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Paul’s Letter to the Romans

Christ and the Apostles in the Heavenly Jerusalem, apse mosaic, early fifth century, Rome, Santa Pudenziana. Public domain.
Christ and the Apostles in the Heavenly Jerusalem, apse mosaic, early fifth century, Rome, Santa Pudenziana.

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Introduction to Romans

When the projected visit to Rome had taken definite shape in Paul’s mind, he immediately concerned himself with preparations for the journey. One very important preliminary step was the writing of a care-fully-worded letter, which was then dispatched to Rome. Fortunately this letter has been preserved and given a prominent place in the New Testament, where it is familiarly known as “Paul’s Epistle to the Romans.” This Epistle should now be given careful consideration. Perhaps the best method of study will be to present and discuss some important questions relating to the Epistle as a whole, and then proceed to an examination of the contents.

(A) What was Paul’s purpose in writing this Epistle? As stated, this Epistle formed part of Paul’s preparations for his visit to Rome. On previous journeys, Paul had gone directly to the various synagogues and delivered his message without previous communication. Consequently, the “good news” concerning the Messiah came as a surprise to many synagogue members, and they were not prepared to receive a teaching so much at variance with their traditions. Then followed acrimonious discussions, and the final rejection of Paul and his message. Paul of course made some converts at the synagogues, but he also stirred up much bitter opposition from those who did not accept his teaching. Therefore, for this new venture he determined upon a different method of approach. Not only did Paul give advance notice of his coming, but he also sent a carefully-prepared resume of his teaching, so that upon his arrival his hearers would be acquainted with the basic principles of the Gospel message. Paul hoped that, in this way, many of the former misunderstandings would be avoided, and that both he and his message would receive a favorable reception at Rome.

(B) To whom was the Epistle addressed? Traditionally, this Epistle has always been regarded as addressed to “the Church at Rome” — and few further questions have been raised. However, several modern writers have pointed out that there is nothing in the New Testament to indicate the existence of an organized Christian church in Rome at that time. If there had been a congregation at Rome, Paul would not have been under the necessity of explaining the Christian teaching — for the church membership would have been acquainted with the fundamentals of their faith; nor would they have needed any persuasion from Paul to become Christians. Furthermore, Paul clearly states the basic purpose of this missionary enterprise: “To preach the Gospel not where Christ has already been named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation . . (Rom. 15:20). Throughout his ministry, Paul went only to “virgin territory” — and it would seem strange indeed if he changed his procedure for this journey. Possibly, therefore, this preparatory Epistle was sent to friends of Aquila and Priscilla, residing in Rome, and through them to the officers of the Jewish synagogue at Rome. The Epistle bears testimony to this possibility, since all Paul’s arguments are couched in terms which would be understood and appreciated by persons well-versed in Jewish traditions. The procedure would also be in harmony with Paul’s own teaching, frequently used in this Epistle: “To the Jew first.” It is also significant that when Paul finally arrived at Rome, he immediately communicated with the Jewish leaders there.

(C) What important teaching is contained in this Epistle? The theme of the Epistle to the Romans is usually stated as “justification by faith.” The word justification, as here used, is a Jewish legal term. For Jewish people in those days, life’s greatest attainment was to receive the divine pronouncement that they were “just,” or “righteous”; and they were thus enabled to enter into fellowship with God. But to attain this “justification,” a man was required to fulfill all the commands of the Mosaic law, without violation, either by commission or omission. Unfortunately the law contained so many detailed regulations that few persons—if any—could measure up to the required standard. Now Paul proclaimed that this greatly desired state of justification, together with the ensuing fellowship with God, is attainable through faith in Jesus Christ. This teaching is clearly set forth through such statements as “The just shall live by faith” (Rom. 1:17 A.V.) and “Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1 A.V.).

(D) How is this teaching presented? In the main section of the Epistle the theme mentioned above is carefully explained, amplified, and illustrated, so that it may be clearly understood by the readers. First, the apostle states that all men are separated from God by reason of sin. This applies to the Gentiles, who are convicted by conscience, and also to the Jews, who stand convicted by their law. (See Rom. 1:18 through 3:20.) Then Paul declares that the only way to reconciliation with God is through Jesus Christ. Justification is not attained through the “works of the law,” but through righteousness imparted by the Christ Spirit. Nothing, then, can separate the believer from the love of God (Rom. 3:21 through 8:39).

But the apostle recognizes that this new teaching may give rise to a poignant question. Jewish readers would be likely to inquire: Does all this mean that God has now abandoned Israel? Paul answers: Not necessarily! It means, rather, that God has prepared a plan for the salvation of both Jews and Gentiles. For the present, Jews may be regarded as “marking time” until the way is fully opened for the Gentiles. (See Rom. 9:1 through 11:36.)

Then follows what may be termed the practical application of the teaching. The apostle points out that through the acceptance of this new teaching, both Jews and Gentiles may now enter into a new and better relationship, both with God and their fellow men. The readers are urged not to be “conformed to this world,” but to be “transformed by the renewing of your mind.” The section concludes with some personal explanations, and a loving benediction. (See Rom. 12:1 through 15:33.)

Chapter sixteen should not be regarded as belonging to the Epistle to the Romans. The opening section of Romans clearly indicates that, at the time of writing, Paul had no personal connections with the people at Rome; but in this sixteenth chapter he sends greetings to many close friends. It will also be noticed that greetings are sent to Aquila and Priscilla—who, at that time, were living at Ephesus. Chapter sixteen may have been the closing section of another letter, written by Paul, and sent to Ephesus about the same time as the writing of the Epistle to the Romans.

Introduction to Paul’s Letter to the Romans by Herbert J. Hunt, former Dean of Bible Studies for the Unity School of Christianity.

Romans 1

(Online: ASV WEB)


1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ,1 called to be an apostle, set apart for the Good News of God, 1:2 which he promised before through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 1:3 concerning his Son, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, 1:4 who was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, 1:5 through whom we received grace and apostleship,2 for obedience of faith among all the nations, for his name's sake; 1:6 among whom you are also called to belong to Jesus Christ; 1:7 to all who are in Rome,3 beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

  1. a servant of Jesus Christ. The especial office of the word of truth, which Paul represents, is to make Christ Spirit manifest.
  2. grace and apostleship. The grace that we receive is in proportion to the measure of the Christ consciousness that we attain and is the result of that consciousness. The measure of our apostleship is our ability to translate our understanding and love into service.
  3. Rome. Rome represents the head, in contrast to Jerusalem, which represents the heart. These words represent the will, which must be reached and converted before the teaching of the Christ can become effectual.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, that your faith is proclaimed throughout the whole world.1 1:9 For God is my witness, whom I serve in my spirit2 in the Good News of his Son, how unceasingly I make mention of you always in my prayers, 1:10 requesting, if by any means now at last I may be prospered by the will of God to come to you. 1:11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, to the end that you may be established; 1:12 that is, that I with you may be encouraged in you, each of us by the other's faith, both yours and mine.

1:13 Now I don't desire to have you unaware, brothers, that I often planned to come to you, and was hindered so far, that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles. 1:14 I am debtor both to Greeks and to foreigners,3 both to the wise and to the foolish. 1:15 So, as much as is in me, I am eager to preach the Good News to you also who are in Rome.

  1. proclaimed throughout the whole world. Because the spiritualized intellect has power to influence and change the life as the emotional nature, unaided by the intellect, cannot do.
  2. whom I serve in my spirit. By laying hold of the substance of Truth and making it his own.
  3. to Greeks and to foreigners. Greeks represent man's intellectual reasonings, foreigners his uncultivated, unillumined thoughts. To these as well as to his understanding and his ignorance (the wise and the foolish) he owes the gift of the insight and wisdom of the Christ mind.

The Power of the Good News of Christ (Gospel)

1:16 For I am not ashamed of the Good News of Christ, for it is the power of God for salvation1 for everyone who believes; for the Jew first, and also for the Greek.2 1:17 For in it is revealed God's righteousness from faith to faith. As it is written, "But the righteous shall live by faith."[1]

  1. salvation. Salvation is for the whole of man, for his outer organism as well as for his soul; but not all persons, nor all our individual thoughts, are ready for Truth when it is first proclaimed though all will come to perfect understanding in due season. As we daily declare Truth over and over to ourselves, our thoughts and faculties and the very cells of our body will awaken, until finally we shall be fully resurrected into the Christ consciousness.
  2. the Jew first, and also for the Greek. The Jews symbolize our religious thoughts and the Gentiles symbolize our worldly thoughts. Paul was determined to reconcile the Jew and the Gentile (Acts 21:13, 19). We find that there is a separation between our religious thoughts and our worldly thoughts. We have built up a Sunday religion and thrown around it a wall of sacredness. In it are rites and ceremonies and sacrifices according to a standard fixed by some sect, whose teachings about God we have accepted as true. Then the broad Truth of the Holy Spirit enters the mind and begins to break down this wall of separation between the religious thoughts and the worldly thoughts. It perceives that the principles involved in the Fatherhood of God must go to the uttermost parts of the mind and the body and unify them in Spirit. MBD/Jews

The Guilt of Humankind

1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 1:19 because that which is known of God is revealed in them, for God revealed it to them. 1:20 For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made,1 even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse. 1:21 Because, knowing God, they didn't glorify him as God, neither gave thanks, but became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless heart was darkened.

