Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Romans 1:7

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Called to be saints - Invited to become holy persons, by believing the Gospel and receiving the gifts of the Holy Ghost. Or, here, the word may have the meaning of made or constituted, as above; κλητοις αγιοις, to all that be in Rome, Constituted saints, for they had already received the Gospel grace, and were formed into a Christian Church.

Grace to you - χαρις υμιν ; May you be partakers of the Divine favor, the source whence every blessing is derived.

I think it necessary, once for all, to give the several acceptations of this word grace which occur in the sacred writings.

  1. The word χαριν signifies in general favor or benevolence, but especially that favor which is powerful and active, and loads its objects with benefits. Luke 1:30; : Fear not, Mary, thou hast found Favor, χαριν, with God. Luke 2:40; : And the child grew - and the Grace of God, χαρις θεου, the favor of God was upon him. Luke 1:52; : And Jesus increased in Favor, χαριτι Grace, with God and man. Acts 2:47; : Having Favor, χαριν, Grace, with all the people. Acts 4:33; : And great Grace, χαρις, Favor, was upon them all. The apostles were at that time in universal favor with the multitude. In this sense the word occurs in a great variety of places, both in the Old and New Testaments.
  • Hence it is often used for the blessing which it dispenses; for, if God be favourably disposed towards a person, his beneficent acts, in that person's behalf, will be a necessary consequence of such favor. John 1:14; : Full of Grace and truth; accomplished in all spiritual blessings. John 1:16; : And Grace upon Grace: he who is full of the most excellent blessings, confers them liberally on all believers. Acts 11:23; : When he had seen the Grace of God, i.e. had the fullest evidence that they were richly endowed with heavenly gifts. 1 Corinthians 1:4; : For the Grace of God which is given you - the Divine blessings conferred upon you. 2 Corinthians 9:8; : God is able to make all Grace abound toward you; i.e. to enrich you with every benediction. This is also a very common acceptation of the word; and in this sense the word grace or favor is now generally understood among religious people. The grace of God meaning with them some Divine or spiritual blessing communicated.
  • It is sometimes taken for the whole of the Christian religion, as being the grandest possible display of God's favor to a lost, ruined world: and in this sense it appears to be used, John 1:17; : For the Law was given by Moses; but Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ: where the term Grace is evidently opposed to Law; the latter meaning the Mosaic, the other the Christian, dispensation. Acts 13:43; : Barnabas persuaded them to continue in the Grace of God; i.e. to hold fast their profession of the religion of Christ. Romans 6:14; : Ye are not under the Law, but under Grace - ye are no longer under obligation to fulfill the Mosaic precepts, but are under the Christian dispensation. See also Romans 6:15; and see 2 Corinthians 1:12; 2 Corinthians 6:1; Galatians 1:6; Colossians 1:6; 2 Timothy 2:1, Titus 2:11; : The Grace of God, that bringeth salvation unto all men, hath appeared. The Jewish religion was restricted in its benefits to a few; but the Christian religion proposes the salvation of all men; and the author of it has become a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. Hebrews 12:15; : Looking diligently lest any man fall from the Grace of God - lest any man apostatize from the Christian religion, and the blessings of pardon and holiness which he has received through it. 1 Peter 5:12; : This is the true Grace of God wherein ye stand - the Christian religion which ye have received is the genuine religion of God.
  • It signifies all the blessings and benefits which Christ has purchased, and which he gives to true believers, both in time and eternity. See Romans 5:15, Romans 5:17, where the grace of God is opposed to death; i.e. to all the wretchedness and misery brought into the world by Adam's transgression. 1 Corinthians 16:23; : The Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all - May every blessing purchased by Christ's passion and death be the portion of you all. Galatians 5:4; : Ye are fallen from Grace - ye have lost the blessings of the Gospel by submitting to circumcision.
