction and the constant gentle operations of the Comforter in the soul.

    II. What is the process?

    1. Stands the pardon of sin and the sense of pardon. Many greatly increase the difficulty of saintliness by putting holiness before peace.

    2. But forgiveness is not merit; it is not even acceptance. You must be acceptable and pleasing in God’s sight, And for this you must have righteousness not your own, and be able to present yourself to God in Christ, and be pleasing even to Him, because He sees the Christ in whom you are.

    3. When you are so justified, an act of union takes place between Christ and your soul, Through that union the Holy Ghost, who is the fountain of all saintliness, flows into you, and the flow will vary according as the Spirit is grieved or honoured in you,

    4. And now saintliness, properly so-called, begins. You are a thing dedicate,

    Called to be saints. Why?


    I. They lived with Jesus.

    II. They lived for Jesus, and therefore--

    III. They grew like Jesus. (T. Guthrie, D. D.)


    What is a saint? A celebrated wit, who was asked this question, replied, “A saint is long-faced piety, which has neither the smile of friendliness, nor the tear of pity.” It is to be regretted that the word “saint” is a sort of nickname for that which is mean and spurious; but when people know a man to be really saint-like they give him reverence. I remember, one day, asking a little orphan girl, “What is a saint?” After a little thought, she answered, “Please, sir, my mother was a saint!” To that child’s mind saint meant somebody good, holy, and loving; and the person whom she had known to fulfil that description was her mother. Every mother should try to be to her daughters the panorama of what a saint should be, and every father too. A saint is--

    I. A repenting child of God.

    II. A changed child of God. That man who is honest, because it is the best policy, is in a very low state of morality; is he not at heart a thief? The prodigal may desire pardon as a policy which saves him from hell and admits him into heaven; but the saint acts from a nobler motive. The saint yearns for heaven more as a state of holiness than as a place of freedom from pain. Napoleon once said, “If you would truly conquer, you must replace.” This is true of morals as of nations. If you wish to take away the craving for sin, whatever it may be--drink, or anything else--you must replace it with a craving for something higher and better. You remember the old fable of the Isle of Sirens, whose songs lured the sailors from their ships to sin and death; and the shore of the island was covered with the bleached bones of tempted men. We are told that Ulysses, when sailing past, in order to see and not be captivated, ordered that his crew should have wax put into their ears, and then stopped up his own ears, and had himself tied to the mast. When his ship sailed by the island the Sirens sang their most bewitching melodies, but Ulysses and his crew did not hear; and were, therefore, not tempted as other sailors who had both seen and heard. But, some time afterwards, there came another ship, commanded by Orpheus, who was a master of music, Orpheus did not attempt to resist the temptation by putting wax in his ears, or by tying himself to the mast. The Sirens sang their most melodious strains; but Orpheus played a sweeter music, which, like a magnet, kept his crew from having the slightest desire to go to the island. The song of the Sirens charmed the ear; but the music of Orpheus thrilled the soul. Such is the change which has taken place in the soul of the saint. The joys of religion are sweeter to him than the pleasures of sin; to be beloved of God is more precious than the applause of erring men. You may ask, “How is this accomplished?” Just by the love of God being inspired in the spirit of the forgiven penitent.

    III. A forgiven child of God. A young man went headlong into evil courses, and stole some of his father’s money, and ran away from home. Some time afterwards his father solemnly crossed the prodigal’s name from the family register at the beginning of the Bible. After many years the son, like the prodigal, “came to himself,” and when he knocked at the door was received with a loving welcome. Tim following morning the father opened the Bible at the first page, wrote the name of his son, and after it, “Everything forgiven.” This is like what takes place when a penitent cries for pardon; but the page where the forgiveness is written is in the heart of the penitent. (W. Birch.)

    Sainthood now being prepared for glory

    They who are not made saints in a state of grace shall never be saints in glory. The stones which are appointed for that glorious Temple above are hewn and polished and prepared for it here, as the stones were wrought and prepared in the mountains for building the temple at Jerusalem. (T. H. Leary, D. C. L.)



    1. The word is from the French, who got it from the Romans. And the Romans got it under the old parental roof, at that remote period which preceded the migration both of Latins and Greeks from their common Oriental home. The Greek form of the word is χάρις, connected with χαίρω, “I rejoice.” So that the word, in its etymology, means “that which gives joy and pleasure, that which is delightful.”

    2. Hence it was, at a very early period of its career as a word, applied to that which was beautiful. Beauty gives delight. It is grace. A beautiful movement of the body is graceful. If a dress is beautiful in its fabric, and if it fits beautifully, it is graceful. The fertile Greek imagination constructed three distinct personifications of beauty, “the Graces.” The echo of their idea continues, and we still speak of the three Christian graces--faith, hope, charity. When our Queen visits some private home, we sometimes say that the royal lady graces the home with her presence. She lends charm and beauty to it; and the charm and beauty occasion delight.

    3. But Greeks, Latins, French, and English, were not slow to perceive that there is an inner as really as an outer beauty. There is beauty of character, of moral deportment, of moral feeling and acting; and this beauty is fitted to give great delight and joy. Hence all united in calling it grace. Kindness and loving kindness is grace. It is really most graceful. It is the most beautiful possible ornament. Justice is admirable. It cannot be dispensed with. Its presence lends dignity to character; and dignity is a species of grandeur; and grandeur is a species of beauty. Thus there is beauty in justice. But it is by a circuitous logical process that we find out “the beauty of holiness,” and the corresponding beauty that is inherent in the hatred of sin. But not so is it with kindness. It inspires us, on the spur of the moment, with delight and joy, especially when we find ourselves the objects of the loving kindness. It is the grace that belongs peculiarly to God. God’s favour is grace.

    4. But man, too, as well as God, can be gracious. Our Queen and Princess of Wales are gracious. It is their pleasure to be kind; and their loving kindness is delightful, and, because delightful, is grace; so that they are gracious. Even a very humble man can be gracious, or show favour to his fellow men, when, e.g., his fellow men have injured him. Such graciousness is the reflection in man of the peculiar glory which is inherent in the character of God.

    5. Again: We speak of grace before and after meals. The meaning is the utterance of thanks or gratitude to God, the bountiful Benefactor. This gratitude is grace. How significant! With what charm it invests the idea of gratitude! Gratitude for favour received, as a token of loving kindness, is as truly graceful as is loving kindness itself. In nothing is there greater deformity and unloveliness than in ingratitude. Hence both Greeks and Romans freely combined in calling gratitude grace. “For if ye love them who love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them who do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners to receive as much again.” We read in another part of the New Testament those glorious and glowing words of the Apostle St. Paul, “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.” In these passages the term employed is grace. In the sayings of our Saviour, as is evidenced by the parallel expression in St. Matthew, the word is tantamount in import to reward. What thank or reward do ye deserve? In the saying of the apostle it simply means thanks; and thanks is expressed by this term “grace,” just because thankfulness is always, as a manifestation of character, a grace, delightful to God and to all other beings who are Godlike. (J. Morison, D. D.)

    The beginnings of grace

    Trace back any river to its source, and you will find its beginnings small. A little moisture oozing through the sand or dripping out of some unknown rock, a gentle gush from some far away mountain’s foot, are the beginning of many a broad river, in whose waters tall merchantmen may anchor and gallant fleets may ride. For it widens and gets deeper, till it mingles with the ocean. So is the beginning of a Christian’s or a nation’s grace. It is first a tiny stream, then it swells into a river, then a sea. There is life and progression towards an ultimate perfection when God finds the beginning of grace in any man. (J. J. Wray.)

    Grace necessary for human perfection

    The nature of a seed is such that when it is thrown into the ground it unfolds itself without culture, without any exterior influence beyond the light and air and soil, to be just that thing which it was meant to be. Every flower comes to its own nature; and although culture may make it larger and finer, yet it expresses the radical idea involved in the seed. It is so with every insect and every animal But man is not a creature that, according to this analogy, being born into the world opens and develops himself to that which God meant manhood to be. When left in the most favourable conditions man does not, and will not, so develop himself; for that which is required to make manhood is not in him. There were elements left out of the nature of man without which that nature never can come to its perfection. For, as in fruits sugar comes from the sun, so in man grace comes from the Sun of righteousness, working in us, and elaborating the things that we need. But they are never wrought out by any process that takes place by the natural faculties in the soul. (H. W. Beecher.)


    The peace of God

    Hence the worldling does not understand our peace, and frequently sneers at it because he is puzzled by it. Even the Christian is sometimes surprised at his own peacefulness. I know what it is to suffer from terrible depression of spirit at times; yet at the very moment when it has seemed to me that life was not worth one single bronze coin, I have been perfectly peaceful with regard to all the greater things. There is a possibility of having the surface of the mind lashed into storm while yet down deep in the caverns of one’s inmost consciousness all is still: this I know by experience. There are earthquakes upon this earth, and yet our globe pursues the even tenor of its way, and the like is true in the little world of a believer’s nature. Why, sometimes the Christian will feel himself to be so flooded with a delicious peace that he could not express his rapture. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

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    These files are public domain.
    Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

    Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Romans 1:7". The Biblical Illustrator. 1905-1909. New York.

    Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

    To all that are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    All that be in Rome ... need not be restricted in meaning. As Macknight wrote:

    This epistle being written to persuade the unbelieving Jews and Gentiles to embrace the gospel, as exhibiting the only effectual method of salvation, it was fitly addressed to the whole inhabitants of Rome, to the heathens as well as to the Jews and Christians.[12]

    Beloved of God ... here has that great New Testament word for "love," [Greek: agape]. A supreme consciousness of such great love underlies every word of this great epistle; and, again and again, some reference to it surfaces in the main body of the letter. God's great love for man is the reason for the Cross itself, where Christ died for all, "while we were yet sinners" (Romans 5:8) and even "when we were enemies" (Romans 5:10). So great love is shed abroad in the hearts of Christians by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5), and nothing in the whole universe can ever separate Christians from God's great love (Romans 8:35-39). As Greathouse put it, "When Paul addresses the Christians as `God's beloved,' he uses the word in its deepest and most inclusive sense."[13]

    Called to be saints ... Here we have the same gratuitous insertion of "to be" which was noted in verse 1; and, again, the meaning is more evident without the insertion. It is the invariable New Testament teaching that Christians are not merely called to be saints, but they are so. They are called "saints," "holy," and "holy ones." But, of course, the word "saint" has been so abused by the historical church as to have almost totally lost its true meaning. The restriction of the term as a title for dead Christians who have been canonized is a contradiction of the New Testament meaning of the word; but the perverted meaning is so widely received that one is tempted to agree with Lard who wrote that "The word `saint' should be wholly dropped from the sacred page. It is too vague and too much abused to be tolerated longer."[14]

    Another word with reference to "saints" is in order. There is no apostolic assertion of moral perfection in the apostolic application of the term to the Christians in Rome. They were thus designated out of respect to the ideals they had accepted and were striving to attain, rather than from any certainty that those sacred ideals had actually been achieved. Yet they were very properly addressed as "holy," because that was a means of inspiring them to greater purity and of keeping them in constant remembrance of their sacred duties as Christians. This divine acceptance of the Christian for what he is trying to become, rather than merely for what he is, appears as a dispensation of God's grace, and is frequently emphasized in Paul's letters. For example, it would be hard to imagine a church with more imperfections and outright sins than the church in Corinth; yet, even of them, Paul wrote, "I thank my God always concerning you"! (1 Corinthians 1:4). Moreover, they too, just like the Romans, were "called saints"! (1 Corinthians 2).

    Grace to you and peace ... Scholars have noted that Paul's greeting combines the usual Greek salutation with the customary Hebrew greeting, thus forming a more noble greeting with the highest Christian implications, and yet retaining the best features of both the old ones. The usual Greek salutation, according to Greathouse, was [@thairein] (greeting). He wrote thus:

    Paul uses a similar word [@charis] (grace), which means the free, undeserved favor of God, and adds [@eirene] (peace), the inner sense of serenity and well-being men enjoy through God's grace. Since "peace" ([Hebrew: shalom]) was the common Jewish salutation. Paul's "Grace ... and peace," the salutation of all his letters, combines the Greek and Hebrew forms of greeting.[15]

    This verse ends the longest salutation in the Pauline writings. The salutation proper, without the embellishing clauses, reads: "Paul, to all that are in Rome: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." The remainder of these first seven verses is actually a series of statements concerning: (1) himself; (2) the gospel; (3) God's Son; (4) his apostolic commission; and (5) the Christian community in Rome. These five precisely logical clusters of statements touch upon many of the profoundest themes in Christianity. Attention is here directed to the technical, ingenious manner in which Paul arranged these five groups of statements, which is proof of the forethought that went into their composition.


    I. Of himself A. That he is a bondslave of Christ B. A called apostle C. Separated unto the gospel of God II. Concerning the gospel (mentioned in "C" above) A. It originated with God B. Was foretold by Old Testament prophecy C. And concerns the Son of God III. Regarding the Son of God (mentioned in "C" above) A. He descended from David according to the flesh B. Proclaimed Son of God with power C. Through the resurrection of the dead IV. Paul's relationship to the risen Lord (mentioned in "C" above) A. Received grace and apostleship from Christ B. Commissioned by Christ to preach obedience of faith to all nations C. Such evangelism to be for Christ's name's sake V. Concerning the church in Rome (just such a congregation as could have been expected from the activity mentioned in "C" above) A. They are beloved of God B. Called saints C. They are the recipients of Paul's "grace and peace"SIZE>MONO>LINES>

    That this remarkable paragraph is capable of being so analyzed and outlined is an amazing proof of the planning and thought which preceded its production.

    [12] James Macknight, Apostolical Epistles (Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1960), p. 56.

    [13] Greathouse, op. cit., p. 34.

    [14] Moses E. Lard, Commentary on Paul's Letter to Romans (Cincinnati, Ohio: Christian Board of Publication, 1914), p. 33.

    [15] Wm. M. Greathouse, op. cit., p. 35.

