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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Romans 1:9

 

 

For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you,

Adam Clarke Commentary

Whom I serve with my spirit - λατπευω Whom I worship with the profoundest religious reverence; for so the original certainly means: I not only employ all the powers of my body in this service, but all those of my soul; being thoroughly convinced of the absolute truth of the religion I preach. Probably St. Paul opposes, in this place, the spiritual worship of the Gospel to the external, or what some call the carnal, worship of the Jews. Mine is not a religion of ceremonies, but one in which the life and power of the eternal Spirit are acknowledged and experienced.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Romans 1:9". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/romans-1.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

For God is my witness - The reason of this strong appeal to God is, to show to the Romans the deep interest which he felt in their welfare This interest was manifested in his prayers, and in his earnest desires to see them. A deep interest shown in this way was well suited to prepare them to receive what he had to say to them.

Whom I serve - See Romans 1:1; compare Acts 17:23. The expression denotes that he was devoted to God in this manner; that he obeyed him; and had given himself to do his will in making known his gospel.

With my spirit - Greek, ἐν enin my spirit, that is, with my “heart.” It is not an external service merely; it is internal, real, sincere. He was really and sincerely devoted to the service of God.

In the gospel of his Son - In making known the gospel, or as a minister of the gospel.

That without ceasing - ἀδιαλείπτως adialeiptōsThis word means constantly, always, without intermission. It was not only once, but repeatedly. It had been the burden of his prayers. The same thing he also mentions in regard to other churches, 1 Thessalonians 1:3; 1 Thessalonians 2:13.

I make mention - I call you to remembrance, and present your case before God. This evinced his remarkable interest in a church which he had never seen, and it shows that Paul was a man of prayer; praying not for his friends and kindred only, but for those whom he had never seen. If with the same intensity of prayer all Christians, and Christian ministers, would remember the churches, what a different aspect would the Christian church soon assume!

Always - This word should be connected with the following verse, “Always making request,” etc.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Romans 1:9". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/romans-1.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Romans 1:9

For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son.

Paul’s appeal to God

I. Its ground is the consciousness of entire consecration to the service of that God whom he had found in the revelation of His Son.

1. These are the two thoughts which are stamped on the whole of this introduction, and which everywhere else are prominent.

2. Let the richest treasure of your experience be “God is my Witness.” Paul had no grace that we may not claim. But the real secret which enables us to dare this Omniscient scrutiny is the habitual revelation of the Fatherly love of God in Christ which enables us to say, “My God.” “If Thou, Lord, shouldst mark iniquity!” carried to an extreme would take away all confidence. “God is my witness,” but He is “my God” in Christ.

II. Its special emphasis rests upon the words ‘‘in my Spirit.”

1. The terms are liturgical, for Paul never forgot the ancient temple. The soul is regenerate because inhabited by God. Where He dwells must be a temple; and all glorious things spoken about the ancient dwelling place of Jehovah may be transferred to the spirit of the believer. But He is Priest as well as Temple. “Sanctify the Lord Christ in your hearts.” The great concern of our life must be to preserve our spirit inviolate for the sacred Indweller. The apostle lived in his body as in a temple: “an earthly house” which should be dissolved, but then built again. He lived in his spirit, however, as in a temple which should never be dissolved; and he lived in hope that both should be reunited and glorified as the eternal dwelling place of God in Christ.

2. This service that he offered in his spirit was the service of God in the gospel of His Son.

3. Cultivate this habit of prayer for yourself, your own communion, Christendom and the world in general; cultivate also the habit of mixing mutual prayer with all your engagements.

4. Remember that God alone is the witness of your fidelity, but men will be the witnesses of its results. (W. B. Pope, D. D.)

The true service of God

I. Respects the spread of the gospel.

II. Is rendered with the Spirit.

III. Is constant.

IV. Prayerful.

V. Is discharged as in the sight of God. (J. Lyth, D. D.)

The nature of Christian obedience

We all serve something or someone, self, passion, prejudice, sin, business, ambition, etc., and we find the service pleasant enough. But the only service worth entering upon is that of Christ.

I. The claims which God has upon our service. These are--

1. Self-interest. God is a good Master.

2. Gratitude. A child that turns his back on a kind parent, a servant who repays affection by insult, a rebel who plots against a munificent king--all these is the man who forgets God.

II. The principles which should direct and govern our service to God. “Whom I serve with my spirit,” implies--

1. Voluntariness. We are not so much influenced by the command which addresses the ear, or the threatening which alarms the conscience, as by love.

2. Sincerity. The “spirit” is that which commands the whole of man. Often we see the affections dormant and the will persevering. How much of God’s worship is performed outwardly when it is inwardly disliked. The body without the spirit is dead; service without love is hypocrisy.

3. Universality. It had respect to every precept of God’s Word. The carnal mind will only obey such commands as seem pleasing to us.

4. Perpetuity. Not in prosperity only nor in adversity only. It is only by continuousness that perfection is arrived at.

III. The rule by which the service should be governed. The gospel is not only the means of salvation, but it is the rule which regulates our life. To serve God in the gospel is to--

1. Serve God in light. The gospel is the light which shows the Christian’s safety and danger.

2. To serve God in faith. The whole principle of the gospel is faith, the principle of life, thought, and action.

3. To serve God in love. Love is the great rule of life and sanctification.

4. To be rewarded by God according to the gospel. (J. J. S. Bird, B. A.)

My spirit

1. There was an auction one day of the books and furniture of a very celebrated author, and a vain but rich young man, having induced the auctioneer to offer them in one lot, paid several thousand pounds for the books, shelves, carpet, and in fact everything except the room itself. He directed the things to be taken carefully to his house and fitted up in a room, and placed in the same positions as in the author’s study. The young man then sat down with reverence on the author’s chair, took up the author’s pen, dipped it in the author’s ink, and bent his head over the paper on the author’s table. But nothing came; the paper remained a blank. The genius of the author was in neither his pen nor his surrounding, but in his spirit--the gift of God. We may be unable to create in our spirit the genius of a celebrated man; but we may develop our own faculty; and, if we do this, we shall bless the world exactly as God wishes us to do. The little forget-me-nots which grow in the quiet nook of the steep rock do their work as effectively as the great oaks which grace the park of a king; and as the tiny flower does its best, it is as worthy of praise as the gigantic tree that does no more.