  • It signifies the apostolic and ministerial office, or the authority to propagate the Christian religion, and the unction or influence by which that office is executed; so in the 5th verse of this chapter, ( Romans 1:5;) as has been already noted: By whom we have received Grace and apostleship, or, the apostolic office. Romans 13:3; : I say, through the Grace given unto me; i.e. I command you, by the authority of my apostolic office, etc. See also Romans 13:6.
  • It signifies a gift, salary, or money collected for the use of the poor. 1 Corinthians 16:3; : Whomsoever ye shall approve - them will I send to bring your Liberality, την χαριν υμων, your Grace; i.e. the collection made for the poor saints: see 1 Corinthians 16:1. 2 Corinthians 8:4; : Praying us - that we would receive the Gift, την χαριν, the Grace, the contribution made in the Churches of Macedonia, for the relief of the poor. In this sense it is used in Ecclus. 17:22: He will keep the Good Deeds of man, χαριν, the same as ελεημοσυνη, alms, in the beginning of the verse; and it signifies a kind or friendly act, in the same author. Ecclus. 29:16: Forget not the Friendship, χαριτας, of thy surety. Graces or χαρις, was a deity among the ancients; and the three Graces, αι τρεις χαριτες, were called Pitho, Aglaia, and Euphrosyne; πειθω, mild persuasion; αγλαια, dignity; ευφροσυνη, liberality and joyfulness; and these were always painted naked, to show that all benefits should be gratuitous, this being essential to the nature of a gift. See Suidas, in χαριτας .
  • It sometimes signifies merely thanks or thanksgiving. See Luke 17:9; : Doth he thank, μη χαριν εχει, that servant? Romans 6:17; : But God be Thanked, χαρις οε τω θεω . 1 Corinthians 10:30; : For if I by Grace, χαριτι, Thanksgiving, as our margin has it, and properly.
  • It signifies remuneration, wages, or reward Luke 6:32-34; : If ye love them that love you - do good to them which do good to you - lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what Thank have ye? ποια υμιν χαρις εστι ; what Reward have ye? This appears, from the parallel place, Matthew 5:46, to be most evidently the meaning: τινα μισθον εχετε ; what Reward have ye? The word is used in this sense by several Greek writers.
  • It signifies whatever is the means of procuring the favor or kindness of another. 1 Peter 2:19, 1 Peter 2:20; : For this is Thankworthy, τουτο γαρ χαρις παρα τῳ Θεῳ, this is the means of Procuring Favor from God.
  • It signifies joy, pleasure, and gratification, which is the, meaning of cara, and with which it is often confounded in the New Testament. Philemon 1:7; : For we have great Joy, χαριν γαρ εχομεν πολλην . Tobit 7:18: The Lord give thee Joy, χαριν, for this thy sorrow. In this sense the word is used by the best Greek writers; and in this sense it appears to be used, 2 Corinthians 1:15.
  • It signifies the performance of an act which is pleasing or grateful to others. Acts 24:27; : Felix, willing to show the Jews a Pleasure, χαριτας καταθεσθαι, to perform an act which he knew would be highly gratifying to them.
  • It signifies whatever has the power or influence to procure favor, etc. Suavity, kindness, benevolence, gentle demeanour. Luke 4:22; : All wondered at the Gracious Words, τοις λογοις της χαριτος, the benevolent, kind, and tender expressions; such as his text, Luke 4:18, would naturally lead him to speak. He hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, etc. Ephesians 4:29; Colossians 4:6; : Let your speech be always with Grace; i.e. gracious, kind, benevolent, savouring of the doctrine of Christ: it is thus used by several Greek writers. See Schleusner. As the word χαρις Grace, most frequently signifies some blessing or benefit calculated to promote human happiness, it is generally derived from χαρω, I rejoice, because of the effect produced by the blessing.
  • And peace - ειρηνη

