ROMA S 8 COMME TARY

Written and edited by Glenn Pease

PREFACE
The following commentary consists of my own thoughts combined with the thoughts of the many authors both ancient and modern who have made comments on this most important letter of Paul. I have quoted so many others because I have found in each a unique way to convey the ideas that Paul is seeking to communicate. This is the longest commentary I have collected because it is the most popular chapter in the Bible for commentators and preachers. I have dozens of authors I have not quoted, for this could go on and on, for there are endless comments that can be collected. I intend to do more shorter studies in the future on this great chapter. Sometimes I have not been able to give credit, and if anyone discovers the name of the author quoted and lets me know, I will gladly give credit where credit is due. If anyone does not want their quotes expressed in this commentary, they can let me know as well, and I will delete them. My e-mail is glenn_p86@yahoo.com The purpose of this commentary is to bring the thoughts of many authors together in one place in order to save the Bible student a lot of time in research. All of the comments are available to anyone, but it takes an enormous amount of time to read all of the resources. I have brought together what I feel are the best thoughts on the text in this one place to save others the time. It is my pleasure to do so, and I use these studies myself to teach a class of about 20 people. The numbering system uses letters as well as numbers because it gives me the freedom to add new material I discover without doing the numbers all over. I welcome any comments, and I will add them to this commentary if they contribute new and valued insight. I share comments of scholars who differ in their views, and leave the reader to decide which are most consistent with God's full revelation.

I TRODUCTIO
Commentators have been at a loss for words to praise the worth of this chapter. Almost every sentence is filled with essential doctrine. A. T. Pierson wrote, “This eighth chapter of Romans is one of the mountaintops of the ew Testament. It is the grandest thing Paul ever wrote, and if he had written nothing else, he has here given us a continent of thought, broad as the grace of God; and we might spend eternity in exploring it and still feel that we had touched but the borders of this wondrous theme.” Charles Spurgeon, “This chapter is like the garden of Eden, which had in it all manner of delights. If one were shut up to preach only from the eighth of Romans he would have a subject which might last a lifetime. Every line of the chapter serves for a text. It is an inexhaustible mine.

Paul sets before us a golden ladder, and from every step he climbs to something yet higher, from sonship he rises to heirship, and from heirship to joint-heirship with the Lord Jesus.” D. L. Moody, “...when I get into the heart of the eighth chapter of Romans, I really thing that is the best Paul ever wrote,” Spener once said, “If holy Scripture was a ring, and the Epistle to the Romans its precious stone, chapter 8 would be the sparkling point of the jewel.” Tony Campolo, "This chapter is in many ways the most confidence-building passage of Scripture I know of. Some have likened the Bible to a treasure chest with each chapter a fabulous jewel with its own particular beauty in the message it speaks. Romans 8 may well be the most valuable jewel of all." Charles Erdman, “If the Epistle to the Romans rightly has been called “the cathedral of the Christian faith,” then surely the eighth chapter may be regarded as its most sacred shrine, or its high altar of worship, or praise, and of prayer.” It deals with two great realities, 11. The power of holy living, and 2. The hope of eternal glory. Ray Stedman: “the most powerful human document that has ever been penned.” John Piper: “Which of us, who has tasted the goodness and glory of God in this great gospel, does not count the book of Romans precious beyond reckoning? . . . there is no greater exposition of the Gospel of God than the book of Romans.” Donald Grey Barnhouse: “Every movement of revival in the Christian church has been connected with the teachings set forth in Romans.” John MacArthur, “I cannot find words to express all the riches contained in this chapter. As I studied each verse I felt like I was on an ascending path culminating in a paean of praise. Romans 8 will sweep you off your feet and carry you into the presence of God Himself. When you read such a monumental chapter with an open heart and mind, I guarantee you will be enriched. It would be impossible not to be changed after internalizing the truths contained in this lifechanging chapter.” Steve Zeisler, “This chapter is in many ways the most confidence-building passage of Scripture I know of. Some have likened the Bible to a treasure chest with each chapter a fabulous jewel with its own particular beauty in the message it speaks. Romans 8 may well be the most valuable jewel of all. So far, as we have looked at the process of sanctification, in chapters 5 through 7, it seems to resemble driving lessons. My first efforts as a driver were in a car with a standard transmission, so I was trying to learn to operate the clutch. If I didn't give it enough gas it died. If I gave it too much gas it lurched. I was going back and forth trying to get the timing with my feet worked out so that I gave it just enough gas to make smooth transitions. But I forgot to steer. And as soon as I started trying to steer, I went around a corner, over corrected, and hit the curb on the left. Then I went back to the right. I braked too hard the first time, and the guy behind me nearly hit me because I stopped so suddenly. Later I braked too softly and rolled through a stop sign. In the process of learning to drive you make a mistake and then over correct the other direction. That is a bit like what we see described in these chapters of Romans where grace is announced to

us. There is a whole series of questions that go back and forth trying to make sense of it. Having veered off too far in one direction, we go back the other direction making a different mistake. We learn of grace---does that mean that though we're forgiven we continue in sin and failure, exactly as before? By no means! So we over correct and determine to clean up our act, follow the law with great determination only to discover that the law is inadequate to renew our lives.” Thomas Jacomb, “Search all the Scriptures, (I will except none,) turn over the whole word of God, from the beginning of Genesis to the end of the Revelation, you will not find any one chapter into which more excellent, sublime, evangelical truths are crowded, than this which I am entering upon. The Holy Bible is the book of books; in some, though not in equal, respects, this chapter may be styled the chapter of chapters. It is indeed the epitome, abridgment, storehouse of all the saints' privileges and duties : you have in it the love of God and of Christ displayed to the utmost, and shining forth in its greatest splendor. Would any take a view of the Magnalia Dei with respect to his glorious grace ? here they lie open before them. Paul in it speaks much of the blessed Spirit, and surely he was more than ordinarily full of this Spirit in the penning of it. i Blessed be God for every part and parcel of holy writ ; and, in special, blessed be God for this eighth chapter to the Romans.” Great Texts, “"THE eighth chapter of Romans," says Spurgeon, "is like the garden of Eden, full of all manner of delights. Here you have all necessary doctrines to feed upon, and luxurious truths with which to satisfy your soul One might well have been willing to be shut up as a prisoner in Paradise ; and one might well be content to be shut up to this one chapter, and never to be allowed to preach from any other part of God s Word. If this were the case, one might find a sermon in every line ; nay, more than that, whole volumes might be found in a single sentence by any one who was truly taught of God. I might say of this chapter, All its paths drop fatness. It is among the other chapters of the Bible like Benjamin s mess, which was five times as much as that of any of his brothers. We must not exalt one part of God s Word above another ; yet, as one star differeth from another star in glory, this one seems to be a star of the first magnitude, full of the brightness of the grace and truth of God. It is an altogether inexhaustible mine of spiritual wealth, and I invite the saints of God to dig in it, and to dig in it again and again. They will find, not only that it hath dust of gold, but also huge nuggets, which they shall not be able to carry away by reason of the weight of the treasure." Harrison, “"It is altogether too narrow a view to see in this portion simply the antidote to the wretched state pictured in chapter 7. Actually the chapter gathers up various strands of thought from the entire discussion of both justification and sanctification and ties them together with the crowning knot of glorification." We will see in this chapter the complete picture of salvation.

Past Justification-free from the penalty of sin. Present Sanctification-free from the power of sin. Future Glorification-free from the presence of sin.

Life Through the Spirit 1. Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,[a]
1. Barnes, “There is, therefore, now - This is connected with the closing verses of Rom. 7. The apostle had there shown that the Law could not effect deliverance from sin, but that such deliverance was to be traced to the gospel alone; Rom_7:23-25. It is implied here that there was condemnation under the Law, and would be still, but for the intervention of the gospel. o condemnation - This does not mean that sin in believers is not to be condemned as much as any where, for the contrary is everywhere taught in the Scriptures; but it means, (1) That the gospel does not pronounce condemnation like the Law. Its function is to pardon; the function of the law is to condemn. The one never affords deliverance, but always condemns; the object of the other is to free from condemnation, and to set the soul at liberty. (2) There is no final condemnation under the gospel. The function, design, and tendency of the gospel is to free from the condemning sentence of law. This is its first and its glorious announcement, that it frees lost and ruined people from a most fearful and terrible condemnation. (The first verse of this chapter seems to be an inference from the whole preceding discussion. The apostle having established the doctrine of justification, and answered the objections commonly urged against it, now asserts his triumphant conclusion, “There is therefore, etc.; that is to say, it follows from all that has been said concerning the believer’s justification by the righteousness of Christ, and his complete deliverance from the Law as a covenant, that to him there can be no condemnation. The design of Paul is not so much to assert the different functions of the Law and the gospel, as simply to state the fact in regard to the condition of a certain class, namely, those who are in Christ. To them there is no condemnation whatever; not only no final condemnation, but no condemnation now, from the moment of their union to Christ, and deliverance from the curse of the Law. The reason is this: that Christ hath endured the penalty, and obeyed the precept of the Law in their stead. “Here,” says Mr. Haldane on the passage, “it is often remarked that the apostle does not say, that there is in them (believers) neither matter of accusation, nor cause of condemnation; and yet this is all included in what he does say. And afterward, in express terms, he denies that they can be either accused or condemned, which they might be, were there any ground for either. All that was condemnable in them, which was sin, has been condemned in their Surety, as is shown in the third verse.”) Which are in Christ Jesus - Who are united to Christ. To be in him is an expression not seldom

used in the ew Testament, denoting close and intimate union. Phi_1:1; Phi_3:9; 2Co_5:17; Rom_16:7-11. The union between Christ and his people is compared to that between the vine and its branches Joh_15:1-6, and hence, believers are said to be in him in a similar sense, as deriving their support from him, and as united in feeling, in purpose, and destiny. (See the supplementary note at Rom_8:10.) Who walk. Who conduct, or live. ote, Rom_4:12. ot after the flesh. Who do not live to gratify the corrupt desires and passions of the flesh; ote, Rom_7:18. This is a characteristic of a Christian. What it is to walk after the flesh may be seen in Gal_5:19-21. It follows that a man whose purpose of life is to gratify his corrupt desires, cannot be a Christian. Unless he lives not to gratify his flesh, he can have no evidence of piety. This is a test which is easily applied; and if every professor of religion were honest, there could be no danger of mistake, and there need be no doubts about his true character. But after the Spirit - As the Holy Spirit would lead or prompt. What the Spirit produces may be seen in Gal_5:22-23. If a man has these fruits of the Spirit, he is a Christian; if not, he is a stranger to religion, whatever else he may possess. And this test also is easily applied. 1B. David Riggs, “Chapter 7 involved the inward conflict he had when he lived under the law. He now shows that he was freed from that conflict. 1. " ow" - As distinguished from the time when he projected himself back under the law. 2. " o condemnation" - Freed form sin's guilt and enslaving power, the law of sin and death no longer has control. See 7:23. 3. Whether he may or may not again come into condemnation is not a matter of consideration here. 4. In verses 1-17, Paul divides people into two categories - those who let themselves be controlled by their fleshly desires, and those who follow after the Holy Spirit. 1. He gives strong exhortation to cause us to choose the right path.

2. Clarke, “There is, therefore, now no condemnation - To do justice to St. Paul’s reasoning, this chapter must be read in the closest connection with the preceding. There we have seen the unavailing struggles of an awakened Jew, who sought pardon and holiness from that law which he was conscious he had broken; and in which he could find no provision for pardon, and no power to sanctify. This conviction having brought him to the very brink of despair, and, being on the point of giving up all hope, he hears of redemption by Jesus Christ, thanks God for the prospect he has of salvation, applies for and receives it; and now magnifies God for the unspeakable gift of which he has been made a partaker. Those who restrain the word now, so as to indicate by it the Gospel dispensation only, do not take in the whole of the apostles meaning. The apostle has not been dealing in general matters only, but also in those which are particular. He has not been pointing out merely the difference between the two dispensations, the Mosaic and the Christian; but he marks out the state of a penitent under the former, and that of a believer under the latter. The last chapter closed with an account of the deep distress of the penitent; this one opens with an account of his salvation. The now, therefore, in the text, must refer more to the happy transition from darkness to light, from condemnation to pardon, which this believer now enjoys, than to the Christian dispensation taking the place of the Jewish economy. Who walk not after the flesh, etc. - In this one verse we find the power and virtue of the Gospel scheme; it pardons and sanctifies; the Jewish law could do neither. By faith in our Lord Jesus

Christ the penitent, condemned by the law, is pardoned; the carnal man, labouring under the overpowering influence of the sin of his nature, is sanctified. He is first freely justified; he feels no condemnation; he is fully sanctified; he walks not after the Flesh, but after the Spirit. This last clause is wanting in the principal MSS., versions, and fathers. Griesbach has excluded it from the text; and Dr. White says, Certissime delenda; it should most undoubtedly be expunged. Without it, the passage reads thus: There is, therefore, no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus; for the law of the Spirit of life, etc. It is a fairly assumed point, that those who are in Christ Jesus, who believe in his name, have redemption in his blood; are made partakers of his Spirit, and have the mind in them that was in him; will not walk after the flesh, but after the Spirit: therefore the thing itself is included in the being in Christ, whether it be expressed or not: and it was probably to make the thing more obvious, that this explanatory clause was added by some copyist, for it does not appear to have made an original part of the text; and it is most likely that it was inserted here from the fourth verse. 3. Gill, “There is therefore now, no condemnation,.... The apostle having discoursed largely in the preceding chapter, concerning the struggle and combat believers feel within themselves, and opened the true causes and reasons of the saints' grievances and complaints, and what gives them the greatest uneasiness in this life, proceeds in this to take notice of the solid ground and foundation they have of spiritual peace and joy; which arise from their justification and adoption, the purposes and decrees of God, and particularly the everlasting and unchangeable love of God in Christ, the source, spring, and security, of all the blessings of grace. The chapter begins with a most comfortable account of the safety of believers in Christ; the apostle does not say there is nothing condemnable in them, for sin is in them and is condemnable, and condemned by them; and is hurtful to their spiritual joy and comfort, though it cannot bring them into condemnation, because of their being in Christ Jesus: he says there is ουδεν κατακριµα, "not one condemnation" to them, or one sentence of condemnation against them; which must be understood not of illegal ones, for they are liable to many condemnations from their hearts, from the world and the devil; but of legal, justifiable ones, and there are none such, neither from God the Father, for he justifies; nor from the Son, for by his righteousness they are justified; nor from the Holy Spirit, who bears witness to their spirits, that they are in a state of justification: there is not one condemnation lies against them, with respect to their numerous sins, original and actual, though every sin deserves one; not one from the law of God, of which sin is a transgression, for though that is a condemning law, yet it is only so to them that are under it; not to them that are Christ's, whom he has redeemed from it: moreover, the apostle says, that there is no condemnation now to the saints; which "now" must not be considered, as if it supposes that there was formerly condemnation to them; it is true indeed they were under a sentence of condemnation, as considered in Adam, and under a covenant of works with him, and in their own apprehensions when convicted; but as considered in Christ, as the elect of God always were, and who was their surety, and so their security from all eternity, they never were in a state of condemnation: nor does this suppose, that there may be condemnation to them hereafter, though not now; for sin, the cause of condemnation, is removed; Christ has bore the condemnation their sins deserved in himself; their justification is from all sin, past, present, and to come; their union to Christ is indissoluble, and neither the love of Christ, nor the justice of God, will admit of their condemnation; for this "now", is not an "adverb" of time, but a "note of illation"; the apostle inferring this privilege, either from the grace of God, which issues in eternal life, Rom_6:23; or from that certain deliverance believers shall have from sin, for which he gives thanks, Rom_7:24; The privilege itself here mentioned is, "no condemnation": condemnation is sometimes put for the cause of it, which is sin, original and actual; now though God's elect are sinners, both by

nature and practice, and after conversion have sin in them, their sanctification being imperfect, yet there is none in them with respect to justification; all is transferred to Christ, and he has removed all away; he has procured the pardon of all by his blood, he has abolished all by his sacrifice, he justifies from all by his righteousness, and saves his people from all their sins: condemnation may also be considered with respect to guilt; all mankind are guilty of Adam's sin, and are guilty creatures, as they are actual transgressors of the law; and when convinced by the Spirit of God, acknowledge themselves to be so; and upon the repetition of sin, contract fresh guilt on their consciences; but an heart sprinkled with the blood of Christ, is clear of guilt; for all the guilt of sin is removed to Christ, and he has took it away; hence there is no obligation to punishment on them, for whom Christ died: again, condemnation may design the sentence of it: now though the law's sentence passed upon all in Adam, and so upon God's elect, as considered in him; yet as this sentence has been executed on Christ, as their surety, in their room and stead, there is none lies against them: once more, condemnation may mean actual damnation, or eternal death, the wages of sin, which those who are in Christ shall never die; they are ordained to eternal life, and are redeemed from this death; they are made alive by Christ, and have eternal life secured to them in him, and which they shall certainly enjoy: the persons interested in this privilege are described, as such which are in Christ Jesus; not as mere professors are in Christ, who may be lost and damned: but this being in Christ, respects either that union and interest which the elect of God have in Christ, from everlasting: being loved by him with an everlasting love; betrothed to him in a conjugal relation; chosen in him before the foundation of the world; united to him as members to an head; considered in him in the covenant of grace, when he engaged for them as their surety; and so they were preserved in him, notwithstanding their fall in Adam; in time he took upon him their nature, and represented them in it; they were reckoned in him when he hung upon the cross, was buried, rose again, and sat down in heavenly places; in consequence of which union to Christ, and being in him, they are secure from all condemnation: or this may respect an open and manifestative being in Christ at conversion, when they become new creatures, pass from death to life, and so shall never enter into condemnation: hence they stand further described, as such who walk not after the flesh; by which is meant, not the ceremonial law, but the corruption of nature, or the corrupt nature of man, called "flesh"; because propagated by carnal generation, has for its object fleshly things, discovers itself mostly in the flesh, and makes persons carnal and fleshly; the apostle does not say, there is no condemnation to them that have no flesh in them, for this regenerate persons have; nor to them that are in the flesh, that is, the body; but who walk not after the flesh, that is, corrupt nature; and it denotes such, who do not follow the dictates of it, do not make it their guide, or go on and persist in a continued series of sinning: but after the spirit, by which is meant, not spiritual worship, in opposition to carnal ordinances; but rather, either a principle of grace, in opposition to corrupt nature, called "Spirit", from the author, subject, and nature of it; or the Holy Spirit of God, the efficient cause of all grace: to walk after him, is to make him our guide, to follow his dictates, influences, and directions; as such do, who walk by faith on Christ, and in imitation of him, in the ways of righteousness and holiness; and such persons walk pleasantly, cheerfully, and safely: now let it be observed, that this walk and conversation of the saints, is not the cause of there being no condemnation to them; but is descriptive of the persons interested in such a privilege; and is evidential of their right unto it, as well as of their being in Christ: and it may be further observed, that there must be union to Christ, or a being in him, before there can be walking after the Spirit. The phrase, "but after the

Spirit", is left out in the Alexandrian copy, and in the Vulgate Latin, and Syriac versions; and the whole description of the persons in some copies, and in the Ethiopic version. 4. Henry, “The apostle here beings with one signal privilege of true Christians, and describes the character of those to whom it belongs: There is therefore now no condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus, Rom_8:1. This is his triumph after that melancholy complaint and conflict in the foregoing chapter - sin remaining, disturbing, vexing, but, blessed be God, not ruining. The complaint he takes to himself, but humbly transfers the comfort with himself to all true believers, who are all interested in it. 1. It is the unspeakable privilege and comfort of all those that are in Christ Jesus that there is therefore now no condemnation to them. He does not say, “There is no accusation against them,” for this there is; but the accusation is thrown out, and the indictment quashed. He does not say, “There is nothing in them that deserves condemnation,” for this there is, and they see it, and own it, and mourn over it, and condemn themselves for it; but it shall not be their ruin. He does not say, “There is no cross, no affliction to them or no displeasure in the affliction,” for this there may be; but no condemnation. They may be chastened of the Lord, but not condemned with the world. ow this arises from their being in Christ Jesus; by virtue of their union with him through faith they are thus secured. They are in Christ Jesus, as in their city of refuge, and so are protected from the avenger of blood. He is their advocate, and brings them off. There is therefore no condemnation, because they are interested in the satisfaction that Christ by dying made to the law. In Christ, God does not only not condemn them, but is well pleased with them, Mat_17:5. 2. It is the undoubted character of all those who are so in Christ Jesus as to be freed from condemnation that they walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. Observe, The character is given from their walk, not from any one particular act, but from their course and way. And the great question is, What is the principle of the walk, the flesh or the spirit, the old or the new nature, corruption or grace? Which of these do we mind, for which of these doe we make provision, by which of these are we governed, which of these do we take part with? 5. Haldane, “Haldane adds, “Faith, says Luther, unites the soul with Christ as a spouse with her husband. Everything which Christ has, becomes the property of the believing soul : everything which the soul has, becomes the property of Christ. Christ possesses all blessings and eternal life : they are thence forward the property of the soul. The soul has all its iniquities and sins : they become thenceforward the property of Christ. It is then that a blessed exchange commences : Christ who is both God and man, Christ who has never sinned, and whose holiness is perfect, Christ the Almighty and Eternal, taking to Himself, by His nuptial ring of faith, all the sins of the believer, those sins are lost and abolished in Him ; for no sins dwell before His infinite righteousness. Thus, by faith, the believer s soul is delivered from sins, and clothed with the eternal righteousness of her bridegroom Christ. O happy union ! The rich, the noble, the holy Bride groom takes in marriage his poor, guilty, and despised spouse, delivers her from every evil, and enriches her with the most precious blessings. Christ, a King and a Priest, shares this honor and glory with all Christians. The Christian is a king, and consequently possesses all things ; he is a priest, and consequently possesses God ; and it is faith, not works, which brings him all this honour. A Christian is free from all things, above all things, faith giving him richly all things.” 6. Waggoner, “Conviction, ot Condemnation. The text does not say that those who are in Christ Jesus will never be reproved.

"Do you think he ne'er reproves me? What a false friend he would be If he never, never told me Of the faults that he must see!" Getting into Christ is only the beginning, not the end, of Christian life. It is the entrance to the school where we are to learn of him. He takes the ungodly man with all his evil habits and forgives all his sins, so that he is counted as though he never had sinned. Then he continues to give him his own life, by which he may overcome his evil habits. Association with Christ will more and more reveal to us our failings, just as association with a learned man will make us conscious of our ignorance. As a faithful witness, he tells us of our failings. But it is not to condemn us. We receive sympathy, not condemnation, from him. It is this sympathy that gives us courage, and enables us to overcome. When the Lord points our a defect in our characters, it is the same as saying to us, "There is something that you are in need of, and I have it for you." When we learn to look at reproof in this way, we shall rejoice in it, instead of being discouraged. 7. Bosworth sees the no condemnation as being at the final judgment. “The spiritual nature of the faith-righteous man has been so re-enforced by the Spirit of God as to be released from bond- age to Sin in the flesh, enabled to meet the ethical demands of the law and be sure of life even for the body as well as the spirit. Therefore no dalliance with the flesh! {8:1-14). "There is then, as we have been saying in all our argument, no verdict of condemnation to be feared in the judgment day by those who are living in faith union with Christ Jesus (i). The life giving Spirit that resides in him, and also in them by virtue of their faith-union with him, has established its control in their lives and so freed them from the control of Sin and death (2). This termination of the control of Sin and death the law was impotent to secure because man's lower nature would never obey the law's commands. But God by sending his own Son, possessed of the nature that in other men is so hospitable to Sin, with the purpose of having him deal at close range with the power of Sin, succeeded in condemning Sin to expulsion from its domain in the lower nature of man (3). This God did with the purpose of securing the realization of the law's ideal in lives that are no longer lived in accord with the impulses of the lower nature, but in accord with the higher nature that is akin to, and now controlled by, the Spirit of God (4). It was this victory of the higher nature that had to be won, for they that are in accord with the lower nature fix their attention upon the gratification of its demands, while they that are in accord with the higher nature fix their attention upon the fulfillment of its desire (5), and to do the former results in the ruin of death, while to do the latter means life and peace (6). Attention fixed upon the lower nature is hostility to God, for it is open rebellion against God's law, and in the nature of the case must be, for God's law requires love, while the lower nature is thoroughly unloving (7). So they that live in accord with the lower nature necessarily cannot please God (8). But you are living, not in accord with the lower nature, but in accord with the higher, spiritual nature, for I certainly may assume that the mighty Spirit of God has allied himself with your higher nature. Of course, whenever this is not so, and the Spirit of Christ in whom God's Spirit dwells in fulness is not in a man, then that man does not belong to Christ and has no place among those whom Christ saves (9). But if Christ is in you, then the body to be sure is still death-smitten because it is a part of the sphere of Sin and death; but the higher spiritual nature is free from death because, re-enforced by the Spirit of Christ, it is able to live the righteous life (10). Moreover there is victory also for the body, since the Spirit of him who raised Jesus' body from

the dead lives in you. He that raised Jesus' dead body in new and glorious form will do the same for yours, since the same mighty resurrecting Spirit dwells in you that dwelt in him (11). So then, Brothers, bear well in mind, no matter what some mis- guided and misnamed Christians may say to the contrary, that we are under no obligation to gratify the demands of our lower flesh nature while in this world of flesh (12). If you do live in accord with the flesh, the fatal ruin of death will blight and destroy all your being. But if, with the re-enforcement that your spiritual natures have received from the Spirit of God, you mercilessly put to death the evil practices of your lower nature, your whole being will have the life that reaches its fulness in the Spirit Age to come (13). For it is those now being led by the Spirit of God who will take their place among the sons of God in the Spirit Age to come (14)." Therefore. Since Jesus Christ has delivered us (7:25). o condemnation. In the coming messianic judgment. The verdict of the judgment day has already been pronounced (cf. 5: 8. Jamison, “In this surpassing chapter the several streams of the preceding argument meet and flow in one “river of the water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb,” until it seems to lose itself in the ocean of a blissful eternity. First: The sanctification of believers (Rom_8:1-13). There is therefore now, etc. — referring to the immediately preceding context [Olshausen, Philippi, Meyer, Alford, etc.]. The subject with which the seventh chapter concludes is still under consideration. The scope of Rom_8:1-4 is to show how “the law of sin and death” is deprived of its power to bring believers again into bondage, and how the holy law of God receives in them the homage of a living obedience [Calvin, Fraser, Philippi, Meyer, Alford, etc.]. no condemnation: to them which are in Christ Jesus — As Christ, who “knew no sin,” was, to all legal effects, “made sin for us,” so are we, who believe in Him, to all legal effects, “made the righteousness of God in Him” (2Co_5:21); and thus, one with Him in the divine reckoning. there is to such “ O CO DEM ATIO .” (Compare Joh_3:18; Joh_5:24; Rom_5:18, Rom_5:19). But this is no mere legal arrangement: it is a union in life; believers, through the indwelling of Christ’s Spirit in them, having one life with Him, as truly as the head and the members of the same body have one life. who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit — The evidence of manuscripts seems to show that this clause formed no part of the original text of this verse, but that the first part of it was early introduced, and the second later, from Rom_8:4, probably as an explanatory comment, and to make the transition to Rom_8:2 easier. 9. Don’t let your kids get a hold of this verse, for they will be quoting it to you every day when you condemn them for their behavior, or lack of it. "I know I did not take the garbage out to the road for two weeks in a row, but mom, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ." "I know dad that I should not have been driving without my license, but remember there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ." It is obvious that these kids have a misunderstanding of this verse, but even mature believers have this same perverted concept of what this verse means. Many take this verse as a basis for teaching that believers can do what they please and not have to fear any condemnation or judgment, for Jesus died for all of their sins, past, present, and future, and so there is no punishment to fear. Sin is no longer an issue for the believer. One author put it like this: "At this very moment, we believers in Christ are enjoying the privilege of zero guilt, zero regrets, zero looking backwards, zero feelings of inadequacy or inferiority, and absolutely no sense of impending doom or fear of punishment” Another preacher said, "In plain

language: God has nothing against "those who are in Christ Jesus," God has no reason to punish them, has no reason to be displeased with them. That’s what Paul says in the words of our text....." o condemnation": that’s absolute language, language not open to misinterpretation. " o condemnation": that’s to say that God holds me ot Guilty of my sins, and it’s to say at the same time that God does not in any way treat me as guilty of any sin! How gloriously rich!!Yes, congregation, this is relief! God in heaven neither has feelings of disfavor nor shows disfavor to those who are in Christ Jesus!" Still another preacher tucks in this little note: "no condemnation" also means there is no punishment. God never punishes His children. Even a wayward child need not fear the punishment of God.” 10. God judged men at the cross and Jesus bore our condemnation for sin, but let us keep in mind it was only the penalty of sin in relation to God in the sense that now sin does not separate us from God. Sin in the Christian life still brings penalty. If a Christian steals he can go to jail or even be executed. If a child lies he gets punished and the Christian suffers all through life for personal and corporate sin. The no condemnation we have in Christ is that our sin will not and can not separate us from the love of God in Christ because of the cross. We have assurance of ultimate victory over sin, and even death, the last enemy, is to be destroyed. Meanwhile the Christian is subject to all the judgments and punishments of the unsaved. He has no liberty to violate law of nature or of society. The justice of God demands that there be an accounting of Christians at the end of time. If all are equal and none suffer loss then there is no difference between being obedient and disobedient. God’s justice would be less than that of parents and a just society. Rewards and punishments are a necessity to make sense out of life on all levels. The motivation to be an ideal Christian is cut if the slip shod Christian will be equally rewarded. 11. The reason that many are disgusted with the hyper Calvinistic view of this idea of no condemnation is because of the radical statements of some who say such things as the following. “All those who are "in Christ", i.e., believers, are eternally secure from going to hell whether they continue to obey Christ or not..” “How the believer lives his life does not effect his eternal destiny.” This is an encouragement to those who choose to make a decision for Christ and then just live the same way they have done as a non-Christian. This is a mockery of what Christ did in dying for them, and what the Father's purpose was in restoring man to fellowship with him. The goal is for the redeemed to be conformed to the image of his Son, and the view in these statement is that they can live like the devil, and still be acceptable to the Father. This is a stain on Calvinism, and why so many choose to follow the thinking of the Arminians who say that people who live godless lives have no eternal security, but face the judgment of God. This type of Calvinism puts sanctification on the back burner saying it is no big deal. So what if Christians are no better than non-Christians, and so what if they are worse? The main thing is they are saved, and that is what counts. The whole idea of becoming like Christ, which is the clear goal that God has in mind for the elect, is pushed aside in order to get carnal disobedient professing believer into heaven. This totally ignores what Paul says in verse 13, “For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.” A person professing to be a believer, but who lives like a nonbeliever has plenty to worry about, for they are living according to the flesh rather than the Spirit. This antisanctification view is fortunately not the view of most Calvinists, and if you want to pursue this issue on “no condemnation” you can find what is more consistent Biblical views of both Calvinists and Arminians in Appendix 2. Let me share one quote here from Martyn Lloyd-Jones:

“..verses 5 to 13 bring out clearly that a complete change in us is absolutely essential to salvation. If a man does not undergo a radical change, if he does not enter into the realm of the Spirit, `the righteousness of the law' can never be fulfilled in him. Christianity, as the Apostle has told us so often, involves a complete, a radical change in the nature of the human being.” 12. John MacDuff, “"In Christ." It was the vital truth so beautifully enforced by the Divine Master Himself in His valedictory Parable of the vine and its branches--"Without Me"; out of Me; severed from Me, you are nothing, and can do nothing. Out of Christ, apart from Him, each soul is like a stranded vessel--mastless, sailless, rudderless, the sport of ocean forces--lying high and dry on the sands, away from its buoyant element. But the tidal wave flows--the rocky inlets and creeks are one by one filled--the "abandoned" is set once more a living thing on the waters-anew "compassed by the inviolate sea." That is the man "in Christ." Environed with this new element--life in his living Lord with its ocean fullness and unsounded depths--he is safe, joyous, happy. o cyclone above, no submerged rocks beneath; a halcyon calm around. "In Me you shall have peace." ot in vain did the early Christians--even in the midst of their great fight of afflictions--"the sea and the waves roaring and their hearts failing them for fear"--write on the slabs of their catacombs--I CHRISTO--I PEACE. Enough now farther to say, that grasping thoroughly the phrase in its full evangelical meaning, all the varied succeeding affirmations of our chapter become at once comprehensible and luminous. It is the "Basket of Silver" in which "Apples of Gold" are inserted. Let us keep this in mind all through our exposition, as affording the guarantee of every covenant blessing--specially the two already distinctively indicated. It forms Paul's security and the security of all believers as he utters the closing challenge and "persuasion" --"Shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is I CHRIST JESUS our Lord."

2. because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
1. Salvation is liberation. When Paul was converted by receiving Jesus as his Savior, he was liberated from one system of law and brought into another system. The system he was under was a condemning one, and led to judgment and death. In Christ he came into the system of grace which was not condemning and it led to life. It was a transition from death to life, for by being liberated from the law he could never fully obey, and so was perpetually condemned, he was brought under the law of the Spirit where he was accepted by God as worthy of eternal life, not because he was perfect, but because he had a perfect Savior who fulfilled the law for him. 2. otice, a new law is in effect when we are in Christ. It is the law of the Spirit of life. The Holy Spirit is like a super power that comes into our being with Christ, and overwhelms the power of our sinful nature so that it can operate on a higher level. Under the law the fallen nature is hopelessly enslaved to do the wrong thing. It wants to sin so badly that it cannot obey the law of

God. It might by sheer will power sometimes obey, but it will soon fall back into disobedience because it just does not have the power to conform to God's will. The Spirit of life comes into us with the receiving of Christ, and he supplies that needed power to set us free from the sin nature, and live in obedience. Without the Holy Spirit, we would just fall right back into bondage to the old nature. This is the very thing that happens when a believer quenches the Spirit, for on their own they cannot overcome the old nature. The Holy Spirit, therefore, is the key to being liberated, and the key to staying liberated. Jesus earned for us the pardon for our sins and this made us justified before God, but the Holy Spirit gives us power over our sins, and this leads us to be sanctified before God. Back in Romans 7:21–25 we see Paul as captive to laws he could not escape. He wrote, “So I find it to be a law that even when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin which dwells in my members.” He is sunk unless there is a power to help him overcome that law of sin, and here it is in the law of the Spirit of life. 3.Christians talk so often of no longer being under the law, but they forget that they are still under a new law of the Spirit. There is always some law under which we operate, and so we are never lawless, or totally independent of all law. A law is a power, rule, or influence by which our conduct is guided and controlled. The old law controlled us so that we would fail to live up to God's standard. We were too weak in the flesh to avoid sin. The new law is not based in our flesh, but in our spirit. The flesh is still weak, but the law of the Spirit gives us power in our higher nature to overcome the law of the flesh. That is what being spiritual is all about. A spiritual person is one who does not let his flesh determine what he is going to do. He has a spirit open to hear the word of God, and in that spirit obey the word of God. He is no longer a slave doing only what his flesh wants him to do. He is free to say no to his body, and yes to God. It may still be a battle, and temptation to go the way of the flesh is strong, but now he has the option of overruling the flesh, and choosing the way of the Spirit. Without the Spirit he never had that option. The law could say don't do it, but it could not give you the power to not do it. The law of the Spirit says don't do it, and here is the power to not do it. With this new power we are free to say no to the flesh, but we are also still free to say yes, and so we have to choose which law we are going to allow to govern our lives. The carnal Christian still lets the law of sin and death be a major influence in their conduct. The more mature we become, the more we let the law of the Spirit of life control our behavior. 4. Jesus was totally under the control of the Spirit of life, and that is why he could always say no to the temptations of the flesh. He had the temptations, but he had the power of the Spirit to say no. Just say no is always possible in the power of the Spirit. This makes the pursuit of holiness a valid option for believers. The foundation for our sanctification is the law of the Spirit of life. The more we allow this new law in us to govern us, the more we become like Jesus in attitude and action, in character and conduct, in principles and practice. The sanctified life is the life that is more and more overcoming the flesh, and more and more living in the power of the Spirit. Flesh oriented people are drawn to sin, but Spirit oriented people are drawn to righteousness. To be filled with the Spirit means to be so completely surrendered to the Spirit that we are in a state where we have full power to always overcome the flesh and choose the way of God. When believers fall into temptation to go the way of the flesh, it is because they have been feeding their flesh, and starving their spirit. They have neglected the word of God, and prayer for his guidance and power, and the result is that the law of the flesh takes over and leads them astray. It is a great sin because they have the potential to always win over temptation. God never allows any temptation that we cannot overcome, but if we neglect the power of the Spirit, and even quench

his role in our lives, we face temptation in our own strength, and we will fall. 5. The two laws are in constant battle in our lives, and so it is important that we grasp the work of the Holy Spirit to have the advantage. One of the problems is that the Holy Spirit is the most neglected person in the Godhead. We associate with God the Father and Jesus in prayer, and we study their character and teaching often, but we can go for long periods in our Christian life and never think once of the Holy Spirit. It comes as something of a surprise that the person of the Holy Spirit is the primary focus in this great chapter. otice the different names of the Spirit in this chapter. [verse 2] The Spirit of life [verse 9] The Spirit of God [verse 9] The Spirit of Christ [verse 11] The Spirit of Him Who raised Jesus from the dead [verse 14] The Spirit of God [verse 15] The Spirit of Adoption 5B. Beet, “In former days Paul was compelled to do the bidding of sin. But the Holy Spirit has set him free by making His own will the rule of Paul's life. Just so a conqueror, by setting up his own laws in a conquered country, makes the former laws invalid. That the country obeys the new law is a proof of conquest. Similarly, the presence and guidance of the Spirit have made Paul free from the rule of sin. This is not a change of bondage, but freedom from all bondage. For the law of the Spirit is the will of our Maker, and therefore the law of our being. And to obey the law of our being is the only true freedom. The contrast of Paul's past bondage and present liberty proves that he is not now condemned. He remembers the time when, in spite of his better judgment, he did the bidding of sin. He now does the bidding of the Spirit of God. He finds that he is free from the IJondage of sin only as he follows the guidance of the Spirit; and therefore infers that the guidance of the Spirit has made him free. He knows that his liberation came through Christ's death : and he enjoys it to-day by resting upon Christ. His freedom is therefore God's gift, and a proof of God's forgiveness. Just so a prisoner, whose prison doors have been opened by the king's command, has in his past imprisonment and present freedom a proof of pardon. Whereas the freedom of a law-breaker who has never been apprehended is no such proof. There are thousands to-day to whom every doubt about their present salvation is banished by a remembrance of their former bondage to sin and fruitless efforts to do right. Since Paul's liberation took place in Christ, he has a right to infer that all who are in Christ have been set free, and are therefore no longer condemned. Thus the law, by making us conscious of our bondage, not only drives us to Christ, but furnishes, to those who believe, an abiding proof of God's favor.” 5C. “Romans 8:2 mentions two laws. Illustration: the law of gravity and the law of aerodynamics. The law of gravity says that a large, heavy metal object in the sky must fall to the earth and crash (the airplane must crash!). But the law of aerodynamics is a higher law and overcomes the law of gravity and enables the heavy metal airplane to soar and fly and not crash. By the law of sin and death I fail and fall and crash (Rom.7:23-25) but by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus I am able to live a life that pleases God (Rom.8:2). There are certain things that the law cannot do. The law is just but it cannot justify (Rom.7:12; 3:20). The law is holy but it cannot sanctify

(Rom.7:12). The law can tell me that I am a sinner but it can’t make me a saint! (The mirror can show me my dirt but it cannot cleanse me!) What the law could not do, GOD DID! What THE LAW could not do, THE LAMB could!” author unknown 6. Steve Zeisler gives us some statistics on the role of the Holy Spirit in this chapter. “Romans 8 is a chapter filled with the practical contact of the Holy Spirit with believers. Depending on your version or translation, there are between 15 and 19 references in this one chapter, references to the Holy Spirit as He works His sanctifying grace in our lives. Romans 8 is a syllabus on sanctification. The Holy Spirit is the prominent subject and the most prominent person of the Godhead in this chapter. This chapter is, by far, the most concentrated teaching on the Holy Spirit in the Book of Romans. The term “spirit,” which can refer either to man’s spirit or to the Holy Spirit, occurs only four times in Romans before chapter 8 (1:4; 2:29; 5:5; 7:6). Of these four previous occurrences of the term “spirit” in Romans 1-7, one instance is a clear reference to a man’s human spirit (Romans 1:4). The second reference (2:29) is debatable. The third reference (5:5) is a rather clear reference to the Holy Spirit. The use of “Spirit” in Romans 7:6 is somewhat debatable as well (capitalized in the ASB, but with a footnote with the alternative rendering, “spirit”). In Romans 8, the term “spirit” occurs 18 times in the ASB and 19 times in the King James Version This term occurs but 7 more times in Romans 9-16 (9:1; 11:8; 14:17; 15:13, 16, 19, 30). Thus, the term “Spirit” or “spirit” occurs in chapter 8 over 60% of the time when it is used by Paul in Romans.” 7. Here are some of the things the Spirit does for us in this chapter. 1. (verse 2) He sets us free from the law of sin and death. 2. (verse 5 and 9) He enables us to set our minds on the things of God. 3. ( verse 11) He enables us to have the assurance of eternal life. 4. ( verse 13) He enables us to put to death the misdeeds of the body. 5. ( verse 16) He enables us to have assurance that we are children of God. 6. ( verse 26) He helps us in our weakness 7. (verse 26 & 27) He intercedes for us, and help us pray in accordance with God's will. 8. Each person of the Godhead has a vital role in the total plan of salvation. A. God the Father selects us-Election. B. God the Son saves us-Justification C. God the Spirit sanctifies us-Sanctification 8B. David Riggs, "Law of the Spirit of life" 1. The law revealed by the Spirit which is capable of producing life. 1. It is Christ's law as to the source, and the Spirit's as to the agent of making it known. 2. It is the "law of life" because it is the principle or rule by which spiritual life is

obtained. 2. "Made me free" - This shows, again, that he was not in chapter 7 talking about his conflict as a Christian because he would not say in one breath, "I am carnal, sold under sin...sin dwells in me...bringing me into captivity to the law of sin" (7:14,20,23, etc.), and in the same breath say, "I am free." 1. His conflict was a thing of the past, not of the present. 3. "The law of sin and death" - The law of sin resulting in death which was in the members. 1. From verse 3, the law could not do it. In other words, it could not deliver him from the conflict, but the other could. 2. If the law of sin and death refers to the law of Moses, Paul would be saying that the law of Moses could not deliver us from the law of Moses.

