Romans 4:25
Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(25) Was deliveredi.e., to death, as in Isaiah 53:12 (LXX. version); Matthew 17:22; et al.

For our offences.Because of our offencesi.e., in order that He might atone for them.

For our justification.Because of our justificationi.e., that justification might take effect in us.

The death of Christ is the proper cause of justification, or means of atonement, according to St. Paul; the resurrection of Christ is only the mediate or secondary cause of it. The atoning efficacy lay in His death, but the proof of that efficacy—the proof that it was really the Messiah who died—was to be seen in the Resurrection. The Resurrection, therefore, gave the greatest impulse to faith in the atoning efficacy of the death upon the cross, and in this way helped to bring about justification. Comp. especially 1Corinthians 15:17, “If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins”—i.e., you have no guarantee that your sins have really been remitted; if the death of Christ had not been followed by His resurrection, the inference would have followed that it was merely the death of an ordinary man, and without any special saving efficacy.

The distinction should be carefully observed between the bearing of these two acts, the death and the resurrection of Christ, on the doctrines of justification and sanctification respectively. For the latter see especially Romans 6:2 et seq.

In looking back over the argument of this fourth chapter, we feel that it is a keen and subtle argumentum ad hominem, addressed to Jews, and based upon their own method of interpretation. Its permanent value is derived from its bearing upon the theological system of St. Paul himself—the doctrines of faith, grace, no boasting, the supreme disposing power of God, the saving efficacy of the death of Christ.

4:23-25 The history of Abraham, and of his justification, was recorded to teach men of after-ages; those especially to whom the gospel was then made known. It is plain, that we are not justified by the merit of our own works, but by faith in Jesus Christ and his righteousness; which is the truth urged in this and the foregoing chapter, as the great spring and foundation of all comfort. Christ did meritoriously work our justification and salvation by his death and passion, but the power and perfection thereof, with respect to us, depend on his resurrection. By his death he paid our debt, in his resurrection he received our acquittance, Isa 53:8. When he was discharged, we, in Him and together with Him, received the discharge from the guilt and punishment of all our sins. This last verse is an abridgement or summary of the whole gospel.Who was delivered - To death; compare the notes at Acts 2:23.

For our offences - On account of our crimes. He was delivered up to death in order to make expiation for our sins.

And was raised again - From the dead.

For our justification - On account of our justification. In order that we may be justified. The word "justification" here seems to be used in a large sense, to denote acceptance with God; including not merely the formal act by which God pardons sins, and by which we become reconciled to him, but also the completion of the work - the treatment of us as righteous, and raising us up to a state of glory. By the death of Christ an atonement is made for sin. If it be asked how his resurrection contributes to our acceptance with God, we may answer,

(1) It rendered his work complete. His death would have been unavailing, his work would have been imperfect, if he had not been raised up from the dead. He submitted to death as a sacrifice, and it was needful that he should rise, and thus conquer death and subdue our enemies, that the work which he had undertaken might be complete.

(2) his resurrection was a proof that his work was accepted by the Father. What he had done, in order that sinners might be saved, was approved. Our justification, therefore, became sure, as it was for this that he had given himself up to death.

(3) his resurrection is the main-spring of all our hopes, and of all our efforts to be saved. Life and immortality are thus brought to light, 2 Timothy 1:10. God "hath begotten us again to a lively hope (a living, active, real hope), by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead," 1 Peter 1:3. Thus, the fact that he was raised becomes the ground of hope that we shall be raised and accepted of God. The fact that he was raised, and that all who love him shall be raised also, becomes one of the most efficient motives to us to seek to be justified and saved. There is no higher motive that can be presented to induce man to seek salvation than the fact that he maybe raised up from death and the grave, and made immortal. There is no satisfactory proof that man can be thus raised up, but the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In that resurrection we have a pledge that all his people will rise. "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him," 1 Thessalonians 4:14. "Because I live," said the Redeemer, "ye shall live also," John 14:19; compare 1 Peter 1:21.

25. Who was delivered for—"on account of."

our offences—that is, in order to expiate them by His blood.

and raised again for—"on account of," that is, in order to.

our justification—As His resurrection was the divine assurance that He had "put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself," and the crowning of His whole work, our justification is fitly connected with that glorious act.

