Scofield Reference Notes
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
SCOFIELD REFERENCE NOTES (Old Scofield 1917 Edition)
Introductory Notes to The Epistles of Paul
The Epistles of the Apostle Paul have a very distinctive character. All Scripture, up to the Gospel accounts of the crucifixion, looks forward to the cross, and has primarily in view Israel, and the blessing of the earth through the Messianic kingdom. But "hid in God" Eph 3:9 was an unrevealed fact - the interval of time between the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ and His return in glory; and an unrevealed purpose - the outcalling of the ecclesia, the church which is Christ's body. In Mat. 16, our Lord announced that purpose, but wholly without explanation as to how, when, or of what materials, that church should be built, or what should be its position, relationships, privileges, or duties.
All this constitutes precisely the scope of the Epistles of Paul. They develop the doctrine of the church. In his letters to seven Gentile churches (in Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi, Colosse, and Thessalonica), the church, the "mystery which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God" (Ep 3.9), is fully revealed, and fully instructed as to her unique place in the counsels and purposes of God.
Through Paul alone we know that the church is not an organization, but an organism, the body of Christ; instinct with His life, and heavenly in calling, promise, and destiny. Through him alone we know the nature, purpose, and form of organization of local churches, and the right conduct of such gatherings. Through him alone do we know that "we shall not all sleep," that "the dead in Christ shall rise first," and that living saints shall be "changed" and caught up to meet the Lord in the air at His return.
But to Paul was also committed the unfolding of the doctrines of grace which were latent in the teachings of Jesus Christ. Paul originates nothing, but unfolds everything, concerning the nature and purpose of the law; the ground and means of the believer's justification, sanctification, and glory; the meanings of the death of Christ, and the position, walk, expectation, and service of the Christian.
Paul converted by the personal ministry of the Lord in glory, is distinctively the witness to a glorified Christ, Head over all things to the church which is His body, as the Eleven were to Christ in the flesh, the Son of Abraham and David.
The chronological order of Paul's Epistles is believed to be as follows: 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Romans, Philemon, Colossians, Ephesians, Philippians, 1 Timothy, Titus, 2 Timothy. Hebrews has a distinctive place, nor can the order of that book amongst the writings of Paul be definitely fixed.
The Two Silences
Two periods in the life of Paul after his conversion are passed over in a silence which is itself significant--the journey into Arabia, from which the Apostle returned in full possession of the Gospel explanation as set forth in Galatians and Romans; and the two silent years in prison in Caesarea, between his arrest in the temple at Jerusalem and his deportation to Rome.
It was inevitable that a trained intellect like that of Paul, a convinced believer in Mosasism, and, until his conversion on the Damascus road, an eager opposer of Christianity, must seek the underlying principles of the Gospel. Immediately after his conversion he preached Jesus as the Messiah; but the relation of the Gospel to the Law, and, in a lesser degree, of the great Jewish promises, needed clear adjustment if Christianity was to be a reasonable faith, and not a mere dogma. In Arabia Paul sought and found that adjustment through revelation by the Spirit. Out of it came the doctrinal explanation of salvation by grace through faith, wholly apart from the law, embodied in Galatians and Romans.
But the Gospel brings the believer into great relationships--to the Father, to other believers, to Christ, and to the future purposes of God. It is not only a salvation from sin and the consequences of sin, but into an amazing place in the Divine counsels. Furthermore, the new thing, the church in its various aspects and junctions, demanded clear revelation. And these are the chief themes of the Epistles written by Paul from Rome, and commonly called the Prison Epistles--Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians. It is contrary to the method of inspiration, as explained by Paul himself, to suppose that these crowning revelations were made apart from deep meditation, demanding quietness, and earnest seeking. It seems most congruous with the events of Paul's life to suppose that these great revelations came during the silent years at Caesarea--often spoken of as wasted.
SCOFIELD REFERENCE NOTES (Old Scofield 1917 Edition)
The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans
WRITER. The Apostle Paul (Rom 1:1).
DATE. Romans, the sixth in chronological order of Paul's Epistles, was written from Corinth during the apostle's third visit to that city. 2Cor 13:1 in A.D. 60. The Epistle has its occasion in the intention of the apostle soon to visit Rome. Naturally, he would wish to announce before his coming the distinctive truths which had been revealed to and through him. He would desire the Christians in Rome to have his own statement of the great doctrines of grace Song bitterly assailed everywhere by legalistic teachers.
THEME. The theme of Romans is "the Gospel of God" (Rom 1:1), the very widest possible designation of the whole body of redemption truth, for it is He with whom is "no respect of persons"; and who is not "the God of the Jews only," but "of the Gentiles also" Rom 2:11 3:29. Accordingly, "all the world" is found guilty Rom 3:19, and a redemption is revealed as wide as the need, upon the alone condition of faith. Not only does Romans embody in the fullest way the doctrines of grace in relation to salvation, but in three remarkable chapters (9-11.) the great promises to Israel are reconciled with the promises concerning the Gentiles, and the fulfilment of the former shown to await the completion of the church and coming of the Deliverer out of Zion Rom 11:25-27. The key-phrase is "the righteousness of God" Rom 1:17 3:21,22.
The Epistle, exclusive of the introduction (1.1-17), is in seven parts.
(Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)
Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
See note on the Davidic descent of Christ, See Scofield Note: "Lk 3:23".
And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
Margin for obedience
unto obedience to faith, i.e. faith as a principle, or method of divine dealing. Cf. Rom 10:1-11.
Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:
To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
kosmos = mankind. See Scofield Note: "Mt 4:8".
For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;
Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.
For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;
That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.
Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.
I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.
So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
The Heb. and Gr. words for salvation imply the ideas of deliverance, safety, preservation, healing, and soundness. Salvation is the great inclusive word of the Gospel, gathering into itself all the redemptive acts and processes: as justification, redemption, grace, propitiation, imputation, forgiveness, sanctification, and glorification. Salvation is in three tenses:
(1) The believer has been saved from the guilt and penalty of sin Lk 7:50 1Cor 1:18 2Cor 2:15 Eph 2:5,8 2Tim 1:9 and is safe.
(2) the believer is being saved from the habit and dominion of sin Rom 6:14 Phil 1:19 2:12,13 2Th 2:13 Rom 8:2 Gal 2:19,20 2Cor 3:18.
(3) The believer is to be saved in the sense of entire conformity to Christ. Rom 13:11 Heb 10:36 1Pet 1:5 1Jn 3:2. Salvation is by grace through faith, is a free gift, and wholly without works Rom 3:27,28 4:1-8 6:23 Eph 2:8. The divine order is: first salvation, then works Eph 2:9,10 Ti 3:5-8.
For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
Margin did not like
refused to have. Lit. did not approve God.
Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.