Romans 8:33
Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifies.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(33, 34) Who shall lay any thing . . .?—The punctuation and arrangement of these clauses are somewhat difficult. It seems best on the whole to connect together the two clauses at the end of Romans 8:33, and beginning of Romans 8:34. The whole passage to the end of the chapter will then form a continuous proof of the certainty that all things shall be freely given to the Christian. Nothing can frustrate this: either on the side of God, for when He justifies none can condemn; or on the side of Christy whose death, and resurrection, and ascension, and intercession are pledges that nothing can separate us from His love.

What have we to fear? When God pronounces our acquittal there is none who can pronounce our condemnation. Literally, God is He who justifies, who then can condemn? And answering to this in the next verse we have, Christ is He that died, &c. This is the two-fold answer to the question, “Who shall come forward to accuse God’s elect?” It is a conclusive reply to this to state the relation in which the accused stand to God and to Christ.

God’s elect.—Christians as such with especial reference to the process which the Apostle has been describing in Romans 8:29-30.

Romans 8:33-34. Who shall lay any thing to the charge — Any matter of guilt, which should bring them into condemnation, or shall bring an accusation against God’s elect — That is, against true believers, who have so received Christ (John 1:12) as to have obtained the privilege of becoming God’s children, and who only have the title of God’s elect in the New Testament, God having chosen such, and only such, for his people, instead of the disobedient Jews, whom he rejected for their unbelief. See note on Romans 8:28-30. To explain this a little further, in the words of a writer, quoted here by Mr. Wesley: — “Long before the coming of Christ, the heathen world revolted from the true God, and were therefore reprobated, or rejected. But the nation of the Jews were chosen to be the people of God, and were therefore styled, the children, or sons, of God, a holy people, a chosen seed, the elect, the called of God. And these titles were given to all the nation of Israel, including both good and bad. Now the gospel, having the most strict connection with the books of the Old Testament, where these phrases frequently occur; and our Lord and his apostles being native Jews, and beginning to preach in the land of Israel, the language in which they preached would, of course, abound with the phrases of the Jewish nation. And hence it is easy to see, why such of them as would not receive him were styled reprobated. For they no longer continued to be the people of God: whereas this, and those other honourable titles, were continued to all such Jews as embraced Christianity. And the same appellations which once belonged to the Jewish nation, were now given to the Gentile Christians also, together with which they were invested with all the privileges of the chosen people of God; and nothing could cut them off from these, but their own wilful apostacy. It does not appear that even good men were ever termed God’s elect, till above two thousand years from the creation. God’s electing, or choosing, the nation of Israel, and separating them from the other nations, who were sunk in idolatry and all wickedness, gave the first occasion to this sort of language. And as the separating the Christians from the Jews was a like event, no wonder it was expressed in like words and phrases: only with this difference, the term elect was of old applied to all the members of the visible church, whereas, in the New Testament, it is applied only to the members of the invisible,” to truly spiritual Christians, possessed of the faith working by love. It is God that justifieth — Acquits them from condemnation, and accounts them righteous; and his power and authority are supreme over all creatures: he can and will answer all objections against them, and pronounce them absolved now, and at the day of final judgment. To justify, here, being opposed to laying a charge, or bringing an accusation, against God’s people, must be understood in the forensic sense; for a judicial acquittal from that of which the justified persons were accused, and from all the consequences which would have followed if they had not been acquitted. Who is he that condemneth? — What is his authority or power; he can but be a creature; and surely no creature, man or angel, can frustrate the Creator’s sentence. On what ground can any one accuse or condemn them? Is it on that of their past guilt, or their present remaining depravity? It is Christ that died — Namely, to expiate the former, and to procure for them grace to mortify and destroy the latter. Yea rather, that is risen again — For their justification, now and at the day of judgment; who is even at the right hand of God — Exalted to the highest degree of honour