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PARAPHRASE. Christ *, are become dead † to the law, whereby the dominion of the law over you has ceased, that you should subject yourselves to the dominion of Christ, in the gospel, which you may do with as much freedom from blame, or the imputation of dis, loyalty t, as a woman whose husband is dead, may, without the imputation of adultery, marry another man. And this making yourselves another's, even Christ's, who is risen from the dead, is, that we
NOTES: “ By the body of Christ, in which you, as his members, died with himn;" see Col. ii. 20, and so, by a like figure, believers are said to be circumcised with him, Col, ii, 11.
+ " are become dead to the law." There is a great deal of needless pains taken by some, to reconcile this saying of St. Paul to the two immediately preceding verses, which they suppose do require he should have said here what he does ver. 6, viz. that the law was dead, that so the persons, here spoken of, miglit rightly answer to the wife, who there represents them. But he, that will take this passage together, will find that the first part of this 4th verse refers to ver, I, and the latter part of it to ver. 2 and 3, and consequently that St. Paul had spoken improperly, if he had said, what they would make him say here. To clear this, let us look into St. Paul's reasoning, which plainly stands thus : “ the dominion of the law over a man ceases, when he is dead, “ ver. 1, you are become dead to the law, by the body of Christ, ver. 4, and " so the dominion of the law over you is ceased, then you are free to put “ yourselves under the dominion of another, which can bring on you no “ charge of disloyalty to him, who had before the dominion over you, any “ more than a woman can be charged with adultery, when, the dominion of “ her former husband being ceased by his death, she marrieth herself to an“ other man.” For the use of what he says, ver, 2 and 3, is to satisfy the jews, that the dominion of the law over them being ceased, by their death to the law, in Christ, they were no more guilty of disloyalty, by putting themselves wholly under the law of Christ, in the gospel, than a woman was guilty of adultery, when, the dominion of her husband ceasing, she gave herself up wholly to an. other man in marriage.
I “ Disloyalty.” One thing that made the jews so tenacious of the law, was, that they looked upon it as a revolt from God, and a disloyalty to him, their king, if they retained not the law that he had given them. So that even those of them, who embraced the gospel, thought it necessary to observe those parts of the law, which were not continued, and as it were re-enacted by Christ, in the gospel. Their mistake herein is what St. Paul, by the instance of a woman marrying a second husband, the former being dead, endeavours to convince them of.
s“ We.” It may be worth our taking notice of, that St. Paul, having all along from the begipoing of the chapter, and even in this very sentence, said “ ye,” here, with neglect of grammar, on a sudden changes it into “ we,” and says, “ that we should, &c." I suppose to press the argument the stronger, hy showing himself to be in the same circumstances and concern with them, he being a jew, as well as those he spoke to,
TEXT. 5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were
by the law, did work in our members, to bring forth fruit unto death.
PARAPHRASE. 5 should bring forth fruit unto God *. For when we
were after so fleshly † a manner, under the law, as not to comprehend the spiritual meaning of it, that directed us to Christ, the spiritual end of the law, our sinful lust to that remained in us under the law , or in the state under the law, wrought in our mem
NOTES. # « Fruit unto God.” In these words St. Paul visibly refers to chap. vi. 10, where he saith, that “ Christ, in that he liveth, he liveth unto God," and therefore be mentions here, his being raised from the dead, as a reason, for their bringing forth fruit unto God, i. e, living to the service of God, obeying bis will, to the utmost of their power, which is the same that he says, chap. viii, 11.
5 + “ When we were in the flesh.” The understanding and observance of the law, in a bare, literal sense, without looking any farther, for a more spi. ritual intention in it, St. Paul calls “ being in the flesh.” That the law had, besides a literal and carnal sense, a spiritual and evangelical meaning, see 2 Cor. iii, 6 and 17, compared. Read also ver. 14, 15, 16, where the jews in the flesh are described ; and what he says of the ritual part of the law, see Heb, ix. 9, 11, which whilst they lived in the observance of, they were in the flesh. That part of the mosaical law was wholly about fleshly things, Col. ii. 14--23, was sealed in the flesh, and proposed no other, but temporal, Aeshly rewards.
nahuatu tūs apcaptiv, literally " passions of sin," in the scripture Greek (wherein the genitive case of the substantive is often put for the adjective) "sinful passions, or lusts."