2. But though we cannot obtain the special genius of another man’s spirit, we can receive as our own the disposition of the greatest man who ever lived--Christ can be received by all, and the breathings of His Spirit within us shall mould our thoughts, fashion our desires, and develop our lives like His own. If a man would occupy the place in the world for which he has been specially created, it is absolutely needful for him to have the breathings of Christ in his own spirit; and when undertaking any sacred mission for the benefit of our fellow men, our inquiry should not be, Have I bags of money? but, Is my spirit influenced by Christ? Christ direction is the first and most important step in the kingdom of God.

3. One day a young soldier went to visit the tomb of Scandenberg and the sword of the famous warrior was placed in his hand. The soldier lifted it saying, “Is this really Scandenberg’s sword? Why there is nothing in it more than mine!” The old clerk exclaimed, “You see only the sword; you should have seen the hand that grasped it!” Likewise, the preacher may be only an ordinary man, he is only an earthen vessel; but in his spirit there should be a power which can move men’s hearts and influence their lives--God should breathe within him.

4. Christ and the angels do not look on us as we look on each other. We value a man’s surroundings rather than the man himself, An artist whose soul loves beauty does not value a picture by its frame. Seeing the picture to be a gem, he buys it, and does not care twopence for the frame, So, when the Lord looks on you, He does not value your bank book, your dress, your bodily strength and beauty; he values you--your spirit. “A man is measured by his soul!” (W. Birch.)


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Romans 1:9". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/romans-1.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

For God is my witness, whom I serve in my spirit in the gospel of his Son, how unceasingly I make mention of you, always in my prayers making request, if by any means now at length I may be prospered by the will of God to come unto you.

The words "For God is my witness" are actually the highest form of that type of oath defined by Funk and Wagnalls Standard Dictionary as "a reverent appeal to God in corroboration of what one says." Paul used that device frequently, as in 2 Corinthians 1:23; Galatians 1:20; and Philippians 1:8. His special need for emphasizing his truthfulness here derived from the great length of time during which he had been speaking of and promising a visit to Rome; therefore, to protect himself against the possible insinuations of his enemies regarding that oft-promised, but yet non-existent visit to Rome, Paul affirmed, in the most emphatic manner possible, both the sincerity of his intentions and his determination yet to make the visit, provided only that it was God's will. Some have seen in Paul's repeated use of this sacred type of oath ample permission for Christians to take the judicial type of oath when giving testimony before a court of law; but, for those whose consciences will not allow even that, out of deference to the Saviour's command, "Swear not at all," it is far better to use the alternate form permitted in United States courts, in which the witness is permitted to "affirm" rather than "swear." It will be noted that Paul does not "swear," either here or elsewhere in his writings.

Whom I serve in my spirit in the gospel of his Son ... What people do with their bodies may be observed and reported by their fellows, but what one does in one's own spirit is known certainly only to God; and that accounts for Paul's appeal to God as a witness of his inner sincerity and devotion to the gospel of Christ. Paul's almost vehement language here showed how deeply he felt the frustrations of being unable to go to Rome, and how diligent he was to counteract the deprecatory remarks that some might have made about it. There he stood in Corinth, not too far away from Rome, really; and to make it appear still worse, Paul was about to leave Corinth, not in the direction of Rome, but in the opposite direction toward Jerusalem, and all this in spite of many promises and expressed intentions of visiting Rome. His wide travels, covering so much of the great empire, were hard to reconcile with any true desire to go to the capital; and there were doubtless some of Paul's enemies who were willing to suggest that he was ashamed to preach there. It was Paul's concern for things like that which led him to write so forcibly, calling God to witness, making mention of ceaseless prayers, and assuring the Roman Christians of his sincerity and determination, even at that time, to make the visit, God willing.

Always in my prayers ... The great apostle won many by his preaching, but it is possible that he won even more through his prayers. To the Roman Christians he sent assurance, as to all the churches, that he remembered them before the Throne, not in some perfunctory or occasional manner, but unceasingly and always.

Making request ... that he might be permitted personally to visit them, is a prayer which he had been offering for many years. And why had such prayers remained unanswered? See under Romans 1:13, below.

The will of God ... How significant are these words! It is under the sovereign will of the Father that all things are controlled, for it is in that will that they even exist. Paul made it clear that he was praying for it to be God's will that the projected Roman visit might actually take place. The Lord himself prayed, "Not as I will, but as thou wilt" (Matthew 26:39); and the prayers of all Christians should always be offered upon that same condition. Paul, at last, was privileged to make his journey to Rome; but the circumstances of it must have been utterly different from what Paul had hoped. He finally arrived in the city of Rome as a prisoner, subject to the fickle will of Nero, humiliated by a guard and a chain, and with no pulpit but a Roman barracks. How inscrutable is the will of God! Of mortal men, only they who can bow the head and say, "The Lord willing," shall ever know the real meaning of service to God.


Copyright Statement
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Romans 1:9". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/romans-1.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

For God is my witness, whom I serve,.... These words are an appeal to God, and carry in them the nature and form of an oath; the reason of the apostle's using it was, because he was personally unknown to the Romans, and they to him, and so might doubt of his affectionate regard unto them; and therefore for the confirmation thereof he uses it: this was a case which was only known to God and himself, and hence he appeals to him for the truth of it. The object of his oath or appeal, or by which he speaks, is not himself, or anything that belonged to him, nor any creature in heaven or on earth, but God; who in a solemn oath is only to be appealed to and sworn by: he describes him as the God "whom he served", to distinguish him from all false gods, and to show that he that takes an oath, should be one that fears and serves the Lord; what he served him in was not the law, but

the Gospel of his Son; Jesus Christ, who is the author, minister, and subject matter of it: he served him in it, by preaching, spreading, and defending it. This is a service, and a very laborious one, and makes for the honour and glory of God. The manner in which he served him was, as he says,

with my Spirit; either with the Spirit of God, which was given to him; or in a spiritual manner, in opposition to the carnal worship of the Jews; internally, in opposition to bodily exercise only, and voluntarily, with his whole heart, soul, and spirit. The matter or substance of his appeal or oath was,

that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; whence may be observed, that prayer to God ought to be constant; and that we should be concerned for others as well as for ourselves; all the saints should share therein.


Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Romans 1:9". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/romans-1.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

For God is my witness, whom I serve with my r spirit in the s gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;

(r) Very willingly and with all my heart.

(s) In preaching his Son.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Romans 1:9". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/romans-1.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

whom I serve — the word denotes religious service.

with my spirit — from my inmost soul.

in the gospel of his Son — to which Paul‘s whole religious life and official activity were consecrated.

is my witness, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers — so for the Ephesians (Ephesians 1:15, Ephesians 1:16); so for the Philippians (Philemon 1:3, Philemon 1:4); so for the Colossians (Colossians 1:3, Colossians 1:4); so for the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 1:2, 1 Thessalonians 1:3). What catholic love, what all-absorbing spirituality, what impassioned devotion to the glory of Christ among men!


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Romans 1:9". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/romans-1.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

I serve (λατρευωlatreuō). Old verb from λατρονlatron hire, and λατριςlatris hireling, so to serve for hire, then to serve in general gods or men, whether sacred services (Hebrews 9:9; Hebrews 10:2) or spiritual service as here. Cf. Romans 12:1; Philemon 3:3.

Unceasingly (αδιαλειπτωςadialeiptōs). Late adverb for which see note on 1 Thessalonians 1:3. Also see 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:17, only other N.T. examples.

Always (παντοτεpantote). One might think that Paul prayed for no others, but he uses both adverbs in 1 Thessalonians 1:2. He seems to have had prayer lists. He never omitted the Romans.


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Romans 1:9". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/romans-1.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

I serve ( λατρεύω )

See on Luke 1:74. The word was used in a special sense to denote the service rendered to Jehovah by the Israelites as His peculiar people. See Romans 9:4; Acts 26:7. Compare Hebrews 9:1, Hebrews 9:6. As in his Philippian letter, Paul here appropriates the Jewish word for the spiritual Christian service. See on Philemon 3:3.


Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.

Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Romans 1:9". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/romans-1.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;

God, whom I serve — As an apostle.

In my spirit — Not only with my body, but with my inmost soul.

In the gospel — By preaching it.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Romans 1:9". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/romans-1.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

9.For God is my witness, etc. He proves his love by its effects; for had he not greatly loved them, he would not have so anxiously commended them to the Lord, and especially he would not have so ardently desired to promote their welfare by his own labors. His anxiety then and his ardent desire were certain evidences of his love; for had they not sprung from it, they would never have existed. And as he knew it to be necessary for establishing confidence in his preaching, that the Romans should be fully persuaded of his sincerity, he added an oath — a needful remedy, whenever a declaration, which ought to be received as true and indubitable vacillates through uncertainty. For since an oath is nothing else but an appeal to God as to the truth of what we declare, most foolish is it to deny that the Apostle used here an oath. He did not notwithstanding transgress the prohibition of Christ.

It hence appears that it was not Christ’s design (as the superstitious Anabaptists dream) to abolish oaths altogether, but on the contrary to call attention to the due observance of the law; and the law, allowing an oath, only condemns perjury and needless swearing. If then we would use an oath aright, let us imitate the seriousness and the reverent manner exhibited by the Apostles; and that you may understand what it is, know that God is so called as a witness, that he is also appealed to as an avenger, in case we deceive; which Paul expresses elsewhere in these words,

“God is a witness to my soul.” (2 Corinthians 1:23.) (30)

Whom I serve with my spirit, etc. It is usual with profane men, who trifle with God, to pretend his name, no less boldly than presumptuously; but the Apostle here speaks of his own piety, in order to gain credit; and those, in whom the fear of God and reverence for his name prevail, will dread to swear falsely. At the same time, he sets his own spirit in opposition to the outward mask of religion; for as many falsely pretend to be the worshippers of God, and outwardly appear to be so, he testifies that he, from the heart served, God. (31) It may be also that he alluded to the ancient ceremonies, in which alone the Jews thought the worship of God consisted. He then intimates, that though he retained not observance of these, he was yet a sincere worshipper of God, according to what he says in Philippians 3:3,

“We are the true circumcision, who in spirit serve God,
and glory not in the flesh.”

He then glories that he served God with sincere devotion of heart, which is true religion and approved worship.

But it was expedient, as I have said, in order that his oath might attain more credit, that Paul should declare his piety towards God; for perjury is a sport to the ungodly, while the pious dread it more than a thousand deaths; inasmuch as it cannot be, but that where there is a real fear of God, there must be also a reverence for his name. It is then the same thing, as though Paul had said, that he knew how much sacredness and sincerity belonged to an oath, and that he did not rashly appeal to God as a witness, as the profane are wont to do. And thus, by his own example, he teaches us, that whenever we swear, we ought to give such evidence of piety, that the name of God, which we use in our declarations, may retain its sacredness. And further, he gives a proof, even by his own ministry, that he worshipped not God feignedly; for it was the fullest evidence, that he was a man devoted to God’s glory, when he denied himself, and hesitated not to undergo all the hardships of reproach, poverty, and hatred, and even the peril of death, in advancing the kingdom of God. (32)

Some take this clause, as though Paul intended to recommend that worship which he said he rendered to God, on this account, — because it corresponded with what the gospel prescribes. It is indeed certain that spiritual worship is enjoined on us in the gospel; but the former interpretation is far the most suitable, — that he devoted his service to God in preaching the gospel. He, however, makes at the same time a difference between himself and hypocrites, who have something else in view rather than to serve God; for ambition, or some such thing, influences most men; and it is far from being the case, that all engage cordially and faithfully in this office. The meaning is, that Paul performed sincerely the office of teaching; for what he says of his own devotion he applies to this subject.

But we hence gather a profitable doctrine; for it ought to add no little encouragement to the ministers of the gospel, when they hear that, in preaching the gospel, they render an acceptable and a valuable service to God. What, indeed, is there to prevent them from regarding it an excellent service, when they know that their labor is pleasing to God, and is approved by him? Moreover, he calls itthe gospel of the Son of God; for Christ is in it made known, who has been appointed by the Father for this end, — that he, being glorified, should also glorify the Father.