1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 1:23 and traded the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed animals, and creeping things. 1:24 Therefore God also gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves, 1:25 who exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

1:26 For this reason, God gave them up to vile passions. For their women changed the natural function into that which is against nature. 1:27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural function of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another, men doing what is inappropriate with men, and receiving in themselves the due penalty of their error. 1:28 Even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 1:29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil habits, secret slanderers, 1:30 backbiters, hateful to God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 1:31 without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, unforgiving, unmerciful; 1:32 who, knowing the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but also approve of those who practice them.

  1. perceived through the things that are made. "After the practice of self-knowledge, this consideration of the creatures is the first thing in order upon this spiritual road to the knowledge of God; by means of them, the soul considers His greatness and excellence."–John of the Cross, The Faults of Beginners

Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mark Hicks

World English Bible Footnotes:

Romans 2

(Online: ASV WEB)

The Problem in Judging Others

2:1 Therefore you are without excuse, O man, whoever you are who judge. For in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself. For you who judge practice the same things. 2:2 We know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. 2:3 Do you think this, O man who judges those who practice such things, and do the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? 2:4 Or do you despise the riches of his goodness, forbearance, and patience, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? 2:5 But according to your hardness and unrepentant heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath, revelation, and of the righteous judgment of God; 2:6 who "will pay back to everyone according to their works:"[2] 2:7 to those who by patience in well-doing1 seek for glory, honor, and incorruptibility, eternal life; 2:8 but to those who are self-seeking, and don't obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, will be wrath and indignation, 2:9 oppression and anguish, on every soul of man who works evil, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

2:10 But glory, honor, and peace go to every man who works good, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 2:11 For there is no partiality with God.2 2:12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without the law. As many as have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 2:13 For it isn't the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law will be justified 2:14 (for when Gentiles who don't have the law do by nature the things of the law, these, not having the law, are a law to themselves, 2:15 in that they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience testifying with them, and their thoughts among themselves accusing or else excusing them) 2:16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men, according to my Good News, by Jesus Christ.

  1. by patience in well-doing. Restitution in each individual must be complete, and no one can compare himself with another at any stage of the process. We have all lost consciousness of the divine image and we must all be restored to its likeness. We cannot hasten the restoration work except “by patience in well-doing,” holding fast to the saving grace and power of Jesus Christ to help us on the way.—Lesson 4, Unity Correspondence School Course.
  2. no partiality with God. The scriptural authority for the notion of God as unchanging principle is highly reinforced. “The fundamental basis of practical Christianity is that God is principle” (Meyer p. 30).

The Jews and the Law

2:17 Indeed you bear the name of a Jew, and rest on the law, and glory in God, 2:18 and know his will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law, 2:19 and are confident that you yourself are a guide of the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 2:20 a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of babies, having in the law the form of knowledge and of the truth. 2:21 You therefore who teach another, don't you teach yourself? You who preach that a man shouldn't steal, do you steal? 2:22 You who say a man shouldn't commit adultery. Do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 2:23 You who glory in the law, through your disobedience of the law do you dishonor God? 2:24 For "the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,"[3] just as it is written. 2:25 For circumcision indeed profits, if you are a doer of the law, but if you are a transgressor of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 2:26 If therefore the uncircumcised keep the ordinances of the law, won't his uncircumcision be accounted as circumcision? 2:27 Won't the uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfills the law, judge you, who with the letter and circumcision are a transgressor of the law? 2:28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh; 2:29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart,1 in the spirit not in the letter; whose praise is not from men, but from God.

  1. circumcision is that of the heart. Let us understand with Paul that the true baptism, like the true circumcision, is not that “which is outward of the flesh;” but the true baptism “is that of the heart, in the Spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God”—John L. Chesnutt, Walk in the Light p12.

Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mark Hicks

World English Bible Footnotes:

Romans 3

(Online: ASV WEB)

The Jews and the Law (continued)

3:1 Then what advantage does the Jew1 have? Or what is the profit of circumcision? 3:2 Much in every way! Because first of all, they were entrusted with the oracles of God. 3:3 For what if some were without faith? Will their lack of faith nullify the faithfulness of God? 3:4 May it never be! Yes, let God be found true, but every man a liar. As it is written,

"That you might be justified in your words,

and might prevail when you come into judgment."[4]

3:5 But if our unrighteousness commends the righteousness of God, what will we say? Is God unrighteous who inflicts wrath? I speak like men do. 3:6 May it never be! For then how will God judge the world? 3:7 For if the truth of God through my lie abounded to his glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? 3:8 Why not (as we are slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say), "Let us do evil, that good may come?" Those who say so are justly condemned.

  1. What advantage does the Jew have? The Hebrews surely represent the thoughts in man that have come up out of the purely material and passed over to a higher concept of God and of His laws, into a closer and clearer relationship with God. These thoughts are, however, still under law, the law of sin and death; for true freedom, spiritual understanding and realization, life and peace, come only by the still higher way—which is the Christ method, the way taught and demonstrated by Jesus Christ.—MBD: Hebrew

None Is Righteouus

3:9 What then? Are we better than they? No, in no way. For we previously warned both Jews and Greeks,1 that they are all under sin. 3:10 As it is written,

"There is no one righteous;

no, not one.

3:11 There is no one who understands.

There is no one who seeks after God.

3:12 They have all turned aside.

They have together become unprofitable.

There is no one who does good,

no, not, so much as one."[5]

3:13 "Their throat is an open tomb.

With their tongues they have used deceit."[6]

"The poison of vipers is under their lips;"[7]

3:14 "Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness."[8]

3:15 "Their feet are swift to shed blood.

3:16 Destruction and misery are in their ways.

3:17 The way of peace, they haven't known."[9]

3:18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes."[10]

3:19 Now we know that whatever things the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may be brought under the judgment of God. 3:20 Because by the works of the law, no flesh will be justified in his sight. For through the law comes the knowledge of sin.

  1. both Jews and Greeks. The Jews symbolize our religious thoughts and the Gentiles symbolize our worldly thoughts. Paul was determined to reconcile the Jew and the Gentile (Acts 21:13, 19).-MBD/Jews: Paul's Epistle to the Romans is more about reconciling Jews and Greeks (a 1st century concern) than it is about Sin and Grace (a 16th century concern).

Righteousness through Faith1

3:21 But now apart from the law, a righteousness of God has been revealed,2 being testified by the law and the prophets; 3:22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ to all and on all those who believe. For there is no distinction, 3:23 for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God; 3:24 being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; 3:25 whom God set forth to be an atoning sacrifice[11], through faith in his blood, for a demonstration of his righteousness through the passing over of prior sins, in God's forbearance; 3:26 to demonstrate his righteousness at this present time; that he might himself be just, and the justifier of him who has faith in Jesus.

3:27 Where then is the boasting?3 It is excluded. By what manner of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. 3:28 We maintain therefore that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.4 3:29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Isn't he the God of Gentiles also?5 Yes, of Gentiles also, 3:30 since indeed there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith, and the uncircumcised through faith. 3:31 Do we then nullify the law through faith? May it never be! No, we establish the law.

