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THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS - Chapter 1 - Verse 5

Verse 5. By whom. The apostle here returns to the subject of the salutation of the Romans, and states to them his authority to address them. That authority he had derived from the Lord Jesus, and not from man. On this fact, that he had received his apostolic commission, not from man, but by the direct authority of Jesus Christ, Paul not unfrequently insisted. Ga 1:12, "For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by revelation of Jesus Christ." 1 Co 15:1-8; Eph 3:1-3.

We. The plural here is probably put for the singular. See Col 4.3.

Comp. Eph 6:19,20. It was usual for those who were clothed with authority to express themselves in this manner. Perhaps here, however, he refers to the general nature of the apostolic office, as being derived from Jesus Christ, and designs to assure the Romans that he had received the apostolic commission as the others had. "We, the apostles, have received the appointment from Jesus Christ."

Grace and apostleship\. Many suppose that this is a figure of speech, hendiadys, by which one thing is expressed by two words, meaning the grace or favour of the apostolic office. Such a figure of speech is often used. But it may mean, as it does probably here, the two things, grace, or the favour of God to his own soul, as a personal matter; and the apostolic office as a distinct thing, he often, however, speaks of the office of the apostleship as a matter of special favour, Ro 15:15,16; Ga 2:9; Eph 3:7-9.

 

For obedience to the faith. In order to produce, or promote, obedience to the faith; that is, to induce them to render that obedience to God which faith produces. There are two things therefore implied.

(1.) That the design of the gospel and of the apostleship is to induce men to obey God.

(2.) That the tendency of faith is to produce obedience. There is no true faith which does not produce that. This is constantly affirmed in the New Testament, Ro 15:18; 16:19; 2 Co 7:15; Jas 2:1.

 

Among all nations. This was the original commission which Jesus gave to his apostles, Mr 16:15,16; Mt 28:18,19.

This was the special commission which Paul received when he was converted, Ac 9:15. It was important to show that the commission extended thus far as he was now addressing a distant church which he had not seen.

For his name. This means, probably, on his account, that is, on account of Christ, Joh 14:13,14; 16:23,24.

The design of the apostleship was to produce obedience to the gospel among all nations, that thus the name of Jesus might be honoured. Their work was not one in which they were seeking to honour themselves, but it was solely for the honour and glory of Jesus Christ. For him they toiled, they encountered perils, they laid down their lives, because by so doing they might bring men to obey the gospel, and thus Jesus Christ might wear a brighter crown, and be attended by a longer and more splendid train of worshippers in the kingdom of his glory.

{1} "for obedience", or "to the obedience of faith" {g} "to the faith" Ac 6:7; Ro 16:26

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