29. Is he the God of the Jews only? Is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:
29. Num Iudæorum Deus tantum? an non et Gentium? certe et Gentium.
30. Seeing it is one God which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.
30. Quandoquidem unus Deus, qui justificabit circumcisionem ex fide, et Præputium per fidem.
29. Is he the God of the Jews only? The second proposition is, that this righteousness belongs no more to the Jews than to the Gentiles: and it was a great matter that this point should be urged, in order that a free passage might be made for the kingdom of Christ through the whole world. He does not then ask simply or expressly, whether God was the Creator of the Gentiles, which was admitted without any dispute; but whether he designed to manifest himself as a Savior also to them. As he had put all mankind on a level, and brought them to the same condition, if there be any difference between them, it is from God, not from themselves, who have all things alike: but if it be true that God designs to make all the nations of the earth partakers of his mercy, then salvation, and righteousness, which is necessary for salvation, must be extended to all. Hence under the name, God, is conveyed an intimation of a mutual relationship, which is often mentioned in Scripture, --
|I shall be to you a God, and you shall be to me a people.| (Jeremiah 30:22.)
For the circumstance, that God, for a time, chose for himself a peculiar people, did not make void the origin of mankind, who were all formed after the image of God, and were to be brought up in the world in the hope of a blessed eternity.
30. Who shall justify, etc. In saying that some are justified by faith, and some through faith, he seems to have indulged himself in varying his language, while he expresses the same thing, and for this end, -- that he might, by the way, touch on the folly of the Jews, who imagined a difference between themselves and the Gentiles, though on the subject of justification there was no difference whatever; for since men became partakers of this grace by faith only, and since faith in all is the same, it is absurd to make a distinction in what is so much alike. I am hence led to think that there is something ironical in the words, as though be said, -- |If any wishes to have a difference made between the Gentile and the Jew, let him take this, -- that the one obtains righteousness by faith, and the other through faith.|
But it may be, that some will prefer this distinction, -- that the Jews were justified by faith, because they were born the heirs of grace, as the right of adoption was transmitted to them from the Fathers, -- and that the Gentiles were justified through faith, because the covenant to them was adventitious.