and power, even to the government of the universe; and that for this very end, to protect them against their enemies, deliver them from the guilt and power of their sins, and confer upon them his regenerating, sanctifying Spirit. The apostle seems here to allude to Psalm 110:1, where the empire of the Messiah, after his resurrection, is foretold. Christ, who died to save God’s people, and who, since his resurrection, governs the world for their benefit, will neither condemn them himself, when he sitteth in judgment upon them, nor suffer any other to condemn them. Who also maketh intercession for us — By presenting to his Father his obedience and sufferings, whereby, as our surety, he hath made satisfaction for our sins, and by manifesting his desire and will, in his prayers offered for us, that we should be made partakers of all the blessings procured by his sacrifice, and by presenting our prayers sanctified, and rendered acceptable through him. Dr. Doddridge, following Augustine, reads and interprets these clauses interrogatively, thus: Who shall lodge any accusation, &c. Is it God? What! he who himself justifieth? Who is he that condemneth? Is it Christ, whom we know to be appointed as the final Judge? What! doth he condemn, who died to expiate our guilt, and rescue us from condemnation? Yea rather, who is risen again? Shall he undo the purposes of his death and resurrection? He who is now at the right hand of God, where he appears under a quite contrary character, and is also making intercession for us; and therefore, far from accusing us, appears ready to answer all accusations brought against us, and to frustrate all the designs of our enemies? But, as Macknight observes, the common translation, at least of the first clause, is better, as it avoids the impropriety of representing God as an accuser at the tribunal of his Son. Besides, it is fully as emphatical as the other. God having declared his purpose of justifying his believing and obedient people through faith, will any one, after that, presume to bring any accusation against them?8:32-39 All things whatever, in heaven and earth, are not so great a display of God's free love, as the gift of his coequal Son to be the atonement on the cross for the sin of man; and all the rest follows upon union with him, and interest in him. All things, all which can be the causes or means of any real good to the faithful Christian. He that has prepared a crown and a kingdom for us, will give us what we need in the way to it. Men may justify themselves, though the accusations are in full force against them; but if God justifies, that answers all. By Christ we are thus secured. By the merit of his death he paid our debt. Yea, rather that is risen again. This is convincing evidence that Divine justice was satisfied. We have such a Friend at the right hand of God; all power is given to him. He is there, making intercession. Believer! does your soul say within you, Oh that he were mine! and oh that I were his; that I could please him and live to him! Then do not toss your spirit and perplex your thoughts in fruitless, endless doubtings, but as you are convinced of ungodliness, believe on Him who justifies the ungodly. You are condemned, yet Christ is dead and risen. Flee to Him as such. God having manifested his love in giving his own Son for us, can we think that any thing should turn aside or do away that love? Troubles neither cause nor show any abatement of his love. Whatever believers may be separated from, enough remains. None can take Christ from the believer: none can take the believer from Him; and that is enough. All other hazards signify nothing. Alas, poor sinners! though you abound with the possessions of this world, what vain things are they! Can you say of any of them, Who shall separate us? You may be removed from pleasant dwellings, and friends, and estates. You may even live to see and seek your parting. At last you must part, for you must die. Then farewell, all this world accounts most valuable. And what hast thou left, poor soul, who hast not Christ, but that which thou wouldest gladly part with, and canst not; the condemning guilt of all thy sins! But the soul that is in Christ, when other things are pulled away, cleaves to Christ, and these separations pain him not. Yea, when death comes, that breaks all other unions, even that of the soul and body, it carries the believer's soul into the nearest union with its beloved Lord Jesus, and the full enjoyment of him for ever.Who shall lay anything to the charge - This expression is taken from courts of law, and means, who shall accuse, or condemn, or so charge with crime before the tribunal of God as to cause their condemnation?

God's elect - His chosen people. Those who have been chosen according to his eternal purpose; Note, Romans 8:28. As they are the chosen of God, they are dear to him; and as he purposed to save them, he will do it in such a way as that none can bring against them a charge that would condemn them.

