7 To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
7 To all [not some] who are in Rome,
Paul addressed this letter to believers in the church at the city of Rome. These are the addressees of the epistle. Rome was the capital of material power and paganism in the world. This church was not founded by Paul, Peter, or any other apostle. Paul had not been to Rome at the writing of this epistle.
beloved of God,
Roman believers were loved by God. God loved them by giving them the gospel set forth in the previous verses. They were the objects of God’s love because they belonged to Christ. God’s love for us does not change or vary.
Jer 31: 3 The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.”
called to be saints:
Again, the words “to be” are in italics, indicating that these words are not in the Greek. The Romans were “called saints.” These people were constituted saints by the effectual call of God to salvation.
The idea of “saints” is those set apart unto God. They belong to God, not Satan. There is something separate or distinct about belonging to God. This is a term to designate people as believers.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Grace” is the Greek greeting and “peace” is the Hebrew greeting. We receive grace but we experience peace by receiving God’s grace. Both the Father and the Lord Jesus combine in giving grace and peace. The Father and the Son act jointly in giving us these commodities. The Father is the source and the Son is the instrument. That is where we find the ultimate source of these dynamics.
Believers in the person and work of Christ hold distinction before God.
God sets believers apart in a special way. He views us as special in His economy. A “saint” is not some super-special person who acts saintly, but anyone who trusts Christ’s work for salvation. A saint is a sinner who answers in faith to the claims of Christ. Do you deem yourself special before God?