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PARAPHRASE. To comfort myself, therefore, as that state requires, for my deliverance from death, I myself *, with full purpose and sincere endeavours of mind, give up myself to obey t the law of God; though my carnal inclinations are enslaved, and have a constant tendency to sin. This is all I can do, and this is all, I being under grace, that is required of me, and through Christ will be accepted.
NOTES. God, has no answer at all, an omission, the like whereof, I do not rememher any where in St. Paul's way of writing. This I am sure, it renders the passage obscure and imperfect in itself. But much more disturbs the sense, if we observe the illative, therefore, which begins the next verse, and introduces a conclusion easy and natural, if the question, “ who shall deliver me?” has for answer, “ the grace of God.” Otherwise it will be heard to find premises, from whence it can be drawn. For thus stands the argument plain and easy. The law cannot deliver from the body of death, i. e. from those carnal appetites, which produce sin, and so bring death: but the grace of God, through Jesus Christ, which pardons lapses, where there is sincere endeavour after righteousness, delivers us from this body, that it doth not destroy us. From whence naturally results this conclusion, “ there is, therefore now, no con“ demnation, &c.” But where it is grounded on, in the other reading, I confess I do not see.
* Aútós éyw, “ I myself," i, e. I the man, with all my full resolution of mind. Autos é yo might have both of them been spared, if nothing more had been meant here, than the nominative case to Owneuw. See note, ver. 20.
t Asheów, “ I serve," or I make myself a vassal, i. e. I intend and devote my whole obedience. The terms of life, to those under grace, St. Paul tells us at large, chap. vi. are 08woğumi tñ 817.xlocúrn, and to 80, to become vassals to righteousness, and to God; consonantly he says here autòs éyW, “ I myself,” I the man, being now a christian, and so no longer under the law, but under grace, do what is required of me in that state ; 88 heuw, “ I become a vassal to “ the law of God," i. e, dedicate myself to the service of it, in sincere endeavours of obedience: and so QÚTÒS EW, “ I the man, shall be delivered from “ death ; ” for he that, being under grace, makes himself a vassal to God, in a steady purpose of sincere obedience, shall from him receive the gift of eternal life, though his carnal appetite, which he cannot get rid of, having its bent towards sin, makes him sometimes transgress, which would be certain death to him, if we were still under the law.
See chap. vi. 18 and 22.
And thus St. Paul having shown here in this chapter that the being under grace alone, without being under the law, is necessary even to the jews, as in the foregoing chapter he had shown it to be to the gentiles, he here hereby demonstratively confirms the gentile converts in their freedom from the law, wbich is the scope of this epistle thus far.
CONTENTS. St. Paul having, chap. vi. shown that the gentiles, who were not under the law, were saved only by grâce, which required that they should not indulge themselves in sin, but steadily and sincerely endeavour after perfect obedience : having also, ch. vii. shown, that the jews who were under the law, were also saved by grace only, because the law could not enable them wholly to avoid sin, which, by the law, was in every the least slip made death; he in this chapter shows, that both jews and gentiles, who are under grace, i. e. converts to chris. tianity, are free from condemnation, if they perform what is required of them; and thereupon he sets forth the terms of the covenant of grace, and presses their observance, viz. not to live after the flesh, but after the spirit, mortifying the deeds of the body; forasmuch as those, that do so, are the sons of God. This being laid down, he makes use of it to arm them with patience against afflictions, assuring them, that, whilst they remain in this state, nothing can separate them from the love of God, nor shut them out from the inheritance of eternal life with Christ, in glory, to which all the sufferings of this life bear not any the least proportion.
TEXT. • 1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in
Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit.
PARAPHRASE. 1 THERE is, therefore *, now t, no condemnation to,
i. e. no sentence of death shall pass upon, those who
NOTES. 1 * “ Therefore.” This is an inference, drawn from the last verse of the foregoing chapter, where he saith, that it is grace that delivers from death, as we have already observed.
t" Now.” Now that, under the gospel, the law is abolished to those, who entertain the gospel. # The “condemnation” here spoken of, refers to the penalty of death annexed
TEXT. 2 For the law of the spirit of life, in Christ Jesus, hath made me
free from the law of sin and death.
