Page images

TEXT. 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus

Christ, were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism, into death; that,

like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the

Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For, if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death,

we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection : 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

PARAPHRASE. 3 For this I hope you are not ignorant of, that we

christians, who by baptism were admitted into the

kingdom and church of Christ, were baptized into a 4 similitude of his death: We did own some kind of

death, by being buried under water, which, being buried with him, i. e. in conformity to his burial, as a confession of our being dead, was to signify, that as Christ was raised up from the dead, into * a glorious life with his father, even so we, being raised from our typical death and burial in baptism, should lead a new sort of life, wholly different from our foriner, in

some approaches towards that heavenly life that 5 Christ is risen to. For, if we have been ingrafted

into him, in the similitude of his death, we shall be

also in a conformity to the life, which he is entered 6 into, by his resurrection : Knowing this, that we are

to live so, as if our old man, our wicked and corrupt fleshly self f which we were before, were crucified with him, that the prevalency of our carnal sinful propensities, which are from our bodies, might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sins,

NOTES. 4 * Aid, in the bellenistic Greek, sometimes signifies into, and so our translation renders it, 2 Pet. i. 3. And, if it be not so taken here, the force of St. Paul's argument is lost, which is to show into what state of life we ought to be raised out of baptism, in similitude and conformity to that state of life Christ was raised into, from the grave. 6 + See Cial. v. 24, Eph. iv. 22, Col. ii, Jl, 1 Pet. iv. I.

It will conduce much to the understanding of St. Paul, in this and the two following chapters, if it be minded that these phrases,“ to serve sin, to be ser. " vants of sin, sin to reign in our mortal bodies, to obey sin in the lusts of our “ bodies, to yield our members instruments of unrighteousness unto sin, or

TEXT. For he that is dead, is freed from sin. 8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also

live with him. 9 Knowing that Christ, being raised from the dead, dieth no more;

death hath no more dominion over him. 10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth,

he liveth unto God.

PARAPHRASE. my as vassals to it. For he, that is dead, is set free from

the vassalage * of sin, as a slave is from the vas8 salage of his master. Now, if we understand by · our being buried in baptism, that we died with

Christ, we cannot but think and believe, that 9 we should live a life conformable to his; Knowing

that Christ, being raised from the dead, returns

no more to a mortal life, death hath no more do10 minion over him, he is no more subject to death.

For in that he died, he died unto sin, i. e. upon the account of sin, once † for all : but his life, now after his resurrection, is a life wholly appro

NOTES. * servants of uncleanness, and to iniquity unto iniquity, to be freed from “ righteousness, to walk, live, or be after the flesh, to be carnally minded,” all signify one and the same thing, viz. the giving ourselves up to the conduct of our sinful, carnal appetites, to allow any of them the command over us, and the conduct and prevalency in determining us. On the contrary, “ that “ walking after the spirit, or in newness of life, the crucifixion of the old “ man, the destruction of the body of sin, the deliverance from the body of " death, to be freed froin sin, to be dead to sin, alive unto God, to yield your. ss selves unto God, as those who are alive from the dead, yield your members servants of righteousness unto holiness, or instruments of righteousness unto God, to be servants of obedience unto rightevusness, made free from sin, " servants of righteousness, to be after the spirit, to be spiritually minded, to $6 mortify the deeds of the body," do all signify a constant and steady purpose, and sincere endeavour to obey the law and will of God, in every thing, these several expressions being used in several places, as best serves the occasion, and illustrates the sense.

7 * The tenour of St. Paul's discourse here, shows this to be the sense of this verse; and to be assured that it is so, we need go no farther than ver. Il, 12, 13. He makes it his business in this chapter, not to tell them what they certainly and unchangeably are, but to exhort them to be what they ought and are engaged to be, by becoming christians, viz. that they ought to emancipate themselves from the vassalage of sin; not that they were so emancipated, without any danger of return, for then he could not nave said what he does, Ver. 11, 12, 13, which supposes it in their power to continue in their obedience

to sin, or return to that vassalage, if they would. • 10 + See Heb. jx, 26-28, 1 Pet. ir. 1, 2.

TEXT. 11 Likewise, reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin;

but alive unto God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12 Let not sin, therefore, reign in your mortal body, that ye should

obey it, in the lusts thereof.. 13 Neither yield ye your members, as instruments of unrighteous

ness unto sin: but vield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead; and your members, as instruments of righteousness, unto God.

PARAPHRASE. priated to God, with which sin, or death, shall

never have any more to do, or come in reach of. 11 In like manner, do you also make your reckoning,

account yourselves dead to sin *, freed from that master; so as not to suffer yourselves, any more, to be commanded, or employed by it, as if it were still your master; but alive to God, i. e. that it is your

business now to live wholly for his service, and to 12 his glory t, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Permit

not, therefore, sin to reign over you, by your

mortal bodies $, which you will do, if you obey 13 your carnal lusts: Neither deliver up your members

to sin, to be employed by sin, as instruments of iniquity, but deliver up yourselves unto God, as those who have got to a new life from among the dead ||, and choosing him for your Lord and Master,


dead I, and have got to

NOTES. 11 * “ Sin” is here spoken of as a person, a prosopæia made use of, all through this and the following chapter, which must be minded, if we will understand thein right. The like exhortation upon the same ground, see 1 Pet. iv. 1-3.

+ See Gal. ii. 19, 2 Cor. v. 15, Rom. v. 4. The force of St. Paul's argument here seems to be this : in your baptism you are engaged into a likeness of Christ's death and resurrection. He once died to sin, so do you count yourselves dead to sin. He rose to life, wherein he lives wholly to God: so must your new life, after your resurrection from your typical burial in the water, be under the vassalage of sin no more, but you must live intirely to the service of God, to whom you are devoted, in obedience to his will in all things.

