Romans 1:17

For therein (gar en autwi). In the gospel (verse Romans 16 ) of which Paul is not ashamed. A righteousness of God (dikaiosunh qeou). Subjective genitive, "a God kind of righteousness," one that each must have and can obtain in no other way save "from faith unto faith" (ek pistew ei pistin), faith the starting point and faith the goal (Lightfoot). Is revealed (apokaluptetai). It is a revelation from God, this God kind of righteousness, that man unaided could never have conceived or still less attained. In these words we have Paul's statement in his own way of the theme of the Epistle, the content of the gospel as Paul understands it. Every word is important: swthrian (salvation), euaggelion (gospel), apokaluptetai (is revealed), dikaiosunh qeou (righteousness of God), pisti (faith) and pisteuonti (believing). He grounds his position on Habakkuk 2:4 (quoted also in Galatians 3:11 ). By "righteousness" we shall see that Paul means both "justification" and "sanctification." It is important to get a clear idea of Paul's use of dikaiosunh here for it controls the thought throughout the Epistle. Jesus set up a higher standard of righteousness (dikaiosunh) in the Sermon on the Mount than the Scribes and Pharisees taught and practised ( Matthew 5:20 ) and proves it in various items. Here Paul claims that in the gospel, taught by Jesus and by himself there is revealed a God kind of righteousness with two ideas in it (the righteousness that God has and that he bestows). It is an old word for quality from dikaio, a righteous man, and that from dikh, right or justice (called a goddess in Acts 28:4 ), and that allied with deiknumi, to show, to point out. Other allied words are dikaiow, to declare or make dikaio ( Romans 3:24 Romans 3:26 ), dikaiwma, that which is deemed dikaio (sentence or ordinance as in Romans 1:32 ; Romans 2:26 ; Romans 8:4 ), dikaiwsi, the act of declaring dikaio (only twice in N.T., Romans 4:25 ; Romans 5:18 ). Dikaiosunh and dikaiow are easy to render into English, though we use justice in distinction from righteousness and sanctification for the result that comes after justification (the setting one right with God). Paul is consistent and usually clear in his use of these great words.

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