Romans 1:3
Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
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(3, 4) Who, on the human side—as if to show that the prophecies were really fulfilled in Him—was born of the seed of David, the rightful lineage of the Messiah; who, on the divine side, by virtue of the divine attribute of holiness dwelling in His spirit, was declared to be the Son of God, by that mighty demonstration, the resurrection of the dead.

According to the flesh.—The word is here used as equivalent to “in His human nature, in that lower bodily organisation which He shares with us men.”

Romans 1:3-6. Concerning his Son Jesus Christ — The gospel is good news from God, concerning the coming of his Son to save the world. The Son of God, therefore, is the subject of the gospel, as well as its author: who was made — Gr. του γενομενου, who was, or, who was born, as the word also properly signifies; of the seed of David according to the flesh — That is, with regard to his human nature. Both the natures of our Lord are here mentioned; but the human is mentioned first, because the divine was not manifested in its full evidence till after his resurrection. And declared — Gr. του ορισθεντος, determinately marked out; the word signifies, to fix the boundaries of a thing, and consequently to make it appear what it is; to be the Son of God — In a peculiar sense, in a sense in which no creature, man or angel, is or can be his Son; see Hebrews 1:2-12; according to the Spirit of holiness — His holy, spiritual, divine nature. “The phrase, κατα πνευμα αγιωσυνης, according to the Spirit of holiness,” says Mr. Locke, “is here manifestly opposed to κατα σαρκα, according to the flesh, in the foregoing verse,” and so must mean his divine nature; “unless this be so understood, the antithesis is lost.” With power — Powerful evidence, or in the most convincing manner; by the resurrection from the dead — That is, by his own resurrection, not by his raising others. Jesus being put to death as a blasphemer, for calling himself the Christ, the Son of the blessed, God would not have raised him from the dead, if he had been an impostor; especially as he had often foretold his own resurrection, and appealed to it as a proof of his being the Son of God, John 2:19. His resurrection, therefore, was a public testimony, borne by God himself, to the truth of our Lord’s pretensions, which put the matter beyond all doubt. By whom we — I and the other apostles; have received grace — Enlightening, pardoning, and sanctifying grace; and apostleship — The apostolical commission to preach grace, and salvation by grace, to Jews and Gentiles. Some, by grace and apostleship, understand the grace, or favour of apostleship. But that rendering is not literal; and it is certain that Paul did receive grace to enlighten his mind, pardon his sins, and subdue his heart to the obedience of Christ, and fit him for the ministry of the gospel, before he received the apostolical commission, whenever we suppose that commission to have been dated. For obedience to the faith among all nations — That is, that all nations may embrace the faith of Christ; for his name — For his sake, out of regard to him, or on account of his being the Son of God. For name may here signify the character of Christ, as the Song of Solomon of God, and Saviour of the world. This name Paul was appointed to bear, or publish, before the Gentiles and kings, and the children of Israel, Acts 9:15; and it is on account of this name or character, that all men are bound to obey him. Among whom — The nations brought to the obedience of faith; are ye — Romans; also — But the apostle gives them no pre-eminence above others; the called of Jesus Christ — Invited by him into the fellowship of his gospel, and a participation of all its invaluable blessings.

1:1-7 The doctrine of which the apostle Paul wrote, set forth the fulfilment of the promises by the prophets. It spoke of the Son of God, even Jesus the Saviour, the promised Messiah, who came from David as to his human nature, but was also declared to be the Son of God, by the Divine power which raised him from the dead. The Christian profession does not consist in a notional knowledge or a bare assent, much less in perverse disputings, but in obedience. And all those, and those only, are brought to obedience of the faith, who are effectually called of Jesus Christ. Here is, 1. The privilege of Christians; they are beloved of God, and are members of that body which is beloved. 2. The duty of Christians; to be holy, hereunto are they called, called to be saints. These the apostle saluted, by wishing them grace to sanctify their souls, and peace to comfort their hearts, as springing from the free mercy of God, the reconciled Father of all believers, and coming to them through the Lord Jesus Christ.Concerning his Son - This is connected with the first verse, with the word "gospel." The gospel of God concerning his Son. The design of the gospel was to make a communication relative to his Son Jesus Christ. This is the whole of it. There is no "good news" to man respecting salvation except what comes by Jesus Christ.

