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III. 4 God forbid : yea, let God be true, but every man a liar, as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged God forbid : yea, whatsoever become of men, who are all falsehood and vanity, let the truth of God and all his words and promises stand firm and inviolable for ever; according to that of the Psalmist, That thou mayest be declared to be most true and just in all thy sayings; and, whensoever any of thine actions are scanned, mayest go away with the glory of a perfect and irreprehensible justice. · III. 5 But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say ? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man) But, if this be all, that God looks to be glorified by men; and, as he pleases to order matters, he turns the wickedness of men to the praise of his justice, since his justice doth most appear in punishing the wickedness of men ; what shall we say? Is God inrighteous, in punishing men, for that, by which his justice is glorified ? (I speak after the carnal manner of men's reasoning)
III. 6 God forbid : for then how shall God judge the world? God forbid, that the Judge of all the World should be unrighteous: No; far be that from the least of our thoughts; for how should he order and compose all the affairs of the earth and heaven, if he himself were not absolutely righteous ?
III. 7 For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner? For, saith the wicked man, if the truth of God be more magnified and made more conspicuous, and so more glory accrues to his Name, by my lie, in that my falsehood and injustice is the matter for his justice to work revenge upon, what reason is there, that I should be punished, who have occasioned this further glory to God, and should be proceeded against as an offender?
III. 8 And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come ? whose dannation is just. And why should we not rather take up that resolution, which some have slanderously cast upon us, by lewd and false reports; affirming that we say, Let us do evil, that good may come of it: so that the event be good, it matters not what our actions be? Such wicked calunnies are cast upon us, by the depraving tongues of false accusers, who shall receive just damnation for this slander of the Gospel
III. 9° What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise : for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin. What then, if there be prerogatives that we Jews have above the Gentiles, are we better than they? or have we cause to pride ourselves, as being in a happier condition? No; in no wise; for we have before proved, that all, both Jews and Gentiles, are in the state of sin, and thereby liable to the wrath of God and everlasting damnation.
III. 13 Their throat is an open sepulchre. See Psalm v. 9.
III. Ibid. The poison of asps is under their lips. See Psalm cxl. 3.
III. 19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law : that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. But ye are now ready to say, that these accusations and reproofs are not meant to you Jews, but to other profane and wicked nations. Be not deceived : whatsoever the Spirit of God saith in the Scriptures, it speaketh to them unto whom that word of God was given ; and therefore more especially to the people of the Jews; intending, that, by these general taxations of man's wickedness, every mouth should be stopped, and that all the world should be convinced as guilty before God.
III. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight : for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Therefore, certainly, since all mankind is thus corrupted, it must needs follow, that no man can be justified and acquitted before God, by those Works, which he can pretend to do, answerable to the Law of God; for the Law rather binds us over to death, in that the only effect thereof is to shew us our sins and to convince us of it, and thereby to lay us open to the wrath of God.
III. 21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; But now, if any man would know how he may come to stand righteous before God, the case is fully cleared : there is an Evangelical Righteousness, which consists not in the Works of the Law; which is confirmed by the testimony of God's Spirit, both in the Law and the Prophets;
III. 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe : for there is no difference : Even the Righteousness, both given and accepted of God, which is by Faith in Jesus Christ; which Faith is that effectual instrument, whereby we receive, apprehend, apply Christ, who is true and perfect Righteousness unto all them that believe, whether Jews or Gentiles; for, herein God maketh no difference at all:
III. 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; For, both all men have sinned, and come short of that perfect obedience whereby they should glorify God, and of that justice which God accounts only and truly glorious; and therefore have need of a Saviour :
III. 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ : And, being in this case, have no way to be justified, but by bis gracious and free acceptation and acquittal, wrought and obtained by the redemption that is in Jesus Christ :
III. 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; Whom God the Father bath ordained and set forth, to be that Me. diator, who should make a full atonemeut for mankind, through Faith in his blood; and who should make known and apply that his all-sufficient satisfaction, for the remission, even of those sins, which were committed before his coming in the flesh; the expiation whereof could not be made by any legal sacrifices, but only by his oblation and death, which was prefigured thereby : this was the means to do away those sins, which God, in bis mercy, would not take speedy rerenge of, but graciously reserved them to be purged by the blood of his Son.
III. 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness : that, he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. And not only to make known this mercy to those that are gone and past, but also, to declare unto us at this time, and to all that shall come after us unto the end of the world, what is the only means of our standing righteous before God, even Faith in Christ; that thus he might be approved, to be both most just in himself in accepting of none but those that are righteous, and also a justifier of every one (and him alone) that believeth in his Son Jesus.
