Romans 3:29
Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:
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(29) Is he not also.—Insert “or.” “Or are we to suppose that God is the God of (literally, belongs to) the Jews only?”—taking up the point in the last verse, that any man, simply quâ man, and without regard to distinction of race, was capable of justification.

Romans 3:29-31. Is he the God of the Jews only? — He argues from the absurdity of such a supposition. Can it be imagined that a God of infinite love and mercy should limit and confine his favours to the little perverse people of the Jews, leaving all the rest of mankind in an eternally desperate condition? That would by no means agree with the idea we have of the divine goodness, for his tender mercies are over all his works. He is the God of the Gentiles also — And therefore hath established a way of justification, equally open to the Gentiles as to the Jews. Seeing it is one God — The same eternal and unchangeable Jehovah, that will justify the circumcision — The Jews, by faith; and the uncircumcision — The Gentiles, through the same faith — As if he had said, The way of justification is the same to both, whatever difference men may make in their expressions about it. He shows mercy to both, and by the very same means. Macknight thinks the expression, δια πιστεως, through faith, in the latter clause, is an ellipsis, for through the law of faith, mentioned Romans 3:27, (where see the note,) and signifies the method of salvation by faith, established in the new covenant, called a law for the reasons there given. “By this law of faith the Gentiles are to be justified. For though they have not the doctrines of revelation, as the objects of their faith, they may believe the doctrines of natural religion, (Hebrews 11:5,) and live agreeably to them: in which case their faith will be counted to them for righteousness, equally as the faith of those who enjoy revelation.” The same learned writer supposes, that in the expression, seeing there is one God, the apostle alludes to Zechariah 14:8, where the prophet foretels the progress of the gospel, under the image of living waters going out from Jerusalem, and then adds, Romans 3:9, And the Lord shall be king over all the earth, and in that day there shall be one Lord, and his name one; to show, that under the gospel dispensation, all nations shall be regarded by God as his people, that he will be acknowledged and worshipped by all nations, and that in the affair of their justification and salvation, he will observe one rule. Do we then — While we maintain this method of justification and salvation, make void the law — Set it aside, or render it useless, as καταργουμεν properly signifies; through faith — By teaching that justification is by faith, and that it is free for the Gentiles, as well as the Jews, in that way? God forbid — That we should ever insinuate such a design, or entertain such a thought; yea, we establish the law — On a firmer foundation than ever, and place it in a juster and more beautiful point of light: for we show that its honour is displayed in the atonement, as well as in the obedience of Christ; and we make it of everlasting use, for attesting the truth, and illustrating the necessity of the gospel, as well as for directing the lives of men, when they profess to have received it. In other words, we establish the authority, the purity, and the end of it; by defending that which the law attests, by pointing out Christ the end of it, and by showing how the moral part of it may be fulfilled in its purity. For through the influence of a faith that worketh by love, being enabled to love God, his children, and all mankind in sincerity and truth, we are brought to serve him without slavish fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, and to walk in his ordinances and moral commandments blameless. So that the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us, while we walk, not after the flesh, but after the Spirit; love to God and man, productive of such fruits, being accounted by God the fulfilling of the law, Romans 13:8-10; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8. Thus also that more ancient and universal law, which God has written on men’s hearts, and which we have termed the law of nature, is established in the strongest manner in and by the gospel. For every one that makes the moral law of Moses the rule of his conduct, will also observe the precepts of this, as included therein.

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.Is he the God ... - The Jews supposed that he was the God of their nation only, that they only were to be admitted to his favor. In these verses Paul showed that as all had alike sinned, Jews and Gentiles; and as the plan of salvation by faith was adapted to sinners, without any special reference to Jews; so God could show favors to all, and all might be admitted on the same terms to the benefits of the plan of salvation.

It is one God - The same God, there is but one, and his plan is equally suited to Jews and Gentiles.

The circumcision - Those who are circumcised - the Jews.

The uncircumcision - Gentiles; all who were not Jews.

By faith ...through faith - There is no difference in the meaning of these expressions. Both denote that faith is the instrumental cause of justification, or acceptance with God.

29. Is he the God of the Jews only? &c.—The way of salvation must be one equally suited to the whole family of fallen man: but the doctrine of justification by faith is the only one that lays the basis of a Universal Religion; this therefore is another mark of its truth. By answering his own proposed questions, he plainly shows us, that the covenant of grace, by which God is God of his people, does not belong to the Jews only, that they only should have justification and bliss, but to the Gentiles also, according to the promise, Genesis 17:5 22:18 Psalm 2:8 Isaiah 11:10,12, and many others; which promises are more especially to be accomplished, now the wall of partition is broken down, as Ephesians 2:13,14.