Which was made - The word translated "was made" means usually "to be," or "to become." It is used, however, in the sense of being born. Thus, Galatians 4:4, "God sent forth his Son made of a woman," born of a woman. John 8:58, "before Abraham was (born), I am." In this sense it seems to be used here, who was born, or descended from the seed of David.

Of the seed of David - Of the posterity or lineage of David. He was a descendant of David. David was perhaps the most illustrious of the kings of Israel. The promise to him was that there should not fail a man to sit on this throne; 1 Kings 2:4; 1 Kings 8:25; 1 Kings 9:5; 2 Chronicles 6:16. This ancient promise was understood as referring to the Messiah, and hence, in the New Testament he is called the descendant of David, and so much pains is taken to show that he was of his line; Luke 1:27; Matthew 9:27; Matthew 15:22; Matthew 12:23; Matthew 21:9, Matthew 21:15; Matthew 22:42, Matthew 22:45; John 7:42; 2 Timothy 2:8. As the Jews universally believed that the Messiah would be descended from David John 7:42, it was of great importance for the sacred writers to make it out clearly that Jesus of Nazareth was of that line and family. Hence, it happened, that though our Saviour was humble, and poor, and obscure, yet he had that on which no small part of the world have been accustomed so much to pride themselves, an illustrious ancestry. To a Jew there could be scarcely any honor so high as to be descended from the best of their kings; and it shows how little the Lord Jesus esteemed the honors of this world, that he could always evince his deep humility in circumstances where people are usually proud; and that when he spoke of the honors of this world, and told how little they were worth, he was not denouncing what was not within his reach.

According to the flesh - The word "flesh," σάρξ sarx, is used in the Scriptures in a great variety of significations.

(1) it denotes, as with us, the flesh literally of any living being; Luke 24:39, "A spirit hath not flesh and bones," etc.

(2) the animal system, the body, including flesh and bones, the visible part of man, in distinction from the invisible, or the soul; Acts 2:31, "Neither did his flesh (his body) "see corruption." 1 Corinthians 5:5; 1 Corinthians 15:39.

(3) the man, the whole animated system, body and soul; Romans 8:3, "In the likeness of sinful flesh. 1 Corinthians 15:50; Matthew 16:17; Luke 3:6.

(4) human nature. As a man. Thus, Acts 2:30, "God hath sworn with an oath that of the fruit of his loins according to the flesh, that is, in his human nature, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne." Romans 9:5, "whose are the fathers, and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God blessed forever." The same is its meaning here. He was a descendant of David in his human nature, or as a man. This implies, of course, that he had another nature besides his human, or that while he was a man he was also something else; that there was a nature in which he was not descended from David.

That this is its meaning will still further appear by the following observations.

(1) the apostle expressly makes a contrast between his condition according to the flesh, and that according to the spirit of holiness.

(2) the expression "according to the flesh" is applied to no other one in the New Testament but to Jesus Christ. Though the word "flesh" often occurs, and is often used to denote man, yet the special expression, "according to the flesh" occurs in no other connection.

In all the Scriptures it is never said of any prophet or apostle, any lawgiver or king, or any man in any capacity, that he came in the flesh, or that he was descended from certain ancestors according to the flesh. Nor is such an expression ever used any where else. If it were applied to a mere man, we should instantly ask in what other way could he come than in the flesh? Has he a higher nature? Is he an angel, or a seraph? The expression would be unmeaningful. And when, therefore, it is applied to Jesus Christ, it implies, if language has any meaning, that there was a sense in which Jesus was not descended from David. What that was, appears in the next verse.

3, 4. Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord—the grand burden of this "Gospel of God."

made of the seed of David—as, according to "the holy scriptures," He behooved to be. (See on [2171]Mt 1:1).

according to the flesh—that is, in His human nature (compare Ro 9:5; Joh 1:14); implying, of course, that He had another nature, of which the apostle immediately proceeds to speak.

Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord: this phrase either respects the Holy Scriptures, mentioned immediately before in Romans 1:2; the sum and substance of them is, concerning the Messiah, the Son of God: or else it respects the gospel, that was spoken of in the Romans 1:1,2 being only a parenthesis, as was before hinted; then the meaning is, that the apostle Paul was separated to the gospel of God, which only or mainly concerns his Son Jesus Christ. And this seems to show the excellency of the gospel, that it doth not treat of vulgar and ordinary matters. as of the gods of the Gentiles, or the actions of Alexander, Caesar, the Scipios, or such like heroes; but of the Son of God himself.