It is God that justifieth - That is, who has pardoned them, and admitted them to his favor; and pronounced them just in his sight; Notes, Romans 1:17; Romans 3:24. It would be absurd to suppose that he would again condemn them. The fact that he has justified them is, therefore, a strong proof that they will be saved. This may be read with more force as a question, "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? Shall God who justifieth?" The Greek will bear either mode of rendering. The passage implies that there would be a high degree of absurdity in supposing that the same being would both justify and condemn the same individual. The Christian, therefore, is secure.

33, 34. Who shall lay anything to the charge of—or, "bring any charge against."

God's elect?—the first place in this Epistle where believers are styled "the elect." In what sense this is meant will appear in next chapter.

Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? Who can implead such, or put in any accusation against them? There is nothing to accuse them of, they are justified; and there is none to accuse them:

It is God that justifieth; the Supreme Judge hath absolved them. This seems to be taken out of Isaiah 50:8,9. They were Christ’s words there, and spoken of God’s justifying him; they are every believer’s words here, and intended of God’s justifying them. Here seems to be two reasons of their indemnity; one is implied, i.e. God’s electing them: the other expressed, i.e. God’s justifying and acquitting of them. Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?.... The elect of God are a certain select number of persons, whom he has so loved, as of his sovereign good will and pleasure, to choose in Christ before the foundation of the world, unto eternal life and salvation, by certain ways and means of his own appointing, as sanctification and faith, so that they are peculiarly his: but are these persons chargeable with nothing criminal? yes, with Adam's sin; with a want of original righteousness; with multitudes of sins before conversion, some of them with very great ones; and all, even after conversion, with frequent infirmities and backslidings: and will none rise up and exhibit charges of this nature against them? yes, even now, they very often bring charges against themselves; they are very apt to charge one another; Satan, the accuser of the brethren, lays many things to their charge very frequently, and so do the men of the world; but all these charges avail nothing, since none of the divine persons, Father, Son, and Spirit, lay anything against them: not God the Father, for

it is God that justifieth; he against whom sin is committed, who is the lawgiver, and the righteous judge, justifies them from every charge; not by teaching them the way of justification, nor by infusing righteousness into them, or on account of any works of righteousness done by them, but by pronouncing them righteous through the imputation of the righteousness of his Son unto them: observe, that "God's elect", as such, are the objects of justification; which proves the eternity of it; the speciality of it as belonging to particular persons, and the everlasting security and continuance of it.

{27} Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is {p} God that justifieth.

(27) A most glorious and comfortable conclusion of the whole second part of this epistle, that is of the treatise of justification. There are no accusers that we have need to be afraid of before God, seeing that God himself absolves us as just: and therefore much less need we to fear damnation, seeing that we rest upon the death and resurrection, the almighty power and defence of Jesus Christ. Therefore what can there be so weighty in this life, or of so great force and power, that might cause us to fear, as though we might fall from the love of God, with which he loves us in Christ? Surely nothing, seeing that it is in itself most constant and sure, and also in us being confirmed by steadfast faith.

(p) Who pronounces us not only guiltless, but also perfectly just in his Son.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Romans 8:33 ff. It is impossible that this σὺν αὐτῷ τὰ πάντα ἡμῖν χαρίσεται should be frustrated, either on the side of God, with whom no accusation of His elect can have the result of their condemnation (Romans 8:33, down to κατακρίνων in Romans 8:34), or on that of Christ, whose death, resurrection, etc., afford the guarantee that nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:34, Χριστὸς ὁ ἀποθανὼν, on to Romans 8:36). In the analysis of this swelling effusion we must return to the method for which Origen, Chrysostom, Theodoret, and other Fathers paved the way, and which Erasmus followed: namely, that to the question τίς ἐγκαλέσει κ.τ.λ. the answer is: Θεὸς ὁ δικαιῶν· τίς ὁ κατακρίνων; and then follows, moulded in similar form to that answer, the expression, passing over from God to Christ, Χριστὸςἡμῶν· τίς ἡμᾶς χωρίσει κ.τ.λ.; so that after δικαιῶν, and also after ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν, only a colon is to be inserted. Who shall raise accusation against the elect of God? Answer, in a boldly triumphant counter-question,