    Copyright Statement
    James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

    Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

    John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

    To all that be in Rome,.... These words contain both the inscription of the epistle, and the apostle's usual salutation, as in all his epistles, The inscription of it is not to the Roman emperor; nor to the Roman senate, nor to all the inhabitants in Rome; but to all the saints there, whether rich or poor, bond or free, male or female, Jew or Gentile, without any distinction, being all one in Christ Jesus: and these are described as

    beloved of God; not for any loveliness there was in them, nor because of any love in them to God, nor on account of their obedience and righteousness; but through the free favour and sovereign will and pleasure of God, who loved them before he called them, even from eternity, and will love them to eternity; which love of his is the source and spring of all the blessings of grace, and, among the rest, of the effectual calling: hence this character is set before the following one,

    called to be saints; not born so, nor become so through their own power, but were so by calling grace, as a fruit of everlasting love; men are first beloved of the Lord, and then called to be his saints. The salutation follows; the things wished for in it are,

    grace to you, and peace: by "grace" is not meant ministerial gifts, which are not common to all the saints; nor the Gospel, which was at Rome already; nor the love and favour of God, which these persons were sharers in, as appears from their above characters; nor the principle of grace, which was now formed there in their effectual calling; but an increase of grace, as to its degrees, acts, and exercise; every grace is imperfect in this respect, and those who have the most stand in need of more; there is such a thing as growing in grace, which is very desirable, and may be expected from God, who is able to make all grace to abound, and has promised to give more: by "peace" is meant, peace with God through Christ; peace in their own consciences, and with one another; all manner of prosperity inward and outward here, and eternal happiness hereafter. The persons from whom these are desired are,

    God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ; God the Father of Christ is spoken of as our Father, which is by adoption; partly to engage fear and reverence of him at his throne; and partly to encourage freedom and boldness there, and an expectation of receiving every blessing of grace from him: "the Lord Jesus Christ" is mentioned, as being the person through whom, and for whose sake, all the blessings of grace and peace are communicated to us; and being put upon a level with the Father in these petitions, shows him to be equal with him, and so truly and properly God. "Grace" may be thought to be particularly wished for from the Father, though not exclusive of Christ, since he is the God of all grace, who has treasured up a fulness of it in his Son. And "peace" may be considered as desired to be had from Christ, though not exclusive of the Father; since the covenant of peace was made with him, the chastisement of peace was laid on him, and he has made peace by the blood of his cross, and is the giver of it to his people.

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    The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
    A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

    Gill, John. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". 1999.

    Geneva Study Bible

    To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called [to be] saints: o Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    (o) God's free good will: by "peace" the Hebrews mean a prosperous success in all things.

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    Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". 1599-1645.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

    beloved of God — (Compare Deuteronomy 33:12; Colossians 3:12).

    Grace, etc. — (See on John 1:14).

    and peace — the peace which Christ made through the blood of His cross (Colossians 1:20), and which reflects into the believing bosom “the peace of God which passeth all understanding” (Philemon 4:7).

    from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ — “Nothing speaks more decisively for the divinity of Christ than these juxtapositions of Christ with the eternal God, which run through the whole language of Scripture, and the derivation of purely divine influences from Him also. The name of no man can be placed by the side of the Almighty. He only, in whom the Word of the Father who is Himself God became flesh, may be named beside Him; for men are commanded to honor Him even as they honor the Father (John 5:23)” [Olshausen].

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    These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
    This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

    Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". 1871-8.

    Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

    In Rome (εν ωμηιen Rōmēi). One late uncial (G of tenth century) and a cursive omit these words here and one or two other late MSS. omit εν ωμηιen Rōmēi in Romans 1:15. This possibly proves the Epistle was circulated as a circular to a limited extent, but the evidence is late and slight and by no means shows that this was the case in the first century. It is not comparable with the absence of εν Επεσωιen Ephesōi in Ephesians 1:1 from Aleph and B (the two oldest and best MSS.).

    Beloved of God (αγαπητοις τεουagapētois theou). Ablative case of τεουtheou after the verbal adjective like διδακτοι τεουdidaktoi theou (taught of God) in John 6:45 (Robertson, Grammar, p. 516).

    From God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (απο τεου πατρος ημων και κυριου Ιησου Χριστουapo theou patros hēmōn kai kuriou Iēsou Christou). “St. Paul, if not formally enunciating a doctrine of the Divinity of Christ, held a view which cannot really be distinguished from it” (Sanday and Headlam). Paul‘s theology is clearly seen in the terms used in Romans 1:1-7.

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    The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

    Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

    Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary


    Rom . Grace to you and peace, etc.— εἰρήνη, happiness of every kind; peace with God and man. God first Christ's Father and then ours. Grace and peace are cause and effect.


    A graceful salutation.—The universality of this address has led some commentators to maintain that the epistle was meant for the heathens of Rome as well as for the Christians. But this cannot be admitted. Most certainly we should say that it cannot. Imagine a letter addressed to all that be in Rome by the adherent of a new sect everywhere spoken against. Claudius sought comfort and recreation in literary pursuits; but surely it would be a long time before he would be induced to forsake his Homer and his Virgil to find out that there was after all some literary power in the letter of a Jew who had turned Christian. Homer and Virgil still live, and schoolboys try with great pains and much reluctance to put their sentences into bad English; while the obscure letter of the insignificant Jew is being expounded from thousands of pulpits, read by millions, and translated into a vast number of the tongues of earth. Imagine a new sect, called the Brotherhood of Love, originated amongst one of the tribes of Africa, about the shores of Tanganyika. Some of the converts make their way to London and establish a brotherhood. There rises up in Africa a convert of great zeal and energy. He addresses a letter to the brotherhood in London, beginning, To all that be in London. Who would ever suppose that it was meant for the whole of London? What newspapers would print it? What Christian readers, though taught large toleration by their great chapter on charity in the First Epistle to the Corinthians, would condescend to examine this tractate? Outside the circle of the brotherhood the only likely readers would be writers on heterodox London and novelists seeking for some new sensation. Strangest fact of all, the letter from Africa to all that be in London becomes in after time one of the great epistles of all civilised peoples, and engages the attention of greatest scholars. The letter sent to Rome by the hands of Phœbe was a precious document—more precious than the law suit on which she was engaged. Rome commanded the world. Paul's Romans has commanded a larger world and wielded a wider influence than ever Rome knew or possessed. It is well worth studying. The very inscription is attractive. It gives a comprehensive view of the dealings of God with His people. It shows their high privilege, exalted relationship, and precious bestowals. It may be made to speak to us of:—

    I. The outward aspect of Christian development.—By the words "outward aspect" we mean outward as regards the work of grace in the soul. Whatever may be our views of predestination and election, we must admit antecedent purposes in the divine mind. All schools of religious thought will subscribe to the simple creed—By grace are ye saved. If grace mean the favour and kindness of God, then that grace is antecedent to all its subjects. God and grace are inseparable words. God existed before all creatures; therefore grace must have been in essence, if not in operation, before the existence of gracious subjects and the manifestation of gracious methods. Christianity was a development along the divine line carried through all pre-Christian dispensations. The individual Christian is a development in the divine idea. Here is the glorious plan:

    1. Beloved of God;

    2. Called;

    3. Saints. "Beloved of God" speaks to us of antecedent emotion. "Called" declares the emotion formulating itself into gracious action. "Saints" describes the result of emotion and action. Shall we presume to say that "beloved of God" is a consequent and not an antecedent? Shall we say that the prodigal was beloved of the father because the son turned repentantly from his journey to the father's house? Shall we not rather say that "beloved of the father" went before the prodigal's thoughts of repentance and moved him back, though he knew it not, to sweet thoughts of home, of love, of father, and of rich content?

    II. The inward aspect of Christian development.—"Grace to you and peace." This cannot mean converting grace—this cannot refer to that peace which results to the soul of man from the realisation of the benefits conferred by justification: for these people are already Christians; they are subjects of divine grace; they have peace with God through believing in Jesus Christ. We take the salutation to mean "grace and peace be multiplied,"—perfecting grace; ever developing peace; grace for all seasons; needed grace for needy times; grace when we do not feel our need—at such times it often is that we have greatest need of grace to watch our own welfare, and keep us still moving upward and onward. As grace ripens, peace increases. Peace may be at first as the little rivulet, flowing, like the waters of Siloam, softly and sweetly from the pleasant heights of infinite love into the soul. At first peace struggles along like the mountain torrent over rugged rocks. It meets with obstructions in human nature, though renewed. By-and-by it flows in the broader land of the disciplined nature. Then peace flows a river deep, broad, refreshing, fertilising. How much happiness is implied in the wish for the increase of grace and peace!

    III. The source and channel of Christian development.—"God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ." Modern developments are developments from nothing, a theory which we cannot understand. The law of evolution without an evolver is to us a mystery. It may be true, but its processes are not plain to us at least. Organic life has developed from simpler to more complex forms in obedience to universal natural law. Very good of the organic life! In what school has it learnt lessons of obedience? Does natural law exist without a lawgiver? Does organic life move by virtue of its own inherent force? Whence the life? Did the organic substance give itself life before it had being? We think that we tread more satisfactory ground as we trace all developments to God our Father. More emphatically we thus trace Christian developments. God our Father. Jesus Christ our Saviour. The grace flows from God the source through Christ the channel, and refreshes the thirsty soul. Peace comes from and by Him who is the author of our peace by virtue of His medastorial work. What sublimity the Christian conception unfolds! It makes earth radiant with the light of heaven. It lifts man to the mount of transfiguration, where all things glow with beautiful colours that transcend the poet's highest fancy or the painter's keenest skill.

    Rom . God's beloved saints.—The apostle Paul had never been in Rome, and he knew very little about the religious nature of the converts there; but he has no hesitation in declaring that they are all "beloved of God" and "saints." Let us look at these two points—the universal privilege, and the universal obligation of the Christian life.

    I. The universal privilege of the Christian life.—"Beloved of God." We are so familiar with the juxtaposition of the two ideas, "love" and "God," that we cease to feel the wonderfulness of their union. But until Jesus had done His work no man believed that the two thoughts could be brought together. Think of the facts of life, think of the facts of nature, and let us feel how true the great saying is, that

    "Nature, red in tooth and claw,

    With rapine, shrieks against the creed"

    that God is love. Think of what the world has worshipped, and of all the varieties of monstrosity before which men have bowed—cruel, lustful, rapacious, selfish, the different deities they have adored; and then, "God hath established, proved His love to us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us." Brethren, do not let us kick down the ladder by which we have climbed; nor, in the name of a loving God, put away the Christian teaching which has begotten the conception in humanity of a God that loves. There are men to-day who now turn round upon the very gospel which has given them the conception of this truth, and accuse it of narrow and hard thoughts of the love of God. One of the Scripture truths against which the assailant often turns his sharpest weapons is that which is involved in my text, the answer to the other question, Does not God love all? Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes! But there is another question: Does the love of God to all make His special designation of Christian men as His beloved the least unlikely? Surely special affection is not, in its nature, inconsistent with universal beneficence and benevolence. Surely you are not honouring God when you say, It is all the same to Him whether a man loves and serves Him, or lifts himself up in rebellion against Him, and makes himself his own centre and earth his aim and his all. "God so loved the world." There are manifestations of His loving heart which any man can receive; and each man gets as much of the love of God as it is possible to pour upon him. But a granite wall does not drink in the dew as a flower does; and the nature of the man on whom God's love falls determines how much and what manner of its manifestations shall pass into his true possession, and what shall remain without. So, on the whole, we have to answer the questions, Does God love any? does not God love all? does God specially love some? with the one monosyllable, Yes! Myths tell us that the light which, at the beginning, had been diffused through a nebulous mass, was next gathered into a sun. So the universal love of God is concentrated in Jesus Christ; and if we have Him, we have it; and if we have faith, we have Him.

    II. The universal obligation of the Christian life.—"Called to be saints," or "the called saints." The word "called" means summoned by God. It is their vocation, not their designation. I need not remind you that "saint" and "holy" carry precisely the same idea. We notice that the true idea of this universal holiness, which ipso facto belongs to all Christian people, is consecration to God. The next thing is purity. Purity will follow consecration, and would not be much without it, even if it were possible to be attained. Next, this consecration is to be applied all through a man's nature. There are two ways of living in the world; and I venture to say there are only two. Either God is my centre, and that is holiness; or self is my centre, and that is sin. This consecration is only possible when we have drunk in the blessed thought, "beloved of God." You cannot argue a man into loving God, any more than you can hammer a rosebud open. But He can love us into loving Him, and the sunshine, falling on the closed flower, will expand it. There is no faith which does not lead to surrender. There is no aristocracy in the Christian Church who deserve to have the family name given expressly to them, for this honour and obligation of being saints belongs equally to all that love Jesus Christ. But consecration may be cultivated, and must be cultivated and increased. The apostle Paul's letter, addressed to the "beloved of God," the "called saints" that are in Rome, found its way to the people for whom it was meant. If a letter so addressed were dropped in our street, do you think anybody would bring it to you?—A. Maclaren, D.D.


    Reason for the universal address.—The universality of this address has led some commentators to maintain that the epistle was meant for the heathens of Rome as well as for the Christians. But this cannot be admitted; for the description given of the persons addressed as "beloved of God" and "called to be saints" could have no application whatever to the heathen inhabitants of Rome. The reason of the universality of the address appears to be this: The apostle is about to show that the Jewish and the Gentile converts to Christianity are precisely on a footing in regard to their religious state, and therefore he makes no distinction between them, but addresses them all, whether Jewish or Gentile converts, as equally entitled to the same honourable appellation. The expression "called to be saints" is equivalent to "called to be Christians," the members of the Christian Church being often denominated in the New Testament "the saints." The additional phrase "beloved of God" is also applied to them as Christians, and with great propriety. For since God had so far manifested His favour to them as to enable them to know and embrace the gospel, they may justly be called "beloved of God" when compared with the rest of mankind, to whom no such favour had been extended. It must not, however, be supposed that these distinguished titles are intended by the apostle to be descriptive of every individual of the Church addressed. They are given merely in reference to their outward privileges as members of the Church of Christ. As in the Old Testament the collective body of the Israelites are often called "a holy people" because they were chosen to preserve the worship of the true God, so in the New Testament particular Christian Churches are called "the saints" because they also are constituted the Church and people of God. But in neither case is any allusion intended to the personal holiness of individuals; the reference is merely to the general privileges of the collective body.—D. Ritchie, D.D.

    Paul's course of thought often interrupted.—All that intervenes is not properly a parenthesis, but an accumulation of clauses, one growing out of the other, and preventing the apostle finishing the sentence with which he commenced. This is very characteristic of Paul's manner, and is peculiarly obvious in his two epistles to the Ephesians and Colossians. His teeming mind protruded its rich thoughts and glowing sentiments so rapidly that his course was often impeded, and the original object for a time entirely lost sight of.—Hodge.