Which was made; i.e. as he afterwards expresseth it, according to the flesh, or his human nature: in regard of his Divine subsistence, he was begotten and not made; in regard of his manhood, he was made and not begotten. When he says the Son of God was made, & c., it is undeniably implied, that he did exist before his incarnation, and was the Son of God before he was the Son of man. This place proves clearly these two truths:

1. That in the person of Jesus Christ there are two natures.

2. That there is between these a communication of properties; here the Son of God is said to be made of the seed of David; and elsewhere the Son of man is said to have come down from heaven: see John 3:13: cf. John 6:62 Acts 20:28 1 Corinthians 2:8.

Of the seed of David; i.e. of the virgin Mary, who was of David’s lineage and posterity; the promise was expressly, that the Messiah should be of the fruit of his loins, Acts 2:30, compared saith Isaiah 11:1 Jeremiah 23:5 Ezekiel 34:24. Yea, this promise was so fully known to the Jews, that when they spake of the Messiah, they called him the Son of David: see Matthew 21:9 22:42 Mark 10:47,48 Joh 7:42. Hence it is that the evangelists, Matthew and Luke, are so careful and industrious to prove, that the virgin Mary, and Joseph to whom she was espoused, did come of David’s line and race.

Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord,.... These words are in connection with "the Gospel of God", Romans 1:1, and express the subject matter of it, the Son of God, Jesus Christ our Lord; for Christ, as the Son of God, the Saviour of sinners, the only Mediator between God and men, who is Lord both of the dead and living, is the sum and substance of the Gospel: he is here described by his relation to God, his Son, of the same nature with him, equal to him, and distinct from him; by his usual names, "Jesus Christ", the one signifying a "Saviour", the other "anointed", and both, that he was anointed of God to be the Saviour of his people; and by his dominion over the saints our Lord, not merely by creation, but by redemption and grace, and happy is the person that can claim interest in him, as is here done; and by the distinction of natures in him:

which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; this respects Christ in his human nature, who was made flesh, and of a woman; and shows his existence before his incarnation, and the immediate power and hand of God in it; and which was done, not by transmutation of him into flesh, but by an assumption of human nature into union with his divine person: he is said to be made "of the seed of David"; this points out the family from whence he sprung; designs the posterity of David, particularly Mary; has regard to the promise made to David, which God fulfilled; and shows the royal descent of Christ: it is added, "according to the flesh"; that is, according to his human nature; which phrase does not denote the corruption, but the truth of that nature; and supposes that he had another nature, otherwise there would have been no need of this limiting and restrictive clause.

{3} 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 daughter.

(f) As he is man: for this word flesh, by the figure of speech synecdoche, is taken for man.

Romans 1:3-4.[286] We must, with Lachmann and Tischendorf, set aside the view which treats τοῦ γενομένου.… νεκρῶν, and Romans 1:5-6, as parentheses, because we have to deal with intervening clauses which accord with the construction, not with insertions which interrupt it. See Winer, p. 526 [E. T. 707].

περὶ τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ] “Hoc refertur ad illud quod praecessit εὐαγγέλιον; explicatur nempe, de quo agat ille sermo bona nuntians,” Grotius. So, also, Toletus, Cajetanus, Calvin, Justiniani, Bengel, Flatt, Reiche, Köllner, Winzer, Baumgarten-Crusius, Krehl, Umbreit, Th Schott, Hofmann, and others. But it may be objected to this view, on the one hand, that περί is most naturally connected with the nearest suitable word that precedes it; and on the other that, εὐαγγ., frequently as it is used with the genitive of the object, nowhere occurs with περί in the N. T.;[287] and still further, that if this connection be adopted, the important thought in Romans 1:2 appears strangely isolated. Therefore, the connection of περί with Ὃ ΠΡΟΕΠΗΓΓ. is to be preferred, with Tholuck, Klee, Rückert, Fritzsche, Reithmayr, Philippi, van Hengel, Ewald, Mehring, and others, following Theodoret; so that the great personal object is introduced, to which the divine previous promise of the gospel referred; consequently, the person concerning whom was this promise of the future message of salvation. God could not (we may remark in opposition to Hofmann’s objection) have previously promised the gospel in any other way at all than by speaking of Christ His Son, who was to come and to be revealed; otherwise his προεπαγγέλλεσθαι εὐαγγέλιον would have had no concrete tenor, and consequently no object.