Note, (1) The doctrine of justification by works, as it generates self-exaltation, is contrary to the first principles of all true religion (Ro 4:2; and see on [2194]Ro 3:21-26, Note 1). (2) The way of a sinner's justification has been the same in all time, and the testimony of the Old Testament on this subject is one with that of the New (Ro 4:3, &c., and see on [2195]Ro 3:27-31, Note 1). (3) Faith and works, in the matter of justification, are opposite and irreconcilable, even as grace and debt (Ro 4:4, 5; and see on [2196]Ro 11:6). If God "justifies the ungodly," works cannot be, in any sense or to any degree, the ground of justification. For the same reason, the first requisite, in order to justification, must be (under the conviction that we are "ungodly") to despair of it by works; and the next, to "believe in Him that justifieth the ungodly"—that hath a justifying righteousness to bestow, and is ready to bestow it upon those who deserve none, and to embrace it accordingly. (4) The sacraments of the Church were never intended, and are not adapted, to confer grace, or the blessings of salvation, upon men. Their proper use is to set a divine seal upon a state already existing, and so, they presuppose, and do not create it (Ro 4:8-12). As circumcision merely "sealed" Abraham's already existing acceptance with God, so with the sacraments of the New Testament. (5) As Abraham is "the heir of the world," all nations being blessed in him, through his Seed Christ Jesus, and justified solely according to the pattern of his faith, so the transmission of the true religion and all the salvation which the world will ever experience shall yet be traced back with wonder, gratitude, and joy, to that morning dawn when "the God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran," Ac 7:2 (Ro 4:13). (6) Nothing gives more glory to God than simple faith in His word, especially when all things seem to render the fulfilment of it hopeless (Ro 4:18-21). (7) All the Scripture examples of faith were recorded on purpose to beget and encourage the like faith in every succeeding age (Ro 4:23, 24; and compare Ro 15:4). (8) Justification, in this argument, cannot be taken—as Romanists and other errorists insist—to mean a change upon men's character; for besides that this is to confound it with Sanctification, which has its appropriate place in this Epistle, the whole argument of the present chapter—and nearly all its more important clauses, expressions, and words—would in that case be unsuitable, and fitted only to mislead. Beyond all doubt it means exclusively a change upon men's state or relation to God; or, in scientific language, it is an objective, not a subjective change—a change from guilt and condemnation to acquittal and acceptance. And the best evidence that this is the key to the whole argument is, that it opens all the wards of the many-chambered lock with which the apostle has enriched us in this Epistle.

Who was delivered; he saith delivered rather than crucified, to lead us by the hand to the first cause thereof, the determinate counsel of the blessed Trinity: see Acts 2:23 4:27,28 Ro 8:32.

For our offences; i.e. for the expiating of them, Isaiah 53:10.

And was raised again for our justification; not that his death had no hand in our justification; see Romans 3:24; but because our justification, which was begun in his death, was perfected in his resurrection. Christ did meritoriously work our justification and salvation by his death and passion, but the efficacy and perfection thereof with respect to us depend on his resurrection. By his death he paid our debt, in his resurrection he received our acquittance, Isaiah 53:8; when he was discharged, we in him, and together with him, received our discharge from the guilt and punishment of all our sins. This one verse is an abridgement of the whole gospel. Who was delivered for our offences,.... Christ was delivered into the hands of men, and into the hands of justice, and unto death; and he was delivered by men, by Judas, to the chief priests, and by them to Pilate, and by Pilate to the Jews and Roman soldiers to be put to death; and he was also delivered up by his Father into the hands of justice and death, according to his determinate counsel and foreknowledge; but not without his own free consent, who voluntarily laid down his life, and gave himself a ransom for his people: he was delivered to death, not for any offences of his own, for he committed none; nor for the offences of angels, for these were not spared; nor for the offences, of all men, since all will not be saved; but for the offences of all God's elect: he was delivered for these, as the causes of his death, and as the end for which he died; namely, to make reconciliation, atonement, and satisfaction for them; which shows the love of the Father in delivering him up, and the grace and condescension of the Son in being willing to be delivered up on such an account: the nature and end of Christ's death may be learnt from hence, that he died not merely as a martyr, or as an example; nor only for the good, but in the room and stead of his people: we may also learn from hence the nature of sin, the strictness of justice, the obligations we lie under to Christ, and how many favours and blessings we may expect from God through him: who also

