Principle of Sovereignty (Righteousness Rejected)
1. Sovereignty is a word that many avoid but it is a good word and means chief, supreme, above all others. That is our God.
2. The book of Romans was written about AD 58 at a time when the Jews were still trying to worship in the temple which was destroyed in AD 70 by Titus.
3. The veil had been rent when Jesus died on the cross; therefore, there was no more cloud over the temple, no more presence of God, yet the Jews went on in their acts of worship but God wasn't in it.
4. The change from Chapter 8 is abrupt and striking. Chapters 9‑11 have to do with the place of the Jews in world history. The church faces this bewildering problem because the Jews were God's chosen people with a unique and special place in God's purpose. However, when God sent His Son into the world, the Jews rejected Him. (John 1:11) How can this tragic and terrible paradox be explained? Why would God's people choose to reject and crucify God's very own Son? This is the problem that Paul begins to deal with in these chapters.
5. Outline of this section of Romans.
A. Chapter 9: Israel's past election = past history of Israel = Paul is dealing with a nation not an individual.
B. Chapter 10: Israel's present rejection = present history = shows how God bypassed a nation and uses His church.
C. Chapter 11: Israel's future reception = promised (future) history = shows how He grafts a nation back in the olive tree when His church is caught out.
1. Israel's Past Election V. 1‑33
1) Israel's Election Described. V 1‑13
a. The burden Paul had. V 1‑3
1. Paul, about to deal with their rejection, first assures Israel of his love for his kinsman according to the flesh.
2. "In Christ" = a form of an oath; Paul is so strongly stirred he takes an oath of truth with a two‑fold witness: 1) His conscience, and 2) Holy Ghost.
3. Positively: "I say the truth."
4. Negatively: "I lie not."
5. "Truth" = being consistent with reality or fact.
6. "Lie" = to utter an untruth or attempt to deceive by falsehood; negated by "not."
7. "Conscience" = an act or judgment of the mind by which we decide on the lawfulness or unlawfulness of our actions, and by which we instantly approve or condemn them.
8. A man's conscience can only deal with him to the extent of moral standard exposed to (moral training or upbringing). Example: When someone says of a man who tortured and killed several children, "He didn't have a conscience." Oh, yes! He did but he had no moral standard or moral training taught him when he was growing up. Example: Paul made havoc of the church and thought he was doing right. Why? Because the moral standard he was exposed to, taught him wrong. But he met the Lord and the Holy Ghost moved in. Now he had a right moral standard, the Word with the Holy Ghost, the originator of the Word to guide rightly.
9. If the Spirit of God controls your conscience, it is a wonderful guide but otherwise it will lead you astray. Paul places himself under an oath of truth because the Holy Ghost is controlling his conscience.
10. Note: One's conscience will reveal God is (Rom. 1:19), but will not convict man of sin, righteousness, and judgment by itself. There must be the moral standard, the Word and the Holy Ghost present to make it sharp (convicting). (Heb. 4:12; John 16:8‑11)
11. "Also bearing witness" = to testify jointly; testifying to the truth Paul spoke; two witnesses were required by law for something to be established as true. (Deut. 19:15)
12. "Holy Ghost" = Holy Spirit.
1. "Have" = tense is continuous action.
2. "Heaviness" = grief; sadness; described as "great" = intense.
3. "Sorrow" = pain; distress; consuming grief; described as "continual" = unceasing; he was not literally all the time pressed down with this sorrow and grief but whenever he thought on the subject, he had great grief.
4. "Heart" = seat of affection; in the inner being; kindred word to "soul." (Mat. 26:38)
5. The cause of Paul's grief and sorrow is not exactly stated but the implication is that it was due to the nation of Israel rejecting the Messiah, therefore, the greater part of the nation would be doomed to the lake of fire one day.
1. "Wish" = a longing for; desire; want.
2. "Could" = proper translation of the tense of the verb "wish"; implies that he was willing now to be accursed from Christ; his present love for his kinsman was so strong, that he would, if practicable, save them from the threatened ruin and apostasy; the language of an unattainable wish; Paul knew that he could not take the place of another in this matter, but the intensity of his love prompted his strong statement.
3. "Accursed" = anathema; curse; condemned to hell; separated from God (Christ) forever; eternal death.
4. "Christ" = Messiah.
5. "For" = a preposition of replacement; in place of.
6. "My brethren" = from the same womb; refers to the physical descendants of Israel (Jacob); refers to the same as "my kinsman" = a fellow countryman; those descended from the same ancestor.
7. "According to the flesh" = by birth; distinguishes from Paul's Christian brethren.
8. Paul was willing to be condemned to eternal death, if it were possible, and if it would cause Israel to be saved. (Rom. 10:1)
9. Moses had the same spirit. (Exo. 32:30‑33)
b. The blessings of Israel's election. V. 4‑5
1. "Israelites" = descendants of Israel but means more; covenant name of the chosen people; Jacob's (supplanter) name was changed to Israel (prince with God; Gen. 32:28); honoured by having such an ancestor, and by bearing a name so distinguished as that of his descendants.
2. "To whom" = Israel, the nation received eight privileges listed in verses 4‑5; much given, much required. (Luke 12:48)
A. "Adoption" = the placing as a son for the purpose of an inheritance; refers here to the placing of a nation into the family of God, regarded as His peculiar (highly favored; special) people (Deut 7:6; 14:2); "to whom pertaineth" = to whom belongs; it was their elevated external privilege.
B. "The glory" = symbol of the divine presence that attended them from Egypt and that finally rested over the ark in the tabernacle (Exo. 13:21‑22; 40:33-35); the Shekinah Glory of God and used of Jesus in James 2:1.
C. "The covenants" = contracts; promises of God; the pledges of divine protection; made with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and with the nation.
D. "The giving of the law" = refers not only to the ten commandments but also to the civil, dietary, ceremonial, and social laws as well which were all given to Israel.
E. "The service" = the temple service; tribe of Levi was chosen to carry out; this was regarded by Israel as the pride and ornament of their nation; "of God" is in italics, thus not in the original but so placed that we might know what service he was talking about; the Jews knew what Paul meant when he said "the service."
F. "The promises" = the Messiah; the spread of true religion from them as a nation; hundreds more, some of which have been fulfilled and all will be fulfilled.
1. "Whose" = Israel, the nation receiving these privileges.
G. "The fathers" = the patriarch (head of family); refers to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and his twelve sons; on this they highly valued themselves; Nicodemus valued his ancestry but Jesus said, "You must be born again" (John 3:1‑5); the Jews which believed on Jesus also valued their ancestry to the extent they became angry at Jesus when He spoke of being made free by truth, who later stated their father was the devil. (John 8:30‑44)
H. "Christ" = has "the" definite article; the Messiah.
2. "Concerning the flesh" = refers to the decent of Jesus from the Jews on the human side; so far as His human nature is concerned.
3. "Who is over all" = a statement belonging only to the true God who is sovereign; a clear statement of the deity of Christ following the remark about His humanity.
4. "God" = Christ, who is God.
5. "Blessed" = eulogize; to speak well of.
6. "Forever" = through out the ages to come.
7. The phrase "Blessed for ever" was usually added by Jewish writers after the mention of the name God, as an expression of reverence.
8. "Amen" = so be it.
c. The basis of Israel's election. V. 6‑13
1. "Word of God" = refers to the promise of God given to Israel.
2. "Hath taken none effect" = to fall out of; to fall down from; to fail; to fall powerless; be without effect; the tense is perfect which indicates that the promise with reference to Israel has not failed to work effectively in time past and at present is still effective.
3. "Not as though" = a phrase Paul uses to state, "even though I grieve over Israel because they have rejected the Messiah as a nation, I am not saying that all the nation will be destroyed. The promise of God will not entirely fail." In other words Paul is referring to a remnant that will be saved.
4. "For" = because; the reason for Paul making the statement that the promise of God would not fail, is "they are not all Israel which are of Israel" = a paradox but true; not all the descendants of Jacob (national Israel) are the true Israel.
5. Paul explains this paradox in the following verses.
1. "Seed of Abraham" = refers to the physical descendants of Abraham.
2. "Children" = refers to the true family.
3. Paul is saying just because one was a physical descendant of Abraham that he would automatically be included in the promise given to Abraham.
4. "But in Isaac" = this was the promise (Gen. 21:10‑12); not in Ishmael, who was born 14 years before Isaac, nor in Abraham's six other sons born later to he and his wife, Keturah. (Gen. 25:1‑2)
5. This implies a selection, a choice; therefore, the doctrine of election was illustrated in the very beginning of the nation. Paul is establishing the fact that just as God had rejected a part of the natural descendants of Abraham in the beginning of the nation He could still do so in their day.
6. The basis was not physical but spiritual, not law but faith. (Rom. 4:13)
7. The Jews were proud of their being a descendant of Abraham but that was not enough to be in the true Israel as Jesus made plain to Nicodemas in John 3:1‑3 and also to the Jews in John 8:31‑44. He acknowledged they were of Abraham's seed physically (verse 37) but stated plainly that spiritually they did not belong to him but the devil. (verse 44)
8. Paul is building his case concerning God's sovereignty in the national rejection of Israel. He uses two examples to do so.
a) Example 1: Isaac and Ishmael. V. 8‑9
1. "Children of the flesh" = those born of Hagar and Keturah through works.
2. "Children of the promise" = Isaac, born according to promise through faith.
3. "Promise" = announcement; a divine assurance of good. (Gen. 21:12)
4. "Counted" = reckoned; regarded; God reckons things as they are; therefore, He designed that the children of promise should be His true children.
5. "For the seed" = the spiritual children of God in Christ, who is the Seed. (Gal. 3:16)
1. Paul quotes Gen. 18:10.
2. "Word of promise" = "at this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son."
3. "At this time" = according to the time of life, a time when Sarah would conceive; refers not only to Sarah's time of conception but also means at the exact time promised on God's timetable.
4. Paul makes it very clear that the children of the flesh do not automatically become the children of God. Isaac was born of promise. If left to Abraham and Sarah, they would have chosen Ishmael, the son of the flesh. But God chose through Isaac to bring blessings to all mankind.
b) Example 2: Jacob and Esau. V. 10‑13
1. "Not only this" = not only is the principle of making a distinction among the natural descendants of Abraham settled by the promise, but it is still further seen and illustrated in the birth of the two sons of Isaac.
2. "Rebecca" = Isaac's wife chosen by Abraham through his eldest servant by the providence of God. (Gen.24)
3. "Isaac" = the promised son; the son according to promise through faith.
1. "Not yet born" = refers to the children Rebecca conceived by Isaac, Esau and Jacob (twins).
2. "The children" = in italics, thus not in the original but supplied by the translators to further describe who Paul was referring to, Esau and Jacob, not to all the offspring of Abraham.
3. "Neither having done any good or evil" = speaks of their having not yet committed sin, while they were still in the womb; refers to Gen 25:22‑23 quoted in verse 12.
4. Remember God is dealing with nations not just individuals.
5. "Purpose of God" = to have a family who, through the righteousness provided by His Son, would be like His Son; this is the eternal purpose of God. (Rom. 8:29)
6. "Election" = selection; based upon three things: (I Peter 1:2)
A. "Foreknowledge" = God sees and knows what He can do in one's heart (II Sam. 16:7); the potter knows clay and what kind of vessel he can make of it; this does not do away with the total depravity of man (nothing good at all in man); God is sovereign, chief, supreme, above others for there is no other.
B. "Sanctification of the Spirit" = refers to the setting apart work of the Holy Spirit called "godly sorrow" (II Cor 7:10), "Holy Ghost conviction" or "reproval" (John 16:8‑11), whereby the Holy Spirit brings one out of the kingdom of darkness and sphere of the Devil's control into the kingdom of light and the sphere of God's control; this works repentance and produces faith in the sinner.
C. "Obedience" = point where repentance and faith are worked then a sinner can repent and believe unto salvation, thus obedience; man must repent and believe to be saved. (Luke 13:3; Acts 16:31)
7. "Might stand" = abide; continue; endure; be proved to be true.
8. "Not of works" = not by deeds or merit.
9. "But of him that calleth" = according to the will and purpose of Him that chooses to dispense those favors in this manner; it is not by the merit of man, but it is by a purpose having its origin with God, and formed and executed according to His good pleasure. (Eph. 1:4‑6)
10. The Jew can not say he was elected because he was a descendant of Abraham, nor the self‑righteous because of his good works, nor the legalist because he obeyed the law. Election is not based on works but on the call of God.
11. Isaac would have chosen Esau but God couldn't let His purpose get sidetracked. (Gen. 27)
12. God chooses who He wants and does not ask mothers and daddies about it.
1. "It was said" = by God in answer to Rebecca's question in Gen. 25:22‑23.
