(Vs. 7) The apostle addresses all the believers in Rome without any distinction except to say that they are "beloved of God" and "called to be saints." The Lord, through fits own kindness, made us objects of His love (I John 4:10) and by His Spirit called us by the gospel to the obedience of faith (I Thess. 4:10).
Then comes the apostle's usual salutation, "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." tie prays for an increase of GRACE, for every grace is imperfect; and those who have the most stand in need of more (II Peter 3:18). By PEACE is meant peace with God through Christ, peace in our own hearts, and peace among believers and with all men. The Father is the Giver and Christ is the Fountain of all blessings in this life and throughout eternity!
(Vs. 8) After the inscription and salutation follows a thanksgiving.
(1) The OBJECT of thanksgiving is God. Since ail that we are, have, and know comes from Him, it is reasonable that we should, praise and thank God (I Thess. 5:18; James 1:17).
(2) The PERSON THROUGH WHOM thanks are given is Christ. There is no coming to God except through Christ, nor is any sacrifice of prayer or praise acceptable except through Him (John 14:6; I Tim. 2:5).
(3) The PERSONS FOR WHOM this thanksgiving was made were all the believers in Rome, and the THING for which the apostle was most thankful was the fact that these people believed the gospel so strongly and so openly that their faith in Christ was known throughout the world. Men and women of true faith are not ashamed to declare it (Rom. 1:16; Luke 9:26).
(Vs. 9) "God is my witness." These words are an appeal to God and carry in them the farm of an oath, for Paul was personally unknown to the saints at Rome; so in assuring them of his affection, interest, and continual prayers for them, he says, "The Lord God, Whom I serve in my innermost being, in heart, mind, and spirit in the glorious gospel of His dear Son, is my witness that I continually mention you in my prayers."
(Vs. 10) One of the things Paul requested at the throne of grace was that he might have the opportunity to visit the church at Rome. He prayed that it might be the will of God for him to have a prosperous or profitable visit among them.
(Vs. 11) It was not Paul's desire just to travel, or to see the great city of Rome, or to behold the riches, grandeur, and historical sights; but he desired to minister to the church spiritual light, knowledge, peace, and comfort through the Word. God has given Paul the ability to preach the gospel, teach the Word, and establish churches in the truth (Eph. 4:11-14; Heb, 3:13). He wanted to lend his aid to the saints at Rome to help confirm and establish them in the faith.
(Vs. 12) When the Word of God is faithfully preached and believers are established firmly in faith, then comfort: and assurance follow! When believers are established, both they and the minister are comforted together. The grace of faith is the same in all, called common faith (Titus 1:4).
(Vs. 13) This desire to visit them was not a sudden impulse but a desire he had entertained for a long time. He was hindered either BY GOD, Who had work for him in other places (Acts 16:6-9), or by Satan, who sometimes by Divine permission has such power (I Thess. 2:18), or by his duties in other places. Paul desired to have some FRUIT among them. We understand "fruit" to be the conversion of sinners, the edification of believers, and the fruitfulness of believers in grace and works (Matt. 7:15-16; John 5:16).
(Vs. 14) Because of the mercy of God to me and by His divine call to the ministry of the Word, I have an obligation to fulfill, a duty to perform, and a debt to pay to all men, cultured and uncultured, wise and unwise. The gospel is the same for ail men and is to be preached to the civilized, cultured nations as well as to the pagan, uncivilized barbarians. It is the same gospel to those who are learned and wise, with respect to human wisdom and knowledge, and to those who are unlearned and untaught in natural things (I Cor. 1:26-30; Matt. 11:25).
(Vs. 15) Paul was willing and ready to preach the gospel to the headquarters of the Roman empire, the seat of Satan, and where the heat of persecution was. He was anxious to fulfill God's calling, as far as he was allowed to do so by the Lord.