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The Condemnation of Sin in the Flesh by the Mission of the Son of God

The Condemnation of Sin in the Flesh by the Mission of the Son of God

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Published by glennpease
BY REV. WILLIAM HOWELS,


Rom. viii. 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.
BY REV. WILLIAM HOWELS,


Rom. viii. 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.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 19, 2014
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THE CODEMATIO OF SI I THE FLESH, BY THE MISSIO OF THE SO OF GOD. BY REV. WILLIAM HOWELS,Rom. viii. 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. The 7th and 8th chapters of St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans present us with a very striking and interesting contrast. The apostle gives us a history of his own experience from the period when truth first began to influence his heart, and consequently to regulate his life, up to the time when he penned this Epistle. In the 24th verse of the 7th chapter, he ex- claims, " O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death ? I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord." It has 382 SERMO XXII. been supposed by some that the apostle was not a regenerate man when he uttered these words ; but could any man, unrenewed in principle, unchanged in heart, thank God for present de- liverance, and anticipate complete and eternal deliverance hereafter ? By no means. The apos- tle is here speaking as a believer of the glories of his divine Master, and he evidently does justice to the subject. He teaches nothing by halves, but whenever he takes up his pen to present us
 
with a portrait either of God or man, he invariably places before us the full features of truth — nothing- is added, nothing is omitted. He frequently dwells upon the same truth, presenting his readers, as it were, with a cube, on which are a variety of figures, yet all connected ; he exhibits first one side, and then another, in order to give them a just view of the comprehensiveness of divine truth, and the blessings revealed in it to a ruined world. After having said, " I thank God, through our Lord Jesus Christ,*" he proceeds in the most tri- umphant strain ; inviting the whole church of God to follow him in the adoption of the same grate- ful language, as a prelude to that song which the redeemed of the Lord will sing through the countless ages of eternity. May it be our pri- vilege fully to enter into the experience of the apostle. " There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not CODEMATIO OF SI, &C 383 after the flesh, but after the Spirit." o, there can be no condemnation for them : for on such the second death hath no power, because they have passed from death unto life ; they have been quickened from the death of sin to a life of righteousness. " The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death :" free from its condemning power; free from its reigning power ; and consequently, free in every possible sense from its destructive power. Well might the poet say — ¦ " He is the freeman, whom the truth makes free,
 
And all are slaves beside." The text easily and naturally divides itself; I shall therefore follow its order, and consider, I. The Law of God. 1. The law of God is a perfect transcript of the divine perfections. It is that immutable rule by which he governs all his moral agents. In sub- stance, it is the same every where, and under every dispensation. It is a perfect rule of ac- tion ; essentially the same, wherever found : it was in heaven, before it was given to man on earth, and it is at the present moment, what it will be through the countless ages of eternity. Man must therefore eventually be brought into perfect and eternal conformity to it, or perish for ever. When angels were first called into exis- 384 SERMO XXII. tence, they were commanded to love God and to love each other ; and so were our first parents, when in Eden. The authority of God is one and the same wherever it is exercised, and the prin- ciple of obedience is likewise one and the same. Obedience to God necessarily insures the welfare of the creature ; and nothing produces evil, but the creature's own rebellion against God. The Sa- viour gives us the essence of the moral law in these words, " Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy mind, with all thy soul, and with all thy strength ; and thy neighbour as thyself!" God is the source of love. All love, wherever found, has its source primarily in him. He requires supreme love to himself; he alone has a right to demand it. He alone is wor-

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