Commentary on the Book of Romans

(Wayne Price)


Introduction Issues

The Origin of the Lord's church in Rome

How the church began in Rome is somewhat obscure, but the text that comes from Paul's prolific pen gives us some insight as to when and how the church came into being in Rome. For example, it appears that by the time the Apostle Paul wrote to the congregation there it had been in existence for some time. In Romans 1:8 he told them "I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world." The point is that for this to be true, years would have to elapse before this description could become accurate, given the mode of travel and lack of communication (no postal service, e-mail, texting, etc.) in the first century. Furthermore Paul declares in Romans 1:13 that he had "purposed to come" to Rome, but was hindered from doing so. This had occurred "many times," Paul said. Later in this letter to the Roman brethren, Paul states "but now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you..." Not only were years involved, but for many years he had desired to come to Rome to be with the brethren there. Then finally, in Romans 16:19, he states that "the obedience" of the brethren in Rome "is come abroad unto all men." It would have taken some time for that obedience to have become so publicly known.

Who was instrumental in establishing the church in Rome?

It seems quite obvious that the Apostle Paul himself did not help to start this church. Why? Because he wrote in Romans 1:11 that he desired to see these brethren, in order that he might impart a spiritual gift to them, and then two verses later he adds that he intended to come to Rome more than once, but was hindered in doing so. So if Paul did not help in beginning the congregation there, who did?  

There are at least three possible answers to this question. (1) It has been suggested that perhaps some scattered members of the Jerusalem church started it. Luke records that "therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word" (Acts 8:4). Some twenty-five years earlier, Jesus Christ Himself had promised His apostles that they would be witnesses to Him "in Jerusalem, in Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8) and we see that this came true as prophesied by Jesus. Luke declares that "there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles." These persecuted Christians, fleeing for their lives, may have fled as far as Rome and helped to start this church.

(2) Some early Christians may have gone there in their travels, or perhaps on business activities. Remember that Lydia had gone on such a business trip all the way from Thyatira, in Asia Minor, to the city of Philippi in Macedonia, a distance of about 250 miles which included crossing the northern portion of the Aegean Sea. Furthermore some 26 of Paul's friends are mentioned in Romans 16:3-16, any of whom may have been responsible for beginning the Lord's church there in Rome. 

(3) It appears to this writer that the best answer as to who may have started the church in Rome is that some of the converts on Pentecost, there in Jerusalem, probably helped start the church, not long after the church began on that very day (Acts 2:47). The birthday of the church is discussed in Acts 2. We are informed that present that day in Jerusalem were Jews, "devout men, out of every nation under heaven" (v. 5). Attending this Jewish feast on Pentecost were some from Rome, dubbed "strangers of Rome," so some folks from Rome were specifically mentioned by the inspired Luke as being there when the church began. Further clinching the point is that some of these to whom Paul addressed his letter possessed spiritual gifts (see Romans 12:6ff.). The best answer as to how they received such gifts is that they received them on Pentecost by the laying on of hands by the apostles (see Acts 8:14-18 to prove that only apostles had such power to impart spiritual gifts). Christ had promised spiritual gifts (Mark 16:17) and said that they would be for the purpose of confirming the word (v. 20; see also Hebrews 2:3-4). New converts would need those gifts to equip them in preaching the word, especially in absence of the written word. Hence, it is quite logical to assume that when these "strangers from Rome" returned home, they exercised such gifts as the word of God was being taught, and those gifts proved successful in showing that the message they preached was from heaven.

What was the makeup of the church there in Rome? It was composed of both Jews (notice Rom. 16:7, 11), and no doubt a large group of Gentiles, as is evident from 1:13-14 and the thrust of the entire epistle to the Romans. Jews would naturally have leanings toward the law of Moses (see Acts 15) while the Gentiles' pagan background would continue to cause problems for them as young Christians. This could make for an explosive situation!

Who Wrote the Letter to the Romans?

Of course, the ultimate author was the Holy Spirit Himself, but who was the writer that was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write this letter? The very first word penned gives the writer's name: Paul. Regarding his ancestors we know very little, except that the writer was of the tribe of Benjamin (Phil. 3:5), a Pharisee, and a Hebrew with Roman citizenship (Acts 22:25-29). He alludes to his father once (Acts 23:6) who evidently lived in Tarsus in Cilicia (Acts 21:39; 22:3), as well as to his having a sister (see Acts 23:16). As to how Paul was a "free-born" Roman citizen, his father could have purchased citizenship, had citizenship conferred upon him, or more probably some of his ancestors received it as a reward for services rendered in some of the wars in which Tarsus sided with Rome. Regardless of how it was attained, Paul was considered a Roman citizen at his birth (Acts 22:28). 

From Persecutor to Persecuted!

When Paul obeyed the gospel and became a Christian, he no doubt knew what to expect from the Jews, since persecuting Christians was the very fabric of Jewish culture! Twenty five or so years earlier, persecution was so rampant that Jesus told His audience that their fathers were persecuted (Matthew 5:12) and they should expect the same treatment (v. 10). His apostles were not exempt from such persecution either (John 15:20), and Stephen, arguing it was so much a way of life for Jews to persecute Christians, asked them: "Which of the prophets have your fathers not persecuted?" (Acts 7:52). Paul admitted that he was of the same mold in his earlier Jewish life, stating "I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women" (Acts 22:5; see also Acts 22:7-8) and that he "persecuted the church" (1 Corinthians 15:9; Galatians 1:13). This persecutor of Christians surely expected persecution from the Jews, since he himself was once was such an ardent persecutor of Christians. Those Jews would consider him to be a turncoat and traitor, and dog his steps from city to city persecuting him (Gal. 5:11; Acts 13:50), even stoning him and leaving him for dead outside Lystra (Acts 14:19).   

He was considered by the Jews as a traitor, and a blasphemer, but the reality of it all was that Paul had accepted Christ as the Son of God, which was true, therefore Paul was not a blasphemer at all. Paul's conversion, recorded in chapters 9, 22 and 26 of the Book of Acts, occurred about A.D. 36. Another part of his persecution consisted of imprisonments at Jerusalem (A.D. 57), Caesarea (A.D. 58-59), and twice at Rome (A.D. 60-62 and A.D. 66-67). Paul wrote more of what comprises our New Testament than any other writer (Romans - Philemon, and probably Hebrews). 

Place of Writing

It is probable that he wrote this letter from the city of Corinth to the Roman Christians. This conclusion comes from the following evidence gathered from the inspired text itself. At the time of writing, Paul was a guest of Gaius. He writes: "Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you..." (Rom. 16:23). At this time we know where Gaius lived, because Paul baptized him (1 Cor. 1:2, 14). This was probably done on Paul's 2nd missionary journey (Acts 18:8). Phebe, who probably served as Paul's courier of this letter to Rome, was a citizen of Cenchrea, which served as a nearby seaport for Corinth to use (Rom. 16:1-2). Additionally, the mention made of Erastus gives further evidence that Corinth is the location where this letter to the Romans was penned. Erastus served as the treasurer of Corinth, and sends his greetings to the church at Rome (Rom. 16:23) , and from 2 Timothy 4:20 we learn that "Erastus abode at Corinth," all of which offers us some pretty solid evidence that Paul was at Corinth when he wrote this epistle to the Roman Christians.

Time of Writing

When Paul wrote the letter is easily discerned by checking information from Luke's historical records in the Book of Acts. It appears that Paul wrote the Romans during his 3 month stay in Corinth during his 3rd missionary journey (Acts 20:3), while he was gathering the financial support for the Judean brethren (Rom. 15:25-26). Perhaps he had recently learned that Phebe was headed for Rome, so he took advantage of the situation and asked her to deliver this letter for him. Tertius was the scribe, or amanuensis (Rom. 16:22) to whom Paul dictated the letter (Rom. 16:22). 

To help the reader get a better grasp of the timing of this letter, Lipscomb (Commentary, Gospel Advocate Company, 1943) gives us some vital information. He writes that the edict of Claudius Caesar, banishing all Jews from Rome (Acts 18:1-2), was given in A.D. 52, the eleventh year of his reign as emperor. His rule began some eleven years earlier, about A.D. 41. Paul was in Corinth 18 months (Acts 18:11). About A.D. 53 he left for Ephesus (Acts 19:1), then went to Caesarea (v. 22) and on back to the mission-minded congregation at Antioch. 

Leaving there about A.D. 54, he journeyed through the regions of Galatia and Phrygia (v. 23), now on his 3rd missionary journey in the Spring of 55 A.D. His next stop was at Ephesus (Acts 19:1), where he spent some time (see Acts 8,10,21-22). Paul himself sums up this time period as "three years" (Acts 20:31). This would bring us up to the latter part of the year A.D. 57! His three month stay in Greece would make the probable date of composition of this letter to the Romans to be in the early Spring of 58 A.D. He then left for Jerusalem shortly thereafter as planned. 

Purpose of This Letter

(1) To show the unity of Jews and Gentiles in the early church. Evidently Paul had learned that Judaizing teachers were also causing a problem in Rome, probably over circumcision and keeping of the Law of Moses. This they had done elsewhere (see  also Acts 15:5, and the book of Galatians). He no doubt hoped that the financial aid he was bringing from Gentiles churches to the Judean churches would assist in quieting down this sensitive issue.

(2) To Defend His Apostleship. Paul had been selected by Christ to be sent to the Gentiles (Acts 13:46; Galatians 2:7-8). He sought to prove that just because he was not appointed as an apostle at the time most apostles were chosen, does not disparage the fact that he was indeed an apostle (1 Corinthians 15:8), and that he too wrote "the commandments of the Lord" (14:37).

The Jews had been questioning his apostleship (see also Galatians 1:1 ff., and 2 Cor. 11) and Paul desired to vindicate his teachings.  Proof of his apostleship would include Paul's ability to impart spiritual gifts to non-gifted Christians in the first century church. Only apostles could impart such gifts (see Acts 8:14-18) and Paul imparted gifts to about a dozen people (Acts 19:6) as well as to his young child in the faith, Timothy (2 Tim. 1:6). Of all people who had no cause for doubting his apostleship, the Corinthians were at the top of the list, since they too had received spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:4-11) and Paul evidently was the very apostle who had laid hands on them for that purpose (compare 1 Cor. 9:1-2 with 2 Cor. 12:12). 

It is interesting to note that if Peter, who was an apostle, had been in Rome from A.D. 44-69, as claimed by the Roman Catholic Church, surely he would have imparted such gifts as the need arose, but Peter was not in Rome at the time of writing to the Romans. Of the twenty six people mentioned to be greeted at Rome (see Romans 16), Peter's name is noticeably absent. How could Paul have overlooked such a person?

(3) To Show that both Jews and Gentiles are in the same boat - sinners in need of salvation (Rom. 3:9).

(4) To Show that both Jews and Gentiles are saved by faith in Christ (Rom. 3:22).

(5) To Show That No One Can Be Justified by the Law of Moses (Rom. 3:20; see also Acts 13:39).

(6) To Show God's Justice in Accepting and Rejecting Jews (Rom. 11:20-23).

(7) To Show God's Justice in Accepting Gentiles (same reference)

(8) To Show the Effect of Adam's Sin upon the Whole Human Race, and how Christ counteracted it (Rom. 5). 

 Personal notes by Wayne Price regarding his writing of this commentary.

This work is just what it purports to be - actual notes used by the writer in the teaching of Paul's letter to the Romans.  These notes have been collected over many years, and have been edited numerous times.  At the end of chapter 16, there will be a brief listing of books used by this writer, but it is by no means exhaustive in nature.  As is usually the case with writers, some material was lifted from other writers, and some is original with the author.  

The methodology used throughout this work (following the introductory material) is as follows:

The Greek text is supplied for those who might desire to see what the Greek says, and then immediately following each of these entries, a free translation is given by the author as he renders the Greek into his own translation. Following that English translation, the author gives his own notes regarding the meaning of what the apostle Paul said.

To sum up, remember that the Greek text used in this work by Price is the Textus Receptus as edited by F.H.A. Scrivener;  the English rendering which immediately follows the Greek is his own literal translation from this text. Obviously a number of commentaries were read on Romans, and a few, which the writer could recall, are listed at the end of this work. Permission to use this Greek  text was graciously given by the Trinitarian Bible Society, 217 Kingston Road, London SW19 3NN, England.

Now, let's begin our study of the book of Romans.




Price's Notes

Romans Chapter 1

 The salutation of Paul's letter to the church of Christ in Rome comprises the first seven verses of chapter one. It is quite typical of Paul to mention his name at the outset of his letters,  to reference his apostleship, and to follow with his wishes of grace and peace upon his readers.  

Verse 1  -  Pau`lo$,  dou`lo$ 'Ihsou` Xristou`,  klhtoV$ a)postolo$,  a)fwrisme/no$ ei$) eu)agge/lion Qeou`, 

 1:1 "Paul, servant of Jesus Christ, a called apostle, separated unto [the] gospel of God"

  A. "Paul"  -  The writer of this letter immediately identifies himself to those who would be reading it. Paul, writer of some 14 letters of the New Testament (hereafter noted as NT), was earlier known as Saul of Tarsus (before Acts 13:9).  

 B. "a servant"  -  There is a difference between diakonos and  doulos.  The latter term was used to denote one who was a "slave" or "not free."  Some versions render it as "bond-servant."  This is the same word used in Romans 6:16-17, signifying that all mankind are slaves, either to sin or to righteousness. As to which category a person belongs is a choice made by the individual, not an arbitrary decision made by God.  Far from being a title of an office, it is the normal word used to describe all Christians!  Every Christian is redeemed by the blood of Christ, i.e. "purchased" (Acts 20:28). When Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he informed them " are not your own, for ye are bought (emphasis mine, wp) with a price..." (1 Cor. 6:19-20).  Perhaps the best commentary on this is given by Paul himself: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live;  yet not I, but Christ liveth in me..." (Gal. 2:20). 

 C. "apostle"   -  The prefix is from apo (off or out) and stello (I send), hence one sent out or away.  There are three types of apostles in the NT:              (1) Apostles of God, such as Moses and even Christ (Heb. 3:1-2).                  (2) Apostles of Christ, like the 14 so named (Matt. 10:1-4; Acts 1:26 and like Paul here in Rom. 1:1). These were selected by Christ, had definite qualifications to meet (Acts 1:21-22), and had NO SUCCESSORS.                (3) Apostles of a church. These were selected by a congregation to do a certain work or perform a specific mission. Examples are Barnabas and Saul (Acts 14:14, see also v. 4). Note that Paul served in both capacities; an apostle of a local congregation sent out to evangelize (Acts 13:2-3) as well as an apostle of Christ (1 Cor. 9:1-2; 15:9; 2 Cor. 11:5). When seeing this word "apostle" used in the NT, we ought quickly to ask ourselves "which type" is under consideration and be able to make the distinction. In 2 Cor. 8:23, it is translated "messengers" by the King James Version (KJV), but the Greek has  apostoloi  ekklesion" apostles of (the) churches." Romans 16:7 informs us that Andronicus and Junia were also apostles of the 3rd category, and we might add that James, the Lord's brother might be added in this category as well (Gal. 1:19). Though this latter verse has been understood by some to mean that he was an apostle in the primary sense, Bro. Guy Woods points out that the marginal reading of Gal. 1:19 "has the phrase, 'but only' thus making the passage to mean, 'I saw none of the apostles; I saw only



James, the Lord's brother" (Questions and Answers, Vol. 2, p. 240). The fact is, James might not be an apostle at all, but simply a well-known person cited by Paul who could verify that he (Paul) had not conferred with the apostles, which comports with Bro. Woods' explanation given above.

 D. "called to be an apostle" - Note that the words "to be" are in italics in the KJV, thus signifying to the English reader that such words are not actually found in the original Greek, but were added by the translators.  It is quite understandable without adding the words "to be," and hence better translated as "a called apostle." That's what he was (see Acts 9:5, 15-16). 

 E. "Separated" - The word  aphorismenos  is a perfect passive participle nominative masculine singular, describing Paul as a "having been separated one," separated from the world, from his fellow Jews, from the Pharisees, etc. 

 The word "separated" comes from the preposition (apo = from) and the Greek noun (horos = boundary). The term suggests that the apostles were marked off from others by a boundary. The word is used ten times in the inspired text, and the reader may gain a better understanding and flavor of its meaning by checking out the following verses: Matt. 13:49, 25:32; Luke 6:22; 2 Cor. 6:17 et al.  

 To be separated always involves separating from something and to something. He was separated from the oral traditions of the Jews to the gospel of Christ. Paul himself pictured another type of separation as God the Father delivering him "from the power of darkness and translating him (the Colossians and all Christians) into the kingdom of His dear Son" (Col. 1:13). He also wrote the Corinthians that they too were to separate themselves (2 Cor. 6:14-17, but especially v. 17) from anything that defiles. In short, we are separated from worldly pursuits as we concentrate on pleasing God (Phil. 3:13), and this includes all that is involved in having our mind upon "earthly things" (Phil. 3:13, 19). 

Verse 2  -  o^ proephggei/lato diaV tw`n profhtw`n au)tou~ en) grafai`$ a(gia/i$  

 "(Which he had promised earlier through his prophets in the holy scriptures)"

 A. "gospel" -  This gospel preached by Paul [see 2 Thess. 2:14 - Paul's gospel was not his own but rather God's gospel (1 Thess. 2:2) which Paul delivered] was also called the "gospel of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:14). God had determined that this message was to be delivered through human vessels (2 Cor. 4:7), namely the apostles and secondarily to the prophets of the 1st century. When Paul wrote the Corinthians, he informed them that "the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord" (1 Cor. 14:37). Hence, this gospel did not originate with him, nor was it something of recent origin.

 In this verse Paul touches upon a key point of this entire letter to the Romans - his Jewish antagonists' own scriptures promised the gospel he preached. Earlier Jesus, the Son of God, informed the Jews:  "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me, and ye will not come to me, that ye might have eternal life" (John 5:39). When we think of the advantage the Jews had in the fact that they were given the Scriptures (Rom. 3:1-2), yet rejected the Messiah when He came to them, we wonder "What were they thinking?"  Yet, lest we get carried away in condemning the Jews, we only need to pause long enough to ask ourselves if people are really any



different today. Bibles are readily available to the American public today, but how many really take it seriously? The Jews opposed Paul because refused to compel Gentiles to keep the law of Moses (see also Acts 15:1-2). 

 The gospel Paul preached was not of human origin. Here Paul affirms that (1) it was God's gospel, (2) it had been prophesied, (3)  was accomplished through the prophets, and (4)  is located in the holy scriptures.

 B. "promised afore" - These two words are used to translate one word in the original language. The Greek verb  epeggeilomai   [meaning "to proclaim" or "promise"] has the prefix  pro  ["before"] attached to it signifying that which had earlier been promised. Elsewhere, Paul informs us regarding when, where and how this gospel was previously preached before the first century. He told the Galatian Christians that the Scripture informs us that God preached the gospel to Abraham, at least in seed form, when He delivered it to Abraham saying, "In thee shall all nations be blessed" (Gal. 3:8; Gen. 12:3, 22:18, et al). That gospel, made fully known in the first century, included the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (1 Cor. 15:1-4. Therefore the good news was that both Jews and Gentiles were to be included as recipients of the blessings of salvation through Christ (Rom. 1:16), and the Great Commission given by Christ to His apostles was to include the WHOLE world (Matt. 28:19). This "good news" had for centuries been a "mystery" (Rom. 11:25, 16:25; Eph. 3:3-8) but the fact that God had intended to place Gentiles on equal footing with Jews had been a part of what He had planned since the beginning, and this mystery was no longer a mystery - it was public knowledge!

 C. "in the holy scriptures"  -  There is no definite article in the original, hence quality or essence is uppermost in Paul's mind when this was penned. Even though he discusses the holy scriptures, what he is stressing here is the fact of the qualitative nature of those scriptures - they are holy scriptures

Verse 3  -  "periV tou` ui(ou` au)tou`, tou` genome/nou e)k spe/rmato$ DabiVd kataV sa/rka,"

"Concerning his Son, who was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;"

 A. "His Son" - A most basic fact in the NT is here briefly stated, namely that Jesus Christ is the Son of God! The Father Himself affirms this fact in Matt. 3:17 and Matt. 17:5. This cardinal truth is denied by some major religious groups (i.e., Muslims, Jews, Jehovah Witnesses), yet is clearly taught in the Holy Scriptures (John 3:16; 1 John 1:1-3 and other references too numerous to list at this point). 

 B. "made of seed of David" - The word "made" is the 2nd aorist participle of ginomai = to become. In John 1:14 the 2nd aorist indicative of this same verb is used to describe Christ's entrance into the world; He became (or was made) flesh.  The Bauer, Arndt-Gingrich Lexicon says this verb can be used to describe persons or things which change their nature, to indicate their entering a new condition (page 158 of their lexicon). Christ became something that He was not before - He became flesh!

 Paul states that He was made of the seed of David, the word for seed being  sperma, here referring to descendants or posterity. Paul refers to Christ's fleshly nature emphasizing that He was a



descendant of David (see Matthew 1). As pertaining to His flesh, He did have an origin, or beginning. But what about His eternal nature? Next Paul discusses this matter in the following verse 4.

Verse 4  -  "tou~ o(risqe/nto$ ui(ou~ Qeou~ en) duna/mei, kataV pneu~ma a(giwsu/nh$, e)c a)nasta/sew$ nekrw~n,   )Ihsou~ Xristou~ tou~ Kuriou` h(mw`n,"

"And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by [the] resurrection from the dead;' 

 A. "declared to be the Son of God"  -  A form of the compound word in verse 1 translated as "separated." The meaning of this term, minus the prefix in verse one, means "appoint, determine, fix or set." God "designated" Jesus Christ as His Son earlier, but it was His resurrection from the dead that firmly fixed Him as God's Son for all time. In 2 Cor. 13:4, Paul states that Christ "was crucified through in weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God." Christ had claimed to be God's Son, and that following His death, He would be raised again the third day from the dead. Certainly earlier the fact had been presented, i.e, at His baptism and again on the Mount of Transfiguration, plus His own statements, but the fact that now He had been raised from the dead has proven His Sonship. 

 What proved Him to be the son of David?  His genealogy (v. 3).          What proved Him to be the Son of God? His miraculous resurrection from the dead (v. 4). 

 B. Should the prepositional phrase "en dunamei" be construed with the verb "declared" or with the noun "Son of God." i.e. should the phrase be adverbial or adjectival? Though it could be either, it would appear that it is being used as an adverb describing "was declared."  Instead of describing Christ at the time of His resurrection as receiving full son-ship and power (which some claim would be true if this were an adjective), it is better to understand that it modifies the verb and is saying in a most powerful "manner" that it has been determined that Christ is the Son of God. 

 C. "spirit of holiness"  -   This is not a reference to the Holy Spirit, for He is nowhere so designated. This merely shows the contrast between Christ's divinity and His humanity. "According to the flesh" denotes His human nature, i.e., all that is connected with David through His ancestry, while "according to the spirit of holiness" denotes His divine nature, all that is connected with the Father, i.e. His deity.

 D. "resurrection from the dead" - Christ was to be raised from the dead ones, said Paul. This was a matter of prophecy, but when was it to be fulfilled? That this is a Messianic psalm is certain, and refers to a future reign of Christ over His kingdom. The prophecy from Psalms 2:7 says "Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee." 

 Paul informed the Israelites in Acts 13:13 that "God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is written in the 2nd psalm, Thou are my Son, this day have I begotten thee." But in the very next verse, Paul connects this prophecy with the resurrection of Christ when he says "And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead...;" hence he is telling us that the "DAY" Christ was begotten was the day of His resurrection - the first day of the week!



 Remember that the term "begotten" also refers to the resurrection elsewhere, for Christ is called "the first begotten from the dead" (Rev. 1:5) and "first born from the dead" (Col. 1:18). Thus the begettal refers to a begetting from death in the form of His glorious resurrection. This speaks of His coming forth "from the tomb," not a coming forth from the womb."

 These passages from Psalms and Acts refer to a point in Jesus' earthly career, not His birthday, but His death day, or rather His begettal from death = "resurrection day." This event is proof of His Sonship. Christ was raised to reign over His kingdom and to be a priest, both offices which He occupies presently. Note that Hebrews 5:5 is yet another quotation from Psalms 2:7, and too is connected with a resurrected Son who has shed His blood, and entered into the Holy Place - Heaven!

Verse 5  -  "di ) ou! el)a/bomen xa/rin kaiV a)postolhVn ei$) u(pakohVn pi/stew$ e)n pa`si toi~$ e*qnesin,  u(peVr tou` o)no/mato$ au)tou`," 

"By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience faith among all nations, for his name;"

 A. "Grace and apostleship"  -  Perhaps this term grace comprises a number of things, such as forgiveness, reconciliation, salvation, et al.  Apostleship refers us back to v. 1 where we read that Paul is a "called" apostle, with this 5th verse telling us of the source of that call.  Jesus had previously selected him to be the apostle serving as a special agent to Gentiles (Acts 26:15-18). Both his becoming a Christian and his being made an apostle had this end in view, which helps explain Acts 9:17.

 B. "for obedience"  -  Here the preposition eis has the same meaning it does every other time it is used in the New Testament. It is prospective, never retrospective, and means "in order to bring about."  Every Christian ought to view himself or herself as being a Christian for the same purpose, not for oneself alone, but also for the benefit of others.

 C. "of faith"  -  Christianity is neither a "faith only" system nor a "works only" system, but Paul here discusses the fact that the inducement to obey Christ has its origin in belief. Both Matthew 7:21 and Hebrews 5:9 must be understood in the light of this verse, otherwise one can easily fall prey to a system of legalism. A deep faith in Christ must accompany every act of obedience to the gospel, etc. Jesus declared that "no man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day...every man that hath heard, and learned of the Father, cometh unto me" (John 6:44-45). He further said that "if I be lifted up, (I) will draw all men unto me" (John 12:32). Luke says that "a great company of the (Jewish) priests were obedient to the faith" (Acts 6:7). There is drawing power in the cross!

 It is interesting to note that Paul's letter to these Roman Christians begins (Rom. 1:5) and ends (Rom. 16:26) with the truth that obedience is essential, regardless of those who desire to promote the doctrine of "faith only." Paul would have none of it!

 "apostleship"  -  Paul's apostleship was called in question by many in the first century, since he did not become an apostle when the others did, but came along later. Numerous references could be



cited to support this fact, but perhaps a few will suffice:  Rom. 15:19; 1 Cor. 9:1-5; 2 Cor. 11:4-13; 12:12 and Gal. 2:2-8).

Verse 6  -  "e)n oi!$ es)teV kaiV u(mei$~, klhtoiV  I)hso~u Xristou~"  

"Among whom (plural) are ye also called (ones) of Jesus Christ"

 "called"  -  Here the noun "called" is the same word as in verse 1, except it is plural here, singular there.  Note that this does not denote those called who refused to accept, but rather "the saved" or "the chosen." This is similar to the use of the word "believers" in the Letters being used as an equivalent to Christians, i.e., those who not only believe but who haved obeyed, in contradistinction to the chief rulers of John 12:42. Furthermore this does not mean called "to be," but rather it would be better rendered as "called ones."  

Verse 7  -  "pa`si  toi`$  ou@sin  en)  (Rw/mh| ||| a)gaphtoi`$  Qeou`,  klhtoi`$  a(gio/i$.  xa/ri$  u(mi`n    ei)rh/nh  a)poV  Qeou`  patroV$ h(mw`n  kaiV   Kuri/ou   )Ihsou`  Xristou`." 

"To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called saints:  Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ." 

 A. "saints"  -  The word "saints" in the New Testament refers to all those who are N.T. Christians. The idea that one has to have died, then have at least two miracles attributed to him by those still alive who have prayed for healing in his name, is false doctrine, taught nowhere in the NT! In NT days, saints were alive, active members of the Lord's church. Death is not a requirement for sainthood, but rather obeying the gospel is!  

 Another meaning of the term signifies that an individual is holy, set apart from the world.  The noun  hagios  and the verb  hagiazo are both from the same root, a stem which signifies "holy, set apart, sanctify." This trait ought to characterize every child of God. In Acts 26:18, Jesus uses this verb to inform Paul that faith in Christ is that which sanctifies people.

 B. "beloved"  -  Not only were these Christians described as saints, but they were "beloved ones" of God, and they lived in Rome. Notice that both God and Jesus Christ were mentioned together in the same verse, a most common occurrence in the NT, and a devastating indictment against the false doctrine of the "Oneness Pentecostals" who maintain there is only one person in the Godhead. 

Verse 8  -  "Prw`ton  meVn  eu)xaristw`  tw|`  Qew`|  mou  diaV   I)hsou`  Xristou`  u(peVr  pa/ntwn  u(mw`n,  o%ti h(  pi/sti$  u(mw`n  kattagge/lletai  e)n  ol%w|  tw|`  ko/smw|."

"First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is proclaimed in the whole world."

 A. After his salutation to Christians there in Rome, Paul now seeks to establish a personal touch in the next six verses with those he addresses in this epistle. In doing so, we see Paul believed in practicing what he preached about giving thanks. In Col. 3:17, he wrote that "whatsoever ye do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father by him." To the Ephesians,



he wrote: "Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

 B. Paul expresses his gratitude for the influence of this church of Christ in Rome, an influence which has spread throughout the known world at that time. Rome's political influence was quite extensive and here we see that the religious influence of the church there was also far-flung, beyond the city's own boundaries.

 C. "I thank"  -  The Greek verb from which the English "thank" is translated also happens to be the term from which our word "Eucharist" is derived.

Verse 9  -  "ma/rtu$  ga/r  mou/  es)tin  o(  Qeo/$,  w!|  latreu/w  e)n  tw`|  pneu/mati/  mou  e)n  tw`|  eu)aggeli/w|  tou`  uiou  au)tou`,  w($  a)dialei/ptw$  mnei/an  u(mw`n  poiou`mai,  pa/ntote  e)piV  tw`n  proseuxw`n  mou "

"For a witness of me is God, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, as constantly I make mention of you always in my prayers;"

 A. "God is my witness" -  This would closely approximate the statement "Before God," would it not?  Instead of being an "off-the-cuff" remark though, Paul is simply stating that God could verify his remarks that he continually remembered these Roman Christians in his prayers.

 B. "I serve" - The service Paul offers to God is the preaching of the gospel; hence he views missionary work as an act of religious service or activity. Perhaps the modifier "in my spirit" inwardly refers to his praying to God on behalf of various congregations in their work of the gospel, as outwardly he himself offers his service to God which comprises his missionary activities.

 C. "gospel of His Son" - There is but one gospel, hence the "gospel of God" (v. 1) is equivalent to the "gospel of his Son" (v. 9),  and this is the same gospel that Paul preached (2 Thess. 2:14).

 D. "without ceasing" - This is an adverb (and adverbs are used to modify verbs) and means "unceasingly" or "constantly." It is found three other times in the N.T., and is used to describe the following actions: "remembering" (1 Thess. 1:3), "thanking God" (1 Thess. 2:13), and praying (1 Thess. 5:17). Since Paul is the writer of all these three references, plus that of the one found here in Romans 1:9 ("making mention"), obviously this is used figuratively to mean much of his time. If any one of these were done "without ceasing 100% of his time", would there be any time for him to do any of the other items listed above? 

v. 10 - " deo/meno$  eip*w$  h&dh  poteV  eu)odwqh/somai  en)  tw`  qelh/mati  tou`  Qeou`  el)qei`n  proV$  u(ma`$."

"Beseeching if possibly already at last I will have a good journey by the will of God to come to you all."  

 A. Were some beginning to wonder if Paul were a man of his word? Were they beginning to doubt that he was really coming for a visit as he had promised?  Paul now informs them that his desires were that he could make such a visit, but such a trip was always tempered by "if God wills."  



 B. Eventually, Paul did make such a trip (Acts 27), even if it could not be considered traveling "first class."

v. 11 - "e)pipoqw`  gar  id)ei`n  u(ma`$,  i^na  ti  metadw`  xa/risma  u(mi`n  pneumatiko/n,  ei$) toV sthrixqh`nai  u(ma`$, 

"For I earnestly desire to see you all, in order that I might bestow a spiritual gift to you unto the (purpose) to strengthen you all"

 A. "ye may be established" - Paul had in mind their being strengthened in character and doctrine, no doubt. The verb "sterizo" (here a 1st aor. inf. pass.) means "to establish, fix, set up" and "strengthen."  Literally, the reading is "unto the to strengthen you." This verb is used thirteen times in the N.T., to show everything from "stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem" (Luke 9:51) to "strengthen thy brethren" (Luke 22:32), and being "established" in the truth (2 Pet. 1:12). 

 It is also not only possible, but likely, that Paul had something else in mind when he used this expression. Why would Paul desire to impart spiritual gifts to a church that already had them, at least the gift of prophecy (Rom. 12:6)?  To give a gift to some Roman brethren who had never met an apostle would also establish his apostleship among the brethren there at Rome. The imparting of miraculous gifts (which only an apostle could do - Acts 8:14-18, 19:6 and 2 Tim. 1:6) would confirm Paul as an apostle, and reduce Judaizing teachers' fears about "his gospel" (Rom. 2:16). 

 Judaism was nationalistic, while Christianity was worldwide, and the Jewish Christians had problems with Paul's teaching that the Law was no longer in effect (Gal. 3:2; Acts 15:1; 21: 20-21). Hence, his visit them to impart spiritual gifts would help settle his apostleship issue. Even Peter needed the miraculous element to confirm the fact that the Law had been done away (Compare Acts 10:10-17 with Acts 10:28).

 B. The word "gift" comes from charisma,  a word whose root (charis) signifies "grace, or favor." This term, as used here,  has a technical meaning referring to miraculous powers conferred upon individuals from the Holy Spirit through the apostles in the 1st century (see also Romans 12:6; 1 Cor. 12:4, 31; 2 Tim. 1:6 et al.).  

v. 12  -  "tou~to  de/  es)ti,  sumparaklhqh~nai  e)n  um(i/n  diaV  th~$  en)  a)llh/loi$  pi/stew$  u(mw~n  te  kaiV  e)mou`."  

"That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me." 

 A. By their being established and strengthened, Paul would be encouraged by their faith, hence both would help the other.

 B. Similar sentiments are found in numerous places in the inspired text. Malachi mentions that "Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another," and John wrote "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth" (Mal. 3:16; III John 4). Of course, the converse is also true in many



cases, "there is no greater disappointment than to learn that one's children have ceased walking in the truth."

v. 13  -  "ou)  qe/lw  deV  u(ma`$  a)gnoei`n,  a)delfoi/,  o^ti  polla/ki$  proeqe/mhn  e)lqei`n  proV$  u(ma`$  (kaiV  e)kwlu/qhn  a&xri  tou`  deu`ro,  i^na  karpo/n  tina  sxw`  kaiV  e)n  um(`in,  kaqwV$  kaiV  en)  toi`$  loipoi`$  e&qnesin."

"Now I would not wish you all to be ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you all, (but was prevented until now,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles."

 A. "I do not desire you all to be ignorant" - is a more literal translation of Paul's words. Too many times the simple verb  "thelo"  is translated in the N.T. in such a way that the English  reader is not even aware that the point of the verb is "desire" or "wish" (i.e., see Matt. 5:40, 18:30, 20:26-27, 23:37; John 7:17 et al.).

 B. "was let" is better rendered at "hindered" or "prevented."  This same verb " " is used in Acts 8:36 where it is translated as "what doth hinder me to be baptized?" In our present day English the word "let" means to permit or allow, which is 180 degrees opposite of hinder! The KJV uses the word "let" to translate this same Greek verb in 2 Thess. 2:7 as "only he whom now letteth will let...".  Obviously both here and in 2 Thess. 2, it would have been better if the KJV translators had translated  "koluo" as they did in Acts 8:36, i.e. "hinder."

 C. Whether the Holy Spirit prevented Paul's visiting the Romans, we are not sure, but we do know that his plans and that of the Holy Spirit did not always coincide. Once Paul wanted to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit prevented it (Acts 16:6-8). It seems that Paul made plans to go about preaching the word, but was always ready to alter those plans as he submitted to the Spirit's will.

 D. "fruit" -  This word at times signifies evangelism, or bringing others to Christ (see Rom. 7:4), but certainly involves establishing and strengthening weak Christians as well. The fruit here was to be found in them as a nation (not just among the disciples), as he did among other nations.

v. 14  -  "  ^Ellhsi/  te  kaiV  barba/roi$,   sofoi`$  te  kaiV  a)noh/toi$  o)feile/th$  eim)i/. "

"Both to Greeks and to Barbarians,  both to the wise and unwise, a debtor I am."

 A. What had these people done for Paul to cause him to be in debt to them? NOTHING! It was what Christ had done for Paul on Calvary.  But now the question for us today is: Was Paul under any obligation that all other Christians are not under?

 B. "Barbarians" -  This term, to the modern mind, refers to a group that is primitive, savage, and uncivilized, and/or sometimes to those in our society who are coarse, unmannerly and insensitive. However, the term "barbaros" to the Greek mind simply meant one who did not speak the Greek language (see the use made of this word by Paul in 1 Cor. 14:11). 

v. 15  -  "ou^tw  toV  kat )  e)meV  pro/qumon  kaiV  u(mi`n  toi`$  en)  (Rw/mh|   eu)aggeli/sasqai."



"Thus I am eager to preach the gospel also to you, the ones in Rome."

 A. "so" or "thus" suggests  "Since I am so obligated" (as mentioned in v. 14). The word "houto" is an adverb, hence it modifies the verb, and means "in this manner."  

 B. Note that the word "preach the gospel" is a compound word consisting of the Greek verb "announce" with the prefix "eu" added on the front, hence "good tidings."

v. 16  -  "ou)  gaVr  e)paisxu/nomai  toV  eu)agge/lion  tou`  Xristou`,  du/nami$  gaVr  Qeou`  es)tin  ei)$  swthri/an  pantiV  tw|`  pisteu/onti,  )Ioudai/w|  te  prw`ton  kai  %Ellhni."

"For not am I ashamed (of) the gospel of Christ, for God's power it is unto salvation to every believing (one), both to a Jew first and also a Gentile."

 A. Why does Paul mention the idea of shame?  Remember that Rome was the epitome of pomp, glory, riches and learning. To preach the gospel of self-denial there might cause ridicule and derision, not unlike many places in our country today as well.  Paul told he Corinthians that preaching the gospel was foolishness to many in their day (1 Cor. 1:18-24). 

 B. In this verse, we have the theme given for this entire letter to the Romans:  the gospel is God's power (note the word power in Greek is the word  "dunamis," from which our word dynamite is derived) unto salvation.  If mankind is saved at all, it will be by God's power. Yet many do not believe this is true, contending that man is so depraved that there's is nothing he can do until he is regenerated directly by the Holy Spirit.  This "mourner's bench" system teaches that the Holy Spirit directly operating on the heart is "the power that saves;" instead of the gospel doing it.  Many groups today hold the same doctrine, they've just eliminated the "bench."

 C. "Believing"  -  includes the entire process of believing, repenting, confessing, being baptized for remission of sins and living righteously. Though mere mental assent at times is described by this verb (see John 12:42; James 2:24 et al.), yet the term  "pisteuo," especially in the Letters (Romans - Jude) in the N.T. signifies belief and obedience.

D. "to the Jew first" - Paul describes the order in which the gospel was actually preached to the world. In Acts 2:5, discussing the birthday of the church, that gospel was preached to the Jews, and in Acts 10 that door was later opened unto the Gentiles who heard the gospel and obeyed it (see also Matt. 10:5-6; Luke 24:47;  Acts 1:8; 8:1; Acts 13:4-5). 

v. 17  -  "dikaiosu/nh  gaVr  Qeou`  en)  au)tw`|  a)pokalu/ptetai  ek) pi/stew$  ei$)  pi/stin,  kaqwV$  ge/graptai,   (O deV  di/kaio$  e)k  pi/stew$  zh/setai."

"for righteousness of God in it is revealed from faith unto faith,  as it is written, but the righteous (person) shall live by faith"

"righteousness of God" = that which God gives, or bestows (but not imputed in a miraculous way), thus not a characteristic of God as used here. Of course, God is righteous, but that is not the point that Paul is emphasizing. God declares a person righteous when he obeys the gospel. Here, righteousness equals



justification, and note that both words come from the same root! When one is justified, he is "made righteous"! (see Phil. 3:9). 

The absence of the definite article before "righteousness" lets us know that we are dealing with quality, which is a major point often overlooked by commentators. Just as in John 1:1, the anarthrous use of God (Theos) should not be translated as "a god" because quality is being stressed by John when describing Jesus Christ. A good rendering of this reference would be "The Word (see v. 14) was deity." The New World Translation of the Jehovah's Witnesses makes a grave mistake by their mistranslation. Yes, the absence of the definite article may, at times, allow for the use of "a," or "an," but for the Witnesses to totally ignore the fact that its absence is also used to stress "quality" shows a woeful lack of scholarship, plus the fact that their own version elsewhere includes verses which teach that Jesus is God.  

"from faith unto faith" - This is not referring to a growing faith, that is, from a lesser to a greater faith. Paul argues that righteousness proceeds "from" or "out of faith" but not "out of law." God's plan for making men righteous does not come forth out of the Law of Moses is the contrast Paul makes for his readers. The preposition "ek" expresses source, and the word "eis" signifies "in order to," hence righteousness comes out of the faith system (not a law system) and produces faith in the individual hearer. One of the finest explanations given this concept is that expressed by Paul to the Galatians:  "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified" (Gal. 6:2). This was prophesied by the prophet when he wrote: "...I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more"(Jer. 31:34). Unlike the Old Law (Heb. 10:1-4), this new faith system speaks of a different treatment for sin and the sinner (Heb. 8:12).

"live by faith" - The righteous live by faith, hence without it, none will live (spiritually)! Inspiration says "...she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth" (1 Tim. 5:6). In our text,  Paul makes reference to Habbakuk 2:4, and this passage is also spoken of again in Gal. 3:11 and Heb. 10:38. "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom. 5:1), and through living by faith, "we feel no alarm" as that beautiful hymn "Living By Faith" declares.

"is revealed" - The Greek verb consists of the prefix "apo" (off, from) affixed to the front of the word "kalupto" meaning "cover, conceal, or hide." The basic meaning of the word is "cover off" hence to uncover, or reveal. Another word for Revelation (the last book in the N.T.) is Apocalypse, which term is a transliteration of the noun "apokalupsis." 

v. 18  -  "a)pokalu/petai  gaVr  o)rghV  Qeou`  a)p ) ou)ranou`  ep)iV  pa`san  a)se/beian  kaiV  a)diki/a|  a)nqtw/pwn  tw`n  thVn  a)lh/qeian  e)n  a)diki/a|  katexo/ntwn." 

"For is revealed God's wrath from heaven upon all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, the ones who are holding down (hindering) the truth in unrighteousness "

"is revealed" - In the previous verse, righteousness was the concept stressed, thus it was placed as the first position in the sentence, but here Paul stresses "revealed," thus placing it first in verse 18. 



"wrath" - This is not talking about punishment, but rather emotion. Want to know how God feels about something, then read the Bible. Here we are informed that God has a personal feeling of wrath when it comes to matters of man's ungodliness (wrong attitudes toward God) and unrighteousness (wrong attitudes toward our fellowmen). Sin is far more than non-conformance to custom; it is something that God hates (Psa. 45:7; Isa. 1:11-18).

Ungodliness and unrighteousness are things which hinder the truth (and the gospel) from doing its work. This illustrates the need for the gospel in the first place, as in seen in R.L. Whiteside's analysis: "If the world was not lost, there was no need for it; or if the world was lost and there was already at hand a means of saving it, then there was no need of the gospel."  Obviously the Law of Moses did not take care of man's sin problem. It condemned the Jew instead of saving him, and the supposed "wisdom of the Gentiles" caused them to hit rock-bottom of immorality. Hence, ENTER the gospel! The gospel was their only hope for salvation. But what about the heathen, or pagan, who never heard of the gospel? To answer a question with a question, what would have happened to the pagan IF there had never been a gospel? This teaches the fact that one is lost because of sin, not just because he has failed to obey the gospel! He was (is) lost anyway, but now the revelation of the gospel is his hope of rescue. That's why we send missionaries? If the world is only condemned because of their not obeying the gospel (as per the theory of some), then we had better not send missionaries to preach the gospel, since they would have been saved before hearing it, but upon hearing the gospel they might reject it, and thereby be lost! 

"truth" - Since they were lost before hearing the truth, evidently here the word "truth" means something other than that "which is revealed in the gospel," or as Paul later describes the truth which is made known by the light of nature (v. 20)

v. 19  -  "dio/ti  toV  gnwstoVn  tou~  Qeou~  fanero/n es)tin  en)  au)toi~$:   o(  gaVr  QeoV$  au)toi~$  e)fane/rwse."

"because the intelligible( thing) of God is manifest in them,  for God to them manifested (it)." 

From verse 18 on throughout this chapter, we see the consequences of the Gentiles' deliberate atheism.  They were sinners, but not because they had no knowledge of God!  They did have a limited amount, and hence they could not plead ignorance.

"may be known"  -  The ASV rendering is probably better here when it says "that which is known" of God." If everything that "may" be known of God had been available to man, why was there a need for God's revelation to mankind? 

Certainly creation itself reveals God's power and divinity (Psalms 9:1; 19:1-6; Acts 14:17 et al.).  All people had Noah as a common ancestor; the Egyptians should have recognized God's power (Ex. 9:16). Again Assyria (Nineveh) and Babylon had the opportunity to know (through faithful Jews who were taken there as captives). The bottom line is how did they make use of their opportunities? How many our contemporaries are not bad people, just irreligious (see the final outcome of such people in 2 Thess. 1:8).



v. 20  -  "taV   gaVr  a)o/rata   au)tou`  a)poV  kti/sew$  ko/smou  toi`$  poih/masi  noou/mena  kaqora`tai,  h%  te  a)id+/io$  au)tou`  du/nami$  kaiV  qeio/th$,  ei)$  toV  ei@nai  au)touV$  a)napologh/tou$:"

"For the unseen things of him from (the) creation of the world are clearly seen (perceived) , being understood by the things that are made (or done), both his eternal power and divinity, so that they are without excuse"

"unseen things"  -  The use of  "horao" with the alpha negative as a prefix. Here the Apostle Paul uses a paradoxical witticism, based on purposeful contradiction. He says, in essence, that the "invisible things are clearly visible." A play on words which is quite an attention grabber! 

Verse 20 also teaches that nature is not the only teacher the Gentiles had, because all that God has done likewise teaches of His power and divinity. He earlier revealed Himself to Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the O.T. prophets, and now his apostles and prophets of the NT era.  Hence they were without excuse. (See Ephesians 2:10 where Christians are called 'God's poiema). 

"Godhead" (KJV) -  "Godhood" (from qeio/th$) would be better here.  Notice that in Col. 2:9, Paul uses a different word to express the "deity" (qeo/th$) of Jesus Christ. 

v.  21  -  "dio/ti  gno/nte$  toVn  Qeo/n,  ou)x  w($  QeoVn  e)do/casan  h^   eu)xari/sthsan,  a)ll )  e)mataiw/qhsan  e)n  toi`$  dialogismoi`$  aut)w`n,  kaiV  es)ko/tisqh  h(  a)su/neto$  au)tw`n  kardi/a."

"because when they knew God, not as God did they glorify (Him) or were they thankful, but they became vain in their reasonings, and their senseless heart was darkened."

God had earlier revealed Himself to both Jew and Gentile (see on v. 19). The knowledge they had, whether by inspired men or tradition, had been corrupted.  They had known enough to glorify God as God.  Jesus said: "I glorified thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which thou hast given me to do" (John 17:4).  Jesus has just informed us how it is that people glorify God!

"became vain in their reasonings" - Can you find a verse in the entire Bible (Psalms 14:1 excepted) that is a more direct attack on the theory of evolution?  When God is eliminated, we have only a series of blind guesses as to creation, how we got here, etc.  When they dismissed God from their "reasonings,"  they became vain, or foolish, in their reasoning.

v. 22  -  "fa/skonte$  ei&nai  sofoiV  e)mwra/nqhsan,"

"professing themselves" -  This word is used four times in the NT (the other three occurrences are Acts 24:9; 25:19 and Rev. 2:2), and it appears that all four times it means "to claim"  that which is questionable. In the first reference, the Jew claimed that Tertullus' assertions about Paul were true, but in fact such claims were unfounded. In the 2nd instance, Festus argued that Paul's claims that Jesus was alive were erroneous, because he argued "Jesus was dead." So Festus uses this verb to aver that Paul's claims were groundless, but the fact is that Paul was right, since Jesus had been raised from the dead! The 3rd reference where this verb is used is Rev. 2:2, where the Lord states that within the church at Ephesus, there were those who "claimed" they were apostles, but were not.  In our text, Paul declares



that the Gentiles in the past claimed that they were wise, when they were fools (the word Paul used is a term from which our word moron is derived).

Elsewhere Paul says that "knowledge puffeth up" (1 Cor. 8:1). When men rely upon human wisdom, and discard that which has been revealed by God, they usually resort to claiming a superior knowledge. Jeremiah, years earlier wrote that "it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps" (Jer. 10:23). Here are the facts in the case thus far, says Paul:  [1] The "world through its wisdom knew not God" (1 Cor. 1:21); [2] Gentiles considered "preaching Christ...foolishness" (1 Cor. 1:23); [3] It was "God's good pleasure through foolishness of preaching (message, not an action) to save them that believe (1 Cor. 1:21); [4] "hath not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?" (1 Cor. 1:20). Moses Lard states:  "Better is the 'foolishness' that stands with God, than the reasoning which rejects Him." Another wise maxim goes like this: "It's better to be thought a fool, than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt."

v. 23  -   kai/  h&llacan  thVn   do/can  tou`  a)fqa/rtou  Qeou`  en)  om(oiw/mati  ei)ko/no$  fQartou`  a)nqrw/pou  kaiV  peteinw`n  kaiV  tetrapo/dwn  kaiV  e(rpetw`n."

"changed"  -  They had change agents back then as well. 

Whenever one begins to rely upon "aids" to make worship more meaningful,  he makes the same mistake of those of bygone days. Perhaps these Gentiles intended to worship god through these images, believing they would assist in rising above the image to the god it represented.  After ruling out God, one always drifts into some king of idolatry: materialism, education, et al.  Thus we see the importance of both the 1st and 2nd commandments of the decalogue (Exodus 20:3-5).

v. 24  -  "DioV  kaiV  pare/dwken  au)touV$  o(  QeoV$  en)  tai`$  ep)iqumi/ai$  tw`n  kardiw`n  au)tw`n  ei$)  a)kaqarsi/an,  tou`  a)tima/zesqai  taV  sw/mata  au)tw`n  e)n  e(autoi`$:" 

"Therefore God also gave them over in the desires of their hearts unto uncleanness, to the dishonoring of their bodies between themselves" 

Note that God did not cause their impurity, but finding them living "in" lust, He permitted them to hit the bottom, i.e., "they made their bed and now they will have to lie in it."  Three times in the next few verses (vss. 24, 26 and 28), it is mentioned that God "gave them up" but it was because they gave up on God! When people are determined to reject God, He gives them up to their vices. When men feel no responsibility toward God, there is little that can be done in restraining them from evil. 

v. 25  -  "oi^tine$  meth/llacan  thVn  a)lh/qeian  tou`  Qeou`  en)  tw|`  yeu/dei,  kaiv  es)ebavsqhsan  kai  e)la/treusan  th`|  kti/sei  paraV  toVn  kti/santa,  o^$  es)tin  eu)loghtoV$  ei)$  touV$  aiw)`na$.   a)mh/n."

"Who exchanged the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature (thing created) more than the Creator, who is blessed unto the ages.  Amen." 

"changed"  -  This is the same word as in verse 23 with one exception - this verb has a preposition affixed on the front of it, hence it is a much stronger verb.  Men decided to make such a trade, but it turned out badly for them. This has been going on since the time of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden - God said



"Ye shall surely die" and Satan said "No you won't" (Gen. 3:3-4).  They too, exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and Satan accomplished what he set out to do by tempting them with things which God created (Gen. 2:8-9).

"lie"  -  What is the "lie" which the Gentiles accepted in our text?  The idolatry to which their wisdom led.  Isaiah 44:15 succinctly words it this way:  "...he maketh a god, and worshippeth it;  he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto" and again in verse 17 he says "...he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, 'Deliver me; for thou art my god." 

v. 26  -  "DiaV  tou`to  parevdwken  au)touV$  o(  QeoV$  ei)$  pavqh  a)tivmia$:   ai%  te  gaVr  qhvleiai  au)tw`n  methvllacan  thVn  fusikhVn  xrh~sin  ei$)  thVn  paraV  fuvsin:" 

 "Because of this God gave them over unto passions of dishonor, for even their females changed the natural usage into the contrary to nature (usage)."

