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THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS - Chapter 3 - Verse 22

Verse 22. Even the righteousness of God. The apostle, having stated that the design of the gospel was to reveal a new plan of becoming just in the sight of God, proceeds here more fully to explain it. The explanation which he offers makes it plain that the phrase so often used by him, "righteousness of God," does not refer to an attribute of God, but to his plan of making men righteous. Here he says that it is by faith in Jesus Christ; but surely an attribute of God is not produced by faith in Jesus Christ. It means God's mode of regarding men as righteous through their belief in Jesus Christ.

By faith of Jesus Christ. That is, by faith in Jesus Christ. Thus the expression, Mr 11:22, "Have the faith of God," (margin,) means, have faith in God. So Ac 3:16, the "faith of his name," (Greek,) means, faith in his name. So Ga 2:20, the "faith of the Son of God" means, faith in the Son of God. This cannot mean that faith is the meritorious cause of salvation, but that it is the instrument or means by which we become justified. It is the state of mind, or condition of the heart, to which God has been pleased to promise justification. (On the nature of faith, See Barnes "Mr 16:16".

) God has promised that they who believe in Christ shah be pardoned and saved. This is his plan in distinction from the plan of those who seek to be justified by works.

Unto all and upon all. It is evident that these expressions are designed to be emphatic, but why both are used is not very apparent. Many have supposed that there was no essential difference in the meaning. If there be a difference, it is probably this: the first expression, "unto all"—eiv pantav—may denote that this plan of justification has come (Luther) unto all men, to Jews and Gentiles; i.e. that it has been provided for them and offered to them without distinction. The plan was ample for all, was fitted for all, was equally necessary for all, and was offered to all. The second phrase, "upon all"—epi pantav—may be designed to guard against the supposition that all therefore would be benefited by it, or be saved by the mere face that the announcement had come to all. The apostle adds, therefore, that the benefits of this plan must actually come upon all, or must be applied to all, if they would be justified. They could not be justified merely by the fact that the plan was provided, and that the knowledge of it had come to all, but by their actually coming under this plan, and availing themselves of it. Perhaps there is reference in the last expression, "upon all," to a robe, or garment, that is placed upon one to hide his nakedness, or sin. Comp. Isa 64:6, also Php 3:9.

For there is no difference. That is, there is no difference in regard to the matter under discussion. The apostle does not mean to say that there is no difference in regard to the talents, dispositions, education, and property of men; but there is no distinction in regard to the way in which they must be justified. All must be saved, if saved at all, in the same mode, whether Jews or Gentiles, bond or free, rich or poor, learned or ignorant. None can be saved by works; and all are therefore dependent on the mercy of God in Jesus Christ.

{a} "faith of Jesus Christ" Ro 5:1

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