    , the same as שלום shalom in Hebrew, generally signifying all kinds of blessing, but especially harmony and unity, and the bond of such unity. The most probable derivation of the word ειρηνη is from ειρω, I bind, and εν, one - because peace unites and binds those who were, by discord, before disunited. In the New Testament it signifies -

    1. Peace, public or private, in the general acceptation of the word, as implying reconciliation and friendship; and to the etymology of the word the apostle seems to allude in Ephesians 4:3; : Endeavouring to keep the Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace. Acts 12:20; : They of Tyre and Sidon desired Peace - they sought reconciliation, with Herod, by means of Blastus, the king's chamberlain.
  • It signifies regularity, good order. 1 Corinthians 14:33; : God is not the God of confusion, but of Peace.
  • It signifies the labor or study of preserving peace and concord; and this is supposed to be its meaning, Matthew 10:34; Luke 12:51; and Acts 7:26. Romans 14:17; : For the kingdom of God is righteousness and Peace - the Christian dispensation admits of no contention, but inculcates peace. 1 Corinthians 7:15; : God hath called us to Peace - to labor to preserve quietness and concord. Hebrews 12:14; : Follow Peace - labor to preserve it.
  • It signifies the author or procurer of peace and concord. Ephesians 2:14; : He is our Peace - the author of concord betwixt Jews and Gentiles.
  • It signifies the Gospel and its blessings. Ephesians 2:17; : And came and preached Peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
  • It signifies all kinds of mental and corporeal happiness, and especially the happiness of Christians. Luke 1:79; : To guide our feet into the way of Peace - to show us the way to obtain true happiness. Luke 19:42; : The things which belong unto thy Peace - that by which thou mightest have been made truly happy. 1 Thessalonians 5:23; : The very God of Peace - God, the only source of true felicity. John 16:33; : These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have Peace - that ye might have confidence and happiness in believing on me as your only Savior.
  • It signifies good wishes and affectionate prayers. Matthew 10:13; : And if the house be worthy, let your Peace come upon it. Our Lord commands his disciples, Matthew 10:12, to salute the house into which they entered; and this was done by saying, Peace be unto this house! that is, Let every blessing, spiritual and temporal, be the portion of this family! See Luke 10:6; John 14:27; Acts 15:33; : They were let go in Peace - they had the most fervent and affectionate prayers of the Church.
  • It signifies praise. Luke 19:38; : Peace in heaven and glory in the highest! - May all the heavenly host praise God, and give him the highest honor!
  • It signifies benignity, benevolence, favor. Romans 5:1; : Being justified by faith, we have Peace with God - In consequence of having our sins forgiven, we have a clear sense of the Divine favor. Philemon 4:7; : The Peace of God which passeth all understanding - the inexpressible blessedness of a sense of the Divine favor. See Schleusner's Lexicon.
  • From God our Father -

    The apostle wishes them all the blessings which can flow from God, as the fountain of grace, producing in them all the happiness which a heart filled with the peace of God can possess; all of which are to be communicated to them through the Lord Jesus Christ. See the note on Acts 28:31.

    Albert Barnes
    Notes on the Whole Bible

    To all that be in Rome - That is, to all who bear the Christian name. Perhaps he here included not only the church at Rome, but all who might have been there from abroad. Rome was a place of vast concourse for foreigners; and Paul probably addressed all who happened to be there.

    Beloved of God - Whom God loves. This is the privilege of all Christians. And this proves that the persons whom Paul addressed were “not” those merely who had been invited to the external privileges of the gospel. The importance of this observation will appear in the progress of these notes.

    Called to be saints - So called, or influenced by God who had called them, as to become saints. The word “saints,” ἅγιοι hagioimeans those who are holy, or those who are devoted or consecrated to God. The radical idea of the word is what is separated from a common to a sacred use, and answers to the Hebrew word, קדושׁ qadowshIt is applied to any thing that is set apart to the service of God, to the temple, to the sacrifices, to the utensils about the temple, to the garments, etc. of the priests, and to the priests themselves. It was applied to the Jews as a people separated from other nations, and devoted or consecrated to God, while other nations were devoted to the service of idols. It is also applied to Christians, as being a people devoted or set apart to the service of God. The radical idea then, as applied to Christians, is, that “they are separated from other men, and other objects and pursuits, and consecrated to the service of God.” This is the special characteristic of the saints. And this characteristic the Roman Christians had shown. For the use of the word, as stated above, see the following passages of scripture; Luke 2:23; Exodus 13:2, Romans 11:16; Matthew 7:6; 1 Peter 1:16; Acts 9:13; 1 Peter 2:5; Acts 3:21, Ephesians 3:5; 1 Peter 2:9; Philemon 2:15; 1 John 3:1-2.

    Grace - This word properly means “favor.” It is very often used in the New Testament, and is employed in the sense of benignity or benevolence; felicity, or a prosperous state of affairs; the Christian religion, as the highest expression of the benevolence or favor of God; the happiness which Christianity confers on its friends in this and the future life; the apostolic office; charity, or alms; thanksgiving; joy, or pleasure; and the benefits produced on the Christian‘s heart and life by religion - the grace of meekness, patience, charity, etc., “Schleusner.” In this place, and in similar places in the beginning of the apostolic epistles, it seems to be a word including all those blessings that are applicable to Christians in common; denoting an ardent wish that all the mercies and favors of God for time and eternity, blended under the general name grace, may be conferred on them. It is to be understood as connected with a word implying invocation. I pray, or I desire, that grace, etc. may be conferred on you. It is the customary form of salutation in nearly all the apostolic epistles; 1 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:2; Galatians 1:3; Ephesians 1:2; Philemon 1:2; Colossians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:2; Philemon 1:3.