God is the justifier, who the condemner? (there is consequently no one there to condemn, and every accusation is without result! Comp. Isaiah 50:8.) And as regards Christ: Christ is He that has died, yea rather also has risen again, who also is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us: who shall separate us from the love of Christ? This view (followed also by van Hengel, but by Hofmann only with respect to the first portion as far as κατακρίνων), though abandoned by nearly all modern expositors, is corroborated by its entire accordance with the sense, by the harmony of the soaring rhetorical form, and by its freedom from those insuperable difficulties which beset the modes of division that differ from it. Of the latter, two in particular fall to be considered. 1. Luther, Castalio, Beza, Calvin, Grotius, Wolf, and many others, including Ammon, Tholuck, Flatt, Fritzsche, Philippi, Reithmayr, and Ewald, take Θεὸς ὁ δικαιῶν as affirmative answer to τίς ἐγκαλέσει κ.τ.λ.; then τίς ὁ κατακρίνων as a new question, and as the affirmative answer thereto: Χριστὸς ὁ ἀποθανὼν κ.τ.λ., thus: Who shall accuse, etc.? God is the justifier (consequently no accuser shall succeed). Who is the condemner? Christ is He that has died, etc. (so that He cannot, therefore, condemn us in judgment). But against this view it may be urged, (a) that Θεὸς ὁ δικαιῶν and τίς ὁ κατακρινῶν are, as regards both substance (δικαιῶν and κατακριν.) and form (Paul has not written τίς κατακρινεῖ to correspond with τίς ἐγκαλέσει), correlative, and therefore may not, without arbitrariness, be separated; (b) that in Romans 8:34 Christ is not at all described as a judge, which would be in keeping with the ὁ κατακρινῶν, but, on the contrary, as redeemer and intercessor; (c) that, if τίς ἐγκαλέσει is at once disposed of by Θεὸς ὁ δικαιῶν, it must be already quite self-evident that there can be no κατακρίνων, and consequently τίς ὁ κατακ., as a new question, would be something superfluous and out of keeping with so compressed an utterance of emotion; (d) and, finally, that in the entire context there is no mention of the last judgment. 2. The theory, that came into vogue after Augustine, doctr. Chr. iii. 3, and Ambrosiaster (adopted in modern times by Koppe, Reiche, Köllner, Olshausen, Baumgarten-Crusius, de Wette, and Maier, also by Griesbach and Lachmann; Tholuck is undecided), consists in supplying ἐγκαλέσει with Θεὸς ὁ δικαιῶν, and taking it as a question, and dealing in a corresponding manner with Χριστὸςἡμῶν also: Who shall accuse? Shall God do so, who justifies? Who shall condemn? Shall Christ do so, who has died, etc.? But against this view it suffices to urge the decisive reason, that to conceive of God as accuser (before Christ) is destitute of scriptural analogy, and could not at all have occurred to the apostle. Hofmann takes Χριστὸςἐντυγχ. ὑπὲρ ἡμ. as a question with two dissimilar relative adjuncts, of which the first declares how it was possible, after the question τίς ὁ κατακρ., to subjoin the further question, whether it might not be feared with regard to Christ that He should condemn where God acquits; while the second shows the impossibility of such a fear. But this artificial interpretation, in connection with which the first and second καὶ (see the critical remarks) are condemned as not genuine and this condemnation is acutely turned to account, fails, so far as the substance is concerned, on the very ground that the thought of its being possible perhaps for Christ to condemn where God acquits would be an absurd idea, which could not occur to a Christian consciousness; and, so far as form is concerned, on the ground that the second relative clause is annexed to the first with entire similarity, and therefore does not warrant our explaining it, as if Paul, instead of ὃς καὶ ἐντ., should have written ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐντ.

In detail, observe further: The designation of Christians in Romans 8:33 as ἐκλεκτοὶ Θεοῦ is selected as having a special bearing on the matter, and renders palpable at once the fruitlessness of every ἔγκλησις; while Θεός coming immediately after Θεοῦ has rhetorical emphasis.

