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5through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for the sake of his name,

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5. Through whom we have received, etc. — Having completed his definition of the gospel, which he introduced for the recommendation of his office, he now returns to speak of his own call; and it was a great point that this should be proved to the Romans. By mentioning grace and apostleship apart, he adopts a form of speech, 2020     “Hypellage,” a figure in grammar, by which a noun or an adjective is put in a form or in a case different from that in which it ought grammatically to be. — Ed. which must be understood as meaning, gratuitous apostleship or the favor of the apostleship; by which he means, that it was wholly through divine favor, not through his own worthiness, that he had been chosen for so high an office. For though it has hardly any thing connected with it in the estimation of the world, except dangers, labors, hatred, and disgrace; yet before God and his saints, it possesses a dignity of no common or ordinary kind. It is therefore deservedly counted a favor. If you prefer to say, “I have received grace that I should be an Apostle,” the sense would be the same. 2121     If this view be taken, the best mode would be to render και, even “favor, even the apostleship.” But, as Wolfius says, “both words would perhaps be better rendered separately, and “grace” or favor be referred to the conversion of the Apostle himself, and “apostleship” to his office. See 1 Timothy 1:12-14, and Acts 9:15, Acts 13:2; Acts 22:21. — Ed

The expression, on account of his name, is rendered by Ambrose, “in his name,” as though it meant, that the Apostle was appointed in the place of Christ to preach the gospel, according to that passage, “We are ambassadors for Christ,” etc. (2 Corinthians 5:20.) Their opinion, however, seems better, who take name for knowledge; for the gospel is preached for this end — that we may believe on the name of the Son of God. (John 3:23.) And Paul is said to have been a chosen vessel, to carry the name of Christ among the Gentiles. (Acts 9:15.) On account then of his name, which means the same, as though he had said, that I might make known what Christ is. 2222     He has taken this clause before that which follows, contrary to the order of the text, because he viewed it as connected with the receiving of the apostleship.
   “Pro nomine ipsius,” — ὑπὲρ τοῦ ὀνὸματος αὐτοῦ; “ad nominis ejus gloriam — to the glory of his name,” Turrettin; “for the purpose of magnifying his name,” Chalmers Hodge observes, “Paul was an apostle that all nations might be obedient, to the honor of Jesus Christ, that is, so that his name may be known.” Some, as Tholuck, connect the words with “obedience to the faith,” as they render the phrase, and, in this sense, “that obedience might be rendered to the faith among all nations for the sake of his name.” But it is better to connect the words with the receiving of the apostleship: it was received for two purposes — that there might be the obedience of faith, and that the name of Christ might be magnified. — Ed.

For the obedience of faith, etc. — That is, we have received a command to preach the gospel among all nations, and this gospel they obey by faith. By stating the design of his calling, he again reminds the Romans of his office, as though he said, “It is indeed my duty to discharge the office committed to me, which is to preach the word; and it is your duty to hear the word and willingly to obey it; you will otherwise make void the vocation which the Lord has bestowed on me.”

We hence learn, that they perversely resist the authority of God and upset the whole of what he has ordained, who irreverently and contemptuously reject the preaching of the gospel; the design of which is to constrain us to obey God. We must also notice here what faith is; the name of obedience is given to it, and for this reason — because the Lord calls us by his gospel; we respond to his call by faith; as on the other hand, the chief act of disobedience to God is unbelief, I prefer rendering the sentence, “For the obedience of faith,” rather than, “In order that they may obey the faith;” for the last is not strictly correct, except taken figuratively, though it be found once in the Acts 6:7. Faith is properly that by which we obey the gospel. 2323     It might be rendered, “that there might be the obedience of faith,” or, “in order to produce,” or, “Promote the obedience of faith.” The obedience is faith. The command is, “believe,” and the obedience must correspond with it. To obey the faith, as in Acts 6:7, is a different form of expression: the article is prefixed there, it is the faith, meaning the gospel. — See 2 Thessalonians 1:8. Professor Stuart and Haldane, agree in this view. The latter refers to Romans 10:3, where the Israelites are charged for not submitting to God’s righteousness; and, in verse 16, it is said, that they had not all obeyed the gospel, “for Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?” Then to believe the gospel is in an especial manner to obey it. — Ed.

Among all nations, etc. It was not enough for him to have been appointed an Apostle, except his ministry had reference to some who were to be taught: hence he adds, that his apostleship extended to all nations. He afterwards calls himself more distinctly the Apostle of the Romans, when he says, that they were included in the number of the nations, to whom he had been given as a minister. And further, the Apostles had in common the command to preach the gospel to all the world; and they were not, as pastors and bishops, set over certain churches. But Paul, in addition to the general undertaking of the apostolic function, was constituted, by a special appointment, to be a minister to proclaim the gospel among the Gentiles. It is no objection to this, that he was forbidden to pass through Macedonia and to preach the word in Mysia: for this was done, not that there were limits prescribed to him, but that he was for a time to go elsewhere; for the harvest was not as yet ripe there.

Ye are the called of Jesus Christ, etc. He assigns a reason more nearly connected with them — because the Lord had already exhibited in them an evidence by which he had manifested that he had called them to a participation of the gospel. It hence followed, that if they wished their own calling to remain sure, they were not to reject the ministry of Paul, who had been chosen by the same election of God. I therefore take this clause, “the called of Jesus Christ,” as explanatory, as though the particle “even” were inserted; for he means, that they were by calling made partakers of Christ. For they who shall be heirs of eternal life, are chosen by the celestial Father to be children in Christ; and when chosen, they are committed to his care and protection as their shepherd. 2424     “The called of Jesus Christ,” i.e., the called who belong to Christ. Κλητὸς means, not only those to whom the external call of the gospel has been addressed, but those who have been also internally called.” — Stuart. The same author renders the words κλητοῖς ἁγίοις, in the next verse, “chosen saints,” or, “saints effectually called.” — Ed.




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