9. William ewell in his commentary wrote, "We have now come to that great chapter which sets forth that part in our salvation which is exercised by the third Person of the Godhead, the blessed Holy Spirit. Without Christ's work on the cross there would be no salvation, and without the presence and constant operation of the Holy Spirit, there would be no application of that salvation to us, -indeed, no revelation of it to us!Let us therefore with the profoundest reverence, and greatest gladness, take up the study here in Romans Eight of that work of the Holy Spirit which is directly concerned with our salvation.” 10. An author by the name of Johnson wrote, “ Just as faith in Christ's work is indispensable for our justification, so faith in the power of the Spirit is indispensable for our sanctification. Since we have found peace with God by looking to the finished work of the Redeemer on the cross, we are now to find the peace of God by looking to His unfinished work on the throne, of which the Holy Spirit is the sign, seal, and executor. Cf. 2Cor 13:14 (grace from Christ is the channel, love from the Father the source, and the fellowship of the Spirit the means of God's ministry to us)...Romans eight, then, gives us a vivid picture of Who our Deliverer, the Lord Jesus Christ, uses in His deliverance of us from the power of indwelling sin. It is the Spirit of God Whom He uses to subdue the power of the flesh and give liberty for the fulfilling of the will of God in our lives.” 11. The Disciple's Study Bible has a wonderful summary note on the Holy Spirit writing.."The Spirit gives life (Ro 8:2), peace (Ro 8:6), freedom (Ro 8:9), leadership (Ro 8:14), assurance (Ro 8:16), hope (Ro 8:23; Ro 8:24), and help (Ro 8:26). The Spirit is with all Christians (Ro 8:9, Ro 8:14). The Spirit makes Christians God's children and able to say "Father'' when we pray (Ro 8:15). The Spirit assures us that we are in fact God's children (Ro 8:16), and that, even though we pass through much suffering, we will eventually share in the glory of Christ (Ro 8:17). With all this we remain free. We must choose to follow the Spirit, to live according to the Spirit (Ro 8:5), to set our minds on what the Spirit desires (Ro 8:5), to be controlled by the Spirit (Ro 8:9), to put to death the old way of life (Ro 8:13), and to be led by the Spirit (Ro 8:18). These phrases all refer to a serious commitment to live as Christians with the help of God's Spirit. This includes high moral standards (Ro 8:4) and more. Obeying the Spirit means a personal loyalty and obedience to Christ which expresses itself by following the leadership of the Spirit in all life's decisions. This is active cooperation as well as passive yielding. The Spirit's work is not

irresistible. The Spirit prefers to wait and allow us to obey His leadership freely. Paul's call to obey the Spirit makes no sense at all if the Spirit is only an impersonal power or force. The Spirit is personal, and this leads to the commands to respond to the Spirit in a fully personal manner.”” (Disciple's Study Bible) 12. Dr. Daniel Hill give us a dozen principles- “SOME PRI CIPLES: 1.The law of the Spirit of life is a law found not on tablets of stone but on the heart of the believer. 2.It is a law possessed by the Holy Spirit. 3.While normally a law regulates and controls, this law sets free. 4.II Corinthians 3:17 " ow the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." 5.Since the Law of the Spirit is the Holy Spirit himself that law is not to be limited by a rigid system of law of legalism: 6.II Corinthians 3:6 "Who (God) also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life." 7.The Law of the Spirit of life for the believer works in the believer at all times. 8.We too often think that the Holy Spirit is totally idle when we are out of fellowship and that is not the case: 9.James 4:5 "Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us?" 10.Galatians 5:17 "For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please." 11.We are always free, we are always indwelled by the Holy Spirit, but to enjoy the benefits of freedom and the power and ministries of the Spirit we must be in fellowship. 12.And we are the Holy Spirit works in us continually cleansing us, conforming us, to the image and character of Christ. Hill goes on, “Here, in Romans 8:2 the word for freedom is not a legal word but a word that looks at the function of freedom. The means of freedom back in Romans 6:7 was the baptism of the Holy Spirit wherein we were united with Christ in His death. Here the means of freedom is the Holy Spirit but His continual working in the believer's life. The verb SET FREE is a aorist tense that here looks back at what started at salvation and continues even today. This freedom is related to the three stages of maturity we studied...more maturity, more freedom. It is a freedom that allow the one who is free to be independent and in that independence submit, to act out of his or her free will to serve God. Some Passages that Describe our Freedom: Romans 8:21 "That the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God."

ature, the environment, will one day be as free as you, the believer. I toss that in because we think of being as free as nature? ature, to personify it, wants to be as free as we are. Since the beginning of the church there are those who cannot stand the freedom the believer has: I Corinthians 10:29 "For why is my freedom judged by another's conscience?" Also Galatians 2:4 the Jerusalem Council: But it was because of the false brethren who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage. We are to maintain freedom so as to not be brought back into any rigid system: Galatians 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. We are to use our freedom to minister to others: Galatians 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. We must not let it become a stumbling block: I Corinthians 8:9 "But take care lest this liberty of yours somehow become a stumbling block to the weak." Peter touches on this also in I Peter 2:16 "Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God." The Holy Spirit as the agent of freedom in the life of the believer uses the word of God to define this freedom: John 8:32 "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." The objective of the CCL, however, is not freedom, it is what you will do with your freedom. Peter talked of those who promised freedom: II Peter 2:19 "Promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved." The Law of the Spirit of Life sets us free from sin and from death so that we can function in that freedom, free from bondage, serving God and serving others. Jesus Christ set the precedent for our freedom: 1.Jesus Christ set the precedent at the cross. He was free to reject the cross, but He recognized the Father's authority and became obedient even unto death, 2.Hebrews 5:8 "Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered." 3.Philippians 2:8 "And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross". 4.The Lord Jesus Christ was totally obedient. His obedience at the cross results in our spiritual freedom. 5.The application to us is that we need to exercise our volition towards self-discipline and consistently use our freedom for the learning, thinking, and applying of Bible doctrine. We are free in the Spirit and that means we are free to live the Christ Centered life in freedom, not bondage, serving God and others out of our freedom. LET ME GIVE YOU A RULE: If as you as progressing in your spiritual life, you are moving to greater bondage and law, there is a problem. If however you are moving towards greater freedom and grace, you are on the right track.

One is rigid and therefore predictable and comfortable. But the only the other can lead you to places you never imagined, never even dreamed of, could not even hope for. This freedom from the law of the Sin ature and its resulting spiritual death is what Paul struggled against in Romans 7. He could not free himself from it, but now the Holy Spirit has come onto the stage, taken center stage, and given that freedom. Again, this is functional. Positional freedom was the issue in Romans 6:3-11. ow we are into the living of the spiritual life.” 13. Barnes, “For the law - The word “law” here means that “rule, command, or influence” which “the Spirit of life” produces. That exerts a control which is here called a law, for a law often means anything by which we are ruled or governed; see the notes at Rom_7:21, Rom_7:23. Of the Spirit. I see no reason to doubt here that this refers to the Holy Spirit. Evidently, at the close of Rom_8:1, the word has this reference. The phrase “the Spirit of life” then means the Holy Spirit producing or giving life; that is, giving peace, joy, activity, salvation; in opposition to the law spoken of in Rom. 7 that produced death and condemnation. In Christ Jesus - Under the Christian religion; or sent by Christ to apply his work to people. Joh_16:7-14. The Spirit is sent by Christ; his influence is a part of the Christian scheme; and his power accomplishes what the Law could not do. Hath made me free - That is, has delivered me from the predominating influence and control of sin. He cannot mean that he was perfect, for the whole tenor of his reasoning is opposed to that. But the design, the tendency, and the spirit of the gospel was to produce this freedom from what the Law could not deliver; and he was now brought under the general power of this scheme. In the former state he was under a most bitter and galling bondage; Rom_7:7-11. ow, he was brought under the influence of a scheme which contemplated freedom, and which produced it. The law of sin and death - The controlling influence of sin, leading to death and condemnation; Rom_7:5-11. 14. Clarke, “For the law of the Spirit of life - The Gospel of the grace of Christ, which is not only a law or rule of life, but affords that sovereign energy by which guilt is removed from the conscience, the power of sin broken, and its polluting influence removed from the heart. The law was a spirit of death, by which those who were under it were bound down, because of their sin, to condemnation and death. The Gospel proclaims Jesus the Savior; and what the law bound unto death, It looses unto life eternal. And thus the apostle says, whether of himself or the man whom he is still personating, the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. Most people allow that St. Paul is here speaking of his own state; and this state is so totally different from that described in the preceding chapter, that it is absolutely impossible that they should have been the state of the same being, at one and the same time. o creature could possibly be carnal, sold under sin, brought into captivity to the law of sin and death; and at the same time be made free from that law of sin and death, by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus! Until the most palpable absurdities and contradictions can be reconciled, these two opposite states can never exist in the same person at the same time. 15. Gill, “ For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus,.... These words are of difficult interpretation. They may be understood of the Gospel revealing and declaring deliverance from

the law of Moses; wherefore there can be "no condemnation", Rom_8:1, by it. The Gospel may be designed by "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus"; which may be called a law, not as succeeding the law of works, by which that is abrogated; nor as requiring conditions to be performed, or as enjoining duties to be observed, or as delivering out threatenings in case of disobedience; but as it is a doctrine, order, and chain of truths, as the Hebrew word ‫ תורה‬signifies, and which is sometimes used for the Gospel, Isa_2:3 as νοµος is, Rom_3:27. It may be called the law, or doctrine "of the Spirit", because the Spirit is the author of it, and makes it powerful and effectual to the good of souls; by it the Spirit of God is conveyed into the heart; and the substance of it are spiritual things: and the "law of the Spirit of life", because it discovers the way of life and salvation by Christ; is the means of quickening dead sinners; of working faith in them, by which they live on Christ, and of reviving drooping saints; and also it affords spiritual food, for the support of life: and this may be said to be "in Christ", or by him, inasmuch as it comes from, and is concerning him; he is the sum, the substance, and subject matter of it: the law of sin and death may intend the law of Moses, called "the law of sin"; not as if it was sinful, or commanded or encouraged sin, for it severely prohibits it; but because by it, through the corruption of man's nature, sin is irritated, and made to abound; it is the strength of sin, and by it is the knowledge of it: and it may be called "the law of death", because it threatened with death, in case of disobedience; it sentences and adjudges transgressors to death; and when it is attended with power, it strikes dead all a man's hopes of life, by obedience to it; it leaves persons dead as it finds them, and gives no life, nor hopes of it; by it none can live, or be justified: now, though Christ is the author of deliverance from it, yet the Gospel is the means of revealing and declaring this deliverance; which designs not an exemption from obedience to it, but freedom from the curse and condemnation of it; and this sense well agrees with Rom_8:1; likewise the words are capable of being understood of the power and efficacy of the Spirit of God, in delivering regenerate persons from the dominion and tyranny of sin; and which may be considered as a reason why they "walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit", Rom_8:1, "life" may well be ascribed to the Spirit of God, or be called the Spirit of life, because he has life in himself as the Father and Son have; and is the author of life to others, of natural life to all men as creatures, and of spiritual life to the people of God in regeneration; and is a quickening spirit to them afterwards, as he will be to the dead bodies of the saints in the resurrection: by "the law" of the Spirit may be meant, the energy and power of the Spirit in conversion; which work requires power, and a man has no power of himself to effect it; but there is a power in the Spirit, which works irresistibly, though not by any force or compulsion to the will, but it moves upon it sweetly, powerfully, and effectually: and all this may be said to be "in Christ": the life which the Spirit is the author and giver of, is in Christ as the head of his people, the proper repository of all grace, and the fountain of life; the Spirit himself is in him, both as God and as man, and as Mediator, hence the saints receive him and his gifts and graces from him; and the law of the Spirit, or his power and efficacy in working, is "in" or "by" Christ, through his sufferings and death, and in consequence of his mediation: now this powerful and quickening efficacy of the Spirit delivers regenerate persons from the force and tyranny of sin, called here "the law of sin and death"; a "law of sin", because it has power and dominion over unregenerate persons, its throne is in the heart of man, and its laws are many and powerful; and "the law of death", because its reign is tyrannical, barbarous and cruel, it is unto death: and from its governing influence, and tyrannical power, does the Spirit of God free his people in regeneration; not from the being of sin; nor from the rage of it, and disturbance it gives; nor from such power of it, but that they may fall into sin; but so as that sin does not properly reign over them, nor legally, nor universally, or so as to bring a death on their graces, and their persons into condemnation. Once more, those

words may be understood of the holiness of Christ's human nature, as a branch of our justification, and freedom from the guilt of sin, and condemnation by it: for as "the law of sin and death" may design inherent corruption, and the force and power of it in the saints; so the opposite to it, "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ", may mean the purity and holiness of his human nature. That Christ's human nature is pure and holy is certain, from express texts of Scripture, from its union to the Son of God, from the ends and purposes of its assumption, from the inefficacy of Satan's temptations, and from the whole course of his life and conversation; for though he was in the likeness of sinful flesh, was reckoned a sinner by men, was attended with infirmities, the effects of sin, though not sinful, had all the sins of his people imputed to him, and endured afflictions, and at last death; yet his nature was pure and untainted: for he did not descend from Adam by ordinary generation; and though made of a woman, yet the flesh he took of her was sanctified by the Holy Ghost; his body was prepared by God, and curiously wrought by the Spirit, from whom his whole human nature received a fulness of habitual holiness: and this may be called "the Spirit of life" in him, because he is a quickening Spirit in regeneration, justification, and the resurrection from the dead; "the law" of it, because the holiness of his nature lies in, arises from, and is conformable to a law that is within him, written on his heart; and because, together with his obedience and death, it has a force, power, and authority, to free from condemnation; for this is not a mere necessary qualification of him to be the Mediator, or what renders his obedience, sacrifice, and intercession, efficacious and valuable, or is merely exemplary to us, but is what is imputed to us, as a part of our justification. The law requires a holy nature of us, we have not one, Christ assumed one for us, and so is the end of the law, or answers the requirement of the law in this respect, as well as in all others: and hence, though sanctification begun in us, does not free us from the being of sin, and all its force and power, yet perfect sanctification in Christ frees from all condemnation by it.”

16. Jamison, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free — rather, “freed me” - referring to the time of his conversion, when first he believed. from the law of sin and death — It is the Holy Ghost who is here called “the Spirit of life,” as opening up in the souls of believers a fountain of spiritual life (see on Joh_7:38, Joh_7:39); just as He is called “the Spirit of truth,” as “guiding them into all truth” (Joh_16:13), and “the Spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord” (Isa_11:2), as the inspirer of these qualities. And He is called “the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus,” because it is as members of Christ that He takes up His abode in believers, who in consequence of this have one life with their Head. And as the word “law” here has the same meaning as in Rom_7:23, namely, “an inward principle of action, operating with the fixedness and regularity of a law,” it thus appears that “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” here means, “that new principle of action which the Spirit of Christ has opened up within us - the law of our new being.” This “sets us free,” as soon as it takes possession of our inner man, “from the law of sin and death” that is, from the enslaving power of that corrupt principle which carries death in its bosom. The “strong man armed” is overpowered by the “stronger than he”; the weaker principle is dethroned and expelled by the more powerful; the principle of spiritual life prevails against and brings into captivity the principle of spiritual death - “leading captivity captive.” If this be the apostle’s meaning, the whole verse is to this effect: That the triumph of believers over their inward corruption, through the power of Christ’s Spirit in them, proves them to be in Christ Jesus, and as such absolved from condemnation. But this is now explained more fully.”

17. This whole chapter is about the work of the Spirit in perfecting salvation. In fact, there are those who believe strongly that we are never really and authentically saved until this work of the Holy Spirit is accomplished in us. John Piper has a conviction that he shares that one is justified not as an act of faith but by a life of faith, and this would seem to show that works then are a part of salvation and thus incorporate the view of James and Paul and show that both faith and works are vital to salvation. The point is that without sanctification there is no evidence of justification. I like this concept for it eliminates the easy believe-ism that does not produce Christ honoring followers, but just culturally conformer followers. His message is too long to put it here, and so I have put it in APPE DIX 1 JOH PIPER 18. Haldane, “This verse, as is evident by the particle for, is connected with the preceding. It connects, however, with the first part of that verse, where the great truth of which it is explanatory is announced, assigning the reason why there is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus ; which is continued to the middle of the 4th verse, in the latter part of which the last clause of the first is repeated. On the supposition of that clause being genuine, the Apostle follows here the same method as in the second chapter of this Epistle, where the 14th verse connects with the first part of the 12th. Many, by the phrase law of the Spirit of life, understand the commanding influence of the Holy Spirit in the sanctification of the believers to be intended, and by the law of sin and death, the corrupt principle, or power of sin in them, as in chapter vii. 23 and 25. But these explanations do not suit the context. The main proposition contained in the preceding verse is, that to them who are in Christ Jesus there is no condemnation. But why is there no condemnation ? Is it because they are sanctified? o; but because by their union with Christ they have been freed from the law and its curse, as the Apostle had shown in the preceding chapter, verse 4th. Besides, it is not true that believers are delivered from the law of sin that is in them as respects their sanctification, which would contradict what Paul had just before said of the Christian s internal warfare with sin, as exhibited in his own experience, to which deliverance he looked forward, but which he had not yet obtained. It is further to be observed, that the above explanations do not accord with the two following verses, which point out the ground of that freedom from condemnation which is here asserted, being explanatory of the verse before us, declaring that sin has been punished in Christ, and that the righteousness which the law demands has been fulfilled by Him in those who belong to Him. Law of the Spirit. Various significations belong to the term law, according to the connection in which it stands, and to which it is applied. In the conclusion of the preceding chapter, and in the verse before us, where it occurs twice, it is employed in three different senses. first of these it is denominated the law of sin, namely, the strength of corruption acting with the force of a law. In the end of the verse before us, where the term death is added to that of sin, it imports the moral law, the transgression of which is sin, and the consequence death, and is employed in the same sense in the two following verses. To the law of the spirit of life belongs a different meaning, signifying the power of the Holy Spirit, by which He unites the soul to Christ, in whose righteous ness, as being thus one with Him, it therefore partakes, and is consequently justified. This law is the Gospel, whereof the Holy Ghost author, being the authoritative rule and the instrument by which He acts in the plan of salvation. It is the medium through which He promulgates Divine testimony, and His commands to receive that testimony, and exerts His power to produce this effect ; by which, also, He quickens and enlightens those in whom He dwells, convinces them of their sin and of the righteousness of Christ, and testifies of the almighty Savior, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith....

The Gospel is the law of the Spirit of life, the ministration of which, being committed to the Apostles, giveth life, in opposition to the letter, or old covenant that killetfi, 2 Cor. iii. 6. It is the Spirit that quickeneth, John vi. 63, as it is said, * I shall put My Spirit in you, and ye shall live, Ezek. xxxvii. 14. In the First Epistle to the Corinthians, xv. 45, the Apostle speaks of two sources of life. He says, The first man Adam was made a living soul, the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. By the living soul is meant the principle of natural life which we derive from Adam by natural generation. The quickening spirit refers to the heavenly and supernatural life communicated by the Holy Spirit from Jesus Christ. The reason of the comparison is, that as Adam, receiving a living soul, his body was made alive ; in like manner, believers, receiving in their souls the Spirit of Christ, receive a new life. It is not meant that the Spirit of Christ is not also the author of natural life, Job xxxiii. 4. Jesus Christ is the life itself, and the source of life to all creatures. But here the life referred to is that life which we receive through the Gospel, as the law or power of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, which the Apostle calls the life of God, Eph. iv. 18. That the Spirit of life, then, is in Jesus Christ, not only as God, but also as Mediator, is a ground of the most unspeakable consolation. It might be in Him as God, without being communicated to men ; but, as the Head of His people, it must be diffused through them as His members, who are thus complete in Him. Dost thou feel in thyself the sentence of death ? listen, then, to the testimony of the Scriptures concerning Him. This is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life ; and this life is in His Son. I am come that they might have life. He that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live ; and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me, shall never die. Because I live, ye shall live also. I am that bread of life; he that eateth of this bread shall never die. I am the resurrection and the life. This life, then, is in Jesus Christ, and is communicated to believers by the Holy Spirit, by whom they are united to Christ, and from whom it is derived to all who through the law of the Spirit of life are in Him. It is on this account that, in the passage above quoted, 1 Cor. xv. 45, Jesus Christ, as Mediator, is said to be made a quickening spirit. In obtaining this life, the believer receives his justification, the opposite of condemnation, which without this life cannot subsist, and from which it cannot be separated. The holy law may also be called the law of death. It threatens with death in case of disobedience, and on account of transgression adjudges to death. The commandment, says the Apostle, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. It brings the sinner under the penalty of death. In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. The law * killeth ; and the ministration of the law, written and engraved on stones, was death, 2 Cor. iii. 6, 7. By the law death reigned from Adam to Moses, Rom. v. 14 ; and the wages of sin, which is the trans gression of the law, is death. Since, then, the law of God, which, though it commands holiness, gives the knowledge of sin, and the breach of it is death, and since, without the law, there could neither be sin nor death, it may, without arguing the smallest disrespect or disparagement to the holy law, be called the law of sin and death. That it is so denominated in the verse before us, appears from the repetition of the term law in the beginning of the following verse, evidently in connection with that in the end of this verse, where the reference is clearly to the moral law, namely, the law which had been spoken of from the 4th to the 13th verse of the foregoing chapter, which the Apostle had there shown, as he asserts in verse 3 of this chapter, could not set free from sin and death. Besides, that by the law of sin and death is here meant the moral law, appears unquestionable, when it is considered that if the same meaning be attached to it as belongs to the phrase * the law of sin in the conclusion of the preceding chapter, the Apostle must be held to have contradicted himself. For in that case he bitterly laments his being under the power of the law of sin, and

speaks only of his hope of future deliverance ; and here, in the same breath, he unqualifiedly asserts his freedom from it. otwithstanding, then, the similarity of these two expressions, and their juxtaposition, it is impossible, without charging a contradiction on the Apostle, to assert that he attached the same meaning in both places to the word law, which in different connections is capable of significations quite distinct. Hath made me free. The reason why there is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus is, that being in Him they have been made free from the law of sin and death, all its requirements having been fulfilled by Him in them, as is affirmed in verse 4. This freedom is likewise declared in 2 Cor. iii. 17, in which passage it is said, Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. Me free. Here it is to be observed that the Apostle, instead of speaking generally of believers, as he does in the first and fourth verses, saying them and * us, changes, as has been above remarked, the mode of expression, and refers to himself personally hath made me free. A very striking contrast is thus pointed out between his declaration in the 24th verse of the preceding chapter, and that contained in the verse before us. There, he is speaking of the power of sin, which operates in believers as long as they are in this world. Here, in reference to condemnation, he is speaking of the guilt of sin, from which they are perfectly freed the moment they are united to the Savior. In the former case, therefore, where he speaks respecting sanctification, he refers in verse 24th to his deliverance as future, and exclaims, Who shall deliver me ? In reference to the latter, in which he is treating of justification, he speaks of his deliverance as already obtained, and affirms, He hath made me free. Every believer should take to himself all the consolation which this verse contains, and with Paul he may with confidence say, The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made im free from the law of sin and death. Many, however, will say, We should be happy indeed if we could, with Paul, adopt this language ; but what assurance can we have of being free from condemnation, and of being in Christ Jesus, since the flesh isso strong in us and the spirit so weak, since we are still prone to so many sins, and subject to so many defects ? Assuredly if a man is satisfied in sinning and following carnal desires, and is not desirous to turn from these ways, he has no ground to conclude that he is freed from condemnation, for such is not the state of any believer. But if, on the other hand, he groans on account of his sins, crying out with the Apostle, O wretched man that I am ; if they displease him, if he have a godly sadness on account of having committed them, and earnestly prays to God to be delivered from them, he may be assured of his salvation. For the Christian is not one who is without sin and evil inclinations, as is abundantly shown in the preceding chapters ; but one who resists and combats against them, and returns to God by repentance. His groans on account of his sins, and his meditating on the word God, his earnest endeavors to be holy and to grow in grace, although not with all the success he desires, are proofs of his regeneration. For if he were dead in his sins, he would not be affected on account of them, nor would he resist them. And whoever resists the flesh by the Spirit of God, will in the end obtain the victory, for the Holy Spirit in us is greater in goodness and power than all that is against us, Satan, and the world, and the flesh. All this should inspire the believer with courage to fight the good fight of faith, and to follow the movements of the blessed Spirit...” As Cranfield explains"The life promised for the man who is righteous by faith is, in the fourth place, described as a life characterized by the indwelling of the Spirit of God. The key word of this section is which, while it is used only five times in chapters 1 to 7 and eight times in chapters 9 to 16, occurs twenty-one times in chapter 8, that is, much more often than in any other single chapter in the whole ew Testament. In the majority of its occurrences in Romans 8, it quite certainly denotes the Holy Spirit, and in two of them it clearly does not. In the remaining instances it is a matter of some controversy whether the reference is, or is not, to the Holy Spirit: in all of them, in our

judgment, it is." And so Johnson declares that Romans 8...is also the great chapter on the Holy Spirit, Who supplies the dynamic for the new life created in believers by the new birth. Just as faith in Christ's work is indispensable for our justification, so faith in the power of the Spirit is indispensable for our sanctification. Since we have found peace with God by looking to the finished work of the Redeemer on the cross, we are now to find the peace of God by looking to His unfinished work on the throne, of which the Holy Spirit is the sign, seal, and executor. Cf. 2Cor 13:14 (grace from Christ is the channel, love from the Father the source, and the fellowship of the Spirit the means of God's ministry to us)...Romans eight, then, gives us a vivid picture of Who our Deliverer, the Lord Jesus Christ, uses in His deliverance of us from the power of indwelling sin. It is the Spirit of God Whom He uses to subdue the power of the flesh and give liberty for the fulfilling of the will of God in our lives. We turn now to the consideration of the liberty that the Spirit bestows. (Romans 8:1-4) 19. The Disciple's Study Bible has a wonderful summary note on the Holy Spirit writing... The Spirit is not a possession we hold on to but a Person we love and obey. People must choose between the way of the flesh or sinful nature and the way of the Spirit. We should choose "the Spirit of life'' (Ro 8:2-note), "the Spirit'' (Ro 8:4-note), "the Spirit of Christ'' (Ro 8:9-note), "the Spirit of Him Who raised Jesus'' (God, Ro 8:11-note), "the Spirit of God'' (Ro 8:14-note), and "the Spirit of sonship'' (Ro 8:15-note). The Spirit gives life (Ro 8:2-note), peace (Ro 8:6-note), freedom (Ro 8:9-note), leadership (Ro 8:14-note), assurance (Ro 8:16-note), hope (Ro 8:23-note; Ro 8:24-note), and help (Ro 8:26-note). The Spirit is with all Christians (Ro 8:9-note, Ro 8:14-note). The Spirit makes Christians God's children and able to say "Father'' when we pray (Ro 8:15-note). The Spirit assures us that we are in fact God's children (Ro 8:16-note), and that, even though we pass through much suffering, we will eventually share in the glory of Christ (Ro 8:17-note). With all this we remain free. We must choose to follow the Spirit, to live according to the Spirit (Ro 8:5-note), to set our minds on what the Spirit desires (Ro 8:5-note), to be controlled by the Spirit (Ro 8:9-note), to put to death the old way of life (Ro 8:13-note), and to be led by the Spirit (Ro 8:18-note). These phrases all refer to a serious commitment to live as Christians with the help of God's Spirit. This includes high moral standards (Ro 8:4-note) and more. Obeying the Spirit means a personal loyalty and obedience to Christ which expresses itself by following the leadership of the Spirit in all life's decisions. This is active cooperation as well as passive yielding. The Spirit's work is not irresistible. The Spirit prefers to wait and allow us to obey His leadership freely. Paul's call to obey the Spirit makes no sense at all if the Spirit is only an impersonal power or force. The Spirit is personal, and this leads to the commands to respond to the Spirit in a fully personal manner. (Disciple's Study Bible) (Bolding added) 20. William ewell (Romans 8) writes in his excellent commentary that we have now come to that great chapter which sets forth that part in our salvation which is exercised by the third Person of the Godhead, the blessed Holy Spirit. Without Christ's work on the cross there would be no salvation, and without the presence and constant operation of the Holy Spirit, there would be no application of that salvation to us, -indeed, no revelation of it to us! Let us therefore with the profoundest reverence, and greatest gladness, take up the study here in

Romans Eight of that work of the Holy Spirit which is directly concerned with our salvation: for Romans is a book of salvation. Jesus Christ and Him crucified is the message that concerns salvation. Christ Jesus and Him glorified is that which concerns our perfecting as believers. The latter, other epistles will unfold more fully. But the teaching of the work of the Holy Ghost in Romans regards His fundamental operations, -just as it is fundamental phases of Christ's work that are presented here. "The Eighth Chapter of Romans is the instinctive goal of the Christian. Whether or not he can tell why--whether or not he can give the great doctrinal facts that give him comfort here, he is, nevertheless, like a storm-tossed mariner who has arrived at his home port, and has cast anchor, when he comes into Romans Eight!... This Eighth of Romans, then, comes after the work of Christ-after His atoning blood has put the believer's sins away; after he has seen, also, that he died with Christ, -to sin, and also to that legal responsibility he had in Adam; after the words, "Sin shall not have dominion over you, for ye are not under Law, but under Grace"; and, finally, after the hopeless struggle of the apostle has shown "the flesh" to be incurably bad; and that there is a blessed deliverance, which, though not changing "the body of this death, " nevertheless gives freedom there from "through our Lord Jesus Christ."...

21. Living Stream Ministry, “But the liberation that Paul speaks of and that Christians long for is almost wholly the issue of the operation of the organic law in Romans 8. It is organic because Paul indicates that the righteous requirement of the law, rather than just being judicially satisfied once for all, is continually being fulfilled in us as we walk according to the Spirit in our spirit (8:4). Without an organic view of the law in Romans 8, several aspects of the divine truth in this chapter are difficult to comprehend, much less experience. These aspects include: 1) Paul’s continuing focus on the law through the operation of the law of the Spirit of life, 2) Paul’s interchangeable use of terms for God, Christ, and the Spirit in verses 9 through 11, 3) Paul’s emphasis on the subjective operation of the organic law in the various parts of man, and ultimately 4) the connection that Paul draws between the organic operation of this law and the fulfillment of God’s purpose. Within the thirty-nine verses of Romans 8, Paul covers an exhaustive array of topics related to the economy of God’s salvation, including Christ’s incarnation (v. 3), death (vv. 32, 34), resurrection (v. 34), ascension (v. 34), and indwelling (v. 10); the Spirit’s indwelling (vv. 9, 11), leading (v. 14), witnessing (v. 16), and interceding (v. 27); and the believer’s predestination, conformation, and glorification (vv. 29-30). Within the last category alone, Paul speaks of the love of God in initiating and safeguarding the believer’s position in Christ (vv. 35-39), the operation of the Spirit in conforming our inward parts to Christ (vv. 6, 10-11), and the arrangement of our outward environment for the fulfillment of God’s purpose (v. 28). Given the broad range of topics in Paul’s discourse, it is difficult to identify the subject of Romans 8. Many suggest that the subject of Romans 8 is the Spirit in contrast to the law in Romans 7. While this suggestion certainly satisfies the neat dichotomy that is proposed by proponents of the Law-Gospel hermeneutic of Reformation theology[1], it is insufficient when considered in the context of the first seven chapters of Romans. In the chapters leading up to Romans 8, Paul spends a considerable amount of time dealing with the subject of the law, including the condemnation of God upon humankind generally for its

failure to live up to the standards of God’s righteousness, holiness, and glory (1:18-32), upon the self-righteous particularly (2:1-16), on the religious specifically (2:17--3:8), and on the world totally (3:9-20). In 3:21--5:11 Paul presents the matter of justification according to God’s way, including the definition of justification in 3:21-31, the example of justification in 4:1-25, and the result of justification in 5:1-11.[2] His treatment of the law in Romans, however, involves far more than just objective condemnation due to the fall and the entrance of sin into the world. He deals with sin and sins on an organic level because the consequences of the fall have wrought a level of destructive activity within us that is the very precipitate of God’s condemnation. In Romans 5:12 Paul says, “Through one man sin entered into the world, and through sin, death; and thus death passed on to all men because all have sinned,” and in verse 19 he says, “Through the disobedience of one man the many were constituted sinners.” Because of the fall, our problem goes deeper than just the committing of some sinful acts; rather, we have a sinful nature, that is, we have been constituted sinners in our inner being. o amount of resolution in our will, change in our mind, or good deeds in our body will wipe away the fact that we have been constituted with a sinful nature as a consequence of Adam’s disobedience. The written Law of God exposes this reality to man. The ravages of death and sin were present in the world but generally unknown until the Law was given (5:13). The Law exposes our sinful nature (7:7), revealing that sin is an organic law that reigns in us (5:21), enslaves us (6:6), dwells in us (7:20), operates in our members, and captures us (v. 23). In Romans 7 the objective, written Law of God only exposes our utter inability to match God’s standard of righteousness, holiness, and glory by activating the law of sin and death in our members. The Law cannot release us from the bondage of the law of sin and of death; it only makes evident our need of the Gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes (1:16). It positions us to receive God’s objective justification through faith, apart from works of the law (3:21), but it cannot deal with the problem of our inward sinful constitution. A higher law is needed for this. Justification reconciles us to God and brings us into an organic realm in which the life of God can operate in us as a law (5:10), inwardly enabling us to be constituted righteous by virtue of being joined to Christ through His death and resurrection (v. 19; 7:4). Given the general focus on the subject of law in Romans 1:18--7, including Paul’s reference to the Law of God which activates the law of good in his mind and exposes the operation of the law of sin and death in his members, it is shortsighted to say that the subject of Romans 8 is merely the Spirit. This is especially true since Paul begins this chapter with a triumphal declaration of freedom based on the working of the law of the Spirit of life. Contrary to the neat dichotomy of Reformation theology that suggests that the Law is operative in Romans 7, but that the Gospel is operative in Romans 8, there is a continuity of thought within Paul in regard to the operation of spontaneous, natural, organic laws. Whereas the unregenerate can be motivated by the law of good in his mind, but crushed by the law of sin and death in his members, a believer who has been joined to Christ has another law operating in his being. Paul introduces the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus in verse 2, and then spends the remainder of the chapter developing a full definition of this law, including its organic nature, operation, and issue. Only an understanding of the nature of this organic law of the Spirit of life can explain Paul’s experiential references to the Triune God in Romans 8. In the span of just three verses, for example, Paul refers to the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, Christ, and the Spirit of the One

who raised Jesus from the dead with a startling degree of interchangeability (vv. 9-11). Paul is not making a theological statement about the Trinity in Himself in these verses, but rather about the Trinity in our experience of His economic salvation. either is he suggesting that three separate Gods indwell the regenerated believer, but rather that the Triune God, having undergone a process of incarnation, death, resurrection, and ascension, is now able to be fully realized in the believers. To touch the Spirit of God is to touch the Spirit of Christ, and to touch the Spirit of Christ is to touch Christ. In Union with Christ: A Biblical View of the ew Life in Jesus Christ, Lewis B. Smedes comments: One thing must be clear: to live in the Spirit and to live in Christ are one and the same. Probably the most striking passage is Romans 8:9-10: “But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God really dwells in you.…But if Christ is in you, although your bodies are dead because of sin, your spirits are alive because of righteousness.” Several things bid for attention in this passage. First, Paul makes no distinction between having the Spirit in us and having Christ in us. They are one and the same. Second, Paul does make a distinction between being “in the Spirit” and having the Spirit in us; evidently, having the Spirit within is a necessary corollary of one’s being “in the Spirit.” Being “in the Spirit” suggests one’s involvement in an objective situation; having the Spirit in him suggests a change in the condition of one’s own life. Third, Paul makes no distinction between the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of God. And therefore he makes no distinction between the Spirit of God and Christ as a reality within us. (43-44) In a conclusion to a discussion of 1 Corinthians 6:17 and 15:45, 2 Corinthians 3:6, John 6:63, and Romans 8:9-11, James D. G. Dunn states: These passages make it abundantly clear that for Paul no distinction can be detected in the believer’s experience between exalted Christ and Spirit of God. The experience of new life and of charismatic endowment can be referred equally to God, the Spirit and the exalted Christ; the experience of intimate union with the exalted Christ is only possible insofar as Christ can be understood and recognized in terms of spiritual power. If Christ is the definition of the Spirit, then the Spirit is the medium for Christ in his relation to men. If the Spirit of God is now to be recognized only by the Jesuscharacter of the spiritual experience he engenders, then it is also true that for Paul Christ can be experienced now only in and through the Spirit, indeed only as the Spirit. (146) The events and experiences of the Triune God in His process of becoming one with man and making man one with Him are the very elements of the “Jesus-character” that have been compounded into the Spirit and made available to the believers. This process involves incarnation, death, resurrection, and ascension, and Paul was clearly mindful of this process in his presentation of the definition of the law of the Spirit of life throughout the remaining verses in Romans 8. In verse 3 Paul begins by referring to the incarnation, establishing it as the initiation of God’s dealing with sin. The presence of sin in the world and its all-encompassing reach necessitated a seminal event in the history of humankind: “God, sending His own Son in the likeness of the flesh of sin and concerning sin, condemned sin in the flesh” (v. 3). In the redeeming death of Christ, sin was condemned in His flesh on the cross, and His death destroyed sin, sins, death, and the one who has the power of death, the devil. In resurrection this all-conquering life has been made available through the Spirit: “And if the Spirit of the One who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal

bodies through His Spirit who indwells you” (v. 11). A footnote to this verse in the Recovery Version of the ew Testament summarizes the depths of the divine revelation in verse 11. In this verse we have (1) the entire Triune God--“the One who raised Jesus from the dead,” “Christ Jesus,” and “His Spirit who indwells you”; (2) the process required for His dispensing, as implied in the words Jesus (emphasizing incarnation), Christ (emphasizing crucifixion and resurrection), and raised (emphasizing resurrection); and (3) His dispensing of Himself into the believers, as shown by the words give life to your mortal bodies, which indicate that the dispensing not only occurs at the center of our being but also reaches to the circumference, to our whole being. ( ote 2) Even the ascension of Christ has bearing on the believer’s experience of the elements that have been compounded into the Spirit. He is interceding constantly in the heavens on behalf of the believers for their experience of “all things” for the purpose of the believers’ full conformation to the image of the Firstborn (vv. 34, 28-29). Without the process of Christ’s incarnation, death, resurrection, and ascension, the human condition would be beyond hope, both without and within. Without, the objective standard of God, the Law, activates the reality of sin so that it becomes an insurmountable barrier separating us from God, making us His enemies, and ultimately inviting His well-deserved judgment. Within, the law of sin and death operates in our members to fully bring every aspect of our being into the realm of death. The death of Christ satisfies the objective standard of God on our behalf through the imputation of Christ as righteousness, and the operation of the law of the Spirit of life, being a stronger and higher law, counteracts and nullifies the effects of the law of sin and death. The law of the Spirit of life is not only the issue of the process of incarnation, death, resurrection, and ascension; it is the application and realization of the processed Triune God in our experience. “The law of the Spirit of life is the processed Triune God becoming the life-giving Spirit to dwell in us. This means that the processed Triune God is Himself the law of the Spirit of life. Just as sin is a person--Satan--so this law is also a Person--the Triune God” (Lee 696). The phrase the law of the Spirit of life implies that this law is related to the Spirit who, in turn, is related to life. This law is wholly organic in its nature, content, and function.[3] Its nature consists of the life of God, which is available to man through the death of Christ. Its content is the processed Triune God, who is realized in our experience as the life-giving Spirit. And in its function, the righteous requirement of the law is spontaneously fulfilled as we walk according to the Spirit of life in our spirit that has been made life (v. 10). Proponents of the Law-Gospel hermeneutic suggest that all of Scripture can be divided into one of two categories. The first category, Law, presents God’s demands based on His righteousness, holiness, and glory, and ultimately speaks of God’s condemnation and judgment upon all who fail to satisfy these demands. The second category, Gospel, presents God’s provision of grace through the vicarious death of Christ upon those who are inherently undeserving. While avoiding the obvious difficulty that this hermeneutic has in addressing all of the biblical data concerning the organic aspects of our salvation,[4] it is certainly clear that this dichotomy can only be sustained when the Scriptures are viewed from a purely judicial perspective. Judicially speaking, Christ is the end of the Law (10:4); that is, when the gospel of Christ becomes effectual through believing, the function of the Law as a child-conductor unto Christ ends. The beginning of the Gospel is the end of the Law in the judicial aspect of God’s salvation. There is, however, an organic aspect of God’s salvation. We may be reconciled to God through

the death of His Son, but we still need to be saved in His life (5:10). When this aspect is considered, the judicial hermeneutic of a distinction between Law and Gospel falters in its ability to explain the biblical revelation. More importantly, however, it falters in its ability to bring believers into the full experience of God’s salvation. When the organic aspect of God’s salvation is considered, instead of encountering a gospel that is merely judicially distinct from the law, we find a gospel that is organically one with the organic law of the Spirit of life. The gospel in Galatians is principally organic. It reveals that the issue of our believing is being joined and united to the processed Triune God. Believing in Christ, we received the Spirit as the blessing of Abraham. In our receiving of the Spirit, Christ is revealed in us for the purpose of living in us and becoming full-grown in us. At this point our identity as the seed of Abraham and Christ’s identity as the seed are utterly joined as one. The law of the Spirit of life in Romans 8 is principally organic as well. It is constituted of the processed Triune God who spontaneously operates in our being as life through the Spirit who has been consummated through the process of Christ’s incarnation, death, resurrection, and ascension. The very elements of this process have also been compounded into the Spirit, thereby freeing us from the outward demands of the Law by inwardly fulfilling the righteous requirement of the law as we walk according to the Spirit in our spirit. The organic gospel in Galatians is equivalent to the functioning of the organic operation of the law of the Spirit of life in Romans 8. This law, which takes sinners and reconstitutes them as sons and heirs who ultimately bear the image of the Firstborn, is not only the means by which Christ lives in us and is ultimately formed in us but this law actually is Christ living and being formed in us. The organic gospel is a living person, the processed Triune God, being joined to us for the sake of God’s eternal expression, and the organic law in Romans 8 is also a living person, the same processed Triune God, being joined to every part of us for the sake of His eternal expression. The Law-Gospel hermeneutic principally speaks of our separation from God, certainly prior to faith in Christ, but even in the aftermath of our justification in Christ, because of the insistence of Reformed theologians on maintaining an objective distinction between God and His redeemed throughout the entire ew Testament, even in the portions of the divine revelation that clearly fall within the Reformed definition of Gospel. In contrast, the organic gospel in Galatians and the organic law in Romans 8 principally speak of our union with the Triune God, thereby dissolving the distance between God and us by bringing us fully into the realm and experience of God’s divine, active, and flourishing life.” 22. Grace Community Church, “Let me try and explain something how this works. When Dr. Paul Brand began working with leprosy patients in India he had a number of problems to help them overcome. One was appearances. Leprosy patients had damaged noses and eyebrows. What was worse was the effect of Hansen's disease (what they now call leprosy) on the hands. The fingers would loose their ability to work and become atrophied. So Dr. Brand would solve this problem by rewiring the tendons from the smaller less important fingers to the more important thumb and forefinger. It was like a miracle because the new wires, the tendons would correct the problem. But, Dr. Brand encountered a problem he did not expect. When he did this, the person's brain would tell the little finger to move, and the finger rewired with the tendons from the little finger would move. The trouble was, he could change the tendon's connection, but the brain would still think it was wired in the old way. He found that only the younger patients had brains that could adjust to this new way of the finger's working. Something like this has happened to us. Our brains, our minds have been so fixed on our own

desires and our ways that God's change in us does not seem to work the way it should. Our minds, if they are still in control of our old desires, tell us to do what the old desires want. Only by having our minds under the control of the Holy Spirit can we begin to please God. Our minds are caught up in the pattern of sinful living. We need the Holy Spirit to direct our minds to to the way of Christ. This is what I would call: ew Life through the Control of the Indwelling Spirit. Is your mind still under the control of the sin nature, your old sinful desires? If God's Spirit lives in you, His plan is for the Spirit to control and direct your way of thinking and living. The fruit of the Spirit's presence is love, joy, peace patience, kindness gentleness, and self-control. 23. Maclaren, “We have to distinguish two meanings of law. In the stricter sense, it signifies the authoritative expressions of the will of a ruler proposed for the obedience of man ; in the wider, almost figurative sense, it means nothing more than the generalized expression of constant similar facts. For instance, objects attract one another in certain circumstances with a force which in the same circumstances is always the same. When that fact is stated generally, we get the law of gravitation. Thus the word comes to mean little more than a regular process. In our text the word is used in a sense much nearer the latter than the former of these two. 'The law of sin and of death' cannot mean a series of commandments ; it certainly does not mean the Mosaic law. It must either be entirely figurative, taking sin and death as two great tyrants who domineer over men ; or it must mean the continuous action of these powers, the process by which they work. These two come substantially to the same idea. The law of sin and of death describes a certain constancy of operation, uniform and fixed, under the dominion of which men are struggling. But there is another constancy of operation, uniform and fixed too, a mighty antagonistic power, which frees from the dominion of the former : it is ' the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.' The Apostle is speaking about himself as he was, and we have our own consciousness to verify his transcript of his own personal experience. Paul had found that, by an inexorable iron sequence, sin worked in himself the true death of the soul, in separation from God, in the extinction of good and noble capacities, in the atrophying of all that was best in himself, in the death of joy and peace. And this iron sequence he, with an eloquent paradox, calls a 'law,' though its very characteristic is that it is lawless transgression of the true law of humanity. He so describes it, partly, because he would place emphasis on its dominion over us. Sin rules with iron sway ; men madly obey it, and even when they think themselves free, are under a bitter tyranny. Further, he desires to emphasize the fact that sin and death are parts of one process which operates constantly and uniformly. This dark anarchy and wild chaos of disobedience and transgression has its laws. All happens there according to rule. Rigid and inevitable as the courses of the stars, or the fall of the leaf from the tree, is sin hurrying on to its natural goal in death. In this fatal dance, sin leads in death ; the one fair spoken and full of dazzling promises, the other in the end throws off the mask, and slays. It is true of all who listen to the tempting voice, and the deluded victim 'knows not that the dead are there, and that her guests are in the depth of hell.' The previous chapter sounded the depths of human impotence, and showed the tragic impossibility of human efforts to strip off the poisoned garment. Here the Apostle tells the wonderful story of how he himself was delivered, in the full rejoicing confidence that what availed for his emancipation would equally avail for every captive soul. Because he himself has experienced a divine power which breaks the dreadful sequence of sin and of death, he knows

that every soul may share in the experience. o mere outward means will be sufficient to emancipate a spirit ; no merely intellectual methods will avail to set free the passions and desires which have been captured by sin. It is vain to seek deliverance from a perverted will by any republication, however emphatic, of a law of duty. othing can touch the necessities of the case but a gift of power which becomes an abiding influence in us, and develops a mightier energy to overcome the evil tendencies of a sinful soul. That communicated power must impart life. othing short of a Spirit of life, quick and powerful, with an immortal and intense energy, will avail to meet the need. Such a Spirit must give the life which it possesses, must quicken and bring into action dormant powers in the spirit that it would free. It must implant new energies and directions, new motives, desires, tastes, and tendencies. It must bring into play mightier attractions to neutralize and deaden existing ones; as when to some chemical compound a substance is added which has a stronger affinity for one of the elements, a new thing is made. Paul's experience, which he had a right to cast into general terms and potentially to extend to all mankind, had taught him that such a new life for such a spirit had come to him. by union with Jesus Christ. Such a union, deep and mystical as it is, is, thank God, an experience universal in all true Christians, and constitutes the very heart of the Gospel which Paul rejoiced to believe was entrusted to his hands for the world. His great message of ' Christ in us ' has been wof ully curtailed and mangled when his other message of ' Christ for us ' has been taken, as it too often has been, to be the whole of his Gospel. They who take either of these inseparable elements to be the whole, rend into two imperfect halves the perfect oneness of the Gospel of Christ. We are often told that Paul was the true author of Christian doctrine, and are bidden to go back from him to Jesus. If we do so, we hear His grave sweet voice uttering in the upper-room the deep words, ' I am the Vine, ye are the branches ' ; and, surely, Paul is but repeating, without metaphor, what Christ, once for all, set forth in that lovely emblem, when he says that ' the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death.' The branches in their multitude make the Vine in its unity, and the sap which rises from the deep root through the brown stem, passes to every tremulous leaf, and brings bloom and savor into every cluster. Jesus drew His emblem from the noblest form of vegetative life ; Paul, in other places, draws his from the highest form of bodily life, when he points to the many members in one body, and the Head which governs all, and says, ' So also is Christ.' In another place he points to the noblest form of earthly love and unity. The blessed fellowship and sacred oneness of husband and wife are an emblem sweet, though inadequate, of the fellowship in love and unity of spirit between Christ and His Church. And all this mysterious oneness of life has an in- tensely practical side. In Jesus, and by union with Him, we receive a power that delivers from sin and arrests the stealthy progress of sin's follower, death. Love to Him, the result of fellowship with Him, and the consequence of life received from Him, becomes the motive which makes the redeemed heart delight to do His will, and takes all the power out of every temptation. We are in Him, and He in us, on condition, and by means, of our humble faith ; and because my faith thus knits me to Him it is ' the victory that overcomes the world,' and breaks the chains of many sins. So this communion with Jesus Christ

is the way by which we shall increase that triumphant spiritual life, which is the only victorious antagonist of the else inevitable consequence which declares that the ' soul that sinneth it shall die,' and die even in sinning. The process of the deliverance. Following the R.V. we read ' made me free,' not ' hath made me.' The reference is obviously, as the Greek more clearly shows, to a single historical event, which some would take to be the Apostle's baptism, but which is more properly supposed to be his conversion. His strong bold language here does not mean that he claims to be sinless. The emancipation is effected, although it is but begun. He holds that at that moment when Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus, and he yielded to Him as Lord, his deliverance was real, though not complete. He was conscious of a real change of position in reference to that law of sin and of death. Paul distinguishes between the true self and the accumulation of selfish and sensual habits which make up so much of ourselves. The deeper and purer self may be vitalized in will and heart, and set free even while the emancipation is not worked out in the life. The parable of the leaven applies in the individual renewal ; and there is no fanaticism, and no harm, in Paul's point of view, if only it be remembered that sins by which passion and externals overbear my better self are mine in responsibility and in consequences. Thus guarded, we may be wholly right in thinking of all the evils which still cleave to the renewed Christian soul as not being part of it, but destined to drop away. And this bold declaration is to be vindicated as a prophetic confidence in the supremacy and ultimate dominion of the new power which works even through much antagonism in an imperfect Christian. Paul, too, calls 'things that are not as though they were.' If my spirit of life is the 'Spirit of life in Christ,' it will go on to perfection. It is Spirit, therefore it is informing and conquering the material ; it is a divine Spirit, therefore it is omnipotent; it is the Spirit of life, leading in and imparting life like itself, which is kindred with it and is its source; it is the Spirit of life in Christ, therefore leading to life like His, bringing us to conformity with Him because the same causes produce the same effects ; it is a life in Christ having a law and regular orderly course of development. So, just as if we have the germ we may hope for fruit, and can see the infantile oak in the tightly-shut acorn, or in the egg the creature which shall afterward grow there, we have in this gift of the Spirit, the victory. If we have the cause, we have the effects implicitly folded in it ; and we have but to wait further development. The Christian life is to be one long effort, partial, and gradual, to unfold the freedom possessed. Paul knew full well that his emancipation was not perfect. It was, probably, after this triumphant expression of confidence that he wrote, ' ot as though I had already attained, either were already perfect.' The first stage is the gift of power, the appropriation and development of that power is the work of a life ; and it ought to pass through a well-marked series and cycle of growing changes. The way to develop it is by constant application to the source of all freedom, the lifegiving Spirit, and by constant effort to conquer sins and temptations. There is no such thing in the Christian conflict as a painless development. We must mortify the deeds of the body if we are to live in the Spirit. The Christian progress has in it the nature of a crucifixion. It is to be effort, steadily directed for the sake of Christ, and in the joy of His Spirit, to destroy sin, and to win practical holiness. Homely moralities are the outcome and the test of all pretensions to spiritual communion.

We are, further, to perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord, by ' waiting for the Redemption,' which is not merely passive waiting, but active expectation, as of one who stretches out a welcoming hand to an approaching friend. or must we forget that this accomplished deliverance is but partial whilst upon earth. ' The body is dead because of sin, but the spirit is life because of righteousness.' But there may be indefinite approximation to complete deliverance. The metaphors in Scripture under which Christian progress is described, whether drawn from a conflict or a race, or from a building, or from the growth of a tree, all suggest the idea of constant advance against hindrances, which yet, constant though it is, does not reach the goal here. And this is our noblest earthly- condition — not to be pure, but to be tending towards it and conscious of impurity. Hence our tempers should be those of humility, strenuous effort, firm hope. We are as slaves who have escaped, but are still in the wilderness, with the enemies' dogs baying at our feet ; but we shall come to the land of freedom, on whose sacred soil sin and death can never tread.”

3. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature,[b] God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. [c] And so he condemned sin in sinful man,[d]
1. Paul is somewhat shocking here, for he is saying much of the Old Testament, though it is the Word of God, is inadequate to liberate man from his sinful nature. So now we know why the Old Testament is so filled with sin, failure and violent judgment. It was a time in history before God gave man what was a needed weapon to win the victory over sin. What God gave in the law was good, but it was not powerful enough to overcome the sin nature of man. The Old Testament could say “thou shalt not”, but it could not say, “here is the power to not do it.” The law just could not help man be all God meant him to be. 2. God solved this problem by sending his son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. He was not a sinful man, but he had all of the likenesses of the ordinary man who was bound by a sinful nature. He was endowed with a perfect and sinless nature, and that made him the only possible valid offering for the sins of man. Only a perfect specimen of a man could be made a sacrifice for sin, and since such perfect specimens were more than just scarce, but completely non existent in the human race, God had to send his own son to be that perfect specimen. When Jesus died for the sins of the world, he condemned sin in sinful man. Sin was condemned and so it was no longer able to keep man separated from God. It did before his sacrifice, and so man had to come to God through the priests who would intercede to God for them, or they had to hear from God through the prophet who spoke from God to them. Sin always kept up some sort of fence or barrier between God and man. Jesus condemned sin so that it could no longer maintain this barrier and blockage. ow sinners, by his grace, can come before God and deal with their sin issues individually, and personally. The wall of sin was crumbled like the wall of Jericho when Jesus said, “It is finished.” The temple curtain tore in half, and the wall came tumbling down, and man was free to approach God directly. He was also enabled to have the power to overcome

sin, for by being condemned sin lost its absolute control over the sinful nature of man. 3. Henry wrote, “The law could not do it, Rom_8:3. It could neither justify nor sanctify, neither free us from the guilt nor from the power of sin, having not the promises either of pardon or grace. The law made nothing perfect: It was weak. Some attempt the law made towards these blessed ends, but, alas! it was weak, it could not accomplish them: yet that weakness was not through any defect in the law, but through the flesh, through the corruption of human nature, by which we became incapable either of being justified or sanctified by the law. We had become unable to keep the law, and, in case of failure, the law, as a covenant of works, made no provision, and so left us as it found us. Or understand it of the ceremonial law; that was a plaster not wide enough for the wound, it could never take away sin, Heb_10:4. What was done by this appearance of his: Sin was condemned, that is, God did therein more than ever manifest his hatred of sin; and not only so, but for all that are Christ's both the damning and the domineering power of sin is broken and taken out of the way. He that is condemned can neither accuse nor rule; his testimony is null, and his authority null. Thus by Christ is sin condemned; though it live and remain, its life in the saints is still but like that of a condemned malefactor. it was by the condemning of sin that death was disarmed, and the devil, who had the power of death, destroyed. The condemning of sin saved the sinner from condemnation. Christ was made sin for us (2Co_5:21), and, being so made, when he was condemned sin was condemned in the flesh of Christ, condemned in the human nature.” 4. The law was never meant to save, for God did not plan for man to be able to save himself by obedience to law. It was designed to show man he could not save himself and that he needed a Savior. The law was not the problem but the sinful nature of man that made it impossible to obey it. Jesus became what we are that we might become what he is. The law could reveal sin, but only Jesus could deal with sin, and he did so by becoming flesh, for that is where sin reigned. 4B. Beet, “Sinai was powerless to save, because our flesh was too weak to throw off the bondage of sin. Just so a rope is powerless to save the drowning man who has not strength to grasp it. Whereas even such might be saved by the living arms of a strong man. " If the flesh could do what the mind approves, the law would be able, by revealing the badness of the rule of sin, to dethrone it, and thus save us. But the flesh cannot drive out its dread inhabitant. Conseq., the law, which cannot breathe new strength into the flesh, but only knowledge into the mind, is too weak to save us. Condemned sin : proclaimed the doom of sin. 'Since sin has been represented as a ruler, its doom must be dethronement. In the flesh : by sending His own Son in a body of flesh like that in which sin had set up its throne, and by sending Him because of sin and to save us from sin, God proclaimed in the midst of the empire of sin that that empire will be overthrown. The birth of Christ was an invasion of a province which sin had seduced into revolt and brought under its own sway. When we see the king's son enter the revolted province without opposition, and know that he has come because of the revolt, we are sure that the king is both able and determined to overthrow the rule of the usurper. The presence of the king's son proclaims the usurper's coming dethronement. 4C. Wiersbe, “"The 'law of double jeopardy' states that a man cannot be tried twice for the same crime. Since Jesus Christ paid the penalty for your sins, and since you are 'in Christ,' God will

not condemn you." 5. Haldane sees in this verse, 1. Our Misery in the natural state. 2. God’s Mercy in sending His Son. 3. Christ’s Ministry for our salvation. Haldane goes on, “This verse confirms the interpretation that has been given of the preceding, with which it stands connected. It is introduced to explain what is said in the two preceding verses. Both this and the following verse are illustrations of that great truth, that to the believer in Christ there is no condemnation. There are here three principal considerations : namely, the misery of our natural condition ; the mercy of God in the incarnation of His Son ; and the effect of sending Him into the world, which is our redemption. Under these three heads, the Apostle removes the difficulties that might present themselves from the supposition that, on account of some imperfection in the law, it could not justify. In answer to this, it is here shown that the imperfection is not in the law, but in us. The law could justify those who fulfilled it, as it is said, The man that doeth them shall live in them ; but the corruption of human nature renders this impossible. And as it might be objected that the law, which subjects every transgressor to death, is violated by the freedom from it which we obtain by the death of Jesus Christ, the Apostle shows that the punishment it demands was inflicted upon Him. Hence the first proposition, that there is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, is established ; and in the following verse it is added, that the law, which we were required to fulfil, has by Him been fulfilled in us. In this view, the justice of God, which naturally terrifies man, inspires us with confidence. For if God is just, will He exact double payment and satisfaction ? Will He condemn those for whom the Surety has borne the condemnation ? o ; He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, for the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh. The law here meant is the same as that spoken of in the end of the pre ceding verse, namely, the moral law, under which our first parents in the state of innocence were placed, and which was afterwards promulgated by the ministry of Moses. This law was ordained to life, ch. vii. 10, that is, to justify man, if he had remained in innocence ; but by his sinning it condemns him, as the Apostle adds, I found it to be unto death ; so that the law, the breach of which constitutes sin, and which on account of this awards death, is now unable to justify, but powerful to condemn. This verse proves that the method which God takes to justify the sinner is entirely consistent with law and justice. First, the Apostle shows the necessity of this method. For what the law could not do, in that it ivas weak through the flesh. What is it that the law could not do? It could not justify. Mr. Frazer, however, says that the reason of this alleged weakness of the law forbids this interpretation. That, says he, is not the reason why the law cannot justify. But surely it is the very reason why the law cannot justify. Were it not for the weakness of the flesh, or the corruption and sinfulness of man, the law could justify.

God sending His own Son. God sent His Son to do that which the law could not do. He sent Him in consequence of His great love to His people, 1 John iv. 9 ; and as the accomplishment of His Divine purpose, Acts iv. 28. The object, then, of Christ s mission was not merely that of a messenger or witness ; it was to effect the salvation of guilty sinners in the way of righteousness. He did what the law could not do. The law could justify those only by whom it was observed ; but it could not justify or save those who should violate even the least of its commands. But Christ Jesus both justifies and saves the ungodly.

In the likeness of sinful flesh. Jesus Christ was sent, not in the likeness of flesh, but in the flesh. He was sent, however, not in sinful flesh, but in the likeness of sinful flesh. othing can more clearly prove that the Lord Jesus Christ, though He assumed our nature, took it without taint of siri or corruption. To His perfect holiness the Scriptures bear the fullest testimony. He knew no sin. The prince of this world cometh and hath nothing in Me. He was holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners. His absolute freedom from sin was indispensable. As God becoming manifest in the flesh, He could not unite Himself to a nature tainted with the smallest impurity. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, and did not spring from Adam by ordinary generation ; and, not belonging to his covenant, had no part in his sin. His freedom from sin, original and actual, was necessary, in order that He should be offered as a Lamb without blemish and without spot, so that He might be the truth of His types, the legal sacrifices, which it was expressly provided should be free from all blemish ; thus distinctly in dicating this transcendent characteristic of Him who was to be the one great sacrifice. If the flesh of Jesus Christ was the likeness of sinful flesh, there must be a difference between the appearance of sinful flesh and our nature, or flesh in its original state when Adam was created. Christ, then, was not made in the likeness of the flesh of man before sin entered the world, but in the likeness of his fallen flesh. Though He had no corruption in His nature, yet He had all the sinless infirmities of our flesh. The person of man, in his present state, may be greatly different from what it was when Adam came from the hand of his Creator. Our bodies, as they are at present, are called the bodies of our humiliation, Phil. iii. 21. Jesus Christ was made in man s present likeness. Tradition speaks of the beauty of His person when on earth ; but this is the wisdom of man. The Scriptures nowhere represent Christ in His manhood as distinguished by personal beauty. o observation of this kind, proceeding either from His friends or enemies, is recorded in the Gospels. And for sin. The reason of the mission of our Lord Jesus Christ into the world of His incarnation and humiliation was the abolition of sin, its destruction, both as to its guilt and power. The same expression

occurs, 1 Pet. iii. 18, Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God. It is sin that is the cause of separation from God; and by its removal reconciliation is made, and peace restored. Condemned sin in the flesh. Here, by the flesh is meant, not the body of Jesus Christ only, but His human nature. In this sense the word flesh is used where it is said, the Word was made flesh, that is to say, was made man, and took our nature, composed of body and soul. The nature and the person who suffered must also be distinguished. Respect ing the person, it is Jesus Christ, God and man ; as to the nature in which lie suffered, it is in the flesh. Of the person we can say that it is God, as the Apostle says that God hath purchased the Church with His own blood, and consequently that His suffering was of infinite value, since it is that of an infinite person ; and this is the more evident, since Jesus Christ is Mediator in both His natures, and not in His human nature only. For if this were so, His suffering would be finite, since His human nature, in which alone He could suffer, by which He offered His sacrifice, was in itself only finite ; and if He had been Mediator only as to His human nature which, however, could not be, as He represents both God and man He could not have been the Mediator of the Old Testa ment, when He had not taken the human nature. And as it is necessary that, in regard to His person, we should consider Jesus Christ suffer ing, it is also necessary that we consider that it was in the flesh that He suffered, that is to say, in our nature, which He took and joined person ally to the Divine nature. In this we may admire the wisdom of God, who caused sin to be punished and destroyed in the human nature, in which it had been committed. Condemned sin. Condemnation is here taken for the punishment of sin. God punished sin in Christ s human nature. This is the method that God took to justify sinners. It was God who, by His determinate counsel and foreknowledge, Acts ii. 23, punished sin by inflicting those sufferings on Christ of which men were only the instruments. Sin had corrupted the flesh of man, and in that very flesh it was condemned. The guilt and punishment of sin are eminently seen in the death of Christ. owhere else is sin so completely judged and condemned. ot even in hell are its guilt and demerits so fully manifested. What must be its demerit, if it could be atoned for by nothing but the death of the Son of God ? and what can afford clearer evidence of God s determination to punish sin to the utmost extent of its demerit, than that He thus punished it even when laid on the head of His only-begotten Son. In all this we see the Father assuming the place of judge against His Son, in order to become the Father of those who were His enemies. The Father condemns the Son of His love, that He may absolve the children of wrath. If we inquire into the cause that moved God to save us by such means, what can we say, but that it proceeded from. His incompre

hensible wisdom, His ineffable goodness, and the unfathomable depth of His mercies ? For what was there in man that could induce the Creator to act in this manner, since He saw nothing in him, after his rebellion by sin, but what was hateful and offensive ? And what was it but His love that passeth knowledge which induced the only-begotten Son of God to take the form of a servant, to humble Himself even to the death of the cross, and to submit to be despised and rejected of men ? These are the things into which the angels desire to look. But besides the love of God, we see the wonderful display of His justice in condemning sin in His Son, rather than allowing it to go un punished. In this assuredly the work of redemption surpasses that of creation. In creation God had made nothing that was not good, and nothing especially on which He could exercise the rigour of His justice ; but here He punishes our sins to the utmost in Jesus Christ. It may be inquired if, when God condemned sin in His Son, we are to understand this of God the Father, so as to exclude the Son ; or if we can say that God the Son also condemned sin in Himself. This can undoubtedly be affirmed ; for in the Father and the Son there is only one will and one regard for justice ; so that, as it was the will of the Father to require satisfaction for sin from the Son, it was also the will of the Son to humble Himself, and to condemn sin in Himself. We must, however, distinguish between Jesus Christ considered as God, and as our Surety and Mediator. As God, He condemns and punishes sin ; as Mediator, He is Himself condemned and punished for sin. When sin was condemned or punished in the Son of God, to suppose that He felt nothing more than bodily pain, would be to conclude that He had less confidence in God than many martyrs who have gone to death cheerfully, and without fear. The extremity of the pain He suffered when He said in the garden, * My soul is sorrowful even unto death, was the sentiment of the wrath of God against sin, from which martyrs felt themselves delivered. For the curse of the law is principally spiritual, namely, privation of communion with God in the sense of His wrath. Jesus Christ, therefore, was made a curse for us, as the Apostle says, Gal. iii. 13, proving it by the declaration, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree. For this punishment of the cross was the figure and symbol of the spiritual curse of God. As in His body, then, He suffered this most accursed punishment, so likewise in His soul He suffered those pains that are most insupportable, such as are suffered by those finally condemned. But that was only for a short time, the infinity of His person rendering that suffering equivalent to that of an infinity of time. Such, then, was the grief which He experienced when on the cross He cried, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me ? What forsaking was this, unless that for a time God left Him to feel the weight of His indignation against sin ? This feeling is the sovereign evil of the soul, in which consists the griefs of eternal death ; as, on the other hand, the sovereign good of the soul, and that in which the happiness of eternal life consists, is to enjoy

gracious communion with God. In this verse we see the ground of the Apostle s declaration, that there is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, because their sin was punished in Him. This is according to numerous other passages in Scripture, as, Isa. liii. 4-6 ; Gal. iii. 13 ; 1 Pet. ii. 24 ; Rev. v. 9 ; and, as it is said in 1 Tim. ii. 6, who gave Himself a ransom for all. For our sins are debts of which the payment and the satisfaction for them is their punishment a payment without which we were held captives under the wrath and by the justice of God. All this shows that sin was really punished in Jesus Christ ; and it is evident that, according to the justice and truth of God, such a punishment was necessary in order to our redemption. 6. An unknown author wrote, “The O. T. Law was not God’s best gift to man, but His Son was. Jesus did by love what could not be done by law. Love is the ultimate success. Christina Rossetti wrote, Turn all to love, poor soul; Be love thy watch and ward; Be love thy starting point, thy goal,, And thy reward. Since Christ hath my discharge procured And freely in my room, enduredThe whole of wrath divine; Payment God cannot twice demand, First at my bleeding Surety’s hand, And then again at mine. Before Christ sin condemned us, but now in Christ sin is condemned. Jesus came not to condemn man but to condemn sin that made man lost and out of fellowship with God. The law is like a ten foot pole. It cannot make us any taller, but only show how short we are and how far short we fall from the ideal. Grace and love lift us above the ten foot pole and give us dignity. Law puts us down but love lifts us up.”

7. Barnes, “For what the law could not do - The Law of God, the moral law. It could not free from sin and condemnation. This the apostle had fully shown in Rom. 7. In that - Because. It was weak - It was feeble and inefficacious. It could not accomplish it. Through the flesh - In consequence of the strength of sin, and of the evil and corrupt desires of the unrenewed heart. The fault was not in the Law, which was good Rom_7:12, but it was owing to the strength of the natural passions and the sinfulness of the unrenewed heart; see Rom_7:711, where this influence is fully explained. God, sending his own Son - That is, God did, or accomplished, that, by sending his Son, which the Law could not do. The word did, or accomplished, it is necessary to understand here, in order to complete the sense.In the likeness of sinful flesh - That is, he so far resembled sinful flesh that

he partook of flesh, or the nature of man, but without any of its sinful propensities or desires. It was not human nature; not, as the Docetae taught, human nature in appearance only; but it was human nature Without any of its corruptions. And for sin - Margin, “By a sacrifice for sin.” The expression evidently means, by an Offering for sin, or that he was given as a Sacrifice on account of sin. His being given had respect to sin.Condemned sin in the flesh - The flesh is regarded as the source of sin; ote, Rom_7:18. The flesh being the seat and origin of transgression, the atoning sacrifice was made in the likeness of sinful flesh, that thus he might meet sin, as it were, on its own ground, and destroy it. He may be said to have condemned sin in this manner, (1) Because the fact that he was given for it, and died on its account, was a condemnation of it. If sin had been approved by God he would not have made an atonement to secure its destruction. The depth and intensity of the woes of Christ on its account show the degree of abhorrence with which it is regarded by God. (2) The word “condemn” may be used in the sense of destroying, overcoming, or subduing; 2Pe_2:6, “And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them with an overthrow.” In this sense the sacrifice of Christ has no; only condemned sin as being evil, but has weakened its power and destroyed its influence, and will finally annihilate its existence in all who are saved by that death. (By the sacrifice of Christ, God indeed showed his abhorrence of sin, and secured its final overthrow. It is not, however, of the sanctifying influence of this sacrifice, that the apostle seems here to speak, but of its justifying power. The sense, therefore, is that God passed a judicial sentence on sin, in the person of Christ, on account of which, that has been effected which the Law could not effect, (justification namely). Sin being condemned in the human nature of Christ, cannot be condemned and punished in the persons of those represented by him. They must be justified. This view gives consistency to the whole passage, from the first verse to the fourth inclusive. The apostle clearly begins with the subject of justification, when, in the first verse, he affirms, that to them who are in Christ Jesus, there is no condemnation. If the question be put, Why is this? the second verse gives for answer, that believers are delivered from the Law as a covenant of works. (See the foregoing supplementary note). If the question again be put, Whence this deliverance? the third verse points to the sacrifice of Christ, which, the fourth verse assures us, was offered with the very design “that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us.” This clause, according to the principle of interpretation laid down above, does not relate to the believer’s obedience to the righteous requirements of the Law. The apostle has in view a more immediate design of the sacrifice of Christ. The right or demand of the Law δικαίωµα dikaiōma was satisfaction to its injured honor. Its penalty must be borne, as well as its precept obeyed. The sacrifice of Christ answered every claim. And as believers are one with him, the righteousness of the Law has been “fulfilled in them.” The whole passage is thus consistently explained of justification.) 8. Clarke, “For what the law could not do - The law could not pardon; the law could not sanctify; the law could not dispense with its own requisitions; it is the rule of righteousness, and therefore must condemn unrighteousness. This is its unalterable nature. Had there been perfect obedience to its dictates, instead of condemning, it would have applauded and rewarded; but as the flesh, the carnal and rebellious principle, had prevailed, and transgression had taken place, it was rendered weak, inefficient to undo this word of the flesh, and bring the sinner into a state of pardon and acceptance with God.

God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh - Did that which the law could not do; i.e. purchased pardon for the sinner, and brought every believer into the favor of God. And this is effected by the incarnation of Christ: He, in whom dwelt the fullness of the Godhead bodily, took upon him the likeness of sinful flesh, that is, a human body like ours, but not sinful as ours; and for sin, και περι ἁµαρτιας, and as a Sacrifice for Sin, (this is the sense of the word in a multitude of places), condemned sin in the flesh - condemned that to death and destruction which had condemned us to both. Condemned sin in the flesh - The design and object of the incarnation and sacrifice of Christ was to condemn sin, to have it executed and destroyed; not to tolerate it as some think, or to render it subservient to the purposes of his grace, as others; but to annihilate its power, guilt, and being in the soul of a believer. 9. Waggoner, “The Weakness of the Law. The law is strong enough to condemn, but it is weak, even powerless, with respect to what man needs namely, salvation. It was and is "weak through the flesh." The law is good, and holy, and just, but man has no strength to perform it. Just as an ax may be of good steel, and very sharp, yet unable to cut down a tree because the arm that has hold of it has no strength, so the law of God could not perform itself. It set forth man's duty; it remained for him to do it. But he could not, and therefore Christ came to do it in him. What the law could not do, God did by his Son. Likeness of Sinful Flesh. There is a common idea that this means that Christ simulated sinful flesh; that he did not take upon himself actual sinful flesh, but only what appeared to be such. But the Scriptures do not teach such a thing. "In all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people." Heb. 2:17. He was "born of a woman, born under the law," that he might redeem them that were under the law. Gal. 4:4, 5. He took the same flesh that all have who are born of woman. A parallel text to Romans 8:3, 4 is found in 2 Corinthians 5:21. The former says that Christ was sent in the likeness of sinful flesh, "that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us." The latter says that God "made him to be sin for us," although he knew no sin, "that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." "Compassed with Infirmity." All the comfort that we can get from Christ lies in the knowledge that he was made in all things as we are. Otherwise we should hesitate to tell him of our weaknesses and failures. The priest who makes sacrifices for sins must be one "who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity." Heb. 5:2. This applies perfectly to Christ; "for we have not an High Priest which can not be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." Heb. 4:15. This is why we may come boldly to the throne of grace for mercy. So perfectly has Christ identified himself with us, that he even now feels our sufferings.”

10. Gill, “For what the law could not do,.... This is not to be understood of "the law of the mind", in opposition to "the law of sin", which indeed is very feeble and impotent; man had a power originally of obeying the divine commands, but through sin he has lost his strength and power; and even a renewed mind cannot perform what it would, which is owing to the flesh, or corrupt nature; it has strong desires after holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God; but these desires cannot be fulfilled by it, and indeed without Christ it can do no good thing: nor is the ceremonial law intended, though this is weak, and there are many things it could not do; it could not expiate and atone for sin; nor remove the guilt of it, nor cleanse from the filth of it: But the moral law is here designed; this, though it can, and does accuse of sin, can convince of it, can curse, condemn, and condemn to death for it; yet it could not condemn sin itself, which is only abolished by Christ; it cannot restrain from sin, nor change a sinful nature, nor sanctify an impure heart; nor free from the guilt of sin, nor comfort a distressed mind under a sense of it, it cannot subject persons, or bring them to before God, or give life, or save from death; the reason is, in that, or because it was weak through the flesh. The weakness of the law is total and universal, it has no strength at all; though not original and natural, but accidental; it is owing to the flesh, or the corrupt nature of man: or rather the weakness is in sinful men, and not in the law; and the sense is this, that human nature is so weakened by sin, that it is incapable of fulfilling the law; the weakness of the law is not from itself, but from man: to this agrees what the Jewish writers (u) say, "there is not a word in the law "weak", or broken; wherefore when thou considerest and observest it, that thou dost not find it strong, as an hammer that breaks the rocks, ‫ואי חלשא מינך‬ ‫" ,הוא‬but if weak, it is of thyself".'' To which may be added that usual saying of theirs, ‫" ,אין עוז אלה תורה‬there is no strength but the law" (w); unless the apostle can be thought to oppose this notion of theirs. Wherefore because of the weakness of the law, or of human nature to fulfil it, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh. The person sending is God, who gave the law weakened by the flesh, against whom we have sinned: and who is righteous, pure, and holy: which considerations enhance his grace and goodness, in the mission of Christ. This must be understood of God the Father, who is here manifestly distinguished from the Son; and who is God, but not solely, or to the exclusion of the Son and Spirit; and who sent Christ, though not singly, for the "Lord God and his Spirit sent" him, Isa_48:16; though as it is most agreeable for a father to send his son, this is generally ascribed to him; and he being the first person in the Godhead, is the first in order of working, and so in redemption. The person sent is his own Son; not by creation, as angels and men are; nor by adoption, as saints are; nor is he called so, on account of his incarnation, resurrection, or mediatorship, for he was the Son of God antecedent to either of them; but his own proper Son, and not in any metaphorical sense; a Son of the same nature with him, begotten of him, and his Son in that nature in which he is God. The act of sending, does not suppose inequality of nature; for though he that is sent is not greater, yet as great as he that sends; two equals, by agreement, may send each other; a divine person may assume an office, and under that consideration be sent, without supposing inferiority of nature, as in the case of the Holy Spirit; and an inferiority as to office, is allowed in the case of the Son; God sent his Son under the character of a servant, to do

work: nor does this act imply change of place; there is indeed a "terminus a quo", from whence he was sent, from heaven, from his Father there; and there is a "terminus ad quem", to which he was sent into this world; but then this coming of his from heaven to earth, was not by local motion, but by assumption of nature; nor was it out of any disrespect to his Son, but out of love to us, that he sent him; nor was he sent against his will; he showed no reluctance at the proposal to him in the council of peace, but the utmost willingness; nor any at his coming into the world: nor at the work itself, which he entered upon, and went through with the greatest eagerness and cheerfulness: nor does it suppose him whilst sent, and here on earth, to be in a state of absence and separation from his Father; he was still in his bosom, yet in heaven, and his Father always with him: but it supposes that he existed before he was sent; that he was a person, and distinct from the Father, or he could not be sent by him; that he had authority from him, considered in his office capacity: in a word, this sending of the Son, designs the manifestation of him in human nature; as appears from the form and manner in which he was sent, "in the likeness of sinful flesh"; which expresses the reality of his incarnation, of his having a true real human nature; for flesh is not to be taken strictly for a part of the body, nor for the whole body only, but for the whole human nature, soul and body; which though it looked like a sinful nature, yet was not sinful: the likeness of it denotes the outward appearance of Christ in it; who was born of a sinful woman; was subject to the infirmities of human nature, which though not sinful, are the effects of sin; was reckoned among transgressors, was traduced as one himself by men, and treated as such by the justice of God; he having all the sins of his people on him, for which he was answerable: "and" hence God, "for sin, condemned sin in the flesh"; not the law, which was weak through the flesh; nor sinners, who broke the law; but sin itself, the transgression of the law, all kind of sin, and all that is in it the act of condemning it, does not design God's disapproving of it, and judging it to be evil; this he could not but do, as being contrary to his nature, an act of hostility against him, a breach of his law, and what brings ruin upon his creatures; and this he would have done, if Christ had never suffered in the flesh; and he has taken other methods, both among his own people and the world, to show his dislike of sin: nor does this act intend the destruction of the power and dominion of sin, in regeneration; this is the work of the Spirit, and is done in our flesh, and not in the flesh of Christ; but it is to be understood of the condemnation and punishment of sin, in the person of Christ: sin was laid on him by the Father, and he voluntarily took it upon himself; justice finding it there, charges him with it, demands satisfaction, and condemns him for it; and hereby sin was expiated, the pardon of it procured, and it was, entirely done away: now this is said to be done "for sin"; some join the phrase with the former part of the text, either with the word "sending", and take the sense to be, that God sent his Son for, or on the account of sin, to take it away, and save his people from it; or "with sinful flesh", which was taken from a sinful person; but it stands best as it does in our version, and may be rendered "of sin"; for God condemned sin of sin in Christ, that is, by the vengeance he took of it, in the strictness of his justice, through the sufferings of his Son, he showed sin to be exceeding sinful indeed; or rather "by sin"; that is, by an offering for sin, so the word is used in Heb_10:6; and answers to ‫ ,חטאה‬in Psa_40:6, by being made which, sin was condemned "in the flesh" of Christ, who was put to death in the flesh, "for" the sins of his people, and bore all the punishment due unto them: from hence we learn the evil of sin, the strictness of justice, and the grace of the Redeemer. 10. Henry, “The law could not do it, Rom_8:3. It could neither justify nor sanctify, neither free us from the guilt nor from the power of sin, having not the promises either of pardon or grace. The law made nothing perfect: It was weak. Some attempt the law made towards these blessed ends, but, alas! it was weak, it could not accomplish them: yet that weakness was not through any defect in the law, but through the flesh, through the corruption of human nature, by which we

became incapable either of being justified or sanctified by the law. We had become unable to keep the law, and, in case of failure, the law, as a covenant of works, made no provision, and so left us as it found us. Or understand it of the ceremonial law; that was a plaster not wide enough for the wound, it could never take away sin, Heb_10:4. (2.) The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus does it, Rom_8:2. The covenant of grace made with us in Christ is a treasury of merit and grace, and thence we receive pardon and a new nature, are freed from the law of sin and death, that is, both from the guilt and power of sin - from the course of the law, and the dominion of the flesh. We are under another covenant, another master, another husband, under the law of the Spirit, the law that gives the Spirit, spiritual life to qualify us for eternal. The foundation of this freedom is laid in Christ's undertaking for us, of which he speaks Rom_8:3, God sending his own Son. Observe, When the law failed, God provided another method. Christ comes to do that which the law could not do. Moses brought the children of Israel to the borders of Canaan, and then died, and left them there; but Joshua did that which Moses could not do, and put them in possession of Canaan. Thus what the law could not do Christ did. The best exposition of this verse we have Heb_10:1-10. To make the sense of the words clear, which in our translation is a little intricate, we may read it thus, with a little transposition: God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and a sacrifice for sin, condemned sin in the flesh, which the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, etc., Rom_8:4. Observe, [1.] How Christ appeared: In the likeness of sinful flesh. ot sinful, for he was holy, harmless, undefiled; but in the likeness of that flesh which was sinful. He took upon him that nature which was corrupt, though perfectly abstracted from the corruptions of it. His being circumcised, redeemed, baptized with John's baptism, bespeaks the likeness of sinful flesh. The bitings of the fiery serpents were cured by a serpent of brass, which had the shape, through free from the venom, of the serpents that bit them. It was great condescension that he who was God should be made in the likeness of flesh; but much greater that he who was holy should be made in the likeness of sinful flesh. And for sin, - here the best Greek copies place the comma. God sent him, en homoiōmati sarkos hamartias, kai peri hamartias - in the likeness of sinful flesh, and as a sacrifice for sin. The Septuagint call a sacrifice for sin no more than peri hamartias - for sin; so Christ was a sacrifice; he was sent to be so, Heb_9:26. [2.] What was done by this appearance of his: Sin was condemned, that is, God did therein more than ever manifest his hatred of sin; and not only so, but for all that are Christ's both the damning and the domineering power of sin is broken and taken out of the way. He that is condemned can neither accuse nor rule; his testimony is null, and his authority null. Thus by Christ is sin condemned; though it live and remain, its life in the saints is still but like that of a condemned malefactor. it was by the condemning of sin that death was disarmed, and the devil, who had the power of death, destroyed. The condemning of sin saved the sinner from condemnation. Christ was made sin for us (2Co_5:21), and, being so made, when he was condemned sin was condemned in the flesh of Christ, condemned in the human nature: So was sanctification made to divine justice, and way made for the salvation of the sinner.” 11. Maclaren, “In the first verse of this chapter we read that ' There is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.' The reason of that is, that they are set free from the terrible sequence of cause and effect which constitutes the law of sin and death ' ; and the reason why they are freed from that awful sequence by the power of Christ is, because He has ' condemned sin in the flesh.' The occurrence of the two words 'condemnation' (ver. 1) and ' condemned ' (ver. 3) should be noted. Sin is personified as dwelling in the flesh, which expression here means, not merely the body, but unregenerate human nature. He has made his fortress there, and rules over it all. The strong man keeps his house and his goods are in peace. He laughs to scorn the attempts of laws

and moralities of all sorts to cast him out. His dominion is death to the human nature over which he tyrannizes. Condemnation is inevitable to the men over whom he rules. They or he must perish. If he escape they die. If he could be slain they might live. Christ comes, condemns the tyrant, and casts him out. So, he being condemned, we are acquitted; and he being slain there is no death for us. The Apostle points to a triple condemnation. In the likeness of sinful flesh,' Jesus condemns sin by His own perfect life. That phrase, ' the likeness of the flesh of sin,' implies the real humanity of Jesus, and His perfect sinlessness ; and suggests the first way in which He condemns sin in the flesh. In His life He repeats the law in a higher fashion. What the one spoke in words the other realized in 'loveliness of perfect deeds ' ; and all men own that example is the mightiest preacher of righteousness, and that active goodness draws to itself reverence and sways men to imitate. But that life lived in human nature gives a new hope of the possibilities of that nature even in us. The dream of perfect beauty ' in the flesh ' has been realized. What the Man Christ Jesus was. He was that we may become. In the very flesh in which the tyrant rules, Jesus shows the possibility and the loveliness of a holy life. But this, much as it is, is not all. There is another way in which Christ condemns sin in the flesh, and that is by His perfect sacrifice. To this also Paul points in the phrase, ' the flesh of sin.' The example of which we have been speaking is much, but it is weak for the very same reason for which law is weak — that it operates only through our nature as it is; and that is not enough. Sin's hold on man is twofold — one that it has perverted his relation to God, and another that it has corrupted his nature. Hence there is in him a sense of separation from God and a sense of guilt. Both of these not only lead to misery, but positively tend to strengthen the dominion of sin. The leader of the mutineers keeps them true to him by reminding them that the mutiny laws decree death without mercy. Guilt felt may drive to desperation and hope- less continuance in wrong. The cry, ' I am so bad that it is useless to try to be better,' is often heard. Guilt stifled leads to hardening of heart, and sometimes to desire and riot. Guilt slurred over by some easy process of absolution may lead to further sin. Similarly separation from God is the root of all evil, and thoughts of Him as hard and an enemy, always lead to sin. So if the power of sin in the past must be canceled, the sense of guilt must be removed, and the wall of partition between man and God thrown down. What can law answer to such a demand? It is silent; it can only say, * What is written is written.' It has no word to speak that promises ' the blotting out of the handwriting that is against us'; and through its silence one can hear the mocking laugh of the tyrant that keeps his castle. But Christ has come for sin'; that is to say His Incarnation and Death had relation to, and had it for their object to remove, human sin. He comes to blot out the evil, to bring God's pardon. The recognition of His sacrifice supplies the adequate motive to copy His example, and they who see in His death God's sacrifice for man's sin, cannot but yield them- selves to Him, and find in obedience a delight. Love kindled at His love makes likeness and transmutes the outward law into an inward ' spirit of life in Christ Jesus.' Still another way by which God 'condemns sin in the flesh' is pointed to by the remaining phrase of our text, 'sending His own Son.' In the beginning of this epistle Jesus is spoken of as 'being declared to be the Son of God with power according to theSpirit of holiness'; and we must connect that saying with our text, and so think of Christ's bestowal of His perfect gift to humanity of the Spirit which sanctifies as being part of His

condemnation of sin in the flesh. Into the very region where the tyrant rules, the Son of God communicates a new nature which constitutes a real new power. The Spirit operates on all our faculties, and redeems them from the bondage of corruption. All the springs in the land are poisoned ; but a new one, limpid and pure, is opened. By the entrance of the Spirit of holiness into a human spirit, the usurper is driven from the central fortress: and though he may linger in the outworks and keep up a guerilla warfare, that is all that he can do. We never truly apprehend Christ's gift to man until we recognize that He not merely 'died for our sins,' but lives to impart the principle of holiness in the gift of His Spirit. The dominion of that imparted Spirit is gradual and progressive. The Canaanite may still be in the land, but a growing power, working in and through us, is warring against all in us that still owns allegiance to that alien power, and there can be no end to the victorious struggle until the whole body, soul, and spirit, be wholly under the influence of the Spirit that dwelleth in us, and nothing shall hurt or destroy in what shall then be all God's holy mountain. Such is, in the most general terms, the statement of what Christ does ' for us ' ; and the question comes to be the all-important one for each. Do I let Him do it for me ? Remember the alternative. There must either be condemnation for us, or for the sin that dwelleth in us. There is no condemnation for them who are in Christ Jesus, because there is condemnation for the sin that dwells in them. It must be slain, or it will slay us. It must be cast out, or it will cast us out from God. It must be separated from us, or it will separate us from Him. We need not be condemned, but if it be not condemned, then we shall be.” 12. Darby, “The grand thing here is not merely the forgiveness of sinful acts, but the deliverance which God has wrought for the believer in the respect of the sin which is in his nature. God has, in Christ, executed sentence upon this root of sin; so that this sin has no title whatever against us; nay, it exists no more for the conscience between the soul and God, however we have to watch, and judge, and fight against it. Thus the Christian life is united inseparably with deliverance from condemnation by grace, and this in virtue of the resurrection of Christ. The law could only condemn the sinner: God, acting in grace, has condemned the sin, and delivered the sinner. The practical result for him is that, being freed, he walks in love, and that is the fulfilling of the law. Holiness is produced by the Spirit in the ways; for it is the Spirit, not the law, which characterizes the Christian and gives him power. Verse 4, then, is a transition from the position in which grace has set us before God to the practical life in which this grace places and conducts the Christian. While they are distinct, absolute righteousness and practical righteousness cannot be severed. The first comes to us from Christ dead on the cross: the second, verse 5, indicates the moral categories, not the duty merely, but the tendency and sure action of the nature whether in those according to the flesh, or in those according to the Spirit.” 13. John MacDuff, “To begin with Christ's own testimony, "The Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many" (Matt. 20;28). Omitting for the present the prophetical writings, His Apostles and other inspired penmen repeat and rehearse the assertions of their Lord. "He has made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Cor. 5;21). "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us" (Gal, 3;13). "Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many" (Heb. 9;28). "He Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree" (1 Pet. 2;24). "Who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Gal. 2;20). "Christ also once suffered for sins, the just

for the unjust, that He might bring us to God" (1 Pet. 3;18). "It became Him" (that word "became" is solemnly emphatic; there was a necessity laid on God, arising out of His own nature--than which we can conceive no stronger necessity) "of whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings" (Heb. 2;10). "To Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood" (Rev. 1;5). You may strive, by a forced exegesis, to get rid of the meaning wrapped up in these and kindred passages on the Suretyship of Christ; but a literal acceptance can alone give explanation and consistency to the reasoning of the Apostle in this verse on which we are now meditating. God, in the Person, and work, and atoning death of His dear Son, has thrown the luster of a glorious vindication around every requirement of His law and every attribute of His nature. Christ, by a holy life, obeyed the law's precepts, and by a holy death of self-surrender and sacrifice endured its penalty. The law says, "Do this and live." I cannot do it. But I listen to the words of Him who can do it--who has done it. "Lo, I come, I delight to do Your will, O my God" (Ps. 40;7, 8). "When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem those who were under the law" (Gal. 5;4). O blessed Savior, I desire with simple unwavering faith to look to You thus--to You only--wholly, and forever. I desire to behold You as the great Antitype of the Jewish Scapegoat, bearing away the load of transgression into a land of oblivion and forgetfulness, so that "as far as the East is distant from the West," so far have You "removed our transgressions from us." I look to You, indeed, also in the beauty of Your Character and Work, as the perfect Example, the great Ideal of Humanity. In this acceptation of the word, I know that You did oppose and overcome the forces of evil. I know in a similar manner, too, You may be said to have "condemned sin in the flesh;" overcome it, and conquered it in Your own pure, stainless human nature. You could say in a real, what our Apostle could only utter in a qualified sense, "I have fought the good fight; I have vanquished, and thereby have I given a pledge of sin's final subjugation." But this is not all I need. I must look to You as the Atoning Sacrifice--the Sin-offering. "O Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, have mercy upon us!" "O Lamb of God, that takes away the sin of the world, grant us Your peace!" I shall not go to the Temple without the Altar, or to the Altar without the Sacrifice. Thanks be to the dying, ever living love of the divine Surety, if I am enabled with the heavenly harpers spoken of in Revelation (5;8, 9) to "sing the new song"--the Song whose strains gave them their golden harps and golden vials and crowns of victory--"You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation!"

