1:1 Paul, 1 a 2 a servant of Jesus Christ, called [to be] an b apostle, c separated unto the gospel of God,
(1) The first part of the epistle contains a most
profitable preface down to verse six. (2) Paul,
exhorting the Romans to give diligent heed to him, in that he shows that he
comes not in his own name, but as God's messenger to the Gentiles, entreats
them with the weightiest matter that exists, promised long ago by God, by many
good witnesses, and now at length indeed performed.
(a) Minister, for this word "servant"
is not taken in this place as set against the word "freeman", but
rather refers to and declares his ministry and office.
(b) Whereas he said before in a general term that
he was a minister, now he comes to a more special name, and says that he is an
apostle, and that he did not take this office upon himself by his own doing,
but that he was called by God, and therefore in this letter of his to the
Romans he is doing nothing but his duty.
(c) Appointed by God to preach the gospel.
Concerning his d Son Jesus Christ our
Lord, which was e made of the seed of
David f according to the flesh;
(3) By declaring the sum of the doctrine of the
Gospel, he stirs up the Romans to consider well the matter about which he is
entreating them: so then he shows that Christ (who is the very substance and
sum of the gospel) is the only Son of God the Father, who with regard to his
humanity is born of the seed of David, but with regard to his divine and
spiritual nature, by which he sanctified himself, is begotten of the Father
from everlasting, as also manifestly appears by his mighty resurrection.
(d) This is a plain testimony of the person of
Christ, that he is but one, and also a testimony of his two natures, and their
(e) Who received flesh from the virgin who was
(f) As he is man: for this word
"flesh", by the figure of speech synecdoche, is taken for man.
1:4 And g
declared [to be] the Son of God with h
power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
(g) Shown and made manifest.
(h) The divine and mighty power is set against
the weakness of the flesh, for it overcame death.
1:5 i By whom
we have received k grace and
apostleship, for l obedience to the
faith m among all nations, for his name:
(i) Of whom.
(k) This marvellous, liberal, and gracious gift,
which is given to me, the least of all the saints, to preach, etc.; see (Ephesians
(l) That men through faith might obey God.
(m) For his name's sake.
1:6 Among whom are ye also the n
called of Jesus Christ:
(n) Who through God's goodness belong to
1:7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called
[to be] saints: o Grace to you and peace
from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
(o) God's free good will: by "peace"
the Hebrews mean a prosperous success in all things.
1:8 4 First,
I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is p
spoken of throughout the q whole world.
(4) He obtains their favourable patience, in that
he points out what it is that they can be praised for, and his true apostolic
good will toward them, confirmed by taking God himself as witness.
(p) Because your faith is such that it is spoken
well of in all churches.
(q) In all churches.
1:9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my r
spirit in the s gospel of his Son, that
without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;
(r) Very willingly and with all my heart.
(s) In preaching his Son.
is, that t I may be comforted together
with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.
(t) Though Paul was ever so excellent, yet in
teaching the church, he might be instructed by it.
as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at u
(u) He means all those who dwell at Rome, though
some of them were not Romans; see the end of the epistle.
1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: 5
for it is the x power of God unto
salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the y
(5) This is the second part of the epistle, until
the beginning of chapter nine. Now the whole end and purpose of the discussion
is this: that is to say, to show that there is but one way to attain unto
salvation (which is displayed to us by God in the gospel, and that equally to
every nation), and this way is Jesus Christ apprehended by faith.
(x) God's mighty and effectual instrument to
save men by.
(y) When this word "Greek" is
contrasted with the word "Jew", then it signifies a Gentile.
1:17 6 For
therein is the righteousness of God revealed from z
faith to faith: 7 as it is written, The
just shall live by faith.
(6) The confirmation of the former proposition:
we are taught in the gospel that we are instituted before God by faith, which
increases daily, and therefore also saved.
(z) From faith, which increases daily. (7)
The proof of the first as well as of the second proposition, out of Habakkuk,
who attributes and gives to faith both justice and life before God.
1:18 8 For
the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against a
all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the b
truth in unrighteousness;
(8) Another confirmation of the principal
question: all men being considered in themselves, or without Christ, are
guilty both of ungodliness and also unrighteousness, and therefore are subject
on condemnation: therefore they need to seek righteousness in someone else.
(a) Against all types of ungodliness.
(b) By "truth" Paul means all the light
that is left in man since his fall, not as though they being led by this were
able to come into favour with God, but that their own reason might condemn
them of wickedness both against God and man.
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in c
them; for God hath shewed [it] unto them.
(9) By their ungodliness he proves that although
all men have a most clear and evident mirror in which to behold the
everlasting and almighty nature of God, even in his creatures, yet they have
fallen away from those principles to most foolish and stupid ideas of their
own brains, in their worship of God and of what God requires of them.
(c) In their hearts.
1:20 For the invisible things of him from the
creation of the world are clearly seen, being d
understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so
that they are without excuse:
(d) You do not see God, and yet you acknowledge
him as God by his works; Cicero.
1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they e
glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became f
vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
(e) They did not honour him with that honour and
service which was appropriate for his everlasting power and Godhead.
(f) As if he said, became so corrupt in
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
(g) Or, thought themselves.
1:23 And changed the glory of the h
uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and
fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
(h) For the true God they substituted another.
Wherefore i God also k
gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour
their own bodies between themselves:
(10) The unrighteousness of men he sets forth
first in this, that following their lusts, even against nature, they defiled
themselves one with another, by the just judgment of God.
(i) The contempt of religion is the source of all
(k) As a just judge.
likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their
lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and
receiving in themselves that l
recompence of their error which was meet.
(l) An appropriate reward and that which they
1:28 11 And
even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over
to a m reprobate mind, to do those
things which are not convenient;
(11) He proves the unrighteousness of man by
referring to many types of wickedness, from which (if not from all, yet at the
least from many of them) no man is altogether free.
(m) To a corrupt and perverse mind, by which it
comes to pass that the conscience, having been removed by them, and they
having almost no more remorse for sin, run headlong into all types of evil.
Without understanding, n
covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
(n) Not caring if they keep their covenants and
1:32 Who knowing the o
judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not
only do the same, but p have pleasure in
them that do them.
(o) By the "judgment of God" he means
that which the philosophers called the "law of nature", and the
lawyers themselves termed the "law of nations".
(p) Are companions and partakers with them in
their wickedness, and beside that, commend those who do wrong.