    Living saints.—Those, then, that are called are saints whilst alive, and not only those that are canonised by the Pope after they are dead in numerum Deorum ab Ecclesia Romana relati, as Bembus profanely speaketh of their St. Francis—a sorry man, of whom (as once of Becket forty-eight years after his death) it may be disputed whether he were damned or saved. Pope Calixtus III. sainted some such in his time, as to whom Cardinal Bessarion, knowing them for naught, said, "These new saints make me doubt much of the old."—Trapp.

    Christians to be holy.—The duty of Christians, and that is to be holy, for hereunto are they called—"called to be saints," called to salvation through sanctification. Saints, and only saints, are beloved of God with a special and peculiar love. "Called saints," saints in profession; it were well if all that are called saints were saints indeed. Those that are called saints should labour to answer to the name, otherwise, though it is an honour and a privilege, yet it will be of little avail at the great day to have been called saints if we be not really so.—Henry.

    The name Christian must be written on the conscience.—If thy name be written Christian in the book of thy conscience, this is a special argument of thy registering in heaven. For if our heart condemn us not, we have boldness and confidence towards God. If the good spoken of us be not found in our conscience, that glory is our shame. If the evil spoken of us be not found in our conscience, that shame is our glory. Therefore, as Seneca says, look to thy conscience more than to thy credit; fame may be often deceived, conscience never. The beams that play upon the waters are shot from the sun in heaven. The peace and joy that danceth in that conscience comes from the Sun of righteousness, the Lord Jesus. If a hearty laughter dimple the cheek, there is a smooth and quiet mind within. Upon the wall there is a writing. A man sitting with his back to that wall, how should he read it? But let a looking-glass be set before him, it will reflect it to his eyes; he should read it by the reflection. The writing our names in heaven is hid, yet in the glass of a good conscience it is presented to our eye of faith, and the soul reads it. For it is impossible to have a good conscience on earth except a man's name be written in heaven.—Adams.

    The Christians are saints—i.e., separated from the world and consecrated to the service of God—holy in principle, and destined to become more and more holy and perfect in their whole life and conduct. The redeeming grace of God in Christ the foundation of peace with God and ourselves. First grace, then peace—no grace without peace, no peace without grace. The co-ordination of Christ with God the Father in the epistolary inscriptions an indirect proof of the deity of Christ.—Schaff.

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    Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.

    Vincent's Word Studies

    In Rome ( ἐν Ῥώμῃ )

    The words are omitted in a MS. Of the tenth or eleventh century, and in a cursive of the eleventh or twelfth. The words ἐν Ἑφέσῳ inEphesus, are also omitted from Ephesians 1:1, by two of the oldest MSS. On which fact has arisen the theory that the Ephesian Epistle was encyclical, or addressed to a circle of churches, and not merely to the church at Ephesus. This theory has been very widely received. With this has been combined the omission of in Rome from the Roman Epistle, and the attempt has been made to show that the Roman Epistle was likewise encyclical, and was sent to Ephesus, Thessalonica, and possibly to some other churches. Archdeacon Farrar advocates this view in “The Expositon,” first ser., 9,211; and also in his “Life and Work of Paul,” ii., 170. This theory is used to defend the view which places the doxology of Romans 16:25-27at the end of ch. 14. See note there.

    Called to be saints ( κλητοῖς ἁγίοις )

    Or, saints by way of call. See on called to be an apostle, Romans 1:1. It is asserted that they are what they are called. The term ἅγιοι saintsis applied to Christians in three senses in theNew Testament. 1, As members of a visible and local community (Acts 9:32, Acts 9:41; Acts 26:10); 2, as members of a spiritual community (1 Corinthians 1:2; Colossians 3:12); 3, as individually holy (Ephesians 1:18; Colossians 1:12; Revelation 13:10).

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    Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

    Wesley's Explanatory Notes

    To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    To all that are in Rome — Most of these were heathens by birth, Romans 1:13, though with Jews mixed among them. They were scattered up and down in that large city, and not yet reduced into the form of a church. Only some had begun to meet in the house of Aquila and Priscilla.

    Beloved of God — And from his free love, not from any merit of yours, called by his word and his Spirit to believe in him, and now through faith holy as he is holy.

    Grace — The peculiar favour of God.

    And peace — All manner of blessings, temporal, spiritual, and eternal. This is both a Christian salutation and an apostolic benediction.

    From God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ — This is the usual way wherein the apostles speak, "God the Father," "God our Father." Nor do they often, in speaking of him, use the word Lord, as it implies the proper name of God, Jehovah. In the Old Testament, indeed, the holy men generally said, "The Lord our God;" for they were then, as it were, servants; whereas now they are sons: and sons so well know their father, that they need not frequently mention his proper name. It is one and the same peace, and one and the same grace, which is from God and from Jesus Christ. Our trust and prayer fix on God, as he is the Father of Christ; and on Christ, as he presents us to the Father.

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    Wesley, John. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". 1765.

    Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

    7.To all of you who are at Rome, etc. By this happy arrangement he sets forth what there is in us worthy of commendation; he says, that first the Lord through his own kindness made us the objects of his favor and love; and then that he has called us; and thirdly, that he has called us to holiness: but this high honor only then exists, when we are not wanting to our call.

    Here a rich truth presents itself to us, to which I shall briefly refer, and leave it to be meditated upon by each individual: Paul does by no means ascribe the praise of our salvation to ourselves, but derives it altogether from the fountain of God’s free and paternal love towards us; for he makes this the first thing — God loves us: and what is the cause of his love, except his own goodness alone? On this depends our calling, by which in his own time he seals his adoption to those whom he had before freely chosen. We also learn from this passage that none rightly connect themselves with the number of the faithful, except they feel assured that the Lord is gracious, however unworthy and wretched sinners they may be, and except they be stimulated by his goodness and aspire to holiness, for he hath not called us to uncleanness, but to holiness. (1 Thessalonians 4:7.) As the Greek can be rendered in the second person, I see no reason for any change.

    Grace to you and peace, etc. Nothing is more desirable than to have God propitious to us, and this is signified by grace; and then to have prosperity and success in all things flowing from him, and this is intimated by peace; for however things may seem to smile on us, if God be angry, even blessing itself is turned to a curse. The very foundation then of our felicity is the favor of God, by which we enjoy true and solid prosperity, and by which also our salvation is promoted even when we are in adversities. (25) And then as he prays to God for peace, we must understand, that whatever good comes to us, it is the fruit of divine benevolence. Nor must we omit to notice, that he prays at the same time to the Lord Jesus Christ for these blessings. Worthily indeed is this honor rendered to him, who is not only the administrator and dispenser of his Father’s bounty to us, but also works all things in connection with him. It was, however, the special object of the Apostle to show, that through him all God’s blessings come to us. (26)

    There are those who prefer to regard the word peace as signifying quietness of conscience; and that this meaning belongs to it sometimes, I do not deny: but since it is certain that the Apostle wished to give us here a summary of God’s blessings, the former meaning, which is adduced by Bucer, is much the most suitable. Anxiously wishing then to the godly what makes up real happiness, he betakes himself, as he did before, to the very fountain itself, even the favor of God, which not only alone brings to us eternal felicity but is also the source of all blessings in this life.

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    Calvin, John. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". 1840-57.

    Vv. 7. "To all the well-beloved of God who are at Rome, saints by way of call: Grace be given you and peace on the part of God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ."

    The dative: to all those, might be dependent on a verb understood: I write, or I address myself; but it is simpler to connect it with the verb implied in the statement of the prayer which immediately follows: "To you all may there be given." The adjective all would be quite superfluous here if Paul had not the intention of widening the circle of persons spoken of in Romans 1:6 as being of the number of the Gentiles. Paul certainly has no doubt that there are also among the Christians of Rome some brethren of Jewish origin, and by his to all he now embraces them in the circle of those to whom he addresses his letter. We need not separate the two datives: to all those who are at Rome and to the well-beloved of God, as if they were two different regimens; the dative: well-beloved of God, is taken substantively: to all the well-beloved of God who are at Rome. The words denote the entire number of Roman believers, Jews and Gentiles. All men are in a sense loved of God (John 3:16); but apart from faith, this love of God can only be that of compassion. It becomes an intimate love, like that of father and child, only through the reconciliation granted to faith. Here is the first bond between the apostle and his readers: the common love of which they are the objects. This bond is strengthened by another: the internal work which has flowed from it, consecration to God, holiness: κλητοῖς ἁγίοις, saints by way of call. We need not translate either: called to be saints, which would imply that holiness is in their case no more as yet than a destination, or called and holy (Ostervald), which would give to the notion of calling too independent a force. Paul means that they are really saints, and that if they possess this title of nobility before God, it is because Christ has honored them with His call, by drawing some from the defilements of paganism, and raising others from the external consecration of God"s ancient people to the spiritual consecration of the new. Under the old covenant, consecration to God was hereditary, and attached to the external rite of circumcision. Under the new economy, consecration is that of the will first of all, and so of the entire life. It passes from within outward, and not from without inward; it is real holiness. The words ἐν ῾ρώμῃ, at Rome, are omitted in the Greek text of the Cod. de Baerner. (G), as well as in the Latin translation accompanying it (g). This might be regarded as an accidental omission, if it were not repeated in Romans 1:15. Rückert and Renan think that it arises from manuscripts intended for other churches, and in which accordingly, the indication of the readers had been left blank. But in this case would it not occur in a larger number of documents? Meyer supposes that some church or other, having the letter copied for its own special use, had intentionally suppressed the words. But it needs to be explained why the same thing did not take place with other Epistles. Perhaps the cause of the omission in this case was the contrast between the general character of the contents of the letter and the local destination indicated in the suppressed words, the second fact appearing contradictory to the first (see Romans 1:15).

    Why does the apostle not salute this community of believers, as he does those of Thessalonica, Galatia, and Corinth, with the name of church? The different Christian groups which existed at Rome, and several of which are mentioned in chap. 16 , were perhaps not yet connected with one another by a common presbyterial organization.

    The end of Romans 1:7 contains the development of the third part of the address, the prayer. For the usual term χαίρειν, joy and prosperity, Paul substitutes the blessings which form the Christian"s wealth and happiness. Grace, χάρις, denotes the love of God manifested in the form of pardon toward sinful man; peace, εἰρήνη, the feeling of profound calm or inward quiet which is communicated to the heart by the possession of reconciliation. It may seem that the title: well-beloved of God, given above, included these gifts; but the Christian possesses nothing which does not require to be ever received anew, and daily increased by new acts of faith and prayer. The Apocalypse says that "salvation flows from the throne of God and of the Lamb;" it is from God and from Jesus Christ that Paul likewise derives the two blessings which he wishes for the believers of Rome; from God as Father, and from Jesus Christ as Lord or Head of the church. We need not explain these two regimens as if they meant "from God through Christ." The two substantives depend on a common preposition: on the part of. The apostle therefore has in view not a source and a channel, but two sources. The love of God and the love of Christ are two distinct loves; the one is a father"s, the other a brother"s. Christ loves with his own love, Romans 5:15. Comp. John 5:21 (those whom he will) and 26 (he hath life in himself). Erasmus was unhappy in taking the words: Jesus Christ our Lord, as a second complement to the word Father: "our Father and that of Jesus Christ." But in this case the complement Jesus Christ would have required to be placed first, and the notion of God"s fatherhood in relation to Christ would be without purpose in the context. The conviction of Christ"s divine nature can alone explain this construction, according to which His person and that of the Father are made alike dependent on one and the same proposition.

    It is impossible not to admire the prudence and delicacy which St. Paul shows in the discharge of his task toward this church. To justify his procedure, he goes back on his apostleship; to justify his apostleship to them, Gentiles, he goes back to the transformation which the resurrection wrought in Christ"s person, when from being Jewish Messiah it made Him Lord in the absolute sense of the word. Like a true pastor, instead of lording it over the conscience of his flock, he seeks to associate it with his own.

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    Godet, Frédéric Louis. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". "Frédéric Louis Godet - Commentary on Selected Books".

    James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary


    ‘Called to be saints.’

    Romans 1:7

    St. Paul is not writing to great, well-known people. The Church of Christ in Rome did not number many of the high and mighty in the world. Most of its members were of the low and despised class, many even slaves, but whether high or low, slave or free, St. Paul addresses them all alike as ‘beloved of God, called to be saints.’

    I. Our calling.—We are not called to be great; we are called to be saints. And what do we mean by saints? The word in the original Greek means ‘holy ones.’ We are called to holiness. ‘How can I lead the holy life? With such temptations to evil, with so much wickedness all round me in the world?’ Are you saying that? Well, then, you can, because others have done so. In fighting the battle against evil in your own hearts and in the outside world, you will not be alone. Some have done their work and have gone to their rest. Others, though perhaps unknown to you, are carrying on the work still. This is the communion of saints; the saints whose rest is won, and the saints who are working still are linked together in one common brotherhood and form one army, and their General is ordering the work, even Christ the Lord.

    II. Faith binds all in One.—What is wanted to make ourselves good soldiers in this army? Faith. That is what joins all in One. A belief in the goodness of their cause, a sure trust in the wisdom and goodness of their Leader. Faith is that power which enables a man to live and work in the sight of Christ, although to bodily sight his Leader is invisible. Every one who lives a holy life now, however poor and unknown, is really preaching faith, showing he believes there is something higher and nobler and more worth living for than this world or his own self. May we not add one word of warning? Do not let us think that God’s saints are confined to one particular nation or branch of the Church. Such may be our puny view, but the truth is broader far. In that great vision of the Apocalypse, John beheld standing before the Lamb a great multitude of all nations, and kindreds, and peoples, and tongues. Shall we then ever in the face of this deny salvation to any because they may not think exactly as we do? Not that we should be indifferent about our faith. Our business is to seek with might and main for the truth, and hold it at all costs whenever we may find it.

    III. Reverence holiness in all.—We are ready enough to honour it when accompanied by greatness, but do we not sometimes ridicule it and speak of it as a weakness? Perhaps it may be but a weak, a very weak, trial to rise, only a feeble effort to seek after God and holiness, yet holiness and goodness, like all other things, must have a beginning, and our ridicule and disdain may check it in the bud. We are all called to be God’s saints. Shall we be ashamed of the name ourselves or speak slightingly of any one who is trying, however feebly, to live according to his high calling? We are called to be saints, but do we belong to them? Year after year we join in the festival of All Saints, but some day or other a saints’ festival will come when we shall not be here. Others will be joining in the hymn of thanksgiving, but our voice will not be heard. Will they then be giving thanks for us? Shall we be among that great multitude who, together with the saints on earth, make up the mighty Church of God? We ought to be there. It will be our own fault if we are not there, for we are all—each one of us—called to be saints.

