Monday, May 30, 2016

Commentary on Romans 12

Text in red, if any, are my additions.

With this chapter commences the Moral Part of the Epistle. The principles already laid down in the foregoing portion are now viewed in their consequences and influences upon the Christian life. Having shown that faith is the only way to salvation the Apostle goes on in the remainder of his letter to point out what faith demands in practical ways from Christians.

This last part of the Epistle has two main sections. The first of these (Rom 12:1-13:14) contains general instructions for all Christians; the second (Rom 14:1-15:13) has particular counsels for the Christians in Rome.


A Summary of Romans 12:1-2~The practical consequences to be drawn from what has been said regarding the mercy of God toward man is the duty of entire consecration to God’s service, and of a radical interior transformation, as a means to the perfect execution of God’s will. 

Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercy of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing unto God, your reasonable service.  

I beseech (παρακαλω) , i.e., I exhort, I counsel. 

Brethren, i.e., all you Christians of Rome. The term αδελφοι refers not to the Jewish Christians only, as Zahn pretends; but, as in Rom 11:25, to all the Christians in Rome. 

By the mercy, or, according to the Greek, “by the mercies” (2 Cor 1:3), i.e., on account of the mercy of God about which we have just spoken in the preceding chapter, and of which you Romans have been the object. 

That you present. The word παραστησαι means to present as a sacrifice, as the Jews were accustomed to bring their victims and present them to the altar for immolation (Lev 16:6; Luke 2:22). 

Your bodies. The Christian should consecrate his whole being to the service of God. The Apostle begins with the body, because man’s spiritual ruin began with the bodily organs, the senses. 

A living sacrifice, for a sacrifice under the Old Law, the victim had to be living, because the sacrificial act consisted principally in the immolation of the victim; it had to be holy, that is, without defect (Lev 19:2), suitable to be offered to God and pleasing in God’s sight. Likewise the Christian’s body, dead to sin through Baptism, should be living the life of grace which makes it holy and pleasing to God and renders it a fit instrument to be used by the mind and soul in God’s service. 

Your reasonable service. These words are in apposition to the whole preceding clause. The Apostle wishes to say that the sacrifice we make to God in offering Him our bodies, living, holy, etc., is a reasonable service, i.e., a real spiritual (Cornely) worship which proceeds from the interior man, and not a mere external sensible worship like the sacrifices of animals in the Old Testament; or that when man gives his body, i.e., his external moral actions to the service of God, he is rendering to God a worship truly reasonable and rational, i.e., suited to the nature of God and of man, unlike the sensible homage which was paid to God by the ancient sacrifices of brute animals (Lagr.). Whether we take “reasonable” (λογικην) here to mean spiritual or rational, it is clear that the offering to God of all our bodily activities and moral actions is a service based on a reasonable consideration of our nature and of God’s nature. 

Rom 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be reformed in the newness of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and the acceptable and the perfect will of God. 

This verse develops the thought of the preceding one, passing from the dispositions of the body to those of the mind. The Christian’s service of God involves a change in his mental attitude. He must no longer adapt himself to the standards and manners, the thoughts and sentiments of this world of sin and corruption; but must, through the assistance of grace, be reformed, i.e., transformed (μεταμορφουσθε) by the renovation of his mind so as to live according to his true, rational, spiritual nature. This change and renovation in man’s higher nature is to the end that man may know what is the good, the acceptable and the perfect will of God (Vulgate); or, as the Greek text has it, that he may know what is the object of God’s will, namely, that it is something morally good (το αγαθον), something well-pleasing (ευαρεστον) to God, something perfect (τελειον). These three adjectives, αγαθον, ευαρεστον, and τελειον are taken substantively (Cornely, Lagr., Zahn, etc.), to explain that which God’s will respects. Hence the “will of God” means not the faculty which wills, but the object of that will, the thing willed.


A Summary of Romans 12:3-8~The sacrifice that we should make of our body and the corresponding renovation of our mind ought to be guarded by humility, which excludes all self-importance and enforces self-restraint in our dealings with one another. Let each Christian, by a faithful discharge of his duties, contribute his part to the common good of the Church. 

Rom 12:3. For I say, by the grace that is given me, to all that are among you, not to be more wise than it behoveth to be wise, but to be wise unto sobriety, and according as God hath divided to every one the measure of faith.

By the grace, etc., i.e., by my authority as an Apostle (Rom 1:5; 15:15; 1 Cor 3:10; Gal 2:9, etc.). 

To all that are among you, i.e., to each individual among you Roman Christians. 

Not to be more wise, etc. φρονειν here describes the quality of one’s thought or mind. There is a play in this place, on the words in Greek, which does not appear in Latin or English. The sense is that no one should esteem himself beyond that which is his due, but that each one should esteem himself according to sober-mindedness. 

The measure of faith. “Faith” here does not mean the theological virtue, but rather the gratuitous and miraculous gifts that were often conferred on the early Christians at Baptism,—the charismata, of which there is question in the following verses, and in 1 Cor 7:7 (Cornely, Lagr., Zahn, etc.). These gifts
were various in kind, and were conferred as the will of God disposed. Each one, therefore, should use the gifts God has bestowed upon him with fidelity and humility, not interfering with the gifts and duties of others. 

Rom 12:4. For as in one body we have many members, but all the members have not the same office: 

Rom 12:5. So we being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
With ancient writers the comparison of a social organism to the body was very common. St. Paul now compares the Christian society to a natural physical body. As in the latter there are many members performing different functions for the benefit of the whole, so in the former, the Church, each member has his proper office and gifts with which he ought to be content, and which he ought to utilize for the good of the entire Church. This thought is much further developed in 1 Cor 12:12-31, where the Apostle considers the Church as a living mystical body, and compares it in detail to a natural physical organism. The unity of the one, as of the other, comes from the soul, and Christ is the soul of His mystical body the Church. In Eph 4:15 St. Paul speaks of Christ as the head, but this is only a different way of showing the mysterious and gracious relations of Christians with Christ and His Spirit.

The faithful are many, but form only one body in Christ, by whose spirit they are united and vivified. All, therefore, are dependent on the life that comes from Christ, their head and soul; and all the members are interdependent one on another, as sharing in the common work to which life in Christ is ordained.

6. And having different gifts, according to the grace that is given us, either prophecy, to be used according to the rule of faith; 

In the next two paragraphs Fr. Callan talks in general concerning verses 6-8, he then moves on to look at the verses in more detail.

In verses 6-8 St. Paul illustrates the different gifts of the Christians, and the different uses of these gifts. The sentences are elliptical and need to be completed by the understanding of different verbs or phrases; e.g., after prophecy we should understand, let us prophesy; after ministry, let us serve; after teacheth, let him excel; after exhorteth, let him be assiduous; after giveth, let him give; after ruleth, let him rule; after mercy, let him show mercy.

There is question in these verses of what theologians call gratiae gratis datae, i.e., extraordinary and supernatural gifts, which God sometimes confers on certain persons, not on account of personal merits, nor for the spiritual advantage of the recipient, but rather for the general benefit of the Church. In the early days of the Church, when there was greater need of such extraordinary happenings, these gifts were often bestowed on the faithful. St. Paul makes particular mention of them in his First Epistle to the Corinthians. There he enumerates nine gifts, while here he speaks of only seven; but in neither place does he intend to do more than call the attention of the faithful to a few for the sake of illustration.

(6) According to the grace. This shows that the bestowal of the charismata does not depend on the personal merits of the recipient, but only on the free will of God. God distributes them as He will and to whom He will. Each one, therefore, should content himself with the gift he has received, and not desire that of another. 

Prophecy, i.e., a supernatural gift by which one knows hidden and future things, and which one uses to edify the Church (1 Cor 14:3 ff., 1 Cor 14:24) in explaining the sacred mysteries and stimulating the faithful to virtue. 

To be used is not in the Greek. 

According to the rule of faith. “Rule of faith” should be rather measure of faith, according to the Greek. By these words St. Paul cautions the prophet not to exceed the limits of his supernatural gift, that is, not to mix up his own personal thoughts with the suggestions that come from the Holy Ghost (Lagrange). The prophet is to use his gift for the benefit of the faith, and consequently in conformity with the teaching of faith; that is, he must use it secundum rationem fidei, id est non in vanum, sed ut per hoc fides confirmetur; non autem contra fidem (St. Thomas). This interpretation, following the Latin Fathers, regards the rule of faith as an objective measure, rather than as a subjective disposition. Cornely and the Greek Fathers, however, prefer this latter view; but it is difficult to see how one subjectively, could know whether or not he was exceeding the revelation given him (Lagrange).

In the Vulgate rationem fidei should be mensuram fidei. 

Rom 12:7. Or ministry, in ministering; or he that teacheth, in doctrine; 

Ministry, διακονιαν, is a general term embracing all ecclesiastical functions, but used here to designate certain services in the community, which are going to be enumerated. The offices about which there is question in this verse were of an extraordinary and supernatural kind, which required corresponding supernatural gifts in those who exercised them (Cornely). 

He that teacheth, etc. The change of construction may be merely for literary reasons, or because the different ways of ministering are now to be spoken of. The teacher (διδασκων) occupies the third place, after the Apostles and prophets (1 Cor 12:28; Eph 4:11). His office is to expound, elucidate and systematically explain the truths of Christianity. It does not appear that the teacher or doctor was inspired like the prophet, whose function was to discover and to declare. 

