Epistle Of Saint Paul To The Romans
The Jews are censured, who make their boast of the law and keep it not. He declares who are the true Jews.
 Wherefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest. For wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself. For thou dost the same things which thou judgest.  For we know that the judgment of God is, according to truth, against them that do such things.  And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them who do such things, and dost the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?  Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness, and patience, and longsuffering? Knowest thou not, that the benignity of God leadeth thee to penance?  But according to thy hardness and impenitent heart, thou treasurest up to thyself wrath, against the day of wrath, and revelation of the just judgment of God.
 Who will render to every man according to his works.  To them indeed, who according to patience in good work, seek glory and honour and incorruption, eternal life:  But to them that are contentious, and who obey not the truth, but give credit to iniquity, wrath and indignation.  Tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that worketh evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Greek.  But glory, and honour, and peace to every one that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
 For there is no respect of persons with God.  For whosoever have sinned without the law, shall perish without the law; and whosoever have sinned in the law, shall be judged by the law.  For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.  For when the Gentiles, who have not the law, do by nature those things that are of the law; these having not the law are a law to themselves:  Who shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness to them, and their thoughts between themselves accusing, or also defending one another,
 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.  But if thou art called a Jew and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God,  And knowest his will, and approvest the more profitable things, being instructed by the law,  Art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them that are in darkness,  An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, having the form of knowledge and of truth in the law.
 Thou therefore that teachest another, teachest not thyself: thou that preachest that men should not steal, stealest:  Thou that sayest, men should not commit adultery, committest adultery: thou that abhorrest idols, committest sacrilege:  Thou that makest thy boast of the law, by transgression of the law dishonourest God.  (For the name of God through you is blasphemed among the Gentiles, as it is written.)  Circumcision profiteth indeed, if thou keep the law; but if thou be a transgressor of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.
The advantages of the Jews. All men are sinners and none can be justified by the works of the law, but only by the grace of Christ.
 What advantage then hath the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision?  Much every way. First indeed, because the words of God were committed to them.  For what if some of them have not believed? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid.  But God is true; and every man a liar, as it is written, That thou mayest be justified in thy words, and mayest overcome when thou art judged.  But if our injustice commend the justice of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust, who executeth wrath?
 "God is true"... God only is essentially true. All men in their own capacity are liable to lies and errors: nevertheless God, who is the truth, will make good his promise of keeping his church in all truth. See St. John 16. 13.
 (I speak according to man.) God forbid: otherwise how shall God judge this world?  For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie, unto his glory, why am I also yet judged as a sinner?  And not rather (as we are slandered, and as some affirm that we say) let us do evil, that there may come good? whose damnation is just.  What then? Do we excel them? No, not so. For we have charged both Jews, and Greeks, that they are all under sin.  As it is written: There is not any man just.
 "There is not any man just"... viz. By virtue either of the law of nature, or of the law of Moses; but only by faith and grace.
 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.  All have turned out of the way; they are become unprofitable together: there is none that doth good, there is not so much as one.  Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have dealt deceitfully. The venom of asps is under their lips.  Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:  Their feet swift to shed blood:
 Destruction and misery in their ways:  And the way of peace they have not known:  There is no fear of God before their eyes.  Now we know, that what things soever the law speaketh, it speaketh to them that are in the law; that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may be made subject to God.  Because by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified before him. For by the law is the knowledge of sin.
 But now without the law the justice of God is made manifest, being witnessed by the law and the prophets.  Even the justice of God, by faith of Jesus Christ, unto all and upon all them that believe in him: for there is no distinction:  For all have sinned, and do need the glory of God.  Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption, that is in Christ Jesus,  Whom God hath proposed to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to the shewing of his justice, for the remission of former sins,
 Through the forbearance of God, for the shewing of his justice in this time; that he himself may be just, and the justifier of him, who is of the faith of Jesus Christ.  Where is then thy boasting? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith.  For we account a man to be justified by faith, without the works of the law.  Is he the God of the Jews only? Is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also.  For it is one God, that justifieth circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.
 "By faith"... The faith, to which the apostle here attributes man's justification, is not a presumptuous assurance of our being justified; but a firm and lively belief of all that God has revealed or promised. Heb. 11. A faith working through charity in Jesus Christ. Gal. 5. 6. In short, a faith which takes in hope, love, repentance, and the use of the sacraments. And the works which he here excludes, are only the works of the law: that is, such as are done by the law of nature, or that of Moses, antecedent to the faith of Christ: but by no means, such as follow faith, and proceed from it.