    —Bishop Were.


    ‘All Saints’ Day is a day by itself, quite different from all the other saints’ days in the year. There is, I am afraid, a certain sense of unreality in keeping the usual saints’ days, arising, I suppose, from the fact that the saints themselves seem far removed from us. But All Saints’ Day is quite a different day. No longer are our thoughts directed to one or, at the most, two well-known followers of our Blessed Lord; the Lessons, Collect, and Epistle all speak to us of a great multitude, such a multitude as no man can number, men and women who have lived and died in the faith and fear of our Lord Jesus Christ, and have been received by Him, and are being kept safe in His charge till the day of the final resurrection.’



    A saint is simply a sanctified person; one who is sanctified by the Holy Spirit of God. It does not mean one who is dead; it does not mean one who has been canonised as Saint by the Church; it does not mean, and it is not to be restricted to the Apostles, Evangelists, and the early Christian Martyrs. They are, of course, saints, but there are saints not merely dead but also living, in fact, all Christians are, or have been, saints.

    I. A saint is a sanctified person.—Now, we believe in the Christian Church that every person who is baptized is sanctified by the Holy Spirit of God. That the Holy Spirit descends upon every person at his baptism, and that He will dwell within that person, sanctifying him, unless he expel Him by reason of his sin. And, therefore, I wish you to bear in mind that the way in which the Apostle uses the word ‘saints’ in addressing the Romans appeals to us now; in fact, that in every age of the Christian Church there have been saints; that every member of the Christian Church would be a saint were it not for his sins, if, in fact, it were not for the inconsistency of his life. If we were consistent Christians we should all be saints, and it is true that we have all been called to be saints, we have been all elected, or selected, that we might be the saints of God, and if we are not the saints of God it is entirely through our own sins.

    II. In the Creed we declare our belief in the communion of saints, but how many persons are there in any congregation who really attach any meaning at all to this article of the Creed? They say that they believe in ‘the communion of saints.’ What do they mean by the communion of saints? If they do not understand what a saint is, they certainly cannot understand what the communion of saints is. We all believe in the communion of saints, that is, we believe that all the saints form one body, one community, one society. What we declare in this article of the Creed is, that we believe that all those saints who have been sanctified by the Holy Spirit, and who have preserved their holiness, that all those who have been made members of the mystical Body of Christ, and have not been finally excluded by their sins, we believe that they all make up the one Body of Christ, that they all make up the one communion of the Christian Church, which is the communion of saints. There is really not much difference between this article of the Creed and the one which precedes it, in which we say that we believe in the Holy Catholic Church. They really mean the same thing. The saints are the Holy Catholic Church, only that in the Holy Catholic Church there are a great many who have unfortunately fallen away from their saintliness, and are so no longer. There are those who, like the tares, will be separated from the wheat at the harvest. We believe that all those, from the descent of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost down to the present day, who have been sanctified by the Holy Ghost, all make up the one Body of Jesus Christ, that they all belong to the Church of Christ. The communion of saints must extend through the whole Church, from its very beginning down to the present day.

    III. There are three positions in which the saints of God are.—

    (a) There are some in heaven now. The Church has always believed that in heaven are the Blessed Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, His apostles and evangelists, and the prophets and the martyrs. Who else are there we cannot, of course, tell, but there are, no doubt, saints in heaven.

    (b) There are saints in the place of departed souls—the faithful departed.

    (c) There are saints on earth.

    There is a communion, a fellowship, between these three classes of saints. We have communion with the saints in heaven, and we have communion with the saints who are in the place of departed souls.

    —Rev. H. M. J. Bowles.


    ‘The communion of saints is that partnership and fellowship of privilege, sympathy and love, visible or invisible, silent or expressed, which unites together “the whole family of God in earth and heaven,”—though they be divided upon earth, and though they be separated for a little while by death. It is the necessary result of union with Christ. For all who are His, everywhere, both here and there, being united to Him, Who is their life, they are all members of one body, drawing from one Head, and consequently are knit together in one affection, declaring it when they can, but whether they can utter it or not, equally believing in it, feeling it, comforted by it, delighting in it, in all places, and at all times. That is the communion of saints.’



    ‘Called to be saints.’ By what means?

    I. By the election of God, and by the providence of your birth in a Christian land.

    II. By the dedication and the grace of your baptism.

    III. By those inward calls which from time to time you have felt in your heart.

    IV. By the many voices of affliction, and by the constant gentle operations of the Comforter in your soul.

    Rev. James Vaughan.


    ‘I quite sympathise with the feelings of men of the world, who very often say, “If I am ever a Christian, I will be a very different Christian from the Christians I see.” Do not be a religious person; be “a saint,”—be an eminent “servant of God”; determine that you will be a great Christian, that you will do something large before you die; that you will be really holy, heavenly, God-like—“a saint.” The higher the mark, the easier it is to some minds to reach it. And the reason why some simply do nothing, is because they have not yet conceived great things. Do not be content with common-places, do not be like Christians about you. Throw your ambition into a channel worthy of the capabilities of which you are conscious. Leave beaten tracks, and conventional standards, and the trite ordinary ways of so-called Christians—be “a saint,” be “a saint”! Who knows what a work may be appointed for you to do in this church? Who knows to what a place you are to reach hereafter, in the ever-ascending circles of the blest?’

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    Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". Church Pulpit Commentary. 1876.

    John Trapp Complete Commentary

    7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Ver. 7. Called to be saints] Those then that are called, are saints while alive, and not only those that are canonized by the pope after they are dead in numerum Deorum ab Ecclesia Romana relati, as Bembus profanely speaketh of their St Francis, a sorry man, of whom (as once of Becket 48 years after his death) it may well be disputed whether he were damned or saved. Pope Callistus III sainted some such in his time, as of whom Cardinal Bessarion, knowing them for naught, said, These new saints make me doubt much of the old.

    Grace be to you, and peace] {See Trapp on "1 Corinthians 1:2"}

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    Trapp, John. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". John Trapp Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.

    Sermon Bible Commentary

    Romans 1:7

    I. There is a saintship which lies in the eternal appointment of God, which is the root and beginning of all. There is a saintship in the having been deliberately and designedly set apart by others as a holy vessel, which is independent of your own will. There is a saintship in your own voluntary surrender of yourself at different times to God, which is the responsible saintship. There is a saintship in the secret leadings and mouldings and teachings of the Holy Spirit, which is real and actual saintship. There is a saintship which lies in a holy, self-denying life, the copy of Jesus, which is apparent and active saintship. And there is a saintship in perfection being still beyond you, not reached nor yet conceived—that satisfying likeness in which one day you shall awake, capable of God's presence, your whole body, soul, and spirit concentrated to one object, in one harmonious serving, and that is the saintship of hope, the design of your redemption, the end of your creation.

    II. There are many to whom it is a very small attraction to be what is commonly meant by a "religious person,"—a name which often conveys, if not narrowness and severity, yet certainly something very moderate and almost quite negative. Do not be a "religious person"; be a saint, be an eminent servant of God; determine that you will be a great Christian. The higher the mark, the easier it is to some minds to reach it; and the reason why some simply do nothing is because they have not yet conceived great things. Do not be content with commonplaces; do not be like Christians about you. Throw your ambition into a channel worthy of the capabilities of which you are conscious. Leave beaten tracks and conventional standards, and the trite, ordinary ways of so-called Christians: be a saint.

    J. Vaughan, Sermons, vol. xx., p. 17.

    References: Romans 1:7.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. ix., p. 210; Ibid., Morning by Morning, p. 187. Romans 1:8-15.—Clergyman's Magazine, vol. i., p. 91. Romans 1:11, Romans 1:12.—J. S. Pearsall, Christian World Pulpit, vol. v., p. 184; vol. vi., p. 198.

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    Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". "Sermon Bible Commentary".

    Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

    Two things are here observable, 1. The general inscription of St. Paul's epistle; and, next, the particular salutations therein given.

    In the inscription, we have the persons described to whom the epistle is directed:

    And that, 1. By their place of abode and habitation; To all that be at Rome.

    Thence note, That Rome, though now a grove of idols, a nest of unclean birds, yet was once an habitation of holiness; a receptacle for the saints and dearly-beloved ones of God. Rome, that is now a lewd and impudent strumpet, was once the chaste and holy spouse of Christ.

    Behold, the grace and favour of God is not confined to place or person! The Lord is with you while you are with him, and not longer.

    2. They are described by their title; Beloved of God, Saints, and Called.

    Whence note, The order of their titles; first, Beloved of God, then Called, and Sanctified; intimating, That the love and grace, the favour and free good will of God, are the source and spring, the root and original causes of all blessings and benefits; namely, of vocation, sanctification, and remission, &c. We love him, because he first loved us, 1 John 4:10. The love of God is the cause of our holiness, and our perseverance in holiness will be the preservation of his love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love. John 15:10

    Question, But how could the apostle call the whole church at Rome saints, when doubtless there were many hypocrites amongst them?

    Answer, 1. They were all saints by external communion and visible profession. They were called out of the world, that is, separated from the world, and consecrated to the service of Christ, and so lay under a necessary obligation to be true and real saints.

    2. They were denominated saints from the better, and we would hope, from the greater part amongst them. Doubtless there were many, very many of them that answered their character, who were holy in the habitiual frame of their hearts, and in the general course of their lives, and from them the whole received their denomination of saints, or holy.

    Observe, 2. After the inscription follows the apostle's salutation, Grace to you, and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Where note, 1. The comprehensiveness of the salutation: Grace and peace comprehend all blessings, spiritual and temporal; grace implies and includes, both the spring and fountain of all divine favour, and likewise the several streams which flow from that fountain, all the effects and fruits of grace. And peace, according to the Hebrew manner of speaking, implies all good things for soul and body, for time and eternity.

    Note, 2. The persons from whom these blessings are derived, from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ: From God as the sovereign and fontal cause, and from Christ as the Mediator the divine favours; for both grace and peace come by Jesus Christ. And whereas Christ is called Lord, and here joined with the Father, and the same blessings are said to flow from Christ as from the Father; we learn, That Christ is really and undoubtedly God equal with the Father, and blessed evermore.

    Question, But why is the Holy Ghost here excluded, no mention at all being made of him?

    Answer, He is not excluded, though he be not named, but necessarily implied in the forementioned gifts; because grace and peace are the fruits of the Spirit, they come from God the Father, though the mediation of the Son, and are wrought in us by the operation of the Holy Ghost. Besides, in other salutations (though not in this) the Holy Ghost is expressly mentioned, as in The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and communion of the Holy Ghost be with you. 2 Corinthians 13:13-14

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    Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. 1700-1703.

    Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

    7.] This verse follows, in the sense, close on Romans 1:1.

    ἀγ. θ., κλητ. ἁγ.] Both these clauses refer to all the Christians addressed: not (as Bengel) the first to Jewish, the second to Gentile believers. No such distinction would be in place in an exordium which anticipates the result of the Epistle—that Jew and Gentile are one in guilt, and one in Christ.

    ἀπ. θ. πατ. ἡμ. κ. κυρ. . χ.] Not, as Erasmus, ‘from God, the Father of us and of our Lord Jesus Christ,’—but from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. God is the Giver of Grace and Peace,—Christ the Imparter.

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    Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. 1863-1878.

    Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

    To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    I beg the Reader to pause over this verse, in order that he may enter into a right apprehension, of what constitutes the Church of God. And, I do it the rather at this place, because the subject, once clearly understood, will minister to much information on the same point, upon similar occasions, to be met with in the word of God. It is to the Church, Paul sends this Epistle, yea, all his Epistles. And all the Epistles of the Apostles, are directed to the Church in like manner. And the Church is declared to be the beloved of God, called to he saints. Beloved of God, from everlasting, Jeremiah 31:3, and chosen in Christ before all worlds, Ephesians 1:4. And, as these acts of free grace and favor, became the ground-work of all blessedness from all eternity: so, in proof, they are called to be saints, in the time-state of the Church, upon earth. Not born saints, but new-born; not making themselves saints, either in whole, or in part; but made so altogether by sovereign grace, resulting from sovereign love. So that, from the everlasting purpose, counsel, and will, of Jehovah, in his threefold character of Persons, the Church owes her Being in Christ, before all time; and having been beloved of God, and called to be saints, they are blessed in Christ with grace, during the whole of their time-state here below, and blessed in Christ in all his communicable glory and happiness, to all eternity. If the Reader be enabled, under divine teaching, to have this view of the Church always in remembrance; he will find the sweetness of it, in the several parts of the Word of God, in discovering the application of many a gracious portion, in direct reference to the Church of God, distinguished from the carnal world.

    Neither at our entrance on those writings of the Apostles, may we too hastily pass over the very sweet apostolical benediction we meet with in the beginning, for the most part, of all their Epistles. Here the Apostle prays for grace and peace, and sometimes he connects with those twin blessings, mercy also; for Christ is himself mercy in the fullest and most comprehensive sense of the word, yea, the mercy promised, Luke 1:72. And as these blessings are the gracious effects which flow from the covenant-love and favor of Jehovah, in his threefold character of persons, towards the Church in Christ; so the Apostle prays as he opens his Epistles, with this benediction, that they may proceed from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. By which I humbly apprehend is meant, (as the Apostle elsewhere, when closing one of his Epistles, expresseth,) that both the beginning and the end may have a beautiful correspondence, he prays that the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with the Church. Amen. 2 Corinthians 13:14.

