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to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually
7 minded is life and peace: Because to be carnally minded is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of
8 God, neither indeed can be. So then they who are in the flesh, cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God dwell in you.
9 And if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none
10 of his. Now if Christ be in you, the body indeed is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteous
11 ness. And if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead, wjjft&also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit
12 that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are not
13 debtors to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit
14 mortify the deeds of the flesh, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15 For ye have not received the Spirit of bondage again
with peace—The peace of God, which is the foretaste of life everlasting, and peace with God, opposite to the enmity mentioned in the next verse.
V. 7. Enmity against God—His existence, power, and providence.
V. 8. They who are in the flesh—Under the government of it.
V. 9. In the Spirit—Under his government. If any man have not the Spirit tf Christ—Dwelling and governing in him; he is none of his—He is not a member of Christ: not a Christian: not in a state of salvation. A plain, express declaration, which admits of no exception. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear!
V. 10. Now if Christ be in you—Where the Spirit of Christ is, there is Christ: the body indeed is dead—Devoted to death, because of sin—Heretofore committed; but the Spirit is life—Already truly alive; because of righteousness —Now attained. From ver. 13, St. Paul, having finished what he had begun, chap. vi. 1, describes purely the state of believers.
V. 12. We are not debtors to the flesh—We ought not to follow it. .
V. 13. The deeds of the flesh—Not only evil actions, but evil desires, tempers, thoughts. If ye mortify—Kill, destroy these, ye shall live—The life of faith more abundantly here, and hereafter the life of glory.
V. 14. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God—In all the ways of righteousness, they are the sons of God—Here St. Paul enters upon the description of those blessings, which he comprises (ver. 30,) in the word glorified: though, indeed, he does not describe mere glory, but that which is still mingled with the cross. The sum is, through sufferings to glory.
V. 15. For ye—Who are real Christians, have not received the spirit of bondage—The Holy Ghost was not properly a spirit of bondage, even in the time of the Old Testament. Yet there was something of bondage remaining, even in those who then had received the Spirit. Again—As the Jews did before. We—All and every believer, cry—The word denotes a vehement speaking, with desire, confidence, constancy. Abba, Father—The latter word explains the former. By using both the Syriac and the Greek word, St. Paul seems to point out the joint cry, both of the Jewish and Gentile believers. The spirit of bondage here seems directly to mean, those operations of the Holy Spirit, by which the soul, on its first conviction, feels itself in bondage to sin, to the world, to Satan, and obnoxious to the wrath of God. This, therefore, and the Spirit of adoption, are one and the same Spirit, only man*. unto fear, but ye have received the Spirit of adoption,
16 whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The same Spirit bearetb witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.
17 And if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ: if we suffer with him, that we may also be
18 glorified with him. For I reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the
19 glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the revelation of
20 the sons of God. For the creation was made subject to
21 vanity, not willingly, but by him who subjected it, In hope that the creation itself shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the
22 children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth together and travaileth together until now.
23 And not only they, but even we ourselves, who have the
festing itself in various operations, according to the various circumstances of the persons.
V. 16. The same Spirit beareth witness with our spirit—With the spirit of every true believer, by a testimony distinct from that of his own spirit, or the testimony of a good conscience. Happy they who enjoy this clear and constant.
V. 17. Joint heirs—That we may know it is a great inheritance which God will give us; for he hath given a great one to his Son. If we suffer with him —Willingly and cheerfully, for righteousness' sake. This is a new proposition, referring to what follows.
V. 18. For I reckon—This verse gives the reason why he but now mentioned sufferings and glory. When that glory shall be revealed in us, then the sons of God willbe revealed also.
V. 19. For the earnest expectation—The word denotes a lively hope of something draw ing near, and a vehement longing after it; of the creation—Of all visible creatures, (believers excepted, who are spoken of apart.) Each kind, according as it is capable. All these have been sufferers through sin. And to all these, (the finally impenitent excepted,) shall refreshment redound from the glory of the children of God. Upright heathens are by no means to be excluded from this earnest expectation: nay, perhaps something of it may, at some times, be found even in the vainest of men; who, (although in the hurry of life they mistake vanity for liberty, and partly stifle, partly dissemble their groans, yet,) hi their sober, quiet, sleepless, afflicted hours, pour forth many sighs in the ear of God.
V. 20. The creation was made subject to vanity—Abuse, misery, and corruption, by him who subjected it—Namely, God, Gen. iii. 17, v. 29. Adam only made it lialrle to the sentence which God pronounced, yet not without hope.
