Paul the receiver of grace and apostleship (1:5). Paul brings out a number of issues in this text.
- The phrase “Though whom” connects verse 4 and 5. Clearly Paul is a receiver by the means of Jesus Christ. It reveals the continued activity of Christ and indicates that God is the source (cf. 1 Cor. 1:9; Gal. 1:1). Some downgrade this phrase, saying it is “scarcely necessary.” “Though whom” or “by whom (KJV) is the preposition genitive, dia, signifying immediate agency or instrumentality. Wallace identifies it as a genitive of production which produces the nouns (grace and apostleship).
- The main verb is the word “received,” which means to take in hand, thus, to receive. It applies directly to Paul. It is used with we, an epistolary plural. As such, it refers to Paul alone. In the English, it is the same as the editorial we. It speaks of Paul, who alone is the apostle to the gentiles (cf. 1:8-16; 11:13)
- What he received is identified by the two main nouns: They specify the awareness that his ministry is unique to the Gentiles (cf. 1:8-16). He states clearly in verse 5 that his ministry is for all the Gentiles. The nouns of grace and apostleship entail his mission and area of responsibility. There is some debate on the understanding of these two nouns. Either way is permitted. Some understand these as two distinct things: grace and apostleship. Others take it as a hendiadys denoting grace-apostleship. If this is correct, it certainly signifies that the apostleship was a gift of grace. However, Haldane is probably correct that both terms are to be distinguished. God saves us by grace; He gives us gracious gifts to be used in His service.
- The purpose of grace and apostleship given to Paul is “to bring about [the] obedience of faith” (1:5). This phrase is used both at the beginning of the epistle and at the end (16:26). It has particular reference to the ministry of Paul and his gospel or apostleship (15:18). Paul received grace and the gracious gift of apostleship for the purpose of obedience of faith. The phrase itself has given way to a number of interpretations, which Longenecker contributes to the uncertainty of the meaning of the genitive (of faith). He identifies 5 ways in which it could be taken, but he takes it as a genitive of source. Thus, obedience that comes from faith. However, Moo makes these two statements the same: “This obedience to Christ as Lord is always closely related to faith, both as an initial, decisive step of faith and as a continuing faith relationship with Christ. In light of this, we understand the words obedience and faith to be mutually interpreting; obedience always involves faith, and faith always involves obedience.” Godet in his commentary says, “The only possible meaning is: the obedience which consists in faith itself.”
- The object of this mission to bring obedience of faith “among all the Gentiles” (5:5). It speaks of the unique ministry of Christ through Paul. His apostleship was a gentile apostleship (Rom. 11:13; Eph. 3:1-10). Only Paul has such an apostleship…it was unique, directed, and focused upon the Gentiles.
 C.E.B. Cranfield, ICC: ROMANS, [Edinburgh, T&T Clark, 1975], 1:66
 Daniel B Wallace, GREEK GRAMMAR: BEYOND THE BASICS, [Grand Rapids MI, Zondervan, 1996], 105-106.
 C.E.B. Cronfield, ICC; ROMANS, 1:66;
 Robert Haldane, AN EXPOSITION OF ROMANS, [Grand Rapids MI, MacDonald, reprint, n.d.], 30.
 Richard N. Longenecker, NIGTC: ROMANS, 79-80,
 Douglas J. Moo, NICNT: ROMANS, 54.
 F. Godet, COMMENTARY ON THE EPTISLE TO THE ROMANS, [Grand Rapids MI, Zondervan, reprint1956], 82.