    It were hardly necessary to detain the Reader with defining what is included in those great branches of the Lord's favor to his Church In Christ, grace and peace. everyone that reads the word of God with an enlightened eye, must perceive, that the terms carry with them a comprehension of all blessings, suited to the present time-state of the Church. Grace, in all its properties, original and eternal, in the first manifestations of it, and flowing from the same unceasing fountain, in all the after acts of it. Electing, regenerating, calling, redeeming, justifying, adopting, sanctifying, renewing, confirming, strengthening; yea, in short, all grace. Peter, the Apostle, on this account was directed to call God, the God of all grace, 1 Peter 5:10, which teacheth, that God is not only in himself, towards his Church and people, grace in his very nature and essence; but also, that all the grace he hath is for them. And what endears it yet more, is, that the several parts and portions of grace, in all the infinite varieties of it, the Lord knoweth what each child will want, during the whole time-state of their continuance here below; he lays it up for them; hath each portion separate for them; keeps it for them to the moment of need; and gives it out with such a sweetness of love and favor, as makes it doubly blessed, coming immediately from the Lord's own hand, and coming with his love marked on it, in the very time of need. I pray the Reader to turn to some few scriptures in proof, Genesis 22:11-14; Psalms 59:10; 2 Corinthians 12:8-9; Philippians 4:19; Hebrews 4:14-16. And in like manner, peace takes in every blessing of time and eternity. Our peace is Christ himself. The Prophet, ages before Christ's incarnation, was taught to tell the Church, that He should be our peace, when the Assyrian should come into our land, Micah 5:5. And the Apostle sums up the whole mystery of godliness, when he saith, He is our peace, having made peace through the blood of his cross, Ephesians 2:14; Colossians 1:20. In short, Christ is the everlasting peace of his people, in God, and with God. And well might the Apostle begin every Epistle with praying for it; for Christ, from all eternity, is both the means and the end, the source and fountain, in whom, and from whom all peace flows. He is the great restorer of peace to all the breaches sin and Satan have made in the time-state of the Church. It is He which brings his redeemed into peace and favor with God, and with our own consciences; takes away the natural enmity of our minds; and having opened a new and living way for our return to God by his blood, ever liveth to keep it open by his intercession. Precious Jesus! what a sweet thought is it to my soul, that amidst all the tribulation of the world, in thee 1 have peace!

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    Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". 1828.

    Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

    Romans 1:7. Now for the first time, brought by Romans 1:6 nearer to his readers, Paul passes from the throng of the great intervening thoughts, Romans 1:2 ff., in which he has given full and conscious expression to the nature and the dignity of his calling, to the formal address and to the apostolic salutation.

    πᾶσι κ. τ. λ(332)] directs the letter to all beloved of God who are in Rome, etc., and therefore to the collective Roman Christian church, Philippians 1:1; Ephesians 1:1; Colossians 1:1),(333) but not, as Tholuck thinks (comp Turretin, Wolf, and Böhme), at the same time also to those foreign Christians who were accidentally staying in Rome, for against this view Romans 1:8, in which ὑπὲρ πάντων ὑ΄ῶν can only refer to the Romans, is decisive. The πᾶσι would be self-obvious and might have been dispensed with, but in this Epistle, just because it is so detailed and is addressed to a great church still far away from the Apostle, πᾶσι carries with it a certain diplomatic character. Similarly, though from other grounds, Philippians 1:1.

    ἀγαπητ. θεοῦ, κλητοῖς ἁγίοις] Characteristic special analysis of the idea “Christians” in accordance with the high privileges of their Christian condition. For, as reconciled with God through Christ, they are beloved of God (Romans 5:5 ff., Romans 8:39; Colossians 3:12); and, as those who through the divine calling to the Messianic salvation have become separated from the κόσμος and consecrated to God, because members of the new covenant of grace, they are called saints; comp 1 Corinthians 1:2. This saintship is produced through the justification of the called (Romans 8:30), and their accompanying subjection to the influence of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 1:30). De Wette erroneously interprets: “those who are called to be saints.” So also Baumgarten-Crusius. The calling always refers to the salvation of the Messiah’s kingdom. But that the ἁγιότης is to be understood in that Christian theocratic sense after the analogy of the Old Testament קדושׁ, and not of individual moral holiness (Pareus, Toletus, Estius, Grotius, Flatt, Glöckler, de Wette, and others), is plain from the very fact, that all Christians as Christians are ἅγιοι .

    χάρις.… εἰρήνη] See Otto, in the Jahrb. f. d. Theol. 1867, p. 678 ff. χάρις is the disposition, the subjective feeling in God and Christ, which the Apostle wishes to be entertained towards and shown to his readers; εἰρήνη is the actual result, which is produced through the manifestation of the χάρις: grace and salvation ( שָׁלוֹס ), the latter in every aspect in which it presents itself as the Christian issue of the χάρις. Comp Melancthon. The specifically Christian element in this salutation(337) lies in ἀπὸ θεοῦ πατρὸς.… χριστοῦ. Comp 1 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:2; Ephesians 1:2; Philippians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1 f.; 1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2; Titus 1:4; Philemon 1:3. The special rendering of εἰρήνη, peace, which, following Chrysostom and Jerome, the majority, including Reiche, Olshausen, Tholuck, Philippi, Umbreit and others retain (the higher peace which is given, not by the world, but by the consciousness of divine grace and love, see especially Umbreit, p. 190 ff.), must be abandoned, because χάρις καὶ εἰρήνη represent the general epistolary χαίρειν (Acts 15:23; James 1:1), and thus the generality of the salutation is expressed in a way characteristically Christian.

    πατήρ ἡμῶν means God, in so far as we, as Christians, are His children through the υἱοθεσία (see on Galatians 4:5; Romans 8:15).

    καὶ κυρίου] i.e. καὶ ἀπὸ κυρίου, not, as Glöckler, following Erasmus, takes it, “and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,” for against this view stands the decisive fact that God is never called our and Christ’s Father; see also Titus 1:4; 2 Timothy 1:2. The formal equalisation of God and Christ cannot be certainly used as a proof (as Philippi and Mehring contend) of the divine nature of Christ—which, however, is otherwise firmly enough maintained by Paul—since the different predicates πατρός and κυρίου imply the different conceptions of the causa principalis and medians. For this purpose different prepositions were not required; comp on Galatians 1:1.

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    Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. 1832.

    Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

    To all that be in Rome; he doth not direct this Epistle to all that there inhabited, as to the emperor and senate, &c.; but to the church, and all the Christians there, as appears by the two following phrases. He wrote not to those only which were Romans by nation, but to all the faithful, whether Jews or Gentiles, bond or free, for they were all one and alike in Christ. They are deceived that think this Epistle, because directed to the Romans, was written in Latin. The Greek tongue was well understood in that city. Juvenal calls Rome a Greek city, because the inhabitants, as well natives as strangers, did some of them use, and most of them understand, that language.

    Called to be saints, or, called saints; though there might be hypocrites amongst them, yet they were denominated from the better part. The Jews of old were only accounted a holy nation or people; and the Gentiles, common or unclean; but now that difference is taken away, faith in Jesus Christ, and effectual calling, makes the Gentiles holy as well as the Jews. The name saint doth not denote a perfection in holiness, but one that is devoted and consecrated to God, who is holy in heart and life, though he hath many imperfections.

    Grace to you, and peace: under these two words, grace and peace, are comprehended all spiritual and temporal blessings. It is a usual salutation or benediction in the Epistles of this apostle: see 1 Corinthians 1:3 2 Corinthians 1:2 Galatians 1:3 Ephesians 1:2 Philippians 1:2 Colossians 1:2 2 Thessalonians 1:2 1 Timothy 1:2 Titus 1:4 Philemon 1:3. See the like in the Epistles of Peter, 1 Peter 1:2 2 Peter 1:2. See also 2 John 1:3 Revelation 1:4.

    From God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ: why is there no mention made here of the Holy Ghost?

    Answer. Because he is implied in his gifts: grace and peace are the fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit. In other salutations the Holy Ghost is expressed; see 2 Corinthians 13:14; and here, when the Father and Son are named, he is plainly implied.

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    Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Romans 1:7". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. 1685.

    Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture



    Romans 1:7.

    This is the address of the Epistle. The first thing to be noticed about it, by way of introduction, is the universality of this designation of Christians. Paul had never been in Rome, and knew very little about the religious stature of the converts there. But he has no hesitation in declaring that they are all ‘beloved of God’ and ‘saints.’ There were plenty of imperfect Christians amongst them; many things to rebuke; much deadness, coldness, inconsistency, and yet none of these in the slightest degree interfered with the application of these great designations to them. So, then, ‘beloved of God’ and ‘saints’ are not distinctions of classes within the pale of Christianity, but belong to the whole community, and to each member of the body.

    The next thing to note, I think, is how these two great terms, ‘beloved of God’ and ‘saints,’ cover almost the whole ground of the Christian life. They are connected with each other very closely, as I shall have occasion to show presently, but in the meantime it may be sufficient to mark how the one carries us deep into the heart of God and the other extends over the whole ground of our relation to Him. The one is a statement of a universal prerogative, the other an enforcement of a universal obligation. Let us look, then, at these two points, the universal privilege and the universal obligation of the Christian life.

    I. The universal privilege of the Christian life.

    ‘Beloved of God.’ Now we are so familiar with the juxtaposition of the two ideas, ‘love’ and ‘God,’ that we cease to feel the wonderfulness of their union. But until Jesus Christ had done His work no man believed that the two thoughts could be brought together.

    Does God love any one? We think the question too plain to need to be put, and the answer instinctive. But it is not by any means instinctive, and the fact is that until Christ answered it for us, the world stood dumb before the question that its own heart raised, and when tortured spirits asked, ‘Is there care in heaven, and is there love?’ there was ‘no voice, nor answer, nor any that regarded.’ Think of the facts of life; think of the facts of nature. Think of sorrows and miseries and pains, and sins, and wasted lives and storms, and tempests, and diseases, and convulsions; and let us feel how true the grim saying is, that

    ‘Nature, red in tooth and claw,

    With rapine, shrieks against the creed’

    that God is love.

    And think of what the world has worshipped, and of all the varieties of monstrosity, not the less monstrous because sometimes beautiful, before which men have bowed. Cruel, lustful, rapacious, capricious, selfish, indifferent deities they have adored. And then, ‘God hath established,’ proved, demonstrated ‘His love to us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.’

    Oh, brethren, do not let us kick down the ladder by which we have climbed; or, in the name of a loving God, put away the Christian teaching which has begotten the conception in humanity of a God that loves. There are men to-day who would never have come within sight of that sunlight truth, even as a glimmering star, away down upon the horizon, if it had not been for the Gospel; and who now turn round upon that very Gospel which has given them the conception, and accuse it of narrow and hard thoughts of the love of God.

    One of the Scripture truths against which the assailant often turns his sharpest weapons is that which is involved in my text, the Scripture answer to the other question, ‘Does not God love all?’ Yes! yes! a thousand times, yes! But there is another question, Does the love of God, to all, make His special designation of Christian men as His beloved the least unlikely? Surely there is no kind of contradiction between the broadest proclamation of the universality of the love of God and Paul’s decisive declaration that, in a very deep and real manner, they who are in Christ are the beloved of God. Surely special affection is not in its nature, inconsistent with universal beneficence and benevolence. Surely it is no exaltation, but rather a degradation of the conception of the divine love, if we proclaim its utter indifference to men’s characters. Surely you are not honouring God when you say, ‘It is all the same to Him whether a man loves Him and serves Him, or lifts himself up in rebellion against Him, and makes himself his own centre, and earth his aim and his all.’ Surely to imagine a God who not only makes His sun to shine and His rains and dews to fall on the unthankful and the evil, that He may draw them to love Him, but who also is conceived as taking the sinful creature who yet cleaves to his sins to His heart, as He does the penitent soul that longs for His image to be produced in it, is to blaspheme, and not to honour the love, the universal love of God.

    God forbid that any words that ever drop from my lips should seem to cast the smallest shadow of doubt on that great truth, ‘God so loved the world that He gave His Son!’ But God forbid, equally, that any words of mine should seem to favour the, to me, repellent idea that the infinite love of God disregards the character of the man on whom it falls. There are manifestations of that loving heart which any man can receive; and each man gets as much of the love of God as it is possible to pour upon him. But granite rock does not drink in the dew as a flower does; and the nature of the man on whom God’s love falls determines how much, and what manner of its manifestations shall pass into his true possession, and what shall remain without.

    So, on the whole, we have to answer the questions, ‘Does God love any? Does not God love all? Does God specially love some?’ with the one monosyllable, ‘Yes.’

    And so, dear brethren, let us learn the path by which we can pass into that blessed community of those on whom the fullness and sweetness and tenderest tenderness of the Father’s heart will fall. ‘If a man love Me, he will keep My words; and My Father will love him.’ Myths tell us that the light which, at the beginning, had been diffused through a nebulous mass, was next gathered into a sun. So the universal love of God is concentrated in Jesus Christ; and if we have Him we have it; and if we have faith we have Him, and can say, ‘Neither life, nor death, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’

    II. Then, secondly, mark the universal obligation of the Christian life.

    ‘Called to be saints,’ says my text. Now you will observe that the two little words ‘to be’ are inserted here as a supplement. They may be correct enough, but they are open to the possibility of misunderstanding, as if the saintship, to which all Christian people are ‘called’ was something future, and not realised at the moment. Now, in the context, the Apostle employs the same form of expression with regard to himself in a clause which illuminates the meaning of my text. ‘Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ’ says he, in the first verse, ‘called to be an Apostle’ or, more correctly, ‘a called Apostle.’ The apostleship coincided in time with the call, was contemporaneous with that which was its cause. And if Paul was an Apostle since he was called, saints are saints since they are called. ‘The beloved of God’ are ‘the called saints.’

    I need only observe, further, that the word ‘called’ here does not mean ‘named’ or ‘designated’ but ‘summoned.’ It describes not the name by which Christian men are known, but the thing which they are invited, summoned, ‘called’ by God to be. It is their vocation, not their designation. Now, then, I need not, I suppose, remind you that ‘saint’ and ‘holy’ convey precisely the same idea: the one expressing it in a word of Teutonic, and the other in one of classic derivation.

    We notice that the true idea of this universal holiness which, ipso facto, belongs to all Christian people, is consecration to God. In the old days temple, altars, sacrifices, sacrificial vessels, persons such as priests, periods like Sabbaths and feasts, were called ‘holy.’ The common idea running through all these uses of the word is belonging to God, and that is the root notion of the New Testament ‘saint’ a man who is God’s. God has claimed us for Himself when He gave us Jesus Christ. We respond to the claim when we accept Christ. Henceforth we are not our own, but ‘consecrated’-that is, ‘saints.’

    Now the next step is purity, which is the ordinary idea of sanctity. Purity will follow consecration, and would not be worth much without it, even if it was possible to be attained. Now, look what a far deeper and nobler idea of the service and conditions of moral goodness this derivation of it from surrender to God gives, than does a God-ignoring morality which talks and talks about acts and dispositions, and never goes down to the root of the whole matter; and how much nobler it is than a shallow religion which in like manner is ever straining after acts of righteousness, and forgets that in order to be right there must be prior surrender to God. Get a man to yield himself up to God and no fear about the righteousness. Virtue, goodness, purity, righteousness, all these synonyms express very noble things; but deep down below them all lies the New Testament idea of holiness, consecration of myself to God, which is the parent of them all.

