Warning against Christian Pride
P. G. Mathew | Sunday, July 10, 2011
Copyright © 2011, P. G. Mathew
In Romans 9-11, Paul deals with the question of Jewish salvation. It is true that the Jews rejected their Messiah, but their rejection was not total or final. There has always been a remnant of Jewish believers. But in God's purpose, the Jewish rejection of the Messiah brought the gospel to the Gentiles. And the conversion of many Gentiles will, in turn, provoke unbelieving Jews to positive jealousy so that they also will believe. In due time, a majority of the Jewish nation will believe in their Messiah. This future conversion of the majority of the Jews will bring about even greater blessings to the Gentile believers.
In Romans 11:16-24, Paul recognizes pride among the Gentile believers as a problem in the Roman church. It probably also existed in other churches where Gentile believers were in the majority. There was a tendency among these Gentiles to be proud and look down on the Jewish Christians, who were in the minority, as well as on the unbelieving Jews. But such pride was not just a problem for the Gentile believers in Rome in Paul's day. We must examine ourselves for pride.
The Olive Tree AnalogyIn verse 16, Paul introduces the analogy of an olive tree, which is then worked through the remainder of this passage. This one tree represents the one people of God. There is only one church, not two-there is not the Gentile church and the Jewish church, or the black church and the white church, or the Chinese church and the Korean church, and so on. This one church consists of Jewish and Gentile believers on equal footing with each other. The Gentiles are fellow citizens with the saints (i.e., Jewish believers) and members of God's household. They are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. This one church is built on the foundation of the gospel with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In this olive tree analogy, if the root is holy, so are all the branches.
The Root of The Tree
Who is the root of this olive tree? Strictly speaking, we are not told, although it may be Abraham, who believed in the Messiah. Abraham is called the father of all believers. He believed in the One who said, "Before Abraham was born, I am!" (John 8:58). But in my view, the holy root is the Messiah himself in his incarnational life. Jesus is the root of Abraham and David as well as the shoot from Abraham and David. He is described as the root of Jesse and a shoot from Jesse (Isa. 11:1, 10). Paul identifies him as the root of Jesse, the king in whom the Gentiles will hope (Rom. 15:12). Jesus himself says, "I am the Root and Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star" (Rev. 22:16).
So we can say that the root of this olive tree may be Abraham (although it is not just Abraham, but believer Abraham, who believed in his offspring, the Messiah, in whom all the families of the earth are to be blessed), or we can say that the root ultimately is the Messiah himself.
This latter position was embraced by the theologian Origen, that the one church is built on the foundation of the Messiah. Jesus said, "I am the vine and you are the branches" (John 15:5). The branches, meaning the Gentile and Jewish believers, continually partake of the fatness of their holy root, who is not Abraham but the Messiah. In fact, Abraham himself was sustained and held up by the Messiah, as are all believers. We all live by the life of Christ. Jesus said, "Apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5) and, "Because I live, you also will live" (John 14:19). Paul said, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me" (Gal. 2:20, KJV). Paul says, "When Christ who is your life appears, you will appear with him in glory" (Col. 3:4). And because the root is holy, the branches (the Jewish and Gentile believers) are holy, due to their vital union with the root.
The Visible Church
The one olive tree should be seen as the visible church of God as it exists in history. Therefore this tree consists of true believers who are eternally chosen, as Dr. John Frame says, as well as false believers who are only chosen in history to serve certain purposes of God.1 Such temporary branches include Esau, Saul, Achan, Judas, Ananias, Sapphira, and Demas. Such people are historically chosen to serve God's purposes, but they not eternally chosen to be saved.
Those who are only historically chosen prove themselves to be fruitless in due time. They will not experience true repentance or saving faith. For a while, they may appear to be true believers, but in due time, God's judgment will fall and God will cut them out of the tree. Of such people John writes, "They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us" (1 John 2:19).