That continually, etc. He still further sets forth the ardor of his love by his very constancy in praying for them. It was, indeed, a strong evidence, when he poured forth no prayers to the Lord without making mention of them. That the meaning may be clearer, I render παντοτε, “always;” as though it was said, “In all my prayers,” or, “whenever I address God in prayer, I join a mention of you.” (33) Now he speaks not of every kind of calling on God, but of those prayers to which the saints, being at liberty, and laying aside all cares, apply their whole attention to the work; for he might have often expressed suddenly this or that wish, when the Romans did not come into his mind; but whenever he had previously intended, and, as it were, prepared himself to offer up prayers to God, among others he remembered them. He then speaks peculiarly of those prayers, for which the saints deliberately prepare themselves; as we find to have been the case with our Lord himself, who, for this purpose, sought retirement. He at the same time intimates how frequently, or rather, how unceasingly he was engaged in such prayers, since he says that he prayed continually.

9. My witness indeed is God, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that I unceasingly make mention of you, always requesting in my prayers,

10. That by some means now at length I may, through the will of God, have a free course to come to you.

“In the gospel,” may either mean “according to the gospel,” or, “in preaching the gospel.” [Hodge ] prefers the first. The particle ει clearly means “that” in this connection. That it is used in this sense in the New Testament there can be no doubt; see Acts 26:8; Hebrews 7:15


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Romans 1:9". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/romans-1.html. 1840-57.

Vv. 9 , 10. "For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, how without ceasing I make mention of you, making request in all my prayers, if perhaps now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you."

This thanksgiving of the apostle was an inward action of which none but God could have knowledge; and as the words, Romans 1:8, might seem chargeable with exaggeration, he appeals to the one witness of his inner life. Paul thinks of those times of intimate intercourse which he has daily with his God in the exercise of his ministry; for it is at His feet, as it were, that he discharges this task. He says: "in my spirit, that is to say, in the most intimate part of his being, where is the organ by which his soul communicates with the divine world. The spirit is therefore here one of the clements of his human nature (1 Thessalonians 5:23); only it is evidently thought of as penetrated with the Divine Spirit. When Paul says: in the gospel of His Son, it is clear that he is not thinking of the matter, but of the act of evangelical preaching. This is for him a continual act of worship which he performs only on his knees. The words: of His Son, bring out the supreme gravity of the act. How, in fact, can one take part in a work which concerns the Son, otherwise than in concert with God Himself! The ὡς need be translated neither by that (the fact), which expresses too little, nor by how much (the degree), which is too strong, but by how. The word refers to the mode of this inward worship, as it is developed in what follows. The expression: without ceasing, explains the: "I give thanks for you all," which had preceded (Romans 1:8). Hence the for at the beginning of the verse.


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Bibliography
Godet, Frédéric Louis. "Commentary on Romans 1:9". "Frédéric Louis Godet - Commentary on Selected Books". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsc/romans-1.html.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

MARKS OF SPIRITUAL SERVICE

‘God … Whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son.’

Romans 1:9

Here is a remarkable expression—‘Whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His son.’ St. Paul was a model servant. We profess ourselves to be Christ’s servants. Let us take a lesson from this great exemplar of acceptable service and seek to follow him as he followed Christ. In these words St. Paul strikingly describes the character of his service. Let us notice, first, its marks. They are indicated in the expression to which I again call your attention, ‘with my spirit.’ It occurs in one other place only in the New Testament, viz. in Philippians 3:1, where true Christians are described as those who worship God in the spirit. We shall see that it is full of meaning.

I. It was a willing service.—The Lord Jesus Christ will have no compulsion. There are to be no pressed men in His service. There are some persons who are religious, so far as their religion goes, by necessity, the force of circumstances, the force of public opinion, which still considers a profession of religion a respectable thing. But that is not serving God with the spirit. St. Paul was no such unwilling, reluctant servant as that. His was a voluntary, free-hearted service. There were very few inducements in St. Paul’s day to serve God in any other manner except with the spirit. A man attempting to do so would very soon find he had chosen a rough and unpleasant path.

II. This service was intelligent, as opposed to a merely mechanical routine.—There is a very great danger of our falling into a mere routine. The very familiarity with holy things may breed contempt of them before we are aware. The most spiritual duties may come at last to be almost mechanically performed. The only safeguard is to be renewed in our spirit by daily contact with the Holy Spirit of God. St. Paul, at any rate, was no unintelligent worker. How wonderfully he had grasped the great problems of sin and salvation this Epistle is a witness. What a range of spiritual truth does he unveil!

III. It was priestly service.—An examination of the original helps us here. The thought of ‘adoration’ is in the Greek word. It is a liturgical word. It brings before us the idea of the Temple and priestly service. The service St. Paul was rendering to God in the Gospel of His Son was priestly service. The priest of the Old Testament exercised his office in perpetually offering the same sacrifices which could never take away sins; but the true spiritual priest of the New Testament exercises his office in proclaiming the finished work of Christ on Calvary, and the good news of salvation through His merit, freely offered to all them that believe. This thought of priestly service carries with it the idea of the dedication of the body as God’s truest temple. It is a mighty step onward in Christian experience to have learnt what it is to be God’s temple.

—Rev. E. W. Moore.


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Bibliography
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Romans 1:9". Church Pulpit Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/romans-1.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;

Ver. 9. Whom I serve in my spirit] That is, with all the faculties of my soul concentred and co-united.


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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Romans 1:9". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/romans-1.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Romans 1:9. With my Spirit "Not only with my body, but with the whole bent, the greatest integrity and ardour of my soul."


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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Romans 1:9". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/romans-1.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Here we have observable, 1. The apostle's solemn protestation of his affectionate love unto, and great care and concern for, these Roman converts, whom he was now absent from, yea, whose faces he had never yet seen; Without ceasing, says the apostle, I make mention of you always in my prayers.