  1. Righteousness through Faith. Man as the offspring of God is a composite idea of all that God is. Spiritually he is the creative law of God in action. A person must have a consciousness of his spiritual identity, a certain integrity to hold him firm and steady amid the winds and waves of negative thought. This Is illustrated in the case of a person who is misunderstood, as Jesus was. When condemnation comes upon anyone from without, he is apt to be beaten down In humiliation and grief unless he has a strong consciousness of his own spiritual integrity. If this consciousness is very strong, if he has great faith in his righteousness—not the righteousness of the limited personal man, but of the Christ indwelling—he can go safely through such an experience, often unmoved by it. This is a very practical demonstration of faith.—Unity Correspondence School Series 2, Lesson 8: Faith
  2. a righteousness of God has been revealed. “Apart from the law,” which is a predetermined standard, “a righteousness of God hath been manifested”. Faith in the Christ within man quickens his perceptive faculties. As he learns to believe in himself as a sharer of the divine nature, which is infinite in love, wisdom and power, he draws on the qualities that arouse his faith still more fully, and they enlighten him according to his need. Man can know this righteousness of God and manifest it also. The fact that it is in harmony with the standard set by the thinkers and seers of early times (the Mosaic law) and with the law of cause and effect (the Prophets) is strong corroborative evidence of its truth. Man's inner conviction is further evidence on this point.
  3. Where then is the boasting? There exists a higher and better order than man has seen manifested in the natural world or has proved in its fullness. He accepts this order as true in faith, though still unmanifest to the eye of flesh. The habit of looking to something higher than himself, for strength and wisdom develops in him humility, thus excluding self-conceit or “glorying.”
  4. apart from the works of the law. The works of faith include the exercising of man's inner vision in such a way as to show him that spiritual strength sufficient for all his needs is to be had for the taking; also the keeping of the inner eye single, so that he sees good only. As he does these works they justify his course by proving it the law of life and well-being.
  5. Isn't he not God of the Gentiles also? Since faith is a universal law of man's being, it can be applied by all alike regardless of forms and ceremonies. “He shall justify the circumcision by faith, and the uncircumcision through faith.” The religious instinct (Jews) and the external interests (Gentiles) are both subject to this law.

Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mark Hicks

World English Bible Footnotes:

Romans 4

(Online: ASV WEB)

The Example of Abraham

4:1 What then will we say that Abraham, our forefather, has found according to the flesh? 4:2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not toward God. 4:3 For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness."1[12] 4:4 Now to him who works, the reward is not counted as grace, but as debt. 4:5 But to him who doesn't work, but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness. 4:6 Even as David also pronounces blessing on the man to whom God counts righteousness apart from works,

4:7 "Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven,

whose sins are covered.

4:8 Blessed is the man whom the Lord will by no means charge with sin."[13]

4:9 Is this blessing then pronounced on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. 4:10 How then was it counted? When he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. 4:11 He received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while he was in uncircumcision, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they be in uncircumcision, that righteousness might also be accounted to them. 4:12 The father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had in uncircumcision.

  1. and it was accounted to him for righteousness. St. Paul was in conflict with the Jews in regard to circumcision, trying to convince them of the falsity of their idea of circumcision of the flesh. Paul had awakened to the consciousness of circumcision of the heart from all fleshly-carnal claims, fleshly ties that stand between us and Divinity. In the degree of our awakening to the Christ, we are born into the higher consciousness of existence and no longer seek our own selfish ends, but seek our neighbor's interests and welfare as our own.-Unity magazine Sept 1907.

God’s Promise Realized through Faith

4:13 For the promise to Abraham and to his seed that he should be heir of the world wasn't through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.1 4:14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void, and the promise is made of no effect. 4:15 For the law works wrath, for where there is no law, neither is there disobedience. 4:16 For this cause it is of faith, that it may be according to grace, to the end that the promise may be sure to all the seed, not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all. 4:17 As it is written, "I have made you a father of many nations."[14] This is in the presence of him whom he believed: God, who gives life to the dead, and calls the things that are not, as though they were. 4:18 Who in hope believed against hope, to the end that he might become a father of many nations, according to that which had been spoken, "So will your seed be."[15] 4:19 Without being weakened in faith, he didn't consider his own body, already having been worn out, (he being about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah's womb. 4:20 Yet, looking to the promise of God, he didn't waver through unbelief, but grew strong through faith, giving glory to God, 4:21 and being fully assured that what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 4:22 Therefore it also was "reckoned to him for righteousness."[16] 4:23 Now it was not written that it was accounted to him for his sake alone, 4:24 but for our sake also, to whom it will be accounted, who believe in him who raised Jesus, our Lord, from the dead, 4:25 who was delivered up for our trespasses, and was raised for our justification.

  1. but through the righteousness of faith. Abraham represents the awakening of faith in God, in man’s consciousness. In Romans 4:11, 13, we are told that he is "the father of all them that believe.”-Unity April 1928

Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mark Hicks

World English Bible Footnotes:

Romans 5

(Online: ASV WEB)

Results of Justification

5:1 Being therefore justified by faith,1 we have peace with God2 through our Lord Jesus Christ; 5:2 through whom we also have our access by faith into this grace in which we stand. We rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 5:3 Not only this, but we also rejoice in our sufferings,3 knowing that suffering works perseverance; 5:4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope: 5:5 and hope doesn't disappoint us, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

5:6 For while we were yet weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.4 5:7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man. Yet perhaps for a righteous person someone would even dare to die. 5:8 But God commends his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.5 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood,6 we will be saved from God's wrath through him. 5:10 For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we will be saved by his life.7 5:11 Not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

  1. justified by faith. Having our course proved right without the actual experience of furnishing the proof ourselves. Faith requires us to hold to a higher and better order than we can yet prove. Faith proves itself to us in the form of inner conviction, which no argument or external happening can shake.
  2. we have peace with God. To have one's course proved right beyond all question brings peace of mind. Serene faith in God and the daily following up of one's understanding bring one into consciousness of the grace of God.
  3. rejoice in our sufferings. The Christ consciousness turns all things to our final benefit. Since the Christ consciousness is constructive power it must bring good into our life, no matter through what avenue it comes.
  4. Christ died for the ungodly. The ungodly are those who live entirely outside the Christ consciousness after they have once come to know its saving power.
  5. Christ died for us. Christ dies in the sinner, because sin thrusts the one who sins outside the Christ consciousness, so that it seems to him no longer to exist.
  6. justified by his blood. Salvation through the blood of Christ is presented to the mind in two phases: first, as justification, and second, as an actual cleansing power introduced into the mind and body of man... The blood is life. The Adam blood must be shed (denied away) and the blood or life of the risen Christ must be substituted in every individual.–Unity, July 1915
  7. we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we will be saved by his life. The terms, “Jesus” and “Christ,” have come to be used synonymously by many professed Christians. But a distinction must be perceived in order to get a true understanding of Jesus Christ. Christ, the man of God, restored the divine life to the purified body, of Jesus. Thus Jesus died for us and Christ lived for us.–Weekly Unity, January 20, 1929. It is not by a dead Jesus that we are saved, but by a resurrected living Christ.–Unity, December 1914.

Adam and Christ

5:12 Therefore, as sin entered into the world through one man, and death through sin; and so death passed to all men,1 because all sinned. 5:13 For until the law, sin was in the world; but sin is not charged when there is no law. 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those whose sins weren't like Adam's disobedience, who is a foreshadowing of him who was to come.

5:15 But the free gift isn't like the trespass. For if by the trespass of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God, and the gift by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. 5:16 The gift is not as through one who sinned: for the judgment came by one to condemnation, but the free gift came of many trespasses to justification. 5:17 For if by the trespass of the one, death reigned through the one; so much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ.

5:18 So then as through one trespass, all men were condemned; even so through one act of righteousness, all men were justified to life. 5:19 For as through the one man's disobedience many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the one, many will be made righteous. 5:20 The law came in besides, that the trespass might abound; but where sin abounded, grace abounded more exceedingly; 5:21 that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

  1. so death passed to all men. Death is the absence of the life idea from the body consciousness, thus leaving the body to go to corruption. In Romans 5:12 and 19, it is written that through disobedience sin entered into the world and death by sin. In the second and third chapters of Genesis we see that the disobedience was in eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, or, in other words, believing in a power of evil as well as good, thus setting up a false god and attributing a part of the One Power (God) to evil.–Unity, February 1915.

Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mark Hicks

Romans 6

(Online: ASV WEB)

Dying and Rising with Christ

6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 6:2 May it never be! We who died to sin, how could we live in it any longer? 6:3 Or don't you know that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 6:4 We were buried therefore with him through baptism to death, that just like Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life.

6:5 For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we will also be part of his resurrection; 6:6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be in bondage to sin. 6:7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 6:8 But if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him; 6:9 knowing that Christ, being raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no more has dominion over him! 6:10 For the death that he died, he died to sin one time; but the life that he lives, he lives to God. 6:11 Thus consider yourselves also to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

6:12 Therefore don't let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 6:13 Neither present your members to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God, as alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 6:14 For sin will not have dominion over you. For you are not under law, but under grace.

Slaves of Righteousness

6:15 What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under law, but under grace? May it never be! 6:16 Don't you know that to whom you present yourselves as servants to obedience, his servants you are whom you obey;1 whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness? 6:17 But thanks be to God, that, whereas you were bondservants of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching whereunto you were delivered. 6:18 Being made free from sin, you became bondservants of righteousness.2 6:19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh, for as you presented your members as servants to uncleanness and to wickedness upon wickedness, even so now present your members as servants to righteousness for sanctification.

