Romans 1:4
And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
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(4) With power.—That is, in a transcendent and superhuman manner.

According to the spirit of holiness.—In antithesis to “according to the flesh,” and therefore coming where we should expect “in His divine nature.” And yet there is a difference, the precise shade of which is not easy to define. What are we to understand by the “spirit of holiness”? Are we to regard it as simply convertible with “Holy Spirit”? Not quite. Or are we to look upon it as corresponding to “the flesh,” as “spirit” and “flesh” correspond in man? Again, not quite—or not merely. The spirit of Christ is human, for Christ took upon Him our nature in all its parts. It is human; and yet it is in it more especially that the divinity resides. It is in it that the “Godhead dwells bodily,” and the presence of the Godhead is seen in the peculiar and exceptional “holiness” by which it is characterised. The “spirit,” therefore, or that portion of His being to which St. Paul gives the name, in Christ, is the connecting-link between the human and the divine, and shares alike in both. It is the divine “enshrined” in the human, or the human penetrated and energised by the divine. It is, perhaps, not possible to get beyond metaphorical language such as this. The junction of the human and divine must necessarily evade exact definition, and to carry such definition too far would be to misrepresent the meaning of the Apostle. We may compare with this passage 1Timothy 3:16, “God (rather, Who) was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit:” or St. Peter’s phrase, “Put to death in the flesh. but quickened by the Spirit”—rather, in the spirit, as the seat of that divinity by virtue of which He overcame death—(1Peter 3:18).

The particular act in which the Sonship of Christ was most conspicuously ratified and confirmed was His resurrection from the dead. It was ratified by His resurrection, as a manifestation of transcendent and divine power. (Comp. Acts 2:24 et seq.; Acts 17:31; Romans 4:24.)

It should be observed that this antithesis between the human and divine nature in Christ is not here intended to carry with it any disparagement of the former. Rather the Apostle wishes to bring out the completeness and fulness of the dignity of Christ, as exhibited on both its sides. He is at once the Jewish Messiah (and with the Jewish section of the Church at Rome this fact would carry great weight) and the Son of God.

By the resurrection from the dead.—Strictly, by the resurrection of the dead. There is a slight distinction to be observed between the two phrases. It is not “by His resurrection from the dead,” but in an abstract and general sense, “by the resurrection of the dead”—by that resurrection of which Christ was the firstfruits.



Romans 1:4

It is a great mistake to treat Paul’s writings, and especially this Epistle, as mere theology. They are the transcript of his life’s experience. As has been well said, the gospel of Paul is an interpretation of the significance of the life and work of Jesus based upon the revelation to him of Jesus as the risen Christ. He believed that he had seen Jesus on the road to Damascus, and it was that appearance which revolutionised his life, turned him from a persecutor into a disciple, and united him with the Apostles as ordained to be a witness with them of the Resurrection. To them all the Resurrection of Jesus was first of all a historical fact appreciated chiefly in its bearing on Him. By degrees they discerned that so transcendent a fact bore in itself a revelation of what would become the experience of all His followers beyond the grave, and a symbol of the present life possible for them. All three of these aspects are plainly declared in Paul’s writings. In our text it is chiefly the first which is made prominent. All that distinguishes Christianity; and makes it worth believing, or mighty, is inseparably connected with the Resurrection.

I. The Resurrection of Christ declares His Sonship.

Resurrection and Ascension are inseparably connected. Jesus does not rise to share again in the ills and weariness of humanity. Risen, ‘He dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him.’ ‘He died unto sin once’; and His risen humanity had nothing in it on which physical death could lay hold. That He should from some secluded dimple on Olivet ascend before the gazing disciples until the bright cloud, which was the symbol of the Divine Presence, received Him out of their sight, was but the end of the process which began unseen in morning twilight. He laid aside the garments of the grave and passed out of the sepulchre which was made sure by the great stone rolled against its mouth. The grand avowal of faith in His Resurrection loses meaning, unless it is completed as Paul completed his ‘yea rather that was raised from the dead,’ with the triumphant ‘who is at the right hand of God.’ Both are supernatural, and the Virgin Birth corresponds at the beginning to the supernatural Resurrection and Ascension at the close. Both such an entrance into the world and such a departure from it, proclaim at once His true humanity, and that ‘this is the Son of God.’

Still further, the Resurrection is God’s solemn ‘Amen’ to the tremendous claims which Christ had made. The fact of His Resurrection, indeed, would not declare His divinity; but the Resurrection of One who had spoken such words does. If the Cross and a nameless grave had been the end, what a reductio ad absurdum that would have been to the claims of Jesus to have ever been with the Father and to be doing always the things that pleased Him. The Resurrection is God’s last and loudest proclamation, ‘This is My beloved Son: hear ye Him.’ The Psalmist of old had learned to trust that his sonship and consecration to the Father made it impossible that that Father should leave his soul in Sheol, or suffer one who was knit to Him by such sacred bonds to see corruption; and the unique Sonship and perfect self-consecration of Jesus went down into the grave in the assured confidence, as He Himself declared, that the third day He would rise again. The old alternative seems to retain all its sharp points: Either Christ rose again from the dead, or His claims are a series of blasphemous arrogances and His character irremediably stained.

