Romans 1:7
To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Sermons
An Honourable ClassS.F. Aldridge Romans 1:7
Beloved of GodT. Robinson, D. D.Romans 1:7
Called to be SaintsJ. Vaughan, M. A.Romans 1:7
Called to be SaintsT. Guthrie, D. D.Romans 1:7
Christian SalutationH. W. Beecher.Romans 1:7
GraceJ. Morison, D. D.Romans 1:7
Grace Necessary for Human PerfectionH. W. Beecher.Romans 1:7
Privilege and ObligationAlexander MaclarenRomans 1:7
Sainthood Now Being Prepared for GloryT. H. Leary, D. C. L.Romans 1:7
SaintsW. Birch.Romans 1:7
The Apostolic GreetingJ. W. Burn.Romans 1:7
The Beginnings of GraceJ. J. Wray.Romans 1:7
The Beloved Pastor's Plea for UnityCharles Haddon Spurgeon Romans 1:7
The Peace of GodC. H. Spurgeon.Romans 1:7
This Salutation IsJ. Lyth, D. D.Romans 1:7
A Call to the Ministry -- IncludesJ. Lyth.Romans 1:1-7
A Servant of ChristDean Vaughan.Romans 1:1-7
A Servant of Jesus ChristJ. Vaughan, M. A.Romans 1:1-7
Authentication and SalutationW. Tyson.Romans 1:1-7
Christianity as an Objective SystemT. Binney.Romans 1:1-7
Christ's Servant Christ's RepresentativeProf. J. A. Beet.Romans 1:1-7
Paul, the Slave of Jesus ChristH. Elvet Lewis.Romans 1:1-7
Paul's Description of Himself; Or, the Story of a Noble LifeC.H. Irwin Romans 1:1-7
Paul's First Contact with the Metropolis of the WorldT.F. Lockyer Romans 1:1, 5-7
Paul's SeparationT. Robinson, D. D.Romans 1:1-7
Paul's Servitude and ApostleshipR. Wardlaw, D. D.Romans 1:1-7
Qualifications for the ApostleshipR. Haldane.Romans 1:1-7
Separated unto the GospelW. Griffiths.Romans 1:1-7
The Christian's Personal ServiceBp. Reynolds.Romans 1:1-7
The Gospel of GodR. Haldane.Romans 1:1-7
The Happiness of ServiceDr. Duff.Romans 1:1-7
The Mystery of Loyalty -- the Master and the SlaveCanon Knox-Little.Romans 1:1-7
The Opening AddressT. G. Horton.Romans 1:1-7
The Sublimest ServitudeD. Thomas, D. D.Romans 1:1-7
The True Preacher and His Great ThemeU. R. Thomas.Romans 1:1-7
The Church At RomeR.M. Edgar Romans 1:2-7
Describe Rome, and compare it with our modern cities. The metropolis of the world, with two millions of people in about sixteen square miles; every trade, nationality, and religion represented there. The apostle knew the strategic importance of a Christian stronghold in Rome. What a mighty influence might radiate thence to every quarter of the globe! To energize the heart of the empire was to quicken with Christian life the whole world.

I. A SPECIAL CLASS SINGLED OUT. The "all" in Rome are restricted by the subsequent designations. It is useless to ignore the New Testament line of distinction. Men are distinguished by their relationship to the gospel, not by their social standing or intellectual ability, but by their moral qualifications, as possessors of good hearts which have received the seed of the kingdom. To speak of Christians is to mark them off from all besides, as a straight stick differentiates crooked ones. Would Christ send his messengers to our houses as to those "who are worthy"? This distinction creates a bond of union. The superficial diversities amongst the followers of Christ are merged in the one great feature of similarity. All are "one" in Christ Jesus, whether they live in the East or the West End, in the great rooms of a palace or the attic of a lodging-house. And in the primitive Church, as to-day, the uniting power of the gospel was a striking proof of its Divine origin - that he who made the key to fit so many hearts was the same who first constructed those human wards. If Christ appeared to-day, it would be as when a magnet is introduced into a box of iron filings; the affinity of his people would be discovered by their instant attraction to him, and the closer they pressed to him the nearer they would draw to one another. Christianity is healthful socialism.

II. THEIR HAPPY CONDITION. "Beloved of God." The Almighty is good to all his creatures; he "is great, and despiseth not any;" his sunshine and rain benefit all indiscriminately. Jesus weeping over Jerusalem exemplified God's infinite pity towards rebellious subjects, sorrowing over their distresses and grieved at their sins. But the love of the text is that of complacency, where God can rest in his love with satisfaction, rejoicing in the renewed nature and the evidences of restored sonship. Love must bet strongest and most delightful when reciprocated by its object, as the mirror increases light by reflection. It is an animating designation; for men need love as plants need sunshine and warmth. The loneliest heart may be cheered by the assurance of the Divine paternal affection. It is an ennobling love. Many a man has risen through love to the height of his capacity; his powers have been stimulated and developed. How strong for noble deeds must those be who think of the mighty heart of God pulsating to the rhythm of their feeble souls! Stunted lives may blossom and grow fruitful under the "light of his countenance," seeking to live worthy of his wondrous love. It implies the well-being of those loved. Not necessarily exemption from hardship and trial, not miraculous interposition every day; but unfailing guidance and succour, and the certainty of a blessed issue to all events. Our God never intended us to dwell all our lives in suspense concerning our relationship to him, but to come out into the unclouded day by accepting his declarations, and we honour him when we arm our breasts with these magnificent truths as with triple steel against all vexation, and flood our dwelling with the benignant splendour of his promises.

