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CHAPTER V. 1-11.
St. Paul, in the foregoing chapters, has examined the glorying of the Jews, and their valuing themselves so highly above the Gentiles, and shown the vanity of their boasting in circumcision and the law, since neither they, nor their father Abraham, were justified, or found acceptance with God, by circumcision, or the deeds of the law: and therefore they had no reason so as they did to press circumcision and the law on the Gentiles, or exclude those, who had them not, from being the people of God, and unfit for their communion, in and under the Gospel. In this section, he comes to show what the convert Gentiles, by faith, without circumcision, or the law, had to glory in, viz. the hope of glory, ver. 2, their sufferings for the Gospel, ver. 3, and God as their God, ver. 11. In these three it is easy to observe the thread and coherence of St. Paul's discourse here, the intermediate verses (according to that abounding with matter and overflowing of thought he was filled with) being taken up with an accidental train of considerations, to show the reason they had to glory in tribulations.
TEXT. 1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through
our Lord Jesus Christ : 2 By whom also we have access, by faith, into this grace, wherein we
stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God, 2 through our Lord Jesus Christ, By whom we have had ad
mittance, through faith, into that favour, in which we have stood, and glory b in the hope of the glory which God has in
NOTES. 1 “We," i. e. we Gentiles that are not under the law. It is in their names
that St. Paul speaks, in the three last verses of the foregoing chapter, and all through this section, as is evident from the illation here, “ therefore being justified by faith, we.” It being an inference, drawn from his having proved, in the former chapter, that the promise was not to the Jews alone, but to the Gentiles also; and that justification was, not by the law, but by faith, and conse
quently designed for the Gentiles as well as the Jews. 2 b Kauxóueda, “ we glory.” The same word here for the convert Gentiles, that
TEXT. 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also, knowing that
tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience, and experience, hope ; 5 And hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed
abroad in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us. 6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died
for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet, peradventure,
for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love towards us, in that, while we were
yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved
from wrath through him.
PARAPHRASE. 3 store for us. And not only so, but we glory in tribulation 4. also, knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience
giveth us a proof of ourselves, which furnishes us with 5 hope; And our hope maketh not ashamed, will not deceive
us, because the sense of the love of God is poured out
into our hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us * 6 For when the Gentiles were yet without strength t, void
of all help or ability to deliver ourselves, Christ, in the time that God had appointed and foretold, died for us, who
lived without the acknowledgment and worship of the true 7 Godt. Scarce is it to be found that any one will die for a
just man, if peradventure one should dare to die for a good 8 man: But God recommends, and herein shows the greatness
of his loved towards us, in that, whilst we Gentiles were a 9 mass of profligate sinners , Christ died for us. Much more,
NOTES. he had used before, for the boasting of the Jews, and the same word he used, where he examined what Abraham had found. The taking notice whereof, as we have already observed, may help to lead us into the apostle's sense : 'and plainly shows us here, that St. Paul, in this section, opposes the advantages the Gentile converts to Christianity have, by faith, to those the Jews gloried in, with
so much haughtiness and contempt of the Gentiles. 5 e" Because.” * The force of this inference seems to stand thus: the hope
of eternal happiness, which we glory in, cannot deceive us, because the gifts of the Holy Ghost, bestowed upon us, assure us of the love of God towards us, the Jews themselves acknowledging that the Holy Ghost is given to none but those
who are God's own people. 8 d Another evidence St. Paul gives them here, of the love of God towards them,
and the ground they had to glory in the hopes of eternal salvation, is the death of Christ for them, whilst they were yet in their Gentile state, which he describes
by calling them, 6,8 e + 'Abercīs,'“ without strength;" 'Aosbīs, “ ungodly;"' 'Apapiwkol, “sin.
ners;" 'Ex@pol, “ enemies :" these four epithets are given to them as Gentiles,
NOTE. they being used by St. Paul, as the proper attributes of the heathen world, as considered in contradistinction to the Jewish nation. What St. Paul says of the Gentiles in other places will clear this. The helpless condition of the Gentile world in the state of Gentilism, signified by áo beveis, without strength, he terms, Col. ii. 13, dead in sin, a state, if any, of weakness. And hence he says to the Romans, converted to Jesus Christ,“ yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and yourselves as instruments of righteousness unto God," chap. vi. 13. How he describes ácibelay, ungodliness, mentioned chap. i. 18, as the proper state of the Gentiles, we may see ver. 21, 23. That he thought the title djecplwhol, “ sinners," belonged peculiarly to the Gentiles, in contradistinction to the Jews, he puts it past doubt, in these words : “
we who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles," Gal. ii. 15. See also chap. vi. 17—22. And as for éxOpol, “ enemies,” you have the Gentiles before their conversion to Christianity so called, Col. i. 21. St. Paul, Eph. ii. 1-13, describes the heathen a little more at large, but yet the parts of the character he there gives them we may find comprised in these four epithets; the asgerais, “ weak," ver. 1, 5, the doebeīsi “ ungodly," and åpapiwnol, “ sinners," rer. 2, 3, and the exOpol, “ enemies," ver. 11, 12.