But we may also remember that Scripture not only represents Christ’s Resurrection as a divine act but also as the act of Christ’s own power. In His earthly life He asserted that His relation both to physical death and to resurrection was an entirely unique one. ‘I have power,’ said He, ‘to lay down my life, and I have power to take it again’; and yet, even in this tremendous instance of self-assertion, He remains the obedient Son, for He goes on to say, ‘This commandment have I received of My Father.’ If these claims are just, then it is vain to stumble at the miracles which Jesus did in His earthly life. If He could strip it off and resume it, then obviously it was not a life like other men’s. The whole phenomenon is supernatural, and we shall not be in the true position to understand and appreciate it and Him until, like the doubting Thomas, we fall at the feet of the risen Son, and breathe out loyalty and worship in that rapturous exclamation, ‘My Lord and my God.’

II. The Resurrection interprets Christ’s Death.

There is no more striking contrast than that between the absolute non-receptivity of the disciples in regard to all Christ’s plain teachings about His death and their clear perception after Pentecost of the mighty power that lay in it. The very fact that they continued disciples at all, and that there continued to be such a community as the Church, demands their belief in the Resurrection as the only cause which can account for it. If He did not rise from the dead, and if His followers did not know that He did so by the plainest teachings of common-sense, they ought to have scattered, and borne in isolated hearts the bitter memories of disappointed hopes; for if He lay in a nameless grave, and they were not sure that He was risen from the dead, His death would have been a conclusive showing up of the falsity of His claims. In it there would have been no atoning power, no triumph over sin. If the death of Christ were not followed by His Resurrection and Ascension, the whole fabric of Christianity falls to pieces. As the Apostle puts it in his great chapter on resurrection, ‘Ye are yet in your sins.’ The forgiveness which the Gospel holds forth to men does not depend on the mercy of God or on the mere penitence of man, but upon the offering of the one sacrifice for sins in His death, which is justified by His Resurrection as being accepted by God. If we cannot triumphantly proclaim ‘Christ is risen indeed,’ we have nothing worth preaching.

We are told now that the ethics of Christianity are its vital centre, which will stand out more plainly when purified from these mystical doctrines of a Death as the sin-offering for the world, and a Resurrection as the great token that that offering avails. Paul did not think so. To him the morality of the Gospel was all deduced from the life of Christ the Son of God as our Example, and from His death for us which touches men’s hearts and makes obedience to Him our joyful answer to what He has done for us. Christianity is a new thing in the world, not as moral teaching, but as moral power to obey that teaching, and that depends on the Cross interpreted by the Resurrection. If we have only a dead Christ, we have not a living Christianity.

III. Resurrection points onwards to Christ’s coming again.

Paul at Athens declared in the hearing of supercilious Greek philosophers, that the Jesus, whom he proclaimed to them, was ‘the Man whom God had ordained to judge the world in righteousness,’ and that ‘He had given assurance thereof unto all men, in that He raised Him from the dead.’ The Resurrection was the beginning of the process which, from the human point of view, culminated in the Ascension. Beyond the Ascension stretches the supernatural life of the glorified Son of God. Olivet cannot be the end, and the words of the two men in white apparel who stood amongst the little group of the upward gazing friends, remain as the hope of the Church: ‘This same Jesus shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.’ That great assurance implies a visible corporeal return locally defined, and having for its purpose to complete the work which Incarnation, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension, each advanced a stage. The Resurrection is the corner-stone of the whole Christian faith. It seals the truths that Jesus is the Son of God with power, that He died for us, that He has ascended on high to prepare a place for us, that He will come again and take us to Himself. If we, by faith in Him, take for ours the women’s greeting on that Easter morning, ‘The Lord hath risen indeed,’ He will come to us with His own greeting, ‘Peace be unto you.’

1:1-7 The doctrine of which the apostle Paul wrote, set forth the fulfilment of the promises by the prophets. It spoke of the Son of God, even Jesus the Saviour, the promised Messiah, who came from David as to his human nature, but was also declared to be the Son of God, by the Divine power which raised him from the dead. The Christian profession does not consist in a notional knowledge or a bare assent, much less in perverse disputings, but in obedience. And all those, and those only, are brought to obedience of the faith, who are effectually called of Jesus Christ. Here is, 1. The privilege of Christians; they are beloved of God, and are members of that body which is beloved. 2. The duty of Christians; to be holy, hereunto are they called, called to be saints. These the apostle saluted, by wishing them grace to sanctify their souls, and peace to comfort their hearts, as springing from the free mercy of God, the reconciled Father of all believers, and coming to them through the Lord Jesus Christ.And declared - In the margin, "determined." Τοῦ ὁρισθέντος Tou horisthentos. The ancient Syriac has, "And he was known to be the Son of God by might and by the Holy Spirit, who rose from the house of the dead." The Latin Vulgate, "Who was "predestinated" the Son of God," etc. The Arabic, "The Son of God destined by power special to the Holy Spirit," etc. The word translated "declared to be" means properly "to bound, to fix limits to," as to a field, to determine its proper limits or boundaries, to "define," etc. Acts 17:26, "and hath determined the bounds of their habitation." Hence, it means to determine, constitute; ordain, decree; i, e. to fix or designate the proper boundaries of a truth, or a doctrine; to distinguish its lines and marks from error; or to show, or declare a thing to be so by any action. Luke 22:22, "the Son of man goeth as it was determined, as it was fixed; purposed, defined, in the purpose of God, and declared in the prophets. Acts 2:23, "him being delivered by the determinate counsel, the definite. constituted will, or design, of God. Acts 11:29; Hebrews 4:7, "he limiteth a certain day," fixes it, defines it. In this sense it is clearly used in this place. The act of raising him from the dead designated him, or constituted him the Son of God. It was such an act as in the circumstances of the case showed that he was the Son of God in regard to a nature which was not "according to the flesh." The ordinary resurrection of a man, like that of Lazarus, would not show that he was the Son of God; but in the circumstances of Jesus Christ it did; for he had claimed to be so; he had taught it; and God now attested the truth of his teaching by raising him from the dead.

