Romans 1:6-7 NASB
(6)among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ; (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.
The called of Jesus Christ. Called as saints. This section of Scripture needs attention. A fresh reminder that we have been called (greek word kletos – called, invited, “of the call of the gospel”) by Jesus just as Paul’s readers were called of Jesus. This calling is both universal in nature that the gospel is extended to the world (John 3:16) but the calling is also an individual call from Jesus to each person. In Matthew 22:14 Jesus gives a somber truth to his hearers that “many are called, but few are chosen.” Meaning the calling of the gospel will go out to the Jews and the Gentiles and many will reject it. Few will actually have the faith to believe in Jesus and obey Him. Paul also mentions this call to sainthood. A weird concept for westerners to call ourselves saints but that’s the title we are given when we receive the gospel and become regenerate believers in Jesus (2 Thes. 1:10). This title of “saint” is something that will come into play later in this letter as we dig deeper into what a sanctified life of a believer entails and what the expectations from God are for His people in being set apart in holiness. Not just as a metaphor or future hope but as a real and current state of being while living on earth.
As Paul finishes the opening of his letter to the believers in Rome, he extends a pastoral blessing to them. Grace and peace. Two things we desperately need today, not only for ourselves to be received by Jesus but to also extend to others. Paul gives this blessing to the believers and should constitute a desire in our hearts to give grace to our fellow believers and pursue peace with each other. How easy it is for us to get so consumed with our own needs and desires and we forget to give and extend blessings to others. Like the Apostle Paul, let us pray for one another, bless one another and live out a life of grace in our fellowship and sustain peace with all people. Seek now, peace from God and give it to others. Seek His grace that has been so lavishly poured out on your sins and give it to others who don’t deserve it just as you don’t deserve it.