Gerhard, Johann: Annotations on the First Six Chapters of St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans

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Romans 1:16—For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (KJV) “The ‘power of God’ is the divine and efficacious means which God uses to save men, (1) because in it the benefits obtained by the suffering and death of Christ are offered, among which are also life and eternal salvation; (2) because through the preaching of the Gospel, God works the faith in hearts through which they embrace the good things offered in the Gospel and apply them to themselves; (3) because through the Gospel faith is preserved and increased, so that we are thus ‘guarded for salvation by the power of God, through faith’ (1 Pet. 1:5); (4) because, in all adversities and temptations, it furnishes a life-giving consolation, so that we may be preserved to eternal life under the weight of the cross.” Gerhard’s Annotations were incomplete at the time of his death; his son, Johann Ernst Gerhard, published them several years after his death. However, the Annotations are of enduring value and significance to the Church because, in these first six chapters, Gerhard gives a clear treatment of the doctrine of Justification, and a model of Lutheran exegesis. Modern students of Holy Scripture will benefit from Gerhard’s scholarship.

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