In doctrine, i.e., let the teacher faithfully exercise his office. 

Rom 12:8. He that cxhorteth, in exhorting; he that giveth, with simplicity; he that ruleth, with carefulness; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. 

He that exhorteth (παρακαλων) . Nowhere else is this gift spoken of. It seems to have consisted in the special grace of imparting counsel and stimulus, or encouragement to others, thus moving them to the practice of virtue. 

He that giveth (ο μεταδιδους) is he that is moved by the Holy Ghost to give alms to the poor (1 Cor 13:3). 

With simplicity, i.e., not seeking one’s own interest, but only the welfare of his neighbor for God’s sake. 

He that ruleth (ο προισταμενος) does not refer to ecclesiastical superiors, properly speaking, but to those who were charged with various duties, such as looking after the widows, the orphans, the poor and the like (Cornely, Lagrange, etc.). 

With carefulness, i.e., let the office be exercised with zeal and fidelity. 

He that sheweth mercy (οG3588 T-NSM  ελεων) means one who gives personal care and attention to the miserable, the poor and the sick. 

With cheerfulness, i.e., with pleasantness and sweetness of manner, in order to show fulness of affection for those in distress, and to inspire hope (2 Cor 9:7). 


A Summary of Romans 12:9-21~As in 1 Cor 12:31; 1 Cor 13:1 ff., so also here, after treating of the charismata or special gifts of Christians, St. Paul passes on to an enumeration of the general qualities of the faithful, beginning with charity (αγαπη), the most excellent gift of God to the soul. While the counsels that follow are not arranged in any very determinate and logical order, yet it can be said that the Apostle treats first of the mutual exercise of charity among the Christians (Rom 12:9-16), and then of duties toward
all men, especially one’s enemies (Rom 12:17-21). 

Rom 12:9. Let love be without dissimulation. Hating that which is evil, cleaving to that which is good. 

Love (η αγαπη), i.e., charity toward God and the neighbor. 

Without dissimulation, i.e., without hypocrisy (ανυποκριτος), sincere, and not from the lips only (2 Cor 6:6; 1 John 3:18). 

Hating that which is evil, etc. Our love for our neighbor should be regulated according to a stern and uncompromising moral standard, and so should detest evil and seek good wherever they are found. 

Rom 12:10. Loving one another with the charity of brotherhood, with honour preventing one another.

In verses 10-21 there is a remarkable series of coordinated participles, adjectives, infinitives (verse 15) and imperatives,—all of which have an imperative sense. The participles are expressive of habits which manifest themselves in daily life. 

With the charity of brotherhood. The Christians, being all of one faith and of one family, whose head is Christ, should have a fraternal love for one another. And this brotherly love among the Christians should prompt them to be eager to exhibit mutual signs of respect, one trying to get a start on the other, in external manifestations of honor and esteem (Cornely). Fr. Lagrange and others think St. Paul is speaking here of interior sentiments, rather than of external demonstrations. Naturally, however, the internal habit would show itself in external actions.

The fraternitatis of the Vulgate would better be fraterna. 

Rom 12:11. In carefulness not slothful. In spirit fervent. Serving the Lord. 

In carefulness, etc., i.e., in regard to solicitude we should be active and diligent in helping others and in executing our private duties. 

In spirit fervent, i.e., acting with great fervor of mind under the influence of the Holy Spirit. 

Serving the Lord. We should be animated with a spirit of great fervor, because we are serving our Lord Jesus Christ, to whose service we are entirely dedicated. The reading of the Vulgate, Domino servientes, is according to the best Greek reading, τω κυριω δουλευοντες; rather than serving the time, i.e., making good use of one’s time and opportunities. 

Rom 12:12. Rejoicing in hope. Patient in tribulation. Instant in prayer. 

Rejoicing in hope, i.e., be joyous in the hope of heavenly rewards which wait upon the fervent Christian; be patient in tribulation, i.e., be constant and persevering (υπομενοντες) in trials, which lead to hope (v. 4) and increase your merits for future blessedness; be instant in prayer, i.e., be habitually devoted to prayer by which you obtain from God the grace necessary to observe all the other precepts of the law. 

Rom 13:13. Communicating to the necessities of the saints. Pursuing hospitality. 

Communicating, etc., i.e., imparting aid, when necessary, to your fellow-Christians, the saints, regarding their need as your own. 

Pursuing hospitality. The practice of hospitality is often inculcated in the New Testament (Heb 13:3; Titus 1:8; 1 Tim 3:2; 1 Pet 4:9), and was most necessary, because many of the Christians had been forced to leave all things to follow Christ. 

Rom 12:14. Bless them that persecute you: bless, and curse not. 

Bless, etc. Although the Christians were subject to more or less constant persecution for their faith, still it was their duty to return good for evil, to love those that hated them, etc., as our Lord had commanded (Matt 5:44; Luke 6:27, etc.). The Apostle admonishes the Christians to wish their enemies well, and not to curse them. This was a vastly different spirit from that of the Jews who introduced into their official prayers maledictions against the Christians (cf. Lagrange, Le Messianisme, etc., p. 294). 

Rom 12:15. Rejoice with them that rejoice; weep with them that weep. 

Rejoice . . . weep. The infinitives here in Greek have an imperative meaning. Since the Christians are all members of one body, each one should share in the joy or sorrow of each other one. The Apostle says first, rejoice with them that rejoice, because, as St. Chrys. observes, “it requires a very generous soul, when your neighbor prospers, not only not to envy him, but even to rejoice with him; whereas only a stony heart is unmoved by the distress of another.” 

Rom 12:16. Being of one mind one towards another. Not minding high things, but consenting to the humble. Be not wise in your own conceits. 

Being of one mind, etc. The Apostle again counsels the Christians to cultivate modesty and humility—virtues which will promote mutual agreement among them, causing each one to feel and act towards his neighbor as towards himself. No one should on account of birth, riches or the like, consider himself better than his neighbor, because all are one with Christ (Gal 3:28), and there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, rich nor poor. 

Not minding high things, etc., i.e., in the social order, not in the intellectual and moral orders. 

Consenting to the humble, i.e., condescending to humble offices, being contented with humble gifts, not refusing to do anything, however lowly, provided it be good. Another interpretation understands the Apostle to mean that the Christians should condescend to live on a level and associate with those of lower condition of life and of lower culture. This interpretation makes τοις ταπεινοις (“but consenting to the humble”)  masculine here, as it is everywhere else in the Old and New Testaments, with the possible exception of Psalm 136:6; whereas the other understands it to be neuter, to refer to things and not to persons. Those who make the phrase neuter are influenced by the antithesis to τα υψηλα (“not minding higher things”).
Be not wise, etc., i.e., do not entertain so high an opinion of your own judgment as to despise and refuse the counsel of others; avoid self-conceit.

Rom 12:17. To no man rendering evil for evil. Providing good things, not only in the sight of God, but also in the sight of all men.

There is a turning now to the Christian's attitude toward his enemies outside the community of the faithful.

To no man rendering evil for evil. This had been already forbidden by the Psalmist (Ps. 7:5) and by the sane moral code of the ancients (Lagr.). Cf. also Matt. 5:38; 1 Thess. 5:15; 1 Pet. 3:9, where all private revenge is prohibited.

Providing good things in the sight of all men, i.e., giving edification to all men, whether of the fold or not (Matt. 5:15).

The words, not only in the sight of God, but also, are most probably a gloss from 2 Cor. 8:21. Consequently the corresponding words of the Vulgate here ought to be omitted.

Rom 12:18. If it be possible, as much as in you, having peace with all men.

If it be possible, etc. St. Paul implies that it may be impossible always to live in peace with all men, because to do so would at times mean the forfeiture of the rights of conscience and of faith. In such a case, however, the disturber is the sinner who wishes wrong to triumph over right.

Rom 12:19. Revenge not yourselves, my dearly beloved; but give place unto wrath, for it is written: Revenge is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord.

Revenge not, etc. One sure way of guarding peace is to forego all private revenge.

Give place unto wrath, i.e., avoid anger, leaving vindictive justice to God, who will finally avenge the injuries done to His saints.

It is written, in Deut. 32:35. The citation follows neither the Hebrew nor the LXX literally.

The defendentes of the Vulgate has the meaning of vindicantes, or of ulciscentes (Lagr.).

Rom 12:20. But if thy enemy be hungry, give him to eat; if he thirst, give him to drink. For, doing this, thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head.

Not only should the Christian refrain from revenge, but he should positively succor his needy enemy. St. Paul backs up this precept with a quotation from Prov. 25:21 ff., cited according to the LXX. The meaning is that we are to be willing and ready to help our enemy, if we can, in any and every necessity.

Heap coals of fire, etc., means that, by the aforesaid generosity towards our enemy, we shall unintentionally inflict upon him healing pains of remorse and repentance for his past conduct, and thus effect his conversion (St. Aug., St. Jerome). Nothing is farther from the doctrine of Paul and the context of Prov. than to think we should be beneficent to our enemy for the sake of causing him pain. Such an attitude and intention on our part, if at all perceived by the enemy, would defeat its own purpose.

Rom 12:21. Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil by good.

This verse confirms the interpretation given of the preceding verse. Evil feeds and thrives upon evil, but is wasted and conquered by good.