"females"  -  This is the second time we find Paul using the statement "God gave them up (or over)."  He uses this Greek word for "females" to make a sharp contrast with the "males" which are mentioned in the following verse.  God made them male and female (arsen kai thelu) - Gen. 1:27 ) in the beginning. Instead of dealing with generalities, Paul begins to be very specific in describing the sexual sins in which they had engaged, which sins are still with an immoral society today (see Leviticus 18:22-26).  Paul was referring to lesbianism - women lying with women in a sexual relationship, which is labeled as "unnatural." Notice that here and in the following verse, God puts His stamp of approval on heterosexuality.  Homosexuality and lesbianism are NOT natural, hence unnatural, regardless of how many parades are marched and how many movies and sit-coms picture it is "just an alternative liifestyle." If laws are passed to make it appear otherwise, a child of God must "obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29). 

v. 27  -  "o(moivw$  te  kaiV  oi(  a&rsene$,  a)fevnte$  thVn  fusikhVn  xrh`sin  th`$  qhleiav$,  e)cekauvqhsan  e)n  th|`  o)revcei  aut)w`n  ei$)  a)llhvlou$,  a&rsene$  en)  a&rsesi  thVn  a)sxhmosuvnhn  katergazovmenoi,  kaiV  thVn  a)ntimisqivan  h^n  e&dei  th`$  plavnh$  au)tw`n  en)  e(autoi`$  a)polambavnonte$."

"And likewise also the males, having left the natural use of the female, were inflamed in their lust for one another, males with males working out a shameless action, and receiving the reward (better "penalty") which was due (is tied to) their deception (wandering) in themselves." 

In 1 Cor. 6:9, Paul uses the vivid term of "arsenokoites" (male + the word "bed," euphemism for "sexual intercourse"). One man in bed with another male is a  term hard to explain away; i.e., homosexuality has always been a sin in the eyes of God, all the way back to Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19).  Barclay says that 14 of the first 15 Roman emperors were homosexuals!  

Like it or not, there is that which is called the "natural use" of the female, and therefore men having a sexual relationship with other men  (homosexuality) is unnatural!  Perhaps this is what Paul referred to in Ephesus 5:12 when he wrote of "the things which are done by them in secret it is a shame even to speak of" (see also Lev. 20:13).  All the marching, demonstrations, laws passed by deluded congressmen, etc. cannot make that which is unnatural to be respectable! There is but one remedy - REPENTANCE!  In



1 Corinthians 6:11, Paul declared "And such were some of you," but not anymore. Yes, a homosexual can repent, and quit that lifestyle, for no one is born that way according to this verse. Homosexuality is a behavioral choice, and a bad one at that. Homosexuals are not born; they are recruited!

"penalty"  -  We are not informed what this is, but we surmise that it may refer to disease of mind and/or body, or possibly early death.

v. 28  -   KaiV  kaqwV$  ou)k  e)dokivmasan  toVn  QeoVn  e&xein  en)  e)pignwvsei,  parevdwken  au)touV$  o(  QeoV$  ei)$  a)dovkimon  nou`n,  poein`  taV  mhV  kaqhvknota,"

"And even as they did not approve to have God in (their) knowledge, God gave them over unto an unapproved mind, to do things (that are) not fitting,"

The idea of testing is inherent in the word dokimazo, a word that brings to mind the taking of ore to an assayer and having it tested to see if it were gold or not.  A person who was "put to the test" and passed with flying colors was said to "be approved," i.e., he passed the test. Once again, Paul is using a pun, or play on words, by using the same word twice in the same context. Since they did not "approve" of having God in their knowledge, then God gave them up to a "disapproved" mind. We miss this play on words here in the English versions. A disapproved mind is merely one which will not "pass the test." 

fitting  -  This is a figure of speech (litotes) equaling "abominable, detestable." Litotes is a figure of speech in which an affirmative is expressed by the negation of its opposite, i.e, "This is no small problem" = "This is a huge problem." The lack of self-restraint has ruined many a marriage, and destroyed many friendships, because it is based on plain old selfishness. Paul has in mind unrestrained animal impulses.        

v. 29  -  "peplhrwme/nou$  pa/sh|  a)diki/a|,  pornei/a|,  ponhri/a|,  pleonexi/a|,  kaki/a|:  mestouV$  fqo/nou,  fo/nou,  e&rido$,  do/lou,  kakohqei/a$,  yiqurista/$:"

"ones being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, greediness, vice, full of envy, murder, contention, deceit, malice,"   

Paul now lists some specific sins which were included in their evil behavior. Probably "unrighteousness" is the narrower concept of "injustice,"   hence it would signify dishonest dealings, fraud, etc.  

"fornication" (KJV) or "wickedness" (ASV)? This is a textual problem which probably came about from the similarity in the spelling of the two words:  porneiva  and  ponhri/a . The Textus Receptus includes both words in Greek, so it would appear that a scribe omitted the first term in the Greek text used by the ASV and many other versions.

v. 30  -  "katala/lou$,  qeostugei`$,  u(brista/$,  u(perhfa/nou$,  a)lazo/na$,  e)feuretaV$ kakw`n,  goneu`sin a)peiqei`$," 

"slanderers, God haters, arrogant, haughty, ostentatious, contrivers, disobedient to parents"



katalalous- This compound verb comes from kata meaning "down" and laleo "to speak or utter," hence a talking down (or against) a person. 

The third characterization in this verse used by Paul to describe the Gentiles is hubris from which our English word "hubris" is a transliteration  of the original word in Greek. Arrogance or insolence is the idea of the original here. All of the terms used by Paul in this section of Scripture is based on selfishness which seeks to exploit others. Some people operate on the false premise of believing the putting down of others will elevate themselves. The fourth word in Paul's list is almost synonymous with the previous word, since huperefanous means haughty, proud, to treat disdainfully or despitefully.

alazonas continues the theme of arrogance stressing the pretension and boasting of people as they compare themselves with others whom they are putting down, and becoming braggarts in the process.

efeuretas -  (from e)pi/ and eu(ri/skw) suggests the idea of coming upon, finding or discovering, hence "an inventor." Paul declares that some of these Gentiles were inventors of evil things.

Finally, in this 30th verse, he mentions that they were disobedient to parents. The attitude of "I don't have to answer to anyone" needs to be "nipped in the bud" early on in one's life, for if a child is disobedient to parents, he soon will have the same attitude toward school teachers, law enforcement officers, and ultimately to God Himself!  Nothing will break down the morals of a nation any quicker than this trait. Disrespect of parental authority is learned early, and no doubt the breaking up of the family unit will cause a nation to reap what she has sown!

v. 31  -  "a)sune/tou$,  a)sunqe/tou$,  a)sto/rgou$,  a)spo/ndou$,  a)neleh/mona$:

"without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, unwilling to make agreements, pitiless"

This verse gives us an insight in the style of writing employed by the Apostle Paul. Not only do all the words of this verse begin with the same letter (an alpha negative prefix which negates the word to which it is attached, but we also see another example of Paul using a play on words (note the similarity in the sounds between the first two words, i.e.  asynetous with asynthetous). 

Paul says the Gentiles were (1) without understanding, hence foolish or heathenish. This does not refer to mental illness, but rather was an acquired characteristic. Jesus described those of His day as being people whose "heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them" (Matt. 13:15).

Paul described such people as (2) covenant breakers, or faithless one who could not be trusted to keep their word. R.L. Whiteside wrote that keeping one's word ought to be so common that it would not be a point of distinction!  



Such people were also (3) unloving, with an emphasis upon being devoid of feeling even toward one's own relatives. They were cold and unfeeling toward blood relatives, i.e., they did not feel what is natural. It is possible this might refer to the practice of "infanticide."

 (4) unwilling to make an agreement, hence implacable. Paul uses a term referring to a libation which is poured out as a libation, usually accompanied with the making of a treaty, hence the negative prefix means they were not willing to make agreements, and finally (5) they were without pity, therefore being cruel, merciless and without compassion. Jesus promoted the opposite philosophy of life: "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy" (Matt. 5:7).

v. 32  -  "oi%tine$  toV  dikai/wma  tou`  Qeou`  ep)igno/nte$,  o%ti  oi(  taV  toiau~ta  pra/ssonte$  a&cioi  qana/tou  eis)i/n,  ou)  mo/non  au)taV  poiou~sin,  a)llaV  kaiV  suneudokou~si  toi~$  pra/ssousi." 

"who knowing the requirement of God, that the ones practicing such things are worthy of death, not only do these things, but find pleasure with those who practice them as well."

 Pagan religion was often accompanied by lascivious rites in which its devotees engaged, even though they had known better. Some today might claim that these Gentiles simply did not know better, but Paul says otherwise. These people were fully aware and could not plead ignorance! Even though we all have a "sense" of right and wrong, yet our consciences could not tell us about this specific decree of God of which these Gentiles were aware. Such things as how God feels about something had to be revealed.   

"The things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God" (1 Cor. 2:11, see also v. 10).  I take it that God had earlier revealed such a decree to man, as pointed out in comments under v. 19.  These Gentiles knew of the ordinance of God, and that such a lifestyle makes one worthy of death, yet such a knowledge was not sufficient to control their base desires to live ungodly. 

These people, fully aware of God's penalty, went ahead with their ungodliness anyway and in addition to that they also encouraged others to do likewise. How true it is that we "should abstain from all appearances of evil" (1 Thess. 5:22) and that we ought " not follow a multitude to do evil..." (Ex. 23:2). 

Everett Ferguson writes that prostitution became a part of the religious rites at certain temples with the temple of Aphrodite being able to boast of having one thousand "sacred prostitutes" in Corinth.  (Backgrounds of Early Christianity,  p. 70). Morality and ethics sunk to a noticeable low level.  As we consider the dishonesty of our political leaders today, we might be drawing a few parallels between the 1st century and our 21st century!  Homosexuality, same-sex marriage, and a frightening lack of concern what God says characterizes our society too, as in that 1st century.





Price's Notes

Romans Chapter 2

v. 1  -  "DioV  a)napolo/ghto$  ei,@  w@  a&nqrwpe  pa~$  o(  kri/nwn:  e)n  w!|  gaVr  kri/nei$  toVn  e%teron,  seautoVn  katakri/nei$,  taV  gaVr  au)taV  pra)ssei$  o(  kri/nwn."

"Therefore without excuse you are, O man, everyone who judges, for in that which you judge the other, yourself you are condemning, for you, the one judging, are practicing the same things."

"Wherefore"  -  "Since this is the case, here is the conclusion" is the idea of this inferential conjunction. But just WHAT is the case? This  dio does not refer to any specific verse, but rather to the entire idea of Gentiles being to blame for being without God's law. When they had it, they would not observe or obey it. Thus they were "guilty as charged." 

"O man"  -  Though this is a general term, yet it is obvious from the context of chapters 2 and 3 of Romans that "the Jew" is the one to whom reference is made in Paul's mind (and the Holy Spirit's as well). The Jew was likewise guilty of refusing to obey God's law.

Why did not Paul name the Jew at the outset of this material? Had he done so, the Jew probably would not have been as attentive. The Jews might gleefully join with Paul in condemnation of the Gentiles. Others, who judge the Gentiles as guilty, were guilty of the same sins, yet he does not call them Jews - not yet! But who else but the Jew could be put in contrast with the Gentile? The first time the term "Jew" is mentioned is in verse 9, then mentioned again in verse 10. Verses 17-25 leaves no doubt in our minds that Paul is referring to the Jews.

"without excuse"  -  The Greek term used by Paul is from the word apologia = defense. When the alpha negative is prefixed on the front of this word, it negates the word, hence we have the meaning "without defense," or "defenseless." The argument is that those who know their duty and purposefully neglect it, are inexcusable (see James 4:17).

"condemning yourself" -  Unknowingly, however, but the fact remains that this is what occurs. But having condemned the Gentiles, yet being guilty of the same things, they were (in effect) condemning themselves.

"practice"  -  This word is stronger than the word "do," for the word refers only to things repeated many times, whereas "do" can refer to a single act. Thus the idea of "habit" is taught by the word Paul used in this verse.

v. 2  -  "oi&damen  deV  o%ti  toV  kri/ma  tou`  Qeou`  es)ti  kataV  a)lh/qeian  e)piV  touV$  taV  toiau`ta  pra/ssonta$."  

"And we know that the judgment of God is according to truth upon those practicing such things." 

Paul continues to use "general" terms, stating that with which Jews were bound to agree. This is an example of using a "Nathan-like" approach (2 Sam. 12:1-7), i.e. getting them to begin agreeing with him



regarding the facts before hitting them "between the eyes" with the accusation that he is talking about them, the Jews themselves!  It is foolish for one to trust in his own wisdom, as the Gentile had done (1 Cor. 1:21), but it was no less foolish to put one's trust in genealogy and pedigree, as the Jews had done (Matt. 3:9). Both Jew and Gentile were examples of the truism that "the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps" (Jer. 10:23).

v. 3  -  "logi/zh|  deV  tou`to,  w@  a&nqrwpe  o(  kri/nwn  touV$  taV  toiau`ta  pra/ssonta$  kaiV  poiw`n  au)ta/,  o^ti  suV  ek)feu/ch|  toV  kri/ma  tou`  Qeou`;"

"And do you reckon this, O man that judges those practicing these things, and [you] do the same things, that you will escape the judgment of God?"

The Jew, though not yet named, was trusting in his relation to Abraham, his circumcision, and the fact that he had "the law" - for his salvation. Hence, although he was guilty of the same sins as were the Gentiles, he evidently expected God to not condemn him (because he was a Jew), even though he thought the Gentiles should be condemned!

Think a moment! Just  because one is religious does not mean that he is righteous! Those claiming to be Christians today have no heavenly "license" to sin. How many "church members" in our world today expect to be saved because they are children of wealth, culture, or because their parents are godly (see 2 Cor. 5:10)? The Jew thought of himself as a special person in the eyes of God, and as such he would be exempt from God's wrath, i.e. "once in grace, always in grace," or "once saved, always saved." For anyone today, claiming to follow Christ, to condemn the Jew for this deplorable Pharisaical attitude of superiority is to be guilty of the same (see the praying Pharisee of Luke 18:9-14), if he fails to realize his own dependence upon the grace of God.

v. 4  -  "h#  tou`  plou/tou  th`$  xrhsto/th$  au)tou`  kaiV  th`$  a)noxh~$  kaiV  th`$  makroqumi/a$  katafronei$`,  a)gnow`n  o%ti  toV  xrhstoVn  tou`  Qeou`  ei)$  meta/noia/n  se  a&gei?"

"or the riches of His goodness and holding back (forbearance) and patience do you disregard, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you unto repentance?"

Being equally guilty with the Gentiles, one of two things then were true: (1) either the Jews were thinking to escape God's judgment because of WHO they were or (2) they were mentally looking down upon God's goodness, forbearance and longsuffering. Like so many religious people today who overly stress grace to the neglect of obedience to God, they were misinterpreting God's patience. The wise man said: "Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil" (Eccl. 8:11). The purpose of God's longsuffering was to give the guilty time to repent, but they were not repenting! About a thousand years later, the inspired Peter issued the same warning (2 Pet. 3:9) to Christians.

"not knowing" = to be ignorant, or unknowing, hence not to understand. This is the same root word (agnoeo) from which our English word "agnostic" is derived. This is not to be understood as a slur, equal



to our word "stupid." Instead of a put down, it simply means they were unaware of some truths, such as spiritual gifts in 1 Cor. 12:1, where the infinitive is translated "to be ignorant."

v. 5  -  "kataV  deV  thVn  sklhro/thta/  sou  kaiV  a)metanoh/ton  kardi/an  qhsauri/zei$  seautw`|  o)rghVn  e)n  h(me/ra|  o)rgh`$  kaiV  a)pokalu/yew$  dikaiokri/sia$  tou`  Qeou`,"

"but according to the stubbornness of you and impenitent heart you are storing up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of righteous judgment of God,"

"hardness" or stubbornness is from a Greek term from which our word "sclerosis" is derived. The term  sklerokardia  (hardness of heart)  is used in both the Old (LXX) and New Testaments in Greek:  Deut. 10:16; Jer. 4:4; Matt. 19:8; Mark 10:5 and 16:14. Perhaps we would use the word "hard-headed" to convey the same idea today. 

"revelation"  -  We translate this term into English as "revelation," but transliterate it as "apocalypse." Both terms come from the same original word in Greek.  The original word is a compound comprised of "apo" = from and "kalupto," a verb meaning to cover. Without the prefix, the word means to cover, or hide, but with the prefix apo added to the verb "cover,"  this resulting compound means "cover off" or "to uncover," hence "revelation." 

v. 6  -  "o^$  a/po/dwsei  e(ka/stw|  kata  ta   e&rga  au)tou`: "

"Who will give back (pay) to each according to the works of him" 

Though still not identified, yet the Jew ought to be able to see by this time that "every man" also included him as well as the Gentile. The Jew could see that the Gentile was a sinner, but to view himself that way was more difficult for a Jew to accomplish. But until he could, the Jew would never see the need of the gospel! Note that this punishment is future, and refutes the idea that only in this life will the wicked be punished.

God's judgment will be just, and not according to partiality, but rather a righteous judgment. All persons will be dealt with according to their obedience to the available light which they had (v. 12). 

This passage is consistent with other verses which teach the same thing - judgment according to works (see Matt. 16:27, 25:31ff.; 2 Cor. 5:10 (same writer - Paul); Gal. 6:7; Rev. 20:12 and 22:12). Paul distinguishes between two kinds of works, just as James distinguishes between two kinds of faith! Paul himself spoke of it as "obedience of faith" (Rom. 1:5; 16:26). Paul teaches meritorious works cannot save, but "works of faith" (in the system based on faith) do play a part in man's salvation.

v. 7  -  "toi`$  meVn  kaq ) u(pomonhVn  e&rgou  a)gaqou`  do/can  kaiV  timhVn  kaiV  a)fqarsi/an  zhtou`si,   zwhVn  aiw)/nion:"

"To those on the one hand with patience in well-doing, seek glory and honor and immortality, (they shall receive) life eternal."



A contrast is drawn by Paul between those described in verses 7 and 8, but in reality the entire world may be divided into these same two classes: (1) the category of people who obey God and thus receive eternal life, and (2) those who do not (see also Matthew 25:31-46). In our text, Paul declares that those obedient souls who continue living a faithful life of working for the Lord will be rewarded for their faithfulness.

v. 8  - "toi`$  deV  ec)  e)riqi/a$,  kaiV  a)peiqou`si  meVn  th|`  a)lh/qeia|,  peiqome/noi$  de V th|`  a)diki/a|  -   qumoV$  kaiV  o)rgh/," 

"but on the other hand to those (who are) contentious, and disobey the truth, but obey unrighteousness  -  (they shall receive) anger and wrath,"

Those believing God (i.e. obeying Him) will receive eternal life, but those who do not believe (hence who do not obey) God will be lost eternally, and as in John 3:36, to disbelieve the Son is tantamount to not obeying the Son, which means that "the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36;  cf. also 2 Thess. 1:8).

v. 9  -  "qli/pi$  kaiV  stenoxwri/a,  e)piV  pa`san  yuxhVn  a)nqrw/pou  tou`  katergazome/nou  toV  kako/n,   )Ioudai/ou  te  prw`ton  kaiV   %Ellhno$:"

"tribulation and difficulty, upon every soul of man working evil, both of Jew first and of Greek"

Here we find Paul's first direct personal application to the Jew in his letter to the Romans. Note the words signifying punishment, "tribulation and difficulty."  The latter term refers to "narrowness," with a resultant figurative meaning of "distress" or "anguish." Being cramped or restricted, the evil will find themselves between a "rock and a hard place" with no relief come Judgment Day!

v. 10  -  "do/ca  deV  kaiV  timhV  kaiV  eir)h/nh  pantiV  tw|`  er)gazome/nw|  toV  a)gato/n,  )Ioudai/w|  te  prw`ton  kaiV   %Ellhni:" 

"but glory and honor and peace to everyone working good, to Jew first and to Greek"

If being lost is conditional, then so is being saved, to all people, both Jew and Greek.  No one will receive special treatment from God based on who he is (see Acts 10:34).  There will be no advantage given to the Jew on Judgment Day based on his physical relationship to Abraham, circumcision, et al.  Jews will be judged on the same basis as the Greek, since in God's eyes there is no difference between the two (Romans 3:22).

v. 11  -  "ou)  ga/r  e)sti  proswpolhyi/a  paraV  tw|`  Qew|="

The word prosopolepsia is a compound word in Greek, literally rendered as "receive face," hence partiality or respect of persons. This is not a part of God's nature (see Eph. 6:9 and Col. 3:25).

v. 12  -  "o%soi  gaVr  a)nom/w$  h^marton,  a)nom/w$  kaiV  a)polou`ntai:  kaiV  o%soi  e)n  no/mw|  h%marton,  diaV  nom/ou|  kriqh/sontai:"



"For as many as without law have sinned, without law also they shall perish; and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by law"

Those under the law will be judged by it. There is no doubt but that Gentiles had sinned (see previous chapter), but they had not sinned under the law of Moses. Since God is no respector of persons, He will not judge one according to a law about which one knows nothing. However, Gentiles did sin, breaking the "patriarchal" law,  and they shall likewise perish, even though they were not under the Law of Moses.

Gentiles were responsible for what light they had.  The word "perish" (apolountai) is identified as middle voice, which is significant. They had something to do with their own destiny, because they did not keep what law they did have! It is not only that they would "be destroyed" (passive), but that they would perish for "themselves" (middle). The middle voice represents the subject as acting in his/her own behalf. The old adage is true:  "Everyone who goes to hell, goes by choice, not chance."   

v. 13  -  "ou)  gaVr  oi(  a)kroataiV  tou`  no/mou  di/kaioi  paraV  tw|`  Qew|`,  a)ll)  oi(  poihtaiV  tou`  no/mou  dikaiwqh/sontai." 

"for not hearers of the law are justified ones by God, but the doers of the law shall be justified."

Few are so foolish as to suggest that merely "hearing" the law is sufficient, and that obedience to it is therefore unnecessary. Try that on April 15, and see if the subject of evasion of income taxes comes up! 

How can the supposed contradiction between what Paul writes here and what he says in Galatians 2:16 be explained?  I.e., if "doers of the law shall be justified" (Rom. 2:13), how can it be that "by works of the law (i.e., by doing the things required by the law) shall no flesh be justified" (Gal. 2:16).?

The answer must be that it is a matter of "degree"!  All may be doers of the law to the point of moral excellence (especially in the eyes of men), but no one can be a "doer of the law" to the point of moral PERFECTION!  Peter, for example, was not sinless, yet on the basis on faith, he certainly qualifies for the first category. This is that which Rom. 2:13 describes.

But Romans 3:20 says that no man PERFECTLY complies with God's law, thus he cannot be justified on the basis of being perfectly law abiding!  This is why Paul states in Romans 3:11:  "But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith."  Verses 13 through 15 form a parenthetical clause, a break in the thought to furnish Paul's readers an explanatory note.  The thought following verse 12 picks up again in verse 16.

v. 14  -  "o%tan  gaVr  e&qnh  taV  mhV  no/mon  e&xonta  fu/sei  taV  tou`  no/mou  poih|`,  ou!toi,  no/mon  mhV  e&xonte$,  e(autoi`$  ei)si  no/mo$."

"For whenever Gentiles the ones not having law, by nature might do the things of the law, these, not having law, are a law unto themselves." 



The context indicates the "Law" of Moses is under consideration with its commands against adultery (see v. 22), stealing, or not honoring parents, etc.  

"by nature" - this term contrasts the difference in what the Jews had as compared with what Gentiles had - the Jews had a WRITTEN revelation!  Gentiles had oral tradition, plus what nature could tell them about God (1:19-20). Without a written code, knowledge was virtually natural, i.e. oral tradition and natural theology, yet knowledge, nonetheless!  Yet note that this included a response to what knowledge (or little light) they possessed, as indicated by the word "conscience" in 15.  These Gentiles did have an idea of right and wrong, but they did not live up to even that any more than the Jews did to their revealed law! Both were in the same condition - LOST!

"are a law unto themselves" - This speaks of the Gentile being in harmony with the moral law of God, without having the Pentateuch. When they did what they knew to be right, they were guiltless; when they did otherwise, they were held as sinners.  Mosaical law and its morality is referred to, not some hypothetical law that God "implanted" upon hearts of all Gentiles. 

The astute comments of Guy N. Woods are appropriate at this point in discussing under which law was Cornelius worshipping before Peter's visit ?  He writes:  "It is interesting and important, in this connection, to inquire as to the nature and identification of the law under which Cornelius, the Centurion, was worshipping God. (1) It was not Christianity; for, he had not thus far obeyed the gospel. (2) It was not Judaism, because he was neither a Jew nor a proselyte to the Jewish religion, being an uncircumcised Gentile. There has been but one other law, through the ages, under which God accepted worship; Patriarchy.  (3) It follows, therefore, that Cornelius was worshipping God under a system which had continued from Eden - the patriarchal arrangement...

To deny this, one must affirm one of two propositions: (1) There was no salvation for the countless multitudes of people who lived and died outside the fold of Judaism, from Sinai to the cross, regardless of how much of the moral law was written in their consciences and exhibited in their lives or (2) uncircumcised Gentiles were members of, and always participated in the blessings of the Jewish covenant!  The 2nd proposition is obviously absurd; and, the 1st proposition is clearly shown to be false by Paul's affirmation in Romans 2:12-16.  That the devout officer was worshipping God under the system of patriarchy is the only conclusion harmonizing the difficulties of the case. That Cornelius and his house were to hear words whereby they may be saved, after the angel's visit, is no valid objection to this. At the moment the angel appeared to him he became accountable to God under this the Christian dispensation; prior to the visit of the angel he was answerable only under the system which alone was available" (Woods, Guy N., Questions & Answers, pp. 63-64).

v. 15  -  "oi%tine$  e)ndei/knuntai  toV  e&rgon  tou`  no/mou  graptoVn  en)  tai`$  kardi/ai$  au)tw`n,  summarturou/sh$  au)tw`n  th`$  suneidh/sew$,  kaiV  metacuV  a)llh/lwn  tw`n  logismw`n  kathgorou/ntwn  h*  kaiV  a)pologoume/nwn,"

"The very ones who show the work of the law written in their hearts, bearing witness with their conscience,  between one another their thoughts accusing or also defending,"



"work of the law"  -  This refers to duties as required by the law of Moses.  This does not mean that they had all the knowledge which the Mosaic Law imparted, else why then was their the need of a revelation?  All persons have the ability to pass judgment on their own actions.

The Gentiles "reasoned" among  themselves on issues of right and wrong, and the role of the conscience is seen in the thoughts either "accusing or excusing" them.  But don't ever forget that a clear conscience, in and of itself, does not bring salvation without obeying God's commands.  Don't make this verse teach that error! Paul here declares that the Gentiles did have some things right. This exercise of accusing or excusing of their conscience was referring to their earthly life, not events on the final day of judgment at the end of time.

v. 16  -  "e)n  h(me/ra|  o%te  krinei ` o(  QeoV$  taV  kruptaV  tw`n  a)nqrw/pwn,  kataV  toV  eu)agge/lion  mou,  diaV   I)hsou`  Xristou`. " 

"in a day when God shall judge the secrets of men according to my gospel, through Jesus Christ"

In v. 12, Paul stated that those outside the Law of Moses will be judged outside the Law, but those who sinned inside the Law of Moses will be judged by that Law. Now, when will God do such judging? Paul answers:  On the Judgment Day at the end of the world!  Hence, this verse is a continuation of v. 12 and the thought is that "Gentiles will judged without the Law, and the Jews will be judged by the the day when God shall judge." That by which Jews will be judged is nothing less than the gospel revealed through the inspired Paul (uncorrupted - Gal. 1:6-9) which was nothing less than the teachings of Christ (John 12:48; 1 Cor. 14:37). Jews living prior to the giving of the gospel will be judged by the law they had at the time, the Law of Moses. 

v. 17  -  "  &Ide  suV   I)oudai`o$  e)ponoma/zh|,  kaiV  ep)anapau/h|  tw`|  nomw|,  kaiV  kauxa`sai  e)n  Qew`|"

"Behold, you are called a Jew, and you rest in the law and you boast in God"

"Jew" - This term is used in post-Captivity days.  It came from "Judah," but included some other tribes other than those of Judah and Benjamin.  In N.T. days, it included two groups:  Hebrews - Jews born and reared in Palestine who spoke the Hebrew tongue, and (2) Jews who had been born and reared outside of Palestine.  "Jew" as contrasted with Greek denoted nationality, while the word "Hebrew" emphasizes more the idea of language. 

The "O man" (v.1) who is described by Paul in the verses that follow, is finally identified by him as "the Jew" here in v. 17, and further described in verses 17-28. 

 "called" - may be middle voice here, hence meaning "call yourself" a Jew.

v. 18  -  "kaiV  ginw/skei$  toV  qel/hma,  kaVi  dokima/zei$  taV  diafe/ronta,  kathxou/meno$  e)k  tou`  nom/ou,"                               "and you know (His) will, and you approve the things that really matter, being instructed out of the law"



"the will"  =  "the will of God" as in Romans 12:2, and also compare this to the perfect law of liberty (James 1:25).  See 1 Corinthians 13:10 where Paul contrasts the incomplete (or oral) with the complete (or written) will of God.  

It is not merely knowing God's will that makes people better, but the doing of it!  What value then was the Law to a disobedient Jew (see v. 13 again)?  Even though one is able to discern between right and wrong (with the aid of a greater light than that which Gentiles possessed), such a capability did not help much, and certainly gave them no room to boast, yet "boast" they did (v. 17). 

v. 19  -  "pe/poiqa/$  te  seautoVn  o(dhgoVn  ein@ai  tuflw`n,  fw`$  tw`n  en)  sko/tei,"

"and are persuaded (that you) yourself are a guide of blind ones, a light of those in darkness"

In this verse, Paul continues his description of what the Jew thinks of himself. He perceives himself to be a guide for blind people, and a light for those in darkness.  This air of superiority and arrogance was not new to their generation, for the previous generation manifested a similar conceited view of themselves, due to their physical relationship to Abraham and their being given the Law (Acts 15:1-2). The problem? The Jew felt that way because of WHO he was, instead of WHAT he was. 

Here "darkness" evidently refers to the "ignorance" of the Gentile world.

v. 20  -  "paideuthVVn  a)fro/nwn,  dida/skalon  nhpi/wn,  e&xonta  thVn  mo/rfwsin  th`$  gnw/sew$ kaiV  th`$  a)lhqei/a$  e)n  tw`|  nomw|:

"an instructor of foolish ones, a teacher of minors, having the form of the knowledge and the truth in the law"

"a corrector" -  This noun comes from the verb  paideuo meaning "to bring up, train, educate." The root word  pais means "child," and is prominent in such English words today as pedagogue, pediatrician, pedobaptist and even pedophilia.  The 2nd term didaskalos is the more general word used for "teacher" in the original language.

It is possible that the rabbis were in the habit of giving these two names (foolish and babes) to very recent proselytes from the pagan world. Note that all the names for Gentiles were given by the Jewish world, which further illustrates their egotistical, self-confident attitude toward the non-Jewish world.

v. 21  -  "o(  ou@n  dida/skwn  e%teron,  seautoVn  ou)  dida/skei$;  o( khru/sswn  mhV  kle/ptein,  kle/ptei$;" 

"therefore the one who teaches another, do you not teach yourself?  The one preaching not to steal, do you steal?"

The Jews, as described here, were the very epitome of hypocrisy.  No wonder Christ was so rough on the Pharisees and scribes in Matthew 23.  How good is a teacher (see v. 20) who doesn't "practice what he preaches"?  Finally, here is the "Thou art the man" (2 Sam. 12:7) that we have been expecting since the



first verse of this chapter!  Jesus had earlier accused the Pharisees as being those who "say, and do not" (Matthew 23:3).

"do you steal?" - This does not insinuate that every Jew was a thief, but rather merely informs us that this crime was quite general among Jews too!  The word thief comes from an original word from which our English word kleptomania is derived.

v. 22  -  "o(  le/gwn  mhV  moixeu/ein,  moixeu/ei$;   o(  bdelusso/meno$  taV  ei&dwla,  i(erosulei`$;" 

"the one saying not to commit adultery, do you commit adultery?  the one who abhors idols, do you rob temples?"

"Commit adultery" - A common sin among the Jews, but also quite common among those of any generation of people. The Talmud accuses some of their own rabbis (by name) of this sin. When their scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus, "Master we would see a sign from thee," He responded with this accusation:  "A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign" (Matthew 12:39). Later in Matthew 19:3-9, Jesus was addressing Pharisees and answering their question about marriage when He brought up the issue of adultery (v. 9). We also need to remember the lesson behind the woman "taken in adultery" (John 8:1-11). 

"abhorrest idols" - The Jews were right in detesting idols, but were they right in robbing heathen temples?  Note that in Acts 19:37, the town clerk (quieting the Gentile idol worshippers), declared that Paul and his company were not "robbers of temples," the same word as used here - hierosulous . The implication is that the Jews had that reputation. 

v. 23  -  "o^$  en)  no/mw|  kauxa`sai,  diVa  th`$  paraba/sew$  tou`  no/mou  toVn  QeoVn  a)tima/zei$;"

 "the one who boasts in the law, through the transgression of the law do you dishonor God?"  

It is life and conduct, not merely professing something through the lips, that does real honor to God. To do the former, but neglect the latter, is to play the role of a hypocrite - something at which the Jews were quite adept.  The verb timao means to honor, or value, and thus when the prefix (or alpha negative) is added to the front of this word, the idea becomes to dishonor. This root word atimazo is found six times in the N.T., and translated variously as in "vile, dishonor, shame and reproach."

v. 24  -  "toV  gaVr  o&noma  tou`  Qeou`  di  ) u(ma`$  blasfhmeit`ai  e)n  toi`$  e&qnesi,  kaqwV$  ge/graptai."

"for the name of God through you is blasphemed among the Gentiles, as it is written."

"through you"  -  People usually judge an individual's religion by his conduct.  Because of the Jews' hypocrisy and behavior, the Gentiles were caused to blaspheme God. Earlier Jesus charged that they "say, and do not" (Matthew 23:3), i.e. the Jews did not practice what they preached! 



"as it is written"  -  Back in the O.T., Nathan accused David of actions with Bathsheba that caused others to blaspheme:  "...because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme..." (2 Sam. 12:14).  The same fact was lodged against the nation of Israel some 500 years later when God informed Ezekiel to tell Israel that they had "profaned" His holy name among the heathen (Ezekiel 36:21-23). Now, Paul argues, they were still "playing the same game."

v. 25  -  "peritomhV  meVn  gaVr  w)felei`,  e)aVn  no/mon  pra/ssh|$:  e)aVn  deV  paraba/th|$  no/mou  h|@$   h(  peritomh/  sou 

a)krobusti/a  ge/gonen."

"for indeed circumcision profits,  if you practice (do) the law:   but if a transgressor of law you are,  your circumcision has become uncircumcision." 


"circumcision ...uncircumcision"  -  The first word is from "peri" = "around" and "temno"  =  I cut, hence it signifies a cutting around.  The 2nd term is a different  word referring to "foreskin, " hence the opposite of circumcision.  Paul uses "circumcision" to refer to Jews, and "uncircumcision" to refer to Gentiles.  Earlier Paul had driven the Jews from their refuge in the Law (see v. 23), now he drives them from their refuge in the rite of circumcision.  An important point here is to realize that  circumcision was worthless if the Jew did not keep the Law!  Similarly under the Christian dispensation, faith is of no value without obedience (see James 2:26);  the value was present only if a person was obedient.  Since circumcision was a sign of a covenant relationship with God, if a Jew did not obey God, his circumcision was mere hypocrisy. "practice"  -  This refers to a way of life, an habitual practice.  If one habitually transgressed the law, he would be treated as a "heathen" by God.  No rite or ceremony by itself would save, but must be coupled together with obedience in heart and life.


v. 26  -  "e)aVn  ou@n  h(  a)krobusti/a  taV  dikaiw/mata  tou`  no/mou  fula/ssh|,  ou)xiV  h(  a)krobusti/a  au)tou`  ei)$  peritomhVn  logisqh/setai;"


"Therefore if the uncircumcision keeps (guards) the righteous things  of the law,  shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?"


Who was better off in the eyes of God  -  the circumcised Jew who disobeyed the Law, or the uncircumcised Gentile who kept the things contained in the Law?  Paul says "the latter" (see chapter 2:14).


v. 27  -  "kaiV  krinei`  h(  e)k  fu/sew$  a)krobusti/a,  toVn  no/mon  telou`sa,  seV  toVn  diaV  gra/mmato$  kaiV  peritomh`$  paraba/thn  no/mou;"


"and the uncircumcision which is by nature shall (it not) judge you, if it is fulfilling the law, who by the letter and circumcision (are) a transgressor of the law?"


"by nature"  -  The non-Jew was uncircumcised by virtue of his Gentile birth.  No person, Jew or Gentile, fulfilled the law, BUT a good man among the Gentiles was better than a bad man among the Jews.  Paul was addressing Jews who had proceeded to judge Gentiles, and next Paul turns the table on them by saying the Gentile (by his behavior)



judges or condemns the Jewish sinner!  Remember, the Law was temporary and was to last until Christ came (Galatians 3) but the 1st century Jew wanted it to be permanent (Acts 15:1, 5).  How ironical, since even the Jew did not keep the Law which he wanted to bind on Gentiles!


v. 28  -  "ou)  gaVr  o(  e)n  tw`|  fanerw|`    ))))Ioudai~o/$  e)stin,  ou)deV  h(  e)n  tw`|  fanerw`|  e)n  sarkiV  peritomhV:"


"for not (the one) who is plainly seen a Jew, neither that (which is) plainly seen, in the flesh, circumcision"


Paul does not mean that this person is not a Jew in any sense, but merely the kind that will stand in the last day.  Paul bluntly tells these 1st century brethren of ours, many of whom had a Jewish background, that after Pentecost, national Jews were no longer God's chosen people, but spiritual Jews were! The external sign of circumcision was no longer a sign of a covenant relationship with God.  Being a real Jew in God's eyes was an internal issue, a matter of the heart, and circumcision was not physical, but rather figurative.


v. 29  -  "a)llh  ) o(  e)n  tw`|  kruptw`|     )Ioudai`o$,  kaiV  peritomh/  kardi/a$  e)n  pneu/mati,  ou)  gra/mmati:   ou!  o(  e&paino$  ou)k  e)c  a)nqrw/pwn,   a)ll  ) e)k  tou`  Qeou`."


"but the one who hiddenly (is) a Jew, and circumcision (is) of heart, in spirit not in letter, of whom praise (is) not of men, but of God."


What does it mean to be a Jew internally, but not externally?  Here Paul lays the groundwork for the gospel system, for faith is inward - remember "with the heart man believeth unto righteousness" (10:10).


Even in the O.T., circumcision was merely a sign of an obedient heart (or was meant to be).  Notice that Moses wrote:  "Circumcise, therefore, the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked" (Deut. 10:16). Hence Paul wrote to Christians in Philippi:  "For we are the circumcision, which worship God in spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh" (Phil. 3:3). Six hundred years earlier under the Old Law, God said that nations like Egypt, Edom, Ammon and Moab were uncircumcised, but Israel itself was "uncircumcised in the heart" (Jer. 9:26). Even back then, the sign of physical circumcision had lost its primary significance, and meant little to God's people. Paul declared that Christians of his day were "circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:  buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.  And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses" (Col. 2:11-13). The circumcision of Christ , i.e., baptism, was for the purpose of the putting off of sins, and was also described as an "operation" of God. The word operation in Col. 2:12 is from "energeia " = working, or action (compare our English words "energy,"  "energize," and other cognates which are derived from this Greek word.)  



Price's Notes

Romans Chapter 3

v. 1  -  "Ti/  ou@n  toV  perissoVn  tou`   I)oudai/ou,  h#  ti/$  h(  w)fe/leia  th`$  peritomh`$;"

"What then (is) the superiority of the Jew, or what (is) the profit of the circumcision?"

After receiving such a blow to his pride, by being equated with the Gentile, the Jew might desire to challenge some of the statements made in the previous chapter.  Paul now answers some of the objections which they "might" offer.

"superiority"  -  The advantages which the Jew possessed lay not in his Jewishness, but in his opportunities! 

"circumcision"  -  On the topic of circumcision, you are urged to read again the last five verses of the previous chapter.  Now, the Jews might ask:  "If the Gentiles did things required by the law, and he be treated as if he had been circumcised, then "what is the profit of circumcision?"  The answer would be, NONE in the outward mark of circumcision, but much in the relationship of circumcision to the covenant!

v. 2  -  "poluV  kataV  panta  tro/pon:  prw`ton  meVn  gaVr  o%ti  e)pisteu/qhsan  taV  lo/gia  tou`  Qeou`." 

"Much according to every way:  first, for indeed because they were entrusted (with) the oracles of God" 

"first (of all)"  -  This implies a 2nd, 3rd, etc., but Paul gives only one at this point, mentioning only the 1st reason;  others are found in Romans 9:4-5.

"entrusted with the oracles of God"  -  One is definitely in a more favorable position if he has a written revelation, than if he were without one!  Through such oracles (the entire O.T.), many Jews were taught, and were saved (Heb. 9:15).

v. 3  -  "ti/  ga/r  ei ) h)pi/sthsa/n  tine$ ;  mhV  h(  a)pisti/a  au)tw`n  thVn  pi/stin  tou`  Qeou`  katargh/sei ;"

"for what if some were unfaithful?  shall the unfaithfulness of them the faithfulness of God nullify?"  

Here is another possible objection of the Jew.  "What about God's promises to our nation of Israel?  Will He not keep His promises, even though some of us (back then) were unfaithful?  Will their unfaithfulness cause God to ignore His promises?  The Greek word  me  expects a "no" answer, so let us word it this way in English:  "Their unfaithfulness won't nullify God's faithfulness, will it?"

v. 4  -  "mhV  ge/noito:  gine/sqw  deV  o(  QeoV$  a)lhqh/$,  pa`$  deV  a&nqrwpo$  yeu/sth$,  kaqwV$  ge/graptai,   %Opw$  a#n  dikaiwqh`|$  en)  toi`$  lo/goi$  sou,  kaiV  nikh/sh|$  en)  tw|`  kri/nesQai/  se. "  

"May it not be so!  but let God be true, and every man a liar,  according as it is written,  'That you might be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged.'"



"God forbid"  -  Note that the word God is not found in this comment. Paul expresses a strong negative, and though not literal, the expression of "God forbid" does express the right idea. A better rendering would be "Certainly not!"  

Remember, God's covenants are conditional, and a promise not received does not show God's unfaithfulness, but rather man's!  A paraphrase might be something like this:  "Let all understand that God is true to His promises, even though every Jew might break the covenant, and prove himself a liar."  Here it is man's integrity that is in question - not God's.  The reference Paul alludes to is Psalm 51:4 where David knew that Nathan's rebuke was just.  

v. 5  -  "ei ) deV  h(  a)diki/a  h(mw`n  Qeou`  dikaiosu/nhn  suni/sthsi,  ti/  e)rou`men ;  mhV  a&diko$  o(  QeoV$  o(  e)pife/rwn  thVn  o)rgh/n  (kataV  a&nqrwpon  le/gw) ; "

"But if our unrighteousness commends God's righteousness, what shall we say?  (Is) God unrighteous who inflicts wrath? (I speak according to a man)"

"But if" begins yet another possible objection the Jew might offer. It has already been established that God is righteous in condemning men for their sins. They were unfaithful in regard to what God had revealed (see. Psa. 119:172).  In this verse, God's righteousness refers to God's faithfulness, a characteristic or trait of God, as distinguished from the term in 1:17 where it refers to a righteousness which God bestows, i.e. tantamount to justification.

"What shall we say?" - Paul is asking (he assumes this very matter is on their mind) if it is right punish man for sin - sin which helps God's faithfulness (righteousness) appear all the more glorious by contrast?  I.e., if man's sin be to the glory of God, then why is God angry?

"Is God unrighteous who inflicts wrath?" -  The use of me again shows a negative answer is expected!

"I speak as a man"  -  Paul is NOT disclaiming inspiration, but merely says "this is the kind of logic a man uses,"  i.e., "I am using the logic of an objector!"

    The case of the Jew.  

Is he not correct?  This is the kind of reasoning found in various debates.  It is sound plausible at 1st, but it is used to sway an audience, and is false to the core.  The Jew had forgotten (conveniently) that God is the author of two types of promises:  (1) He will bless Israel's obedience, and (2) He will punish their disobedience.  Now His faithfulness requires that He remember the threats as well as the blessings, does it not?

    The Case of the Gentile

v. 6  -  "mhV  ge/noito:  e)pei V pw`$  krinei`  o(  QeoV$  toVn  ko/smon; "

"May it not be.  Since how shall God judge the world?"



This same type of reasoning was found to be fallacious in 6:1-2.  But by this logic (i.e., the Jew's unfaithfulness magnifies God's fidelity, then would not the sins of the world do the same?  The Gentiles would like to use this argument to also escape the judgment, and if it were true, there would be no judgment day at all!  (Besides, what sinner sins to cause people to glorify God?)

    The Case of Paul Himself

v. 7  -  " ei ) gaVr  h(  a)lh/qeia  tou`  Qeou`  en)  tw`|  em)w`|  yeu/smati  ep)eri/sseusen  ei$)  thVn  do/can  au)tou`,  ti/  e&ti  ka)gwV  w($  a(martwloV$  kri/nomai;"

"for if the truth of God by my lie abounded unto His glory, why yet also I as a sinner am judged?"

Now Paul uses himself as another case in point.  Not only could God not judge the Jews and Gentiles, Paul argues, but what about my own case, he might ask.  From the standpoint of the orthodox Jew, Paul (as a Christian) was an apostate from the Jewish religion, and viewed by them as a great sinner.  Now Paul argues, "Why are you condemning me?" I.e.,  "If I am as bad as you contend that I am, surely God must great in comparison with me!"

v. 8  -  " kaiV  mh/  (kaqwV$  blasfhmou/meqa, kaVi  kaqw/$  fasi/  tine$  h(ma`$  le/gein  ot%i)  Poih/swmen  taV  kakaV  i%na  e&lqh|  taV  a)gaqa/ ;  w!n  toV  kri/ma  e&ndikon  e)sti."

"and not, according as we are blasphemously charged, and according as some affirm [that] we say, Let us do evil things in order that good things may come? whose  judgment is just."

The Jews had slanderously misrepresented Paul by saying that he encouraged men to sin, so that God could receive more glory.  Where could they get some ammunition for such a charge? (See 5:20 - "where sin abounded, grace did much more abound"). It is easy for some to "spin" the truth of what was said to make it mean something Paul did not say, i.e. to teach that Paul taught people OUGHT to sin in order to promote God's glory!  Just as this was not the intent of Judas when he betrayed Jesus, so it is not the intent of anyone who knowingly commits sin on any occasion. This then is Paul's 3rd answer to the objection found in verse 5.

v. 9  -  " Ti/  ou@n;  proexo/meqa ;  ou)  pa/ntw$:  proh|tiasa/meqa  gaVr   )Ioudai/ou$  te  kaiV  %Ellhna$  pa/nta$  u(f )  a(marti/an  ei@nai,"

"What, then?  Are we better?  not at all:  for we previously accused both Jews and Gentiles all to be under sin."

Paul identifies himself with the Jews, and asks:  "Are we better than they"?  i.e., the Gentiles.  The Jews had ruined what advantages they had, and as far as guilt was concerned, were in the same boat with the Gentiles.

v. 10  -  "kaqwV$  ge/graptai  o%ti  Ou)k  e&sti  di/kaio$  ou)deV  ei!$:"

"Accordingly it has been written that There is none righteous, not one."  



Verses 10-12 are from Psalm 14:2-3 (also Psa. 53) and the statement was used to argue the case that "children of men" (not merely the Jews only) were guilty of sin. The previous verse (Rom. 3:9) illustrates the same universality of sin. Now, the Jew might deny Paul's statements, but he could not deny his own Scriptures!

"none righteous"  -   In spite of this assertion, we read that both Elizabeth and Zacharias were called righteous (Luke 1:6), so what is the answer to this apparent contradiction? In this section, Paul speaks of the righteousness which is necessary for a man to NOT be condemned under the law, i.e., to be wholly free from sin, and that described nobody, no not one!  Joseph was a "just" man, but not sinlessly perfect.

v. 11  -  "ou)k  e&stin  o(  suniw`n,  ou)k  e&stin  o(  ek)zhtw`n  toVn  Qeo/n:"

"there is not [one] who understands; there is not [one] who seeks out God."

"not one who understands"  -  In the Hebrew of Psa. 14:2, God is pictured as looking down to see whether there were any that understood or sought after Him.  The Hebrew does not say, though it is clearly implied, that He found none.  Thus in our text of Romans, Paul is merely giving the sense of the passage quoted, without quoting either the Hebrew or the Greek OT (LXX).  In verse 10, the statement "No, not one" is not in the Hebrew, BUT is in the Septuagint (LXX), which shows that Paul is following the LXX at this point.  Sometimes N.T. writers cite the Hebrew, sometimes the LXX, and sometimes just give the sense of the passage.

v. 12  -  "pa/nte$  ec)e/klinan,  a^ma  h)xreiw/qhsan:  ou)k  e&sti  poiw`n  xrhsto/thta,  ou)k  e&stin  e%w$  e(no/$:"

"All turned aside, together they became worthless, there is not [one] doing right, no not even one"

"not one doing right"  -  This is to be understood in the same sense as when he says "there are none righteous; i.e., there are none who are righteous all the time, without exception, or who never sin.

Certainly there have been hundreds of people who have done good, yet were not sinless:  Joseph of Arimathea "was a good man" (Luke 23:50); Barnabas likewise "was a good man" (Acts 11:24), but who is ready to say these were without sin?

v. 13  -  "ta/fo$  a)new|gme/no$  o(  la/rugc  au)tw`n:  tai`$  glw/ssai$  au)tw`n  ed)oliou`san:;  i)o$  a)spi/dwn  u(po   ta  xei/lh  au)tw`n:" 

"An open grave is their throat, with their tongues they were deceiving, poison of asps is under their lips"

"throat"  -  The word for throat is the term "larynx" from which a number of English words are derived.  The first part of this verse is from Psalm 5:9, while the latter part is from Psalm 140:3.  An open grave, with a rotting body inside, is an unnatural sight to behold, as well as being offensive to smell.  This describes filthy speech in a most powerful manner!

v. 14  -  "w!n  to   sto/ma  a)ra`$  kai   pikri/a$  ge/mei: "



"of whom the mouth of cursing and bitterness is full"

This reference is taken from Psalm 10:7 where David was describing his enemies, and Paul adapts the language for an extended use.

v. 15  -  "o)cei$`  oi(  po/de$  au)tw`n  ek)xe/ai  ai!ma: "

"Swift [are] their feet to pour out blood"

This verse, and the next two verses as well, have been condensed from Isaiah 59:7,8.  Paul is selecting random passages (instead of just one) to illustrate how people can cause misery, ruin reputations, and destroy peace in the lives of others.

v. 16  -  "su/ntrimma  kai   talaipwri/a  e)n  tai`$  o(doi`$  aut)w`n," 

"Destruction and misery [are] in their ways"

"Destruction" comes from a verb used often in the NT,  meaning "break, shatter."  Things such as an "alabaster flask" (Mk. 14:3), bones (John 19:36), and tables of the Law (Ex. 32:19 LXX) can be cited as examples of its usage. James 5:1 mentions "miseries" coming on people.

v. 17   -  "kai   o(do n  eir)h/nh$  ou)k  e&gnwsan:"

"A way of peace they knew not"  -  Some cultures have known nothing but fighting and war, and that for centuries, and could aptly be described as not knowing a way of peace as well. Such people leave a trail of woe in their wake.

v. 18  -  "ou)k  e&sti  fo/bo$  Qeou`  a)pe/nanti  tw`n  o)fqalmw`n  au)tw`n."

"Not is there a fear of God before their eyes."  

"ophthalmos"  -  Our word "ophthalmologist" comes from this Greek term for "eyes."

This verse comes from Psalm 36:1, as Paul finishes up this array of OT passages.  All were sinners, in both tongue and deed, and had no "fear (awe, reverence) of God." Surely both Jews and Gentiles were included in Paul's indictment, a sad state of affairs indeed.

v. 19  -  "Oi&damen  deV  o^ti  o^sa  o(  novmo$  levgei,  toi`$  e)n  tw`|  novmw|  lalei`,  i^na  pa`n  sto/ma  fragh`|,  kai   u(po/diko$  ge/nhtai  pa`$  o(  ko/smo$  tw`|  Qew`|:"

"But we know that whatever the law says, to the ones in the law it speaks, in order that every mouth might be closed, and under judgment might be all the world to God."