    And then the next thing to remind you of is that this consecration is to be applied all through a man’s nature. Yielding yourselves to God is the talismanic secret of all righteousness, as I have said; and every part of our complex, manifold being is capable of such consecration. I hallow my heart if its love twines round His heart. I hallow my thoughts if I take His truth for my guide, and ever seek to be led thereby in practice and in belief. I hallow my will when it bows and says, ‘Speak, Lord! Thy servant heareth!’ I hallow my senses when I use them as from Him, with recognition of Him and for Him. In fact, there are two ways of living in the world; and, narrow as it sounds, I venture to say there are only two. Either God is my centre, and that is holiness; or self is my centre, in more or less subtle forms, and that is sin.

    Then the next step is that this consecration, which will issue in all purity, and will cover the whole ground of a human life, is only possible when we have drunk in the blessed thought ‘beloved of God.’ My yielding of myself to Him can only be the echo of His giving of Himself to me. He must be the first to love. You cannot argue a man into loving God, any more than you can hammer a rosebud open. If you do you spoil its petals. But He can love us into loving Him, and the sunshine, falling on the closed flower, will expand it, and it will grow by its reception of the light, and grow sunlike in its measure and according to its nature. So a God who has only claims upon us will never be a God to whom we yield ourselves. A God who has love for us will be a God to whom it is blessed that we should be consecrated, and so saints.

    Then, still further, this consecration, thus built upon the reception of the divine love, and influencing our whole nature, and leading to all purity, is a universal characteristic of Christians. There is no faith which does not lead to surrender. There is no aristocracy in the Christian Church which deserves to have the family name given especially to it. ‘Saint’ this, and ‘Saint’ that, and ‘Saint’ the other-these titles cannot be used without darkening the truth that this honour and obligation of being saints belong equally to all that love Jesus Christ. All the men whom thus God has drawn to Himself, by His love in His Son, they are all, if I may so say, objectively holy; they belong to God. But consecration may be cultivated, and must be cultivated and increased. There is a solemn obligation laid upon every one of us who call ourselves Christians, to be saints, in the sense that we have consciously yielded up our whole lives to Him; and are trying, body, soul, and spirit, ‘to perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord.’

    Paul’s letter, addressed to the ‘beloved in God,’ the ‘called saints’ that are in Rome, found its way to the people for whom it was meant. If a letter so addressed were dropped in our streets, do you think anybody would bring it to you, or to any Christian society as a whole, recognising that we were the people for whom it was meant? The world has taunted us often enough with the name of saints; and laughed at the profession which they thought was included in the word. Would that their taunts had been undeserved, and that it were not true that ‘saints’ in the Church sometimes means less than ‘good men’ out of the Church! ‘Seeing that we have these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit; perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord.’

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    MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture.

    Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

    Grace-peace; in this apostolic prayer Jesus Christ is joined with the Father as the source from which grace and peace flow; which could not be, were he not equal with the Father in power and glory. Grace is the favor of God bestowed on men through Jesus Christ, and peace is its effect. Grace and peace, with all their blessings for this life and the future, come from the Father and the Son. For them men are indebted to both the Father and the Son; and to both should give all honor and glory. Revelation 5:13.

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    Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". "Family Bible New Testament". American Tract Society. 1851.

    Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

    7. πᾶσιν κ.τ.λ. The local designation comes first, then the foundation of their state in GOD’S love, then the demand thus made on them for response.

    All Christians in Rome are addressed, whatever their previous history.

    ἀγαπητοῖς θεοῦ, ‘GOD’S beloved’: a unique phrase, but cf. 1 Thessalonians 1:4, 2 Thessalonians 2:13, and with ἅγιοι, Colossians 3:12. GOD’s love for them is the beginning, the call follows, and it is a call to respond to that love by a life consecrated to GOD cf. Ephesians 5:1.

    κλητοῖς ἁγίοις, called to be holy, as GOD is holy; cf. 1 Peter 1:15-16 (see Hort). Constructed as κλητὸς ἀπόστολος above. See note on ἁγιωσύνης, Romans 1:4.

    Χάρις ὑ. κ.τ.λ. The words, while reminding of the common forms of salutation, have their full Christian sense. GOD’s favour and the peace which it brings between man and GOD, and between man and man, is the prayer of S. Paul for his readers. The stress is thrown on χάρις by the interposition of ὑμῖν.

    ἀπὸ θ. π. . κ. κ. . Χρ. S. Paul’s regular form except Colossians 1:2, 1 Thessalonians 1:1 (2 Thessalonians 1:2, ἡμῶν is absent), till the Pastoral Epistles. Note that here the Lord Jesus Christ is coordinated with GOD our Father as the source of blessing (in Romans 1:5 He is the Agent of the Father’s blessing): this coordination is highly significant; it appears in its clearest form already in Epp. Thes. (n. esp. 1 Thessalonians 3:11, 2 Thessalonians 1:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:16): it combines the Christian experience and conviction as to the Person of the Lord with the Lord’s own teaching as to the Fatherhood of GOD into the theological conception which (cf. 2 Corinthians 13:13) was ultimately expressed in the Catholic dogma of the Trinity. See S. H. ad lo[63]. For a Jew the position is already implied in the first phrase δοῦλος Ἰ. Χρ.

    These introductory verses thus lay the foundations of the Gospel in the nature and act of GOD as revealed through His Son—a fitting introduction to an Epistle which is in fact a reasoned exposition of the Gospel as preached to Gentiles by S. Paul. The main theological conceptions are here stated or implied in a fully developed form, but as attained through religious experience, not deduced or even interpreted by any philosophical method. In full accordance with all other evidence as to the primitive development of Christian thought, these conceptions are seen to be reached by the reflection upon the fact of the Resurrection and the light thrown back from that fact on the teaching, acts, and character of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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    "Commentary on Romans 1:7". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". 1896.

    William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament

    7. “Unto all who are in Rome, beloved of God, elect saints: Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” This is a beautiful, loving and affectionate salutation.

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    Godbey, William. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". "William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament".

    Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

    The Recipients Of The Letter (1:7).

    After the long but important description of the purpose of the letter, we now learn who are to be its recipients. It is addressed to the church in Rome.

    ‘To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.’

    Having established what the Gospel of God was, and what its effectiveness was expected to be, Paul now makes clear to whom he is writing. It is to all who are in Rome who are ‘beloved of God’ and ‘called to be saints (holy ones)’. Note how ‘being beloved by God’ results in ‘being called to be holy ones’. Those whom He foreknew, setting His love upon them, He destined to be conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29)

    ‘Beloved of God.’ Compare Deuteronomy 33:12; Colossians 3:12 What a privilege was theirs (and is ours). They are those on whom God has set His love. There in the midst of that great city, with its emphasis on the worship of Roma, and on the divine honours due to the emperor, and on the many pagan religions which were practised there, were the small pockets of believers who kept themselves unspotted from the world and were ‘beloved of God’, and were ‘chosen and precious’ (1 Peter 2:4). As he will say later, ‘God commended His own love towards us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us’ (Romans 5:8). They were thus those who were sinners who had been redeemed by the blood of Christ.

    ‘Called to be saints.’ And as a consequence of God setting His love on them, and their being called to be Jesus Christ’s, they were called on to be separated totally to Him. They were called on to ‘be holy like God is holy in all manner of living’ (1 Peter 1:15-16). The word ‘saints’ means those who are set apart to God, ‘sanctified ones’. This was something that was expected of all believers. That was why God had set His love on them, in order to make them His sanctified ones. It is why in Colossians 3:12 the Christians are called ‘holy (sanctified) and beloved’.

    So having been ‘called to be Jesus Christ’s’ (Romans 1:6) they are now ‘called to be sanctified ones’ of God. To belong to Jesus Christ is to belong to God.

    Note On Sanctification.

    The basic idea behind ‘sanctification’ is that of ‘setting apart as holy to God’. The Bible speaks of a ‘sanctification’ which is positional, (the initial setting apart which makes the object ‘holy’ from then on), and a ‘sanctification’ which is life-changing, transforming the one so set apart so that he becomes truly God-like. To sanctify means ‘to set apart for a holy purpose, to make holy’ and from the Christian point of view that means to "make God-like in purity, goodness and love". This is clearly something that only God can do for us. First He sets us apart as His own (2 Timothy 2:19). Then He works in us to make us pleasing to Him (Philippians 2:13). Thus the Bible tells us that once He has made us His Own, once we truly believe in Jesus Christ, we are put in the position of ‘having been sanctified’ (aorist tense, once for all - 1 Corinthians 1:30; 1 Corinthians 6:11), and therefore as having been ‘set apart’ for God once for all by the birth of the Spirit (John 1:12-13; John 3:1-6; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 Peter 1:23; James 1:18; 1 John 2:27). This is because we are made holy ‘in Christ’ with Christ’s holiness, by being made one with Him and thus covered with His purity (1 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 5:25-27; Colossians 3:3). He is our sanctification (1 Corinthians 1:30). This is why we can approach God so confidently. It has put us in a state whereby we ‘are sanctified’ and accepted as holy in His presence (Acts 20:32; Acts 26:18; Romans 15:16; 1 Corinthians 1:2; Hebrews 10:10 which are all in the perfect tense - ‘having been sanctified and therefore now are sanctified’ - past happening which continues to the present).

    But the result of being put in this position is that we will now be ‘in process of being sanctified’ (set apart by being made holy) by Christ Jesus and the Spirit. The purity of Christ, which has been set to our account, must now become an actuality. We must therefore go through the process of ‘being set apart for God’ by being constantly changed by the Spirit (present tense - Hebrews 2:11; Hebrews 10:14; compare Romans 6:19; Romans 6:22; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:13, and see 2 Corinthians 3:18; Philippians 2:13). If we are His He will carry out this work in us. This is the same process as ‘salvation’ although from a slightly different point of view. We are saved through God’s work of sanctification, which like salvation is ours by faith. And this will finally be brought to completion when we are finally ‘sanctified’ at the coming of Jesus Christ, when we will be presented perfect before Him (Ephesians 5:25-27).

    End of note.

    ‘Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.’ Having defined to whom he is writing Paul now gives them his usual greeting wishing them ‘grace and peace’ from ‘GOD our Father and the LORD Jesus Christ’. ‘Grace’ (charis) was very similar to the normal Gentile greeting (chairein). ‘Peace’ (shalom - peace, well-being) was the usual Jewish greeting. He wants both sections of the church to be aware of his love and concern for them. But these initial words have here been taken up and given a full Christian meaning. They cease to be mundane. ‘Grace’ is an indication of God’s positive undeserved favour, offered in Christ and bringing rest to the soul. ‘Peace’ is a reminder of the availability of peace with God (Romans 5:1) and peace from God, available in Christ.

    Note the close association of ‘GOD our Father’, and ‘the LORD Jesus Christ’. They are ‘one GOD and one LORD’ (1 Corinthians 8:6), the combined divine source of grace and peace, an idea already previously expressed in his earliest letter (1 Thessalonians 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:3). Note also how ‘our Father’ echoes the teaching of Jesus about ‘your Father’, a phrase found in Matthew’s Gospel twenty times.

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    Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". 2013.

    Haldane's Exposition on the Epistle to the Romans

    to allthat be in Rome, beloved of God, called, saints: Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    To all. — The Apostle here addresses all the saints at Rome without distinction, whether they were Jews or Gentiles, rich or poor, learned or unlearned, bond or free. He does not distinguish the pastors from the people, but addresses himself to them all in common — what he writes being equally intended for their common instruction and edification. He addresses them by three designations, Beloved of God, Called, Saints.

    They were saints because they were called, and they were called because they were beloved of God. Their character as saints, then, was not the cause, but the effect, of their being beloved of God. Beloved of God. — In opposition to the rest of mankind, whom God hath left in unbelief and the corruption of the world. Here, then, is the electing love of God placed first in order. It is that love wherewith He loved them when they were dead in sins, Ephesians 2:5. It is the greatest love that God can show to man, being everlasting love, which originates with Himself. It is purely gratuitous, and does not spring from the foresight of anything worthy in those who are its objects; but, on the contrary, goes before all that is good in the creature, and brings with it infinite blessings.

    It has for its primary object Jesus Christ, the beloved of the Father; and those whom He beholds in Christ, although in themselves children of wrath, are beloved for His sake. This love is unvarying from eternity and through eternity, although God’s dealings towards His people may vary, as it is declared in the 99th Psalm, ‘Thou takest vengeance On their inventions.’ He may thus be displeased with them, as it is said, ‘The thing that David did displeased the Lord,’ but His love to them remains the same, like the love of a father to a child, even when he chastens him for his disobedience. Called. — The first outward effect of election, or of the love of God to His people, is His calling them, not merely by the word, which is common to many, but by the Holy Spirit, which is limited to few, Matthew 22:14. ‘I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee,’ Jeremiah 31:3. The election, then, of believers is to be traced through their calling, 2 Peter 1:10, and their calling to the everlasting love of God. Saints. — The end of the Divine calling is to convert sinners into saints or holy persons. Their sanctification is not an eternal or figurative consecration, as that of Israel was, but a real consecration by which they are made to give themselves to God. It arises from union with Jesus Christ, which is the source of the sanctification of His people; and it consists in internal purity of heart, for God purifies the heart by faith. It supposes a real change of heart and disposition, a new creation, for ‘if any man be in Christ he is a new creature.’ ‘That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.’ They were not then saints by natural birth, nor did they make themselves saints either in whole or in part; but they were made so altogether by sovereign grace resulting from sovereign love. All believers are saints, and in one sense all of them are equally sanctified. They are equally separated or consecrated to God, and equally justified, but they are not all equally holy. The work of sanctification in them is progressive. There are babes, and young men, and fathers in Christ. Some are weak in faith, and some are strong; but none of them are yet perfect, neither have they attained to that measure of holiness at which it is their duty constantly to aim, Philippians 3:12.