2. "The elder" = the eldest son of the twins, Esau. (Gen. 25:25)
3. "The younger" = the youngest son of the twins, Jacob. (Gen. 25:26)
4. "Serve" = shall be subject to; Esau never served Jacob but his descendants (Edomites) were subject to Israel; the scripture in Gen 25:23 shows that he had reference to people (descendants) of Jacob (Israel) being stronger than the descendants of Esau, thus the Lord is referring to a nation and not just a person.
1. "It is written" = the tense is perfect, revealing that the scripture was written down in past time and is on record today; Paul quotes Mal. 1:1‑3.
2. "Loved" = agape; God kind of love; refers to the Lord showing affection to Jacob's descendants (a nation) and bestowing on them great privileges and blessings as a proof of that love.
3. "Hated" = to love less; not used in the sense our word hate is used today; as a result of loving Esau's descendants (a nation) less the Lord withheld from them those privileges and blessings which the had conferred on the descendants of Jacob; the Lord Jesus used this same word in Luke 14:26 concerning the saint's loving their families and their own life less than the Lord Jesus.
2) Israel's Election Defended V. 14‑33
a. First question asked. V. 14-18
1. The first question: Is God unrighteous?
2. "What shall we say then?" = what conclusion shall we draw from these acknowledged facts and from these positive declarations of Scripture? a form of expression the apostle frequently uses, when he is about to introduce an objection.
3. "Unrighteousness" = refers to wrongfulness of character, life, or action.
4. Paul expects a negative answer to this question.
5. "God forbid" = horrors to even think such a thing; God is not unrighteous in His nature, nor in any of His ways and works, nor in this just mentioned, in choosing some and rejecting others.
1. "For" = because; Paul gives a reason for what he just said by quoting Exo. 33:19.
2. "He" = God.
3. "Mercy" = to show compassion by divine grace by word or deed.
4. "I will have mercy" = I will show mercy.
5. "On whom I will have mercy" = on whomsoever I choose to bestow mercy.
6. "Compassion" = to exercise pity.
7. "I will have compassion" = I will feel compassion.
8. "On whom I will have compassion" = on whomsoever I choose to bestow compassion.
9. The reason for this is His sovereign will and pleasure, and not the works and merits of men.
10. Do not forget the foreknowledge of God in His choosing. (I Peter 1:2)
1. "So then" = it follows as a consequence from this statement of God to Moses.
2. "Willeth" = wish; desire.
3. "Not of him that willeth" = not human will; this is not teaching that man is compelled to enter heaven against his own choice; men by nature have no desire for God; really they are not even conscience of God as revealed by the word in Rom. 5:6, "without strength" = powerless; without ability (to save self), (see Rom.5:6 in commentary); this does not mean that men are not made willing because they are, by the effect of the influence of the Holy Spirit on their heart. (Psa. 110:3)
4. "Nor of him that runneth" = denotes strenuous, intense effort, as when a man is anxious to obtain an object, or hastens from danger; refers to human works (Eph. 2:9); the meaning is not that the sinner does not make an effort to be saved because the Scriptures teach the contrary (Luke 13:24; 16:16, "presseth" = to put forth effort); the sense is that the sinner would not put forth any effort himself if left to himself.
5. "But" = contrast.
6. "Of God that showeth mercy" = the essential idea here is, that salvation in its beginning, its progress, and its completion, is of Him; as a lost, ruined, and helpless sinner, we are dependent on His mere sovereign mercy to be saved or lost at His will. (John 1:12‑13); deeply anxious we should be, but there is no merit in our distress; pray, we should, but there is no merit in our prayers; weep and strive, we need to but in this there is no ground of claim on God for pardon; salvation is of the Lord (of God).
1. "The scripture saith" = used when any point is proved from the scripture; Exo. 9:16 where God tells Moses what to say to Pharaoh; this passage is designed to illustrate the doctrine that God shows mercy according to His sovereign pleasure by a reference to one of the most extraordinary cases of hardness of heart which has ever occurred.
2. "Pharaoh" = the title of the Egyptian kings; refers to the specific king over Egypt when Moses was sent to deliver the children of Israel.
3. "For this same purpose" = for the design; with the intent that is immediately specified.
4. "I raised thee up" = make thee stand; sustained thee; refers to the Lord keeping him from death, preserving him from ruin, ministering strength to him, putting him on the throne (Psa. 75:6-7; Pro. 21:1), and promoted him to that high honor and dignity; He did this that He might show His power in him, and that His name might be declared throughout all the earth; God caused Pharaoh to come upon the scene at that particular point in time for a very specific reason.
5. "That I might shew my power in thee" = refers to the fact that God would demonstrate His to power to the whole world through the plagues He sent against Pharaoh and Egypt to bring about the deliverance of an oppressed people, Israel.
6. "My name" = the name of Jehovah as the only true God, and the deliverer of His people.
7. "Be declared" = to herald thoroughly.
8. "Throughout all the earth" = throughout all the land of Egypt and all the known world at the time; we know this happened by reading the story of Rahab in Josh. 2:9‑11; this applies to this present day, wherever and whenever Exo. 9:16 is read.
1. "Therefore" = in view of what has just been stated Paul makes a conclusion.
2. "He hath mercy on whom he will have mercy" = repetition of part of verse 15 and part of Exo. 33:19.
3. "Whom he will he hardenth" = this is not stated in what the Scriptures said to Pharaoh, but is a conclusion to which the apostle had arrived, in view of the case of this specific Pharaoh.
4. "Hardeneth" = to render stubborn.
5. "He will" = to be resolved; to determine; to purpose.
6. This does not mean that God exerted a positive influence to do evil because God does not solicit a sinner to do evil. (James 1:13) He just leaves a sinner to go the coarse of his depraved nature. (James 1:14)
7. Pharaoh hardened his own heart also. (Exo. 8:15, 32; 9:34) God hardened Pharaoh's heart by forcing him to an issue against which he hardened his own heart in refusal. Light (truth) rejected, rightful obedience refused, inevitably hardens conscience and heart.
8. God is sovereign (chief, supreme, above all others because there is no other). Therefore, He is righteous in His choosing and does not have to ask permission from anyone to do what He does. Remember you cannot leave out the foreknowledge of God in the doctrine of election. (I Peter 1:2)
b. Second question asked. V. 19-29
1. The second question: Why does God find fault if none can resist His will?
2. "Thou wilt say" = Paul refers to an objection that might be made to his argument.
3. "Find fault" = to blame; why does God blame men since their conduct is in accordance with His purpose, and since He bestows mercy according to His sovereign will? = objection made to Paul's argument.
4. "Hath resisted" = to stand against; oppose; to set one's self against; withstand; denotes the resistance offered by soldiers or armed men; the tense is perfect which means to withstand in time past and continue to withstand.
5. "Will" = plan; purpose.
6. "Who hath resisted his will" = who has successfully opposed His will, or frustrated His plan?; this does not mean that no one has not offered resistance or opposition to God for all have at one time or another (Acts 7:51), but that no one has done it successfully; God accomplished His purpose in spite of their opposition.
7. Remember, you have to take into account the foreknowledge of God and this deals with His wisdom. Who can even begin to comprehend the wisdom of God?
1. "Nay but, O man" = on the contrary; who are you who answers back to God in this way?
2. Paul replies to the objection in two ways:
A. First, by asserting the sovereignty of God, and affirming that He had a right to do what He did. V. 20‑21
B. Second, by showing that He did it according to the principles of justice and mercy, or that it was involved of necessity in His dispensing justice and mercy to mankind. V. 22‑24
3. "Who art thou" = a strong rebuke against the wickedness of bringing a charge against God; man is just a creature and it is improper that he should charge his Creator; what qualifications has a creature to set in judgment on the doings of the Infinite Mind.
4. "Repliest against" = an answer of contradicting; the word signifies to reply to an answer which God had already given, and implies a spirit of contention.
5. "Thing formed" = something molded; refers to something man makes and also to man, whom God made (Gen. 2:7); Paul quotes Isa. 29:16.
6. The Greek construction demands a negative answer to the last question in this verse.
7. Any one has the right to fashion his work according to his own views of what is best. Since this right is not denied to men, we ought not blame the infinitely wise God for acting in a similar way.
8. God has absolute right and power to deal with His own creation as He pleases and man is in no condition to contend with the Almighty. Therefore, we do not have a right to gripe about how God made us.
1. Paul uses another illustration of God's absolute sovereignty found in Jer. 18:1‑4. The vessel was marred (verse 4), did not come out in the form intended, so he rejects it and makes another vessel "as seemed good to the potter to make it."
2. The application was to Israel (Jer. 18:5‑6), meaning that if the house of Israel failed to answer to the Lord's purpose, He would reject her at His pleasure as the potter did the marred vessel.
3. "Power" = mastery; authority; right.
4. "Vessel" = utensil; apparatus; applies to men.
5. "Honour" = that which has value or is esteemed highly.
6. "Dishonour" = disgrace.
7. A vessel is honored or dishonored by the use to which it is put. One may be intended to carry water while another for carrying away garbage, yet both are made of the same material, clay.
1. Paul applies this principle in these next three verses. If a potter may do what he wants with his vessel, certainly God may do what He wants with His vessels.
2. "What if" = as the case is.
3. "Willing" = purpose; having an inclination to.
4. "Shew" = to indicate by word or act.
5. "Wrath" = severe displeasure against sin; since sin is an evil of great magnitude, it is right for God to be willing to demonstrate His displeasure against it and that in proportion to the extent of the evil.
6. "Power" = capability.
7. "Endured" = bore with; was patient; was forbearing (temporary restraint).
8. "Longsuffering" = patience in respect to persons; carries the idea of patient endurance and forbearance under ill‑treatment; refers to the person who has power to avenge himself yet refrains from the exercise of this power; described as "much" = God did this for Israel in the days of the wilderness, Judges, kings, captivity, and even after; He allowed them to live while they deserved to die, this He does with all sinners; He spares them in midst of all their provocations, to give them opportunity of repentance. (Rom. 2:4)
9. "Vessels of wrath" = denotes wicked men against whom it is fit and proper that wrath should be shown.
10. "Fitted" = adapted; ready; ripe.
11. "Destruction" = refers to the future punishment of wicked men, the lake of fire.
12. If men are fitted or prepared for destruction; if future torment is adapted to them and they to it; if it is fit they should be subjected to it; then God will do what is fit or right to be done. Unless they repent, they must perish. It would not be right for God to take them to heaven as they are, to a place for which they are not fitted, and which is not adapted to their feelings, their character, or their conduct.
13. If one attempts to divorce teaching on election from teaching on divine foreknowledge, the result may be a religious fatalism, giving license for sin.
1. "Make known" = manifest; to display; used mainly of the revelation of God's saving purpose.
2. "Riches" = wealth.
3. "His glory" = reflecting His image and character; refers to the radiance of the being of God.
4. "Vessels of mercy" = saints; refers to "us whom he hath called." (verse 24)
5. "On" = refers to a point reached at a place, time, and purpose; the purpose--to make known the riches of His glory.
6. "Had afore prepared" = to fit up in advance; predestine; to make ready.
7. "Unto glory" = for glory; refers to the glory of heaven. (Rom. 8:18; Heb. 2:10; Rom. 5:2; II Cor. 4:17)
8. Notice that the vessels of mercy were "afore prepared unto glory" but that was not said about "the vessels of wrath." They were "fitted for destruction" (ready or ripe for destruction) due to their own sin and rebellious nature not because God predestinated them to wrath! Instead He made a way on Calvary whereby all men could be saved if they would only come to Him with repentance and faith. (I John 2:2)
1. "Us" = Christians; saints to whom Paul is writing; those whom God hath called.
2. "Hath called" = to summon; to invite; speaks of the divine invitation to salvation; called to partake of the blessings of redemption; refers to the effectual (capable of producing the desired effect; in this case‑‑justification) call. (Rom. 8:30)
3. "Jews" = a name used to denote a person belonging to Judah; a designation for the national religion of the Jews in its self-conscious distinctiveness and fierce loyalty to the law and the traditional customs.
4. "Gentiles" = those who are not Jews.
5. God's purpose in election makes it possible for both Jews and Gentiles to be saved by grace. (Eph. 2:11‑18)
6. Two things are established here:
A. That the grace of God was not confined to the Jewish people, as they supposed, so that it could be conferred on no one else.
B. That God was not bound to confer grace on all the descendants of Abraham, as He bestowed it on those selected from the mass, according to His own will, and not of necessity or the mass itself.
7. God is in control and His purpose will not be sidetracked.
8. Not all of the Jews are saved, nor all of the Gentiles, but some of each. All are not chosen and redeemed, only some out of every kindred, tongue, nation, and people. Some, not all, are called by grace and this is not peculiar to the Jews but it reaches also to the Gentiles. This is true in this present dispensation, as it is also true in every dispensation.