κατὰ ἐκλ. Θεοῦ] i.e. against those whom God has chosen out of the κόσμος (John 17:6) to be members of His Messianic peculiar people to be made blessed for Christ’s sake, according to His eternal decree (Ephesians 1:4); comp. on Romans 8:30. This is the Christian conception (comp. 1 Peter 2:9) of the Old Testament ἐκλεκτ. (Psalm 105:43; Psalm 106:5; Isaiah 42:1; Isaiah 65:9; Wis 3:9, al.). The elect constitute the Israel of God, Galatians 6:16. Regarding the genitive Θεοῦ (ἐκλ. is used quite as a substantive; comp. Colossians 3:12; Matthew 24:31 al.), see Fritzsche, Diss. II. p. 31; Pflugk, ad Eur. Hec. 1135. The absence of the article (comp. Romans 8:27) in the case of ἐκλ. Θεοῦ brings out the quality of the persons.

The predicates of Christ in Romans 8:34—under which His death is to be conceived as an atoning death, His rising again as having taken place διὰ τὴν δικαίωσιν ἡμῶν (Romans 4:25), and His being at the right hand of God as personal participation in the government of the world (Ephesians 1:20, Colossians 3:1, al.; comp. also Dissen, ad Pindar. Fragm. xi. 9) in the heavenly dwelling-place of the Father’s glory (see on Matthew 6:6)—exclude the possibility of any one separating us from the love of Christ. For, as regards His past, He has proved by His death the abundance of His love (Romans 5:6 f.; Ephesians 3:18 f.), and this demonstration of His love has been divinely confirmed by His resurrection; and as regards His present, through His sitting at the right hand of God He possesses the power to do for His own whatever His love desires, and through His intercession He procures for them every protection and operation of grace from the Father (Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 9:24; 1 John 2:1). But this intercession (comp. Romans 8:26 f.) is the continuous bringing to bear of His work of atonement, completed by His ἱλαστήριον, on the part of Christ in His glory with the Father; which we are to conceive of as real and—in virtue of the glorified corporeity of the exalted Christ, as also in virtue of the subordination in which He even as σύνθρονος stands to the Father—as request properly so called (ἔντευξις) through which the “continuus quasi vigor” (Gerhard) of redemption takes place. Comp. John 14:16. There has been much dogmatic and philosophical explaining away of this passage on the part of systematists and exegetes. Some apt observations are to be found in Düsterdieck on 1 John 2:1, who nevertheless, without assigning his exegetical grounds, calls in question that the intercession is vocalis et oralis. As such, however, it must be conceived, because it is made by the glorified God-man; though the more special mode in which it takes place is withdrawn from the cognizance of our earthly apprehension. Comp. Philippi, Glaubensl. IV. 2, p. 336, ed. 2.

μᾶλλον δὲ is the imo vero, vel potius, by which the speaker amends his statement (see on Galatians 4:9); for what would Christ’s having died have been of itself? how could it have been to us the bond and the security of His love against all distresses, etc., Romans 8:35 f., if the divine resurrection had not been added to it? Paul therefore appends to the bare ἀποθανών, by way of correction: imo vero etiam resuscitatus, in which the καὶ, also, signifies: non solum mortuus, sed etiam resusc.; comp. Ephesians 5:11. It is thus clear that (contrary to Hofmann’s view) this καί was quite essential and indispensable; for it was not the ἀποθανών itself, but its having been mentioned alone, and without the resurrection belonging to it, that needed correction. It is, moreover, self-evident that all this application of the corrective expression is here merely of a formal nature, serving to bring into marked prominence the two elements in their important correlation.

The ὃς καὶ occurring twice has a certain solemnity.

Romans 8:35. τίς] Paul puts the question by τίς, not τί, in conformity with the parallel τίς ὁ κατακρίνων. The circumstance that he subsequently specifies states and things, not persons—which, however, naturally suggest themselves to the conception of the reader—cannot lead any one astray, least of all in such a bold flight of rhetoric.

