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Romans 3:24

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Being justified freely by his grace - So far from being able to attain the glory of God by their obedience, they are all guilty: and, to be saved, must be freely pardoned by God's grace; which is shown to them who believe, through the redemption, απολυτρωσεως, the ransom price, which is in the sacrifice of Christ Jesus. The original is compounded of απο, from, and λυτροω, I redeem, and properly means the price laid down for the redemption of a captive. Comprehendit haec Christi απολυτρωσις, quicquid is docuit, fecit et passus est, eo consilio, ut homines malis liberati, praecipue peccato, malorum fonte immunes, veram felicitatem adipiscerentur. - Rosenmuller. This redemption of Christ comprehends whatsoever he taught, did, or suffered, in order to free men from evil; especially to free them from sin, the source of evils; that they might attain true felicity. And that it here means the liberation purchased by the blood-shedding of Christ, is evident from Ephesians 1:7; : We have Redemption, απολυτρωσιν δια του αιματος αυτου, Through His Blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace. See also Colossians 1:14, where the same words are found.

Λυτρα according to Suidas, is μισθος, η τα παρεχομενα υπερ ελευθεριας, επι τω λυτρωσασθαι βαρβαρων δουλειας A reward; or the price given to be redeemed from the slavery of the barbarians. Schleusner, under the word απολυτρωσις, says, Negari quidem non potest, hanc vocem proprie notare redemptionem ejus, qui captivus detinetur, sive bello, sive alio captus sit modo, quae fit per pretti solutionem; quo sensu verbum απολυτροω legitur haud raro in Scripp. Graecis. No man certainly can deny that this word properly means the redemption of a captive, (whether he may have been taken in war or in any other way), which is procured by the payment of a price. That the word also means any deliverance, even where no price is paid down, nobody will dispute; but that it means redemption by a price laid down, and the redemption of the soul by the price of the death of Christ, the above scriptures sufficiently prove.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Being justified - Being treated as if righteous; that is, being regarded and treated as if they had kept the Law. The apostle has shown that they could not be so regarded and treated by any merit of their own, or by personal obedience to the Law. He now affirms that if they were so treated, it must be by mere favor, and as a matter not of right, but of gift. This is the essence of the gospel. And to show this, and the way in which it is done, is the main design of this Epistle. The expression here is to be understood as referring to all who are justified; Romans 3:22. The righteousness of God by faith in Jesus Christ, is “upon all who believe,” who are all “justified freely by his grace.”

Freely - δωρεὰν dōreanThis word stands opposed to what is purchased, or which is obtained by labor, or which is a matter of claim. It is a free, undeserved gift, not merited by our obedience to the Law, and not that to which we have any claim. The apostle uses the word here in reference to those who are justified. To them it is a mere undeserved gift, It does not mean that it has been obtained, however, without any price or merit from anyone, for the Lord Jesus has purchased it with his own blood, and to him it becomes a matter of justice that those who were given to him should be justified, 1 Corinthians 6:20; 1 Corinthians 7:23; 2 Peter 2:1; 1 Peter 2:9. (Greek). Acts 20:28; Isaiah 53:11. We have no offering to bring, and no claim. To us, therefore, it is entirely a matter of gift.

By his grace - By his favor; by his mere undeserved mercy; see the note at Romans 1:7.

Through the redemption - διὰ τῆς ἀπολυτρώσεως dia tēs apolutrōseōsThe word used here occurs only 10 times in the New Testament, Luke 21:28; Romans 3:24; Romans 8:23; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 1:7, Ephesians 1:14; Ephesians 4:30; Colossians 1:14; Hebrews 9:15; Hebrews 11:35. Its root ( λύτρον lutron) properly denotes the price which is paid for a prisoner of war; the ransom, or stipulated purchase-money, which being paid, the captive is set free. The word used here is then employed to denote liberation from bondage, captivity, or evil of any kind, usually keeping up the idea of a price, or a ransom paid, in consequence of which the delivery is effected. It is sometimes used in a large sense, to denote simple deliverance by any means, without reference to a price paid, as in Luke 21:28; Romans 8:23; Ephesians 1:14. That this is not the sense here, however, is apparent. For the apostle in the next verse proceeds to specify the price which has been paid, or the means by which this redemption has been effected. The word here denotes that deliverance from sin, and from the evil consequences of sin, which has been effected by the offering of Jesus Christ as a propitiation; Romans 3:25.