The Son of God - The word "son" is used in a great variety of senses, denoting literally a son, then a descendant, posterity near or remote, a disciple or ward, an adopted son, or one that imitates or resembles another; see the note at Matthew 1:1. The expression "sons of God," or "son of God," is used in an almost equal latitude of signification. It is:

(1) Applied to Adam, as being immediately created by God without an earthly father; Luke 3:38.

(2) it is applied to saints or Christians, as being adopted into his family, and sustaining to him the relation of children; John 1:12-13; 1 John 3:1-2, etc. This name is given to them because they resemble him in their moral character; Matthew 5:45.

(3) it is given to strong men as resembling God in strength; Genesis 6:2, "The sons of God saw the daughters of men," etc. Here these men of violence and strength are called sons of God, just as the high hills are called hills of God, the lofty trees of Lebanon are called cedars of God, etc.

(4) kings are sometimes called his sons, as resembling him in dominion and power, Psalm 82:6.

(5) the name is given to angels because they resemble God; because he is their Creator and Father, etc., Job 1:6; Job 2:1; Daniel 3:25.

But the name the "Son of God" is in the New Testament given by way of eminence to the Lord Jesus Christ. This was the common and favorite name by which the apostles designated him. The expression "Son of God" is applied to him no less than 27 times in the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, and 15 times in the Epistles and the Revelation The expression my Son, and his Son, thy Son, etc. is applied to him in his special relation to God, times almost without number. The other most common appellation which is given to him is "Son of man." By this name he commonly designated himself. There can be no doubt that that was assumed to denote that he was a man, that he sustained a special relation to man, and that he chose to speak of himself as a man. The first, the most obvious, impression on the use of the name "Son of man" is that he was truly a man, and was used doubtless to guard against the impression that one who manifested so many other qualities, and did so many things like a celestial being, was not truly human being.

The phrase "Son of God" stands in contrast with the title "Son of man," and as the natural and obvious import of that is that he was a man, so the natural and obvious import of the title "Son of God" is that he was divine; or that he sustained relations to God designated by the name Son of God, corresponding to the relations which he sustained to man designated by the name Son of Man. The natural idea of the phrase, "Son of God," therefore is, that he sustained a relation to God in his nature which implied more than was human or angelic; which implied equality with God. Accordingly, this idea was naturally suggested to the Jews by his calling God his Father; John 5:18, "But said also that God was his Father, "making himself equal with God." This idea Jesus immediately proceeded to confirm; see the note at John 5:19-30. The same idea is also suggested in John 10:29-31, John 10:33, John 10:36, "Say ye of him whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest: "because I said I am the Son of God?" There is in these places the fullest proof that the title suggested naturally the idea of equality with God; or the idea of his sustaining a relation to God corresponding to the relation of equality to man suggested by the title Son of man.

This view is still further sustained in the first chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews, Romans 1:1-2, "God hath spoken unto us by His Son." He is the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, Romans 1:3. He is higher than the angels, and they are required to worship him, Romans 1:4-6. He is called "God," and his throne is forever and ever, Romans 1:8. He is "the Creator of the heavens and the earth," and is immutably the same, Romans 1:10-12. Thus, the rank or title of the "Son of God" suggests the ideas and attributes of the Divinity. This idea is sustained throughout the New Testament. See John 14:9, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father;" Romans 1:23, "That all men shall honor the Son even as they honor the Father;" Colossians 1:19, "It hath pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;" Colossians 2:9, "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily:" Philippians 2:2-11; Revelation 5:13-14; Revelation 2:23. It is not affirmed that this title was given to the second person of the Trinity before he became incarnate; or to suggest the idea of any derivation or extraction before he was made flesh. There is no instance in which the appellation is not conferred to express his relation after he assumed human flesh. Of any derivation from God, or emanation from him in eternity, the Scriptures are silent. The title is conferred on him, it is supposed, with reference to his condition in this world, as the Messiah. And it is conferred, it is believed, for the following reasons, or to denote the following things, namely.

(1) to designate his unique relation to God, as equal with him, John 1:14, John 1:18; Matthew 11:27; Luke 10:22; Luke 3:22; 2 Peter 1:17, or as sustaining a most intimate and close connection with him, such as neither man nor angels could do, an acquaintance with his nature Matthew 11:27, plans, and counsels, such as no being but one who was equal with God could possess. In this sense, I regard it as conferred on him in the passage under consideration.

(2) it designates him as the anointed king, or the Messiah. In this sense it accords with the use of the word in Psalm 82:6. See Matthew 16:16, "Thou art "the Christ, the Son of the living God." Matthew 26:63, "I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether "thou be the Christ, the Son of God." Mark 14:61; Luke 22:70; John 1:34; Acts 9:20, "he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God."