1. "As he saith also" = quoting OT scripture, Jewish writings, so that he might remove every objection concerning the doctrine he had established; Paul shows how deeply the "whosoever" gospel (Gal. 1:16) had its roots in the OT.
2. "He" = the Lord.
3. "Osee" = Hosea; English spelling of the Greek form of writing the Hebrew word Hosea.
4. Paul is quoting Hosea 2:23 not according to the letter but the sense of the passage.
5. "My people" = refers to God's covenant people in Abraham's seed; also applies to the NT church which is made up of Jews and Gentiles. (I Peter 2:9‑10)
6. "Not my people" = those not included in the seed of Abraham; in context referred to the ten tribes (Northern Kingdom; Israel) who had departed from the Lord thus "not my people"; applies to the Gentiles.
7. "Beloved" = to love; signifies to love in the most tender, kind, and endearing manner.
8. "Her beloved, which was not beloved" = the OT says, "I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy"; means, "I will love her that was not loved"; the sense is not, that God's chosen ones among the Gentiles were not objects of His love before their calling, for their very calling is the fruit, effect, and evidence of love before, because He had chosen them in His son, made a covenant with them in Christ, and obtained eternal redemption for them and all of this before He called them, which proves His love to them. But His love was not manifested to their souls nor shed abroad in their hearts.
9. Paul supports his main position that God would choose His people from among the Gentiles as well as the Jews, or would exercise toward both His right as a sovereign, bestowing or withholding His blessings as He pleases.
1. Paul now quotes Hosea 1:10.
2. "And it shall come to pass" = it shall happen, or take place.
3. "In the place" = the place where they may be scattered or where they may dwell.
4. "Not my people" = refers to the scattered ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom and applies to Gentiles.
5. "There" = the place; refers to Palestine in context where they had been called "not my people"; Paul applies it to scattered Jews and Gentiles everywhere.
6. "Shall they be called" = were called "not my people" but now in the same place, they shall be called the children (sons) of the living God"; this is because of a work of grace preformed in their heart.
7. "Living God" = called living in opposition to dead idols.
1. "Esaias" = the English spelling of the Greek form of writing the Hebrew word Isaiah; Paul quotes the sense of Isa. 10:22‑23 in verses 27‑28.
2. "Also" = meaning, Isaiah as well as Hosea.
3. "Crieth" = exclaims; speaks aloud or openly; denotes loud and earnest utterance; tense reveals a continuous action, thus this was said more than once.
4. "Concerning Israel" = concerning the Jews; Isaiah probably had reference to the Jews of his own time, that wicked generation that God was about to punish by sending them captive into other lands; Paul is building his case against the Jews of his day; if the Jews in Isaiah's day were told that they might be rejected and it was settled as a precedent (for it did come to pass), it might exist also in his time, under the gospel.
5. "As the sand of the sea" = an expression used to denote an indefinite or an innumerable multitude.
6. "Remnant" = few; that which is left, particularly what may remain after a battle or a great calamity; in context means a small part or portion; out of the great multitude there shall be so few left as the make it proper to say that it was a mere remnant.
7. "Shall be saved" = shall be preserved or kept from destruction.
8. As Isaiah had reference to the captivity of Babylon, this means that only a remnant should return to their native land. The great mass should be rejected and cast off as was the case of the ten tribes and also with many of the Southern kingdom, who chose to remain in the land of their captivity.
9. It is clear, that God has brought Himself under no obligation to save all the descendants of Abraham. If God did it then it was equally consistent for Him to do it in the time of Paul, under the gospel.
1. "He will finish the work" = He will bring the thing to an end; will accomplish; refers here to His threat of cutting off the people and means He will fulfill it.
2. "Cut it short" = execute it speedily; speaking of His prophecy, what He had said; the destruction shall not be delayed.
3. "In righteousness" = so as to manifest His own justice; the work though severe, shall be a just (righteous) expression of God's hatred of the sins of the people.
4. "Because a short work" = means that God will not prolong indefinitely the period of His long‑suffering, but that His judgment will come.
5. "Upon the earth" = upon the land of Israel.
6. The reason Paul quoted this passage is to show that God of old destroyed many of the Jews for their sin, and that, therefore, the doctrine he is teaching was no new thing, that the Jews might be excluded from the peculiar privileges of the children of God. Heb. 4:2 is an example.
1. "Esaias" = Isaiah.
2. "Said before" = refers to a previous portion of Isaiah than the one just quoted (Isa. 1:9); the tense is perfect meaning this scripture was completed at a point of time in the past and stands on record today, Paul's day and ours as well.
3. "Lord of Sabaoth" = Lord of Host; the warring name of God; properly denotes armies or military hosts organized for war; refers to the unseen realities of the angels who are represented as arranged in military order under their commander and king, the Lord.
4. "Had left" = had preserved or kept from destruction.
5. "Seed" = a part; a small portion; a remnant; means if sovereign God hadn't let remain a remnant, the whole nation would have been cut off like Sodom and Gomorrah.
6. "Sodoma" = Sodom.
7. "Gomorrha" = Gomorrah; these two cities were destroyed, as well as three others, because ten righteous men could not be found to spare the cities' destruction (Gen. 18:32); in a time of great depravity a small number of holy men (a remnant; seed) were found in Israel and the nation was spared.
8. Paul had been accused of preaching a new doctrine, a new gospel (Acts 17:19), but he proved from the Scriptures that his doctrine was not new but that it was rooted deeply in the OT. The Jews had missed this truth and when there was no open revelation recorded from God during the 400 year period of time from Malachi to Matthew, they established their traditions, man made rules and regulations, and left the Word of God. As a result they missed this truth and Christ as well. (John 5:39‑40)
c. Third Question Asked. V. 30-33
1. The third question: What shall we say about the Gentiles then?
2. "What shall we say then?" = what conclusion shall we draw from the previous train of thought? the question is asked as Paul is about to sum up the argument revealing that the outcome was inevitable.
3. "The Gentiles" = those not Jews; the Greek indicates that many Gentiles had actually embraced the righteousness by faith while in comparison few Jews had done so.
4. "Followed after" = to run swiftly in order to catch some person or thing; to run after; to pursue; in context means to seek after eagerly; earnestly endeavor to acquire; negated by "not."
5. "Righteousness" = justification; refers to being saved; this does not mean that the Gentiles did not have any morals about right and wrong, but they had not made it their main object to justify themselves as the Jews had; they were not filled with prejudice and pride as the Jews were; they were sinners, and they recognized it and did not have the mighty obstacle of self‑righteousness to overcome as the Jews had.
6. "Have attained" = to take eagerly; to grasp; to lay hold of so as to make it one's own; to take possession.
7. "Which is of faith" = reliance upon Christ for salvation as Paul had repeatedly shown as the only way to get the God‑kind of righteousness.
8. The righteousness the Gentiles attained was not a righteousness of their own, not the righteousness of works, not a righteousness by the deeds of the law, but that which is of faith (by faith), the channel through which one relies (trust) upon Christ for salvation.
1. "But" = contrasting Israel (Jews) with the Gentiles.
2. "Law of Righteousness" = the law of justice; the law demands perfect purity and the Jews thought they rendered such obedience to merit justification.
3. "Hath attained" = different word from verse 30; means to have arrived at; anticipate; negated by "not."
4. The Jews thought they had attained to the law of righteousness by their external conformity to it but they did not know the spirituality of it; that it required truth and holiness in the inward parts, and that he who offended in one point of it, was guilty of all; therefore, he could not be justified by it.
1. "Wherefore?" = why? then Paul gives the reason.
2. "They sought it" = in italics; supplied by the translators and not in the originals; implied from the context; means to pursue.
3. "Faith" = reliance upon Christ for salvation; without faith it is impossible to please God. (Heb. 11:6)
4. "Works " = deeds; toil; refers to their trying to comply with all the demands of the law so that they might merit salvation; if God had intended for man to become righteous by his works, He would never have given His Son to die.
5. "Stumbled" = to trip up; to fall or fail.
6. "Stumblingstone" = an obstacle in the path over which one may fall; in context it means that obstacle that prevented their attaining the righteousness of faith; refers to Christ Jesus, who annoyed and offended the Jews because His words, deeds, career, and particularly His vicarious (endured or done by one person substituting for another) death on the cross, failed to correspond to their preconceptions concerning the Messiah; therefore, they despised and rejected Him and that crime was the occasion of their fall, rejection, and ruin.
7. Some might ask the question: How should the Jews know any thing about justification by faith? by three things:
A. The doctrine was taught in the OT (Psa. 32:1‑2, 10; "trusteth" = faith; Hab. 2:4)
B. The sacrifices had reference to a future state of things and should have been understood as such. They were types and shadows of things to come. (Heb. 10:1; 9:12, 23‑26)
C. The principle of justification and of living by faith had been fully brought out in the lives and experiences of the saints of OT time. (See Rom. 4 and Heb. 11)
8. The Jews were unwilling to submit to Christ. They had contempt of Him and His message; therefore, they rejected Him and crucified Him. As a result God withheld from them the blessing of justification and rejected them. Paul proceeds to prove that this was foretold by the prophets. (verse 33)
1. "As it is written" = the tense is perfect which means at some point in time past this scripture was written down and stands on record forever; Paul's quote is made up of two passages, Isa. 8:14 and 28:16, and contains the substance of both.
2. "Lay" = to place; notice it is God, "I", who placed.
3. "Sion" = also Zion of OT; refers to mount Zion which was a hill in Jerusalem, near Mount Moriah, on which the temple was built; where the palace and throne of David was; sometimes the whole city of Jerusalem was called by this name; therefore, it came to signify the capital and the glory of the people of God.
4. "Stumblingstone" = "rock of offence" = Christ.
5. "Offence" = a trapstick; a snare.
6. The message of Christ crucified was a stumbling block (rock of offence) to the Jews and foolishness to the Greeks (Gentiles). (I Cor. 1:23; I Peter 2:8) He is the stone of stumbling, not because it was the design of sending Him that men should fall, but because that would be the result.
7. "Believeth" = saving faith exercised; to trust one's spiritual well‑being to Christ the proper object of faith for justification.
8. "On" = refers to a point reached at a place, time, and purpose; the purpose‑‑justification.
9. "Shall not be ashamed" = "shall not make haste" in Isa. 28:16; the two ideas are complementary; means to be afraid as one who makes haste often is (negated by not); to be agitated with fear or fright; refers to the man who believes shall not be agitated, or thrown into commotion, by fear of want or success; he shall not be disappointed in his hopes and will never be ashamed that he was justified; they who do not believe in Christ shall be agitated, fall, and sink into eternal shame and contempt; they who do believe shall be confident, shall not be deceived, but shall obtain the object of their desires.
10. This applies to what Jesus said in Mat. 21:44:
A. Whosoever falls (believes) on (point, place, and time with purpose) this stone (the Lord Jesus Christ) shall be broken = godly sorrow working repentance and faith to salvation (justification). They shall not be ashamed‑‑not be disappointed.
B. But on whomsoever the stone falls, it will grind him to powder‑‑no hope, lost forever.
11. The believer rests on the solid rock, Christ Jesus; he does not have to rush about in anxiety but can move in deliberation and peace. Jesus will never allow him to be put to shame. In a world of change and uncertainty, Jesus never changes. (Heb. 13:8)
12. Paul defends Israel's election proving God is righteous in all that He does even in rejecting the nation Israel and turning to the Gentiles to establish His church.
13. Here is the paradox of history: the Jews tried to be righteous and were rejected; the Gentiles, who did not have the privilege the Jews had, were received.
14. God is sovereign.
2. Israel's Present Rejection. V. 1‑21
1) The Reasons for the Rejection. V. 1‑13
1. This chapter deals with the present history of Israel and shows how God bypassed a nation and uses the Gentile church.
2. Paul did not discuss Israel's rejection with coldness and anger. In fact, he could not comment on this subject without expressing once more the deep grief it caused him. (He had already stated this in Rom. 9:2‑3.) Paul's life was often endangered by the Jews. They stoned him, beat him, and persecuted him in many different ways, but in spite of that he was deeply grieved over their souls and desired above all else that they might be saved.
3. "Brethren" = from the same womb; refers to the saints to whom Paul was writing this letter to. (Rom. 1:7)
4. "Heart's desire" = earnest and sincere wish.
5. "Prayer" = petition; supplication; earnest and sincere prayer; refers to prayer for particular benefits; the tense of the verb in this verse reveals a habitual, continuous action, not a one time prayer.
6. "For" = on behalf of; Paul was interceding for Israel to be saved right after he discusses their rejection of Christ; this reveals clearly that Paul did not feel that the case was hopeless for them as individuals in spite of their conduct.
7. "Israel" = the Jewish nation with individuals on his mind.