The visible church has always been mixture of true and false believers. The true church with only true believers exists in heaven, as we read in Hebrews: "But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel" (Heb. 12:22-24).
But God's church exists on this earth as well as in heaven. Hebrews 10:24-25 speaks about the church on earth: "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
So there is the visible church, which consists of false and authentic believers, and the invisible church, which consists of only true believers. In due time, the false believers will experience the apotomia, the severity, of the Lord of the church (Rom. 11:22). He will cut them out, and the church is to put them out through excommunication, which is the highest possible judgment the church can give. Because the visible church is a mixture, the Bible is full of warnings to examine ourselves to ensure we are in the faith:
1. 2 Cor. 13:5: Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you-unless, of course, you fail the test?
2. 2 Peter 1:10: Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall.
3. Rev. 2:5: Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.
4. Rev. 2:20-23: Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.
5. Heb. 3:12: See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.
6. Heb. 6:4-8: It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.
7. Heb. 10:26-31: If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," and again, "The Lord will judge his people." It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
The majority of the Jews were unbelieving. They trusted in themselves and refused to trust in the Messiah, so they were cut out by God himself. The Gentiles who believed in the Messiah were branches from a wild olive tree that God, who raises the dead, grafted into the one olive tree, the people of God. Now the Gentiles are in the majority in the church.
But those who are Gentile Christians must resist the temptation to be proud. Do not despise the minority. Such pride is not a fruit of the Spirit; rather, it is the greatest enemy of man. Pride goes before a fall. Pride kills. Pride is opposed to grace and is devilish. The devil became the devil because of pride. Proud people think they need no Savior. Pride can come from our nationality, ethnicity, color, education, wealth, beauty, morality, or natural and spiritual gifts. Pride looks down on other people. Pride seeks justification by self-works, not justification by grace through faith. Pride negates the cross work of Christ.
All sinners, Jews or Gentiles, were dead, disobedient, and damned. But because of God's rich mercy and great love, he made us alive in Christ, raised us together with Christ, and seated us with him the heavenly realms (Eph. 2:4-6). In other words, God regenerated us, justified us, forgave us all our sins, is sanctifying us, and will finally glorify and bring us to himself. All this is because of the saving work of Jesus Christ! Salvation is all of God, but damnation is all of men.2 The unbelieving Jews were very proud of their lineage. They said, "We are Abraham's children, and God is our Father." But Jesus said, "Your father is the devil" (see John 8:31-44). If we are truly saved by God, we will be clothed with humility, thanksgiving, and eternal praise.
But our salvation is always conditional, in that we must be saved by saving faith, which is a gift of God that we must exercise continually. Faith is denying oneself and trusting and resting in Christ alone. In speaking of the many thousands who experienced God's deliverance in the exodus and yet were later destroyed, Paul warns, "These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. So if you think you are standing firm, be careful you don't fall!" (1 Cor. 10:11-12).
Faith and self-boasting are eternal opposites. Paul asks, "Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith" (Rom. 3:27). Elsewhere he writes, "Therefore . . . let him who boasts boast in the Lord" (1 Cor. 10:30). We are redeemed by the Lord for the praise of the glory of his grace. Thus, a true Christian will be clothed, not with arrogance, but with humility. Moses, who spoke to God face to face, was a very humble man (Num. 12:3, 8). When Isaiah saw God's glory, he cried out, "Woe to me! I am undone!" (Isa. 6:1-5). So also Peter cried out, "Jesus, depart from me. I am a sinful man" (Luke 5:8).
How can we see God in the Bible by faith and remain proud? How can we look down upon fellow believers if we see God and know ourselves truly? We must acknowledge that we stand by faith alone. It is by faith we are grafted into the one olive tree, and it is by faith alone that we produce fruit, more fruit, and much fruit for the Father's glory. Pride, self-trust, and boasting have no place in God's kingdom.