(3) it was conferred on him to denote his miraculous conception in the womb of the Virgin Mary. Luke 1:35, "the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, therefore διό dio also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the "Son of God."

(It is readily admitted, that on the subject of the "eternal Sonship" very much has been said of an unintelligible kind. Terms applicable only to the relation as it exists among people have been freely applied to this mystery. But whatever may be thought of such language as "the eternal generation," "the eternal procession," and "the subordination" of the Son; the doctrine itself, which this mode of speaking was invented to illustrate, and has perhaps served to obscure, is in no way affected. The question is not, Have the friends of the doctrine at all times employed judicious illustration? but, What is the "Scripture evidence" on the point? If the eternal Sonship is to be discarded on such grounds, we fear the doctrine of the Trinity must share a similar fate. Yet, those who maintain the divinity of Christ, and notwithstanding deny the eternal Sonship, seem generally to found their objections on these incomprehensible illustrations, and from thence leap to the conclusion that the doctrine itself is false.


4. And declared—literally, "marked off," "defined," "determined," that is, "shown," or "proved."

to be the Son of God—Observe how studiously the language changes here. He "was MADE [says the apostle] of the seed of David, according to the flesh" (Ro 1:3); but He was not made, He was only "declared [or proved] to BE the Son of God." So Joh 1:1, 14, "In the beginning WAS the Word … and the Word was MADE flesh"; and Isa 9:6, "Unto us a Child is BORN, unto us a Son is GIVEN." Thus the Sonship of Christ is in no proper sense a born relationship to the Father, as some, otherwise sound divines, conceive of it. By His birth in the flesh, that Sonship, which was essential and uncreated, merely effloresced into palpable manifestation. (See on [2172]Lu 1:35; [2173]Ac 13:32, 33).

with power—This may either be connected with "declared," and then the meaning will be "powerfully declared" [Luther, Beza, Bengel, Fritzsche, Alford, &c.]; or (as in our version, and as we think rightly) with "the Son of God," and then the sense is, "declared to be the Son of God" in possession of that "power" which belonged to Him as the only-begotten of the Father, no longer shrouded as in the days of His flesh, but "by His resurrection from the dead" gloriously displayed and henceforth to be for ever exerted in this nature of ours [Vulgate, Calvin, Hodge, Philippi, Mehring, &c.].

according to the spirit of holiness—If "according to the flesh" means here, "in His human nature," this uncommon expression must mean "in His other nature," which we have seen to be that "of the Son of God"—an eternal, uncreated nature. This is here styled the "spirit," as an impalpable and immaterial nature (Joh 4:24), and "the spirit of holiness," probably in absolute contrast with that "likeness, of sinful flesh" which He assumed. One is apt to wonder that if this be the meaning, it was not expressed more simply. But if the apostle had said "He was declared to be the Son of God according to the Holy Spirit," the reader would have thought he meant "the Holy Ghost"; and it seems to have been just to avoid this misapprehension that he used the rare expression, "the spirit of holiness."

Not made the Son of God, as he was said before to be made of the seed of David; but

declared, or demonstrated, to be the Son of God.

With power: this refers either to the word declared, and then the meaning is, he was powerfully or miraculously declared to be the Son of God; the Greek word ordinarily signifies a miracle in the New Testament: or else it refers to the last words, the Son of God; and then the sense is, he was declared to be the powerful and omnipotent Son of God, of the same power and majesty with the Father.

By the spirit of holiness, some would understand the Third Person in the blessed Trinity, which is often called the Holy Spirit, and here the Spirit of holiness; but others, and they more rightly, do understand the Deity and Divine nature of Christ; this is called the Spirit, 1 Timothy 3:16 1 Peter 3:18; and the eternal Spirit, Hebrews 9:14 and here it is called the Spirit of holiness, or the most Holy Spirit, and that, probably, because of its effects; for thereby he sanctified his natural body, and still sanctifies his mystical body, the church. That this is the meaning is evident, by the opposition between the flesh and the Spirit: as according to the flesh, in the former verse, did signify his human nature; so according to the Spirit, in this verse, doth signify his Divine nature. See the like antithesis in 1 Timothy 3:16 1 Peter 3:18.

By the resurrection from the dead: because it is said, the resurrection of the dead, not from the dead, some would understand the words of Lazarus, and others, who by the power of Christ were raised from the dead; and others would understand the words of those who were raised with Christ, when he himself arose: see Matthew 27:52,53. But in Scripture the resurrection of the dead, is put for the resurrection from the dead; see 1 Corinthians 15:42 Hebrews 6:2; and hereby is meant the resurrection of Christ himself: he rose again from the dead, and thereby declared or manifested himself to be the Son of God with power: see John 2:19,21 5:26 10:18 1 Corinthians 15:4. And though it be said in Scripture, that the Father raised him from the dead, Acts 2:24 13:30,33; yet that doth not hinder but by his own power he raised himself; seeing the Father and he were one, and the works of the Three Persons in one and the same Essence are undivided.