V. 21. The creation itself shall be delivered—Destruction is not deliverance. Therefore whatsoever is destroyed, or ceases to be, is not delivered at all. Will, then, any part of the creation be destroyed? Into the glorious liberty— The excellent state wherein they were created.
V. 22. For the whole creation groaneth together—With joint groans, as it were with one voice. And travaileth—Literally, is in the pains of child-hirth; to be delivered of the burden of the curse: until now—To this very hour, and so on till the time of deliverance.
V. 23. And even we, who have the ftrst-fruits of the Spirit—That is, the Spirit, who is the first-fruits of our inheritance. The adoption—Persons who first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, the redemption of
24 our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope; for what a man seetb, how doth he yet
25 hope for? But if we hope for what we see not, we
26 patiently wait for it. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession
27 for us, with groanings which cannot be uttered. But he who searcheth the hearts, knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit: for he maketh intercession for the saints
28 according to God. And we know, that all things work
had been privately adopted among the Romans, were often brought forth into the Forum, and there publickly owned as their sons, by those who adopted them. So at the general resurrection, when the body itself is redeemed from death, the sons of God shall be publickly owned by him, in the great assembly of men and angels. The redemption of our body—From corruption, to glory and immortality.
V. 24. For We are saved by hope— Our salvation is now only in hope. We do not yet possess this full salvation.
V. 26. Likewise the Spirit—Nay, not only the universe, not only the children of God, but the Spirit of God also himself, as it were, groaneth, while he helpeth our infirmities, or weaknesses. Our understandings are weak, particularly in the things of God; our desires are weak; our prayers are weak. We know not—Many times, what we should pray for—Much less are we able to pray for it as we ought: but the Spirit maketh intercession for us—In our hearts, even as Christ does in heaven: with groanings—The matter of which is from ourselves: but the Spirit forms them; and they are frequently inexpressible, even by the faithful themselves.
V. 27. But he who searcheth the hearts—Wherein the Spirit dwells and intercedes: knoweth—Though man cannot utter it, what is the mind of the Spirit: for he maketh intercession for the saints—Who are near to God, according to God—According to his will, as is worthy of God, and acceptable to him.
V. 28. And we know—This in general, though we do not always know particularly what to pray for; that all things—Ease or pain, poverty or riches, and the ten thousand changes of life, work together for good—Strongly and sweetly, for spiritual and eternal good: to them that are called according to his purpose—His gracious design, of saving a lost world by the death of his Son. ., This is a new proposition. St. Paul, being about to recapitulate the whole blessing contained in justification, (termed glorification, ver. 30,) first goes back to the purpose, or decree, of God, which is frequently mentioned in Holy Writ.
To explain this (nearly in the words of an eminent writer,) a little more at large: When a man has a work of time and importance before him, he panses, consults, and contrives; and when he has laid a plan, resolves, or decrees, to proceed accordingly. Having observed this in ourselves, we are ready to apply it to God also; and he, in condescension to us, has applied it to himself.
The works of providence and redemption are vast and stupendous, and therefore we are apt to conceive of God, as deliberating and consulting on them, and then decreeing to act, according to the counsels of his own will. As if, long before the world was made, he had been concerting measures, both as to the making and governing of it, and had then writ down his decrees, which altered not, any more than the laws of the Medes and Persians, Whereas to take this consulting and decreeing in a literal sense, would be the
VOL. II. C
together for good, to them that love God, to them that
29 are called according to his purpose. For whom he foreknew, he also predestinated, conformable to the image of his Son, that he might be the first-born among many
30 brethren. And whom he predestinated, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified; and
31 whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we say then to these things? if God be for us, who can
tame absurdity, as to ascribe a real, human body, and human passions, to the eter-blesscd God.
This is only a popular representation of his infallible knowledge, and unchangeable wisdom; that is, he does all things as wisely as a man can possibly do, after the deepest consultation; and as steadily pursues the most proper method, as one can do who has laid a scheme beforehand. But then, though the effects be such as would argue consultation and consequent decrees in man, yet what need of a moment's consultation in him, who sees all things at one view?
Nor had God any more occasion to pause and deliberate, and lay down rules for his own conduct, from all eternity, than he has now. What! Was there any fear of his mistaking afterwards, if he had not beforehand prepared decrees, to direct him what he was to do? Will any man say, He was wiser before the creation than since? Or had he then more leisure? That he should take that opportunity to settle his affairs, and make rules for himself, from which he was never to vary?