Concluding his listing of passages from Psalms, Paul drives home his point.  We all admit, or concede the fact, that the law is addressed to its own subjects.  That is why Paul uses the OT Scriptures, since the Jew had to accept it.  Their own scriptures show them to be sinners, and they couldn't deny it!



"the law"  -  is not merely the Pentateuch;  it included also Isaiah (1 Cor. 14:21) and even Psalms (John 10:34; 15:25).

Now the works of the Law justified nobody (see Gal. 2:16), but it did declare a man guilty, and being guilty, he had no reply. Periodically we hear someone today, upon being shocked, say "Well, shut my mouth!"  Paul declares that all objections had to cease, for "the world (including the Jew according to this verse) had become guilty before God."  Having hit "rock bottom," the world was now ready to hear of how it is that God makes men righteous!

v. 20  -  "dio/ti  e)c  e&rgwn  nom/ou  ou)  dikawqh/setai  pa`sa  saVrc  e)nw/pion  au)tou`:  diaV  gaVr  no/mou  e)pi/gnwsi$  a(marti/a$."

"because out of works of law not shall be justified all flesh before him, for through law a knowledge of sin [is]."

"because"  -  not "therefore," meaning not a conclusion drawn from what has been said, but rather giving a reason for it. Remember Romans 1 shows the Gentiles had violated moral laws which they had.  Chapter 2 shows that the Jews had done the same.  "Works of law" = complete obedience (perfect) to all that law required.

"shall no flesh be justified"  -  Jew or Gentile.  The word "justified" is from the same root as the word "righteous," hence "to be justified" means to be pronounced righteous.  Another way to remember the term:  "Just - as -  if - I'd"  never sinned!

Herein lies the problem as to "why" no flesh could be justified by law-keeping.  "Law was never intended to enable men to keep it perfectly, but rather the effect of the law was to open men's eyes to their own sinfulness.  It's function:  to condemn, not justify!  It didn't declare one free from guilt, but rather "guilty as charged."  If one could have been justified by the Law, then Christ died in vain (see Gal. 2:21). At this point, it might be good to remind ourselves that God, from the beginning, had intended to send Christ to help man with his sin problem (Eph. 3:11).

v. 21  -  "nuniV  deV  xwriV$  no/mou  dikaiosu/nh  Qeou`  pefane/rwtai,  marturoume/nh  u(poV  tou`  novmou  kaiV  tw`n  profhtw`n:"  

"but now apart from law a righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed to by the law and the prophets."

"apart from law" -  In the first century, the Jews would have no problem realizing that Paul had their Law of Moses in mind, even though the article ("the") does not precede the word "law." For centuries they tried, unsuccessfully, to keep the Law, and thus God intervened to introduce His "God-kind" of righteousness (see also chapter 10:3). Paul certainly does not mean that there is no law in the Christian dispensation, for he tells the Corinthians that they are "under law to Christ" (1 Cor. 9:21). Our text merely contends that justification was not to be based on law as under the Old Law, but to be accomplished some other way, which Paul identifies in chapter 9:30-32. 



v. 22  -  "dikaiosu/nh  deV  Qeou`  diaV  pi/stew$  )Ihsou`  Xristou`  ei)$  pa/nta$  touV$  pisteu/onta$:  ou)  ga/r  e)sti  diastolh/:"

"even a righteousness of God through faith of Jesus Christ unto all the believing ones, for there is no distinction"

 "righteousness of God"  -  God's system of righteousness is not based upon a "law-system" but as Paul now declares upon a "faith-system."  Note that this is not righteousness by fiat (that is, God just declaring all men redeemed), because man must exercise his faith, or believe.  The "faith of Jesus Christ" is the gospel!  Though God's righteousness is manifested to all, yet all do not profit.  God's grace has appeared to all also, yet all are not saved (Titus 2:11; Heb. 2:9). God has willed that man can have access to grace through an obedient faith (Rom. 5:2).

v. 23  -  "pa/nte$  gaVr  h%marton  kaiV  u(sterou`ntai  th`$  do/ch$  tou`  Qeou`,"

"for all sinned and failed to reach the glory of God"

This is the climax of all the comments of Paul from chapters 1:18 - 3:20.  This was the condition on mankind in the 1st century, following centuries of attempting to be justified by the Law.  

v. 24  -  "dikaiou/menoi  dwreaVn  th`|  aut)ou`  xa/riti  diaV  th`$  a)polutrw/sew$  th`$  en)  Xristw|`  Ihsou`:"

"being justified as a gift by his grace through the redemption, the one in Christ Jesus"

"Justified"  -  the plural participle shows that the justified ones are in mind, and Paul has just stated that they are the ones who are "believers."  This justification, though conditional, is not earnable  -  it is free.  It cannot be purchased.  This helps us to be humble (Luke 17:10 -  "...when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say 'We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do'").  Back of the atonement lies the grace of God (Heb. 2:9).

"redemption"  -  The idea of "ransom" usually included the triple notion of bondage, deliverance, and payment as the means of that deliverance.

v. 25  -  "o^n  proe/qeto  o(  QeoV$  il(asth/rion,  diaV  t`h$  pi/stew$,  e)n  tw|`  aut)ou`  ai%mati,  ei$) e&ndeicin  th`$  dikaiosu/nh$  au)tou`,  diaV  thVn  pa/resin  tw`n  progegono/twn  a(marthma/twn, e)n  th`|  a)noxh`|  tou`  Qeou`: "  

"whom God set forth a mercy seat, through faith, in his blood, unto proof of his righteousness, through the passing by of the having occurred beforehand sins, in the forbearance of God"

"mercy seat"  -  You can read the background of the mercy seat in Ex. 25:21-22.  This term is found but one other time in the NT, and that is in Heb. 9:5.  There it refers to the "mercy seat" and is so translated.  Hence, it is our conclusion that Christ is the "antitype" of the mercy seat in the OT. Some argue "No," because this would make Him both the victim whose blood was sprinkled, and the seat on which is was sprinkled!  But note:  In Heb. 9:11,12, Christ is the victim whose blood was shed, and the priest by whom



it is offered, and that at the same time!  The word "propitiation" = "covering for sin,"  not appeasement.  God had no personal anger toward the sinner, thus needing to be appeased!  The sin of man incurred God's wrath.  THE DEATH OF CHRIST WAS NEVER INTENDED TO GENERATE IN GOD A DISPOSITION WHICH DID NOT EXIST IN HIM BEFORE (John 3:16).  

"passing by"  -  Here, the word sometimes translated "remission" is from "paresin"  not "aphesin."  The former word is found nowhere else in the Greek NT.  It does not carry the idea of releasing, or letting go, but rather a passing over, or letting go unpunished for a time.  There was no absolute forgiveness in former sacrifices, either of the Patriarchal or Mosaical Ages (Heb. 10:1-4; 9:15).  It is interesting to compare Micah 7:18 with Acts 17:30-31:  "Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger forever, because he delighteth in mercy" prophesies Micah, while centuries later Paul declares "at the times of this ignorance God winked at ("overlooked"); but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent."

v. 26  -  "proV$  e&ndeicin  th`$  dikaiosu/nh$  au)tou`  en)  tw`|  nu`n  kairw`|,  ei)$  toV  ei@nai  au)toVn  di/kaion  kaiV  dikaiou`nta  toVn  ek)  pi/stew$  )Ihsou`."

"for a showing forth of his righteousness in the present time, in order that he [might] be just and justifying the one who is of the faith of Jesus"

This covering (mercy-seat) brought about a condition where God could be both "just and the justifier" (as per this verse).  Justice demands that sin be punished.  Now how could God be  just by "passing over sins" of a former dispensation, or even now by doing the same for sinners of our day?  The DEATH OF CHRIST made both possible by removing the guilt incurred, not only for believers in Christ after the cross, but also for those faithful worthies under previous dispensations (Hebrews 9:15).

v. 27  -  "pou`  ou@n  h(  kau/xhsi$;  e)ceklei/sqh.  diaV  poi/ou  nom/ou;  tw`n  e&rgwn;  ou)xi/,  a)llaV  diaV  nom/ou  pi/stew$."

"Where therefore [is] the boasting?  It was excluded.  Through which kind of law?  Of works? No, but through a law of faith."

If a person could live a perfect life, he could have some room for boasting, but a realization that we are all sinners humbles us instead.  The Law of Moses condemned instead of justified someone, and even the Gentile could not brag either! What law is it then that removes boasting? The LAW of faith! Note that the gospel is here referred to as a "law of faith."  Romans and Galatians nowhere teach that the gospel is not law.  Instead they teach that it is law, for faith is to be obeyed (Rom. 1:5).  It is God's power unto salvation (Rom. 1:16) and this verse shows that it demands obedience since it is law.  

v. 28  -  "logizo/meqa  ou@n  pi/stei  dikaiou`sqai  a&nqrwpon,  xwriV$  e&rgwn  no/mou." 

"We reckon therefore by faith a man [is] to be justified, apart from works of law." Paul does not deny in v. 28 what he affirms in v. 27.  The gospel is a "faith system," not a law system! In the latter, perfection is demanded, and leaves no room for grace, but the "faith system," although involving "obedience to the faith," yet it recognizes that forgiveness is a matter of God's grace!



Hence v. 28 is equivalent to saying "We reckon therefore that a man is justified by the faith system and not by a law system." Many have stumbled (romped) through Romans without realizing that when Paul speaks of faith, it is an obedient faith, yet that very fact is affirmed at the outset of this epistle (Rom. 1:5).  Could any amount of works ever change the fact that a man had (or has) sinned?

"by faith"  -  Our text is the one on which Martin Luther made his infamous translation "we are justified by faith only."  This extreme position is as bad as the "doctrine of works" (those prescribed by Roman Catholicism) that Luther opposed. His rendering of this verse has led thousands to deny that "Bible faith" includes "obedience" (Rom. 1:5; 16:26).

Truly, all works of obedience cannot merit salvation (Luke 16:10). Certainly a person ought not believe that God owes him salvation because he believes. The same thing could be argued regarding the command to repent, or be baptized, or living godly.  These are all conditions which Christ has appointed which, if we obey, He makes an investment for us in the "blood-bank."  Works are not the GROUND of our justification; Calvary is!  This is why Paul earlier speaks of "faith in his (Christ's) blood" (3:25). 

v. 29  -  "h(   I)oudai/wn  o ( QeoV$  mo/non;  ou)xiV  deV  kaiV  e)qnw`n;  naiV  kaiV  eq)nw`n:

"[Is He] the God of the Jews only, but not also of Gentiles?  No, also of Gentiles."  

Since salvation is located OUTSIDE the "deeds of the law," then there is but one plan of justification, for both Jews and Gentiles. Salvation, after Pentecost, had nothing to do with the law of Moses, regardless of how the Jews (who exulted over their superiority over the Gentile world - see Matthew 3:9; John 8:37ff. ) felt about it.

v. 30  -  "e)peip/er  ei$!  o(  QeoV$,  o^$  dikaiw/sei  peritomhVn  ek)  pi/stew$,  kaiV  a)krobusti/an  diaV  th`$  pi/stew$.

"Since indeed [it is] one God who will justify [the] circumcision by (out of) faith, and [the] uncircumcision through the faith."

Paul is still addressing the same argument. If there was to be a distinction regarding how these two nations were to be saved, it would have to be one of the following:  (1) either there are more gods than one who will justify a man, or (2) the one God has some different laws.  Different prepositions are used by Paul emphasizing SOURCE and AGENCY, but the usage here is  practically synonymous. Hence there is one God, with one law, for all humankind.

v. 31  -  "vno/mon  ou@n  katargou`men  diaV  th`$  pi/stew$;  mhV  ge/noito:  a)llaV  no/mon  i(stw`men"

"Therefore [the] law do we nullify through faith?  May it not be so!  but [the] law we establish."  

Paul declares that we put law on its true base, showing its purpose was to convict of sin, and thus lead a person to Christ who can help him with his sin problem (see 7:12; Gal. 3:24).




Price's  Notes

Romans  Chapter  4

v. 1  -  "Ti/  ou@n  er)ou`men    )AbraaVm  toVn  pate/ra  h(mw`n  eu(rhke/nai  kataV  sa/rka;"

"What therefore do we say Abram, our father according to flesh, has found?"

Regardless of the existence of a chapter break here (the writer knew of no such chapter division), the inspired Paul continues the question: "Is man justified by a law of faith, or the law of works?"  His conclusion has already been given back in 3:28, and now we are to see how Abraham fits in with this conclusion. WHY? He was the one with whom the old covenant was made, and to whom a new covenant was promised. Paul wrote to the churches of Galatia: "And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, 'In thee shall all nations be blessed'" (Gal. 3:38). Abraham stands out as "the father of believers."  He was their "forefather" in the flesh also, which strikes a common ground of appeal, yet he is also father of ALL believers, not just those Jewish in background. What better example could be found?

v. 2  -  "ei)  gaVr   )AbraaVm  e)c  e&rgwn  e)dikaiw/qh,  e&xei  kau/xhma,  a)ll )  ou)  proV$  toVn  Qeo/n." 

"For if Abram out of works were justified, he has something about which to boast, but not before God"

There is no question but that Abraham was justified, but the real question is "on what basis?"  If it had been by works of merit, he might have had something about which to boast.  When we come to verse 5, we shall deal with James 1:21, which some, like Martin Luther, believed was in direct contradiction to what Paul is saying here. But now, suffice it to say that there is no contradiction between Paul and James at all. Had Abraham been justified by works of merit, he might have had something about which to boast says Paul, "but not before God." Had he kept a law perfectly, he would have stood justified before God by that obedience, but since not even Abraham could do that, his justification had to be based upon something else.

v. 3  -  "ti/  gaVr  h(  grafhV  le/gei;  )Epi/steuse  deV   A)braaVm  tw`|  Qew|`,  kaiV  el)ogi/sqh  au)tw`|  ei)$  dikaiosu/nhn"

"For what says the scripture?  But Abram believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness."

The verb logizomai  connotes the idea of a credit and ledger account, so the word suggests a reckoning or crediting something to someone's account. Perhaps a transliteration of the verb into English would be something akin to this:  "it was logged into his account."  

"What does the scripture say?"  What better motto can one have than this? Truth is not based on emotion, or feelings. The Bereans were living examples of this excellent trait (Acts 17:11). 

Man can have no better motto than to say "What does the scripture say?" Paul refers to Genesis 15:1-6 in this part of his epistle to the Roman brethren, and he quotes verse 6 at this point, which is Moses' appraisal of Abram's faith. Here, an 89 year old man had never had any children, but God had promised,



and that was enough for Abraham!  However, for a number of years prior to this event in his life, Abram had demonstrated his faith by a number of instances of obedience. Hence the "faith that saves is the faith that obeys!"  His faith was not like that described by James (see James 2:19).   This fact is true in both the O.T. and the N.T.  Put another way, acceptable faith has always included its own works!  Such faith is composed of four parts:  knowledge, assent, confidence, and obedience (Compare Rom. 1:5; Acts 6:7; Gal. 5:6 which was written shortly before Romans, and Gal. 3:26). 

It is important to note what Paul is NOT saying. He is NOT teaching that man is saved by "transferred righteousness," or that today Christ's righteousness is transferred to us.  Moral character does not come that way. R.L. Whiteside poses a thought-provoking query when he asks: "If a human being is made righteous without any human effort, then why are not all righteous?" The fact is that man is MADE RIGHTEOUS when he (or she) obeys the gospel, Christ's blood atones for one's sins, and he is able to walk :"in newness of life" (Rom. 6:4). This is God's plan for making men righteous (Rom. 10:3). 

v. 4  -  "tw`|  de V e)rgazome/nw|  o(  misqoV$  ou)  logi/zetai  kataV  xa/rin,  a)llaV  kataV  toV  o)feil/hma."  

"But to the one working the reward not is counted according to grace, but according to debt"

Paul discussed an illustration from everyday life - a work and salary agreement!  Being given an agreed upon salary is not favor given by an employer to an employee - such would be wages given to him because the laborer worked for it. On the other hand, if man could be justified because he earned it, then there would have been no place for God's grace. As with Abraham, justification is not attained by mankind by sinless perfection, but rather it comes through the grace of God (Rom. 5:1-2). 

v. 5  -  "tw`|  de V mhV  er)gazome/nw|,  pisteu/onti  de V e)piV  tonV  dikaiou`nta  toVn  a)sebh`,  logiz/etai  h(  pi/sti$  au)tou`  ei)$  dikaiosu/nhn."

"but to the one not working, but believing  upon the one justifying the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."

"the non-worker"  -  Is Paul saying that only the freeloader, the non-worker, will be justified? Reader, beware of fulfilling what Peter says about "wresting" the Scriptures (2 Pet. 3:16). To answer the above question with a well-known idiom used by Paul himself:  "God forbid."

The "workman for hire" analogy REPRESENTS the legal method of salvation, as contrasted with the one who works, but "not for hire," which REPRESENTS the gospel method of justification!  To sum up, whoever keeps the whole law deserves justification, as did a laborer who merits his wages when he has ended his work.  Since no one keeps the whole law, such justification is not possible. Conclusion?  Therefore justification (as show by the case of Abraham), if it can be received by mankind at all, must be by FAITH, not on the basis of "you owe me." 

PROBLEM:  Some contend that Paul (Rom. 4:3-5) and James (James 2:19-24) contradict each other? But if that were true, then you would have the Holy Spirit (who inspired both men to write what they wrote) contradicting HIMSELF. That would be quite a serious charge!  Let us attempt to show there is no contradiction at all.



According to Paul, Abraham was justified "without works."  According to James, Abraham was justified "by works," and to top it off, both writers appeal to Gen. 15:6 to prove their point. When a person apparently has located a "contradiction," this is where Biblical interpretation comes into play.  For example, Gen. 6:6 and 1 Samuel 15:29 are apparent contradictions. One verse says that the Lord "repented" that He made man, while the latter reference declares that the Lord is not a man that he should repent! (Compare John 3:16 and 1 John 2:15 on the issue of loving the world).  A vitally important rule of hermeneutics is:  "One of two contradictory statements must be false, unless corresponding terms have different meanings or applications."

It is a fact that Paul and James do use "works" in two different senses:  (1) Paul speaks of works that "make faith void" (v. 14), but (2) James speaks of works "that make faith perfect" (James 2:21-22).  Paul has in mind a law system which demands perfect works, while James discusses works of obedience, those produced by faith. Can a Christian sit down and do nothing, and be acceptable to his Lord? 

Actually, Paul and James are saying the same thing.  Paul is opposing a "works only" system, and James is opposing a "faith only" system, yet both men endorse the "obedient faith" system.  In a law system, meritorious works become the ground of salvation, but in an "obedient faith" system, the ground of salvation is the blood of Christ. The emphasis is upon "believing - instead of achieving,"  but we must keep in mind that even faith itself is a work.  "Jesus answered and said unto them, 'This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent'" (James 6:29). 

v. 6  -  "kaqa/per  kaiV  DabiVd  le/gei  toVn  makarismoVn  tou`  a)nqrw/pou,  w|!  o(  QeoV$   logi/zetai  dikaiosu/nhn  xwriV$  e&rgwn,"

"Even as also David discusses the righteousness of the man


to whom God counts righteousness apart

from works"

David is now cited to illustrate that God can reckon (log in to one's account)  one's faith for righteousness, just as He did in the case of Abraham.  For the denominational concept of "imputing righteousness" to mean "transferring personal righteousness" see R.L. Whiteside's commentary, pp. 9899.  

v. 7  -  "Maka/roi  w!n  a)fe/qhsan  ai(  a)nomi/ai,  kaiV  w!n  ep)ekalu/fqhsan  ai(  a)marti/ai."   

"Blessed ones of whom are forgiven the lawlessnesses and of whom are covered the sins"

Who are the ones whom God counts as righteous apart from works?  Those who have been forgiven, right?  Conclusion:  Paul teaches that justification is nothing other than forgiveness of sins.

v. 8  -  "maka/rio$  a)nhVr  w|!  ou)  mhV  logi/shtai  Ku/rio$  a)marti/an."

"Blessed [is] a man to whom in no wise [the] Lord might count sin."



This does not speak of future sins, but rather of past sins!  God does not hold a person guilty after he/she has been forgiven by Him!  But how does this statement from David help prove Paul's proposition of 3:28?

(1) David lived and spoke while the Law "was" in force. (2) Sinners were merely those who had not kept the Law perfectly.  (3) Yet their sins had been "passed over" (Rom. 3:25) and covered (in compliance with obedience to sacrifice offerings, etc.  -  looking forward to the supreme sacrifice of Christ which would be offered in their future.

v. 9  -  "o(  makarismoV$  ou@n  ou!to$  ep)iV  thVn  peritomh/n,  h)  kaiV  ep)iV  thVn  a)krobusti/an;  le/gomen  gaVr  o%ti   )Elogisqh  tw|`   A)braaVm  h(  pi/sti$  ei)$  dikaiosu/nhn. "

"[Is] this blessedness upon the circumcision, or also upon the uncircumcision?  For we say that faith was counted to Abraham for righteousness."

Is this blessing mentioned by David to apply only to circumcised Jews, or does it include uncircumcised Gentiles as well?  What inference is to be drawn from the fact that Abraham (their own forefather) was justified by faith, and not by genealogy?

v. 10  -  "pw`$  ou@n  el)ogi/sqh ;  e)n  peritomh`|  o&nti,  h*  en)  a)krobusti/a| ;  ou)k  e)n  peritomh`|,  a)l)l )  e)n  a)krobusti/a|: "

"How therefore was it counted?  in circumcision being, or in uncircumcision?  Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision"

Under what circumstances did his justification occur:  Was it before, or after his circumcision?  How long before his circumcision we do not  know for sure, but it was prior to his circumcision. He was circumcised in his 99th year, when Ishmael was 13 years old, and he was justified before Ishmael's birth some 13 years earlier! What is Paul's point?  Abraham's justification had nothing to do with the Old Law of the Jews. 

Abraham's  justification preceded his circumcision, and that is a fact! Thus justification was not confined to circumcision.

Why does Paul not specify the conditions of justification following verse 6 above?  Answer: We must remember that Paul is combating the very root of "justification by works" theory.  He writes to JewishChristians, yet Jews none-the-less, who taught the necessity of circumcision - he was not addressing Jews who had never obeyed the gospel as on Pentecost. The justification of sinners is not the point at issue here, but instead the relationship of Jew to Gentiles is, plus the fact that circumcision had nothing to do with a person's justification.

v. 11  -  "kaiV  shmei`on  e&labe  peritomh`$,  sfrag`ida  th`$  dikaiosu/nh$  th`$  pi/stew$  e)n  th|`  a)krobusti/a|:  ei$)  toV  ei@nai  au)toVn  pate/ra  pa/ntwn  tw`n  pisteuo/ntwn  di )  a)krobusti/a$,                 ei$)  toV  logisqh`nai  kaiV  au)toi`$  thVn  dikaiosu/nhn: "



"And he received a sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith [even though] in uncircumcision, in order to be a father of all who believe, [though] uncircumcised, in order that righteousness might be counted to them also."

Circumcision was a "sign" of a covenant between God and a 2nd party, here Abraham.  This sign served to seal Abraham's justification.  A seal is a mark used to ratify or confirm an agreement as being official.

Circumcision was given to him, like a seal affixed to a document, to authenticate a state of things already existing (his justification based on faith which was his even before he was circumcised.) 

v. 12  -  "kaiV  pate/ra  peritomh`$  toi$`  ou)k  e)k  peritomh`$  mo/non,  a)llaV  kaiV  toi$`  stoixou`si  toi`$  i&xnesi  th`$  en)  th`|  a)krobusti/a|  pi/stew$  tou`  patroV$ h(mw`n   )Abraa/m."

"And father of circumcision to them not of circumcision only, but also to those follow in the steps of the in uncircumcision faith of our father Abraham."

The word circumcision "peritomes" comes from the compound word peri "around" coupled together with the verb "temno" = I cut, hence a cutting around.  For Abraham to have been the father of Jews, the latter had to have both (1) the circumcision, plus (2) the faith which characterized Abraham.  Mere circumcision alone would not avail.  Review what Paul wrote previously in Romans 2:25-29.  

The word translated "walk" is not merely pateo, but rather stoikeo means "to line up with, hold to, agree with, follow."  As bricks must "line up" with each other when it comes to masonry, even so Christians must be "followers" of Christ, and line up with His teaching.  Note how the use of this terms shows that Abraham was not saved "by faith only," but by an obedient faith!

Abraham was justified apart from perfect obedience to a law system; therefore, salvation is not predicated upon perfect law keeping (see Acts 15:9-11). Remember that the term circumcision is often used in the New Testament in a figurative manner (see Rom. 2:29 "circumcision of the heart" and Acts 7:51 "uncircumcised in heart and ears").  

v. 13  -  "ou)  gaVr  diaV  no/mou  h(  epaggeli/a  tw`|   A)braaVm  h*  tw`|  spe/rmati  au(tou`,  toV  klhronomo/n  au)toVn  ei@nai  tou`  ko/smou,  a)lla  diaV  dikaiosu/nh$ pi/stew$.

"For not through law the promise [came] to Abraham or to the seed of him, the heir him to be of the world, but through righteousness of faith."

This promise is found in Genesis 22:18, and in Galatians 3:16 Paul tells us to whom it was that this promise refers.  Because of transgressions of Abraham's children (of the flesh), the law was added as a tutor to train them for receiving Christ, by faith.  When Christ did come, the law was taken out of the way (Gal. 3:19-27).

This promise did not belong exclusively to the Jews; evidently they had forgotten that the original promise was that "all the nations of the earth" were to be blessed, which extended beyond the circumcision and the law of Moses. The law had not been given at the time this promise was made to



Abraham, but instead several hundred years later it was given to the Israelites at Sinai. Hence, righteousness did not come through the Law!

v. 14  -  "ei ) gaVr  oi(  e)k  no/mou  klhronom/oi,  keke/nwtai  h(  pi/sti$,  kaiV  kath/rghtai  h(  ep)aggeli/a:"

"for if the heirs [are] out of law,  the faith is made empty, and the promise has been nullified."

If they were heirs merely because they had grown up under the Law (or to apply a 2nd point:  "in the church"), then where would that put "faith"?  God has no grandchildren, only children, hence under such a situation, faith would not convey any blessing.  There would be no place for it, if it were merely a matter of perfect compliance with the Law. 

If it were possible for one to keep the Law perfectly and thereby be justified, what would be the purpose of extending GRACE, and accepting men through their faith and imperfect obedience? If they were depending upon their law-keeping, and were rendered acceptable by conformity to the Law of Moses, then in actuality they were NOT depending upon any PROMISE made to Abraham!

v. 15  -  "o(  gaVr  no/mo$  o)rghVn  katerga/zetai:  ou!  gaVr  ou)k  e&sti  no/mo$,  ou)deV  para/basi$."

"For the law works wrath, for where there is no law, neither [is] transgression"

No one transgresses a law that has not been given.  Abraham did not transgress the Law of Moses, but neither did the Gentiles, for they were not under it (Rom. 3:19).  Now since all have sinned, such a state of "no-law" has ever existed.  Since law does exist, and all men violate it, therefore justification must be on some other basis besides law-keeping.

v. 16  -  "diaV  tou`to  ek)  pi/stew$,  i%na  kataV  xa/rin,  ei$)  toV  ein@ai  bebai/an  tVhn  e)paggeli/an  pantiV  tw`|  spe/rmati,  ou)  tw`|  ek)  tou`  no/mou  mo/non,  a)llaV  kaiV  tw`|  ek)  pi/stew$   'Abraa/m,  o%$  es)ti  pathVr  pa/ntwn  h(mw`n"

"Because of this [it is] by faith, in order that [it might be] according to favor, that the promise might be firm to all the seed, not only to that of the law, but also to that of the faith of Abraham, who is father of us all."

If salvation had been given on the basis of keeping the law perfectly, God would then have "owed" it to such a person under the old Law, and if God had owed it, it could not have been a matter of favor (or grace) on His part.  If it were earnable, or merited, justification would not have been by grace.

Note that the only way that God's grace is attainable is "by faith" (see also 5:2).  Now part of "the seed" was in fact the Jewish converts to Christ, but this promise was to "all the seed."  Abraham then was (and is) the "spiritual father" of us all, not to the Jewish Christians exclusively.  In Galatians 3:29, Paul writes:  "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

v. 17  -  "(kaqwV$ ge/graptai  o%ti  pathVr  pa/ntwn  e)qnw`n  teqeika  se) kate/nanti  ou!  ep)i/steuse  Qeou`,  tou`  zwopoiou`nto$  touV$  nekrou/$,  kaiV  kalou`nto$  taV  mhV  o&nta  w($  o&nta."



"just as it has been written, that a father of many nations I have made you, before whom he believed God, Who makes alive the dead ones, and calls the things not existing as existing."

This is a quotation from Genesis 17:5.  This promise was true not only in a physical sense (for he was father of the Israelites, Edomites, Ishmaelites, Midianites), but it is also true in a "spiritual" sense as well.  The latter is the one to be emphasized here, for he is father of all who believe in God in every nation in the world.

"makes alive dead ones" - may well be anticipatory, referring to Abraham, Sarah, and even Jesus Christ (see verses 19 and 24).  

existing vs. not existing - The things which God foretells and promises which He makes are so certain, that He may speak of them as already in existence.  Instead of wording the promise that He WOULD make Abraham a father of many nations, God speaks of it as already having been accomplished, even though it was yet years in the future:  "I have made you..."

v. 18  -  "o^$  par'  e)lpi/da  e)p'  e)lpi/di  e)pi/steusen,  ei$)  toV  gene/sqai  au)toVn  pate/ra  pollw`n  e)qnw`n,  kataV  toV  ei)rhme/non,  Ou%tw$  e&stai  toV  spe/rma  sou."

"who against hope [yet] upon hope he believed,  that he might become father of many nations, according to that [which] had been said, 'Thus shall be your seed.'"

"against hope" - From the standpoint of nature, all hope was gone that these two would be able to have a child.  Would he believe nature, or God?  Abraham believed because God had promised, and he believed God.  This promise was made even before Ishmael was born.  Did this mean that Ishmael was a miraculously begotten child?  No, the episode between Abraham and Hagar, arranged by Sarah (Gen. 16:2) was primarily due to Sarah's insistence, for she knew that she was barren.  Yet Abraham still had his powers of manhood.  Even later, when he was 99, Abraham was spoken of as "good as dead," (Heb. 11:12), while Sarah was described as having a "womb of deadness" (see next verse).

v. 19  -  "kaiV  mhV  a)sqenh/sa$  th`|  pi/stei,  ou)  kateno/hse  toV  e(autou`  sw`ma  h&dh  nenekrwme/non   (e(katontae/th$  pou  u(pa/rxwn),  kaiV  thVn  ne/krwsin  th`$  mh/tra$ Sa/rra$:"

"not being weakened in faith, he considered not his own body already dead (being about a hundred years old), and the barrenness of the womb of Sarah"

Abraham knew the chance  of him fathering a child was highly improbable, but he did not dwell upon that which the world would have considered impossible.  God's promise first came to Abraham and Sarah before Ishmael was born, and Abraham was about 86 years old at the time of Ishmael's birth (Gen. 16:16). The next promise to Abraham was given when he was 99 years of age (see Gen. 17:1, 17).  As improbable as it was for Abraham to beget children at that age, yet it was impossible for Sarah to become pregnant, for she not only was "past age"(Heb. 11:11), but she had never been able to bear children; she was barren, or sterile (as per this verse 19). 



v. 20  -  "ei)$  deV  thVn  ep)aggeli/an  tou`  Qeou`  ou)  diekri/qh  th`|   a)pisti/a|,  a)ll )  e)nedunamw/qh  th`|  pi/stei,  douV$  do/zan  tw`|  Qew`|"

"but toward the promise of God he was not divided (wavered not) in unbelief, but was empowered in faith, giving glory to God"

Abraham's attitude was "if God said it, it will be done," regardless of the obstacles.  Question:  If he did not waver, why then did he laugh when Isaac was born? (Gen. 17:17).  Evidently the term "laugh" suggests "rejoiced."  He was jubilant, with the idea being that "this is too good to be true."  But his faith did not waver - Paul says so! 

The word "strengthened" comes from the root word dunamis, "power" in Greek, from which our English word dynamite is derived.  See also Romans 1:16 again where Paul used it to describe the power of the gospel. 

v. 21  -  "kaiV  plhroforhqei$V  o%ti  o*  ep)h/ggeltai,  dunato/$  es)ti  kaiV  poih`sai"

"and being fully convinced that what he had promised he is powerful (able) also to do"

This is not the only time that Abraham showed this confidence and firm conviction. "That Abraham was righteous by faith is affirmed of him on four separate occasions, covering a period of perhaps fifty years" (see Whiteside, pp. 108-109).

v. 22  -  "dioV  kaiV  el)ogi/sqh  au)tw|`  ei)$  dikaiosu/nhn."

"And therefore it was counted to him for righteousness"

We need to remember this faith of Abraham's was perfected by years of obedience - his righteousness by faith did not begin at this point.  Paul is reminding his Jewish readers to remember Abraham's faith.  Had they noticed their perfect law-keeping was in no way involved?  Now Paul, in a well-timed way, could say:  "Well, my Jewish friend, THAT kind of faith was reckoned unto our father Abraham for righteousness."  That faith was described as one that caused Abraham to believe even if he took the life of his son Isaac, God would raise him from the dead (see Heb. 11:17-19)!

v. 23  -  "ou)k  e)gra/fh  deV  di  ) au)toVn  mo/non,  ot%i  e)logi/sqh  au)tw`|: "

"But it was not written because of him alone, that it was counted to him" 

There are numerous scriptures that affirm the value of O.T. study to Christians today (see 1 Cor. 10:11; Rom. 15:4 for example), and this is another one.  If not for his sake alone, then for the sake of what other group?  This looked forward to the coming of Christ, and a time when an obedient faith, like Abraham's, would ALSO be "logged in for righteousness" on the ledger book of faithful Christians.

v. 24  -  "a)ll )  kaiV  di )  h(ma`$,  oi!$  me/llei  logi/zesqai,  toi`$  pisteu/ousin  e)piV  tonV  e)gei/ranta    )Ihsou`n  toVn  Ku/rion  h(mw`n  ek)  nekrw`n,"   



 "but also unto us, to whom it is destined to be accounted, to those believing upon the one who raised Jesus our Lord from among the dead"

Works which we perform do not merit salvation, but instead openly declare that the faith back of such works is one which God will log in to our account for righteousness. He did this for Abraham;  he will do the same for us, if we have that Abrahamic type of faith.

Note that the verb mello is not used in the Bible to refer only to something about to happen, but is also used to convey that which is destined, or inevitable.  Arndt/Gingrich Lexicon notes that this verse should be counted among others which "denote an action that necessarily follows a divine decree" and is to be translated as "must, will certainly" happen.

Question:  Is the faith of anyone today "reckoned" unto him for righteousness?  Certainly!

v. 25  -  "o^$  paredo/qh  diaV  taV  paraptw/mata  h(mw`n  kaiV  h)ge/rqh  diaV  thVn  dikai/wsin  h(mw`n. "

"who was delivered over because of our transgressions and was raised because of our justification."

It is not enough to merely believe on God - one must believe that He raised Jesus Christ from the dead (Rom. 10:9-10). Any other kind of faith is vain, profiting nothing.  One's being righteous, or justified, is based on His resurrection.  Elsewhere (1 Cor. 15), Paul wrote that if Christ be not risen, "ye are yet in your sins" (i.e., unjustified).  J.W. Shepherd writes:  "This delivering of Christ is ascribed to God (Rom. 8:23); to Christ Himself (Gal. 1:14; Tit. 2:14); and to wicked men (Luke 24:20; Acts 2:23, 5:30). 




Price's Notes

Romans Chapter 5

v. 1  -  " Dikaiwqe/nte$  ou@n  ek)  pi/stew$,  ei)rh/nhn  e&xomen  proV$  toVn  QeoVn  diaV  tou`  Kuri/ou  h(mw`n  'Ihsou`  Xristou`, "

"Therefore having been justified of [derived from] faith,  peace we have with God through our Lord Jesus Christ"

The teaching which says "that we are justified by faith only is a most wholesome doctrine and very full of comfort" is not very comforting to those who know what the Bible teaches about obedience!  It should be noted that the words "righteous" and "justify" are from the same root in the original Greek language.  

Lipscomb writes:  "No one who believes the Bible doubts that a man is justified by faith.  The question at issue is, whether he is justified by faith before it leads to obedience or whether by a faith that manifests itself in obedience."  Paul clearly comes down on the side of the latter.  How does faith make us children of God:  "For ye are all sons of God, through faith, in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ" (Gal. 3:26-27).

Since the word "faith," both here and in the next verse, is in the form of a noun (not a verb), it is likely the case that Paul refers to the "gospel" as opposed to the Law; i.e. justification of mankind is grounded in the gospel, not the keeping of the Law of Moses!  Obviously one's personal faith in God, Christ, etc., are prerequisites of justification from sin (Heb. 11). 

v. 2  -  "di  ) ou!  kaiV  thVn  prosagwghVn  e)s)xh/kamen  th`|  pi/stei  ei)$  thVn  xa/rin  tau/thn  e)n  h|!  e(sth/kamen,  kaiV  kauxw/meqa  e)p )  e)lpi/di  th`|$  do/ch$  tou`  Qeou~. "

"through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we boast upon the glory of God" 

"we have" -  This verb is perfect tense in the Greek, which denotes an action in the past whose results remain, or continue on into the present.  It is probable that Paul refers to the past action of baptism into Christ (the sphere of grace), hence the meaning is "had, and continue to have" access through Christ.  The reader is urged to ponder how faith and grace work together, and how the gospel (or faith) places one into the sphere of grace wherein he stands.  Salvation is by God's grace (Eph. 2:8-9) and hence nonearnable, yet this grace is not doled out, except through the pipeline of faith (the gospel).  Compare Rom. 4:16 with this second verse of chapter 5.  Suffice it to say that IF we do not "stand by faith" we shall "fall from grace" (Gal. 5:4), for by faith we have access to His grace.  The reader is encouraged to read Rom. 11:20-21 at this point.

v. 3  -  "ou)  mo/non  de/,  a)llaV  kaiV  kauxw/meqa  e)n  tai`$  qli/yesin,  eid)o/te$  o%ti  h(  qli/yi$  u(pomonhVn  katerga/zetai, "



"and not only, but also we boast in tribulations, knowing that tribulation works patience."

A Christian's rejoicing is not only confined to the future (i.e., the hope mentioned in v.2), but also but also pertains to the present (i.e., tribulations).  WHY?  Because such tribulations produce "steadfastness," or "patience."  The word for "patience" in Greek is a compound word consisting of "abiding" or "remaining" and the prefix upo = under.  Patience then comes from the ability to abide or stand up under pressure.  Tribulations are to be viewed as occasions for growing. For a Biblical example of this concept, see Acts 5:41.

v. 4  -  "h(  deV  u(pomonhV  dokimh/n,  h(  deV  dokimhV  el)pi/da: " 

"and  patience approval, and approval hope"

Such perseverance produces "a tried condition."   When we pass the test, God approves, and thus this approval leads to a subjective, personal assurance concerning the future; i.e. HOPE.

v. 5  -  "h(  deV  el)piV$  ou)  kataisxu/nei,  o%ti  h(  a)ga/ph  tou~  Qeou~   ek)ke/xutai  en)  tai`$  kardi/ai$  h(mw`n  diaV  Pneu/mato$   (Agi/ou  tou`  doqe/nto$  h(mi`n. "

"And hope is not put to shame, because the love of God has been poured out  in our hearts by Holy Ghost the having [One] been given to us."

This kind of Christian will not disgrace (disappoint), and why?  Because God's love for us, says Paul, has been shed abroad in our hearts (again perfect tense = results remain).  Hence, love has been poured out by the Holy Spirit which was given (aorist tense - completed action in the past) to us.

"poured out"  -  This same word is used in Acts 2:33 where we read that Christ "having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth (poured out) this, which ye now see and hear."  This points back in time to a definite action, the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, and refers to the Spirit bringing to us the love of God through the REVELATION of the gospel.  Whatever comes from above is connected with this verb, whether "grace," "mercy,"  etc.  Both here, and in Titus 3:6, God's love was manifested in the revelation of the gospel, confirmed by miraculous powers and spiritual gifts.  This is an obvious reference to the miraculous powers of the Holy Spirit in that dispensation of special gifts peculiar to the 1st century.

v. 6  -  "e&&ti  gaVr  Xristo/$,  o&ntwn  h(mw``n  a)sqenw`n,  kataV  kairoVn  u(peVr  a)sebw`n  a)pe/qane. " 

 "for when we were yet weak, Christ according to [proper] time on behalf of godless He died."

For the meaning of "who" and "when" man was "without strength," see the terms "ungodly" (this verse) and "sinners"  (v. 8), referring to a time when man was helpless with no means of escape from the circle of sin and condemnation.  The terms "we" and "wicked" both comprehend the whole human race, but in this context primarily Paul as he identifies himself with the Romans.  Regarding this proper time of Christ's coming, see the following verses:  Gal. 4:4; Eph. 1:10 and Titus 1:3).



 v. 7  -  "mo/li$  gaVr  u(peVr  dikai/ou  ti$  a)poqanei`tai:  u(peVr  gaVr  tou~  a)gaqou`  ta/xa  ti$  kaiV  tolma`|  a)poqanei`n.  "

"For not readily on behalf of a righteous person will someone die;  for on behalf of a good person possibly one even might dare to die."

The purpose of this passage is to show how Christ's death transcends all human instances of selfsacrifice for others.  "Righteous man" vs. "good man"  -  The first term does what justice demands with austerity, while the 2nd goes further and does what love, mercy and kindness suggest for a man to do.  Hence, hardly (or scarcely) would one be willing to die for a just person, but possibly he would for a good man, out of affection for him.

v. 8  -  "suni/sthsi  deV  thVn  e(autou`  a)ga/phn  ei$)  h(ma`$  o(  Qeo/$,  o%ti  e&ti  a(martwlw~n  o&ntwn  h(mw`n  XristoV$  u(peVr  h(mw`n  a)pe/qane."   

"But God demonstrates his own love for us, that we being yet sinners, Christ died on our behalf." 

Here comes the contrast "but God."  Being sinners is the same as being enemies of God (James 4:4), thus the contrast between those of v. 7 and "enemies" of this verse is obvious.

v. 9  -  "pollw`|  ou@n  ma`llon,  dikaiwqe/nte$  nun`  e)n  tw`|  ai%mati  au)tou`,  swqhso/meqa  di ) au)tou`  a)po  th`$  o)rgh`$."

"Much therefore more, having been justified now in his blood, we shall be saved by him from wrath."

"his blood"  -  Why does Paul use the term "blood" here and not just "death," especially since the last three verses use the idea of death and dying?  Death does not necessarily imply "sacrifice," for many die where no blood is shed at all.  Haimati is used specifically to denote a sacrificial death;  justification is based upon blood (see Lev. 17:11 and Heb. 9:22).

David Lipscomb wrote: "God is more willing to save those who have accepted the redemption offered through Christ than He was to save while they were yet enemies..."  We shall be saved by living the life He lived:  "...Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow in his steps" (1 Pet. 2:21), and again "He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked" (1 Jn. 2:6). 

v. 10  -  "ei)  gaVr  e)xqroiV  o&nte$  kathlla/ghmen  tw`|  Qew`|  diaV  tou`  qana/tou  tou`  uio)u`  au)tou ,  pollw`|  ma`llon  katallage/nte$  swqhso/meqa  e)n  th`|  zwh`|  au)tou`: "

"For if being enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his son, much more being reconciled we shall be saved by his life."

Note that reconciliation is strictly one-sided.  The word implies a change from enmity to love, from disobedience to obedience.  But this takes place in us, NOT in God.  We are reconciled to God, not God to us!  Man is the one that had to do (is to do) the changing, not God. Question: If you are not as close to God as you once were, who moved?



v. 11  -  "ou)  mo/non de/,  a)llaV  kaiV  kauxw/menoi  en)  tw`|  Qew`|  diaV  tou`  Kuri/ou  h(mw`n    )Ihsou`  Xristou`,  di  ) ou!  nu`n  thVn  katallaghVn  el)a/bomen. "

"and not only [this], but also we boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom now reconciliation we received."

Not only have we been reconciled,  there is something more!  This word "boast" is translated "rejoice" by the KJV translators, and used by Paul some 35 times.  This is used in a good sense, such as Christians have something here of which to be proud, and in which to glory.

Some Bible students regard the next section of Romans (5:12-21) to be the most difficult part of the N.T.  The overall purpose of this section is obviously to contrast the effects of Christ's death with the effects of Adam's sin!  This is easier to see when you take the 1st member of the comparison (v. 12) and compare it with the 2nd (v. 18),  skipping the modifying thoughts in between.

v. 12  -  "DiaV  tou`to,  w%sper  di )  e(noV$  a)nqrw/pou  h(  a(marti/a  ei$)  toVn  ko/smon  eis)h`lqe,  kaiV  diaV  th`$  a(marti/a$  o(  qa/nato$,  kaiV  ou%tw$  ei$)  pa/nta$  a)nqrw/pou$  o(  qa/nato$    dih`lqen,  e)f )  w@|  pa/nte$  h%marton : "

"Because of this, as through one man sin into the world came, and through sin death, and thus unto all men death passed, upon which all sinned."

"As through one man"  -  Who literally introduced sin, or who was 1st in the transgression? (see Gen. 3:6; 1 Tim. 2:14).  Remember that the name "Adam" was given to the 1st pair, a name designating their earthly origin:  "...male and female created he them, and called their name Adam" (Gen. 5:2).  This term ADAM was probably derived from "(the red) earth," and is frequently used for "man" or "mankind" in a generic sense, a human being, as distinguished from the Hebrew "ish" - man, husband, individual.  Anyway, the idea is that these two (Adam) were parents of the human family  -  sin began with them.

"death passed upon all men"  -  1st of all let it be noted that death (not guilt) passed upon all men. This point can scarcely be over-emphasized! But in what sense does Paul use the word "death"?  We have only two choices: physical death or spiritual death!

This passage is a real "sugar-stick" for those espousing the doctrine of "original sin,"  and also that of total depravity.  In the Dogmatic Canons and Decrees (p. 16), it is stated: "It any one says that infants are not condemned because of the sin derived from Adam, let him be anathema."  It then continues to say that this is why babies need to be baptized.   The Westminster Confession of Faith (pp. 32-33, 48) teach both of these doctrines.  The Philadelphia Confession of Faith (p. 24) teaches it as well:  "Our first parents by this sin fell from their original righteousness...and we in them, whereby death came upon all:  all becoming dead in sin and wholly defiled...the guilt of the sin was imputed, and corrupted nature conveyed to all their posterity descending from then...being now conceived in sin and by nature children of wrath, the servants of sin, the subjects of death, and all other miseries, spiritual, temporal, and eternal...From this original corruption, we are utterly indisposed disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil..."



It is true that when Adam sinned, he entered the "realm of physical death";  he became mortal.  Compare Gen. 2:17 with 3:19.  The original says, "Dying, thou shall die."  This was literally true, for life is composed of a little "dying" each day we live.  Who can stop the aging process? But is it physical death to which Paul refers here in Romans 5, or spiritual death?  The latter seems to be the more plausible view.  In v. 12, Paul says: "by one man sin entered into the world."  Because of deliberate choice of the first pair, a determination was made to disobey God. This was and "is" sin (1 John 3:4).  Adam was warned that the day he ate, he would surely die. He ate, and he died - that very day!  Remember that "death" denotes the idea of "separation" and he and Eve were separated from God that day.  Hundreds of years later they "physically" died. WHY?  They were separated from the TREE OF LIFE.  Both physical death and spiritual death came through Adam. Man suffers physical death, because of this exclusion from the tree of life, but what about spiritual death?  No person (even Cain, Abel, Seth), none of Adam's descendants were involved in either the guilt or the sin of Adam!

"thus" or "so" (an adverb of manner) death passed upon all men."  HOW?  Spiritual death came to Adam because of his PERSONAL sin, and "in like manner" death passed upon all men - WHY?  Because "all have sinned."  Our personal sins bring spiritual death to us, just as did Adam's sin did to him!

The context favors "spiritual death" too, because the moral and the spiritual condition of mankind had been under discussion by Paul. Certainly physical death came upon man because of Adam's sin (because of exclusion from the tree of life), but the death here contemplated comes only upon those who are guilty of personal sin.  The insane are not even discussed in this context whatsoever.

The term "upon which" ("on the condition that") in the NT is used to mean  "because."  

v. 13  -  "_a&xri  gaVr nom/ou  a(marti/a  h@n  en)  kos/mw|:  a(marti/a  deV  ou)k  e)llogeit`ai,  mhV  o&nto$  nom/ou. "

"for until [the] law, sin was in [the] world:  but sin is not logged in, not being law"

God gave a law of "life and death" to Adam, but refrained from giving another like that until Moses.  In the latter, those who kept it would live, but the rest would die.

"when there is no law"  -  This ought not be interpreted absolutely, for sin WAS in the world (Gen. 4:8ff., Gen. 6:5, Gen. 19:5-7, et al.)!  Therefore, men were sinners "to the extent" that they transgressed the law under which they lived.  Now Paul expressly says that men were NOT sinners because of Adam's sin, but because of their own! They had not violated a law which had the physical death penalty attached, yet their ancestors  died anyway.  In no way did they (the Romans) participate in Adam's sin, nor do we!

v. 14  -  "a)ll  )  e)basi/leusen  o ( qa/nato$  a)poV   A)daVm  me/xri  Mwse/w$  kaiV  ep)iV  touV$  mhV  a(marth/santa$  e)piV  tw`|  o(moiw/mati  th`$  paraba/sew$   )AdaVm,  o%$  es)ti  tu/po$  tou`  me/llonto$. "

"But death reigned from Adam until Moses even upon the ones not sinning on the likeness of Adam's transgression, who is a type (figure) of the One coming."



This verse confirms the interpretation given to the previous verse.  These people (sinners) had not broken a law like the one Adam broke, because in his case, there was a death penalty attached.  All of Adam's descendants died a physical death as a consequence of Adam's sin, due to the fact of their exclusion from the tree of life.

"figure of him who was to come"  -  There are a number of interesting similarities between Adam and Christ, as seen in the following chart:  

    Christ and Adam  -  A Comparison

  ADAM       CHRIST            1.  The 1st Adam (1 Cor. 15:45)     The last Adam (1 Cor. 15:45)                2.  A Living soul       A life-giving spirit                       3.  Natural   (1 Cor. 15:46)     Spiritual  (1 Cor. 15:46)                   4.  Out of earth  (1 Cor. 15:47)     Out of heaven (1 Cor. 15:47)                5.  His act affected the whole human family.   So did that of Christ            6.  Adam's brought death to all men    That of Christ makes men alive      (1 Cor. 15:22)                                                  (1 Cor. 15:22)           "By man came death" (15:21)              "by man came also resurrection from          dead" (21)                          7. Spiritually speaking, Adam would thus    Christ represents the "new man"                    represent "the old man" (Rom. 6:6)    (2 Cor. 5:17) 

For a brief discussion of mello and its meaning, see notes on chapter 8:13.   

v. 15  -  " a)ll  )  ou)x  w($  toV  para/ptwma,  ou%tw  kaiV  toV  xa/risma.  ei ) gaVr  tw`|  tou`  e(noV$                 paraptw/mati  oi(  polloi(  a)pe/qanon,  pollw`|  ma`llon  h(  xa/ri$  tou`  Qeou`  kaiV  h(  dwreaV  en)  xa/riti  th`|  tou`  e(noV$  a)nqrw/pou    )Ihsou`  Xristou`  ei)$  touV$  pollouV$  ep)eri/sseuse. "

"But not as the transgression, thus also [is] the gracious gift.  For if by the transgression of one many died, much more has God's grace and the gift by grace by one man, Jesus Christ, abounded unto the many."

But here is a major difference between these two heads of their respective groups:  the effects of one are the exact opposite of the results of the other act.  The Gospel Advocate lessons put it this way:  "Lest one should conclude that the only benefits in Christ's death were those which cancelled out the loss of physical life, Paul affirms that not only did they accomplish that, they did much more. It delivers us from the effects and penalties of our own sins - by obeying his will and appropriating those benefits to ourselves, it ultimately brings about our own salvation."

In these two words  -  "much more"  -  lies the hope of humanity!

v. 16  -  " kaiV  ou)x  w($  di )  e(noV$  a(marth/santo$,  toV  dw/rhma:  toV  meVn  gaVr  kri/ma  e)c  e(noV$  ei)$  kata/krima,  toV  deV  xa/risma  e)k  pollw`n  paraptwma/twn  ei)$  dikai/wma. "



"And not as through one having sinned [be] the gift, for indeed the judgment [was] out of one unto condemnation, but the gift [is] out of many offenses unto justification."