8. "Be saved" = received salvation; refers to salvation from the sin of unbelief and the consequences of sin in hell; refers to the preservation from the eternal anger of God.
1. "Bear record" = to be a witness; to give evidence; to testify to what one has seen or heard concerning the subject at hand.
2. "Have" = tense reveals a habitual continuous action.
3. "Zeal" = enthusiastic, diligent devotion in pursuit of God, thus a zeal for God; they had an emotional eagerness and enthusiasm for God as they knew Him; Paul understood the Jews because he sat where they sat. (Phil. 3:6)
4. "Knowledge" = full recognition and discernment; the Jew's zeal was not an enlightened, discerning, and intelligent zeal; it was not founded on correct views of God and of religious truth.
5. "According to" = in a way consistent with.
1. This verse gives three basis related reasons for Israel's rejection.
a. They were ignorant of God's righteousness.
2. "Ignorant" = not to know through lack of information; not to understand; they did not understand because they were blinded by tradition. (II Cor. 4:4)
3. "God's righteousness" = justification; refers to God's plan of justifying men or declaring them righteous by faith in His Son; does not mean the personal holiness of God.
b. They tried to establish their own righteousness.
4. "Going about" = to seek after; seek for; aim at; strive after; desire; endeavor.
5. "To establish" = to set up; refers to their effort to present their own righteousness to constitute a ground of justification before God; they desired to erect a righteousness of their own as a monument to their own glory and not to God's.
6."Own" = one's own private, personal possession.
7. Second "righteousness" = here refers to the righteousness of the law. (verse 5)
c. They did not submit to the righteousness of God.
8. "Have not submitted" = military term meaning to arrange under; to be subordinate as soldiers in a battalion under a commanding officer; to put one's self under orders; to obey.
9. Third "righteousness = really "the righteousness" because the Greek as a definite article; refers to God's plan of justifying men which was in His Son, Christ as verse 4 brings out. (I Cor. 1:30)
10. Self righteousness was a great obstacle to the Jews just as it is to any sinner.
11. They would not submit to Christ as their Lord and ruler because they did not believe (unbelief, the root problem). He was the Messiah (John 1:11). Therefore, God rejected them and He was just and righteous in doing so.
12. If a sinner is ever to be saved he must submit to Christ (the righteousness of God) as his Lord and commander or he, like the Jews, will be rejected.
1. "Christ" = Messiah; Lord Jesus.
2. "End" = termination; the conclusion of an act or state; that which completes a thing or renders it perfect; Christ completed the law of righteousness when He cried, "It is finished", died, and the veil was rent as a symbol that the law was ended (completed).
3. "Law" = refers to the Mosaic law.
4. "For righteousness" = for justification.
5. "Every one" = to the Jew and also to the Gentiles.
6. "Believeth" = to exercise saving faith in the proper object, which is Christ; the unbeliever is still under law's condemnation and penalty. (I Tim. 1:8-10)
7. The Mosaic law consists of three parts;
A. The ten commandments.
B. The social laws given to guide Israel's conduct.
C. The laws of the tabernacle, sacrifices, and priesthood.
8. None of the three were designed to actually save the Jews. The ten commandments and the social laws were designed to show Israel its sin and bring condemnation upon them. (Rom. 3:20) The laws of the tabernacle, sacrifices, and priesthood did not save but obedience to them on the part of an unsaved Jew resulted in a righteous standing before God if his faith was placed in the proper object which was Christ, the coming sacrifice, not the physical sacrifice which was only a picture or type of the real sacrifice to come.
9. Christ is the goal or aim of the law (Gal. 3:24) and also the fulfillment. (Mat. 5:17) The law can find no fault in Him.
10. Both Moses and Paul clearly understood and taught that legal requirements of conduct would never give an individual a righteous standing before a holy God. This fact is brought out in the next verse as Paul quotes Moses in Lev. 18:5. By quoting the OT scripture Paul shows that he was not introducing a new doctrine.
1. "Moses" = known as the Hebrew lawgiver; really the human instrument through which God gave the law to the Hebrews.
2. "Describeth" = writes.
3. "The righteousness which is of the law" = justification that could only be had by perfect obedience to the law.
4. "Doeth" = obeys; yield obedience.
5. "Those things" = refers to keeping the law perfectly.
6. "Shall live" = refers to eternal life, or life in the new world to come.
7. "By them" = by or in the righteousness that is of the law; mean man stands or falls with it; man must continue his entire life in obedience to the law if he is to have life.
8. Moses did not say that anyone either had yielded or would yield perfect obedience to the law of God. In fact it is certain that it cannot be yielded by fallen creatures. Therefore, Christ fulfilled the law for sinful man so that he can have life and eternal bliss. But one under law has a lot to look forward to-‑horror, terror, gloomy despair, pain, sorrow, and death. (Gal. 3:10-12)
9. Eternal life is by faith in both the OT and NT and it is never earned. Israel was trying to earn eternal life by their own righteousness. Their motive was wrong because saving faith was not involved; therefore, God rejected them.
1. "But" = contrasts the righteousness by faith to the self‑ righteousness by works previously dealt with.
2. Paul quotes various phrases from Deut. 30:11‑14 in verses 6‑8. Notice he does not quote Moses as saying this or meaning this concerning his doctrine.
3. "Speaketh" = Paul personifies the righteousness (justification) by faith as if it were living and describing its own effects and nature.
4. "On this wise" = in this manner.
5. "Say not in thine heart" = don't think or suppose that the doctrine is so difficult to be understood, that one must ascend to heaven in order to understand it.
6. "Who shall ascend into heaven" = an expression used among the Jews to denote a difficult undertaking; the phrase "to ascend to heaven to get understanding" was used to express the highest difficulty. (Job 11:7-8)
7. "That is, to bring Christ down from above" = in parenthesis to show that Paul is not claiming that it was the original design of Moses to affirm this of Christ; Paul is just giving the sense or explaining how this applies to his own doctrine (teaching).
1. "Descend" = to go down.
2. "Deep" = abyss; this word was applied to anything of which the depth or bottom of was not known; the words in Deut. 30:13 are "beyond the sea" = the sea was often called the deep in the OT and sailing on it and over it was expressed by "going down to the sea in ships." (Psa. 107:23‑26)
3. This also was an expression denoting a difficult undertaking.
4. "That is, to bring up Christ again from the dead" = in parenthesis to explain how the phrase Moses used in the OT applies to the doctrine Paul was teaching, that of righteousness by faith, as well as to the law about which Moses was speaking.
1. "What saith it" = again personifying righteousness by faith as if it were living and describing its own effects and nature.
2. "Word" = every utterance of God; Paul in referring to the words themselves which constitute his message of faith. (Rom. 10:17)
3. "Nigh" = near; implies it is easily obtained; that which is remote is difficult to obtain; Note: this is only accomplished by the aid of the Holy Spirit; it is easily obtained when God grants repentance and faith.
4. "In thy mouth" = implies that the doctrine was already so familiar, and so well understood, that it was actually in their mouth, that is, their language, their common conversation; this was true in Moses' day and in Paul's day as well because of the apostles preaching the facts of the gospel were so well known that they might be said to be "in every man's mouth."
5. "In thy heart" = refers to their mind; they not only talked about them but thought about them as well; this was true of what Moses said and also true of the doctrine requiring faith in Christ.
6. "That is" = this is the use Paul makes of it; not saying that Moses referred to the gospel.
7. "Word of faith" = the gospel message concerning faith; the doctrine which requires faith, which is the gospel.
8. "Preach" = to herald forth divine truth of the gospel.
9. Summary of verses 6‑8:
A. Paul represents righteousness of faith as addressing every man who is anxious to obtain salvation in these encouraging words, "Let not the man who yearns for deliverance from his own sinfulness, think that the accomplishment of some impossible task is required in order to enjoy the blessings of the gospel. Let him not think that the personal presence of the Messiah is necessary for him to be saved. Christ does not need to be brought down from heaven, or up from the abyss, to impart to him righteousness."
B. This is not necessary since the Incarnation and Resurrection are facts.
C. Incarnation: Christ has already came down from heaven, robed in flesh through a virgin's womb.
D. Resurrection: Christ not only died on the cross but came forth from the grave and the abyss. He has descended in the earth and has risen from (out from among) the dead.
E. The phrases in verses 6 and 7 are used to express things that are impossible for men to do. Christ has already done that for us. And for men to say such, even in their hearts, is to deny that Christ is come in the flesh (incarnation) and risen from the dead (resurrection).
10. Paul describes the word of faith he preached in verses 9‑13.
1. "Confess" = to speak the same thing; to agree with some person with reference to something; properly means to speak that which agrees with something which others speak or maintain.
2. "With thy mouth" = to speak; to declare it; to do it openly and publicly.
3. "Lord" = supreme in authority.
4. "Jesus" = the earthly name of the Son of God and Jehovah of the OT.
5. "Believe in thine heart" = to have and exercise saving faith, not just in the head or intellect; means to sincerely and truly believe this so that the external profession shall correspond with the real, internal feelings.
6. "Heart" = the seat of the energy of the Holy Spirit.
7. "Hath raised" = to be recalled from the dead to life.
8. "From" = out from among.
9. "Shalt be saved" = to be delivered from the penalty of sin and delivered safely (spirit, soul, and body) in heaven.
10. To confess the Lord Jesus means to confess Jesus as Lord. It means to be in agreement with all that the Scripture says about Him, which included what the names imply:
A. That Jesus is Jehovah of the OT.
B. That He is the Messiah, the one the Jews have been looking for.
11. It also includes a heart belief in His deity, incarnation, sinless life, sacrificial and substitutional death on the cross, His resurrection, and His bodily coming back to earth.
12. No Jew would do this who had not really trusted Christ as his Messiah.
13. No Gentile would do it who had not ceased worshipping the emperor as lord.
14. No one can do this within himself. It takes the work of the Holy Spirit (Ghost) which works repentance and faith so one can believe and confess Jesus as Lord, his personal Lord and Saviour. (I Cor. 12:3b; II Cor. 7:10; John 16:8‑11)
1. "With the heart" = the center and seat of spiritual life; not with the intellect only.
2. "Believeth" = exercises saving faith; the tense is continuous, believes and keeps on believing.
3. "Unto righteousness" = justification; no man can be justified without saving faith for that is God's plan and He will not depart from it.
4. "Confession is made" = profession; same word as verse 9, the tense is continuous action indicating that one who genuinely believes will confess (profess) his attachment to the Lord Jesus not once, but day after day, year after year.
5. The order is correct here. One believes before he confesses. There can be no true attachment to Christ which will not manifest itself in one's life. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. It is impossible for one to have saving faith in his heart and not show it in his life in words and deeds.
6. These confessed and believed truths are constant, life long convictions.
7. "Salvation" = rescue; safety; refers to more than just justification and being saved from the penalty of sin but also to sanctification by which we are being saved day by day from the power of sin and also to glorification when one day we will be saved from the presence of sin, spirit, soul, and body. (I Peter 1:5,9)
1. "Scripture" = OT Scripture; Isa. 28:16; 49:23; Paul backs up what he has said by quoting OT Scripture; this is the second time Paul has used Isa. 28:16. (Rom. 9:33)
2. "Whosoever" = Jews or Gentiles; every one of every nation and kindred; implies it was not confined to the Jews only.
3. "Believeth" = exercises saving faith.
4. "On" = refers to a point reached at a place, time, and purpose; the purpose‑‑justification.
5. "Shall not be ashamed" = will not be disappointed; not put to shame in the sense of being disappointed; in Isa. 28:16 "shall not make haste" = means will not be agitated with fear as one who often makes haste is; he shall not be disappointed in his hopes and will never be ashamed that he was justified.
6. This is not referring to an idea of one being ashamed of the Lord Jesus, but Paul says that the sinner who places his faith (saving) on the Lord Jesus (proper object) will not be defeated or disappointed of doing so in all his life.
1. Difference" = distinction; diversity; advantage; no difference in regard to the subject at hand; in many respects there might be a difference but not in the way of justification before God, for all have sinned, all have failed in obeying the law, and all must be justified in the same way, by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; there is no advantage which the Jew has over the Greek in regard to justification before God.
2. "Jew" = that portion of mankind which professed to yield obedience to the law of Moses; included proselyte Gentiles.
3. "Greek" = Gentile; non Jews; the term Jew and Greek includes all mankind.
4. "Lord" = supreme in authority.
5. "Lord over all" = refers to the fact that there is the same Lord of all; the Jews and Gentiles have one common Lord; the same God had formed them, ruled them, and had the same path for both to eternal life.
6. "Rich" = to have abundance; commonly applied to wealth but here it means that the Lord abounds in mercy and goodness towards all who call upon Him.