And declared to be the Son of God,.... Not made as he is said to be before, when his incarnation is spoken of; nor did he begin to be the Son of God, when he was made of the seed of David, but he, the Son of God, who existed as such, from everlasting, was manifested in the flesh, or human nature: and this his divine sonship, and proper deity, are declared and made evident,

with, or "by"

his power; which has appeared in the creation of all things out of nothing; in upholding all things in their beings; in the government of the world, and works of Providence; in the miracles he wrought; in his performing the great work of redemption; in the success of his Gospel, to the conversion of sinners; and in the preservation of his churches and people: here it seems chiefly to regard the power of Christ in raising the dead, since it follows, and which is to be connected with this clause,

by the resurrection from the dead; and designs either the resurrection of others, as of Lazarus, and some other persons, in his lifetime, and of some at his resurrection, and of all at the last day: or the resurrection of his own body, which dying he had power to raise up again, and did; and which declared him to be, or clearly made it appear that he was the Son of God, a divine person, truly and properly God: and this was done

according to the Spirit of holiness; which may be understood of the Holy Spirit, the third person in the Trinity, who is holy in himself, and the author of holiness in the saints; and who is the declarer of Christ's sonship, partly by bearing a testimony to it in the word, and in the hearts of believers, and chiefly by being concerned in the resurrection of the body of Christ from the dead; or else by the Spirit of holiness may be meant the divine nature of Christ, which, as it is holy, so by it Christ offered himself to God, and by it was quickened, or made alive, when he had been put to death in the flesh; and which must be a clear and strong proof of his being truly the Son of God.

And {g} declared to be the Son of God with {h} power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:

(g) Shown and made manifest.

(h) The divine and mighty power is set against the weakness of the flesh, for it overcame death.

4. declared] Better, defined, marked out by sure signs. Same word as Hebrews 4:7 (“He limiteth a certain day”). His Resurrection shewed Him to be none other than the Son. The same Greek word is used in e.g. Acts 10:42; Acts 17:31; and rendered there “ordained;” perhaps rightly so. But obviously its meaning will slightly vary as connected with the Sonship or with the Judgeship of Christ.

the Son of God] Cp. Acts 13:32-33, for a close parallel; one of the many between St Paul’s Discourses and Epistles. The Sonship of the Redeemer, the truth proclaimed at His baptism (Matthew 3:17), is enforced and illustrated through the N. T. In this Epistle see especially cch. Romans 5:10, Romans 8:3; Romans 8:29; Romans 8:32.

with power] Lit. in power. Cp. 1 Corinthians 15:43. Power attended and characterized His Resurrection, both as cause and as effect. The practical reference here is to the fulness of the proof of the fact. The true Resurrection was not such as that imagined by e.g. Schleiermacher; the creeping forth of a half-slain Man from his grave. It was miracle and triumph.

according to the Spirit of holiness] This phrase presents two questions: (1) what is “the Spirit of Holiness”? (2) what is meant by “according to”? We take them in order. A. “The Spirit of Holiness” must mean either the Holy Paraclete, or the sacred Human Spirit of Christ, or His Deity regarded as (what it is, John 4:24,) Spirit. The reference here seems to be to the Paraclete; for (1) in this Epistle He is very frequently referred to, in a way which makes an initial reference here highly probable; (2) the expression “Holy Spirit” is so closely akin to “Spirit of Holiness” that any reference of the words other than that to the Paraclete would need special evidence; and such evidence can hardly be found in St Paul. (See 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 9:14; for the nearest approaches to it in N. T.) B. The words “according to” may refer to the Paraclete, either (1) as the Agent in the Incarnation (Luke 1:35), or (2) as concerned in the Resurrection (see Romans 8:11 for a very partial parallel), or (3) as the Inspirer of the Prophets. Of these possibilities (1) is most unlikely, for the Sonship of Christ here in question is plainly the Eternal Sonship (see Romans 9:5), not that of the Incarnation; (2) accords better with Scripture usage; but (3) far more so, in view of the frequent mention of the Holy Spirit as the Inspirer. See Acts 20:23; 1 Timothy 4:1; Hebrews 3:7; Hebrews 9:8; Hebrews 10:15, (and cp. 1 Peter 1:11); for places where “the Spirit” is evidently the Holy Spirit as the Author of Prophecy. The present passage will thus mean: “He was declared to be the Son of God, with power, (even as the Holy Ghost foretold,) in consequence of the resurrection.”

by the resurrection] Lit. out of, from; i.e. in consequence, as a result, of. The same construction and meaning occur e.g. 2 Corinthians 13:4, where lit. “He was crucified out of weakness; He liveth out of the power of God; we shall live out of, &c.” The grand result of the resurrection here stated is that His prophesied character and dignity were, by the resurrection, made unmistakably clear.