Wherever Christ's act is merely equal in range to that of Adam's, it is UNconditional;  but wherever His act exceeds that of Adam's, that part is contingent upon faith.  Here then is the 2nd difference in which the effects of acts of these two (Christ and Adam):  where condemnation was connected with only ONE sin in the case of Adam, the deliverance of Christ's act was connected with MANY sins.

v. 17  -  " ei ) gaVr  tw|`  tou`  e(noV$  paraptw/mati  o(  qa/nato$  e)basi/leuse  diaV  tou~  e(no/$,  pollw|`  ma`llon  oi(  thVn  perissei/an  th`$  xa/rito$  kaiV  th`$  dwrea`$  th`$  dikaiosu/nh$  lamba/nonte$  e)n  zwh`|  basileu/sousi  diaV  tou`  en)o$V   )Ihsou  Xristou`. "

"For if through one offense death reigned by the one, much more the ones who receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness shall reign in life through the one Jesus Christ."

The "gift of righteousness" equals the remission of sins, which itself is conditional.  This passage entails the grand scheme of redemption which God had planned for the world from its foundation.  Note this describes, not the saving of man in his sin, but saving him from his sin!

v. 18  -  " a&ra  ou@n  w($  di  ) e(noV$  paraptw/mato$  ei$)  pa/nta$  a)nqrw/pou$  ei$)  kata/krima,  ou!tw  kaiV  di  ) e(noV$  dikaiw/mato$  ei$)  pa/nta$  a)nqrw/pou$  ei$)  dikai/wsin  zwh`$. "

"Therefore then as through one offense [judgment came] upon all men unto condemnation, thus also through one [act] of righteousness [came the gift] unto all men for justification of life."

The contrast between what both Adam and Christ did unto men is continued.  Through one's sin came about the result of condemnation for all men (physical death due to our being excluded from the tree of life) and our participation in sin makes it personal sin for us;  but one righteous act results in justification of life for all (all will be physically raised),  and our acceptance of Christ also cancels the spiritual death penalty incurred by our by our personal sins.

"the free gift came"(KJV)  -  is in italics , and is supplied from the context of the previous verse.  Since we are working with contrasts here, we can learn its meaning by looking at the opposites which are being compared.  If the "judgment to condemnation" refers to physical death, then "justification of life" merely suggests a "release from that judgment," or as McGarvey says "a release from Adam's sentence of death."  Note that "righteousness" (v. 17) is from dikaiosune, and means salvation offered to the faithful, but here in v. 18 the word Paul uses is from dikaiosis  signifying "vindication,"  probably referring to nothing more than to be restored to life at the final resurrection.

Putting it another way, "what we lost in Adam through no fault of our own, we gain in Christ through no merit of our own."  Regardless of whether a person becomes a believer in Christ or not, he will be raised into a resurrection body on resurrection morning (John 5:28).  However, remember that this chapter uses the words "much more" (see v. 17).  This involves the remission of sins for which we ARE personally responsible.  But these benefits, as mentioned in v. 17, ARE CONDITIONAL!  Having discussed Christ's greater work in v. 17, Paul returns here in v. 18 to things where their acts were equal!



v. 19  -  " w%sper  gaVr  diaV  th`$  parakoh`$  tou`  e(noV$  a)nqrw/pou  a(martwloiV  katesta/qhsan  oi(  polloi/,  ou%tw  kaiV  diaV  th`$  u(pakoh`$  tou`  e(noV$  di/kaioi  katastaqh/sontai  oi(  polloi/."

"For as through the disobedience of the one man the many became sinners,  thus also through the obedience of the one the many shall become righteous ones."

"made sinners"  -  The word translated "made" (become) is from the verb often translated into English as "appoint" or "ordain."  It is not the case that many were made sinners (or constituted as sinners) due to the disobedience of Adam.  However, he brought sin into the world, and men have sinned.  On the other hand, men are not automatically made righteous by the obedience of Christ either!  In both cases, the outcomes were based upon CHOICE of human beings.

Those who choose to become obedient to Christ are made righteous;  those who choose to disobey, and commit sin, become sinners.  Adam and Christ are merely representative heads of their respective groups or categories.  If the doctrine of total depravity were true, God would be responsible for man's being lost!

v. 20  -  " nom/o$  deV  pareish`lqen,  i%na  pleona/sh  toV  para/ptwma:  ou!  deV  ep)leo/nasen  h(  a(marti/a,  u(pereperi/sseusen  h(  xa/ri$: "

"But the law entered, in order that the offense might abound;  but where sin abounded, the grace superabounded."

We have been jumping back and forth between Adam and Christ, but the Jew might ask, "How does the Law fit into this scheme of things?"  This Mosaic Law had previously been mentioned in vv. 13-14 to show that sin was already in the world before the Law of Moses arrived on the scene.  Why was it added?  According to Galatians 3:19ff., it was "because of transgressions..."  The Law simply increased man's awareness of his own sin.  When men began to realize what great sinners they were, they then realized the abundance of God's grace.  Just how sin increased is seen more clearly in 7:7-11. 

"entered" -  The verb used here has a preposition on its front as a prefix, and this preposition carries the idea of "to the side of,"  hence the idea is that "the law entered on the side."

"the offense"  -  This trespass is Adam's. He "opened the door, and his descendents walked through."  It expanded from Adam's sin, and it multiplied.  

v. 21  -   " i^na  w^sper  e)basi/leusen  h(  a(marti/a  e)n  tw`|  qana/tw|,  ou^tw  kaiV  h(  xa/ri$  basileu/sh|  diaV  dikaiosu/nh$  ei)$  zwhVn  a)iw/nion,  diaV    I)hsou  Xristou`  tou`  Kuriou`   h(mw`n. "  

"that as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness unto eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord."

Even though the Law of Moses made men more aware of personal sins, it had nothing to do with the taking away of the physical death penalty which passed upon all the race as a consequence of Adam's sin. In the next chapter, we shall learn that sin also reigns in (spiritual) death (Rom. 6:16-18), but grace



reigns through righteousness provided by Christ through the gospel (Acts 10:34-35).  That's why only the truth (i.e. gospel) makes men free (John 8:32).

At this point, Paul introduces the next major section of this thesis:  How Christ's work exceeds that of merely cancelling the death penalty, i.e. physical death.  Thus we leave the "type and antitype" analogy, and Paul's discussion now centers around the subject of the relationship of grace and one's personal sin.  




Price's Notes

Romans Chapter 6

v. 1  -  "Ti/  ou@n  er)ou`men;  e)pimenou`men  th`|  a(marti/a|,  in%a  h(  xa/ri$  pleona/sh|;"

"Therefore what shall we say?  Shall we remain in sin, in order that grace might increase?"

Note how this chapter is connected with what we have previously learned:  Since God's grace always exceeds man's sin, are FRIENDS of Christ correct in thinking they can live sinfully (Gal. 5:13)?  Are His ENEMIES correct in saying that we teach that men should do evil that good may come (Rom. 3:8), or that we teach Christians to continue their sinning, after being converted, in order to increase grace by increasing sin (5:20)?  Are such challenges valid?

v. 2  -  "mhV  ge/noito.  oi%tine$  a)peqa/nomen  th`|  a(marti/a|,  pw~$  e&ti  zh/somen  e)n  au)th`|;"

"May it not be."  This rendering is much more literal than 'God forbid.'  This expression is used fifteen times in the New Testament, fourteen of which are by Paul (one is found in Luke 20:16).  It is also found in Joshua 22:29.  In twelve of the cases where Paul uses the term, it is used to express his fear that someone might come to a false conclusion from the argument he is making.  Perhaps this is what Peter refers to when he says that some were twisting Paul's writings (which, incidentally, he calls 'Scripture'), and in so doing were bringing about their own destruction (2 Peter 3:16).

The expression denotes the idea of "far be it from us...," i.e., the idea is repulsive, ought to be repudiated, hence "away with the thought" is Paul's meaning.  Though not literally the meaning, the term 'God forbid' expresses the idea as well as any other phrase.

"died to sin"  -  To be dead simply signifies the inability to respond to stimuli.  Coax, threaten or stick a pin in a physically dead person, and you will get no response, no reaction!  The expression is found elsewhere (Col. 3:3; 1 Peter 2:24 "viewed collectively").  The chief purpose in dying to sin is that we might "remain" dead to it.  Why defeat your purpose?  A repentance, minus a determination to quit sinning, brings to mind John the Immerser's statement:  "Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance..." (Luke 3:8).

Paul's argument is as follows:  "Our gospel destroys sin - how can it encourage sin at the same time?  If one died to sin, it is impossible for him to continue living in it, is it not?"  This is also similar to Christ's Beelzebub argument (Matthew 12:25-26).

v. 3  -  " h^  a)gnoei`te  o%ti  o%soi  eb)apti/sqhmen  ei)$  XristoVn   )Ihsou~n,  ei$)  toVn  qa/naton  au)tou`  e)bapti/sqhmen ;"

"or are you unaware that as many of us as were immersed into Christ, into His death we were immersed?"  



Paul challenges them "Do you not know what the real significance of your baptism is?"  Preceding baptism, the meaning of the act doubtlessly was explained to the one being baptized; i.e., that his relationship to sin would be changed. So it ought to be today as well!

Note that this question of Paul's would also rule out infant baptism!  Why?

"baptized into"  -  Four points are worthy of our consideration.  We are:

 (1) "baptized into one body" (1 Cor. 12:13) is to pass from without to within.   (2) "baptized into Moses" (1 Cor. 10:2) is to pass from without the circle of his authority to within it.           (3) "baptized into repentance" (Matt. 3:11) is to pass from a life of impenitence into a sphere where repentance is the rule, rather than the exception.      (4) "baptized into Christ" (Gal. 3:26) simply signifies a passing from the world, where He is not believed and obeyed, into a state of freedom from sin and subjection to His will.

A mere dipping, apart from other prerequisites, changes the state of no one!  We believe "into" Christ (John 3:16, 18 and 36), and the preposition eis is the same in each of these verses;  we are also baptized "into" Him.  We do not pass into Christ by baptism alone, nor by faith alone!

"His death"  -  There is a vital connection between baptism and the purpose for which Christ died.  The following verses illustrate and emphasize how important such a link is:

 (1) We are saved (justified) by faith when we are baptized (Gal. 3:26-27) - "For ye are all the children..."           (2) We have redemption in Christ, but how does one enter Christ?  Faith, repentance, confession and baptism (Eph. 1:7).          (3) Christ's blood is the efficient cause of our salvation, and baptism of a believer is the instrumental cause (1 Pet. 3:21).

v. 4  -  "suneta/fhmen  ou@n  au)tw`|  di/a  tou`  bapti/smato$  ei$)  toVn  qa/naton:  i%na  w%sper  h)ge/rqh  XristoV$  ek)  nekrw`n  diaV  th`$  do/ch$  tou`  patro/$,  ou%tw  kaiV  h(mei$`  e)n  kaino/thti  zwh`$  peripath/swmen."

"Therefore we were buried with Him by immersion into death, in order that as Christ from was raised from dead ones by the glory of the Father, thus also we might walk around in newness of life."

There is no doubt that this refers to a complete submersion under water.  Only a person who is biased against  immersion denies the plain meaning of the language.  Even Luther said:  "The term 'baptism' is a Greek word;  it may be rendered into Latin by mersio;  when we immerse anything in water, that it may be entirely covered with water.  And though that custom be quite abolished among the generality (for neither do they entirely dip the children, but only sprinkle them with a little water), nevertheless they ought to be wholly immersed, and immediately to be drawn out again, for the etymology of the word seems to require it..."  (Martin Luther, "Sermon on Baptism", Vol. II, p. 75).



When one says the mode of baptism is not important, he is saying that the way things were done in the Apostolic times is unimportant.

"glory of the Father"  -  In 3:23 "glory" refers to "God's approval,"  here it may be that, but could also refer to God's power or strength.

There appears to be an ellipsis in both 4b and 4c.  The full thought would read "That as Christ was raised up from the dead...TO LIVE A NEW LIFE...even so we also WERE RAISED FROM THE DEAD that we might walk in newness of life."

v.  5  -  "ei)  gaVr  su/mfutoi  gego/namen  tw`|  o(moiw/mati  tou`  qana/tou  au)tou`,  a)llaV  kaiV  th`$  a)nasta/sew$  e)so/meqa:"

"for if have become united ones together in the likeness of His death, but also in (the likeness of His) resurrection we shall be."  

Notice how Paul's argument progresses:  "baptized into His death" (v. 3), then "buried with Him by baptism" (v. 4), and finally "we have become united (planted) with Him in the likeness of His death" (v. 5).

"resurrection"  -   The word "resurrection" here does not refer to final resurrection of the physical body at the end of time as some contend, but rather refers to the life of a Christian on this terrestrial ball we call earth!  Such a figurative use is not uncommon, for Christ Himself so uses it in John 5:24-25.  This does not refer to the final resurrection, but instead to the new birth.  In John 5, only vss. 28-29 are referring to the final resurrection at the end of the world.

v. 6  -  "tou`to  ginw/skonte$,  o%ti  o(  palaioV$  h(mw`n  a&nqrwpo$  sunestaurw/qh,  i%na  katarghqh`|  toV  sw`ma  th`$  a(marti/a$,  tou`  mhke/ti  douleu/ein  h(ma`$  th`|  a(marti/a|"

"(being ones) knowing this, that our old man has been crucified with (Him), in order that the body of sin might be done away with, that we no longer serve sin."

This is not the last time Paul uses this analogy in his writings, for it occurs again in Eph. 4:22 and Col. 3:9.  In all three instances it refers to sinful behavior!  The aorist passive "has been crucified" use of the verb points back to baptism as the time when this "crucifixion" took place (see also Col. 2:12-13 for further inspired discussion of this topic).

The usage of this verb "crucify" does not teach that man in inherently evil, and has a "body of sin" with which to deal the rest of his life.  Verses 12-13 (which follow shortly) show that man can "allow" sin to reign, and that a yielding must take place on the part of man.

"might be done away"  -  This does not insinuate to "completely extinguish, destroy or annihilate," for the battle against sin is not completed in the act of baptism. What it does mean is that sin has been "dethroned," we are no longer "slaves" to it, and its power over us has been put out of commission.

"serve"  -  signifies to give "slave service," an idea introduced here, and enlarged upon in v. 16ff.



v. 7  -  "o(  gaVr  a)poqanwVn  dedikai/wtai  a)poV  th`$  a)marti/a$."

"For the one having died has been justified from sin"

Paul uses the often seen construction of the participle preceded by the article (the) = he who.

A master can't get any work out of a dead slave, and our "death" freed us from slavery to sin.  The Gentiles were free, not from sinning, but from the claim of sin ruling over them (see also Rom. 6:16-17).  They are no longer slaves to sin.  When discussing a certain sin (drunkenness for example), if a man claims that "he can take it or leave it," his nearly always "taking it" means that he is still a slave;  he just doesn't acknowledge it yet!

v. 8  -  "ei ) deV  a)peqa/nomen  suVn  Xristw`|,  pisteu/omen  o%ti  kaiV  suzh/somen  au)tw||` "

"And if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him"

"shall live"  -  This is not a primary reference to a future resurrection state, but to the Christian life.  Lard calls it the "future of duty" or "obligation." WHY?  Because the obligation was in the future, when viewed from the point when "we died."  Elsewhere Paul describes his own life this way:  "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me"  (Gal. 2:20). 

v. 9  -  "eido/te$  o%ti  XristoV$  eg)erqeiV$  ek)  nekrw`n  ou)ke/ti  a)poqnh/skei:  qa/nato$  au)tou`  ou)ke/ti  kurieu/ei. "

"[we being ones] knowing that Christ having been raised from [the] dead ones, no longer dies;  death no longer rules Him"

"dead"  -  The word is plural in the original Greek, as usual.  Christ was brought out from among those who were dead (in Hades), leaving them (the other dead ones) where they were!

"dieth no more"  -  Christ never dies again (except figuratively, or spiritually - see Heb. 6:6f.), thus herein is a major difference in Christ's resurrection, and that of others who had been raised.  Death did still have dominion over them (see - Matt. 27:53). 

Here then is one way in which Christ's earthly life AFTER His resurrection differed from His life before - there was a change in His earthly life, death no longer ruled Him during that forty day period (Acts 1:3). 

v. 10  -  o^  gaVr  a)pe/qane,  th`|  a)marti/a|  a)pe/qanen  e)fa/pac:  o^  deV  zh`|,  zh`|  tw`|  Qew`|."

"For the death he died, to sin he died once for all, but the life he lives, he lives to God."

Christ's death was "once for all," (ephapax, not pote),or "not to be repeated" is the idea.  He died once for sins, and once that ordeal was behind Him, His relationship to sin was different!  It no longer loomed in the foreground;  He was no longer subject to the tyranny of death.  



"ephapax"  -  The use of this word "once for all" is typical of Paul, and found 5 times in the N.T.:  Rom. 6:10, 1 Cor. 15:6; Heb. 7:27; Heb. 9:12 and Heb. 10:10.

v. 11  -  "ou%tw  kaiV  u(mei$`  logi/zesqe  e(autouV$  nekrouV$  meVn  ein@ai  th`|  a(martia/|,  zw`nta$  deV  tw`|  Qew`|  en)  Xristw`|   I)hsou`  tw`|  Kuri/w|  h(mw`n."

"In this manner you all also reckon yourselves dead ones indeed to be to sin, but living to God in Christ Jesus our Lord."

"reckon"  -  The verb is imperative (though the same form is at times indicative as well).  Since imperative, the idea is that it is a command to be obeyed!  Instead of continuing in sin, you are now to be wholly devoted to God.  This shows the "possibility" of sinning, for we are to reckon ourselves dead to it.  Note that this "reckoning" is both negative and positive.  "Dead" to one thing, but "alive" to another!

v. 12  -  "MhV  ou@n  basileue/tw  h(  a(marti/a  e)n  tw`|  qnhtw`|  u(mw`n  sw/mati,  ei)$  toV  u(pakou/ein  au)th`|  e)n  tai`$  ep)iqumi/ai$  au)tou`:"

"Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, in order to obey it in the its lusts."  

Since the text has "it" (autee and autou) used twice, it should be noted that the former is feminine, and the latter is masculine.  Point?  The first (feminine) is to be construed with "sin" (amartia) since the feminine pronoun agrees with that noun, but the second (neuter) is construed with "body" (soma), hence we translate thusly:  " not let sin reign in your mortal body, in order to obey it (sin) in the lusts of it (the body)."

The Greek construction here forbids the continuing of an action, i.e., Paul commands the Romans to stop permitting sin to reign.  They were to quit an action in which they were already engaged!  Every individual is responsible for his/her own actions.  Even though in this 21st century many are adept at blaming others, or even society in general, for what they as individuals practice, the individuals themselves are responsible for their actions.  The "Flip Wilson" practice of saying "the devil made me do it" doesn't remove personal obligation!

Sin reigns by making slaves of us.  It would have been useless to tell SINNERS not to let this power (SIN) reign over them, but not so to Christians.  Regeneration, of course, makes no one sinlessly perfect, for one may still permit SIN to reign. This is the very thing that which Paul says they must "quit."  

v. 13  -  "mhdeV  parista/nete  taVV  me/lh  u(mw`n  o%pla  a)diki/a$  th`|  a(marti/a|:  a)llaV  parasth/sate  e(autouV$  tw`|  Qew``|  w($  ek)  nekrw`n  zw`nta$,  kaiV  taV  me/lh  u(mw`n  o%pla  dikaiosu/nh$  tw`|  Qew`|."     

"Neither put your members at the disposal of unrighteousness (as) weapons for sin, but put yourselves at God's disposal as living ones (having come out) from among the dead, and (present)  your members (as) instruments of righteousness unto God."

"members"  -  equal hands, feet, tongue, et al. (i.e., body parts).  We are to serve God with our flesh and blood bodies (cf. 12:1f).



v. 14  -  "a(marti/a  gaVr  u(mw`n  ou)  kurieu/sei:  ou)  ga/r  e)ste  u(poV  no/mon,  a)ll )  u(poV  xa/rin."

"For sin shall not control (rule over) you,  for you all are not under law, but under grace."

"for ye are not under law"  -  The Law of Moses gave no help in overcoming temptation and sin - instead it increased sin (5:20).  It went from one (Adam) to thousands as it multiplied. 

By saying "not under law," it must not be misconstrued to mean that God's people are not under law in any sense (see 1 Cor. 9:21).  The point is that sin does not have DOMINION over genuine a Christian because:  (1) his past sins were remitted at his baptism, (2) as a "new man" he is obligated to walk in newness of life.  The gospel gives instructions on how to keep Christ on the throne in his individual life!  Not only were past sins forgiven, but "continual cleansing" from sin is available for those who keep on walking in the light (1 John 1:7).  Note however that this means "law" is present, for "sin" is the transgression of God's law (1 John 3:4).

v. 15  -  "Ti/  ou@n ;  a(marth/somen,  o%ti  ou)k  e)smeVn  u(poV   no/mon,   a)ll  )  u(poV  xa/rin ;   mhV  ge/noito."     

"What therefore?  Shall we sin, because we are not under law, but under grace?  May it not be so!"

Since we are not under sin as our master, does this mean that when one becomes a Christian, he can now sin with impunity?  No, for if we practice it, like it or not, it does become our master!  Paul says that since we are not under a law system that condemns (and that alone - it does not acquit), shall we go on sinning now that we are under God's favor?

The very asking of this question implies that Christians are under some kind of law, otherwise there would be no such thing as sin!  Christians are under law to Christ (1 Cor. 9:21), plus the royal law of liberty (James 2:8), however we are not under the Law of Moses (1 Cor. 9:20-21). 

"May it not be so"  -  Of the ten times (about) Paul uses this expression in this letter, this is the 5th time he does so (see Rom. 3:3,6,31, 6:2 and 15).  This verb (ginomai meaning "be, become") is in the optative mood, 3rd person singular, 2 aorist, and it expresses a strong wish for something to not be true when preceded by the negative mee.

v. 16  -  "ou)k  oi&date  o^ti  w|!  parist/anete  e(autouV$  dou/lou$  ei$)  u(pakoh`n,  dou`loi  e)ste  w!|  u(pakou/ete,  h&toi  a(marti/a$  ei)$  qa/naton,  h*  u(pakoh`$  ei)$  dikaiosu/nhn; " 

"Do you all not know that to whom you yield yourselves [as] slaves for obedience,  slaves you are to whom you all obey, whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?"

Here is the reason for the strong negative of the previous verse.  "yield yourselves"  reminds us of v. 13.  The point is that anyone is a slave (actually everybody) to him to whom he keeps on yielding himself for obedience.  Volition is involved  -  choice!  This strikes at the heart of the false doctrines of Calvinism such as "unconditional election" and "irresistible  grace."  "Everyone who goes to hell goes by choice - not chance!"



"servants"  -  Usage of this term means we are discussing bondservants or slaves.  However, the committing of "one act" of sin does not mean that a Christian has changed masters, for Paul speaks of HABITUAL sinning.  "Servants ye are to whom ye "keep on" obeying is the idea of the present tense.

v. 17  -  "xa/ri$  deV  tw`|  Qew`|,  o%ti  h@te dou`loi  th`$  a(marti/a$,  u(phkou/sate  deV  ek)  kardi/a$  ei$)  o^n  paredo/qhte  tu/pon  didaxh`$:" 

"But thanks [be] to God, because you were slaves of sin, but you obeyed from [the] heart a form of doctrine unto which you were delivered."

Obviously the Apostle Paul does not thank God for the fact that they were sinners, but rather for the fact that that part of their life was over  -  it is in the past!  

"obeyed from the heart"  -  shows their sincerity.  Who says there is not emotion in non-Pentecostals?  Note however that emotion saves no one, but obeying that form of teaching does.  Whether Paul refers to "baptism" specifically, or to "the gospel" as that form or pattern, either way baptism is still included (Compare 1 Cor. 15:1-4 'gospel' with Rom. 6:3-4).  Remember that you obey a command, not a form!  Though many religionists decry the idea of a "pattern" in Christianity that must be followed, here the Bible explicitly declares that such a pattern exists, and that it was delivered by God Himself!

v. 18  -  "e)leuqerwqe/nte$  deV  a)poV  th`$  a)marti/a$, e)doulw/qhte  th`|  dikaiosu/nh|."  

"And having been freed from sin, you all became slaves to righteousness."    

When were they freed from sin?  When they prayed the sinner's prayer?  NO!  Both of the verbs used by Paul are in the aorist tense, pointing  to a past action.  Now at the same moment you became freed from sin, you voluntarily bound yourself to do everything that is right (see Psa. 119:172 and vs. 138 also).  These 1st century brethren of ours at Rome were made free from sin when they  "obeyed that form of doctrine" God commanded;  earlier in this same chapter it is described (see verses 3-4).  Compare also Acts 2:38 and 22:16.

v. 19  -   "a)nqrw/pinon  le/gw  diaV  thVn  a)sqe/neian  thV$  sarkoV$  u(mw`n|  w%sper  gaVr  paresth/sate  taV  me/lh  u(mw`n  dou`la  th`|  a)kaqarsi/a|  kaiV  th`|  a)nomi/a|  ei$)  thVn  a)nomi/an,  ou%tw  nun`  parasth/sate  taV  me/lh  u(mw`n  dou`la  th`|  dikaiosu/nh|  ei)$  a(giasmo/n. "

"Like a human I speak because of the weakness of your flesh:  for as you all yielded your members slaves to uncleanness and to lawlessness unto lawlessness,  so  now yield your members slaves unto righteous- ness unto holiness."

Before they became Christians, they had yielded themselves to sin.  Now, to us an illustration of delivering and receiving slaves, you are to yield yourselves to the doing of what is right.  

"Speak after the manner of men"  =  "I have used this illustration of slavery."  As their former behavior made it difficult for them to develop spiritual insight (Heb. 5:11),  it does the same thing for people today.



v. 20  -  "o%te  gaVr  dou`loi  h@te  th~$  a(marti/a$,  e)leu/qeroi  h@te  th`|  dikaiosu/nh|. "

"For when you all were slaves of sin, you were free ones as to righteousness."

The slave symbolism is still under consideration.  When they were under the domination of sin, they felt no obligation to do right.  Of course this can not mean that the sinner is free from God's standards, only that the sinner feels no compulsion to obey God.  Wacaster (Tom Wacaster, Studies in Romans) writes:  "Any attempt to place an interpretation on this verse that says a man who has not yet obeyed the gospel is actual under no obligation to practice righteousness, is simply an abuse of the verse. . .  If it is case that a non-Christian is not under any obligation to righteousness, then he has no obligation to obey the gospel. But that is false on the very surface of it."  All men are obligated, whether they feel obligated or not!

v. 21  -  " ti/na  ou@n  karpoVn  eix&ete  to/te  e)f  )  oi!$  nu`n  ep)aisxu/nesqe;  toV  gaVr  te/lo$  e)kein/wn  qa/nato$. "

"Therefore what fruit did you all have then in the things [of which] you are now ashamed?  for the end of those things [is] death."

Now they are ashamed of their past actions.  Jeremiah described the calloused people of his day, after having sinned, as not being able to blush (Jer. 8:12), and Paul prophesies that some would have their "conscience seared with a hot iron" (1 Tim. 4:2).

v. 22  -  "nuniV  deV  el)euqerwqe/nte$  a)poV  th`$  a(marti/a$,  doulwqe/nte$  deV  tw`|  Qew`|,  ex&ete  toVn  karpoVn  u(mw`n  ei$)  a(giasmo/n,  toV  deV  te/lo$  zwhVn  aiw)/nion. "

"but now having been freed from sin, and having become slaves to God, you have your fruit unto holiness, and the end eternal life."

Paul unveils the whole picture to illustrate how the entire thing has been reversed:  the servitude, the fruit, and the result of it all.  

v. 23  -  "taV  gaVr  o)yw/nia  th`$  a(marti/a$  qa/nato$,   toV  de  xa/risma  tou`  Qeou~  zwhV  aiw)/nio$  e)n  Xristw`|    I)hsou`   tw|`  Kuri/w|  h(mw`n. "

"For the wages of sin [is] death,  but the gift of God [is] eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Each type of slavery reaches its own goal.  Adam's sin brought physical death by exclusion from the tree of life (Rom. 5:12ff.), but our personal sins, if unforgiven, bring the 2nd death in hell (Rev. 21:8; James 1:15).  No one "earns" eternal life, thus it is not on the basis of wages, but instead is the gift of God.  Note carefully that this gift is bestowed on us "in Christ," and for the answer of how one gets into Christ, see Galatians 3:27.

The Phillips' translation renders this verse as follows:  "Sin pays its servants: the wage is death.  But God gives to those who serve him: his free gift is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord." 



Price's Notes

Romans,  Chapter 7.

v. 1  -  "   * H  a)gnoei`te  (ginw/skousi  ga/r  nom/on  lalw` ),   o%  nomo$  kurieu/ei  tou`  a)nqrw/pou  e)f  )  o%son  xro/non  zh|` ; 

"Or do you not know (for [to] those knowing the law I speak),  that law rules over the man as long as a time [that] he might live?"

In 6:14a, Paul discusses that "sin shall not have dominion over you...,"  and then gives the reason why in vss. 15-23.  The last part of that statement (14b) is now to be answered by making use of the marriage illustration.  This not only shows "freedom from the law" but also shows that we are married to Christ.  Difference between then and now:  We were never under the Law!

Paul's example from everyday life merely says that one who knows anything about law at all under- stands that death brings release from the laws of the land.  

"liveth"  -   is 3rd person singular, and may be translated either "he" or "it,"  but the former seems better here, since we are discussing how death releases a man from the laws of the land by which he was bound in life.  However, vss. 3-4 tend to stress the other idea.  

The point?  Death brings a release from the law!

v. 2  -  "h(  gaVr  u%pandro$  gunhV  tw`|  zw`nti  a)ndri  de/detai   no/mw| :  e)aVn  deV  a)poqa/nh|  o(  a)nh/r,  kath/rghtai   a)poV  tou`  no/mou  tou`  a)ndro/$."

"For the married woman is bound to her living husband by the law, but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of the [her] husband."

"married"  -  The word literally signifies "under man" showing subjection, and hence rendered as "married."  We need to remember that in a illustration, differing from an allegory, only one primary idea is being emphasized. In an allegory, more points are paralleled for their spiritual truths.  The point?  Death brings release from the law!  

v. 3  -  "a&ra  ou@n  zw`nto$  tou`  a)ndroV$  moizxaliV$  xrymati/sei,  e)aVn  ge/nhtai  a)ndri/  e(terw|:   e)aVn  deV  a)poqa/nh|  o(  a)nh/r,  e)leuqe/ra  e)stiVn  a)poV  no/mou,  tou`  mhV  ei@nai  au)thVn  moixali/da,  genome/nhn  a)ndriV  e(te/rw|."  

"Therefore then while the man is living, she shall be called an adulteress if she be [married] to another man, but if the husband might die, free she is from law, that she not be an adulteress, having become [married ] to another man."

In the O.T., the same marriage figure is used of Israel and her relationship to Jehovah.  "With their idols have they committed adultery" (Ezek. 23:37).  So long as the law was in force, they could never be free to marry again.  



"called"  -  The word called used in this verse signifies "called by God," and is seen in numerous other passages in the N.T.:  Matt. 2:12,22;  Acts 10:22;  Heb. 8:5;  11:7).  

v. 4  -  "w%ste,  a)delfoi/  mou,  kaiV  u(mei$`  e)qanatw/qhte  tw`|  no/mw|  diaV  tou`  sw/mato$  tou`  Xristou`,  ei$)  toV  gene/sqai  u(ma`$  e(te/rw|,  tw`|  ek)  nekrw`n  eg)erqe/nti,  i%na  karpoforh/swmen  tw`|  Qew`|. "

Now we see the gist of Paul's argument.  Since death frees the wife from the marital law so she may marry again, so it is with the death of Christ, which freed them from the claims of the Law of Moses so they may be joined to another - spiritually speaking.

In Christ as the representative, one thus became "dead to the law" and freed from it, thus enabled to contract a 2nd marriage, this time married to Christ.  Purpose?  To bring forth fruit.

v. 5  -  "o%te  ga/r  h@men  e)n  th`|  sarki/,  taV  paqh/mata  tw`n  a(martiw`n  taV  diaV  tou`  no/mou  e)nhrgei`to  e)n  toi`$  me/lesin  h(mw`n  ei$)  toV  karpoforh`sai  tw`|  qana/tw|.

"For when we were in the flesh,  the sinful passions , which were by the law, worked in our members unto the bringing forth fruit unto death."

Paul does NOT say that the Law produced these sinful passions, but merely teaches that it revealed them to be sin!  Of course people sinned before and after the giving of the Law of Moses, but this Law declared them to be sin!  Notice Paul's use of "in the flesh" to be the equivalent of saying "while under the Law of Moses."  At that time, people had little help with the sin problem, but in Christ there is help.  Of course sinful desires still plague the Christian even today, but instead of them controlling him, he controls them!  The Law condemned, but since no one kept it perfectly, it offered no escape from the guilt of sin.

"fruit"  -  Note the contrast of bringing forth fruit unto God (v. 4) and unto death (v. 5).  Every individual is a "fruit-bearer" of one kind or another.

v. 6  -   "nuniV  deV  kathrgh/qhmen  a(poV  tou`  no/mou,  a)poqanon/to$  e)n  w!|  kateixo/meqa,  ws%te  douleu/ein  h(ma`$  en)  kaino/thti  pneu/mato$,  kaiV  ou)  palaio/thti  gra/mmato$."

"but now we have been released from the law, having died [regarding that] in which we were held, so that we serve in newness of spirit, and not in oldness of letter." 

"but now"  -  The days of the Law of Moses is contrasted with the Christian Age.  Now things are different, he says. The Law is no longer binding, and this was about 57 or 58 A.D.!   

The same act of obedience which united them with Christ (6:5 ASV) also delivered them from the Law.  Paul discusses the change of attitude as respecting the two laws, the O.T. vs. the N.T.  The former is an attitude of "slave service," while the latter is that of a "free man."  "spirit" = disposition, or attitude, as in Romans 8:15.  

Sabbatarians tell us that the term law does not include the 10 commandments. Their argument is proved baseless by merely reading the next verse!



v. 7  -   "Ti/  ou@n  er)ou`men;  o(  no/mo$  a(marti/a;  mhV  ge/noito:  a)llaV  thVn  a(marti/an  ou)k  e&gnwn,  ei)  mhV   diaV  no/mou:  th/n  te  gaVr  e)piqumi/an  ou)k  h&dein,  ei ) mhV  o(  no/mo$  e&legen,  Ou)k  e)piqumh/sei$:"

"What therefore shall we say?  [Is] the law sin?  Let it not be so!  But sin I did not know except through [the] law, for I was not fully aware of lust,  except the law said, 'You shall not lust.'"

What judgment is to be made from this?  This seems to be a favorite idiom with Paul, as is the next idiomatic phrase which follows:  "May it not be!"  Paul desires that no one misunderstand his remarks.

If the law had not told him that certain acts were sin, it would never have been "brought home to his mind" that they were.  This does not mean that he would never have experienced sin, for even Gentiles, who were not under the Mosaical Law (except they became proselytes), sinned!  Phillips translates it this way:  "For example, I would not have felt guilty of the sin of coveting, if the law were not saying 'You shall not covet'."

Were it not for this 10th commandment (Ex. 20:17;  Deut. 5:21), men might not have been fully aware of the sinfulness of evil desires, and hence of the sin involved.

Now, back to the Sabbatarian argument:  They argue that only the "ceremonial" part of the Law of Moses was done away, not the 10 commandments.  But Paul's reference to "coveting" makes it certain that the 10 commandments, and coveting is #10 and specifically mentioned by him, is included in that from which they had been released!  It had been made null and void!

v. 8  -  "a)formhVn  deV  labou`sa  h(  amarti/a  diaV  th`$  en)tolh`$  kateirga/sato  e)n  e)moiV  pa`san  e)piqumi/an:  xwriV$  gaVr  no/mou  a(marti/a  nekra/."

"But sin taking an opportunity through the commandment  worked out in me every lust,  for apart from law sin is dead." 

Sin is not a personal entity, but Satan is, and this is the one whom Paul personifies.  Now no command- ment of God's stirs up or excites evil desires.  Those already present desires, when prohibited by a law, take advantage of that same law which says "no" to produce coveting.  You see, man longs for that which is forbidden - how like children we are!  Remember Adam and Eve.

It should be noted that the "lust" of verse 7 is the same word translated as "concupiscense" in this v. 8 (KJV).  Here is yet another place where translating the same Greek word with the same English word in the same context would be better for the English student.  This word epithumian is translated by the KJV translators as "lust," "covet" (verb form), and "concupiscense" respectively in verse 7-8!

v. 9  -  "e)gwV  deV  e&zwn  xwriV$  no/mou  pote/:  e)lqou/sh$   deV  th~$  en)tolh`$,  h(  a(marti/a  a)ne//zhsen,  e)gw  deV  a)pe/qanon:  

"And I was living apart from [the] law once, but the commandment having come, sin came to life again, and I died."



"alive" and "revived" (KJV)  are both from the same root word, zao = to live.  Our English word zoology (et al.) come from this Greek verb.  This term stresses physical life as contrasted with death.  Another word, bios = life also, but may refer to life in general, for example "pleasures," "conduct," "worldly goods" and so on.  Our English word "biology" comes from the latter Greek term.

Question?  At what point was Paul apart from the law?  Before he realized his own individual responsibility in the matter of obeying God.  Then sin "sprang to life."  This is a better term than "revived."  There was a time in his career when he was not accountable, and that would seem to be his childhood state.  

How does this verse refute the idea of hereditary total depravity?  If one were born dead in sin and trespasses, at what time was Paul "alive" and exactly when did he die spiritually speaking?

v. 10  -  "kaiV  eu(re/qh  moi  h(  en)tolhV  h(  ei)$  zwh/n,  au%th  ei)$  qa/naton:"

"And the commandment the one [meant] for life to me, the same was found [to be] unto death."

Once again, this verse shows that the Law was not sinful (v. 7); God intended that it bring life. Notice the following references:  Ezek. 20:11, 13, 21;  18:9, 21 et al. teach that it was given for life - hence not sinful, for sin destroys life.  Leviticus 18:5 reads:  "Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the Lord."

Though not its intent, yet death was its result, because of the weakness on the part of man - not weakness in the Law. This is the reason the Old Law was styled the "ministration of death" (2 Cor. 3:7-9).  After illustrating the inability of man to solve the "SIN" problem, the Law pointed men to Christ Who did solve it!

v. 11  -  "h(  ga/r   a(marti/a  a)formhVn  labou`sa  diaV  th`$  en)tolh`$  ec)hpa/thse/  me, kaiV  di  ) au)th`$  a)pe/kteinen."

"For sin taking an opportunity through the commandment  deceived me, and through it slew [me]."

Notice the culprit is SIN, not the Law!  It is interesting to substitute the word "Satan" for sin in this context, all the while being aware of the similarity of this to the temptation of Eve.  Satan deceived her, by saying "ye shall not surely die."  God's commandment was the occasion, but sin did the beguiling!  Eve sinned, became aware of her guilt and shame; i.e. she died.

So it was in Paul's case "as a lad," apart from the Law. as Paul amply describes in the latter part of this same chapter.  Incidentally, so it is with us today.

v. 12  -  "w%ste  o(  meVn  no/mo$  a%gio$,  kaiV  h(  en)tolh/  a(gia/  kaiV  dikai/a  kaiV  a)gaqh/. "

"so that the Law indeed is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good."

Herein we find the conclusion to the last five verses:  The Law is not to be blamed.  It was holy, righteous and good.  Some believe they see a contradiction in Heb. 8:6-7, but there the writer merely states that



the 1st covenant was faulty "in that it did not provide a perfect sacrifice for sin."  Hence it could not be the final revelation of God to mankind.

v. 13  -  "toV  ou@n  a)gaqoVn  e)moiV  ge/gone  qa/vnato$ ;  mhV  gen/voito.  a)llaV  h(  a(marti/a,  i%na  fanh~|  a(marti/a,  diaV  tou`  a)gaqou`  moi  katergazome/nh  qa/naton,  -- i%na  ge/nhtai  kaq   ) u(perbolhVn  a(martwlo/$  h(  a(marti/a  th~$  en)tolh~$. "

"Therefore did the good thing to me become death?  May it not be so!  But sin, in order that it might appear to be sin, through the good [thing] was working out death to me, in order that sin might become super sinful through the commandment."

Though the Law was not SIN, yet it seems to have been DEATH for us.  Is this really true?  Unthinkable, argues Paul.  It was not the Law's fault, for if he had kept it, he would not have died!  Some today say the law promotes immorality.  Don't blame the law - sin is taking advantage of a law intended to help people.  People were to blame - not the Old Law.  From this we see that their's was also the "age of passing the buck."

v. 14  -  "o&idamen  gaVr  o%ti  o(  no/mo$  pneumatiko/$  es)tin:  e)gwV  deV  sarkiko/$  ei)mi,  peprame/no$  u(poV  thVn  a(marti/an." 

"for we know that the law is spiritual, but I am fleshly, having been sold under sin."

The Law was spiritual because its appeal was directed toward the inner man.  "Thou shalt love Jehovah thy God with all thy heart, soul..." (Deut. 6:5-6).

"sold"  -  This is describing one who is sold like a slave to sin and its interests.  From here through the end of the chapter, the Apostle Paul is illustrating the power of sin over a Jew PRIOR to the coming of Christ into the world to break this power of sin over mankind. Paul is describing the struggles with sin that a man had who was still under the Law of Moses.  How do we know?  

Because the language in verses 14-24 is not suitable for one who is a Christian to make!

 (1) "I am carnal" - v. 14.  This means the same as "when we were in the flesh" under the Old Law (v. 5)            (2) "Sold under sin" (v. 14).  Is this not the same as being a bondservant to sin?  Is not being a slave to sin the opposite of being under grace (6:14)?      (3) "To will is present with me, but to do that which is good is not"  (v. 18).  Is the Christian incapable of doing the works which are fruits of the Spirit?      (4) "Wretched man that I am"  is a difficult term to accept as being descriptive of the N.T. Christian.

That Paul speaks of a Jew under the Old Law is obvious because Paul is describing the same thing he's been describing from verse 7-13.  The connective gar merely continues the thought of the previous verses. 



Thirdly, the change of verb tenses (aorist in vss. 7-13) but (present tense in verses 14-24) is merely a linguistic device used for its dramatic effect. Paul throws himself back into the time which he is describing.  

Certainly a Christian has struggles against sin, and fights it continually, but it is not proper to use Rom. 7:14ff.  to prove it.  Paul is NOT describing a Christian in vss. 14-24!  A Christian is not a slave to sin, because he has changed masters (Rom. 6:15-18)!

v. 15  -  "o(  gaVr  katerga/zomai,  ou)  ginw/skw:  ou)  gaVr  o^  qel/w,  tou`to  pra/ssw:  a)ll )  o^  misw,`  tou`to  poiw~. "

"for what I work out , I do not approve:  for what I desire, this I practice;  but what I hate, this I do."

Remember what we have pictured here is the struggle between the flesh and the souls "to rule" the life of a person UNDER THE MOSAIC LAW in that person's attempt to serve Jehovah.  Though that Law was holy, yet it could not deliver forgiveness;  that was available only through Christ's atonement.  Such a person was in a real quandary until the coming of Christ!  Such a one under that Old Law was in bondage, and the Law could not deliver him from the control of sin, only Christ could do that!  There was great frustration in trying to be justified by the Old Law.  It condemned; it did not acquit!

v. 16  -  "ei)  deV  o^  ou)  qe/lw,  tou`to  poiw`,  su/mfhmi   tw`|  no/mw|  o%  kalo/$."

"but if that which I do not desire, this I do,  I agree with the Law that [it is] good."

Saul recognized that he should not have done a thing, when he fell below the commands of the Law, and hence was admitting the Law was good - but he wasn't!  The Law did not have the power to free him from the guilt of sin.

v. 17  -  "nuniV  deV  ou)ke/ti  e)gwV  katerga/zomai  au)to/,  a)ll )  h(  oik)ou`sa  e)n  e)moiV  a(marti/a."    

"but now no long am I working it out, but the sin dwelling in me."

Today, when we speak of our "better self,"  we surely realize that we are not speaking of two opposing "ego's"  -  not two actual selves within us.  Paul was not a schizophrenic!  He is saying, as we would today, that it was not his better self that prompted his sinful actions.

If he were left to himself, unmoved by the flesh, he would have done that which he wished to do - i.e., what the Law required, and therefore would not have sinned.  He was captivated, not regenerated! (see 2 Cor. 5:17).

But "the flesh" would not leave him alone.  Note that Paul calls the "inner self"  I.  

v. 18  -  "oi@da  ga/r  o%ti  ou)k  oik)ei ~ e)n  e)moi/,  tou`t )  e&stin  e)n  th`|  sarki/  mou,  a)gaqo/n:  toV  gaVr  qe/lein  para/keitai/  moi,  toV  deV  katerga/zesqai  toV  kaloVn  ou)x  eu(ri/skw."



"For I know that it does not dwell in me, that is in my flesh, good:  for the desire is present in me, but the working out the good not do I find."

The unregenerate Jew wanted to do right, so he could enjoy fellowship with God.  The problem was that under the Law of Moses, this could not be achieved.  Its purpose was to cause a person to realize that he needed a Savior; he could not save himself.  

This verse shows that we have correctly interpreted "me" of the previous verse to mean "flesh."  The term "MY flesh" is used physiologically referring to the physical body, as also is v. 23 which speaks of "my members,"  and v. 24 which speaks of "the body of this death."  Paul is not saying that he, as Saul, never did any good, but that he never reached the moral perfection required by the Law.  

v. 19  -  "ou)  ga/r  o^  poiw~  a)gaqo/n:  a)ll )  o^  ou)  qe/lw  kako/n,  tou`to  pra/ssw "

"For what good I desire, I don't practice, but what evil I do not wish, this I practice."

The flesh, which was in control, hindered his doing the good things in the Law which he really wished to practice.  Paul is simply illustrating in vivid fashion that the Law gave no help with man's sin problem.

v. 20  -  "ei)  deV  o^  ou)  qe/lw  e/gw/,  tou`to  poiw`,  ou)ke/ti  e)gw/  katerga/zomai  au)to/,  a)ll )  h(  oikou`sa  e)n  e)moiV  a(marti/a."

"but if what I do not wish, this I do,  no longer am I working out it, but the sin dwelling in me [is]."    

Of course the body does not sin by itself, that is "separate and apart from the thinking of man."  Paul was no agnostic!  But the fact remains that the power of the flesh is great, and when its evil desires are excited, man is influenced to gratify them, and in so doing, he sins.  This verse is not stating the way it is with Christians, but the way it is with everybody on earth except Christians (remember 6:12).

v. 21  -  "eu(ri/skw  a&ra  toVn  nom/on   tw`|   qe/lonti  e)moiV  poiei`n  toV  kalo/n,  o%ti  e)moi  toV  kakoVn  para/keitai. "

"I find then the law that when I desire to do good, that evil is present with me."

Though the noun "law" does have the article, it is more likely that Paul speaks of a "rule" rather than the Law of Moses.  Note that in 7:23, "law"  [the 2nd and 3rd occurrences of nomos] also has the article, but certainly there it does not refer to the Mosaical Law either.  The meaning here is that "I find this rule or principle to be true."   The point is that when Paul lived under the Old Law, this principle was operating even then!

v. 22  -  "sunh/domai  gaVr  tw`|  no/mw|  tou`  Qeou`  kataV  toVn  e&sw  a&nqrwpon: "

"For I am pleased with the law of God, according to the inward man."  

Paul still speaks of his life as Saul under the Law of Moses, but in so doing he gives ammunition to those in the Christian Age in their fight against Calvinism.  Why?  Those espousing total heredity depravity



cannot explain this verse.  They find it impossible to see how one who is wholly disposed to do evil from birth could actually find himself wishing to do that which is right!

This desire of Saul's to do right was prompted by his delight in the law of Moses earlier in his life under that Law.  But this is not unusual either, for listen to David:  His "delight was in the law of the Lord, and in his law doth he meditate ..." (Psa. 1:2), or again in Psa. 119:97 which says "O how love I thy law.  It is my meditation all the day."   

v. 23  -  "ble/pw  deV  e%teron  nom/on  e)n  toi`$  me/lesi/  mou  a)ntistrateuo/menon  tw|`  nom/w|  tou`  noo/$

mou,  kaiV  ai)xmalwti/zonta/   me  tw| ` no/mw|  th`$  a(marti/a$  tw`|  o&nti  e)n  toi`$  me/lesi/  mou. "

"but I see another law in my members at war with the law of my mind, and capturing me in the law of sin which is in my members." 

As Saul got "outside of himself,"  taking the role of a spectator, he observed that there was another law (different from the law of God in which he delighted) that worked in his body.  The word heteron signifies a "different" kind,  not allon "another" of the same kind.

This "inclination to sin" warred against the mental inclination to do right, and the two were constantly on a collision course, one against the other.  The inclination to do right was prompted by the requirements of the Law of Moses.

The Jew under the Law of Moses had two things with which to contend:

 (1) One was the Law's requirements, with which he agreed and in which he delighted, and which he wished to do.

 (2) The other was the action of sin on the body.  Since the Law gave no help there, he became a slave to sin, or "the law of sin."

v. 24  -  "talai/pwro$  e)gwV  a&vqrwpo$:   ti/$  me  r(u/setai  ek)  tou`  sw/mato$  tou`  qana/tou  tou/tou ; "

"I am a wretched man.  Who shall deliver me out of this body of death?"

Saul was a miserable, helpless individual.  By crying for a deliverer, he admitted that he himself could not win the battle, nor was the Law itself any help.  Was there anything (or Anyone) who could help him to overcome the fleshly desires which were dragging him down to destruction?  "Death" seems to mean the complete condition of helplessness, guilt, and misery herein described, which is, in effect, spiritual death (a state of being separated from God).  "Body" = "my members" (v. 23).

v. 25  -   "eu)xaristw`  tw`|  Qew`|  diaV    I)hsou`  Xristou`  tou`  Kuri/ou  h(mw`n,  a&ra  ou@n  au)toV$  eg)wV  tw`|  me)n  noiV+  douleu/w  no/mw|  Qeou`,  th`|  de V sarkiV  nomw|  a(marti/a$. "

"I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  So then with the mind I myself indeed serve the law of God, but with the flesh [I serve] the law of sin."



Obviously,  the answer as to Who could deliver him was Jesus Christ, and His system of grace!  The Law of Moses did not win the battle over sin, but instead proved itself powerless to defeat sin.  The only thing left was for a man to confess his sinfulness, and hope for something better - the GRACE OF GOD (v. 25).





Price's  Notes

Romans,  Chapter 8

After discussing the disadvantages of living under the Old Law of Moses, Paul now turns to the advantages of being "in Christ."  This chapter is one of the most used (and abused) chapters in the Bible in our present age - especially because Pentecostalism has invaded our ranks!  When the word spirit [pneuma] is used, how is it to be translated?  Is it always to be capitalized, thus referring to the Holy Spirit?  If we spell it with a small "s,"  then is it the human spirit to which Paul refers?  Sometimes this word is used to indicate a miraculous operation by which the gospel was confirmed (1 Cor. 4:19-20;  1 Thess. 1:5).  At times, the small "s" spelling can refer to an attitude, or disposition of heart.  Then it may also serve as a "synonym" for the gospel. For example, at times Paul represents the Jew as being "in the flesh" (7:5) which means being under the Mosaical Law.  Contrariwise, Christians are under the Spirit, or covenant which He gave.  Drawing this contrast further, Paul says that a Christian's service is in newness of the spirit, not in oldness of the letter as was the Jew's service.  He speaks of the Jew under the Law as in "bondage." and thus possessing the spirit of slaves, but the Christian is a "son," and possesses the spirit of adoption.  Each time we see the term pneuma, we must make a decision as to how it should be rendered, all the while remembering we must not divorce its usage from the context.  

Failing to place this chapter in the right context, separating it from chapter  2:17 through the end of chapter seven, is to miss the main point Paul is making, namely CONTRASTING THE LAW OF MOSES FROM THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST!  Ignoring this contextual contrasting of the two covenants has caused many of the difficulties that people have with this chapter.

 v. 1  -  "Ou)deVn  a&ra  nu`n  kata/krima  toi`$  en)  Xrist`w|   I)hsou`,  mhV  kataV  sa/rka  peripatou`sin,  a)llaV  kataV  pneu`ma. "

"Not then now [is there] condemnation to those in Christ Jesus, who are not walking according to flesh but according to spirit." 