7. "Call" = invoke or call earnestly; implies that we must call upon Him with a humble sense of our sinfulness and our need of pardon and with a willingness to receive eternal life as it is offered by saving faith; this call is not with the lips only but with the heart which has been reproved by the Holy Ghost. (I Cor. 12:3b; II Cor 7:10; John 16:8‑11)
8. Paul now verifies this in verse 13 by quoting OT Scripture. (Joel 2:32)
1. "Whosoever" = Jew or Gentile; rich or poor; bond or free; black or white; educated or uneducated; refined or crude; the Jews did not like this word.
2. "Name" = authority; to call upon the name of the Lord is the same as to call on the Lord Himself, for He has and is authority. (Mat. 28:18; power = authority)
3. "Shall be saved" = delivered from sin and its guilt; justified.
4. For one to call on the Lord he must believe from the heart His deity, incarnation, sinless life, sacrificial and substitutional death on the cross, His resurrection, and His bodily coming back to earth. This is the same basic requirement as to confess the Lord Jesus of verse 9.
5. Again I repeat: No Jew would do this who had not really trusted Christ as his Messiah, no Gentile would do it who had not ceased worshipping the emperor as lord, and no one can do this (Jew or Gentile) unless the Holy Ghost has completed His work of reproval in his heart. (I Cor. 12:3b; II Cor 7:10; John 6:8‑11)
2) The Remedy for the Rejection. V. 14‑17
1. The remedy is "saving faith" of which Paul explains how or by what method saving faith must be produced in a person.
2. He begins by asking a series of questions which he knew the Jews would voice in objection to his teaching.
3. "How shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?" = that is, how could they call on one in whose existence, ability, and willingness to help they did not believe; they did not believe Jesus was the Messiah; the objection is, that in order to call on one for help that person must be satisfied that there is such a being, and that He is able to aid him.
4. "How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?" = this position is equally undeniable, that men could not believe in a being of whom they had not heard; the implied objection was, that men could not be expected to believe in one of whose existence they knew nothing, and, of course, that they could not be blamed for not doing it; in the Jews objection, it was not right to make eternal life depend on faith in the Lord Jesus, who they did not believe was the Christ (Messiah).
5. "How shall they hear without a preacher?" = how can men hear, unless someone preach (proclaim) to them that which is to be heard and believed? The objection is, that it is not right to condemn men for not believing what has never been proclaimed to them; therefore, the doctrine that eternal life is based on faith in the Lord Jesus cannot be just and right.
6. "Preacher" = to herald forth as a public crier, divine truth.
1. "How shall they preach, except they be sent?"
A. "How" = does not refer to the manner of preaching, but to the fact that there would be no preachers at all unless they were sent forth.
B. "Preach" = to proclaim in a public manner as a crier does: to proclaim the gospel to men.
C. "Except" = unless.
D. "Be sent" = to put forth into action; set apart; implies being divinely commissioned and sent forth by God; He who sends a message to men can alone designate the proper persons to bear it; He does this through His church (Acts 13:1‑4; Gal. 1:15‑16); Jesus charged the church to pray for laborers (Mat. 9:36‑38); preaching is God's plan (I Cor.1:21); human instrumentally is necessary and must cross ones path before they will be saved. (Acts 8:30‑31)
E. The point of objection is this: Men could not believe unless the message was sent to them, and God had not actually sent it to all men; therefore, it could not be just to make eternal life depend on so impracticable a thing as faith in Christ for eternal life.
2. The oft‑repeated "how" in these verses represent vital, searching, and challenging questions.
3. "It is written" = the tense reveals it was written down in time past and is still on record today; Paul gives the sense of Isa. 52:7 to confirm what has just been put forth in the objection‑‑the importance and necessity of there being messengers of salvation.
4. "Beautiful" = attractive; lovely; the idea of the word includes vigor, thus vigorous feet; the image in Isaiah is that of a herald seen at first leaping or running on a distant hill (Isaiah uses the words "upon the mountains" = which makes the passage more picturesque), when he first comes in sight, with tidings of joy from a field of battle, or from a distant land; the appearance of such a man to those who were in captivity, would be an image full of gladness and joy.
5. "The feet" = indicates the feet of a herald, naked and dusty from travelling, would be naturally objects of disgust, but are made pleasant by the joy of the message; emphasizes the rapid approach of the messenger. (II Sam. 18:24‑27)
6. "Preach the gospel" = one word in the Greek; announce the good news of peace.
7. "Peace" = to set at one again (so translated in Acts 7:26); the verb form of this word means to bind together that which has been separated; refers to reconciliation with God. (Rom. 5:1)
8. "Bring glad tidings" = one word in the Greek, same as "preach the gospel"; announce the good news of good things.
9. "Good things" = refers to the benefits of the Messianic kingdom.
10. The sequence in these verses are:
A. The preacher is sent by God through the church.
B. He preaches the gospel and matters pertaining to it (the deity, virgin birth, sinless life, death, burial, resurrection, ascension, intercession, and bodily coming back).
C. The sinner hears the gospel message as it is sharpened by the Holy Ghost. (Heb. 4:12; I Thess. 1:5)
D. The sinner believes the message due to saving faith being given to him. (Eph. 2:8; John 3:27)
E. Then he calls and confesses (believing all the Scripture says about the Lord Jesus, even though they do not understand all about it) that Jesus is his Lord.
F. He is saved (justified).
G. Then he recognizes the beauty of the feet of the one who brought him the gospel message, appreciates him, loves him, and is thankful to the Lord for him.
11. In context, the ones who bear the gospel message have beautiful feet in the eyes of the Lord also. He is precious to the Lord due to the fact Jesus had no posterity, no children to carry on the family name (in a sense) but when preachers submit to the call of the Lord to carry the message, in essence they are declaring His generation and the Lord says their feet are beautiful to Him. (Isa. 53:8)
1. This verse is not a continuation of the objection of the Jew but part of the answer of Paul.
2. "Obeyed" = to heed or conform to a command or authority; they heard but did not act upon what they heard.
3. "Gospel" = the good news of the death, burial, and resurrection and all the other facts about the Lord Jesus.
4. "Esaias" = Isaiah. (Isa. 53:1)
5. "Lord" = supreme in authority; Jehovah.
6. "Believed" = saving faith exercised; the Greek construction reveals that few or none had believed.
7. "Our report" = our message; that which is delivered to be heard and believed.
1. "So then" = indicating a report or message was necessary.
2. "Faith" = refers to saving faith; this is also true of any kind of faith.
3. "Hearing" = same word as "report" in verse 16; does not mean that all who hear actually believe, for that is not true; but that faith does not exist unless there is a message or report to be heard or believed.
4. "Word" = utterance; refers to every utterance of God, whenever and however He speaks.
5. This shows us the importance of the message, and the fact that men are converted by the instrumentality of truth, and of truth only.
3) The Result of the Rejection. V.18‑21
1. "But I say" = Paul replies to the Jew's objection.
2. "Have they not heard?"= a question but affirming that they had heard.
3. "They" = refers to the Gentiles in this verse while in verse 19 he deals especially with Israel (Jews).
4. "Yes, verily" = one word in the Greek; an intense expression, denoting strong affirmation.
5. Paul quotes Psa. 19:4 which refers back to Psa. 19:1‑3.
6. "Their" = heavens; firmament; day and night. (Psa. 19:1-3)
7. "Sound" = utterance; a musical note; a tone made by a stringed instrument; "line" of Psa. 19:4; the heavens proclaim God's existence‑-music to my ears; as applied to the heavens, it means they speak, or proclaim the wisdom and power of God.
8. "Earth" = the planet on which man lives.
9. "Ends" = extremity.
10. "World" = the inhabited earth.
1. "But I say" = still further discourse to meet the objection; he shows that the doctrine he was teaching was actually taught in the O.T.
2. "Did not Israel know?" = a question, but the Greek affirms that they should have known but they did not know.
3. "Israel" = Jews.
4. "Know" = knowledge gained by experience; involves the idea of understanding what is heard; Israel did not understand for Jesus showed them so in John 5:39‑40.
5. Paul does not deny the principle contained in the Jew's objection in verses 14‑15‑‑that the gospel should be preached in order that men might be justly condemned for not believing it, nor that the messengers must be sent by God, nor that faith comes by hearing. All of this he readily admits. But he proceeds to show from the OT that all this had been actually furnished to the Jews and to the Gentiles and that they were actually in possession of the message, and could not plead that they had never heard it. They all had light (John 1:9) but failed to step in it. (John 1:5)
6. "First" = in the first place.
7. "Moses saith" = refers to the writings of Moses which are the first five books of the OT; quotes Deut. 32:21.
8. "Provoke to jealousy" = one word in the Greek; excite to rivalry; in Deuteronomy the context refers to the idolatrous and wicked conduct of the Israelites which provoked God or excited His indignation; they had shown favor, or affection for that which was not God (true also in Paul's day as well as Moses' day) and by so doing had provoked Him to anger; as a result God also would show favor to those whom they regarded as "no people" (Gentiles), and that would provoke them to anger.
9. "Foolish" = unintelligent; void of understanding; refers to the Gentiles, a nation who had no understanding of the true God.
10. "Anger" = enrage; by God bestowing favor on the Gentiles would excite the Jews anger.
1. Now Paul quotes Isaiah. First Moses, now Isaiah. (Isa. 65:1)
2. "Esaias" = Isaiah.
3. "Is very bold" = to dare; to be venturesome; Paul describes Isaiah as bold in that he expresses the doctrine openly, boldly, and without any reserve; means that however unpopular the doctrine might be, or however dangerous it was to declare openly that Israel would be rejected and the Gentile nation be turned to‑‑Isaiah had declared that a long time ago.
4. "I" = the Lord; Isaiah is saying what the Lord said.
5. "I was found" = in the past tense here but in the present tense in the OT which indicates that the time would come when the Gentiles would be brought to the knowledge of the true God; this had already taken place in Paul's day.
6. "Was made manifest" = became apparent; became clear; refers to God giving proof of His saving grace unto the Gentiles.
7. "Asked not after" = did not inquire, ask for, or seek after God.
8. This verse does not mean that we can expect to find God if we do not seek for Him. But God takes the initiative and makes it possible for people to seek and find Him, and they do, even Gentiles whose character was not to seek God. Yet, they would have in Isaiah's day, and had, in Paul's day, the gospel sent to them and they would and did embrace it by saving faith. Cornelius is an example in Acts 10 and 11. When Peter explained the events concerning Cornelius being saved, the saved Jewish brethren stated in Acts 11:18 that God had granted the Gentiles repentance.
9. Israel missed that in the OT Scriptures; therefore, they did not know (understand).
1. Paul now quotes Isa. 65:2. The preceding quotation established the doctrine that the Gentiles were to be called. Now he proceeds to establish that the Jews would be rejected.
2. "He" = the Lord.
3. "All day long" = continually, without intermission; implying that their acts of rebellion were not a one time thing but an established character of the people.
4. "Stretched forth" = to extend; denotes an attitude of an earnest request; a willingness and earnest desire to receive them to favor. (Pro. 1:24; Mat. 23:37)
5. "Disobedient" = to disbelieve; not confiding or obeying; the word is "rebellious" in Isaiah.
6. "Gainsaying" = to oppose one's self to one; decline to obey Him; refuse to have anything to do with Him; resisting and opposing; implies they talked back to God.
7. The Gentiles were obedient to the Lord's outstretched hand which the Jews rejected. The Lord's constant, loving, urgent, day‑long appeal to Israel found them stubborn in their rebellion, for they continued to walk in ways that God saw were not good, following their own thoughts (plans and imaginations). Therefore, the Lord rejected Israel and established His church and He was just and righteous in doing so for they had heard but they did not know (understand).
8. God was sovereign in election and He was sovereign in rejection and He is still sovereign.
3. Israel's Future Reception. V. 1‑36
1. This chapter discusses Israel's future, and answers the question, "Has God permanently cast aside His people, or is there a future for the nation?"
2. Paul states that the answer is a definite yes‑‑that there is a future for Israel and he presents several proofs.
1) The Personal Proof. V. 1‑2a
3. "I say then" = an expression to be regarded as conveying the sense of an objection; Paul had declared the doctrine that Israel was rejected; therefore, a Jew might naturally ask this question, "Hath God cast away his people?"
4. "Cast away" = to thrust away from one's self; to reject; to drive away from one's self; the Greek text implies forever.
5. "His people" = those who have been long in the covenant relation to God; national Israel.
6. "God forbid" = Paul's answer to the Jews objection; may it not be or it cannot be; horrors to think such a thing; a strong expression denying that this could take place.
7. "For I also am an Israelite" = proof that all Jews have not rejected Christ; Paul is stating that his salvation is proof that God has not cast all Jews away.
8. "Of the seed of Abraham" = descended from Abraham; this shows he was a Jew in every respect.
