Paul often gives a short summary of what he is going to write about to a church in the greeting at the beginning of a letter. At the beginning of his treatise on the gospel to “those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints” (Romans 1:7), Paul makes a broad statement that should catch our attention.
“Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations,” (Romans 1:4b-5).
Paul lays the foundation of his apostleship on the premise that it was a grace received from Jesus Christ. If we look at this verse in the original Greek, the text would be changed around slightly to read, “through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the nations on behalf of the name of Him.” It was not just “faith” for the sake of salvation from the condemnation of sin, but that the “ethnos” (nations) would glorify Christ (“for the sake of his name”) through their “obedience”!
Knowledge of salvation through the gospel is a supremely great part of God’s plan. But along with this marvelous act of being redeemed and made right before God, He desires that those saved become obedient in their faith. These are two inseparable truths that God designed to glorify His Son, Jesus Christ. This helps us present the larger picture of God’s plan when proclaiming the gospel of grace.
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