    And peace - Peace is the state of freedom from war. As war conveys the idea of discord and numberless calamities and dangers, so peace is the opposite, and conveys the idea of concord, safety, and prosperity. Thus, to wish one peace was the same as to wish him all safety and prosperity. This form of salutation was common among the Hebrews. Genesis 43:23, “peace to you! fear not;” Judges 6:23; Judges 19:20; Luke 24:36. But the word “peace” is also used in contrast with that state of agitation and conflict which a sinner has with his conscience. and with God. The sinner is like the troubled sea, which cannot rest, Isaiah 57:20. The Christian is at peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ, Romans 5:1. By this word, denoting reconciliation with God, the blessings of the Christian religion are often described in the scriptures, Romans 8:6; Romans 14:17; Romans 15:13; Galatians 5:22; Philemon 4:7. A prayer for peace, therefore, in the epistles, is not a mere formal salutation, but has a special reference to those “spiritual” blessings which result from reconciliation with God through the Lord Jesus Christ.

    From God our Father - The Father of all Christians. He is the Father of all his creatures, as they are his offspring, Acts 17:28-29. He is especially the Father of all Christians, as they have been “begotten by him to a lively hope,” have been adopted into his family, and are like him; Matthew 5:45; 1 Peter 1:3; 1 John 5:1; 1 John 3:1-2. The expression here is equivalent to a prayer that God the Father would bestow grace and peace on the Romans. It implies that these blessings proceed from God, and are to be expected from him.

    And the Lord Jesus Christ - From him. The Lord Jesus Christ is especially regarded in the New Testament as the Source of peace, and the Procurer of it; see Luke 2:14; Luke 19:38, Luke 19:42; John 14:27; John 16:33; Acts 10:36; Romans 5:1; Ephesians 2:17. Each of these places will show with what propriety peace was invoked from the Lord Jesus. From thus connecting the Lord Jesus with the Father in this place, we may see,

    (1)That the apostle regarded him as the source of grace and peace as really as he did the Father.

    (2)he introduced them in the same connection, and with reference to the bestowment of the same blessings.

    (3)if the mention of the Father in this connection implies a prayer to him, or an act of worship, the mention of the Lord Jesus implies the same thing, and was an act of homage to him.

    (4)all this shows that his mind was familiarized to the idea that he was divine.

    No man would introduce his name in such connections if he did not believe that he was equal with God; compare Philemon 2:2-11. It is from this incidental and unstudied manner of expression, that we have one of the most striking proofs of the manner in which the sacred writers regarded the Lord Jesus Christ.

    These seven verses are one sentence. They are a striking instance of the manner of Paul. The subject is simply a salutation to the Roman church. But at the mention of some single words, the mind of Paul seems to catch fire, and go burn and blaze with signal intensity. He leaves the immediate subject before him, and advances some vast thought that awes us, and fixes us in contemplation, and involves us in difficulty about his meaning, and then returns to his subject. This is the characteristic of his great mind; and it is this, among other things, that makes it so difficult to interpret his writings.

    Matthew Henry
    Concise Bible Commentary
    The doctrine of which the apostle Paul wrote, set forth the fulfilment of the promises by the prophets. It spoke of the Son of God, even Jesus the Saviour, the promised Messiah, who came from David as to his human nature, but was also declared to be the Son of God, by the Divine power which raised him from the dead. The Christian profession does not consist in a notional knowledge or a bare assent, much less in perverse disputings, but in obedience. And all those, and those only, are brought to obedience of the faith, who are effectually called of Jesus Christ. Here is, 1. The privilege of Christians; they are beloved of God, and are members of that body which is beloved. 2. The duty of Christians; to be holy, hereunto are they called, called to be saints. These the apostle saluted, by wishing them grace to sanctify their souls, and peace to comfort their hearts, as springing from the free mercy of God, the reconciled Father of all believers, and coming to them through the Lord Jesus Christ.
    Ellen G. White
    In Heavenly Places, 34.2

    “Grace be to you.” We owe everything to God's free grace. Grace in the covenant ordained our adoption. Grace in the Saviour effected our redemption, our regeneration, and our exaltation to heirship with Christ. Not because we first loved Him did God love us; but “while we were yet sinners,” Christ died for us.... Although by our disobedience we have merited God's displeasure and condemnation, yet He has not forsaken us, leaving us to grapple with the power of the enemy. Heavenly angels fight our battles for us, and cooperating with them, we may be victorious over the powers of evil. HP 34.2

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    Ellen G. White
    That I May Know Him, 151.5

