|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:8-15 We must show love for our friends, not only by praying for them, but by praising God for them. As in our purposes, so in our desires, we must remember to say, If the Lord will, Jas 4:15. Our journeys are made prosperous or otherwise, according to the will of God. We should readily impart to others what God has trusted to us, rejoicing to make others joyful, especially taking pleasure in communing with those who believe the same things with us. If redeemed by the blood, and converted by the grace of the Lord Jesus, we are altogether his; and for his sake we are debtors to all men, to do all the good we can. Such services are our duty.
Verse 9. - For God is my witness, whom I serve in my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you in my prayers. A like solemn asseveration is made with a like intention (Philippians 1:8; cf. also 2 Corinthians 11:31). It expresses the writer's earnestness, and is in place for attestation of a fact known only to himself and God. The word λατρεύω, ("I serve"), when used in a religious sense, most usually denotes "worship," and specifically the priestly services of the temple (Hebrews 8:5; Hebrews 9:9; Hebrews 10:2; Hebrews 13:10). St. Paul's λατρεία intended here is not ceremonial function, but a spiritual one (ἐν τῷ πνεύματί μου) - an inward devotion of himself to God's service in proclaiming and furthering "the gospel of his Son." A similar view of the essential λατρεία of Christians is found in Romans 12:1; Romans 15:16; Philippians 3:3; 2 Timothy 1:3; Hebrews 9:14.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For God is my witness, whom I serve,.... These words are an appeal to God, and carry in them the nature and form of an oath; the reason of the apostle's using it was, because he was personally unknown to the Romans, and they to him, and so might doubt of his affectionate regard unto them; and therefore for the confirmation thereof he uses it: this was a case which was only known to God and himself, and hence he appeals to him for the truth of it. The object of his oath or appeal, or by which he speaks, is not himself, or anything that belonged to him, nor any creature in heaven or on earth, but God; who in a solemn oath is only to be appealed to and sworn by: he describes him as the God "whom he served", to distinguish him from all false gods, and to show that he that takes an oath, should be one that fears and serves the Lord; what he served him in was not the law, but
the Gospel of his Son; Jesus Christ, who is the author, minister, and subject matter of it: he served him in it, by preaching, spreading, and defending it. This is a service, and a very laborious one, and makes for the honour and glory of God. The manner in which he served him was, as he says,
with my Spirit; either with the Spirit of God, which was given to him; or in a spiritual manner, in opposition to the carnal worship of the Jews; internally, in opposition to bodily exercise only, and voluntarily, with his whole heart, soul, and spirit. The matter or substance of his appeal or oath was,
that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; whence may be observed, that prayer to God ought to be constant; and that we should be concerned for others as well as for ourselves; all the saints should share therein.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. For God … whom I serve—the word denotes religious service.
with my spirit—from my inmost soul.
in the gospel of his Son—to which Paul's whole religious life and official activity were consecrated.
is my witness, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers—so for the Ephesians (Eph 1:15, 16); so for the Philippians (Php 1:3, 4); so for the Colossians (Col 1:3, 4); so for the Thessalonians (1Th 1:2, 3). What catholic love, what all-absorbing spirituality, what impassioned devotion to the glory of Christ among men!
Romans 1:9 Parallel Commentaries
Romans 1:9 NIV
Romans 1:9 NLT
Romans 1:9 ESV
Romans 1:9 NASB
Romans 1:9 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible