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through righteousness unto eterual life, by Jesus Christ, our Lord.
showed its mastery, in the death of the israelites, who were under the law; so grace, in its turn, might reign, or show its mastery, by justifying them, from all those many sins, which they had committed, each whereof, by the law, brought death with it; and so bestowing on them the righteousness of faith, instate them in eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
SECT. VI. N°. 3.
CHAP. VI. 1–23.
ST. Paul having, in the foregoing chapter, very much magnified free grace, by showing that all men, having lost their lives by Adam's sin, were, by grace, through Christ, restored to life again; and also, as many of them as believed in Christ, were re-established in immortality by grace; and that even the jews, who, by their own trespasses against the law, had forfeited their lives, over and over again, were also, by grace, restored to life, grace super-abounding, where sin abounded; he here obviates a wrong inference, which might be apt to mislead the convert gentiles, viz. "therefore, let "us continue in sin, that grace may abound." The con trary whereof he shows their very taking upon them the profession of christianity required of them, by the very initiating ceremony of baptism, wherein they were typically buried with Christ, to teach them that they, as he did, ought to die to sin; and, as he rose to live to God, they should rise to a new life of obedience to God, and be no more slaves to sin, in an obedience and resignation of themselves to its commands. For, if their obedience were to sin, they
were vassals of sin, and would certainly receive the wages of that master, which was nothing but death: but, if they obeyed righteousness, i. e. sincerely endeavoured after righteousness, though they did not attain it, sin should not have dominion over them, by death, i. e. should not bring death upon them. Because they were not under the law, which condemned them to death for every transgression; but under grace, which, by faith in Jesus Christ, justified them to eternal life, from their many transgressions. And thus he shows the gentiles not only the no necessity, but the advantage of their not being under the law.
1 WHAT shall we say then? shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2 God forbid: how shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
WHAT shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin,
2 that grace may abound? God forbid: how can it be that we, who, by our embracing christianity, have renounced our former sinful courses, and have professed a
2 a "We," i.e. I and all converts to christianity. St. Paul, in this chapter, shows it to be the profession and obligation of all christians, even by their baptism, and the typical signification of it, to be "dead to sin, and alive
to God," i.e. as he explains it, not to be any longer vassals to sin, in obeying our lusts, but to be servants to God, in a sincere purpose and endeavour of obeying him. For, whether under the law, or under grace, whoever is a vassal to sin, i.e. indulges himself in a compliance with his sinful lusts, will receive the wages which sin pays, i. e. death. This he strongly represents here, to the gentile converts of Rome (for it is to them he speaks in this chapter) that they might not mistake the state they were in, by being, not under the law, but under grace, of which, and the freedom and largeness of it, he had spoken so much, and so highly in the foregoing chapter, to let them see, that to be under grace, was not a state of licence, but of exact obedience, in the intention and endeavour of every one under grace, though in the performance they came short of it. This strict obedience, to the utmost reach of every one's aim and endeavours, he urges as necessary, because obedience to sin unavoidably produces death, and he urges as reasonable, for this very reason, that they were not under the law, but under grace. For as much as all the endeavours after righteousness, of those who were under the law, were lost labour, since any one slip forfeited life: but the sincere endeavours after righteousness of those, who were under grace, were sure to succeed, to the attaining the gift of eternal life.
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
3 death to sin, should live any longer in it? For this I hope you are not ignorant of, that we christians, who by baptism were admitted into the kingdom and church of 4 Christ, were baptized into a 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 former, in some approaches towards that heavenly life that Christ is risen 5 to. For, if we have been ingrafted into him, in the similitude of his death, we shall be also in a conformity to the 6 life, which he is entered into, by his resurrection: Knowing this, that we are to live so, as if our old man, our wicked and corrupt fleshly self 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 sin*,
4 b Aià, in the hellenistic 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.
See Gal v. 24, Eph. iv. 22, Col. ii. 11, 1 Pet. iv. 1.
6 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
7 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.
7 as vassals to it. For he, that is dead, is set free from the vassalage of sin, as a slave is from the vassalage of his 8 master. Now, if we understand by our being buried in baptism, that we died with Christ, we cannot but think and believe, that we should live a life conformable to his; 9 Knowing that Christ, being raised from the dead, returns no more to a mortal life, death hath no more lo10 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 resurrec
"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 from sin, to be dead to sin, alive unto God, to yield your"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 righteousness, made free from sin, "servants of righteousness, to be after the spirit, to be spiritually minded, to "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. 11, 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 have said what he does, ver. 11, 12, 13, which sup.poses it in their power to continue in their obedience to sin, or return to that vassalage, if they would.
10 f See Heb. ix. 26-28, 1 Pet. iv. 1, 2.
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 unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead; and your members, as instruments of righteousness, unto God.
tion, is a life wholly appropriated to God, with which sin, or death, shall never have any more to do, or come in 11 reach of. 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 his glory", 12 through Jesus Christ our Lord. Permit not, therefore,
sin to reign over you, by your mortal bodies', which you 13 will do, if you obey 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 hiin for your Lord and Master,
11 "Sin" is here spoken of as a person, a prosopopoeia made use of, all through this and the following chapter, which must be minded, if we will understand them 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;” èv, in the apostle's writings, often signifies, by. And he here, as also in the following chapters, ver. 18 and 24, and elsewhere, placing the root of sin in the body, his sense seems to be, let not sin reign over you, by the lusts of your mortal bodies.
13 k❝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 cailed, "the members," Col. iii. 5.
1 'Ex expar," from among the dead." The gentile world were dead in sins,