ΤΟῦ ΓΕΝΟΜΈΝΟΥ down to νεκρῶν describes under a twofold aspect (ΚΑΤᾺ) the exalted dignity of Him who had just been designated by τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ: (1) ΚΑΤᾺ ΣΆΡΚΑ, He entered life as David’s descendant; (2) κατὰ πνεῦμα ἁγιωσ., He was powerfully instated as Son of God by His resurrection. Nevertheless Ὁ ΥἹῸς ΤΟῦ ΘΕΟῦ, in the words ΠΕΡῚ ΤΟῦ ΥἹΟῦ ΑὐΤΟῦ (not ΑὙΤΟῦ), is not by any means to be taken in the general, merely historical theocratic sense of Messiah (Winzer, Progr. 1835, p. 5 f.; comp also Holsten, z. Ev. d. Paul. u. Petr. p. 424; and Pfleiderer, l.c[289]), because this is opposed to the constant usage of the Apostle, who never designates Christ as υἱὸς Θεοῦ otherwise[290] than from the standpoint of the knowledge which God had given to him by revelation (Galatians 1:16) of the metaphysical Sonship (Romans 8:3; Romans 8:32; Galatians 4:4; Colossians 1:13 ff.; Php 2:6 ff. al[291]); and the hypothesis of a modification having taken place in Paul’s view (Usteri, Köllner; see, on the other hand, Rückert) is purely fanciful. Here also the υἱὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ is conceived in the metaphysical sense as He who had proceeded out of the essence of the Father, like Him in substance (not, as Baur thinks, as organ of the Spirit, which is the purer form of human nature itself), and is sent by Him for the accomplishment of the Messianic counsel. But since it was necessary for this accomplishment that He should appear as man, it was necessary for Him,—and these essential modal definitions are now added to the υἱοῦ τοῦ αὐτοῦ,—as a human phenomenon, (1) to be born κατὰ σάρκα, and indeed of the seed of David,[292] and yet (2) to be actually instated κατὰ πνεῦμα, as that which, although from the time of His birth in appearance not different from other men (Php 2:7; Galatians 4:4), He really was, namely the Son of God. These two parallel clauses are placed in asyndetic juxtaposition, whereby the second, coming after the first, which is itself of lofty and honourable Messianic significance, is brought out as of still greater importance. See Bernhardy, p. 448; Dissen. a[293]. Pind. Exc. II., de Asynd. p. 275. Not perceiving this, Hofmann fails to recognise the contrast here presented between the two aspects of the Son of God, because Paul has not used κατὰ πνεῦμα δε ὁρισθέντος in the second clause.

ΚΑΤᾺ ΣΆΡΚΑ] in respect of flesh; for the Son of God had a fleshly mode of being on earth, since His concrete manifestation was that of a materially human person. Comp Romans 9:5; 1 Timothy 3:16; 1 Peter 3:18; Php 2:7; Romans 5:15; 1 Corinthians 15:21; 1 Timothy 2:5. To the ΣΆΡΞ belonged in the case of Christ also, as in that of all men, the ΨΥΧΉ as the principle of the animal life of man; but this sensuous side of His nature was not, as in all other men, the seat and organ of sin. He was not ΣΑΡΚΙΚΌς (Romans 7:14), and ΨΥΧΙΚΌς (1 Corinthians 2:14), in the ethical sense, like all ordinary men, although, in virtue of that sensuous nature, he was capable of being tempted (Hebrews 2:18; Hebrews 4:15). Although in this way His body was a ΣῶΜΑ Τῆς ΣΑΡΚΌς (Colossians 1:22), yet He did not appear ἘΝ ΣΑΡΚῚ ἉΜΑΡΤΊΑς, but ἘΝ ὉΜΟΙΏΜΑΤΙ ΣΑΡΚῸς ἉΜΑΡΤΊΑς (Romans 8:2). With reference to His fleshly nature, therefore, i.e. in so far as He was a materially-human phenomenon, He was born (γενομένου, comp Galatians 4:4), of the seed (as descendant) of David, as was necessarily the case with the Son of God who appeared as the promised Messiah (Jeremiah 23:5; Psalm 132:11; Matthew 22:42; John 7:42; Acts 13:23; 2 Timothy 2:8). In this expression the ἐκ σπέρματος Δαυΐδ is to be understood of the male line of descent going back to David (comp Acts 2:30, ἘΚ ΚΑΡΠΟῦ Τῆς ὈΣΦΎΟς), as even the genealogical tables in Matthew and Luke give the descent of Joseph from David, not that of Mary;[297] and Jesus Himself, in John 5:27 (see on that passage), calls Himself, in contradistinction to His Sonship of God, son of a man, in which case the correlate idea on which it is founded can only be that of fatherhood. It is, therefore, the more erroneous to refer ἐκ σπ. Δαυ. to Mary (“ex semine David, i.e. ex virgine Maria,” Melancthon; comp also Philippi), especially since Paul nowhere (not even in Romans 8:3, Galatians 4:4) indicates the view of a supernatural generation of the bodily nature of Jesus (Usteri, Lehrbegr. p. 328; Rich. Schmidt, Paulin. Christol. p. 140 ff.; Pfleiderer, l.c[299]), even apart from the fact that the Davidic descent of the mother of Jesus can by no means be established from the N. T. It is the more unjustifiable, to pronounce the metaphysical divine Sonship without virgin birth as something inconceivable[300] (Philippi).

