(Vs. 9-10) No man is righteous in himself; the righteous man here intended is the man who believes in Christ with the heart unto righteousness and who lays hold on Christ's righteousness by faith, in consequence of which he lives soberly, righteously, and godly, though not without sin. The law of God does not lie as a weight and a burden on him. (1) He delights in the law of God, and God's commandments are not grievous to him; (2) its curse and penalty do not lie on him as a punishment to be borne; (3) it is not to him a terrifying law, bringing him into bondage and fear; (4) it is not a despised law, forcing him into a way of life he detests. The law is enacted for the ungodly, the evil, and the profane; for it is against such persons and their deeds as an accusing, condemning, and terrifying law. Locks on doors are not made for honest men, but for crooks. Do not steal, kill, lie, etc. are not rules needed by righteous men, but laws enacted to control and convict ungodly men.
The law lies against anything that is contrary to the doctrine of Christ, takes notice of it, and condemns it. We observe the harmony between God's law and His gospel, rightly understood and used. What is contrary to the one is contrary to the other. The gospel no more excuses sin than the law does. What is repugnant to the moral law of God is also contrary to the gospel of Christ, Who said, "I came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it."
(Vs. 11) The gospel with which we have been entrusted is the gospel of THE GLORY OF GOD! Paul sharply rebuked those who labored to degrade the gospel, who suggested it might lead to a life of sin, or who tried to mix it with obedience to laws and ceremonies (Rom. 11:5-6). The gospel of Christ reveals the glory of God's WISDOM, His LOVE, His RIGHTEOUSNESS, His HOLINESS, and His GRACE. It is all-sufficient in this regard, and we have been entrusted with this precious treasure. We must faithfully preach and preserve it. We do not need to hedge it about with laws, rules, and ceremonies. Righteousness is by faith, not by obedience to laws (Rom. 4:20-25).
(Vs. 12) Paul, like David, was always praising and thanking the Lord (I Thess. 5:18; Eph. 5:20). Here he thanks the Lord Jesus for making him a minister of the gospel. He did not take this office to and of himself, but Christ called him to it. Christ enabled him by giving him abilities, gifts, knowledge, and grace. Christ counted him faithful, having made him so by His grace; for faithfulness is a necessary requisite and qualification for a gospel minister. We are not always successful, but we MUST BE FAITHFUL! (I Cor. 9:16.)
(Vs. 13) "I obtained mercy," though I was a blasphemer, calling Christ an imposter. I was a persecutor; not content to blaspheme Christ, I put His people in prison and consented to their deaths. I was injurious, making havoc of the church, using force and violence to blot out the gospel. Yet, God had mercy on me, mercy unasked, unsought, and unmerited (Eph. 2:3-8). The fact that Paul did these things in ignorance and unbelief was not the reason he obtained mercy, but he is saying that that is indeed mercy that pardons and justifies such an ignorant and unbelieving creature (Rom. 5:6-9).
(Vs. 14) The grace of God flowed out abundantly and beyond measure for me. God is rich and plenteous in mercy toward me. "Where sin did overflow, grace did much more overflow." This grace of God TOWARD ME was accomplished by the grace of God IN ME, which begat the grace of faith and the grace of love. Instead of unbelief, I now had faith in Christ. Instead of rage and madness, I now loved Christ and His people.
Let our attention be directed to these two graces, which are inseparable! He who believes on Christ loves Christ and others. He who loves Christ with a sincere heart is certainly born of God and has saving faith.