PARAPHRASE. are christians *, if so be they obey f not the sinful
lusts of the flesh, but follow, with sincerity of heart, 2 the dictates of the † spirit, $ in the gospel. For
the || grace of God, which is effectual to life, has set me free from the law in my members, which cannot now produce sin in me, unto death .
NOTES. to every transgression, by the law, whereof he had discoursed in the foregoing chapter.
* « In Christ Jesus,” expressed chap. vi. 14, by " under grace," and Gal. iii. 27, by • having put on Christ;" all which expressions plainly signify, to any one that reads and considers the places, the professing the religion, and owning a subjection to the law of Christ, contained in the gospel, which is, in short, the profession of christianity.
+ Tleportator, “ walking,” or “ who walk," does not mean, that all, who are in Christ Jesus, do walk, not after the flesh, but after the spirit; but all who, being in Christ Jesus, omit not to walk so. This, if the tenour of St. Paul's discourse, here, can suffer any one to doubt of, he may be satisfied is so, from ver. 13, “ If ye live after the flesh.” The “ ye,” he there speaks to, are no less than those that, chap. i, 6, 7, he calls, “ the called of Jesus Christ, and • the beloved of God,” terms equivalent to,“ being in Jesus Christ," see chap. vi. 12-14, Gal. v. 16—18, which places compared together, show that, by Christ we are delivered from the doininion of sin and lust; so that it shall not reign over us, unto death, if we will set ourselves against it, and sincerely endeavour to be free; a voluntary slave, who inthral, hi:nself by a willing obedience, who can set free?
# “ Flesh and spirit,” seem here plainly to refer to flesh, where with he says he serves sin ; and " mind," wherewith he serves the law of God, in the immediately preceding words.
§ “ Walking after the spirit,” is, ver. 13, explained by " mortifying the " deeds of the body, through the spirit.”
2 || That it is grace, that delivers from the law in the members, which is the law of death, is evident from chap. vii. 23-25 ; why it is called a law, may be found in the antithesis to the law of sin and death, grace being as certain a law, to give life to christians, that live not after the flesh, as the influence of sipful appetites is, to bring death on those, who are not under grace. In the next place, why it is called the law of the spirit of life, has a reason, in that the gospel, which contains this doctrine of grace, is dictated by the same spirit, that raised Christ from the dead, and that quickens us to newness of life, and has, for its end, the conferring of eternal life.
I “ The law of sin and death.” Hereby is meant that, which he calls “ the • Jaw in his members,” chi, vii. 23, where it is called, “ the law of sin ;” and ver, 24, it is called, "the body of death," from which grace delivers. This is certain, that no-body, who considers what St. Paul has said, ver. 7 apd 13, of the foregoing chapter, can thiuk, that he can call the law of Moses, “the law of “ sin, or the law of death.” And that the law of Moses is not meant, is plain from his reasoning in the very next words. For the law of Moses could not be
TEXT. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, sending his own son, in the likeness of sinful Alesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh:
PARAPHRASE. 3 For this (viz. the delivering us from sin) being beyond
the power of the law, which was too weak * to master the propensities of the flesh, God, sending his son in flesh, that in all things, except sin, was like unto our frail, sinful flesh †, and sending * him also to be an offering $ for sin, he put to death, or extinguished, or
complained of, as being weak, for not delivering those under it from itself; yet its weakness might, and is all along, chap. vii, as well as ver. 3, complained of, as not being able to deliver those under it, from their carnal, sinful appetites, and the prevalence of them.