4. in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

1. The law is good, but the flesh is bad, and so in the flesh we can never become righteous as the law demands that we be. All of that is now changed by what Jesus did on the cross. He died for our sins and condemned sin to a lower rank with less power, so that now in the Spirit we can

actually fulfill the purpose of the law, and become righteous people. We still have our sinful nature, but we do not have to live according to it, for we now have the choice of living according to the Spirit, and in his power we can love God with all our being and our neighbor as ourselves, and by the power of love fulfill the very purpose of the law. What was impossible in the flesh, which is all we had to work with, is now possible in the Spirit. We are no longer under the law, we are on top of it meeting its demands in a way that makes us capable of living a life of righteousness. This is what sanctification is all about. It is about becoming more and more what God wants us to be in living a life of love and righteousness. Sadler wrote, “...paradoxical though it may sound, it is true that we are delivered from the law in order that we may fulfill it.” 2. Commentators disagree on what this verse means. Some say it cannot means that we are now capable of obeying the law of God, for our sinful nature has not changed. It only means that Jesus fulfilled the whole law, and his righteousness has been imputed to us. We are not changed that much that we can on our own live in obedience to the law. This fails to get the point that, even though it is true that we cannot do it on our own, for our flesh is not any different than the flesh of the Old Testament saints, we have a radical partner who enables us to do what they could never do. We have the very Spirit of God, who is also the Spirit of Christ, and if we are filled with the Spirit we can do what could never be done before. Paul in this verse is writing about us who live not according to the sinful nature, but according to the Spirit. If having the very Spirit of God dwelling in us makes us no different that those who never had this resource, then it is much ado about nothing. But if it makes a world of difference, as we must assume that it does, then we will be able to do what never was before possible. Someone put it, “It is when that Spirit of Christ is in our hearts and we’re walking according to and after the Spirit of Christ that we are fulfilling the law of love.” If love fulfills the law, and God's Spirit of love lives in us, does it not imply that we are capable of fulfilling the requirements of the law? This only seems far out because we walk too often in the flesh rather than in the Spirit. I can understand why it is watered down by many, for it seems like an idealistic goal that scares us because we still know the power of the flesh. 3. Charles Erdman in his famous commentary does not back away from this radical view. He wrote, “The very purpose of justification is sanctification. The very end in view, according to “God’s way of saving men, is the complete fulfillment of all that the law of God demands.” Justification is necessary to the existence of sanctification but sanctification is necessary as an evidence of justification.” He sees this verse representing the very purpose of our salvation in producing a family of righteous children in the kingdom of God, who by his grace and Spirit can live truly holy lives. We can't do it ourselves, but we have a partner, and he does amazing and wonderful things in us and for us. Someone put the following list together. 1. He gives us life (vv.1-4). Through the new life He imparts to us, we experience deliverance from the slavery and condemnation of the works-system and are enabled to fulfill the righteous demands of our holy God. 2. He helps us fight sin (vv.5-8). Because we are on the Spirit's side, we have both life and peace. 3. He resurrects the dead (vv.9-11). The same Holy Spirit who raised Christ from the dead will give our bodies life in the resurrection. 4. He gives us power over sin (vv.12,13). The Spirit gives us strength to put to death the disgraceful deeds of the body (see Col. 3:5-11). 5. He leads us (v.14). The Spirit convicts us of sin and leads us into righteousness. 6. He adopts us as full heirs (vv.15,16). We are transformed from slaves to children of God by the Holy Spirit. He testifies to our family status.

7. He gives us hope of resurrection (vv.22-25). What He has done for us now is only the beginning--the first fruits. A far more wonderful life awaits us. 8. He helps us to pray (vv.26,27). Although the Spirit helps us in every weakness, He especially helps us when we pray. 4. Matthew Henry takes a sort of middle position where the law is fulfilled, not by us, but in us by the Spirit. He wrote, “The happy effect of this upon us (Rom_8:4): That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us. Both in our justification and in our sanctification, the righteousness of the law if fulfilled. A righteousness of satisfaction for the breach of the law is fulfilled by the imputation of Christ's complete and perfect righteousness, which answers the utmost demands of the law, as the mercy-seat was as long and as broad as the ark. A righteousness of obedience to the commands of the law is fulfilled in us, when by the Spirit the law of love is written upon the heart, and that love is the fulfilling of the law, Rom_13:10. Though the righteousness of the law is not fulfilled by us, yet, blessed be God, it is fulfilled in us; there is that to be found upon and in all true believers which answers the intention of the law. Us who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. This is the description of all those that are interested in this privilege - they act from spiritual and not from carnal principles; as for others, the righteousness of the law will be fulfilled upon them in their ruin.” 4B. David Riggs, “Christ was given as a sacrifice that the righteousness which the O.T. sought after might be accomplished in us. 1. It fulfills in us exactly what the law was unable to accomplish. 2. "Who do not walk according to the flesh" - Who do not live a worldly life, devoted to the flesh. 1. Their actions are not governed by fleshly dictates and appetites. 2. Paul explains this more fully in the following verses. 3. "But according to the Spirit" - Their actions are governed by the teachings of the HolySpirit. 4Application: The flesh and Spirit both direct and cause behavior. Everyone is following one or the other. Only those who are directed and controlled by the Spirit have deliverance. Those who mind and walk after the flesh are under condemnation. 5. C. H. Dodd points out that the key word in this chapter is Spirit. “It is used only 5 times by Paul up to this point, but then in this chapter it is used 20 times. The Spirit was the source of energy. It is the breath of God, which is the source of all life. To be filled with the Spirit is to be filled with power and energy to do the will of God. You cannot get free on your own, no more than the best brain surgeon can operate on his own brain. The higher authority of the Spirit can set us free from the lower authority of the law, just as the Supreme Court can reverse a lower court ruling. Obedience to one law can enable us to be free from another law, just as helium overcomes the law of gravity. The weak principle is dethroned and expelled by the more powerful. Airplanes overcome gravity, but if they turn off the engine they are again subject to the old laws, and so the Christian has to live by the law of the Spirit to keep above the law of sin and death. I wear glasses to overcome a weakness, but if I take them off the weakness is still there. We are emancipated from the law, but we can go back into such slavery if we cease to walk in the spirit.”

6. Clarke, “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us - That the guilt might be pardoned through the merit of that sacrifice; and that we might be enabled, by the power of his own grace and Spirit, to walk in newness of life; loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves: and thus the righteousness, the spirit, design, and purpose of the law is fulfilled in us, through the strength of the Spirit of Christ, which is here put in opposition to the weakness of the law through the flesh. It is very likely that the concluding clause of this verse, which is the very same as that found in the common text of the first verse, has been transferred to that verse from this place. 6B. F. W. Grant, “Thus the responsibility of a right walk is still ever ours. It is not that Christ's walk is substituted for ours, or His holiness imputed to us, or anything of the kind. It is not yet the question of how to walk, but of what I am; but a question which, when settled in God's way, stops necessarily the effort to be what no effort of mine can make me, and what, thank God, His infinite grace has already made me: complete in Him. "As Christ is, so are we in this world" (1 John 4:17). Could effort of ours make us "as Christ is"? It would be clearly impossible; and yet nothing but this would reach up to the standard God has given us. othing short of this would be perfection, and nothing short of perfection could we rightly rest in. If imperfection God cannot accept, and perfection I cannot bring Him, what then? Then I must accept a perfection of my Father's providing, and find in the Lord Jesus a new self that needs no mending and cannot be improved, where no body of death disturbs or oppresses, and occupation with which is not legalism, nor Pharisaism. I am privileged to turn away from what I find in myself as a man down here, then, because in the death of the Cross, the death wherein I died with Him, "sin in the flesh" has been fully dealt with. The condemnation of it by God has already found its full expression on the Cross. For faith, not for experience, I too have died, and that "to sin", because "he died unto sin once." I reckon myself (not feel or find myself) to be dead indeed unto sin, and alive unto God in Christ Jesus.” (Rom. 6:11). 7. Gill, “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us,.... By the righteousness of the law, is not meant the righteousness of the ceremonial law, though that was fulfilled by Christ; but of the moral law, which requires holiness of nature, righteousness of life, and death in case of disobedience; active righteousness, or obedience to the precepts of the law, is designed here. This is what the law requires; obedience to the commands of it is properly righteousness; and by Christ's obedience to it we are made righteous, and this gives the title to eternal life: now this is said to be "fulfilled in us"; this is not fulfilled by us in our own persons, nor can it be; could it, where would be the weakness of the law? man might then be justified by it, and so the grace of God, and the righteousness of Christ, must be set aside: there never was any mere man that could fulfil it; for obedience to it must not only be performed perfectly, but with intenseness of mind and spirit; a man must be sinless in thought, word, and deed; and this would be to put man upon a level with Adam in a state of innocence, and the angels in heaven: nor is this to be understood of any righteousness inherent in man; internal holiness is never called the righteousness of the law; and could it be thought to be righteousness, yet it can never be reckoned the whole righteousness of the law: and though it is a fruit of Christ's death, it is the work of the Spirit, and is neither the whole, nor any part of our justification: but this is to be understood of the righteousness of the law fulfilled by Christ, and imputed to us; Christ has fulfilled the whole righteousness of the law,

all the requirements of it; this he has done in the room and stead of his people; and is imputed to them, by virtue of a federal union between him and them, he being the head, and they his members; and the law being fulfilled by him, it is reckoned all one as it was fulfilled in, or if by them; and hence they are personally, perfectly, and legally justified; and this is the end of Christ's being sent, of sin being laid on him, and condemned in him. The descriptive character of the persons, who appear to be interested in this blessing, is the same with that in Rom_8:1, 7B. Beet, “The same doctrine is taught by John, i ep. iii. 24, iv. 13 ; and is by him attributed to Christ, Jno. vii. 39, xiv. 16. Comp. Mt. x. 20, Mk. xiii. 11, Lk. xi. 13, xii. 12. otice also that the universal gift of the Spirit was foretold by Joel, ii. 28ff; that Ezek. foretold that He would lead those in whom He dwelt to obey the law, xxxvi. 27; and Jeremiah, that God would write His laws in the hearts of His people, xxxi. 33. That the Holy Spirit, given to those who believe the words of Christ, prompts and enables them to obey the words of Moses and the prophets is another harmony of the Old and ew, and therefore confirms the divine origin of both. And, that Christ came in order that the law might be fulfilled, proves the importance and the eternal validity of the law.” “Again, believers now actually fulfill the law which they once vainly tried to fulfill. This proves that they have been set free from their mighty adversary; and that a mightier than he has taken up his abode within them. For they have been set free, not from without, but from within. That their deliverer prompts and enables them to fulfill the law, proves Him to be the Spirit of God. He is God's gift to them ; and His presence is therefore a proof of pardon. Thus in them is achieved the life-giving purpose of the law. For, by showing the uselessness of their own efforts, it has led them to Christ, and taught them the worth of His salvation : and, by revealing the presence and power of their foe, it also reveals the presence and greater power of the Spirit of God; and thus affords a constant proof that their condemnation is removed. We notice that human and animal life are never found except robed in corresponding flesh. Hence the word flesh often includes the idea of the spirit which in the flesh makes itself known to us. This use of the word is the more appropriate because the sensations and state of the spirit within are determined, and the power of the spirit is limited, by its material clothing. Where the body is, the man is : what the man does, he does through the body : whatever is done to the body, is done to the man. The word 'flesh' is therefore often used, esp. in the O. Test., for the entire man, and for the entire race. Comp. Ps. Ivi. 4, Ixv. 2, Ixxviii. 39, Is. xxxi. 3, xl. 5, xlix. 26, etc. ; Mt. xvi. 17, Lk. iii. 6, A. ii. 17, Rom. iii. 20, xi. 14, Gal. i. 16, 1 P. i. 24. This teaching prepares us for the moral significance of ^the flesh.' The power of the body over the spirit arises from the needs and desires and dislikes of the body. These ever prompt us to pursue the objects needful for the existence and the comfort of the body; and to avoid their opposites. ow these needs, etc., are common, though in different degrees, to all men; and to some extent to animals. Wherever we find flesh, we find these needs and desires ; and we find them to be a power ruling, or seeking to rule, the conduct of the spirit within. They are therefore desires of the flesh,' Gal. v. 16, 24. And these similar desires, found wherever we find a similar material organization, give unity -to the idea of flesh. Since the body desires objects merely for its own pre- servation and gratification, tlie desires of the body are essentially selfish. Conseq., the indulgence of them puts us in opposition to our fellows. Hence anger and strife are constant results of a life according to flesh, i Cor. iii. i — 4. To those who are in Christ the body of sin is crucified, vi. 6. By the death of Christ they are set free

from its rule. They therefore stand in a new relation to their own bodies. Formerly the body was the world in which they lived. Beyond the range of its vision they saw nothing. Their happiness depended entirely upon its life and welfare. But now the Spirit of God dwelling within them has made them citizens of a world independent of the body. They no longer see only through eyes of flesh, or lean upon an arm of flesh. Therefore, although physically they are still in the flesh, in spirit they are no longer so, vii. 5, viii. 8f. We have seen the contrast of human flesh and spirit. But when the word * flesh ' denotes the one living material common to all men, and includes the one animating principle of evil, it requires a nobler contrast. The contrast is found in the one Spirit of God, who dwells in the heart, enlightens the mind, and strengthens the spirit of all believers, who is the one soul of their many souls, and who stands in absolute antagonism to the flesh. So viii. 4 — 13, Gal. V. 16 — 25. Through the body sin seeks to enslave and corrupt our spirit. The Spirit of God rescues our spirit from this slavery; becomes the soul of our soul ; and, acting upon us through our own spirit, which He enlightens and strengthens, makes our body to be a living temple in which our freed spirit offers ceaseless sacrifice to God.” 7C. Haldane, “The terms flesh and spirit have various significations, and are employed in different senses in this chapter. The word flesh is used in a sense either bad or indifferent. Sometimes it means simply human nature, and some times corrupt human nature, or man in his natural state without the Holy Spirit, and frequently wicked works. At other times it denotes outward services in adherence to the law for justification, Phil. iii. 4. To the word spirit various meanings are likewise attached. It imports either the angelic nature, or the soul of man, or the Holy Spirit, or the renewed image of the Son of God in the soul. In both of these last senses it is employed by our Lord, when, declaring the necessity of regeneration, He says, That which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Sometimes, when opposed to flesh or to letter, it is used as equivalent to the new covenant, who also hath made us able ministers of the ew Testament, not of the letter, but of the spirit. The expression, walking not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit, in the verse before us, is generally interpreted as referring ex clusively to the practice of good or of wicked works. It is supposed that the Apostle is here guarding his doctrine of gratuitous justification from abuse, by excluding all claim to union with Christ, arid to exemption from condemnation, where there is not purity of conduct, under the influence of the Holy Spirit. This is undoubtedly a highly important truth, which

is to be constantly affirmed and insisted on. Holiness of life and conver sation is an inseparable concomitant of union with Christ ; for to whom He is made righteousness He is also made sanctification, and they that are Christ s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. Of this the Apostle never loses sight, not indeed in any point of view as the cause of that union, but as its never-failing consequence and concomitant, as he has abundantly proved in the sixth chapter. There are, however, many different paths in the broad way ; that is, many ways of walking after the flesh, all of which lead to destruction. Among these, that of seeking acceptance with God by works of righteousness, either moral or ceremonial, is equally incompatible with union to Christ and freedom from condemna tion, as living in the grosser indulgence of wicked works ; and this way of going about to establish their own righteousness, by those who profess to have received the Gospel, and who have even a zeal of God, ch. x. 2, is probably that by which the greater number of them are deceived. There is the greatest danger lest the fleshly wisdom, under the notion of a zeal for God and of regard for the interests of virtue, should set men on the painful endeavour of working out their salvation, in part at least, by keeping the law as a covenant, thus attending to its requirements for justification, serving in the oldness of the letter, and not in the newness of spirit. In this way, multitudes who profess to have received the Gospel, are walking after the flesh, seeking to satisfy their conscience, and saying peace when there is no peace.” 8. William Barclay, “Two words keep occurring again and again in this chapter, flesh (sarx) and spirit (pneuma). We will not understand the passage at all unless we understand the way in which Paul is using these words. (i) Sarx literally means flesh. The most cursory reading of Paul's letters will show how often he uses the word, and how he uses it in a sense that is all his own. Broadly speaking, he uses it in three different ways. (a) He uses it quite literally. He speaks of physical circumcision, literally "in the flesh" (Rom. 2:28). (b) Over and over again he uses the phrase kata sarka, literally according to the flesh, which most often means looking at things from the human point of view. For instance, he says that Abraham is our forefather kata sarka, from the human point of view. He says that Jesus is the son of David kata sarka (Rom. 1:3), that is to say, on the human side of his descent. He speaks of the Jews being his kinsmen kata sarka (Rom. 9:3), that is to say, speaking of human relationships. When Paul uses the phrase kata sarka, it always implies that he is looking at things from the human point of view.

(c) But he has a use of this word sarx which is all his own. When he is talking of the Christians, he talks of the days when we were in the flesh (en sarki) (Rom. 7:5). He speaks of those who walk according to the flesh in contradistinction to those who live the Christian life (Rom. 8:4-5). He says that those who are in the flesh cannot please God (Rom. 8:8). He says that the mind of the flesh is death, and that it is hostile to God (Rom. 8:6,8). He talks about living according to the flesh (Rom. 8:12). He says to his Christian friends, "You are not in the flesh" (Rom. 8:9). It is quite clear, especially from the last instance, that Paul is not using flesh simply in the sense of the body, as we say flesh and blood. How, then, is he using it? He really means human nature in all its weakness and he means human in its vulnerability to sin. He means that part of man which gives sin its bridgehead. He means sinful human nature, apart from Christ, everything that attaches a man to the world instead of to God. To live according to the flesh is to live a life dominated by the dictates and desires of sinful human nature instead of a life dominated by the dictates and the love of God. The flesh is the lower side of man's nature. It is to be carefully noted that when Paul thinks of the kind of life that a man dominated by the sarx lives he is not by any means thinking exclusively of sexual and bodily sins. When he gives a list of the works of the flesh in Gal. 5:19-21, he includes the bodily and the sexual sins; but he also includes idolatry, hatred, wrath, strife, heresies, envy, murder. The flesh to him was not a physical thing but spiritual. It was human nature in all its sin and weakness; it was all that man is without God and without Christ. (ii) There is the word Spirit; in Rom. 8 it occurs no fewer than twenty times. This word has a very definite Old Testament background. In Hebrew it is ruach, and it has two basic thoughts. (a) It is not only the word for Spirit; it is also the word for wind. It has always the idea of power about it, power as of a mighty rushing wind. (b) In the Old Testament, it always has the idea of something that is more than human. Spirit, to Paul, represented a power which was divine. So Paul says in this passage that there was a time when the Christian was at the mercy of his own sinful human nature. In that state the law simply became something that moved him to sin and he went from bad to worse, a defeated and frustrated man. But, when he became a Christian, into his life there came the surging power of the Spirit of God, and, as a result, he entered into victorious living. In the second part of the passage Paul speaks of the effect of the work of Jesus on us. It is complicated and difficult, but what Paul is getting at is this. Let us remember that he began all this by saying that every man sinned in Adam. We saw how the Jewish conception of solidarity made it possible for him to argue that, quite literally, all men were involved in Adam's sin and in its consequence--death. But there is another side to this picture. Into this world came Jesus; with a completely human nature; and he brought to God a life of perfect obedience, of perfect fulfilment of God's law. ow, because Jesus was fully a man, just as we were one with Adam, we are now one with him; and, just as we were involved in Adam's sin, we are now involved in Jesus' perfection. In him mankind brought to God the perfect obedience, just as in Adam mankind brought to God the fatal disobedience. Men are saved because they were once involved in Adam's sin but are now involved in Jesus' goodness. That is Paul's argument, and, to him and to those who heard it, it was completely convincing, however hard it is for us to grasp it. Because of what Jesus did, there opens out to the Christian a life no longer dominated by the flesh but by that Spirit of God, which fills a man with a power not his own. The penalty of the past is removed and strength for his future is assured.” 9. F. W. Grant, “Could effort of ours make us "as Christ is"? It would be clearly impossible; and yet nothing but this would reach up to the standard God has given us. othing short of this would be perfection, and nothing short of perfection could we rightly rest in. If imperfection God

cannot accept, and perfection I cannot bring Him, what then? Then I must accept a perfection of my Father's providing, and find in the Lord Jesus a new self that needs no mending and cannot be improved, where no body of death disturbs or oppresses, and occupation with which is not legalism, nor Pharisaism. I am privileged to turn away from what I find in myself as a man down here, then, because in the death of the Cross, the death wherein I died with Him, "sin in the flesh" has been fully dealt with. The condemnation of it by God has already found its full expression on the Cross. For faith, not for experience, I too have died, and that "to sin", because "he died unto sin once." I reckon myself (not feel or find myself) to be dead indeed unto sin, and alive unto God in Christ Jesus (Rom. 6:11). 10. Bosworth, “Condemned sin in the flesh. Condemned Sin to cease the control or dominion which it had been exercising over the personality and over the whole race of flesh men through the advantage that its hold on the flesh gave it. The reign of Sin and death in the personality and in the race has been very prominent in the preceding paragraphs (5: 14, 17, 21; 6:9, 12, 14, 17; 7: 14-25). What Christ did to end this reign Paul does not state here. He has before represented Christ's death and resurrection into the glorious spirit world to have been the means of founding a new race (5: 12-21) free from the power of Sin and death in all its individual members (6: 17:6). 10B. “At the same time the Bible makes it clear that the true believer can be controlled by the flesh. Romans chapter 8 does not deal with this but Romans 13:12-14 does. See also 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 and Galatians 5:16-25. It’s a terrible abnormality for a believer who is "in the Spirit" to walk as the man who is "in the flesh" and for a new creature in Christ to walk as a mere, unregenerate man (1 Cor. 3:3), but sadly, it does happen.” author unknown 11. Sadler, “...paradoxical though it may sound, it is true that we are delivered from the law in order that we may fulfill it.”

5Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
1. Here we are confronted with the major problem of the Christian life. Christians are so much like the world in their desires. We are all so influenced by our culture that we cannot escape from being very much like our culture. The result is we have so many desires that cater to our old sinful nature. They are basically all flesh oriented with a focus on the body and its needs and

desires. Our minds are set on those things, and that is why it is not even dreamed by most Christians that they could live a holy life. That sounds to them like giving up everything they long for and work for, and live for. We want what the world wants, and our desires are for the same things. Some are able, however, to realize the need for balance. They still have their fleshly desires, but they are not fanatical about it. They also have their minds set on achieving what they know from Scripture to be what God wants in their lives. They search the Bible, pray and worship seeking to add the spiritual to the secular aspect of their lives. This is probably where the majority of evangelical Christians find themselves. The problem is, it is not usually a good balance. The secular gets 70 to 80 percent of our lives and desires, and the spiritual gets 20 to 30, and that is being very generous. It is this poor balance that leads to so much immaturity and failure in the Christian life. We are not living in accordance with the Spirit with our minds set on what the Spirit desires. We are just dabbling in it, not living in it, and the result is the desires of the Spirit are put on the back burner while we fulfill the desires of the flesh. Modern life is too fast paced, and there is so much to do that we have little time to really make Bible study a priority in our lives. You cannot set your mind on what the Spirit desires if you do not study the Bible where those desires are revealed. Bible ignorance and mediocre Christian lives go hand in hand, and this will never change unless you as a believer come to realize just how far you can climb with the help of the Spirit in knowing and doing the will of God. 2. Ray Stedman in preaching on this high standard says here is how many will respond, “"Ah," you say, "I know what that means!" That means you have to forget about making money and having fun and fulfilling yourself. All you do is go around memorizing Scripture and thinking about God all day long. Whenever anyone asks you to do something, you're too busy thinking about God and too involved in spiritual things to get your hands dirty. So you become a religious recluse. You go around reciting Scripture verses and telling people what is wrong with their lives -- and that is being spiritual!" Unfortunately, a lot of people think that is what we are talking about when we say that we are to have our minds set on the things of the Spirit. But, of course, if you see people like that (or if you are somebody like that), you soon discover that kind of life does not produce the results this passage tells us should be there. That is really nothing but another form of being run by the flesh -- it's a religious form of it, but it is actually the same thing.” Stedman goes on to clarify what it really means: “What does it mean, then, to have your mind set on the Spirit? It means that, in the midst of making money and having fun and gaining fame and fulfilling yourself, you are primarily concerned with showing love, helping others, speaking truth, and, above all, loving God and seeking his glory. The only trouble with the world is that it is content with just making money, having fun, and fulfilling itself -- that is all it wants. The end is man. But the mind set on the Spirit desires that God be glorified in all these things, which are proper and right. When your mind is set on the Spirit you look at the events of life from God's point of view, not from the world's. Your value system is changed and it touches everything you do. You no longer see that the important thing must be to make a lot of money. The important thing is that, in seeking to fulfill your needs, God be glorified. That is what makes the difference. That is the mind set on the Spirit. It does not remove you from life -- it puts you right back into it. But it does it with a different point of view.” 3. I like this quote, “It has been noted that spiritually minded people differ from materially minded people not in that they think about different things but in that they think about the same

things differently.” Let this be a challenge to you to take the many things that you think about that are the same things the world thinks about, and do it with a spiritual perspective. It is not always an easy task, but it will surprise you how it is so often possible to have a perspective on secular things with the mind of the Spirit. The worldly mind has a one track focus, but the spiritual mind can see there is a double track. The world mind says make all the money you can, but the spirit mind says the same thing, for that is the purpose of work and business, but it adds, in order that I man have the resources to help more people. That additional track turns that purely fleshly desire into a desire of the Spirit. The motive is no longer just selfish, but for fulfilling the law of love. Peter blew it by his one track mind that had only a selfish perspective. Someone put it like this: “When Peter rebuked our Lord for speaking of His death on the cross, our Lord rebuked him for having his mind set on the flesh: “Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s” (Mark 8:33). Jesus’ words here also make it evident that Peter’s fleshly mindset was a reflection of Satan’s views and values.” 3B. Robert Brow, “There are two ways of setting our mind, either on our human efforts to perfect ourselves, or on the power of the Spirit to effect change in us. We might compare a pilot setting her controls on to her radar controlled automatic pilot to come down and land safely through thick fog. The alternative by human minding is to come crashing down into the wrong part of the runway.” 3C. Haldane, “ Such persons have their minds intent on the things that gratify their corrupt nature. They have no relish for spiritual things ; whatever they may be induced to do from dread of punishment, or hope of reward in a future world, their desires are, in reality, centred in the things of this world. Whatever may be their profession of religion, their hearts are supremely engrossed with earthly things ; and for these, if they could obtain their wish through eternity, they would gladly barter all the glories of heaven. In one word, they mind the things of the flesh, they love the world, and all that is in the world. * If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. But they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. They who act according to the principles of the renewed spiritual nature, and seek acceptance with God by faith in Him who is * the Lord the Spirit, 2 Cor. iii. 17, mind spiritual things. Jesus Christ is the source of every blessing, and they who are in Him are not only justified, and consequently freed from condemnation, but also walk in newness of life. They employ their thoughts and efforts about the things of God. To these they attend, and on these their affections are fixed. one will seek the things which are above, but those who serve God in newness of spirit. All others will mind earthly things, Phil. iii. 19.” 4. Interpreter’s Bible, “The man whose dominant interests center in physical appetites finds that his whole existence is organized around their satisfaction.” All of us need to think of the flesh, for even Jesus had to have food and clothing and pay taxes. But it was not where the mind is to be set. The things of the spirit are to dominate the believer. The flesh life is not necessarily evil, but just focused on what is passing and not permanent. You can be a good person in the eyes of all others and still be living the flesh life. If you give the flesh an inch it will become a ruler in your life. Spiritual living is not to be always in prayer meeting and talking of heaven etc, and becoming

a bore to everyone. Jesus was happy with life and enjoyed parties and feasts and fellowship. His was a great social life and yet fully spiritual. It means to do all and enjoy all in praise to God and to fulfill His purpose in your life.” 4B. Constable, “The "Spirit" seems from the context to refer to the Holy Spirit rather than to the regenerated spirit of man. Those who prefer the second view tend to describe man as having two natures, an old sinful one and a new one that would be the same as this regenerated human spirit (cf. Gal. 5:16-17). In favor of the former view, the chapter began with a clear reference to the Holy Spirit (v. 2). Other following references to "spirit" (Gr. Pneuma) would therefore normally be to the same Spirit. Furthermore, it is reasonable that in identifying the basis for Christian victory Paul would point to the ultimate source, the Holy Spirit, rather than to a secondary agent, our human spirit.” 5. David Hoke sees in this passage 2 categories, 2 concerns, 2 conducts, 2 choices, 2 commitments, and 2 conclusions of death and life. “It is not only a contrast between two concerns, but it is also a contrast between two conducts, two results, two lifestyles — the lifestyle of obligation to the flesh, to fulfill its desires, and the lifestyle of obedience to the Spirit. A mindset, an outlook, an attitude is translated very shortly into an action. What we think, we become. Doesn't it say that in Proverbs, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he?” The thought begins in our minds and pretty soon it is translated into an action. So, either a lifestyle of obligation to the flesh fulfilling its every desire, or a life of obedience to the Spirit becomes our way of life. Therefore, it is important for us to understand the importance of guarding our thoughts. What we allow ourselves to dwell upon will become our conduct. It will cause habit-patterns to be formed in our behavior.” 6. Jamison, “Men must be under the predominating influence of one or other of these two principles, and, according as the one or the other has the mastery, will be the complexion of their life, the character of their actions.” 6B. Beet, “ they whose moral nature is determined by the needs and desires of the body. All such walk according to the dictates of the body. Things of the flesh : objects which the body desires, vi. 12, or turns away from. Mind : make them objects of thought and effort. Same word in Mt. xvi. 23, Ph. iii. 19, Rom. xi. 20, xii. 3, 16, xiv. 6, xv. 5. They whose moral nature is determined by the flesh, think about and pursue what the flesh desires. The flesh is personified as one whose purpose and effort is to kill. We saw, in sec. 22, that the body of the unsaved is the dwelling-place of sin ; and in vi. 12, that in the body sin erects its throne, and through the desires and needs of the body rules the man. In all men those desires are the same in kind, though different in degree. The bodies of all are alike, not only in their physical structure, but in their moral influence upon the spirit with- in. They are alike in their influence, because animated by one spirit of evil which gives its own- tremendous power to the desires of the body. Hence the material of the body, the flesh, may be itself personified as an intelligent power. Accordingly, in this verse the flesh has a mind, and cherishes hostility to God. It is evident that the mind of the flesh is really.the mind of its animating principle, sin.” 7. Henry, “Observe how we may answer to this character, Rom_8:5, etc.By looking to our minds. How may we know whether we are after the flesh or after the Spirit? By examining what we

mind, the things of the flesh or the things of the spirit. Carnal pleasure, worldly profit and honour, the things of sense and time, are the things of the flesh, which unregenerate people mind. The favour of God, the welfare of the soul, the concerns of eternity, are the things of the Spirit, which those that are after the Spirit do mind. The man is as the mind is. The mind is the forge of thoughts. As he thinketh in his heart, so is he, Pro_23:7. Which way do the thoughts move with most pleasure? On what do they dwell with most satisfaction? The mind is the seat of wisdom. Which way go the projects and contrivances? whether are we more wise for the world or for our souls? phronousi ta tēs sarkos - they savour the things of the flesh; so the word is rendered, Mat_16:23. It is a great matter what our savour is, what truths, what tidings, what comforts, we do most relish, and are most agreeable to us.” 8. Wil Pounds, “ The Apostle Paul calls it a fleshy mind set. "For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit" (8:5). The "flesh" mindset is dominated by I, ME, and MI E. It is selfish in outlook. Everything is centered on self and how we can satisfy ourselves. His mind is set on power, position, prestige, passion, and possessions. His dominating impulses are set against God. He takes legitimate human needs and fulfills them in the wrong manner. We can even do the service of God with self–seeking motives. In this passage Paul uses the word "flesh" to describe that weaker element in human nature that yields to sin. This passage brings out, moreover, that to have a mind of the flesh is downright hostile to God. It means to be a soldier in the opposite army. Paul uses an interesting word for letting the mind dwell on something. It means to think, be intent on, or to set one's mind on or heart upon something. It is the seat of intellectual and spiritual activity. It denotes the whole person thinking, feeling and choosing. It includes our outlook, assumptions, values, desires and purposes. Do we take the side of self and the flesh in opposition to God and His kingdom? Or do we have a mindset that seeks to be in tune with the Holy Spirit delighting in wherever He chooses to move? What do you choose to let your mind dwell upon? We have a choice since we have believed on Christ as our personal savior. Here Paul is contrasting the two ways of thinking. You can be mentally preoccupied with something. He says they "set their minds on." It is a mind-set. Here the word for "mind" signifies the strong bent of the mind regarding the object desired. When the mind is described as fleshy it is set on the things that gratify our corrupt nature.” 9. John R. W. Stott said: "A great deal depends on our mind, our conduct on our outlook. As a man thinks in his heart (or mind) so is he, and so he behaves. It is our thoughts, ultimately, which govern our behavior." It is a question of our preoccupations, our ambitions, and our interests, which engross us; it is how we spend our time, money and energy. It is what we set our minds on.” "Many of us would pursue holiness with far greater zeal and eagerness if we were convinced that the way of holiness is the way of life and peace. And that is precisely what it is; there is life and peace no other way." 10. William Barclay vv 5-8, “Paul is drawing a contrast between two kinds of life. (i) There is the life which is dominated by sinful human nature; whose focus and centre is self; whose only law is its own desires; which takes what it likes where it likes. In different people that life will be differently described. It may be passion-controlled, or lust-controlled, or pridecontrolled, or ambition-controlled. Its characteristic is its absorption in the things that human

nature without Christ sets its heart upon. (ii) There is the life that is dominated by the Spirit of God. As a man lives in the air, he lives in Christ, never separated from him. As he breathes in the air and the air fills him, so Christ fills him. He has no mind of his own; Christ is his mind. He has no desires of his own; the will of Christ is his only law. He is Spirit-controlled, Christ-controlled, God-focused. These two lives are going in diametrically opposite directions. The life that is dominated by the desires and activities of sinful human nature is on the way to death. In the most literal sense, there is no future in it--because it is getting further and further away from God. To allow the things of the world completely to dominate life is self extinction; it is spiritual suicide. By living it, a man is making himself totally unfit ever to stand in the presence of God. He is hostile to him, resentful of his law and his control. God is not his friend but his enemy, and no man ever won the last battle against him. The Spirit-controlled life, the Christ-centred life, the God-focused life is daily coming nearer heaven even when it is still on earth. It is a life which is such a steady progress to God that the final transition of death is only a natural and inevitable stage on the way. It is like Enoch who walked with God and God took him. As the child said: "Enoch was a man who went walks with God--and one day he didn't come back." o sooner has Paul said this than an inevitable objection strikes him. Someone may object: "You say that the Spirit-controlled man is on the way to life; but in point of fact every man must die. Just what do you mean?" Paul's answer is this. All men die because they are involved in the human situation. Sin came into this world and with sin came death, the consequence of sin. Inevitably, therefore, all men die; but the man who is Spirit-controlled and whose heart is Christoccupied, dies only to rise again. Paul's basic thought is that the Christian is indissolubly one with Christ. ow Christ died and rose again; and the man who is one with Christ is one with death's conqueror and shares in that victory. The Spirit controlled, Christ-possessed man is on the way to life; death is but an inevitable interlude that has to be passed through on the way.” 11. Daniel Hill, “The life of the child of God according to the flesh or according to the Holy Spirit. ACCORDI G TO THE FLESH is the believer out of fellowship, not living by faith and truth: They set their minds on the things of the flesh MI D is PHRO EW and looks at the content of the mind, the thoughts, the attitudes. As a verb it means to think a certain way, a manner of thinking or a mind set. So then the mind that is focused on the flesh causes the believer to walk according to the flesh. And the mind that is focused on the Spirit causes the believer to walk according to the Spirit. 1.This involves a volitional decision made out of our freewill. 2.Any decision must have an object, what is being decided. 3.Here, the choice is the flesh or the Spirit. 4.The flesh is concerned with law, we will see that in the next verses 5.The Spirit is concerned with righteousness (in relationship to God) and grace 6.To make a decision or choice to the flesh is the normal bent of man. Paul showed that in his struggle in Roman 7. 7.To make a decision or choice for the Spirit is not natural and demands a supernatural means of execution.

QUESTIO : How do we have access to the Spirit? Romans 5:2, "Through whom (The Lord Jesus Christ) also we have obtained our introduction (access) by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God." We have access to grace through faith, that is the fulfillment of grace reigning in our lives. Ephesians 2:18, "For through Him (the Lord Jesus) we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father." We have access to the Father in one Spirit to the Father. ow how do we gain access to the Spirit? Ephesians 3:11-12, "This was (the revealing of the wisdom of God in the CA) in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him." PRI CIPLE: We have access to all that God provides in the exact same way in which we accessed eternal like at salvation, by faith. God provides the Holy Spirit in whom we walk. How do we do that? By faith... 12. Barnes, “For they that are after the flesh - They that are under the influence of the corrupt and sinful desires of the flesh; Gal_5:19-21. Those who are unrenewed. Do mind the things of the flesh - They are supremely devoted to the gratification of their corrupt desires. But they that are after the Spirit - Who are under its influence; who are led by the Spirit. The things of the Spirit - Those things which the Spirit produces, or which he effects in the mind, Gal_5:21-23. This verse is for the purpose of illustration, and is designed to show that the tendency of religion is to produce as entire a devotedness to the service of God as people had before rendered to sin; that is, that they Would be fully engaged in that to which they had devoted themselves. As the Christian therefore, had devoted himself to the service of the Spirit, and had been brought under his influence, it was to be expected that he would make it his great and only object to cherish and cultivate the graces which that Spirit would produce. 13. Clarke, “For they that are after the flesh - And here is the great distinction between Jews and genuine Christians: the former are after the flesh - are under the power of the carnal, rebellious principle; and consequently mind, προνουσιν, relish, the things of the flesh - the things which appertain merely to the present life; having no relish for spiritual and eternal things. But they that are after the Spirit - They who are regenerated, who are born of the Spirit, being redeemed from the influence and law of the carnal mind; these relish the things of the Spirit they are spiritually minded, and pass through things temporal, so as not to lose the things which are eternal. And this, which in these apostolic times distinguished between the carnal Jew and the spiritual believer in Christ, is the grand mark of distinction between the nominal and the real Christian now. The former is earthly minded, and lives for this world; the latter is spiritually minded, and lives for the world to come. 14. Gill, “For they that are after the flesh,.... By flesh is meant the corruption of nature; and they may be said to be "after" it, not all that have flesh in them, for the best of saints have it in them;

regenerating grace does not remove it from them; there is a difference between being in and after the flesh, and flesh being in us; but such who are as they were born, who have nothing but flesh, or corrupt nature in them, in whom that is the governing principle, whose minds are carnal, and whose whole walk and conversation is, such, are here meant: and these persons do mind the things of the flesh: not merely things corporeal, belonging to the welfare of the body; or things natural for the improvement of the mind; or things civil, as riches, &c. which may be minded and sought after in a lawful way; but things sinful, the lusts, works, and sins of the flesh: which they may be said to "mind", since they judge them to be good; the bent and application of their minds are to them; their affections are set upon them; they are solicitously careful to provide for them, and savour and relish them: nor is it to be wondered at, since these are natural to them; they are opposite to God and so agreeable to them; they have no mind, thought, affection, or relish, for anything else; and it is entirely owing to mighty grace, that any mind the things of the Spirit: but they that are after the Spirit; not such who follow the dictates of their own spirits; or are outwardly reformed; nor all that have spiritual gifts; or profess themselves to have the grace and Spirit of God; but such who are born again, are renewed in the spirit of their minds, in whom grace is the governing principle: the work of the Spirit is begun in them, though not perfected: the Spirit himself dwells in them, and they walk after him; their minds and conversations are spiritual, though there may be a great deal of carnality in their hearts, thoughts, words, and actions, which is matter of grief unto them: these mind the things of the Spirit; the graces of the Spirit; spiritual blessings; the doctrines of the Gospel; spiritual sacrifices and services: these have some understanding of, can discern the difference between them and carnal things, judge and approve of them as right; have a great esteem and affection for them, and taste a sweetness in them. They have no mind naturally to these things; nor is the bias of their minds altered by themselves, nor could it; this is wholly the work of the Spirit of God; and these things are minded only because, and as they are agreeable to the spiritual part, the inward man.

15. Metcalfe, “And consequently we have the tragic enigma of parents berating their children for doing drugs, when they themselves are addicted to alcohol; of public officials whose personal and private lives are full of broken promises and rotten selfishness making pronouncements on what is and what is not "moral" for society; we have liberal church leaders speaking for God who have lost all personal contact with God; we have fundamentalists who know all the answers even before the questions are asked. And the heart of the whole matter is this thing Paul calls "mind set!" “Several statements are made about THE MI D SET O THE FLESH. (1) It has as ITS LIFE GOALS (verse 5) the things of the flesh; temporal things, things that will pass away. It believes that THI GS are the cause of joy. (2) It has as ITS BASIC TEMPER (verse 7) a hostility toward God. It sees God as the enemy, the One who takes away joy.