Commentary on Romans 11:25-36


A Summary of Romans 11:25-32~God’s final purpose is to save both Gentiles and Jews. They both have sinned and have been made to feel the wrath of God (1:18-2:29), but infinite mercy outstretches man’s wickedness and in the end will triumph over all; God’s designs do not change, nor does His will go unfulfilled. The salvation of all Israel is closely connected with the conversion of the Gentiles, as was foretold by the Prophets. It is according to the divine plan that Israel and the pagans should mutually help each other, and that both in the end should be objects of the divine mercy. 

Rom 11:25. For I would not have you ignorant, brethren, of this mystery (lest you should be wise in your own conceits), that blindness in part has happened in Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles should come in. 

I would not have you ignorant, brethren. This is a favorite phrase of St. Paul’s when he wishes to speak confidentially and announce some matter of great importance (Rom 1:13; 1 Cor 10:1; 12:1; 2 Cor 1:8; 1 Thess 4:13). He is speaking to the Gentile Christians, and he wishes to remind them of doctrines already familiar to the Church in general, namely, that the Jews were to be hardened (Matt 12:38-48; 13:11-16; 23:29-36), that the failure of Israel would bring in the Gentiles (Matt 20:1-16; 24:14), and that the Jews themselves would at last turn to Christ (Matt 23:39; Luke 13:35). 

This mystery, i.e., the final conversion of Israel to Christianity, which will take place after the conversion of the Gentiles, but before the end of the world. St. Paul calls this great truth a mystery, because it could not be known short of revelation, and was in fact revealed to him by God along with the other truths of the Gospel of Christ (Gal 1:12, 16; Eph 2:11-22; 3:1-13). 

Lest you be wise, etc. The quotation is from Prov 3:7. The Apostle is admonishing the Gentiles to guard against self-conceit, as if they had merited their call to the faith, and also against despising the rejected Jews. 

Blindness in part, etc. While the Jews as a people had failed to accept the Gospel, a number of them had been converted. And the blindness or obduracy of the majority is not to last forever; but until the fulness of the Gentiles shall come in, i.e., until the other nations of the world have accepted the Gospel and entered the Church of Christ. It is to be noted that this fulness of the Gentiles relates to peoples, not to individuals: all the nations or peoples of the earth will be converted to Christ before the end of the world, but not all the individuals of each nation (St. Thomas, Cornely, Lagrange, etc.).

God, therefore, in His all-wise designs has called a few of the Jews to the faith already. He has made the incredulity of the majority the occasion of the conversion of the Gentiles, and this latter He will make in turn the occasion for the final call to the faith of all the Jews. We have no sign, however, that this general conversion of the world will be soon. Here it may be useful to recall what Origen said on this subject: “God only knows, and His Only-begotten Son, and any friends that may be privy to His secrets, what is all Israel that is to be saved, and what is the fulness of the Gentiles that is to come in.” 

Rom 11:26. And so all Israel should be saved, as it is written: There shall come out of Sion, he that shall deliver, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. 

All Israel does not mean the predestined (St. Augustine), nor all the Jews taken individually (St. Thomas), but the mass of the people, as opposed to individuals who are converted during the time that intervenes before the last days come. Israel then as a nation, like the other nations of the world, will finally embrace the faith; but it will not be until after all those others have been gathered in that she shall enter the fold of Christ. What fate has overtaken or awaits those Jews who have been hardened meanwhile, St. Paul does not anywhere tell us. 

As it is written. The Apostle has been speaking of a mystery which he has learned through revelation, and he confirms the truth of it by showing that it was already more or less clearly foretold in the Old Test. (Isa 59:20). The citation is fairly literal from the LXX, which faithfully follows the Hebrew with the exception that where the latter has “out of Sion,” the LXX has “for Sion’s sake.” In the best MSS. the quotation is read as follows: “There shall come out of Sion the deliverer: he shall turn away impieties from Jacob.” St. Paul seems to make the citation refer in a general way to the Second Coming of Christ, although the conversion of the Jews will just precede that Second Coming, and will be a consequence of the first advent of the Saviour. 

Rom 11:27. And this is to them my covenant: when I shall take away their sins. 

The first part of this verse is from Isa 59:21, and the second from Isa 27:9. God promises to make a new alliance with the people of Israel, when He will take away their sins and confer upon them forever His spirit and His doctrine.

In verses 25-27 we have the following unfulfilled prophecies: (a) Before the end of the world all Gentile nations shall be converted to Christianity, that is, the greater part of all nations, not all the individuals of each nation (St. Thomas); (b) after the conversion of the Gentiles, but before the end of the world, the Jews as a people will embrace Christianity. The fulfillment of these prophecies, and therefore the end of all things seem yet far off. 

Rom 11:28. As concerning the gospel, indeed, they are enemies for your sake: but as touching the election, they are most dear for the sake of the fathers. 

The present incredulity of the Jews will not hinder the final realization of God’s promises to them. God still loves them in their faithful ancestors. 

As concerning the gospel, i.e., inasmuch as they have wilfully rejected the Gospel, the only means of salvation, they are enemies (εχθροι, odiosi), i.e., hateful to God (St. Thomas, Lagrange, etc.), and so have been excluded by God from their Messianic inheritance. This has happened to them, in the designs of God, for your sake, i.e., for the benefit of you Gentiles, because their unfaithfulness has been the occasion of your call to the Gospel (Rom 11:11, 12, 15). 

But as touching the election, i.e., as regards their election from among all other peoples, by which they were made God’s chosen people and the depositories and custodians of God’s special revelation and divine promises, they are most dear to God for the sake of their fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob— God’s special friends and faithful servants. 

Rom 11:29. For the gifts and the calling of God are without repentance. 

God will not forsake His people forever, because His special gifts and calling are without repentance, and are consequently not subject to change (cf. 2 Cor 7:10). The Apostle is not speaking here of an invariable rule of Providence as regards creatures, but only of the great designs of God, such as respected the gifts and privileges of Israel and the latter’s call to be the adopted people of the Most High. As regards these privileges God will never change, or repent of having conceded them, because He pledged them to the Patriarchs with an oath (Deut 7:6-11). Despite, therefore, the unfaithfulness of the Jews, God will be true to His promises and will one day convert them as a whole to the faith. The call still holds if Israel will hear.

We read in 1 Kings 15:11 that God repented that He had chosen Saul; but the rejection of this king was only an episode, comparable to the temporary hardening of the Jews (Lagrange). 

Rom 11:30. For as you also in times past did not believe God, but now have obtained mercy, through their unbelief;
Rom 11:31. So these also now have not believed, for your mercy, that they also may obtain mercy.

As mercy has found the Gentiles and led them to the faith, so at last it will seek out the Jews and bring them to Christianity. 

As you Gentiles in times past were rebellious to the call of God and thus became an object of mercy, thanks to the obstinacy of the Jews, which has facilitated your conversion; so the Jews, now hardened, will become obedient to the Gospel on account of the mercy which you have experienced (Cornely, Lipsius, Julicher, etc.). In this interpretation the mercy shown to the Gentiles will be the occasion of showing mercy to the Jews, because it will excite the latter to jealous emulation. But since St. Paul has insisted on this thought several times before, and since it does not so well fit in with verse 32, it would seem that the Apostle is here rather drawing out a general idea, namely, that it is the purpose of God to permit all to fall into disobedience, so as to give play to the exercise of mercy. The ancient disobedience of the Gentiles has been followed by mercy, and likewise the disobedience of the Jews will finally issue in a display of mercy (Lagr., Kuhl, S. H., etc.).

Modern interpreters generally suppose ηπειθησαν to signify to be disobedient, and απειθειαν to mean disobedience. 

Rom 11:32. For God hath concluded all in unbelief, that he may have mercy on all. 

Hath concluded (συνεκλεισεν) , has enslaved. 

All (τους παντας) refers not to the hardened Jews only, nor to individuals among the Gentiles and Jews, but to all classes, as explained above. 

In unbelief (απειθειαν), i.e., in disobedience. All, therefore,—Jews and Gentiles, have sinned and need justification, which only the mercy of God can procure; the sinful Gentiles have already been touched by God’s mercy, and the wayward Jews shall later yield to the same merciful Providence.

The omnia of the Vulgate should be omnes here, to agree with the Greek. In incredulitate should be in inobedientiam. 


A Summary of Romans 11:33-36~These verses conclude the Dogmatic Part of the Epistle, but they are suited in a special manner to terminate chapters 9-11. In these chapters something has been said of the purposes and ways of God in dealing with humanity. Enough has been shown to confirm our faith and hope in God, the veil has been drawn aside sufficiently to give us dim glimpses of the great realities that lie behind; but with and around it all, as the Apostle now says, deep clouds of mystery hang: the infinite knowledge and wisdom of God, His inscrutable judgments and far-off deep counsels are not only but faintly reached, but are of their very nature so far beyond our utmost human capacities of comprehension that we can only bow our heads in faith and humble obedience, ever trusting, in the dire problems and experiences of life, to God’s infinite goodness, wisdom and mercy for the solution of all our difficulties. 

Rom 11:33. O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How  incomprehensible are his judgments, and how unsearchable his ways

O the depth. All the Greek MSS. and the Fathers read: “O depth of riches and of wisdom and of knowledge of God.” “Depth” may signify height, as well as profundity; here it means the immensity of God’s riches, wisdom, etc. 