 Paul uses the word "now" to contrast the two laws under which people lived. NOW, he says, we live under the law of Christ, but back THEN we were under the Old Law of Moses. Now we are in the "gospel age," but then we were under a law wherein people were under condemnation.  Now that the gospel has come, we have a freedom from the power and guilt of sin. Whiteside, in his commentary, writes that "to free a person from the condemnation formerly resting upon him does not rob him of personal responsibility for his conduct in the future."

v. 2  -  "o(  gaVr  no/mo$  tou`  pneu/mato$  th`$  zwh`$  en)  Xristw`|    )Ihsou~  h)leuqe/rwse/  me  a)poV  tou`  nom/ou  th`$  a(marti/a$  kaiV  tou`  qana/tou. "

"For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus freed me from the law of sin and death."

This "law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus" is contrasted with the Law of Moses.  Elsewhere it is called "law of Christ" (Gal. 6:2), "perfect law of liberty" (James 1:25) and "royal law" (James 2:8).  In light of



these verses, it is utter folly to argue than we are NOT under ANY law today. Such is as erroneous as can be.  The law of the Spirit of life was given by Him to the apostles, etc.

"The law of sin and death" is the same law spoken of back in chapter 7:14-24, i.e. the "inclination" to sin! The law of Moses freed no one from this law, and it is obvious that "the law of sin and death" could not be referring to the Law of Moses.  The Law of Moses freed no one from sin (Rom. 7:24).

v. 3  -  "toV  gaVr  a)du/naton  tou`  no/mou,  e)n  w!|  h)sqe/nei  diav  th`$  sarko/$,  o(  QeoV$  toVn  e(autou`  ui(oVn  pe/mya$  e)n  o(moiw/mati  sarkoV$  a(marti/a$  kaiV  periV  a(marti/a$  kate/krine  thVn  a(marti/an  e)n  th`|  sarki/:  "

"For the powerlessness  of the law, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sent the Son of Himself in likeness of flesh of sin and concerning sin condemned sin in the flesh" 

The reason for this conclusion is aptly stated by Whiteside:  "If the law of sin and death is the law of Moses, then we have Paul making the absurd statement  that the law of Moses could not deliver us from the law of Moses!"  The Law justified only  those who were perfect, but how many were?  Hence the "weakness" of the Law was actually the weakness of fleshly man, so prone to sin.  Sin, however, was a foreign element, and NOT a part of a person's nature - anymore than dust in your eye is a part of your eye!  Christ illustrated this principle when He lived sinlessly - in the flesh!  Not understanding this truism, the Roman Catholics invented the doctrine of Immaculate Conception (Pope Pius IX, 1854), so Mary could not pass on to the Christ child the horrible sin of Adam, or original sin. The doctrine of original sin being passed on to a child is false (Ezek. 18:20), and so is the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. One sinful doctrine leads to another!

v. 4  -  "i%na  toV  dikai/wma  tou`  no/mou  plhrwqh`|  en)  h(mi`n,    toi`$  mhV  kataV  sa/rka  peripatousin,  a)llaV  kataV  pneu`ma."

"in order that the requirement  of the law might be fulfilled in us, to the ones not walking around according to flesh but according to spirit."

The righteousness aimed for under the Law of Moses, but unachievable because of the weakness of the flesh, is achievable under the gospel system.

"not after the flesh, but after the spirit"  -   Probably the small "s" on spirit is called for here, signifying a frame of mind, or disposition of heart.  Sometimes it makes a difference, at other times you come out about the same place.  McGarvey, Lard, etc. have it meaning "walk not according to the outward, fleshly nature, which lusts to do wrong, but after the inward, spiritual nature, which desires to do right."  If correct, even here we must understand that the human spirit would be following the guidance of the Holy Spirit. However, it seems best to understand spirit  = a frame of mind, or disposition.

v. 5  -  "oi(  ga/r  kataV  sa/rka  o&nte$  taV  th`$  sarkoV$  fronou`sin:  oi(  deV  kataV  pneu`ma taV  tou` pneu/mato$. "



"for the ones being according to the flesh think [on] the things of the flesh,  but those according to spirit [think on] things of the spirit."

Those following the law of the spirit restrain their fleshly desires and will not be guilty of producing the fruit of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21).  Note that the word "mind" (KJV) meaning giving attention to, or pursuing, puts the Christian in the role of responsibility.  The problem of sin remains, prompted by the desires of the body, so it is up to him to WILL to do what the Spirit directs.  

Again, there are those who take the word pneuma as man's spirit in the first usage, and the Holy Spirit the 2nd time it is used in this one verse.  This would mean "they who obey the dictates of the (regenerated) spirit live as the promptings and leadings of the Holy Spirit marks out for them to live."  This may be correct, but it matters little.  It is the opinion of this writer (wp) that both usages of "spirit" in verse 5 are likely referring to the spirit of man.

v. 6  -  "toV  ga`r  fro/nhma  th`$  sarkoV$  qa/nato$:  toV  deV  pro/nhma  tou`  pneu/mato$  zwhV  kaiV  eir)h/nh: "

"For the way of thinking of the flesh [is] death, but the way of thinking of the spirit [is] life and peace."

This is reemphasizing 7:23 and 25.

v. 7  -  "dio/ti  toV  pro/nhma  th`$  sarkoV$  e&xqra  ei)$  Qeo/n,  tw`|  gaVr  no/mw|  tou`  Qeou`  ou)x  u(pota/ssetai,  ou)deV  ga/r  du/natai. " 

"Because the way of thinking of the flesh [is] enmity towards God, for to the law of God it is not subject, for neither is it able [to be]."

Remember that Jesus said:  "No man can serve two masters..." (Matt. 6:24).  Calvinists believe they see here the idea of "total depravity" and that before a man can even want to do what is right, the Holy Spirit must work on him!  To interpret this as "total inability" is to contradict 7:18b.

v. 8  -  "oi(  deV  e)n  sarkiV   o&nte$  Qew`|  a)re/sai  ou)  du/nantai. "

"But the ones being in the flesh are not able to please God."

Was not Paul still a fleshly person when he wrote this?  Obviously, Paul uses a figurative expression here, and speaks not of a physical sense, but an ethical sense.  People in their "flesh and blood" bodies are told not to walk "according to the flesh."

v. 9  -  "u(mei$`  deV  ou)k  e)steV  en)  sarki/,  a)ll  )  e)n  pneu/mati,  ei&per  Pneu`ma  Qeou`  oik)ei ` e)n  um(i`n.  ei ) deV  ti$  Pneu`ma  Xristou`  ou)k  e&xei,  ou!to$  ou)k  e&stin  au)tou` "

"But you [all] are not in [the] flesh, but in [the] spirit, if, indeed,  [the] Spirit of God dwells in you [all].  But if anyone does not have [the] Spirit of Christ, this one [he] is not of him."

These flesh and blood Christians in Rome are now told that they are not in the flesh, but "in the Spirit."  This is not referring to an indwelling of the Spirit, but is the equivalent of "walking in the spirit" (with a



small "s").  The "Spirit of God" may be referring to the Holy Spirit, but without the article, it could also be referring to a disposition. Finally the "Spirit of Christ " = disposition, or attitude of Christ.  The life, character, or disposition of Christ which is produced by the teaching of the Spirit.  The article "the" is not used anywhere in v. 9 in the original language!

v. 10  -  "ei)  deV  XristoV$  en)  um(in,  toV  meVn  sw`ma  nekroVn  di   ) a(marti/an,  toV  deV  pneu/ma  zwhV  diaV dikaiosu/nhn. "

"But if Christ be in you all, the body indeed is dead because of sin, but the spirit is life because of righteousness."

That the above conclusion is correct is seen in this verse.  The word pneuma in the previous verse does NOT refer to the Holy Spirit indwelling a Christian in a direct manner.  One brother says of this section:  "God has given us the indwelling Spirit," and then he quotes Acts 2:38 and Acts 5:32 as proof, but neither of these verses refer to the personal indwelling of the H.S. as many mistakenly believe, but rather they refer to a figurative (metaphorical) indwelling.

In our companion book of this study, the letter to the Galatian Christians, Paul makes it clear that Christ dwells in us "when the character of Christ" is formed within us.  "My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in  you" (Gal. 4:19).  Two others verses from Paul' s pen are likewise quite relevant at this juncture:  Phil. 2:5 "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus,"  and Eph. 3:17  "...that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith..."   

v. 11  -  "ei)  dev  toV  Pneu`ma  tou`  eg)eir/anto$   )Ihsou`n  ek)  nekrw`n  oik)ei`   e)n  um(in,  o(  eg)eirva$  toVn  XristoVn  ek)  nekrw`n  zwopoihvsei  kaiV  taV  qnhtaV  swvmata  u(mw`n,  diaV   tou`   e)noikou`nto$  au)tou`  Pneu/mato$  e)n  u(mi`n."

"but if the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead ones dwells in you all, he who raised Christ from among [the] dead ones shall make alive also your mortal bodies, through the indwelling Spirit in you all."

The last phrase of verse 10 refers to the human spirit.  How do we know?  Because it is contrasted with "body," and therefore it refers to the inward man.  Now in this eleventh verse, once more we must decide on how to interpret the word "Spirit."  "The Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead" = the Spirit of the Father, or i.e., the Holy Spirit.

When one obeys the gospel, his sins are washed away, and he "rises to walk in newness of life," but that is not the whole of his salvation.  Keep in mind that Paul is not referring to a future resurrection of our physical bodies,  but rather is referring to  the influence (teachings) of the Holy Spirit bringing life to our mortal bodies, just as Jesus taught in John 5:24-25. 

And why is this so?  This is a metaphorical (figurative) use of the word "dwell" - not literal at all!  God dwelled among the O.T. worthies when they obeyed His voice. This He promised them (Ex. 29:45-46; Lev. 26:12), and He did dwell "among" them when they obeyed Him.  If this verse (Rom. 8:11) be used to mean a direct indwelling of the Spirit inside one's body today, then he must agree that these O.T. saints



also had the indwelling of the Spirit in them!  Obviously, the preposition en, translated more than one hundred times in the N.T. as "among," or "in the midst of," ought to be rendered the same way here. In neither the O.T. nor the N.T. is the idea of God walking around literally inside a human body used (Lev. 26:12), but rather is figurative language used to describe the influence of God's word in both their lives and ours!

 v. 12  -   "  &Ara  ou@n,  a)delfoi/,  o)feile/tai  e)sme/n,  ou)  th`|  sarki/,  tou`  kataV  sa/rka  zh`|n: "

"So therefore, brothers,  debtors we are, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh " 

Paul draws the same contrast here as he does in Romans 6:1-2.  As Christians, we have changed masters (Romans 6:18) and are obligated to serve Christ. We are to be different (in behavior, speech, habits, etc.) from people of the world.

v. 13  -  " ei)  gaVr  kataV  sa/rka  zh`te,  me/llete  a)poqnh/skein:  ei ) deV  pneu/mati  taV$  pra/cei$  tou`  sw/mato$  qanatou`te,  zh/sesqe. "

"For if you are living according to flesh , you shall die;  but if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you shall live."

"mello"  -  Sometimes this verb suggests imminency, that is something is" about to happen," but on other occasions this word before verbs suggests certainty, which is the case here.  The idea is not that they are "on the verge of dying," but that such a lifestyle is certain to result in future death, whenever that may be. The reader is urged to check Romans 5:14 where a participle form of mello is used ("the One who comes" = Christ.  How much time elapsed between these O.T. characters and the birth of Christ?  That Christ was coming was CERTAIN, but His coming was not IMMINENT back then, for at least 1400 years separated Moses and Christ!

We do not owe the flesh anything.  In v. 13, probably the word "spirit" ought to be spelled with a small "s."  Think a moment - in 1 Cor. 9:27, Paul says that he had to discipline his body.  Now did his body do that disciplining  or did his spirit do it?  Furthermore, in Col. 3:5, Paul commands his readers to put to death their members on the earth (fornication, evil desires, covetousness ,etc.).  Obviously their individual spirits would be doing that task aimed at their own individual fleshly desires.  The body and the spirit are contrasted once again.

v. 14  -  " o%soi  gaVr  pneu/mati  Qeou`  a&gontai,  ou@toi  eis)in  ui(oiV  Qeou`. "

"For as many as are being led by [the] spirit of God, these are sons of God."

Paul is not speaking of originally becoming sons, but rather continuing as such, i.e. maintaining that relationship. To be led by the Spirit implies a special relationship to God - that of sons. We become sons initially be being born of water and the Spirit, but we continue that relationship by being led by the Spirit. Now what does this phrase imply? The Holy Spirit, through the word of God which He inspired, reveals to man how to live a righteous life, and when a person submits to that guidance, he is "led by the Spirit."  When Paul wrote this, written revelation had not been completed, YET churches were still



led by the Spirit. How? At first, the word of God was oral, then it was put into writing.  That message was given through spiritual gifts, inspiration, etc. from the Holy Spirit.

Now, before entering a discussion of how "son-ship" implies heir-ship,"  Paul pauses long enough to discuss how it is that the Holy Spirit confirms the fact of, and makes mankind aware of, this state of sonship.

v. 15  -  " ou)  ga/r  e)la/bete  pneu`ma  doulei/a$  pa/lin  ei$)  fo/bon,  a)ll  )  e)la/bete  pneu`ma  ui(oqesi/a$,  e)n  w@|  kra/zomen,   )Abba`,  o(  path/r. "

"For you all did not receive a spirit of slavery again unto fear, but you all received a spirit of sonship, by which we cry,  Abba, Father."

Paul now contrasts attitudes or dispositions of heart, hence the word "spirit" is used in yet another figurative sense.  Before we begin our comments, let's take a look at Galatians 4:6, also written by the inspired apostle Paul.  There Paul writes: "And because ye are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father."  Since both in Galatians 4:6 and here in Romans 8:15 translators of the Greek text have capitalized the word "spirit," their rendering has led to confusion, and given ammunition to those believing in the "direct indwelling" of the Holy Spirit. They maintain the Paul says what he means, and means what he says, and it says that God sent the "Spirit" into our hearts! Paul did not say that God sent the Holy Spirit into the heart of a Christian. It is unfortunate that the word "Spirit" has been capitalized instead of being translated with a small "s." 

If their argument were true, then why did Paul (in Gal. 4) follow verse six with the next comment: "wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son..." (Gal. 4:7)? Not only that, but this same CONTRAST of "spirit of sonship" vs. "spirit of bondage" is the very subject discussed here in Romans 8:15. They were no longer in bondage; they were full-fledged sons, writes the inspired Paul!

It is this spirit or "attitude of a son" that calls God "Father."

v. 16  -  "au)toV  toV  Pneu~ma  summarturei~  to~|  pneu/mati  h(mw~n,  o%ti  e)smeVn  te/kna  Qeou~: "

"The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are sons of God."  

This verse states that there are two witnesses that testify to the truth that we are children of God, our spirit (of a son) and the Holy Spirit, both of which attest to our sonship. The Holy Spirit's testimony is found in hundreds of places in the written word of God, and our testimony is given when we serve God in that "spirit of sonship." Note that this verse speaks not of how we BECOME children, but rather how we REMAIN children (see v. 14 again). It is also important that this be understood as saying the Holy Spirit testifies WITH our spirit, not TO our spirit.  This is no more asserting that a "still small voice" speaks to us than it says "a warm feeling in one's bosom" gives assurance that we are right! Both are subjective nonsense!  

v. 17  -  "ei)  deV  te/kna,  kaiV  klhrovno/moi:  klhrono/moi  meVn  Qeou`,  sugklhrono/moi  de V Xristou!:   eip&er  sumpa/sxomen ,  i%na  kaiV  sundocasqw`men. "



"But since children, also heirs; heirs indeed of God, and joint heirs of Christ;  since we suffer together, in order that we might also be glorified together."

The thought of vss. 14-16 is continued:  The Christian is a son of God (no longer a slave) and as such, he is an heir, since one characteristic of a son is that he can inherit.  But before inheriting, there is another qualifying point to remember - "suffer with Him."  Suffering here refers to one who suffers because he belongs to Christ.  "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (2 Tim. 3:12).

Since we also suffer because of our own sins, we better make sure that the persecution we suffer is caused by the right thing!

v. 18  -  "Logi/zomai  ga/r  o%ti  ou)k  a&cia  taV  paqh/mata  tou`  nu`n  kairou`  proV$  thVn  me/llousan  do/can  a)pokalufqh`nai  ei)$  h(ma`$. "

"For I reckon that unworthy [are] the sufferings of the present time [to be compared] with the coming glory to be revealed unto us."

Paul mentions why their present sufferings should not discourage them. To get his point across, he draws a comparison between the things suffered here, and the glory of it all over there!  In 2 Corinthians 4:17, he states: "For our light affliction which for the moment, worketh for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory."  It is this glory that is expressed as a CERTAINTY (by usage of the word mello) which makes it all beyond comparison..

v. 19  -  "h(  gaVr  a)pokaradoki/a  th~$  kit/sew$  thVn  a)poka/luyin  tw~n  ui(w`n  tou`  Qeou`  a)pekde/xetai."

"For the eagerly awaiting creation welcomes the revelation of the sons of God."

The creation would take in all creation, unless it be limited by the context.  Hence, what things would verses 20-23 require us to exclude?  [1] The angels that never fell to start with are not included, because they were not subjected to vanity (v. 20), nor "the bondage of corruption." [2] Satan and the demonic world are not included, because they cannot be regarded as longing for the manifestation of the sons of God (v. 19), and they will not share in the liberty of the glory "of the children of God" (v. 21). [3] The redeemed are not included, because they are distinguished from the creation in vss. 19, 21, and 23. [4] The unredeemed are not included, for these are not to be delivered into the glorious liberty "of the children of God" (v. 21).

Who else is left?  If all of RATIONAL creation is excluded, then the word "creation" must refer to the whole "non-rational" world of nature, both animate and inanimate!  

"waiteth for"  or eagerly expects - This is a use of personification, with human feelings ascribed to inanimate things.  Paul is personifying the world, just as the prophets did when they made the floods and trees clap their hands (Psalms 98:8; Isaiah 55:12).

"manifestation" - There is coming a time in which there will be no doubt about whom God considers His children to be (cf. 1 Thess. 3:13 and 2 Thess. 1:7-10).



v. 20  -  "th`|  gaVr  mataio/thti  h(  kti/si$  u(peta/gh,  ou)x  e(kou`sa,  a)llaV  diaV  up(ota/canta,  e)p  )  e)lpi/di: " 

" For to vanity the creation was made subject, not voluntarily, but because of the One subjecting [it] in hope. " God subjected the world to vanity at the time of the Fall of man (Genesis 3:17-19), and before that time all things were "very good" (Gen. 1:31).  The creation itself became imperfect, and subject to premature decay, not of its own will, but because God ordered that it should be altered (see Gen. 3:17ff.).  Even now, at times, the creatures themselves hurt and destroy man.  Paul seems to be saying that as the "creation" itself was affected by the Fall of man, likewise the word (creation) is FIGURATIVELY pictured as looking forward with great anticipation to man's reinstatement to his original bliss.

v. 21  -  "o%ti  kaiV  au)thV  h(  kti/si$  el)euqerwqh/setai  a)poV  douleia/$  th`$  fqora`$  ei)$  thVn  e)leuqeri/an  th`$  do/ch$  tw`n  te/knwn  tou`  Qeou`. "

"because the creation itself shall be freed from the bondage of corruption into the freedom of the glory of the sons of God."

Notice that "creation itself" is distinguished from the children of God.  How is creation going to be freed, or delivered?  Remember that creation shared in corruption and mortality of man's sins, and is to share his deliverance from it also.  How?  Evidently Paul means for his readers to understand the "bondage of corruption" to refer to decay and death primarily.  Now there is mortality, but then "immortality."

v. 22  -  " oi&damen  gaVr  o%ti  pa`sa  h(  kti/si$  sustena/zei  kaiV  sunwdi/nei  a&xri  tou~  nu`n."

"For we known that all the creation groans and suffers agony together until now"

Because "the creation" has been enslaved to deterioration and corruption, it groans along with man, until the time when God makes all things new (2 Peter 3:13; Rev. 21:1, 5).  Paul is obviously using personification once again in this figure. 

v. 23  -  " ou)  mo/non  de/,  a)llaV  kaiV  au)toiV  thVn  a)parxhVn  tou`  Pveu/mato$  e&xonte$,  kaiV  h(mei$`  au)toiV  e)n  e(autoi`$  stena/zomen,  ui(oqesi/an  a)pekdexo/menoi,  thVn  a)polu/trwsin  tou`  sw/mato$ h(mw`n. "

"And not only [it], but ourselves also,  having the first fruit of the Spirit, we ourselves groan in ourselves, eagerly awaiting the sonship, the redemption of our body."

The primary thought here is the future glory of Christians - not the deliverance of the creation.  Hence two evidences are given as showing the truthfulness of that glory:  (1) groaning of nature, and (2) in this verse, the groaning of Christians, or more specifically the 1st century Christians who were supernaturally empowered.  Even those miraculously endowed Christians of the first century were subject to the frailties of human flesh as are we today.

"the redemption of the body"  -  Certainly Christians enjoy the privilege of adoption, and have done so since the first century (see Gal. 4:3-7), but Paul does refer to that primarily here but rather he refers to a



future glorious adoption that occurs when we are delivered from the bondage of corruption (v. 21) and we no longer are subject to the frailties of the flesh (see also 1 Cor. 15:42-54).

v. 24  -  " th`|  gaVr  e)lpi/di  e)sw/qhmen:  e)lpiV$  deV  blepome/nh  ou)k  e&stin  e)lpi$:   o^  gaVr  Ble/pei  ti$,  ti/  kaiV  el)pi/zei; "

"For by hope we were saved, but hope [that is] seen is not hope, for what anyone sees, why also does he hope [for it]?"

That which we see, have, and experience is not hope. Through the eye of faith we do look for something we have not yet experienced: receiving an incorruptible body.  This gives us great encouragement and such hope is an "anchor of the soul" (Hebrews 6:18-19). Were this hope grounded to this earthly life only, we are to be pitied (1 Cor. 15:17-19), but on the contrary, our hope is in eternal life (Titus 1:2).  "Were saved" is a direct reference back to the time of conversion.  Salvation is a process, for it can be said: (1) We are saved from our sins (Eph. 2:5ff.), (2) we are being saved (1 Cor. 15:2) present tense, and (3) we hope to be saved (Rom. 8:24). 

v. 25  -  "ei)  deV  o^  ou)  ble/pomen  e)lpi/zomen,  di '  u(pomonh`$  a)pekdexo/meqa "  


"but if we hope for that which do not see, through patience we wait [for it].


Hope is a basic element in Christianity, primarily a hope that our Lord's 2nd coming (Hebrews 9:28) with His saints (2 Thess. 1:7) will be fulfilled in the ushering in of faithful Christians into heaven. Paul declares that this hope has never been seen with human eyes, but it becomes more real as we grow older in Christ.  The Bible declares that "it is appointed unto man once to die, after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27).  Our bodied are not yet delivered from the grave, therefore it is still a matter of hope.


v. 26  -  "   (Wsau/tw$   deV  kaiV  toV  Pneu`ma  sunantilamba/netai  tai`$  a)sqenei/ai$  h(mwn:  toV  ti/  proseucw/meqa  kaqoV  dei`,  ou)k  oi&damen,  a)ll  )  au)toV  toV  pneu`ma  u(perentugxa/ ei  u(peVr  h(mw`n   stenagmoi`$  a)lalh/toi$:  "


"And in this manner also the spirit helps with our weaknesses, for that which we might pray for as it is necessary, we do not know, but the spirit intercedes on our behalf with unspoken groans."  


"we might pray for" - This form of the original verb may be either future indicative, or present subjunctive, and in our translation above we have chosen the latter option. The ignorance is not in manner, but in content - not in that we don't know HOW to pray, but rather WHAT to pray for!


"intercedes" -  Many commentators take the view that this is referring to an action on the part of the Holy Spirit. The idea is that He takes our unspoken groans and makes them known to God, BUT this brings up the question of why would God need to have the Spirit do that so He (God) could understand them? Is not God omniscient? Also we might ask why is this nowhere mentioned in the Old Testament? Did God not need the Holy Spirit to make known to Him such groanings on the part of Old Testament worthies?  


This writer has come to the conclusion that Paul speaks of the groanings of the human spirit, and it is this spirit (the human) that intercedes for the fleshly part of man. This idea is not new, for Paul uses it in



the previous chapter as well. It is man's spirit that "groans." Would the Holy Spirit have difficulty in expressing Himself to God? We think not, therefore this better fit's the actions of the human spirit rather than the Holy Spirit! This is in the same context of that which Paul discussed in the previous chapter 7:18-25.  


Why a man's spirit could speak for himself or intercede for himself, or how the 1st person and the 3rd person can be applied indiscriminately to the same being, at the same time, is a puzzle to some.  But to those who study the style of the New Testament writings, such usages will not appear strange at all.


For example, consider the following passages of Scripture:  "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit" (Acts 7:60). To what was Stephen referring when he said: "My" and "spirit"?   Or "be renewed in the spirit of your mind" (Eph. 4:24)?  Oftentimes the body and the spirit are personified and distinguished from one another, so that "I" represents the one, and "you" or "it" the other:  2 Cor. 4:16; 5:4; Rom. 8:13 and Rom. 7:23, 25.


Some brethren believe this to be referring to the actions of the Holy Spirit. For example, one wrote: "The indwelling Holy Spirit is their intercessor right here and now on the earth (Rom. 8:26)." But others, just as firmly maintain that this is an action which occurs in heaven, an influence wrought upon God, not man!  In the opinion of your writer, the word spirit should be spelled "spirit" (with a small "s"), and has nothing to do the Holy Spirit's indwelling. 


As mentioned above, if God did not need the Holy Spirit to interpret Israel's groanings (see Acts 7:34)  in the O.T., why would He need such help in the Christian dispensation?  There is no evidence that the Holy Spirit ever made such intercession during the Patriarchal or Mosaical Ages, even though they also groaned under intense burdens.  Why would God need such assistance from the Holy Spirit in the New Testament?


Furthermore, the absence of the adjective "Holy" before the word "spirit" ought to tell us something.


What other verses speak of the Holy Spirit interceding?  This same chapter (8:34) does say that Christ intercedes for man, and Revelation 2:18, 23, inform us that Christ is the One that searches the hearts of men.


In Romans, chapter 7, Paul says that "we groan within ourselves" (7:23), referring to man's spirit.


The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit revealed the mind of God to us, so why would it be necessary for the Holy Spirit to reveal OUR MIND TO GOD?


We pray to God through the Son (1 Tim. 2:5) - not through the Holy Spirit.


Therefore, as in the previous chapter 7, the dual nature of man is under consideration. Romans 8:26 refers to the human spirit interceding for fleshly part of man, i.e., the spirit doing something for the physical.


v. 27  -  " o(  deV  er)eunw`n  taV$  kardi/a$  oi@de  ti/  toV  fro/nhma  tou`  Pneu/mato$,  o%ti  kataV  QeoVn  e)ntugxa/nei  u(peVr  a(giw/n. "


"And he that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the spirit, because according to God, he intercedes on behalf of saints."



This passage offers no evidence at all that the Holy Spirit is our intercessor.  To make the "Heart Searcher" refer to the Holy Spirit would have the Holy Spirit searching His own mind.  Others, seeing this as a masculine pronoun, make it refer to God as in 1 Samuel 16:7.  However, it is more plausible that Paul refers to Christ, our intercessor (see v. 34 a few verses later). Both God (ho Theos )  and Christ (ho Christos )  are masculine, but the context shows that Christ is the One to which Paul refers, not God.


Thus, the spirit (human spirit) itself makes intercession for us (the spiritual nature interceding for the fleshly, or carnal) with groanings which cannot be uttered, and He that searches the hearts (CHRIST - see Revelation 2:23 which says it is the Son of God [Rev. 2:18, 23] knows what is the mind of the spirit (human spirit), because He (Christ) makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God (see John 2:25 also).  


The fact that the word "Spirit" in our English translations is capitalized proves nothing, for in the early MSS., the scriptures were written in uncials (ALL capital letters; i.e.  SPIRIT).  Besides, there are places in this 8th chapter of Romans where the word is capitalized in English, yet it is obvious that reference is made either to (1) the human spirit, or perhaps to an (2) attitude, disposition or "frame of mind," such as the spirit of adoption, "spirit of bondage, slaveship, etc.


v. 28  -  " oi&damen  deV  o%ti  toi`$  a)gapw`si  toVn  QeoVn  pa/nta  sunergei`  ei)$  a)gaqo/n,  toi`$  kataV  pro/qesin  klhtoi`$  ou@sin. "

"But we know that to those who love God He works all things together for good, to those who according to purpose are called ones."

The original manuscripts differ quite a bit here, especially over the subject of the verb. Is it intransitive, or should it be understood as transitive, with the Holy Spirit being the subject?  The superior reading, this writer believes, is that which is found in brackets in Nestle's text [ho Theos], where it has God as the subject of the verb, and "all things" being in the accusative case, not the nominative.  This is why we have rendered it above as "God is making all things to work together for good."

"work together"  -  It seems best to render this 3rd person verb not as impersonal, but rather with "God" being understood as the subject of the verb.  

How?  Notice the story of Joseph in the Old Testament. Even that which is evil can be made to turn out for our good eventually.  In the New Testament, the story of Saul of Tarsus could be cited. By his efforts, and the persecution that ensued, the church at Jerusalem scattered abroad - but that which may have then seemed to be a calamity, planted the N.T. church far and wide!

v. 29  -  " o^ti  ou^$  proe/gnw,  kaiV  prow/rise  summo/rfou$  th`$  ei)ko/no$  tou`  ui(ou`  au)tou`,  ei)$  toV  ein@ai  au)toVn  prwto/tokon    e)n  polloi~$  a)delfoi`$: "

"because the ones he foreknew, he also foreordained [to be] ones conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren."

Here is yet another Scripture stating that God has the capability to know an action before it ever occurs. Isaiah makes it clear that God knows the end from the beginning (Isa. 41:26; 46:10).  Romans 8:29-30



further expand the meaning of "according to his purpose" of the previous verse. For more on the meaning of this word, see Ephesians 1:11 and 3:11.

"whom He foreknew"  -   The "whom" here is plural, hence a group. Of course, any group is composed of individuals, but the emphasis is on a class of people, i.e. Christians.  Instead of individual persons, Paul speaks of a class of people whom God predestinates. The question of whether or not a particular person is in that group is determined by the individual - not through an arbitrary decision made by God!

The idea of "approve beforehand" is another meaning of this term, for the word "know" often means "approve."  For examples of this meaning, see Matt. 7:23; 1 Co. 8:3; Gal. 4:9 and 1 John 3:1.  This book of Romans has already developed at length that God approves those who have faith, for its primary thrust is "justification by faith."  Ephesians 1:4 says that God had, before times eternal, "approved" those "in Christ."

"firstborn" -  It would seem that there is some connection between this verse and Romans 1:4, hence we have a reference in this term to the resurrection from the dead.  For parallels, see Col. 1:18; Acts 26:23; 1 Cor. 15:20 and Rev. 1:5.

v. 30  -  " ou^$  deV  prow/rise,  tou/tou$  kaiV  ek)a/lese:    kaiV  ou^$ ek)a/lese,  tou/tou$  kaiV  ed)ikai/wsen:  ou^$  deV  ed)ikai/wse,  tou/tou$  kaiV  ed)o/c/ase. "

"And the ones whom he foreordained, these also he called;  and the ones he called, these also he justified;  and the ones whom he justified, these also he glorified."

"called"  -   In this context (i.e. vss. 28-30), the word "called" implies that the call has been obeyed. We know, of course, that men are "called" by the gospel (2 Thess. 2:13-14), and that many of the ones being issued the invitation to salvation turn it down, or reject it, because "many are called, but few are chosen" (Matt. 20:16; 22:14).  But oftentimes in the N.T. epistles, the term "called" is used irrespective of these distinctions, and is used to include the acceptance of the call as well, i.e. the call having been obeyed (see 1 Cor. 1:9 and 1 Pet. 2:9).

"glorified"  -  Nestle's Greek text has a moveable nu at the end of this word, while our text used in this work does not.  The meaning is the same.

v. 31  -  " Ti/  ou@n  er)ou`men  proV$  tau`ta ;  ei)  o(  QeoV$  u(peVr  h(mw`n,  ti/$  kaq  )  h(mw`n ;  "

"What therefore shall we say to these things?  If God [is] for us, who [is] against us?"

Paul challenges all doubters:  If God is for us, it doesn't matter who is against us!  This is the conclusion drawn in regard to the power of Christianity.  This is not to be understood as some type of cosmic insurance policy that guarantees a Christian will have no opposition at all - for proof read the last four verses of this chapter!  The point is this:  If God be for us, does it really make any difference who is against us?"  There is no enemy that can keep us from being saved exterior to ourselves. Our job?  Remain faithful to Him Who wants all to be saved, and "come to a knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2:4).



v. 32  -  " o%$  ge  tou`  id)i/ou  ui(ou`  ou)k  e)fei/sato,  a)ll  )  u(peVr   h(mw`n  pa/ntwn  pare/dwken  au)to/n,  pw`$  ou)xiV   kaiV  sun/v  aut)w`|  taV  pa/nta  h(mi`n  xarisetai ; "

"who indeed spared not his own Son, but on behalf of us all he delivered him over,  how will he not with him graciously give to us all things?"

"delivered" - This verb is often used in the Gospels to refer to Christ being delivered into the hand of His enemies and unto death.

"for us all"  -  What happened that day on Calvary is beneficial only when viewed vicariously - Jesus died for others (see Matt. 26:28).  This term is also translated as "betrayed" - see Matt. 17:22, 20:18, 26:2 etc.) et al.

v. 33  -  " ti/$  eg)kale/sei  kataV  ek)lektwn`  qeo`u ;   QeoV$  o(  dikaiw`n:  "

"who shall bring a charge against God's elect ones?  [It is] God who justifies."

Who can accuse the justified so as to bring about our condemnation?  Can we see the relation between the Accuser (ho diabolos) and God's people under the Law of Moses as compared with His people today?  When our sins have been washed away (Acts 22:16; 1 John 1:7), of what can the Accuser accuse the Christian?

His accusation would have to be lodged with God, the Supreme Judge, but the Judge is the very One that "justifies us."  He is already favorably disposed toward us. Of course, we can fall away of our own accord, but another cannot bring about our destruction.

v. 34  -  " ti/$  o(  katakri/nwn;  XristoV$  o(  a)poqanw/n,  ma`llon  deV  kaiV  eg)erqei/$,  o^$  kaiV  es)tin  e)n  decia`|  tou`  Qeou`,  o^$  kaiV  en)tugxa/nei  u(peVr  h(mw`n. "

"who [is] the one who condemns?  Christ [is] the one dying, and more [than that] also was raised, and who is on the right of God, who also makes intercession on our behalf."

"on the right"  -  an often used phrase in the N.T., which early became an idiomatic expression signifying "on the right hand."  Evidently it was used so often as to be able to drop the word "hand" and still maintain the same meaning, even though the word "hand" [cheir] is not expressed. 

"makes intercession"  -  Both here and in Hebrews 7:25 Christ's intercession is explicitly mentioned. There the writer declares: "Wherefore He is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them."  The fact of His intercessorship is implied elsewhere (see John 14:16; 1 John 2:1; Isaiah 53:12).  As mentioned above in Rom. 8:26, the one interceding refers to man's spirit interceding for his fleshly nature, and is not a reference to a work of the Holy Spirit!  Intercession is made by man's spirit in v. 26 and by Christ in v. 34)!

v. 35  -  " ti/$  h(ma$  xwri/sei  a)poV  th`$  a)ga/ph$  tou`  Xristou`;  qli/yi$,  h#  stenoxwri/a,  h*  diwgmo/$,  h#  limo/$,  h#  gumnot/h$,  h#  kid/vuno$,  h#  ma/xaipa; "



Who will separate us from the love of Christ?  [Shall] affliction, or distress, or persecution, or hunger, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?" 

"love of Christ"  -  This is an example of a subjective genitive (in Greek grammar);  i.e., Christ's love for us.  Notice that the items mentioned are often used to prove God's "absence,"  but instead Paul teaches that God's love remains constant through all such trials.

"affliction"  -  This noun is from the verb thlibo = to squeeze, press or be compressed or narrow.  A form of this word is used in Matthew 7:14 and translated as "narrow" by the KJV.  

"distress"  -  suggests confined, restricted or narrowness.  The first part of this compound word stenochoria comes from steno = narrow, and is also used by our Lord in Matthew 7:14 where it is translated just that way - "narrow."

v. 36  -  " kaqwV$  ge/graptai  o%ti   %Eneka/  sou  qanatou/meqa  o%lhn  thVn  h(me/ran:  e)logi/sqhmen  w($  pro/bata  sfagh`$. "

"As it has been (and is) written:  For your sake we are being killed the whole day;  we are considered at sheep of [for the ] slaughter."

Paul quotes from Psalm 44:22.  When, throughout the history of mankind, were God's people ever free from trials and tribulations?  We are afflicted for Christ's sake, simply because we are God's children. Instead of this being a sign that Christ does not love us - it is the very opposite.  Those in darkness still do not appreciate light (John 1;5 and Matt. 5:14).  

"we are being killed"  -  This is a reference to continual martyrdom suffered by early Christians. This is that to which Paul referred  when he said:  "I die daily" (1 Cor. 15:31). 

v. 37  -  " a)ll  )  e)n  tou/toi$  pa`sin  u(pernikw`men  diaV  tou`  a)gaph/santo$  h(ma`$. "

"but in all these things we are super-conquerors through the one who loved us."  

Instead of being separated from His love, we can overcome all obstacles through Christ. The term conquer in Greek in is nike = victory, and we Americans have borrowed this word and used it to name everything from a missile, to a brand of athletic shoes.

The pride Paul speaks of in this verse is not arrogance, because the power comes from "Him that loved us."  Hence Paul could tell the Philippians "I can do all things..." (Phil. 4:13).

v. 38  -  " pe/peismai  gaVr  o%ti  ou&te  qa/nato$  ou&te  zwhV  ou&te  a&ggeloi  ou&te  a)rxaiV  ou&te  duna/mei$   ou&te  e)nestw`ta  ou&te   me/llonta  "

" For I have been [and am] persuaded that neither death nor life, neither angels nor authorities, nor powers, neither things present nor things to come "

The faithful child of God ought not be concerned about things exterior to himself nullifying his salvation, for a number of reasons that Paul lists here as not being able to affect that salvation.  Specifically in this



verse he mention (1) no condition of his existence (whether he be dead or alive), (2) No beings (terrestrial celestial), and (3) nothing in time (present or in the future) can keep him from being saved on that great day of Judgment.  He continues the list in the next verse.

v. 39  -  " ou&te  u%ywma  ou&te  ba/qo$  ou&te  ti$  kti/si$  et(e/ra  dunh/setai  h(ma`$  xwri/sai  a)poV  th`$  a)gaph$  tou`  Qeou`  th`$  en)  Xristw`|    I)hsou`  tw`|  Kuri/w|  h(mw`n. "

"neither height nor depth, neither  any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God, which [is]in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Paul continues his list:  (4) nothing in space, (5) nothing in all of creation can separate us from the love of Christ.  Note that God's love is equated with Christ's in this last verse of chapter 8.  

This is not teaching the irresistability of grace, nor does it teach the impossibility of apostasy.  Judas Iscariot could separate himself from God's love, but  so can any Christian today.  Paul is not discussing possible apostates at this point, but instead is speaking to those who need this assurance to be faithful even during difficult times, for great will be their reward in heaven!






Price's  Notes


Chapter  9

v. 1  -  "  )Alh/qeian  le/gw  e)n  Xristw`|,   ou)  yeu/domai,  summarturou/sh$  moi  th`$  suneidh/sew/$  mou  e)n  Pneu/mati   (Agi/w| "

"I speak truth in Christ; I do not lie,  my conscience bearing witness with me in [the] Holy Spirit"

Paul begins a section here (which goes on through 11:36) which deals with the Jews' acceptance by God in the first century as contrasted with her past history.  Paul, by means of the previous chapters in this letter, has shown that both Jews and Gentiles are equally acceptable with God through an obedient faith. Now, he is about to discuss a most delicate, sensitive theme, perhaps even repulsive to the Jews.  No longer were they the exclusive race, but in addition to that, and due to their own unbelief, they were on the outside altogether (see especially chapter 11).  

It should be noted that various false doctrines are taught today, due to people's misunderstanding what Paul is saying in these three chapters (9-11).  For example, premillennialism, unconditional election, and the ultimate salvation of all Jews are doctrines which some believe are taught by Paul, but they are mistaken.

"in Christ"  -  Though elsewhere Paul takes an oath, yet this is not one here.  He is merely affirming that he is telling the truth and gives reasons why his readers ought to believe it:  (1) Those in Christ are obligated to speak the truth, (2) he is not lying, and (3) the Holy Spirit guided him, and (4) his conscience was clear in this regard.  

v. 2  -  " o%ti  lu/ph  moi  es)tiV  mega/lh,  kaiV  a)dia/leipto$  o)du/nh  th`|  kardi/a|  mou. "

"That grief is great to me, and constant pain [is] in my heart"

Remember that Paul had, as his primary mission, the bringing of Gentiles to salvation (Gal. 2:7; Acts 13:47). With that in mind, though many Gentiles had obeyed the gospel, this could never compensate for the fact that his own people (the Jews) continued to reject Christ and the gospel. Perhaps we can get a sense of that grief whenever our relatives refuse to obey the gospel, and it greatly disturbs us that seemingly there is little we can do to remedy the situation. They think they are alright, and no doubt the Jews felt the same way back then in the first century.

v. 3  -  " hu)xo/mhn  gaVr  au)toV$  eg)wV  a)na/qema  ein@ai  a)poV  tou`  Xristou`  u(peVr  tw`n  a)delfw`n  mou,   tw`n  suggenw`n  mou  kataV  sa/rka: "

"I was [at the point of] wishing [that] I myself was accursed from the Christ, on behalf of my brethren, fellow-countrymen according to flesh."



Here we get a personal insight into the depth of feeling Paul had for those fellow Jews of his who were lost.  Does it bother you that your relatives are not Christians?  He could wish himself LOST if it would mean the salvation of the Jews!  He knew that the Jews were doomed without Christ!  Yet he also knew that his being lost would not mean the salvation of the Jews, for only Christ's death could bring that vicarious effect (Heb. 2:9).  For a similar statement made by Moses, see Exodus 32:31-32.

v. 4  -  " oi%tine/$  eis)in   )Israhli`tai,  w!n  h(  ui(oqesi/a  kaiV  h(  do/ca  kaiV  ai(  diaqh`kai  kaiV  h(  nomoqesi/a  kaiV  h(  latrei/a  kaiv  ai(  ep)aggeli/ai "

"who are Israelites, of whom [belongs] the adoption and the glory and the testaments and the law-giving and the service and the promises"

In Exodus 4:22 we read "Israel is my son, my 1st born son."  The word "glory" probably refers to God's special care for them including the Shekinah, the emblem of His presence in the Holy of Holies. The word "service" perhaps refers to the priestly system, rites, and religious ceremonies and feast days, etc. of the Jews under the Mosaical Law.

v. 5  -  " w!n  oi(  pate/re$,  kaiV  ec)  w!n  o(  XristoV$  toV  kataV  sa/rka,  o(  w#n  ep)iV  pa/ntwn,  QeoV$  eu)loghtoV$  ei)$  touV$  aiw`na$. "

"From whom are the fathers, and out of whom according to the flesh, Christ [came], the One being above all things.  God be blessed forever."

"Fathers" refers to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  To have had such illustrious forefathers was that which they never let others forget (Matt. 3:7-10).  Paul's purpose in mentioning this fact was to introduce the name of another Who came through that lineage, Jesus Christ.  5a seems to refer to Christ's humanity, while 5b refers to His deity!  The Greek phrase "God blessed forever" may be taken in apposition with "Christ,"  or as an independent reference to Jehovah.  Arguments are given on both sides, but it seems to this writer that Paul is calling Christ "God" (see John 1:1 and 1:14 where John argues His deity first, and His humanity following it).

v. 6  -  "  ou)x  oi!on  deV  o%ti  e)kpe/ptwken  o(  lo/go$  tou`  Qeou`.  ou)  gaVr  pa/nte$  oi(  e)c    )Israh/l,  ou!toi   I)srah/l: "

"But not as that God's word has failed, for not all the ones out of Israel, are Israel."

In verses 6-13, Paul shows that the excluding of the majority of Jews from the blessings of Christianity does not manifest unfaithfulness by God to the ancient promises which He had made (Gen. 12:1-3).  This is but a part of the larger purpose of showing that God was not unjust, but right, in His dealings with Israel - even in His rejection of them as a nation of God's chosen people.

v. 7  -  " ou)d  )  o%ti  eis)iV   sperma   )Abraa/m, pa/nte$  te/kna:  a)ll )   )En    I)saaVk  klhqh/setai/  soi  spe/rma.  "

"Neither because they are seed to Abraham [are] they all children:  But in Isaac seed to you shall be called." 



Paul is bluntly saying to them that it would be helpful if they could rid themselves of the idea of fleshly descent as far as the Kingdom is concerned.  In v. 6, he declares that all of Jacob's descendants were not included in the promises of God, and now he adds that not all fleshly descendants of Abraham were either!

"in Isaac"  -  a quotation from Genesis 21:12.  Here is the point Paul is making:  Now if Ishmaelites and the sons of Keturah were not included in that original promise, but instead only "a part" of Abraham's descendants were included, then why think it strange that only "a part" of the Israelites were to be included?

v. 8  -  " tou`t '  e&stin,  ou)  taV  te/kna   th`$  sarko/$,  tau`ta  tou`  Qeou~:  a)llaV  taV  te/kna  th`$  e)paggeli/a$  logi/zetai  ei)$  spe/rma. "

"That is, not the children of the flesh, these [are] not God's children, but the children of promise are reckoned for seed."

Flesh and blood descent from Abraham thus means nothing!  When the promises were first given, no restrictions were included, but they were added later as limiting it to Isaac.  We need to include a reference at this point to the "seed" argument in Galatians 3:16-29.  It was Christians as "Abraham's seed" and "heirs according to the promise."  Then in the next chapter, Paul there discussed the allegory of Ishmael and Isaac, Hagar and Sarah.  It is interesting to note that the fleshly descendants were represented by whom?  ISHMAEL!  The spiritual descendants were represented by Isaac (i.e., Isaac typifies Christians, regardless of racial background).  This ought to give more emphasis to the spiritual Israel concept in Galatians 6:16, where the apostle refers to the church as "the Israel of God."

v. 9  -  " e)paggeli/a$  gaVr  o(  lo/go$  ou!to$,  KataV  toVn  tou`ton  kairoVn  el)eu/somai,  kaiV  e&stai  th`|  Sa/rra|  ui(o/$.

"For the word of promise is this:  "According to this season I will come, and there will be to Sarah a son."

This is a quotation from Genesis 18:10.  "According to this season" is to be understood as "next year at this time."  It was Sarah's son, yet to be born, that was to be the child of promise made to Abraham, not Hagar's child.  Notice that the word is "son," not child, so here we have more powerful evidence supporting the inspiration of the Bible:  (1) No sonogram was needed to reveal the sex of the baby, and (2) this promise of a son was made before even conceived or Sarah becomimg pregnant!  Only God can speak the end from the beginning (Gen. 48:5-6). 

v. 10  -  " ou)  mo/non  de/,  a)llaV  kaiV    (Rebe/kka  e)c  e(noV$  koi/thn  e&xousa,   )IsaaVk  tou`  patroV$  h(mw`n"

"But not only [this],  but also Rebekah, out of having conceived by one, [even] Isaac our father."  

What happened in the case of Isaac (being chosen over Ishmael) is a less powerful argument that than that which happened in the case of Jacob (being chosen over Esau).  The latter is stronger because since they were twins, and both had, not only the same father, but also the same mother.  They could not find a point of attack as in the first case.



The translation "conceived" is  interesting to note from the Greek language. Literally, it reads "one bed," i.e.  marriage bed.  Our English word coitus = sexual intercourse comes from this Greek term, meaning "bed."  This word is found later in this same letter but is there translated by the KJV as "chambering" (Romans 13:13), and also in Hebrews 13:4.

v. 11  -  " mh/pw  ga/r  gennhqe/ntwn,  mhdeV  praca/ntwn  ti  a)gaqoVn  h#  kako/n,  i%na  h(  kat  )  e)kloghVn  tou`  Qeou`  pro/qesi$  me/nh|,  ou)k  e)c  e&rgwn,  a)ll  )  e)k  tou`  kalou`nto$ "

"For not yet [were] having been born, nor having done anything good or evil, in order that according to the choice of God [His] purpose might remain, not of works, but out of the one calling."

Not only was the selection NOT based on fleshly descent, but even "good works" had nothing to do with it either, so the Jew had now lost two of his favorite arguments!  Since the boy twins had not even been born, it was thus impossible to select one over the other on the basis of merit.

v. 12  -  " e)rrh/qh  au)th`|  o%ti   (O  meiz/wn  douleu/sei  tw`|  el)a/ssoni. "

"It was said to her that the greater shall serve the lesser."

Rebecca was informed of this before the twins were  born.  It is obvious from these words that Jacob and Esau merely serve as heads of elect or non-elect nations, and do not personally represent themselves.  WHY?  Esau never personally served Jacob, but it came closer to being the other way around.  We do read of the Edomites being subjugated in later history by the descendants of Jacob (see 1 Chron. 18:13).

We need to remember that even though the Jew took great pride in God's choice at this point, yet this choice had nothing to do with salvation!  God was not ordaining Jacob's descendants to salvation, nor Esau's to destruction, but this selection of one nation over the other had this purpose:  to bless the world through the promise made to Abraham (i.e. Christ's lineage).  

Furthermore, God knew what lay ahead in the life of each boy:  one would be weak, the other strong, God also knew how their descendants would turn out when it came to serving God. God can "foresee" what will happen without the boys or their descendants losing their free will agency. God was selecting a PEOPLE, not an INDIVIDUAL when this choice was made, and it is obvious that He would choose the greater over the lesser . God's foreknowledge did not govern the boys' and their descendants' choice, but rather God knew beforehand what their choice would be. 

Genesis 25:23 says:  "And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger."  

v. 13  -  " kaqwV$  ge/graptai,  ToVn    )IakwVb  h)ga/phsa,  toVn  deV   H)sau`   e)mi/shsa. "

"It is written, Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."



This was written several hundred years later by Malachi (see Mal. 1:2-3).  The idea of hatred seems a bit harsh to the modern mind as we use that term today. It is likely that the Greek term miseo does not connote that idea (compare Matthew 6:24, Luke 14:26 and John 12:25).  It is probable that this term simply refers to the idea that God preferred one over another. Remember, it refers to the nations of Edom and Israel.

v. 14  -  " Ti/  ou@n  er)ou`men;  mhV  a)diki/a  paraV  tw~|  Qew`| ;  mhV  ge/noito. "

"What shall we say?  Is there unrighteousness with God?  Let it not be so!"

Here's Paul's argument to the Jews:  Was God unjust in this selection?  Now if God could make such a selection back there (that did not pertain to salvation), why deny His right now to choose Gentiles, and reject some of Israel's fleshly descendants because of unbelief (which DID pertain to salvation)?

v. 15  -  " tw`|  gaVr  Mwsh`|  le/gei,   )Eleh/sw  o^n  a***n  el)ew~,  kaiV  oik)teirh/sw  o%n  a*n  oit)eir/w."

"For he said to Moses, I will show mercy to whomsoever I show mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I show compassion."

Paul quotes Exodus 33:19.  God has willed to have mercy on those who confess and turn from their sins.  This is the basis of God's election (see 2 Chronicles 7:14).  Not even during the time of national Israel back in the O.T. were all Jews "of Israel" (9:6b). Why? Because, as related to salvation, the purpose of God has always been to include those who are "of faith" (Hebrews 11).  Spiritual Israel today includes only those who have faith "in" Christ, and are baptized into Christ (Gal. 3:27).

v. 16  -  " a&ra  ou@n  ou)  tou`  qel/onto$,  ou)deV  tou~  tre/xonto$,  a)llaV  tou`  el)eou`to$  Qeou`. "

"So then, it is not of the one who wills, nor of the one who runs, but of God who shows mercy."

The topic under discussion is God's selection of a certain people for the carrying out of His divine purpose. His selection of one race through whom the Messiah would come into the world obviously meant that such a selection would be exclusive of others, but this did not pertain to salvation. God followed His own will and selected Abraham's seed as the one through whom He would bless all nations, and that seed was Christ (Gal. 3:16).  It was God's choice, and had nothing to do with racial matters, regardless of what the Jews thought about that. Likewise it was God's choice that He would bless mankind based upon faith, not race (see also Eph. 3:11). 