$ Tà dià rõ vó uw, “ which were by the law,” is a very true literal translation of the words, but leads the reader quite away from the apostle's sense, and is fain to be supported by interpreters, that so understand it) by saying, that the law excited men to sin, by forbidding it. A strange imputation on the law of God, such as, if it be true, must make the jews more detiled, with the pollutions set down in St. Paul's black list, ch. i. than the heathen themselves, But herein they will not find St. Paul of their mind, who, besides the visible distinction wherewith he speaks of the gentiles all through his epistles, in this respect doth, here, ver. 7, declare quite the contrary; see also 1 Peter iv. 3, 4. If St. Paul's use of the preposition, dià, a little backwards in this very epistle, were remembered, this and a like passage or two more, in this chapter, would not have so harsh and hard a sense put on them as they have. Tūv IS EÚOVTWI di áxpe&usíns, our translation renders, ch. iv. 11, “ that believe, though they “ be not circumcised,” where they make di axpobuslas, to signify, “ during the “ state, or during their being under uncircumcision." If they had given the same sense to bid vó us here, which plainly signifies their being in a contrary state, i, e, under the law, and rendered it," sinful affections," which they bad, though they were under the law, the apostle's sense here would have been easy, clear, and conformable to the design he was upon. This ise of the word osà, I think we may find in other epistles of St. Paul; rà soce ri od Matos, 2 Cor. v. 10, may possibly, with better sense, be understood of things done during the body, or during the bodily state, than by the body, and so I Tim.
TEXT. 6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead, wherein
we were held ; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and pot in the oldness of the letter.
· bers, i. e, set our members and faculties * on work, in 6 doing that, whose end was death f. But now the law, - under which we were heretofore held in subjection,
being dead, we are set free from the dominion of the law, that we should perform our obedience, as under the new and spiritual covenant of the gospel, wherein there is a remission of frailties, and not as still under the old rigour of the letter of the law, which condemns every one, who does not perform exact obedi
NOTES. ji. 15, Srà Texvoyovías, “ during the state of child-bearing.” Nor is this barely an hellenistical use of Sed, for the greeks themselves say, di nuspàs, “ during “ the day ;” and 8id, vuxtos," during the night." And so I think dià To củayseris, Eph. lii. 6, should be understood to signify, " in the time of the “ gospel, under the gospel dispensation.".
* " Members,” here, doth not signify barely the fleshy parts of the body, in a restrained sense, but the animal faculties and powers, all in us that is employed as an instrument in the works of the flesh, which are reckoned up, Gal, v. 19-21, some of which do not require the members of our body, taket in a strict sense for the outward gross parts, but only the faculties of our minds, for their performance.
* Koprodopño ou to Jay&TŲ, “ Bringing forth fruit unto death,” here, is opposed to “ bringing forth fruit unto God,” in the end of the foregoing verse. Death here being considered as a master, whom men serve by sin, as God in the other place is considered as a master, who gives life to them, who serve him, in performing obedience to his law.
6 I “ In newness of spirit," j.e. spirit of the law, as appears by the antithesis, oldness of the letter, i.e. letter of the law. He speaks in the former part of the verse of the law, as being dead ; here he speaks of its being revived again, with a new spirit. Christ, by his death, abolished the mosaical law, but revived as much of it again, as was serviceable to the use of his spiritual kingdom, under the gospel, but left all the ceremonial and purely typical part dead, Col. ij. 14-18, the jews were held, before Christ, in an obedience to the whole letter of the law, without minding the spiritual meaning, which pointed at Christ. This the apostle calls here serving in the oldness of the jetter, and this he tells them they should now leave, as being freed from it, by the death of Christ, who was the end of the law for the attaining of righteousness, chap. x. 4, i, e. in the spiritual sense of it, which 2 Cor. iii. 6, he calls spirit, which spirit, ver. 17, he explains to be Christ. That chapter and this verse here give light to one another. Serving in the spirit, then, is obeying the law, as far as it is revived, and as it is explained by our Saviour, in the gospel, for the attaining of evangelical righteousness.
TEXT. 7 What shall we say then ? is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had
not known sin, but by the law : for I had not known lust, except
the law had said, Thou shalt pot covet. 8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all
manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.
