BibleTools.info

Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Loading...

Romans 1:14


Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

I am a debtor both to the Greeks, and to the barbarians - It has been remarked before that all the nations of the earth, themselves excepted, were termed barbarians by the Greeks. See the origin of the word barbarous in the note on Acts 28:2; (note). The apostle considers himself, by his apostolical office and call, under obligation to preach the Gospel to all people, as far as the providence of God might open his way; for this is implied in the Divine commission: - Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature - to the wise and the unwise; to the learned and cultivated as well as to the unlearned and uncultivated. This evidently appears to be the import of the terms.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

I am debtor - This does not mean that they had conferred any favor on him, which bound him to make this return, but that he was under obligation to preach the gospel to all to whom it was possible. This obligation arose from the favor that God had shown him in appointing him to this work. He was specially chosen as a vessel to bear the gospel to the Gentiles Acts 9:15; Romans 11:13, and he did not feel that he had discharged the obligation until he had made the gospel known as far as possible among all the nations of the earth.

To the Greeks - This term properly denotes “those who dwelt in Greece.” But as the Greeks were the most polished people of antiquity, the term came to be synonymous with the polished, the refined, the wise, as opposed to barbarians. In this place it doubtless means the same as “the wise,” and includes the Romans also, as it cannot be supposed that Paul would designate the Romans as barbarians. Besides, the Romans claimed an origin from Greece, and Dionysius Halicarnassus (book i.) shows that the Italian and Roman people were of Greek descent.

Barbarians - All who were not included under the general name of Greeks. Thus, Ammonius says that “all who were not Greeks were barbarians.” This term “barbarian,” Βάρβαρος Barbarosproperly denotes one who speaks a foreign language, a foreigner, and the Greeks applied it to all who did not use their tongue; compare 1 Corinthians 14:11, “I shall be unto him that speaketh, a barbarian, etc. that is, I shall speak a language which he cannot understand. The word did not, therefore, of necessity denote any rusticity of manners, or any lack of refinement.

To the wise - To those who esteemed themselves to be wise, or who boasted of their wisdom. The term is synonymous with “the Greeks,” who prided themselves much in their wisdom. 1 Corinthians 1:22, “the Greeks seek after wisdom;” compare 1 Corinthians 1:19; 1 Corinthians 3:18-19; 1 Corinthians 4:10; 2 Corinthians 11:19.

Unwise - Those who were regarded as the ignorant and unpolished part of mankind. The expression is equivalent to ours, ‹to the learned and the unlearned.‘ It was an evidence of the proper spirit to be willing to preach the gospel to either. The gospel claims to have power to instruct all mankind, and they who are called to preach it, should be able to instruct those who esteem themselves to be wise, and who are endowed with science, learning, and talent; and they should be willing to labor to enlighten the most obscure, ignorant, and degraded portions of the race. This is the true spirit of the Christian ministry.

So, as much as in me is - As far as opportunity may be offered, and according to my ability.

I am ready … - I am prepared to preach among you, and to show the power of the gospel, even in the splendid metropolis of the world. He was not deterred by any fear; nor was he indifferent to their welfare; but he was under the direction of God. and as far as he gave him opportunity, he was ready to make known to them the gospel, as he had done at Antioch, Ephesus, Athens, and Corinth.

This closes the introduction or preface to the Epistle. Having shown his deep interest in their welfare, he proceeds in the next verse to state to them the great doctrines of that gospel which he was desirous of proclaiming to them.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
We must show love for our friends, not only by praying for them, but by praising God for them. As in our purposes, so in our desires, we must remember to say, If the Lord will, Jas 4:15. Our journeys are made prosperous or otherwise, according to the will of God. We should readily impart to others what God has trusted to us, rejoicing to make others joyful, especially taking pleasure in communing with those who believe the same things with us. If redeemed by the blood, and converted by the grace of the Lord Jesus, we are altogether his; and for his sake we are debtors to all men, to do all the good we can. Such services are our duty.
Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 731

Our Lord designed that His church should reflect to the world the fullness and sufficiency that we find in Him. We are constantly receiving of God's bounty, and by imparting of the same we are to represent to the world the love and beneficence of Christ. While all heaven is astir, dispatching messengers to every part of the earth to carry forward the work of redemption, the church of the living God are also to be co-laborers with Christ. We are members of His mystical body. He is the head, controlling all the members of the body. Jesus Himself, in His infinite mercy, is working on human hearts, effecting spiritual transformations so amazing that angels look on with astonishment and joy. The same unselfish love that characterizes the Master is seen in the character and life of His true followers. Christ expects that men will become partakers of His divine nature while in this world, thus not only reflecting His glory to the praise of God, but illumining the darkness of the world with the radiance of heaven. Thus will be fulfilled the words of Christ: “Ye are the light of the world.” 5T 731.1