(3) It has as ITS LIFE STYLE (verse 7) a law-breaking way of living; in fact it couldn't keep the law if it wanted to. (4) IT CA OT PLEASE GOD (verse 8) even though God loves the sinner, and seeks his salvation, the way the sinner LIVES is not pleasing to God. (5) THE MI D SET O THE FLESH IS DEATH (verse 6.) "will be" death, nor "leads to" death-- which are both true-- but is OW spiritually DEATH! ot just

In contrast, here is what is said about THE MI D THAT IS SET O THE SPIRIT: (1) It is LIFE and it is PEACE (verse 6.) (2) It has as ITS LIFE-GOALS the things of the Spirit (verse 5.) "But you can't eat "love and Joy and Peace..." Perhaps not, but don't forget Matthew 6:33! (3) The mind set on the Spirit is WHERE GOD LIVES. The Christian is possessed BY GOD HIMSELF! God comes to live in us! (verse 9.) (4) PLUS ... all the other benefits of this chapter!!”

16. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “What then does `the flesh' mean? In a word it means `worldly mindedness'. That is a term which John Bunyan uses, and it is the term that some people would use here. 'Worldly-mindedness'! It includes everything which is opposed to `the mind' and `the life' of the Holy Spirit. Another way of putting it is to say that `the things of the flesh' means every aspect of life without God, everything in life from which God is excluded. It refers, in other words, to the life of this world only; it denotes a complete severance from all that is spiritual. It concentrates on the visible, the seen, and has nothing at all to do with the unseen. Or again, we can say that it means the temporal only, this world of time only; it has nothing to do with the eternal. Its reference is to life in this world only, to life bounded by the body and the various qualities and attributes of the fleshly mind, but to the exclusion of the spiritual element. The tragedy of the matter is that many people think that this description - `they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh' - applies only to open, obvious, profligate sinners, on the streets and in the public houses of great cities; the fact being that it includes also very highly intellectual people, very moral people, and people whom the world would describe as very noble. To `mind the things of the flesh' includes political interests without God, social interests without God, cultural interests without God. That is what the expression means. Paul has in mind man's highest pursuits, his philosophy, his art, his culture, his music, that never get beyond the flesh. God is outside it all, He is excluded from it; there is nothing spiritual about it. Men may write very cleverly, and in a very learned and interesting and entertaining manner about social conditions; they can tell us how to ameliorate bad conditions, how to improve them; they can write eloquently about forming some sort of Utopia, they can produce masterpieces of art and of literature and of music; but there is no soul there, there is no God there, no Spirit there. It is all

`after the flesh'. How important it is to realize the truth of this matter! That is why that list in Galatians 5 is so important. Paul does not stop at drunkenness and adultery and murder and things of that type. He goes to the realm of the inner man; and there you find that his list is all-inclusive. So what the Apostle is really saying about the non-Christian is that it does not matter where he fits in this gamut of possible interests and behavior and conduct, he is still only minding `the things of the flesh.' It is because the world does not understand this that it is not interested in the Gospel. The world's good, moral people are admired so much today; and yet the Apostle's words describe exactly where they stand. They are as much `after the flesh' and they as much `mind the things of the flesh' as does the man who falls into drunkenness or gives rein to his passions and lusts. It is purely a difference of degree. There is no essential difference at all.”

6The mind of sinful man[e] is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;

1. Henry, “ ow, to caution us against this carnal-mindedness, he shows the great misery and malignity of it, and compares it with the unspeakable excellency and comfort of spiritualmindedness. [1.] It is death, Rom_8:6. It is spiritual death, the certain way to eternal death. It is the death of the soul; for it is its alienation from God, in union and communion with whom the life of the soul consists. A carnal soul is a dead soul, dead as a soul can die. She that liveth in pleasure is dead (1Ti_5:6), not only dead in law as guilty, but dead in state as carnal. Death includes all misery; carnal souls are miserable souls. But to be spiritually minded, phronēma tou pneumatos - a spiritual savour (the wisdom that is from above, a principle of grace) is life and peace; it is the felicity and happiness of the soul. The life of the soul consists in its union with spiritual things by the mind. A sanctified soul is a living soul, and that life is peace; it is a very comfortable life. All the paths of spiritual wisdom are paths of peace. It is life and peace in the other world, as well as in this. Spiritual-mindedness is eternal life and peace begun, and an assuring earnest of the perfection of it.” 2. Jamison, “to be carnally minded — literally, “the mind” or “minding of the flesh” (Margin); that is, the pursuit of fleshly ends. is death — not only “ends in” [Alford, etc.], but even now “is”; carrying death into its bosom, so that such are “dead while they live” (1Ti_5:6; Eph_2:1, Eph_2:5) [Philippi]. but to be spiritually minded — “the mind” or “minding of the spirit”; that is, the pursuit of spiritual objects. is life and peace — not “life” only, in contrast with the “death” that is in the other pursuit, but “peace”; it is the very element of the soul’s deepest repose and true bliss.” 3. Barnes, “For to be carnally minded - Margin, “The minding of the flesh.” The sense is, that to follow the inclinations of the flesh, or the corrupt propensities of our nature, leads us to

condemnation and death. The expression is one of great energy, and shows that it not only leads to death, or leads to misery, but that it is death itself; there is woe and condemnation in the very act and purpose of being supremely devoted to the corrupt passions, Its only tendency is condemnation and despair. Is death - The penalty of transgression; condemnation and eternal ruin; ote, Rom_5:12. But to be spiritually minded - Margin, “The minding of the Spirit.” That is, making it the object of the mind, the end and aim of the actions, to cultivate the graces of the Spirit, and to submit to his influence. To be spiritually minded is to seek those feelings and views which the Holy Spirit produces, and to follow his leading. Is life - This is opposed to death in Rom_8:5. It tends to life, and is in fact real life. For to possess and cultivate the graces of the spirit, to be led where he would guide us, is the design of our existence, and is the only path of happiness.”

4. Clarke, “To live under the influence of the carnal mind is to live in the state of condemnation, and consequently liable to death eternal: whereas, on the contrary, he who is spiritually minded has the life and peace of God in his soul, and is in full prospect of life eternal. 4B. Haldane, “In the preceding verse the Apostle contrasts the dispositions and practices of believers and unbelievers ; here he contrasts their opposite states and conditions. These two states of carnal and spiritual mindedness include and divide the whole world. All men belong either to the one or the other. They are either in the flesh or in the Spirit ; in a state of nature or in a state of grace. For to be carnally minded is death. This is the awful state of the carnal mind the mind of the flesh without faith in Christ, and renovation of the Spirit of God. It is death spiritual and eternal. All the works of those who are in this state are dead works, Heb. ix. 14. The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, although the Lord commanded to offer sacrifices, which therefore was in itself a good work. She that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. All by nature being in this carnal state, are dead in trespasses and sins. Let those whose minds are set on the things of the world consider this fearful saying, that to be carnally minded is death, and let them look to Jesus the Savior of the guilty, through whom alone they can escape condemnation. But to be spiritually minded is life and peace. These are the effects of being enlightened and guided by the Spirit of God, and so having the mind turned from earthly things to the things of the Spirit. To be spiritually minded is life, even eternal life. This life is already enjoyed by the believer. Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life ; and with his Redeemer he has risen from the death of sin to walk in this new life. It is also peace, both here and hereafter. This peace is the harmony of all the faculties of the soul with God, and with His will, and is altogether the opposite of that enmity against God, which in the following verse is affirmed concerning the carnal mind. While there is nothing so miserable for man as war with his Creator, there is nothing so blessed as peace and communion with God.....The peace here spoken of is opposed to the terrors of conscience which the unregenerate experience, and to the opposition in their hearts to God, as well as to every species of false peace by which they may be deluded. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked. And again it is said, Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee.”

5. Gill, “death is not the object, but the end of carnal mindedness; carnal mindedness, so far as it prevails in the saints, brings a death upon them. It is true, indeed, they cannot die a spiritual, or an eternal death; yet sometimes they are very dead and lifeless in their frames, in the exercise of grace and discharge of duty; which is frequently owing to their carnality: and the effect of this must needs be death in carnal men; since it alienates from God; it renders them transgressors of the law, and obnoxious to its curse; it sets the soul against, and diverts it from Christ the way of life; and if grace prevent not, must be the cause of, and issue in eternal death; because it is sin and sinful, it is enmity to God, it disqualifies for life, and makes persons fit companions for the heirs of wrath: but to be spiritually minded, is life and peace; spiritually minded men are the only living persons in a spiritual sense, for all that are in and after the flesh are dead; and so far as carnal mindedness prevails in professors, there is a deadness in them as to all spiritual exercises; and oftentimes as to outward appearance, there is no difference between them and dead men: but spiritually minded men are evidently living persons; they have a spiritual discerning of spiritual things; they breathe after them, savour and relish them; they talk of spiritual things, and walk in a spiritual manner; they are not only alive, but lively in the exercise of grace and discharge of duty; and are the means of enlivening others; and their end will be everlasting life; which is certain from the declared will and promise of God, and from the grace of life and Spirit of life which are in them. "Peace" also is another effect of spiritual mindedness; such enjoy peace of conscience: this is a fruit of the Spirit; a part of the kingdom of grace the are possessed of; and the things their minds are conversant with are productive of it; which is the gift of God, passes all understanding, and is of more worth than all the world: such men are also of peaceable dispositions in commonwealths, in neighborhoods, in families, and churches; induced thereunto by the noblest arguments; and their end will be peace, which will be perfect and eternal.” 6. “The word "minded" in our text also includes the will—affections—desires—purposes—and also choices; This same Greek word "phronema {fron-ay-mah} is also translated as "savour" and also as affections As used in our text— the word also means determination To "be spiritually minded," is to have Christ as our first love. A little boy asked why is it that when I open a marigold it dies, but if God does it, its so beautiful? Then before anyone could answer he said, “I know. Its because ?God always works from the inside.” author unknown 6B. Beet, “The flesh does not, and does not because it cannot, submit to the commands of God. It desires objects without considering whether God permits them. Our appetites distinguish pleasant and unpleasant, but not right and wrong. Conseq., the body often prompts us to break the law : and to do so is to declare war against the king. Therefore the flesh is necessarily hostile to God. It is a matter of every-day experience that if we let the body rule, we shall do what God forbids. And ch. vii. gives the reason. The flesh is ruled by sin, which is essentially hostile to God. Therefore the flesh cannot submit to God. This sec. leaves out of sight the animating principle, sin, and looks only at the flesh in which it dwells, to teach that they who, perhaps without thought of sin, follow the guidance of the body, are working out the will of one whose only purpose is to fight against God. ow war against God must end in death. Therefore, by proving that the mind of the flesh is hostility to God, Paul has proved that the mind of the flesh is death.” 6C. Drew Worthen, “The distinction is so clear and so diametrically opposed to one another that

the one (the flesh) is referred to as death, while the other (the Spirit) is referred to as life and peace. The reason Paul spends so much time on this issue is because this is a life and death situation. We in the church have a tendency to think that Christianity is our ticket to eternal life, and that the Church is our safe haven for getting away from the things of the world. Paul's point is that Christianity is a base of operation to combat the spiritual forces which hold people in bondage which leads to death, a spiritual death which makes physical death look like a long awaited friend, because it separates people from God, and it's eternal. The spiritual reality is that this war is not some game and the Church is not some rest home for Christians to simply enjoy the company of other people with like desires. We are not in the Body of Christ to challenge each other to spiritual shuffle board, or gather at a table for a round of spiritual cards or dominoes. The church is not some club where we gather to make each other feel good. We gather to come to Mount Zion to worship our God, to be strengthened in His Spirit so we may go out into this world and do battle in the love and strength of our God who has given us life and peace in Christ. 7. Wil Pounds, “The Apostle John defined this mindset: "Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever." The problem for the believer has always been how to be in the world and not buy into its philosophy of life. Far too often we try to compromise with the world, we want to be socially accepted. We look at appearance, performance and status to find fulfillment. The world's system and philosophy has always been in total enmity with God. How tragic when Christians don't realize that and try to copycat the world's system. What is the fruit of this mind-set? Cf. Galatians 5:19-21, “ ow the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God." 7B. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “Our Lord gives us the best understanding of this in what He said to Peter on that occasion at Caesarea Philippi when the Apostle made his great confession in reply to our Lord's question `Who do ye say that I am?' Matthew records the matter in his 16th chapter. Peter said, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God'. But a few minutes later, when our Lord began to tell the disciples about His approaching death, Peter said, `Be it far from thee, Lord'. Our Lord rebuked him severely and said, `Get thee behind me, Satan, for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men'. The word translated `savourest', really means `to think' - `thou thinkest not the things that be of God'. Indeed, it is the very word which is used in this sixth verse of Romans 8. `The trouble with you, Peter,' said our Lord in effect, `is that your whole mentality is wrong, your whole way of thinking is wrong; you are not thinking the things of God, you are thinking the things of man: `Peter', He seems to say, `what is the matter with you? You have just made your great confession, and I told you that "flesh and blood had not revealed it unto you, but my Father which is in heaven". ow you are proving that I was right, because when I go on to make a great spiritual statement to you, you turn and say "That be far from thee, Lord". Peter, the trouble with you is that you are now

thinking, not after God, but after men; your whole outlook, your whole mentality, your whole process of thinking is sadly astray.' That is the idea in the phrase `The mind of the flesh is death'. Let me illustrate this further, by what the Apostle tells us in the twelfth chapter of this Epistle in the second verse: `Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed.' How? `By the renewing of your mind.' It is absolutely essential that the mind be renewed. In the absence of a renewal of the mind man is entirely hopeless. You will find the same in Ephesians 4, verses 17 to z4, and also in the second chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians: `The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God.' Why not? `Because they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them.' Why not? `Because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man' 1 Corinthians 2: 14, is The statement that `The mind of the flesh is death' means that the natural man is in a state of spiritual death. That is what the Apostle says everywhere about the unbeliever, about the man who is not a Christian. We find it mentioned at the beginning of the second chapter of Ephesians: `You hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.' 'Dead' l He repeats it again in verse 5 : `Even when we were dead in sins, he hath quickened us together with Christ.' The Apostle is saying the same thing here. The man who is `under the flesh', and governed and controlled by his fallen human nature, not only minds the things of the flesh -those worldly things out of which God is shut - but he does so because he is spiritually dead. He is alive physically, he exists, but spiritually he is a dead man.”

8. John Wesley describes the totally secular mind. “...the state of a natural man. This the Scripture represents as a state of sleep: The voice of God to him is, "Awake thou that sleepest." For his soul is in a deep sleep: His spiritual senses are not awake; They discern neither spiritual good nor evil. The eyes of his understanding are closed; They are sealed together, and see not. Clouds and darkness continually rest upon them; for he lies in the valley of the shadow of death. Hence having no inlets for the knowledge of spiritual things, all the avenues of his soul being shut up, he is in gross, stupid ignorance of whatever he is most concerned to know. He is utterly ignorant of God, knowing nothing concerning him as he ought to know. He is totally a stranger to the law of God, as to its true, inward, spiritual meaning. He has no conception of that evangelical holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord; nor of the happiness which they only find whose "life is hid with Christ in God." And for this very reason, because he is fast asleep, he is, in some sense, at rest. Because he is blind, he is also secure; He saith, "Tush, there shall no harm happen unto me." The darkness which covers him on every side, keeps him in a kind of peace; so far as peace can consist with the works of the devil, and with an earthly, devilish mind. He sees not that he stands on the edge of the pit, therefore he fears it not. He cannot tremble at the danger he does not know. He has not understanding enough to fear. Why is it that he is in no dread of God? Because he is totally ignorant of him. From the same ignorance of himself and God, there may sometimes arise, in the natural man, a kind of joy, in congratulating himself upon his own wisdom and goodness: And what the world calls joy, he may often possess. He may have pleasure in various kinds; either in gratifying the desires of the flesh, or the desire of the eye, or the pride of life; particularly if he has large possessions; if he enjoy an affluent fortune; then he may "clothe" himself "in purple and fine linen, and fare sumptuously every day." And so long as he thus doeth well unto himself, men will doubtless speak good of him. They will say, "He is a happy man." For, indeed, this is the sum of worldly happiness; to dress, and visit, and talk, and eat, and drink, and rise up to play.

9. Ray Stedman, “Death is not something waiting for you at the end of your life; it is something that you experience right now, whenever you live according to the flesh.” “What is death? If you study through the Scriptures you will find that death, in this present experience, always comes down to four basic things: fear, guilt, hostility, and emptiness. Those are the forms of death, and they come when you have your mind set on those things -- and only those things -- that the flesh desires: making money, having fun, fulfilling yourself, and gaining fame. If that is all you want out of life, then you will also have with it fear, guilt, hostility, emptiness, in all their various forms: Fear can appear as worry, anxiety, dread, or timidity. Guilt can show up in your life as shame, self-hatred, self-righteousness, or perfectionism. Hostility will manifest itself as hate, resentment, bitterness, revenge, or cruelty. Emptiness can show up as loneliness, depression, discouragement, despair, meaninglessness. These are all symptoms of death. As if that were not enough, these symptoms of death not only have this immediate effect upon our feelings, but they actually go on to settle into the body and affect our physical functioning. As many of us, perhaps, have already found from our various experiences of death, we can develop nervous twitches, tics, rashes, eczema, ulcers, stuttering, heart attacks, cancer, and many other diseases. This, literally, is death. We are producing death in our experience if, as Christians, we continue to live and think and act like the world lives and thinks and acts. If, on Monday morning, we go right back to living just like everyone else does, and reacting like everyone else does, living for the very reasons they live for, death will be produced in our lives. You can see this in the world around. All around us we see testimony to the fact that fear, guilt, hostility, loneliness, and emptiness are the results of thinking like the world thinks. What, then, is living with the mind set on the Spirit? It is facing all these things -- seeking to make money, having fun, fulfilling yourself, even seeking a degree of fame -- but nevertheless realizing that God is at work in this. He supplies the power to do these things. Expect him to be at work and to be glorified in all these things. What will be the result of this kind of living? According to this, it produces life and peace, two marvelous qualities. What is life? Once again, if I may summarize all that the Scriptures say on this, life includes four basic things that are opposite qualities to death: If death is fear, then life is trust, hope, and confidence. If death is guilt, then life is a feeling of acceptance, security, and assurance. If death is hostility, then life is love, friendliness, kindness, and reaching out to others. If death is emptiness, then life is a sense of well-being, fulfillment, excitement, vitality, and fullness of life. With life comes peace, which, of course, is an inner calm, a quiet spirit, a remarkable sense of being able to cope and to handle life. That is what comes when the mind is set on the Spirit.”

10. Daniel Hill, “ o one is going to purposely set his mind upon that which will bring death. So the death that is here, which is the temporal death of the believer out of fellowship is not the obvious result of the mind set on the flesh, It is a hidden failing of the mind set on the flesh. Romans 7:5, "For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death." Romans 7:10, "And this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me;"

Romans 7:13, "Therefore did that which is good become a cause of death for me? May it never be! Rather it was sin, in order that it might be shown to be sin by effecting my death through that which is good, that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful." Romans 7:24, "Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?" Paul did not say I will chose that mind set that will bring death, but rather he chose to use his human ability to keep the Law and the result was death. PRI CIPLE: The mind set on the things of the flesh is the mind of the believer who tries to fulfill the requirement of the Law (holiness) and then tries to fulfill the law (love God and others) by law, by keeping law of any kind. The opposite of that is to set the mind on the Spirit and the end result is life and peace. How can we add anything to the Spirit, he is God! We cannot add anything to God by way of morality, by way of obedience, by way of good deeds, by way of discipline, by way of desire, by way of knowledge. The only way we have access to the Spirit is by faith. The result, no the object of faith, this is not the obvious but it is where it ends up...life and peace. Paul uses LIFE to bring together the Holy Spirit here with the Law of the Spirit of Life in verse 2 LIFE cannot be physical life because all men have that. It cannot be the new life in Christ because all believers have that by way of the new man. So it must be something that all believes have the potential for but not all believers experience the reality of and that is the Spiritual Life or that which comes from the new nature which is empowered by the Holy Spirit through faith. PEACE is used here to link back to the result of justification in Romans 5:1 Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Peace is a result of justification which is by faith and a result of walking in the Spirit which is by faith. The peace with God is the peace of Romans 5:1 where here is the peace of God that we have as we live in the World. We have peace. WHY?? Because we are accessing God's power not struggling in our own power. Peace is a state of rest, and it is God's purpose to have us enter into his rest. Hebrews 4:9-10, "There remains therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His." BUT OTICE: Just like death in the flesh, Life and Peace in the Spirit are not the initial obvious results. This come about progressively as one walks in the Spirit, yes, more life, more peace. The mind set of flesh is hostile towards God. HOSTILE is a word that means hostility but also enmity or active insubordination. This hostility or enmity is established because man says he does not need God to meet the requirement of the law or to fulfill the law. God says "be ye holy as I am holy," and man hostile to God says okay, I will do it. He can do it in some measure himself. He can perhaps meet God part way or perform some work

that will allow Go to meet him part way. But that is hostile to God being God and man being the creature. Two reasons for the enmity: For it does not subject itself to the law of God. Remember what law does, according to Paul in Romans 7:8, it produces rebellion. Any rigid system will back fire: Legalism: the proponents of legalism end up being the most lascivious Emotionalism: They end up emotionally drained and often with mental and emotional problems. Knowledge: They are often the ones who know the least about the Bible. Rules and Law: They end up in inconsistency in their keeping of their own rules (Pharisees) For it (the mind set of the flesh) is not able to do so: The determination of the carnal believer is not able to meet the requirement of the law or fulfill the law. Even if the desire is their, without out taking advantage of the access we have to the Spirit by way of faith, we are incapable of keeping law. 11. Living Stream Ministry, “In many respects, verse 6 succinctly restates the experiences of Paul in Romans 7 and 8. In chapter seven Paul describes the experience of the mind being set on the flesh, that is, being set on satisfying the requirements of the law of God (7:22-23). The result of his experience was utter defeat and death (v. 24). From a human standpoint, there was nothing base about Paul’s motivation in Romans 7; he was responding to his delight in the law of God (v. 22). His pursuit, however, was defeated by the operation of the law of sin and death in his members. More cruelly, however, the law of sin and death took advantage of the Law and Paul’s fleshly endeavors to keep the Law to utterly deceive him about the nature of God’s salvation, which involves the giving of life, not the keeping of the law. In reflecting upon this experience, Paul concluded that nothing good dwelt in his flesh (v. 18). In chapter eight, however, Paul describes the experience of the mind being set on the spirit, that is, being set on the spontaneous operation of the life of God, which has been compounded with the elements of Christ’s incarnation, death, resurrection, and ascension. Only the elements in the Spirit of life, rather than our best efforts, can deal with the negative elements of death in our being and cause our mind to be life (v. 6). Many Christians are still in Romans 7, because their experience is limited to the first half of Romans 8:6. Their mind is set on being good Christians, that is, merely being moral and ethical Christians. Moral teachings and ethical exhortations based on the ew Testament have become standard fare in much of today’s Christianity. But every effort to meet these new “commandments” ends up in defeat and failure. We purpose to love but end up despising. We purpose to share but end up coveting. We purpose to submit but end up rebelling. We purpose to do good but end up doing evil. If we have any hope of moving beyond these recurring experiences of carrying around this body of death, we must, like Paul, move on to Romans 8 by moving on to the second half of Romans 8:6. We are joined to the processed Triune God in our spirit; we have His life, which operates in us as an organic law, bringing us into the experiences that have been compounded into the Spirit of life. As we walk according to the Spirit in our spirit, this law operates, spreading life from our spirit to our soul and ultimately to our mortal body (v. 11). “He

is ’the Spirit of life,’ He is ’the Spirit of God,’ and He is also ’the Spirit of Christ’ indwelling us that He may impart Himself as life to us. Christ not only imparts life to our spirit (v. 10), but also to our minds (v. 6) and to our mortal bodies (v. 11)” (Lee 192).

7the sinful mind[f] is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so.
1. Henry, “The former speaks the carnal sinner a dead man, which is bad; but this speaks him a devil of a man. It is not only an enemy, but enmity itself. It is not only the alienation of the soul from God, but the opposition of the soul against God; it rebels against his authority, thwarts his design, opposes his interest, spits in his face, spurns at his bowels. Can there be a greater enmity? An enemy may be reconciled, but enmity cannot. How should this humble us for and warn us against, carnal-mindedness! Shall we harbour and indulge that which is enmity to God our creator, owner, ruler, and benefactor? To prove this, he urges that it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. The holiness of the law of God, and the unholiness of the carnal mind, are as irreconcilable as light and darkness. The carnal man may, by the power of divine grace, be made subject to the law of God, but the carnal mind never can; this must be broken and expelled. See how wretchedly the corrupt will of man is enslaved to sin; as far as the carnal mind prevails, there is no inclination to the law of God.” 2. Jamison, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God — The desire and pursuit of carnal ends is a state of enmity to God, wholly incompatible with true life and peace in the soul. for it is not subject — “doth not submit itself.” to the law of God, neither indeed can be — In such a state of mind there neither is nor can be the least subjection to the law of God. Many things may be done which the law requires, but nothing either is or can be done because God’s law requires it, or purely to please Go.” 2B. David Riggs, “Application: We must daily center our minds on spiritual things. Col. 3:1-2; 1 Pet. 1:13 The very best way to be spiritually minded (minding things of the Spirit) is by having our minds renewed by the Word of God. Rom. 12:2; 2 Cor. 4:16 We must pray that the Lord will give us our daily food (Luke 11:3) as well as our spiritual food (Matt. 4:4). The spiritual nourishment is far more important. John 6:27 3. Barnes, “Because - This is given as a reason for what is said in Rom_8:6. In that verse the apostle had affirmed that to be carnally minded was death, but he had not stated why it was. He now explains it by saying that it is enmity against God, and thus involves a sinner in conflict with him, and exposes to his condemnation. The carnal mind - This is the same expression as occurs in Rom_8:6 τὸ φρόνηµα τὴς σαρκός to phronēma tēs sarkos. It does not mean the mind itself, the intellect, or the will; it does not

suppose that the mind or soul is physically depraved, or opposed to God; but it means that the minding of the things of the flesh, giving to them supreme attention, is hostility against God; and involves the sinner in a controversy with him, and hence, leads to death and woe. This passage should not be alleged in proof that the soul is physically depraved, but merely that where there is a supreme regard to the flesh there is hostility to God. It does not directly prove the doctrine of universal depravity; but it proves only that where such attention exists to the corrupt desires of the soul, there is hostility to God. It is indeed implied that that supreme regard to the flesh exists everywhere by nature, but this is not expressly affirmed. For the object of the apostle here is not to teach the doctrine of depravity, but to show that where such depravity in fact exists, it involves the sinner in a fearful controversy with God. Is enmity - Hostility; hatred. It means that such a regard to the flesh is in fact hostility to God, because it is opposed to his Law, and to his plan for purifying the soul; compare Jam_4:4; 1Jo_2:15. The minding of the things of the flesh also leads to the hatred of God himself, because he is opposed to it, and has expressed his abhorrence of it. Against God - Toward God; or in regard to him. It supposes hostility to him. For it - The word “it” here refers to the minding of the things of the flesh. It does not mean that the soul itself is not subject to his Law, but that the minding of those things is hostile to his Law. The apostle does not express any opinion about the metaphysical ability of man, or discuss that question at all. The amount of his affirmation is simply, that the minding of the flesh, the supreme attention to its dictates and desires, is not and cannot be subject to the Law of God. They are wholly contradictory and irreconcilable, just as much as the love of falsehood is inconsistent with the laws of truth; as intemperance is inconsistent with the law of temperance; and as adultery is a violation of the seventh commandment. But whether the man himself might not obey the Law, whether he has, or has not, ability to do it, is a question which the apostle does not touch, and on which this passage should not be adduced. For whether the law of a particular sin is utterly irreconcilable with an opposite virtue, and whether the sinner is able to abandon that sin and pursue a different path, are very different inquiries. Is not subject - It is not in subjection to the command of God. The minding of the flesh is opposed to that law, and thus shows that it is hostile to God. either indeed can be - This is absolute and certain. It is impossible that it should be. There is the utmost inability in regard to it. The things are utterly irreconcilable. But the affirmation does not mean that the heart of the sinner might not be subject to God; or that his soul is so physically depraved that he cannot obey, or that he might not obey the law. On that, the apostle here expresses no opinion. That is not the subject of the discussion. It is simply that the supreme regard to the flesh, t the minding of that, is utterly irreconcilable with the Law of God. They are different things, and can never be made to harmonize; just as adultery cannot be chastity; falsehood cannot be truth; dishonesty cannot be honesty; hatred cannot be love. This passage, therefore, should not be adduced to prove the doctrine of man’s inability to love God, for it does not refer to that, but it proves merely that a supreme regard to the things of the flesh is utterly inconsistent with the Law of God; can never be reconciled with it; and involves the sinner in hostility with his Creator.” 4. Clarke, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God - Because it is a carnal mind, and relishes earthly and sinful things, and lives in opposition to the pure and holy law of God: therefore, it is enmity against God; it is irreconcilable and implacable hatred. It is not subject to the law of God - It will come under no obedience; for it is sin, and the very principle of rebellion; and therefore it cannot be subject, nor subjected; for it is essential to sin to show itself in rebellion; and when it ceases to rebel, it ceases to be sin.

From this we learn that the design of God in the economy of the Gospel, is not to weaken, curtail, or lay the carnal principle in bonds, but to destroy it. As it is not subject, and cannot be subject, to the law of God, it must be destroyed, else it will continue to rebel against God. It cannot be mended, or rendered less offensive in its nature, even by the operations of God; it is ever sin, and sin is ever enmity; and enmity, wherever it has power, will invariably show itself in acts of hostility and rebellion.” 5. Gill, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God,.... These words contain a reason why the issue of carnal mindedness is death; because the carnal mind, the wisdom of the flesh, is not only an enemy, but enmity itself against God: against his being; it reasons against it; it wishes he was not; it forms unworthy notions of him; thinks him such an one as itself; and endeavors to bury him in forgetfulness, and erase out of its mind all memorials of him: it is at enmity against his perfections; either denying his omniscience; or arraigning his justice and faithfulness; or despising his goodness, and abusing his grace and mercy: it finds fault with, and abhors his decrees and purposes; quarrels with his providence; it is implacable against his word and Gospel; especially the particular doctrines of grace, the Father's grace in election, the Son's in redemption, and the Spirit's in regeneration; and has in the utmost contempt the ordinances and people of Christ. This enmity is universal, it is in all men in unregeneracy, either direct or indirect, hidden or more open; it is undeserved; it is natural and deeply rooted in the mind, and irreconcilable without the power and grace of God. It shows itself in an estrangedness from God; in holding friendship with the world, in harbouring the professed enemies of God, in living under the government of sin and Satan; in hating what God loves, and in loving what God hates; in omitting what God commands, and committing what he forbids; it manifests itself in their language, and throughout the whole of their conversations. For it is not subject to the law of God; carnal men are subject to the law's sentence of condemnation, but not to its precepts, by obedience to them; there may be an external, and which is a servile obedience to it, but not a free, voluntary, internal one, and still less a perfect one: the carnal mind is so far from an obedient subjection to the law, that it is far off from the law, and the law from that; it hates and despises it, thwarts and contradicts it in every instance, and, as much as in it lies, makes it void; which fully proves the enmity of the carnal mind against God; for hereby his being is tacitly denied, his sovereignty disputed, his image defaced, his government withdrawn from, and these persons are declared, and declare themselves enemies to him: neither indeed can be; without regenerating grace, without the power and Spirit of God, unless it is written upon the heart by the finger of God; for carnal men are dead in sin, and so without strength to obey the law; and besides, the carnal mind, and the law of God, are directly contrary one to another. Where is man's power and free will? no wonder the carnal mind do not stoop to the Gospel of Christ, when it is not, and cannot be subject to the law of God. Hence we see the necessity of almighty power, and efficacious grace in conversion. It is Christ's work to subject men to the law, and which is done when he justifies by his righteousness: agreeably to which the Targum on Isa_53:11; paraphrases it thus: "in his wisdom he shall justify the righteous, that ‫" ,לשעבדא סגיאין לאוריתא‬he may subject many to the law".'' And in Isa_53:11, the transgressors he hath subjected to the law.” 6. Haldane, “Every man whose heart is set on this world hates God, 1 John ii. 15. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him ; and the heart of every one who has not been

renewed in his mind by the Spirit of God is set on this world. Such men hate the holiness of God, His justice, His sovereignty, and even His mercy in the way in which it is exercised. Men of this character, however, have no notion that they hate God. ay, many of them profess to love Him. But God s testimony is, that they are His enemies ; and His testimony is to be taken against the testimony of all men. This, however, does not suppose that men may not imagine that they love God. But is it not the true God whom they are regarding, but a God of their own imagination a God all mercy, and therefore a God unjust; while they abhor the just God, and the Saviour, who is the God of the Scriptures. He that cometh to God must believe that He is, Heb. xi. 6. He must believe that He is what He is. 6B. Unknown author, “There are five things that will never happen to the flesh: 1. The flesh cannot be changed. The rebellious, non-submissive flesh will never be transformed into submissive, obedient flesh. God’s method of dealing with the flesh is not to change it but to CO DEM IT (Rom.8:3) and CRUCIFY IT (Gal.5:24; 2:20 and compare Rom.6:6). 2. The flesh cannot be reformed. It cannot be corrected or restored to purity. That which is corrupt remains corrupt. That which is desperately wicked remains desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9). The Church was reformed (we speak of the Protestant "Reformation") and restored to some degree of purity but the flesh will never have a reformation. Two thousand years ago it did not have a REFORMATIO but it had a CRUCIFIXIO ! 3. The flesh can never be trained. The flesh is stubborn. It refuses to change its ways. It’s immutable. You can never teach the flesh how to please God. The flesh is incorrigible--incapable of being corrected or amended. The flesh refuses to change its ways. The works of the flesh always remain the same (see Galatians 5:19-21). 4. The flesh cannot be improved. It always remains as it is: depraved, corrupt, wicked, sinful, evil, anti-God, rebellious, stubborn, proud, etc. 5. The flesh cannot be reconciled to God. It is always and ever opposed to God (see Gal. 5:17). It will never be at peace with God; instead there is constant war. God can never be brought into harmony with that which is out of harmony with His holy and righteous Character.

8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
1. Barnes, “So then - It follows; it leads to this conclusion. They that are in the flesh - They who are unrenewed sinners; who are following supremely the desires of the flesh; Rom_7:18. Those are meant here who follow fleshly appetites and desires, and who are not led by the Spirit of God.

Cannot please God - That is, while they are thus in the flesh; while they thus pursue the desires of their corrupt nature, they cannot please God. But this affirms nothing respecting their ability to turn from this course, and to pursue a different mode of life. That is a different question. A child may be obstinate, proud, and disobedient; and while in this state, it may be affirmed of him that he cannot please his parent. But whether he might not cease to be obstinate, and become obedient, is a very different inquiry; and the two subjects should never be be confounded. It follows from this, (1) That those who are unrenewed are totally depraved, since in this state they cannot please God. (2) That none of their actions while in this state can be acceptable to him, since he is pleased only with those who are spiritually minded. (3) That those who are in this state should turn from it without delay; as it is desirable that every man should please God. (4) That if the sinner does not turn from his course, he will be ruined. With his present character he can never please him; neither in health nor sickness; neither in life nor death; neither on earth nor in hell. He is engaged in hostility against God; and if he does not himself forsake it, it will be endless, and involve his soul in all the evils of a personal, and direct, and eternal warfare with the Lord Almighty. 2. Clarke, “So then - Because this carnal mind is enmity against God, they that are in the flesh who are under the power of the workings of this carnal mind, (which every soul is that has not received redemption in the blood of the Lamb), Cannot please God - Because of the rebellious workings of this principle of rebellion and hatred. And, if they cannot please God, they must be displeasing to him; and consequently in the broad road to final perdition. 2B. Constable, “From the end of verse 7 it seems clear that Paul was thinking of an unsaved person (cf. vv. 8-9). Evidently he wanted "to expose the flesh in its stark reality as being totally alien to God and his purpose."246 What interests a person reveals his or her essential being. It is possible to walk according to the flesh (vv. 4-5) and not to be in the flesh, however. In other words, it is possible to live as an unregenerate person even though one has experienced regeneration.” 2C. Haldane, “It is thus that wickedness proceedeth from the wicked. either can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Except a man be born of water, and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only ? o man can come to Me except the Father which hath sent Me, draw him. Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto Me except it were given unto him of My Father. The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God ; for they are foolishness unto him ; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. Their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken. How can ye, being evil, speak good things ? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. The Spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive. Why do ye not understand My speech ? even because ye cannot hear My word. o man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

There is nothing to prevent men from obeying the will of God but their own depraved dispositions, and aversion to the things of God. The natural faculties of men would be sufficient to enable them to do what He commands, if they employ them properly. If they employ them otherwise, the fault rests exclusively with themselves. And as the corruption of our nature does not deprive a man of any of his natural faculties, or of perfect liberty to act conformably to the decision of his own mind, the obligation under which he lies to do right continues in full force. From this we see, first, how justly God punishes men for their crimes, who, unless inclined and enabled by His grace, cannot liberate themselves from the slavery of sin; and further, that the inability of men to obey God, not being natural but moral inability, cannot deprive God of the right to command obedience, under the pain of His most awful displeasure.” 3. Gill, “So then they that are in the flesh,.... They that are in the flesh are the same who are said to be after it, Rom_8:5, and are there described. Such cannot please God; men, whilst unregenerate, and as such, cannot please God; for though the persons of God's elect are wellpleasing to him always, as considered in Christ, in whom they are loved with an everlasting love, and were chosen in him, and all provisions grace and glory made for them in him; yet as considered in themselves, and whilst in the flesh, do not please him; for they are straying from him, are alienated from his life, are destitute of all grace, and particularly faith, without which it is impossible to please him; are filthy and unclean, and hence, whilst such have no enjoyment of him, or communion with him; wherefore he sends his Spirit to work in them that which is wellpleasing in his sight: but this is not to be understood so much of persons, and their nonacceptableness to God, as of the inability of unregenerate men to obtain the good will of God, or make their peace with him; which they have no inclination to, being enmity against him; and were they inclined to it, know not how to go about it; nor can they draw nigh to God to treat with him about terms of peace; nor can they do that which can procure peace; Christ is the only person that can, make peace, and has done it: or rather, of the impotency of natural men to do anything which pleasing in the sight of God. There are many things which are pleasing to him, such as prayer, praise, giving of alms, keeping his commandments, and walking in his ways; but these unregenerate men cannot do in any acceptable manner to God; for they are without the Spirit, without Christ, without faith; and in all they do have no view to the glory of God: they have neither grace, nor strength, nor right principles, nor right ends. 3B. Unknown author, “And those who are in the flesh cannot please God. And how can we please God: Hebrews 11:6, "And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.' Pleasing God: I Thessalonians 4:1, "Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that, as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you may excel still more." II Timothy 2:4, " o soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier." Colossians 1:10, "so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please {Him} in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;" I John 3:22, "and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight"And those who are in the flesh cannot pleaseGod. And how can we please God:

Hebrews 11:6, "And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.' Pleasing God: I Thessalonians 4:1, "Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that, as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you may excel still more." II Timothy 2:4, " o soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier." Colossians 1:10, "so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please {Him} in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;" I John 3:22, "and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight" 4. Henry, “Those that are in the flesh cannot please God. Those that are in a carnal unregenerate state, under the reigning power of sin, cannot do the things that please God, wanting grace, the pleasing principle, and an interest in Christ, the pleasing Mediator. The very sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination, Pro_15:8. Pleasing God is our highest end, of which those that are in the flesh cannot but fall short; they cannot please him, nay, they cannot but displease him. We may know our state and character, 5. We cannot afford to live in an attitude that cannot be pleasing to God, for that is the purpose of our lives, and failing this makes us the ultimate in failure. We can't afford to win the gain that means another's loss; We can't afford to miss the crown by stumbling at the cross. We can't afford the heedless jest that robs us of a friend; We can't afford the race that comes to tragic bitter end. We can't afford to play with fire, or tempt a serpent's bite We can't afford to think that sin brings any true delight. We can't afford with serious heed to treat the cynic's sneer, We can't afford to wise men's words to turn a careless ear. We can't afford for hate to give like hatred in return; We can't afford to feed a flame and make it fiercer burn. We can't afford to lose the soul for this world's fleeting breath; We can't afford to barter life in mad exchange for death. How blind are we apart from thee, our great all-seeing Lord; Oh, grant us light that we may know the things we can't afford. Author unknown 6. “If flesh is king it will not bow to the King of the Spirit. This tells us is that if we have a carnal mind, doing the things that please the flesh, walking, "...according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience," EPH 2:2, we cannot please God.” 7. Another poll sheds light on this paradox of increased religiosity and decreased morality.