Riches represents the treasures of God’s goodness and mercy (Rom 10:12; Eph 3:8, etc.). 

Wisdom indicates the divine prudence with which God governs all creatures and leads them to their ends which have been ordained from all eternity. 

Knowledge means the science with which God penetrates all things, knowing and choosing the means most fitted to their ends. The end here in question is the salvation of souls, to which God has ordered faith in Christ as a means. 

How incomprehensible, etc. The reasons which underlie God’s judgments in showing mercy to some rather than to others are altogether inscrutable to the mind of man. 

How unsearchable, etc. The ways which God takes and the means He employs in executing the decrees of His infinite knowledge are beyond the power of any creature to trace.

In the Vulgate et should precede sapientiae. 

Rom 11:34. For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his counsellor?
Rom 11:35. Or who hath first given to him, and recompense shall be made him? 

St. Paul confirms the profundity of God’s divine attributes by three citations from the Old Testament, the first two of which are almost literally from the LXX of Isaiah 40:13, 14, and the third from the Hebrew text of Job 41:3. God reveals to some extent, but His mind is open to no one, because none can penetrate the divine thoughts; He draws His counsels from no one, for He has no need of counselors; to none is He indebted, since He is the source and ruler and end of all. 

Rom 11:36. For of him, and by him, and in him, are all things: to him be glory for ever. Amen.

We can neither penetrate the knowledge of God, nor aid Him with our counsels, nor help Him with our resources, because all things are of him, i.e., they depend upon Him as upon their cause and creator; all things are by him, i.e., they are sustained by Him; all things are in him, or unto him (εις αυτον), i.e., they tend to Him as to their last end (Comely, Lagr., Zahn). Origen, St. Aug. and others have seen an allusion to the Trinity in the three expressions of him, by him, and in him; but there is no good reason for this opinion (Cornely, Lagr.). 

To him be glory, etc. Thus, by calling on all creatures to give glory to God, does the Apostle terminate the Dogmatic Portion of this great Epistle.

A Commentary on Romans 11:11-24


A Summary of Romans 11:11-24~The rejection of the majority of the Jews is a source of great mystery and profound sorrow. And yet there is reason for consolation, because, in the first place, a few have been saved already, and then, the rejection of the nation as a whole is only a temporary evil which, in the designs of God, is made to serve for the conversion of the Gentiles.

Rom 11:11. I say then, have they so stumbled, that they should fall? God forbid. But by their offence, salvation is come to the Gentiles, that they may be emulous of them. 

Have they so stumbled, that, etc. Comely and others give to “that” (ινα) the sense of finality, as if St. Paul wished to ask if God, by justly withdrawing His graces from the Jews, blinded their greater number and permitted them to stumble for the purpose of making them fall without any hope of reparation. In this opinion, there is question here, not of the gravity, but of the purpose or end of the Jews’ fall. But St. Chrysostom,  Lagrange, etc., hold that ινα has not a final meaning here, and that the sense is rather, whether the fall of the Jews is so great as to admit of no cure or remedy. At any rate, the stumbling of the Jews was not just that they might fall, nor that their fall should be irremediable, as the Apostle’s reply, vigorously negative, plainly shows, and as is clear from what follows in the verse. St. Paul then goes on to explain the designs of God in permitting the Jews to go astray. 

By their offence, etc., i.e., through the blindness of the Jews in not recognizing the Messiah and their unwillingness to accept the Apostle’s preaching (Acts 13:45-48) the Gospel was carried to the Gentiles, and the error of the Jews became the occasion of the salvation of the pagans. This is the first and immediate result of the fall of the Jews. The second result is the salvation of the Jews themselves; for the salvation given to the Gentiles will finally rouse Israel to competition and emulation (παραζηλωσαι αυτους). The Jews will at length understand that their God has become the God of the Gentiles, that the Scriptures given to them have passed to others, and that God has withdrawn His blessings from His chosen people and bestowed them upon their pagan neighbors. When this takes place, the anger and jealousy of the Jews will have reached their climax and will be the occasion of a reaction against past errors, and a consequent return to the God of their forefathers. Thus, the hardening of Israel permitted by God was ordained to the salvation of the Gentiles, and the salvation of the Gentiles is ordained in turn to that of the Jews themselves (cf.
Lagrange, h. 1.). 

Rom 11:12. Now if the offence of them be the riches of the world, and the
diminution of them, the riches of the Gentiles; how much more the fulness of them?

If the failure of Israel has brought such great benefits to the world, how enormous will be the benefit of the final conversion of all the Jews! 

If the offence (παραπτωμα) of them (αυτων), i.e., of those hardened, be the riches of the world, i.e., be the occasion of the conversion of the Gentiles to the faith, and the diminution (ηττημα) of them (αυτων), i.e., the defeat, the loss of those hardened, be the means of inestimable blessings to the pagans, how much more the fulness (πληρωμα) of them (αυτων), i.e., how much greater blessings will come to the world from the total conversion to the faith of all the Jews!

In this interpretation, following Lagrange, we have given to the first and second αυτων (“them”) the meaning of those hardened, and to the third, the meaning of all the Jews. We have understood ηττημα (“diminution”) here to mean, not the remnant, a small number; but defeat, loss.  πληρωμα (“fulness”) means the completing of Israel, i.e., the adding of the hardened (who will cease to be such) to the faithful Jews.

Rom 11:13. For I say to you, Gentiles : as long indeed as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I will honour my ministry,
Rom 11:14. If, by any means, I may provoke to emulation them who are my flesh, and may save some of them. 

I say to you, Gentiles. Continuing the theme of verses 11, 12 St. Paul openly speaks to the Gentiles, showing that the community to which he was writing was chiefly composed of them. He tells them that as long as, i.e., inasmuch as (εφ οσον not followed by χρóνον) he is the apostle of the Gentiles he honors his ministry, by consecrating himself entirely to it, with the ulterior purpose of exciting the jealousy of his fellow-Jews and moving them to emulate the faithful Gentiles, thus saving some of them now, and all in the end (verse 25). In St. Paul’s mind there is question of the design of God which cannot be fully accomplished, even to the profit of the Gentiles, if the ultimate salvation of the Jews is not first assured. His zeal for the one would work also the profit of the other, and the profit of the latter would in turn add to and complete that of the former (Lagrange).

I will honour should be “I do honour” (δοξαζω) my ministry, by devoting myself entirely to the services of the Gentiles, but not for their profit alone, as explained above.

In the Vulgate quamdiu would better be quatenus, and honorificabo should be honorifico, to agree with the Greek. 

Rom 11:15. For if the loss of them be the reconciliation of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?

The thought of verse 12 is taken up here and developed more vividly. If the loss, etc., i.e., if the rejection of the Jews from the Messianic kingdom be the reconciliation, etc., i.e., be the occasion of bringing the Gentiles into the Church of Christ, what great joy and spiritual benefits will result to Christ’s kingdom from the receiving of them in mass into the Church. 

But life from the dead, ει μη ζωη εκ νεκρων. These words have been variously interpreted. Some say they refer to the final consummation before the Second Coming of Christ, and consequently to the general resurrection of the dead, of which the conversion in mass of the Jews will be the signal (Origen, St. Chrysostom, St. Thomas, Lagrange, etc.). But as the terms here used are not very precise, one cannot well conjecture what relation of time there will be between the final conversion of the Jews and the general resurrection of the dead (Lagrange). Others think there is reference in the above words to an increase of spiritual life, among the Christians already converted, that will come from the final conversion of the Jews (MacEvilly). Cornely rejects this last explanation. He disapproves of the first one also, because he says that St. Paul, when speaking of the general resurrection uses a different phrase, η αναστασις or εκ νεκρων. He therefore believes the Apostle is speaking indeterminately here, as in verse 12, of some wonderful benefit and happiness that are to result from the final and total conversion of the Jews; or that this final restoration of the Jews will be a good so great, as to be comparable to the resurrection of the dead.

Rom 11: 16. For if the firstfruit be holy, so is the lump also: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.

Although the Law has been abrogated and the mass of the Jews have been rejected, still, St. Paul reminds his Roman readers, the designs of God regarding His people have not failed, nor has the Jewish race ceased to belong, in a certain sense, to God, and to be consecrated to Him. This the Apostle proves by two comparisons.

The firstfruit and the root mean the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc., who were holy men and faithful servants of God.

The lump and the branches are the Jewish people, the descendants of the Patriarchs. When the Jews made bread they were accustomed to put aside a piece of the dough which they baked into a small cake to be offered to God and burnt, or given to the priest (Num. 15:19-21). The whole mass was considered to have a part in the consecration of this portion that was offered to God. Thus the Jews, by reason of their natural connection with their ancestors, the Patriarchs, who were holy men consecrated to God, have also a kind of holiness and consecration to God, even though it be only an external relation like that of the lump and the branches.

Rom 11:17. And if some of the branches be broken, and thou, being a wild olive, art ingrafted in them, and art made partaker of the root and of the fatness of the olive tree,
Rom 11:18. Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee

Lest any of the Romans should feel puffed up and boastful over their call to the faith, and should therefore be
inclined to despise the rejected Jews, St. Paul reminds them that they owe their inclusion in the stock of Israel only to that mercy of God which first looked with favor on the chosen people, and that if they guard not with fidelity the gratuitous gift they have received, they too will come short of their destined prizes (see Rom 11:20). No Gentile, therefore, should boast of his own condition or rejoice at that of the fallen Jew, but should rather fear for himself, while hoping for mercy toward the Jews.

