Romans 15:17
I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God.
Jump to: AlfordBarnesBengelBensonBICalvinCambridgeChrysostomClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctExp GrkGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsICCJFBKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWMeyerNewellParkerPNTPoolePulpitSermonSCOTeedTTBVWSWESTSK
(17) This is really the title on which I rest my claim. I can boast of a specially sacred office and ministry, given to me by Christ, and not merely of my own devising. The sphere of this office is a religious sphere, it relates to the things pertaining to God.”

15:14-21 The apostle was persuaded that the Roman Christians were filled with a kind and affectionate spirit, as well as with knowledge. He had written to remind them of their duties and their dangers, because God had appointed him the minister of Christ to the Gentiles. Paul preached to them; but what made them sacrifices to God, was, their sanctification; not his work, but the work of the Holy Ghost: unholy things can never be pleasing to the holy God. The conversion of souls pertains unto God; therefore it is the matter of Paul's glorying, not the things of the flesh. But though a great preacher, he could not make one soul obedient, further than the Spirit of God accompanied his labours. He principally sought the good of those that sat in darkness. Whatever good we do, it is Christ who does it by us.I have therefore ... - I have cause of glorying. I have cause of rejoicing that God has made me a minister to the Gentiles, and that he has given me such success among them. The ground of this he states in Romans 15:18-22.

Glory - Of "boasting" καύχησιν kauchēsin, the word usually rendered "boasting"); James 4:16; Romans 3:27; 2 Corinthians 7:14; 2 Corinthians 8:24; 2 Corinthians 9:3-4; 2 Corinthians 10:15; 2 Corinthians 11:10, 2 Corinthians 11:17. It means also "praise, thanksgiving," and "joy;" 1 Corinthians 15:31; 2 Corinthians 1:12; 2 Corinthians 7:4; 2 Corinthians 8:24; 1 Thessalonians 2:19. This is its meaning here, that the apostle had great cause of "rejoicing" or "praise" that he had been so highly honored in the appointment to this office, and in his success in it.

Through Jesus Christ - By the assistance of Jesus Christ; ascribing his success among the Gentiles to the aid which Jesus Christ had rendered him.

In those things which pertain to God - Compare Hebrews 5:1. The things of religion; the things which God has commanded, and which pertain to his honor and glory. They were not things which pertained to "Paul," but to "God:" not worked by Paul, but by Jesus Christ; yet he might rejoice that he had been the means of diffusing so far those blessings. The success of a minister is not for "his own" praises, but for the honor of God; not by his skill or power, but by the aid of Jesus Christ; yet he may rejoice that "through" him such blessings are conferred upon people.

17. I have therefore whereof I may glory—or (adding the article, as the reading seems to be), "I have my glorying."


Christ Jesus in those things which pertain to God—the things of the ministry committed to me of God.

q.d. Having received this grace of apostleship, anti having had great success in my labours, multitudes being converted by my ministry: I have whereof to glory, or, I have matter of glorying and rejoicing. But then he adds, that this glorying of his was not in himself, but in and

through Jesus Christ, by whose grace he did what he did: see 1 Corinthians 15:10. And also, that it was not in any thing that concerned himself, but in things pertaining to God, which concerned his worship and service, and wherein his ministry consisted. In the foregoing verse he described his apostleship in terms that were borrowed from the Levitical priesthood: and here, contriving the same metaphor, he calleth the execution of his function, a performing of things pertaining to God. which is that for which the priests of old were ordained, Hebrews 5:1.

I have therefore whereof I may glory,.... Not in himself, for he that taught others not to glory in men, would not glory in himself; not in his carnal descent and fleshly privileges; nor in his knowledge of, and compliance with, the ceremonies of the law; nor in his legal, moral, and civil righteousness before God; nor in his gifts and attainments, as merited and procured by himself; nor in his labours in the ministry, and the success of it, as of himself: but

through Jesus Christ; or "in Jesus Christ", as read the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions; in what Christ was unto him, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption: he could boast of what he had from him, and through him, even of all spiritual blessings in him; and of a large measure of grace he had received from him; and of great and eminent gifts Christ had bestowed on him; he gloried in his cross, and boasted of a crucified Jesus, whom others despised; and whom he made the subject of his ministry, and took delight in preaching: and freely owned that all he did was through Christ strengthening him; and that all his success in his work was owing to him, and of this he had to glory: and which was

in those things which pertain to God; not "with God", as the Syriac reads it; for though in some cases it may be lawful to glory before men, yet not before God, or in his presence: nor is it anything a man may glory in, not in his own things, but in the things of God; in things relating to the Gospel of God, to the pure preaching of it, to the furtherance and spread of it, and the recommending of it to others; to the worship and ordinances of God, and a spiritual attendance on them; to the grace of God, and the magnifying of that in the business of salvation; and to the glory of God, which ought to be the chief end of all actions, natural, moral, and religious, and whether private or public. The apostle has chiefly reference to his ministerial function, and the things of God relating to that, in which he was employed; see Hebrews 5:1.

{9} I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God.

(9) He commends his apostleship highly by the effects, but yet in such a way that even though he speaks all things truly, he gives all the glory to God as the only author: and he does not do this for his own sake, but this rather, that men might doubt less of the truth of the doctrine which he propounds to them.