The Jews willed and strove to keep God's blessings exclusively to themselves;  this was not a part of God's plan.  Just because the promised "Seed" came through their (the Jews') ancestors did not mean that the Gentile could never receive God's mercy unless he became a proselyte.  God's mercy was to be shown to all men (Heb. 2:9).

v. 17  -  " le/gei  gaVr  h(  grafhV  tw~|  FarawV  o%ti  Ei$)  au)to  tou`to  ec)h/geira/  se,  o%pw$  e)ndei/cwmai  e)n  soiV  thVn  du/nami/n  mou,  kaiV  o%pw$  diaggelh`|  to V o&noma/  mou  e)n  pa/sh|  th`|  gh`|. "



"For the Scripture says to Pharoah 'Unto this very thing (purpose) I raised you, so that I might show in you my power, and so that my name might be declared in all the earth.' "

Not only is God free to show His mercy, but His severity as well (Ex. 9:16).  Though Calvinists use this passage to teach their predestination theory, this verse does not teach that God CAUSED Pharoah to act the way he did.  The expression "God hardened his heart" and "Pharoah hardened his heart this time also" are equivalent.  The same gospel that today softens some hearts hardens others, and thus can be spoken of as God hardening or softening a person's heart too.

After Pharoah of his own will had committed crimes against God's people, God made a public example of him, showing the world that even the power of the Egyptian throne could not defeat Jehovah's purposes.

v. 18  -  " a&ra  ou@n  o^n  qe/lei  e)leei`:  o^n  deV  qel/ei  sklhru/nei. "

"Therefore then he will have mercy on whom he desires, and he will harden whom he desires."

Now here was the clincher that the Jew of Paul's day could not miss!  Since this HARDENING and the showing of MERCY was not arbitrary on God's part then, neither is it now!  Actually even in the case of Jacob and Esau, as noted earlier, this election had nothing to do with eternal destiny.  Whether or not Jacob is saved, that depended on Jacob.  Whether or not Esau was saved, that depended on Esau.  But whether the Messiah was to come through Jacob or through Esau, that depended upon God!  Think of the outcome if the abortion industry had been present, and urged Mary to have an abortion (see Matt. 1:19).

Note that the word for harden sklerunei is the word from which our English word schlerosis is derived.

v. 19  -  "  )Erei`$  ou@n  moi,  Ti/  e&ti  me/mfetai;  tw~|  gaVr  boulh/mati  au)tou`  ti/$  a)nqe/sthke;  "

"Therefore you will say to me, Why does he yet find fault?  For who has resisted his will?"

An imaginary objector might ask, why does God blame me if He caused me to do it?  Though God does not directly harden the heart of anybody, yet what God does may  be an occasion for the hardening of one's heart.  You see, the Jew's rejection of Christ was not caused by God (separate and apart from their own will in the matter.)

v. 20  -  " menou`nge,  w@  a&nqrwpe,  suV  ti/$  ei&  o(  a)ntapokrino/meno$  tw`|  Qew`| ;  mhV  e)rei`  toV  pla/sma  tw`|  pla/santi,  Ti/  me  ep)oi/hsa$  ou%tw$ ;  "

"On the contrary, who are you, o man, [the one] answering back to God?  Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why did you make me thus?"

The questions found in the previous verse indicate a lack of respect for God, and it is this very attitude that Paul now attacks.  Paul is not saying that such questions do not even deserve an answer, for only a predestinarian has difficulty in answering them.  



Notice how this passage matches what Paul wrote to young Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:20-21.Both passages include the idea of the free moral agency of man. Paul nowhere teaches that man has no freedom of choice in determining which course he will pursue , and that includes Pharoah previously discussed above in verses 17-18.  It is well summed up in 2 Timothy 2:21 "if a man therefore purge himself from these..."  Man has a choice!  Man determines where he/she shall spend eternity - "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling..." (Phil. 2:12) proves that is the case.

It should never be forgotten just what it is that Paul discusses in these few verses:  it is God's selection of Israel as the nation through which He is going to bless the world, as He promised to Abraham.  Here, the choice of a nation was God's, and man has no right to argue the matter with God concerning that issue!  The salvation of one's soul is not the matter being discussed here by Paul.

v.  21  -  " h#  ou)k  e&xei  e)cousi/an  o(  kerameuV$  tou`  phlou`,  ek)  tou`  au)tou`  fura/mato$  poih`sai  o^  meVn  ei$)  timhVn  skeu`o$,  o^  deV  ei)$  a)timi/an ; " 

"Or has not the potter authority over the clay, out of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor?"

Paul makes references to both Jeremiah Isaiah 45:9 and Jeremiah 18:3-10 in these two verses (20-21). Again Calvinists misunderstand this statement of Paul's, ruling out man's free agency.  The fact is that Paul says just as the clay is subject to the power of the potter, who will make it a vessel of honor or dishonor, so God deals with Jews according to the use or abuse of their free agency.  Compare with 2 Timothy 2:20-21 emphasizing "...if a man..."

v. 22  -  " ei ) deV  qe/lwn  o(  QeoV$  en)dei/casqai  thVn  o)rgh/n,  kaiV  gnwri/sai  toV  dunato/n  au)tou`,  h&negken  en)   pollh`|  makroqumi/a|  skeu/h  o)rgh`$  kathrtisme/na  ei$)  a0pw/leian: "

"But if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make known his power, endured with much longsuffering [the] vessels of wrath prepared for destruction"

Why think it strange that a longsuffering God was willing to endure the Jewish nation for a long period of time?  In a sense, they were like Pharoah, fitting themselves as objects of wrath, a wrath which God withheld due to his longsuffering.  The participle used here can be taken as either passive or middle voice, since both voices share the same endings. However, it seems best, due to the context, to render it as middle, i.e.  "having prepared themselves for destruction."

What purpose lies back of the longsuffering on the part of God?  For the answer, see 2 Peter 3:9, 15.

v. 23  -  " kaiV  in%a  gnwri/sh|  toVn  plou`ton  th`$  do/ch$  au)tou`  ep)iV  skeu/h  e)le/ou$,  a%  prohtoi/masen  ei$)  do/can  "

"And in order that he might make known the wealth of his glory upon vessels of mercy, which he prepared beforehand unto glory"



"vessels of mercy" is to be understood in the same sense as "vessels of wrath,"  that is, they became such because of their own actions - not due to an arbitrary choice on the part of God, because this IS speaking of salvation, not just which earthly family was selected to usher in the Messiah to the world (as previously stated a few verses earlier in this same chapter).

v. 24  -  " ou^$  kaiV  ek)a/lesen  h(ma`$  ou)  mo/non  e)c   )Ioudai/wn,  a)llaV  kaiV  ec)  e)qnw`n : "

"whom he also called us not only out of {the] Jews, but also out of [the] nations?"

The Jewish nation was preserved that the promise might be accomplished that a remnant of the Jews PLUS the Gentiles would be included.  The destruction of the Jews predicted by the Lord (Matthew 24:15ff.) was delayed due to God's mercy, until this purpose was accomplished (33 A.D. to 70 A.D.).  Whiteside writes: "Think what would have been the fate of the churches when Jerusalem and the Jewish nation were destroyed, if that awful event had occurred before there were churches outside Judea." Compare Matthew 24:22).  

Notice that those called are both Jews and Gentiles, but the answering of that call was based upon individual choice and obedience, not on any decision made beforehand by God.

v. 25  -  " w($  kaiV  en)  tw`|    W)sheV  le/gei,   Kale/sw  toVn  ou)  lao/$  mou lao/n  mou:  kaiV  thVn  ou)k  h)gaphme/nhn  h)gaphme/nhn. "

"As also in Hosea he says, 'I will  call the [one] not my people, my people, and the [one] not beloved, Beloved."

This is a quotation lifted by Paul from the prophet Hosea (Hos. 2:23). It might be interesting to the reader to note that Paul proclaims that events taking place in the 1st century fulfilled prophecy which was given some 840 years earlier!  

v. 26  -  " kaiV  e&stai,  e)n  tw`|  top/w|  ou!  er)rh/qh  au)toi`$,  Ou)  lao/$  mou  u(mei$  ek)ei  klhqh/sontai  ui(oiV  zw`nto$. "

"and it shall be, in the place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,'  there they shall be called sons of [the] living God."

God had always intended that the Gentiles were to be a part of the New Testament church (Eph. 3:4-6), a church which was the crux of God's eternal purpose (Eph. 3:10-11).  This verse Paul lifts from Hosea 1:10. Hosea's life and tragedies depict the relation that existed between God and Israel.  He took Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, to be his wife, and to the union a son was born, named Jezreel.  Being convinced that the 2nd and 3rd children were not his, the names he gave to them expressed his disillusionment.  Lo-Ammi ("no kin of mine" or "not my people") and Lo-ruhamah ("one for whom no natural affection is felt") were given. The 2nd child was a son, hence the masculine pronoun is used, and the 3rd child was a girl, thus the pronoun used in the previous verse (25) is feminine. Their names were later changed to Ammi ("my people") and Ruhamah (one who has obtained compassion").  Though



Hosea referred to the ten tribes of Israel in the book that bears his name, yet Paul applies the principle used back there to the inclusion of the Gentiles (see Rom. 9:24).

v. 27  -  "  )Hsai/a$  deV  kra/zei  u(peVr  tou`   I)srah/l,  )EaVn  h@|  o(  a)riqmoV$  tw`n  u(iw`n   )IsrahVl  w($  h)  a&mmo$  th`$  qala/ssh$,  toV  kata/leimma  swqh/setai: "

"But Isaiah cries on behalf of Israel, Even though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, [yet only] the remnant shall be saved." 

The Greek word for "number" is arithmos, from which we get our English term "arithmetic."  The prophet Isaiah, 700+ years earlier, made this prophecy, which Paul appeals to as proof that rejecting Jews is not out of harmony with God's justice.  God has elected some of the apparently "elect"(Jews) as well as some of the apparently non-elect (Gentiles).  The reference is from Isaiah 10:22ff. and the key word is "remnant".  The Jews could boast about being Abraham's seed (Matthew 3:9) if they desired, but their own prophet predicted that only a small part of Israel would be saved.  Paul declares that Isaiah foresaw a time when both Jews (a small part) and Gentiles would be acceptable to God, based on the faithful obedience of each to the gospel brought by Jesus Christ.

v. 28  -  " lo/gon  gaVr  suntelwn`  kaiV  sunte/mnwn  e)n  dikaiosu/nh|:   o%ti  lo/gon  gaVr  suntetmhme/vnon  poih/sei  Ku/rio$  e)piV  th`$  gh`$. "

"for [the] matter he is concluding and cutting short the work in righteousness:  because [this] matter [the] Lord will make short upon the earth."

God's mercy will be seen in that a part (though small) of Israel will be saved (those who accept Christ), and Isaiah prophecies the spread of the gospel will be finished or carried out, and rather quickly (v. 28). Remember that from the time that the gospel was first preached on Pentecost (33 A.D.) until the time that Paul declared that the gospel had been preached (Col. 1:5-6) to "every creature which is under heaven" (Col. 1:23) in A.D. 64, was a short period of about 31 years!  God's promise to these O.T. prophets of the Jews was that a "righteous remnant" of them would be saved.  Obedient Gentiles were to be included in this plan of God to make men righteous (see also Rom. 10:3).

v. 29  -  " kaiV  kaqwV$  proeir/hken   )Hsai/a$,  Ei)  mhV  Ku/rio$  SabawVq  eg)kate/lipen  h(mi`n  spe/rma,   w$  So/doma  a*n  eg)enh/qhmen,  kaiV  w($  Go/morra  a*n  w(moiw/qhmen. "

"And as Isaiah earlier spoke, Except [the] Lord of hosts left  to us a seed, as Sodom we would have become, and as Gomorrah we would have resembled." 

Though the primary reference is to a return from captivity, yet it too suggests the same idea as Hosea in that only a remnant would be saved.  Isaiah says that unless the Lord of hosts had spared a few as seed, they would have been destroyed like Sodom and Gomorrah.  God would have spared Sodom if only a few righteous persons could be found, and the idea expressed by Paul is that the remnant in Israel saved it from utter destruction thus far; i.e. even the O.T. prophesied that not ALL of the Jews are included in the promises but rather only a remnant!



v. 30  -  " Ti/  ou@n  er)ou`men ;  o%ti  e&qnh,  taV  mhV  diw/konta  dikaiosu/nhn,  kate/labe  dikaiosu/nhn,  dikaiosu/nhn  deV  thVn  ek)  pi/stew$: "

"Therefore what shall we say?  That Gentiles, the ones not pursuing righteousness, attained righteousness, but a righteousness out of faith."

During the O.T. age, the Gentiles did not follow after righteousness, but eventually received it in the gospel age by obeying the gospel.  Even though they did not have a schoolmaster as did the Jews, they obeyed the gospel after the door was opened to them about A.D. 41 (see Acts 10).

v. 31  -  "   )IsrahVl  de/,  diw/kwn  nom/on  dikaiosu/nh$,  ei$)  nom/on  dikaiosu/nh$  ou)k  e&fqase.  "

"But Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, unto a law of righteousness they did not attain."

The Jews primary problem was that they had a schoolmaster (the law) to bring them to Christ, but when He finally did come, they rejected Him and clung to their schoolmaster.

v. 32  -  " diati/ ;  o%ti  ou)k  e)k  pi/stew$,  a)ll  )  e)c  e&rgwn  nom/ou.  prose/koyan  gaVr  tw`|  li/qw|  tou`  prosko/mmato$, "

"Why?  Because [it was] not out of faith, but out of works of law.  For they stumbled at the stone of stumbling."

Why were the majority of Jews going to be lost?  Not because of an arbitrary choice on God's part, but by their own rejection of the "Rock of their salvation."  Jesus, that Rock, stated:  "If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins" (John 8:24).

v. 33  -  " kaqwV$  ge/graptai,   I)douV  en)  SiwVn  li/qon  prosko/mmato$  kaiV  pe/tran  skanda/lou:   kaiV  pa~$  o(  pisteu/wn  e)p )  au)tw`|  ou)  kataisxunq/setai."

"As it is written,


' Behold,  I place in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of disapproval, and everyone who believes on him shall not be ashamed.' "

The word "rock" is from the word "petros" in Greek, the same term which is used in Matthew 16:18 where it refers to the foundation of the church being the fact just confessed by Peter, namely that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  

For other "stone" prophesies, see Psalm 118:22, 1 Peter 2:6-8 and Luke 20:17.  Note that God did NOT give Christ to be a stumbling block, but rather a Savior.  The hardness of heart on the part of the Jews caused this same gift (John 3:16) to become a stone of stumbling.

Jesus said:  "Blessed is he, whosoever shall find no occasion of stumbling in me" (Matthew 11:6).  Paul wrote: "We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block..." (1 Corinthians 1:23).  There is no break in thought here, and Paul's argument continues on to chapter 10:21.




Price's Notes


Chapter 10

v. 1  -  "   )Adelfoi/,  h(  meVn  eu)doki/a  th`$  em)h~$  kardi/a$  kaiV  h(  de/hsi$  h(  proV$  toVn  QeoVn  u(peVr  tou`   I)srah/l  e)stin  ei)$  swthri/an."

"Brothers, the desire of my heart and prayer to God on behalf of Israel is for salvation."

If we keep in mind that "Israel" refers to "nation Israel" - NOT spiritual Israel (i.e. the church of Christ), we'll find this chapter easier to understand.  The Jews despised Paul, considering him a traitor, but he loved them!  In the previous chapter, we learned that the Holy Spirit directed Paul to write that only a remnant of them would be saved (9:27), and though they were rejected as a nation, the Jews could still be saved, on an individual basis.

But Paul does not pray that they be saved by divine intervention, but rather that they would open their hearts to the gospel.

v. 2  -  " marturw`  gaVr  au)toi`$  o%ti  zh`lon  Qeou~  e&xousin,  a)ll  )  ou)  kat  )  e)pi/gnwsin. "

"For I testify that a zeal of [for] God they have, but not according to knowledge."

They had not gone into idolatry as earlier in their nation's history; they strongly believed in God - then why criticize them?, the liberal of today might ask.  Why indeed?  They had zeal minus knowledge!  Their ignorance was inexcusable, for their own prophets and the Law spoke of the coming of Christ and His church.  Christ fulfilled both the Law and the prophets!  A pertinent question to probe might be:  Is not this same charge applicable today?

v. 3  -  " a)gnoou`nte$  gaVr  thVn  tou`  Qeou`  dikaiosu/nhn,  kaiV  thVn  id)i/an  dikaiosu/nhn  zhtou`nte$  sth`nai,  th~|  dikaiosu/nh|  tou`  Qeou`  ou)x  u(peta/ghsan."

"for being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, they did not obey the righteousness of God."

Since the Jews knew that God was righteous, this must refer to God's plan for making men righteous!  Their system involved a righteousness based on their own works, and thus they rejected God's system!  It has been, and still is, a popular thing to believe that as long as a man was conscientious in his worship, God would accept such worship.  If true, that would mean that these Jews were alright!

v. 4  -  " te/lo$  gaVr  nom/ou  XristoV$  ei)$  dikaiosu/nan  pantiV  tw|`|  pisteu/onti."

"for [the] end of the Law [is] Christ, unto righteousness to everyone who believes."



Why is Christ "the end of the law"?  "So that everyone (both Jew and Gentile) who believes may obtain righteousness.  Note that the term "believes" in the New Testament, especially in the Letters, often signifies Christians, that is, those who believed and have acted upon that belief, i.e. obeyed the gospel.

Those who attempt to achieve righteousness by some "legal religion" will continually fail, for it doesn't come by earning it on the basis of works of the Law.  The Law did not make a guilty person righteous, but was merely a "tutor to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified, or made righteous" (Gal. 3:24f.)

v. 5.  -  " Mwsh`$  gaVr  gra/fei  thVn  dikaiosu/nhn  thVn  ek)  tou`  no/mou,  o%ti  o ( poih/sa$  au)taV  a&nqrwpo$  zh/setai  e)n  au)toi`$."

"for Moses writes [regarding] the righteousness which [is] out of the law, that the man who did those things shall live in them."

Paul refers to Leviticus 18:5.  The problem involved with this is that no one (except Christ) has ever kept it perfectly, hence no one had (or has) ever gained life this way.  Notice that in this verse, the apostle Paul (by inspiration) states that Moses wrote Leviticus!

v. 6  -  " h(  deV  ek)  pi/stew$  dikaiosu/nh  ou%tw  le/gei,  MhV  ei&ph|$  en)  th`|  kardi/a|  sou,  Ti/$  a)nabh/setai  ei)$  toVn  ou)rano/vn;  ( tou`t  )  e&sti  XristoVn  katagagein`:) "

"But the righteousness [stemming from] faith speaks thus, "Do not say in your heart, Who will go up into heaven, that is to bring Christ down?"

Salvation by a legal system did not work (v. 3), yet salvation by faith system will!  Here "faith-righteous-  ness" is personified as saying "the gospel (like the Law earlier) is not off somewhere up in heaven, but rather it is near and attainable."  "No one needs to go bring it down to man, for it is already here.  Christ has already come down!?

v. 7  -  " h&,  Ti/$  katabh/setai  ei)$  thVn  a&busson ;  ( tou`t  )  e&sti  XristoVn  ek)  ne/krw`n  a)nagagei`n.)"

"or, Who shall go down into the abyss, that is to bring up Christ out from dead [ones]"

Paul here changes the words a bit and makes reference to Christ's descent into Hades (Acts 2:27 etc.).   He has been using the LXX of Deuteronomy 30:12-14 and adapting the words of Moses for his own purposes at this point.

v. 8  -  " a)lla  ti/  le/gei ;   )Eggu/$  sou  toV  r(h`ma  th`$  es)tin,  e)n  tw`|  sto/mati/  sou  kaiV  en)  th`|  kardi/a|  sou:  tou`t  )  e&sti  toV  r(h`ma  th`$  pi/stew$  o%  khru/ssomen: "

"But what does it say?  The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart;   that is the word of faith which we preach"

The point is that the gospel is not difficult - but easy to understand, and quite accessible.  Paul is saying, "Don't take this passage extremely literally, for I'm talking about the gospel - not the Law of Moses!" 



Here's the contrast to be made, as stated by Whiteside in his commentary on Romans:  "The law had been within easy reach, but righteousness had been unattainable.  But the righteousness which is by faith in Christ IS attainable, AND within easy reach."

v. 9  -  " o%ti  e)aVn  o(mologh/sh|$  en)  tw`|  sto/mati/  sou  Ku/rion   )Ihsou`n,  kaiV  pisteu/sh|$  en ) th`|  kardi/a|  sou  o%ti  o(  QeoV$  au)ton  h&geiren  e)k  nekrw`n,  swqh/sh|: "

"That if you will confess with your mouth [the] Lord Jesus, and will believe in your heart that God raised Him out from dead [ones], you will be saved."

David Lipscomb says this does not refer to a "formal confession" as a required act before baptism.  Acts 8:37 contains such a confession by the eunuch, although some question the verse's textual basis.  Lipscomb maintains that when Philip asked, in Acts 8:37a "if thou believest with all thy heart, thou mayest,"  he did so to make known the presence of faith, not to elicit a "formal confession."

But the fact that the aorist tense (eipe "he said" is used by both Philip and the eunuch in Acts 8:37) is used would indicate that this was a confession made at the time of one's baptism.  In addition, in 1 Timothy 6:12, we read that Timothy had "confessed the good confession" (ASV).  Couple this with the fact that as early as Irenaeus' time (and Cyprian's), this confession was well-known (A.D. 200-250).

Suffice it to say that before we baptize a person, we do want evidence of the individual's faith.  This confession is one way of ascertaining the convictions of the one who is to be baptized.

"with the mouth" - This mouth confession is not in the same category as faith - in one sense of the term.  A man or woman might be mute, unable to speak aloud - are we to refuse to baptize such a person because of his/her inability to utter a "mouth confession"?  Surely by one's pointing to Acts 8:37, then pointing to himself (or some other method), we can learn of their confession of Christ as God's Son, can we not?

Question:  Can a person be justified in God's sight if he/she does not believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus?  No!

v. 10  -  " kardi/a|  gaVr  pisteu/etai  dikaiosu/nhn,  sto/mati  deV  o(mologeit`ai  ei`$  swthri/an. "

"for with [the] heart one believes [unto] righteousness, and with [the] mouth confession [is made] unto salvation."

The verbs in this verse may be middle voice instead of passive (both voices share the same endings). Hence this verse MAY be rendered as the subject acting in his own interest:  "one believes for himself unto righteousness" and "confesses for himself unto salvation."  In the 1st century, no Jew would be willing to make a confession that Jesus is KURION, since that term in their Old Testament refers to Jehovah - unless he truly believed that fact. The same could be said of Gentiles who would never confess Jesus as LORD unless they had ceased their emperor worship.



The verbs in this verse are in the present tense, as distinguished from the aorist tense being used in the previous verse.  Point?  God expects this to be a continuing thing, not just something done once for all time!  Belief and confession are necessary conditions at any and all stages along the road to salvation - from initial justification to final glorification!  To learn what happens when people STOP exercising faith, all we need to do is turn and read Romans 11:20-21.

In showing how Moses stressed the "nearness" of the law and how Jeremiah foretold the coming of a "new" law, McGarvey writes:  "the promise of Jehovah was: 'I will put my law in their inward parts, and in their hearts will I write it.'  Thus it would become NEARER than when written externally upon stone.  When this new law came, Jesus indicated the fulfillment of Jeremiah's word by saying, 'The kingdom of God is within you' (Jer. 31:33;  Luke 17:20-21)."

v. 11  -  " le/gei  gaVr  h(  grafh/,  Pa`$  o(  pisteu/wn  e)p )  au)tw`|  ou)  kataisxunqh/setai."

"For the Scripture says, Everyone believing on him shall not be ashamed." 

This passage of Scripture from Isaiah 28:16 has already been quoted, back in 9:33.  

v. 12  -  " ou)  gaVr  e)sti  diastolhV   I)oudai/ou  te  kaiV   E%llhvno$:   o(  gaVr  au)toV$  Ku/rio$  pa/ntwn,   ploutw`n  ei$)  pa/nta$  touV$  ep)ikaloume/nou$  au)to/n. "

"For there is not a distinction of a Jew and a Greek, for the same Lord of all, [is] rich unto all who call upon him."

Earlier, when Paul used the expression "there is no distinction," it was in a grim setting, for both Jew and Gentile were together in being recipients of God's disapproval (3:22b, 23).  Now, they stand together, "approved."

v. 13  -  " pa`$  gaVr  o%$  a^n  ep)ikale/shtai  toV  o&noma  Kuri/ou  swqh/setai."

"For everyone who might call on the name of [the] Lord shall be saved."

This is a statement from Joel 2:32 referring to God, but here applied to Christ.  To understand what "calling on the name of the Lord" does NOT mean, compare Matthew 7:21 with Acts 22:16.  Both here and in Acts 2:21, this phrase refers to people becoming Christians;  i.e. "doing the Father's will by obeying the gospel."

v. 14  -  " pw`$  ou@n  ep)ikale/sontai  ei)$  o^n  ou)k  e)pi/steusan ;    pw`$  deV  pisteu/sousin  ou!  ou)k  h&kousan ;  pw`$  deV  a)kou/sousi  xwriV$  khru/ssonto$ ; "

"How therefore shall they call on [him] whom they did not believe?  and how shall they believe [on him] of whom they did not hear?  and how shall they hear apart from [one] preaching."

This is a good verse to use to better understand Acts 16:31-33.  Certainly the jailer believed, but believed what?  He had to be told WHAT to believe, did he not?  Indeed, "how shall they believe in him in whom they have not heard?  That is why they "spake unto him (the jailer) the word of the Lord," which



obviously included the very words coming from the Lord Himself (Mark 16:16), which is evidently how the subject of baptism entered the discussion in the first place (Acts 16:33). 

v. 15  -  " pw`$  deV  khru/cousin  e)aVn  mhV  a)postalw`si ;   kaqwV$  ge/graptai,   (W$  w)rai`oi  oi(  po/de$  tw`n  eu)aggelizome/nwn  ei)rh/nhn,  tw`n  eu)aggelizome/nwn  taV  a)gaqa/. " 

"And how shall they preach except they be sent?  Thus it has been written, 'How beautiful the feet of those announcing the good news of peace, and those announcing the good news of the good things.' "

The questions of vss. 14-15 are rhetorical, that is, asked for effect, not for information.  They are equal to a declarative statement.  Note that throughout this section, Paul is showing that the Jew is without excuse, and their "ignorance" (v. 3) was their fault, not God's, as also is the case today!

"Except they be sent"  -  This applies to the original proclamation, and is not referring to an effort today to show that one cannot preach unless a church sends him out.  This is speaking of those whom the Lord selected, qualified, and sent out to proclaim heaven's message of salvation - to both Jew and Gentile on an equal basis.

The participle "bring glad tidings" (or the "gospelizers" perhaps, to coin a word) is related to the word "gospel" in the next verse, for they come from the same root word.

v. 16  -  "   )All )  ou)  pa/nte$  u(ph/kousan  tw`|  eu)aggeli/w|.   H)sai/a$  gaVr  le/gei,  Ku/rie,  ti/$  e)pisteuse  th`|  a)koh`|  h(mw`n ; "

"But all have not obeyed the gospel.  For Isaiah says Lord, who believed our report?"

The "gospel" had been preached, so the Jew cannot plead lack of opportunity as the reason for his rejection.  The fact is that their own prophets had predicted that not all would receive the gospel when it was preached.  To see that this prophecy from Isaiah 53:1 refers to the rejection of Christ, read that entire chapter.  As the Jews rejected God's offer of mercy in Isaiah's day, so they were rejecting it in Paul's day as well (2 Thess. 1:8;  1 Pet. 4:17).

v. 17  -  " a&ra  h(  pi/sti$  e)c  a)koh`$,  h(  deV  a)kohV  diaV  r(h/mato$  Qeou`. "

"Consequently the faith is out of [the] message, and the message by the word of God."

Note that the word "message" (or "report") of v. 16 and the word used again in this 17th verse, are the same in Greek.  This word "message" is translated by the KJV translators as "hearing,"  which might lead some to suppose Paul refers to a function of the ear.  Paul merely says that faith comes from the message of God - revelation!  This is not a supernatural "faith" of 1 Cor. 12:9 but rather a faith that has its source in God's message, the word of God.

v. 18  -  " a)llaV  le/gw,  MhV  ou)k  h&kousan ;  menou`nge:  ei$)  pa`san  thVn  gh`n  ec)h`lqen  o(  fqo/ggo$  au)tw`n,  kaiV  ei)$  taV  pe/rata  th`$  oik)oume/nh$  taV  r(h/mata  au)tw`n. "



"But I say, Did they not hear?  Yes, indeed, their sound went out into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the habitable world."

Paul continues to illustrate that the Jews' ignorance was inexcusable!  Borrowing words from Psalm 19:5, he shows that wherever there were Jews, there the gospel had been preached as well.  No Jew could then say, "I didn't know."

v. 19   -  "  )AllaV  le/gw,  MhV  ou)k  e&gnw   )Israh/l ;   prw`to$  Mwsh`$  le/gei,   )EgwV  parazhlw/sw  u(ma`$  e)p  )  ou)k  e&qnei,  e)piV  e&qnei  a)sune/tw|  parorgiw`  u(ma`$."

"But I say, Did not Israel know?  First Moses says I will provoke you all to jealousy by [those] not a nation, through a nation without understanding I will anger you all."

Did Israel not know WHAT?  Evidently that the gospel was going to be preached to Gentiles ("no people"), or perhaps the message concerning the Messiah (Isa. 2:2).

God no longer speaks of Gentiles as "not my people" (lo-'am), but now they are His people.  The Jews may have viewed them as "void of understanding," but even the Gentiles could understand the message of salvation when it was preached, so the Jew cannot argue that the message was too hard to understand.

v. 20  -  "  'Hsai/a$  deV  a)potolma|`  kaiV  le/gei,  Eu(re/qhn  toi`$  em)eV  mhV  zhtou`sin,  em)fanhV$  eg)eno/mhn  toi`$  e)meV  mhV  ep)erwtw`si."

"Isaiah [is] bold and says, I was found by those not seeking me;  I was made manifest to those who asked not about me."

This verse, and that which follows, come from Isaiah 65:1-2.  The usage here in Romans helps us to interpret the Isaiah passage.  Back there, God is represented as saying of the Gentiles "I was found by them who sought me not."

v. 21  -  " proV$  deV  toVn   I)srahVl  le/gei,    %Olhn  thVn  h(me/ran  e)cepe/tasa  taV$  xeir`a$  mou  proV$  laoVn  a)peiqou`nta  kaiV  a)ntile/gonta."

"And to Israel he says,  The whole day I stretched out my hands to a disobedient and contradicting people."

The second verse of Isaiah 65 is applied to Israel, and has God saying that His own people were constantly being disobedient and continually contradicting Him.  

Both Moses and the prophets had warned the Jews that because of their stubbornness, they would not obey the gospel.  Paul has undercut the Jew's defense of claiming a lack of opportunity. 

It is also interesting to note that the word "people" comes from a Greek term laos,  a word from which we possibly get our English Laos, which refers to a country in southeast Asia, west of North Vietnam.






Price's Notes


Chapter 11

v. 1  -  " Le/gw  ou@n,  MhV  a)pw/sato  o(  QeoV$  toVn  laoVn  au)tou~ ;  mhV  ge/vnoito.  kaiV  gaVr  e)gwV  )Israhli/th$  ei)mi/,  e)k  spe/rmato$   )Abraa/m,  fulh`$  Beniami/n. "

"Therefore I say, God did not repudiate His people, did He?  Let it not  be so.  For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin."

The very wording of this question in Greek anticipates a "no" answer!   From the Isaiah quotation of the previous two verses, Paul's readers might have come to the conclusion that God had thrust out His people entirely.  Apparently God had cast off his people, for the majority at that time had rejected Him, BUT He did not rule out the individual Jew from salvation - if he were to become an obedient believer!  The question MUST mean:  "Is all Israel pushed aside, never to be favored again?  Cast out in toto, en masse?

"For I..."  To use a modern expression, Paul was "living proof" that the above conclusion was false.  God did not then, nor does He now, withhold salvation from any obedient Jew (or any obedient person regardless of his religious background)!  Paul himself was a good example of a an already religious person who learned the truth, and obeyed it.

v.  2  -  " ou)k  a)pw/sato  o(  QeoV$  toVn  laoVn  au)tou~   o^n  proe/gnw.  h#  ou)k  oi&date  en)   )Hli/a|  ti/  le/gei  h(  grafh/ ;  w($  en)tugxa/nei  tw`|  Qew|`  kataV  tou`   I)srah/l,  le/gwn, "

"God did not repudiate His people whom he previously acknowledged.  Do you all not know what the Scripture says in Elijah, how he pleaded to God against Israel, saying "

There is no individual predestination to be found here!  Paul merely says that God has always accepted obedient Jews, and still does now!

"Wot" (KJV)  -  This is the archaic present tense of the verb "to wit," better rendered in today's English by the word "know."  Elijah's complaint to God and God's answer well illustrates my point, says Paul.

v. 3  -  " Ku/rie ,   touV$  profh/ta$  sou  a)pe/kteinan,  kaiV  taV  qusiasth/ria/  sou  kate/skayan:  ka)gwV  u(pelei/fqhn  mo/no$,  kaiV  zhtou`si  thVn  yuxh/n  mou. "

" Lord, Your prophets they killed; and your altars they tore down; and I alone remain, and they seek my life. "

The quotations from Elijah are taken from 1 Kings 19:10, 14, 18.  This material shows the discouragement of a man of God, which I refer to as "the Elijah complex."  It was "blue Monday" for him, and he declares that he is the only faithful person left.



Paul uses it to argue:  "If you are thinking that I am the only one which God has accepted, you are wrong, and the case of Elijah is a good example to illustrate my point.  But, of course, Elijah was wrong too;  he wasn't the only one left."

This may also indicate that there had always been some of Israel that were acceptable to Jehovah!

v. 4  -  " a)llaV  ti/  le/gei  au)tw`|  o(  xrhmatismo/$ :  Kate/lipon  e)mautw`|  ep)takisxili/ou$  a&ndra$,  oi%tine$  ou)k  e&kamyan  go/nu  th`|  Ba/al."

"But what says the divine answer to him?  I left to myself 7,000 men, who bowed not a knee to Baal."

"answer" - This is the English translation of chrematismos - the same word in verb form found in Acts 11:26, "disciples were called (of God) Christians first in Antioch." At times, in secular literature, it carries the meaning of something MADE OFFICIAL!  This word is found nine (9) times in the New Testament as a verb, and it is interesting to see how it has been rendered by various translations.

chrematidzo in the N.T. :   Matt. 2:12 - "Being warned of God"           Matt. 2:22 - "being warned of God"           Luke 2:26  - "revealed to him..."  (by the Holy Spirit)          Acts 10:22 - "was warned from God"           Acts 11:26 - "called"             Rom. 7:3    - "shall be called"            Heb. 8:5    - Moses "admonished by God"            Heb. 11:7  -  Noah  "warned of God"           Heb. 12:25 - "That spake on earth"

The point to be emphasized is that each time this word is used in the N.T. it refers to a divine oracle, a message from God.

v. 5  -  " ou%tw$  ou@n  kaiV  en)  tw~|   nu`n  kairw`|  lei`mma  kat )  e)kloghVn  xa/rito$  ge/gonen."

"Thus therefore also in the present time there has been a remnant according to the election of grace."

"remnant...election of grace" - This refers to those Jews who were obedient Christians, having accepted God's offer of grace in Christ.  Even now, Paul states, there are thousands of us whom God has accepted (see also Acts 10:34-35).  It is true that God had rejected the Jewish system, and was soon to destroy what government the Romans had permitted the Jews to have, but God had not barred the door of salvation to any Jew!

v. 6  -  " ei ) deV  xa/riti,  ou)ke/ti  e)c  e&rgwn:  e)pei V h(  xa/ri$  ou)keti  gi/netai  xa/ri$.  ei)  deV  e&rgwn,  ou)ke/ti  e)sti  xa/ri$.  ep)ei V toV  e&rgon  ou)ke/ti  e)sti/n  e&rgon."

"But is by grace, [it is] no longer of works, else grace is no longer grace.  But if [it be] of works, no longer is it grace, else work no longer is work."



For those readers interested in textual criticism, some Greek texts leave out everything after the words ginetai charis in v. 6.  Bruce Metzger, in his A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, gives as his reason why the change from the Textus Receptus was made:  "There appears to be no reason why, if the words were original, they should have been deleted."  I.e., he simply dismisses the majority of Greek manuscripts, sides with a few mss., and ends up with a shortened version of what Paul wrote.  The committee working on his United Bible Societies' Greek New Testament gave their rendering a rating of {A}, indicating they believe their Greek text (which is based on a few Greek manuscripts) is "virtually certain." It would be better ranked if they gave it a C or a D.  Their bias is evident in the following quotation:  "It was the corrupt Byzantine form of text that provided the basis for almost all translations of the New Testament into modern languages down to the nineteenth century." 

Now to the text written by Paul in the first century, the inspired Apostle is discussing the concept of grace vs. work in religion.  It is too bad that many religious people cannot see the difference between works which merit salvation and commands that must be obeyed in order to be saved!  If a person's works had always been perfect, he would have no sins to be forgiven, and thus would be justified on his own merit!  THIS IS THE POINT THAT PAUL IS MAKING!  However, at this juncture, many erroneously conclude that a sinner can do nothing in order to be saved.

 (1) Was Naaman's healing any less a matter of grace because he had to dip in the Jordan River 7 times? (2 Kings 5:1-14)           (2) Was the healing of the blind man any less a matter of grace because he had to wash in the pool of Siloam? (John 9:1-11)         (3) Was Paul's salvation any less a matter of grace because he had to be baptized "to wash away his sins" ? (Acts 22:16)

Paul merely asserts the truth that after one DOES sin, no amount of works done by a sinner can merit, or earn, or blot out sins already recorded.  If works done by man could do the job, then Christ would have never had to die (Heb. 9:22).

v. 7  -  " ti/  ou@n ;  o^  ep)izhtei `  )Israh/l,  tou/tou  ou)k  e)pe/tuxen,  h(  deV  ek)loghV  ep)e/tuken,  oi(  deV  loipoiV  e)pwrw/qhsan: "

"What [is it] therefore?  That which Israel sought, this it did not obtain, but the chosen did obtain [it], and the remainder were hardened."

What was it that Israel sought?  RIGHTEOUSNESS (Rom. 9:30-31).  They did not receive it due to their obstinacy. It was that very thing that brought on the days of provocation (Heb. 3:8, 15).  However, the Gentiles not only found it, but so did the Jews ("the election") who sought it on the basis of faith.

v. 8  -  " kaqwV$  ge/graptai,   &Edwken  au)toi~$  o(  QeoV$  pneu~ma  katanuc/ew$,  o)fqalmouV$  tou~  mhV  ble/pein,  kaiV  w@ta  tou~  mhV  a)kou/ein,  e%w$  th`$  h(me/ra$. "

"Just as it has been written,


God gave to them a spirit of stupor, eyes in order that they see not, and ears in order that they hear not, until this day." 



A rather free rendering from Deut. 29:4 and perhaps Isa. 29:10.  Israel's condition has already been spoken of in terms of God's actions and their own action.  The same is true anytime today when the "truth" is presented, either resulting in one's acceptance or rejection of that truth.  In a sense, God did it,  yet man's freedom of choice is evident throughout.  A similar usage from our Lord is seen in Matt. 13:15-16.

The word for eyes (opthalmous), as you can see, is the Greek term from which our English word "ophthalmology" comes.

v. 9  -  " kaiV  DabiVd  le/gei,  Genhqh/tw  h(  tra/peza  au)tw~n  ei$)  pagi/da,  kaiV  ei)$  qh/ran,  kaiV  ei)$  ska/ndalon,  kaiV  ei)$  a)ntapo/doma  au)toi`$: "

"And David says, Let their table become for a snare, and for a trap, and for a stumbling-block, and for a repayment to them." 

Paul refers back to Psa. 69:22 in this verse.  A man comes to the table expecting to have his hunger satisfied, and to enjoy security while eating.  To the Jews, their Law and Scriptures in which they trusted became the snare in which they were caught.

v. 10  -  " skotisqh/twsan  oi(  o)fqalmoiV  aut)w`n  tou`  mhVV  ble/pein,  kaiV  toVn  nw`ton  au)tw`n  diaV  pantoV$  sugkamyon. " 

"Let their eyes be darkened in order that not to see, and bow down their back always."

The apostle Paul (in the language of the O.T.) says:  "Let them be spiritually blinded," and instead of the Law leading them to Christ, it was blindly continued by them.  This concept is well summarized by Acts 28:23-28.  In Galatians 3:24-25, Paul expresses the temporary nature of the Law of Moses, showing how its purpose was to lead one to Christ, and then its job would be complete.  "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster."

v. 11  -  " le/gw  ou@n,  mhV  e&ptaisan  i%na  pe/swsi;  mhV  ge/noito:  a)llaV  tw`|  aut)w`n  paraptw/mati  h(  swthri/a  toi~$  e&qnesin,  ei$)  toV  parazhlw`sai  au)tou/$. "

"Therefore I say, they did not stumble in order that they might fall, did they?  Let it not be so!  But by their transgression salvation [is come] to the Gentiles, in order to provoke them to jealousy."

Even though the Jews did not intend to fall when they stumbled, that's the way it worked out anyway!  And it brought about their doom - as a nation.  "Now" (after Calvary) the only way to find favor in the eyes of God was on an individual basis (the limited commission vs. the Great Commission).  No longer was one "born" into God's special family by physical birth, but individually, by the "new birth" (John 3:35;  1 Pet. 1:23; Rom. 6:3-6, et al.)

The falling away of the Jewish nation was the occasion of the bringing in of the Gentiles, which was purposed all along anyway (Gen. 22:18 with Gal. 3:16.  Also see Isa. 62:2).



When this occurred, it did provoke the Jews to jealousy. In the previous chapter, Paul quotes from Deuteronomy 10:19:  "I will provoke you to jealousy with that which is no nation, with a nation void of understanding will I anger you."

v. 12  -  " ei ) deV  toV  para/ptwma  au)tw`n  plou`to$  ko/smou,  kaiV  to  h%tthma  au)tw`n  plou`to$  e)qnw~n,  po/sw|  ma`llon  toV  plh/rwma  au)tw`n ; "

"But if the sin of them [turns out to be the] wealth of [the] world, and the defeat of them [turns out to be the] wealth of [the] nations,  how much more will the full number of them be [to the world]?"

It is an established fact that the overthrow of Judaism contributed greatly to the spread of the gospel (Acts 13:46).  Now since the fall of the Jews had such good results for the world and the Gentiles in particular, much more ought to be expected from their reinstatement!

v. 13  -  "  (Umi`n  gaVr  le/gw  toi`$  e&qnesin.   e)f )  o%son  me/n  eim)i  eg)wV  eq)nw`n  a)po/stolo$,  thVn  diakoni/an  mou  doca/cw:  "

"For to you Gentiles I speak, inasmuch as indeed I am [an] apostle to Gentiles, I honor [magnify] my service." 

Some of Paul's readers are Gentiles, and now he desires to speak specifically to them.

"Apostle to the Gentiles"  -  Compare Acts 9:15;  22:21;  Gal. 2:7-9 and 1 Tim. 2:7.

v. 14  -  " ei & pw$  parazhlw/sw  mou  thVn  sa/rka,  kaiV  sw/sw  tinaV$  ec)  au)tw`n. "

"if [in] some way I shall make jealous my kinsmen, and shall save some from among them."

The word "flesh" (sarx) has various usages, not only referring to the skin of our physical bodies, but also to refer to the human side of our nature (Rom. 1:3), a person, etc.  Here Paul hopes that his work among the Gentiles might cause or move the Jews to such jealousy that they would investigate the gospel.  After all, not a few have set out to disprove the Bible, only to end up obeying the gospel themselves.  

v. 15  -  " ei ) gaVr  h(  a)po/bolhV  au)tw`n  katallaghV  ko/smou,  ti/$  pro/lhyi$,  ei)  mhV  zwhV  ek) nekrw`n;  "

"for if the rejection of them [be the] reconciliation of [the] world, what [shall be the] reception [of them be], except life from [among the] dead ones?"

The gospel was to be preached to the Jews first, as had been predetermined (Gal. 3:4-11), but this determination was not so much the cause as it was "the occasion."  The Jews had heard, and because of their rejection of it, they were cast off or rejected by God.  Thus their rejection of the gospel may be spoken of as an opening the door for the reconciling of the rest of the world!  

"Life from the dead"  merely suggests the Jew returning to God's favor.  Remember the father in the story of the prodigal son?  "This my son was dead, and is alive again" (Luke 15:24).

v. 16  -  " ei ) deV  a)parxh  a(gia/,  kaiV  toV  fu/rama:  kaiV  ei)  h(  r(iz/a  a(gia/,  kaiv  oi(  kla/doi. "  



 "But if the first-fruits (of dough)[be] holy, also [is] the batch (of dough);  and if the root [be] holy, also are the branches." 

This is an allusion to Numbers 15:19-21.  The word holy does not mean morally pure or free from sin!  It has a 2nd meaning which is more applicable at this juncture, that being the idea of something consecrated or "set apart" for divine use.

"1st fruits" - Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the first fruits of revealed law.  Now if Abraham was justified by faith, wouldn't it follow that some of the Hebrews might follow in his footsteps also?

"root" may apply to Abraham, but more probably to the seed of Abraham (Christ), and the branches (whether Jew or Gentile) are also made holy if they exercise faith.

v. 17  -  " ei ) deV  h(  tine$  tw`n  kla/dwn  e)cekla/sqhsan, suV  deV  a)grie/laio$  w#n  e)nekentri/sqh$  e)n  au)toi`$ ,  kaiV  sugkoinwnoV$  th`$  r(iz/h$  kaiV  th`$  pio/thto$  th`$  el)ai/a$  e)ge/vnou, "

"but if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree were grafted in among them, and became a fellow-partaker of the root and the richness of the olive tree"  

The "tree" represents TRUE ISRAEL, and though all Jews (as branches) had been broken off, yet they became a part of the tree again by faith in Christ.  The "WILD OLIVE TREE" represents the Gentiles.  Abraham is the "father of all them that believe" (Rom. 4:11), thus Christians are Abraham's seed (Gal. 3:29), whether of Jewish or Gentile background.  Unbelieving Jews are not really Abraham's children (TRUE ISRAEL) at all (John 8:39).  In this reference from John, Jesus is telling the Jews that they are not real Jews after all - a lesson Zionists and premillenialists have yet to comprehend.

v. 18  -  " mhV  katakauxw`  tw`n  kla/dwn:  ei)  deV  katakauxa`sai,  ou)  suV  thVn  r(iz/an  basta/zei$,  a)ll  )  h(  r(iz/a  se/. "

"Do not boast against the branches;  but if you boast against [them], [remember] you do not support the root, but the root [supports] you."

In this warning to Gentile Christians about not becoming arrogant, two lessons are drawn:  (1) Any virtue derived from being a part of the tree came by no merit of their own, and besides that, they too may be cut off if they become unfaithful, as did the Jews!  (2) If God could cause wild olive branches to bear fruit, how much more then could the natural branches be restored to their place?

v. 19  -  "  e)rei`$  ou@n,    )Ecekla/sqhsan  oi)  kla/doi,  i%na  e)gwV  eg)kentrisqw`."

"Therefore you will say, the branches were broken off, in order that I might be grafted in."

The Jews were not rejected for the definite purpose of offering salvation to the Gentiles (see v. 11).  Instead the Jews were rejected because of UNBELIEF on their part!  Hence they really "severed them- selves"  from the tree.



v. 20  -  " kalw`$:  th`|  a)pisti/a,  e)cekla/sqhsan,  suV  deV  th`|  pi/stei  e%sthka$.  mhV  u(yhlofro/vei,  a)llaV  fobou` : "

"Well said.  By unbelief they were broken off, but you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear."

The Gentile should remember the conditions of his substitution in the first place - one the basis of faith!  "By faith" is emphatic:  "By faith you hold your place" (see Rom. 5:2),  thus their position is not absolutely  (and eternally) secure either, certainly no more than the place of a natural branch! (See 1 Pet. 1:3-5)

v. 21  -  " ei ) gaVr  o(  QeoV$  tw`n  kataV  fu/sin  kla/dwn  ou)k  e)feis/ato,  mh/pw$  ou)de/  sou  feis/htai. "

"for if God did not spare the natural branches, [beware that] perhaps he might not spare you."

The "natural branches" in this figure were the unbelieving Jews, and the word "you" represents the Gentiles.  If God did not spare the natural, why do you think he would spare an "unnatural" branch?  No more powerful refutation of "once saved - always saved" can be found!

v. 22  -  " i&de  ou@n  xrhsto/thta  kaiV  a)potomi/an  Qeou`:  e)piV  meVn  touV$  peso/vnta$,  a)potomi/an:  e)piV  de/  se, xrhsto/thta,  e)aVn  ep)imein/h|$  th`|  xrhsto/thti:  e)pei V kaiV  suV  ek)koph/sh|. "

"Therefore behold [the] kindness and severity of God;  indeed upon them which fell severity, but upon you, kindness, if you continue [in] his kindness;  else you also will be cut off."

God has two sides:  (good and severity, or again mercy and wrath). Too many modern-day people believe God has a one-sided view, that of love only!  When God requires something of them with which they disagree, they may be heard to exclaim, "I just cannot serve that kind of a God."  Certainly God is love (1 John 4:8), but is it not also true that "our God is a consuming fire" (Heb. 12:29)? 

In this verse of our text, God has for the moment turned His gracious side toward the Gentile, and His severe side toward the Jew.  BUT these actions of God are conditioned on what man himself had done, and the relation might just as easily be reversed!

The Calvinistic predestination theory is here delivered a death blow, because Paul gives the warning: "Gentiles, this may be reversed.  It will be if you don't continue faithfully in His goodness."  Thus, instead of the acceptance or rejection being predestined - they are contingent upon man's faithfulness!

v. 23  -  " kaiV  ek)ein`oi  de/,  ea)Vn  mhV  ep)imein/wsi  th`|  a)pisti/a|,  eg)kentrisqh/sontai:  dunatoV$  ga/r e)stin  o(  QeoV$  pa/lin  e)gkentri/sai  au)tou/$."

"And also they, if they do not continue in unbelief, they shall be grafted in;  for God is able to graft them in again."

"Do not continue in unbelief"   -   This is merely the converse of saying "Begin a life of belief!"  Hence the fall of the Jews is not irrevocable; they could be "grafted in again."  Remember that Paul is dealing with the CHRISTIANIZATION, not the NATIONALIZATION, of the Jews!



v. 24  -  " ei ) gaVr  suV  ek)  th`$  kataV  fu/sin  ec)eko/ph$  a)grielai/ou,  kaiV  paraV  fu/sin  en)ekentri/sqh$  ei$)  kallie/laion,  po/sw|  ma`llon  ou!toi,  oi(  kataV  fu/sin,  e)gkentrisqh/sontai  th`|  i)di/a|  el)ai/a| ; "

"For if you were cut off  from an olive tree [which is] wild by nature, and contrary to nature,  you were grafted in to a good olive tree,  how much more shall these, which are according to nature [i.e., natural branches] be grafted in to their own olive tree." 

The conversion of the Jew is a more reasonable expectation than the conversion of the Gentile, so there is no room for boasting, you Gentiles.  Makes one wonder why then are we not doing more work among the Jews in our day, doesn't it?

v. 25  -  " Ou)  ga/r  qe/lw  u(ma`$  a)gnoei`n,  a)delfoi/,  toV  musth/rion  tou`to,  i%na  mhV  h@te  par )  e(autoi`$  fro/nimoi,  o%ti  pw/rwsi$  a)poV  me/rou$  tw`|    I)srahVl  ge/gonen,  a&xri$  ou!  toV  plh/rwma  tw`n  eq)nw`n  eis)e/lqh|: "

"For I do not desire you, brethren, to be ignorant of this mystery, lest you be wise in yourselves, that hardness in part has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in."

"wise in yourselves" = "rely on your own wisdom."  See also v. 19 for an example of this very thing!

"in part"  -  signifies that the hardening of the nation of Israel is only partial, for some Israelites had become Christians.  This hardening would continue over the remaining part of Israel until a predicted time when it would be ended?  When was that?

"when the fullness of the Gentiles is come in"  -  If this means that all Gentiles will be converted, and v. 26 means all Israel will also be converted, THEN WHO SHALL BE LOST?  Obviously, it doesn't mean every single person!