If it were remembered that St. Paul all along, through the eleven first chape ters of this epistle, speaks nationally of the Jews and Gentiles, as it is risible he does, and not personally of single men, there would be less difficulty, and fewer mistakes, in understanding this epistle. This one place we are upon, is a sufficient instance of it. For if by these terms here, we shall understand him to denote all men personally, Jews as well as Gentiles, before they are savingly engrafted into Jesus Christ, we shall make his discourse here disjointed, and his sense mightily perplexed, if at all consistent.
That there were some among the heather as innocent in their lives, and as far from enmity to God, as some among the Jews, cannot be questioned. Nay, that many of them were not ågebeīs, but o¢66meros, worshippers of the true God, if we could doubt of it, is manifest out of the Acts of the Apostles; but yet St. Paul, in the places above quoted, pronounces them altogether dosbeis, or ábel, (for that, by these two terms, applied to the same persons, he means the same, i. e. such as did not acknowledge and worsbip the true God, seems plain) ungodly, and sinners of the Gentiles, as nationally belonging to them, in contra
distinction to the people of the Jews, who were the people of God, whilst the ( other were the provinces of the kingdom of Satan : Not but that there were
singers, heinous singers among the Jews : but the nation, considered as one body and society of men disowned and declared against and opposed itself to those crimes and impurities which are mentioned by St. Paul, chap. i. 24, &c. as woven into the religious and politic constitutions of the Gentiles. There they had their full scope and swing, had allowance, countenance, and protection. The idolatrous nations had, by their religions, laws, and forms of government, made themselves the open votaries, and were the professed subjects of devils. So St. Paul, 1 Cor. x. 20, 21, truly calls the gods they worshipped and paid their homage to. And suitably hereuoto, their religious observances, it is well known, were not without great impurities, which were of right charged upon them, when they had a place in their sacred offices, and had the recommendation of religion, to give them credit. The rest of the vices, in St. Paul's black list, which were not warmed at their altars, and fostered in their temples, were yet, by the connivance of the law, cherished in their private houses, and made a part of the uncondemned actions of common life, and had the countenance of custom to authorize them, even in the best regulated and most civilised governments of the heathen. On the contrary, the frame of the Jewish commonwealth was founded on the acknowledgment and worship of the one only, true, and invisible God, and their laws required an extraordinary purity of life, and strictness of
NOTE. That the Gentiles were styled éxipol,.“ enemies," in a political or national sense, is plain from Eph. ii. where they are called, “ aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenant." Abraham, on the other side, was called the friend of God, i.e. one in covenant with him, and his professed subject, that owned God to the world: and so were his posterity, the people of the Jews, whilst the rest of the world were under revolt, and lived in open rebellion against him, vid. Isa, xli. 8. And here in this epistle, St. Paul expressly teaches, that when the nation of the Jews by rejecting of the Messias put themselves out of the kingdom of God, and were cast off from being any longer the people of God, they became enenies, and the Gentile world were reconciled. See chap, xi. 15, 28. Hence St. Paul, who was the apostle of the Gentiles, calls his performing that ofice, the ministry of reconciliation, 2 Cor. v. 18. And here in this chapter, ver. 1, the privilege which they receive, by the accepting of the covenant of grace in Jesus Christ, he tells them is this, that they have peace with God, i. t. are no longer incorporated with his enemies, and of the party of the open rebels against him, in the kingdom of Satan, being returned to their natural allegiance, in their owning the one, true, supreme, God, in submitting to the kingdom he had set up in his Son, and being received by him as his subjects. Suitably hereuuto St. James, speaking of the conversion of the Gentiles to the profession of the Gospel, says of it, that “God did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.” Acts xv. 14, and ver. 19, he calls the converts, those who “ from among the Gentiles are turned to God."