There now follows the other, second mode in which the Son of God who has appeared on earth is to be contemplated, viz. with reference to the spirit of holiness, which was in Him. The parallelism between κατὰ σάρκα and ΚΑΤᾺ ΠΝΕῦΜΑ ἉΓ., apparent even in the position of the two elements, forbids us to understand ΚΑΤᾺ ΠΝ. ἉΓΙΩΣ. as denoting the presupposition and regulative cause of the state of glorious power ascribed to the Son of God (Hofmann). In that case Paul must have used another preposition, conveying the idea on account of, perhaps διά with the accusative (comp the ΔΙΌ, Php 2:9), in order to express the thought which Hofmann has discovered, namely, that the holiness of His spirit, and therefore of His life, was to make His divine Sonship a state of glorious power. Regarding the view taken of ἐν δυνάμει in connection with this, see the sequel. ἉΓΙΩΣΎΝΗ, in Paul’s writings as well as in the Sept. (in Greek authors and in the other writings of the N. T. it does not occur), invariably means holiness (2 Corinthians 7:1; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; Psalm 96:6; Psalm 97:12; Psalm 144:5), not sanctification (as rendered by the Vulgate, Erasmus, Castalio, and many others, including Glöckler and Schrader). So also in 2Ma 3:12. The genitive is the gen. qualitatis (Hermann, a[302] Viger. pp. 887, 891; Kühner, II. 1, p. 226), and contains the specific character of the ΠΝΕῦΜΑ. This ΠΝΕῦΜΑ ἉΓΙΩΣ. is, in contradistinction to the ΣΆΡΞ, the other side of the being of the Son of God on earth; and, just as the ΣΆΡΞ was the outward element perceptible by the senses, so is the ΠΝΕῦΜΑ the inward mental element, the substratum of His ΝΟῦς (1 Corinthians 2:16), the principle and the power of His INNER life, the intellectual and moral “Ego” which receives the communication of the divine—in short, the ἔσω ἄνθρωπος of Christ. His ΠΝΕῦΜΑ also was human (Matthew 27:50; John 11:33Romans 1:3 f. περὶ τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ: the subject of the Gospel of God is His Son. For the same conception, see 2 Corinthians 1:19 : ὁ τοῦ θεοῦ γὰρ υἱὸς Χ. . ὁ ἐν ὑμῖν διʼ ἡμῶν κηρυχθείς. Taken by itself, “the Son of God” is, in the first instance, a title rather than a name. It goes back to Psalm 2:7; the person to whom it is applied is conceived as the chosen object of the Divine love, God’s instrument for accomplishing the salvation of His people. (Weiss.) The description which follows does not enable us to answer all the questions it raises, yet it is sufficiently clear. “The Son of God” was born of the seed of David according to the flesh. For γενομένου, cf. Galatians 4:4; for David, 2 Timothy 2:8, where, as here, the Davidic descent is an essential part of the Pauline Gospel. That it was generally preached and recognised in the primitive Church is proved by these passages, as well as by Hebrews 7:14 and the genealogies in Matthew and Luke; yet it seems a fair inference from our Lord’s question in Mark 12:35 ff. that for Him it had no real importance. Those who did not directly see in Jesus one transcendently greater than David would not recognise in Him the Saviour by being convinced of His Davidic descent. This person, of royal lineage, was “declared Son of God, with power, according to the spirit of holiness, in virtue of resurrection from the dead”. The word ὁρισθέντος is ambiguous; in Acts 10:42; Acts 17:31, it is used to describe the appointment of Christ to judge the living and the dead, and is rendered in A.V. “ordained”. If to be Son of God were merely an office or a dignity, like that of judge of the world, this meaning might be defended here. There is an approximation to such an idea in Acts 13:33, where also Paul is the speaker. “God,” he says, “has fulfilled His promise by raising up Jesus; as it is written also in the second Psalm, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee.” Here the resurrection day, strictly speaking, is the birthday of the Son of God; sonship is a dignity to which He is exalted after death. But in view of passages like Galatians 4:4, 2 Corinthians 8:9, Php 2:5 f., it is impossible to suppose that Paul limited his use of Son of God in this way; even while Jesus lived on earth there was that in Him which no connection with David could explain, but which rested on a relation to God; the resurrection only declared Him to be what He truly was—just as in the Psalm, for that matter, the bold words, This day have I begotten Thee, may be said to refer, not to the right and title, but to the coronation of the King. In virtue of His resurrection, which is here conceived, not as from the dead (ἐκ νεκρῶν), but of the dead (ἀναστάσεως νεκρῶν—a resurrection exemplifying, and so guaranteeing, that of others), Christ is established in that dignity which is His, and which answers to His nature. The expression κατὰ πνεῦμα ἁγιωσύνης characterises Christ ethically, as κατὰ σάρκα does physically. Not that it makes the sonship in question “ethical” as opposed to “metaphysical”: no such distinctions were in the Apostle’s thought. But the sonship, which was declared by the resurrection, answered to (κατὰ) the spirit of holiness which was the inmost and deepest reality in the Person and life of Jesus. The sense that there is that in Christ which is explained by his connection with mankind, and that also which can only be explained by some peculiar relation to God, is no doubt conveyed in this description, and is the basis of the orthodox doctrine of the two natures in the one Person of the Lord; but it is a mistake to say that that doctrine is formulated here. The connection of the words ἐν δυνάμει is doubtful. They have been joined to ὁρισθέντος (cf. 2 Corinthians 13:4 : ζῇ ἐκ δυνάμεως θεοῦ): declared to be Son of God “by a miracle,” a mighty work wrought by God; and also with υἱοῦ θεοῦ = Son of God, not in humiliation, but “in power,” a power demonstrated by the gift of thè Spirit and its operations in the Church. “Jesus, Messiah, Our Lord,” summarises all this. “Our Lord” is the most compendious expression of the Christian consciousness. (A. B. Bruce, Apologetics, 398 ff.) “The whole Gospel of Paul is comprehended in this historical Jesus, who has appeared in flesh, but who, on the ground of the πνεῦμα ἁγιωσύνης, which constitutes His essence, has been exalted as Christ and Lord.” (Lipsius.)