9. "Of the tribe of Benjamin" = regarded as an honor to have belonged to one of the tribes (Judah or Benjamin) which bordered the temple in Jerusalem; also regarded to be of great importance to preserve their genealogy, not only a Jew but to designate the tribe and family to which they belonged; may have been stated to show how God preserved the tribe of Benjamin in the days of the Judges when all but 600 men of that tribe was killed. (Judges Chapters 20‑21)
10. I Tim. 1:16 states that Paul's conversion was a pattern to others. This refers to all that would be saved, Jew or Gentile, they would experience the longsuffering of God while being His enemy, kick against the pricks of Holy Ghost conviction, and experience grace, mercy, repentance, and faith, which is what Paul experienced. (Acts 9) It could be said he is also a pattern for future Israel, who were like Paul, in rebellion and unbelief, yet the Lord revealed himself to him just as He will sometime in the future to Israel. (Zech. 12:10) We have to admit, the how or when cannot be pinpointed at this date due to there not being enough light on this subject at this time, but it will happen.
1. Now Paul states plainly that God will not cast away His people forever.
2. "Foreknew" = to foresee; to know before hand; implies a previous purpose or plan.
2) The Historical Proof. V. 2b‑10
3. "Wot" = to know by revelation; to have absolute positive knowledge of the facts.
4. "Scripture" = OT Scripture; I Kings 19:10,14,18; the sense is quoted in verses 3‑4.
5. "Of Elias" = refers to that portion of Scripture which gives an account of Elijah.
6. "Maketh intercession against" = to plead against; to accuse: he charges Israel with crime.
1. "Lord" = supreme in authority; Jehovah in OT.
2. "They" = nation of Israel.
3. "Killed" = to kill outright; to destroy; Elijah regarded the act of killing the prophets as expressive of the character of the nation even though Jezebel was the person responsible. (I King 18:4,13)
4. "Prophets" = foretellers by divine inspiration.
5. "Digged down" = to undermine; to completely destroy.
6. "Altars" = a place of sacrifice, required by the law of Moses to be made of earth or unhewn stones, thus they could be "digged down." (Exo. 20:24‑25)
7. "I am left alone" = he stated he was the only prophet that was left alive; this statement seems to imply that even the prophets hid by Obadiah in a cave had been discovered and put to death by Ahab. (I Kings 18:13)
8. "They seek my life" = Ahab and Jezebel seek to kill me; the reason was because Elijah had overcome and slain 450 prophets of Baal in I Kings 18. (I Kings 19:1‑2)
9. Israel was running to idolatry. The civil rulers were criminally wicked, and were leading in the universal apostasy. And all the influences of wealth and power were setting in against the true religion to destroy it. Therefore, it was only natural that Elijah should feel disheartened and lonely. From where he stood he seemed like he was the only man standing for the Lord.
1. "But" = contrast.
2. "Answer of God" = one word in the Greek; means an oracle, a divine response; an answer made to his complaint to God; the answer came not in a storm, or an earthquake but in a still small voice which would comfort, yet silence every murmur. (I Kings 19:11‑12)
3. "I have reserved" = I have caused to remain; this reveals it was of God that this was done; amidst the general corruption and idolatry He had restrained a part, though it was only a remnant; the Lord claims the honor of the condition of those who remained true and does not trace it to any goodness or virtue in them; the same is true of all saved from sin and ruin, the honor belongs not to man, but to God.
4. "To myself" = for the Lord's service and glory; He kept them steadfast in worship and did not allow them to become idolaters; GRACE! GRACE! GRACE!
5. "Seven thousand" = seven is often used in the Scriptures to denote an indefinite or round number and may have been so used here; Elijah supposed he was alone but at that moment there were thousands who were true friends of God; a small number compared with the multitude of idolaters but a large number when compared with what was thought to be remaining by the dejected and disheartened prophet.
6. "Bowed the knee" = to bow or bend the knee is as expression denoting worship; negated by "not" thus they did not worship Baal.
7. "Baal" = name of the idol of the Phoenicians and Canaanites; represented by an image of a bull, denoting the sun, or a calf, denoting the moon.
8. "The image of" = in italics indicating the word is not in the Greek text but placed there by the translators to show that the god, Baal, was represented by an image and was not just a spirit.
1. "Even so then" = just as there was a remnant in Elijah's day, there is also a remnant in Paul's day.
2. "At this present time" = in the time when the apostle wrote; the same applies to our day, for those who stand true to the Lord constitute only a remnant.
3. "Remnant" = a remainder; that which is left; speaks of those who were left out of the general apostasy; Isa. 1:9 says "a very small remnant" = yet for their sake, God still forbeared to destroy the nation.
4. "According to the election of grace" = by a gracious or merciful choosing and not by any merit of their own.
5. Election is based upon three things: (I Peter 1:2)
A. "Foreknowledge" = God sees and knows what He can do in one's heart (II Sam. 16:7); the potter knows clay and what kind of vessel he can make of it; this does not do away with the total depravity of man (nothing good at all in man); God is sovereign, chief, supreme, above all others for there is no other.
B. "Sanctification of the Spirit" = refers to the setting apart work of the Holy Spirit called "godly sorrow" (II Cor. 7:10), "Holy Ghost conviction" or "reproval" (John 16:8‑11), whereby the Holy Spirit brings one out of the kingdom of darkness and sphere of the Devil's control into the kingdom of light and the sphere of God's control; this works repentance and produces faith in the sinner.
C. "Obedience" = point where repentance and faith are worked, then a sinner can repent and believe unto salvation, thus obedience; man must repent and believe to be saved. (Luke 13:3; Acts 16:30-31)
6. "Is" = the tense is perfect which reveals that this remnant has come into being and is a permanent part of the host of the saved.
7. During the captivity (Babylonian) the remnant appeared in Jews like Ezekiel, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Esther, and Mordecai.
8. After captivity it was only a remnant which returned under Ezra and Nehemiah.
9. At the first advent of our Lord it was only a remnant of John the Baptist, Simeon, Anna, and "them that looked for the redemption in Jerusalem." (Luke 2:38)
10. It is the basic teaching of the Word that the majority always falls from the faith (apostasy; not losing their salvation) and cannot be reformed, so that God must take the remnant and begin over again.
1. "Grace" = undeserved favor; the divine influence upon the heart which reflects in one's life; G = God's, R = Riches, A = At, C = Christ's, E = Expense.
2. "Works" = conformity to law; toil; merit; a favorite notion of the Jews was that man was justified by obedience to the law; Paul had just reminded them that in the time of Elijah it was because God had reserved them and the same was the case now; therefore, their doctrine of merit (works) could not be true. (Eph. 2:8‑9)
3. "Otherwise" = if men are justified by their works, it could not be a matter of favor (grace) but was a debt.
4. "Is no more grace" = no longer becomes grace; loses its character as grace. (Gal. 5:4; grace ceases to be effective in that person's life)
5. "If it be of works then it is no more grace" = if one could be saved by conformity to the law (works), it would be by merit, something due one, or debt, thus no favor (grace) in giving what was due.
6. "Otherwise work is no more work" = works would lose their essential characteristic if there was favor (grace).
7. Basically, Paul is saying salvation is all of grace with the entire exclusion of all human work. This is true whether it be Jew or Gentile.
1. "What then?" = what is the proper conclusion from this argument? Since God did not put Israel away (verse 1) what is true?
2. "Israel" = Jews as a nation.
3. "Hath not obtained" = did not attain; did not arrive at.
4. "That which he seeketh for" = salvation by their own obedience to the law.
5. "Election" = selection; based upon three things: (I Peter 1:2; see verse 5)
6. "Hath obtained" = attained; to arrive at.
7. "It" = the favor (grace) and mercy of God.
8. "The rest" = remaining ones; those not elected; remember man's rejection of light shuts him outside of God's favor.
9. "Blinded" = to render stupid or callous; to grow hard or callous; become dull; lose the power of understanding and become more or less insensitive to feeling; translated "hardened" in Mark 6:52.
1. That in parenthesis is inserted to explain verse 7.
2. "It is written" = perfect tense; refers to scripture written down in past time and stands on record today (Isa. 29:10); Paul does not literally quote the verse but gives the sense of it.
3."God" = LORD in Isaiah; Jehovah.
4. "Spirit of slumber" = stupor; lethargy; refers to any influence that would numb the faculties and make them insensible.
5. "Eyes that they should not see" = sightless spiritual eyes; describes the eyes when one slumbers, they are insensible to surrounding objects; refers to the mind. (II Cor. 4:3‑4)
6. "Ears that they should not hear" = deaf spiritual ears; describe the ears when one slumbers, they are insensible to sounds around them.
7. "Unto this day" = refers back to "blinded" in verse 7; means until the day Paul wrote this; the characteristic of the Jews that existed in the time of Isaiah, existed also in the time of Paul.
8. The Jews had all the proper faculties for understanding and receiving the gospel, yet they rejected it. They were stupid and insensible to its claims and truths, so insensible that they were not at all affected by the offer of salvation through the Messiah.
9. A Bible example of God of giving a spirit of slumber (blinding or hardening one's heart) is Pharoah in Exo. 4:21. God hardened Pharoah's heart by forcing him to an issue against which he hardened his own heart in refusal. Light (truth) rejected and rightful obedience refused, eventually hardens conscience and heart. (Exo. 8:15 says he hardened his heart)
1. "David saith" = the psalmist David wrote in Psa. 69:22‑23 of which Paul gives the sense in verses 9‑10.
2. "Table" = denotes food; represents material prosperity, feasting in wicked security.
3. "Snare" = a trap; figure of temptation; that by which birds were taken; David's petition is, that while they were seeking refreshment and joy, and anticipating at their table no danger, it might be made the means of their ruin; the only way in which this could be done would be, that their temporal enjoyment would lead them away from God, and produce stupidity and indifference to their spiritual interests which is often the result of the pleasures of the table, or seeking sensual gratifications.
4. "Trap" = same basically as snare; refers to catching wild beasts to destroy them; speaks of preparing destruction for men.
5. "Stumbling block" = trapstick; anything over which one stumbles or falls; refers to anything which occasions one to sin or cause ruin to one's self.
6. "Recompence" = a just retribution; to repay.
1. "Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see" = refers again, as verse 8 to spiritual eyes being blinded.
2. "Bow down their back alway" = to afflict; means let them be called to bear heavy and oppressive burdens; the bowed back is a striking picture of servitude.
3. David's psalm is his prayer which actually prophesied that which had actually occurred in the time of the apostle. His prayer was answered in that their very enjoyments and their national and private privileges (table), had been the means of alienating them from God. These things had been a snare to them and were the cause of their blindness, infidelity, and insensibility. Paul shows the Jews that it was long ago predicted, or invoked, as a punishment on them for giving the Messiah vinegar to drink (refers to punishment due to the cross). (Psa. 69:21; Mat. 27:33‑34, 48)
4. The curse of anti‑Semitism has driven the Jew from land to land. The torture and suffering has been almost unbelievable. The price has been bitter and will continue until they "shall look upon (Him) whom they have pierced." (Zech. 12:10) They asked for this curse in Mat. 27:25. (Mat. 27:21‑25)
5. The idea concerning their blindness is at first, they would not believe the light (truth) they had, and then in God's reaction against their sin of rejection they could not believe. (John 12:36‑40)
3) The Dispensational Proof. V. 11‑24
1. Keep in mind Paul is discussing nations, Jews and Gentiles, not individuals.
2. "Have they stumbled that they should fall?" = in the Greek the question is asked with a negative answer expected.
3. "Stumbled" = to trip; to err; sin.
4. First "fall" = to perish; come to an end; disappear; the tense refers to their fall being complete and permanent.
5. "God forbid" = by no means; it was not the design of God that the Jews should totally and irrecoverably be cast off so that they cannot be recovered.
6. "But" = contrast.
7. Second "fall" = a lapse or deviation from truth and uprightness; to be sidetracked; refers to all their conduct and doom at the coming of the Messiah, and in the breaking up of their establishment as a nation; the following all enter into the meaning of the word fall here:
A. Their rejection of the Messiah. (John 1:11)
B. The destruction of their city and temple by Titus in AD 70.
C. The ceasing of their ceremonial rites.
D. The rejection and dispersion of their nation by the Romans.
E. These all were the occasion of introducing salvation to the Gentiles.
8. "Salvation" = deliverance; refers to Christian religion with all its saving benefits.
9. "Is come" = in italics, thus not in the original but supplied by the translators because it is implied in the Greek; this does not mean that all the Gentiles would be saved but that the way was open to them.
10. Because the Jews deviated from truth and uprightness, it was an occasion taken to introduce the Gentiles to the privileges of the gospel. A Gentile does not have to become a Jew before he can become a Christian. (Rom. 1:16) Under the dispensation (a period of time during which God deals in a particular way with man in respect to sin and man's responsibility; man is not saved differently in each dispensation but in all dispensations he was, is, and will be saved one way‑‑by grace through faith) of law he had to become a proselyte Jew before he could get in on the blessings of God.