Observe, 2. That because the apostle was yet a stranger to them, had never seen them, and it was impossible for them to know the outgoings of his heart toward them, he solemnly appeals to the heart-searching God, calls him to witness how affectionately he loved them, and how frequently he prayed for them; God is my witness. The words have the force, if not the form of an oath, and teach us, that it is unquestionably lawful in important affairs to swear, to appeal to God, and call him to be a witness of what we either say or do. We find St. Paul did it often, and our Saviour himself did not refuse to answer upon oath, when solemnly adjured.

Observe, 3. How the apostle swears by God, not by the creatures, which is the swearing condemned by our Saviour and by St. James, Matthew 5 and James 5.

Note farther, How St. Paul appeals to that God, whom he served in or with his spirit; that is, with the apostle's own spirit, with his heart unfeignedly.

From whence we may remark, That no service can be performed acceptable to almighty God, except the heart and spirit of a Christian be engaged in it. True, the body has its part and share in divine worship, as well as the soul; but the service of the body is never accepted by God, unless animated and quickened by an obedient soul.

Oh Christian, serve thy God with thy soul and spirit, as well as with thy tongue and knee! and then thy offering will be more acceptable to God, than the most adorned temples, the most pompous ceremonies, and most costly devotions whatever, with the want of these.


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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Romans 1:9". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/romans-1.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

9.] “Asseveratio pia, de re necessaria, et hominibus, remotis præsertim et ignotis, occulta.” Bengel. There could be no other witness to his practice in his secret prayers, but God: and as the assertion of a habit of incessantly praying for the Roman Christians, whom he had never seen, might seem to savour of an exaggerated expression of affection, he solemnly appeals to this only possible testimony. To the Eph., Phil., (see however Philippians 1:8), Col., Thess., he gives the same assurance, but without the asseveration. The thus calling God to witness is no un-common practice with Paul: see reff. in E. V.

ᾧ λατρ.] The serving God in his spirit was a guarantee that his profession was sincere, and that the oath just taken was no mere form, but a solemn and earnest appeal of his spirit. See also Philippians 3:3 (present text), and John 4:24. “The LXX use λατρεύω generally (not so, but only in a few places, e.g. Numbers 16:9, Ezekiel 20:32; it is mostly rendered by λειτουργεῖν; λατρεύειν for the most part rendering עָבַד ) for the Heb. שֵׁרֵת, which mostly implies the service of the priests in the temple: e.g. Numbers 3:31; Numbers 4:12; Numbers 18:2, &c. The Apostle means then, that he is an intelligent, true priest of his God, not in the temple, but in his spirit,—not at the altar, but at the gospel of His Son.” Umbreit.

ἐν τῷ εὐαγ.] ἡ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου προσθήκη τὸ εἶδος δηλοῖ τῆς διακονίας, Chrys. Hom. iii. p. 438. His peculiar method of λατρεία was concerned with the gospel of the Son of God. “Quidam accipiunt hanc particulam, quasi voluerit Paulus cultum illum, quo se prosequi Deum dixerat, ex eo commendare, quod Evangelii præscripto respondeat: certum est autem, spiritualem Dei cultum in Evangelio nobis præcipi. Sed prior interpretatio longe melius quadrat, nempe quod suum Deo obsequium addicat in Evangelii prædicatione.” Calvin. See εὐαγγελίον, Philippians 4:15.

[ ὡς ἀδιαλείπτως] how unceasingly: the words may also mean ‘that without ceasing,’ but the former rendering seems the better of the two.]

πάντοτε belongs to the following, not to the preceding words. This latter construction would not be without example,— ἐν παντὶ καιρῷ ἀδιαλείπτως, 1 Maccabees 12:11, but this very example shews that if so, its natural place would be close to ἀδιαλείπτως. The whole phrase is a favourite one with Paul, see reff. “ πάντοτε vice nominis accipio, ac si dictum foret, ‘In omnibus meis orationibus, seu quoties precibus Deum appello, adjungo vestri mentionem.’ ” Calvin.

αἱ προσευχαί μου must be understood of his ordinary stated prayers, just in our sense of my prayers: “quoties ex professo et quasi meditatus Deum orabat, illorum quoque habebat rationem inter alios.” Calv.


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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Romans 1:9". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/romans-1.html. 1863-1878.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

Romans 1:9. γάρ] The pith of the following proof of the assurance conveyed in Romans 1:8 lies in ἀδιαλείπτως, not in the desire to come to Rome, which is not subjoined till Romans 1:10 (Th. Schott). The interest felt by the Apostle in the Romans, which was so vivid that he unceasingly remembered them, etc., had even now urged him to his εὐχαριστῶ τῷ θεῷ κ. τ. λ(348)

μάρτυς.… θεὸς] The asseveration in the form of an oath (comp 2 Corinthians 1:23; 2 Corinthians 11:31; Philippians 1:8) is intended solemnly to strengthen the impression of what he has to say; viewed with reference to the circumstance which might readily excite surprise, that he, the Apostle of the Gentiles, had never yet laboured in the church—which nevertheless was Pauline—of the capital of the Gentile world. See Romans 1:10-13. The hypothesis of “iniquos rumores,” that had reached his ears from Rome (van Hengel), is unnecessary and unsupported by any trace in the letter.

λατρεύω κ. τ. λ(350)] added to strengthen the asseveration with respect to its sacred conscientiousness: to whom I render holy service in my spirit, i.e. in my moral self-consciousness, which is the living inner sphere of that service.(351) This ἐν τῷ πν. μου, on which lies the practical stress of the relative clause, excludes indeed all λατρεύειν of a merely external kind, exercising itself in works, or even impure; but is not intended to suggest a definite contrast to this, which would here be without due motive. It is rather the involuntary expression of the profoundly vivid feeling of inward experience. The Apostle knows and feels that the depths of his innermost life are pervaded by his λατρεύειν. Comp λατρεύω.… ἐν καθαρᾷ συνειδήσει, in 2 Timothy 1:3; also Hebrews 12:28. τὸ πνεῦ΄α ΄ου cannot be the Holy Spirit (Theodoret),(353) but Paul bore the witness of that Spirit in his own spirit (Romans 8:16; Romans 9:1.).

