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July 9, 2017

"BELOVED AND CALLED"

TEXT: Romans 1: 6-7 (Read vv. 1-7)
READING:  Psalm 89: 1-18

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SUBJ: The identity of the Lord’s people as called out from all the nations and then declared to be beloved of the Lord and called to be saints.

AIM: That we might ever be attentive to the call of the Lord as it is His voice that is heard in a very personal way and to which the sheep invariably respond and follow Him.

INTR: We would continue with Paul’s introductory remarks to the Romans and note that having established his call, his slavery, his identity with the Gospel of God, and being as such determined to bring the Gospel to the world, he would identity the Romans in the way that all the called of the Lord are designated.
1. It is here we would take note that even at the outset there is the conspicuous absence of the things the world has come to accept and the conspicuous presence of the work of grace in salvation.
2. We would note that Paul saw no limitations on his presentation of the Gospel (see v. 16) and that his message to the Romans was to include them as having been so affected.
3. While we see this epistle as directed to them, its scope and content bring us to embrace the epistle and the richness of its contents. Today, I am a Roman and so sensitive to being beloved of God and called.

THESIS: The full impact of the greatness of our salvation will never be fully understood until we understand the greatness of the love of God to us and efficacy of the grace that made us responsive to His call – we could not not come and we continue to do so.

I. Called of Jesus Christ (v. 6)
1. From John Gill: “The calling here spoken of is not to an office, or a mere external one by the ministry of the Word, but an internal special call by the grace of God; and which is irresistible, efficacious, and unchangeable, and is an high, holy and heavenly one…
1) Out of darkness into light
2) Out of bondage into liberty
3) Out of the world and its association to fellowship with Christ and His saints.
2. It is so often referenced in the Word that it is remarkable that men constantly appeal to actions by men rather than the grace of God.
1) We remember Romans 8:28 especially and among many others: And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Colossians 3:15.
2) That it is unto holiness: For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. 1 Thessalonians 4:7 AND But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 1 Peter 1:15 AND According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 2 Peter 1:3.
3. Among whom – thus calling them to the experience that others have known and the realization of the irresistible claim that God makes on the redeemed.

II. Beloved of God and called (v. 7a)
1. To all that be in Rome who have experienced that which follows in the description.
2. As the beloved of God from all eternity but having had it revealed to them in an efficacious way wherein His grace and mercy has been bestowed and His lovingkindness continues: Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:10.
1) Personally sensed: That thy beloved may be delivered; save with thy right hand, and hear me. Psalms 60:5.
2) As identified with Him: Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Colossians 3:12
3) The ultimate: To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. Ephesians 1:6.
3. Tied inseparably to calling: 13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14.
4. To be saints (the word means holy ones) and that is the Gospel aim in calling and God will not be frustrated.

III. A blessedness desired and sought after (v. 7b)
1. Paul has already identified them as the called of God and therefore having the principles of grace as a result of the New Birth – this is for an increase of grace as to the exercise of it in life and so to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ our Lord.
2. The peace is not a mere state of existence free from turmoil – it is that peace with God accomplished by the blood of Christ and so is applied to our consciences as to rest in the matter of our sins and free justification.
3. It is from God the Father in that He has adopted us and brought us into His very presence where we may profitably know the fear of God and the blessedness of being able to appear there boldly and so receive help is all our ways. (Paraphrased from Gill)
4. It is from the Lord Jesus Christ as the mediator of the covenant of peace; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him and He has made peace by the blood of His cross and is the giver of it to His people. (Paraphrased from Gill)