« PreviousContinue »
TEXT. 22 Even the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ,
unto all, and upon all them that believe; for there is no dif
ference : 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; . 24 Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that
is in Jesus Christ : 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in
PARAPHRASE. 22 to his purpose and promise, That the righteous
ness of God, by faith in Jesus the Messias, is ex• tended to, and bestowed on all who believe in him *, 23 (for there is no difference between them. They
have all, both jews and gentiles, sinned, and fail
of attaining that glory † which God hath appointed 24 for the, righteous,) Being made righteous gratis,
by the favour of God, through the redemption I 25 which is by Jesus Christ; Whom God hath set, TEXT. his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.
NOTES. 22 * Vid. chap. x. 12, Gal. iii. 22-28.
23 + Here the glory, that comes from God, or by his appointment, is called, “ the glory of God," as the righteousness, which comes from hin, or by his appointment, is called, “ the righteousness of God," chap. i. 17, and the rule of :noral rectitude, which has God for its author, or is appointed by him, is called Soxolwuc số, chap. i. 32. That this is the glory here meant, vid. chap. ii. 7, 10. In the same sense the glory of God is used, chap. v. 2.
24 # Redemption signifies deliverance, but not deliverance from every thing, but deliverance from that, to which a man is in subjection, or bondage. Nor does redemption by Jesus Christ import, there was any compensalion made to God, by paying what was of equal value, in consideration whereof they were delivered : for that is inconsistent with what St. Paul expressly says here, viz. that sinners are justified by God gratis, and of his free bounty. What this redemption is, St. Paul tells us, Eph. i. 7, Col. i. 14, even the forgiveness of sins. But if St. Paul had not been so express in defining what he means by redemption, they yet would be thought to lay too. much stress upon the criticism of a word, in the translation, who would thereby force froin the word, in the original, a necessary sense, which it is plain it hath not. That redeeming, in the sacred scripture language, signifies nui precisly paying an equivalent, is so clear, that nothing can be more. I shall refer my reader in three or four places amongst a great number, Exod. vi. 6, Deut. vii, 8, aud xv. 12, and xxiv. 18. But if any one will, froin the literal signification of the word in English, persist in it, against St. Paul's declarations, that it necessarily implies an equivalent price paid, I desire him to consider to whom ; and that, if we will strictly adhere to the metaphor, it must be to those, whom the redeemed are in bondage to, and from whom we are redeemed, viz. sin and Satan. If he will not believe his own systein for this, let him believe St. Paul's words, Tit. ii. 14, " Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity." Nor could the price be paid to God, in strictness of justice (for that is made the argument here ;) unless the same person ought, by that strict
PARAPHRASE. forth to be the propitiatory, or mercy-seat * in his own blood t, for the manifestation of his God's 7 righteousnesst, by passing over their transgressions,
justice, to have both the thing redeemed, and the price paid for its redemption. For it is to God we are redeemed, by the death of Christ, Rev. v. 9, “ Thou " wast slain and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood.”
25 * 'llashprov, signifies propitiatory, or mercy-seat, and not propitiation, as Mr. Mede has rightly observed upon this place, in his discourse on God's house, $1.
+ The Alexandrine copy omits the words and wisews, “ by faith :” which seems conformable to the sense of the aposle here: he says, that God hath set forth Christ to be the propitiatory in his blood. The atonement, under the law, was made by blood, sprinkled on the propitiatory or mercy-seat, Lev. xvi. 14. Christ, says St. Paul here, is now set out, and shown by God, to be the real propitiatory, or mercy-seat, in his own blood ; sec Heb. ix. 25, 26, where the sacrifice of himself is opposed to the blood of others. God hath set him out to be so, to declare his righteousness; the mercy-seat being the place, wherein God spake and declared his pleasure, Exod. xxv. 22, Numb. xxvii. 8,9. And it was there, where God always appeared, Lev. xvi. 2. It was the place of his presence, and therefore he is said to dwell bet ircen the cherubims, Psal. 1xxx. 1, 2 Kings xix, 15. For between the cherubims was the mercy-seat. In all which respects our Saviour, who was the antitype, is properly called the propitiatory.
