|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:27-31 God will have the great work of the justification and salvation of sinners carried on from first to last, so as to shut out boasting. Now, if we were saved by our own works, boasting would not be excluded. But the way of justification by faith for ever shuts out boasting. Yet believers are not left to be lawless; faith is a law, it is a working grace, wherever it is in truth. By faith, not in this matter an act of obedience, or a good work, but forming the relation between Christ and the sinner, which renders it proper that the believer should be pardoned and justified for the sake of the Saviour, and that the unbeliever who is not thus united or related to him, should remain under condemnation. The law is still of use to convince us of what is past, and to direct us for the future. Though we cannot be saved by it as a covenant, yet we own and submit to it, as a rule in the hand of the Mediator.
Verse 30. - If indeed (εἴπερ rather than ἐπείπερ, as in the Textus Receptus) God is one, who shall justify the circumcision by faith, and the uncircumcision through faith. Here the unity of God is given as the reason of his being the God of the Gentiles as well as of the Jews. So also, 1 Timothy 2:5, εῖς γὰρ Θεὸς is the reason why he wills all men to be saved. It is of importance to grasp St. Paul's idea in his assertions of the unity of God. It is not that of numerical unity, but what may be called the unity of quality; i.e. not a mere assertion of monotheism as against polytheism, but that the one God is one and the same to all, comprehending all in the embrace of his own essential unity. God's unity involved in St. Paul's mind the idea of "One God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we unto him" (1 Corinthians 8:6); "who made of one blood every nation of men" (Acts 17:26); in whom we (all of us) "live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28). Thus exclusion of the Gentiles from the paternal embrace of the one God is incompatible with the very idea, so conceived, of his unity. In the latter part of this verse it is said that God will justify the circumcision ἐκ πίστεως, and the uncircumcision διὰ τῆς πίστεως, the preposition being changed, and the second πίστεως being preceded by the article. The difference is not of essential importance, "faith" being the emphatic word. But it is not unmeaning. Ἐκ expresses the principle of justification; διὰ, the medium through which it may be had. The Jew was already in a position for justification through the Law leading up to Christ. He had only to accept it as of faith, and not of works of law (ver. 20). The Gentile must attain to it through faith; i.e. his faith in the gospel now revealed to him. Ἐπὶ τῶν Ἰουδαίων τὸ ἀκ πίστεως τέθεικεν ὡς α}ν ἐγόντων μὲν καὶ ἑτέρας ἀφορμὰς πρὸς δικαίωσιν, πίστεως (Theodorus).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Seeing it is one God,.... God is one in nature and essence, though there are three persons in the Godhead, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; whence it appears, that he that is the God of the Jews, is also the God of the Gentiles, or there would be more gods than one; and that these are justified in one and the same manner, or God must be divided; for God, as he is one in nature, so he is one in will, in his promises, and in the methods of his grace:
which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. The objects of justification are "the circumcision", the circumcised Jews, and "the uncircumcision", the uncircumcised Gentiles; the circumcision of the one does not forward, and the uncircumcision of the other does not hinder, nor neither of them effect the grace of justification: the justifier of them is one and the same, who is God; and the matter of their justification is the same, which is the righteousness of Christ; and the manner of it, or the means of their comfortable apprehension of it, is the same; for those phrases, "by faith", and "through faith", mean one and the same thing; see Philippians 3:9.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
30. it is one God who shall justify—"has unchangeably fixed that He shall justify."
the circumcision by—"of"
faith, and the uncircumcision through faith—probably this is but a varied statement of the same truth for greater emphasis (see Ro 3:22); though Bengel thinks that the justification of the Jews, as the born heirs of the promise, may be here purposely said to be "of faith," while that of the Gentiles, previously "strangers to the covenants of promise," may be said to be "through faith," as thus admitted into a new family.
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