Saving faith will result in obedience to God's word. William Hendriksen says, "Absolute, unconditional promises, guaranteeing salvation to either Gentiles or Jews, no matter how they live exist only in people's imaginations, not in Scripture."3 The Lord knows those who are his. On the last day, the Lord of the church will say to many professing Christians, "I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers." The Good Shepherd knows and loves his sheep, and his sheep know and love their Shepherd who laid down his life for them. The children of the same heavenly Father will love one another sacrificially as Christ loved us. We are called to the obedience of faith.
So Paul says, "Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith" (Rom. 1:5). He also says, "But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted" (Rom. 6:17). Again, he declares, "I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done" (Rom. 15:18). Elsewhere he writes, "We are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in eternity for us to do" (Eph. 2:10). The humble are true believers who bear many fruits. As God's own people, we live godly lives by grace in this present age. So Paul writes, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Rom. 12:2).
Security of True Believers
Yet no true believer shall ever experience the severity of being cut off from the people of God (that is, being cut off from Christ). That terrible experience is reserved for false believers of the visible church who are not eternally chosen by God to be holy and blameless in his sight in Christ. True believers are adopted sons. They have been regenerated and bear the seal of the Holy Spirit. They are saved, they are being saved, and they will be saved in full glory. They shall never perish; no one can snatch them from the hand of Christ or from the hand of the Father. Paul declares, "Therefore, there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 8:1). They are eternally secure and shall persevere to the end. Paul writes,
What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all-how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died-more than that, who was raised to life-is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? . . . [Nothing] in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 8:31-35, 39)
Elsewhere Paul prays, "May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thess. 5:23). The Lord is faithful. So Paul says, "Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (Phil. 1:6). And Jude says, "To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy" (Jude 24).
In the visible church, there are temporary branches, meaning temporary believers. They are in the church because they receive many benefits. (PGM) They are those of whom John writes, "From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him" (John 6:66). Jesus speaks of them in the parable of the sower:
When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. (Matt. 13:19-23)
In his analogy of the vine, Jesus says, "[The Father] cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful" (John 15:2). Those who are not born of the Spirit lack authentic repentance and saving faith. Such people shall be cut off by Christ and shall go away into eternal hell. All Israel is not Israel (Rom. 9:6).
But those who are eternally chosen are children of promise. They are grafted in and abide in Christ in faith. They alone are objects of mercy prepared in advance for glory. They are the remnant. They are the elect whom God has foreknown. They are predestinated, effectually called, and glorified.
If we are true believers, we will live in holiness, separate from the children of the devil, who are objects of wrath. So Paul encourages us to put "on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness" (Eph. 4:24). Paul also says to put "on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator" (Col. 3:10). Peter says, "But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "˜Be holy, because I am holy'" (1 Pet. 1:15-16). Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God" (Matt. 5:8). We also read, "Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord" (Heb. 12:14).
Antinomianism has become so common in the church world today that it has become almost taboo to say a Christian must live a holy life, even though this injunction is on every page of the Bible. We are called to be like Christ. John writes, "Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2). Are you tempted to be arrogant? Read Romans 11:17-18. We were a wild olive tree-unclean, Gentile dogs. But God grafted us into the tree of the church of God. We did not do this ourselves; God himself grafted us in. That word "grafted" is used six times in this text. God saved us and incorporated us into the one olive tree. Therefore, we must not be conceited. Paul exhorts, "For by the grace given me, I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourselves more highly than you ought. But rather think of yourself with sober judgment in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. . . . Live in harmony with one another. And do not be proud but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited" (Rom. 12:3,16). Don't boast against the Jewish branches who were cut off. Don't look down upon them. And don't pretend to be superior to Jewish believers, though they are in the minority, when we ourselves are only living by the fatness, by the sap, by the life of the same root, freely.
Christ is our life; apart from him, we can do nothing. So we must humble ourselves. We do not bear up the root; the root supports us. The root bears us up and sustains us every moment. There is no room for pride, only for praise. What do we have that we have not received from God?
