1:1 Paul, 1 a 2a servant of Jesus Christ, called [to be]
an b apostle, c separated unto the gospel of God,
(1) The first part of the epistle contains a most profitable
preface down to verse six.
(2) Paul, exhorting the Romans to give diligent heed to him, in
that he shows that he comes not in his own name, but as
God's messenger to the Gentiles, entreats them with the
weightiest matter that exists, promised long ago by God, by
many good witnesses, and now at length indeed performed.
(a) Minister, for this word "servant" is not taken in this
place as set against the word "freeman", but rather
refers to and declares his ministry and office.
(b) Whereas he said before in a general term that he was a
minister, now he comes to a more special name, and says
that he is an apostle, and that he did not take this
office upon himself by his own doing, but that he was
called by God, and therefore in this letter of his to
the Romans he is doing nothing but his duty.
(c) Appointed by God to preach the gospel.
1:33 Concerning his d Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was
e made of the seed of David f according to the flesh;
(3) By declaring the sum of the doctrine of the Gospel, he
stirs up the Romans to consider well the matter about which
he is entreating them: so then he shows that Christ (who is
the very substance and sum of the gospel) is the only Son
of God the Father, who with regard to his humanity is born
of the seed of David, but with regard to his divine and
spiritual nature, by which he sanctified himself, is
begotten of the Father from everlasting, as also manifestly
appears by his mighty resurrection.
(d) This is a plain testimony of the person of Christ, that
he is but one, and also a testimony of his two natures,
and their properties.
(e) Who received flesh from the virgin who was David's
(f) As he is man: for this word "flesh", by the figure of
speech synecdoche, is taken for man.
1:4 And g declared [to be] the Son of God with h power,
according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection
from the dead:
(g) Shown and made manifest.
(h) The divine and mighty power is set against the weakness
of the flesh, for it overcame death.
1:5i By whom we have received k grace and apostleship, for
l obedience to the faith m among all nations, for his
(i) Of whom.
(k) This marvellous, liberal, and gracious gift, which is
given to me, the least of all the saints, to preach,
etc.; see (Eph 3:8).
(l) That men through faith might obey God.
(m) For his name's sake.
1:6 Among whom are ye also the n called of Jesus Christ:
(n) Who through God's goodness belong to Christ.
1:7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called [to be]
saints: o Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and
the Lord Jesus Christ.
(o) God's free good will: by "peace" the Hebrews mean a
prosperous success in all things.
1:84 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all,
that your faith is p spoken of throughout the q whole
(4) He obtains their favourable patience, in that he points out
what it is that they can be praised for, and his true
apostolic good will toward them, confirmed by taking God
himself as witness.
(p) Because your faith is such that it is spoken well of in
(q) In all churches.
1:9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my r spirit in
the s gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make
mention of you always in my prayers;
(r) Very willingly and with all my heart.
(s) In preaching his Son.
1:12 That is, that t I may be comforted together with you by
the mutual faith both of you and me.
(t) Though Paul was ever so excellent, yet in teaching the
church, he might be instructed by it.
1:15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to
you that are at u Rome also.
(u) He means all those who dwell at Rome, though some of
them were not Romans; see the end of the epistle.
1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: 5 for it is
the x power of God unto salvation to every one that
believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the y Greek.
(5) This is the second part of the epistle, until the beginning
of chapter nine. Now the whole end and purpose of the
discussion is this: that is to say, to show that there is
but one way to attain unto salvation (which is displayed to
us by God in the gospel, and that equally to every nation),
and this way is Jesus Christ apprehended by faith.
(x) God's mighty and effectual instrument to save men by.
(y) When this word "Greek" is contrasted with the word "Jew",
then it signifies a Gentile.
1:176 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from
z faith to faith: 7 as it is written, The just shall
live by faith.
(6) The confirmation of the former proposition: we are taught
in the gospel that we are instituted before God by faith,
which increases daily, and therefore also saved.
(z) From faith, which increases daily.
(7) The proof of the first as well as of the second
proposition, out of Habakkuk, who attributes and gives to
faith both justice and life before God.
1:188 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against
a all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold
the b truth in unrighteousness;
(8) Another confirmation of the principal question: all men
being considered in themselves, or without Christ, are
guilty both of ungodliness and also unrighteousness, and
therefore are subject on condemnation: therefore they need to
seek righteousness in someone else.
(a) Against all types of ungodliness.
(b) By "truth" Paul means all the light that is left in man
since his fall, not as though they being led by this
were able to come into favour with God, but that their
own reason might condemn them of wickedness both
against God and man.
1:199 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in
c them; for God hath shewed [it] unto them.
(9) By their ungodliness he proves that although all men have a
most clear and evident mirror in which to behold the
everlasting and almighty nature of God, even in his
creatures, yet they have fallen away from those principles
to most foolish and stupid ideas of their own brains, in
their worship of God and of what God requires of them.
(c) In their hearts.
1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the
world are clearly seen, being d understood by the things
that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so
that they are without excuse:
(d) You do not see God, and yet you acknowledge him as God
by his works; Cicero.
1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they e glorified [him]
not as God, neither were thankful; but became f vain in
their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
(e) They did not honour him with that honour and service
which was appropriate for his everlasting power and
(f) As if he said, became so corrupt in themselves.
1:22g Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
(g) Or, thought themselves.
1:23 And changed the glory of the h uncorruptible God into an
image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and
fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
(h) For the true God they substituted another.
1:2410 Wherefore i God also k gave them up to uncleanness
through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their
own bodies between themselves:
(10) The unrighteousness of men he sets forth first in this,
that following their lusts, even against nature, they
defiled themselves one with another, by the just judgment
(i) The contempt of religion is the source of all evil.
(k) As a just judge.
1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the
woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with
men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in
themselves that l recompence of their error which was
(l) An appropriate reward and that which they deserved.
1:2811 And even as they did not like to retain God in [their]
knowledge, God gave them over to a m reprobate mind, to
do those things which are not convenient;
(11) He proves the unrighteousness of man by referring to many
types of wickedness, from which (if not from all, yet at
the least from many of them) no man is altogether free.
(m) To a corrupt and perverse mind, by which it comes to pass
that the conscience, having been removed by them, and
they having almost no more remorse for sin, run
headlong into all types of evil.
1:31 Without understanding, n covenantbreakers, without
natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
(n) Not caring if they keep their covenants and bargains.
1:32 Who knowing the o judgment of God, that they which commit
such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but
p have pleasure in them that do them.
(o) By the "judgment of God" he means that which the
philosophers called the "law of nature", and the
lawyers themselves termed the "law of nations".
(p) Are companions and partakers with them in their
wickedness, and beside that, commend those who do