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CHAP. VIII. 1-39.
St. Paul having, chap. vi. shown that the gentiles, who were not under the law, were saved only by grace, 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 christianity, 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. i THERE is therefore now no condemnation to them which are
in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit.
is, therefore', now”, no condemnation to, i.e. no sentence of death shall pass upon, those who are
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.
“ Now." Now that, under the gospel, the law is abolished to those, who entertain the gospel. • The condemnation” lere spoken of, refers to the penalty of death annexed TEXT. & For the law of the spirit of life, in Clurist Jesus, hath made me
free from the lawr of sin and death.
PARAPHRASE. christians “, if so be they obeye not the sinful lusts of the
flesh, but follow, with sincerity of heart, the dictates of the of spirit, & in the gospel. For the grace of God, wbich is
effectual to life, has set me free from the law in my mem'bers, which cannot now produce sin in me, unto death'.
NOTES. to every transgression, by the law, whereof he had discoursed in the foregoing chapter.
4“ In Christ Jesus,” expressed chap. vi. 14, hy “under grace," and Gal. iii. 27, by “having put on Christ;" all which expressions plainly signify, to any one tliat 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.
• Tapiocco, “ walking, “ 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 t'iere speaks to, are no less than those that, chap. i. 6,7, he calls, “ the called of Jesus Christ, and “ ihe beloved of God," terins 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 dominion 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 inthrals himself by a willing obedi. ence, who can set free?
F" Flesh and spirit," seem here plainly to refer to flesh, wherewith 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 b 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 sinful appetites. is, to bring death on those, who are not under grace. In the rext place, why it is called the law of the spirit of life, has a reason, in that the gos. pel, 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.
1 The law of sin and death.” Hereby is meant that, which he calls “ the of law in his members," ch. 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 and 13, of the foregoing chapter, can think, 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. 3 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 flesh, 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
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 he there also calls it, “ the unprofita"bleness 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, against which it provided no allay, or mitigation; 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 ot, and how we are delivered from it, by the body of Christ, he shows, Heb. 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 Aesn, 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 morial bodies, in conformity to Christ, in whose flesh it was condemned, executed, and perfectly extinct, having never had there any life or being, as we shall see, in the following note. The provision, that is made in the new covenant, 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 their hearts, and he will be merciful to their iniquities." See Heb. viii. 7-12.
1 See Heb. iv. 15. on Kai," and” joins here, “ in the likeness,” &c. with “ to be an offering;" whereas, if“ and be made to copulate, “ sending" and “condemned," neither grammar, nor sense, would permit it. Nor can it be imagined the apostle should speak thus: God sending his son, and condemned sin: but “ 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.
* Dlapi anaflixç, which in the text is translated, “ for sin," signifies an offering for sin, as the margin of our bibles takes notice : see 2 Cor. v. 21, Heb. x. 5-10. So that the plain sense is, God sent his son in the likeness of sinful flesh and sent him an offering for sin.
TEXT. 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who
walk not after the Aesh, but after the spirit. ☆ 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. to death, or extinguished, or suppressed sino in the flesh, i.e. sending his son into the world, with the body, where
in the flesh could never prevail, to the producing of any 4 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 toby 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 the flesh, but after 5 the spirit. For as for those who' are still under the di
rection of the flesh, and its sinful appetites, who are under
NOTES. • Kaléxpore, "condemned.". The prosopopæia, whereby sin was considered as a personi, all the foregoing chapter, being continued here, the condemning of sin here, cannot mean, as some 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 fesh, 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 sin, 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 xaláxpopa, ver. 1, and xaláxpovi, 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 Tè dixaiwua toŨ vópov, " the righteousness of the law." See note, chap. ji. 26.
4 “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. xii. 8, Gal. vi. 2. A description of such, who thus fulfilled “the righteousness of the .“ law," we have Luke i. 6. As Christ in the flesh was wholly exempt from all taint of sin; so we, by that spirit which was in him, shall be exempt 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' 0i xalà oápra őrles, “ 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 christians, see Gal. v. 16-26.
TEXT. 6 For to be carnally minded, is death; but to be spiritually minded,
is life and peace: 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not sub
ject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
PARAPHRASE. obedience to the law in their members, they have the thoughts and bent of their minds set upon the things of the flesh, to obey it in the lusts of it: but they, who are under the spiritual law of their minds, the thoughts and
bent of their hearts is to follow the dictates of the spirit, 6 in that law. For to have our minds set upon the satis
faction of the lusts of the flesh, in a slavish obedience 10 them, does certainly produce and bring death upon us; but our setting ourselves, seriously and sincerely, to obey the dictates and direction of the spirit, produces life' and
peace, which are not to be had in the contrary, carnal 7 state : Because to be carnally minded" is direct enmity
and opposition against God, for such a temper of mind, given up to the lusts of the flesh, is in no subjection to the law of God, nor indeed can be", it having a quite con
NOTES. 65" For" joins what follows here to ver. 1, as the reason of what is here laid downl, viz. deliverance from condemnation is to such christian converts only, “ who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit. For," &c.
! See Gal, vi. 8.
7. Opárue rñs caprès should have been translated, here, “ to be carnally "mindell," as it is in the foregoing verse, which is justified by Oporow so ta tõi cagzos, “ do mind the things of the flesh," ver. 5, which signifies the employing the bent of their minds, or subjecting the mind intirely, to the fulfilling the lusts of the flesh.
w Here the apostle gives the reason, why even those, that are in Christ Jesus, have received the gospel, and are christians, (for to such he is here speaking) are not saved, unless they cease to walk after the flesh, because that runs directly counter to the law of God, and can never be brought into conformity and subjection to his commands. Such a settled contravention to his precepts cannot be suffered, by the supreme Lord and Governor of the world, in any of his creatures, without foregoing his sovereignty, and giving up the eternal, iminutable rule of right, to the overturning the very foundations of all order and moral rectitude, in the intellectual world. This, even in the judgment of men themselves, will be always thought a necessary piece of justice, for the keeping out of anarchy, disorder and confusion, that those retractory subjects, who set up their own inclinations for their rule, against the law, which was made to restrain those very inclinations, should feel the severity of the law, without which the autho. rity of the law, and law-maker, cannot be preserved.