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TEXT. 21 But now the righteousness of God, without the law, is manifested,
being witnessed by the law and the prophets ; 22 Even the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ,
unto all, and upon all them that believe ; for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ :
PARAPHRASE. obedience to a law!, nom man can attain to an exact conformity to the rule of right, so as to be righteous in the sight of God. For by law, which is the publishing the rule with a penalty, we are not delivered from the power of sin, nor can it help men to righteousness", but by law we come experimentally to know sin, in the force and power of it, since we
find it prevail upon us, notwithstanding the punishment of 21 death is, by the law, annexed to it. But the righteousness of
God, that righteousness which he intended, and will accept, and is a righteousness not within the rule and rigour of law, is now made manifest, and confirmed by the testimony of the law and the prophets, which bear witness of this truth, that
Jesus is the Messias, and that it is according to his purpose and 22 promise, That the righteousness of God, by faith in Jesus the
Messias, is extended to, and bestowed on, all who believe in 23 him P, (for there is no difference between them. They have
all, both Jews and Gentiles, sinned, and fail of attaining that 24 glory' which God hath appointed for the righteous) Being
NOTES. 20 ''Eť čpywr yóuou, I should render, “ by deeds of law,” i. e. by actions of con
formity to a law requiring the performance of the dixalwa @€0, the right rule of God (mentioned, chap. i. 32,) with a penalty annexed, “no flesh can be justified ” but every one, failing of an exact conformity of his actions to the immutable rectitude of that eternal rule of right, will be found onrighteous, and so incur the penalty of the law. That this is the meaning of pyo vójou, is evident, because the apostle's declaration here is concerning all men, wãou oápe. But we know the heathen world were not under the law of Moses: and accordingly St. Paul does not say, és öpYWY toữ vóuou, “by the deeds of the law,” but és épywr youou, “ by deeds of law." Though in the foregoing and following verse, where he would specify the law of Moses, he uses the article with vópos three times. m“No man.” St. Paul uses here the word flesh for man emphatically, as that wherein the force of sin is seated. Vid. chap. vii. 14, 18, and viii. 13. * The law cannot help men to righteousness. This, which is but implied here, he is large and express in, chap. vii. and is said expressly, chap. viii. 3. Gal. iii. 21.
• Chap. vii. 13. 22 - Vid. chap. x. 12. Gal. iii. 22–28. 23 . Here the glory, that comes from God, or by his appointment, is called
“the glory of God," as the righteousness, which comes from him, or by his appointment, is called, “the righteousness of God," chap. i. 17, and the rule of moral rectitude, which has God for its author, or is appointed by him, is
TEXT. 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his
blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
PARAPHRASE. made righteous gratis by the favour of God, through the 25 redemption' which is by Jesus Christ; Whom God hath set
forth to be the propitiatory or mercy-seats in his own blood',
NOTES. called Orsolwe Oscu, chap. i. 32. That this is the glory here meant, vid. chap. ii.
7,10. In the same sense the glory of God is used, chap. v. 2. 24 Redemption signifies deliverance, but not deliverance from every thing, but
deliverance from that, to which a man is in subjection or bondage. Nor does redemption by Jesus Christ import, there was any compensation made to God, by paying what was of equal value, in consideration whereof they were deliver. ed; for that is inconsistent with what St. Paul expressly says here, viz. that sinners are justified by God gratis, and of his free bounty. What this redemption is, St. Paul tells us, Eph. i. 7. Col. i. 14, even the forgiveness of sins. But if St. Paul had not been so express in defining what he means by redemption, they yet would be thought to lay too much stress upon the criticism of a word, in the translation, who would thereby force from the word, in the original, a necessary sense, which it is plaiu it hath not. That redeeming, in the sacred Scripture language, signifies not precisely paying an equivalent, is so clear, that nothing can be more. I shall reser my reader to three or four places amongst a great number, Exod. vi. 6. Deut. vii. 8, and xv. 12, and xxiv. 18. But if any one will, from the literal signification of the word in English, persist in it, against St. Paul's declarations, that it necessarily implies an equivalent price paid, I desire him to consider to whom : and that, if we will strictly adhere to the metaphor, it must be to those whom the redeemed are in bondage to, and from whom we are redeemed, viz. sin and Satan. If he will not believe his own system for this, let him believe St. Paul's words, Tit. ii. 14, “ Who gave hineself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity.” Nor could the price be paid to God, in strictness of justice (for that is made the argument here;) unless the same person ought, by that strict justice, to have both the thing redeemed, and the price paid for its redemption. For it is to God we are redeemed, by the death of Christ, Rev. v. 9, “ Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us
to God by thy blood. 25 • 'Inashpov, signifies propitiatory, or mercy-seat, and not propitiation, as Mr.