12 | “ In your mortal bodies;” ły, in the apostle's writings, often signifies, by. And he here, as also in the following chapiers, ver. 18 and 24, and else. where, placing the root of sin in the body, his sense seems to be, let vot sin reign over you, by the lusts of your mortal bodies.

13 $ " Sinful lusts," at least those, to which the gentiles were most eminently . enslaved, seem so much placed in the body and the members, that they are called," the inembers,” Col. iji. 5.

1 'Ex. vexpæv, “ from among the dead." The gentile world were dead in sins,

TEXT. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under ; the law, but under grace. 15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but

under grace? God forbid !


yield your members to him, as instruments of 14 righteousness. For if you do so, sin shall not have

dominion over you *, you shall not be as its slaves, in its power, to be by it delivered over to death. For † you are not under the law, in the legal state;

but you are under grace, in the gospel-state of the 15 covenant of grace. What then, shall we sin, because

we are not under the law, but under the covenant 16 of grace ? God forbid! Know ye not that, to whom


Eph. ii. 1, 5, Col. ii. 13, those, who were converted to the gospel, were raised to life, from among those dead.

14 * “ Sin shall not have dominion over you," i. e. sin shall not be your absolute master, to dispose of your members and faculties, in its drudgery and service, as it pleases ; you shall not be under its control, in absolute subjection to it, but your own men, that are alive, and at your own disposal, unless, by your own free choice, you inthral yourselves to it, and by a voluntary obedience, give it the cominand over you, and are willing to have it your master. It must be remembered, that St. Paul here, and in the following chapter, personates sin, as striving with men for mastery, to destroy them.

+ “ For.” The force of St. Paul's reasoning here stands thus : you are obliged, by your taking on you the profession of the gospel, not to be any longer slaves and vassals to sin, nor to be under the sway of your carnal Justs, but to yield yourselves up to God, to be his servants, in a constant and sincere purpose and endeavour of obeying him in all things: this if you do, sin shall not be able to procure you death, for you gentiles are not under the law, which condemns to death for every the least transgression, though it be but a slip of infirmity; but, by your baptism, are entered into the covenant of grace, and, being under grace, God will accept of your sincere endeavours in the place of exact obedience; and give you eternal life, through Jesus Christ; but if you, by a willing obedience to your lusts, make yourselves vassals to sin, sin, as the lord and inaster to whom you belong, will pay you with death, the only wages that sin pays.

15 | What is meant by being “ under grace,” is easily understood, by the , undoubted and obvious meaning of the parallel phrase, “ under the law."

They, it is unquestioned, were under the law, who having by circumcision, the ceremony of admittance, been received into the commonwealth of the jews, owned the God of the jews for their God and King, professing subjection to the law he gave by Moses. And so, in like manner, he is under grace, who, haping by baptism, the ceremony of admittance, been received into the kingdom of Christ, or the society of christians, called by a peculiar name, the christian church, owns Jesus of Nazareth to be the Messias, his King, pro.


TEXT. 16 Know ye not, that, to whom ye yield yourselves servants to

obey, his servants ye are, to whom ye obey; whether of sin

unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness. 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin : but ye

have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine, which was delivered you.

PARAPHRASE. you subject yourselves * as vassals, to be at his beck, his vassals you are whom you thus obey, whether it be of sin, which vassalage ends in death; or of

Christ, in obeying the gospel, to the obtaining of 17 righteousness and life. But God be thanked, that

you who were the vassals of sin, have sincerely, and from your heart, obeyed, so as to receive the form, or be cast into the mould of that doctrine, under

NOTES. fessiog subjection to his law, delivered in the gospel. By which it is plain, that being under grace, is spoken here, as being under the law is, in a political and national sense. For whoever was circumcised, and owned God for his king, and the authority of his law, ceased not to be a jew or member of that society, by every or any transgression of the precepts of that law, so long as he owned God for his Lord, and his subjection to that law; so likewise, he who, by haptism, is incorporated into the kingdom of Christ, and owns him for his sovereign, and himself under the law and rule of the gospel, ceasęs not to be a christian, though he offend against the precepts of the gospel, till he denies Christ to be his king and lord, and renounces his subjection to his law in the gospel. But God, in taking a people to himself to be his, not doing it barely as a temporal prince, or head of a politic society in this world, but in order to his having as many, as in obeying him perform the conditions necessary, his subjects for ever, in the state of immortality restored to him in another world ; has, since the fall, erected two kingdoms in this world, the one of the jews, immediately under himself; another of christians under his son Jesus Christ, for that farther and more glorious end, of attaining eternal life, wbich prerogative and privilege, of eternal life, does not belong to the society in general, por is the benefit granted nationally, to the whole body of the people of either of these kingdoms of God; but personally, to such of them, who perforin the conditions required in the terms of each covenant. To those who are jews, or under the law, the terms are perfect and complete obedience to every tiltle of the law, “do this and live :” to those who are christians, or under grace, the terms are sincere endeavours after perfect obedience, though not attaining it, as is manifest, in the remaining part of this chapter, where St. Paul acquaints those, who ask whether they shall sin, because they are not under the law, but under grace ? that, though they are under grace, yet they, who obey sin, are the vassals of sin; and those, who are the vassals of sin, shall receive death, the wages of sin,

16 * 'Taakony, “ obedience." That which he calls here simply útraxon, obedience,” he in other places calls úrazon oi5EWS,“ ubedience of faith," and imaxon Ti Xpiss, " obedience of Christ," meaning a reception of the gospel of Christ.

« PreviousContinue »