ἐν τῷ εὐαγγ. τ. υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ] in the gospel of His Son, which I preach, defend, etc. That is the great sphere to which He is called in the service of God, in the consciousness of which he is impelled by an inward necessity to devote to his readers that fervent sympathy of which he assures them. Grotius and Reiche think there is an implied contrast to the λατρεία ἐν τῷ νόμῳ, which however is quite foreign to the connection. Can we think of a side-glance at the Jewish style of teaching—when the discourse breathes only love and warmth of affection?

ὡς ἀδιαλ.] ὡς does not stand for ὅτι (as following the Vulgate, the majority, including Fritzsche, think), but expresses the manner (the degree). God is my witness, how unceasingly, etc. Comp Philippians 1:8; 2 Corinthians 7:15; 1 Thessalonians 2:10; Acts 10:28; Calvin; Philippi; van Hengel; see also Ellendt, Lex. Soph. II. p. 1000. The idea of modality must be everywhere retained, where ὡς takes the place of ὅτι. See the passages in Heindorf, a(355) Plat. Hipp. maj. p. 281, Jacobs. a(356) Ach. Tat. p. 566.

μν. ὑμ. ποιοῦμ.] make mention of you, viz. in my prayers. See Romans 1:10. Comp Ephesians 1:16; Philippians 1:3; 1 Thessalonians 1:2.


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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Romans 1:9". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/romans-1.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Romans 1:9. ΄άρτυς, witness) A pious asseveration respecting a matter necessary [Paul’s secret prayer for them], and hidden from men, especially from those, who were remote and unknown,—2 Corinthians 11:31.— λατρεύω, I serve), as an apostle, ch. Romans 15:16. The witness of God resounds [is often appealed to] in spiritual service; and he who serves God, desires and rejoices, that as many as possible should serve God, 2 Timothy 1:3.— μνείαν ὑμῶν, mention of you) Paul was wont to make distinct and explicit mention of the churches, and of the souls of their members.


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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Romans 1:9". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/romans-1.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

God is my witness; in these words there is the force, if not the form, of an oath. See the like, 2 Corinthians 1:18 11:31 Galatians 1:20. His great love and care of them was a hidden thing, and known only to God; to him therefore he appeals for the truth thereof. Oaths, in certain cases, are allowable under the New Testament, as well as the Old.

With my spirit, i.e. sincerely, or with my whole heart: see Ephesians 6:6 2 Timothy 1:3.

Without ceasing, i.e. as often as he prayed. This was a great indication of his hearty affection to them.


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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Romans 1:9". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/romans-1.html. 1685.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

9. γὰρ introduces the personal reasons for his writing. He establishes personal relations with his readers before communicating his message, as he bases his commission on personal relations with the Lord. Cf. Colossians 1:3 ff. (the other unvisited church to which he wrote); 2 Timothy 1:3. Note also the force of Romans 15:14-30.

μάρτυςὁ θεὸς κ.τ.λ. This form of emphatic assertion is specially used by S. Paul (only), when asserting the state of his own mind, 2 Corinthians 1:23; Philippians 1:8; 1 Thessalonians 2:5; 1 Thessalonians 2:10; cf. Wisdom of Solomon 1:6; and is no doubt occasioned by the misrepresentations of his motives made by opponents.

ᾧ λατρεύω κ.τ.λ. adds emphasis by express assertion of his wholehearted devotion to GOD’s service.

λατρεύω. cf. Westcott on Hebr. p. 232, “marks the service of perfect subjection to a sovereign power”; uniformly expresses religious service, voluntarily offered.

ἐν τῷ πνεύματί μου. The service rendered is spiritual, not ritual (cf. Philippians 3:3), and offered by means of the central function of man’s personality. The connexion seems to be, the Gospel absorbs my activity in the service of GOD, and it is therefore easy to understand my interest in you.

ἐν τ. εὐ. τ. υ. α. The sphere of activity: GOD’s Gospel (Romans 1:1) is also the Gospel of His Son, whose name is its epitome (Romans 1:5) and who Himself is the author and commissioner (Romans 1:5).

ὡς, how. μνείαν ὑ. ποι., make mention of; cf. 1 Thessalonians 1:2, Ephesians 1:16 alibi; always of prayer.


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"Commentary on Romans 1:9". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/romans-1.html. 1896.

William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament

9. “For God is my witness, whom I serve in my spirit in the gospel of his Son, how I incessantly make mention of you always in my prayers;


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Godbey, William. "Commentary on Romans 1:9". "William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ges/romans-1.html.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘For God is my witness, whom I serve in my spirit in the gospel of his Son, how unceasingly I make mention of you, always in my prayers,’

The use of this minor oath, calling on God as his witness, confirms how desirous Paul was to win the hearts of the Roman church. He was aware that many voices came to Rome and he was concerned that his voice should be heard above them. So he stresses before God that he ‘serves God in his spirit in the Gospel of His Son’. There is an echo here of the words of the introduction. Just as Jesus Christ was revealed as acting ‘according to the spirit of holiness’ (Romans 1:4), so Paul acts ‘in his spirit’ which is a spirit of servitude to God. He is the servant of the Holy One. And He is so in ‘the Gospel of His Son’, that is in the Gospel of God, the Good News whose source is God, which is concerning His Son (Romans 1:1; Romans 1:3).

And it is because of his spirit’s servitude to God that he unceasingly makes mention of them always in his prayers in order that he might at some stage be able to come and see them. He acts under divine compulsion as God’s hired servant. Note how his prayers are ‘unceasing’ (they occur day by day) and ‘always’ (he never misses a day). Assuming it to be true, and the oath confirms it, we have an indication here of the depth of Paul’ prayer life even in the midst of a busy schedule which included arranging the details of the Collection for the saints in Judea and planning the journey to Jerusalem.


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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Romans 1:9". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/romans-1.html. 2013.

Haldane's Exposition on the Epistle to the Romans

For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers.