The broken branches are the rejected Jews.

The wild olive represents the Gentile whom St. Paul has in mind, and who, like all the converted Gentiles, has, by the mercy of God and without any merit of his own, been ingrafted in them, i.e., has been ingrafted among (Cornely) the converted Jews and become partaker of the root, etc., i.e., of the blessings which were the Jews' by right of inheritance.

Boast not, etc., because you remember that once you were a stranger to the covenant with God, without hope or promise in this world (Eph. 2:11-12), and that you were liberated from your misery only by being grafted on the true stock. The Gentile has nothing, then, whereof to boast, because salvation is from the Jews to the Gentiles (John 4:22), and not from the Gentiles to the Jews.

The branches (verse 18) refers to all the Jews (St. Thomas). The verbs "be broken" and "art ingrafted" should be in the past tense, according to the Greek.

St. Paul here speaks of the wild olive being grafted upon the cultivated variety. This causes some difficulty, inasmuch as the ordinary process of grafting was to graft a domestic shoot on a stock of the same kind, after cutting away all the original branches. But Prof. Fischer (Ramsay, Pauline Studies, p. 223 ff.) relates an exceptional process which was employed to invigorate an old olive tree that was failing; the branches of the old tree having been cut away, a shoot of the wild olive was grafted on the domestic stock to invigorate and render fertile the old tree. This process of grafting is witnessed to by two Roman writers, Columella, De re rustica, V. 9, and Palladius, De incisione, XIV. 53, and, according to Prof. Fischer, is in practice in Palestine at the present day.

Rom 11:19. Thou wilt say then : The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.

The Gentile is here represented as justifying his triumph by the fact that his inclusion was the purpose of the Jews' rejection. As the gardener cuts away the branches in order to insert the new shoot, so the Jews were rejected in order that the Gentiles might be brought in. The role of the Jews, therefore, like that of the Law, was only preparatory; in the designs of God they have been replaced by the Gentiles (Lagr.).

Rom 11:20. Well: because of unbelief they were broken off. But thou standest by faith: be not highminded, but fear.

There was something of truth in the above argument of the supposed boastful Gentile, and St. Paul replies, not without irony, καλως, well. But he at once observes that the Jews were cut off and rejected for the precise reason that they did not believe, they had not sufficient humility to accept on faith the Gospel teaching; whereas the Gentiles, by believing, have come into the inheritance which was primarily intended for the Jews. It was, then, the faith, the humility, the obedience and submission of the Gentiles that made possible for them the bestowal of God's gratuitous gift of faith. But this gift can be retained only by profound humility and fidelity, and hence the necessity of eschewing all pride and high-mindedness, and of cultivating the fear of God.

Because of unbelief should rather be "by unbelief" τη απιστια, corresponding to "by faith." τη πιστει,—datives of cause or occasion (Cornely).

In the Vulgate propter incredulitatem should be incredulitate.

Rom 11:21. For if God hath not spared the natural branches, fear lest perhaps he also spare not thee.

St. Paul admonishes the Gentile whom he has before his mind to give up all high thoughts of self and to school himself in humility and fear, lest what happened to the Jews happen to him also. The Apostle is not saying here that the Gentile is going to be cut off, nor that he could be rejected more easily than the Jews were rejected (Lagr.).

Rom 11:22. See then the goodness and the severity of God: towards them indeed that are fallen, the severity; but towards thee, the goodness of God, if thou abide in goodness, otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

In order still more to inculcate salutary sentiments of humility and fear, St. Paul draws the Gentile's attention to God's actions toward the Jews and Gentiles respectively. Toward the Jews, in punishment of their unbelief, God has shown severity; but to the Gentiles, for contrary reasons, He has exhibited goodness and mercy by calling them gratuitously to the faith. 

If thou abide, etc., i.e., if the Gentile perseveres in the faith received, and continues to live under the divine influence of the Goodness that blessed him with faith, God will also continue to manifest His mercy toward him. 

Otherwise thou also shalt be cut off, because the just man can fall from the state of grace and justice, and no one, apart from special revelation, can be infallibly certain of his own perseverance
(Conc. Trid., Sess. VI. cap. 16, 23).

Canon 16 of Trent reads; If anyone says that a man who is born again and justified is bound ex fide to believe that he is certainly in the number of the predestined, let him be anathema.

Canon 23: If anyone says that a man once justified can sin no more, nor lose grace,[124] and that therefore he that falls and sins was never truly justified; or on the contrary, that he can during his whole life avoid all sins, even those that are venial, except by a special privilege from God, as the Church holds in regard to the Blessed Virgin, let him be anathema. (source). On may also consult chapters 13 & 14 of the decree here.

Rom 11:23. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.

If the Jews will give up their unbelief, they also will be grafted on the faithful stock; the obstacle comes from them, because they refuse to believe in Jesus Christ. But God is able to triumph over their unbelief, since His power is infinite. St. Paul's hope for Israel, hinted in Rom 11:12, is here explicitly declared.

Rom 11:24. For if thou wert cut out of the wild olive tree, which is natural to thee; and, contrary to nature, were grafted into the good olive tree; how much more shall they that are the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?

It is more natural, and therefore easier to graft on a tree a homogeneous than a heterogeneous shoot. In fact, for successful grafting there must be some affinity of nature between the subject and the shoot; one can only use for grafting, therefore, varieties of the same species, or at least of the same genus. If the Gentiles, who were like the wild olive, have been grafted on the domestic tree of Israel, how much more natural, and how much easier, to our way of thinking, will it be to graft the Israelites, who are the natural branches, into their own olive tree.

Contrary to nature, i.e., beside the natural course of nature, praeter naturam.

The natural branches. The Jews were the natural descendants of Abraham and the Patriarchs, and as such, the natural heirs of the Messianic promises and blessings.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Commentary on Romans 5:12-21


A Summary of Romans 5:12-21~After speaking in Rom 5:1-11 of the first fruits of justification and reconciliation with God, which are universally extended to all men on condition of proper faith in Christ, the Apostle now turns to reflect on original sin, the root and beginning of all human ills, which also, but in a contrary manner, has universally affected all mankind. Having spoken of the universality of the remedy and its effects, the Apostle is reminded, or is in a better position, to speak of, and insist again upon the universality of the disease. Through one man came the curse upon all, through one man reconciliation is provided for all. Comparing Adam and Christ he shows that, whereas through the former we were divested of grace and lost our supernatural gifts and our rights to heaven, through the latter we have been reinstated in God’s favor and enriched with benefits even more abundant in many ways than those which we lost in Adam.

Rom 5:12. Wherefore as by one man sin entered into this world, and by sin death; and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned.

Wherefore (δια τουτο) is only a simple connective used to bridge over the transition from what has preceded. What follows in the chapter is not, therefore, a conclusion of what has preceded in Rom 5:1-11.

As introduces the thought, which, however, is not completed in this verse. This defective sentence structure, or anacoluthon (i.e., an incomplete sentence), is a mark of the Apostle’s deeper feelings. He begins his phrase, but is then so carried away by other thoughts that he forgets its proper termination. Yet, from verses 18 ff. we know that his thought was as follows: “As by one man (Adam) sin entered into this world, etc., so by one man (Jesus Christ) has the grace of justification entered into the world,” etc. As Adam, by his disobedience, brought sin and death upon all his descendants, so Christ by His obedience has merited justification and life for all who through faith become His adopted children.

By one man, i.e., by Adam (see Rom 5:14). Cf. 1 Cor 15:22.

Sin (ἁμαρτία = hamartia), i.e., original sin personified, not sin in general. With the article the term ἁμαρτία always signifies original sin, together with its consequent evils; whereas without the article it means actual sin, or sin in general (Prat). The first actual sin was committed by Eve; but there is question here of the sin of Adam only. Adam was constituted by God not only the physical, but also the moral head of the human race; and consequently the sin committed by him has been transmitted along with human nature to all mankind, as an inheritance passes from a father to his children. All human beings, therefore, as descendants of Adam, have shared in his transgression and are stained with sin from the beginning of their existence; and thus they are born into the world as enemies of God and children of wrath (Conc. Trid., Sess. V. can. 3).

Into this world. Literally, “Into the world,” i.e., into the souls of men, infecting the whole human race. Doubtless, also, the pernicious effects of Adam’s sin have been felt in all physical nature.

And by sin, i.e., by original sin, as is evident from the use of the article in Greek, as before.

Death means physical and moral death, death in general, which came upon all mankind by Adam’s sin. Death is at once the result and the chastisement of sin. Cf. Gen 2:17; 3:19; Wis 1:13; 1 Cor 15:21.

The words in whom (εφ ω, Vulgate, in quo) have caused much dispute among interpreters. The phrase is understood by Ambrosiaster, and by all the Latins after him, to refer to Adam, in whom all have sinned. But this understanding of the phrase causes such grammatical difficulty that it seems better, with the Greek Fathers and most modern scholars, to render it by because, or inasmuch as. These latter authorities rightly observe that ω, as a masculine pronoun, should naturally refer to the noun nearest to it, namely, to death or world, rather than to the more distant men; and also that εφ never has the meaning of “in”, in. Cf. Prat, La Theol. de S. Paul, I, p. 296 ff.; Cornely, Lagrange, etc., h. 1. However the expression may be rendered, St. Paul’s meaning is clear, namely, that all men have sinned in Adam, and so have inherited the evil consequences of his sin. The only exception to this rule is found in the Blessed Virgin Mary who, although born of Adam, was preserved by special privilege from every stain of original sin.