was raised again for our justification; he was raised again from the dead by his Father, to whom this is often ascribed; and by himself, by his own power, which proves him to be the mighty God; and this was done not only that he might live an immortal and glorious life in our nature, having finished the work he undertook and came about, but for "our justification". He died in the room and stead of his people, and by dying made satisfaction for their sins; he rose again as their head and representative, and was legally discharged, acquitted, and justified, and they in him. Christ's resurrection did not procure the justification of his people, that was done by his obedience and death; but was for the testification of it, that it might fully appear that sin was atoned for, and an everlasting righteousness was brought in; and for the application of it, or that Christ might live and see his righteousness imputed, and applied to all those for whom he had wrought it out.

Who was delivered for our {t} offences, and was raised again for our justification.

(t) To pay the ransom for our sins.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
25. delivered] As the Victim. Cp. Romans 8:32. Here the Father delivers up His Son. In Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 5:2, &c.; we have the self-surrender of the Son. See Psalm 40:8-9, for the union of the two truths. “Lo, I come; … I delight to do Thy will.”

for our offences] Lit. because of our offences; “because we had offended.” Such is the natural meaning of the Gr. The fact of our sins demanded, for their just remission, nothing less than the Lord’s Death.

for our justification] Lit. because of our Justification. The construction is identical. This, and the balance of the clauses, seem to demand the exposition: “He was raised, because our justification was effected;” not, “in order to give us justification,” as many interpret it. The parallel is complete: “We sinned, therefore He suffered: we were justified, therefore He rose.”—To this it is objected that the thought is not doctrinally true; justification being, for each believer, dated not from the Lord’s death, but from the time of faith (see ch. Romans 5:1). But the answer is obvious: the Apostle here states the Ideal of the matter; he means not individual justifications, but the Work which for ever secured Justification for the believing Church. A close parallel is the “It is finished” (John 19:30). (See too the ideal language in Romans 8:30; and instructive parallels in Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 10:14.) In the Divine Idea every future believer was declared to be justified, through an accomplished Propitiation, when Jesus rose. His resurrection proved His acceptance as our Substitute, and therefore our acceptance in Him. No doubt the other interpretation is true as to fact: He was raised that, through the Gospel, (which but for His resurrection would never have been preached,) we might receive justification. But the Gr. construction, and the balance of clauses, are certainly in favour of that now given.Was delivered (παρεδόθη)

See on Matthew 4:12; see on 1 Peter 2:23. Used of casting into prison or delivering to justice, Matthew 4:12; Matthew 10:17, Matthew 19:21. Frequently of the betrayal of Christ, Matthew 10:4; Matthew 17:22; John 6:64, John 6:71. Of committing a trust, Matthew 25:14, Matthew 25:20, Matthew 25:22. Of committing tradition, doctrine, or precept, Mark 7:13; 1 Corinthians 11:2; 1 Corinthians 15:3; Romans 6:17; 2 Peter 2:21. Of Christ's yielding up His spirit, John 19:30. Of the surrender of Christ and His followers to death, Romans 8:32; 2 Corinthians 4:11; Galatians 2:20. Of giving over to evil, Romans 1:26, Romans 1:28; 1 Corinthians 5:5; Ephesians 4:19.

Raised again for our justification

"But if the whole matter of the justification depends on what He has suffered for our offenses, we shall as certainly be justified or have our account made even, if He does not rise, as if He does. Doubtless the rising has an immense significance, when the justification is conceived to be the renewing of our moral nature in righteousness; for it is only by the rising that His incarnate life and glory are fully discovered, and the righteousness of God declared in His person in its true moral power. But in the other view of justification there is plainly enough nothing depending, as far as that is concerned, on His resurrection" (Bushnell). Compare Romans 6:4-13.

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