Rom 1:5-7 “By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
In the verses immediately prior to these, Paul has told the recipients of his letter that Jesus is the proven Son of God as testified by His resurrection from the dead. It is by (or from) this same Jesus that Paul, his fellow laborers, and the other apostles have received grace and their apostolic calling. After all that he had suffered at the hands of Jews and Gentiles, Paul was still able to point to the grace that had been bestowed upon him. Furthermore, he intended that we should understand that a measure of this grace was given him for the sake of others.
Paul was not saying that the grace and apostleship he had received were the result of his obedience and faith. He testifies later in this letter that if it comes by works (obedience and faith), then it cannot be said to be by grace. Rather, he had received grace and the calling to be an apostle so that all nations (both Jew and Greek) could know both obedience and faith through Jesus Christ. This was done for (or in) the name of Jesus.
Doing anything in the name of another is about more than just declaring that we do “so and so” in the name of some individual or group. If I went to the bank and removed money from my Dad’s checking account in his name, and I did it under false pretenses, both I and the bank would be in a lot of trouble. Doing something for the name of another implies that we have authority to act for that person. Paul’s apostleship was his authority to act for the name of Jesus.
At the same time, Paul did not intend for it to appear that it was by his power that the saints at Rome were set apart to faith and obedience. Among both the Jews and Gentiles in Rome, Paul was writing to those who were called out of these nations b Jesus Christ. Although Paul was sent to preach the gospel of the manifest Son of God to them, they did not believe or obey because of Paul. These attributes were the result of the action of Jesus Christ in their lives through the Holy Spirit.
Paul then details his audience. It was not the whole city of Rome that he was addressing. He was writing to those in Rome who were loved of God and sanctified unto faith and obedience. His letters today are still to that same group of people. If you are loved of God and sanctified by Him, then the words of Paul and all the rest of scripture is for and to you. Paul’s desire for his brothers and sisters in Christ was the same everywhere; that they (and we) may be blessed with grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
May God call to our remembrance daily that there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved!