Romans 16:26
But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(26) But now is made manifest.—The first clause of this verse goes with the last clause of the preceding “mystery,” which before was kept secret, but now has been “made manifest.” The rest of the verse all hangs together: “this mystery, through the help of the corroboration which it derives from the prophets of the Old Testament, has, by God’s command to us, the Apostles, been made known.”

By the scriptures of the prophets.—Through the help of that appeal to prophecy which we are enabled to make.

According to the commandment.—That which had taken place according to the command of God was the making known of the gospel to the Gentiles, as, e.g., when Paul and Barnabas were specially “separated” for the work by the Holy Ghost.

Made known to all nations.—The word “to” has a little more stress laid upon it than would appear from the English, “made known so as to reach all nations.”

For the obedience of faith.—An exact repetition of the phrase in Romans 1:5, “to win over the Gentiles unto the allegiance demanded of them by faith in Christ.”

16:25-27 That which establishes souls, is, the plain preaching of Jesus Christ. Our redemption and salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, are, without controversy, a great mystery of godliness. And yet, blessed be God, there is as much of this mystery made plain as will bring us to heaven, if we do not wilfully neglect so great salvation. Life and immortality are brought to light by the gospel, and the Sun of Righteousness is risen on the world. The Scriptures of the prophets, what they left in writing, is not only made plain in itself, but by it this mystery is made known to all nations. Christ is salvation to all nations. And the gospel is revealed, not to be talked of and disputed about, but to be submitted to. The obedience of faith is that obedience which is paid to the word of faith, and which comes by the grace of faith. All the glory that passes from fallen man to God, so as to be accepted of him, must go through the Lord Jesus, in whom alone our persons and doings are, or can be, pleasing to God. Of his righteousness we must make mention, even of his only; who, as he is the Mediator of all our prayers, so he is, and will be, to eternity, the Mediator of all our praises. Remembering that we are called to the obedience of faith, and that every degree of wisdom is from the only wise God, we should, by word and deed, render glory to him through Jesus Christ; that so the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ may be with us for ever.But now is made manifest - Is revealed, or made known; that which was so long concealed is now divulged, that is, God's plan of saving people is now made known to all nations.

And by the Scriptures ... - By the "writings" of the prophets. The prophetic writings contained the doctrines, obscurely indeed, but so as to be an important means of disseminating and confirming the truth that the Gentiles should be made acquainted with the gospel. To those writings the apostle had repeatedly appealed in his defense of the proposition that the gospel was to be preached to the Gentile word; Romans 10; 11; 15. The prophetic writings; moreover, were extensively scattered among the Gentile nations, and thus were readily appealed to in defense of this position. Their writings being thus translated, and read, were an important means of propagating the truths of the Christian religion.

According to the commandment ... - By his command through Jesus Christ; made known in the gospel of his Son.

The everlasting God - God who is eternal, and therefore unchanged. He who has indeed concealed this truth, but who has always intended that it should be revealed.

To all nations - Matthew 28:19; compare Colossians 1:23.

For the obedience of faith - To produce obedience to the requirements of the gospel; see the note at Romans 1:5.

26. But is now made manifest—The reference here is to that peculiar feature of the Gospel economy which Paul himself was specially employed to carry into practical effect and to unfold by his teaching—the introduction of the Gentile believers to an equality with their Jewish brethren, and the new, and, to the Jews, quite unexpected form which this gave to the whole Kingdom of God (compare Eph 3:1-10, &c.). This the apostle calls here a mystery hitherto undisclosed, in what sense Ro 16:27 will show, but now fully unfolded; and his prayer for the Roman Christians, in the form of a doxology to Him who was able to do what he asked, is that they might be established in the truth of the Gospel, not only in its essential character, but specially in that feature of it which gave themselves, as Gentile believers, their whole standing among the people of God.

and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for—in order to

the obedience of faith—Lest they should think, from what he had just said, that God had brought in upon his people so vast a change on their condition without giving them any previous notice, the apostle here adds that, on the contrary, "the Scriptures of the prophets" contain all that he and other preachers of the Gospel had to declare on these topics, and indeed that the same "everlasting God," who "from eternal ages" had kept these things hid, had given "commandment" that they should now, according to the tenor of those prophetic Scriptures, be imparted to every nation for their believing acceptance.

Concerning the revelation of this mystery, four things are further recorded:

1. The means whereby it was made known; viz.

the Scriptures of the prophets; see Acts 10:43 16:32 28:23.

2. The authority by which it was made known;

the commandment of the everlasting God.

3. The persons to whom it was made known; the Gentiles, or the inhabitants of

all nations.

4. The end for which it was made known; viz.

for the obedience of faith; i.e. that it may be believed and obeyed: see Romans 1:5 15:18. But now is made manifest,.... In these last days, in which God has spoken by his Son, by whom the doctrines of grace are most clearly revealed, and fully dispensed; and by his apostles, who were blessed with a clear insight into them, and with extraordinary gifts to minister them;

and by the Scriptures of the prophets; or prophetic writings, in which these truths are hinted, and by which, being made manifest by Christ and his apostles, they are attested and confirmed;

according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith; that is, it is by the express order and command of that God who is from everlasting to everlasting, that the mystery of the Gospel is made manifest by the preaching of the apostles being witnessed to by the law and prophets in all its doctrines; particularly justification by Christ's righteousness, remission of sins through his blood, and salvation by his sufferings and death; that this should be made known not only in the land of Judea, but to all the nations of the world; for this end, that many souls may be brought to submit to the righteousness of faith, to embrace the doctrine of faith, make a profession of it, be subject to the ordinances of it, live by faith on Christ, and also soberly, righteously and godly in this world: if this commandment refers, as it seems to do, to the order of Christ to his apostles, to preach the Gospel to Jews and Gentiles, to the Jews first, and upon their rejection of it, to turn to the Gentiles; for so, says the apostle, has the Lord commanded us, Acts 13:46; here is a clear proof that Christ is God, and that he is the everlasting God.

But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, {m} made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

(m) Offered and exhibited to all nations to be known.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Romans 16:26. Contrast of χρόνοις αἰων. σεσιγ.

But which has been made manifest in the present time, and by means of prophetic writings, according to the commandment of the eternal God, in order to produce obedience of faith, has been made known among all nations. In this happy relation of the present time, with regard to that which the χρόνοι αἰώνιοι lacked, how powerful a motive to the praise of God!

φανερωθέντος δὲ νῦν] Comp. Colossians 1:26, νυνὶ δὲ ἐφανερώθη, in the same contrast; but here the stress lies, in contradistinction to the immediately preceding σεσιγημ., on φανερωθ. Reiche’s observation, that the φανέρωσις is never attributed to the prophets, is not at all applicable; for it is not in fact ascribed to the prophets here, and φανερωθ. is not even connected with διὰ γραφ. προφ., which τε[54] undoubtedly assigns to the following participle γνωρισθ.[55] The mystery has, namely, in the Christian present been clearly placed in the light, has been made an object of knowledge (comp. on Romans 1:19), a result obviously accomplished through the gospel (comp. Colossians 1:26; Titus 1:3); and with this φανέρωσις, in and by itself, there was connected in further concrete development the general publication of the secret, as it is more precisely designated by διά τε γραφῶνγνωρισθ. This general publication was, namely, one which took place (1) by means of prophetic writings (comp. Romans 1:2), inasmuch as, after the precedent of Jesus Himself (John 5:39; Matthew 5:17; Luke 24:27; Luke 24:44), it was brought into connection with the prophecies of the O. T. testifying beforehand (1 Peter 1:11), the fulfilment of the same was exhibited, and they were employed as a proof and confirmation of the evangelical preaching (comp. also Acts 17:11), and generally as a medium enabling the latter to produce knowledge and faith. (2) It took place at the command of God (Romans 10:17; Titus 1:3), whose servants (Romans 1:9) and stewards of His mysteries (1 Corinthians 4:1) the apostles are, conscious of His command (Galatians 1:1; Galatians 1:15). (3) It was made in order to produce obedience towards the faith (comp. on Romans 1:5), and that (4) among all nations.

