Romans 1:5 “Through whom (Jesus Christ our Lord) we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations.”
We are given grace – receiving that which we do not deserve and not receiving what we do deserve – so that we may spread his name among the nations. Why? “For the sake of his name.” What does that mean? It means for his glory. We receive grace so that all the nations may know him, receive him, have faith in him so they might glorify him.
But how can the nations be brought to an “obedience of faith” if they do not hear about the God in whom they can trust, in whom they can have faith? The apostle Paul asked this same question in Romans. “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?”
From the beginning to the end of scripture this is what we see – this is the purpose of creation – to point to God Almighty. And time after time, we see failure. Failure to understand the importance of the task given to God’s people. They were chosen by Him so that others may come to know Him. We fail to understand it still. Our lives point to everything but God so often, and as a result we fail to live lives that point people to Jesus. Why should our lives point to Him? First, because He is worthy of it. Second, our lives should point to him because God wants all the nations to know the One who made them, to know they are worthy in His eyes to be saved from a life of meaninglessness to a life of fullness. They need to know they matter.
This is accomplished through the church. Yes, the church. The church is the means through which God has chosen to accomplish His redemptive mission to the world He created and loves. We are saved by grace through faith not just for ourselves so we can wave a flag bearing the words “I’m Saved” or “Heaven Bound” on it, but so we can open our mouths and live our lives in such a way that others can know the mighty awesomeness of the God who gives them breath every single moment of every single day.
We are so selfish with grace. We fail to see its greatness, its purpose, and its beauty. We receive this wonderful gift of grace as we put faith in God and then we think little more about it. We may become emotional when we sing a particular hymn or praise song or when we hear a sermon which makes us reflect on grace for thirty minutes, but do we ever see it as a means to an end? The end being the return of Christ. If we are saved by grace through faith and we are given grace so that in turn all the nations can be led to obedience in faith and we know Christ will only return when every tribe, tongue, and nation has heard his name proclaimed then it only makes sense that grace is not only the means through which we are saved but also gives us a purpose and task in order to accomplish the mission God has given His church with the power of His Spirit, which is to make all things new, restoring His perfect creation and in turn bringing glory to His name.
So the question remains…what am I…what are you…doing with the grace we have been given?