Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Johann Gerhard on Romans 4:25

Earlier today I posted a translation of Johann Gerhard on Romans 3.  Here's a translation of a portion of his interpretation of Romans 4:25.

(Translation copyright 2012 by Paul A. Rydecki.  All emphasis is in the original.)

Adnotationes ad priora capita Epistolae D. Pauli ad Romanos (1644)

Romans 4:25 (portion - pages 154-155)

What if someone further inquires: In what sense and respect, then, is our justification, which consists in the remission of sins, attributed to the resurrection of Christ?

We reply: This is how it is to be understood.

1. With respect to the manifestation, demonstration and confirmation, because the resurrection of Christ is the clear testimony that full satisfaction has been made for our sins and that perfect righteousness has been achieved. Jerome says in h. 1: Christ rose in order that He might confirm righteousness to believers.  Chrysostom says in hom. 9 ad Rom.: In the resurrection it is demonstrated that Christ died, not for His own sins, but for our sins. For how could He be raised if He was a sinner?  But if He was not a sinner, then He was crucified for others.

2. With respect to the application. If Christ had remained in death, He would not be the conqueror of death, nor could He apply to us the righteousness that was obtained at such a high price (Rom. 5:10, 8:34).  But since He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, from there He also offers to the world, through the Word of the Gospel, the benefits obtained by His suffering and death, and applies the same to believers, and in this way He justifies them.  With respect to this application, Cardinal Toletus (in comm. h.1. and Suarez tom. 2, in part 3, Thom. disp. 44, p.478) acknowledges that our justification is attributed to the resurrection of Christ, writing thus: Christ, by His suffering, sufficiently destroyed sin.  Nevertheless, in order that we might be justified and that sin might be effectively remitted to us, it was necessary for the suffering of Christ to be applied to us through a living faith. Therefore, Christ rose on account of our righteousness, that is, in order that our faith might be confirmed and that we might be effectively justified.  The Apostle notably says that Christ died for our sins and was raised, not for righteousness, which is contrasted with sins in general, but διὰ τὴν δικαίωσιν ἡμῶν, for our justification, which consists in the absolution from sins.

3. With respect to the actual application from sin. Just as the heavenly Father, by delivering Christ into death for our sins, condemned sin in His flesh through sin (Rom. 8:3)—that is, condemned it because it had sinned against Christ by putting an innocent man to death, and so He withdrew from sin its legal right against believers so that it cannot condemn them any longer; or He also condemned it, that is, punished in Christ our sins that were imposed on Him and imputed to Him as a Substitute—so also, by raising Him from the dead, in that very deed He absolved Him from our sins that were imputed to Him, and hence also absolves us in Him, so that the resurrection of Christ may be both the cause and the pledge and the complement of our justification.  The following passages pertain to this: 1 Cor. 15:17, 2 Cor. 5:21, Eph. 2:5, Col. 2:12-13, Phil. 3:8-10, 1 Pet. 1:3.


LPC said...

Thank you, they are a lot of fun to read. Gerhard articulated well this passage, it is a joy to read.

My prayers are with you.


LPC said...

BTW, I was looking at one famous British NT exegete on this passage arguing for the necessity of Jesu' resurrection. I thought he was right, for really if Jesus was not raised from the dead, then there is nothing for us to believe and thus we could never be justified. This is tied to Romans 10:9.

Scripture is like fresh water to a thirsty soul, I got a lot of my thirst quenched on this.


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