6:20 For when you were servants of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 6:21 What fruit then did you have at that time in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.3 6:22 But now, being made free from sin, and having become servants of God, you have your fruit of sanctification,4 and the result of eternal life. 6:23 For the wages of sin is death,5 but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  1. his servants you are whom you obey. In claiming the protection of Roman citizenship, when he was arrested, Paul found the truth here stated exemplified in his experience. He gave his case to the Romans and took it out of the hands of God. The result of his servitude is shown in the years pf imprisonment which be had to endure. [But] when he and Silas were in prison and prayed and sang psalms, the doors were opened and they were immediately set free. MBI, Acts 24–Unity October 1909.
  2. Being made free from sin, you became bondservants of righteousness. In the moral viewpoint we must serve either sin or righteousness. When we are freed from the one, we embrace the other.
  3. the end of those things is death. The fruit of sin is death.
  4. you have your fruit of sanctification. Righteousness, or right living, leads to consciousness of eternal life. This is the greatest profit that can accrue to anyone.
  5. the wages of sin is death Sin is the consciousness of separation. And the one and only solution to the one basic problem is to reestablish a sense of oneness, to get recentered in the divine flow.–Eric Butterworth, The Universe Is Calling, 153.

Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mark Hicks

Romans 7

(Online: ASV WEB)

An Analogy from Marriage

7:1 Or don't you know, brothers[17] (for I speak to men who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man for as long as he lives?1 7:2 For the woman that has a husband is bound by law to the husband while he lives, but if the husband dies, she is discharged from the law of the husband. 7:3 So then if, while the husband lives, she is joined to another man, she would be called an adulteress. But if the husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is no adulteress, though she is joined to another man. 7:4 Therefore, my brothers, you also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ,2 that you would be joined to another, to him who was raised from the dead, that we might bring forth fruit to God.3 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were through the law, worked in our members to bring forth fruit to death. 7:6 But now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that in which we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter.

  1. that the law has dominion over a man for as long as he lives. Paul is referring to the law of sin and death, which is temporary. Compare to law of God (7:22), which is eternal.
  2. made dead to the law through the body of Christ; We are free of the (carnal) law of sin and death because we are members of the (spiritual) body of Christ.
  3. that you would be joined to another...that we might bring forth fruit to God. Christ came so that we may bear the fruit of oneness (joined to another).

The Law and Sin

7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? May it never be! However, I wouldn't have known sin, except through the law. For I wouldn't have known coveting, unless the law had said, "You shall not covet."[18] 7:8 But sin, finding occasion through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of coveting. For apart from the law, sin is dead. 7:9 I was alive apart from the law once, but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.1 7:10 The commandment, which was for life, this I found to be for death; 7:11 for sin, finding occasion through the commandment, deceived me, and through it killed me. 7:12 Therefore the law indeed is holy, and the commandment holy, and righteous, and good.

7:13 Did then that which is good become death to me? May it never be! But sin, that it might be shown to be sin, by working death to me through that which is good; that through the commandment sin might become exceeding sinful.

  1. I was alive apart from the law once, but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. The ego personality has been groomed and molded from youth and believes it's the ruler of the Soul. Then when the I AM has been revived, spiritual warfare breaks out in the mind and body, leading the individual to believe they are wretched; instead of the Truth, that they've been misguided and egotistical to God's Law and the Ideal Person which is Christ in you. That Revelation helped changed my life, Thank you Truth Unity for your teaching (This commentary is from a TruthUnity visitor).

The Inner Conflict

7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am fleshly, sold under sin. 7:15 For I don't know what I am doing.1 For I don't practice what I desire to do; but what I hate, that I do. 7:16 But if what I don't desire, that I do, I consent to the law that it is good. 7:17 So now it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwells in me. 7:18 For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwells no good thing. For desire is present with me, but I don't find it doing that which is good. 7:19 For the good which I desire, I don't do; but the evil which I don't desire, that I practice. 7:20 But if what I don't desire, that I do, it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwells in me. 7:21 I find then the law, that, to me, while I desire to do good, evil is present. 7:22 For I delight in God's law2 after the inward man, 7:23 but I see a different law in my members,3 warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity under the law of sin which is in my members. 7:24 What a wretched man I am!4 Who will deliver me out of the body of this death? 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ, our Lord! So then with the mind, I myself serve God's law, but with the flesh, the sin's law.

  1. For I don't know what I am doing.. Paul switches to present tense in vv14-25 and this section is the basis for the General Confession in liturgical and evangelical: ALMIGHTY and most merciful Father, We have erred and strayed from thy ways ... And there is no health in us. Unity rejects this theology.
  2. For I delight in God's law. The law of God is the orderly working out of the principle of Being, or the divine ideals, into expression and manifestation throughout creation (MBD/Law).
  3. a different law in my members. The law of sin and death. See 8:2: For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death.
  4. What a wretched man I am! Unity never provided commentary on any of part of this chapter, most likely because: If, through the power of our thought and word, we affirm the opposite of life and talk about the absence of life, we rob the body cells of their natural element. This treatment will eventually bring death to the organism. Let us not say, "I am tired"; "I am weak"; "I am sick." Rather, let us say, "I am strong"; "I am well"; "I am alive with the life of God now and forevermore." (RW/Death)

Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mark Hicks

World English Bible Footnotes:

  • [17] v7:1. The word for "brothers" here and where context allows may also be correctly translated "brothers and sisters" or "siblings."
  • [18] v7:7. Exodus 20:17; Deuteronomy 5:21

Romans 8

(Online: ASV WEB)

Life in the Spirit

8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who don't walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.[19] 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus1 made me free from the law of sin and of death.2 8:3 For what the law couldn't do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God did, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh; 8:4 that the ordinance of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 8:5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 8:6 For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace; 8:7 because the mind of the flesh is hostile towards God; for it is not subject to God's law, neither indeed can it be.

8:8 Those who are in the flesh can't please God. 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if it is so that the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if any man doesn't have the Spirit of Christ, he is not his. 8:10 If Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 8:11 But if the Spirit of him who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.3

8:12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 8:13 For if you live after the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God,4 these are children of God. 8:15 For you didn't receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, "Abba[20]! Father!" 8:16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God; 8:17 and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if indeed we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified with him.

  1. law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus is the activity of the principle of Absolute Good in man's consciousness. When active in the hearts of men it will inspire them to turn to God for guidance, so that divine wisdom and love will be expressed in the earth. Each person will be as conscious of all the family of God as he is of "self" and he will be divinely alive to the purpose and needs of his fellow men. Series 1 - Lesson 6 - Annotation 18
  2. law of sin and of death is the operation of a secondary or a mental law that man has put into activity by the wrong use of his power to think and feel. It is the operation of the mental law of cause and effect based on an error belief... The mental law of cause and effect, while it shows the justice of God, has no saving power of itself. Series 1 - Lesson 6 - Annotation 17
  3. through his Spirit who dwells in you. Few Christians realize the vital truth in this statement by Paul, although it is but one of many of like character to be found in his writings. Paul taught that what Spirit did for Jesus it would do for all who follow Him and adopt His methods of spiritual self-development. Jesus Christ Heals 193.
  4. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. When we become conscious of our oneness with God we are in the "spiritual body" and, being "led by the Spirit," are, therefore, sons of God, God beings. It is while we are in this consciousness of identity with the Christ within us that healing for others or for ourselves takes place, that inspiration is born, or that illumination enlightens us. Unity January 1932

Future Glory

8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which will be revealed toward us. 8:19 For the creation waits with eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.1 8:20 For the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 8:21 that the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of decay into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now. 8:23 Not only so, but ourselves also, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for adoption, the redemption of our body. 8:24 For we were saved in hope, but hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for that which he sees? 8:25 But if we hope for that which we don't see, we wait for it with patience.

8:26 In the same way, the Spirit also helps our weaknesses, for we don't know how to pray as we ought. But the Spirit himself makes intercession for us2 with groanings which can't be uttered. 8:27 He who searches the hearts knows what is on the Spirit's mind, because he makes intercession for the saints according to God.

8:28 We know that all things work together for good3 for those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose. 8:29 For whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.[21] 8:30 Whom he predestined, those he also called. Whom he called, those he also justified. Whom he justified, those he also glorified.

  1. expectation for the children of God to be revealed. Spiritual evolution is the unfolding of the Spirit of God into expression. The Christ or Son of God evolution in man is plainly taught in the New Testament as the supreme attainment of every man. Metaphysical meaning of evolution (rw)
  2. the Spirit himself makes intercession for us. A subtle clue that immanent Spirit makes an intercession to the transcendent Father. Everyone who depends upon the enabling power of the Holy Spirit learns through prayer that he gains what he seeks, when his desire is toward God and the direction of his thought is inclined toward what is right. Every prayer that is in harmony with Truth (“according to the will of God”) is an intercession of the Holy Spirit become active in man. As one element of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit makes union with Divine Mind (The Father), and is heard.
  3. all things work together for good. The very circumstances in your life that seem heartbreaking evils will turn to joy before your very eyes if you will steadfastly refuse to see anything but God in them. Bondage or Liberty, Which? 35. Refer to Ed Rabel Nothing But Good and Mysteries of Genesis Joseph Sold into Slavery: the faculty of imagination, if it has been trained and disciplined, will work for the good of man even in the darkened realm of sense (Egypt). Though the purpose in selling Joseph into Egypt was error, the result proved to be good.