God is my witness. — This is substantially an oath; and refutes the erroneous and mischievous notion of some who maintain, from a misapprehension of what is said by our Lord and the Apostle James, that all oaths are unlawful. Paul’s affection for those to whom he wrote was such, that, in making his appeal to God, he desires to expose it to His judgment in respect to its truth and sincerity. Whom I serve with my spirit. — All the service of God is of this kind; but it is here expressed for the sake of energy, and to distinguish the true servants of God, who serve in the Gospel with their heart in the work, from hirelings, whose labors are formal and only external. It expresses the sincerity and ardor of the service that Paul rendered to God, as if he had said, with all his heart and all the faculties of his soul. It also imports the nature of the service in which he was employed, namely, a spiritual service, in opposition to the service of the priests and Levites in the tabernacle, which was in a great measure a bodily service. On this account he adds, in the Gospel of His Son; that is to say, in the ministry of the Gospel in which he labored for the unfolding of the Divine mysteries to make them known. Thus Paul shows, from the character of his ministry, that his obedience was not in pretense only, but in sincerity. Without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers — Some place these last words, ‘always in my prayers,’ in the beginning of the next verse, as in the Vulgate and the French versions; but the difference is not material. This is a striking proof of the frequency of Paul’s prayers, in which he interceded for those whom he was addressing — ’without ceasing’ — ’always.’ In like manner, in writing to the Philippians, he says, ‘Always, in every prayer of mine for you all, making request with joy.’

We thus learn the duty of Christians to pray for one another, and that those who believe the Gospel are as much bound to pray for its success, and the prosperity of the churches, as to labor in the work. Both prayer and labor ought to go together. To pray without laboring is to mock God: to labor without prayer is to rob God of His glory. Until these are conjoined, the Gospel will not be extensively successful. From many other parts of Paul’s writings, we learn how assiduous he was in the duty of prayer, which he so earnestly inculcates on all believers. ‘In everything giving thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you,’ 1 Thessalonians 5:18. ‘Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God,’ Philippians 4:6. How precious is the promise connected with this admonition! ‘And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’

But since all events are fixed, even from eternity, in the counsels and wisdom of God, of what avail, it may be said, are these prayers? Can they change His eternal counsels, and the settled order of events? Certainly not.

But God commands us to pray, and even the prayers of His people are included in His decrees; and what God has resolved to do, He often gives to their prayers. Instead, then, of being vain, they are among the means through which God executes His decrees. If, indeed, all things happened by a blind chance, or a fatal necessity, prayers in that case could be of no moral efficacy, and of no use; but since they are regulated by the direction of Divine wisdom, prayers have a place in the order of events. After many gracious promises, it is added, Ezekiel 36:37, ‘Thus saith the Lord God, I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel to do it for them.’

In this verse Paul shows his zeal for God and his love for believers, which ought never to be separated. We should love our brethren because we love God. These two things corresponded in Paul to the two favors he had received, which he marked in the 5th verse, namely, ‘Grace and Apostleship.’ ‘God, as if he said, ‘has given me grace, and on my part I serve Him with my spirit; He has given me Apostleship, and I have you continually in remembrance.’


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Haldane, Robert. "Commentary on Romans 1:9". "Haldane's Exposition on the Epistle to the Romans and Hebrews". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hal/romans-1.html. 1835.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

9. Without ceasing—Regularly remembering the unseen Roman Church.


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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Romans 1:9". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/romans-1.html. 1874-1909.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Romans 1:9. For. This introduces a solemn proof of his thanksgiving.

God is my witness. Such appeals to God are not uncommon in Paul’s writings. God only could know what his habit in secret prayer was. The fact was important, since he had labored so widely and yet not visited them. This might seem like ignorance or forgetfulness of them.

Whom I serve in my spirit. This adds strength to the solemn asseveration. The word translated ‘serve’ is used in the Septuagint of priestly service, and probably retains some such force here. He renders true service, not in the temple, but in his ‘spirit.’ ‘Spirit’ is the highest part of man’s nature, and in passages like this the reference is to the human spirit, not in contrast with soul or body, but as the sphere of the working of the Holy Spirit. Meyer says: ‘in my moral self-consciousness, which is the living inner sphere of that service.’ But it is a regenerated moral self-consciousness (so Godet).

In the gospel of his Son. The gospel concerning his Son (comp. Romans 1:3). This is the sphere of the service from another point of view; his service is not the performance of a ritual, but the proclamation of the gospel, the good tidings about the Son of God. Notice here and throughout, that the gospel is spoken of, not as the gospel of Jesus, but as the gospel of God, the gospel of Christ, the gospel of his Son. Paul served God by telling the good tidings of the Son of God, Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 1:1-5)

How unceasingly. The E. V. is incorrect here. It is the mode, rather than the simple fact, or the degree, which is brought out.

I remember you. Here the E. V. is inaccurate in its punctuation. This phrase should be separated from what follows. The remembrance is not a mere recollection, but an active recalling of them. ‘Make mention’ is more literal, but it suggests the thought of petition, which is first brought out in what follows.

Always in my prayers, or, ‘at my prayers’ i.e., always when engaged in prayer.


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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Romans 1:9". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/romans-1.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Romans 1:9 f. μάρτυς γάρ μού ἐστιν θεός (Philippians 1:8): at a distance the Apostle cannot directly prove his love, but he appeals to God, who hears his ceaseless prayers for the Romans, as a witness of it. λατρεύω in the LXX is always used of religious service—worship, whether of the true God or of idols. ἐν τῷ πνεύματί μου: Paul’s ministry is spiritual and rendered with his spirit—not like that of the ministers in the ἅγιον κοσμικὸν at Jerusalem. ἐν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ: in preaching the glad tidings of His Son. ὡς ἀδιαλείπτως: the ὡς may either be “how” or “that”: looking to 1 Thessalonians 2:10, “how” seems more probable. μνείαν ὑμῶν ποιοῦμαι: I remember you. Cf. Job 14:13 (O that Thou wouldst appoint me χρόνον ἐν μνείαν μου ποιήσῃ). ἐπὶ τῶν προσευχῶν μου: at my prayers. (Winer, p. 470.) For εἴ πως, see Acts 27:12 and Burton, Moods and Tenses, § 276. ἤδη is “now at length,” “now, after all this waiting”. (S. and H.) The ποτὲ, which can hardly be conveyed in English, marks the indefiniteness which even yet attaches in the writer’s mind to the fulfilment of this hope. εὐοδωθήσομαι: the R.V. gives “I may be prospered”; the A.V. “I might have a prosperous journey”. The latter brings in the idea of the ὁδὸς, which was no doubt present to consciousness when the word εὐοδοῦσθαι was first used; but it is questionable whether any feeling for the etymology remained in the current employment of the word. The other N.T. examples (1 Corinthians 16:2, 3 John Romans 1:2), as well as the LXX, suggest the contrary. Hence the R.V. is probably right. ἐν τῷ θελήματι τοῦ θεοῦ: his long cherished and often disappointed hope had taught Paul to say, “if the Lord will” (James 4:15).