 Do we, then, destroy the law through faith? God forbid: but we establish the law.
There is no condemnation to them that, being justified by Christ, walk not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit. Their strong hope and love of God.
 There is now therefore no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh.  For the law of the spirit of life, in Christ Jesus, hath delivered me from the law of sin and of death.  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh; God sending his own Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh and of sin, hath condemned sin in the flesh;  That the justification of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit.  For they that are according to the flesh, mind the things that are of the flesh; but they that are according to the spirit, mind the things that are of the spirit.
 For the wisdom of the flesh is death; but the wisdom of the spirit is life and peace.  Because the wisdom of the flesh is an enemy to God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither can it be.  And they who are in the flesh, cannot please God.  But you are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.  And if Christ be in you, the body indeed is dead, because of sin; but the spirit liveth, because of justification.
 And if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead, dwell in you; he that raised up Jesus Christ from the dead, shall quicken also your mortal bodies, because of his Spirit that dwelleth in you.  Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.  For if you live according to the flesh, you shall die: but if by the Spirit you mortify the deeds of the flesh, you shall live.  For whosoever are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.  For you have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear; but you have received the spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry: Abba (Father).
 For the Spirit himself giveth testimony to our spirit, that we are the sons of God.  And if sons, heirs also; heirs indeed of God, and joint heirs with Christ: yet so, if we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified with him.  For I reckon that the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come, that shall be revealed in us.  For the expectation of the creature waiteth for the revelation of the sons of God.  For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him that made it subject, in hope:
 "The Spirit himself"... By the inward motions of divine love, and the peace of conscience, which the children of God experience, they have a kind of testimony of God's favour; by which they are much strengthened in their hope of their justification and salvation; but yet not so as to pretend to an absolute assurance: which is not usually granted in this mortal life: during which we are taught to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Phil. 2. 12. And that he that thinketh himself to stand, must take heed lest he fall. 1 Cor. 10. 12. See also, Rom. 11. 20, 21, 22.
 "The expectation of the creature"... He speaks of the corporeal creation, made for the use and service of man; and, by occasion of his sin, made subject to vanity, that is, to a perpetual instability, tending to corruption and other defects; so that by a figure of speech it is here said to groan and be in labour, and to long for its deliverance, which is then to come, when sin shall reign no more; and God shall raise the bodies and unite them to their souls never more to separate, and to be in everlasting happiness in heaven.
 Because the creature also itself shall be delivered from the servitude of corruption, into the liberty of the glory of the children of God.  For we know that every creature groaneth and travaileth in pain, even till now.  And not only it, but ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption of the sons of God, the redemption of our body.  For we are saved by hope. But hope that is seen, is not hope. For what a man seeth, why doth he hope for?  But if we hope for that which we see not, we wait for it with patience.
 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmity. For we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit himself asketh for us with unspeakable groanings.  And he that searcheth the hearts, knoweth what the Spirit desireth; because he asketh for the saints according to God.  And we know that to them that love God, all things work together unto good, to such as, according to his purpose, are called to be saints.  For whom he foreknew, he also predestinated to be made conformable to the image of his Son; that he might be the firstborn amongst many brethren.  And whom he predestinated, them he also called. And whom he called, them he also justified. And whom he justified, them he also glorified.
 "Asketh for us"... The Spirit is said to ask, and desire for the saints, and to pray in us; inasmuch as he inspireth prayer, and teacheth us to pray.
 "He also predestinated"... That is, God hath preordained that all his elect should be conformable to the image of his Son. We must not here offer to pry into the secrets of God's eternal election; only firmly believe that all our good, in time and eternity, flows originally from God's free goodness; and all our evil from man's free will.
 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who is against us?  He that spared not even his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how hath he not also, with him, given us all things?  Who shall accuse against the elect of God? God that justifieth.  Who is he that shall condemn? Christ Jesus that died, yea that is risen also again; who is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.  Who then shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation? or distress? or famine? or nakedness? or danger? or persecution? or the sword?
 (As it is written: For thy sake we are put to death all the day long. We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.)  But in all these things we overcome, because of him that hath loved us.  For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor might,  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
 "I am sure"... That is, I am persuaded; as it is in the Greek, pepeismai.