Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 1 Study # 8
March 9, 2004
Lincolnton, N.C.

<011> Thesis: Believers are, as their most basic identity, The Beloved of God. Introduction: In our last study, we considered the significance of the believers in Rome being The Called as that characterization of them impacted Paul's stewardship as apostle to the nations. In a nutshell, Paul had been given a task by God that was fundamentally impossible for him to accomplish -- he could not generate the obedience of faith among the nations -- but he responded to it as though it was a matter of grace -- for it was indeed a matter of grace: God requiring; God providing for the fulfillment of the requirement; and God giving the credit for accomplishment to His steward. Paul went about his stewardship full of the knowledge that The Called were "out there" and God would use him to reach them [Note 2Timothy 2:10]. Now, this evening we are going to move into Paul's characterization of his readers as it is given in seed form in 1:7. He says three things about them. They are in Rome. They are the "beloved of God". And, they are "saints by calling". That they are in Rome is the least significant point in this characterization and we are not going to spend any time on that. However, that they are "beloved of God" is probably the most important thing that can be true of anyone. Therefore, by reason of its extreme significance, we are going to camp here this evening.