Alouo cúvn, “ righteousness," seems to be nised here, in the same sense it is ver, 5, for “ the righteousness of God,” in keeping bis word with the nation of the jews, notwithsianding their provocations. And indeed, with the following words of this verse, contains in it a farther answer to the jews insinuation of God's being hard to their nation, by showing that God had been very favourable to them, in not casting them off, as they had deserved, till, according to his promise, he had sent them the Messias, and they had rejected him.
& Add the waçesiv, " hy passing over.” I do not remember any place where wkpois signifies remission or forgiveness, but passing by, or passing over, as our translation has it in the margin, i, e, over-looking, or as it were, not minding; in which sense, it cannot be applied to the past sins of private persons, for God neither remits, nor passes them by, so as not to take notice of thein. But this wápeces Twy w poye yorótwv &uafinuatwy, passing over past sins, is spokeu nationally, in respect of the people of the jews; who, though they were a very sinful nation, as appears by the places here brought against them by St. Paul, yet God passed by all that, and would not be hindered by their past sinfuloess from being just, in keeping his promise, in exhibiting to them Christ, the propitiatory. . But, though he would not be provoked by their past sins, so as to cast them off from being his people, before he had sent them the proinised Messias, to be their Saviour; yet after that, when, at the due time, he had manifested his righte. ousness to them, “ that he might be just, and the justifier of those who believe " in Jesus," he no longer bore with their sinful obstinacy; but, when they rejected the Saviour (whom he had sent, according to his promise) from being their King, God rejected them from being his people, and took the gentiles VOL. VII.
be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. 27 Where is boasting then it is excluded. By what law? of works?
nay: but by the law of faith.
PARAPHRASE. formerly committed, which he hath borne with hitherto, so as to withhold his hand from casting off
the nation of the jew's, as their past sins deserved. 26 For the manifesting of his righteousness * at this
time t, that he might be just, in keeping his promise, and be the justifier of every one, not who is
of the jewish nation, or extraction, but of the faith * 27 in Jesus Christ. What reason, then, have you jews
to glory 5, and set yourselves so much above the
NOTES. into his church, and made them his people, jointly and equally with the few believing jews. This is plainly the sense of tbe apostle here, where he is discoursing of the nation of the jews, and their state, in comparison with the gentiles; not of the state of private persons. Let any one without prepossession attentively read the context, and he will find it to be so.
26 AIXQvo dúvns attē, “ his righteousness," is here to be understood in both senses, in which St. Paul had used it before, in this chapter, viz. ver. 5 and 22, as it is mavifested by St. Paul's explaining of it himself, in these words immediately following: “ that he might be just, and the justifier of him who “ believeth in Jesus," which are the two senses, wherein the righteousness of God is used.
+ “ At this time," viz. The fulness of time, according to his promise.
# Thy &x wisews 'Inoi, if ihis phrase had been translaved, him that is of the faith of Jesus, as it is chap. iv. 16, and Gal. iii. 7, rather than bin which believeth in Jesus, it would better have expressed the apostle's voeaning here, which was to distinguish oi ex wisows, those who are of faith, from oi tx wepilouñs, or oi éx vous, those who are of the circumcisio!), or those who are of the law, speaking of them, as of two sorts, or races of men, of two different extractions, To understand this place fully, let any one read chap, iv. 12–16, Gal. iii. 7-10, where he will find the apostle's sense more at large.
