Pristine Grace

Rom 10:1-3, (GILL)
1  INTRODUCTION TO ROMANS 10

In this chapter are contained an account of the two righteousnesses of faith and works, a summary of the Gospel of Christ, a description of the grace of faith, in the nature, use, and means of it, and several testimonies concerning the calling of the Gentiles; and whereas the apostle knew that this, as well as what he had said in the latter part of the preceding chapter, that the Jews had not attained to the law of righteousness, but stumbled at the stumbling stone, would be offensive to his countrymen the Jews; wherefore that it might appear that he said this not out of disaffection and ill will to them, he declares his sincere regard unto them, and the great respect he had for them, by calling them "brethren", by expressing his good will to them, by praying for the salvation of them, Ro 10:1, by bearing testimony of their zeal for God, Ro 10:2, though he faithfully observes to them, that it was an ignorant zeal, of which ignorance he gives an instance, Ro 10:3, particularly in the attribute of God's righteousness; from which ignorance arose all their misconduct in religious things, especially in the article of justification; hence they sought to be justified by their own righteousness, and rejected the righteousness of Christ, and then points out to them the true end of the law, for righteousness which is Christ, Ro 10:4, which if they had known would have set them right, and which is another instance of their ignorant and misguided zeal: this leads him on to what he had in view, which was to give an account of the two righteousnesses he had suggested in the latter part of the former chapter, the righteousness of the law, which the Jews sought for and found not, and the righteousness of faith, which the Gentiles without seeking for enjoyed; and this account he gives in the words of Moses, for whom they had the greatest regard: the description of the former is given in his words, in Ro 10:5, which suggest the impossibility of keeping the law, and obtaining life by it, and therefore it is a vain thing to seek for righteousness by the works of it; the latter is described, Ro 10:6, by the certainty of it, being wrought out by Christ, who came down from heaven, fulfilled the law, and died, and rose again from the dead; and by the plainness and evidence of it, as revealed in the Gospel, Ro 10:8, the sum of which Gospel is, that whoever believes in Christ and confesses him shall be saved, Ro 10:9, which faith and confession, when genuine, are with the heart and mouth agreeing together; the consequences of which are righteousness and salvation, comfortably apprehended and enjoyed, Ro 10:10, and that the above is the sum of the Gospel, and that there is such a connection between faith and righteousness, and between confession and salvation, is confirmed, Ro 10:11, by a testimony from the prophet, Isa 28:16, which being expressed in such a general manner, as to extend to every believer, whether Jew or Gentile, reasons are given, Ro 10:12, in support of such an explanation of that passage, taken from the equal condition of all, there being no difference between them naturally, from the universal dominion of God over them, and from his liberal communication of grace and goodness to all that call upon him; which last reason is confirmed, Ro 10:13, by a passage of Scripture in Joe 2:32, on occasion of which, the apostle proceeds to treat of the calling of the Gentiles, and of the means of it, the preaching of the Gospel, which was necessary to it, which is made out by a train of reasoning after this manner; that seeing salvation is only of such that call upon the name of the Lord, and there could be no calling upon him without believing in him, and no believing without hearing, and no hearing without preaching, and no preaching without mission, which is proved by a citation out of Isa 52:7, and no success in preaching, when sent, without the exertions of efficacious grace, as appears from the case of the Jews, who had the ministration of the Gospel to them by Isaiah, and yet all did not believe it; as is evident from Isa 53:1, and seeing the conclusion of which is, that faith comes by preaching, and preaching by the order and command of God, Ro 10:14, it follows, that it was proper that ministers should be sent, and the Gospel preached to the Gentiles, and that attended with power, in order that they should believe in the Lord, and call upon his name and be saved; and which method God had taken, and which he had foretold he would take, in the prophecies of the Old Testament, and which were now fulfilling: that the Gospel was preached to them, and they heard it, were matters of fact, and were no other than what should be, or might be concluded, from Ps 19:4, cited, Ro 10:18, and that the Jews could not be ignorant of the calling of the Gentiles is clear, first from the words of Moses, De 32:21, which the apostle produces, Ro 10:19, and from a passage in the prophecy of Isa 65:1. So that this was no other than what Moses and the prophets said should be, Ro 10:20, and the chapter is closed, Ro 10:21, with another passage out of the same prophet in the next verse, showing the rejection of Christ and his Gospel by the Jews, and which justifies their being cast off by him, of which the apostle treats largely in the next chapter.

Brethren, my heart's desire,.... The apostle having suggested, that a few of the Jews only should be called and saved; that the far greater part should be rejected; that the Israelites who sought for righteousness did not attain it when the Gentiles did, but stumbled and fell at Christ, and would be ashamed and confounded; and knowing the prejudices of that people against him, therefore lest what he had said, or should say upon this subject, should be thought to arise from hatred and ill will to them, he judged it proper, as before, to express his trouble and sorrow on their account; so now his great love and affection to them, and which he signifies by calling them "brethren": for not the Roman believers are here addressed, as if he was telling them how much he loved his own nation; but either the Jews in general, whom he looked upon and loved as his brethren, according to the flesh; and whatever they thought of him, he considered them in such a relation to him, which obliged him to a concern for their good and welfare; or rather the believing Jews, that were members of the church at Rome, whom, besides using the common style of the Jewish nation, who were wont to call all of their country brethren, he could speak to, as being such in a spiritual relation, being children of the same father, partakers of the same grace and privileges, and heirs of the same glory. Now he declares to these persons, that the "desire [of his] heart" was towards Israel, he bore a good will to them, his mind was well disposed and affected towards them, he had a cordial, sincere, and hearty respect for them; and so far was he from being their enemy, that he continually bore them upon his mind at the throne of grace: and his

