1 From Paul, a servant bonded to Christ Jesus, a called apostle, set apart to proclaim the gospel from God. 2 This gospel he promised previously through his prophets in the holy scriptures, 3 it being about his Son who qualified with reference to the flesh by being a descendant of David, 4 who was shown to be the Son-of-God-in-power by the Holy Spirit raising him from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord. 5 By means of him we have received grace and our apostleship to bring about the obedient response of faith among all the Gentiles on behalf of his name. 6 You also are among them, called by Jesus Christ. 7 To all those loved by God in Rome, called holy ones: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
The epistles of Paul were all written because of two callings.
1. The believers in the various Gentile churches (in this case, the churches in Rome) had been called by Jesus Christ to be his holy ones. They had encountered the Lord Jesus Christ, and recognized his spiritual authority over them because the Holy Spirit had vindicated him by raising him from the dead. Therefore they were compelled to respond to that call by the obedient (answering) response of faith.
2. The encounter with the Lord came because church planting missionaries (apostles) dared to breach their comfort zones and reach out to these foreigners, bringing them into the community of faith as an obedient response to the gospel. Even this early in the epistle, elements of this gospel message are already shining through:
God loves you.
Jesus is our Lord.
We are called to be his holy ones.
We respond to that calling by faith.
LORD, thank you for calling us to yourself by means of Christ, and bringing us to Christ by your gospel of grace. Thank you for those through whom you have reached us with this gospel.