11. "Gentiles" = all the world that were not Jews.
12. "Provoke to jealousy" = one word in the Greek; excite to rivalry; Paul refers to what Moses stated in Deut. 32:21; for God to show favor to the Gentiles would excite the Jew to anger and rivalry.
1. "If" = since; refers to fulfilled condition, a statement assumed to be true.
2. "Fall" = lapse or deviation from truth and uprightness; to be sidetracked.
3. "Riches" = wealth; anything that may promote our comfort or happiness; refers to the enrichment of the world of sinners in the sense that salvation now is come directly to the Gentiles.
4. "Diminishing" = decrease; defeat; loss; the idea is not that the nation is diminished in number, but that it has suffered defeat in its spiritual life and loss of the blessing that accompany salvation; remember Paul is referring to the nation not individuals.
5. "Much more" = in a greater degree.
6. "Fulness" = that which fills up or completes anything; here it stands opposed to their fall and diminishing and refers to their complete restoration (recovery from unbelief and apostasy) to the favor of God.
7. Since their fall and diminishing brought riches to the Gentiles, how much more will their restoration, to full privilege.
1. "I speak" = tense shows continuous action; Paul speaks and will continue to speak to them; he wanted to stir the Gentiles up so they would be thankful and to warn them against abusing or taking for granted God's mercy.
2. "Gentiles" = refers to the saints in the church at Rome who were not Jews. (Rom. 1:7)
3. "Apostle" = an ambassador of the gospel; one sent on a commission to represent another person, the person sent being given credentials and the responsibility of carrying out the orders of the one sending him; Paul met the qualifications of Acts 1:21‑22 on the road to Damascus by special revelation as I Cor. 15:8 bears out.
4. "Apostle of the Gentiles" = to the Gentiles; he was especially called to carry the gospel to the Gentiles even though he preached at times to the Jews. (Acts 9:15; Gal. 2:7‑8)
5. "Magnify" = to glorify; to honor.
6. "Office" = ministry; refers to his being an apostle to the Gentiles; Paul honors his ministry in the sense that he honors it by the faithful discharge of its duties.
1. "By any means" = perhaps; anyhow; somehow; refers to Paul statement of unpleasant truths.
2. "Provoke to emulation" = same word as "provoke to jealousy" in verse 11; excite to rivalry; refers to their being awaken to an earnest desire to obtain like blessings as the Gentiles‑‑salvation.
3. "Them which are my flesh" = my countrymen; my kinsmen; those belonging to the same family or nation (Jews).
4. "Might save" = deliver from the penalty of sin; this does not mean that Paul would or could save them but that the humbling truth of their rejection would provoke them to jealousy and awaken them to their real need, thus being the means of saving the souls of his countrymen.
5. Paul's mission to the Gentiles had an indirect bearing on his own countrymen. The more successful he could make it the greater the prospect that some of the Jews may be provoked to jealousy and be saved, thus relieving some of his burden he spoke of in Rom. 10:1.
1. "If" = since; in view of the fact; refers to a fulfilled condition, a statement assumed as true.
2. "Casting away" = rejection; refers to their exclusion from their natural privileges on account of their unbelief; same as "the fall of them" in verse 12.
3. "Reconciling" = restoration of favor; refers to the restoration of the favor of God to sinners that repent and put their trust in the finished work of Christ.
4. "The world" = refers to many of the Gentiles who had become reconciled to God as the result of the casting away of the Jews‑‑an occasion by which God sent the gospel to the nations of the earth. (Rom. 8:28)
5. "The receiving" = admission; same as "fulness" in verse 12; refers to the Jew's complete recovery from unbelief and apostasy to the favor of God.
6. "But life from the dead" = Paul answers his own question in this verse; speaks of the salvation of many Jews and also the effect will be felt in the salvation of many Gentiles; may refer to the first resurrection from the dead which will follow the conversion of the Jews, and the fulness of the Gentiles at which time there will be nothing more to be done in the way of grace. (Rev. 20:6)
7. Note: There are a lot of things concerning the restoration of Israel as to what and when that at this present time we do not have enough light to be specific. But I do believe as the end time things begin to unfold that we will be able to piece together more and more the what and when. (I Thess. 5:4‑5)
1. "Holy" = set apart or consecrated to God.
2. "Firstfruit" = the beginning of sacrifice; refers to a portion of the dough of each baking set apart and offered to God as He commanded. (Num. 15:20‑21)
3. "Lump" = the mass or rest of the dough.
4. "If" = since; refers to a fulfilled condition, a statement assumed to be true; since the firstfruit be set apart (holy) the lump is also set apart, then it is lawful for the owner to partake of it; the offering of a part has consecrated the whole.
5. Paul gives another illustration using the "root" and the "branches" of a tree. Since (if) the root be holy (set apart) so are the branches because the branches receive life from the root.
6. "Firstfruit" and "root" refer to the patriarchs-‑Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, who were set apart. Because they were set apart, then Israel has been set apart for God as a chosen nation through which salvation could be produced and channeled to the rest of the human race. Don't cuss the Jews for Jesus said, "Salvation is of the Jews." (John 4:22) The Jews gave us Jesus, our only Lord and Saviour. (Acts 4:12)
1. The illustration here is taken from the practice of those who ingraft trees, the process of grafting branches into the stump of a tree to produce proper fruit. The useless branches, or those which bear poor fruit, are cut off, and a better kind inserted.
2. "If" = since; refers to a fulfilled condition, a statement assumed to be true.
3. "Some of the branches" = refers to the Jews who were broken off.
4. "Thou" = denotes the Gentiles, a wild olive tree.
5. "Wild olive tree" = was unfruitful or its fruit was imperfect and useless while the cultivated olive tree produced much fruit; the emblem of unfruitfulness and barrenness; applied to the Gentiles as being unfruitful in holiness while the Jews were cultivated in the sense that they had been under the training and blessing of God since Abraham's day.
6. "Graffed in" = to ingraft; to unite or join.
7. "Among them" = among the branches, so as to partake with them of the juices of the root.
8. "Partakest with them" = co‑partner; to be a participant with others.
9. "The root" = refers to Abraham and the promises made to him and to his seed (Rom. 4:13); spiritual Israel.
10. "Fatness" = fertility; fruitfulness; richness.
11. The Gentiles now derive nourishment from the root as much as though they were a natural branch of the tree. They enjoy the benefit of Abraham's faith, holy labors, and of the promises made to him and to his seed.
12. This illustration reveals that the Gentiles enjoy the blessings of salvation during this dispensation of grace.
1. "Boast not against" = glory not against; do not exalt yourself over; Paul cautions the Gentiles not to think themselves better than the Jews because he knew the tendency of men to triumph over one that is fallen or rejected; the Greek construction forbids the continuance of an action already going on.
2. "If thou boast" = if thou are so inconsiderate and wicked, so devoid of humility, and lifted up with pride as to boast, you need to realize there is no occasion for boasting.
3. If there were an occasion for boasting, it be would in the root or stock which sustains (bearest) the branches. The Gentiles, which were grafted in, where before wholly unfruitful; therefore, they had no occasion to boast or glory.
4. We, Gentiles, need to remember that all we boast of in this day of grace we owe to the Jews, the root. Our Lord was a Jew and to Him be all glory.
1. "Thou" = refers to a presumptuous Gentile saying this.
2. He (Gentile) reasons that the reason for the Jews being rejected was so the Gentiles might be grafted in. This seems to follow what Paul said in verse 11‑12. But this is not the reason as he plainly states in the next verse.
1. "Well" = true, they were broken off; but in order to show that there was no occasion for boasting, Paul adds that they were not rejected in order to admit others but because of their unbelief.
2. "Unbelief" = lack of faith; refers to their failure to believe in the promised seed (Lord Jesus Christ; the Messiah) revealed to Abraham.
3. "Broken off" = cut off; rejected.
4. "Standest by faith" = means the continuance of these merits to you depends on your remaining faithful; if you remain faithful, they will be preserved, but if you, like the Jews, become unbelieving and unfruitful, you will also be rejected.
5. "Be not highminded" = to be proud; thinking thoughts that lift up one's pride; the Greek construction forbids the continuance of an action already going on; stop thinking high (proud) thoughts because of your privileges that would cause you to boast and have self‑confidence.
6. "But" = contrast; this fear stands opposed to the spirit of boasting and self‑confidence.
7. "Fear" = does not mean terror or horror but reverence, respect, and an awe for the Lord with a hatred for evil; the tense indicates that this needs to be habitual, continuous action; denotes humility and watchfulness so as to abide in faith.
1. "If" = since; refers to a fulfilled condition, a statement assumed to be true; God did not spare the natural branches.
2. "Natural branches" = Jews.
3. "Take heed" = in italics, thus supplied by the translators to make us aware in English the strong warning Paul gives the Gentiles in the Greek.
4. Paul is speaking of nations. Remember there was a remnant of Jews saved and there will be a remnant of Gentiles saved even when the Lord cuts off the Gentiles (this time will come). (verse 25; Luke 21:24)
5. Paul is not talking about one losing his salvation but speaking to the unsaved Gentiles who are in danger of being cut off.
1. "Behold" = to know with an absolute knowledge; to look at; regard.
2. "Therefore" = in view of the warning given in verse 21, Paul admonishes the Gentile saints to regard (behold), for purposes of their own improvement and benefit, the dealings of God.
3. "Goodness" = kindness; refers to the benevolence or mercy of God toward Gentiles in admitting them to His favor.
4. "Severity" = roughness; rigor; refers to the Jews being rejected by God and cut off the root as useless branches.
5. "On them" = Jews.
6. "Fell" = having fallen; to miss a share in the Messianic salvation due to their lapse or deviation from truth and uprightness.
7. "Toward thee" = Gentiles.
8. "If" = refers to a condition undetermined but with the prospect of determination or fulfillment; the condition is that you continue in His goodness if you are to remain in His favor.
9. "Continue"= to remain; abide; persevere; refers to the perseverance of the saints.
10. "His goodness" = denotes integrity and uprightness.
11. "Otherwise" = opposite side of the coin; contrast the failure to keeping the condition.
12. "Thou also" = Gentiles will be cut off like the Jews were.
13. "Cut off" = refers to the illustration of removing the branches of the tree; implies rejection from God's favor. (John 15:2)
14. Remember Paul is dealing with nations, but can be applied to individuals. He is not saying a person can lose his salvation because he deals with the fact that the Lord's saints, those genuinely saved, persevere or continue in the faith. Jesus said concerning the Jews which believed in John 8:31, that they were His disciples indeed (truly) if they continue in His word. They claimed to be saved but were not because in John 8:44 Jesus said, "Ye are of your father the devil." They did not lose their salvation but were never saved, only professors believing with the head and not the heart.
15. Hebrews 3:6 states one is of Christ's house (belongs to Him; saved), "if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end." Also Heb. 4:14 states, "we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end."
16. True saints persevere and will not be deceived even by the Antichrist. (John 10:27, 5; Mat. 24:24)
17. This refutes the doctrine taught by many that one can be saved and live in sin for years, then get right with God. I contend, using scripture as my basis, that one who lives in sin for years without the chastisement of God, has never been saved. (Heb. 12:8) In fact I do not believe one can go two years in sin without crossing God's deadline and committing a sin unto death. (I John 5:16; Heb. 10:26‑29) Two years in sin is continuous sin and I John 3:9 states that one who is born of God does not commit (practice continuous) sin.
18. This brings up a question: Can a genuine saved person enter a second marriage? Mat. 5:32 and 19:9 states plainly that both the man and the woman commit adultery if they marry after they have been divorced. The words "commit and committeth" are continuous action verbs, therefore one entering such a relationship would be fulfilling I John 3:9. Some claim a lack of understanding about divorce and remarriage therefore no adultery would be involved because of ignorance. If that be the case what are we going to do with John 16:13 and I John 2:27 concerning a saved person? For a person to enter such a relationship they would not be continuing in the goodness (integrity) of God, the result of which would cause one to be "cut off" as this verse brings out. You might say, "That is hard." John the Baptist got his head cut off for standing true on this subject. (Mark 6:18) Paul told Timothy in II Tim. 4:2‑4 to preach doctrine but the problem is that many don't want to hear truth but instead they want to hear something that tickles their ears. The people of Judah didn't want to hear right things but instead, smooth things. (Isa. 30:10) When the Lord lays something on my heart I must speak it. If I failed to warn you of a rattlesnake that was in your path and I knew about it, I would be a sorry fellow. Therefore I must warn you to examine yourself (II Cor. 13:5) to see if you are really saved or have been deceived. Let me say, there is hope for all sin to be forgiven, and that includes adultery. (I Cor. 6:9-11)
19. If one does not continue in the goodness of God, he will be cut off, rejected, because he was never saved.
1. "They also" = the Jews.
