To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (ESV)
Is there a place that you would love to travel to that you have never been before? Maybe some exotic island is what excites you. Perhaps you would like to explore the castles in the beautiful island of Ireland. Maybe the safari land of Africa with its amazing animals like lions, tigers and elephants intrigues you. Paul had a place he longed to travel to. It was Rome.
In our verse today, Paul is writing to the church in Rome. He had never traveled there even though he had greatly desired to do so. He writes to those who are in Rome, who are loved by God and called to be saints. The church had already been established possibly by converts who were saved at the Day of Pentecost who then returned to their homes in Rome.
Paul looks at the church of Rome as a great opportunity to write to saints who are in desperate need of instruction. They have been called of God unto salvation. They know the Lord but do not know what that all means. There was a great need for discipleship. As we will discover in this wonderful masterpiece of Paul this letter to the church at Rome is kind of a Christianity 101 course.
In a greeting that was standard for the Apostle Paul he uses the words "grace" and "peace." The words may seem simple but the doctrinal truths behind them are not. The saints in Rome are in fact saints because of the marvelous gift of grace through Jesus Christ. This gift of grace that pardoned their sins gives them peace from God and with God. What a wonderful blessing.
Paul was excited about Rome because it was an opportunity to help others to know more about Christ. Who is God exciting you about that you can share Christ with?