The following doctrines are taught in this verse, as the Council of Trent has declared: (a) By the sin of one man, Adam, sin entered into this world, i.e., came upon the human race; (b) all men have incurred the guilt of this sin; (c) in consequence of this guilt all men die (Rickaby). The opinion of some non-Catholics (cf. Parry, h. 1.), that death passed upon all men, not because all shared in the sin of Adam, but because each and every man in turn sinned by actual personal sins cannot account for the death of infants, mentally incapacitated and similar non-accountables: these surely did not die on account of their own personal sins, since they were incapable of sinning.

It is more conformable to the Greek to omit hunc before mundum of the Vulgate.

Rom 5:13. For until the law sin was in the world ; but sin was not imputed, when the law was not.
Rom 5:14. But death reigned from Adam unto Moses, even over them also who have not sinned after the similitude of the transgression of Adam, who is a figure of him who was to come.

That the Apostle was speaking of original sin, i.e., of the sin of Adam, and not of actual sins, when he said in the preceding verse, “all have sinned,” is evident from the present verses. For here he says that between Adam and Moses death, the effect of Adam’s sin, reigned, i.e., was inflicted on all, even on those who had committed no actual sins, such as infants, imbeciles and the like. Since, therefore, death was in the world, afflicting all, from Adam to Moses, i.e., before there was any other cause for universal death, except the sin of Adam, it follows that all had sinned in Adam.

Until the law (vs 13), i.e., from the time of Adam to the Law of Moses.

Sin (vs 13), i.e., actual sin, as is evident from the omission of the article in Greek before ἁμαρτία = hamartia.

Was in the world (vs 13), i.e., among men,—actual sins were committed by mankind; but these sins were not imputed, i.e., were not so imputed as to be considered in every instance as deserving of death, and consequently could not have been the cause of death, because the positive law was not existing which inflicted such a punishment on sinners for their personal offences. The sins committed were against the natural law, which did not then oblige under pain of temporal death. These sins, however, would be punished by God on the day of judgment (Rom 2:14-16). Hence, such offences were “not imputed” ad poenam, but they were ad culpam.

The Apostle wishes to say that at least not all the sins committed between Adam and Moses were in themselves so serious as to deserve death—the death which fell upon all. That there were during this period some sins in themselves deserving of death, such as those that occasioned the Deluge, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the like,—which sins hastened and made more terrible the punishment of death, the Apostle does not here deny. But it must be remembered that, as death to all was due to the sin of Adam, so the extreme gravity of personal sins after Adam found its explanation in Adam’s fall.

Who have not sinned (vs 14), etc. Better, “who had not sinned,” etc., i.e., who, like infants, imbeciles and the like, had not committed actual, deliberate, grievous sins, as Adam did. Since, therefore, after the sin of Adam death was inflicted even upon those who had committed no actual sins, it is clear that death is the resultant chastisement of the first sin. That actual sins were committed between Adam and Moses is evident from the Bible and is here taken for granted by St. Paul, but those sins were not in themselves punishable by death, because they were not opposed to any positive law then existing which imposed such a punishment.

Who is a figure, etc., i.e., Adam, by contraries, as well as by certain resemblances, was a figure or type of Christ. As Adam, the first physical man, by his disobedience, brought death upon all mankind, so Christ, the first spiritual man, i.e., the second first man, by His obedience and merits, brought life and justification to all (verse 19). This idea of Adam being a figure of Christ somewhat completes the comparison begun in verse 12. Cf. 1 Cor 15:22, 1 Cor 15:45-49.

The imputabatur and esset of the Vulgate (verse 13) would be expressed, more conformably to the Greek, by the present tense, imputatur and est. Corresponding changes should be made in the English translation. The Douay Rheims read: “But sin was not imputed when the law was not“. The New Latin Vulgate has this emendation: Usque ad legem enim peccatum erat in mundo; peccatum autem non imputatur, cum lex non est~”But sin is not imputed where there is no law.”

Rom 5:15. But not as the offence, so also the gift. For if by the offence of one, many died; much more the grace of God, and the gift, by the grace ot one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

The Apostle now begins to show the points of difference between Adam, the type, and Christ, the antitype; and he says that the detriment and evil caused by the sin of the former has not been so destructive in its effects, as the grace and gift of the latter has been abundant and reparatory in its consequences.

But (ἀλλά = alla) introduces the contrasts between Adam and Christ.

The offence (παράπτωμα = paraptōma) means the fall, or personal sin of

The gift means the gratuitous merits which Christ bequeathed to the world by His death on the cross.

If by the offence, etc. Although hypothetical in form, this proposition, like that in Rom 5:17 below, is absolute in meaning, because the condition was entirely verified.

Of one, i.e., of Adam.

Many (οι πολλοι = hoi polloi, lliterally, “the many,” as in the NAB) signifies all men who are descendants of Adam, as is evident from Rom 5:12 and Rom 5:18, where it is expressly said that all have incurred the penalty of death.

Died (απεθανον = apothanon) refers to natural or physical death, considered as the punishment of the sin of Adam or spiritual death.

The grace, etc., i.e., the goodness and benevolence of God, from whom all good things come, and especially the gift (δωρεά = dōrea), i.e., justification. If the sin of Adam has exercised so great an evil influence upon all humanity, much more, says the Apostle, has the grace of Christ exercised a contrary influence for the good of all. The range of sin was equalled by the range of grace, but it was surpassed in effect by the latter.

Unto many (εις τους πολλους), i.e., unto all men. There is absolutely no difference between the extension of the grace of Christ and that of the sin of Adam. All men are concerned in both cases, even though all do not profit by the former, and hence the plures of the Vulgate here should be omnes.

Rom 5:16. And not as it was by one sin, so also is the. gift. For judgment indeed was by one unto condemnation; but grace is of many offences, unto justification.

A second difference between the sin of Adam and the gift of God is found in their respective effects. On acount of the one sin of Adam the judgment of God’s condemnation (κατάκριμα = katakrima) is pronounced upon all men; but by the grace of Christ all men are justified, both from that one sin and from all other personal sins. “One sin availed to bring in death and condemnation; but the grace of God took away not that sin only, but all the sins that came in after it” (St. Chrys).

Judgment (κριμα = krima. Note the connection with katakrima above) means condemnation, God’s decision to punish.

Condemnation (κατάκριμα = katakrima) means an extension of the decision to punish εις παντας ανθρωπους= unto all men (verse 18).

Justification (δικαίωμα = dikaiōma) means a sentence of acquittal, on condition of faith.

The reading of the Vulgate per unum peccatum, although supported by a number of Greek MSS., is not considered so good as that of several other MSS. and versions, per unum peccantem, through one who has sinned (δι ενος αμαρτησαντο).

Rom 5:17. For if by one man’s offence death reigned through one; much more they who receive abundance of grace, and of the gift, and of justice, shall reign in life through one, Jesus Christ.

Another contrast is deduced from the respective effects of the sin and the gift. If through one man’s offence, i.e., through the fall of Adam, death was visited on all the people in the world, how much more through the abundant grace of one, namely Jesus Christ, shall life reign in the world. But in this new life only those shall have part who shall have received the abundance of grace, and of the gift of justice, i.e., the remission of sins and true justification, which can be had only through the merits of Christ. Our Lord has merited for us not only a life of grace in this world, and a life of glory hereafter, but also all the means necessary to attain these abundant blessings here and hereafter.

The majority of MSS. have “of the grace of the gift of justice.”

Rom 5:18. Therefore, as by the offence of one, unto all men to condemnation; so also by the justice of one, unto all men to justification of life.

This verse is a development of the thoughts expressed in Rom 5:14 and Rom 5:16, and is at the same time a continuation and completion of the comparison begun in verse 12; αρα ουν (“Therefore”) picks up the thought begun there. As by the sin of one man, Adam, all men have been condemned to spiritual and temporal death, so by the justice, i.e., the merits of one, Jesus Christ, the justification of life, i.e., of sanctifying grace, has been extended to all men. “The justification of Christ extends to all men in point of sufficiency, but in point of efficacy it reaches only the faithful” (St. Thomas). And this justification, or sanctifying grace, which is offered to all through faith in Christ, raises man from a state of spiritual death to the life of the children of God, and gives him a right to heaven and immortality.

The force of the comparison between Adam and Christ is this, that as all who are carnally descended from the former have, by his sin, incurred the condemnation of death; so all who are spiritually descended from Christ obtain justification through His merits. Or, the second part of the comparison may be explained with St. Thomas, as quoted above, by saying that the merits of Jesus are sufficient, and more than sufficient, to save all men, although many through their own fault do not profit by them. It remains true, however, that as no one dies except on account of the sin of Adam, so no one is justified unto life except through the justice and merits of Christ.

Rom 5:19. For as by the disobedience of one man, many were made sinners; so also by the obedience of one, many shall be made just.