2. "If" = refers to a condition undetermined but with the prospect of determination or fulfillment.
3. "Abide not" = do not continue.
4. "Unbelief" = lack of faith; refers to their failure to believe in the promised seed (Lord Jesus Christ) revealed to Abraham.
5. "Graffed in" = to ingraft; to unite or join to the main stock.
6. "Is able" = capable and powerful enough; the tense is continuous which reveals that He is able and will continue to be able.
7. "Again" = anew.
8. This is a promise of God's goodness to the Jews if they do not continue in willful obstinacy and rejection of the Messiah. Since their unbelief was the sole cause of their rejection, when that is removed, they may again be restored to Divine favor and God is certainly able to graft them back in the root stock (spiritual Israel: Rom. 2:28-29). They will at that time be saved by grace through faith just as Gentiles are in this dispensation.
1. "If" = since; refers to a fulfilled condition, a statement assumed to be true.
2. "Thou" = Gentiles.
3. "Wert cut out of" = refers to the Gentiles as being like a cutting off the wild olive tree.
4. "Which is wild by nature" = refers to being uncultivated and unfruitful.
5. "Wert graffed contrary to nature" = contrary to their natural habits, thoughts, and practices; indicates that their moral character and habits were unlike those of Israel; the Jews understood the illustration of grafting and knew that grafting a wild olive tree was contrary to nature; normally the good branch was grafted into the wild tree and received its needed sap for growth from the inferior tree which enabled it to produce fruit.
6. "How much more shall these?" = natural branches; the Jews.
7. Summary of this verse: If God had mercy on the Gentiles, who were outcasts of His favor, shall He not much rather bestow favor on those who were so long His people, to whom had been given the promises, the covenants, and the law, whose ancestors had been so many of them His friends, and among whom the Messiah was born?
8. God can graft the natural Israel back upon spiritual Israel if they become willing. Israel's blindness will be taken away (II Cor. 3:13‑16) and they will be grafted back in. God has a future for Israel.
9. Some may ask how can this be? How can a broken, dried, and dead branch (that is what Israel was when rejected or cut off) be grafted back in? God is able because He brings life from the dead. (verse 15)
4) The Spiritual Proof. V. 25‑32
1. "Would" = desire; wish.
2. "Brethren" = from the same womb; speaking to the Gentile saints, all of whom are from the womb of God.
3. "Ignorant" = not to know or understand through lack of information or revelation.
4. "Mystery" = a hidden truth, purpose, or counsel of God which when revealed is understood by those to whom God gives light or spiritual understanding.
5. "Lest ye should be wise in your own conceits" = lest ye should attempt to inquire into this mystery with your own understanding and speculate about the reason why God had rejected the Jews and grafted the Gentiles in; so, rather than leave them to vain speculations Paul stated the truth about Israel's present state and future state.
a. Present state.
6. "Blindness" = hardness of the heart; mental dullness. (verse 7)
7. "In part" = not totally because a remnant was enlightened. (verse 5)
8. "Is happened" = came into existence; the tense is perfect which reveals that the blindness had already occurred and would continue until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
9. "Fulness" = that which fills up or completes anything; refers to Gentiles in their full strength and not to a number determined beforehand which has to be made up (even though God in His foreknowledge knows that number); this is similar to the phrase in Luke 21:24 where "times" refers to the years of Gentile reign over Jerusalem which could have begun with the first captivity of Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar and continues until the Lord Jesus comes back to set up His kingdom; part of this is still a mystery.
10. When Gentiles fail to heed the warning of verse 21, then they will be cut off and Israel grafted back in.
b. Future state.
1. "And so" = that is, in this manner.
2. "All Israel" = all the Jews; does not mean that every Jew of every age will be saved but that the time would come when, as a people, they would be recovered.
3. "Shall be saved" = shall be recovered from their rejection; restored to divine favor; grafted back in when the nation turns to God.
4. "Has been written" = the tense is perfect thus refers to a point in past time when this was written down and still stands on record; Paul gives the sense of Isa. 59:20‑21; 27:9a which is the scriptural proof.
5. "Sion" = Zion of OT; refers to mount Zion which was a hill in Jerusalem, near Mount Moriah, on which the temple was built; where the palace and throne of David was; sometimes the whole city of Jerusalem was called by this name; therefore, it came to signify the capital and the glory of the people of God; denotes the people of God and refers to the Deliverer as being descended from them and not be a foreigner.
6. "The Deliverer" = the one who rescues or delivers; the Redeemer; the Lord Jesus.
7. "To turn" = to remove; Isa. 27:9a says "purged."
8. "Ungodliness" = wickedness; lack of reverence towards God; ungodly thoughts and deeds.
9. "Jacob" = Israel.
1. "Covenant" = contract; will; referred to as a new covenant in Jer. 31:31‑34 which will apply to Israel when they trust Christ as their Lamb and turn from their sins.
2. "Sins" = iniquity; a violation of the divine law in thought or in act.
3. "Take away" = remove. (Psa. 103:12)
4. This does not refer to a political deliverance but a spiritual deliverance. The reason the Jews rejected Jesus as their Messiah was because they were looking for a political deliverance.
1. "As concerning" = with regard to.
2. "The gospel" = the good news of Jesus Christ's death, burial, and resurrection (I Cor. 15:1‑4) and everything around it such as His virgin birth, sinless life, vicarious death, burial, resurrection, ascension, ministry of intercession, and His bodily coming again.
3. "They" = Jews.
4. "Enemies" = hostile; refers to one in opposition; here the word is applied to the Jews because they had rejected the Messiah (they could not believe the gospel) and had become opposed to God; therefore, they were rejected by Him.
5. "Your sakes" = for your (Gentiles to whom Paul was speaking; verse 13) advantage; their rejection had become the occasion by which the gospel has been preached to the Gentiles. (verse 11)
6. "But" = contrast.
7. "As touching" = with regard to.
8. "The election" = refers to God choosing Israel to be a peculiar (highly favored) people; they were not chosen to the rejection of all the other nations but chosen to be a light to the world that Gentiles might come to God through Israel (Deut. 14:2); the foreknowledge of God can not be left out because we see it in operation in His choosing Abraham. (Gen. 18:19)
9. "They" = Jews.
10. "Beloved" = esteemed; dear; loved of God; this means God still loves them, regards them with interest, has purposes of mercy toward them, and intends still to do them good; this does not mean that God approved of their conduct or character, or that He had for them the same kind of affection which He would have had if they had been obedient.
11. God intends to bestow mercy upon Israel. Why? Because of the fathers' sakes.
12. "For" = because.
13. "Fathers" = the fathers of Israel--Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; primarily Abraham with whom the Lord made an everlasting covenant; when the Lord confirmed that covenant with Isaac in Gen. 26:1‑5, He made it known that He was doing it for Abraham's sake.
1. "Gifts" = a favor which one receives without any merit of one's own; benefits which God bestows on men.
2. "Calling" = invitation; denotes the act of God by which He extends an invitation to men to come and partake of His favors, whether it be by a personal revelation as to the patriarchs, or by the promises of the gospel, or by the influences of His Spirit.
3. "Without repentance" = one word in the Greek; irrevocable; means God will not change His mind. (Mal. 3:6)
4. God will not change His mind regarding His chosen people. What He promises He will fulfill; what He purposes to do. He will not change His mind. As He made promises to the fathers, He will not repent of them, and will not depart from them; they shall all be fulfilled. Israel has a future.
1. "In times past" = formerly; refers to the time of their former idolatrous and sinful state of the heathen world before the mystery of the gospel was made known and preached.
2. "Ye" = Gentiles to whom Paul was speaking. (verse 13)
3. "Have not believed" = to refuse belief and obedience; means to disbelieve and then disobey; this was the character of all the heathen nations.
4. "Have obtained mercy" = one word in the Greek; have been pardoned and admitted to the favor of God.
5. "Through their unbelief" = by means of the Jew's unbelief and rejection; refers to their obstinate opposition to the Divine will of God.
1. "These" = Jews.
2. "Have not believed" = refused belief and obedience. (John 5:39‑40)
3. "Through" = by means of.
4. "Mercy" = kindness or goodwill towards the miserable and the afflicted, joined with a desire to help them; refers to the compassion of the converted Gentiles which would cause them to feel for the blinded Jew and carry the gospel again to them so that they should be recalled to the long lost favor of God.
5. "They also may obtain mercy" = refers to the Jews expecting mercy; speaks of God granting even to the unworthy, salvation by grace through faith in Christ.
1. "Hath concluded" = to shut up together; enclose; used in reference to those who are shut up in prison; the word does not imply that the sin and unbelief for which they were shut up were not voluntary; for even when a man is committed to prison, the crime which brought him there is voluntary and for it he is responsible; translated "shut up" = in Gal. 3:22‑23; refers to being shut up under sin or declared to be sinners and given no hope of rescue by any works of their own.
2. "All" = Jews and Gentiles: represented as in prison, enclosed or confined by God, and to be liberated only in His own way and time. (Rom. 3:9,19)
3. "Unbelief" = not to allow one's self to be persuaded; not to comply with; to refuse or withhold belief; to be disobedient; to refuse belief and obedience; speaks of a stubborn stiff‑necked attitude.
4. "That he might have mercy upon all" = that God might pardon all, Jews and Gentiles, and admit all to the favor of God; this applies to all who will come God's way. (Eph. 2:8‑9)
5. After receiving God's amazing plan for the Jew, it is no wonder Paul breaks out in this wonderful song of praise.
5) Paul's Song of Praise V. 33-36
1. "Both" = and; Paul has three subjects of admiration.
2. "Depth" = the word is applied in the Scriptures to any thing vast and incomprehensible; denotes that which words can not express, or that which we cannot comprehend.
3. "Riches" = wealth; abundance; denotes the abundant blessings and mercies which had been conferred on sinful men by the gospel‑‑namely, the pardon of sin, the atonement, the hope of heaven, and the peace of the gospel, all bestowed on the sinful, the poor, the wretched, and the dying, all of which speaks of the great mercy and rich grace of God‑‑past comprehension.
4. "Wisdom" = broad and full of intelligence; applies to God; refers to the choice of the best means to accomplish the best ends; this God did in His plan to redeem fallen man, Jews and Gentiles alike--past comprehension.
5. "Knowledge" = intelligence; refers to the foreknowledge or omniscience of God; this knowledge was manifest in God's redemptive plan‑‑past comprehension.
6. "Unsearchable" = that which cannot be searched out, investigated or fully understood. (Isa. 55:8‑9)
7. "Judgments" = decrees; decisions; refers to God's arrange-ment, plan or proceeding in conferring the gospel on men.
8. "Ways" = path or road on which one travels; denotes the course or manner of life in which one moves; applied to God, it refers to His way or plan of bringing all nations within the reach of His mercy in the gospel.
9. "Past finding out" = one word in the Greek; unsearchable; refers to that which cannot be tracked or traced out; denotes that God's plans are deep, and beyond our comprehension.
1. "Who hath known" = to know by experience; this verse is a quotation, with a slight variation of Isa. 40:13; this expresses the infinite wisdom and knowledge of God by affirming that no being could teach Him, or counsel Him.
2. "Counsellor" = an advisor; who can advise God? the answer is "no one" or "not one."
1. "First given" = one word in the Greek; means to give beforehand or first, before the other party has given.
2. "Recompensed again" = to repay as a matter of debt.
3. This verse is saying, "Who had conferred favor on God before He has on men?" or "Who has laid God under obligation to recompense or pay him again as a matter of debt?" We are in debt to God. He is not in debt to us. He sought us first before we could even seek Him. To God be the Glory!
1. "Of him" = preposition denoting origin; the Lord is the original source of all blessings; He is creator of all and has a right to do with all what He desires. (Col. 1:16)
2. "Through him" = preposition denoting the channel of an act; refers to the Lord as the agent; it was by His agency that all things were created and by His power they are still directed and controlled. (Col. 1:17)
3. "To him" = preposition denoting the final cause, the reason or end for which all things were formed; refers to the ultimate end or goal He has for our life; all things were formed to promote His honor and glorify and to magnify His praise. (Isa. 43:7)
4. By these three prepositions Paul ascribes the universe with all (all things) the phenomena (an occurrence or fact directly perceptible by the senses) concerning creation, redemption, and providence to God as the Source, the Agent, and the Goal.
5. "All things" = the universe; the creation which includes the discussion at hand.
6. "Whom" = Him = the Lord.
7. "Glory" = praise and honor.
8. "For ever" = for the ages; ever onward to eternity.
9. "Amen" = so be it; may it be fulfilled; an expression of absolute trust and confidence.
10. God is Sovereign!