    They are therefore to forget those things which are behind, and to reach forth unto those things which are before, and are commanded to ‘grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.’ ‘The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.’ ‘Certainly, according to Paul,’ says Calvin on this place, ‘the praise of our salvation does not depend upon our own power, but is derived entirely from the fountain of God’s love to us. What other cause but His own goodness can, moreover, be assigned for His love? On this also depends His calling, by which, in His own time, He seals the adoption in those who were first gratuitously chosen by Him. From these premises the conclusion follows, that none truly associate themselves with the faithful who do not place a certain degree of confidence in the Lord’s kindness to them: although undeserving and wretched sinners, being called by His goodness, they aspire to holiness. For He hath not called us to uncleanness, but to holiness.’ Grace to you, and peace.— In this way the Apostles usually commence their Epistles to the churches. In those addressed to individuals, mercy is generally added to grace and peace. Grace is uniformly placed first in order, because it is the source whence peace and all the blessings of salvation flow. Grace is the free unmerited favor of God to sinners in the plan of salvation. Grace and peace are joined together, because they are separable. God communicates all blessings to those to whom He gives grace, and to none besides; for whatever does not proceed from grace is not a blessing. It is to the praise of His grace that God exercises mercy, and brings those who were His enemies into a state of peace with Him. Grace differs from mercy, as it regards the unworthiness, while mercy regards the sufferings, of its objects.

    Grace or favor is spoken of in Scripture in three points of view: either as the unmerited favor of God towards men, as existing in himself; or as manifested in the Gospel which is called the Gospel of the grace of God; or in its operation in men. Every part of redemption proceeds on the footing of grace. It originates in the grace of God, and flows, in its first manifestations and in all its after acts, from the same unceasing fountain, in calling, adopting, regenerating justifying, sanctifying, strengthening, confirming grace, — in one word, it is all of grace. On this account Peter calls God the God of all grace, which teaches that God is in Himself towards His people grace — grace in His very nature, — that He knows what each of them needs, and lays it up for them, and communicates it to them. The whole of the salvation of man, from the counsels of God from eternity, is planned and executed to ‘the praise of the glory of His grace,’ Ephesians 1:6; ‘who hath saved us and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,’ 2 Timothy 1:9.

    In the operation of grace in the soul, men are not simply passive, nor can it be said that God does a part and they do the rest; but God produces all, and they act all. God is the sole author and source of their acts, but they themselves properly are the agents. In some respects they are wholly passive, and in others wholly active. In the Scriptures, the same things are spoken of as coming from God, and as coming from men. It is said that God purifies the hearts of believers, Acts 15:9, and that they purify themselves, 1 John 3:3. They are commanded to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, because it is God who worketh in them both to will and to do of His good pleasure, Philippians 2:12. It is not the Holy Spirit, but themselves, by virtue of His power, who love God and their neighbor, who fear the Lord, who confide in Him, and trust in His promises. Paul designates as fruits of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. The origin of them all is the Holy Spirit — it is from Him they are derived; but in their exercise or development they properly belong to believers. If any one falsely infers from the doctrine of grace that there remains nothing for man to do, because it is the grace of God that leads him to act, he understands neither what he says, nor whereof he affirms. He might with the same reason conclude that, as God is the Author of our existence, of our souls, and of all our faculties, therefore we can neither think, nor reason, nor love. Grace is in our hearts a living principle, implanted by God, and at His sovereign disposal. To exercise this principle, is as much our duty as to preserve our life and health; and as the care which these require demand attention and certain acts of the will, in the same manner the exercise of grace in the soul supposes corresponding dispositions and acts. But it is not thus with grace as manifested, which is an object of choice, received or rejected, according as grace has operated in us or not. In this manner, grace, as the principle of renovation, by the sole operation of the Holy Spirit, stands in opposition to every notion of independent power in man, by which it might be supposed he could regenerate himself; while, on the other hand, considered in its exercise, it supposes the efforts of man. Peace includes everything that belongs to the idea of tranquillity in its largest extent. But the foundation of all must be peace with God. Without this, the Christian can have no peace, though he should be on good terms with all mankind; but, possessing this, God will either give him peace with his enemies, or He will give him peace along with their enmity. The Christian may not only have peace, but joy, in the midst of persecution and external affliction. Peace with God is the substance of happiness, because without it there can be no happiness, and with it there is happiness, whatever else is wanting. This salutation, grace to you and peace, may be considered either as a prayer or a benediction. In the latter sense, it bears the character of apostolic authority. From God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. — God is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Father of all who are in Him. Paul here speaks of God as both his Father and the Father of all those whom he addressed, and so constituting one family, whether Jews or Gentiles. God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, are the source of all grace and peace, and can alone communicate these blessings, which are the gracious effects that flow from the covenant of love and favor of the Triune Jehovah. Here again we see an incontrovertible proof of the deity of Jesus Christ; for, if He were not God, He could not without impiety be thus joined with, or invoked along with, the Father to impart blessings, of which God alone is the author.

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    Haldane, Robert. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". "Haldane's Exposition on the Epistle to the Romans and Hebrews". 1835.

    Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

    7. To allThe direction.

    Saints—One of the ordinary terms for Christians.

    GraceMay there be is understood. Grace is the method of our reconciliation with God; peace the result. St. Paul here introduces a higher address than the old term, Greeting.

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    Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". 1874-1909.

    Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

    Romans 1:7. To all that are in Rome. This is the address proper, indicating the recipients of the letter. The Christians at Rome, of whatever nationality, are viewed as one community, though not addressed as a ‘church.’ The city was so large that they may have worshipped in various domestic congregations (comp. chap. Romans 16:5). But it does not follow that the organizations were imperfect; for while Paul in all the Epistles written before this time (Thessalonians, Galatians, Corinthians) addresses the churches, in his subsequent letters to the fully organized Christian congregations at Ephesus, Philippi, and Colosse, he does not.

    Beloved of God. Because reconciled to God through Christ (chaps. Romans 5:5; Romans 8:19).

    Called to be saints. Just as Paul Vas called to be an Apostle (Romans 1:1), implying that they actually were what they were called to be. ‘Saints’ refers first of all to consecration to God, and then as a consequence to holiness. This must always be borne in mind. (Since the greeting forms of itself a grammatically complete sentence, it seems best to place a period after ‘saints.’)

    Grace to you, and peace. This is the Christian greeting. The word translated ‘grace’ is akin to the common Greek salutation, while ‘peace’ is the Hebrew salutation. The two, as here lifted up into Christian usage, are related to each other as cause and effect: the one is God’s feeling toward us; the other the result in us. The connection shows what a profound sense is attached to both. The greeting seems to be an earnest wish or prayer, rather than an authoritative benediction, but on this point there is room for discussion. There is no verb in the original, and to this usage the English version conforms here, but not elsewhere.

    From God our Father. This refers to the new and special relation which Christians hold to God, as adopted sons (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:5).

    And the Lord Jesus Christ. This joining of Christ with God our Father as the personal source of ‘grace and peace’ to us, is a strong incidental proof of the divinity of Christ. No one who believed the Hebrew Scriptures would thus associate the eternal Jehovah with a mere man. At the same time, we learn elsewhere that the Father is the Author, and Jesus Christ the mediator and procurer of these blessings.

    This section assumes the fundamental facts of Christianity. Written less than thirty years after the death of Christ, to a body of believers far removed from Judea, it is itself sufficient evidence that the Gospels contain history, and not myths or fictions, that the doctrines peculiar to Christianity were proclaimed and believed from the first, and are not the inventions of after ages. Paul goes further, and affirms that the main facts were promised in the Old Testament. The Person of Christ, the Incarnation,—the Resurrection, the universal Lordship of Jesus Christ, these are the facts. Faith in Him, loyal allegiance to Him, universal proclamation of Him—all for His glory—this is the human response to the facts of salvation. This was the substance of Christianity in the first century, and this is its substance now. Such a gospel is imperishable, and the letter which treats of it most systematically is not for one place and age alone, out of universal interest and of permanent authority, even as this distinctively Christian greeting is as precious to us now as to the Roman Christians then.

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    Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". 1879-90.

    The Expositor's Greek Testament

    Romans 1:7. The salutation proper. It is addressed to all who are in Rome, etc., to include Christians of Jewish as well as Gentile origin. They are ἀγαπητοὶ θεοῦ, God’s beloved, because they have had experience of His redeeming love in Jesus Christ; and they are κλητοὶ ἅγιοι, saints, in virtue of His calling. See on κλητὸς ἀπόστολος above. The word ἅγιος did not originally describe character, but only a certain relation to God; the ἅγιοι are God’s people. What this means depends of course on what God is; it is assumed in scripture that the character of God’s people will answer to their relation to Him. It is worth mentioning that, as a synonym for Christian, it is never applied in the N.T. to an individual: no person is called ἅγιος. Philippians 4:21 ( ἀσπάσασθε πάντα ἅγιον ἐν χ. .) is not an exception. The ideal of God’s people cannot be adequately realised in, and ought not to be presumptuously claimed by, any single person. (Hort’s Christian Ecclesia, 56.) Paul wishes the Romans grace and peace (the source and the sum of all Christian blessings) from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. The greeting is followed by a thanksgiving, which passes over insensibly into an introduction of a more personal character, in which Paul explains his desire to visit the Romans and to work among them (Romans 1:8-15).

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    Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". The Expositor's Greek Testament. 1897-1910.

    Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

    Romans 1:7. To all that be in Rome — To all the Christians residing at Rome. Most of these were heathen by birth, Romans 1:13, though the Jews mixed among them. They were scattered up and down in that large city, and not yet reduced into the form of a church. Beloved of God — And from his free love, not from any merit of yours; called to be saints — Or saints called, as κγητοις ανιοις may be rendered; that is, called by his word and Spirit to believe in him, and now, through faith, made saints, or holy persons. By this honourable appellation the Christians are distinguished from the idolatrous inhabitants of the city, and from the unbelieving Jews. Grace be to you — The peculiar favour of God, and the influences and fruits of his Spirit; and peace — Namely, with him, in your own consciences, and tranquillity of mind, arising from the regulation of your affections, from trusting in him, and casting your care upon him; from resignation to his will, and possessing your souls in patience under all the trials and troubles which you may be called to pass through. See Romans 5:1; Isaiah 26:3; Philippians 4:6. In this sense, it seems, the word peace is used in the apostolic benedictions. It may, however, also include all manner of blessings, temporal, spiritual, and eternal. From God our Father — The original source of all our blessings, who is now become our reconciled Father, having adopted us into his family, and regenerated us by his grace; and the Lord Jesus Christ — The one Mediator between God and man, through whose sacrifice and intercession we receive all the blessings of providence and grace. It is one and the same peace, and one and the same grace, which we receive from the Father and from the Son: and our trust must be placed, for grace and peace, on God, as he is the Father of Christ; and on Christ, as he reconciles us and presents us to the Father. “Because most of the Roman brethren were unacquainted with Paul, he judged it necessary, in the inscription of his letter, to assure them that he was an apostle, called by Jesus Christ himself, and that he was separated to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, in fulfilment of the promises which God had made by the prophets in the Scriptures, that the gospel should be preached to them. These circumstances he mentions, to remove the prejudices of the believing as well as of the unbelieving Jews, who, he knew, were displeased with him for preaching the gospel to the Gentiles. Withal, because the church of Rome had not been planted by any apostle, he instructed them in some particulars concerning the nature and character of Christ, which it was of great importance for them to know.” — Macknight.

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    Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". Joseph Benson's Commentary. 1857.

    George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

    To all that are at Rome...called to be saints. That is, who not only are named saints, but who by such a call from God, are to be sanctified by his grace, and to become holy, or saints. (Witham)

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    Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". 1859.

    E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

    all, &c.: i.e. all God"s beloved ones in Rome.

    beloved. Greek. agapetos. App-135.

    saints. See Acts 9:13, and compare Psalms 16:3.

    our Father. Compare Romans 8:15; Galatians 1:4, Galatians 1:6; and see App-98.

    the = our.

    Lord. App-98. This salutation is found in all Paul"s Epistles save Hebrews and the three Pastorals, where "mercy" is added.

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    Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

    To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    To all (such called ones) that be in Rome, beloved of God (cf. Deuteronomy 33:12; Colossians 3:12),

    Called [to be] saints - called internally and efficaciously "to be holy and without blame before Him in love" (Ephesians 1:4): see the notes on "called to be an apostle," Romans 1:1.

    Grace to you - that most precious of New Testament words, expressing the whole riches of God's everlasting love to sinners of mankind in Christ Jesus (see the notes on this word in John 1:14, p. 349; and on Romans 5:20-21).

    And peace - through the blood of the cross (Ephesians 2:13-17; Colossians 1:20), in virtue, of which He who cannot look upon sin is called "The god of peace" (Heb. 22:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Romans 16:20 ); which peace, when reflected into the believing bosom, "passeth all understanding" (Philippians 4:7). To this peace all believers are called "in one body" (Colossians 3:15); and thus, when set down in a world full of strife, they are among them as "peacemakers," and as such "the children of God."

    From God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. 'Nothing (says Olshausen) speaks more decisively for the divinity of Christ than these juxtapositions of Christ with the eternal God which run through the whole language of Scripture, and the derivation of purely divine influences from Him also. The name of no man can be placed by the side of the Almighty. He only in whom the Word of the Father, who is Himself God, became flesh, may be named beside Him; for men are commanded to honour Him even as they honour the Father' (John 5:23).

    Introduction (Romans 1:8-16)

    First , [ prooton (Greek #4412) men (Greek #3303)] - not intending any 'second,' but merely using this word as an opening for his brimful heart. [Bengel finds an apodosis to men (Greek #3303) in the de (Greek #1161) of Romans 1:13 :

    q.d., 'Already, indeed are ye beloved of God, called to be saints, but I long to impart to you something more.' This, however, seems forced.]

    I thank my God , [ eucharistoo (Greek #2168). This term of later Greek is a favourite one with our apostle, being used by him about 25 times, while by no ether New Testament writer is it used above three or four times.]

    Through Jesus Christ (see Hebrews 13:15) for you all - `regarding you all' is the true reading [ peri (Greek #4012) Through Jesus Christ (see Hebrews 13:15) for you all - `regarding you all' is the true reading [ peri (Greek #4012) not huper (Greek #5228)],

    That your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. The fact of a Christian church springing up in the metropolis without any apostolic, or even noted, instrumentality, could not but cause lively astonishment and joy to the Christians of other places, to whom the news would quickly spread, through the frequent visits paid to the capital from all the provinces; nor could it fail to attract the notice of many who were not Christians. The same is said of the faith of the Thessalonian Christians, whose bright walk and missionary zeal compelled general and wide spread attention to the change worked on them, and of course to that which produced it (1 Thessalonians 1:8-10).