ἀπὸ τῆς ἀγάπ. τ. Χριστοῦ] Most expositors take τοῦ Χ. (comp. Ephesians 3:19) as genitive of the subject, and rightly, because this view was already prepared for by Romans 8:34 (in which the great acts of Christ’s love toward us are specified), and is confirmed by Romans 8:37 (διὰ τοῦ ἀγαπ. ἡμᾶς), and by Romans 8:39, where the ἀγάπη τοῦ Θεοῦ ἡ ἐν Χριστῷ comes in the place of the ἀγάπη τοῦ Χ. This excludes the interpretation of others, who understand it of the love to Christ (Origen, Ambrosiaster, Erasmus, Majus, Heumann, Morus, Köllner, and Ewald). Köllner’s objections to our view do not touch its true sense, since the point in question is not a possible interruption of the love of Christ to us, nor yet the hindering of our access to it (Philippi), but a possible separation from the love of Christ (that helps to victory, Romans 8:37) through hindrances intervening between it and us, which might nullify its manifestation and operation upon us and might thus dissolve our real fellowship with it. It was therefore very unwarranted in de Wette (comp. Calvin, Rückert, and Tholuck) to convert, in accordance with Romans 8:33 f. The punctuation here is a very difficult problem: see the text and margin of R.V. The reminiscence of Isaiah 50:8 f. in Romans 8:33 makes it more difficult; for it suggests that the normal structure is that of an affirmation followed by a question, whereas Paul begins with a question to which the affirmation (with at least a trace of Isaiah’s language in it) is an answer. It is even possible to read every clause interrogatively, though that is less effective. τίς ἐγκαλέσει κατὰ ἐκλεκτῶν θεοῦ; who shall bring a charge against persons who are God’s chosen? The absence of the article (cf. ὑπὲρ ἁγίων, Romans 8:27) brings out the character in which the persons in question figure, not their individual personality. For the word see Colossians 3:12; 2 Timothy 2:10; Titus 1:1; for the thing cf. 1 Thessalonians 1:4; Ephesians 1:4; John 15:16. It describes Christians as persons who owe their standing as such to the act of God’s grace. All Christians are conscious that this is the truth about their position: they belong to God, because He has taken them for His own. To say that the word designates “not those who are destined for final salvation, but those who are ‘summoned’ or ‘selected’ for the privilege of serving God and carrying out His will” (S. and H.), is to leave the rails of the Apostle’s thought altogether. There is nothing here (Romans 8:28-30) about the privilege of serving God and carrying out His will; the one thing Paul is concerned with is the security given by the eternal love of God that the work of salvation will be carried through, in spite of all impediments, from foreknowledge to final glory. The ἐκλεκτοὶ θεοῦ are those who ought to have such security: they should have a faith and an assurance proportioned to the love of God. Paul is one of them, and because he is, he is sure, not that he is called to serve God, but that nothing can ever separate him from God’s love in Christ. The question τίς ἐγκαλέσει is best answered by taking both the following clauses together: “It is God that justifieth: who is he that shall condemn?” (cf. Isaiah 50:8 f.). But many make τίς ὁ κατακρινῶν a new question, and find the answer in Romans 8:34 : Χριστὸς [Ἰησοῦς] ὁ ἀποθανών = the only person who can condemn is the Judge, viz., Christ, but He is so far from condemning that He has done everything to deliver us from condemnation. What Christian, Paul seems to ask, can speak of κατάκριμα with his eye on Christ, who died for our sins? μᾶλλον δὲ ἐγερθεὶς [ἐκ νεκρῶν]: cf. Galatians 4:9; and chap. Romans 4:25. The correction in μᾶλλον is formal (Weiss): Paul does not mean that the resurrection is more important than the cross; he improves upon an expression which has not conveyed all that was in his mind. Our position depends upon Jesus Christ who died, nay rather, over whom death no more has dominion (Romans 6:9), who is at God’s right hand (this phrase, which describes Christ’s exaltation as a sharing in the universal sovereignty of God, is borrowed from Psalm 110:1, and is oftener used in the N.T. than any other words of the Old), who also makes intercession on our behalf. ὂς καὶ ἐντυγχάνει: a solemn climax is marked by the repetition of ὃς, and by the καὶ which deliberately adds the intercession to all that has gone before. The Christian consciousness, even in an apostle, cannot transcend this. This is Paul’s final security—the last ground of his triumphant assurance: Jesus Christ, at God’s right hand, with the virtue of His atoning death in Him, pleads His people’s cause. cf. Hebrews 9:24; Hebrews 7:25, 1 John 2:1 f.33. Who shall lay any thing to the charge] The Gr. word is technical and legal. The legal ideas of accusation, condemnation, acquittal, which have been so prominent through the Epistle, here reappear, in a final statement of the certainty of the Divine Acquittal of those who are in Christ.—No doubt the great “Accuser of the Brethren” (Revelation 12:10) is in view in this phrase, though not exclusively.