As by the disobedience of one man, namely, Adam, who ate the forbidden fruit in the garden of paradise, many, i.e., all men (Rom 5:18) became sinners, i.e., lost original justice; so contrariwise, by the obedience of one man, namely Christ, through His sufferings and death on the cross, many, i.e., all are provided with the means of justification, as explained above (Rom 5:18). The future tense, shall be made just, shows that the justice to be realized personally is dependent on faith in Jesus. The justification of Christ is intended, and is sufficient for all, even though many do not profit by it.

In the previous verse justification through Christ is proved a posteriori, i.e., through the reign of grace, its effect; here it is proved a priori, i.e., through its efficient cause (St. Thomas). As the disobedience of Adam was the cause of all becoming unjust, so the obedience of Christ is the cause of the justification of all.

Rom 5:20. Now the law entered in, that sin might abound. And where sin abounded, grace did more abound.

This and the following verse form a kind of appendix to what precedes. To prove the existence of original sin St. Paul had considered the situation between Adam and Moses, and so it might reasonably be expected that he would also discuss the situation after the giving of the Law, between Moses and Christ. What effect upon sin had the Law? Paul responds briefly by saying that instead of destroying or lessening the reign of sin in the world, as might have been expected, the introduction of the Law only increased sin. Not that the Law was bad; it was good (Rom 7:10) and led to Christ (Gal 3:24); but after its promulgation, owing to the corruption of human nature, the sins of men became more numerous and more serious, partly because the Law not only made known but also multiplied man’s duties and obligations, without, however, giving any help to fulfil them, and partly also because the very prohibitions and restrictions it imposed served to excite concupiscence the more. Nevertheless, the primary end God had in view in giving the Law was not to multiply sins, but to humiliate sinners by showing them their weakness and degradation, and thus to move them to desire the Messiah and to seek pardon from God; and to this higher end God permitted the increase of sins on account of the Law (St. Augustine, St. Thomas, Lagrange, Cornely, etc.). In this interpretation that (ινα) would signify the final cause or purpose of giving the Law. The law entered in, in order that what was sin might be realized as sin (Rom 3:20). St. Chrysostom and others understand “that” in a consecutive or consequential sense.

Sin (παραπτωμα) means all the actual sins committed by men under the Law of Moses.

Where (ου) may mean either “where” or “when,” more probably the latter here, since the Apostle is treating of a period of time rather than of a particular place.

Sin (η αμαρτια) abounded, i.e., original sin, which, like a poison spread its evil among men and caused the multiplication of actual sins. At this time when sin was working its ravages among mankind grace did more abound, because it not only liberated from original and actual sins and eternal death, but it did much more by making men, through faith in Christ and His justification, children of God and heirs of eternal happiness in heaven; it had not only a negative but a positive effect (Rom 5:21).

It is more conformable to the Greek and to the traditional MSS. of the Vulgate to replace the second delictum of our present Vulgate by peccatum.

Rom 5:21, That as sin hath reigned to death; so also grace might reign by justice unto life everlasting, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

As sin hath reigned, etc., i.e., as sin reigned over all mankind from Adam to Christ, bringing death, spiritual and temporal, to all; so, after the coming of Christ, grace through justification has reigned, preparing souls for life everlasting. This justification is a supernatural gift of God, communicated to the soul, by which one passes from a state of enmity to a state of friendship with God; its end is life eternal, its author and source is Jesus Christ our Lord.

In verse 17 it was death, the effect of sin, that reigned; here it is sin which has reigned through death, temporal and spiritual.

Throughout the latter part of this chapter we find two actors, Adam and Christ, illustrated by their mutually opposing acts and effects. There are the sin of Adam, and the gift of grace (Rom 5:15); the judgment of condemnation leading to chastisement, and the gift of grace leading to justification (Rom 5:16); the sin of Adam inaugurates the reign of death, the gift of justice begins the reign of those who have received it (Rom 5:17); the actual sin of only one brings punishment upon all, the meritorious act of only one provides justification for all (Rom 5:18); disobedience makes all sinners, obedience renders all just (Rom 5:19); original sin, increased by actual sins, reigns and kills, grace through justification reigns and prepares for life eternal (Rom 5:20-21) (Lagrange, h. 1.).

Friday, May 13, 2016

An Overview of 1 Thessalonians 1:1-2:16

The Prion at Philippi (Acts 16:16-40; 1 Th 2:2)

BACKGROUND: By reading Acts 15:1-18:22 one will get some background specifically relating to the "Second Missionary Journey of St Paul," including how he came to be associated with Silvanus (Silas) and Timothy, co-authors of the letter (1 Th 1:1); the events at Philippi (mentioned in 1 Th 2:2), and Jewish opposition (1 Th 2:14-15). Although the frequent use of plural pronouns in the letter suggest that all three evangelists were active in the composition of the letter, it is clear that St Paul was the primary author (1 Th 2:18, 5:27) and for convenience I'll write as if he were the sole author. 

Read 1 Th 1:1-3. The first verse constitutes an opening address and need not detain us here. In most of St Paul's letters a thanksgiving, thanksgiving report, or blessing, follows immediately upon the greeting; the only exceptions are Galatians, Titus, and 1 Timothy. Although often labeled a "Thanksgiving," 1 Th 1:2-10 is more properly a "Thanksgiving Report." St Paul assures his readers that he thanks God concerning them and then goes on to state why. One should always pay close attention to the opening prayer, report or blessing of a pauline letter, for he invariably hints at subjects that will recur in the body of the letter.

. St Paul gives thanks on behalf of the Thessalonians by doing two things: (a) constantly mentioning you in our prayers, (b) remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ (2-3). As I noted in my previous post on 1 Thess: Prayer/thanksgiving defines the very structure of this letter. Note that the letter begins with an opening greeting and a blessing for grace (1 Th 1:1) followed by a thanksgiving prayer report(1 Th 1:2-10). The letter ends in reverse fashion--St Paul loves reverse parallels. Specifically, St Paul prays for the Thessalonians (1 Th 5:23); asks for their prayers on his behalf (1 Th 5:25); gives a final greeting and blessing for grace (1 Th 5:26, 28). But prayer doesn't just bookend the opening and closing of this letter. Note that each the the three major parts of this letter ends with a prayer which is directly related to the major theme(s) of the part it concludes (see 1 Th 2:13-16; 3:9-13; 5:23).   Faith will become an important issue in chapter 3 (explicitly mentioned in 1 Th 3:2, 5-7, 10), love will be dealt with in 1 Th 3:6, 12, and especially in chapter 4 (though explicit only in 1 Th 4:9). Hope looms large as well, especially in relation to the Second Coming where mention of it opens the entire treatment (1 Th 4:13-5:11).

The emphasis on the "work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope" is also important. St Paul will emphasize his own work/labor (conduct) in 1 Th 2:2, 9-12. The work/labor and conduct of the Thessalonians will be dealt with in 1 Th 4:1-12, 5:12-25 (explicit in 1 Th 4:1, 11-12; 5:12-14). St Paul exhibited steadfastness (or "endurance") in preaching the gospel in the face of suffering and opposition (1 Th 1:2). He will associate his own suffering with that of the Thessalonians in 1 Th 2:14-16 and 1 Th 3:1-8.

Read 1 Th 1:4-10. St Paul renders thanks to God because of his knowledge that God has chosen the Thessalonians (1 Th 1:4). This knowledge is first the result of God's action in his ministry among them, which was done not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction (1 Th 1:5).  Here St Paul is preparing for the extended treatment of his ministry in 1 Th 2:1-12. The power and conviction manifested by his ministry led to the Thessalonians becoming imitators of Paul. This in spite of afflictions they underwent --which Paul himself had undergone just before coming to Thessalonica--(1 Th 1:6, and see 1 Th 2:2). In turn, the Thessalonians became model believers (1 Th 1:7). How they became such is treated in the remainder of the passage (1 Th 1:8-10).

Read 1 Th 2:1-12.  Having spoken about his own knowledge of how things had transpired in Thessalonica (1 Th 1:4) as a result of his visit (1 Th 1:9), he know moves to speak of the Thessalonian's knowledge of how he had acted during his time there. Many scholars are of the opinion that certain opponents of the gospel were claiming that St Paul was just another traveling charlatan. It is, however, quite possible that Paul writes what he does, not because of opponents, but rather, because of failures among some of his converts (1 Th 4:1-8). He wants them to start acting as he did, hence this reminder. My own opinion is that both problems were at play but in the present context (1 Th 1:1-2:16) it is the charge of the opponents that is the concern (St Paul is preparing for 1 Th 2:13-16). To counteract the accusation of charlatanism St Paul invokes his experience at Philippi where he received a beating and imprisonment (1 Th 2:2; Acts 16:16-40). No doubt many a charlatan received such treatment for their doings, but how many of them would have returned to it so quickly? One might argue that a brave charlatan might, but it is precisely at this point that St Paul invokes God as his backbone: we had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the face of great opposition (2); and as both the source and end of his ministry: but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please men, but to please God who tests our hearts (4a). These statements of how Paul did act should be seen in close relation with his statements of how he did not act (1 Th 2:3, 4b-12). The tender, familial images in the final verses (1 Th 2:7, 11), along with the reference to Paul's toil (1 Th 2:9) and exhortation regarding conduct (1 Th 2:12), should be seen as laying foundations for the moral exhortations later in the letter (1 Th 4:1-12).

Read 1 Th 2:13-16. And we also thank God constantly for this. Just as the A1 section ( 1 Th 1:1-10 concerning Paul's thanksgiving and the reasons for it) laid the foundations for the B section (1 Th 2:1-12), and for much of the rest of the letter, so too, this second thanksgiving (A2) recaps much of what was said in A1 and B, but also prepares for things to come.