Paul writes, "You will say then, "˜Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.' Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid" (vv. 19-20). We may argue, "They are broken off, but I am grafted in." True. But remember, they were broken off because they did not believe in their Messiah. We are grafted in through God's gift of faith and remain in this tree by faith. We stand by faith in Christ, not by self-righteousness. Salvation at no point depends on the believer.
How easily we can become high-minded, arrogant, and proud when our focus is not on God! We do so when we are narcissists, seeing only ourselves. So the antidote to pride is holy fear. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Grace teaches us to fear God and grace removes all ungodly fears. "Perfect love drives out fear" (1 John 4:18). The fear of God is holy fear which keeps us from sinning and keeps us diligently obeying God.
The psalmist says that God forgives sins and therefore, he is feared (Ps. 130:4). Exodus 20:20 says God came in a phenomenal way so that the fear of God would keep the people from sinning. Everyone who sins does so because he does not fear God. Therefore, fear God! The fear of God kept Joseph and Daniel from sinning against God. The Holy Spirit came upon Jesus Christ, as we read in Isaiah: "The Spirit of the LORD will rest upon him-the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord-and he will delight in the fear of God" (Isa. 11:1-3).
Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit, and his fear of God kept him in the path of obedience to the end. Arrogance is a work of the flesh, not a fruit of the Spirit. So Paul writes, "Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed-not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence-continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose" (Phil. 2:12-13). Elsewhere he said of Titus, his delegate, "And his affection for you is all the greater when he remembers that you were all obedient, receiving him with fear and trembling" (2 Cor. 7:15).
The Hebrews writer exhorts, "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence [fear] and awe, for our "˜God is a consuming fire'" (Heb. 12:28-29).
God commands us to fear, and to do so continually. Whom should we fear? Fear God, who revealed himself in the Bible. If we see God by faith as we read the Scriptures, as we listen to sermons, and as we worship God, we will be humble. Every day we must fear God. In their arrogance, most Americans do not fear anyone. They think they can solve all the problems with their dollars, but they cannot."For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either" (Rom. 11:21). Paul states that if God, in his severity, holiness, justice, righteousness, and wrath, cut off the unbelieving Jews, he will not spare the Gentile "dogs." If he did not spare the natural branches (the descendants of Abraham), then he will not spare unbelieving, arrogant Gentiles. We must prove ourselves to be true believers by living by faith.
"Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off" (Rom. 11:22). Paul is saying, "Notice. Open your eyes wide as I give you a principle. Notice, the goodness and the severity of God." The word "severity" means "cutting off." So Paul is saying, "Behold, both the goodness and the severity of God."
When we read the word of God, we see Christ in every page, both in his goodness as well as in his holiness (his severity). He is the Lamb slain for us, but he is also the Lion of Judah. He is both Savior and Judge. He is not only goodness or a doting father.
I recently heard of a church in India where an elder's daughter married a Hindu, first in the church and then in the temple. Her justification was that "God is love," and if "God is love," he "loves" Hindus as Hindus. In fact, there is a view of atonement that is becoming dominant in evangelical Christianity that teaches unconditional love. This view says this: Jesus says from the cross, "Look at me. Though you crucified me, yet I still love you." Such people reject substitutionary atonement. They reject the truth that love and holiness kissed each other on the cross, that God may be just and the justifier of those who believe in Christ. They reject the view that Christ died for our sins and was raised for our justification.
But we must never separate the goodness of God from his severity. In his severity, he cut off the unbelieving Jews, and grafted in the Gentiles by his goodness. When we sever goodness from severity, we are removing hell. Yet Jesus spoke more about hell than anyone. If we remove holiness of God, which is his chief attribute, we are removing the wrath of God, the cross, and the basis of salvation. If we remove severity from God, we will not fear God.