27 Š The glorying here spoken of, is that of the jews, i.e. their judging of the gentiles, and their contempt of them, which St. Paul had before in several places taken notice of. And here, to take down their pride and vanity, he tells them, it is wholly excluded by the gospel, wherein God, who is the God of the gentiles, as well as of the jews, justifieth by faith alone the jews as well as the gentiles, since no man could be justified by the deeds of the law. This seems to be said to the converted jews, to stop their thinking that they had any advantage over the gentiles under the gospel. No, says he, the gospel, which is the law of faith, lays veu equal with the gentiles, and you have no ground to assume any thing to yourselves, or set yourselves above them, now under the Messias. This, and all the rest, to this purpose in this epistle, is said to establish the converted Romans in their title to the favour of God, equally with the jews, in the gospel, and to fortify them against any disturbance that 30 $ 'Eteineges ó sòs, is since God is one.” Ile that will see the force of St. Paul's reasoning here, inust look to Zachary xiv.9, from whence these words are taken, where the prophet speaking of the time, when the Lord shall be King over all the earth, and not barely over the little people, shut up in the land of Canaan, he says, " in that day there shall be one Lord," i, e. God shall not be, as he is now, the God of the jews alone, whom only he hath known, of all the people of the earth : but he shall be the God of the gentilealso, the same merciful, reconciled Gud to the people of all nations. This prophecy the jeus understood of the times of the Messias, and St. Paul here presses then with it.
TEXT. 28 Therefore we conclude, that a man is justified by faith, without
the deeds of the law, 29 Is he the God of the jews only? Is he not also of the gentiles ? :yes, of the gentiles also. 30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by
faith, and uncircumcision through faith. 31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid : yea
we establish the law.
PARAPHRASE. gentiles, in judging them, as you do? None at all:
boasting is totally excluded. By what law? By the 28 law of works ? No, but by the law of faith. I
conclude therefore *, that a man is justified by faith, 29 and not by the works of the law t. Is God the
God of the jews only, and not of the gentiles also ? 30 Yea, certainly of the gentiles also. Since the time
is come that God is no longer one to the jews, and another to the gentiles, but he is now become one and the same* God to them all, and will justify the jews by faith, and the gentiles also through faith,
who, by the law of Moses, were heretofore shut outs 31 from being the people of God. Do we then make
the law || insignificant, or useless, by our doctrine
NOTES. might be given them by the pretending jew's, which is the principal design of this epistle, as we have already observed.
28 * " Therefore.” This inference is drawn from what he had taught, ver. 23.
+ Vid. Acts xiii. 39, chap, viii. 3, Gal. ii. 16.
§ It was impossible for remote uations to keep the law of Mose:, a great part of the worship, required by it, being local, and contined to the temple at Jerusalem.
31 || Nóuov, “ law,” is here repeated twice, without the article, and it is plain that by it St. Paul does not mean precisely the Mosaical law, but so much of it as is contained in the natural and eternal rule of right, mentioned ch. i. 33, and xi. 26, and is again by a positive command re-enacted and continued as a Jaw under the Messias, vid, Mat, xxviii. 20.
PARAPHRASE. of faith? By no means : but, on the contrary, we establish * and confirm the law.
NOTE. .“ Establish.” The doctrine of justification by faith necessarily supposeth a rule of righteousness, which those, who are justified by faith, come short of; and also a punishment incurred, from which they are set free, by being justified: and so this doctrine establishes a law; and accordingly the moral part of the law of Moses, that Orxaiw na tó el, as the apostle calls it in the place above quoted, chap. i. 32, is enforced again, by our Saviour and the apostles, in the gospel, with penalties annexed to the breach of it.
CHAP. IV. 1—23.
St. Paul having, in the foregoing section, cut off all glorying from the jews upon the account of their having the law, and shown, that that gave them no manner of title or pretence to be the people of God, more than the gentiles under the Messias, and so they had no reason to judge, or exclude the gentiles, as they did; he comes here to prove that their lineal extraction from their father Abraham gave them no better a pretence of glorying, or of setting themselves upon that account above the gentiles, now, in the time of the gospel.
1. Because Abraham himself was justified by faith, and so had not whereof to glory; for as much as he that receiveth righteousness, as a boon, has no reason to glory: but he that attains it by works.
2. Because neither they, who had circumcision derived down to them, as the posterity of Abraham, nor they who had the law; but they only, who had faith, were the seed of Abraham, to whom the promise was made. And therefore the blessing of justification was intended for the gentiles, and bestowed on them as well as on the jews, and upon the same ground.