III. 27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law ? of works ? Nay: but by the law of faith. What cause of boasting then can any of us have in ourselves, whether Jews or Gentiles ? if Gentiles, in our civil justice ; and if Jews, in our just works? Surely, none at all. All boasting is utterly excluded : but how, or upon what ground, is our boasting excluded? Surely, not upon the ground of our Works : for, if by our Works we could fulfil the Law, we should have cause of boasting in ourselves; but, upon the ground of Faith, for now that we are justified thereby, upon the free acceptation of God, we have no cause at all to boast in ourselves, but in him alone.
III. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Let this conclusion therefore be firmly set down, Tbat a man is justified, not by the Works of the Law, but by Faith only.
III. 29, 30 Is be the God of the Jews only? Is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also : Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. Neither is this Justification proper and peculiar to one nation only, but is common to the believers of all nations through the world : never think therefore, that this mercy is confined to the Jews only: no; the grace of God is not limited to them only: God is not the God of the Jews only, but of the Gentiles also : Seeing it is one and the same God, whose goodness extendeth and enlargeth itself to all, and makes no more difference betwixt Jews and Gentiles, but that he justifies the Jews by Faith, and
through Faith the Gentiles, which as they are all one in effect, so his merciful act of Justification is one and the same in both.
III. 31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God for. bid : yea, we establish the law. Do we then, because we teach that men are justified by Faith, and not by the Works of the Law, make void the Law through Faith, as if therefore it were of no use, because we can obtain no perfect Righteousness by it? God forbid ; yea, rather, our Faith es tablisbeth the Law, in that it obtaineth that grace, whereby the Law is fulfilled; forsomuch as the Spirit of God, which dwells in our hearts by Faith, enableth us to walk according to the Law.
IV. 1 What shall we then say that Abraham, our father as per. taining to the flesh, hath found? There is but one way of Justification: as it was with Abraham, who was our father according to the Aesh, so it is with us; and how will you then say, that the case stood with Abraham? had he no benefit by his Works?
IV. 2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. Surely, I must needs yield the case alike in all; and, as for Abraham, therefore if he were justified by the merit of his Works, he had cause to glory in himself, and not in God; but he never sought to glory in himself, but in God only; and therefore he was justified not by Works, but by Faith.
IV. 3 For what saith the Scripture ? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. For what saith the Scripture? Abraham believed God in his promises, and that Faith of his apprehending Christ, which was promised, was accounted unto him by God for Righteousness; so as Abraham, upon his belief, was reputed no less righteous, than if he had fulilled the Law.
IV. 4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. Now, this reputing Just must needs be an act of favour and grace; whereas, to him, that earneth ought by Working, the recompence is given, not out of grace and favour, but as of due debt.
IV. 6, 7 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. And David also, whose authority is justly sacred amongst you, so describes our Righteousness, as one that meant to exclude Works from the power of Justifying; for, when he would set forth the blessedness of a man justified before God, he describes him by the imputing of Righteousness without Works; Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sips are covered; and not, Blessed are they whose good works are many and great.
IV. 9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only,
or upon the uncircumcision also ? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. That ye may well see this righteousness, and blessedness, is not by Works, but by Faith; consider, that circumcision is the first work that is required under the Law, and that this blessedness be. longed to Abraham not upon his circumcision but before, even in his uncircuincision: for we say, that Abraham's Faith was accounted to him for righteousness.
IV. 10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision ? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. But when, and in what estate, was it so accounted to him? when he was circumcised, or while he was uncircumcised? Ye are easily able to satisfy yourselves in this; and know, that it was not when he was circumcised, but long before, even when he was uncircumcised.
IV. 11, 12 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised ; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also : And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. And he received this outward mark and sign of the Sacrament of Circumcision, as a seal and full confirmation of that Faith which he had before, wbile he was uncircumcised: God would therefore, have him justified by Faith before he was circumcised, that he might be the Father of all that are Faithful, though uncircumcised ; that his example might shew, that righteousness is and may be so imputed unto them also, without any outward circumcision: And that he might be the Father of the Circumcised, of those, I mean, which are not only outwardly and formally circumcised, but truly and inwardly; and who live the life of that Faith, which Abraham had, being yet uncircumcised.
IV. 13 For the promise that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For the promise, that was made to Abraham, of the inheritance of the land of Canaan, by which a better inheritance was figured, was not made to Abraham, because he had merited it by keeping the Law; but because he had believed God, and had obtained the Righteousness of Faith.
IV. 14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect : For if they, which trust to the fulfilling of the Law, be heirs of the spiritual blessings of God, and so the inheritance come by Works, then Faith is to no purpose ; neither is there any use of it: and so those promises, which are made to the believer, are vain and useless; neither could any heart find comfort or assurance in itself, forasmuch as it should be convinced in itself of