Romans 1:4. Τοῦ ὁρισθέντος υἱοῦ Θεοῦ, who was definitively marked as [declared to be, Engl. Vers.] the Son of God) He uses τοῦ again, not καὶ or δὲ. When the article is repeated, it forms an epitasis. [end.] In many passages, where both natures of the Saviour are mentioned, the human nature is put first, because the divine was most distinctly proved to all, only after His resurrection from the dead. [Hence it is, that it is frequently repeated, He, and not any other. Acts 9:20; Acts 9:22, etc.—V. g.] The participle ὁρισθέντος expresses much more than ἀφωρισμένος in Romans 1:1; for one, ἀφορίζεται, out of a number of other persons, but a person, ὁρίζεται, as the one and only person, Acts 10:42. In that well-known passage, Psalm 2:7, חק [the decree] is the same as ὁρισμὸς; [the decree implying] that the Father has most determinately said, Thou art My Son. The ἀπόδειξις, the approving of the Son, in regard to men, follows in the train of this ὁρισμόν.—Acts 2:22. Paul particularly extols the glory of the Son of God, when writing to those to whom he had been unable to preach it face to face. Comp. Hebrews 10:8, etc., note.—ἐν δυνάμει, in (or with) power), most powerfully, most fully; as when the sun shines in δυνάμει, in his strength.—Revelation 1:16.—κατὰ πνεῦμα ἁγιωσύνης, according to the spirit of holiness) The word קדוש ἃγιος, holy, when the subject under discussion refers to God, not only denotes that blameless rectitude in acting, which distinguishes Him, but the Godhead itself, or, to speak with greater propriety, the divinity, or the excellence of the Divine nature. Hence ἁγιωσύνη has a kind of middle sense between ἁγιότητα and ἁγιασμόν.—Comp. Hebrews 12:10; Hebrews 12:14. [“His holiness,” ἁγιότης; “without ἁγιασμός sanctification, no man shall see the Lord.”] So that there are, as it were, three degrees, sanctification (sanctificatio), sanctity (or sanctimony, “sanctimonia,”) holiness (sanctitas) Holiness itself (sanctitas) is ascribed to God the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. And since the Holy Spirit is not mentioned in this passage, but the Spirit of holiness (sanctity, sanctimoniæ), we must inquire farther, what that expression, which is evidently a singular one, denotes. The name Spirit is expressly, and that too, very often, given to the Holy Spirit; but God is also said to be a Spirit; and the Lord, Jesus Christ, is called Spirit, in antithesis indeed to the letter, 2 Corinthians 3:17. But in the strict sense, it is of use to compare with the idea here the fact, that the antithesis flesh and spirit occurs, as in this passage, so rather frequently, in passages speaking of Christ, 1 Timothy 3:16; 1 Peter 3:18. And in these passages that is called Spirit, whatever belongs to Christ, independently of the flesh [assumed through His descent from David, Luke 1:35.—V. g.], although that flesh was pure and holy; also whatever superior to flesh belongs to Him, owing to His generation by the Father, who has sanctified Him, John 10:36; in short, the Godhead itself. For, as in this passage, flesh and spirit, so at chap. Romans 9:5, flesh and Godhead stand in contradistinction to each other. This spirit is not called the spirit of holiness (sanctitatis ἁγιότητος), which is the peculiar and solemn appellation of the Holy Spirit, with whom, however, Jesus was most abundantly filled and anointed, Luke 1:35; Luke 4:1; Luke 4:18; John 3:34; Acts 10:38; but in this one passage alone, the expression used is the spirit of sanctity (sanctimoniæ ἁγιωσύνης), in order that there may be at once implied the efficacy of that holiness (sanctitatis ἁγιότητος) or divinity, of which the resurrection of the Saviour was both a necessary consequence, and which it most powerfully illustrates; and so, that spiritual and holy, or divine power of Jesus Christ glorified, who, however, has still retained the spiritual body. Before the resurrection, the Spirit was concealed under the flesh; after the resurrection the Spirit of sanctity [sanctimoniæ] entirely concealed the flesh, although He did not lay aside the flesh; but all that is carnal (which was also without sin), Luke 24:39. In respect of the former [His state before the resurrection], He once used frequently to call Himself the Son of Man; in respect of the latter [His state after the resurrection; and the spirit of sanctity, by which He rose again], He is celebrated as the Son of God. His [manifested or] conspicuous state [as presented to men’s view before His resurrection] was modified in various ways. At the day of judgment, His glory as the Son of God shall appear, as also His body in the highest degree glorified. See also John 6:63, note.—ἐξ ἀναστάσεως νεκρῶν, by means of the resurrection of the dead) Ἐκ not only denotes time, but the connection of things (for the resurrection of Jesus Christ is at once the source and the object of our faith, Acts 17:31). The verb ἀνίστημι is also used without a preposition, as in Herodotus, ἀναστάντες τῶν βαθρῶν: therefore, ἀνάστασις νεκρῶν might be taken in this passage for the resurrection from the dead. But it is in reality taken in a more pregnant sense; for it is intimated, that the resurrection of all is intimately connected with the resurrection of Christ. Comp. Acts 4:2; Acts 23:6; Acts 26:23. Artemonius conjectures that the reading should be ἐξ ἀναστάσεως ἐκ νεκρῶν Part I., cap. 41, p. 214, etc., and this is his construction of the passage: περὶ [Romans 1:3] ἐξαναστάσεως ἐκ νεκρῶν τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ κ.τ.λ. concerning the resurrection of His Son from the dead, etc. But, I. There is a manifest Apposition, concerning His Son, Jesus Christ; therefore, the words, which come between parenthetically, are all construed in an unbroken connection with one another. II. There is an obvious antithesis: ΤΟΥ γενομένου ΕΚ ΚΑΤΑ: ΤΟΥ ὁρισθέντοςΚΑΤΑΕΞ.—III. ἀνάστασις, not ἐξανάστασις, if we are to have regard to Paul’s style, is properly applied to Christ; but ἐξαανάστασις to Christians; Comp. ἤγειρε, ἐξεγερεῖ, 1 Corinthians 6:14. Artemonius objects that Christ was even previously the Son of God, Luke 3:22; John 10:36; Acts 2:22; Acts 10:38. We answer, Paul does not infer the Sonship itself, but the ὁρισμὸν, the [declaration] definitive marking of the Sonship by the resurrection. And in support of this point, Chrysostom compares with this the following passages: John 2:19; John 8:28; Matthew 12:39; and the preaching of the apostles follows close upon this ὁρισμόν, Luke 24:47. Therefore, this mode of mentioning the resurrection is exceedingly well adapted to this introduction, as Galatians 1:1.