3. concerning his Son, &c.] The connexion is with the close of Romans 1:2 : the “promise through the prophets” was “concerning the Son of God.” In the Gr., the order of words in this verse and the next is peculiar and emphatic: concerning His Son, who was made [lit. who came to be, who became] of the seed of David according to the flesh; who was marked out as the Son of God, in power, according to the Spirit of holiness, in consequence of the resurrection of the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.

of the seed of David] The N. T. begins with this assertion (Matthew 1:1), and almost closes with it (Revelation 22:16). In 2 Timothy 2:8, St Paul, at the close of his ministry, again recites it as a foundation-truth.

according to the flesh] Flesh-wards, i.e. “on the side of His manhood.” This is said in contrast to the next words, “declared to be the Song of Solomon of God.” Cp. Romans 9:5 for an important parallel, where the full significance of the title “Son of God” appears. For another use of the phrase “according to the flesh,” see Romans 4:1.

Romans 1:3. Περὶ, concerning) The sum and substance of the Gospel is, concerning the Son of God, Jesus Christ our Lord. An explanation is introduced in this passage, as to what this appellation, the Son of God, denotes, Romans 1:3-4.[5]—το͂υ γενομένου), who was [made Engl. Vers.] born. So Galatians 4:4.—κατὰ, according to) The determinative particle, Romans 1:4; Romans 9:5.