Mede has rightly observed upon this place, in his Discourse on God's House, $ 1. • The Alexandrine copy omits the words Ord wisews, by faith :” which seems conformable to the sense of the apostle here: he says, that God hath set forth Christ to be the propitiatory in his blood. The atonement, under the law, was made by blood, sprinkled on the propitiatory or mercy-seat, Lev. xvi. 14. Christ, says St. Paul here, is now set out, and shown by God, to be the real propitiatory, or mercy-seat, in his own blood ; see Heb. ix. 25, 26, where the sacrifice of him. self is opposed to the blood of others. God hath set him out to be so, to declare his righteousness; the mercy-seat being the place wherein God apake and de. clared his pleasure, Exod. xxv. 22. Numb. xvii. 8, 9. And it was there where God always appeared, Lev. xvi. 2. It was the place of his presence, and therefore he is said to dwell between the cherubims, Psal. lxxx. 1. 2 Kings xix. 15. For between the cherubims was the mercy-seat. In all which respects our Saviour, who was the antitype, is properly called the propitiatory.
TEXT. 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness; that he might be
just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
PARAPHRASE. for the manifestation of his [God's] righteousness", by passing overw their transgressions, formerly committed, which he hath
borne with hitherto, so as to withhold his hand from casting off 26 the nation of the Jews, as their past sins deserved. For the
manifesting of his righteousness * at this time, that he might be just, in keeping his promise, and be the justifier of every one, not who is of the Jewish nation or extraction, but of the
NOTES. u 4:2110 cúvn, “righteousness," seems to be used here, in the same sense it is ver. 5, for “the righteousness of God,” in keeping his word with the nation of the Jews, notwithstanding their provocations. Aud indeed, with the following words of this verse, contains in it a farther answer to the Jews' iusinuation, of God's being hard to their nation, by showing that God had been very favourable to thein, in not casting them off, as they had deserved, till, according to his promise, he had sent them the Messias, and they had rejected him. w And Thu hópeoiv, “ by passing over.” I do not remember any place where To beceros siguifies remission, or forgiveness, but passing by, or passing over, as onr translation has it in the margin, i. e. overlooking, or, as it were, not minding ; in which sense it cannot be applied to the past sins of private persons, for God neither remits, nor passes them by, so as not to take potice of them. But this ápeous TWY TA poveyovót wy de pcepinuétwv, passing over past sins, is spoken nationally, in respect of the people of the Jews; who, though they were a very sinful nation, as appears by the places here brought against i hem by St. Paul, yet God passed by all that, and would not be hindered by their past sinfulness from being just, in keeping his promise, in exhibiting to them Christ, the propitiatory. But, though he would not be provoked by their past sins, so as to cast them off from being his people, before he had sent them the promised Messias, to be their Saviour ; yot, after that, when, at the due time, he had manifested his righteousness to them, “ that he might be just, and the justifier of those who believe in Jesus,” he no longer bore with their sinful obstinacy ; but, when they rejected the Saviour (whom he had sent, according to his promise) from being their King, God rejected them from being his people, and took the Gentiles into bis church, and made them his people, jointly and equally with the few believing Jews. This is plainly the sense of the apostle here, where he is discoursing of the nation of the Jews and their state, in comparison with the Gentiles ; not of the state of private persons. Let any one without prepossession attentively read the
context, and he will find it to be so. 26 Y ainavo cúuns autou, “ his righteousness,” is here to be understood in both
senses in which St. Paul had used it before in this chapter, viz. ver. 5 and 22, as it is manifested by St. Paul's explaining of it himself, in these words immediately following : “ that he might be just, and the justifier of him who believeth in Jesus,” which are the two senses wherein the righ of God is used. y" At this time,” viz. The fulness of time, according to his promise.
TEXT. 27 Where is boasting then ? it is excluded. By what law? of works?
Nay: but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude, that a man is justified by faith, without the
deeds of the law. 29 Is he the God of the Jews only? Is he not also of the Gentiles ?
Yes, of the Gentiles also. 30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith,
and uncircumcision through faith.