prayer to God for Israel [was], that they might be saved; not only that they might be saved in a temporal sense, from these grievous calamities and sore judgments he saw were coming upon them, which he had reason to believe would issue in the destruction of them, as a nation and church; but that they might be spiritually converted, turned from their evil ways, and brought to believe in Christ, whom they had despised and rejected, and so be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation: this he might desire not only from a natural affection for them, but as a minister of the Gospel, who cannot but wish that all that hear him might be converted and saved; and as a believer in Christ he might pray for this in submission to the will of God; and especially as he knew there was a seed, a remnant according to the election of grace, at that present time among them, that should be saved, though the larger number of them were cast off. The Alexandrian copy, and some others, read "for them", instead of "for Israel"; not naming them, being easily understood; and so the Vulgate Latin and Syriac versions.

2  For I bear them record, that they have a zeal of God,.... A zeal for God; for the being and unity of God, against the polytheism and idolatry of the Gentiles; for the word of God, the writings of the Old Testament, of which they were zealous defenders and preservers, and which they diligently read and heard explained, and whereby they thought to obtain eternal life; for the law of God, moral and ceremonial, especially for the rituals of the Mosaic economy; for the service and worship of God, they spared no pains, but compassed sea and land to bring in proselytes to their religion; all which the apostle could testify from his own knowledge, and by his own experience, who had been as great a zealot as any of them all. But now whilst the apostle is expressing his strong affection for this people, he is careful to act the faithful part to them, and points out their mistakes, and shows them their faults; which he does in this and the following verse, by observing, that they had a zeal of God indeed,

but not according to knowledge: it was not well regulated, it proceeded on mistaken principles, and moved in a wrong way, in persecuting the church of God, in doing things contrary to the name of Christ, in putting to death his ministers and members, thinking that hereby they did God good service; which arose from their ignorance of their Father, and of the Son: though they had a zeal of God, they knew neither God nor Christ aright; they did not know God in Christ, nor Jesus to be the true Messiah; they understood neither law nor Gospel truly, and fancied the Gospel was contrary to the law, and an enemy to it; and therefore in their great zeal opposed it, and the professors of it; they were zealous of the law, and of doing the commands of it, but knew not the true nature, use, and end of the law; as appears by what follows.

3  For they being ignorant of God's righteousness,.... Either of the righteousness of God revealed in the Gospel, which is no other than the righteousness of Christ, and which they knew nothing of, the whole Gospel being a sealed book, and wholly hidden from them; or of the righteousness of God required in the law, they imagining that only an external conformity to the commands of the law, was all that was necessary to attain to a justifying righteousness by it, not knowing the spirituality of it, and that it required conformity of heart and nature, as well as life and conversation; or rather of the attribute of God's righteousness, the strictness of his justice, the purity and holiness of his nature: for though they knew that he was holy, just, and righteous, yet did not think he was so strict as to insist upon every punctilio, and to take notice of every little default and defect in obedience; and especially that he had any regard to the heart and the thoughts of it, and required perfect purity there or that he would accept of nothing less than an absolutely perfect and complete righteousness; nor justify any without full satisfaction to his justice: hence they were

going about to establish their own righteousness; which they would never have done, had they known the righteousness of God, in either of the above senses; the Alexandrian copy, and some others, omit the word "righteousness", and only read, "their own", leaving it to be understood, and which is easily done; and so reads the Vulgate Latin version: by "their own righteousness", as opposed to God's, is meant the righteousness of works, their obedience to the law, an outward conformity to it, an observance of the rituals of it, and a little negative holiness. This they endeavoured to "establish" or "make to stand" in the sight of God, as their justifying righteousness, which is all one as setting chaff and stubble, briers and thorns, to a consuming fire; as the attempt expresses madness in them, the phrase suggests weakness in their righteousness, which they would fain make to stand, but could not, it being like a spider's web before the besom, or like a dead carcass, which men would set upon its feet to stand alone, but it cannot; than which nothing can be a greater instance of egregious folly: their "going about" or "seeking" to do this, shows their ignorant zeal, and the toil, the pains, the labour they used to effect it, but all in vain, and to no purpose; as appears by their hearing, reading, fasting, praying, giving alms to the poor, and tithes of all they possessed; all which they were very careful and studious of, and especially to have them done in the sight of men: and so it was that they

have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God; that is, the righteousness of Christ, so called, because approved and accepted of by God, imputed by him to his people, and given them by him as a free gift, and which only justifies in his sight; and because it is wrought by Christ, who is truly and properly God, and revealed and applied by the Spirit of God. This the Jews submitted not to, because they had no true humble sense of themselves as sinners, nor did they care to acknowledge themselves as such; which submission to Christ's righteousness requires and necessarily involves in it; no man will ever be subject to it, till he is made sensible of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and brought to an humble acknowledgment of it; the Spirit of God first convinces of sin and then of righteousness; and because they had an overweening opinion of their own righteousness, which they trusted to, and depended upon, imagining it to be blameless, and to contain all that the law required, and therefore they stood in no need of any other; and as for the righteousness of Christ they had it in contempt, their carnal minds being enmity to him, were not subject to his righteousness, nor could they, nor can any be, without the powerful efficacious grace of God, making them willing in the day of his power. This phrase denotes the rebellion of their wills, against Christ and his righteousness, they acting as rebellious subjects against their sovereign prince.

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