“We are laborers together with God,” “stewards of the manifold grace of God.” The knowledge of God's grace, the truths of His word, and temporal gifts as well,—time and means, talents and influence,—are all a trust from God to be employed to His glory and the salvation of men. Nothing can be more offensive to God, who is constantly bestowing His gifts upon man, than to see him selfishly grasping these gifts and making no returns to the Giver. Jesus is today in heaven preparing mansions for those who love Him; yes, more than mansions, a kingdom which is to be ours. But all who shall inherit these blessings must be partakers of the self-denial and self-sacrifice of Christ for the good of others. 5T 731.2

Never was there greater need of earnest, self-sacrificing labor in the cause of Christ than now, when the hours of probation are fast closing and the last message of mercy is to be given to the world. My soul is stirred within me as the Macedonian cry comes from every direction, from the cities and villages of our own land, from across the Atlantic and the broad Pacific, and from the islands of the sea: “Come over, ... and help us.” Brethren and sisters, will you answer the cry? saying: “We will do our best, both in sending you missionaries and money. We will deny ourselves in the embellishment of our houses, in the adornment of our persons, and in the gratification of appetite. We will give the means entrusted to us into the cause of God, and we will devote ourselves also unreservedly to His work.” The wants of the cause are laid before us; the empty treasuries appeal to us most pathetically for help. One dollar now is of more value to the work than ten dollars will be at some future period. 5T 732.1

Read in context »
Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, 52

God holds you as His debtor, and also as debtor to your fellow men who have not the light and truth. God has given you light, not to hide under a bushel, but to set on a candlestick that all in the house may be benefited. Your light should shine to others to enlighten souls for whom Christ died. The grace of God ruling in your heart, and bringing your mind and thoughts into subjection to Jesus, would make you a powerful man on the side of Christ and the truth. 4T 52.1

Said Paul: “I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.” God had revealed to Paul His truth, and in so doing made him a debtor to those who were in darkness, to enlighten them. You have not had a proper sense of your accountability before God. You are handling your Lord's talents. You have powers of mind that if employed in the right direction would make you a co-worker with Christ and His angels. Had your mind been turned in the direction of doing good, of placing the truth before others, you would now be qualified to become a successful laborer for God, and as your reward you would see many souls saved that would be as stars in the crown of your rejoicing. 4T 52.2

How can the value of your houses and lands bear comparison with that of precious souls for whom Christ died? Through your instrumentality these souls may be saved with you in the kingdom of glory, but you cannot take with you there the smallest portion of your earthly treasure. Acquire what you may, preserve it with all the jealous care you are capable of exercising, and yet the mandate may go forth from the Lord, and in a few hours a fire which no skill can quench may destroy the accumulations of your entire life and lay them a mass of smoldering ruins. This was the case with Chicago. God's word had gone forth to lay that city in ruins. This is not the only city that will realize the visible marks of God's displeasure. He has made a beginning, but not an end. The sword of His wrath is stretched out over the people who by their pride and wickedness have provoked the displeasure of a just God. Storms, earthquakes, whirlwinds, fire, and the sword will spread desolation everywhere, until men's hearts shall fail them for fear and for looking after those things which shall come upon the earth. You know not how small a space is between you and eternity. You know not how soon your probation may close. 4T 52.3

Read in context »
Ellen G. White
Education, 139

“It is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” 1 Corinthians 4:2. If honesty is an essential principle of business life, must we not recognize our obligation to God—the obligation that underlies every other? Ed 139.1

By the terms of our stewardship we are placed under obligation, not only to God, but to man. To the infinite love of the Redeemer every human being is indebted for the gifts of life. Food and raiment and shelter, body and mind and soul—all are the purchase of His blood. And by the obligation of gratitude and service thus imposed, Christ has bound us to our fellow men. He bids us, “By love serve one another.” Galatians 5:13. “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.” Matthew 25:40. Ed 139.2

“I am debtor,” Paul declares, “both to the Greeks, and to the barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.” Romans 1:14. So also are we. By all that has blessed our life above others, we are placed under obligation to every human being whom we might benefit. Ed 139.3

Read in context »
More Comments