Verse 4. - Who was declared (so Authorized Version) the Son of God with (literally, in) power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection of (not as in Authorized Version, from) the dead. Supposing the intention here to be to declare the Son's essential Deity, notwithstanding his human birth, we might have expected ὄντος after the γενομένου preceding. But the word used is ὁρισθέντος; and, further, the Resurrection is referred to, not a pre-existent state. The verb ὁρίζειν means properly to "appoint" or "determine;" and if this meaning be re-mined, the whole passage would seem to preclude the idea of Sonship previous to the Resurrection being in view. Hence commentators ancient and modern agree generally in assigning an unusual meaning to ὁρισθέντος-here, making it signify "declared," as in the Authorized Version. So Chrysostom, Τί οῦν ἔστιν ὁρισθέντος; τοῦ δειχθέντος, ἀποφανθέντος κριθέντος δυολογηθέντος παρὰ τῆς ἀπάντων γνώμης καὶ ψήφου (Hom. 2 p. 432, D). It is maintained that this use of the word, though unusual, is legitimate; since a person may be said to be appointed, or determined, to be what he already is, when his being such is declared and manifested. Thus, it may be said, a king may be spoken of as appointed king when he is crowned, though he was king before; or a saint determined a saint when he is canonized; and the classical phrase, ὁρίζειν τινὰ Θεόν, in the sense of deify, is adduced as parallel. Thus the expression is made to mean that "the same who κατὰ σάρκα was known only as the descendant of David, is now declared to be the Son of God" (Tholuck); Ὅριζεται δὲ εἰς υἰὸν καὶ κατὰ τὸ ἀνβρώπινον (Cyril); and St. Paul's reason for thus putting it, in pursuance of his course of thought, is thus explained by Meyer; "Paul gives the two main epochs in the history of the Son of God as they had actually occurred, and had been prophetically announced;" also by Bengel thus, "Etiam ante exinanitionem suam Filius Dei is quidem fuit: sed exinanitione filiatio occultata fuit, et plene demure retecta post resurrectionem." This interpretation would be more satisfactory than it is if the verb ὁρίζειν were found similarly used in any other part of the New Testament. It occurs in the following passages, and always in its proper and usual sense: Luke 22:22; Acts 2:23; Acts 10:42; Acts 11:29; Acts 17:26, 31; Hebrews 4:7. Of these especially significant are Acts 10:42 (Ὅτι αὐτός ἔστιν ὁ ὡρισμενος ὑπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ κριτὴς ζώντων καὶ νεκρῶν) and Acts 17:31 (Διότι ἔστησεν ἡμέραν ἐν ῇ μέλλει κρίνειν τὴν οἰκουμένην ἐν δικαιοσύνῃ ἐν ἀνδρὶ ῷ ὥρισε, πίστιν παρασχὼν πᾶσιν ἀναστήσας αὐτὸν ἐκ νεκρῶν). In both of these texts the word denotes God's appointment or determination of Christ to the office of Judge, not merely a declaration or manifestation of his already being so; and it is to be observed that in the second the language is given as that of St. Paul himself, and that it corresponds with the passage before us in that the Resurrection is spoken of as the display to the world of Christ being so appointed or determined. Surely, then, there ought to be cogent reason for giving ὁρισθέντος a different meaning here; and, in spite of the weight of authority on the other side, it is submitted that we are under no necessity to do so, if we bear in mind what appeared under ver. 3 as to the different senses in which Christ is designated Υἱὸς Θεοῦ. In the sense apparent is Messianic prophecy, and pervading the Epistle to the Hebrews, in the sense which seems intended by St. Paul himself in Acts 13:32, 33, it was not till after the Resurrection that Christ attained his position of royal Sonship; it was then that the Divine ὁρισμὸς took effect in that regard. It is true that St. Paul (as was seen under ver. 3) himself conceived of Christ as essentially Son of God from eternity; but here, while speaking of the fulfilment of Messianic prophecy, and desiring to point out what was patent to all who believed that Christ had risen, he may fitly refer to his exaltation only, in virtue of which, further, he had himself received his apostolic commission, of which he proceeds to speak, and the assertion which he has had all along in view. The above interpretation of ὁρισθέντος appears, further, to have the weighty support of Pearson, who, speaking of Christ's fourfold right unto the title of "the Son of God" - by generation, as begotten of God; by commission, as sent by him; by resurrection, as the Firstborn; by actual possession, as Heir of all - refers thus to Romans 1:4: 'Thus was he defined, or constituted, and 'appointed to be the Son of God with power by the Resurrection from the dead'", (Pearson on the Creed, art. 2.). Ἐν δυνάμει (to be connected with ὁρισθέντος) denotes the Divine power displayed in the Resurrection (cf. Ephesians 1:19, "the exceeding greatness of his power,... according to the working of the strength of his might, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead;" cf. also 1 Corinthians 6:14; 1 Corinthians 15:43; 2 Corinthians 13:4). In the last two of these passages, power evidenced in resurrection is contrasted with human weakness evidenced in death: Σπείρεται ἐν ἀσθενειά ἐγείρεται ἐν δυνάμει Καὶ γὰρ εἴ ἐσταυρώθη ἐξ ἀσθενείας ἀλλὰ ζῆ ἐκ δυνάμεως. Το κατὰ σάρκα in ver. 3 is opposed, not simply κατὰ πνεῦμα, but κατὰ πνεῦμα ἁγιωσὑνης (the spirit of holiness), so as to denote the Divine element that was all along in the Incarnate Son, in virtue of which he rose triumphant over human ἀσθένεια. We too are composed of σάρξ and πνεῦμα; but the πνεῦμα in Christ was one of absolute holiness - the holiness of Deity; not ἁγιότης, holiness in the abstract, attributed to Deity (Hebrews 12:10), nor ἁγιασμὸς "sanctification," of which man is capable; but ἁγιωσύνη, an inherent quality of Divine holiness ("Quasi tres sint gradus, sanctificatio, sanctimonia, sanctitas," Bengel). Because of this "spirit of holiness" that was in Christ, "it was not possible that he should be holden of" death (Acts 2:24). Through this, which was in himself - not merely through a Divine power external to himself calling him from the grave, as he had called Lazarus - he overcame death (cf. Acts 2:27; Acts 13:35, "Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption"). It was through this too (διὰ πνεύματος αἰωνίου) that he "offered himself without spot to God" (Hebrews 9:14); and in the same sense may be understood ἐδικαιώθη ἐν πνεύματι (1 Timothy 3:16). Neither in these passages nor in the one before us is the Holy Spirit meant, in the sense of a distinct Person of the Holy Trinity. Further, the preposition in ἐξ ἀναστάσεως does not denote (as explained by Theodoret, Luther, and Grotius) the time from which the ὁρισμὸς began in the sense of ἐξ οῦ ἀνέστη, but the source out of which it proceeded. "Ἑκ non mode tempus, sed nexum rerum denotat" (Bengel). Further, the phrase is not "resurrection from the dead," as in the Authorized Version, but "of the dead," which may be purposely used so as to point, not only to the fact of Christ's own resurrection, but also to its significance for mankind. The same expression often occurs elsewhere with a comprehensive meaning (cf. Acts 23:6; Acts 24:21; 1 Corinthians 15:12-21; Philippians 3:11; also 1 Corinthians 15:22; Philippians 3:10). The resurrection of Christ expressed "the power of an endless life," here and hereafter, for mankind, carrying with it the possibility of the resurrection of all from the dominion of death in the risen Son. One view of the meaning of the whole of the above passage - that of Chrysostom and Melancthon - may be mentioned because of the weight of these authorities, though it cannot be the true one. They take κατὰ πνεῦμα ἁγιωσύνης ἐν δυνάμει, and ἐξ ἀναστάσεως νεκρῶν, as co-ordinate, regarding them as the three proofs of Christ's eternal Sonship. i.e. miracles, the communication of the Holy Ghost, and the resurrection. Jesus Christ our Lord; thus in conclusion distinctly identifying the Son of prophecy with the Jesus who had lately appeared, and was acknowledged by the Christians as the Messiah, and commonly by them called Κύριος. The force of the passage is weakened in the Authorized Version by the transposition of Ιησοῦ Ξριστοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν to the beginning of ver. 3, as also by the inclusion of ver. 2 in a parenthesis, so as to separate it from περὶ τοῦ υἱοῦ which follows. (See explanation given above.) Romans 1:4Declared (ὁρισθέντος)

