Romans 1:5-7 Who Are We? We Are Called to Obedience
Last updated: 06 Jan 2020 20:15
Romans 1:5-7 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, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Three, if we are in Christ and Christ is in us, then each of us are called to proclaim the gospel to bring about the obedience of faith. Paul elaborates later in the letter:
Romans 15:14-19 I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. But on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God. For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ;
Do not bristle up at the notion of “the obedience of faith.” James vehemently declares in chapter 2 verse 1: So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. Scripture never contradicting and never ultimately at odds with itself, Paul will fully agree by saying that we are saved not by good works but to good works in Ephesians 2:10: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. In other words, if what Isaiah is true in that all of our works in self-righteousness are indeed filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6), then we should not lament nor strive that we have to obey God but by his grace, we get to obey God.
Stately put: unbelievers do not obey God.
John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
You do not get to cherry-pick God’s laws to obey and yet, possess no God-exchanged, God-given, God-renewed, and God-regenerated heart of repentance thinking you are saved. You don’t get to pick and choose what you want to believe in the Bible but don’t take God at his word. My dear loved one, if you still believe you can randomly obey God’s laws (to be honest, which is easy for you to obey because there is no struggle), you are not saved. God has to do real heart surgery for you not only to turn to God and be saved by God, but be able to obey God.
In order to perfectly, definitely, completely and with a full heart obey God, you have to first believe in the the one God sent, that is, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
Four, if we believe in Christ, we get to do what he says. And what he says is, “Go and proclaim my gospel to all the nations.” Why? We take the gospel of Christ to the ends of the the earth till the end of the earth for the sake of his name among all the nations.
There was a cute oft-quotable that used to make the rounds around social media not that long ago and attributed to St. Francis of Assisi-”Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.” Which is fine and good. What Francis actually said was, “No brother should preach contrary to the form and regulations of the holy Church nor unless he has been permitted by his minister … All the Friars … should preach by their deeds.” The Apostles John, Paul, and James, along with Christ and the rest of the Bible would fully agree: practice what you preach and preach from a sincere heart to God.
But this is the weight of preaching the gospel: for whatever insane reason, God took the power of His salvation and instilled it and packed it into just mere words. Sure, words can spoken but the hearer will choose not to hear. (Remember Christ’s parable of the seed and the sower.) Words can be recorded and broadcast but often enough, can be tuned out compared to the thoughts going on in our heads. Words can be written, typed, and photocopied but the eye can just as easy scan over text and completely miss the meeting.
Paul goes on to say in Romans:
Romans 10:14-17 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us? So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
The gospel cannot be regulated to just a bunch of good deeds. Peter admonishes us to “always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” And we do so by honoring the Christ the Lord in our hearts. (1 Peter 3:15) In other words, start with preaching the gospel of Christ to yourself. Remember when you were saved, what you were being saved from and to whom are you always being saved to. Remember that this is not of your doing but by the grace of God in the power of the Holy Spirit through the blood-soaked and wrath-broken body Jesus Christ.
Why do you do the things you do? Why do you love the way you love? Why on earth do you pray for your enemies to be saved? Give a defense that God is eternally good and He alone is mighty to save. If you can give a defense, then congratulations–you can preach the gospel.
Five, this calliing and commandment is readily available who all believe in Christ including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. In order to be belong to God, you have to be first called to God. If you are called to God, you have to be chosen by God.
But how do we know if we have been chosen by God? Simply put, we are called by God and saved by God and therefore we believe in God.
Can we know who is chosen by God before he saves them? Absolutely not. Simply put, it is not for us to know. Isaiah proclaims: For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9)
Paul will go on to say:
Romans 8:29-30 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
Notice in verse 30 of that passage. It does not say, “for those whom he predestined, some were called.” No! This is the simpliest mathematical equation. For the number of people who are predestined are the same as those who are called are the same of those who are justified who are the same as those who are glorified. Those who are chosen by God are carried all the way to being glorified by God to God forever.
Predestination = Glorification. How can I make such an audacious claim? Because my Lord and my God lacks the sinful and wicked ability to lie and break his own promises. He is perfect, almighty, and infinite in goodness and will always carry out his promises.
II Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory
We are wicked, sinful, weak, and dead in our trespasses. We are not above God or better than God because we have the ability to sin and he does not. To suggest or imply anything resembling such a notion is asinine and complete foolishness. God is holy and without him, we are not holy. God is infinite and lives forever and without Him, we will be tormented and crushed under His just and right eternal wrath in hell forever.
There is no double that there is a clear line of separation between believers and unbelievers. There is no gray area. To the sheep and the goat. To those being led by the Spirit and those who are being led by the flesh. Although there is a common grace for all of the peoples of the earth, there is only a saving grace for those who trust and believe. To them, Paul writes this Epistle and fills it with the tenderous, sweetness, wonderful, goodness, gracious, and merciful love of God to all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
That particular sweet grace and the peace that surpasses all understanding only comes to God and only belongs to His children.
What is your status? Are you his precious child or are you a child of disobedience? If you see in your life were you have not fully obeyed God’s perfect commandments, then run and fly into the arms of the loveliest, sweetest and mightiest Saviour the world has ever and will ever know. His name is Jesus Christ. Believe and trust in him right now!