That is in Christ Jesus - Or, that has been effected by Christ Jesus; that of which he is the author and procurer; compare John 3:16.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Must guilty man remain under wrath? Is the wound for ever incurable? No; blessed be God, there is another way laid open for us. This is the righteousness of God; righteousness of his ordaining, and providing, and accepting. It is by that faith which has Jesus Christ for its object; an anointed Saviour, so Jesus Christ signifies. Justifying faith respects Christ as a Saviour, in all his three anointed offices, as Prophet, Priest, and King; trusting in him, accepting him, and cleaving to him: in all these, Jews and Gentiles are alike welcome to God through Christ. There is no difference, his righteousness is upon all that believe; not only offered to them, but put upon them as a crown, as a robe. It is free grace, mere mercy; there is nothing in us to deserve such favours. It comes freely unto us, but Christ bought it, and paid the price. And faith has special regard to the blood of Christ, as that which made the atonement. God, in all this, declares his righteousness. It is plain that he hates sin, when nothing less than the blood of Christ would satisfy for it. And it would not agree with his justice to demand the debt, when the Surety has paid it, and he has accepted that payment in full satisfaction.
Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 88.2

Look at the cross of Calvary. It is a standing pledge of the boundless love, the measureless mercy, of the heavenly Father. O that all might repent and do their first works. When the churches do this, they will love God supremely and their neighbors as themselves. Ephraim will not envy Judah, and Judah will not vex Ephraim. Divisions will then be healed, the harsh sounds of strife will no more be heard in the borders of Israel. Through the grace freely given them of God, all will seek to answer the prayer of Christ, that His disciples should be one, even as He and the Father are one. Peace, love, mercy, and benevolence will be the abiding principles of the soul. The love of Christ will be the theme of every tongue, and it will no more be said by the true Witness, “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love” (Revelation 2:4). The people of God will be abiding in Christ, the love of Jesus will be revealed, and one Spirit will animate all hearts, regenerating and renewing all in the image of Christ, fashioning all hearts alike. As living branches of the true Vine, all will be united to Christ, the living head. Christ will abide in every heart, guiding, comforting, sanctifying, and presenting to the world the unity of the followers of Jesus, thus bearing testimony that the heavenly credentials are supplied to the remnant church. In the oneness of Christ's church it will be proved that God sent His only begotten Son into the world.... TDG 88.2

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 82.3

Man can be justified alone through the imputation of Christ's righteousness. Man is justified freely by God's grace through faith, and not by works, lest any man should boast. Salvation is the gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord.... TMK 82.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, 386

This class had made self supreme, laboring only for selfish interests. They were not rich toward God, not having responded to His claims upon them. Although professing to be servants of Christ, they brought no souls to Him. Had the cause of God been dependent on their efforts, it would have languished; for they not only withheld the means lent them of God, but they withheld themselves. But these could now see and feel that in occupying an irresponsible position in reference to the work and cause of God they had placed themselves on the left hand. They had had opportunity, but would not do the work that they could and should have done. 4T 386.1

The names of all who profess the truth were mentioned. Some were reproved for their unbelief, others for having been slothful servants. They had allowed others to do the work in the Master's vineyard, and to bear the heaviest responsibilities, while they were selfishly serving their own temporal interests. Had they cultivated the abilities God had given them, they could have been reliable burden bearers, working for the interest of the Master. Said the Judge: “All will be justified by their faith and judged by their works.” How vividly then appeared their neglect, and how wise the arrangement of God in giving to every man a work to do to promote the cause and save his fellow men. Each was to demonstrate a living faith in his family and in his neighborhood, by showing kindness to the poor, sympathizing with the afflicted, engaging in missionary labor, and by aiding the cause of God with his means. But, like Meroz, the curse of God rested upon them for what they had not done. They had loved that work which would bring the greatest profit in this life; and opposite their names in the ledger devoted to good works there was a mournful blank. 4T 386.2

The words spoken to these were most solemn: “You are weighed in the balances, and found wanting. You have neglected spiritual responsibilities because of busy activity in temporal matters, while your very position of trust made it necessary that you should have more than human wisdom and greater than finite judgment. This you needed in order to perform even the mechanical part of your labor; and when you disconnected God and His glory from your business, you turned from His blessing.” 4T 386.3

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6 (EGW), 1117

9-11. See EGW on Romans 16:25. 6BC 1117.1

12. See EGW on Hebrews 4:15, 16. 6BC 1117.2

15. See EGW on Genesis 1:26. 6BC 1117.3

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