III. THEIR DIGNIFIED VOCATION. "Called to be saints." The word "called" has become so theological that to enter into its meaning with any freshness we must strip it of its technical clothing. A man's calling is his occupation in life - that by which he earns his livelihood. The main business of the Christian is to cultivate holiness. He is set apart, like the priest, with anointing oil for the service of God. This aim is in no wise incompatible with the fulfilment of his ordinary worldly avocation. Every situation is adapted to the pursuit of holiness, disciplining the soul, calling for endurance or activity. The saint is separate from sinners, not by reason of bodily absence, but through his consecrated thought and endeavour and behaviour. The same action may be performed from higher motives and with a regard to vaster issues. The saints are furnished with all requisite aids to holiness. The written Word, the Spirit, the house of prayer, - these are all helps to a godly life. We are not set to make bricks without straw. The manner of our call enforces the obligation to sainthood. We have been called by Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, our Pattern and Power, who called the disciples by the sea-shore, and Matthew at the toll-bar; and his summons reaches us from his cross of anguish, and from his throne of victory on high. The title of "saints" is expressly assigned to the followers of Christ, and it behoves us to walk worthy of our high calling and of the name by which we are called. Mistrust disowns such high, grand titles; faith claims and justifies them. Will not some respond to Christ's call to-day? "Harden not your hearts, if ye should hear his voice." - S.R.A.







To all that be in Rome.
I. ITS CONTENTS.

1. Grace.(1) Favour bestowed by God in conviction, conversion, sanctification, comfort, help, etc.(2) Consciously enjoyed. Not something placed to our account in a heavenly record, but actually experienced in the heart and life.(3) Through the use of means. Not a mysterious endowment, but received by the exercise of a rational faith working through prayer, meditation, communion, etc.(4) Exhibited in the ever ripening fruits of the Spirit. Not an inward enjoyment merely, but an outward expression by which, in grace of character and usefulness, a Christian is read and known of all men.(5) Issuing in glory. As grace originates in heaven, so it works through our earthly experience only to return to its source. Its final issue is eternal fellowship with the God of all grace.

2. Peace.(1) Its nature.(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.(2) Its relation to grace.(3) It originates in grace. God makes overtures of peace; says, "roll thy burden upon the Lord"; "the fruit of the Spirit is...peace"; as grace ripens, peace increases.

II. THEIR SOURCE.

1. God as Father delights to bestow —(1) Grace. It is His pleasure —

(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) Peace. The supreme desire of a father is to see his children in amity with himself and with one another and free from care.

2. God as our Father is the warrant for our confidence in —(1) Supplicating these highest blessings.(2) Anticipating their presence here and their full perfection hereafter.

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.(1) He purchased both by the blood of the Cross.(2) He gives both (2 Corinthians 12:9; John 14:17, 27; John 20:19; Philippians 4:7).

(J. W. Burn.)

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.)

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
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; Titus 3:4); a special love to believers (1 John 3:1; Jeremiah 31:3; Ephesians 1:3-6; Ephesians 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; Ephesians 2:4).

III. UNCHANGING AND EVERLASTING (John 13:1; Jeremiah 31:3; Isaiah 54:10).

IV. INFINITELY COSTLY (Zechariah 13:7; Isaiah 53:6, 10; Romans 8:32).

V. OPERATIVE AND EFFICACIOUS (2 Thessalonians 2:16 2 Timothy 1:9).

VI. ALL-CONQUERING (Psalm 110:3; Romans 8:30, 35-39).

VII. EXISTING IN AND FOR THE SAKE OF CHRIST (Romans 8:39; Ephesians 1:8, 6; John 17:23). To be beloved of God is a creature's highest blessedness, secures every blessing, and, when realised, is bliss itself (Psalm 63:3; Psalm 30:5; Song of Solomon 1:2).

(T. Robinson, D. D.)

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,(1) There is intercourse set up between your soul and God, You feed on spiritual food, Your Bible is a home — worship is the atmosphere of your love, especially the Holy Communion.(2) Meanwhile the natural appetites are being subdued, and the body subjugated. The besetting sin, by the power of a wonderful alchemy, is being gradually turned into a characteristic grace. The temper which was hot, is meek — the spirit which was restless, is patient — your appetites first changed, then turned, go upward.(3) You have become devoted to good works; you love the brethren; whatever is holy, it is akin to you; you yearn for souls and to extend the Church.(4) And now men are beginning to "take knowledge of you."(5) I do not venture now to look where those blessed ones, in the dazzling lustre of their white robes, are still pursuing their saintly offices. But I do ask, "Out of what material is that holy saintship made?" And He who makes the rainbow from the mist, and the pearl from the shell, and the butterfly from the grub, and the diamond from the charcoal gives the answer. "These are they which came out of great tribulation," etc.

(J. Vaughan, M. A.)

Why? Because —

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.)

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.)

Grace
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.)

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.)

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.)

Peace
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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