Is he the God of the Jews only?.... The Jews made their boast of him as such, and would not allow the Gentiles any interest in him: but

is he not also of the Gentiles? yes, of the Gentiles also: God is the God both of Jews and Gentiles; not only as the Creator, preserver, and Governor of them, or as he has a right to demand worship and service of them, but as he is their covenant God; not by virtue of the covenant of circumcision, or by the Sinai Covenant, but by the covenant of grace; as appears by his loving them in Christ, choosing them in him, putting them into his hands, providing blessings of grace for them in him, and sending his Son to redeem them; by calling them by his grace; by their sanctification, adoption, pardon, and justification; by taking out of them a people for his name with whom he dwells, and of whom he takes care; and will never leave nor forsake: all which may lead us to observe the distinguishing grace of God, the happiness of our state and condition, and what encouragement we have for faith and hope in God.

{12} Is he the God of the {f} Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:

(12) Another absurd argument: if justification depended upon the law of Moses, then God would be a Saviour to the Jews only. Again, if he would save the Jews after one manner, and the Gentiles after another, he would not be consistent. Therefore he will justify both of them after the very same manner, that is to say, by faith. Moreover, this argument must be joined to that which follows next, so that his conclusion may be firm and evident.

(f) God is said to be their God, after the manner of the scripture, whom he loves and cares for.

Romans 3:29. Or—in case what has just been asserted in Romans 3:28 might still be doubted—is it only Jews to whom God belongs? and not also Gentiles? He must, indeed, have only been a God for the Jews, if He had made justification conditional on works of the law, for in that case it could only be destined for Jews,[927] insomuch as they only are the possessors of the law. Consequently Romans 3:29-30 contain a further closing thought, crowning the undoubted accuracy of the confidently expressed ΛΟΓΙΖΌΜΕΘΑ Κ.Τ.Λ[928] in Romans 3:28. The supplying of a predicative θεός (Hofmann, Morison, and earlier expositors) is superfluous, since the prevailing usage of εἶναι τίνος is amply sufficient to make it intelligible, and it is quite as clear from the context that the relationship which is meant is that of being God to the persons in question.

How much the ναὶ καὶ ἐθνῶν, said without any limitation whatever—in their case, as with Ἰουδαίων, God is conceived as protecting them, and guiding to salvation—run counter to the degenerate theocratic exclusiveness; see on Matthew 3:9, and in Eisenmenger’s entdeckt. Judenth. I. p. 587 f. But Paul speaks in the certain assurance, which had been already given by the prophetic announcement of Messianic bliss for the Gentiles, but which he himself had received by revelation (Galatians 1:16), and which the Roman church, a Pauline church, itself regarded as beyond doubt.

[927] Not for Gentiles also, unless they become proselytes to Judaism, whereby they would cease to be Gentiles.

[928] .τ.λ. καὶ τὰ λοιπά.

Romans 3:29 f. ἤ Ἰουδαίων ὁ θεὸς μόνον; The only way to evade the conclusion of Romans 3:28 would be to suppose—as is here presented by way of alternative—that God is a God of Jews only. But the supposition is impossible: there is only one God, and therefore He must be God of all, of Gentile and Jews alike. This is assumed as an axiom by the Apostle. εἴπερ is the best attested reading, but the argument seems to require that it should “approximate to the sense of ἐπείπερ” (Simcox, Language of the N.T., p. 171), which is a variant: “if, as is the fact”. It is simplest to read Romans 3:30 as explaining and confirming what precedes: He is God of the Gentiles also, if as is the fact God is one; and (consequently) He will justify the circumcision on the ground of faith and the uncircumcision by means of faith. δικαιώσει is probably logical, rather than temporal, whether the reference be made to the last judgment, or to each case, as it arises, in which God justifies. Lightfoot insists on drawing a distinction between ἐκ πίστεως and διὰ τῆς πίστεως in this passage. “The difference,” he says, “will perhaps best be seen by substituting their opposites, οὐ δικαιώσει περιτομὴν ἐκ νόμου, οὐδὲ ἀκροβυστίαν διὰ τοῦ νόμου: when, in the case of the Jews, the falsity of their starting-point, in the case of the Gentiles, the needlessness of a new instrumentality, would be insisted on.” (Notes on Epistles of St. Paul, p. 274.) But a comparison of Romans 2:26, Romans 5:1, Romans 9:30, Galatians 3:8 (Weiss), shows that Paul does not construe the prepositions so rigorously: and in point of fact, what he does insist upon here is that justification is to be conceived in precisely the same way for Jew and Gentile. The ἐκ πίστεως and διὰ τῆς πίστεως serve no purpose but to vary the expression.

29. Is he the God, &c.] More lit. Does God belong to the Jews alone? i.e. as the Giver of peace and life by covenant.

Romans 3:29. Ναὶ καὶ ἐθνῶν, yea also of the Gentiles [although they are without the law.—V. g.], as nature teaches, and the Old Testament prophecies.

Verse 29. - Is God the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also. This verse is in support of the doctrine, already asserted, and pervading the Epistle, of justification through Christ being for all mankind alike without distinction or partiality; and it comes in here in pursuance of the thought of the preceding verse. In it justification was said to be by faith, and apart from works of law, and therefore in itself available for the Gentiles, who had no revealed law, as well as for the Jews, who had. And why should it not be so? Is not the God of the Jews their God too? Yes. Romans 3:29
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