Romans 15:17. How readily might what was said in Romans 15:16 carry with it the appearance of vain self-boasting! To obviate this, the apostle proceeds: I have accordingly (in pursuance of the contents of Romans 15:16) the boasting (τὴν καύχησιν, see the critical notes) in Christ Jesus in respect of my relation to God; i.e., my boasting is something which, by virtue of my connection with Christ (whose λειτουργός I am, Romans 15:16), in my position towards God (for I administer God’s gospel as an offering priest, Romans 15:16), properly belongs to me. The ἔχω is prefixed with emphasis: it does not fail me, like a something which one has not really as a possession but only ventures to ascribe to himself; then follows with ἐν Χ. . and τὰ πρ. τ. Θ., a twofold more precisely defined character of this ethical possession, excluding everything selfish.[22] Accordingly, we are not to explain as though ἐν Χ. . bore the main stress and it ran ἐν Χριστῷ οὖν τὴν καύχησιν ἔχω κ.τ.λ. (which is Fritzsche’s objection to the reading τὴν καύχ.); and καύχησις is neither here nor elsewhere equivalent to καύχημα (materies gloriandi), but is gloriatio (comp. 1 Corinthians 15:31), and the article marks the definite self-boasting concerned, which Paul makes (Romans 15:16; Romans 15:18). Reiche connects ἐν Χ. with τ. καύχησιν, so that to τὸ καυχᾶσθαι ἐν Χ. is to be explained as the boasting onself of Christ (of the aid of Christ). Comp. also Ewald. Admissible linguistically, since the construction καυχᾶσθαι ἐν (Romans 5:3, Romans 2:17; Romans 2:23; Php 3:3) allowed the annexation without the article; but at variance with the sequel, where what is shown is not the right to boast of the help of Christ (of this there is also in Romans 15:16 no mention), but this, that Paul will never boast himself otherwise than as simply the instrument of Christ, that he thus has Christ only to thank for the καυχᾶσθαι, only through Him is in the position to boast.

τὰ πρὸς τ. Θεόν] Comp. Hebrews 2:17; Hebrews 5:1. Semler and Rückert take the article in a limiting sense: at least before God. But the “at least” is not expressed (τὰ γε πρ. τ. Θ., or πρὸς γε τ. Θ., or τὰ πρ. τ. Θ. γε), and Paul has indeed actually here and elsewhere frequently boasted before men, and with ample warrant, of his sacred calling.

We may add that this whole assertion of his calling, Romans 15:17-21, so naturally suggested itself to the apostle, when he was on the point of extending his activity to Rome and beyond it to the extreme west of the Gentile world, that there is no sufficient ground for seeking the occasion of it in the circumstances and experiences of the Corinthian church at that time (so especially Rückert, comp. also Tholuck and Philippi); especially since it is nowhere indicated in our epistle (not even in Romans 16:17), that at that time (at a later epoch it was otherwise, Php 1:15 ff.) anti-Pauline efforts had occurred in Rome, such as had emerged in Corinth. See Introd. § 3.

[22] Not exactly specially “the consciousness of superior knowledge or singular spirituality,” Hofmann. Comp. generally 1 Corinthians 15:10.

Romans 15:17. ἔχω οὖν καύχησιν: I have therefore ground of boasting. In spite of the apologetic tone of Romans 15:14 f. Paul is not without confidence in writing to the Romans. But there is no personal assumption in this; for he has it only in Christ Jesus, and only τὰ πρὸς τὸν θεόν in his relations to God. Cf. Hebrews 2:17; Hebrews 5:1.

17. I have therefore, &c.] Lit., with the best reading, I have therefore my exultation in Christ Jesus as to things God-ward. The words “I have” are slightly emphatic, indicating the reality of his commission, labours, and success; and so the reality of his right to speak as a Teacher to the Roman Christians.

glory] He exults in the “grace given to him,” (Romans 15:15-16), and in its results (Romans 15:19).

through] Lit., and better, in. It is as in union with Christ that he labours, and so his exultation is “in Christ.”

Romans 15:17. Καύχησιν, glorying) Paul had a large heart; so he says at Romans 15:15, more boldly, and Romans 15:20, “I have strived ambitiously,” φιλοτιμούμενον.—ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ, in Christ Jesus) This is explained in the following verse. My glorying with respect to those things, which pertain to God, has been made to rest [rests] in Christ Jesus.—τὰ πρὸς Θεὸν, in those things, which pertain to God) Paul makes this limitation; otherwise he was poor and an outcast in the world, 1 Corinthians 4:9, etc.

Verse 17. - I have therefore whereof I may glory through (rather, I have my boasting in) Christ Jesus in the things that pertain unto God (τὰ πρὸς Θεόν - the same phrase as is used in Hebrews 5:1 with reference to priestly service). St. Paul's purpose in this and the four following verses is to allege proof of his being a true apostle with a right to speak with authority to the Gentiles. It is evident, he says, from the extent and success of my apostolic labours, and the power of God that has accompanied them. So also, still more earnestly and at length, in 2 Corinthians 11. and 12. As to his reason for frequently thus insisting on his true apostleship, and for asserting it in writing to the Romans, see note on Romans 1:1. Romans 15:17Whereof I may glory (τὴν καύχησιν)

Rather, as Rev., my glorying, denoting the act. The ground of glorying would be καύχημα as in Romans 4:2; Galatians 6:4, etc.

Those things which pertain to God (τὰ πρὸς τὸν Θεόν)

A technical phrase in Jewish liturgical language to denote the functions of worship (Hebrews 2:17; Hebrews 5:1). According with the sacerdotal ideas of the previous verse.

Romans 15:17 Interlinear
Romans 15:17 Parallel Texts

Romans 15:17 NIV
Romans 15:17 NLT
Romans 15:17 ESV
Romans 15:17 NASB
Romans 15:17 KJV

Romans 15:17 Bible Apps
Romans 15:17 Parallel
Romans 15:17 Biblia Paralela
Romans 15:17 Chinese Bible
Romans 15:17 French Bible
Romans 15:17 German Bible

Bible Hub

Romans 15:16
Top of Page
Top of Page