Rev., in margin, determined. The same verb as in the compound separated in Romans 1:1. Bengel says that it expresses more than "separated," since one of a number is separated, but only one is defined or declared. Compare Acts 10:42; Acts 17:31. It means to designate one for something, to nominate, to instate. There is an antithesis between born (Romans 1:3) and declared. As respected Christ's earthly descent, He was born like other men. As respected His divine essence, He was declared. The idea is that of Christ's instatement or establishment in the rank and dignity of His divine sonship with a view to the conviction of men. This was required by His previous humiliation, and was accomplished by His resurrection, which not only manifested or demonstrated what He was, but wrought a real transformation in His mode of being. Compare Acts 2:36; "God made," etc.

With power (ἐν δυνάμει)

Lit., in power. Construe with was declared. He was declared or instated mightily; in a striking, triumphant manner, through His resurrection.

Spirit of holiness

In contrast with according to the flesh. The reference is not to the Holy Spirit, who is nowhere designated by this phrase, but to the spirit of Christ as the seat of the divine nature belonging to His person. As God is spirit, the divine nature of Christ is spirit, and its characteristic quality is holiness.

Resurrection from the dead (ἀναστάσεως νεκρῶν)

Wrong, since this would require the preposition ἐκ from. Rev., correctly, of the dead. Though this resurrection is here represented as actually realized in one individual only, the phrase, as everywhere in the New Testament, signifies the resurrection of the dead absolutely and generically - of all the dead, as exemplified, included, and involved in the resurrection of Christ. See on Philippians 3:11.

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