“Through Whom” refers back to the Son of God in verse 4. It is through the agency or instrumentality of Jesus Christ as the resurrected Son of God that Paul and his fellow apostles had first received grace (at salvation) and the spiritual gift of apostleship (after salvation). Paul most likely had most, if not all, of the temporary spiritual gifts.
Temporary spiritual gifts were foundational as the early Church was being formed. The purpose of spiritual gifts at that time was to confirm the spoken word of the apostles and disciples of the Lord. Some of these gifts were for the detection of heresy in the Church, which was rampant in the first century Church. Some gifts were given to evangelize the lost in their own language. When these known languages were spoken in the local church an interpreter was always required in order that the entire congregation could be taught. There were also temporary gifts that established the apostles’ authority over all churches. And finally, there were certain gifts given to men for the teaching of doctrine not yet a part of the canon of Scripture. Once the canon of Scripture was completed in 96 A.D., these foundational temporary spiritually gifts were no longer necessary. (I Corinthians 13:10)
1) Apostleship – Established the apostle’s authority over several churches. (I Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11)
2) Prophecy – Forthtelling or foretelling events not yet recorded in the canon of Scripture and teaching Bible doctrine. (Romans 12:6; I Corinthians 12:10, 28; Ephesians 4:11)
1) Tongues – The ability to speak a known language not previously learned. (I Corinthians 12:10, 28)
2) Interpretation of Tongues – The ability to translate the unknown language into the common language spoken in the church. (I Corinthians 12:10)
3) Healing – The ability to heal at will regardless of the person’s faith or lack of faith who was being healed. (I Corinthians 12:9, 28)
4) Miracles – The ability to perform miracles at will. (I Corinthians 12:10, 28)
5) Faith – A companion gift to healing and miracles involving the faith of the person with the gift, not the one receiving the miracle or healing. (I Corinthians 13:2)
6) Discerning of Spirits – The ability to detect heresy in the church. (I Corinthians 12:10)7) Knowledge – Knowing Bible doctrine not yet in the canon of Scripture. (I Corinthians 13:2, 8)
The ministry that God assigned Paul to as an apostle was to carry the message of the faith to all nations. The word apostleship is the Greek word “apostolos,” which means a sent one. However, for Paul and the other apostles, it is the One doing the sending Who also gives the ones He sends the authority and power to carry out their assignments. Paul’s assignment was to carry the Gospel to the Gentile nations. This is what the phrase “for obedience to the faith among the nations,” means. Faith is an objective genitive and receives the action from the noun of action, obedience. A person obeys the faith by believing in Jesus Christ as Savior.
Paul’s assignment from God was for the sake of or in behalf of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. For is the Greek word “huper,” which means for the sake of or on behalf of. His name’s sake is a reference back to the Son of God. Paul’s personal love for God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ for what had been done for him was his motivation to carry the Gospel message of faith alone in Christ alone to all the Gentile nations (many of which included Jews in their midst).
Among whom is a reference to “all nations” in verse 5. The called of Jesus Christ in this verse refers to the believers who were set apart to God at salvation. Called is the Greek word “kletoi,” meaning called ones. This Greek word for called is the same word Paul used in verse one to state that he was called to be an apostle. This word is also used in verse 7 – “called to be saints.” The Greek word means an effectual or effective call. In verse 6 it is a genitive of possession, meaning the believer belongs to Jesus Christ. In verse one Paul was called to be an apostle. In verse 6 all believers are called ones of Jesus Christ. In verse 7 believers are called out saints or set apart ones (sanctification).
Sanctification is the Greek word “hagiasmos” and literally means separation unto God or to be set apart to God. It is the same word used for “saint” and “holy.” Therefore, all believers are saints and all believers are holy. However, sanctification is in three stages for the believer and these stages must always be distinguished in order to accurately interpret the Word of God. The first is positional truth, the second is experiential truth and the third is ultimate truth. Each is a separate and a distinct stage in the life of the believer.
This verse contains Paul’s final word of greeting to the believers in Rome. Paul stated that the letter was written to the believers who lived in Rome. Paul told them that they were beloved of God, called as saints. Beloved in the Greek is the word “agapetos,” which is a reference to God’s personal love for all believers regardless of their spiritual status.
Divine agape love is constant, non-emotional and unconditional, though human emotions are often ascribed to God in the Bible in order to assist us in our understanding. Divine agape love is not drawn out by any excellence of its object. Divine agape love is based on God’s integrity (complete, honest, pure, virtuous love based on truth) and His virtue (strength of character). God loves the believer because the believer possesses the righteousness of God. God loves His own righteousness wherever He finds it.
Saints is the Greek word “hagios,” which means set apart. Saint, sanctify, sanctification and holy all come from the same root word “hagi.” All these words carry a similar meaning, which is separation. The word saint is God’s designation for the believer.
The word Christian was originally a term of derision for those who were followers of Jesus Christ. The Greek word for Christian is “christianos.” According to Acts 11:26, the term Christian was first used in Antioch for believers by Gentiles in order to distinguish them from worshippers of Caesar. Later, the term Christian was accepted by believers as a title of honor.
The final part of Paul’s greeting wishes grace and peace to all believers in Rome, from the source of God the Father and Jesus Christ.
Grace is all that God is free to do for mankind on the basis of the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. Grace is undeserved mercy and unmerited favor. Grace is the title of God’s plan and His policy for mankind. The maximum expression of God’s grace is the Cross. God’s grace has always been operational in relation to mankind. Salvation for mankind has always been on the basis of God’s grace by faith and faith alone in Jesus Christ.
Peace is the Greek word “eirene,” which means a harmonious relationship. For the believer peace comes in two categories: 1) at salvation 2) after salvation.
Peace with God comes as a result of faith alone in Christ alone for eternal salvation. Peace with God is a positional truth describing the new relationship that exists between God and a believer. The doctrine of reconciliation accomplishes this for the believer. There are two words for reconciliation in Greek. One word “diallasso” means to reconcile two parties that are mutually hostile toward one another. The second word “katallasso” means to reconcile two parties where only one party is hostile toward the other. “Katallasso” is the word used for reconciliation to God. This means that it is man who is hostile to God and has become rebellious by means of his inherent sin nature. It means that mankind is the enemy of God and it is man who needs to be reconciled to God.
Literally, “katallasso” means to change or to exchange (originally referring to money). It came to mean a change from being one’s enemy to being one’s friend. This is the meaning throughout the New Testament. At salvation, the believer is reconciled to God. This means that the believer is no longer God’s enemy but that peace has been made as a result of his change of mind (the true meaning of repentance) towards Christ. (Romans 5:10; Ephesians 2:12-16; II Corinthians 5:18-20)Peace from God is a potential for all believers after salvation. Peace from God is the result of the execution of the Christian Way of Life. Peace from God is one of the fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23. As the believer consistently takes in accurate Bible doctrine and applies that doctrine to his life, he will experience peace from God. By fulfilling your responsibility as a believer to execute God’s plan, purpose and will, the harmonious relationship with God that exists positionally, will become a reality experientially. (Philippians 4:5-9)