τοῦ αἰωνίου Θεοῦ] αἰων. is not a faint allusion to ΧΡΌΝΟΙς ΑἸΩΝΊΟΙς (Reiche); but stands in a very natural and apt relation of meaning thereto, since it is only as eternal (Bar 4:8; Bar 4:22; Hist. Susann. 42) that God could dispose of the eternal times and of the present, so that what was kept silent in the former should be made known in the latter.

εἰς π. τ. ἔθνη] Consequently the publication was not confined to the Jews, but was accomplished among all Gentile peoples; comp. Romans 1:5. As to εἰς of the direction, comp. John 8:26, and see on Mark 1:39; Mark 14:9.

[54] Τέ is wanting indeed in D E 34, 87, Syr. Erp. Copt. Aeth. Arm. Slav. Vulg. Clar. Germ. Chrys. and some Latin Fathers; but this is to be regarded as a hasty deletion, occasioned by the fact that, without precise consideration of the sense and of the following connection, διὰ γραφ. προφ. was mechanically attached to φανερωθ. as nearest in position, and the necessity in point of construction for its belonging to γνωρισθ., widely separated by the intervening notices, was not perceived. In order thereupon to supply the want of connection between the two participles, which arose through the omission of the τέ, an et was inserted before κατʼ in versions (Syr. Erp. Aeth.).

[55] This, too, against Hofmann, who makes διὰ γραφ. προφ. be added to νῦν by means of τέ, in the sense of “just as also.” But the τέ must have added to the νῦν something homogeneous, supplementing (Baeumlein, Partik. p. 211; Kühner, II. 2, p. 787), not a notion dissimilar to it. Generally, it would not be easy to see why Paul should not have placed his τέ only after κατʼ ἐπιταγήν, and thereby have given to the second participial sentence—which, according to Hofmann’s explanation, follows without connecting particle—a connecting link in conformity with the sense.26. now] In the days of Messiah, and in Him as the Propitiation. Cp. Colossians 1:26.

by the scriptures, &c.] Lit. by means of (the) prophetic scriptures. This Epistle, and e.g. Acts 13, are the best commentary on these words. The O. T., as the great prediction of Messiah and preparation for Him, was the text and the warrant of His Apostles wherever they went, and that for Gentiles as much as for Jews. When the Gentiles previously knew nothing of the O. T. the preaching would, of course, not take the O. T. as its starting-point; (see St Paul’s discourse at Athens;) but even in such cases it would bring forward the Prophecies as soon as possible, both as its credentials and its text.—We have heard this verse unintentionally illustrated by a distinguished Hindoo convert, of great intellectual power; who attributed his ultimate escape from the maze of Brahminic pantheism to the attentive study of the Messianic prophecies side by side with the Gospel history.

the everlasting God] The Gr. word (aionios) rendered everlasting perhaps refers back to the “æons” or “ages” of Romans 16:25. Q. d., “The Gospel is now revealed and proclaimed according to the will of Him who appoints and adjusts all the developements of His providence, alike past, present and to come.” He who rules all duration knows when to keep silence and when to break it.—This adjective is nowhere else in the N. T. attached to the word God.—On the adjective, see further on Romans 2:7.

to all nations] Lit. to (or perhaps better, for) all the nations. The special reference is, of course, to the Gentiles.

for the obedience of faith] i.e. to invite that obedience which, in fact, faith implies; that trustful acceptance of the terms of Salvation which may be described, in one aspect, as “submission to the righteousness of God.” (See note on Romans 10:3.) The thought is not so much of the course of moral obedience to which faith leads, as of the element of submission in the act of faith.

In this brief phrase the great Theme of the Epistle is heard for the last time.Romans 16:26. Φανερωθέντος, made manifest) Colossians 1:26; 2 Timothy 1:10; Titus 1:3.—ἐπιταγὴν, commandment) The foundation of his apostleship, 1 Timothy 1:1; Titus 1:3.—τοῦ αἰωνίου Θεοῦ, of the eternal God) a very proper epithet, comp. the preceding verse, during the eternal ages, so Titus 1:2. The silence on the part of God presupposes eternal knowledge, Acts 15:18. The new Economy implies no change in God Himself; His own work is well known to Him from eternity. Comp. presently after, to Him who is the only wise.—ἔθνη, nations) not merely that they may know, but also that they may enjoy [the blessing so known].
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