Besides what is to be found in other parts of St. Paul's epistles, to jastify the taking of these words here, as applied nationally to the Gentiles, in contradistinction to the children of Israel, that which St. Paul says, ver. 10, 11, makes it necessary to understand them so. We,” says he, “ when we were enemies, were reconciled to God, aud so wę now glory in him as our God.” here, must unavoidably be spoken in the name of the Gentiles, as is plain, not ‘only by the whole tevour of this section, but from this passage, “ of glorying in God," which he mentions as a privilege now of the believing Gentiles, surpassing that of the Jews, whom he had taken notice of before, chap. ii. 17, as being for ward to glory in God, as their peculiar right, though with no great advantage to themselves, But the Gentiles who were reconciled now to God, by Christ's death, and taken into covenant with God, as many as received the Gospel, had a new and better title to this glorying than the Jews. Those that now are reconciled, and glory in God as their God, he says were enemies. The Jews, who had the same corrupt nature common to them with the rest of mankind, are nowhere, that I know, called sx Opol, enemies, or ácsbeis, ungodly, whilst they publicly owned him for their God, and professed to be his people. But the heathen were deemed enemies for being " aliens to the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise." There were never but two kingdoms in the world, that of God, and that of the devil; these were opposite, and therefore the subjects of the latter could not bat be in the state of enemies, and fall under that denomination. The revolt from God was universal, and the uations of the earth had given themselves up to idolatry, when God called Abraham, and took him into covenant with himself, as he did afterwards the whole nation of the Israelites, whereby they were re-admitted into his kingdom, came ander bis protection, and were his people and subjects, and no longer enemies, whilst all the rest of the nations remained in the state of rebellion, the professed subjects of other gods, who were usurpers upon God's right, and enemies of his kiugdom. And indeed if the four epithets be not taken to be spoken here of the Gentile world, in this political and truly evangelical sense, but in the ordinary, systematical notion, applied to all mankind, as belonging universally to every man personally, whether by profession Gentile, Jew, or Christian, before he be actually regenerated by a saving faith, and an effectual thorough conversion; the illative particle “ wherefore," in the beginning of VOL. VIII.
TEXT. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God, by the
death of his Son: much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by
his life. 11 And not only so, but we also joy in God, through our Lord Jesus
Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
PARAPHRASE. therefore now being justified by his death, shall we through
him be delivered from condemnation at the day of judgment. 10 For if, when we were enemies t, we were reconciled to God,
by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, shall we 11 be saved by his life. And not only do we glory in tribula
tion, but also in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom now we have received reconciliation.
NOTES. ver. 12, will hardly connect it and what follows to the foregoing part of this chapter. But the eleven first verses must be taken for a parenthesis, and then the “ therefore,” in the beginning of this fifth chapter, which joins it to the fourth, with a very clear connexion, will be wholly insignificant; and after all, the sense of the 12th verse will but ill solder with the end of the fourth chapter, notwithstanding the “wherefore,” which is taken to bring them in, as an inference. Whereas these eleven first verses, being supposed to be spoken of the Gentiles, make them not only of a piece with St. Paul's design in the foregoing and the following chapters, but the thread of the whole discourse goes very smooth, and the inferences (ushered in with “ therefore,” in the first verse, and with " wherefore,” in the 12th verse) are very easy, clear, and natural, from the inmediately preceding verses. That of the first verse may be seen, in what we have already said; and that of the 12th verse in short stands thus: “ We Gentiles have by Christ received the reconciliation, which we cannot doubt to be intended for us as well as for the Jews, since sin and death entered into the world by Adam, the common father of us all. And as by the disobedience of the one, condemnation of death came on all; so by the obedience of one, justifi
cation to life came upon all." gr What St. Paul here calls “ wrath,” he calls “ the wrath to come," 1 Thess.
i. 10, and generally, in the New Testament, “wrath” is put for the punishment
of the wicked at the last day. Il « Où nóvoy dd, “ and not only so." I think nobody can with the least attentioc
read this section, without perceiving that these words join this verse to the 3d. The apostle in the 2d verse says, we the Gentiles, who believe, glory in the hopes of an eternal, splendid state of bliss." In the third verse he adds Bu móvor 6, " and not only so, but our afflictions are to us matter of glorying," which he proves in the seven following verses, and then, ver. 11, adds ou ubror 5, " and not only so; but we glory in God also, as our God, being reconciled to him in Jesus Christ.” And thus he shows that the convert Gentiles had whereof to glory as well as the Jews, and were not inferior to them, though they had not circumcision and the law, wherein the Jews gloried so much, but with no ground, in comparison of what the Gentiles had to glory in, by faith in Jesus Christ, now under the Gospel. h It is true, we Gentiles could not formerly glory in God, as our God; that was the privilege of the Jews, who alone of all the nations owned him for their King and God, and were his people, in covenant with him. All the rest of