According to sociologist Robert Bellah, 81 percent of the American people also say they agree that “an individual should arrive at his or her own religious belief independent of any church or synagogue.” Thus the key to the paradox is the fact that those who claim to be Christians are arriving at faith on their own terms -- terms that make no demands on behavior. A woman named Sheila, interviewed for Bellah’s Habits of the Heart, embodies this attitude. “I believe in God,” she said. “I can’t remember the last time I went to church. But my faith has carried me a long way. It’s ‘Sheila-ism.’ Just my own little voice.” Against the ight, Charles Colson, Page 98

9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.
1. As believers we are not controlled by the old sinful nature. That does not mean we are not still influenced by it, but it does not control us. If it does we are not indwelt by the Spirit, for if the Spirit is in us we will have some measure of his control and be living in a way pleasing to God. If we are not so living, but are controlled by the flesh, we are not truly Christians, and people of God. If we do not have the Spirit of Christ showing some control in our lives we are not believers, but are still outside of the family of God. The so-called carnal Christian has reason to be fearful, for by walking on the edge between the world and the kingdom of God they could be deceiving themselves that they are children of God when maybe they are not. Wise is every professing believer who prays for the filling of God's Spirit, and evaluates his desires to see if they conform to what the ew Testament says are to be the desires of a child of God. We need to see that we desire to please God to have assurance that the Spirit of God dwells in us. If you never think about pleasing God, and never seek to develop the fruit of the Spirit, you may never have really trusted in Jesus as your Savior. If that is the case, do it now, and pray to be filled with his Spirit. 2. The transforming power of the Spirit abides in all believers. Every born again believer has the Holy Spirit dwelling in Him. He doesn't have some of the Spirit, or a portion of the Spirit. He has all of Him. We don't need more of the Spirit we need to yield ourselves to Him without any reservations. We cling on to areas of our lives that need to be in submission to His will. When you read His Word and there is the pull on the heart by the Spirit or inner prompting and prodding we must yield to His leading. When He points out sin in our lives we need to confess it and stop doing it. When He points us to a great promise or illumines our mind as to who we are in our position before God we need to believe Him. It is His Word. Jesus said, "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing" (John 15:4-5). This is an intimate love relationship with Christ. It is walking in the Spirit. It is a

humble submission to Him. The Apostle Paul said the same thing, "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. . . If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit" (Galatians 5:16-17, 25). What does this kind of mind set produce? It has a distinctive aroma of Christ all about it. Paul describes the fruit of the mind set on what the Spirit desires in Galatians 5:22–23. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." author unknown 3. Barnes, “But ye - You who are Christians. This is the opposite character to what he had been describing, and shows the power of the gospel. ot in the flesh - ot under the full influence of corrupt desires and passions. But in the Spirit - That is, you are spiritually minded; you are under the direction and influence of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God - The Holy Spirit. Dwell in you - The Holy Spirit is often represented as dwelling in the hearts of Christians (compare 1Co_2:16; 1Co_6:19; 2Co_6:16; Eph_2:21-22; Gal_4:6); and the meaning is not that there is a personal or physical indwelling of the Holy Spirit, but that he influences, directs, and guides Christians, producing meekness, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, etc. Gal_5:22-23. The expression, to dwell in one, denotes intimacy of connection, and means that those things which are the fruits of the Spirit are produced in the heart. (See the supplementary note at Rom_8:10.) Have not the Spirit of Christ - The word “Spirit” is used in a great variety of significations in the Scriptures. It most commonly in the ew Testament refers to the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. But the expression “the Spirit of Christ” is not, I believe, any where applied to him, except it may be 1Pe_1:11. He is called often the Spirit of God Mat_3:16; Mat_12:28; 1Co_2:11, 1Co_2:14; 1Co_3:16; 1Co_6:11; Eph_4:30, but not the Spirit of the Father. The word “spirit” is often used to denote the temper, disposition; thus we say, a man of a generous spirit, or of a revengeful spirit, etc. It may possibly have this meaning here, and denotes that he who has not the temper or disposition of Christ is not his, or has no evidence of piety. But the connection seems to demand that it should be understood in a sense similar to the expression “the Spirit of God,” and “the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus” Rom_8:11; and if so, it means the Spirit which Christ imparts, or sends to accomplish his work Joh_14:26, the Holy Spirit, sent to make us like Christ, and to sanctify our hearts. And in this sense it evidently denotes the Spirit which Christ would send to produce in us the views and feelings which he came to establish, and which shall assimilate us to himself. If this refers to the Holy Spirit, then we see the manner in which the apostle spoke of the Saviour. He regarded “the Spirit” as equally the Spirit of God and of Christ, as proceeding from both; and thus evidently believed that there is a union of nature between the Father and the Son. Such language could never be used except on the supposition that the Father and Son are one; that is, that Christ is divine. Is none of his - Is not a Christian. This is a test of piety that is easily applied; and this settles the question. If a man is not influenced by the meek, pure, and holy spirit of the Lord Jesus, if he is not conformed to his image, if his life does not resemble that of the Saviour, he is a stranger to religion. o test could be more easily applied, and none is more decisive. It matters not what else he may have. He may be loud in his professions, amiable in his temper, bold in his zeal, or active

in promoting the interests of his own party or denomination in the church; but if he has not the temper of the Saviour, and does not manifest his Spirit, it is as sounding brass or a tinkling cymdal. May all who read this, honestly examine themselves; and may they have what is the source of the purest felicity, the spirit and temper of the Lord Jesus. 4. Clarke, “But ye are not in the flesh - Ye Christians, who have believed in Christ Jesus as the sin offering which has condemned sin in the flesh; and, having been justified by faith and made partakers of the Holy Spirit, are enabled to walk in newness of life. If so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you - Or seeing that, ειπερ, the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. The flesh, the sinful principle, dwelt in them before; and its motions were the proofs of its indwelling; but now the Spirit dwells in them; and its testimony in their conscience, and its powerful operations in their hearts, are the proofs of its indwelling. God made man in union with himself, and his heart was his temple. Sin being committed, the temple was defiled, and God abandoned it. Jesus Christ is come by his sacrifice and Spirit to cleanse the temple, and make man again a habitation of God through the Spirit. And when this almighty Spirit again makes the heart his residence, then the soul is delivered from the moral effects of the fall. And that this is absolutely necessary to our present peace and final salvation is proved from this: that if any man have not the Spirit of Christ - the mind that was in him, produced there by the power of the Holy Ghost - he is none of his; he does not belong to the kingdom, flock, or family of God. This is an awful conclusion! Reader, lay it to heart. 5. Gill, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit,.... That is, ye are not carnal, but spiritual men; or ye are not in a state of unregeneracy, but in a state of grace: the reason proving this is, if so be, or "seeing" that the Spirit of God dwell in you; the inhabitation of the Spirit is a distinguishing character of a regenerate man; which is to be understood not of his omnipresence, nor of a participation of his gifts, whether ordinary or extraordinary: nor does the Spirit of God only dwell in his people by his graces, but in person as in office, and in a way of special favour; as a spirit of illumination, regeneration, sanctification, and faith, as a comforter, a spirit of adoption, an intercessor, and as a pledge and seal of happiness: which inhabitation is personal; is not peculiar to him to the exclusion of the Father and of the Son; is expressive of property and dominion; is not confined to the souls of men, for he also dwells in their bodies; it is operative, powerful, and perpetual; it is the security of the saints' perseverance, and the pledge of their resurrection and future glory. This is owing not to any goodness in them, or to any fitness and preparations of theirs to receive him; but to a federal union to Christ and relation to him, to our Lord's ascension and intercession, and to the love and grace of the Father; and this proves a man to be a regenerate man, to be in the Spirit, and not in the flesh; for the Spirit of God is never in this sense in an unregenerate man, nor is he in any such sense without his grace; so that the indwelling of the Spirit is the grand evidence of relation to God, of an interest in Christ and union to him, and of a man's state and condition God-ward; now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. By "the Spirit of Christ", is not meant the human soul of Christ; nor his divine nature; nor his Gospel, which is the Spirit that gives life; but the Holy Ghost, the third person in the Trinity, the same which is called the Spirit before; and proves Christ to be God, he proceeds from him as from the Father, is sent by him, and with which Christ's human nature was fitted and filled. The Jews (x) often speak of ‫רוח‬

‫ ,המשיח‬or ‫" רוחא דמשיח‬the spirit of the Messiah". ow to have him is not barely to partake of his gifts, but of his graces; to be possessed of him as one's own; to have communion with him, and to have him dwelling in us. There are some who have him not, nor never will have him, being none of Christ's; and God's elect, whilst in an unregenerate state, are without him; and whilst such, though they are his chosen and adopted ones, they are his by his Father's gift and his own purchase, they are his pardoned ones through his blood, and his justified ones through his righteousness; yet they are not his regenerated, called, and sanctified ones; nor can they claim any interest in him; nor are they known to be his by themselves or others; nor have they any communion with him, or enjoyment of him. 6. Jamison, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you — This does not mean, “if the disposition or mind of God dwell in you”; but “if the Holy Ghost dwell in you” (see 1Co_6:11, 1Co_6:19; 1Co_3:16, etc.). (It thus appears that to be “in the spirit” means here to be under the dominion of our own renewed mind; because the indwelling of God’s Spirit is given as the evidence that we are “in the spirit”). ow — “But.” if any man have not the Spirit of Christ — Again, this does not mean “the disposition or mind of Christ,” but the Holy Ghost; here called “the Spirit of Christ,” just as He is called “the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (see on Rom_8:2). It is as “the Spirit of Christ” that the Holy Ghost takes possession of believers, introducing into them all the gracious, dove-like disposition which dwelt in Him (Mat_3:16; Joh_3:34). ow if any man’s heart be void, not of such dispositions, but of the blessed Author of them, “the Spirit of Christ.” he is none of his — even though intellectually convinced of the truth of Christianity, and in a general sense influence by its spirit. Sharp, solemn statement this! 6B. Haldane, “In this verse the word spirit in the first occurrence imports the gift and grace of regeneration. In the 2d and 3d it denotes the Author of that gift, namely, the Holy Spirit, who is Jehovah, a person in the selfexistent Godhead, equal with the Father and the Son in every attribute. He is called the Spirit, as being the breather or inspirer of spiritual life. Everything done by Him in this character tends to holiness, and there fore He is so often called the Holy Spirit. It is His Divine office to apply the salvation of Jesus, and to make it effectual. He does all in the heirs of promise. The Father gave them to the Son, the -Son re deemed them, but they are in the common mass of corruption, dead in trespasses and sins, till the Spirit of life opens their hearts to receive Him, enters into them, unites them by faith to the Saviour, and makes them the subjects of a new birth. Of the Holy Spirit it is said, 1 Cor. iii. 16, * Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If it be asked how the Holy Spirit, who is co-essential with the Father and the Son, and consequently infinite, can dwell in believers, the answer is, that though everywhere present, He is said nevertheless to dwell in them on account of His operation and the grace of regeneration, which He produces. It is the Holy Spirit who unites them to Christ the Lord. It is He who quickens and regenerates them, on account of which regeneration is called the renewing of the

Holy Ghost. He it is who leads, rules, and governs them, as it is said in the 14th verse, that as many as are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God. What this expression, dwell in you, imports is, that being united to Jesus Christ and regenerated, the Holy Spirit dwells in His people not as inactive, but operates in them continually, and leads and governs them. In the indwelling, then, of the Holy Spirit, is included His gracious and continuing presence, and His operations in the soul. The effects of these are illumination, sanctification, supplication, and consolation. Of the Holy Spirit, one of the early Christian writers says, He is the author of regeneration, the pledge of the promised inheritance, and, as it were, the handwriting of eternal salvation ; who makes us the temple of God and His house, who intercedes for us with groanings which cannot be uttered, acting as our advocate and defender, dwelling in our bodies, and sanctifying them for immortality. He it is who fights against the flesh, hence the flesh fights against the Spirit. ow, or rather, But, if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. Here is a necessary reservation. If the Spirit of God did not really dwell in any of those whom the Apostle addressed, they were still in the flesh, notwithstanding all their profession, and all their present appearances, and his persuasion respecting them. And no doubt some will be found to have escaped for a time the pollutions of the world, who may afterwards show that they were never renewed in heart. Many ridicule the pretensions of those who speak of the Holy Spirit as dwelling in believers ; yet if the Spirit of God dwell not in any, they are still in the flesh ; that is, they are enemies to God. The same Spirit that is called the Spirit of God in the preceding part of the sentence, is in this latter part called the Spirit of Christ, because Christ having, by virtue of His sacrifice, obtained the Spirit for His people, sends Him into their hearts, John xvi. 7. Christ, then, who sends the Holy Spirit, must be God. Every Christian has the Spirit of Christ dwelling in him. When Christ takes possession of any man as His, He puts His Holy Spirit within him. Without the presence of His Spirit, we can have no interest in Christ.” 7. Henry, “You are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit. This expresses states and conditions of the soul vastly different. All the saints have flesh and spirit in them; but to be in the flesh and to be in the Spirit are contrary. It denotes our being overcome and subdued by one of these principles. As we say, A man is in love, or in drink, that is, overcome by it. ow the great question is whether we are in the flesh or in the Spirit; and how may we come to know it? Why, by enquiring whether the Spirit of God dwell in us. The Spirit dwelling in us is the best evidence of our being in the Spirit, for the indwelling is mutual (1Jo_4:16): Dwelleth in God, and God in him. The Spirit visits many that are unregenerate with his motions, which they resist and quench; but in all that are sanctified he dwells; there he resides and rules. He is there as a man at his own house, where he is constant and welcome, and has the dominion. Shall we put this question to our own hearts, Who dwells, who rules, who keeps house, here? Which interest has the ascendant? To this he subjoins a general rule of trial: If any man has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. To be Christ's (that is, to be a Christian indeed, one of his children, his servants, his friends, in union with him) is a

privilege and honour which many pretend to that have no part nor lot in the matter. one are his but those that have his Spirit; that is, [1.] That are spirited as he was spirited-are meek, and lowly, and humble, and peaceable, and patient, and charitable, as he was. We cannot tread in his steps unless we have his spirit; the frame and disposition of our souls must be conformable to Christ's pattern. [2.] That are actuated and guided by the Holy Spirit of God, as a sanctifier, teacher, and comforter. Having the Spirit of Christ is the same with having the Spirit of God to dwell in us. But those two come much to one; for all that are actuated by the Spirit of God as their rule are conformable to the spirit of Christ as their pattern. ow this description of the character of those to whom belongs this first privilege of freedom from condemnation is to be applied to all the other privileges that follow. 8. “If we claim that our pardon is in the blood of Christ, it has to be manifested by the fact that the power of sin has been broken, and sin has been destroyed. Rebellion has been broken, and we have a new heart’s desire to obey God, walk in the ways of God. One cannot have Christ in them and not have the Spirit of Christ, and thus, be like Christ in spirit, or attitude. All Christians have the Spirit indwelling them.” author unknown 9. Paul Tillich, " To be a Christian means to have the Spirit, and any description of Christianity must be a description of the manifestations of the Spirit. Let us follow the description that Paul gives us of the Spirit; and let us compare our own experience with it. In so doing we may discover both how far away we are from the experience of Paul, and, at the same time, how similar our experience is to his. These strange words of his may reveal more to us about our lives than anything our contemporaries may think and write about the nature of man, his life and his destiny.” Spirit of God and of Christ are the same. Here is the test of who is a true Christian. You must have the Spirit of Christ to be a true believer in Christ. If this spirit is not evident in your life you need to open your heart and let His Spirit enter you by faith in the sacrifice of Christ for your salvation. Only that which is Christlike is truly Christian. This is another way of saying that you can have all things and yet be nothing if you do not have love. You can have the right creed and talk the right language and give much and do much but if you have not the Spirit of Christ, which is love, then you are nothing, and not His. Once heaven seemed a far off place, Till Jesus showed His smiling face. ow its begun within my soul. Twill last while endless ages roll. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God and of Christ. He is the third Person of the Godhead. He was not revealed so clearly in the Old Testament and so it was right for them to not think of God as a Trinity. It is a matter of progressive revelation. Paul, and every Christian, faces two problems as dealt with in our text: first, the problem of sin; second, the problem of righteousness. Our problem with sin is that we do it. Our problem with righteousness is that we do not, and cannot, do it. God solved the first problem by condemning sin in the flesh through the death of our Lord at Calvary. ow, in verses 9-11, Paul tells us how God has provided the solution for the second problem. God’s Law reveals the standard of righteousness. The Law tells us what righteousness is like. The Christian agrees with the Law of God, that it is “holy, righteous, and good.” The problem is the

strength of sin and the weakness of our flesh. As Paul has shown in verses 5-8, the flesh cannot please God. God has provided the means for Christians to live in a way that enables them to fulfill the requirement of the Law and to please God. God’s provision—for Christians only—is the power of His Holy Spirit, who indwells every Christian. The flesh is dead, because of sin. But the Spirit178 is alive, living within us, so that righteousness will result. The Spirit, who indwells every true believer, is the same Spirit who raised the dead body of our Lord from the dead (verse 11). Our problem, as Paul says in Romans 7:24, is “the body of this death.” Our bodies, which are dead due to sin, so far as doing that which is righteous, the Spirit will raise to life, as He raised the body of our Lord to life. And so the problem of righteousness has been solved. We cannot, by the flesh, please God and do that which is righteous. We can, by means of the Spirit, fulfill the requirement of the Law and please God. And so the two problems (1) of sin and (2) of righteousness have been solved, by God, through the work of our Lord Jesus Christ and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. There is no condemnation for sin for all who are in Christ, by faith. Sin, on the other hand, has been condemned in the flesh. The righteousness which we could not do, because of the deadness of our fleshly bodies, God accomplishes through His Spirit, who raises dead bodies to life. 9B. Drew Worthen has an indepth study of the Spirit here, and I will quote a large portion of it, for it explains a lot we need to understand.“ otice how Paul interchanges the Spirit of God with the Spirit of Christ in verse 9. They're one and the same. Jesus Christ is God and so to call the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ is consistent with who Christ is. Then if God and Christ are the same essence, then it stands to reason that the Spirit is God also. The same God who created the universe has taken up residence in every one of His people. It is the Spirit of God who makes this possible as people are given life in Christ by faith. Eph 2:18 "For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. 19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives (present tense) by his Spirit." This is why Paul can say that if you don't have the Spirit you do not belong to God and the converse of Eph.2:19 is also true; 'you are still foreigners and aliens, not fellow citizens with God's people and not members of God's household.' The question then may arise; is it possible for a Christian not to be indwelt with the Spirit of Christ? The answer is an emphatic no! Prior to Christ's resurrection the Spirit of God was with His people in the sense that He wooed them, came alongside them, directed their steps, protected them and so on. But prior to Christ's resurrection the Spirit of God is not said to take up permanent residence in His people. This is what Jesus alluded to in Joh 14:16 "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.”

18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Jesus will come to us.....how? By taking up permanent residence in us through the Spirit of God, or the Spirit of Christ as He is referred to. ot to take up residence in us would leave us as orphans. An orphan is a child who used to have a parent, but who has been abandoned for what ever reason. Christ said I won't abandon or orphan you. I will never leave you or forsake you. I will come to you as I place My Spirit in you. Gal 4:6 "Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." 1Jo 4:13 "We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit." There are three Greek words which denote the different ways the Spirit of God works in the lives of His people. Two of the words are found in Joh.14:17 when Jesus says, "for he lives with you and will be in you." The Greek word for with is para and as Pastor Chuck Smith says in his book, "Charisma vs. Charismania", "The Holy Spirit was with us prior to our conversion. He is the One who brought us conviction of sin and revealed Christ as the answer." He goes on to say, "When we accepted Jesus as Savior (and Lord) and invited Him into our lives, the Holy Spirit began to indwell us." The word en in the Greek denotes that He is in us. But there's a third word in the Greek which is epi and it means upon. And as the Spirit of God who indwells us, works in us, He will often come upon (epi) us for empowering, so that we may serve Christ in the power of the Spirit. The scriptures refer to this as the filling of the Spirit. Is the filling of the Spirit and the indwelling of the Spirit the same thing? Well, we need to the let the scriptures define that. JOH 20:22 "And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit." The risen Saviour breathed on them and they received the Holy Spirit. The word receive here in the Greek is lambano and does not denote something being offered that you may or may not accept, rather it denotes to get hold of. o longer is the Spirit simply abiding with (para) them and prompting them, but now He has a hold on them. They have received the Holy Spirit because Jesus Christ sealed them with that act. This is what Paul refers to in Eph 1:13 "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory." So, we know that when we believe in Christ as Lord and Savior we are in the Holy Spirit as He is in us. And when Jesus breathed on His disciples He indwelt them or sealed them with the Holy Spirit. They are now believers who, prior to this event, only had the Spirit with them (para), but now He is in them (en.) So, when Jesus talks with them in Acts 1:5 He's talking with people who are believers indwelt with the Holy Spirit. And yet, He says, "you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."

It's interesting, after they received the Holy Spirit in Jn.20:22 what happens to the disciples? Do they go out and set the world on fire for Christ? o way; they went fishing.........and they didn't even catch anything until Christ comes onto the scene and causes a miraculous catch for them. This filling of the Spirit in Acts chapter one is what God did for them to enable them to serve the risen Christ in His power. Keep in mind that this "filling" is after they are alredy indwelt with the Holy Spirit. We see this on numerous occasions in the lives of believers who are already indwelt with the Spirit where the Spirit filled, or came upon them, to accomplish a particular task. Act 4:8 "Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: "Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of azareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed." When Paul was confronted with a man who was trying to disrupt the ministry of the Gospel Paul acted in accordance with the power and the will of the Spirit. Act 13:9 "Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, 10 "You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? 11 ow the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind, and for a time you will be unable to see the light of the sun." Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand." Paul speaks of this power of God in relation to our seeking God and living in obedience and submission to His will. Eph 3:16 "I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20 ow to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Being filled with the Spirit is not some magical thing reserved for super spiritual Christians. Being filled with the Spirit is to be sought by every believer in Christ as we walk in the Spirit and desire to be used by the Spirit. The apostles all desired to be used by the Spirit, and so it should come as no surprise that they were continually "filled" with the Spirit as the Spirit came upon (epi) them in power to witness for Christ, to lead the way in service to Christ for whatever the Lord wanted to accomplish through them. Some would say that this filling of the Holy Spirit is a second blessing or a second work of the

Spirit. It's not; there are lots of blessings and lots of workings of the Spirit in your life. What it is, is an appropriation, by faith, of the power of the Holy Spirit. The power is always there, because He is the same Spirit Who is indwelling you. But, as we're told in Eph.5:15 "be filled with the Spirit." That's a command put to us to act and live by faith and seek the things of the Spirit, knowing that the Spirit of God will be faithful to empower us so that He may use us. And when we're doing that we will not fulfill the desires of the flesh, which brings me full circle, and is why we need to consider the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives when we consider this battle Paul speaks of in Romans. Rom 8:9 "You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you." Paul says that if Christ is in you; and by that he's referring to the Spirit of Christ or the Spirit of God, as we saw in verse 9, "then your body is dead because of sin." Different commentators look at this part of verse 9 a couple of different ways and both ways are true. On the one hand, our bodies, (if by bodies is meant our fleshly nature), are dead to the things of God because of sin and its influence. On the other, hand some believe this to mean our actual physical bodies will die because of the curse of sin given to Adam, where in the day that he sinned he died both spiritually, and many years later physically.

10. David Riggs, 1. " ot in the flesh" - ot under the control of the flesh, but under the control of the Spirit. 2. "Spirit of God" - He either refers to the Spirit which inhibits the Father or the one sent by Him, the Holy Spirit. o one knows which. 3. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is a fact plainly taught in the ew Testament. Acts 2:38; 5:32; Gal. 4:6; 1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19; 2 Cor. 1:21-22; 5:5; Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30, etc. 1. Thus, there is no difference among Christians as to the fact of the indwelling. 2. There is, however, two different views regarding how the Spirit indwells. 1. Does the Spirit dwells personally and literally inside of the body of the Christian? 2. Or, does the Spirit dwells through means of His influence, word, blessings, appointments, etc. 3. I believe the latter is correct. In other words, the Spirit does not personally or literally, but representatively or figuratively, dwells in the Christian. 4. Those passages which are used to sustain the literal indwelling, in my judgment, state the fact, not the method, of the indwelling. 4. "Spirit of Christ" - Thus, this identifies in this verse, as well as the first part of the next

verse, Christ's Spirit. 1. Christ dwells in the Christian just as the Spirit does. His word, influence, blessings, and appointments are within the Christian. 5. "He is not His" - He is not a Christian. 1. Without Christ's Spirit within one, he does not belong to, and is not in union with Christ. 11. I have lost track of the author who put together this excellent study of the Holy Spirit. I apologize, but this is too good to not include it. If anyone knows the author, let me know. "Shall be in you." Take a moment to reflect on what that means. The Holy Spirit is God – not part of God, but all that God is and can be. Have we understood what that means? The Almighty, infinite God lives within us in the person of His Spirit, and in His Spirit, we have life – divine life, spiritual life. Peter referred to it as being partakers of the divine nature. Jesus said that we have received power. To the Colossians, Paul wrote that we are complete in Him. This, and so much more, is what it means for the Spirit of God to be "in" you. Because of the presence of the Holy Spirit, the Christian can no longer think of life in the same terms. For the Christian, life is spiritual – lived under the control of the Spirit, or carnal – lived apart from the control of the Spirit. There are no other possibilities. Unfortunately, many Christians are confused about what makes a life spiritual. Some think that a spiritual life is reserved only for super Christians like pastors and missionaries. Others equate a spiritual life with special gifts or talents. Others have their own ideas, but the common denominator to all of these is the belief that a spiritual life is something unique, uncommon, and unavailable to the average Christian. othing could be further from the truth! Because the Spirit of God lives within every Believer, every Believer can and should experience a distinctly spiritual life. Two areas of truth bear on a Christian’s experience of a spiritual life. Though they have been introduced already in these lessons, we will now look at them in more detail. I. The Indwelling of the Spirit A. Our Possession 1.He indwells Believers. ?IJohn 7:37-39. Jesus said that those who believed on Him would receive the Holy Spirit. ?IIActs 11:17. Again, receiving the Holy Spirit is equated with believing the gospel. ?IIIGalatians 3:2. Receiving the Holy Spirit is contingent upon the hearing of faith. 2.He indwells ALL Believers. a.Romans 8:9. If you are a Christian, you have the Holy Spirit. b.Galatians 4:6. Every child of God has the Spirit of God dwelling in his heart. Whether you were aware of it or not, the Holy Spirit came to live within you the moment you believed the gospel and trusted Christ as your Savior. You don’t need to ask for Him. You don’t need to wait for Him. He’s already there. B. His Possession 1.The Spirit’s indwelling marks us as God’s property. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. The fact that we have the Spirit means that we don’t belong to ourselves.

2.The Christian is under new ownership and is to live under new management – the control of the Holy Spirit. 1.This difference between a Christian who glorifies God in his body and one who does not is CO TROL. 2.The moment we accept the Lord’s ownership of our lives and submit to the Holy Spirit we begin to live a spiritual life. The Lordship of Christ and a spiritual life are like two sides of the same coin. One is not possible without the other. When you submit to the Lordship of Christ, you are spiritual. When you are spiritual, it is because Jesus is Lord. But there is a distinction between spirituality and maturity. *0Spirituality is the result of a choice. We begin to live a spiritual life the moment we begin to live in dependence upon the Holy Spirit. *1Maturity is the result of time. As we consistently live in submission to the Holy Spirit, He is able to produce changes in our lives. He is able to increase our knowledge and understanding of the Word of God. He is able to reveal to us the will of God. *2A brand new Christian can begin to live a spiritual life immediately. Growth and maturity take time. II. The Filling of the Spirit. A. The command. Ephesians 5:17-18. otice four things: 1.This is the language of command. 1.As author Chuck Swindoll points out, "This is no casual, polite calm suggestion, but a firm, straightforward command." 2.A command demands obedience. A Spirit-filled life is not optional. It is imperative! 63651It is plural. It is addressed to "ye" (verse 17). This is a command that applies to all Christians, not just the super-achievers. It is every Christian’s responsibility to be filled. 63652We do not fill ourselves with the Spirit, but are to allow the Spirit to fill us. 1.Paul said, "Be filled," not "Fill yourselves." It is not something you can DO; it is someyou must allow to be done to you. 2.The Holy Spirit will do the filling when we meet the conditions set forth in Scripture. 1.It is in the present tense. 1.Filling is a continuous need. Just because I am filled today does not mean that I will be filled tomorrow. 2.Filling is not automatic. It happens when I deliberately and consciously obey the command to be filled. B. A comparison. 1.In the case of both drunkenness and the filling of the Spirit, two strong forces are at work within an individual. 2.When the person is under the influence of either of these, he will act unnaturally. 1.When a man is under the control of alcohol, he is often transformed into a completely different character. He may become violent, depressed, foolish, etc.

2.When a Christian is filled with the Spirit, he too acts unnaturally – he acts contrary to his old life and desires. 1.Just as a man cannot get drunk without it altering his character and behavior, neither can a Christian be filled with the Spirit without displaying immediate, visible evidence of change. C. The condition. How are we filled with the Spirit? What do we have to do in order to experience His filling? 1.Filling is a matter of control. 1.The Bible speaks of people being filled with wrath (Luke 4:28) and filled with envy (Acts 13:45). *3In each case, we understand that these emotions controlled these people. *4The emotions empowered them and caused them to act in a certain way. 1.To be filled with the Spirit means to be controlled by Him. 2.In His power we produce a godly character and accomplish His will. 1.Filling requires dependency. See Galatians 5:16-18 1.Two options exist for the believer – walking in (filled with) the Spirit or controlled by the flesh. *5Flesh can be defined as Following Long Established Sinful Habits. *6It can be habits such as getting angry with people instead of dealing with their problems, cutting or abusive language, a critical nature – all the ways we learned to cope with life apart from God. ?1To walk in the Spirit means we choose a new manner of life – a life of dependency upon the Holy Spirit. *7We acknowledge our need of Him. We have no ability to produce Christlike characterapart from His filling. Though springing from the highest motives and the greatest sincerity, all attempts to produce godliness simply by trying harder or making commitments to do better will be a disappointment. Such a method would not work before salvation; neither will it work after salvation. *8We willingly yield all that we are to His superintendency. We say to Him, "Take all that I am – my tongue, my eyes, my hands, my work, my home, my family, my possessions, everything – and use them for your glory and to accomplish your purposes. Transform my life by your power and make me a living testimony of the compassion and character of Jesus Christ." CO CLUSIO : A spiritual life is one lived under the control of the Spirit. The immediate result of a spiritual life is that the habits of the flesh are overcome – not all at once, but gradually and progressively as the Holy Spirit is allowed continued control. Remember that we do not have to pray for more of the Spirit or some kind of second blessing. All that is required is that each and every day, the best we know how, we acknowledge our need of the Holy Spirit and willingly, consciously submit our lives to His control. Then we walk by faith, trusting that He has kept His word and will do His part. Christ not only fulfilled the law for us— but He fulfills it in us

10. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.

1. Barnes, “And if Christ be in you - This is evidently a figurative expression, where the word “Christ” is used to denote his spirit, his principles; that is, he influences the man. Literally, he cannot be in a Christian; but the close connection between him and Christians, and the fact that they are entirely under his influence, is expressed by this strong figurative language. It is language which is not infrequently used; compare Gal_2:20; Col_1:27. (The union between Christ and his people is sometimes explained of a merely relative in opposition to a real union. The union which subsists between a substitute, or surety, and the persons in whose room he has placed himself, is frequently offered in explanation of the Scripture language on the subject. In this view, Christ is regarded as legally one with his people, inasmuch, as what he has done or obtained, is held as done and obtained by them. Another relative union, employed to illustrate that which subsists between Christ and believers, is the union of a chief and his followers, which is simply a union of design, interest, sentiment, affection, destiny, etc. ow these representations are true so far as they go; and furnish much interesting and profitable illustration. They fall short, however, of the full sense of Scripture on the point. That there is a real or vital union between Christ and his people, appears from the language of the inspired writers in regard to it. The special phraseology which they employ, cannot well be explained of any relative union At all events, it is as strong as they could have employed, on the supposition, that they had wished to convey the idea of the most intimate possible connection. Christ is said to be “in them,” and they are represented as “in him.” He “abides in them, and they in him.” They “dwelt” in each other; Joh_14:20; Joh_15:4; 1Jo_3:24; 1Jo_4:12. Moreover, the Scripture illustrations of the subject furnish evidence to the same effect. The mystical union, as it has been called, is compared to the union of stones in a building, branches in a vine, members in a human body, and even to what subsists between the Father and the Son; 1Pe_2:4; Eph_2:20, Eph_2:22; Joh_15:1-8; 1Co. 12:1231; Joh_17:20-23. ow if all these are real unions, is not this union real also? If not, where is the propriety or justice of the comparisons? Instead of leading us to form accurate notions on the subject, they would seem calculated to mislead. This real and vital union is formed by the one Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit pervading the Head and the members of the mystical body; 1Co_6:17; 1Co_12:13; 1Jo_3:24; 1Jo_4:13. It is true, indeed, that the essential presence of Christ’s Spirit is everywhere, but he is present in Christ’s members, in a special way, as the fountain of spiritual influence. This spiritual presence, which is the bond of union, is manifested immediately upon a man’s reception of Christ by faith. From that hour he is one with Christ, because the same Spirit lives in both. Indeed this union is the foundation of all the relative unions which have been employed to illustrate the subject; without it, we could have no saving relation to Christ whatever. That it is mysterious cannot be denied. The apostle himself affirms as much, Eph_5:32; Col_1:27. Although we know the fact, we cannot explain the manner of it, but must not on this account reject it, any more than we would the doctrine of the Spirit’s essential presence, because we do not understand it.)

The body is dead - This passage has been interpreted in very different ways. Some understand it to mean that the body is dead in respect to sin; that is, that sin has no more power to excite evil passions and desires; others, that the body must die on account of sin but that the spiritual part shall live, and even the body shall live also in the resurrection. Thus, Calvin, Beza, and Augustine. Doddridge understands it thus: Though the body is to die on account of the first sin that entered into the world, yet the spirit is life, and shall continue to live on forever, through that righteousness which the second Adam has introduced.” To each of these interpretations there are serious objections, which it is not necessary to urge. I understand the passage in the following manner: The body refers to that of which the apostle had said so much in the previous chapters the flesh, the man before conversion. It is subject to corrupt passions and desires, and may be said thus to be dead, as it has none of the elements of spiritual life. It is under the reign of sin and death. The word µέν men, indeed, or truly, has been omitted in our translation, and the omission has obscured the sense. The expression is an admission of the apostle, or a summary statement of what had before been shown. “It is to be admitted, indeed, or it is true, that the unrenewed nature, the man before conversion, under the influence of the flesh, is spiritually dead. Sin has its seat in the fleshly appetites; and the whole body may be admitted thus to be dead or corrupt.” Because of sin - Through sin δἰ ἁµαρτία di' hamartia; by means of sinful passions and appetites. But the spirit - This stands opposed to the body; and it means that the soul, the immortal part, the renovated man, was alive, or was under the influence of living principles. It was imbued with the life which the gospel imparts and had become active in the service of God. The word “spirit” here does not refer to the Holy Spirit, but to the spirit of man, the immortal part, recovered, renewed, and imbued with life under the gospel. Because of righteousness - Through righteousness διὰ δικαιοσύνην dia dikaiosunēn. This is commonly interpreted to mean, with reference to righteousness, or that it may become righteous. But I understand the expression to be used in the sense in which the word is so frequently used in this Epistle, as denoting God’s plan of justification; see the note at Rom_1:17. “The spirit of man has been recovered and made alive through his plan of justification. It communicates life, and recovers man from his death in sin to life.” The “body” in this passage has generally been understood in the literal sense, which, doubtless, ought not to be rejected without some valid reason. There is nothing in the connection that demands the figurative sense. The apostle admits that, notwithstanding of the indwelling of the Spirit, the body must die. “It indeed (µεν men ) is dead because of sin.” The believer is not delivered from temporal death. Yet there are two things which may well reconcile him to the idea of laying aside for a while the clay tabernacle. The “mortal body,” though it now die, is not destined to remain forever under the dominion of death, but shall be raised again incorruptible and glorious, by the power of the same Spirit that raised up Jesus from the dead. Meanwhile, “the spirit, or soul, is life, because of righteousness.” In consequence of that immaculate righteousness, of which Paul had had said so much in the previous part of this Epistle, the souls of believers, even now, enjoy spiritual life, which shall issue in eternal life and glory. Those who understand σῶµα sōma figuratively in the 10th verse, insist, indeed, that the resurrection in the 11th, is figurative also. But “the best commentators” says Bloomfield, “both ancient and modern, with reason prefer the literal view, especially on account of the phrase θνητα thnēta σῶµατα sōmata which seems to confine it to this sense.”) 2. Clarke, “And if Christ be in you, etc. - This is the criterion by which you may judge of the state of grace in which ye stand. If Christ dwell in your hearts by faith, the body is dead because of sin,

δι’ ἁµαρτιαν, in reference to sin; the members of your body no more perform the work of sin than the body of a dead man does the functions of natural life. Or the apostle may mean, that although, because of sin, the life of man is forfeited; and the sentence, dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return, must be fulfilled on every human being, until the judgment of the great day; yet, their souls being quickened by the indwelling Spirit of Christ, which enables them to live a life of righteousness, they receive a full assurance that their bodies, which are now condemned to death because of sin, shall be raised again to a life of immortal glory. 2B. Haldane, “There is in this verse a triple opposition: first, of the body to the soul; second, of a state of death to a state of life; third, of sin to righteousness. It was necessary to remove the objection replied to in this verse, especially as the Apostle had said that to those who are in Christ Jesus there is no condemnation. Whence, then, it might be asked, does it happen that we who are in Him are still subject to death like other men ? He answers, If Jesus Christ be in you, the body indeed is dead because of sin, but the spirit is life because of righteousness. In what follows, he abundantly shows that the temporary sufferings of believers, among which is the death of the body, are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in them ; and that in the meantime all things that happen to them are working for their good. The term body is, in this verse, to be taken, as is evident from the following verse, in its literal signification ; and by the spirit, as opposed to it, is meant the soul, as in the 16th verse, where our spirit is distinguished from the Holy Spirit. And, or rather, But, if Christ be in you. The Apostle had just affirmed that if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His ; but if He be in us, then the consequences here stated follow. Jesus Christ, in regard to His Divine nature, is everywhere present ; but He is in a special manner in believers, as it is said, Eph. iii. 17, That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith. This indwelling of Christ signifies two things, namely, the close and intimate union we have with Him, and His operation in us. As the Scriptures declare that Jesus Christ is in us, so they also assure us that we are in Him, ch. viii. 1 ; 1 Cor. i. 30 ; 2 Cor. v. 17 ; Col. i. 27. And thus we dwell in Him and He in us, John vi. 56. This union with Jesus Christ is necessary, in order that He should work in us. For He works only in His members ; so that, for this purpose, we must be first incorporated in Him, John xv. 4. By this union we participate in His grace ; because, as we are in Him and he in us, we have all things with Him in common. Our sins are reputed His sins, and His righteousness ours. He that persecutes His people persecutes Him ; he that touches them touches the apple of His eye. And as in this life they partake of His grace, so in the life to come they shall participate in His glory. The body is dead. otwithstanding our union with Jesus Christ, our bodies are dead. The Scriptures speak of three kinds of death : one is in this life, the other at the end of this life, and the third after this life. The first is spiritual death, Eph. ii. 1 ; Col. ii. 13. atural death takes place at the separation of the soul from the body ; and after this life is the second, or eternal death, which consists in everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord. It is only of the second or natural death that the Apostle here speaks, for believers are delivered from the first and the third. He says the body is dead, to show that it is the lowest part of man that for a time is affected by death, as it is said, Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, Eccles. xii. 7. The death of believers does not, then, in the least degree derogate from the complete satisfaction of Jesus Christ, and the perfect redemption from the curse of the law, since their death is not a punishment of sin in vindictive justice, as all the afflictions of this life as well as death are to the enemies of God. But by Jesus Christ, in respect to those whom the Father hath given to Him, and

who are united to Him, God acts in mercy, and afflictions and death are only chastisements from His fatherly hand, trials of their faith, and salutary discipline, as the Apostle in this chapter declares that all things work together for their good ; and in the First Epistle to the Corinthians, iii. 22, that all things are theirs, whether life or death. Without, then, making void the first sentence awarding death, God has established another covenant, which is that of grace, according to which those who partake in the death of Christ, by which that sentence was, as to them, carried into full execution, must indeed die ; but death to them is swallowed up in victory ; and instead of the day of their death being a day of punishment of sin, it is a day of triumph over death. The death of the body is as to them the preparation for its immortality and incorruption, as the seed deposited in the earth passes in such a way through death as to overcome it, and revives and fructifies, so that when in the earth it is not lost. In like manner the bodies of believers do not perish by death, but derive from the grave what is contrary to its natural character. They are sown in corruption, but they are to rise in incorruption. They are sown in weakness, but they are to rise in power. They are sown in dishonor, but they are to rise in glory. They are sown natural bodies, but they are to rise spiritual bodies. And as to the soul, death indeed separates it from the body, but transmits it to God. It is evident, then, that such a death is not a punishment of sin, or a curse of the law. Its end and use to the regenerate, as to their bodies, is to extirpate and destroy the sin that remains in them : they must die in order to be purified. The infusion of that moral poison has so corrupted our bodies, that, like the leprous house, they must be taken down and renewed, to be purified from sin. As the grain is not quickened except it die, in the same way our bodies die and moulder in the dust, to be revived and reconstructed in holiness.

3. Gill, “And if Christ be in you,.... ot as he is in the whole world, and in all his creatures, or circumscriptively, and to the exclusion of himself elsewhere; for his person is above in heaven, his blood is within the vail, his righteousness is upon his people, and his Spirit and grace are in them; and so he comes to be in them, he is formed in their hearts by the Spirit of God in regeneration, when the Father reveals him not only to them, but in them; and he himself enters and takes possession of them as his own, manifests himself to them, communicates his grace, and grants them communion with him. This being their case, the body is dead because of sin: by which is meant, not the body of sin, though this is called a body, and a body of death, yet is not dead, much less is it so by reason of sin; but this fleshly body, because liable to afflictions, which are called deaths, has the seeds of mortality in it, and shall in a little time die, notwithstanding the gift of it to Christ, though it is redeemed by his blood, and united to him; the reason of it is not merely the decree of God, nor does it arise from the original constitution of the body, but sin is the true reason of it, sin original and actual, indwelling sin, but not by way of punishment for it, for Christ has bore that, death is one of the saints' privileges, it is for their good, and therefore desired by them; but that they might be rid of it, and free from all those troubles which are the consequences of it: but the spirit is life, because of righteousness; not the Spirit of God, who lives in himself, is the author of life to others, of natural and spiritual life, continues as a principle of life in the saints, is the pledge of everlasting life, and is so to them because of the righteousness of Christ nor grace, or the new creature, which is sometimes called Spirit, and may be said to be life, it lives unto righteousness, and is owing to and supported by the righteousness of the Son of God; but the soul

of man is here meant, in opposition to the body, which is of a spiritual nature, immaterial and immortal; and this may be said in believers to be life or live, for it not only lives naturally, but spiritually; it lives a life of holiness from Christ, a life of faith upon him, and a life of justification by him, and will live eternally; first in a separate state from the body after death, till the resurrection morn, it does not die with the body, nor sleep with it in the grave, nor is it in any "limbus" or state of purgatory, but in paradise, in heaven, in the arms and presence of Christ, where it is not inactive, but employed in the best of service: and after the resurrection it will live with the body in glory for evermore; and this is owing to righteousness, not to the righteousness of man, but the imputed righteousness of Christ; for as it was sin, and loss of righteousness thereby which brought death on man, the righteousness of Christ is that on which believers live now, and is their right and title to eternal life hereafter.

4. Jamison, “And if Christ be in you — by His indwelling Spirit in virtue of which we have one life with him. the body — “the body indeed.” is dead because of — “by reason of” sin; but the spirit is life because — or, “by reason” of righteousness — The word “indeed,” which the original requires, is of the nature of a concession - “I grant you that the body is dead ... and so far redemption is incomplete, but,” etc.; that is, “If Christ be in you by His indwelling Spirit, though your ‘bodies’ have to pass through the stage of ‘death’ in consequence of the first Adam’s ‘sin,’ your spirit is instinct with new and undying ‘life,’ brought in by the ‘righteousness’ of the second Adam” [Tholuck, Meyer, and Alford in part, but only Hodge entirely]. 5. Henry, “In these verses the apostle represents two more excellent benefits, which belong to true believers. I. Life. The happiness is not barely a negative happiness, not to be condemned; but it is positive, it is an advancement to a life that will be the unspeakable happiness of the man (Rom_8:10, Rom_8:11): If Christ be in you. Observe, If the Spirit be in us, Christ is in us. He dwells in the heart by faith, Eph_3:17. ow we are here told what becomes of the bodies and souls of those in whom Christ is. 1. We cannot say but that the body is dead; it is a frail, mortal, dying body, and it will be dead shortly; it is a house of clay, whose foundation is in the dust. The life purchased and promised does not immortalize the body in its present state. It is dead, that is, it is appointed to die, it is under a sentence of death: as we say one that is condemned is a dead man. In the midst of life we are in death: be our bodies ever so strong, and healthful, and handsome, they are as good as dead (Heb_11:12), and this because of sin. It is sin that kills the body. This effect the first threatening has (Gen_3:19): Dust thou art. Methinks, were there no other argument, love to our bodies should make us hate sin, because it is such an enemy to our bodies. The death even of the bodies of the saints is a remaining token of God's displeasure against sin. 2. But the spirit, the precious soul, that is life; it is now spiritually alive, nay, it is life. Grace in the soul is its new nature; the life of the saint lies in the soul, while the life of the sinner goes no further than the body. When the body dies, and returns to the dust, the spirit if life; not only living and immortal, but swallowed up of life. Death to the saints is but the freeing of the heavenborn spirit from the clog and load of this body, that it may be fit to partake of eternal life. When

Abraham was dead, yet God was the God of Abraham, for even then his spirit was life, Mat_22:31, Mat_22:32. See Psa_49:15. And this because of righteousness. The righteousness of Christ imputed to them secures the soul, the better part, from death; the righteousness of Christ inherent in them, the renewed image of God upon the soul, preserves it, and, by God's ordination, at death elevates it, and improves it, and makes it meet to partake of the inheritance of the saints in light. The eternal life of the soul consists in the vision and fruition of God, and both assimilating, for which the soul is qualified by the righteousness of sanctification. I refer to Psa_17:15, I will behold thy face in righteousness.

6. “ ow since Christ lives in you by His Spirit, your spirit-man is connected to God and vibrant with the divine nature. This happened the moment He placed you in right standing with Himself because of your faith in Christ. However, your body is still subject to rushes of carnal feelings and attitudes because you live in a sinful environment and in an ordinary human body. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. Rom 8:10KJV But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. Ro 8:10 IV But if Christ is in you, although your bodies are dead because of sin, your spirits are alive because of righteousness. Ro 8:10RSV Yet, even though Christ lives within you, your body will die because of sin; but your spirit will live, for Christ has pardoned it. Ro 8:10LIV We do not believe that the Holy Spirit is life because of righteousness. This would say that if we work our way up to righteousness the Holy Spirit gives us life. or is the Holy Spirit alive because of righteousness. Rather, it is our spirit which is alive because the Spirit of the living Christ dwells in our spirit while our body is figuratively dead. When Christ promised "another Comforter" He explained that "I will come to you." Both Father and Son will live in Spirit within the heart of each faithful member of His "body" just as our spirit lives in our physical body. Paul says it again to the Galatians. The contrast is between our flesh and our spirit: We have two choices: we can live in connection with our human appetites or we can live in connection with our mind or spirit. Therefore, to walk in the Spirit does not mean to literally stroll around inside the Holy Spirit. Rather, it means to walk in connection with our spirit informed by Christ's Spirit: And they that are Christs have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. Gal 5:24 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Gal 5:25 Christ in you is the same as the Spirit in you. You cannot have but one of the persons of the Trinity, for they come together. The body of a believer is still subject to sin and to death, and only the spirit of man is now saved. The body will not be saved until the resurrection. Our bodies are still under the power of the flesh, and we need to work at keeping the spirit in control of it so it can be a temple of the Spirit rather than a tavern of the flesh.