[5] JESUS CHRIST IS THE SON OF GOD. This is the foundation of all rightful access, on the part of Jesus Christ, to His Father and His God; and, in like manner, of our approach by Him, as our Lord, to His Father and our Father, to His God and our God, who has delivered us to Him as His peculiar property. Even before His humiliation, He was indeed the Son of God; but this Sonship was in occultation by His humiliation, and was at length fully disclosed to us after His resurrection. His justification depends on these facts, 1 Timothy 3:16; 1 John 2:1; and that is the foundation of our justification, Romans 4:25. Hence, in His passion, He placed all His confidence in the Father, not on account of His works (for not even did the Son give first to the Father any thing, which the Father was bound to pay back to Him), but for this reason, because He was the Son; and thus He went before us in the way, as the leader and finisher of our faith. Hebrews 12:2.—V. g.

Verse 3. Which was made; or, was born. But the word in itself, γενομένου, need only mean that he became a Man of the seed of David; implying, it would seem, a pre-existence of him who so became. This, however, is more evident from other passages, in which ω}ν, or ὑπάρχων, is opposed to γενόμενος (cf. John 1:1, 14; Philippians 2:6, 7; cf. also Galatians 4:4, Ἐξαπέστειλεν ὁ Θεὸς τοῦ υἱὸν αὐτοῦ γενόμενον ἐκ γυναικὸς). Of the seed of David according to the flesh. Κατὰ σάρκα is here, as elsewhere, contrasted with κατὰ πνεῦμα. Here κατὰ σάρκα denotes the merely human descent of Jesus in distinction from his Divine Being (cf. Acts 2:40; Romans 9:3, 5; 2 Corinthians 5:16). His having come humanly "of the seed of David" is suitably noted here, where "the Son" is being set forth as fulfilling the Old Testament promises; for they uniformly represent the Messiah as thus descended, and it was essential to the Jewish conception of him that he should be so (cf. Matthew 22:42; John 7:42; and for the stress laid by the writers of the New Testament on the fact that Jesus was so - of which fact no doubt was entertained - cf. Hebrews 7:14, πρόδηλον γὰρ, etc. See, among many other passages, Matthew 1:1; Luke 2:4, 5; Acts 2:30; Acts 13:23; 2 Timothy 2:8). Meyer, commenting on the verse before us, goes somewhat out of his way to set forth that only Joseph's, not Mary's, descent from David was in St. Paul's mind, saying that "the Davidic descent of the mother of Jesus can by no means be established from the New Testament," and also that "Paul nowhere indicates the view of a supernatural generation of the bodily nature of Jesus." As to the first of these assertions, it may be observed that, in the opening chapters of our Gospel of St. Luke (representing certainly the early belief of the Church) our Lord seems to be regarded as actually descended from David - not legally so accounted only - though, at the same time, his supernatural generation is distinctly asserted (comp. Luke 1:32 with Luke 1:35). Hence we are led to infer Mary's, as well as Joseph's, descent from David, whether or not either of the genealogies given in St. Matthew's and St. Luke's Gospels represents hers. Further, with respect to those two genealogies (evidently independent ones, and both probably got from genealogical records preserved at Jerusalem), a probable way of accounting for the two distinct lines of descent through which Joseph seems to be traced to David, is to suppose one of them to be really Mary's, the legal representative of whose family Joseph had become by marriage, so as to be entered in legal documents as the son of her father (see art. on "Genealogy of Jesus Christ," in 'Dictionary of the Bible,' W. Smith, LL.D.). As to Meyer's second assertion above alluded to, it is true that St. Paul nowhere refers to our Lord's supernatural conception spoken of in the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Luke. But it does not follow that it was not already included in the Church's creed, or that St. Paul himself was unaware of it or disbelieved it. This is not the place for enlarging on the evidence, at the present day increasing in force, of the early origin of our existing Gospels, and of their being a true embodiment of the Church's original belief. St. Paul's silence as to the manner how the Son of God became incarnate may be accounted for by his not having had occasion, in his extant Epistles, to speak of it. He is occupied, in accordance with his peculiar mission, in setting forth the meaning and purpose of the Incarnation rather than its mode, and in preaching rather than catechetical instruction; and on the essential idea involved he is sufficiently explicit, viz. the peculiar Divine paternity of Christ, notwithstanding the human birth. Romans 1:3Concerning His son

Connect with promised afore. Christ is the great personal object to which the promise referred.

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