Is he the God of the Jews only? - Do not begin to suppose that because you cannot be justified by the works of the law and God has in his mercy found out a new method of saving you, that therefore this mercy shall apply to the Jews exclusively. Is not God the maker, preserver, and redeemer, also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, as much as of the Jews; for all have equally sinned and there is no reason, if God be disposed to show mercy at all, that he should prefer the one to the other; since they are all equally guilty, sinful, and necessitous.
Is he the God - The Jews supposed that he was the God of their nation only, that they only were to be admitted to his favor. In these verses Paul showed that as all had alike sinned, Jews and Gentiles; and as the plan of salvation by faith was adapted to sinners, without any special reference to Jews; so God could show favors to all, and all might be admitted on the same terms to the benefits of the plan of salvation.
It is one God - The same God, there is but one, and his plan is equally suited to Jews and Gentiles.
The circumcision - Those who are circumcised - the Jews.
The uncircumcision - Gentiles; all who were not Jews.
By faith through faith - There is no difference in the meaning of these expressions. Both denote that faith is the instrumental cause of justification, or acceptance with God.
Genuine faith will be manifested in good works; for good works are the fruits of faith. As God works in the heart, and man surrenders his will to God, and cooperates with God, he works out in the life what God works in by the Holy Spirit, and there is harmony between the purpose of the heart and the practice of the life. Every sin must be renounced as the hateful thing that crucified the Lord of life and glory, and the believer must have a progressive experience by continually doing the works of Christ. It is by continual surrender of the will, by continual obedience, that the blessing of justification is retained. 1SM 397.1
Those who are justified by faith must have a heart to keep the way of the Lord. It is an evidence that a man is not justified by faith when his works do not correspond to his profession. James says, “Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was his faith made perfect?” (James 2:22). 1SM 397.2Read in context »