God’s perfect life floods my being now and I am made whole.

God's Love in Christ Jesus

8:31 What then shall we say about these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 8:32 He who didn't spare his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how would he not also with him freely give us all things? 8:33 Who could bring a charge against God's chosen ones? It is God who justifies. 8:34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, yes rather, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Could oppression, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 8:36 Even as it is written, "For your sake we are killed all day long. We were accounted as sheep for the slaughter."[22] 8:37 No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 8:39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God,1 which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  1. will be able to separate us from the love of God. God cannot be separated from His creation because, as these lessons have already emphasized, He is the cause of all creation, the source from which it comes forth. He is the life, substance, and intelligence that maintains and sustains man and the universe. Lessons In Truth - Lesson 2 - Annotation 8

Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mark Hicks

World English Bible Footnotes:

  • [19] v8:1. NU omits "who don't walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit"
  • [20] v8:15. Abba is an Aramaic word for father or daddy, often used affectionately and respectfully in prayer to our Father in heaven.
  • [21] v8:29. The word for "brothers" here and where context allows may also be correctly translated "brothers and sisters" or "siblings."
  • [22] v8:36. Psalm 44:22

Romans 9

(Online: ASV WEB)

God’s Election of Israel

9:1 I tell the truth in Christ. I am not lying, my conscience testifying with me in the Holy Spirit,1 9:2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing pain in my heart. 9:3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brothers' sake, my relatives according to the flesh, 9:4 who are Israelites;2 whose is the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service, and the promises; 9:5 of whom are the fathers, and from whom is Christ as concerning the flesh,3 who is over all, God, blessed4 forever. Amen.

9:6 But it is not as though the word of God has come to nothing. For they are not all Israel, that are of Israel. 9:7 Neither, because they are Abraham's seed, are they all children. But, "In Isaac will your seed be called."[23] 9:8 That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise5 are counted as a seed. 9:9 For this is a word of promise, "At the appointed time I will come, and Sarah will have a son."[24] 9:10 Not only so, but Rebecca also conceived by one, by our father Isaac. 9:11 For being not yet born, neither having done anything good or bad, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him who calls, 9:12 it was said to her, "The elder will serve the younger."[25] 9:13 Even as it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."[26]

9:14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? May it never be! 9:15 For he said to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."[27] 9:16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who has mercy. 9:17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I caused you to be raised up, that I might show in you my power, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."[28] 9:18 So then, he has mercy on whom he desires, and he hardens whom he desires.

  1. testifying with me in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is authority on the gospel of Jesus. It is the only authority that Jesus ever recognized, and whoever attempts to set forth His gospel from any other standpoint is in the letter and not the spirit. No man can know what Jesus' doctrine is except he gets it direct from the one and only custodian. It is not to come secondhand, but each for himself must receive it from the Holy Spirit, which is sent by the Father in the name of the Son. Revealing Word, Holy Spirit
  2. Israelites. The illumined thoughts in consciousness, which are undergoing spiritual discipline. They are the total of our religious thoughts. MBD, Israelites
  3. from whom is Christ concerning the flesh See the alternative translation in NRSV. Some scholars would end the sentence here and then begin a new sentence "May he who is god over all be blessed forever." This is important because it appropriately separates the Christ, or Messiah, from the transcendent God.
  4. Christ ... who is over all, God blessed. When we enter into spiritual consciousness, do we find that all our former religious beliefs and prejudices are at once transformed? In spiritual consciousness we, either surrender our “conscious prejudices and narrow religious beliefs, or we allow them to be transformed. Our subconscious beliefs and prejudices take longer to reach and influence. Romans 9 Metaphysical Bible Interpretation
  5. children of the promise. God has prepared a plan for the salvation of both Jews and Gentiles. For the present, Jews may be regarded as “marking time” until the way is fully opened for the Gentiles. Herbert Hunt 6. Paul's Journey to Rome

God’s Wrath and Mercy

9:19 You will say then to me, "Why does he still find fault? For who withstands his will?" 9:20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed ask him who formed it, "Why did you make me like this?"[29] 9:21 Or hasn't the potter a right over the clay, from the same lump to make one part a vessel for honor, and another for dishonor? 9:22 What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath made for destruction, 9:23 and that he might make known the riches of his glory on vessels of mercy, which he prepared beforehand for glory, 9:24 us, whom he also called, not from the Jews only, but also from the Gentiles? 9:25 As he says also in Hosea,

"I will call them 'my people,' which were not my people;

and her 'beloved,' who was not beloved."[30]

9:26 "It will be that in the place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,'

There they will be called 'children of the living God.'"[31]

9:27 Isaiah cries concerning Israel,

"If the number of the children of Israel are as the sand of the sea,

it is the remnant who will be saved;

9:28 for He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness,

because the LORD will make a short work upon the earth."[32]

9:29 As Isaiah has said before,

"Unless the Lord of Armies1[33] had left us a seed,

we would have become like Sodom,

and would have been made like Gomorrah."2[34]

  1. Lord of Armies (Sabaoth in ASV). or "Jehovah of hosts," in individual consciousness is that the Jehovah, Christ, true I AM in one, is Lord of--has dominion over--all the host of thoughts, forces, and activities in one's whole organism, in mind (heaven) and body (earth).
  2. Gomorrah. A state of mind in man that is adverse to the law of Spirit. It is submerged in sense and is very tyrannical in its nature. (See SODOM.)

Israel’s Unbelief

9:30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, who didn't follow after righteousness, attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith; 9:31 but Israel, following after a law of righteousness, didn't arrive at the law of righteousness. 9:32 Why? Because they didn't seek it by faith, but as it were by works of the law. They stumbled over the stumbling stone; 9:33 even as it is written,

"Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling1 stone2 and a rock of offense;

and no one who believes in him will be disappointed."3[35]

  1. a stone of stumbling. Isaiah 8:14. Stumbling because of reliance on law instead of Jesus Christ.
  2. I lay in Zion a stone. Isaiah 28:16. The stone is Jesus Christ.
  3. no one who believes in him will be disappointed (shall not be put to shame). See discussion of grace in The Master Key To Every Kingdom: Grace by Crichton Russ Boatwright.

Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mark Hicks

World English Bible Footnotes:

Romans 10

(Online: ASV WEB)

Israel’s Unbelief (continued)

10:1 Brothers, my heart's desire and my prayer to God is for Israel, that they may be saved. 10:2 For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 10:3 For being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, they didn't subject themselves to the righteousness of God. 10:4 For Christ is the fulfillment[36] of the law for righteousness1 to everyone who believes.

  1. For Christ is the fulfillment (end, ASV) of the law for righteousness. Harper Study Bible says "It is not certain whether end means termination or goal; the latter is the more probable." This Unity commentary agrees with HSB that "end" means "goal": The law unto righteousness, or law of right thinking, right speaking, and right acting, is wholly fulfilled in the Christ consciousness. As we believe in the power of true thought and persist in putting our faith into practice, we realize that “with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Salvation Is for All

10:5 For Moses writes about the righteousness of the law, "The one who does them will live by them."[37] 10:6 But the righteousness which is of faith says this, "Don't say in your heart,1 'Who will ascend into heaven?'[38] (that is, to bring Christ down); 10:7 or, 'Who will descend into the abyss?'[39] (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead.)" 10:8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth, and in your heart;2"[40] that is, the word of faith, which we preach:3 10:9 that if you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10:10 For with the heart, one believes unto righteousness;4 and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 10:11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes in him will not be disappointed."5[41]

10:12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, and is rich to all who call on him. 10:13 For, "Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved."[42] 10:14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in him whom they have not heard? How will they hear without a preacher? 10:15 And how will they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:

"How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the Good News of peace,

who bring glad tidings6 of good things!"[43]

10:16 But they didn't all listen to the glad news. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our report?"[44] 10:17 So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 10:18 But I say, didn't they hear? Yes, most certainly,

"Their sound went out into all the earth,

their words to the ends of the world."[45]

10:19 But I ask, didn't Israel know? First Moses says,

"I will provoke you to jealousy with that which is no nation,

with a nation void of understanding I will make you angry."[46]

10:20 Isaiah is very bold, and says,

"I was found by those who didn't seek me.

