Romans 1:7 (NLT)
7 I am writing to all of you in Rome who are loved by God and are called to be his own holy people. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
Paul wraps up his greeting by identifying his audience (Roman believers) and the most important truths about them; they are loved by God and called to be His holy people. Paul extends the grace and peace of God to these fellow believers so that they might stand firm in their allegiance to King Jesus, an allegiance that was in direct opposition to the Roman political powers of their day. Although marked by physical beauty, ancient Rome was also marked by brutality; slavery, infanticide and dehumanizing sexual sin. Among the cultural evils, a fellowship of people arose who rejected these values and lived entirely counter cultural. Instead of sin, holiness marked the lives of these Roman Christians. God had planted His new humanity atop the deteriorating carcass of the old!
How does the local church influence the culture in which they live? What is your role to play?
As we live in a culture in desperate need of the good news, are you living in fear or in the peace Paul extends and God promises to deliver?