3 * Weak;" the weakness, and as lie there also calls it," the unprofit. “ ableness of the law,” is again taken notice of by the apostle, Heb. vii. 18, 19. There were two defects in the law, whereby it became unprofitable, as the author to the hebrews says, so as to make nothing perfect. The one was its inflexible rigour, agaiost which it provided no allay, or mitigation1; it left no place for atonement: the least slip was mortal: death was the inevitable punishment of transgression, by the sentence of the law, which had no temperament: death the offender must suffer, there was no remedy. This St. Paul's epistles are full of, and how we are delivered froin it, by ihe body of Christ, he shows, Heh, x. 5-10. The other weakness, or defect, of the law was, that it could not enable those who were under it, to get a mastery over the flesh, or fleshly propensities, so as to perform the obedience required. The law exacted complete obedience, but afforded men no help against their frailty, or vicious inclinations. And this reigning of sin in their mortal bodies, St. Paul shows here, how they are delivered from, by the spirit of Christ enabling them, upon their sincere endeavours after righteousness, to keep sin under, in their inortal bodies, in conforinity to Christ, in whose tlesh it was condeinved, execuied, and perfectly extinci, having never had there any life or being, as we shall ser, in the following nore. The provision, that is made in the new coveinant, against both these defects of the law, is in the epistle to the Hebrews expressed thus: “ God will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, " wherein he will do these two things; he will write his law in tlieir hearts, “ and he will be merciful 10 their iniquities.” See Heb. viii. 7-12.
+ See Heb, iv, 15.
I kad," and," joins herr, " in the likeness," &c. with “ to be an offering;” whereas, if "and" be made to copulate, “sending" and "condemned,” neither gramınar, nor sense, would permit it. Nor can it be imagined this apostle should speak thuis: God sending his son, and condcinned sio: bui“ God sending “ his own son, in the likeness of sinful flesh," and sending him to be an offering for sin, with very good sense, joins the manner and end of his sending.
Ś Tepi ápaplías, which in the text is translated, “ for sin,” signifies an offering for sin, as the margin of our bibles lakes notice: see 2 Cor. v. 21, Heb. x. 5–10. So that the plain sepse is, God sent his son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and sent him an offering for sio.
TEXT. 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who
walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit. 5 For they, that are after the flesh, do mind the things of the flesh:
but they that are after the spirit, the things of the spirit.
PARAPHRASE. suppressed sin * in the flesh, i.e. sending his son into
the world, with the body, wherein the flesh could 4 never prevail, to the producing of any one sin; To
the end that, under this example of the flesh, wherein sin was perfectly mastered and excluded from any life, the moral rectitude of the law † might be conformed to by us, who, abandoning the lusts of the flesh, follow the guidance of the spirit, in the law of
our minds, and make it our business to live, not after 5 the flesh, but after the spirit. For as for those who
Sare still under the direction of the flesh, and its sinful appetites, who are under obedience to the law in their
NOTES. * Kalexpove, “ condemned.” The prosopopæia, whereby sin was considered as a person, all the foregoing chapter, being continued here, the condemping of sin here, cannot mean, as soine would have it, that Christ was condemned for sin, or in the place of sin, for that would be to save sin, and leave that person alive, which Christ came to destroy. But the plain meaning is, that sin itself was condemned, or put to death, in his flesh, i.e. was suffered to have no life, nor being, in the flesh of our Saviour; he was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sim, Heb. iv. 15. By the spirit of God, the motions of the flesh were suppressed in him, sin was crushed in the egg, and could never fasten, in the least, upon him. This farther appears to be the sense, by the following words. This antithesis between xaláxpoud, ver. 1, and xalexpive, here, will also show, why that word is used, here, to express the death, or no being, of sin in our Saviour, 2 Cor. v.2, 1 Peter ii. 22, That St. Paul sometimes uses condemnation, for putting to death, see chap. v. 16 and 18.
4 ¢ Tò &exabwia to fóue, “ the righteousness of the law.” See note, chap. ii. 26.
I “ Fulfilled," does not here signify a complete, exact obedience, but such an unblameable life, by sincere endeavours after righteousness, as shows us to be the faithful subjects of Christ, exempt from the dominion of sin, see chap. xiii. 8, Gal. vi. 2. A description of such, who thus fulfilled “ the righteousness "s of the law," we have Luke i. 6. As Christ in the flesh was wholly excmpt from all taint of sin; so we, by that spirit which was in hin, shall be exeinpt from the dominion of our carnal lusts, if we make it our choice and endeavour to live after the spirit, ver. 9, 10, 11. For that, which we are to perform by that spirit, is the mortification of the deeds of the body, ver. 13.
5 g di zolà oápxa övles, “ those that are after the flesh,” and “ those that are “ after the spirit,” are the same with those that walk after the flesh, and after the spirit. A description of these two different sorts of christiaus, see Gal. y. 16--26,