I was revealed to those who didn't ask for me."[47]

10:21 But as to Israel he says, "All day long I stretched out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people."[48]

  1. say in your heart. As used in Scripture, the word heart represents the subconscious mind (Revealing Word, heart).
  2. in your mouth, and in your heart. The Christ ideal can be realized by every man and woman.
  3. the word of faith, which we preach. The function of words is to express thought, and the word of faith expresses our thought of God and our belief in Him. God dwells in us as thought.
  4. for with the heart one believes unto righteousness. Through faith in the I AM, man puts his emotions in order. This done, he sees reason as a surer guide for action than feeling. Faith in the ideals of right, love, and Truth enables him to transform his heart, the symbolic seat of emotion, into a center of right thinking.
  5. Whosoever believes in him shall not be disappointed (put to shame, ASV). Whoever really believes in God and Jesus Christ is as good as his professed word. Faithful thinking and speaking of Truth lead to faithful living in harmony with thought and word, for real faith is practical and can be applied to everyday living.
  6. the feet ... who bring glad tidings. The accomplishing of needed service. Words unaccompanied by appropriate action lack the faith that moves mountains of doubt and difficulty.

Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mark Hicks

World English Bible Footnotes:

Romans 11

(Online: ASV WEB)

Israel’s Rejection Is Not Final

11:1 I ask then, did God reject his people? May it never be! For I also am an Israelite,1 a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.2 11:2 God didn't reject his people, which he foreknew. Or don't you know what the Scripture says about Elijah? How he pleads with God against Israel: 11:3 "Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have broken down your altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life."[49] 11:4 But how does God answer him? "I have reserved for myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to Baal."[50] 11:5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 11:6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

11:7 What then? That which Israel seeks for, that he didn't obtain, but the chosen ones obtained it, and the rest were hardened. 11:8 According as it is written, "God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear, to this very day."[51] 11:9 David says,

"Let their table be made a snare, and a trap,

a stumbling block, and a retribution to them.

11:10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see.

Bow down their back always."[52]

  1. I also am an Israelite. Israelite: The illumined thoughts in consciousness, which are undergoing spiritual discipline.
  2. of the tribe of Benjamin. Benjamin: established in consciousness express as strong, courageous, and conquering thoughts ("mighty men of valor").

The Salvation of the Gentiles

11:11 I ask then, did they stumble that they might fall? May it never be! But by their fall salvation has come to the Gentiles, to provoke them to jealousy. 11:12 Now if their fall is the riches of the world, and their loss the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness? 11:13 For I speak to you who are Gentiles.1 Since then as I am an apostle to Gentiles, I glorify my ministry; 11:14 if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh, and may save some of them. 11:15 For if the rejection of them is the reconciling of the world, what would their acceptance be, but life from the dead? 11:16 If the first fruit is holy, so is the lump. If the root is holy, so are the branches. 11:17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive,2 were grafted in among them, and became partaker with them of the root and of the richness of the olive tree; 11:18 don't boast over the branches. But if you boast, it is not you who support the root, but the root supports you. 11:19 You will say then, "Branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in." 11:20 True; by their unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by your faith. Don't be conceited, but fear; 11:21 for if God didn't spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. 11:22 See then the goodness and severity of God. Toward those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in his goodness; otherwise you also will be cut off. 11:23 They also, if they don't continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 11:24 For if you were cut out of that which is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree, how much more will these, which are the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?

  1. Gentiles. Worldly thoughts–thoughts pertaining to the external, or thoughts that function through the senses. The Gentile is the unregenerate state of mind in us.
  2. you, being a wild olive. The exalting of divine wisdom and love in consciousness (Mount of Olives, height yielding illuminating oil, high luminous principle) ... didst become partaker with them of the root of the fatness of the olive tree. In Romans 11:17 we read of “the fatness of the olive tree,” and it is a well-known fact that love is a great attracter of substance, of true riches. (MBD/Olivet)

All Israel Will Be Saved

11:25 For I don't desire you to be ignorant, brothers,[53] of this mystery, so that you won't be wise in your own conceits, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in, 11:26 and so all Israel will be saved. Even as it is written,

"There will come out of Zion the Deliverer,

and he will turn away ungodliness from Jacob.

11:27 This is my covenant to them,

when I will take away their sins."[54]

11:28 Concerning the Good News, they are enemies for your sake. But concerning the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sake. 11:29 For the gifts1 and the calling of God are irrevocable. 11:30 For as you in time past were disobedient to God, but now have obtained mercy by their disobedience, 11:31 even so these also have now been disobedient, that by the mercy shown to you they may also obtain mercy. 11:32 For God has shut up all to disobedience, that he might have mercy on all.
11:33 Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past tracing out!

11:34 "For who has known the mind of the Lord?

Or who has been his counselor?"[55]

11:35 "Or who has first given to him,

and it will be repaid to him again?"[56]

11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things. To him be the glory for ever! Amen.

  1. Gifts. The gifts that the Wise Men of the East brought to Jesus represent qualities of mind given by divine wisdom.

Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mark Hicks

World English Bible Footnotes:

Romans 12

(Online: ASV WEB)

The New Life in Christ

12:1 Therefore I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice,1 holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service. 12:2 Don't be conformed2 to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,3 so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God. 12:3 For I say, through the grace that was given me, to every man who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think reasonably, as God has apportioned to each person a measure of faith. 12:4 For even as we have many members in one body, and all the members don't have the same function, 12:5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 12:6 Having gifts differing according to the grace that was given to us,4 if prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of our faith; 12:7 or service, let us give ourselves to service; or he who teaches, to his teaching; 12:8 or he who exhorts, to his exhorting: he who gives, let him do it with liberality; he who rules, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.5

  1. a living sacrifice. The sacrifice consists in devoting the body to spiritual service, transforming it meanwhile, by renewing the mind at the one source and by thinking of his body as filled with life, health, and strength, and always identifying it in thought with that which is perfect.
  2. Don't be conformed (fashioned, ASV). In Greek, “conformed” or “fashioned” is syschēmatizō, Strong’s 4964, to conform one’s self (i.e. one’s mind and character) to another’s pattern, (fashion one’s self according to)
  3. transformed by the renewing of your mind. Of ourselves we cannot, by taking thought, add one cubit to our stature, but by thinking of the Christ and claiming the power of the Christ in all that we do, we do express a higher degree of power than we have known before.
  4. gifts differing according to the grace that was given to us. To that for which we have especial aptitude. Each one should develop his “gift”, or that which he does best and most gladly.
  5. prophecy, service ... [These are known as gifts of the Spirit. An alternative list of gifts of the Spirit is given in First Corinthians 12:28-30. They are not the same as the fruits of the Spirit given in Galatians 5:22-23. The fruits of the Spirit are those precious qualities of the soul that lift us up into the very heart of God. By their presence we know we abide in Him and He abides in us. The gifts of the Spirit, on the other hand, according to Paul, are the means, the tools by which we can bring the precious fruits down to our fellow men when we use them rightly. (Glenn Clark, The Holy Spirit) See annotations in Corinthians and Galatians for additional commentary.]

Marks of the True Christian

12:9 Let love be without hypocrisy.1 Abhor that which is evil. Cling to that which is good. 12:10 In love of the brothers be tenderly affectionate one to another; in honor preferring one another; 12:11 not lagging in diligence; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; 12:12 rejoicing in hope; enduring in troubles; continuing steadfastly in prayer; 12:13 contributing to the needs of the saints; given to hospitality. 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless, and don't curse. 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice. Weep with those who weep.2 12:16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Don't set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Don't be wise in your own conceits. 12:17 Repay no one evil for evil. Respect what is honorable in the sight of all men. 12:18 If it is possible, as much as it is up to you, be at peace with all men. 12:19 Don't seek revenge yourselves, beloved, but give place to God's wrath.3 For it is written, "Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay, says the Lord."[57] 12:20 Therefore

"If your enemy is hungry, feed him.

If he is thirsty, give him a drink;

for in doing so, you will heap coals of fire on his head."[58]

12:21 Don't be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

  1. Let love be without hypocrisy. Love is the essence of truth and sincerity, and, when love fills our heart, there is no room in it for hypocrisy.
  2. weep with those who weep. Should we actually “weep with them that weep”? No, we should avoid negativeness at all times, but we can always be understanding and considerate and hold a constructive attitude of mind toward those who are troubled.
  3. give place to God's wrath. It is possible to entrust all our problems and social relations to the divine law, knowing that we need not take matters into our own hands in order to secure our rights. Cause and effect are here represented, as “the wrath of God.”

Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mark Hicks

World English Bible Footnotes:

Romans 13

(Online: ASV WEB)

Being Subject to Authorities

13:1 Let every soul be in subjection to the higher authorities,1 for there is no authority except from God, and those who exist are ordained by God. 13:2 Therefore he who resists the authority, withstands the ordinance of God; and those who withstand will receive to themselves judgment. 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to the good work, but to the evil. Do you desire to have no fear of the authority? Do that which is good, and you will have praise from the same, 13:4 for he is a servant of God to you for good. But if you do that which is evil, be afraid, for he doesn't bear the sword in vain; for he is a servant of God, an avenger for wrath to him who does evil. 13:5 Therefore you need to be in subjection, not only because of the wrath, but also for conscience' sake. 13:6 For this reason you also pay taxes, for they are servants of God's service, attending continually on this very thing. 13:7 Give therefore to everyone what you owe: taxes to whom taxes are due; customs to whom customs; respect to whom respect; honor to whom honor.

  1. Let every soul be in subjection to the higher authorities (powers, ASV). See Unity Bible Lesson Commentary for Romans 13. Unity published commentary on Romans 13:1-7 each presidential election cycle in the United States: November 1928, October 1932, November 1936, November 1944. Unity's consistent message is: (1) We should make ourselves subject to the authority of the indwelling Spirit of God. Jesus said: I do nothing of myself, but as the Father taught me; I speak these things." Individually, each of us is responsible for making our life full, rich, and satisfying, a life under law. Individually and collectively we are responsible for raising the level of the race consciousness until it reaches there permanently. (2) What follows when we make ourselves obedient to God is a demonstration that God is love, and the law of love overcomes the world. We obtain universal peace on earth and permanent well-being by holding in mind persistently a vision of universal understanding, universal harmony, and universal peace by declaring it to be now realized, and by working faithfully toward the realization of it. (3) Temporal rulers represent the ruling principle of divine law, and in the degree that we become obedient to that law their authority to us is divine. Man, exercising his own judgment and ignoring the divine law, forms an adverse state of mind. Through its activity he sets up an independent kingdom which sooner or later comes to an end, with the result that he calls down upon himself what in the Old Testament is termed the vengeance of Jehovah.

Love for One Another

13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.1 13:9 For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not give false testimony," "You shall not covet,"[59][60] and whatever other commandments there are, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."[61] 13:10 Love doesn't harm a neighbor. Love therefore is the fulfillment of the law.2

  1. for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. Through love, the energies of Being are stirred up, both in the lover and the Universal, and as equilibrium of forces is thus established.
  2. love therefore is the fulfilment of the law. Other commandments are fulfilled through loving one’s neighbors as oneself. Love works good to our neighbor, and makes the sins of murder, adultery, theft, and covetousness against him imporrible. He who loves what is honest, true, just, pure, and good is fortified against gross social sins.

An Urgent Appeal

13:11 Do this, knowing the time, that it is already time for you to awaken out of sleep, for salvation is now nearer to us than when we first believed. 13:12 The night is far gone, and the day is near. Let's therefore throw off the works of darkness, and let's put on the armor of light.1 13:13 Let us walk properly, as in the day;2 not in reveling and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and lustful acts, and not in strife and jealousy. 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ,3 and make no provision for the flesh,4 for its lusts.

  1. the armor of light. The protective influence of a true understanding in man’s mind of his own well-being, including all that promotes it.
  2. walk becomingly, as in the day. Our habitual behavior is to be intelligent instead of being merely a dim out-picturing of sense desires. When we realize that a certain course is right and good, we are to follow it faithfully.
  3. put on the Lord Jesus Christ. By realizing that through claiming our dominion and mastership, we rise to newness of life in our I AM selfhood. As we do this we put on the perfect idea/conception of Divine Mind.
  4. make not provision for the flesh. We are to make provision for faith in our divine nature. As children of God, we are to provide for suitable expression of our divine qualities and leave behind us all provision for externals.

Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mark Hicks

World English Bible Footnotes:

Romans 14

(Online: ASV WEB)

Do Not Judge Another

14:1 Now accept one who is weak in faith, but not for disputes over opinions. 14:2 One man has faith to eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables.1 14:3 Don't let him who eats despise him who doesn't eat. Don't let him who doesn't eat judge him who eats, for God has accepted him. 14:4 Who are you who judge another's servant? To his own lord he stands or falls. Yes, he will be made to stand, for God has power to make him stand.

14:5 One man esteems one day as more important. Another esteems every day alike. Let each man be fully assured in his own mind. 14:6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks. He who doesn't eat, to the Lord he doesn't eat, and gives God thanks. 14:7 For none of us lives to himself, and none dies to himself. 14:8 For if we live, we live to the Lord. Or if we die, we die to the Lord. If therefore we live or die, we are the Lord's. 14:9 For to this end Christ died, rose, and lived again, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.

14:10 But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 14:11 For it is written,

"'As I live,' says the Lord, 'to me every knee will bow.

Every tongue will confess to God.'"[62]

14:12 So then each one of us will give account of himself to God.

  1. One man has faith to eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. See the Metaphysical Bible Interpretations and the commentary for v21 below. For the Fillmores, “man is healthier and clearer in mind, when he subsists on a strictly vegetarian diet ... there is no occasion for taking the life of birds or animals for food.”

Do Not Make Another Stumble

14:13 Therefore let's not judge one another any more, but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block in his brother's way, or an occasion for falling. 14:14 I know, and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean of itself; except that to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 14:15 Yet if because of food your brother is grieved, you walk no longer in love. Don't destroy with your food him for whom Christ died. 14:16 Then don't let your good be slandered, 14:17 for the Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. 14:18 For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men. 14:19 So then, let us follow after things which make for peace, and things by which we may build one another up. 14:20 Don't overthrow God's work for food's sake. All things indeed are clean, however it is evil for that man who creates a stumbling block by eating. 14:21 It is good to not eat meat, drink wine, nor do anything by which your brother stumbles, is offended, or is made weak.1

14:22 Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who doesn't judge himself in that which he approves. 14:23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because it isn't of faith; and whatever is not of faith is sin.

14:24 [63]

  1. nor do anything by which your brother stumbles, is offended, or is made weak. See the Metaphysical Bible Interpretations and the commentary for v2 above. The commentaries imply that judging people who eat meat is a bigger problem than eating meat itself. For Paul, this verse is not about vegetarianism nor about a plant-based diet. Rather, this passage is about the judgement of the wealthy toward the poor. Paul is critical of those who refrain from eating meat because they are restricted by religious custom—fear of eating meat that had been sacrificed to pagan rituals. Eating such food was a necessity for the poor—distributing sacrificed meat was a form of “government assistance” of the day. The wealthy could refrain from eating such food. Paul is addressing the judgment of the wealthy regarding the poor.

Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mark Hicks

World English Bible Footnotes:

  • [62] v14:11. Isaiah 45:23
  • [63] v14:26. WEB places Romans 16:25-27 here after 14:23 as verses 24-26. This edition has them moved to 16:25-27 in conformity to ASV and NRSV.

Romans 15

(Online: ASV WEB)

Please Others, Not Yourselves

15:1 Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 15:2 Let each one of us please his neighbor for that which is good, to be building him up. 15:3 For even Christ didn't please himself. But, as it is written, "The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me."[64] 15:4 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that through patience and through encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 15:5 Now the God of patience and of encouragement grant you to be of the same mind one with another1 according to Christ Jesus, 15:6 that with one accord you may with one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  1. be of the same mind one with another In ail those activities which have been termed "unfinished business," Paul symbolized divine order. This is a feature that is frequently overlooked. Many important metaphysical meanings have already been recognized in connection with Paul's earlier activities, but it is equally important to note how Paul continually sought to establish order in the churches he founded. Herbert Hunt, Correspondence School Study of the New Testament, 148.

The Gospel for Jews and Gentiles Alike

15:7 Therefore accept one another, even as Christ also accepted you,[65] to the glory of God. 15:8 Now I say that Christ has been made a servant of the circumcision for the truth of God, that he might confirm the promises given to the fathers, 15:9 and that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,

"Therefore will I give praise to you among the Gentiles,

and sing to your name."[66]

15:10 Again he says,

"Rejoice, you Gentiles, with his people."[67]

15:11 Again,

"Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles!

Let all the peoples praise him."[68]

15:12 Again, Isaiah says,

"There will be the root of Jesse,

he who arises to rule over the Gentiles;

in him the Gentiles will hope."[69]

15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Paul’s Reason for Writing So Boldly

15:14 I myself am also persuaded about you, my brothers[70], that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish others. 15:15 But I write the more boldly to you in part, as reminding you, because of the grace that was given to me by God, 15:16 that I should be a servant of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles,1 serving as a priest the Good News of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles2 might be made acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 15:17 I have therefore my boasting3 in Christ Jesus in things pertaining to God. 15:18 For I will not dare to speak of any things except those which Christ worked through me,4 for the obedience of the Gentiles, by word and deed, 15:19 in the power of signs and wonders,5 in the power of God's Spirit; so that from Jerusalem, and around as far as to Illyricum,6 I have fully preached the Good News of Christ; 15:20 yes, making it my aim to preach the Good News, not where Christ was already named,7 that I might not build on another's foundation. 15:21 But, as it is written,

"They will see, to whom no news of him came.