We must know God in all his attributes. We must not isolate one from the other simply because we like love and forgiveness but not holiness. Know God in all his attributes, and you shall abide in his goodness by faith. Our great need is the knowledge of the holy God, who loves us. Read Romans 11:23-24. God has a future plan to graft into the olive tree of the church a majority of the national Israel on the basis of faith. No one can be saved by his own power. How can dead and entombed Lazarus make himself alive? How can dead, disobedient sinners save themselves? Only God is mighty to save. And with God, all things are possible. If he saved Gentile dogs-those who were outside of the national Israel-then he is able to save the Jews, who enjoyed certain historical privileges that the Gentiles did not. He is able to save the people of Israel, whose is "the adoption as sons; . . . the divine glory; . . . the covenants; . . . the receiving of the law; . . . the temple worship and the promises; . . . [of whom] are the patriarchs, and from [whom] is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen" (Rom. 9:4-5).
Don't be arrogant. God is able to graft Jews back into the olive tree on basis of faith. God is able to do it. He is mighty to save. If he can save Gentiles by faith, he will be able to save his own people, those with certain historical advantages, by the same faith. And he will do so, saving not a minority, as it is now, but the majority of national Israel. This is the revelation God gave to Paul. Then the prophecies of Zechariah (Zech. 12-14) will come true, that on God's appointed future day, the national Israel will experience revival and will come to confess our Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and be saved.
ApplicationThis passage in Romans is a warning to all who are professing Christians. Let us heed the following:
Beware. Arrogance of Christians is due to self-trust. Pride goes before the fall. Let us repent of our pride and be clothed with humility.
Instead of being proud, let us praise God for his great mercy and great salvation.
Let us by the diligent study of Scripture know God in all his glory. That will cause us to fear him and live by faith.
When Jesus saves us by saving faith, we shall persevere in faith to the end. The truly saved are eternally saved and shall never fall from grace.
Those branches cut off from the olive tree are temporary believers, not eternally chosen and predestinated. The visible church is a mixture of Orpah and Ruth. Orpah will kiss and leave in due time, but not Ruth.
The Scripture teaches that in God's plan he will save the national Israel of a future generation by the only way of salvation, which is faith in Jesus Christ.
Gentile Christians are under obligation not to despise the Jews but to be friends of the Jews. Be a friend of Israel.
The arrogant Gentile churches in history have been cut off because they were arrogant by the severity of Christ. Study church history. God cut off the churches of Asia Minor and North Africa. Even today, in Europe and the United States, God is cutting off churches in increasing measure.
So pay heed to this warning. Don't be proud, lest God show his severity in cutting us off.
If we are having trouble in being humble, God will help us by giving us a thorn in the flesh. But we will not like it. Paul did not like it. Two times in 2 Corinthians 12:7 Paul says, "To keep me from becoming proud, God gave me a thorn to torment me." But if we need help, God will help us. Elsewhere Paul tells the Corinthian believers, "For this reason [meaning for the reason of sin and arrogance] many of you are weak and sick and a number of you have died" (1 Cor. 11:30).
This church reveals all marks of a true church, including church discipline by which we excommunicate those who are proven to be arrogant and fruitless.
Recently someone graphically defined the church growth movement in terms of an 800-pound man. On his forehead was written "Church Growth Movement." Such a man may assert that he is healthy, wealthy, and famous, but, in truth, he is sick and dying. In America, we call such growth success. But a truly successful church is one where the gospel is preached and practiced.
The arrogant will be cut off, but God's people will persevere to the very end. May God help us to humble ourselves and be saved.
1 John M. Frame, The Doctrine of God (Philipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2002), 317-325.
2 "Man is responsible for his damnation, but he is never responsible for his salvation." D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, To God's Glory: An Exposition of Romans 11 (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1998), 163.
3 William Hendriksen, New Testament Commentary: Exposition of Paul's Epistle to the Romans (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1990), 375.
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Copyright © 2011, P. G. Mathew
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