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    Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". 1871-8.

    Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

    (7) In Rome.—It is to be observed that one MS. of some importance, the Codex Boernerianus, omits these words. The same MS., with some others, alters the next phrase, “beloved of God” to “in the love of God,” thus substituting for the special address to the Romans a general address to all “who are in the love of God.” Traces of a similar reading appear to be found in the two earliest commentators on the Epistle, Origen (ob. A.D. 253) and the Ambrosian Hilary (A.D. 366-384). The Codex Boernerianus also omits the words “at Rome” in Romans 1:15, while at the end of the Epistle it interposes a blank space between Romans 14, 15. These peculiarities give some support to the theory that the Epistle to the Romans was circulated, most probably with the sanction of the Apostle himself, in the form of a general treatise, with the personal matter eliminated. This theory will be found more fully discussed in the Notes on the last two chapters.

    Beloved of God.—Reconciled to God through the death of His Son, and therefore with the barrier that separated you from His love removed.

    Called to be saints.—Consecrated or set apart by His own special summons, brought within the sphere and range of the holy life.

    These epithets, high-sounding as they are, if applied by a modern writer to a modern church would seem to be indiscriminating or conventional, but as coming from St. Paul they have not yet lost their freshness and reality. They correspond to no actual condition of things, but to that ideal condition in which all Christians, by the mere fact of their being Christians, are supposed to be. They are members of the new Messianic kingdom, and share in all its privileges. The Apostle will not let them forget this, but holds it up before them as a mirror to convict them if they are unfaithful.

    Grace . . . and peace.—May God and Christ look favourably upon you, and may you enjoy, as the result of that favour, the peace and composure of mind which is the proper attribute of the Christian.

    The terms “grace” and “peace” nearly correspond to two ordinary forms of Jewish salutation, the first of which has also something of a counterpart among the Greeks and Romans. But here, as elsewhere, the Apostle has given to them a heightened and deepened Christian signification. Grace is the peculiar state of favour with God and Christ, into which the sincere Christian is admitted. Peace is the state of mind resulting from the sense of that favour.

    “The joy Thy favour gives,

    Let me again obtain.”

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    Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". 1905.

    Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

    To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
    To all
    Acts 15:23; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:2; James 1:1; 1 Peter 1:1,2; Jude 1:1; Revelation 2:1,8,12,18,29; 3:1,7,14,22
    9:25; Deuteronomy 33:12; Psalms 60:5; Song of Solomon 5:1; Colossians 3:12; 1 Timothy 6:2
    6; 1 Corinthians 1:2; Colossians 3:15; 1 Thessalonians 4:7; 1 Peter 1:15; 2 Peter 1:3
    1 Corinthians 1:3-9; 2 Corinthians 1:2; Galatians 1:3; Ephesians 1:2; Philippians 1:2; Colossians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:2; 1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2; Titus 1:4; Philemon 1:3; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Peter 1:2; 2 John 1:3; Jude 1:2; Revelation 1:4,5
    Matthew 5:16; 6:8,9; John 20:17; Galatians 1:4; Philippians 4:20; 1 Thessalonians 1:3; 2 Thessalonians 1:1; 1 John 3:1
    and the Lord
    Acts 7:59,60; 1 Corinthians 16:23; 2 Corinthians 12:8-10; 13:14; Galatians 6:18; Ephesians 6:23,24; Philippians 4:13,23; 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13; 5:28; 2 Thessalonians 2:16,17; 3:16,18; 2 Timothy 4:22; Philemon 1:25; Revelation 22:21

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    Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

    Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge".

    Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians

    To all who are in Rome. These words are, in sense, connected with the first verse, "Paul, the servant of Jesus Christ, to all who are in Rome." Beloved of God. This is the great distinction and blessedness of believers, they are the beloved of God. They are not so called simply because, as was the case with the ancient Israelites, they are selected from the rest of the world, and made the recipients of peculiar external favors; but because they are the objects of that great love wherewith he hath loved those whom, when they were dead in sins, he hath quickened together with Christ, Ephesians 2:4, Ephesians 2:5. They are the elect of God, holy and beloved, Colossians 3:12; they are brethren beloved of the Lord, 2 Thessalonians 2:13. Called to be saints. The former of these worlds stands in the same relation to the latter that κλητός does to ἀπόστολος in Romans 1:1, called to be an apostle, called to be saints. It is one of those designations peculiar to the true people of God, and expresses at once their vocation, and that to which they are called, viz., holiness. The word ἃγιος, in accordance with the meaning of קָדוֹשׁ, holy, in the Old Testament, signifies clean, pure morally, consecrated, and especially as applied to God, holy, worth of reverence. The people of Israel, their land, their temple, etc., are called holy, as separated and devoted to God. The term ἃγιοι as applied to the people of God under the new dispensation, includes this idea. They are saints, because they are a community separated from the world and consecrated to God. But agreeably to the nature of the Christian dispensation, this separation is not merely external; believers are assumed to be really separated from sin, that is, clean, pure. Again, as the impurity of sin is, according to Scripture, twofold, its pollution, and guilt or just liability to punishment, so the words, καθαίρειν, καθαρίζειν, ἁγιάζειν, which all mean to cleanse, are used both to express the cleansing from guilt by expiation, and from pollution by the Holy Spirit. Sometimes the one and sometimes the other, and often both of these ideas are expressed by the words. See John 15:2; Hebrews 10:2 for the use of καθαίρω; Acts 15:9; Ephesians 5:26; Titus 2:14; Hebrews 9:14, Hebrews 9:22; 1 John 1:7; for the use of καθαρίζω; John 17:19; Acts 26:16; 1 Timothy 4:5; Hebrews 2:11; Hebrews 10:10, Hebrews 10:14, Hebrews 10:29; for the use of ἁγιάζω. Hence Christians are called ἃγιοι, ἡγιασμένοι, not only as those who are consecrated to God, but also as those who are cleansed both by expiation, and by the renewing of the Holy Ghost.

    "Novam hîc periodum incipio," says Beza, "adscripto puncto post ἁγίοις." In this punctuation he is followed by Knapp, Lachmann, Fritzsche, and many others. The sense then is, "Paul, an apostle — to the saints in Rome." And then follows the salutation, "Grace and peace to you." That the words χάρις καὶ εἰρήνη are in the nominative, and the introduction of ὑμῖν show that a new sentence is here begun.

    Grace be to you, and peace. χάρις is kindness, and especially undeserved kindness, and therefore it is so often used to express the unmerited goodness of God in the salvation of sinners. Very frequently it is used metonymically for the effect of kindness, that is, for a gift or favor. Anything, therefore, bestowed on the undeserving may be called χάρις. In this sense Paul calls his apostleship χάρις, Romans 12:3; Ephesians 3:2, Ephesians 3:8; and all the blessings conferred on sinners through Jesus Christ, are graces, or gifts. It is in this sense repentance, faith, love, and hope are graces. And especially the influence of the Holy Spirit in the heart, in connection with the gift of the Son, the greatest of God's free gifts to men, is with peculiar propriety called χάρις, or grace. Such is its meaning in 1 Corinthians 15:10; 2 Corinthians 8:1; Romans 12:6; Galatians 1:15 and in many other passages. In the text, it is to be taken in the comprehensive sense in which it is used in the apostolic benedictions for the favor and love of God and Christ. The word εἰρήνη, which is so often united with χάρις in the formulas of salutation, is used in the wide sense of the Hebrew word שָׁלוֹם, Shalom, well-being, prosperity, every kind of good. Grace and peace therefore include everything that we can desire or need, the favor of God, and all the blessings that favor secures. "Nihil prius optandum," says Calvin, "quàm ut Deum propitium habeamus; quod designatur per gratiam. Deinde ut ab eo prosperitas et successus omnium rerum fluat, qui significatur Pacis vocabulo."

    From God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. This association of the Father and Christ as equally the object of prayer, and the source of spiritual blessings, is a conclusive proof that Paul regarded Christ as truly God. God is called our Father, not merely as the author of our existence, and the source of every blessing, but especially as reconciled towards us through Jesus Christ. The term expresses the peculiar relation in which he stands to those who are his sons, who have the spirit of adoption, and are the heirs or recipients of the heavenly inheritance. Jesus Christ is our Lord, as our supreme Ruler, under whose care and protection we are placed, and through whose ministration all good is actually bestowed.

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    Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

    Hodge, Charles. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians.

    Commentary by J.C.Philpot on select texts of the Bible

    Romans 1:7

    "Beloved of God, called to be saints." Romans 1:7

    The very word "saint" has become, through man"s perverseness and wickedness, a word of reproach and contempt. But God will honor it, let men dishonor it as they please. God has put a crown of glory upon it, let men despise it as they may. There is no privilege or blessing that God can confer so great and glorious as to crown you with the title of "saint". He might have given you titles without number; he might have showered riches upon your head in the greatest profusion; rank, fame, talent, beauty, health—all might have been poured at your feet; but what would all these be compared to making you a saint of God?

    But what is it to be a saint? It is to be sanctified by God the Father, set apart for himself, to show forth his praise. It is to be washed in the atoning blood and clothed in the justifying righteousness of the Song of Solomon , and to be regenerated by the Spirit of God. It is to be introduced into a new world by being delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of God"s dear Son.

    What heart can conceive or tongue express the state of blessedness to which the despised saints of God are advanced even in this present time state! They are sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty; jewels in Jesus" mediatorial crown; members of his mystical body, and as such united to him by indissoluble ties; pillars in the temple of God which shall go no more out; sheep redeemed by precious blood; virgin souls espoused to the Lord the Lamb. They are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, and mansions of glory are prepared for them beyond the skies. There they shall sit as overcomers with Christ on his throne, and there they shall sing upon harps of gold the praises of a Three-One God to all eternity.

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    These files are public domain.
    Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

    Philpot, Joseph Charles. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". Commentary by J.C.Philpot on select texts of the Bible.

    Paul's Salutation ( Romans 1:7)

    Romans 1:7. 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.

    We do not know who took the Gospel to Rome. Perhaps saints, scattered abroad after the stoning of Stephen, went to Rome. And the moment they came, they began to witness. Paul had heard of a number of believers there who loved the Saviour, and he really wanted to see them. So he writes "to all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called saints."

    You know, I just kind of love this little statement. God loves to call His people His "beloved." "You mean, even the weak Christians?"

    Yes, even the weak Christians.

    "The babes in Christ?"


    "Old-time Christians?"

    Yes. It's not limited.

    Everyone who professes the name of the Lord Jesus Christ becomes the beloved of God. You become the definite object of the love and devotion of the living God Himself.

    My friend, isn't this wonderful that God can pick up the children of wrath, men and women who have been rebels against His law and order, people who have sinned against Him, and can redeem them and put His arms around them and call them His beloved?

    This is grace, absolute grace.

    Christian friend, why don't you revel in that today? As you go to work, as you work around the house, take care of the children, drive the car, whatever you do, remember that you are the beloved of God.

    My, it's marvelous that God loves to call us His beloved ones. Do you men look upon your wives as your beloved ones? Isn't there something different there? You don't call me your beloved. You ladies wouldn't call me your beloved. And don't you try it either. You would embarrass me to death. You wouldn't think of doing that. There is no bond there. The special one in our lives is marked out as our beloved, and we manifest that love by living for them.

    God says, "You are My beloved ones. You are the object, the special ones in my heart."

    And He not only calls you His beloved, but we are saints. Having been redeemed from sin, pronounced righteous by God and set apart for His fellowship, we are called saints, holy ones.

    Now, some churches make people saints after they are dead; but the Bible doesn't do that. Paul is writing to living people in Rome and calling them saints. He has never seen them. He doesn't know much about them, but he knows they love the Saviour. So he writes this book to establish them in the Gospel, to let them know what God has done for them; and, in so doing, of course, he lets us know, too. He spends more time on this theme in chapters12through16 where we are to walk like saints.

    There is a difference between being a saint and being saintly. We are saints by calling.

    For example, my name is Mitchell. I was raised in an Irish settlement where there was a lot of fighting going on, and I was one with the rest of the kids. We fought quite a bit. We kind of liked to fight. But my mother would send us out sometimes and say, "Now, remember what you are. I expect you to live and to walk and act like a Mitchell."

    Every member of the family of God is a saint. But He wants us to walk saintly.

    As a young believer working in the machine shops, I was talking to one of the die makers in our little shop about the testimony I had in Christ. I tried to speak to him the best I knew how, how God can come into our lives and transform us.

    And when I got through, he said to me, "Now, listen to me, Jack Mitchell. No use giving that to me. I couldn't do that in this shop. Why, a saint couldn't work in this shop."

    "Oh?" I said. "There are some saints in this shop."

    "I'd like to see just one."

    "Well, there's one talking to you now."

    You ought to have seen his face and heard the explosion that followed.

    "You, a saint?"

    Now, it's true that just a few weeks before that, just a few weeks, at the outside just two or three months, I had been swearing and cussing along with the rest of them in the shop.

    A saint in the shop? Yes.

    And then he added this, "And are you going to be like that fellow outside, that Barney? Are you going to be like him?"

    Barney was a toolsman who tempered the dies. He went to church in the morning with a Bible under his arm, but he had one of the filthiest tongues I have ever heard in my life. He had absolutely no testimony among the men.

    "Are you going to be like him?"

    And I said, "I trust not. I know one thing—that I have received some good news from God and I know that Jesus Christ is my Saviour and I know He calls me a saint."

    We are not saints by what we do. We are saints because He has called us into the relationship. We are the beloved of God; we are His holy ones. Now, He says, "Walk like saints." Every believer is called a saint, let me repeat; but not all believers are saintly. One is a position before God; the other is a walk before men.

    No wonder 1 Peter 1:16 says, "YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY." You have the same thing in Galatians 5:16—that we should "walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh." Now all believers, from one viewpoint, are in the Spirit; but all do not walk by means of the Spirit. That's why Paul says, "If by the Spirit you live, then by the Spirit walk." The same principal is here in Romans 1:7.

    Then Paul uses a common salutation, "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." This is a precious message Paul includes in all his epistles. Peace is the result of grace. Because God has made the provision, we can enjoy peace.

    Now, let's look at the next two or three verses.

    Copyright Statement

    Mitchell, John G. D.D. "Commentary on Romans 1:7". "Mitchell's Commentary on Selected New Testament Books".

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