7. Stedman, “By means of the Spirit, Christ is in you. And if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin. You may not realize that, but it is true.

The problem is, our bodies are yet unredeemed. As a consequence, they are the seat of the sin that troubles us so. And the sin that is in us -- still there in our bodies -- affects the body. That is why the body lusts, the body loves comfort, and the body seeks after pleasure; that is why our minds and attitudes react with hate and bitterness and resentment and hostility. Sin finds its seat in the body. That is why our bodies keep growing old. They are dying, dead, because of sin. I have been watching some of you through the years. Although I haven't noticed much change in myself, I have noticed that you seem to be deteriorating. You are growing older and getting weaker. Your hair is turning gray, you groan and creak where once you leaped and ran. And if you don't believe that people get older, I invite you to come up here and take a look at what I'm looking at. Our bodies are dead because of sin. For one who is not a Christian, that is the whole story. The body is dead, and so is the spirit. It is falling apart, and will continue to do so. But that is not the final answer for the Christian. The spirit in the Christian is alive because of the gift of righteousness. Christ has come in and we are linked with him. Paul puts it so beautifully in Second Corinthians 4:16: "Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day," {2 Cor 4:16 IV}. That is the joy of being a Christian. Though the body, with the sin that is within it, is giving us trouble and difficulty, tempting us, confounding us at times, nevertheless, the spirit is alive because of righteousness. Sin has its seat in the actual physical body, and it rises up (as Paul describes in Romans 7) like a powerful beast. Stimulated by the Law, it can rise up and attack us, overwhelm us, and conquer us. But we have an answer. It is put very beautifully in First John 4:4: "The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world," {1 Jn 4:4 IV}. In other words, the Spirit of God within us is stronger than the sin that is in our bodies. Therefore we have strength to control the body.” 8. Charles Wesley prayed with his pen, and I echo him and pray hisprayer for myself, and, I hope, for you: Oh, that in me the sacred fire Might now begin to glow, Burn up the dross of base desire. And make the mountains flow!

Refining Fire, go through my heart; Illuminate my soul; Scatter Thy life through every part, And sanctify the whole.

11. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the

dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

1. Barnes, “But if the Spirit of him ... - The Holy Spirit, Rom_8:9. He that raised up Christ ... - He that had power to restore him to life, has power to give life to you. He that did, in fact, restore him to life, will also restore you. The argument here seems to be founded, first, on the power of God; and, secondly, on the connection between Christ and his people; compare Joh_14:19, “Because I live, ye shall live also.” Shall also quicken - Shall make alive. Your mortal bodies - That this does not refer to the resurrection of the dead seems to be apparent, because that is not attributed to the Holy Spirit. I understand it as referring to the body, subject to carnal desires and propensities; by nature under the reign of death, and therefore mortal; that is, subject to death. The sense is, that under the gospel, by the influence of the Spirit, the entire man will be made alive in the service of God. Even the corrupt, carnal, and mortal body, so long under the dominion of sin, shall be made alive and recovered to the service of God. This will be done by the Spirit that dwells in us, because that Spirit has restored life to our souls, abides with us with his purifying influence, and because the design and tendency of his indwelling is to purify the entire man, and restore all to God. Christians thus in their bodies and their spirits become sacred. For even their body, the seat of evil passions and desires, shall become alive in the service of God. 2. Clarke, “But if the Spirit, etc. - This verse confirms the sense given to the preceding. He who here receives the grace and Spirit of Christ, and continues to live under its influence a life of obedience to the Divine will, shall have a resurrection to eternal life; and the resurrection of Christ shall be the pattern after which they shall be raised. By his Spirit that dwelleth in you - Instead of δια του ενοικουντος αυτου πνευµατος, because of the Spirit of him who dwelleth in you, DEFG, a great many others, with the Vulgate, Itala, and several of the fathers, have δια το ενοικουν αυτου πνευµα, which gives almost no variety of meaning. The latter may be neater Greek, but it is not better sense than the preceding. 3. Gill, “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead,.... These words are not to be understood as they are by some, of the continued work of sanctification in the heart by the Spirit of God; for regeneration, and not sanctification, is signified by quickening, which quickening occurs when the Spirit of God first takes up his dwelling in the soul; besides, the apostle had spoke of the life of the spirit or soul before; and they are mortal bodies, and not its mortal souls, which are said to be quickened, for these cannot mean the body of sin, or the remains of corruption, as they are said to be, and which are never quickened, nor never can be. To understand the words in such a sense, is not so agreeable to the resurrection of Christ here mentioned; whereas Christ's resurrection is often used as an argument of ours, which is designed here, where the apostle argues from the one to the other. The Spirit

dwells in the saints as his temples: the Spirit that dwells in them is, "the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead"; by whom is meant God the Father, to whom the resurrection of Christ from the dead is here and elsewhere ascribed. This "periphrasis" of him is used, to express the power, justice, and grace of God in the resurrection of his Son; to show that the Spirit of God was concerned in it; and the greatness of the person of the Spirit that dwells in the saints; and what reason they have to believe the sanctification of their souls, and the redemption of their bodies, since such a divine Spirit dwells in them; wherefore, he that raised up Christ from the dead, which is the Father, shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you; not the souls of the saints, for these die not: but their "bodies", called "mortal", because appointed to death, are under the sentence of it, and in which it already works; "your" bodies and not others; mortal ones, and not airy, celestial, immortal ones; the very same they carry about with them here, and in which the Spirit of God had dwelt. These shall be quickened. The Jews frequently express the resurrection by ‫" ,תחיית המתים‬the quickening of the dead" some distinguish (y) between ‫תקומה‬ "the resurrection" of the dead, which is common to the wicked, and ‫" ,תחיית‬the quickening" of them, peculiar to the righteous: though, it is observed, this distinction does not always hold: however, this act of quickening seems here designed to express the peculiar blessing, of the saints; for though the wicked shall be raised from the dead, yet they will not rise with the saints, nor by virtue of union to Christ, nor to an eternal life of joy and happiness; in this sense the saints only will be quickened, "by the Spirit"; not as an instrument, but as a coefficient cause with the Father and Son: or "because of the Spirit that dwelleth in you", the bodies of the saints are the temples of the Holy Ghost, they are sanctified by him, where he continues to dwell by virtue of union to Christ, and in consequence of it will quicken them at the last day; so the Jews say, that the Holy Ghost brings to the resurrection of the dead (z). 4. Jamison, “But — “And.” if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you — that is, “If He dwell in you as the Spirit of the Christ-raising One,” or, “in all the resurrection-power which He put forth in raising Jesus.” he that raised up Christ from the dead — Observe the change of name from Jesus, as the historical Individual whom God raised from the dead, to Christ, the same Individual, considered as the Lord and Head of all His members, or of redeemed Humanity [Alford]. shall also quicken — rather, “shall quicken even” your mortal bodies by — the true reading appears to be “by reason of.” his Spirit that dwelleth in you — “Your bodies indeed are not exempt from the death which sin brought in; but your spirits even now have in them an undying life, and if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, even these bodies of yours, though they yield to the last enemy and the dust of them return to the dust as it was, shall yet experience the same resurrection as that of their living Head, in virtue of the indwelling of same Spirit in you that quickened Him.” 5. Henry, “If Christ be in you. Observe, If the Spirit be in us, Christ is in us. He dwells in the heart by faith, Eph_3:17. ow we are here told what becomes of the bodies and souls of those in whom Christ is.

1. We cannot say but that the body is dead; it is a frail, mortal, dying body, and it will be dead shortly; it is a house of clay, whose foundation is in the dust. The life purchased and promised does not immortalize the body in its present state. It is dead, that is, it is appointed to die, it is under a sentence of death: as we say one that is condemned is a dead man. In the midst of life we are in death: be our bodies ever so strong, and healthful, and handsome, they are as good as dead (Heb_11:12), and this because of sin. It is sin that kills the body. This effect the first threatening has (Gen_3:19): Dust thou art. Methinks, were there no other argument, love to our bodies should make us hate sin, because it is such an enemy to our bodies. The death even of the bodies of the saints is a remaining token of God's displeasure against sin. 2. But the spirit, the precious soul, that is life; it is now spiritually alive, nay, it is life. Grace in the soul is its new nature; the life of the saint lies in the soul, while the life of the sinner goes no further than the body. When the body dies, and returns to the dust, the spirit if life; not only living and immortal, but swallowed up of life. Death to the saints is but the freeing of the heavenborn spirit from the clog and load of this body, that it may be fit to partake of eternal life. When Abraham was dead, yet God was the God of Abraham, for even then his spirit was life, Mat_22:31, Mat_22:32. See Psa_49:15. And this because of righteousness. The righteousness of Christ imputed to them secures the soul, the better part, from death; the righteousness of Christ inherent in them, the renewed image of God upon the soul, preserves it, and, by God's ordination, at death elevates it, and improves it, and makes it meet to partake of the inheritance of the saints in light. The eternal life of the soul consists in the vision and fruition of God, and both assimilating, for which the soul is qualified by the righteousness of sanctification. I refer to Psa_17:15, I will behold thy face in righteousness. 3. There is a life reserved too for the poor body at last: He shall also quicken your mortal bodies, Rom_8:11. The Lord is for the body; and though at death it is cast aside as a despised broken vessel, a vessel in which is no pleasure, yet God will have a desire to the work of his hands (Job_14:15), will remember his covenant with the dust, and will not lose a grain of it; but the body shall be reunited to the soul, and clothed with a glory agreeable to it. Vile bodies shall be newly fashioned, Phi_3:21; 1Co_15:42. Two great assurances of the resurrection of the body are mentioned: - (1.) The resurrection of Christ: He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken. Christ rose as the head, and first-fruits, and forerunner of all the saints, 1Co_15:20. The body of Christ lay in the grave, under the sin of all the elect imputed, and broke through it. O grave, then, where is thy victory? It is in the virtue of Christ's resurrection that we shall rise. (2.) The indwelling of the Spirit. The same Spirit that raiseth the soul now will raise the body shortly: By his Spirit that dwelleth in you. The bodies of the saints are the temples of the Holy Ghost, 1Co_3:16; 1Co_6:19. ow, though these temples may be suffered for awhile to lie in ruins, yet they shall be rebuilt. The tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, shall be repaired, whatever great mountains may be in the way. The Spirit, breathing upon dead and dry bones, will make them live, and the saints even in their flesh shall see God. Hence the apostle by the way infers how much it is our duty to walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit, 6. Beet, “The Spirit of Him who raised Christ from the dead dwells in them ; and is therefore the pledge that He who raised Christ will raise them. Because of His Spirit: emphatic repetition of the ground of Paul's inference. Even the bodies in which the Spirit has dwelt are sacred, and will be rescued from corruption. It is true that the lips which have spoken His words will be silent in death, that the hands which He has moved to works of mercy will moulder into dust. They will die, because our father sinned. But the triumph of death will soon cease. Even the mortal clay which has been the organ of the Spirit will live for ever. Thus the resur. of Christ is the pledge of ours : and the indwelling of the Spirit is the pledge of life for both body and spirit.”

6B. Haldane, “The Apostle here obviates a difficulty which might present itself from what he had said in the preceding verse, of the bodies of believers being dead though their souls have life. He now assures them that, if the Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in them, God will also raise up their bodies, though at present mortal. Thus he sets before them, first, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and next their own resurrec tion, as being His members ; for he deduces their resurrection from His resurrection. Their Head has conquered death and the grave, and with Him they shall overcome. Their freedom, then, from death he rests on the same foundation on which he had already shown that their freedom from sin was secured on Jesus Christ, the surety of God s gracious covenant. The Apostle elsewhere proves the resurrection of the bodies of believers, by comparing Jesus Christ with Adam, saying, As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive, 1 Cor. xv. 22 ; showing that if we do not rise by virtue of Jesus Christ our Lord, Christ would be inferior to Adam. For could the sin and death of Adam have more power to subject those who were in Him to death, than the righteousness and resurrection of Jesus Christ to deliver those who are in Him from death? The Apostle also declares that Jesus Christ, having risen from the dead, has become the first fruits of them that slept, and adds, * Every man in his own order ; Christ the first fruits, afterward they that are Christ s at His coming. This he does for the purpose of showing that, as the first fruits of the ground precede the harvest, so the first fruits of the resur rection of Christ will be followed by that great harvest, in which the bodies of believers sown in the earth, after having died like grain cast into it, shall be revived and raised up. The life which has been com municated to our souls will, at the glorious resurrection, be also com municated to our bodies. All men will then arise, but not in glory, as all will not arise in virtue of the resurrection of our Lord. The wicked shall arise by the power of their Judge, to receive in their body the punishment of their sins, and to suffer the second death; but believers, in virtue of the resurrection, and by the Spirit of Jesus Christ as their Head. For that Spirit which has been communicated to them from Jesus Christ, as from the head to the members, and who hath made their bodies His temples on earth, will raise them from the dust, and will per fect His work in them. Believers, then, may defy the grave, and glory over death, being assured of this resurrection. From the guilt of sin they have been delivered, it being condemned in Christ punished in His death ; from the power of death they are released by His resurrec tion. On Jesus Christ, then, the sure foundation, is the whole of our salvation built. In Him God is well pleased ; through Him the Holy Spirit is vouchsafed. Christ is the Alpha and the Omega ; He is the All in All.” 7. Stedman, “Unfortunately, many of the commentators say that this verse refers to the promise

of the resurrection at the end of life, when God is going to make our bodies alive. But that is not what Paul is saying. He is talking about the Spirit in us, giving life to our mortal bodies. ow, a mortal body is not yet dead. A mortal body is one that is subject to death. It is dying, but it is not yet dead. Therefore, this is not talking about the resurrection. Later on Paul will come to that, but in this chapter he is talking about what the Spirit does in us now. He says that though sin in our mortal bodies is going to tempt us severely, and at times rise up with great power (we have all felt the power of temptation in our lives, this urgent, almost irresistible desire to do something that we know is wrong), we must never forget that because our human spirit has been made alive in Jesus Christ, and the Spirit of God himself dwells in us, we have the strength to say, " o!" to that expression of evil. We cannot reverse the processes of death -- no one can. Our bodies are going to die. But we can refuse to let the members of our bodies become the instruments of sin. We do not have to give in. We can refuse, by the power of the Spirit within, to let our members be used for that purpose: We don't have to let our eyes look at wrong things. We can say, " o." We don't have to let our tongues say evil, hurtful, sarcastic, and vicious things; we don't have to let them lie. We can say, " o," to that. We don't have to let our ears hear things that are hurtful. We don't have to let our minds give way to thinking about things in a wrong and vicious fashion. We don't have to! We don't have to let our hands be used for wrong purposes. We don't have to let our legs and feet lead us into places where we ought not to be. We don't have to let our sexual organs be used for wrong purposes. We don't have to let the members of our bodies be used wrongly.” 8. Mauro also feels it is a present ministry of the Spirit to our bodies. Calvin sees a moral resurrection from death in sin to a life of holiness now. When the Holy Spirit indwells a spirit or body it become immortal. God will not let the body perish, for Jesus dignified the body by the incarnation and His was raised to be eternal, and so will ours. He will treat our body like that of the Son. 9. Darby, “The resurrection of the saints falls under a spiritual principle which distinguishes it entirely from the resurrection of the rest of men. Three things may be remarked in these verses relating to the Spirit. (1) He is called ‘the Spirit of God’ abiding in us, so that we are not in the flesh. It is the Holy Spirit in opposition to the old man.(2) The Spirit of Christ as the formal character of the life morally. It is the Spirit, as the formative agent of the new man, or the perfect life of Christ in man. And (3) He is the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead; not only the opposition to the flesh of man,—not only effects in man; but a state perfect and definitive in resurrection. In this way we are finally delivered from this body of death, and get the full answer to the question of chapter 7:24, ‘Who shall deliver me?’ The very body is to be set free by the power of God acting as He did in Christ’s resurrection by the Spirit.” 10. Drew Worthen, “Paul has been talking about the flesh and the fleshly nature which is corrupted by sin. And here he gives us some glorious news that the flesh will one day have the total victory as well when it is raised by the resurrecting power of Christ and our spirits are reunited with the body. 1Co 15:39 "All flesh is not the same: Men have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. 40 There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another.

41 The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor. 42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body." One day we will receive our resurrection bodies and we will be complete and whole, in the fullest sense of the word, with Christ forever. But think of it, the same Spirit who raised Christ from the dead indwells and gives us all power to serve and love and flee from all ungodliness. There is no sin, no power, no temptation which cannot be overcome by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit who continually fills us and empowers us as we submit to Him.” 11. John MacDuff on 11 and 12, “"The body is dead because of sin;"--"Shall also quicken your mortal bodies." Other topics already touched upon, are embraced in the passage. We shall therefore confine ourselves to these contrasted words--answering chords--"dead" and "quicken." It is Death in conjunction with Life--or rather with Life as its sequel and triumph. It recalls the burial sentences so familiar to many, when standing by the grave--"Man that is born of a woman has but a short time to live, and is full of misery. He comes up and is cut down like a flower; he flees as it were a shadow, and never continues in one stay. In the midst of life we are in death." Followed by the inspiriting words--"In sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life… Our perfect consummation and bliss, both in body and soul, in Your eternal everlasting glory." Or there may be brought before the mental vision of some of us, the impressive and never to be forgotten spectacle of a soldier's--a Christian soldier's funeral. The procession slowly pacing the streets, amid the wailing of the "Dead-march"--with the accompaniment of muffled drum--"the body is dead." But when the concluding volley is fired--the ordinary tribute borne by the brave to the brave; the dirge-notes are merged into some jubilant strains, possibly dear to the departed as he was passing through the last mortal strife. The same antithesis as that of our present verses, often occurs throughout Sacred Scripture--"The voice said, Cry; and he said, What shall I cry? all flesh is grass, and all the goodness thereof is as the flower of the field" (Isa. 40;6). The voice said Cry--"Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour comes, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear shall live" (John 5;25 ). Let us briefly meditate on the two themes. "The body is dead." Some have considered this expression figurative or symbolic. It is in every respect more in harmony with the Apostle's meaning and argument, to take it in its simple and natural acceptation. His reference is to the dissolution of the mortal framework (2 Cor. 5;1). Indeed any other interpretation we think is inadmissible. The "body"--were we by that to understand "the flesh"--the animal nature, is not thus "dead because of sin." Such would unsay and contradict the repeated assertions of the seventh chapter--negative the writer's humbling lamentations over his own dual experiences. Even when most subdued, the fires of corruption and evil smoulder to the last; and death alone puts the extinguisher upon them. It is then, as may be strongly asserted, this human body of flesh and blood, which sooner or later undergoes the doom of dissolution, of which he speaks. And this, too, even though "Christ be in you" (v. 10). There is no exemption from the universal law. Christianity and Paganism are on the

same footing here. It is the testimony of wide humanity, "We must needs die." Believer and unbeliever--the children of light and the children of darkness are served heirs alike to the "covenant with death." And, "the body is dead because of sin." "Death has passed over all men for that all have sinned!" It is sin which wrote that primal sentence from which there is no appeal--involved in that warfare from which there is no discharge--"Dust you are, and unto dust you shall return." DEATH!--we dare not mock our deepest, holiest feelings by attempting to soften your terrors. Death!--which so often, like an avalanche, comes crashing down in the midst of summer skies and smiling fields. You are indeed the great Destroyer--the disrupter of closest bonds, the unsparing implacable foe of human happiness; leaving behind you weeping eyes and broken hearts. If there were not other inspiring music, of which we shall presently speak, there could be no "Song of Songs" to wake into life and hope these hushed and gloomy corridors--nothing but unstrung harps. We could only be mute in such bewildering moments, as we wail out the dirge-notes of the insoluble mystery--"How is the strong staff broken, and the beautiful rod!"--the severance, the void, the blank, the silence! In the words of the Laureate-"Our lives are put so far apart, We cannot hear each other speak." O Death, here IS your sting; O Grave, here IS your victory! But I willingly leave the shadows of this picture, and pass to its glorious lights--from the sob in the darkness to the "Song in the night." (V. 11) "Shall also QUICKE your mortal bodies." It is the first introduction--the first faint warbling, in the inspired Canticle, of the believer's future triumph--the first pencilled ray, which, as the chapter closes, "breaks and broadens into glorious day." "Our vile body" (lit., the body of our humiliation, Phil. 3;21), is to assume an incorruptible form--quickened from the dust of mortality into everlasting life. "Life in Paul's writings," says Dean Howson, "is scarcely represented adequately by 'Life.' It generally means more than this, that is, Life triumphant over death." And let us note very specially with what, in the mind of the Apostle, that quickening is associated. It is with the Resurrection of the believer's Lord--"He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies." Paul had discoursed to the Athenians at Mars Hill, on "Jesus and the Resurrection." He does so now with his Roman converts. He brings before their minds that great Resurrection day, on which the buried Conqueror had met His first followers with the "all hail" (Matt. 28;9); and when the glad tidings were afterwards borne from lip to lip--"The Lord is risen!" This, indeed, is the chief note of our Apostle's present Golden Song, and of all the after Songs of Christendom, including the greatest uninspired Song of the ages--"When you had overcome the sharpness of death, You did open the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers." "If Christ be not risen," he elsewhere affirms, "your faith is vain, and you are yet in your sins." "But now has Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of those who slept" (1 Cor. 15;17, 20). "It is a faithful saying. For if we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him" (2 Tim. 2;11). Am I able to appropriate this transcendent truth, that in a partial sense now, and in a full sense hereafter, I am sharer in the Resurrection-life of my divine Redeemer? The great problem of all time has been--"If a man die shall he live again?" Paganism with its elysium, mingling with a dim land of shadows (Tartarus and Acheron)--gave a feeble, trembling response, like, "An infant crying in the night, An infant crying for the light, And with no language but a cry."

The noblest intellect of the olden world says, hypothetically--"If there be a life beyond?" Even Athens, with all her boasted enlightenment, had one of her favorite altars in the Temple of Minerva Polias dedicated to 'Oblivion'. ature presents, in her great parable-book, some significant guesses and types, but nothing more--of "the secret hidden from ages and generations." In the upspringing of the seed buried under the clods and snows of winter; or the bursting of the insect from its cocoon prison-house, soaring to heaven on wings of purple and gold. But all these oracles were unsatisfactory and ambiguous, until Christ came. Rolling back the stone from the sepulcher of Golgotha, He proclaimed Himself--"I am the Resurrection and the life;"--coupling with this a guarantee for the life and resurrection of His people--"Because I live, you shall live also." He, the first fruits, was presented before the Heavenly Altar, the pledge of the vast harvest that was to follow--"Afterward those who are Christ's at His coming." We need not wonder at the Apostle's emphatic words in a subsequent strain which we shall come to consider--"It is Christ that died, yes rather, that is risen again." Blessed Savior! may I be enabled to "know You, and the power of Your resurrection" (Phil. 3;10). I would enter by faith Your vacant tomb, and hear the angel-announcement--"He is not here, He is risen as He said; come, see the place where the Lord lay." o, more; I would see in all this, what disarms the sting in the first clause of the passage now before us--"the body is dead because of SI ;"--for I see, in You, death and sin alike doomed. In You the grave has become the robingroom for immortality. So completely has Your dying vanquished the last enemy and his dominion, that You are said to have "abolished death," and to have "brought life and immortality to light." I can understand now the meaning of Paul elsewhere, when, in enumerating the contents of the Christian's charter--the roll and record of the believer's privileges, he includes the startling entry--"All things are yours…DEATH" (1 Cor. 3;22). He was writing to the world's Metropolis-to those familiar with their Appian Way--the long street of tombs, ending in the Via Sacra with the Forum and Capitol. Earth in a wider sense is one long Appian Way--a vista and avenue of sepulchers, with the universal inscription--"Sin has reigned unto death." But, through Him who has raised up Christ from the dead, it resolves itself into a "Sacred Approach," leading to the City whose walls are salvation and its gates praise--on whose entrance--its triumphal arch--the words are emblazoned--"And there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away" (Rev. 21;4). Meanwhile, in the prospect of that glorious quickening, when His people will be changed into "the body of His glory,"--may it be my longing and aspiration, that "the spirit"--the renewed, quickened, and regenerated spirit--may be "life because of righteousness." May I be imbued with a spirit instinct with holiness. Above all, desiring to be "like" my risen Lord. The exhortation of the Apostle of love seems the appropriate one in this longing after purity and consecration of heart and life--"And every man that has this hope in Him purifies himself, even as He is pure" ( 1 John 3;3). It is a solemn test and touchstone which ushers in our present verses--"IF Christ be in you!" Is my life now "hidden with Christ in God"? Is His love enthroned in my heart, and is it expelling all less worthy aspirations? Partaker of this Resurrection-life of Jesus, let me so rise above the fear of natural death, that seen in the morning light of the great coming Easter it may appear like a "going home." And may not all this be deepened and intensified, when I think of it in connection with the beloved dead? Those rayless eyes will be lighted again. The music of that hushed voice will be awakened again. In the certainty of that quickening, we are lifted far above the poor Xaipe (the farewell) on Pagan tombs. As we pace these dark and doleful realms of death, the sound as of the silver trumpet is heard. It is a Song of Songs in long antecedent years, sung by no Apostle but by the Lord of life Himself; as looking down the vista of ages, He exclaims--"I will ransom them

from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death; O death, I will be your plague; O grave, I will be your destruction" (Hos. 13;14). "Your dead shall live;…awake and sing, you that dwell in dust" (Isa. 26;19). Hear how, in other beautiful words of comfort, our Apostle connects the Resurrection of Christ with the glorious awaking of His sleeping saints. It is not the poet's "Sleep, the sleep that knows no waking." "Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever." (1 Thess. 4;13-17). "Together with them;" and "forever with the Lord!" Death is the transmuting and transforming of human relations into a life which is impossible in the earthly sphere. It is, with reverence we call it--a Transfiguration on the Mount of Heaven. This meditation cannot be more appropriately closed, than by quoting two passages which seem written as if an express comment on the verses which have claimed our attention--two sweet melodies in full harmony with our Song of Songs; "All honor to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for it is by his boundless mercy that God has given us the privilege of being born again. ow we live with a wonderful expectation because Jesus Christ rose again from the dead." 1 Peter 1:3 For our perishable earthly bodies must be transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die. When this happens—when our perishable earthly bodies have been transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die—then at last the Scriptures will come true: "Death is swallowed O death, where O death, where is your sting?" up is in your victory. victory?

For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. How we thank God, who gives us victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ our Lord! 1 Cor. 15:53-57

12. Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it.

1. This is a key phrase that says we have an obligation. It is an obligation to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit which will not do then the things that the flesh desires to do, but what is consistent with the revealed will of God. The old man had some excuse for not obeying the law of God, but the new man has no such excuse, for he now has the ability in the power of the Spirit to do what the law of God demands. Sometimes Christians think that they no longer have any obligation to

obey the law of God, but that is to miss the point of why we have been set free from the law of the flesh. It is so that we are free to go a different direction than where the body of flesh is leading us. We are free to go the way the Spirit is leading us, and this is an obligation not just a suggestion. We do not obey all of the many laws of the Old Testament, but the basics like the Ten Commandments summed up by Jesus in loving God with all our being and our neighbor as ourselves. Doing what pleases both God and man is our obligation as Christians. 2. Barnes, “We are debtors - We owe it as a matter of solemn obligation. This obligation arises, (1) From the fact that the Spirit dwells in us; (2) Because the design of his indwelling is to purify us; (3) Because we are thus recovered from the death of sin to the life of religion; and he who has imparted life, has a right to require that it be spent in his service. To the flesh - To the corrupt propensities and passions. We are not bound to indulge them because the end of such indulgence is death and ruin; Rom_7:21-22. But we are bound to live to God, and to follow the leadings of his Spirit, for the end is life and peace; Rom_7:22-23. The reason for this is stated in the following verse. 3. Clarke, “Therefore, brethren, etc. - Dr. Taylor is of opinion that the apostle having spoken separately, both to Jews and Gentiles, concerning holiness and the obligations to it, now addresses himself to both conjointly, and, I. Draws the general conclusion from all his arguments upon this subject, Rom_8:12. II. Proves the validity of their claims to eternal life, Rom_8:14-17. III.And as the affair of suffering persecution was a great stumbling block to the Jews, and might very much discourage the Gentiles, he introduces it to the best advantage, Rom_8:17, and advances several arguments to fortify their minds under all trials: as (1.) That they suffered with Christ; (2.) In order to be glorified with him in a manner which will infinitely compensate all sufferings, Rom_8:17, Rom_8:18. (3.) All mankind are under various pressures, longing for a better state, Rom_8:19-22. (4.) Many of the most eminent Christians are in the same distressed condition, Rom_8:23. (5.) According to the plan of the Gospel, we are to be brought to glory after a course of patience exercised in a variety of trials, Rom_8:24, Rom_8:25. (6.) The Spirit of God will supply patience to every upright soul under persecution and suffering, Rom_8:26, Rom_8:27. (7.) All things, even the severest trials, shall work together for their good, Rom_8:28. And this he proves, by giving us a view of the several steps which the wisdom and goodness of God have settled, in order to our complete salvation, Rom_8:29, Rom_8:30. Thence he passes to the affair of our perseverance; concerning which he concludes, from the whole of his preceding arguments, that as we are brought into a state of pardon by the free grace of God, through the death of Christ, who is now our mediator in heaven; no possible cause, providing we continue to love and serve God, shall be able to pervert our minds, or separate us from his love in Christ Jesus, Rom_8:31-39. Therefore, αρα ουν is the grand inference from all that he has been arguing in relation to sanctity of

life, both to the Gentiles, chap. 6, and to the Jews, chap. 7, and 8, to this verse, where I suppose he begins to address himself to both, in a body, to the end of the chapter. Taylor, page 317. 3. Gill, “ Therefore, brethren, we are debtors,.... The appellation, "brethren", is not used, because they were so by nation or by blood, though many in the church at Rome were Jews; nor merely in a free familiar way of speaking; but rather on account of church membership, and especially because they were in the same spiritual relation to God and Christ: and the use of it by the apostle, shows his great humility and condescension, and his love and affection for them, and is designed to engage their attention and regard to what he was about to say, to them and of them; as that they were "debtors"; which is to be understood of them not as sinners, who as such had been greatly in debt, and had nothing to pay, and were liable to the prison of hell; for no mere creature could ever have paid off their debts; but Christ has done it for them, and in this sense they were not debtors: but they were so as saints, as men freed from condemnation and death; which doctrine of Christian liberty is no licentious one; it does not exempt from obedience, but the more and greater the favours are which such men enjoy, the more obliged they are to be grateful and obey; they are debtors, or trader obligation, not to the flesh, to corrupt nature, to live after the flesh, the dictates of that; nor should they be, both on God's account, since that is enmity to him, and is not subject to his law; and on their own account, because it is an enemy to them, brings reproach on them, and exposes them to death; but though it is not expressed, it is understood, that they are debtors to God; to God the Father, both as the God of nature, and of grace, as their covenant God and Father in Christ, who has blessed them with all spiritual blessings in him; to Christ himself, who has redeemed them by his blood: and to the Spirit of God who is in them, and for what he has been, is, and will be to them. 4. Henry, “ Let not our life be after the wills and motions of the flesh. Two motives he mentions here: - [1.] We are not debtors to the flesh, neither by relation, gratitude, nor any other bond or obligation. We owe no suit nor service to our carnal desires; we are indeed bound to clothe, and feed, and take care of the body, as a servant to the soul in the service of God, but no further. We are not debtors to it; the flesh never did us so much kindness as to oblige us to serve it. It is implied that we are debtors to Christ and to the Spirit: there we owe our all, all we have and all we can do, by a thousand bonds and obligations. Being delivered from so great a death by so great a ransom, we are deeply indebted to our deliverer. 4B. John MacDuff, “"We are debtors." The key-note of the song considered at the beginning of these meditations (v. 1) interprets this assertion for us. Once in "condemnation;" bankrupt, nothing to pay--sin-condemned and law-condemned. But Christ the Law fulfiller has paid all and remitted all, granting to the insolvent a full discharge; "Therefore, brethren, we are debtors;" debtors to Him who has Himself furnished the ransom--opened the prison doors and set us free. Hence the infinite obligation under which we are laid to Redeeming love. Hence the supreme incentive to sanctification of heart and life. As He died for sin, so must we die to sin. At this point of the Apostle's argument, a new divine Influence or Factor is revealed; a new slumbering chord of the Song is made to vibrate. God has made gracious provision to secure, on

the part of His ransomed people, a holy walk and obedience; and that, not through their own strength, but through the strength and power of His indwelling Spirit. By that Spirit we are not only renewed, but "led" (v. 14)--sweetly constrained to walk in harmony with the divine will, and the impulses of our regenerated natures. We have here what Chalmers happily calls "the expulsive power of a new affection." It is a plant which our Heavenly Father plants. ot indigenous to the natural soil of the human heart; it is of supernatural growth. Christ Himself in His interview with icodemus expressly speaks of a "new birth"--a being "born of the Spirit"--"born from above. ABOVE; "translated into the Kingdom of His dear Son." ABOVE--we breathe a purer atmosphere. Away from the mists and clouds of the nether valley, faith takes us to its own rocky heights; and bathed in its own bright paradise, puts one of its new songs into our lips--"He shall dwell on high; his place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks." The life originally forfeited in the first Adam is more than restored. "I came," says the great federal Head of the ew Covenant, "that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10;10). If we have seen that the state of those "minding the things of the flesh" may be expressed by one word--ungodliness; this new, heaven-born life may similarly be described by the one word "spiritual mindedness." This spiritual mindedness--the Holy Spirit's work in the heart--like all the processes in God's material and moral government, is step by step and progressive. The power of sin becomes slowly weaker and weaker. The power of grace, slowly--it may be imperceptibly, becomes stronger and stronger. Paul's own word (v. 13) implies not a sudden and instantaneous, but a gradual transformation; "If you through the Spirit, do MORTIFY the deeds of the body, you shall live." It is in accordance with a similar and equally expressive simile of our Apostle elsewhere--"Those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts." Crucified--it is a slow, lingering death--a "striving against sin" (Heb. 12;4); though the strife and conflict are not dubious, but lead ultimately to assured victory. Reader, have you and I, in any feeble measure, been able to realize the presence and power of this "Indwelling Spirit"? conscious of the surrender of heart and life to Christ? implying the gradual conquest of sin; the expulsion of whatever is base and impure, corrupt and selfish, grasping and covetous, unloving and unholy--our wills blending in greater harmony with the divine? Is this our happy history; can we endorse this testimony as our own experience--"The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men; teaching us, that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world?" (Titus 2;11, 12). ot, moreover, as a hard rule of compulsion--a reluctant concession to stern duty and obligation, but saying with a cheerful feeling of self-surrender--"I delight in the law of God after the inward man"? Lord, bring me to live more and more constantly under the sovereignty of that lofty motive to walk and act so as to please You; to exercise a jealous scrutiny over my truant, treacherous, deceitful heart. Specially in my daily business and daily duties and daily temptations and daily perplexities, may I seek to be led by Your Spirit. Let me keep free of whatever influences would deflect the needle from its pole, and prevent the love of God from being shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Spirit given unto me. Beholding, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, may I be changed into the same image from glory to glory, by the Lord the Spirit (2 Cor. 3;18). Free from the bondage of the law--the law of sin and death, let me become a willing slave to the new bondage of Christ's service. Recognizing the ultimate end of Redemption to be Sanctification, may I yield myself and my members servants to righteousness unto holiness (Rom. 6;19). Here is our Apostle's main incentive to the leading of this higher spiritual life and this diviner spiritual walk--"For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and

therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again (2 Cor. 5;14, 15). "Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God's right hand in the place of honor and power. Let heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth. For you died when Christ died, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God" (Col. 3;1-3). "To be spiritually minded is life and peace" may be taken as the summary of this passage and chapter. As a responsive and appropriate chord to Paul's Song of the renewed mind, let us close with an old prophetic strain, celebrating the City of Salvation with the Gates of righteousness and peace we have just been surveying–"In that day, everyone in the land of Judah will sing this song: Our city is now strong! We are surrounded by the walls of God's salvation. Open the gates to all who are righteous; allow the faithful to enter. You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you!" Isaiah 26:1-3 5. Barclay 12-17, “Paul is introducing us to another of the great metaphors in which he describes the new relationship of the Christian to God. He speaks of the Christian being adopted into the family of God. It is only when we understand how serious and complicated a step Roman adoption was that we really under stand the depth of meaning in this passage. Roman adoption was always rendered more serious and more difficult by the Roman patria potestas. This was the father's power over his family; it was the power of absolute disposal and control, and in the early days was actually the power of life and death. In regard to his father, a Roman son never came of age. o matter how old he was, he was still under the patria potestas, in the absolute possession and under the absolute control, of his father. Obviously this made adoption into another family a very difficult and serious step. In adoption a person had to pass from one patria potestas to another. There were two steps. The first was known as mancipatio, and was carried out by a symbolic sale, in which copper and scales were symbolically used. Three times the symbolism of sale was carried out. Twice the father symbolically sold his son, and twice he bought him back; but the third time he did not buy him back and thus the patria potestas was held to be broken. There followed a ceremony called vindicatio. The adopting father went to the praetor, one of the Roman magistrates, and presented a legal case for the transference of the person to be adopted into his patria potestas. When all this was completed, the adoption was complete. Clearly this was a serious and an impressive step. But it is the consequences of adoption which are most significant for the picture that is in Paul's mind. There were four main ones. (i) The adopted person lost all rights in his old family and gained all the rights of a legitimate son in his new family. In the most binding legal way, he got a new father. (ii) It followed that he became heir to his new father's estate. Even if other sons were afterwards born, it did not affect his rights. He was inalienably co-heir with them. (iii) In law, the old life of the adopted person was completely wiped out; for instance, all debts were cancelled. He was regarded as a new person entering into a new life with which the past had nothing to do. (iv) In the eyes of the law he was absolutely the son of his new father. Roman history provides an outstanding case of how completely this was held to be true. The Emperor Claudius adopted ero in order that he might succeed him on the throne; they were not in any sense blood relations. Claudius already had a daughter, Octavia. To cement the alliance ero wished to marry her. ero and Octavia were in no sense blood relations; yet, in the eyes of the law, they were brother and sister; and before they could marry, the Roman senate had to pass special legislation.

That is what Paul is thinking of. He uses still another picture from Roman adoption. He says that God's spirit witnesses with our spirit that we really are his children. The adoption ceremony was carried out in the presence of seven witnesses. ow, suppose the adopting father died and there was some dispute about the right of the adopted son to inherit, one or more of the seven witnesses stepped forward and swore that the adoption was genuine. Thus the right of the adopted person was guaranteed and he entered into his inheritance. So, Paul is saying, it is the Holy Spirit himself who is the witness to our adoption into the family of God. We see then that every step of Roman adoption was meaningful in the mind of Paul when he transferred the picture to our adoption into the family of God. Once we were in the absolute control of our own sinful human nature; but God, in his mercy, has brought us into his absolute possession. The old life has no more rights over us; God has an absolute right. The past is cancelled and its debts are wiped out; we begin a new life with God and become heirs of all his riches. If that is so, we become joint-heirs with Jesus Christ, God's own Son. That which Christ inherits, we also inherit. If Christ had to suffer, we also inherit that suffering; but if Christ was raised to life and glory, we also inherit that life and glory. It was Paul's picture that when a man became a Christian he entered into the very family of God. He did nothing to deserve it; God, the great Father, in his amazing love and mercy, has taken the lost, helpless, poverty-stricken, debt-laden sinner and adopted him into his own family, so that the debts are canceled and the glory inherited.” 6. What we need to see is that Paul states something that sounds like it is over and done and that we are dead to sin, but this is just the ideal. It has to be put into practice by us. God has done His part, but we have an obligation to cooperate, and if we do not there will be no effect in our lives of what God has done for us. It is a reality in Christ, but not a reality in us unless we obey and love God with our who being. There would be no point in this verse if it was all done for us and we had no obligation in how we respond to what God has done. One thing has puzzled me as I have attempted to understand Paul’s words in verse 12: Why does he apply his teaching by speaking to his reader in terms of obligations? Why not duty? Why not obedience? Why obligations? I think I am beginning to understand what he means. We feel obligated to another only when we believe they have done something for us. “One good turn deserves another,” we say. When someone does us a favor, we feel obligated to them. When someone does us harm, we do not feel an obligation at all. Traveling overseas offers an illustration of this. When a car comes to an intersection and has to wait for a moment, a man may very well push through the crowd, get out his small array of equipment, and begin to wash your windshield. When he has finished, he hopes you will feel obligated enough to him to give him some money. We feel obligated when someone has rendered us a service. Thus, Paul speaks of obligations. The fact is many Christians feel obligated to the flesh. This is why Paul must remind us that we have no obligation to the flesh. The flesh has done us no favors. It has acted independently of our minds, causing us to sin and to fear divine condemnation. The flesh is instrumental in our doing things of which we are now ashamed (see 6:21). We owe the flesh nothing. Why then do we feel obligated? Why is it necessary for Paul to tell us we are not obligated to the flesh? The reason, as I understand it, is simple: even though it is not true, we feel that the flesh has performed some beneficial service for us. Let me suggest some ways Christians might come to

this false conclusion. There are those who tend toward the libertine extreme of error, supposing that God’s grace in Christ is a license to sin. They believe that once they have been justified by faith, they can continue to live as they formerly did—in sin—with no guilt or condemnation. If Christ paid the price for our sins, they reason, then why not sin all you can? The false assumption is that the pleasures of sin and the lusts of the flesh are really good. Thus, living in sin is good for the present, and the forgiveness of sins is our guarantee of heaven in the future. Those who foolishly think and behave in this way wrongly conclude that they owe the flesh something because it has been so good to them. The legalist feels the same obligation to the flesh as does the libertine but for what seems to be the opposite reason.181 The legalist may sincerely believe he is avoiding sin and practicing righteousness, but he is doing so through the flesh and not through the Spirit. Legalism tries to fulfill God’s Law by means of human effort and not by walking in the Spirit. The scribes and Pharisees believed they were overcoming the flesh, but they only appeared to do so and this by means of the flesh. It is the outward appearance which the legalist judges and not the heart (see Luke 16:15). The outward appearance of righteousness may very well be the result of serving God in the flesh. I am reminded of a song I once heard: “Workin’ like the devil, servin’ the Lord.” We do not owe the flesh anything. The flesh accomplishes nothing which is righteous. The flesh is subject to sin and to death. Whether the flesh produces self-indulgence or self-righteousness, it cannot please God. We owe it nothing. In fact, it is so hostile to the Spirit that we are obligated to put to death the deeds of the flesh. All too many Christians, including myself, are far too busy catering to the flesh rather than crucifying it.” author unknown 7. Zeisler, “ ow to prepare for our study of Romans 8, let's think back to the logical observation Paul makes in Romans 5:10: "For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!" If God would send his Son to die for us when we were his enemies---rebels who affronted him and everything he stood for---how much more, having reconciled us to himself, will he apply his life to us to save us! But the question is, how do we gain this life? So far, as we have looked at the process of sanctification, in chapters 5 through 7, it seems to resemble driving lessons. My first efforts as a driver were in a car with a standard transmission, so I was trying to learn to operate the clutch. If I didn't give it enough gas it died. If I gave it too much gas it lurched. I was going back and forth trying to get the timing with my feet worked out so that I gave it just enough gas to make smooth transitions. But I forgot to steer. And as soon as I started trying to steer, I went around a corner, overcorrected, and hit the curb on the left. Then I went back to the right. I braked too hard the first time, and the guy behind me nearly hit me because I stopped so suddenly. Later I braked too softly and rolled through a stop sign. In the process of learning to drive you make a mistake and then overcorrect the other direction. That is a bit like what we see described in these chapters of Romans where grace is announced to us. There is a whole series of questions that go back and forth trying to make sense of it. Having veered off too far in one direction, we go back the other direction making a different mistake. We learn of grace---does that mean that though we're forgiven we continue in sin and failure, exactly as before? By no means! So we overcorrect and determine to clean up our act, follow the law with great determination only to discover that the law is inadequate to renew our lives.

