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THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS - Chapter 10 - Verse 12

Verse 12. For there is no difference. In the previous verse Paul had quoted a passage from Isa 28:16, which says that every one (pav) that believeth shall not be ashamed; that is, every one of every nation and kindred. This implies that it was not to be confined to the Jews. This thought he now further illustrates and confirms by expressly declaring that there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek. This doctrine it was one main design of the epistle to establish, and it is fully proved in the course of the argument in Romans chapters 1-4. See particularly Ro 3:26-30. When the apostle says there is no difference between them, he means in regard to the subject under discussion. In many respects there might be a difference; but not in the way of justification before God. There all had sinned; all had failed of obeying the law; and all must be justified in the same way, by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The word difference (diastolh) means distinction, diversity. It also means eminence, excellence, advantage. There is no eminence or advantage which the Jew has over the Greek in regard to justification before God.

The Jew. That portion of mankind which professed to yield obedience to the law of Moses.

The Greek. Literally, those who dwelt in Greece, or those who spoke the Greek language. As the Jews, however, were acquainted chiefly with the Greeks, and knew little of other nations, the name Greek among them came to denote all who were not Jews; that is, the same as the Gentiles. The terms "Jew and Greek," therefore, include all mankind. There is no difference among men about the terms of salvation; they are the same to all. This truth is frequently taught. It was a most important doctrine, especially in a scheme of religion that was to be preached to all men. It was very offensive to the Jews, who had always regarded themselves as a peculiarly favoured people. Against this, all their prejudices were roused, as it completely overthrew all their own views of national eminence and pride, and admitted despised Gentiles to the same privileges with the long-favoured and chosen people of God. The apostles, therefore, were at great pains fully to establish it. Ac 10:9; Ga 3:28.

For the same Lord over all, etc. For there is the same Lord of all; that is, the Jews and Gentiles have one common Lord. Comp. Ro 3:29,30. The same God had formed them and ruled them; and God now opened the same path to life. See this fully presented in Paul's address to the people of Athens, in Ac 17:26-30. See also 1 Ti 2:5. As there was but one God; as all, Jews and Gentiles, were his creatures; as one law was applicable to all; as all had sinned; and as all were exposed to wrath; so it was reasonable that there should be the same way of return—through the mere mercy of God. Against this the Jew ought not to object; and in this he and the Greek should rejoice.

Is rich unto all. (ploutwn eiv pantav). The word rich means to have abundance, to have in store much more than is needful for present or personal use. It is commonly applied to wealth. But applied to God, it means that he abounds in mercy or goodness towards others. Thus, Eph 2:4, "God, who is rich in mercy," etc.; 1 Ti 6:17,18, "Charge them that are rich in this world—that they be rich in good works;" Jas 2:5, "God hath chosen the poor—rich in faith;" that is, abounding in faith and good works, etc. Thus God is said to be rich towards all, as he abounds in mercy and goodness towards them in the plan of salvation.

That call upon him. This expression means, properly, to supplicate, to invoke, as in prayer. As prayer constitutes no small part of religion, and as it is a distinguishing characteristic of those who are true Christians, (Ac 9:11, "Behold he prayeth,") to call on the name of the Lord is put for religion itself, and is descriptive of acts of devotion towards God. 1 Pe 1:17, "And if ye call on the Father," etc.; Ac 2:21; 9:14, "He hath authority to bind all that call on thy name; Ac 7:59; 22:16; Ge 4:26, "Then began men to call on the name of the Lord."

{s} "the same Lord" 1 Ti 2:5

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