Verse 7. "Called to be saints" - Invited to become holy persons, by believing the Gospel and receiving the gifts of the Holy Ghost. Or, here, the word may have the meaning of made or constituted, as above; klhtoiv agioiv, to all that be in Rome, CONSTITUTED saints, for they had already received the Gospel grace, and were formed into a Christian Church.
Grace to you] cariv umin; May you be partakers of the Divine favour, the source whence every blessing is derived.
I think it necessary, once for all, to give the several acceptations of this word grace which occur in the sacred writings.
1. The word carin signifies in general favour or benevolence, but especially that favour which is powerful and active, and loads its objects with benefits. Luke i. x20: Fear not, Mary, thou hast found favour, carin, with God. Luke ii. 40: And the child grew-and the GRACE of God, cariv qeou, the favour of God was upon him. Luke i. l2: And Jesus increased in favour, cariti GRACE, with God and man. Acts ii. xl7: Having favour, carin, GRACE, with all the people. Acts iv. x23: And great GRACE, cariv, favour, was upon them all. The apostles were at that time in universal favour with the multitude. In this sense the word occurs in a great variety of places, both in the Old and New Testaments.
2. Hence it is often used for the blessing which it dispenses; for, if God be favourably disposed towards a person, his beneficent acts, in that person's behalf, will be a necessary consequence of such favour. John i. 14: Full of GRACE and truth; accomplished in all spiritual blessings. John i. 16: And GRACE upon GRACE: he who is full of the most excellent blessings, confers them liberally on all believers. Acts xi. 23: When he had seen the GRACE of God, i.e. had the fullest evidence that they were richly endowed with heavenly gifts. 1 Cor. i. i5: For the GRACE of God which is given you- the Divine blessings conferred upon you. 2 Cor. ix. 8: God is able to make all GRACE abound toward you; i.e. to enrich you with every benediction. This is also a very common acceptation of the word; and in this sense the word grace or favour is now generally understood among religious people. The grace of God meaning with them some Divine or spiritual blessing communicated.
3. It is sometimes taken for the whole of the Christian religion, as being the grandest possible display of God's favour to a lost, ruined world: and in this sense it appears to be used, John i. 17: For the LAW was given by Moses; but GRACE and truth came by Jesus Christ: where the term GRACE is evidently opposed to LAW; the latter meaning the Mosaic, the other the Christian, dispensation. Acts xiii. xl3: Barnabas persuaded them to continue in the GRACE of God; i.e. to hold fast their profession of the religion of Christ. chap. vi. 14: Ye are not under the LAW, but under GRACE-ye are no longer under obligation to fulfill the Mosaic precepts, but are under the Christian dispensation. See also chap. vi. 15; and see 2 Cor. i. 12; vi. 1; Gal. i. 6; Col. i. 6; 2 Tim. ii. 1, Tit. ii. 11: The GRACE of God, that bringeth salvation unto all men, hath appeared. The Jewish religion was restricted in its benefits to a few; but the Christian religion proposes the salvation of all men; and the author of it has become a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. Heb. xii. 15: Looking diligently lest any man fall from the GRACE of God-lest any man apostatize from the Christian religion, and the blessings of pardon and holiness which he has received through it. 1 Peter v. 12: This is the true GRACE of God wherein ye stand-the Christian religion which ye have received is the genuine religion of God.
4. It signifies all the blessings and benefits which Christ has purchased, and which he gives to true believers, both in time and eternity. See chap. v. 15, 17, where the grace of God is opposed to death; i.e. to all the wretchedness and misery brought into the world by Adam's transgression.
Cor. xvi. 23: The GRACE of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all-May every blessing purchased by Christ's passion and death be the portion of you all. Gal. v. i5: Ye are fallen from GRACE-ye have lost the blessings of the Gospel by submitting to circumcision.
5. It signifies the apostolic and ministerial office, or the authority to propagate the Christian religion, and the unction or influence by which that office is executed; so in the 5th verse of this chapter, as has been already noted: By whom we have received GRACE and apostleship, or, the apostolic office. chap. xiii. 3: I say, through the GRACE given unto me; i.e. I command you, by the authority of my apostolic office, &c. See also chap. xiii. 6.
6. It signifies a gift, salary, or money collected for the use of the poor. 1 Cor. xvi. 3: Whomsoever ye shall approve- them will I send to bring your LIBERALITY, thn carin umwn, your GRACE; i.e. the collection made for the poor saints: see 1 Cor. xvi. 1. 2 Cor. viii. i5: Praying us-that we would receive the GIFT, thn carin, the GRACE, the contribution made in the Churches of Macedonia, for the relief of the poor.
In this sense it is used in Ecclus. xvii. 22: He will keep the GOOD DEEDS of man, carin, the same as elehmosunh, alms, in the beginning of the verse; and it signifies a kind or friendly act, in the same author. Ecclus. xxix. 16: Forget not the FRIENDSHIP, caritav, of thy surety. GRACES or cariv, was a deity among the ancients; and the three GRACES, ai treiv caritev, were called Pitho, Aglaia, and Euphrosyne; peiqw, mild persuasion; aglaia, dignity; eufrosunh, liberality and joyfulness; and these were always painted naked, to show that all benefits should be gratuitous, this being essential to the nature of a gift. See Suidas, in caritav.
7. It sometimes signifies merely thanks or thanksgiving. See Luke xvii. i10: Doth he thank, mh carin ecei, that servant? chap. vi. 17: But God be THANKED, cariv oe tw qew. 1 Cor. x. x20: For if I by GRACE, cariti, THANKSGIVING, as our margin has it, and properly.
8. It signifies remuneration, wages, or reward Luke vi. 32- x24: If ye love them that love you-do good to them which do good to you-lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what THANK have ye? poia umin cariv esti; what REWARD have ye? This appears, from the parallel place, Matt. v. 46, to be most evidently the meaning: tina misqon ecete; what REWARD have ye? The word is used in this sense by several Greek writers.
9. It signifies whatever is the means of procuring the favour or kindness of another. 1 Pet. ii. 19, 20: For this is THANKWORTHY, touto gar cariv para tw qew, this is the means of PROCURING favour from