Whiteside says it would last "until the church became almost, if not entirely, Gentile in membership, then the hardness among the Jews apparently became complete."  If this is not what Paul meant, at least it is what really occurred.

For a number of verses showing that "until" does not signify that there will be a time when no Jew would be an unbeliever, see Whiteside, pp. 239-240.  This verse also could not mean that when the "fullness" of Gentiles comes in, that no more Gentiles could enter!   Some think that "life from the dead" in v. 15 (earlier cited) means the "final resurrection," but if so, then conversion of the Jews will occur just before the resurrection, and after the conversion of the Gentiles has ended.  If "life from the dead" means spiritual life (which view this writer espouses) then we must understand that some Gentiles will be converted after Israel comes in.  And why not, since "until" does not mean that one thing is to stop and another to start!  The fullness of the Gentiles came when they were grafted in, which is also the way that all Israel would be saved (v. 23)!

v. 26  -  " kaiV  ou%tw  pa`$   I)srahVl  swqh/setai:  kaqwV$  ge/graptai,   % Hxei  ek) SiwVn  o(  r(uo/meno$,  kaiV  a)postre/yei  a)sebei/a$  a)poV   I)akw/b: 




"And thus all Israel shall be saved;  according as it has been written, 'The deliverer shall come out of Zion, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.'"  

"thus" (or "so") = by this grafting in process, Israel would be saved.  It is generally conceded that "all" is not absolute.  For example, 1 Kings 12:1, 2 Chron. 12:1, Dan. 9:11.  The N.T. passage that states: "All Jerusalem came out to hear John the Baptist" simply refers to a large number, and it is so used here in our text also. 

"All" Israel, if they are to be saved at all, will be saved the same way.  This has nothing to do with the premillenial doctrine of the restoration of NATIONAL Israel, but instead refers to the individual salvation of a Jew being accomplished by this grafting in process, as is evidenced by the adverb of manner "so" or "thus."  Even history suggests the idea of few, or a remnant (11:5) hence not every Jewish individual at all, but all Jews that are saved will be saved in the same manner (Acts 10:34).  How?  by the gospel (Rom. 1:16).

v. 27  -  " kaiV  au%th  au)toi`$  h(  par )  e)mou`  diaqh/kh,  o%tan  a)fe/lwmai  taV$  a(marti/a$  au)tw`n."

"And this [is] the covenant from me to them,  whenever I might take away their sins."  

What was that covenant?  That which was promised in the preceding verse (v. 26, see also Isa. 59:2021).  When the house of Jacob (Jews) would turn from their ungodliness, accept Christ's atoning blood, their sins would be remitted (remember Luke 24:46-47), and the covenant would be completed.  Peter remarked in Acts 15:11 - "But we believe that we (Jews) shall be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they (the Gentiles) will."  Yet ALL of either group will not be saved, for the promise is conditioned upon accepting Christ, for "he made no distinction between us and them, but cleansed their hearts by faith" (Acts 15:9).

v. 28  -  " kataV  meVn  toV  eu)agge/lion,  ex)qroiV  di  ) u(ma`$:  kataV  deV  thVn  ek)logh/n,  a)gaphtoiV  diaV  touV$  pate/ra$. "

"Indeed with regard to the gospel, [they are] enemies on your account; but in regard to those chosen, they are beloved because of the fathers."

The unbelieving Jews were regarded as enemies because they rejected and opposed the gospel.  It was first to be preached to the house of Israel, and then the door would be opened to the Gentiles.  Paul now declares that their (the Jew's) rejection of the gospel worked to the benefit of the Gentiles.  

v. 29  -  " a)metame/lhta  gaVr  taV  xari/smata  kaiV h(  klh`si$  tou`  Qeou`. "

"For God's favors and calling [are] not to be regretted."

God had not changed His mind about His selection of the family of Abraham to produce the Messiah (that was irrevocable), even though they had so sinned as to be "broken off,"  yet He loved them still, "for their fathers' sake" as Paul states in 28b.




v. 30  -  " w%sper  gaVr  kaiV  u(mei$`  poteV  h)peiqh/sate  tw`|  Qew`|,  nu`n  deV  h)leh/qhte  th|`  tou/twn  a)peiqeia/|: "

"For as also you once were disobedient to God, but now you have obtained mercy through their disobedience"

These Gentile Christians at one time were disobedient, but had themselves received mercy, occasioned by the disobedience of the Jews.  

"times past" (in the KJV) merely signifies a period before he gospel age, well described by Romans 1.  Does this verse not show that even the Gentiles were under some law before the Christian age? (see also 1 John 3:4).

v. 31  -  " ou%tw  kaiV  ou!toi  nu`n  h)peiq/hsan,  tw`|  u(mete/rw|  el)e/ei  i%na  kaiV  au)toiV  e)lehqw`si. "

"In this manner also these now were disobedient,  in order that by the mercy [shown] to you, they may also obtain mercy." 

Remember that Christ came to save sinners, not to cause people to become sinners!  Again the phrase "upon all" must not be construed to mean that EVERY PERSON will be saved.  In Gal. 3:22, Paul wrote:  "the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe."

v. 33  -  "   @W  ba/qo$  plou/tou  kaiV  sofi/a$  kaiV  gnw/sew$  Qeou`.  w($  a)necereu/nhta  taV  kri/mata  au)tou`,  kaiV  a)necixni/astoi  ai(  o(doiV  aut)ou`. "

"O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable [are] his judgments, and unexplored [are] his ways." 

Paul has concluded his argument, and gives praise to God for providing for man's salvation through the gospel, which in this context, would include His use of men and nations in bringing that about.

v. 34  -  " Ti/$  gaVr  e&gnw  nou`n  Kuri/ou ;   h*  ti/$  su/mboulo$  au)tou`  eg)e/neto ; "

"For who knew the mind of the Lord?  or who became his adviser?"

In 1 Corinthians 2:16, Paul applies this Isaiah 40:13 passage to Christ, but here to God.  So here, in a rather unexpected place, we have yet another reference to Christ's deity.  Who, by his own wisdom, knows anything about God's purposes and designs?, Paul writes.  NOBODY!  But God did reveal it to selected individuals:   Paul wrote:  "We (apostles) have the mind of Christ" (1 Cor. 2:16).

v. 35  -  " h*  ti/$  proe/dwken  au)tw`| ,  kaiV  a)ntapodoqh/setai  au)tw`| ;  "

"Or who first gave to him,  and it will be paid back to him?"

"Neither Jew nor Gentile can place God under any moral obligation to grant them anything - all they receive is a matter of grace, not debt (see 1 Cor. 2:9-13)."



v. 36  -  " o%ti  e)c  au)tou`   kaiV   di  )  au)tou`   kaiV  ei)$  au)toVn  taV  pa/nta:   au)tw`|  h(  do/ca  ei$)  tou/$  aiw)`na$.  a)mh/n."

" Because from him, and through him, and for him, are all things:  to him be the glory forever. Amen."

Though not a literal translation, the N.E.B. renders this verse in a manner easy to remember:  "Source, Guide, and Goal of all that is - to him be glory forever! Amen."   This then is the reason given for the statement made in the previous verse.





Price's Notes


Chapter  12

Thus far in this letter to the Romans, Paul's writings have been doctrinal in nature (perhaps like Peter described in 2 Peter 3:16), but now his style changes. This does not hint of another author writing (due to stylistic changes) but is due to a change in the material itself.  In other words, Paul turns "practical"! He addresses his readers regarding how to live the Christian life.

v. 1  -  " parakalw`  ou@n  u(ma`$,  a)delfoi/,  diaV  tw`n  oik)tirmw`n  tou`  Qeou`,  parasth`sai  taV  sw/mata  u(mw`n  qusi/an  zw`san,  a(gi/an,  eu)a/reston  tw|`  Qew`|,  thVn  logikhVn  latrei/an  u(mw`n. "

"Therefore I urge you all, brethren, by the compassions of God, to offer your bodies a living, holy and well-pleasing sacrifice to God, [which is] your intelligent service."

As an apostle, Paul had the authority to command such service, but he seemed to prefer to base his appeal upon the affection which he felt for them.  

"living sacrifice"  -  There is a death involved in sacrifice Paul desires that they remember, but here it happens to be a death to sin (see Rom. 6:11-13).  It is a "living" sacrifice, because its natural life is not consumed like an ordinary sacrifice, but is "offered to God as "alive from the dead."  

"spiritual" or "reasonable"?  Either.  If the former, the idea is that man is not a mere brute, but a rational being offering spiritual sacrifice.  If the latter is preferred, it would refer to an obedient life which is the only response to the grace of God - a response demanded by reason!  There is a close affinity between "logical" and the Greek term logiken, which Paul uses. When one is redeemed by Christ from sin, it is only logical (or reasonable) that he give his life to the Lord.  

v. 2  -  " kaiV  mhV  susxhmati/zesqe  tw`|  ai)w`ni tou/tw|,  a)llaV  metamorfou`sqe  th`|  a)nakainw/sei  tou`   nooV$  u(mw`n,   ei)$ toV  dokima/zein  u(ma`$  ti/  toV  qe/lhma  tou`  Qeou`  toV  a)gatoVn  kaiV  eu)a/reston  kaiV  te/leion. "

"and do not conform yourselves to this age, but transform yourselves by the renewing your mind,  that you may ascertain what is the good and well-pleasing and perfect will of God."

Don't be like the Israelites of old, since they desired to be like other nations.  It is so easy to pick up habits or customs of a current age, and before long a Christian's thinking has so changed that he too begins to wonder "what difference does it make? Surely everybody could not be wrong!"

"transformed"  -  is the same word rendered "transfigured" in Matthew 17:2 and from it comes our word "metamorphosis."   Note the individual is directly responsible for bringing this about in his own life.  HOW?  2 Corinthians 4:16 gives us a hint.  "Though our outward man is decaying, yet our inward man is renewed day by day."  The study of God's word can bring about changes in our mind, if we permit it to



do so (See also 2 Pet. 1:4).  Here are three good questions to ask yourself:  (1) Is it good?  (2) Is it wellpleasing to God?  (3) Does it contribute to the perfecting of Christian character?  

How is it proved?  Externally, it is accomplished when others see its effects in our lives (Matt. 5:16).  Internally (see Psa. 34:8, and 1 Pet. 2:2-3).  Years ago, this writer was told by a Christian friend this thought-provoking statement:  NATURE forms us;  SIN deforms us;  SCHOOL informs us, but only CHRIST transforms us!

v. 3  -  "Le/gw  ga/r,  diaVV  th`$  xa/rito$  th`$  doqei/sh$  moi,  pantiV  tw`|  o&nti  en)  u(mi`n,  mhV  u(perfronei`n  par )  o^  dei`  fronei`n,  a/llaV   fronei`n  ei$)  toV  swfronein`,  e(ka/stw|  w($  o(  QeoV$  e)me/rise  me/tron  pi/stew$."

"For I say, through the grace which given to me, to everyone that is among you, not to think high-minded (of himself) more than he ought to think, but to think unto sober-mindedness, according as God has divided to each a measure of faith."

It is interesting to note a play on words which Paul uses in this verse.  Four times he used a form on the verb fronein = to think.  They are:  "to think above, to think, to think, and finally sober-mindedness" respectively.  

The Bible declares "Pride goeth before destruction..."  (Prov. 16:18).  It is very difficult, if not impossible, to look at ourselves objectively.  Not only should we not overestimate ourselves, and go around with a domineering air of superiority, but conversely, neither should we underestimate ourselves either.  Remember Moses and his excuses?  Why is it that so many people readily identify with the "one talent man" instead of the two or five talent person?

"grace" - What is the grace that Paul received from God?  Evidently his apostleship (Gal. 2:9;  Rom. 15:15-16).  

"measure of faith" -  This is not referring to faith that comes from the word of God (Rom. 10:17), but to something which God has dealt out.  It seems to this writer that Paul is discussing miraculous gifts, and thus the "faith" is used here in an unusual sense, signifying the gifts themselves.  This really ought to be anticipated though, since a few verses later we have spiritual gifts listed (along with some natural abilities), and that being the case, it ought not be surprising to find the word "faith" used by metonymy for those spiritual gifts that are associated with "faith."  It was this definition of "faith" of which Jesus spoke when He said:  "These signs shall follow them that believe..." (Mark 16:17;  see also Matt. 17:20 and Luke 17:6).  

v. 4  -  " kaqa/per  gaVr  e)n  e(niV  sw/mati  me/lh  pollaV  e&xomen,  taV  deV  me/lh  pa/nta  ou)  thVn  au)thVn  e&xei  pra`cin: "

"For just as in one body we have many members, but all parts do not have the same function"

Although Paul spoke of supernatural powers, which present-day Christians do not possess, yet the principles taught here about the individual Christian's relation to the whole body is as valid as it can be! 



Purpose of this section of Scripture?  To illustrate how members of the body of Christ need each other.  Paul uses the figure of the human body in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, and there it also is in the context of spiritual gifts!

v. 5  -  " ou%tw$  oi(  polloiV  e^n  sw`maV  es)men  Xristw`|,  o(  deV  kaq  )  ei$!  a)llh/lwn  me/lh."

"Thus the many (members) are one body in Christ, and each one members of one another."

Each member of the body has its office or work to do, and as individuals, we are likewise dependent on one another.

v. 6  -  " e&xonte$  deV  xar/ismata  kataV  thVn  xa/rin  thVn  doqei`san  h(mi`n  dia/fora,  ei&te  profhtei/an,  kataV  thVn  a)nalogi/an  th`$  pi/stew$: "

"but having different gifts, according to the favor which is given to us,  if prophecy, [let us speak] according to the analogy of the faith"

The word for "gifts" (note that "gifts" and "favor" come from the same root word in Greek) is the same as in 1 Cor. 12:9, and refers to spiritual gifts, that is charisma.  But it seems obvious that some of these are not special endowments at all, thus the word here includes both the supernatural and the ordinary!

"grace"  -  What can you as an individual do?  Well, remember that you, Paul declared, have nothing that was not given to you!  No room here for pride or vain glorying whatsoever.

[let us speak] - is in italics.  We don't have a main verb until we get to v. 14.  Since all are participles until then, most translators supply verbs, making the statements to be exhortations.  By this remark, Paul seems to be saying: 'Preach by inspiration" - use all the ability that God has given you,"  similar to his exhortation to Timothy (2 Tim. 1:6-7).

v. 7  -  " ei&te diakoni/an,  e)n  th`|  diakoni/a|:   ei&ta  o(  dida/skwn,  en)  th`|  didaskali/a|: "

"if ministry, [let us perform] in the service,  if one teaches, [let him attend] to teaching"

Some hold that "ministry" refers to the general idea of "service," yet it is also possible that it may refer to those servants who were endowed with gifts, as in the case of Stephen in Acts 6:8.  Perhaps not given revelation (as prophets), yet these teachers may have been inspired to remember what they had been taught earlier.  1 Cor. 12:28 'thirdly' teachers may insinuate special gifts, for example.

v. 8  -  " ei&ta  o(  parakalw`n,  en)  th`|  paraklh/sei:  o(  metadidou/$, en)  a(plo/thti:  o(  proista/meno$,  e)n  spoudh`||:  o(  e)lew`n,  i(laro/thti:  "

"if one exhorts, [let him continue] in exhortation,  the one who gives, [let him do so] with generosity, the one who manages, [let him do so] with diligence,  the one who shows pity, [let him do so] with cheerfulness."  



From this point on, Paul speaks of ordinary endowments, not miraculous!  The word prohisthemi (manages) may also be translated as "gives aid," or "be concerned about."   An interesting side note regarding hilarotes (cheerfulness) is that our word hilarity (hilarious, etc.) comes from this original Greek term.

v. 9  -  " h(  a)ga/ph  a)nupo/krito$.  a)postugou`nte$  toV  ponhro/n,  kollw/menoi  tw~|  a)gaqw`| "

"Love [is] without hypocrisy.   Hate evil, be attached to the good."   

If the following character traits (in verses 9-13) were to describe all Christians everywhere, what a power for good we could be!  Love is to be genuine, with nothing fake about it.  Since the participles of this verse are showing a contrast (i.e., hate vs. being attached, with their objects evil vs. good), then hating evil would require separating oneself from it, as opposed to be drawing near to evil allurements!

v. 10  -  " th`|  filadelfi/a|  ei$)  a)llh/lou$  filo/storgoi:  th`|  timh`|  a)llh/lou$  prohgou/menoi: "

"in brotherly love toward one another be very affectionate,  in honor leading the way to one another." 

Christians are not only to do what the law requires, but in their relationships to one another, they are to try to outdo one another in respect to showing honor. Remember that love does not insist on having its own way (1 Cor. 13:5), but contrariwise it seeks to benefit the other person.

v. 11  -  " th`|  spoudh`|  mhV o)knhroi/:  tw`|  pneu/mati  ze/onte$|:  tw`|  Kuri/w|  douleu/onte$: "

" in diligence do not [be] lazy, in spirit be zealous, serving the Lord."  

External conditions do not govern the life of a Christian, because he is controlled by God, not circumstances!  It is especially timely to remember this when we become older, and the frailties of the body begin to cause negative thoughts, and despair.

v. 12  -  " th`|  el)pi/di  xai/ronte$:  th`|  qli/yei  u(pome/nonte$:  th`|  proseuxh~|  proskarterou`nte$:  "

"in hope rejoicing, in tribulation [being] patient, in prayer [being] persistent"

Paul uses the word "joy" which is the watchword of his letter to the Philippians.  Not only does he mention joy, but also afflictions, because Christians are not immune from such;  all are the life of a child of God.  The Christian also is faithful in prayer.

v. 13  -  " tai`$  xreia/i$  tw`n  a(giw/n  koinwnou`nte$:  thVn  filoceni/an  diw/konte$. "

"with the needs of the saints have fellowship,  pursue hospitality."

Here the word for fellowship has the meaning of a contribution to assist a person, and the word "hospitality" is a compound word in Greek referring to "love of strangers." 

v. 14  -  " eu)logeit`e  tou/$  diw/konta$  u(ma`$,   eu)logei`te  kaiV  mhV  katara`sqe." 

"Bless those persecuting you, bless and do not curse."



It appears that Paul is using a "play on the double meaning of a word" here, for in the previous verse 13 he uses the verb dioko to mean pursue, but here in the 14th verse to mean "persecute." 

"bless"  -  This verb comes the Greek compound, eulogeo, primarily meaning "to speak well of," but came to mean "the calling down of God's grace upon" someone.  Paul says: "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (2 Tim. 3:12).  It is this very thing, godly living, that brings persecution. Yet we ought to remember that it is not personal enmity, but enmity against Christ!  It is readily recognized that our English terms eulogy, and eulogize come from eulogeo.

Jesus said: "Love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you;  that ye maybe sons of your Father who is in heaven" (Matt. 5:44-45).

v. 15  -  " xai//rein  metaV  xairo/ntwn,  kaiV  klai/ein  metaV  klaio/ntwn. " 

"Rejoice with rejoicing [people], and weep with weeping [people]."

Have you ever noticed how opposite this attitude is to the world's policy?  Picture a brother and sister in school.  One receives honor, and how does the other sibling feel?  Filled with envy, or does he/she hold the head a little higher,  because the other received special recognition?

In this verse, the verbs are really infinitives, but translated as imperatives.  This is not the only time we find this in the New Testament (Phil. 3:16).  (See Robertson's Grammar of the Greek New Testament, p. 1092 on this imperatival use of the Greek infinitive).

v. 16  -  " toV  au)toV  ei)$  a)llh/lou$ fronou`nte$.  mhV  taV  u(yhlaV  fronou`nte$,  a)llaV  toi$  tapeinoi`$  sunapago/menoi.  mhV  gin/esqe  pro/nimoi  par  )  e(autoi`$. "

"Be of the same mind one towards another.  Mind not high things, but go along with the lowly.  Do not become wise in yourselves." 

Paul uses a form of froneo 4 times in v. 3 (counting "highminded"), and now three times again in this sixteenth verse. It means "to think" or "to set one's mind on."

Oftentimes one who "feels" superior to others, feels as if he is condescending when he associates with those of less education, wealth, etc. than he.  This is the wrong idea, and is not insinuated by the word "condescend (KJV).  The thrust of the participle sunapago is to "be led or carried away."  I.e., do not be led in thought by the renown!

"be of the same mind" is not speaking of a unity of doctrine, but rather of having the same sympathetic spirit or attitude toward everyone - regardless of their station in life.

v. 17  -  " mhdeniV  kakoVn  a)nti  kakou`  a)podido/nte$.  pronoou/menoi  kalaV  en)w/pion  pa/ntwn  a)nqrw/pwn. "

"to no one give evil for evil.  Be those (who) provide good things before all men."



Paul exhorts his readers to do away with the attitude of retaliation!  A Christian loses his influence for good when he gives way to this temptation.  Besides, others usually are aware of the bad way you've been treated anyway, so you are not proving anything new to them. 

"provide" suggests a "pre-thinking" of a course of action before taking it (pro = before, and noeo = to think).  Too often "our mouth is running before our brain is in gear."  Remember Christ's teaching of turning the other cheek?  

"all men" would include not just Christians.  How will our actions be perceived by others?

v. 18  -  " ei)  dunato/n,  toV  ec)  u(mw`n,  metaV  pa/ntwn  a)nqrw/pwn  eir)hneu/onte$."

"If able, on your part, with all men be at peace."

If we preach truth, it is inevitable that some will not like it.  Hence Paul says "as much as you capable" - for it is not possible to be at peace with everybody.

v. 19  -  " mhV  e(autouV$  ek)dikou`nte$,  a)gaphtoi/,  a)llaV  do/te  to/pon  th~|  o)rgh`|:  ge/graptai  ga/r,   )EmoiV e)kdi/khsi$,  e)gwV  a)ntapodw/sw,  le/gei  Ku/rio$."

"Do not avenge yourselves, beloved ones, but give place to (God's) wrath.  For it is written, Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says [the] Lord."

"give place to wrath" means don't assume to take care of God's part.  Paul speaks of personal vengeance, so this verse must not be made to conflict with other teachings found elsewhere in Scripture.  For example, Romans 13:4 speaks of civil authorities as avengers of wrath.  2 Corinthians 7:11 makes an allusion to the firmness of the congregation in their discipline of the sinner mentioned in Paul's first letter.  When a group acts under the authority of God, this does not contradict what Paul is talking about in this verse nineteen.

v. 20  -  " e)aVn  ou@n  peina`|  o(  ex)qro/$  sou,  yw/mize  au)to/vn:  e)aVn  diya`|,  po/tize  au)ton:  tou`to  gaVr  poiw`n,  a&nqraka$  puroV$  swreu/sei$  e)piV  thVn  kefalhVn  au)tou`. "

"Therefore if your enemy hungers, feed him;  if he thirsts, give him [a] drink;  for doing this, you shall heap coals of fire upon his head."

This is a quotation from Proverbs 25:21-22.  It is taken to mean various things, but the one most heard is that if you act this way toward our enemy, he would have to be very hard-hearted not to be melted by your action, and be ashamed!  However the phrase "coals of fire" is also used as a symbol of divine punishment.  If the latter idea is Paul's thought, it would be continuing the thought of the previous verse, and its two Old Testament references:  Lev. 19:18 and Deut. 32:35.

Our English words "anthracite" and "anthrax" are derived from this Greek word for "charcoal fire."

v. 21  -  " mhV  nikw`  u(poV  tou`  kakou`,  a)llaV  ni/ka  e)n  tw`|  a)gaqw`  toV  kako/n. "

"Do not be overcome by evil, but you overcome evil with good."



Don't permit you enemy to bring you down to his level of doing evil.  In this matter of getting revenge, the victor becomes the loser!  "Anger harms the vessel in which it is stored, far more than the one upon whom it is poured!"




Price's Notes


Chapter 13

v. 1  -  " Pa`sa  yuxhV  ec)ousi/ai$  u(perexou/sai$  u(potasse/sqw:   ou)  ga/r  e)stin  e)cousi/a  ei)  mhV  a)poV  Qeou`,  ai(  deV  ou@sai  e)cousi/ai  u(poV  tou`  tetagme/nai  ei)si/n. "

"Every soul [is] to be subject to authorities above [him].  For there is no authority except from God, and the existing authorities are ordained by God."

Paul has discussed a Christian's relation to his brother, to others in general, and now he begins a section dealing with his relationship to civil government.  Though applicable to all men, what he says here is especially applicable to Christians.  Civil government is ordained of God - not any one type whether democracy, monarchy, etc.  God has not ordained a particular kind, but is charging that society should be governed and that this fact originated with God.

He wrote to Titus:  "Put them in mind to be in subjection to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready unto every good work" (Titus 3:1).  Peter concurs:  "Be subject to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether to the king, as supreme, or unto governors, as sent by him for vengeance on evildoers and for praise to them that do well" (1 Peter 2:13-14).

"The powers that be"  -  The design of government is to promote the security and the well-being of its citizens.  Though the Roman government was bad, yet one can scarcely imagine a government that would be worse than NONE!  The fact is that God has ordained civil government, and Christians are to be obedient.

This does not mean that God approves of all governments (as atheistic communism, etc.), but they are in control only because God permits it.  When you explain how a wicked Nebuchadnezzar was in control for a while, you will see how various dictatorships are permitted to exist.  Read Daniel 2:20-21 and Dan. 4:25.

Only when a government demands that a Christian do anything contrary to God's will (like perform same-sex marriages, etc.), only then must he obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29).  Remember the fiery furnace and the 3 Hebrew men with Daniel?

v. 2  -  " w%ste  o(  a)ntitasso/meno$  th`|  ex)ousi/a|,  th`|  tou~  Qeou`  diatagh`|  a)nqe/sthken:  oi(  deV  a)nqesthko/te$  e(autoi`$  kri/ma  lh/yontai. "

"So that the one who has taken his stand against the authority, has taken a stance against the ordinance of God, and those standing against [it] shall receive judgment themselves. "  

The Apostle Paul speaks of flagrant defiance of governmental authority.  Perhaps it ought to mentioned that we are discussing "established government."  During times of political upheaval and revolution, the



role of a Christian would be more difficult to pinpoint.  Some countries have "coup d'etats,"  rebellions and revolutions on a regular basis, it seems.

v. 3  -  " oi(  gaVr  a&rxonte$  ou)k  eis)iV  fo/bo$  tw`n  a)gaqw`n  e&rgwn,  a)llaV  tw`n  kakw`n.  qel/ei$  deV  mhV  fobeis`qai  thVn  ex)ousi/an ;   toV  a)gaqoVn  poi/ei,  kaiV  e%cei$  ep&ainon  e)c  au)th`$: "

"for rulers are not a fear [terror] to good works, but to evil [works].  But do you desire not to be afraid of the authority?  Do (practice) good and you will have praise from it. "

Of course there are exceptions to this general rule given by Paul.  At times governments fail to function as they should, but so do some churches!  Most governments are pleased with law-abiding citizens, even though a tyrant be heading that government.

v. 4  -  " Qeou`  gaVr  dia/kono$/  e)sti/  soi  ei)$  toV  agaqo/n.  ea)Vn  deV  toV  kakoVn  poih`|$,  fobou`:  ou)  gaVr  eik)h`  thVn  ma/xairan  forei`:   Qeou`  gaVr  dia/kono$/  e)stin,  e&kdiko$  ei)$  o)rghVn  tw`|  toV  kakoVn  pra/ssonti."

"For he is a servant of God to you for good.  But if you should practice  evil, be fearful.  For not in vain does he bear the sword, for he is a servant of God, an avenger for wrath to the one practicing evil."

This may be difficult to realize at the time a patrolman hands us a ticket - but true nonetheless!  He is there to preserve law and order, keep us from driving dangerously, and killing others or perhaps even ourselves.

What does this verse have to say about "capital punishment"?  When a murderer pays for a crime with his life, that is not murder!  Gen. 9:6 and Rom. 13:4 teach virtually the same thing.  Note that the government official is to be viewed as God's servant both positively and negatively, 4a and 4b respectively!

"avenger of wrath"  -  Here the "state" is charged with the carrying out of that which is forbidden to the Christian (12:17a, 19).  This "forcible restraint" of evil is puzzling to some Christians because of an apparent contradiction to Christ's way of love and policy of non-resistance!  It is interesting to note the same root word is used by Paul back in Rom. 12:19.

v. 5  -  " dioV  a)na/gkh  u(pota/ssesqai,  ou)  mo/non  diaV  thVn  o)rgh/n,  a)llaV  diaV  thVn  sunei/dhsin."

"Therefore it is necessary [for you] to be subject, not only because of wrath, but because of conscience."

The Christian is to be in subjection, not only to avoid hail, but because he desires to submit to God.  Thus, he obeys school authorities, traffic laws, does not take advantage of a landlord or the renter, does not hatch up schemes to convey messages by long distance telephone to avoid paying for a bill.

The reasons why Christians obey laws are:

(1) Fear of punishment

(2) For conscience's sake - as a child with his/her parents, merely because "it is right."



v. 6  -  " diaV  tou`to  ga/r  kaiV  fo/rou$  telei`te:  leitourgoiV  gaVr  Qeou`  ei)sin,  ei$)  au)toV  tou`to  proskarterou`nte$."

"For because of this also you all [need to] pay taxes;  for they are God's servants,  busily engaged in this very thing."

The child of God also pays taxes for the exact same reasons!  Without taxes there would  be no government and anarchy would reign - taxes are almost a universal complaint, but the alternative is not very acceptable, is it?

v. 7  -  " a)po/dote  ou@n  pa`si  taV$  o)feila/$:  tw`|  tonV  fo/ron  toVn  fo/ron:  tw`|  toV  te/lo$  toV  te/lo$:  tw`|  toVn  fo/bon  toVn  fobon:  tw`|  thVn  timhVn  thV  timh/n. "

"Therefore pay to all their dues:  to whom tax [is due], [pay] the tax;  to whom custom duty [is required], [pay such] duty;  to whom respect [is due], [show] respect;  to whom honor [is owed],  [show] honor." 

Even if we cannot "respect and honor" the official, we can respect the office or position one occupies.

v. 8  -  " MhdeniV  mhdeVn  o)feil/ete,  ei ) mhV  toV  a)gapa`|n  a)llh/lou$:   o(  gaVr  a)gapw`n  toVn  e%teron,  nom/on  peplh/rwke. "

"to no one owe nothing, except to love one another;  for the one loving the other has fulfilled the law." 

"owe nothing to no one"  -  The double negative is bad English, but is powerful Greek.  Some use this verse to prohibit going into debt to buy anything, and thus bank loans, installment buying, open credit accounts, etc. are viewed by them as being wrong!  We do not seek to conveniently explain away all such passages and dilute them to "meaningless phrases,"  so what does this verse teach?  THINK!  The violation of Paul's command occurs only when the due date occurs, and payment has not been made.  All the above methods of purchasing imply a due date, and before that date there is no obligation to pay it immediately!  It is good to "pay as you go,"  but let's not use this verse to prohibit "installment payments."  The anarthrous law ("law" with no article used with it) refers to a law of love.

All of these negative commands are summed up in this one law: "Love neighbor as yourself" (compare Galatians 5:14). 

v. 9  -  " ToV  ga/r,  Ou)  moixeu/sei$,  ou)  foneu/sei$,  ou)  kle/yei$,  ou)  yeudomarturh/sei$,  ou)k  e)piqumh/sei$,  kaiV  ei&  ti$  e(te/ra  e)ntolh/,  en)  tou/tw|  tw`|  lo/gw|  a)nakefalaiou`tai,  e)n  tw`|,   )Agaph/sei$  toVn  plhsi/on  sou  w($  e(auto/n. "

"For the [law says],  You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness, you shall not covet, and if [there is] any other commandment, in this word it is summed up, namely 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' "

One will not commit adultery against the one he/she loved;  thus it can be said that love fulfills the law.  On not committing murder, Moses Lard said:  "Whenever every murderer atones for his deed by the



certain  loss of his own life, murders will well-nigh cease, not before."  Genesis 9:6 is God's decree, reemphasized here in Romans.

All of these negative command are summed up in this one:  "Love your neighbor as yourself" (compare Gal. 5:14).

v. 10  -  " h(  a)ga/ph  tw`|  plhsi/on  kakoVn  ou)k  e)rga/zetai:  plh/rwma  ou@n  nom/ou  h(  a)ga/ph."

"Love does not work evil to its neighbor;  therefore love is a fulfillment of the law."

What is said in 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 is summed up in greater detail here in this verse.

v. 11  -  " KaiV  tou`to,  ei)do/te$  toVn  kairo/n,  o%ti  w%ra  h(ma`$  h&dh  e)c  u%pnou  e)gerqh`nai:   nu`n  gaVr  e)ggu/teron  h(mw`n  h(  swthri/a  h*  o%te  e)pisteu/samen."

"Also [be aware of] this, knowing the season, that already the hour  [has come] for us to be raised out of sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than when we believed." 

The "salvation" mentioned by the inspired writer in this verse, is not salvation from sin, the Romans already had that (6:3,4, 17).  Paul refers to one's eternal salvation connected with the Judgment Day.  In Ephesians 5:14, the same writer states:  "...Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall shine upon thee."  Meaning?  Snap out of this state of lethargy and inaction, and get with it!

"when we believed"  -  Here's another reference in the Letters (Romans through Jude) where the term believe refers to "obeying the gospel."  Instead of believe just one step in the plan of salvation, here it refers to the entire process including baptism for remission of sins;  i.e. belief = obedience to the gospel.

v. 12  -  "  h(  nuVc  proe/koyen,  h( deV  h(me/ra  h&ggiken:  a)poqw/meqa  ou@n  taV  e&rga  tou`  sko/tou$,  kaiV  endusw/meqa  taV  o%pla  tou`  fwto/$. "

"the night is far advanced; the day has drawn near; therefore let us remove the works of darkness and clothe ourselves with the weapons of light."

Night"  -  Darkness = ignorance (many times, SIN!), a state of ignorance and disobedience, and hence an absence of Christ, Who is the light (see also 1 Thess. 5:2-8 and John 1:4-5).  Some of these works of darkness are listed in the next verse.

v.  13  -  " w($  en)  h(me/ra|,  eu)sxhmo/nw$  peripath/swmen,  mhV  kw/moi$  kaiV  me/qai$,  mhV  koi/tai$  kai$  a)selgei/ai$,  mhV  e&ridi  kaiV  zh/lw|. "

"as in [the] day, let us walk decently, not in carousings and drunkenness, not  in strifes and envyings."

"Walk" (literally "walking around") = to conduct oneself, or order one's behavior.  Thus "every time one goes walking, he preaches a sermon!"

"To walk honestly, or decently", = not doing the following, which is how night-walkers behave:



(1) "rioting" - this term in Gal. 5:21 and 1 Pet. 4:3 is translated as "reveling."  In the NT, this word is used in a bad sense signifying a "carousing around, boisterous merrymaking, usually describing a combination of feasts, drinking parties, dancing, parading in the streets, etc.

(2) "carousing" or as the KJV renders it "chambering" is a reference to sexual immorality.  The primary meaning of the Greek word koitee is "bed," especially the marriage bed (see Heb. 13:4). Incidentally,  in Rom. 9:10,  by metonymy (cause for the effect), it denotes conception ("Rebecca also had conceived").  Hence the meaning is very well rendered by Phillips when he translates it as  "playing with sex" in Rom. 9.

(3) "wantoness" = lasciviousness (2 Cor. 12:21, Eph. 4:19, Gal. 5:19.  Thayer says "plural, wanton acts or manners, as filthy words, indecent bodily movements, unchaste handling of males and females, etc. "  Hence, it is closely related to the lust that is evident in the previous word, "carousing" or "chambering."

Would we place "strife and jealousy" right up there alongside "chambering and wantoness"?  Amazing, isn't it, how we look down upon one, and ignore the other?

v. 14  -  " a)ll )  e)ndus/asqe  toVn   Ku/rion     )Ihsou`n  Xristo/n,  kaiV  th`$  sarkoV$  pro/noian  mhV  poiei`sqe,  ei)$  e)piqumi/a$. "                   

"but clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for lustful [living]." 

"provision" comes from "pro" = before, and "noeoo" "I know,"  thus it is etymologically related to forethought!  The original says:  "Stop making provision for the flesh";  i.e.,  it prohibits the continuing of an action that is already in process!




Price's Notes



Chapter 14

v. 1  -  " ToVn  deV  a)sqenou`nta  th`|  pi/stei  proslamba/nesqe,  mhV  ei)$  diakri/sei$  dialogismw`n."

"But receive unto yourselves the [one who is] weak in faith, [but] not for quarrels about opinions."

Christians ought to agree on matters of faith, but on matters of opinion, it is not possible to have absolute agreement.  Of course, deciding into which category a matter belongs is often a hotly debated issue!  In this chapter, the Apostle Paul is giving instructions on how to treat those of differing opinions.  The weak brother is to be received, but problems of fellowship between a strong and weak brother are inevitable - so be prepared for it.

v. 2 -  " o%$  meVn  pisteu/ei  fagei`n  pa/nta,  o(  deV  a)sqenw`n la/xana  e)sqie/i."

"The one believes he may eat all things, but the other, being weak, eats [only] vegetables."

These questions, about which God has given no teaching, tend to pit one brother against another.  Examples:  (1) Food, and (2) religious observance of certain days.  The "strong" brother is the one whose faith is strong enough to prevent his conscience from becoming uneasy when he eats. He can eat meats and vegetables, and has no scruples about either!  On the other hand, the "weak" brother is a vegetarian, for he can never be quite sure that certain meat purchased at the market had not earlier been used in an idol temple worship!  The "weak" brother would tend to brand the "strong" as a sinner, while the "strong" brother would view the weak as being rather foolish.

v. 3  -  " o(  es)qiw/n  toVn  mhV  es)qio/nta  mhV  ec)ouqeneit/w,  kaiV  o(  mhV  toVn  es)qio/nta  mhVV  krine/tw:  o(  QeoV$  gaVr  au)ton  prosela/beto."

"Let not the one eating [meat] despise the one not eating; and the one not eating is not to condemn the one eating; for God has received him."

Both groups have an obligation toward the other, after all they are brethren!  Neither is to sit in judgment on the other.

v. 4  -  " suV  ti/$  ei@  o(  kri/vwn  a)llo/trion  oik)e/thn ;  tw`|  i)di/w|  kuri/w  sth/kei  h^  pi/ptei.  staqh/setai  de:  dunatoV$  ga/r  e)stin  o(  QeoV$  sth`nai  au)to/n."

"Who are you [to] judge another's servant?  to his own master he stands or falls;  and he shall be made to stand, for God is able make him stand."

The weak then have no right to judge or censure the strong, and make laws where God made none!

v. 5  -  "   ^O$  meVn  kri/nei  h(me/ran  par )  h(me/ran,   o^$  deV  kri/nei  pa`san  h(me/ran.  e%kasto$  e)n  tw`|  id)i/w|  plhroforei/sqw. "



"One judges a day above another day, another judges [every] alike.  Let each in his own mind be fully assured."

Reader, take note:  The Lord's Day is NOT a matter of opinion or indifference, for concerning it the Lord has given instructions!  What Paul DOES have in mind are problems that relate to the Jewish-Gentile makeup in the early church.  The Jewish converts were trying to saddle the Gentile converts with some of their "holy days" under the Old Law.  Evidently this "weak" brother was the Jew who was still trying to "make laws" for others!

When such began to be treated as matters of faith, it became sinful by causing division.  If one chose to set aside another day - that is fine, but don't insist that the Gentiles must do the same.  Note that the Galatian churches were affected also:  "Ye observe days, months, and seasons, and years.  I am afraid of you, lest by any means I have bestowed labor upon you in vain" (Gal. 4:10-11).

Here, apparently the "strong" man sees that the old Jewish feasts and their days of fasting were no longer binding on Christians.

"Let each be fully assured..."  -  Paul is NOT saying that "it makes no difference what one believes, as long as he is sincere!"  Instead, he states that where God has NOT given instructions, both of the brethren mentioned above are right, when they are satisfied in their own mind, and do not violate their own consciences (v. 23).  However, to insist that all Christians must observe these O.T. days as holy days is to legislate, and that causes disturbances in the church, which would be sin.  One sins then when he insists that other do things not required by God!

v. 6  -  " o(  fron`wn  thVn  h(me/ran,  Kuri/w|  fronei`:  kaiV  o(  fronw`n  thVn  h(me/ran,  Kuri/w|  ou)  fronei`.  o(  es)qiw/n  Kuri/w|  e)sqi/ei,   eu)xaristei`  gaVr  tw`|  Qew`|:   kaiV  o(  mhV  es)qi/ei,  kaiV  eu)xaristei`  tw`|  Qew`|"

"The one observing the day [a particular day rather than other days],  observes it to the Lord;  and the one eating, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God."

Each one does what he believes is right.  One eats his meal, and give thanks to God.  The other sits down to his vegetarian meal, but also gives thanks to God.  Both are trying to please God.  Moral?  We must not go against our conscience for that would be sin!  REMEMBER that we are dealing only with things in the realm of liberty - not with matters regarding which God has spoken!

v. 7 -  " ou)dei$V  gaVr  h(mw`n  e(autw`|  zh`,  kaiV  ou)deiV$  e(autw`|  a)poqnh/skei."

"For no one of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself."

Some interpret this to mean that what we do affects others, and we ought never be a stumbling block to others.  Of course, that is true, BUT that is the message of 1 Corinthians 8 and 10:14-33.  Paul's emphasis here in Romans 14 is not that of causing others to sin, but rather that of "not going against one's own conscience."



None of us can say "it is my business, and mine alone!"  Why?  Because it is also the LORD'S!  Neither in life, nor in death, are we isolated and responsible only to ourselves.  Really, verse 8 is a good explanation of this verse.

v. 8  -  "e)a/n  te  gaVr  zw`men,  tw~|  Kuri/w|  zw`men:  e)a/n  te  a)poqnh/skwmen,  tw`|   Kuri/w|  a)poqnh/skomen:  e)a/n  te  ou@n  zw`men,  e)a/n  te  a)poqnh/skwmen,  tou`  Kuri/ou  e)sme/n."

"for whether we might live, we live to the Lord, and if we might die, we die to the Lord, therefore whether we might live, [or] if we might die, we are the Lord's."

Death frees no one from responsibility to the Lord;  we are still answerable to Him.

v. 9  -  " ei$)  tou`to  gaVr  XristoV$  kaiV  a)pe/qane  kaiV  a)ne/sth  kai  a)ne / zhsen,  i%na  kaiV  nekrw`n  kaiV  zw/ntwn  kurieu/sh|. "

"For to this [purpose] Christ both died and arose and lived again, in order that he might reign over both the dead and [the] living."

It would seem that Paul purposefully arranged these two verbs (died and lived) in obvious contrast to their word order in the previous verse.  WHY?  Perhaps to establish Christ's lordship over both the dead and the living.  Men do not pass from under his dominion when they die, nor when they are raised from the dead.

v. 10  -  " suV  deV  ti/  kri/nei$  toVn  a)delfo/n  sou :  h#  kaiV  suV  ti/  ec)ouqenei`$ toVn  a)delfo/n  sou ;  pa/nte$  gar  parasthso/meqa  tw`|  Bh/mati  tou`  Xristou`. "

"But why do you judge your brother, or why do you despise your brother?  for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ."

This is addressed to the "weak" brother who is condemning his strong brother for eating meat, not keeping the Jewish holy days, etc.  This attitude would soon split the church "wide open."  The 2nd question may have been addressed to the "strong" brother, who tended to despise and ridicule the other for his vegetarian hang ups!  He is not a "2nd class brother,"  but a full-fledged brother and ought to be received as such!

"judgment seat of..."  -  (Christ or God?)  The KJV reading goes back to the 1st half of the 2nd century, and was known to Polycarp and Marcion, which is pretty strong evidence in its favor (i.e., it was some 200 years before the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus mss. were written).

v.  11  -  " ge/graptai  ga/r,  Zw`~  eg)w/,  le/gei  Ku/rio$:  o%ti  e)moiV  ka/myei  pa`n  go/nu,  kaiV  pa`sa  glw`ssa  e)comologh/setai  tw`|  Qew`. "

"for it has been [and is] written,  [As] I live, says [the] Lord, that to me every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess to God."

This is a quotation from Isaiah 45:23, and in Philppians 2:10f. Paul applies this prophecy to Jesus Christ.



It is interesting to note that the passage in Isaiah 45:23-24 has " kat  emautou  omnuo " = "I swear by myself" (in the Septuagint,  or LXX), while here in Romans 14:11 it merely says "I live."  We add the word "As" to show that it is such as oath!    

v. 12  -  " a#ra  ou@n  e%kasto$  h(mw`n  periV  e(autou`  lo/gon  dw/sei  tw`|  Qew`|."

"So therefore each of us shall give an account concerning himself to God." 

 Paul's inspired conclusion is that each person will give an account to God - not to men!

v. 13  -  " Mhke/ti  ou@n  a)llh/lou$  kri/nwmen:  a)llaV  tou`to  kri/nate ma`llon,  toV  mhV  tiqe/nai  pro/skomma  tw`|  a)delfw`|  h#  ska/ndalon."

"Therefore let us not judge one another any longer, but judge this instead,  not to put an obstacle or temptation [in front of his] brother."

As he moves on to a new point of emphasis, Paul summarizes his previous points by saying, "Let us not therefore judge one another anymore."  This command cannot be absolute, but instead refers to the matters with which Paul has been dealing.  How do we know?  Because elsewhere Paul instructs his readers that judging should and must occur:  Romans 16:17-18;  2 Thessalonians 3:6, etc.

"judge" - the Greek verb krino has both the sense of "criticize" as well as "decide,"  and both senses are found in this verse respectively as mentioned.  Paul has just stated that a Christian is free, unfettered by others demands, hence not subject to any one human being - only to his Lord!  Now he goes on to demonstrate that the same Christian ought to impose voluntary limitations on his own freedom!

v. 14  -  " oi@da  kaiV  pe/peismai  e)n  Kuri/w|   I)hsou`,  o%ti  ou)deVn  koinoVn  di  ) e(autou`:  ei ) mhV  tw`|  logizome/nw|  ti  koinoVn  ei@nai,  e)keiv/nw|  koino/n."

"For I know and am persuaded in [the] Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean of itself, except to him that regards anything to be unclean, to that one [it is] unclean." 

Paul came to this conclusion, not through the process of human reasoning, but rather through inspiration (see also 1 Cor. 9:1), that foods are neutral, neither clean nor unclean religiously speaking (see Acts 10:13-16), but if a person deemed such to be unclean, he better not partake of it.  This is not due to the nature of the food, but rather how a person viewed it.

The Gentile Christians were right and the Jewish Christians were wrong on this issue of eating meats.  It is interesting to note that in this matter Paul states the exact opposite of all that he had been taught as a good Pharisee!  All of these old Mosaic distinctions were now a thing of the past - done away in Christ (Gal. 4:10).  

"nothing is unclean of itself" -  Again, this must be kept in context.  Paul speaks of things of the Mosaic Law - not situation ethics!  Yet if a thing is thought to be wrong, what should be done?  What about drinking soda pop from a bottle?  If a person might think you are drinking beer, should you refuse to



ever drink pop from a bottle?  We should teach what's right, but don't encourage him to do what he considers wrong.  DON'T DESTROY HIS CONSCIENCE!

v. 15  -  " ei ) deV  diaV  brw`ma  o(  a)delfo/$  sou  lupeit`ai,  ou)ke/ti  kataV  a)ga/phn  peripatei`$.  mhV  tw`|  brw/mati/  sou  e)kein`on  a)po/llue,  u(peVr  ou!  XristoV$  a)pe/qane."

"But if because of food your brother is grieved,  no longer are you walking according to love.  With your  food, do not destroy him for whom Christ died." 

This is not merely a "Don't hurt another's feelings."  Remember that we are still dealing with things which are neither right nor wrong within themselves.   Paul was willing to stop eating meat, a freedom that he had (and Gentile Christians would agree), but to keep his fellow Jewish brethren from being damaged, he would forego this freedom.  I.e.,  he was willing to "wave this privilege!"

v. 16  -  " mhV  blasfhmeis/qw  ou@n  u(mw`n  toV  a)gaqo/n."

"Therefore do not let your good be blasphemed."

Paul speaks to the 'strong' Christian.  The NEB renders this command as:  "What for you is a good thing must not become an occasion for slanderous talk."  What do we learn from this section of the Scriptures?  (1) That which is done, whether by the strong or weak brother, must be lawful, i.e., authorized by the word of God (Rom. 10:17; Col. 3:17; Heb. 11:6). (2) If an action is NOT so authorized, no brother (whether strong or weak) may do that thing. (3) Some desire to use these verses to justify the use of instrumental music in worship, placing themselves in the "strong brother" category.  I.e., they are teaching that the use of instrumental music in worship is lawful, but "they abstain from its use so as not to cause us, the weaker brother, to stumble."  However, the "stronger-weaker brother" analogy is appropriate only in doing that which is authorized by the Scriptures.  

v. 17  -  " ou)  gaVr  e)stin  h(  basilei/a  tou`  Qeou`  brw`si$  kaiV  po/si$,  a)llaV  dikaiosu/nh  kaiV  eir)h/nh  kaiV  xaraV  en ) Pneu/mati   (Agi/w| "

"For the kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in [the] Holy Spirit." 

The absence of the personal article ("the") before Holy Spirit shows that Paul is not referring to the person of the Holy Spirit, but rather to that which is accomplished by the Holy Spirit, hence "an operation."  The kingdom of God (or the Lord's church) is not to be reduced to nothing more than making the "right" distinctions about eating and drinking the "right" things (the Law of Moses vs. Christianity are still under consideration, remember).  Things which are to be stressed are not things of a physical nature, such as food and drink, but instead qualities of a spiritual nature, such as righteousness, joy, etc.

v. 18  -  " o(  gaVr  e)n  tou/toi$  douleu/wn  tw`|  Xristw` |  eu)a/resto$  tw`|  Qew`|,  kaiV  do/kimo$  toi`$  a)nqrw/poi$."

"For the one serving Christ in these [things] [is] well-pleasing to God, and approved by men."



The verb for "serve" used here is "slave service" (see also Rom. 6:18 for a similar thought where the noun is used, not the verb douleuo).  One may serve Christ by both eating or by abstaining, but NOBODY can serve the Lord by indifference to righteousness, peace and joy.  Some preachers constantly keep churches in a turmoil, while others promote peace!  Not only is God pleased with the latter, but all rightthinking people are as well.

v. 19  -  " a & ra  ou@n  taV  th`$  eir)h/vnh$  diw/kwmen,  kaiV  taV  th`$  oik)odomh`$  th`$  ei$)  a)llh/lou$."

"Accordingly therefore let us pursue the things of peace, and things for building up of one another."

Peace is far more important than the privilege of eating meat.  Our actions ought to be determined by two questions:  (1) Does it promote peace in the congregation? and (2) does it promote spiritual growth in a brother?

v. 20  -  " mhV  e%neken  brw/mato$  kata/lue  toV  e&rgon  tou`  Qeou`.   pa/nta  meVn  kaqaraV,  a)llaV  kakoVn  tw`|  a)nqrw/pw|  tw`|  diaV  prosko/mmato$  e)sqi/onti. "

"Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God.  All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats to cause stumbling."

The Christian is the "work" of God.  The meaning is "Stop (or quit) tearing down the work of God!  "All things" applies to meat, and thus it means that now under Christ, legally speaking, there is no unclean animal (unclean = an animal which God has prohibited one to eat). But though true, it is also true that the "law of love" toward a brother is still in force.  It is "evil to eat with offence."  What this means is explained by the next verse.

v. 21  -  " kaloVn  toV  mhV  fagein`  kre/a,  mhdeV  piein`  oi@non,  mhdeV  en)  w!|  o(  a)delfo/$  sou  prosko/ptei h#  skandali/zetai  h#  a)sqenei`."

"[It is] good not to eat flesh, nor drink wine, nor [do anything] in which your brother stumbles, is led into sin, or is make weak."

It is sin for a person to eat under circumstances that would cause a brother to stumble.  It is doubted that "eating meat" could now (in the 21st century) cause a person to stumble, but anything that might cause it is included here.  Food is neutral. Wine?  Paul does not deal with the nature of the act itself, but only with whether another person is injured by it here in this passage.

v. 22  -   " suV  pi/stin  e&xei$;  kataV  sautoVn  en)w/pion  tou`   Qeou`.  maka/rio$  o(  mhV  kri/nwn  e(autoVn  e)n  w!|  dokima/zei. "

"Do you have faith?  Keep [it] to yourself before God.  Blessed is the one not condemning himself in that which he approves."

This is certainly not talking about faith in Christ, the gospel, etc.  Once again, we have here a special use of pistis meaning "conviction, judgment, etc."  as the verb use in v. 2 also illustrates.  When one is certain in his convictions, and engages in an action, he has no guilt feelings about it at all.           



v. 23  -  " o(  deV  diakrino/meno$,  e)aVn  fa/gh|,  katake/kritai,  o%ti  ou ) k  e)k  pi/stew$:  pa~n  deV  o^  ou)k  pi/stew$,  a(marti/a  e)sti/n."