He has, doubtless, the same wisdom, and all other perfections, at this day, which he had from eternity: and is now as capable of making decrees, or rather has no more occasion for them now than formerly: his understanding being always equally clear and bright, his wisdom equally infallible.
V. 29' Whom he foreknew, he also predestinated, conformable to the image of his Son—Here the apostle declares, who those are whom he foreknew and predestinated to glory, namely, those who are conformable to the image of his Son. This is the mark of those who are foreknown and will be glorified, 3 Tim. ii. 19, Phil. iii. 10, 21.
V. 30. Them he—In due time, called—By his gospel and his Spirit; and whom he called—When obedient to the heavenly calling, Acts xxvi. 19, he also justified—Forgave and accepted: And whom he justified—Provided they continued in his goodness, chap. xi. 22, he, in the end, glorified—St. Paul does not affirm, either here or in any other part of his writings, that precisely the same number of men are called, justified, and glorified. He does not deny, that a believer may fall away and be cut off, between his special calling and his glorification, chap. xi. 32. Neither does he deny, that many are called, who never are justified. He only affirms, that this is the method whereby God leads us step by step toward heaven. He glorified—He speaks as one looking back from the goal, upon the race of faith. Indeed, grace, as it is g lory begun, is both an earnest and a foretaste of eternal glory.
V. 31. What shall we say then to these things—Related in the 3d, 5th, and 8th chapters? As if he had said, We cannot go, think, or wish any thing farther. If God be for us—Here follow four periods, one general and three particular. Each begins with glorying in the grace of God, which is followed by a question suitable to it, challenging all opponents; to all which, I am persuaded, &c. is a general answer. The general period is, If God he for us, who can be against us? The first particular period, relating to the past time, is, He that spared not his own Sen, how shall he not freely give us all.things? The second, relating to the present, It is God that justifieth: who is he that tondemneth? The third, relating to the future, is, It is Christ that died—who shall separate us from the love of Christ t
32 be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him
33 also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing
34 to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth, who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea, rather, that is risen again, who is also at the right hand
35 of God, who likewise maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall affliction, or distress, or persecution, or hunger, or nakedness, or
36 peril, or sword? (As it is written, * For thy sake we
• Psalm Ixiv. 22.
V. 32. He that—This period contains four sentences. He spared not his •wn Son, therefore he will freely give us all things. He delivered him up for us: therefore none can lay any thing to our charge. Freely—For all that follows justification is a free gift also. All things—Needful or profitable for us.
V. 33. God's elect—The above-cited author observes, that long before the coming of Christ, the heathen world revolted from the true God, and were therefore reprohated, or rejected.
But the nation of the Jews were chosen to be the people of God, and were therefore styled, * the children, or sons, of God, -f holy people, J a chosen seed, *the elect, \\ the called of God. And these titles were given to all the nation of Israel, including both good and bad.
Now the gospel, having the most strict counexion with the books of the Old Testament, where these phrases frequently occur; and our Lord and his apostles being native Jews, and beginning to preach in the land of Israel, the language in which they preached would, of course, abound with the phrases of the Jewish nation. And hence it is easy to see, why such of them as would not receive him were styled, reprohated. For they no longer continued to be the people of God; whereas this, and those other honourable titles, were continued to all such Jews as embraced Christianity. And the same appellations which once belonged to the Jewish nation, were now given to the Geutile Christians also, together with which they were invested with all the privileges of the chosen people of God; and nothing could cut them off from these, but their own wilful apostasy.
It does not appear, that even good men were ever termed God's elect, till above two thousand years from the creation. God's electing, or choosing, the nation of Israel, and separating them from the other nations, who were sunk in idolatry and all wickedness, gave the first occasion to this sort of language. And as the separating the Christians from the Jews was a like event, no wonder it was expressed in like words and phrases: only with this difference, the term elect, was of old applied to all the members of the visible church; whereas, in the New Testament, it is applied only to the members of the invisible.
V. 34. Yea, rather, that is risen—Our faith should not stop at his death, bat be exercised farther on his resurrection, kingdom, second coming. Who maketh intercession for us—Presenting there his obedience, his sufferings, hi* prayers, and our prayers sanctified through him.
V. 35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ—Toward us? Shall affliction, or distress—He proceeds in order, from less troubles to greater. Can any of these separate us from his protection in its and (if he sees good) deliverance from it? q
V. 36. All the day—That is, every day, continually. We are accounted-" By our enemies; by ourselves.
t D«ut. xiv. 1. t Chap. vii. 6. Chap. xiv. a. % Dent. ir. *T.