PARAPHRASE. 27 faith in Jesus Christ. What reason, then, have you Jews to
glory, and set yourselves so much above the Gentiles, in judging them, as you do? None at all : boasting is totally
excluded. By what law ? By the law of works ? No, but 28 by the law of faith. I conclude, therefore b, that a man is 29 justified by faith, and not by the works of the law. Is
God the God of the Jews only, and not of the Gentiles 30 also ? Yea, certainly of the Gentiles also. Since the time is
come that God is no longer one to the Jews, and another to the Gentiles, but he is now become one and the same. God to them all, and will justify the Jews by faith, and the Gentiles
NOTES. 3 Tor éx disews, 'inoo, if this phrase had been translated, him that is of the faith of Jesus, as it is chap. iv. 16, and Gal. iii. 7, rather than him which beliereth in Jesus, it would better have expressed the apostle's meaning here, which was to distinguish oí éx uíçews, those who are of faith, from oi fx epilouñs, or oi éx vóusu, those who are of the circumcision, or those who are of the law, speaking of them as of two sorts, or races of men, of two different extractions. To understand this place fully, let any one read chap. iv. 12—16. Gal. iii. 7-10, where he will
find the apostle's sense more at large. 27 a The glorying here spoken of, is that of the Jews, i.e. their judging of the Gen
tiles, and their contempt of them, which St. Paul had before in several places taken notice of. And here, to take down their pride and vanity, he tells them it is wholly excluded by the Gospel, wherein God, who is the God of the Gentiles as well as of the Jews, justifieth by faith alone the Jews as well as the Gentiles, since no man could be justified by the deeds of the law. This seems to be said to the converted Jews, to stop their thinking that they had any advantage orer the Gentiles under the Gospel. No, says he, the Gospel, which is the law of faith, lays you equal with the Gentiles, and you bare no ground to assume any thing to yourselves, or set yourselves above them, pow under the Messias. This, and all the rest to this purpose in this epistle, is said to establish the converted Romans in their title to the farour of God, equally with the Jews, in the Gospel, and to fortify them against any disturbance that might be given them by the pretending Jews, which is the principal design of this epistle, as we hare already
observed, 28 b «Therefore.” This ivference is drawn from what he had taught, ver. 23.
c Vid. Acts siii. 39, chap. viii. 3. Gal. ii. 16. 30 d 'Etsites eis ó còs, “since God is one.” He that will see the force of St. Paul's
reasoning here, must look to Zachary xiv. 9, from whence these words are taken,
TEXT. 31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid : yea,
we establish the law.
also through faith, who, by the law of Moses, were heretofore 31 shut oute from being the people of God. Do we then make
the law insignificant, or useless, by our doctrine of faith ? By no means : but, on the contrary, we establish and confirm the law.
NOTES. where the prophet, speaking of the time when the Lord shall be King over all the earth, and not barely over the little people shut up in the land of Canaan, he says, “in that day there shall be one Lord," i. e. God shall not be, as he is now, the God of the Jews alone, whom only he hath known, of all the people of the earth : but he shall be the God of the Gentiles also, the same merciful, reconciled God to the people of all nations. This prophecy the Jews understood of the times of the Messias, and St. Paul here presses them with it. e It was impossible for remote nations to keep the law of Moses, a great part of
the worship required by it being local, and confined to the temple at Jerusalem. 31 Nópov, “ law,” is here repeated twice, without the article ; and it is plain that
by it St. Paul does not mean precisely the Mosaical law, but so much of it as is contained in the natural and eternal rule of right, mentioned chap. i. 33, and xi. 26, and is again, by a positive command, re-enacted and continued as a law under the Messias, vid. Matth. xxviii. 20. 8 “Establish." The doctrine of justification by faith necessarily supposeth a rule of righteousness, which those, who are justified by faith, come short of; and also a punishment incurred, from which they are set free, by being justified : and so this doctrine establishes a law; and accordingly the moral part of the law of Moses, that Soxalwpa toữ 80ī, as the apostle calls it in the place above quoted, chap. i. 32, is enforced again, by our Saviour and the apostles, in the Gospel, with penalties annexed to the breach of it.
CHAPTER IV. 1--25.
CONTENTS. St. Paul having, in the foregoing section, cut off all glorying from the Jews, upon the account of their having the law, and shown, that that gave them no manner of title or pretence to be