"But the one who doubts, if he eats, is condemned, because [he eats] not of conviction.  Anything not done of conviction is sin."

Here the term "faith" carries the same significance as in the previous verse.  Some have erroneously concluded that it means "the system of faith,"  the gospel, and hence means "truth as presented in God's word."  Faith still means "conviction" in this verse, due to contextual considerations.  Goodspeed translates it as follows:  "The man who has misgivings about eating, and then eats, is thereby condemned, for he is not following his convictions, and anything that does not rest on conviction is wrong."  This is the thrust of the entire context as well.




Price's Notes


Chapter 15

v. 1  -  "   )Ofeil/omen  deV  h(mei$`  oi(  dunatoiV  taV  a)sqenh/mata  tw`n  a)duna/twn  basta/zein,  kaiV  mhV  e(autoi`$  a)re/skein. "

"But we, the strong, ought to endure the weaknesses of those without strength, and not to please ourselves."

The same theme of the previous chapter is continued in this chapter 15.  One or the other of the two must yield, and since the "weak" cannot do so without a violation of conscience  (but the strong can!),  then God has ordained that in such cases where opinions (not doctrinal truth) is involved, the "strong" are the ones who should do the yielding.

"bear the weaknesses"  -  This means to forego, at least temporarily, some action in the realm of the permissive which otherwise we have a perfect right in Christ to do,  in order that we not cause the weak brother to stumble or be offended!  This obviously involves not being selfish, and adopting the attitude of "I'll do as I please."

v. 2  -  " e%kasto$  gaVr  h(mw`n  tw`|  plhsi/on  a)reske/tw  ei$)  toV  a)gaqoVn  proV$  oi)kodomh/vn. "

"For of us is to please [his] neighbor unto good for edification."

In Galatians 1:10 and 1 Thessalonians 2:4 Paul condemned "pleasing men,"  but here he commands it!  Remember that there is a "right" way, and a "wrong" way to please men - the right way is when we do it for his good (and compromising the truth is certainly not for his good, is it?)  Question?  What about agreeing, to please your friend, that baptism has nothing to do with salvation?  Answer:  Regarding the subject of baptism, God has already legislated, and instead of human beings agreeing with each other on an issue, what really matters is whether or not they agree with God!

v. 3  -  " kaiV  gaVr  o(  XristoV$  ou)x  e(autw`|  h&resen,  a)lla/,  kaqwV$  ge/graptai,  Oi(  o)neidismoiV  tw`n  o)neidizo/ntwn  se  e)pe/peson  e)p )  e)me/. "

"For also Christ did not please Himself, but, according as it has been written,  the insults of the ones insulting you fell upon me."

Once more Christ has set the example for us to follow.  Psalm 69:9 is quoted as proof to show that instead of taking the easier path, He took the rough road of reproach and suffering TO PLEASE OTHERS!

In the original, the righteous person is pictured as addressing God, and proclaiming that the reproaches which were directed at God were actually being borne by him.  I.e., because he had a zeal for God's house, he was thus reproached.  Paul now transfers the thought to Christ.  The Jews' reproach for God



(Matt. 21:34-46) reached its height when they crucified the Son of God (see also Luke 10:16).  Hence Christ could say:  "now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father" (John 15:24).

v. 4  -  " o%sa  gaVr  proegra/fh,  ei$)  thVn  h(mete/ran  didaskali/an  proegra/fh,  i%na  diaV  th`$  u(pomonh`$  kaiV  th`$  paraklh/sew$  tw`n  grafw`n  thVn  el)pi/da  e&xwmen.

"For as many things as were written before, were written for our instruction, in order that through patience and comfort of the Scriptures we might have hope."

There are many examples illustrating self-denial which are recorded to teach us how God deals with mankind, and the characteristics He expects His followers to possess.  Here, we also find that the O.T. has a permanent value, and ought to be used by those of us in the Christian Age (not as "law", for that was nailed to the cross, but for purposes of seeing how God deals with men - see also 2 Tim. 3:16, and 1 Cor. 10:11).  There are 59 explicit quotations from the O.T. in the letter to the Romans, not counting all of the allusions to it.  Hebrews and Revelation contain many as well.  Is this the reason why some have a difficult time with these three books?  I.e., many don't know their Old Testament history?

v. 5  -  " o(  deV  QeoV$  th`$  u(pomonh`$  kaiV  th`$  paraklh/sew$  dw|/h  toV  au)to  fronei`n  u(mi`n  en)  a)llh/loi$  kataV  XristoVn  )Ihsou`n: "

"[May] the God of patience and consolation give to you same like-mindedness with one another,  according to Christ Jesus."

For an inspired commentary on what "same mind" means, see Philippians 2:2-5.  There Paul declares:  "Make full my joy, that ye be of the same mind, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind;  doing nothing through faction or through vainglory, but in lowliness of mind each counting other better than himself;  not looking each of you to his own things, but each of you also to the things of others.  Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."

v. 6  -  " i%na  o(moqumadoVn  en)  e(niV  sto/mati  doca/zhte  toVn  QeoVn  kaiV  pate/ra  tou`  Kuri/ou  h(mw`n   )Ihsou`  Xristou`. "

"In order that with one accord with one mouth you all might glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." 

The conflict between Jew and Gentile Christians is once again the point at issue.  Jews desired to bind their customs on Gentiles (Acts 15:1), and this naturally caused friction.  Neither Jew nor Gentile should feel superior to the other, for all such attitudes were a real hindrance to Christian growth.

v. 7  -  " dioV  proslamba/nesqe  a)llh/lou$,  kaqwV$  kaiV  o(  XristoV$  prosela/beto  h(ma`$,  ei)$  do/can  Qeou``. "

"Wherefore you all receive one another, according as Christ has also received you, unto [the] glory of God."



Since Christ has received all Christians, then all those thus received should themselves receive others without distinction also.

v. 8  -  " le/gw  deV,   I)hsou`n  XristoVn  dia/konon  gegenh`sqai  pe/ritomh`$ u(peVr  a)lhqei/a$  Qeou`,  ei)$  toV  bebaiw`sai  taV$  ep)aggeli/a$  tw`n  pate/rwn: "

"And I say, Jesus Christ became a servant of [the] circumcision, on behalf of [the] truth of God, to confirm the promises of the fathers."

Though some feel that this is a reference to the fact that Christ's ministry was primarily to the circumcision (the Jews), yet it is possible that the idea here is "source" and not "object.'   Why?  Because the "promises to the fathers" were for the whole world to be blessed through Christ, at least this is the part that is to be emphasized here.  Christ did come of the circumcision and "was born under the law" (Galatians 4:4ff.).

v. 9  -  " taV  deV  eq&nh  u(peVr  e)le/ou$  doca/sai  toVn  Qeo/n,  kaqwV$  ge/graptai,  DiaV  tou`to  e)comologh/somai/  soi  en)  e&qnesi,  kaiV  tw`|  o)nom/ati/  sou  yalw`. "

"and [that] the Gentiles might glorify God for [His] mercy, according as it has been written,  Because of this I will confess to you among Gentiles, and I will sing praise to your name." 

Here we see that the inclusion of Gentiles was just as much dependent on the promise to Abraham as was the fulfillment of promises to the Jews (Galatians 4:5).

Now Paul, as he so often does, gives a number of O.T. references to support what he is teaching.  These all show that THE GENTILES are praising the God of Israel and placing their hope in the Messiah of Israel.  In other words, the Jews' own Scriptures predicted that the Gentiles would glorify God!

The first one quoted is Psalm 18:49.  In regard to the word "sing" one commentator wrote "The Hebrew word 'sing' would involve the use of the instrument."  But where a particular instrument was intended, it was named in addition to the verb psallo.  For example:  "psallo with the harp"  (Psa. 98:5)  or  "psallo with the heart" (Eph. 5:19).  One was mechanical, the other spiritual, but in either case, the instrument was NOT included in the verb, but was listed in addition to the verb!  If the word psallo in the N.T. includes the instrument (organ or piano, or guitar, etc.)  then the only one obeying the injunction of Eph. 5 would be the one who was literally playing the instrument!  

v. 10  -  " kaiV  pa/lin  le/gei,  Eu)fra/nqhte,  e&qnh,  metaV  tou`  laou`  au)tou`. "

"and again it says, Rejoice you nations with his people."

From Deuteronomy 32:43 (LXX)  Paul takes the words to imply that the Gentiles and Jews would unite to praise God, as David represented himself doing in the previous verse.

v. 11  -  " kaiV  pa/lin,  Ai)nei`te  toVn  Ku/rion  pa/nta  taV  e&qnh,  kaiV  e)paine/sate  au)toVn  pa/nte$  oi(  laoi/. "



"And again, Praise the Lord all nations, and honor him all you people."

This quotation is from Psalm 117:1 and proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that all nations were to share in Christ's redemption  -  Jews and Gentiles!

v. 12  -  " kaiV  pa/lin   )Hsai/a$  le/gei,   &Estai  h(  r(iz/a  tou`   I)essai/,  kaiV  o(  a)nista/meno$  a&rxein  e)qnw`n:  kaiV  o(  a)nista/meno$  a&rxein  e)qnw`n:  e)p )  au)tw`|  e&qnh  e)lpiou`sin."

"and again Isaiah says, There shall be a root of Jesse, even the one rising up to rule [the] nations;  in him shall [the] nations hope. "

Now Paul quotes Isaiah 11:10 (see also 11:1-9).  Isaiah pictures the overthrow of  a once-magnificent Jewish kingdom and its return from Babylon (chap. 13).  Israel (house of David) is represented as a "tree" about to be cut down, and just a stump would be left.  BUT out of that stump a small "shoot" was to grow  -  that SHOOT was none other than Christ!

v. 13  -  " o(  deV  QeoV$  th`$  el)pi/do$  plhrw/sai  u(ma`$  pa/sh$  xara`$  kaiV  ei)rhnh$  e)n  tw`|  pisteu/ein,  ei$)  toV  perisseu/ein  um(a`$  en)  th`|  el)pi/di,  e)n  duna/mei  Pneu/mato$   (Agi/ou. "

"and may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,  in order that you may abound in hope [and] in power of [the] Holy Spirit."

"power of the Holy Spirit" - because without Him man would not know of God, Christ, or the plan of salvation, etc.  His revelation, confirmed by signs and wonders, made peace, joy and hope possible.

v. 14  -  " Pe/peismai  de/,  a)delfoi/  mou,  kaiV  au)toV$  e)gwV  periV  u(mw`n,  o%ti  kaiV  au)toiV  mestoi/  e)ste  a)gaqwsu/nh$,  peplhrwme/noi  pa/sa$  gnw/sew$,  duna/menoi  kaiV  a)llh/lou$  nouqetei`n."

"But I am persuaded, my brethren, even I myself concerning you, that you yourselves are full of goodness, ones filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another." 

Even with their problem over eating meats, and observance of days, Paul still refers to them as "my brethren,"  and good people at that!  In praising the church, evidently Paul refers to the majority of brethren, and that would suggest that only a "few" were involved in that "days-meats" issue.  Why?  Because "filled with knowledge" could not have been used to describe the "weak brethren" who had uneasy consciences about eating such meat!

The spiritually gifted members of the church in Rome are specifically mentioned as being capable of admonishing and offering instruction (see also Galatians 6:1 for a similar comment).

v. 15  -  " tolmhro/teron  deV  e&graya  u(min,  a)delfoi,  a)poV  me/rou$,  w($  ep)anamimnh/skwn  u(ma`$,  diaV  thVn  xa/rin  thVn  doqei`sa/n  moi  u(poV  tou`  Qeou`, "

"but I have written to you, brethren, more boldly in part, as reminding you all, through the grace given to me by God,"



"grace"  -  that which was bestowed upon Paul was his "apostleship."  He says that "part" of the reason why he was writing (not all of it, just part!) was to remind them of what they had been taught, or to put them "again in  remembrance," a statement Peter often used (2 Peter 1:13;  2 Peter 3:1).  It is possible that by using the word "part,"  Paul may have been referring to other verses in Romans where he spoke equally plain as he was doing here.

Even "spiritually gifted" persons in the first century church had to be stirred up.  Some 8-10 years later, Paul had to remind Timothy of the same thing:  "Wherefore I put thee in remembrance, that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands" (2 Timothy 1:6).

"I have written" (KJV) is translated in the ASV as "I write" and such a translation would be another example of the "epistolary aorist,"  a literary device by which the writer looks at the writing of this letter from the viewpoint of the READER!  A literal translation would be "I wrote" (or "have written"), but since the reference is to the present letter that he was writing to the Romans, it is translated as "I write."  By this rendering, it is thus assisting the 21st century reader in not having this verb refer to a supposed previous letter to these Romans!  A number of examples of this type of construction are found in the New Testament.

v. 16  -  " ei$)  toV  ei)nai/  me  leitourgoVn   )Ihsou`  Xristou`  ei)$  taV  e&qnh,  i(erourgou`nta  toV  eu)agge/lion  tou`  Qeou`,  i%na  ge/nhtai  h(  prosforaV  tw`n  eq)nw`n  eu)pro/sdekto$,  h(giasme/nh  e)n   (Pneu/mati   (Agi/w| . "

"in order that I should be a minister of Jesus Christ unto the Gentiles, serving the gospel of God as a priest, in order that the offering [up] of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Spirit."

Paul now uses an illustration from the Old Testament and speaks in "sacrificial language,"  putting himself in the role of an O.T. priest making an offering to God.  The verb (hierougeo) means to act as a priest, and in the N.T. is found only here.  The stem is the same for the word temple ("hieron) and priest (hiereus).  In using this term, the Apostle Paul is referring to his preaching the gospel, and the sacrifice offered up is not something which the Gentiles brought to be sacrificed, but is the Gentiles themselves who were the offering (see Romans 12:1-2).

"sanctified by the Holy Spirit"  -  This is not referring to something "better felt than told,"  for according to John 17:17 God the Father sanctifies man through His truth, and did not the Holy Spirit deliver that revealed truth by inspiring men to write and preach?

v. 17  -  " e&xw  ou@n  thVn  kau/xhsin  e)n  Xristw`|   I)hsou`  taV  proV$  toVn  Qeo/vn. "

"Therefore I have [grounds] for boasting in Christ Jesus [in] things [pertaining] to God."

Paul did not take pride in his Jewishness (which must have "smarted" when some Jews first read this letter), but his only glorying was in the work described in v. 16 above.  Paul wrote "For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified" (1 Cor. 2:2) and in Galatians 6:13-14,



we read "They desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.  But be it far from me to glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ."

v. 18  -  " ou)  gaVr  tolmh/sw  lalei`n  ti  w@n  ou)  kateirga/sato  XristoV$  di  ) e)mou`,  ei$)  u(pakohVn  e)qnw`n,  lo/gw|  kaiV  e&rgw|,"

"for I will not dare to speak any of those things Christ did not work out through me, unto [the] obedience of the Gentiles, by word and work."

Another way of stating this (positively) would be:  "I will confine myself to what Christ has wrought by me."  Christ was thus working in Paul, "in word and in deed,"  to bring about the Gentiles' obedience to the gospel.

v. 19  -  " e)n  duna/mei  shmeiw/n  kaiV  tera/twn,  e)n  duna/mei   Pneu/mato$  Qeou`:  w%ste  me  a)poV   (IerousalhVm  kaiV  ku/klw|  me/xri  tou`   I)llurikou`  peplhrwke/nai  toV  eu)agge/lion  tou`  Xristou`: "

"by [the] power of signs and wonders, by [the] power of [the] Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about unto Illyricum I have fully set forth the gospel of Christ." 

There are many passages of Scripture which show the unity of the Godhead in the working out of man's salvation, and these three (3) verses (vss. 17-19) ought to be added to such a list.  Paul says that only was Christ working in him in "word and deed,"  but so was the Holy Spirit, Who by "signs and wonders" confirmed that which was revealed as being from God.  The expression "signs and wonders" is not describing different types of action, but is merely the use of two ways of viewing the same thing, showing the effect upon humanity.  Here we have emphasized for us both "source" and "result" brought about by supernatural phenomena:  (1) Source because the miraculous element showed conclusively that the gospel Paul preached was FROM God, and (2) result because of the reaction it brought about in the mind of those who witnessed such miracles.

Regarding whether or not Paul ever preached in Illyricum, see Acts 20:1-2, and remember that Illyricum was bordering Macedonia (to the N.W. of Macedonia):  "And after the uproar was ceased, Paul called unto him the disciples, and embraced them, and departed for to go into Macedonia, (2) And when he had gone over those parts, he came unto Greece."  Why could not "those parts" be including Illyricum also?

v. 20  -  " ou%tw  deV  filotimou/menon  eu)aggeli/zesqai, ou)x  o%pou  w)noma/sqh  Xristo/$,  in%a  mhV  ep) )  a)llo/trion  qeme/lion  oik)odomw`: "

"and thusly I have aspired to evangelize where Christ was not named, in order that I might not build upon another's foundation."

"aspired"  - This term comes from a word whose original meaning was "to be fond of honor."  Moses Lard comments that it is a legitimate motive then for our work as Christians, as long as God's glory and the good of humanity are uppermost in our minds.



There were times, of course, when Paul preached where the gospel had already been proclaimed, yet his primary goal was to seek out virgin territory - a place where the gospel was unknown.  Hence, as Whiteside wrote:  "Paul did not seek easy places, nor places that paid the most money!"  He desired to be a "foundation man."

v. 21  -  " a)lla/,  kaqwV$  ge/graptai,  Oi@$  ou)k  a)nhgge/lh  periV  au)tou`,  o&yontai:   kaiV  oi%  ou)k  a)khko/asi,  sunh/sousi."

"But, as it has been written,  to whom it was not announced concerning him, they shall see;  also the ones who have not heard, they shall understand."

To further emphasize his mission, Paul uses words from Isaiah 52:15.  At the outset of this letter, Paul describes the sad plight of the Gentiles as those upon whom God has given up (1:18-32).  Paul's primary work was working with Gentiles "to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me (Christ)" (Acts 26:18).  Hence Paul shows how is preaching to Gentiles fulfills prophecy.

v. 22  -  " DioV  kaiV  en)ekopto/mhn  taV  pollaV  tou`  el)qein`  proV$  u(ma`$: "

"Wherefore also I was hindered many times to come to you."

What exactly was the hindrance?  Paul would have visited Rome earlier, were it not for this determi- nation of his to preach the gospel in areas where it had not been preached.  Notice this is much more specific than the old excuse used often today:  "I've just been too busy!" The "wherefore" explains it all.

v. 23  -  " nuniV  deV  mhke/ti  to/pon  e&xwn  e)n  toi`$  kli/masi  tou/toi$,  e)pipoqia/n  deV  e&xwn  tou`  elqei`n  proV$  u(ma`$  a)poV  pollw`n  et)w`n,  w($  ea)Vn  poreu/wmai  ei$)  thVn  Spani/an,  e)leu/somai  proV$  u(ma`$: "

"But now no longer having a place in these regions,  and having a desire to come to you for many years;"

"no more place in these regions" - Corinth, for that is where he was when the letter was written.  He had thus pretty well saturated that area with the gospel, and he was anxious to go on to Rome as he had "for many years" longed to do (compare Romans 1:11).  The Greek word for "region" is klima, meaning area, or zone.  Our English word "climate" is derived from this term.

v. 24  -  " w($  e)aVn  poreu/wmai  ei)$  thVn  Spani/an,  e)leu/somai  proV$  u(ma`$:   e)lpi/zw  gaVr  diaporeuo/meno$  qea/sasqai  u(ma`$,  kaiV  u(f  )  u(mw`n  propemfqh`nai  e)kei,`  e)aVn  u(mw`n  prw`ton  a)poV  me/rou$  e)mplhsqw`. "

"Whenever I might go into Spain, I shall come to you all.  For, going through, I hope to see you all, and by you to be sent forward there, if first I might be partially satisfied with your company."

"whensoever"  -  Note the uncertainty!  I'll visit with you brethren when I head for Spain, whenever that is!  It is probable that Paul not only expected their prayers and good wishes, but also some financial assistance from these Roman Christians.  Paul, the apostle, was nonetheless a human being, able to be



discouraged and desirous of companionship.  Here he states that he was looking forward to their company, but already knew that he would not be satisfied, for he could not stay that long.  He would be on his way to yet another "new" field where the gospel had not been preached - Spain!

v. 25  -  " nuniV  deV  poreu/omai  ei)$   (Ierousalh/m,  diakonw`n  toi`$  a(gio/i$. "

"But now I am going to Jerusalem, ministering to the saints."

The verb go, though in the present tense, is obviously denoting a future action, therefore it can be styled a "futuristic present."  We do the same thing in English, saying to another person in the room, "I'm in the restroom," yet they are still in the same living room with you!  

But wait!  There is yet to be another delay.  He would not be coming to Rome immediately, because he first must deliver the financial help contributed by the saints in Achaia and Macedonia for the poor in Jerusalem.  How much importance would you say that Paul attached to benevolent work?

v. 26  -  "eu)do/khsan  gaVr  Makedoni/a  kaiV   )Axai/a  koinwni/an  tinaV  poih/sasqai  ei)$  touV$  ptwxouV$  tw`n  a(giw/n  tw`n  en)   (Ierousalh/m."

"For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a certain contribution unto the poor of the saints who [are] in Jerusalem."

The word for this offering is koinonia,  or fellowship.  It would prove interesting to check the different Greek words for this contribution, both here and in 2 Corinthians 8, 9.  Earlier (over ten years), Paul and Barnabas brought a similar gift to the brethren in Judea during the time of a famine.  A few years later James, Peter, and John exhorted Barnabas and Paul to remember the poor, a thing which Paul "was forward to do" (Galatians 2:10).  The word back of forward is spoudazo, = diligent.  

"The poor of the saints" suggests that not ALL the Jerusalem saints were poor, it appears.

Gentile Christians felt an obligation to their Jewish brethren, for it was through them that they had received the gospel.  In a sense, it was a repayment of a debt - in this case, the material for the spiritual!  They were indebted to those of Jerusalem, for from there the gospel spread, hence they were now willing to assist the "mother church" financially.

v. 27  -  " eu)do/khsan  ga/r,  kaiV  o)feile/tai  au)tw`n  eis)in.  ei)  gaVr  toi`$  pneumatikoi`$  au)tw`n  e)koivw/nhsan  taV  e&qnh,  o)feil/ousi   kaiV  en)  toi`$  sarkikoi`$  leitourgh`sai  au)toi`$. "

"For they were pleased, and they were debtors of them.  For if the Gentiles shared in the spiritual things of them, they also ought to serve them in material things."

Some of those "carnal (KJV) things" would include food, clothing, etc.  There is nothing implied that would sinful whatsoever.  Those magnificent Macedonians (Achaia too) were generous!  How much milk does a cow give?  NONE!  You have to take it.  You tie her up (or enclose her in a stall) to keep her from kicking, then forcibly take the milk!  These people from Macedonia and Achaia were different, for they first gave "themselves" and the finances then came naturally.  



v. 28  -  " tou`to  ou@n  ep)itele/sa$,  kaiV  sfragisa/meno$  au)toi`$  toVn  karpoVn  tou`ton,  a)peleu/somai  di   ) u(mw`n  ei$)  thVn  Spani/an. "

"Therefore when I complete this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will go through you [your area] into Spain."

"sealed"  -  This term is equal to saying "made it official,"  or i.e. "When I have performed this."  The idea of "making it official" is the normal use of "seal" throughout the New Testament, even in Ephesians 1:13 where Paul says that they "were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,"  a reference to the miraculous gifts present among the Ephesian Christians.  That the Ephesian passage is NOT dealing with a "nonmiraculous" indwelling, but the miraculous, is seen in the purpose of a seal.  It was a public sign, a mark, or certification, i.e., something visible!  (Compare Acts 2:33;  Mark 16:20 and Hebrews 2:3-4).  This fact ought to be kept in mind in our study of the various verses dealing with the Holy Spirit.

v. 29  -  " oi@da  deV  o%ti  e)rxo/meno$  proV$  u(ma`$  en)  plhrw/mati  eu)logi/a$  tou`  eu)aggeli/ou  tou`  Xristou`  e)leu/somai."

"And I know that when I come to you all,  I shall come in [the] fullness of [the] blessing of the gospel of Christ."

After the official handing over of the gift, Paul would visit Rome as he passed through on his longer journey to Spain. 

It would appear that this last part of verse 29 is a reference to Paul's imparting spiritual gifts to the church in Rome, as was mentioned in the beginning of this letter to the Romans (Rom. 1:11).  

v. 30  -  " Parakalw`  deV  u(ma`$,  a)delfoi/,  diaV  tou`  Kuri/ou  h(mw`n   )Ihsou`  Xristou`,  kaiV  diaV  th`$  a)ga/ph$  tou`  Pneu/mato$,  sunagwni/sasqai/  moi  en)  tai`$  proseuxai`$  u(peVr  e)mou`  proV$  toVn  Qeo/vn: "

"But I exhort you, brethren, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in prayers on my behalf to God."

Paul desired their prayers, especially since he was about to go back to Jerusalem at the end of his 3rd missionary journey.  He asks the brethren in Rome to pray, and that earnestly.  Vincent says that this verb is used of contending in the Olympic Games, and implies strenuous effort, hence "earnest" prayer. 

"strive" -  from agonidzo from which our English word "agony" is derived.  Hence, it is suitable to render it as Paul saying "agonize together with me in prayer."

v. 31  -  " i%na  r(usqw`  a)poV  tw`n  a)peiqouvntwn  e)n  th`|   )Ioudai/a|,  kaiV  in%a  h(  diakoni/a  mou  h(  ei$) (IerousalhVm  eu)pro/sdekto$  ge/nhtai  toi`$  a(gi/oi$: "

"in order that I might be rescued from the disobedient ones in Judea, and in order that my ministry to for  Jerusalem might be acceptable to the saints."



Paul was concerned about two groups of Jews in this verse:  (1) those who were non-Christians, and (2) those who had obeyed the gospel.  Once he did get back to Jerusalem he would be concerned about how the non-Christian Jews treated him, and asked the Romans to pray that he might be delivered from their fury.  It also seems that he was not quite sure how the Jewish Christians there in Jerusalem would feel about this financial gift he was delivering to them from their Gentile brethren.  Thus he also asked their prayers that it would be accepted by the Jewish brethren, and in that way cement the fellowship between the two races.

v. 32  -  " i%na  e)n  xara`|  e&lqw  proV$  u(ma~$  diaV  qelh/mato$  Qeou`,  kaiV  sunanapau/swmai  u(mi`n. "

"in order that in joy I might come to you all through [the] will of God, and I might be refreshed together with you."   

If their prayers were answered in the way Paul had hoped they would be, then Paul could look forward to his visit at Rome as a kind of rest from conflict and labor (a type of rest and relaxation),  as opposed to many of the places where he had been.

v. 33  -  " o(  deV  QeoV$  th`$  ei)rh/nh$  metaV  pa/ntwn  u(mw`n.  a)mh/n. "

"And the God of peace [be] with all of you.  Amen."

After his request for a place in their prayers, Paul concludes with his own prayer for them, which was that the God of peace be with them.




Price's Notes


Chapter 16

v. 1  -  " Suni/sthmi  deV  u(mi`n  Foi/bhn  thVn  a)delfhVn  h(mw`n,  ou@san  dia/konon  th`$  en)  Kegxreai`$: "

"And I recommend to you Phoebe, our sister, being a servant of the church in Cenchrea"

"commend"  -  This verb in the Greek is composed of the verb "to stand" (histemi) plus the prefix "with" (sun) affixed to the beginning of the verb.  It is not difficult to understand how such a compound resulted in the meaning of standing with, hence "recommending."

The primary issue involved in this verse is whether or not this lady was a "deaconess," an officer in the church.  Since the same word is used for deacons in the church, some conclude that this is an example of a "deaconess."  The selection of a person for a particular work does not make that person an officer, in the usual meaning of that term.  Here the word refers to a lady, since the participle ousan is feminine in gender.  To show that this term means "service" in the N.T., is easily seen in that it is used to describe an humble person (Matt. 23:11), water drawers (John 2:9), a civil ruler (Rom. 13:4), Christ Himself (Rom. 15:8), and the writer of this epistle, Paul (Col. 1:23).  The general usage of this noun should describe EVERY Christian today, man or woman.

This is apparently what Phoebe was - a servant of the church, a dedicated Christian.  Perhaps she assisted in benevolent work, prepared the loaf and cup for the Lord's Supper, or maybe busied herself about the work of the Kingdom.  If this were to be a permanent official position, surely there would be special qualifications given for the office, as there were for "deacons" (1 Tim. 3:8-13).  The evidence is too paltry to construct an official office on the basis of these verses.  Finally, the term it is likely used by Paul in referring to Phoebe because she was delivering this letter to Rome.

v. 2  -  " i%na  au)thVn  prosde/chsqe  e)n  Kuri/w|  a)ci/w$  tw`n  a)gi/wn,  kaiV  parasth`te  au)th`|  en)  w!|  a#n  u(mw`n  xrh/|zh|  pra/gmati:  kaiV  gaVr  au%th  prosta/ti$  pollw`n  eg)enh/qh,  kaiV  au)tou`  em)ou`. "

"in order that you welcome her in [the] Lord worthily of saints, and [that you] might assist her in whatever matter she might have need, for she also has been a helper of many, including myself. " 

Paul exhorts the Christians at Rome to welcome [imperative, hence a command] Phoebe as a fellowChristian, as is suggested by two phrases:  "our sister" as well as "in the Lord."  It is possible that the latter description carries more the idea of "manner," i.e., "with the awareness that you are performing a Christian act."  It is interesting to note that Paul again uses the word histemi (as in the previous verse), but this time it is prefixed by the preposition para instead of sun.  Hence, the idea is "to stand by" (or "assist") Phoebe.

v. 3  -  "  )Aspa/sasqe  Pri/skillan kaiV   A)ku/lan  tou/$  sunergou/$  mou  e)n  Xristw`|   I)hsou`, "

"Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus."



The ASV has "Prisca" and the spelling of "Priscilla" is its diminutive.  Ramsey informs us that "Luke regularly uses the language of conversation, in which the diminutive forms were usual;  and so he speaks of Priscilla, Sopatros and Silas always;  though Paul speaks of Prisca, Sosipatros and Silvanus" usually.  

Why is Priscilla mentioned first?  Some have suggested that perhaps she was the more active of the two in their Christian life; others say that perhaps she had the more dominant personality.

We first met this couple in Acts 18:1ff.,  when they had to leave Rome due to Claudius'  decree ordering Jews to get out (v. 2).  They left and came to the city of Corinth, where they met Paul.  They accom-        panied him to Ephesus, where they stayed for a time.  In fact, when Paul wrote 1 Corinthians, there was a congregation meeting in their home at Ephesus (1 Cor. 16:19).  By the time Paul wrote 2 Timothy, this couple had moved back to Rome, for evidently they had returned to Rome in the interim period and were there when this letter to the Romans was penned.

v. 4  -  " oi%tine$  u(peVr  th`$  yuxh`$  mou  toVn  e(autw`n  tra/xhlon  u(pe/qhkan,  oi!$  ou)k  e)gwV  mo/no$  eu)xaristw`,  a)llaV  kaiV  pa`sai  ai(  ek)klhsi/ai  tw`n  eq)nw`n: "

"ones who on behalf of my life they laid down their own neck, to which ones not I alone thank, but also all the churches of the Gentiles."

"laid down" is literally "placed down" (under the axe, that is!).  Whether literal or figurative, we do not know.  Paul could have been referring to the uproar at Ephesus mentioned in Acts 19:33-41.  Also remember that in 1 Corinthians 15:32, Paul declared:  "If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not?  let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die."  

"neck" -  The word for neck is trachelos, a Greek word which we transliterate as "trachea."

Evidently this couple was quite well-known among the churches, especially among the Gentiles.  Since Paul's special mission was working among Gentiles, then this couple's assistance to Paul worked for the Gentiles advantage that way too.

v. 5  -  " kaiV  thVn  kat ))  oi@kon  au)tw`n  ek)klhsi/an.  a)spa/sasqe   )Epai/neton  toVn  a)gaphto/n  mou,  o%$  e)stin  a)parxhV  th`$   A)xaia/$  ei)$  Xristo/n."

"Also [greet] the church in their house.  Greet Epaenetus my beloved, who is a firstfruit of Asia unto Christ."  

There are no examples of a separate building set apart for Christian worship in the Roman Empire until about the 3rd century.  Thus it appears that various homes were used for assemblies, probably in houses of those who had large rooms where a crowd could gather (see Acts 12:12;  1 Cor. 16:10 [Aquila and Priscilla];  Col. 4:15 [Nymphas] and Philem. 2 [Philemon's house]).

v. 6  -  " a)spa/sasqe  Maria/m,  h%ti$  pollaV  ek)opi/asen  ei$)  h(ma`$. "

"Greet Mary, who labored much for us."



Paul mentions a total of twenty-six persons by name in this chapter.  The KJV translators, perhaps to add variety, translate aspazomai by both "salute" and "greet."  Here is another example of a Christian woman being "honored" for her work.

v. 7  -  " a)spa/sasqe   )Andro/nikon kaiV   I)ouni/an  touV$  suggenei ` $  mou  kaiV  sunaixmalw/tou$  mou,  oi%tine/$  ei)sin  ep)i/shmoi  e)n  toi~$  a)posto/loi$,  oi^  kaiV  proV  em)ou`  gego/nasin  e)n  Xristw`:. "

"Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives and fellow-prisoners, who are outstanding (ones) among the apostles, and who were in Christ before me."

The proper name Andronicus may be a compound word coming from "aner" (man, or male) and the word nikos (victory, or conquer). Whether his parents had anything specific in mind in choosing this name is unknown.  The name Junia can be either masculine or feminine, but it is possible that these two were husband and wife, and relatives of Paul, and not a general reference to Jews.  The perfect tense "have been in Christ" tells us that they still were in Christ.  Note the difference between "have" and "had" as used in English grammar. 

"of note among the apostles" - This phrase could be possibly interpreted in two ways:  (1) distinguished as apostles, which would mean that the general use of the term as "messenger" is used (see notes on Rom. 1:1), and that the name Junia ought to be masculine, as the ASV has it.  If, however, it merely means that (2) these two were well-known to the apostles, it is not improbable that the 2nd word is feminine, and that Andronicus and Junia were husband and wife.  Whether they were married or not, or whether Junias/Junia is male or female, it seems probable that the idea is that they were "well-known" to the apostles.

v. 8  -  " a)spa / sasqe   A)mpli/an  toVn  a)gaphtoVn  mou  e)n  Kuri/w|. "

"Greet Amplias my beloved [in] the Lord."

The fact that this is a Greek name means little, since Jews often adopted a 2nd name for themselves when they resided in another country.

v. 9  -  " a)spa/sasqe  Ou)rbanoVn  toVn sunergoVn  h(mw`n  e)n  Xristw`|,  kaiV  Sta/xun  toVn  )agaphto/n  mou." 

"Greet Urbanus our fellow-worker in Christ, and Stachys my beloved."

Robertson says that the former was a common name among Roman slaves who were a part of various households, and that the latter name was one which was found among members of the imperial household.  Stachys refers to a head of grain, and is found in the LXX, Homer, the papyri, as well as in both Philo and Josephus (Arndt/Gingrich).

v. 10  -  " a)spa/sasqe   )Apellh`n  ton do/kimon  e)n  Xristw`|.  a)spa/sasqe  touV$  ek)  tw`n   )Aristobou/lou. "

"Greet Apelles the approved in Christ;  greet those of the [family] of Aristobulus."



"approved"  -  In secular Greek, this term is used to signify the  testing the testing of gold, hence the idea of "tried and found genuine."  This was Paul's estimation of him as a Christian, which is quite a compliment coming from the Apostle.  It is possible that some of the servants the household of Aristobulus had become Christians (see Acts 28:16-31).

v. 11  -  " a)spa/sasqe   (Hrodi/wna  toVn  suggenh`  mou.  a)spa/sasqe  touV$  e)k  tw`n  Narki/ssou,  touV$  o&nta$  e)n  Kuri/w. "

"Greet Herodion, my relative.  Greet those of the family of Narcissus, those being in [the] Lord."

The first person named may have been a member of the Herod family.  Regarding Narcissus, Robertson states that there was a famous freedman of this name who was put to death by Agrippa.  If so, possibly they were members of his household.

v. 12  -  " a)spa/sasqe  Tru/fainan  kaiV  Trufw`san  taV$  kopiw/sa$  e)n  Kuri/w|.  a)spa/sasqe  Persi/da  thVn  a)gaphth/n,  h%ti$  pollaV   e)kopi/asen  e)n  Kuri/w|."

"Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa, laborers in [the] Lord.  Greet Persis the beloved, who labored  much in [the] Lord."

There are three ladies mentioned in this verse, with the possibility that the first two were sisters, and perhaps even twins, since the same root word is used in both names.  Note that Paul does not say "my beloved," but rather "the beloved";   hence she was loved by the church.

v. 13  -  " a)spa/sasqe   (Rou`fon  toVn  ek)lektoVn  en)  Kuri/w|,  kaiV  thVn  myte/ra  au)tou`  kaiV  e)mou`."

"Greet Rufus, the chosen [one] in the Lord, and his mother and mine."

This does not mean that Rufus and Paul were actually kin to each other, but is only suggesting that the mother of Rufus had at some time in the past treated Paul as one of her own sons, and that he therefore had a son's affection for her too.

v. 14  -  " a)spa/sasqe   )Asu/gkriton,  Fle/gonta,   (Erma`n, Patro/ban,   (Ermh`n,  kaiV  touV$  au)toi`$  a)delfou/$."

"Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren with them."

The last comment by Paul may suggest a small congregation met in the house of some of those named.

v. 15  -  " a)spa/sasqe  Filo/logon  kai V   )Iouli/an,  Nhre/a  kaiV  thVn  a)delfhVn  au)tou`,  kaiV   O)lumpa`n,  kaiV  touV$  suVn  au)toi`$  pa/nta$  a(gio/u$."

"Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all [the] saints with them."

Paul had many close friends, and here is quite a list (for a similar list, see Colossians 4:7-17).  Some have conjectured that these first two mentioned were also husband wife.  Why Paul mentions Nereus by name, but not his sister, is not known.  The close affinity between Olympas and the word Olympics is



apparent, but one can only wonder if a connection between the two is significant. Did the parents name this child after the Olympic Games?  Who knows?  A similar question might be posed regarding Philologus.  If Philadelphia means brotherly love, how about Philologus meaning "Word lover"?  Again, who knows what his parents had in mind?  Here, too, it is possible that a small congregation met in this person's house.

v. 16  -  " a)spa/sasqe a)llh/lou$  e)n  filh/mati  a(gi/w|.  a)spa/zontai  u)ma`$  ai(  ek)klhsi/ai  tou`  Xristou`."

"Greet one another with a holy kiss.  The churches of Christ greet you."

In that part of the world, the kiss was (and is) a common salutation among relatives and friends.  Paul is not establishing a "church ordinance,"  but merely refers to a common custom already in vogue, and requests that the custom include spiritual virtue  -  "holy."  In the West, the warm handshake is the custom that prevails, and even a hug.  The papyri show that these salutations at the close of a letter were quite common, that it was used ordinary correspondence, and the usual verb is "salute," or "greet." For similar usages in the New Testament, see the following verses:  1 Cor. 16:20, 2 Cor. 13:12, 1 Thess. 5:26 and 1 Pet. 5:14.

If Paul could call a number of churches "the churches of Christ" (plural),  what would they have been called in the singular?  It is true that this is a descriptive term, but the question posed above is still a penetrating query!  The fact is that they were all the same church, found in different localities, in the first century. Denominational groups had not come on the scene until centuries later.

These were probably Gentile congregations who had some of their members join Paul about that time to bring the contributions from the members back home.  Acts 20:4 lists Berea, Thessalonica and Derbe, along with the churches of Asia.  Philippi was probably represented by Luke, and Corinth was the church with which Paul was staying at the time of his writing this epistle.

v. 17  -  " Parakalw`  deV  u(ma$,  a)delfoi/,  skopei`n  touV$  taV$  dixostasi/a$ kaiV  taV  ska/ndala,  paraV  thVn  didaxhVn  h^n  u(mei$`  e)ma/qete,  poiou`nta$:  kaiV  ek)kli/nate  a(p )  au)tw`n."

"I exhort you, brethren, to look out for those who make divisions and offenses, contrary to the teaching which you learned, and avoid them."

Before closing this letter, Paul issues a final warning for them to be on the alert for false teachers.

"contrary to the doctrine"  covers a wide field, and simply means that we must have N.T. authority for that which we practice.  Such false teachers are to be marked and shunned.  A word of caution is in order at this point:  The use of Matthew 18:15-17 to soften the thrust of this text is not only unwise, but unscriptural!  Christ is not saying that the false teacher must first be personally contacted before one is permitted to publicly rebuke his erroneous doctrine!  In this reference to Matthew 18, Christ is dealing only with situations that are personal, one brother suffers because of another brother, and Christ then outlines the procedure to remedy that problem.  BUT Paul speaks (here in Romans 16) not of "personal" injury, but PUBLIC FALSE DOCTRINE!



Did Paul contact the man who had taken his father's wife before publicly rebuking him (1 Cor. 5)?  What about the case of Hymenaeus and Philetus (2 Tim. 2:15-18)?  To wait for a personal visit only permits the false teacher to go unhindered that much longer!  Souls are at state, and immediate action is called for!

v. 18  -  " oi(  gaVr  toiou`toi  tw`|  Kuri/w|  h(mw`n    )Ihsou`  Xristw`|  ou)  douleu / ousin,  a)llaV  th`|  e(autw`n  koili/a|:  kaiV  diaV  th`$  xrhstologi/a$  kaiV  eu)logi/a$  e)capatw`si  taV$  kardi/a$  tw`n  a)ka/kwn."

"For such ones do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ,  but their own belly.  And by kind words and praise  they lead astray the simple-minded. "

These false teachers are serving only their own interests.  The "simple-minded" comes from akakon = not evil, not referring to the unintelligent, but primarily the "unsuspecting."  The deceiver never announces that he is a "wolf in sheep's clothing" of course, for he would lose his followers immediately.  Therefore by his smooth, glib tongue, if folks are not wary, he soon has them "eating out of his hand."  The word we translated  as "praise" (eulogias) is a compound, consisting of the prefix eu = well, good and the noun logia = speech, and is the word from which our English word "eulogy"  is derived. The term suggests "flattery."   Elsewhere Paul warned that "it is no great thing if his (Satan's) ministers also fashion themselves as ministers of righteousness" (2 Cor. 11:15);  i.e., it is something that should be expected!

v. 19  -  "  h(  gaVr  u(mw`n  u(pakohV  ei)$  pa/nta$  a)fi/keto.  Xai/rw  ou@n  toV  ef)  )  u(mi`n:  qe/lw  deV  u(ma`$  sofou V $  meVn  ei@nai  ei)$  toV   a)gaqo/n,  a)kerai/ou$  deV  ei)$  toV  kako/n."

"For the report of your obedience has reached everyone.  Therefore I rejoice over you all;  but I desire [for] you all to be wise indeed unto good and innocent unto [as far as] evil [is concerned]."

This verse is one of the reasons why we know that the church there in Rome had been around quite a while when Paul wrote this letter about  A.D. 58.  It was old enough to have established a good reputation.  

"be simple unto that which is evil"  -  The word "simple" or "innocent" literally means "pure, unmixed, or unadulterated".  Whiteside writes:  "One does not have to indulge in evil things in order to know what is evil!"  The best revealer of darkness is light!

v. 20  -  " o(  deV  QeoV$  th`$  ei)rh/nh$  suntri/yei  toVn  Satana`n  u(poV  touV$  po/da$  u(mw`n  e)n  ta/xei.  (H  xa/ri$  tou`  Kuri/ou  h(mw`n   )Ihsou`  Xristou`  meq   ) u(mw`n.   a)mh/n."

"And the God of peace shall trample Satan under your feet quickly.  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with you.  Amen."

The church that exists in peace can be spoken of as trampling Satan under foot, for that does not allow him to get a "toe-hold" in that congregation.  "Shortly" does suggest immediacy, i.e., in the lifetime of Paul's original readers, thus the above explanation of "bruising" Satan seems to refer to a particular event.  Perhaps it alludes to God's triumphing over Satan through their obedience of Paul's teachings, and Satan's opposing power personified by those Jews and Romans who were persecuting them.



v. 21  -  "   )Aspa/zontai  u(ma`$  Timo/qeo$  o(  sunergo/$  mou,  kaiV  Lou/kio$  kaiV   I)a/swn  kaiV  Swsi/patro$  oi(  suggenei`$  mou. "

"Timothy, my fellow-worker, and Lucius and Jason and Sosipater, my relatives, greet you all."

The name "Timothy" is interesting, coming from timao = "to honor,"  and theos = "God,"  hence one who honors God.  It would appear that the young man lived up to what his name given at birth implies!

"relatives" or "kinsmen" would seem to apply to all three men mentioned in this verse.  As earlier, it could mean the actual relatives of Paul, or perhaps those of the same background,  i.e. Jews.  Its primary meaning  is "related by blood,"  but it is used in a wider sense of "fellow-countrymen" (see Rom. 9:3).

 v.  22  -  " a)spa/zomai  u(ma`$  eg)wV  Ter/tio$,  o(  gra/ya$  thVn  ep)istolh/n,  en) Kuri/w|."  

"I Tertius, the [one] who wrote the letter, greet you in [the] Lord."

Paul's usual custom was to have a secretary to do his writing for him as he dictated the letter.  This is another example of the "epistolary aorist" (see notes under 15:15).  At times Paul would add a little at the end of a letter in his own handwriting, perhaps to show a personal interest, or as a protection against forgery.  In 1 Cor. 1:21, he writes:  "The salutation of me Paul with mine own hand."  In Col. 4:18 he says:  "The salutation by the hand of me Paul."  In Gal. 6:11:  "Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand" and see also 2 Thess. 3:11.  This verse (Rom. 16:22) is the only place where the  secretary is actually named.

v.  23  -  " a)spa/zetai  u(ma`$  Ga/io$  o(  ce/no$  mou  kaiV  th`$  ek)klhsi/a$  o%lh$.  a)spa/zetai  u(ma`$   &Erasto$  o(  oik)onom/o$  th`$  po/lew$,  kaiV  Kou/arto$  o(  a)delfo/$. "

"Gaius, host of me and the whole church, greets you all.  Erastus, manager of the city, and Quartus greets you all." 

There were three people by the name of Gaius in the N.T.:  one from Macedonia (Acts 19:29), another of Derbe (Acts 20:4), and one from Corinth (1 Cor. 1:14).  The latter is the one mentioned here in Romans.  Paul had earlier been responsible for this man's conversion to Christ, whom Paul baptized (1 Cor. 1:14), and now Paul stays with the man, perhaps for the entire period of three months he was in Corinth (Acts 20:2-3).

It is probable that Gaius was extending hospitality to the entire congregation, i.e. furnishing space for its assemblies.  If that is the case, it says something regarding his being quite well-to-do, financially speaking.  Likewise Erastus was a person of some note in Corinth, being the city manager, hence the influence of the gospel was having an impact among those of some repute.

v. 24  -  "  (H  xa/ri$  tou`  Kuri/ou  h(mw`n   )Ihsou`  Xristou`  metaV  pa/ntwn  u(mw`n.  a)mh/n."

"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with all of you.  Amen."

This is nearly a duplicate of the latter part of verse 20 above, except that the writer adds the word "all"



(panton) here in v. 24.  Some contend that the manuscripts Aleph  A,  B,  C, and the Coptic version do not have v. 24 in them, then this verse is not genuine (i.e. a part of the original autograph copy of Romans).  However, merely because material is repeated does not mean that it is not genuine (compare Isaiah 2:2-3 with Micah 4:1-2).  Additionally it should be noted that Aleph, A, B, and C manuscripts often differ from each other.  For example the omission of the last twelve verses of Mark's Gospel is a good case in point.  As one has said:  These mss. offer "divergent testimony; and therefore, so habitually contradict one another, as effectually to invalidate their own evidence throughout" (Burgon, John.  The Revision Revised, footnote on page xviii).  Burgon's book would make a fine addition to the library of every preacher of the gospel!

v. 25  -  " Tw`|  de V duname/nw|  u(ma`$  sthri/cai  kataV  toV  eu)agge/lio/n  mou  kaiV  toV  kh/rugma   )Ihsou`  Xristou`,  kataV  a)poka/luyin  musthri/ou  xro/noi$  aiw)ni/oi$  sesighme/nou,"

"and to the one empowered to establish you all according to my gospel and the message of Jesus Christ, according to the revealed mystery having been kept secret in times past."

The relationship of the Jew and Gentile in the church was a huge problem in Paul's day, and is referred to once again here at the close of this epistle to the Romans.  The Jewish brethren (Christians) in the first century knew Paul's teaching in this regard. A mystery is that which is concealed, or not understood.  To identify this mystery which Paul said has "now" been made manifest, see Ephesians 3:5-6:  "which in other generations was not made known unto the sons of men, as it hath now been revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;  to wit, that the Gentiles are fellow-heirs, and fellow-members of the body, and fellow-partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel."

Of course, Paul's gospel (see Rom. 2:16) was no different than that preached by the other apostles, for it came by revelation (1 Cor. 14:37, et al.), but since Paul was to work primarily among the Gentiles, Jewish prejudice toward the Gentiles was directed toward Paul.  Note that Paul does not say the previous generations knew nothing of the gospel (see Galatians 3:8), but rather that their knowledge of it was small in comparison to what had been revealed about it NOW in the first century!

Judaizing teachers in the church constantly "dogged" his steps, persecuting him, and were aggravated at him since he would not permit them to bind circumcision on the Gentiles, "no, not for an hour" (Gal. 2:35).  It became increasingly necessary for Paul to defend his apostleship, and especially his being sent to these very Gentiles (Acts 22:21f.;  Gal. 2:8).  Hence Paul's usage of "my gospel" here and in Rom. 2:16 takes on added meaning.

Though the Judaizers were trying to make a distinction between Paul's gospel and the gospel of Christ, they were one and the same thing.  There is but one gospel given by heaven, and it was "universal" in scope - so the Jew had better get used to the idea.

This was earlier suggested as one of the reasons why Paul may have desired to go to Rome and "impart some spiritual gift" (Rom. 1:11),  for that would settle this matter of his apostleship!  (see 1 Cor. 9:2;  Acts 8:14-17).



v. 26  -  " fanerwqe/nto$  deV  nu`n,  dia/  te  grafw`n  profhtikw`n,  kat  )  e)pitaghVn  tou`  aiw)ni/ou  Qeou`,  ei)$  u(pakohVn  pi/stew$  ei)$  pa/nta  taV  e&qnh  gnwrisqe/nto$,"

"but made manifest now, through the writings of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, having been made known for [the] obedience of faith unto all the nations,"

Question?  If this "mystery" (that is, Jew and Gentile united in one body) was "kept in silence through times eternal,"  how could it have been known by the writings of the prophets?

(1) The prophets' writings were obscure, hence it could be said that those truths were hidden until the first century (check 1 Peter 1:10-12;  Gal. 3:8, etc.)

(2) Or as David Lipscomb suggests:  "The apostles are here called 'prophets'" and the reference is to those of the 1st century who revealed God's message, and as he continues, "Paul feels that the letter he has just written has this well as others which had proceeded from his pen."

"obedience of faith"  -  As in Romans 1:5, Paul again mentions a phrase which blows a hole in the theory of "faith only."  Paul says that the gospel was revealed for the express purpose of causing all nations (Jew and Gentile) to become obedient to the faith - i.e. obedient to the gospel!

v. 27  -  " mo/nw|  sofw | `  Qew~|,  diaV   I)hsou`  Xristou`,  h(  do/ca  ei)$  touV$  aiw)`na$.  a)mh/n."

"To [the] only wise God, [be] glory through Jesus Christ, forever.  Amen."

"through Jesus Christ" - The Son came to earth to reveal God to mankind (John 5:37), and said: "he that hath seen me hath seen the Father" (John 14:9).  Christ further stated:  "That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father.  He that honoreth not the Son honoreth not the Father which hath sent him" (John 5:23), and then months later, nearing the crucifixion, He said as he prayed to God: "Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee...O Father, glorify thou me with thy own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was" (John 17:1, 5).  Right before His death on the cross, Jesus Christ said "It is finished" (John 19:30);  He had honored the Father by "doing the will of the Father who sent him and to finish his work" (John 4:34).   Indeed, it was accomplished; it was finished!  Now, He sends His followers to continue this important work (John 17:18).










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