When you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers. The maroon section of verse 13 directly relates to the point that St Paul insisted the Thessalonians knew (1 Th 2:1), namely, that he came among them with sincerity, not as a charlatan. We speak, he said in verse 4, not to please men, but to please God. What they heard St Paul speak, was not the word of men, but the word of God. True, he did refer to the Gospel as his ("our") gospel in 1 Th 1:5, but he immediately went on to indicate that both its power, and his own convictions concerning it, were from the Holy Spirit. It was his gospel only in the sense that he had been entrusted by God with it, and spoke accordingly, thus he wrote in 2:4~we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please men, but to please God who tests our hearts. It is this the Thessalonians know (2:1), and for which he now thanks God.

The red section of verse 13 (see above quote) takes up the theme of work. The gospel (also known as the word of God) which was a power in Paul's ministry (1:5) is also at work in the Thessalonians. Part of Paul's work included having courage in God to declare the gospel in the face of opposition (1 Th 2:2). The gospel that Paul declared to them, and which they accepted upon hearing, has brought them suffering, but for this too St Paul gives thanks (1 Th 2:14-16.).

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Father Callan's Commentary on Romans 5:1-11

Following Cornely and others we have made the second section of the Dogmatic Part of this Epistle begin with the present chapter (see Introd., vii). Up to this chapter the Apostle has been engaged in showing the need of redemption and the necessity of obtaining justification through faith. For him justification is essentially the same as sanctification, although he seems to restrict the term to the first justification from a state of sin and unbelief to a life of faith and sanctification through grace. Accordingly, after having discussed in the first section of the Dogmatic Part of the Epistle the origin and source of the new life of justification, he passes on in the second section to dilate upon the fruits of this new Christian life of sanctification.


A Summary of Romans 5:1-11~In these verses we have an enumeration of the first fruits and blessings of justification. Man justified through faith in Christ enjoys first of all a state of peace. And while the present life is a time of trial, we have the hope that the same love which freed us from sin will also maintain us in our new and perfect state.

But these observations led the Apostle to reflect again on the necessity of justification, and consequently also on original sin, and the relation between it and the Law, on the one hand, and grace and justification, on the other. As a consequence, the remaining verses (Rom 5:12-21) of the chapter treat of the part played by sin, the Law, grace and justice in the history of humanity down to the time of Christ (Lagr.).

On account of the subjects discussed in the second part of this chapter Fr. Lagrange thinks it better to regard the whole chapter as pertaining to the first main part of the Epistle rather than to the second, or as suspended, so to say, between the two. Here, however, we have followed the division given by Cornely.

Rom 5:1 Being justified therefore by faith, let us have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Let us have peace. The subjunctive reading of this clause (εχωμεν) has the support of the best MSS.; and yet the indicative (εχομεν) is preferred by Cornely, Lipsius, etc., because as these authors observe, peace with God is the natural result of justification, not of special personal effort after justification. Still, the phrase can readily mean: “Let us maintain the peace we have by sinning no more, by not incurring again the anger of God, or by reflecting on the anguish of soul we had while in sin.”

Through our Lord, etc., i.e., through the merits of whose Passion and death we have obtained the grace of reconciliation with God (2 Cor 5:18).

Rom 5:2. By whom also we have access through faith into this grace, wherein we stand, and glory in the hope of the glory of the sons of God.

By whom, etc. By the merits of Christ we have obtained through faith, as through its beginning and root, the grace of justification which we now enjoy. Likewise through the same merits we glory and rejoice in the hope—lost through sin, but regained in justification—of having one day a part in the glory and happiness of the children of God in heaven.

The term προσαγωγην (“access”) means that Christ has actually reinstated us in the favor of God.

Of the sons (Vulg., filiorum before Dei) is wanting in the Greek. Fide is more literal than per fidem (Lagr.).

Rom 5:3. And not only so; but we glory also in tribulations, knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
Rom 5:4. And patience trial; and trial hope;

Being justified we not only rejoice in present peace and in the hope of future rewards; but we even find pleasure in trials and troubles, because through faith we know that these give occasion for the exercise of the virtue of patience: they try our constancy and fortitude in the service of God, and thus increase our hope of future glory. We are purified and humbled by afflictions. “As gold and silver are tried by fire, so are acceptable men in the furnace of humiliation” (Eccles 1:5).

St. James 1:3 says, “the trying of faith worketh patience,” i.e., the tribulation which tests faith produces patience. But St. Paul here (verse 4) by trial means the result of patient endurance, the state of those whom God has tested and proved, like gold in the furnace (cf. Phil 2:22; 2 Cor 2:9; 2 Cor 9:13; 2 Cor 13:3). Hence the former is speaking of the cause of patience; the latter, of its effect or result.

Rom 5:5. And hope confoundeth not: because the charity of God is poured forth in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost, who is given to us.

Hope confoundeth not, i.e., our hope of future glory is not vain and deceptive like human hope, which rests on the uncertain power and fidelity of man; our hope is unshakable because grounded on the power and fidelity of God. The proof of this is that the charity of God, i.e., the love God has for us (Cornely, Lagrange, and others) “is poured forth in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost, who is given to us” at Baptism; and this love of God for us now is an earnest of our future bliss with Him. Love or charity is attributed to the Holy Ghost by appropriation, because the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity proceeds from the mutual love of the Father and the Son.

Who is given to us. Literally, “Who hath been given to us.”

The charity of God is understood by other authorities (St. Aug., Martini, etc.) to mean the love we have for God. Since the love we have for God is the effect of God’s love for us, it seems reasonable to understand the “charity of God” both in his sense and in the sense given above. Both God’s love for us and our love for Him are a pledge of salvation and future glory, because charity or sanctifying grace is a habit of the soul and already a participation of the Divine Nature.

Rom 5:6. For why did Christ, when as yet we were weak, according to the time, die for the ungodly?

Another proof of God’s love for us, and of the consequent certainty of our hope, is found in the fact that Christ died for our salvation. When as yet we were weak, etc., i.e., when we were in a state of sin and unable to save ourselves, Christ at the precise and opportune time foretold by the Prophets and foreordained by the Eternal Father, gave up His life on the cross for the ungodly, i.e., for sinners, to save those who were His own enemies.

In Greek the verse is not in an interrogative, but in a declarative form, ετι γαρ, according to most MSS. The Vulgate reading, however, is very old, and is preferred by Cornely and many others. Interrogative (DRB): For why did Christ, when as yet we were weak…  Declarative (KJV): For when we were yet without strength…

Rom 5:7. For scarce for a just man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man some one would dare to die.

To show still more the charity of God for us, which was manifested in the death of Christ, St. Paul notes that it is very difficult to find anyone who would be willing to sacrifice his life, even for a just and good man; while to die for one’s own enemies, as Christ has done, is indeed a singular and unheard of thing. The words just (δικαιου) and good (αγαθου) here are usually taken as synonymous; but some authorities see in the former an honest man, and in the latter a benefactor. Hence there would be a stronger reason for dying for the “good man” than for him who is only “just,” i.e., honest.

Rom 5:8. But God commendeth his charity towards us; because when as yet we were sinners, according to the time,
Rom 5:9. Christ died for us; much more therefore, being now justified by his blood, shall we be saved from wrath through him.

In these verses St. Paul shows the forceful reasons we have in hoping for salvation and future glory. God, he says, commendeth, i.e., proves (συνιστησιν) His charity towards us especially in this (as said above, in verse 6) that He has offered up Christ in death for us while we were yet His enemies. If He did so much for us while we were still in sin and enmity towards Him, how much more will He save us eternally, now that we have been justified by the blood of Christ! If the death of Christ for sinners is a proof of God’s love for us, it is also a proof of the union between God and Christ, and shows that God in Christ was redeeming the world (2 Cor 5:19) (Lagr.). These verses illustrate how comparatively easy salvation has become under the Christian dispensation, if only men care to make use of the means provided for salvation.

The words, according to the time (Vulg., secundum tempus) of verse 8, are not in the Greek, and are regarded as a gloss introduced here from verse 6. The in nobis of the Vulgate should be in nos or erga nos, to agree with the Greek.

Rom 5:10. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son ; much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.

In a positive form, founded on the contrast between Christ’s ignominious death and glorified life, the Apostle here repeats the same thought as in the preceding verse. If through the death of Christ we were changed from enemies to friends of God, how much more now, being His friends, shall we be saved unto life everlasting through the same Christ, risen, glorified, and immortal! Christ who paid such a price to redeem us, will surely complete His work by saving us eternally, if we will only cooperate with His grace.
According to the best Greek reading, by his life should be “in his life”; it is by having part in the Resurrection life of Jesus that we shall be saved.

Rom 5:11. And not only so; but also we glory in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received reconciliation.

And not only so, i.e., not only shall we be saved from the wrath of God (verse 9) and obtain life eternal (verse 10), but even now, in this present life, we glory and rejoice in God our Father, to whom we are united by charity, and whose adopted sons we are through the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ, who by His death has reconciled us to the Father. God has loved us, has justified us through Christ, has given us His Holy Spirit—He will surely complete His work in us.

The indicative gloriamur of the Vulgate is in participial form in Greek, καυχωμενοι.