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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Romans 1:9". The Expositor's Greek Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/romans-1.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

God is my witness. I call God to witness. It is an oath. (Witham)


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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Romans 1:9". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/romans-1.html. 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

Romans 1:9 For God is my witness, whom I serve in my spirit in the gospel of his Son, how unceasingly I make mention of you, always in my prayers


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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Romans 1:9". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/romans-1.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

witness. Greek. martus; only here in Romans. Compare 2 Corinthians 1:23. Philippians 1:1, Philippians 1:8. 1 Thessalonians 2:5, 1 Thessalonians 2:10.

serve. Greek. latreuo. App-137 and App-190.

spirit. App-101. Compare Philippians 1:3, Philippians 1:3.

the gospel of His Son. This expression only here; elsewhere, the Apostle speaks of "the gospel of Christ", 1 Corinthians 9:12, 1 Corinthians 9:18; 2 Corinthians 2:12. Philippians 1:27. Compare 2 Corinthians 4:4.

without ceasing, Greek. adialeiptos. Only here and 1 Thessalonians 1:3; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:17.

make mention. Compare Ephesians 1:16. Philippians 1:3. 1 Thessalonians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 3:6. 2 Timothy 1:3. Philemon 1:4. The same expression appears in a papyrus of second cent., from the Fayoum, in a letter from a Roman soldier to his sister.

prayers. Greek. proseuche. App-134.


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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Romans 1:9". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/romans-1.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;

For God is my witness, whom I serve , [ latreuoo (Greek #3000)] - 'in the sense of religious service' (as this word always signifies in the Septuagint and in the New Testament),

With my spirit - or 'inmost soul' (cf. Luke 1:47; Matthew 5:3; Mark 8:12; John 11:33; John 13:21; Acts 17:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:23),

In the gospel of his Son - to which his whole religions life and official activities were consecrated, "that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;"


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Romans 1:9". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/romans-1.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(9) Proof that the Apostle takes this lively interest in the Roman Church conveyed through a solemn adjuration.

Whom I serve.—The word for “serve” is strictly used for voluntary service paid to God, especially in the way of sacrifice and outward worship. Here it is somewhat metaphorical: “Whom I serve, not so much with outward acts as with the ritual of the spirit.”

With my spirit.—“Spirit” is with St. Paul the highest part or faculty in the nature of man. It is the seat of his higher consciousness—the organ by which he communicates with God. “Certainly man is of kin to the beasts by his body; and if he be not of kin to God by his spirit, he is a base and ignoble creature.” (Bacon, Essay on Atheism.) Of itself the “spirit” of man is neutral. When brought into contact with the Spirit of God, it is capable of a truly religious life; but apart from this influence, it is apt to fall under the dominion of the “flesh”—i.e., of those evil appetites and desires to which man is exposed by his physical organisation.

In the gospel of his Son.—The sphere to which the Apostle feels himself called, and in which this heart-worship of his finds its field of operation, is the defence and preaching, &c., of the gospel.


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Romans 1:9". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/romans-1.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;
God
9:1; Job 16:19; 2 Corinthians 1:23; 11:10,11,31; Galatians 1:20; Philippians 1:8; 1 Thessalonians 2:5-10; 1 Timothy 2:7
whom
Acts 27:23; Philippians 2:22; Colossians 1:28,29; 2 Timothy 1:3
with
or, in.
John 4:23,24; Acts 19:21; 1 Corinthians 14:14,15; Philippians 3:3
the
Mark 1:1; Acts 3:26; 1 John 5:9-12
that
1 Samuel 12:23; Luke 18:1; Acts 12:5; Ephesians 6:18; 1 Thessalonians 3:10; 5:17; 2 Timothy 1:3
I make
Ephesians 1:16-19; 3:14-21; Philippians 1:4,9-11; Colossians 1:9-13; 1 Thessalonians 1:2; Philemon 1:4

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Romans 1:9". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/romans-1.html.

Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians

In confirmation of his declaration of gratitude for their conversion, and for the eminence of their faith, Paul appeals to his constant remembrance of them in his prayers. For God is my witness. This reverent appeal to God as the searcher of hearts, is not uncommon in the apostle's writings. 2 Corinthians 1:23; Galatians 1:20; Philippians 1:8. It is an act of worship, a devout recognition of God's omnipresence and omniscience. Whom I serve. The word λατρεύω is in the New Testament always used of religious service, either as rendered to God or to creatures — ‘Who worship and serve the creature more than the Creator,' Romans 1:25. This service may consist either in worship, or in the performance of external duties of a religious nature. The service of which Paul here speaks is characterized in the following clause; in my spirit. This is opposed at once to an insincere, and to a mere external service. In the gospel of his Son. That is, it was a service rendered in preaching the gospel. The priests served, ἐλάτρευσαν, when performing the duties of their office; and Paul served in performing the duties of an apostle. The gospel of his Son, may mean either the gospel concerning his Son, or which his Son himself taught. The former, perhaps, is more in accordance with the use of this and similar phrases, as, ‘gospel of the kingdom,' ‘gospel of the grace of God,' etc. That I constantly make mention of you. It is plain, from the occurrence of the word δεόμενος in the next verse, and from the use of this expression in other places, Philippians 1:3; 1 Thessalonians 1:2 that Paul here refers to his remembering the Roman Christians in his prayers, and not to his bearing them in his mind, or talking about them. The particle ὡς may be connected with ἀδιαλείπτως, how uninterruptedly; or with the clause, ‘God is my witness that,' etc. Comp. Acts 10:28; 1 Thessalonians 2:10.


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Hodge, Charles. "Commentary on Romans 1:9". Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hdg/romans-1.html.

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