|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:21-26 Must guilty man remain under wrath? Is the wound for ever incurable? No; blessed be God, there is another way laid open for us. This is the righteousness of God; righteousness of his ordaining, and providing, and accepting. It is by that faith which has Jesus Christ for its object; an anointed Saviour, so Jesus Christ signifies. Justifying faith respects Christ as a Saviour, in all his three anointed offices, as Prophet, Priest, and King; trusting in him, accepting him, and cleaving to him: in all these, Jews and Gentiles are alike welcome to God through Christ. There is no difference, his righteousness is upon all that believe; not only offered to them, but put upon them as a crown, as a robe. It is free grace, mere mercy; there is nothing in us to deserve such favours. It comes freely unto us, but Christ bought it, and paid the price. And faith has special regard to the blood of Christ, as that which made the atonement. God, in all this, declares his righteousness. It is plain that he hates sin, when nothing less than the blood of Christ would satisfy for it. And it would not agree with his justice to demand the debt, when the Surety has paid it, and he has accepted that payment in full satisfaction.
Verse 22. - Even the righteousness of God through faith of Jesus Christ unto all (and upon all is added in the Textus Receptus, but ill supported) them that believe: for there is no distinction. We observe that the expression here used is not ἡ διὰ πίστεως but simply διὰ πίστεως. Thus διὰ πίστεως does not naturally connect itself with δικαιοσύνη Θεοῦ as defining it, but rather with εἰς πάντας which follows, and perhaps with reference to the πεφανέρωται of ver. 21 understood. The idea, then, may be still that of God's own righteousness, manifested in Christ, unto or towards all believers, who through faith apprehended it and became sharers in it. When St. Paul elsewhere speaks of the believer's imputed righteousness, his language is different, so as to make his meaning plain. Thus Romans 4:6, ῷ ὁ Θεὸς λογίζεται δικαιοσύνην δικαιοσύνης πίστεως; Romans 5:17, τῆς δωρεᾶς τῆς δικαιοσύνης; Romans 9:30δικαιοσύνην τὴν ἐκ πίτσεως; Philippians 3:9, τὴν ἐκ Θεοῦ δικαιοσύνην ἐπὶ τῇ πίστει. What we contend for is simply this - that the phrase δικαιοσύνη Θεοῦ means God's own righteousness, which, manifested in the atoning Christ, embraces believers, so that to them too righteousness may be imputed (Romans 4:11).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Even the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ,.... A further account is given of this righteousness: why it is called "the righteousness of God", and in what sense revealed and manifested; see Gill on Romans 1:17; Here it is said to be "by faith of Jesus Christ"; not by that faith which Christ himself had as man, but by that faith, of which he the author and object: the Alexandrian copy reads, "by faith in Jesus Christ"; and not by that as the cause of justification; for faith is neither the efficient, nor the moving, nor meritorious cause of it; no, nor the instrumental cause of it on the part of God or Christ: nor is faith the matter of a justifying righteousness; for faith is a part of sanctification, is itself imperfect, is a man's own, as it is implanted in him, and exercised by him; is here and elsewhere distinguished from righteousness; something else, and not that, as the obedience and blood of Christ, are said to be what men are made righteous and justified by: but faith is a means of apprehending and receiving righteousness; it views the excellency of Christ's righteousness; it owns the sufficiency of it; the soul by it renounces its own righteousness, submits to Christ's, rejoices in it, and gives him the glory of it: now this is by, or through faith,
unto all, and upon all: not all men, for all have not faith, nor are all justified and saved: but
all that believe; which must be understood, not of believing any thing, nor of any sort of believing; but of such, who truly and with the heart believe in Christ for salvation; and who are here opposed to the wise philosophers among the Gentiles, had to all self-righteous persons among the Jews. Though this character does not design any cause or condition of justification, but is only descriptive of the persons, who are declaratively interested in a justifying righteousness, which is said to be "unto", and "upon them"; that is, it is appointed, provided, and wrought out for them, and directed and applied unto them, and put upon them as a garment, and that upon all of them:
for there is no difference; of nation, age, or sex, or of state and condition; no respect is had to persons or works; nor is there any difference with respect to weak or strong believers; the righteousness is equally applied to one as to another, and one is as much justified by it in the sight of God as another.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
22. by faith of—that is, "in"
Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe—that is, perhaps, brought nigh "unto all" men the Gospel, and actually "upon all" believing men, as theirs in possession [Luther and others]; but most interpreters understand both statements" of believers as only a more emphatic way of saying that all believers, without distinction or exception, are put in possession of this gratuitous justification, purely by faith in Christ Jesus.
for there is no difference.
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