    The Jewish Temple was built of hewn stones quarried out of the mountains, and every stone was fitted for its place in the Temple, hewed, polished and tested, before it was brought to Jerusalem. And when all were brought to the ground, the building went together without the sound of an ax or hammer. This building represents God's spiritual temple, which is composed of material gathered out of every nation and tongue and people, of all grades, high and low, rich and poor, learned and ignorant. These are not dead substances, to be fitted by hammer and chisel. They are living stones quarried out from the world by the truth, and the great Master Builder, the Lord of the temple, is now hewing and polishing them and fitting them for their respective places in the spiritual temple. When completed, this temple will be perfect in all its parts, the admiration of angels and of men, for its builder and maker is God. Truly, those who are to compose this glorious building are “called to be saints.”32 TMK 151.5

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    Ellen G. White
    SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6 (EGW), 1063

    Paul was highly educated, and was admired for his genius and eloquence. He was chosen by his countrymen as a member of the Sanhedrim, and was a rabbi of distinguished ability; yet his education had not been considered complete until he had served an apprenticeship at some useful trade. He rejoiced that he was able to support himself by manual labor, and frequently declared that his own hands had ministered to his necessities. While in a city of strangers, he would not be chargeable to anyone. When his means had been expended to advance the cause of Christ, he resorted to his trade in order to gain a livelihood (Sketches from the Life of Paul, 99, 100). 6BC 1063.1

    Although feeble in health, he [Paul] labored during the day in serving the cause of Christ, and then toiled a large part of the night, and frequently all night, that he might provide for his own and others’ necessities (The Youth's Instructor, February 27, 1902). 6BC 1063.2

    A Skilled Workman—Paul, the great apostle to the Gentiles, learned the trade of tentmaking. There were higher and lower branches of tentmaking. Paul learned the higher branches, and he could also work at the common branches when circumstances required. Tentmaking did not bring returns so quickly as some other occupations, and at times it was only by the strictest economy that Paul could supply his necessities (The Review and Herald, March 6, 1900). 6BC 1063.3

    An Educator—Paul was an educator. He preached the gospel with his voice, and in his intelligent labor he preached it with his hands. He educated others in the same way in which he had been educated by one who was regarded as the wisest of human teachers. As Paul worked quickly and skillfully with his hands, he related to his fellow workers the specifications Christ had given Moses in regard to the building of the tabernacle. He showed them that the skill and wisdom and genius brought into that work were given by God to be used to His glory. He taught them that supreme honor is to be given to God (The Review and Herald, March 6, 1900). 6BC 1063.4

    2 (ch. 8:4; Romans 1:7, 8). Opposition Did Not Silence Gospel—After the ascension of Christ, the apostles went everywhere preaching the Word. They bore witness to Christ's work as a teacher and healer. Their testimony in Jerusalem, in Rome, and in other places was positive and powerful. The Jews, who refused to receive the truth, could but acknowledge that a powerful influence attended Christ's followers, because the Holy Spirit accompanied them. This created greater opposition; but notwithstanding the opposition, twenty years after the crucifixion of Christ there was a live, earnest church in Rome. This church was strong and zealous, and the Lord worked for it. 6BC 1063.5

    The envy and rage of the Jews against the Christians knew no bounds, and the unbelieving residents were constantly stirred up. They made complaints that the Christian Jews were disorderly, and dangerous to the public good. Constantly they were setting in motion something that would stir up strife. This caused the Christians to be banished from Rome. Among those banished, were Aquila and Priscilla, who went to Corinth, and there established a business as manufacturers of tents (The Review and Herald, March 6, 1900). 6BC 1063.6

    24-26. Learned Apollos Instructed by Humble Tentmakers—Apollos ... had received the highest Grecian culture, and was a scholar and an orator.... Aquila and Priscilla listened to him, and saw that his teachings were defective. He had not a thorough knowledge of the mission of Christ, His resurrection and ascension, and of the work of His Spirit, the Comforter which He sent down to remain with His people during His absence. They accordingly sent for Apollos, and the educated orator received instruction from them with grateful surprise and joy. Through their teachings he obtained a clearer understanding of the Scriptures, and became one of the ablest defenders of the Christian church. Thus a thorough scholar and brilliant orator learned the way of the Lord more perfectly from the teachings of a Christian man and woman whose humble employment was that of tentmaking (Sketches from the Life of Paul, 119). 6BC 1063.7

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    Ellen G. White
    SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6 (EGW), 1067

    1, 2. A Praise Service on a Stormy Morning—When the roll was called, not one was missing. Nearly three hundred souls—sailors, soldiers, passengers, and prisoners—stood that stormy November morning upon the shore of the island of Melita. And there were some that joined with Paul and his brethren in giving thanks to God, who had preserved their lives and brought them safe to land through the perils of the great deep (Sketches from the Life of Paul, 270). 6BC 1067.1


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