Page images
PDF
EPUB

PARAPHRASE.

was annexed, might abound, i. e. the multiplied transgressions of many men, viz. all that were under the law of Moses, might have death annexed to them, by the positive sanction of that law, whereby the offence, to which death was annexed, did abound, i. e. sins that had death for their punishment were increased. But, by the goodness of God, where sin“, with death annexed to it, did abound, grace did

NOTES.

All mankind was in an irrecoverable state of death by Adam's lapse. It was plainly the intention of God to remove the Israelites out of this state by the law; and so he says himself, that he gave “them statutes and judgments, which if a man do, he shall live in them,” Lev, xviii. 5. And so St. Paul tells us here, chap. vii, 10, that the law was ordained for life. Whence it ne

cessarily follows, that if life were intended them for their obedience, death was i intended them for their disobedience; and accordingly Moses tells them, Deut.

xxx. 19, “ that he had set before them life and death.” Thus, by the law, the children of Israel were put into a new state : and by the covenant God made with them, their remaining under death, or their recovery of life, was to be the consequence, not of what another had done, but of what they themselves did. They were thenceforth put to stand or fall by their owu actions, and the death they suffered was for their transgressions. Every offence they committed against the law did, by this covenant, bind death upon them. It is not easy to conceive that God should give them a law to the end sin and guilt should abound amongst them, but yet he might and did give them a law, that the offence which had death annexed should abound, i. e. that death, which before was the declared penalty of but one offence, should to the Jews be made the penalty of every breach by the sanction of this new law, which was not a hardship, but a pri. vilege to them. For in their former state, common to them with the rest of mankind, death was unavoidable to them. But, by the law, they had a trial for life : accordingly our Saviour, to the young man who asked, “what he should do to obtain eternal life," answers, “keep the commandments.” The law, increasing the offence in this sense, had also another benefit, viz. that the Jews, perceiving they incurred death by the law, which was ordained for life, might thereby, as by a schoolmaster, be led to Christ, to seek life by him. This St. Paul takes notice of, Gal. iii. 24. • Napártwa is another word, showing St. Paul's having an eye, in what he says here, to what he said in the foregoing verses. Our Bibles translate it “offence;" it properly signifies "fall,” and is used in the foregoing verses for that trausgression, which, by the positive law of God, had death anvexed to it, and in that sense the apostle continues to use it here also. There was but one such sin before the law, given by Moses, viz. Adam's eating the forbidden fruit. But the positive law of God, given to the Israelites, made all their sins such, by annexing the penalty of death to each transgression, and thus the offence abounded, or was increased by the law. d“Sin." That by “sin" St. Paul here means such failure as, by the sanction of a positive law, had death annexed to it, the beginning of the next verse shows, where it is declared to be such sin as reigned in, or by death, which all sin doth nut: all siu is not taxed at that rate, as appears by ver. 13. See the note. The article joined here both to copántwua and operaén, for it is to napátwa, aud đuaçtów, the offence and the sin, limiting the general signification of those words to some particular sort, seems to poiut out this sense. And

TEXT. 21 That, as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign

through righteousness unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord.

PARAPHRASE. 21 much more abound. That as sin had reigned, or 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.

NOTES. that this is not a mere groundless criticism, may appear from ver. 12 and 13, where St. Paul uses åpastía, in these two different verses, with the distinction of the article and uo article.

Grace might much more abound." The rest of mankind were in a state of death, only for one sin of one man. This the apostle is express in, not only in the foregoing verses, but elsewhere. But those, who were under the law, (which made each transgression they were guilty of mortal) were under the condemnation of death, not only for that one sin of another, but also for every one of their own sivs. Now to make any one righteous to life, from many, and those his own sins, besides that one that lay on him before, is greater grace than to bestow on him justification to life only from one sin, and that of another man. To forgive the penalty of many sins is a greater grace than to remit the penalty of one.

SECTION VI. NO. 3.

CHAPTER VI. 1-23.

CONTENTS.

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 superabounding 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 contrary 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.

TEXT. 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 ?

PARAPHRASE.

1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that 2 grace may ?

abound ? God forbid. Ilow can it be that we “, who, by our embracing Christianity, have renounced our

NOTE. 2 o “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 servauts to God, in a sincere purpose and endeavour of obeying him. For, whether under the law or under grace, whoever is a vassai to sin, i. e. indulges himself in a compliance with his sinful Justs, 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. Forasmuch as all the endeavours after righteousness, of

TEXT. 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 serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

PARAPHRASE. former sinful courses, and have professed a death to sin, 3 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 Christ, were baptized into a 4 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 binto 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 life 6 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 selfo 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 henceng forth we should not serve sin", as vassals to it. For he that

NOTES. 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. 4 barà, in the Hellenistic Greek, sometimes signifies in:to, 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 conforinity to that state of life Christ was

raised into from the grave. 6 « See Gal. v. 24. Eph. iv. 22. Col. ii. 11. 1 Pet. iv. 1.

d 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 servants 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

TEXT. 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. 11 Likewise, reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but

alive unto God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

PARAPHRASE. is dead is set free from the vassalage of sin, as a slave is 8 from the vassalage of his 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 con9 formable to his; Knowing that Christ, being raised from the

dead, returns no more to a mortal life; death hath no more 10 dominion 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 resurrection, is a

life wholly appropriated to God, with which sin, or death, 11 shall never have any more to do, or come in reach of. In like

manner do you also make your reckoning, account yourselves

NOTES. servants of uncleanness, and to iniquity unto iniquity, to be freed from righteous. ness, 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 siuful, carnal appetites, to allow any of them the command orer 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 yourselves unto God, as those who are alive from the dead, yield your members servants of righteousness unto holiness, or instruments of righteousuess unto God, to be servants of obedience unto righteousness, made free from siu, 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 endearour 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 seuse. 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 supposes it in their power to continue in their obedienee 10

sin, or return to that vassalage, if they would. 10 i See Heb. ix. 26–28. 1 Pet. iv. 1, 2.

« EelmineJätka »