God’s elect] The persons chosen by Him and belonging, as such, to Him; identical, manifestly, with the “foreknown, foreordained, called, justified, and glorified.” The phrase occurs Matthew 24:31; Mark 13:27 : Luke 18:7; Colossians 3:12; Titus 1:1. The word “elect,” (chosen,) is always used in N. T. in connexions that indicate the highest dignity and worth in the sight of God. The present passage throws as much light on the greatness of its meaning as any other. Cp. with it specially Ephesians 1:4-5.—In the O. T. Israel is “My people, My chosen, (Isaiah 43:20.) In the N. T. the chosen are “the Israel of God,” (Galatians 6:16 : cp. Galatians 3:29; Romans 4:11.) As with the old so with the new Israel, the choice is emphatically sovereign. On the other hand, the choice of the “justified and glorified” takes effect through means; through the Gospel. See 2 Timothy 2:10; (a passage sometimes, but not justly, quoted against a sovereign election to salvation;) and ante, note on “work together,” Romans 8:28.

It is God, &c.] The Gr. equally allows the rendering Is it God, &c.? And this on the whole is more likely to be right, if only because we are here in a series of questions, (from Romans 8:31-35 inclusive,) the force of which is surely greatest when unbroken.—The doctrine of the passage is unchanged by the difference of rendering. The only finally effective Accuser must be God Himself; but He is pledged to be the very opposite.

that justifieth]—“him that believeth in Jesus.” (Romans 3:26.) The use of this word here, so amply illustrated already, shews how entirely the acquittal and acceptance now in question are “not of works.”Romans 8:33. Ἐκλεκτῶν Θεοῦ, of God’s elect) Romans 8:29.—δικαιῶν, that justifieth) To justify and condemn are the words in antithesis to each other, Romans 8:3, note. In Isaiah 50:8-9, a passage, which we have previously quoted, there similarly comes first an hypothesis in each of the consecutive sections, and there follows the Answer subjoined by the speaker, in each case respectively, expressed in the form of a question; for example,

A.  He is near, who justifies me:[102]

[102] This expression, that He is near, seems to be in the meanwhile said in the Old Testament sense, whereas, on the contrary, He is said in the Romans to be the God that justifieth, without any restriction.

A.  He is near, who justifies me:[*]

B
.  1. Who will contend with me? we shall (let us) stand together.

  2. Who is the lord of my cause? let him draw near to me.

C.  Behold the Lord God will help me:

D.
  Who is he that shall condemn me?

Here the apostle seems to have assumed A, and on the contrary to have omitted B, and likewise to have omitted C, and on the contrary to have quoted D.

[*] This expression, that He is near, seems to be in the meanwhile said in the Old Testament sense, whereas, on the contrary, He is said in the Romans to be the God that justifieth, without any restriction.Shall lay - to the charge (ἐγκαλέσει)

Only here by Paul. Frequent in Acts. See Acts 19:38, Acts 19:40; Acts 23:28, Acts 23:29; Acts 26:2, Acts 26:7. Lit., "to call something in one." Hence call to account; bring a charge against.

The following clauses are differently arranged by expositors. I prefer the succession of four interrogatives: Who shall lay? etc. Is it God? etc. Who is He that condemneth? Is it Christ? etc.

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