They who haven't heard will understand."[71]

  1. a servant of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles Paul, first called Saul, represents the regenerated or illumined will. Under the direction of the illumined will (Paul), our worldly thoughts (Gentiles) are lifted up and spiritualized, as we learn to harmonize them with Truth through the power of the Holy Spirit.
  2. the offering up of the Gentiles The Gentiles, whose “offering up” is “sanctified by the Holy Spirit,” represent our worldly thoughts, the unregenerate state of mind in us. These are to be transformed by the word of Truth (the preaching of Paul).
  3. I have therefore my boasting (glorying, ASV) The will has power “in things pertaining to God” to convert the worldly thoughts and to turn worldliness to holiness.
  4. For I will not dare to speak of any things except those which Christ worked through me No negative mental reaction should be allowed by anyone who wishes to demonstrate power.
  5. in the power of signs and wonders “Signs and wonders” become possible in the experience of the one who is filled with the Holy Spirit. When a worldly-minded person shows interest in spiritual matters and begins to reform his thinking and his speech, it is a sign of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling.
  6. from Jerusalem, and around as far as to Illyricum The outer extreme of Paul's ministry—from theological to barbaric minds.
  7. not where Christ was already named. Metaphysically interpreted, the last four verses of our lesson teach the carrying of the word of Christ to those parts of our organisms to which it has never been taken before. Every atom of our being that is still in darkness must be illumined by the Word and given new life and truth.

Paul’s Plan to Visit Rome

15:22 Therefore also I was hindered these many times from coming to you,1 15:23 but now, no longer having any place in these regions, and having these many years a longing to come to you, 15:24 whenever I journey to Spain,2 I will come to you. For I hope to see you on my journey,3 and to be helped on my way there by you, if first I may enjoy your company for a while. 15:25 But now, I say, I am going to Jerusalem, serving the saints. 15:26 For it has been the good pleasure of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are at Jerusalem. 15:27 Yes, it has been their good pleasure, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, they owe it to them also to serve them in fleshly things. 15:28 When therefore I have accomplished this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will go on by way of you to Spain. 15:29 I know that, when I come to you, I will come in the fullness of the blessing of the Good News of Christ.

15:30 Now I beg you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in your prayers to God for me, 15:31 that I may be delivered from those who are disobedient in Judea, and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints; 15:32 that I may come to you in joy through the will of God, and together with you, find rest. 15:33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

  1. I was hindered these many times from coming to you The entry of Paul and his companions into Europe is symbolical of opening up in the consciousness the word of Truth where it had never before been realized.
  2. journey to Spain Spain was often used to indicate the regions at the ends of the earth.
  3. For I hope to see you on my journey Spiritual leaders are especially needed to show us the way to world peace and good will at the present time, instead of awaiting the slow process of transforming persons one by one into the likeness of Christ. Leaders possessed of spiritual power are needed to convert the world to the conviction that good will and brotherhood are possible on a universal scale, and that, if the world is to be formed into the kingdom of God everyone must set about doing his part in the great work now.

Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mark Hicks

World English Bible Footnotes:

Romans 16

(Online: ASV WEB)

Personal Greetings

16:1 I commend to you Phoebe,1 our sister, who is a servant[72] of the assembly that is at Cenchreae,2 16:2 that you receive her in the Lord, in a way worthy of the saints, and that you assist her in whatever matter she may need from you, for she herself also has been a helper of many, and of my own self.

16:3 Greet Prisca and Aquila,3 my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 16:4 who for my life, laid down their own necks; to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the assemblies of the Gentiles. 16:5 Greet the assembly that is in their house. Greet Epaenetus, my beloved, who is the first fruits of Achaia to Christ. 16:6 Greet Mary, who labored much for us. 16:7 Greet Andronicus4 and Junias,5 my relatives and my fellow prisoners, who are notable among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. 16:8 Greet Amplias, my beloved in the Lord. 16:9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and Stachys, my beloved. 16:10 Greet Apelles,6 the approved in Christ. Greet those who are of the household of Aristobulus. 16:11 Greet Herodion, my kinsman. Greet them of the household of Narcissus,7 who are in the Lord. 16:12 Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa, who labor in the Lord. Greet Persis, the beloved, who labored much in the Lord. 16:13 Greet Rufus, the chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine. 16:14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers[73] who are with them. 16:15 Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them. 16:16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. The assemblies of Christ greet you.

  1. Phoebe. A "servant" or "deaconess" of the church at Cenchreæ in Corinth. Metaphysically, the pure Christ light and love radiating throughout the consciousness: bright; shining; brilliant; radiant; pure.
  2. Cenchreae. Signifies, like the mustard seed of Jesus' parable, the fact that the Truth established in the consciousness of man is at first similar to a very tiny seed (the word is the seed). We should not therefore despise nor look upon as insignificant any beginning of light and Truth that comes to us or to others, no matter how small it may seem.
  3. Prisca and Aquila Priscilla, the feminine or receptive phase of the healing forces of nature that are always at work rebuilding the body and repairing the ravages of ignorant man. Aquila, husband of Priscilla, is the positive phase of these forces.
  4. Andronicus was "of note among the apostles," and "in Christ before me," means that man was ideally perfect in the Christ mind from the beginning, before he ever exercised his free will in a perverse way.
  5. Junias The inner, ever renewing vital force of the subjective mind. This vital force, along with the word of Truth (Paul), is held in bondage and is kept from doing its perfect renewing, vitalizing work in the organism of man, when man lets his spiritually unawakened intellect rule in consciousness instead of being open to and guided by the inspiration and understanding of the Christ.
  6. Apelles, the approved in Christ That in man which follows the inner leading of Spirit onward and upward (called, set apart) to the exclusion of lesser, sense promptings and desires. This brings about a realization of the approval of the inner Christ.
  7. household of Narcissus Mental inertia, or a thought tendency belonging to the intellect of man, the head (Rome), that tends to inertia of perhaps both mind and body (narcotic, stupefying). The family, or thoughts that lie nearest in relation to this cause of apathy and inaction, have been quickened and awakened by Truth (the household of Narcissus are "in the Lord"), thus the whole condition is in process of redemption.

Final Instructions

16:17 Now I beg you, brothers, look out for those who are causing the divisions and occasions of stumbling, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and turn away from them. 16:18 For those who are such don't serve our Lord, Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by their smooth and flattering speech, they deceive the hearts of the innocent. 16:19 For your obedience has become known to all. I rejoice therefore over you. But I desire to have you wise in that which is good, but innocent in that which is evil. 16:20 And the God of peace will quickly crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

16:21 Timothy, my fellow worker, greets you, as do Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my relatives. 16:22 I, Tertius, who write the letter, greet you in the Lord. 16:23 Gaius, my host and host of the whole assembly, greets you. Erastus, the treasurer of the city, greets you, as does Quartus, the brother.

Final Doxology

16:25 Now to him who is able to establish you according to my Good News1 and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret through long ages, 16:26 but now is revealed,2 and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, is made known for obedience of faith to all the nations; 16:27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever! Amen.[74]

  1. Good News (Gospel, ASV). Gospel is an Anglo-Saxon word derived from God (good) and spell (story, tidings). It is now universally identified with Jesus Christ's mission and the doctrine that has grown out of it. So when we speak of the gospel it is understood that we refer to religious beliefs that cluster about the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. (MBD/gospel)
  2. but now is revealed. An unveiling, a disclosure of Truth, making known that which is hidden. The revelation of Christ to all men is the ultimate revelation. Divine revelation is much more common than is understood. The Spirit of truth is revealing the hidden wisdom to thousands on every hand. Poets and writers of Truth are being inspired of the Most High. Quiet citizens in every walk of life are the recipients of the divine word. Every man who has earnestly asked for divine guidance, or who has earnestly desired to do right in the sight of God and man, is being taught by the Holy Spirit. (RW/revelation)

Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Rev. Mark Hicks

World English Bible Footnotes:

  • [72] v16:1. or, deacon
  • [73] v16:14. The word for "brothers" here and where context allows may also be correctly translated "brothers and sisters" or "siblings."
  • [74] v16:25. WEB places Romans 16:25-27 at the end of chapter 14, and numbers these verses 14:24-26. These verses are placed here to conform to ASV and NRSV. WEB verse 16:24 "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all! Amen." has been removed.

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