PARAPHRASE. 7 ence to every tittle *. What shall we then think, that
the law, because it is set aside, was unrighteous, or gave any allowance, or contributed any thing to sint? By no means : for the law, on the contrary, tied men stricter up from sin, forbidding concupiscence, which they did not know to be sin, but by the law. For I }
had not known concupiscence to be sin, unless the law 8 had said, Thou shalt not covet. Nevertheless sin,
taking opportunity S, during the law ll, or whilst I was under the commandment, wrought in me all
NOTES. * That this sense is also comprehended, in not serving in " the oldness of " the letter," is plain from what St. Paul says, 2 Cor. iji. 6. “ The letter « killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” From this killing letter of the law, whereby it pronounced death, for every the least transgression, they were also delivered, and therefore St. Paul tells them here, chap. viii, 15, that they “ have “ not received the spirit of bondage again to fear," j. e. to live in perpetual bondage and dread under the inflexible rigour of the law, under which it was impossible for them to expect aught but death.
s to " Sin." That sin here comprehends both these meanings expressed in the paraphrase, appears from this verse, where the strictness of the law against sin, is asserted, in its prohibiting of desires, and from ver. 12, where its rectitude is asserted.
“1." The skill St. Paul uses, in dexterously avoiding, as much as possible, the giving offence to the jews, is very visible in the word I, in this place. In the beginning of this chapter, where he mentions their knowledge in the law, he says, “ ye.” In the 4th verse be joins himself with them and says, “ we.” But here, and so to the end of this chapter, where he represents the power of sin, and the inability of the law to subdue it w bolly, he leaves them out, and speaks altogether in the first person, he means all those, who were under the Jaw.
8 $ St. Paul here, and all along this chapter, speaks of sin as a person, endeavouring to compass his death, and the sense of this verse amoubts to no more but this, that, in matter of fact, that concupiscence, which the law de. clared to be sin, remained and exerted itself in him, not withstanding the law. For if sin, from St. Paul's prosopopoeia, or making it a person, shall he taken to be a real agent, the carrying this figure too far will give a very odd sense to St. Paul's words, and, contrary to his meaning, make sin to be the cause of ilself, and of concupiscence, from which it has its rise.
# See note +, ver. 5, p. 345.
TEXT. 9 For I was alive without the law, once : but when the command.
ment came, sin revived, and I died.
manner of concupiscence : for without the law, sin is 9 dead *, not able to hurt me; And there was a time
once t, when I being without the law, was in a state of life; but the commandment coming, sin got life and strength again, and I found myself a dead man ;
NOTES. .“ Dead.” It is to be remembered not only that St. Paul, all along this chapter, makes sin a person, but speaks of that person and himself, as two in. compatible enemies, the being and safety of the one consisting in the death, or inability of the other to hurt. Without carrying this in mind, it will be very hard to understand this chapter. For instance, in this place St. Paul has declared, ver. 7, that the law was not abolished, because it at all favoured, or promoted sin, for it lays restraints upon our very desires, which men, without the law, did not take notice to be sinful ; nevertheless sin, persisting in its design, to destroy me, took the opportunity of my being under the law, to stir up concupiscence in me ; for without the law, which annexes death to transgression, sin is as good as dead, is not able to have its will on me, and bring death upon me. Conformable hereunto, St. Paul says, I Cor. xv. 56, “ the strength of *6 sin is the law ;” i. e. it is the law, that gives sin the strength and power to kill men. Laying aside the figure, which gives a lively representation of the hard state of a well-minded jew, under the law, the plain meaning of St. Paul here is this : “ Though the law lays a stricter restraint upon sin, than men have “ without it: yet it betters not my condition thereby, because it enables me “ not wholly to extirpate sin, and subdue concupiscence, though it hath made “ every transgression a mortal crime. So that being no more totally secured “ from offending, under the law, than I was before, I am, under the law, ex“ posed to certain death.” This deplorable state could not be more feelingly expressed than it is here, by making sin (which still remained in man, under the law) a person who inplacably aiming at his ruin, cunningly took the apportunity of exciting concupiscence, in those, to whom the law had made it mortal.
9 Mori, “ once.” St. Paul declares there was a time once, when he was in a state of life. When this was, he himself tells us, viz. when he was without tbe law, which could only be, before the law was given. For he speaks here, in the person of one of the children of Israel, who never ceased to be under the law, since it was given. This wotè therefore must design the time between the covenant made with Abraham, and the law. By that covenant, Abraham was made blessed, i, e. delivered from death. That this is so, see Gal. iii. 9, &c. And, under him, the israelites claimed the blessing, as his posterity, compreheuded in that covenant, and as many of them, as were of the faith of their father, faithful Abraham, were blessed with him. But when the law came, and they put themselves wholly into the covenant of works, wherein each transgression of the law became mortal, then sin recovered lite again, and a power to kill; and an israelite, now under the law, found himself in a state of death, a dead man. Thus we see it corresponds with the design of the apostle's discourse here. In the six first verses of this chapter, he show's the jews that they were at liberty from the law, and might put theioselves solely