“Galatians 5:25 says, "Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." ( IV) Keep in step comes from the Greek word "Stoicheo" which means to walk in an orderly way. The word was used of those who were marching. In the military, from time to time, a drill sergeant will call cadence. "Left, Right, Left. Left, Right, Left. Left, Right, Left. Soldier, you're out of step! Left, Right, Left. The sergeant gets the whole squadron in step. The works of the flesh will force you out of step. On the other hand, the Holy Spirit wants to call the cadence of your life.” 8. “We do not have any obligation to the flesh nature to please it, but only to the Spirit of God who gives us life. The flesh will lead you only to the grave, but the Spirit will lead you to eternal life, and so you owe the body nothing for it will not give you anything that is eternal. The University of Chicago did a five-year study of leading artists, athletes, and scholars. The research was conducted by Dr. Benjamin Bloom, and was based upon anonymous interviews with the top twenty performers in various fields. These people included concert pianists, Olympic athletes, tennis players, sculptors, mathematicians, physicians, and a number of other achievers. Bloom and his team of researchers from the University of Chicago probed for clues as to how these people developed their skills. For a more complete picture, they even interviewed their families and teachers. The report stated conclusively that it was not great talent, but drive and determination that led to the extraordinary success of these individuals. Bloom noted, "We expected to find tales of great natural gifts. We didn't find that at all. Their mothers often said it was another sibling who had the great talent". The report, I believe, underscores that for us to live a successful Christian life in our world today, we must do so through drive and determination. The apostle Paul was able to say, after shipwrecks, beatings, political ostracizing, and disappointment, " ow the time has come for me to die. My life is like a drink offering being poured out on the altar. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have been faithful." (2 Timothy 4:6-7) He had lived a successful life. Why? Because he was determined to be faithful, despite his setbacks, disappointments, and trials. Are you determined to live the faith?” author unknown 9. Spurgeon, “As God's creatures, we are all debtors to Him: to obey Him with all our body, and soul, and strength. Having broken His commandments, as we all have, we are debtors to His justice, and we owe to Him a vast amount which we are not able to pay. But of the Christian it can be said that he does not owe God's justice anything, for Christ has paid the debt His people owed; for this reason the believer owes the more to love. I am a debtor to God's grace and forgiving mercy; but I am no debtor to His justice, for He will never accuse me of a debt already paid. Christ said, "It is finished!" and by that He meant, that whatever His people owed was wiped away for ever from the book of remembrance. Christ, to the uttermost, has satisfied divine justice; the account is settled; the handwriting is nailed to the cross; the receipt is given, and we are debtors to God's justice no longer. But then, because we are not debtors to our Lord in that sense, we become ten times more debtors to God than we should have been otherwise. Christian, pause and ponder for a moment. What a debtor thou art to divine sovereignty! How much thou owest to His disinterested love, for He gave His own Son that He might die for thee. Consider how much you owe to His forgiving grace, that after ten thousand affronts He loves you as infinitely as ever. Consider what you owe to His power; how He has raised you from your death in sin; how He has preserved your spiritual life; how He has kept you from falling; and how, though a thousand

enemies have beset your path, you have been able to hold on your way. Consider what you owe to His immutability. Though you have changed a thousand times, He has not changed once. Thou art as deep in debt as thou canst be to every attribute of God. To God thou owest thyself, and all thou hast--yield thyself as a living sacrifice, it is but thy reasonable service.”

10. Drew Worthen, “Because of the price that it cost Christ to purchase our salvation we are under obligation to follow Him. The word obligation in the Greek is better rendered a debtor. We are people eternally indebted to a God who owed us nothing but has given us everything in Christ. But Paul's way of making his point is done in a way which brings out this contrast of the flesh or the old nature and the Spirit who gives life and gives us a new nature in Christ. He say's, we are most certainly indebted, but it's not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. Why? Quite simply, if we are indebted to the flesh; in other words if we owe the flesh something, for which the flesh can take credit, then we would be obliged to receive the reward the flesh has for us. And Paul tells us what that reward is in verse 13 .... "For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die;..." The wages of sin is death. And so to be a debtor to the flesh, or the old nature, is to live according to its demands which results only in death. And so in contrasting the flesh and the Spirit Paul's point is, to whom do you want to be indebted? Rom 8:13 "For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,..." The Spirit of the living Christ lives in all of us who have placed our faith in Him alone for our salvation. The deeds of the flesh are quite evident and we all battle the "old self" whose sinful nature wants to take center stage. But, since we have the Spirit our new desires in Christ desire to please our Lord where we now have the ability to put to death the misdeeds of the body. And that is done by the Spirit as we live in the newness of Christ's life and the power He has given us.”

13For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,

1. Barnes, “For if you live ... - If you live to indulge your carnal propensities, you will sink to eternal death; Rom_7:23. Through the Spirit - By the aid of the Spirit; by cherishing and cultivating his influences. What

is here required can be accomplished only by the aid of the Holy Spirit. Do mortify - Do put to death; do destroy. Sin is mortified when its power is destroyed, and it ceases to be active. The deeds of the body - The corrupt inclinations and passions; called deeds of the body, because they are supposed to have their origin in the fleshly appetites. Ye shall live - You shall be happy and saved. Either your sins must die, or you must. If they are suffered to live, you will die. If they are put to death, you will be saved. o man can be saved in his sins. This closes the argument of the apostle for the superiority of the gospel to the Law in promoting the purity of man. By this train of reasoning, he has shown that the gospel has accomplished what the Law could not do - the sanctification of the soul, the destruction of the corrupt passions of our nature, and the recovery of man to God. 2. Clarke, “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die - Though µελλετε αποθνησκειν may mean, ye shall afterwards die, and this seems to indicate a temporal death, yet not exclusively of an eternal death; for both, and especially the latter, are necessarily implied. But if ye through the Spirit - If ye seek that grace and spiritual help which the Gospel of Christ furnishes, resist, and, by resisting, mortify the deeds of the flesh, against which the law gave you no assistance, ye shall live a life of faith, love, and holy obedience here, and a life of glory hereafter. 2B. Constable, “Christians who consistently follow the dictates of the flesh can look forward to death. This cannot be eternal death, separation from God forever, in view of specific promises to the contrary (e.g., vv. 1, 31-39). Therefore it must mean temporal death. Sin produces death in many forms, for example, separation of the body from the soul (physical death that may be premature for those who follow the flesh; cf. 1 Cor. 11:30; 1 John 5:16). It may be separation of the person from others (death in social relationships) or separation of the person from himself (psychological alienation and disorders). Conversely believers who follow God's will with the enablement of the Holy Spirit and put the deeds of the body (i.e., the flesh; cf. 6:6) to death will experience abundant life. It is possible to possess eternal life and yet not experience it fully (John 10:10). Only Christians who follow God faithfully will experience their eternal life to its fullest potential. This fullness of life involves psychological and social wholeness and well as physical longevity under normal circumstances. The present tense of the verbs is significant. This tense stresses the necessity of continually putting to death the deeds of the flesh. Paul viewed the presentation of ourselves to God as an initial act of commitment (6:13; 12:1), but He wrote that we must daily and hourly choose to mortify our flesh (cf. 13:14).” 3. Gill, “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die,.... Such persons are dead, whilst they live, and shall die a second or an eternal death, if grace prevent not. It may be asked, whether one that has received the grace of God in truth, can live after the flesh; flesh, or corrupt nature, though still in such a person, has not the dominion over him: to live in sin, or in a continued course of sinning, is contrary to the grace of God; but flesh may prevail and greatly influence the life and conversation, for a while; how long this may be the case of a true believer, under backslidings, through the power of corruptions and temptations, cannot be known; but certain it is, that it shall not be always thus with him. It may be further inquired, whether such an one may be so left

to live after the flesh, as to die and perish eternally; Christ expressly says, such shall not die that live and believe in him; grace, which is implanted in their souls, is an incorruptible and never dying seed; grace and glory are inseparably connected together; but then such persons may die with respect to their frames, their comforts and the lively exercise of grace, which seems to be here intended; as appears from the next clause, but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. This is not to be understood of the mortification of the body itself; nor does it design any maceration or afflicting of it by any severities of life; nor of the destruction of the body of sin by Christ: or of the being and principles of sin in the saints by the Spirit of Christ; which is contrary to Scripture, to the experience of the saints, who find it in them, alive in them, and to their expectations, whilst in this world: nor is this mortification to be considered as a part of regeneration, which by some divines is made to consist in a sense of sin, grief for it, and hatred of it, in avoiding it, and in an expulsion of vicious habits and inclinations; but it should be observed, that the apostle is writing to persons that were already regenerate; nor does he ever exhort persons to regenerate themselves, which he would do here, if this was the sense; regeneration is a work of the Spirit of God, in which men are passive, whereas in the mortification here spoken of the saints are active, under the influence of the Spirit of God; besides, regeneration is done at once, and does not admit of degrees; and in and by that, sin, as to its being and principle, is so far from being destroyed, that it seems rather to revive in the sense and apprehension of regenerated persons: but it is a mortification of the outward actings of sin in the conversation, called, "the deeds of the body": and in the Claromontane exemplar, and in the Vulgate Latin version, "the deeds of the flesh": or as the Syriac version renders it, ‫" ,הופכי‬the conversations", or manners of it, and so the Ethiopic version; that is, its outward course of life: and it signifies a subduing and weakening the vigour and power of sin in the lives and conversations of the saints, to which the grace and assistance of the Spirit are absolutely necessary; and such who are enabled to do so, "shall live" comfortably; they shall have communion with Christ here, and shall live a life of glory with him hereafter. Such a way of speaking as this is used by the Jews; say they (a), "what shall a man do that he may live? it is replied, ‫" ,ימית עצמו‬he shall mortify himself";'' which the gloss explains by "he shall humble himself"; walk humbly before God and men, in his life and conversation. 4. Jamison, “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die — in the sense of Rom_6:21. but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body — (See on Rom_7:23). ye shall live — in the sense of Rom_6:22. The apostle is not satisfied with assuring them that they are under no obligations to the flesh, to hearken to its suggestions, without reminding them where it will end if they do; and he uses the word “mortify” (put to death) as a kind of play upon the word “die” just before. “If ye do not kill sin, it will kill you.” But he tempers this by the bright alternative, that if they do, through the Spirit, mortify the deeds of the body, such a course will infallibly terminate in “life” everlasting. And this leads the apostle into a new line of thought, opening into his final subject, the “glory” awaiting the justified believer. ote, (1) “There can be no safety, no holiness, no happiness, to those who are out of Christ: o “safety,” because all such are under the condemnation of the law (Rom_8:1); no holiness, because such only as are united to Christ have the spirit of Christ (Rom_8:9); no happiness, because to be

“carnally minded is death” (Rom_8:6)” [Hodge]. (2) The sanctification of believers, as it has its whole foundation in the atoning death, so it has its living spring in the indwelling of the Spirit of Christ (Rom_8:2-4). (3) “The bent of the thoughts, affections, and pursuits, is the only decisive test of character (Rom_8:5)” [Hodge]. (4) o human refinement of the carnal mind will make it spiritual, or compensate for the absence of spirituality. “Flesh” and “spirit” are essentially and unchangeably opposed; nor can the carnal mind, as such, be brought into real subjection to the law of God (Rom_8:5-7). Hence (5) the estrangement of God and the sinner is mutual. For as the sinner’s state of mind is “enmity against God” (Rom_8:7), so in this state he “cannot please God” (Rom_8:8). (6) Since the Holy Ghost is, in the same breath, called indiscriminately “the Spirit of God,” “the Spirit of Christ,” and “Christ” Himself (as an indwelling life in believers), the essential unity and yet Personal distinctness of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, m the one adorable Godhead must be believed, as the only consistent explanation of such language (Rom_8:9-11). (7) The consciousness of spiritual life in our renewed souls is a glorious assurance of resurrection life in the body also, in virtue of the same quickening Spirit whose inhabitation we already enjoy (Rom_8:11). (8) Whatever professions of spiritual life men may make, it remains eternally true that “if we live after the flesh we shall die,” and only “if we through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body we shall live” (Rom_8:13, and compare Gal_6:7, Gal_6:8; Eph_5:6; Phi_3:18, Phi_3:19; 1Jo_3:7, 1Jo_3:8). 5. Henry, “ Consider the consequences, what will be at the end of the way. Here are life and death, blessing and cursing, set before us. If you live after the flesh, you shall die; that is, die eternally. It is the pleasing, and serving, and gratifying, of the flesh, that are the ruin of souls; that is, the second death. Dying indeed is the soul's dying: the death of the saints is but a sleep. But, on the other hand, You shall live, live and be happy to eternity; that is the true life: If you through the Spirit mortify the deeds of the body, subdue and keep under all fleshly lusts and affections, deny yourselves in the pleasing and humouring of the body, and this through the Spirit; we cannot do it without the Spirit working it in us, and the Spirit will not do it without our doing our endeavour. So that in a word we are put upon this dilemma, either to displease the body or destroy the soul. 6. Stedman, “At the close of World War II, a picture appeared in a magazine showing a soldier in conflict with a tank. I remember the picture vividly because it was in color and it showed a tremendously huge army tank bearing down on the tiny figure of the soldier, about to crush him. How frightened he was, as this massive tank was about to overwhelm him. The picture was designed to show the odds involved when a foot soldier with a rifle faced a tank. Then it showed what happened to that soldier's odds when the bazooka (a rocket launcher) was invented. It showed him standing with a bazooka in his hands. It was the same soldier, but he had a different weapon. The next picture showed the tank, shrunken in size, with the soldier at least equal in size, if not a little larger. This is what Paul is saying to us. Without the power of God released in our lives, we are like an infantry soldier in the presence of a tank. We cannot do a thing. It is too much for us. But, by trust in the power of the living God at work in us, we can rise up in the face of temptation, and,

armed with the bazooka of the Spirit, we can say, " o" -- and make it stick! We can turn and begin to live as God intended us to live. The question this raises, then, is this: Why not live? Why spend most of your Christian life weak, and pitiful, and constantly experiencing guilt and fear and loneliness and depressions and discouragement? Why not live?” But if you pay attention to all these wandering longings, entertaining your body and mind's every whim, you are going to find yourself sinning a lot, feeling uncomfortable and separated from God, and living a defeated life. Why not talk to the Holy Spirit instead, enjoying His companionship and asking for His help. At the same time you are fellowshiping with your Friend the Holy Spirit, you will be dealing the death-blow to those old attitudes, silly habits, distracting cravings, and ridiculous thought patterns left over from your old life. He will help you nail your old habits to the wall, giving you a decisive victory. There is more to salvation than an act of faith. You must live a life of faith which rises above the sinful nature. By the Spirit we need to control and keep the body from running our lives, and ruining them. All life depends on death, and spiritual life depends on the death of the body and flesh appetites. You cannot be holy in spirit and still use your body in sinful practices. The body must come under the control of the spirit and this means to put away the sinful deeds of the flesh. Live for body and it equals death or failure, but live for the Spirit and it is life or success. This is the success that really matters for eternity. Paul knows this is not an easy task, for he had plenty of struggle with the old man in him, as we see in the previous chapter. We know that the great apostle Paul also experienced this struggle, because he describes it in Romans 7: 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 ow if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. Paul struggled with the same conflict you and I experience. It was the struggle of his attempt to live for Jesus. And here he openly shares that struggle with us. By being transparent, he seeks to be an encouragement. By sharing his struggle, he hopes to free us from ours. He had come to the end of his rope. He says in verse 24, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” It is apparent that Paul had come to see his own self-effort for what it was. And it was not enough! ow he will share with us the key to being free at last. J. David Hoke

7. Zane Hodges, “In Romans 8:13 Paul offers his Christian readers a significant option. He writes: For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. This may clearly be called a death/life option. But just what is Paul talking about? As usual, the context is crucial. A few verses before (in v 10), the Apostle had also written this: And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. We may say that the death/life option is related to the body/Spirit contrast found in this verse. Romans 8:10 might be called a "snapshot" of the believer. When Christ is in someone (i.e., a Christian is under discussion here), two things may be said of him. His body is spiritually dead (obviously, not physically dead!), but inwardly he possesses the life of God's Spirit. In Paul's teaching, the physical body is the seat of the sin nature (see Rom 7:22-25). But because a believer has been justified ("because of righteousness"), in his inner man there is eternal life and the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit. If a Christian lives according to the dictates of his physical nature, he will experience the "death" that is in his body. That is, he will be cut off spiritually from the fellowship of God and from any vital realization of the eternal life within him. On the other hand, if he so chooses, he can rely on the Holy Spirit's leadership (through the Word) and on His power and enablement. In that case his experience will be an experience of the life of the Spirit who dwells in him. Obviously this involves fellowship with God and fruitfulness of life. But not only that. Such a life is nothing less than a "resurrected life." Paul goes on to say this very thing in v 11: But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. As the context shows, this has nothing to do with our future resurrection. Rather, it refers to a present resurrection. As Paul has just said (in v 10), our body is "dead" to the experience of God's life. Can such a body as that become the vehicle for expressing the very life of God? It certainly can! But not by our own struggling and self-effort. Paul found out the futility of that in Romans 7 (vv 15-25). o, what is required is a resurrection miracle! So great is the power of God's Spirit within us that He is able to overcome the spiritual "deadness" of our bodies so that we may live to God as those who are alive from the dead and can yield the members of our physical bodies to God as instruments of righteousness (see Rom 6:11-14). What an amazing truth! The same Spirit who raised our Lord Jesus from the dead dwells in us. And by His mighty power He can make our poor mortal bodies vessels for the expression of divine, supernatural life. That is why Paul can go on to say that we have no obligation--no necessity--to live according to the flesh (v 12). Although unsaved people have no such choice (see v 8), we Christians do. We can enjoy the life of the Spirit being expressed in our daily experience.

So we have an option. And if we choose to depend on God's Spirit so that the wicked "deeds of the body" are "killed" (v 13), our experience will be life by the resurrecting power of the Holy Spirit Himself! And what discerning Christian would want to make any choice but this? If he chooses differently, his folly and blindness are manifest. But remember: whenever you see a Christian living the Christian life, you are witnessing a resurrection miracle! Paul says so. Therefore choose life. 8. Unknown author, “How does a believer mortify and put to death the deeds of the body? The Biblical doctrine of MORTIFICATIO : otice first that we are to mortify "through the Spirit." This is something that is done by the power of the Spirit, not by our own power. There are two aspects of the believer’s mortification that must be considered: 1) POSITIO ALLY it has already been done! Galatians 5:24 says, "they that are Christ’s (those who belong to Him, compare Romans 8:9) have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." otice that this verse does not say to do this but it says that it has already been done. It does not say "crucify the flesh" but it says, "you have crucified the flesh (already)." When did this happen? Two thousand years ago (compare Galatians 2:20)! When Christ died, I died! That's when my crucifixion took place. 2) EXPERIE TIALLY the believer needs to do it: "Mortify (put to death) your members which are upon the earth" (Colossians 3:5). But the key question is this: HOW IS THIS TO BE DO E? Faith is the key! Faith claims the fact that in Christ I have already died (see Colossians 3:3--"for ye died") and by faith I reckon this fact to be true. The "therefore" of Colossians 3:5 points back to the glorious truth of verse 3 that we already died with Christ and in Christ. Thus we are told to do in faith (Col. 3:5) what God has already done in fact (Galatians 5:24; Col. 3:3; Gal. 2:20). Galatians 5:24 sets forth the fact and Colossians 3:5 appeals to faith (based on the fact--Col. 3:3). The more we by faith reckon on our POSITIO the more it becomes true (by the power of the Spirit) in our actual CO DITIO . See Romans 6:11 and the discussion on "RECKO I G." 9. Living Stream Ministry, “In Romans 8:13 Paul apparently begins to shift his focus from the inward operation of the law of the Spirit of life to the fulfillment of God’s plan, from foreknowing in eternity past to conformity to the image of the Firstborn, both in this age and in eternity future. This shift, however, involving the revelation of the sons of God as heirs of God, the freeing of the creation from the slavery of corruption, the glorification of the predestined heirs who are inseparable from God’s love, is utterly dependent upon the organic operation of the law of the Spirit of life. The glorious destiny of the predestined, called, and justified sons is a reflection of maturity in life, which is dependent upon the operation of the law of the Spirit of life. In this maturing process, some things are readily apparent. First, there is a witness of the Spirit in our spirit that we are children of God (v. 16). o matter what our condition is, the Spirit witnesses to our most elementary relationship with God. This provides a hope and encouragement for that

which is often beyond our sight, namely any concrete or dramatic signs that we are growing in the life of God (vv. 24-25). Second, we are led by the Spirit in our spirit to advance in maturity, becoming sons and ultimately heirs in life (vv. 14, 17). Third, the Spirit joins in with our prayers, groaning in response to our weakness in knowing what is needed for our growth in life (vv. 23, 2627). Fourth, the Spirit intercedes for us according to God, that is, according to the life of God for the development of the life of God in us (v. 27). Finally, in response to the Spirit’s groaning and intercession, our environment is arranged and ordered to bring us further on in the process of our conformation to the image of the Firstborn (vv. 28-29). This is the good that God desires through His ordering of “all things,” and it is the ultimate issue of the operation of the organic law of the Spirit of life. In Romans 8 an inexorable process of growth and development is presented, beginning with our initial status as children of God, and then advancing to our maturity as sons and ultimately as heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ. From the perspective of both God and man, our destiny is to be transformed from sinners into sons of God through the organic operation of the law of the Spirit of life. In this operation, our inward parts are reconstituted as the life of God spreads from our spirit through our mind and ultimately to our body. This is the purpose for which we have been called; this is the purpose which touches God’s heart; and this is the purpose for which God commends, pours out, and demonstrates His inseparable love (5:8, 5; 8:35-39). 10. Haldane, “But if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body. The deeds of the body are the works which corrupt nature produces. The believer neither indulges nor walks according to them, but mortifies and puts them to death. Those to whom the Apostle wrote had mortified the deeds of the body, yet they are here called to a further mortification of them, which imports that this is both a gradual work, and to be continued and persevered in while we are in the world. This shows that the sanctification of the believer is progressive. Some have objected to the doctrine of progressive sanctification, and have conceived that to assert it is a great error. They hold that there is no more progress in sanctification than there is in justification, and that both are complete at once on believing the truth. There is just so much truth in this as serves to make the error plausible. It is true that there is a sense in which believers are perfectly sanctified from the moment they believe. That sanctification, however, is not in themselves ; it is in Christ, as much as their justification. The moment they believe, they are justified in Christ, and perfectly righteous ; and the moment they believe, they are sanctified in Him, and in Him are perfectly holy. Viewed in Christ, they are complete. But there is a personal sanctification, which commences with the new birth on believing the truth, and which is not perfected till death. Many passages of Scripture import this doctrine. The following prayer of the Apostle is explicit and decisive : And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly, 1 Thess. v. 2:;. The Apostle Peter enjoins on believers to desire the pure milk of the word, that they may grow thereby, and begins his second Epistle by praying that grace might be multiplied to those to whom he wrote, and concludes it by enjoining on them to grow in grace. The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. Believers obtain sanctification by the Spirit through the truth. Their sanctification, then, must be in proportion as the truth is understood and believed. It is through faith in Christ, Acts xxvi. 18; if so, according to the degree of faith will be the degree of sanctification. But all Christians are not equal in faith, neither, then, are they equal in sanctification; and as a Christian advances in faith, he advances in sanctification. If he may say, l Lord, increase my faith, he may likewise say,

Lord, increase my sanctification. He receives the Holy Spirit only in a measure. He may and ought, therefore, to pray for a larger measure of influence and grace from Him who gives grace in that measure which pleases Him. We should pray that God would grant unto us according to the riches of His glory, that we may be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man. They who have already put on Christ as their sanctifier, are still exhorted to put Him on, ch. xiii. 14 that is, more and more. There are babes in Christ, 1 Cor. iii. 1 ; there are little children, and young men, and fathers, 1 John ii. 12.

14. because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
1. Barnes, “For as many - Whosoever; all who are thus led. This introduces a new topic, illustrating the benefits of the gospel, to wit, that it produces a spirit of adoption, Rom_8:14-17. As are led - As submit to his influence and control. The Spirit is represented as influencing, suggesting, and controlling. One evidence of piety is, a willingness to yield to that influence, and submit to him. One decided evidence of the lack of piety is, where there is an unwillingness to submit to that influence, but where the Holy Spirit is grieved and resisted. All Christians submit to his influence; all sinners decidedly reject it and oppose it. The influence of the Spirit, if followed, would lead every man to heaven. But when neglected, rejected, or despised, man goes down to hell. The glory belongs to the conducting Spirit when man is saved; the fault is man’s when he is lost. The apostle here does not agitate the question how it is that the people of God are led by the Spirit, or why they yield to it when others resist it. His design is simply to state the fact, that they who are thus led are the sons of God, or have evidence of piety. Are the sons of God - Are adopted into his family, and are his children. This is a name of endearment, meaning that they sustain to him this relation; that they are his friends, disciples, and imitators; that they are parts of the great family of the redeemed, of whom he is the Father and Protector. It is often applied to Christians in the Bible; Job_1:6; Joh_1:12; Phi_2:15; 1Jo_3:1-2; Mat_5:9, Mat_5:45; Luk_6:35. This is a test of piety which is easily applied. (1) Are we conscious that an influence from above has been drawing us away from the corrupting passions and vanities of this world? This is the work of the Spirit. (2) Are we conscious of a desire to yield to that influence, and to be conducted in the path of purity and life? This is an evidence that we are the sons of God. (3) Do we offer no resistance; do we follow cheerfully, and obey this pure influence, leading us to mortify pride, subdue passion, destroy lust, humble ambition, and annihilate the love of wealth and of the world? If so, we are his children. God will not lead us astray; and our peace and happiness consists only in yielding ourselves to this influence entirely, and in being willing to be conducted by this unseen hand “beside the still waters of salvation.” 2. Clarke, “For as many as are led by the Spirit, etc. - o man who has not Divine assistance can either find the way to heaven, or walk in it when found. As Christ, by his sacrificial offering, has opened the kingdom of God to all believers; and, as a mediator, transacts the concerns of their

kingdom before the throne; so the Spirit of God is the great agent here below, to enlighten, quicken, strengthen, and guide the true disciples of Christ; and all that are born of this Spirit are led and guided by it; and none can pretend to be the children of God who are not thus guided. 3. Gill, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God,.... ot by the spirit of the world, or of the devil, or by their own spirits: the act of leading ascribed to the Spirit is either in allusion to the leading of blind persons, or such who are in the dark; or rather to the leading of children and teaching them to go; which supposes life in those that are led, and some degree of strength, though a good deal of weakness; and is a display of powerful and efficacious grace, and is always for their good: the Spirit of God leads them from sin, and from a dependence on their own righteousness, in paths they formerly knew not, and in which they should go, in the paths of faith and truth, of righteousness and holiness, and in a right, though sometimes a rough way; he leads them to the person, blood, and righteousness of Christ, and to the fulness of grace in him; into the presence of God, to the house and ordinances of God; into the truths of the Gospel, from one degree of grace to another, and at last to glory; which he does gradually, by little and little he leads them to see the iniquity of their hearts and natures, to lay hold on Christ and salvation by him, into the doctrines of grace, and the love and favour of God, and proportionally to the strength he gives: now such persons, they are the sons of God: not in so high a sense as Christ is; nor in so low a sense as Adam was, and angels are; much less in such sense as wicked magistrates be; nor merely as professors of religion in common; but by adoption, not national, such as that of the Jews, but special; and which has some agreement with civil adoption, it being of persons to an inheritance, which they have no legal right unto, and it is done freely: though there is a difference between the one and the other; for in divine adoption there is no need on the adopter's side; nor no worth on the side of the adopted; proper qualifications are conveyed to them for the enjoyment of the inheritance, and which is enjoyed, the father and firstborn being living, and is an inheritance which vastly exceeds all others: now this blessing of being the sons of God, is owing not to ourselves, nor to our earthly parents, but to God; to the Father, who predestinated to it, and fixed it in the covenant of grace; to Christ, it is by him, as the Son of God, it is through him, as the Mediator, and it is for him, it is for his glory; and also to the Spirit of God, who manifests it, works faith to receive it, witnesses to it, and seals up to the full enjoyment of it. This favour is an instance of surprising grace, exceeds other blessings, makes the saints honorourable, is attended with many privileges, and lasts for ever: such who are in this relation to God, ought to ascribe it to his grace, to require him with thankfulness, and a becoming conversation, to be followers of him, and to love, honour, and obey him. 4. Henry, “The Spirit of adoption is another privilege belonging to those that are in Christ Jesus, Rom_8:14-16. 1. All that are Christ's are taken into the relation of Children to God, Rom_8:14. Observe, (1.) Their property: They are led by the Spirit of God, as a scholar in his learning is led by his tutor, as a traveller in his journey is led by his guide, as a soldier in his engagements is led by his captain; not driven as beasts, but led as rational creatures, drawn with the cords of a man and the bands of love. It is the undoubted character of all true believers that they are led by the Spirit of God. Having submitted themselves in believing to his guidance, they do in their obedience follow that guidance, and are sweetly led into all truth and all duty. (2.) Their privilege: They are the sons of God, received into the number of God's children by adoption, owned and loved by him as his

children. 4B. “In verse 9 we learned that a true Christian is one who is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. In this verse we have another mark of a true Christian. All those who are LED by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. A true believer is Spirit-led. The person living after the flesh (v.12) is certainly not led by the Spirit. See John 10:26-27. What is the mark of a true sheep? A true sheep follows the true Shepherd. Christ leads and His sheep follow! So here in Romans 8:14 we learn that a true son is led by the Spirit. The verb is in the present tense: we are constantly and continually being led by the Spirit. He is ever working in our lives. He is either leading us along the right path or He is leading us back to the right path. He is either controlling us or convicting us, but He is always at work in us (He will never leave us--see Ephesians 4:30). We are either grieving Him or pleasing Him. We are in the realm of the Spirit and we can never get out of that realm. Remember, we are "in the Spirit" (Romans 8:9).” author unknown 5. Dr. Harold L. White, “Paul’s former exhortation to “walk after the Spirit” (8:12) is almost identical with the current definition of those who are now “led by the Spirit.” But his thought moves forward as well, for now he turns from the concept of life to that of sons. Both are linked with the work of the Spirit, but a deeper level is plumbed; the gift of life is seen as the proof of sonship, and such sonship goes to the heart of God Himself. The two leading ideas of God’s Spirit and man’s sonship are then interwoven in a remarkable pattern: “...for as many...sons of God.” (Verse 14) Such a verse is like a ladder which has been set up from earth to heaven, and its lowest rungs are within the reach of all: “For as many as are led...they are the sons of God.” (Verse 14) The emphasis on the work of the Spirit continues in this paragraph, but our Christian status and privilege are now described in different terms. What Paul has just said (Verse 13) is, “If by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live.” What he now says (Verse 14) is, “All who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God". The two sentences are closely parallel. Both refer to the activity of the Spirit, but the first time in terms of life; the second in terms of sonship. In our society there are two ways of becoming children of parents. By birth By adoption God hath also appointed these two ways that His people should become His children. SO S “Sons” (uios, Gr.) Is the proper word..."sons agrees with the idea of “adoption,” “children” with the idea of the new birth (regeneration), and in this passage Paul uses both. “Sons” is opposed to slaves while children has the idea of dearness. “Sons” also agrees with conduct for a son who should act the part expected of him in relation to his father. A king’s son must act as behooves a prince. “Children” move in different spheres. A child conveys the idea of dependence and immaturity. The difference is meaningful for each word has its own flavor even in English. Paul uses them

accordingly. “Sons” is the term more commonly employed by Paul. It denotes a legal relationship, and of privilege, and of rights. “Children” is the term more used in the writings of John, and denotes kinship, nature, birth, and origin. Strictly speaking, one becomes a “son“ by adoption, and a child by a new birth. We have received a spirit of trust and fellowship befitting those who have been brought into the family of God by His gracious adoption. The Holy Spirit places children of God (teknon, born ones) as adult sons in a legal standing before God and in relation to Him. These expressions “Sons of God” and “Children of God” are so nearly related as to be in some connections interchangeable. But Romans 8:14,16,19,21 are not to be regarded as identical. According to Olshausen, the word, “son,” expresses more the developed consciousness of adoption than does the word “child.” Alford says that the word “son” implies a more mature and conscious member of God’s family. It should be added, that while the word “children” emphasizes the natural and legal relations of origin and heirship, the word “sons" emphasizes the moral and spiritual relations of likeness and reciprocal affection. “Sons of God” points inward to the divine sonship by which men should be known: “They are the sons of God.” The term “sons of God” is all the more remarkable when we remind ourselves that God’s only Son in the most strict and rigid meaning of that term is Jesus. (John 3:16; Romans 8:32) Christ is always called “Son,” and is never called “child” of God. Emmanuel, both Lord and Christ; yet, God’s purpose when He sent Him into the world was that He should be “the firstborn among many brethren.” (Romans 8:29) Therefore, to be reckoned as the sons of God means recognition by the Father that we belong to the “many brethren” of Him who is called the “firstborn.” “For ye are all sons of God, through faith, in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:26) “Ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2 Cor. 6:18) This is infinitely more than to stand in the place of creatures in the presence of their Maker; it is more, far more, than to stand in the place of servants in the presence of their Master. It means that such a man has a new and vital stature in the divine household; he now belongs to it as one who is a son of God. He may be called other names in other circumstances; “chosen generation,” “a royal priesthood,” “kings and priests unto God;” he may also be called a disciple or a believer. But such names are incidental to the ultimate reality: He is a Son, near and dear to the Father’s heart and in the Father’s presence. Sons - ot Slaves The Holy Spirit does not lead to slavery but to sonship. Paul said in Galatians 5:18: “If ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” We were slaves under the law, but now we are the sons of God. There is a striking contrast between the old state of bondage and this new and active life of freedom. We are not slaves who toil and sweat beneath the old state of bondage and this new and active life of freedom. We are not servants, we are not strangers; we are the sons of God, at home in the Father’s household.

There was a time when we might have been glad to be known as one of the hired servants, (Luke 15:19) but the time has come when we hear the Father Himself declare: “Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.” (Luke 15:31) This Idea Of Sonship Has A Three-fold Implication It means that we bear the Father’s name and reflect His character, and we are placed in trust to be all that such a name implies: “That ye may be the sons of your Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:45) It means that we know the Father’s love and enjoy His affection, and that love is now shed abroad within our hearts by means of His Spirit: “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God.” (1 John 3:1) It means that we share the Father’s home and receive its benefits, and we delight in the dignity and the privilege which it confers: “Then shall they be called sons of the living God.” (Rom. 9:26) Look At The Sons Of God Their spirit is obedient, confident, and loving. Their assurance is divine and unquestionable. Their prospects are glorious and certain. The Privileges of The Sons Of God Are Unbelievable And Fantastic. As relating to the present life He may look up to God as his reconciled Father in Jesus. Trials may befall him, but he knows that “all things work together for good to those who...” He may come to God with the confidence of a child. As his course draws nearer and nearer to eternity, it grows brighter and brighter. As for his privileges in eternity - “Eye hath not seen...” The Happiness Of The Sons Of God Lies In: They are led by His Spirit. They bear the name of children. They render the obedience of children. They feel the confidence of children. They participate in the inheritance of children. The Effects Of Sonship Liberty in deliverance from the bondage of sin, and from the condemnation of the law. (2 Cor. 3:7) Security from fear either of God as an avenging judge or from our past sins coming back to haunt us. We are safe in our Father’s care. (Rom. 8:15) The restoration of the love of God in our hearts, and so, we now cry, “Abba, Father.” This restoration is the source of our deepest joy. Our Father treats us as His sons. He has a parent’s sympathy for us, and He fulfills for us all that

a father should - but perfectly. He provides for us. He defends us. He extricates us from our difficulties. He instructs us. He corrects us. He makes us mindful of His plans for us. He will eventually take us home to be with Him forever. All Human Beings Are ot God's Children How do we know if we are? There are many signs in addition to the ones mentioned here: Every child is like his father. It is not always true in carnal generations. But you can know your spiritual sonship by this rule your heavenly Father is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16), merciful, righteous, slow to anger, abhors all manner of evil, and totally loving - we are either like that or the reverse. Every child bears a filial love for his father. God's love is infinite (Psalm 103:13). What love do we show? We can talk about our love, but if we love Him could we estrange ourselves from His interest? Could we stand to hear His sacred name blasphemed, etc. Reverence Him. We would not do anything willfully that would displease Him. We would submit ourselves willingly to Him for correction. We would depend on Him for all our provisions. We would wait patiently on Him to reveal His will to us. Is led by His Spirit We would wish to always be led by the Holy Spirit of God, rather than trying to have things our way. If led by God's Spirit, rejoice in the reality of your divine sonship. As God's children, let us evermore seek to be led by His Spirit. By this we may know that we are sons of God. My Father is rich in houses and lands, He holdeth the wealth of the world in His hands! Of rubies and diamonds, of silver and gold, His coffers are full, He has riches untold. I once was an outcast stranger on earth, A sinner by choice, and an alien by birth; But I've been adopted, my name's written down, An heir to a mansion, a robe, and a crown. A tent or a cottage, why should I care? They're building a palace for me over there;

Tho' exiled from home, yet, still I may sing: All glory to God, I'm a child of the King. I'm a child of the King, a child of the King; With Jesus my Savior, I'm a child of the King. 5B. Zeisler, “We were once slaves cowering in fear. Sin commanded us and made us do things because we were afraid of what would happen if we didn't. We struck back because we were afraid we would be hurt if we didn't. We grabbed for this moment's pleasure because we were afraid that if we didn't have it nothing good would ever happen to us. We were afraid of looking like a fool, so we put down other people. We were afraid of all kinds of things and slaves to fear, so we did the bidding of the deceiver. But now we do not have the spirit that would enslave us and make us afraid. We have a Spirit who is saying we are beloved children of God. And we are not only the little ones climbing up into the lap of our heavenly Father and calling him "Daddy," but we are sons who will some day receive an inheritance.” 6. “For as many as are led by the Spirit, &c.] o man who has not Divine assistance can either find the way to heaven, or walk in it when found. As Christ, by his sacrificial offering, has opened the kingdom of God to all believers; and, as a mediator, transacts the concerns of their kingdom before the throne; so the Spirit of God is the great agent here below, to enlighten, quicken, strengthen, and guide the true disciples of Christ; and all that are born of this Spirit are led and guided by it; and none can pretend to be the children of God who are not thus guided. How do we know we are led of the Spirit. Stedman says first of all we will love the Bible, for this is the Word of God given by the Spirit and it is the way we know how He is leading. He writes, “He is called the Spirit of truth. Therefore, when he comes into our lives, the first thing he will do is to make the Bible a living Word to us. We see it as truth -- we know it as truth. Our eyes are opened to understand that here at last is reality. This is the work of the Spirit of God.” “Another sign is that the Spirit makes the world empty, and makes God real. The Spirit directs us and checks us at times. Do you ever feel this? These are signs that we are being led by the Spirit of God. Of course, ultimately, the Spirit produces the fruit of the Spirit in us {cf, Gal 5:22-23}. If we have evidence at all that we are truly loving -- especially when it is hard to be loving -- if we feel love and joy and peace and gentleness and compassion and goodness and faith, then we know these have all been awakened by the Spirit of God.” “If you have ever sensed the fatherhood of God, the brotherhood of Jesus, it is because the Spirit of God has awakened your heart to sense that you belong to the family of God.” Christians are bound by a common danger-Satan, and a common devotion-Jesus. Led means we are not forced but must choose to follow. The Shepherd leads the sheep. This calls for more than mere verbal statements. One has to have a life that shows one is following the leading of the Spirit. The Spirit liberates and then leads- out of bondage into fruit bearing. Goethe, “If we take people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat them as if they were what they ought to be, we help them to become what they are capable of becoming.” author unknown 6B. David Riggs, “We are led by the Spirit through the Word of the Spirit. 1. This simply states a fact (as with the indwelling) but the fact does not imply the

method. 2. Our denominational friends often jump to the conclusion that because the fact is stated, it means a direct leading, that the Spirit is affecting or nudging their minds in some way. 3. However, the method, whether direct or indirect, must be learned from other passages. 1. Everything that is attributed to the Spirit leading is also attributed to the Word. We conclude, therefore, that the Word is the agent through which the Spirit leads. THE SPIRIT John 3:5,8 John 6:63 Titus 3:5 John 16:8 Rom. 8:16 Rom. 15:13 2 Thess. 2:13 1 Cor. 6:11 Acts 9:31 How The Holy Spirit Leads ACTIO Begets Gives Life Saves Convicts Testifies Gives Power Sanctifies Washes Comforts THE WORD 1 Pet. 1:23-25 Psalm 119:93 James 1:21 Titus 1:9 John 5:39 Heb. 4:12 John 17:17 Eph. 5:26 Rom. 15:4

7. Unknown author, “The Israelites as Sons of God Adam and Eve lost the right to rule, but they were given the promise of deliverance through a son (Genesis 3:15). With the passage of time, it became evident that God was raising up another son —the nation Israel. At the exodus, this “son” was begotten: “Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Israel is My son, My first-born. So I said to you, ‘Let My son go, that he may serve Me’; but you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will kill your son, your first-born.”’” (Exodus 4:22-23). This nation, this “son,” was to be a “kingdom of priests” (Exodus 19:6). Speaking of Israel’s exodus, the prophet Hosea wrote: “Out of Egypt I have called My son” (Hosea 11:1). Paul recognized this “sonship” of Israel, and so he wrote: “For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons …” (Romans 9:3-4a). The Jews had a strong sense of their sonship, but in a distorted way: “You are doing the deeds of your father.” They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God” (John 8:41). Like Adam, the nation Israel failed to rule as God had commanded. They rebelled against God, over and over. And so God removed their right to rule. Though they claimed to be sons, they did not act like sons. There would have to be some other “son of God.” Israel’s Kings as Sons of God God gave Israel a king as they requested. He gave them Saul (see 1 Samuel 8). After Saul was

removed and replaced by David, the man after God’s heart, God made a covenant with David known as the Davidic Covenant. In this covenant God promised David, “When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.” (2 Samuel 7:12-16.) The words of verse 14, “I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me,” are very significant. The relationship between God and His appointed king was described as a father/son relationship. When the descendant of David was coronated, it was with the words, “Thou art My son” (see Psalm 2:7).186 A king from the line of David was to be the “son of God” through whom God’s rule was to be established over the whole creation. This “son” was not to be David nor would it be Solomon. Both David and Solomon sinned, as did all of their sons who reigned on the throne of David. If there was to be a “son of God,” it would be a very special “son of God” indeed. As the Old Testament revelation continued to unfold, it became evident that this “king” who was to be God’s “son” would be a very special person. He was described as being both divine (see Isaiah 9:6-7; Micah 5:2-5) and human (“son of man,” see Daniel 7:13-14 and also Psalm 2:7-9). Whoever this “son of God” was to be, he would be a very special and unique person. And so He was. Jesus as the Son of God Adam failed as a “son of God,” as did Israel and all the kings from David on. All hopes for God’s rule on the earth focused upon the coming Messiah, the Seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15; see also Galatians 3:16), the Son of David (2 Samuel 7:12-16), the Son of Man (Daniel 7:13-14) and the Son of God (Psalm 2:7). The “Son of God” was not to be Israel, as a nation, but Jesus of azareth. And so, when Jesus was brought from Egypt to Israel by His parents, Matthew cited this text from Hosea as being fulfilled by the return of our Lord from Egypt: “Out of Egypt did I call My Son” (Matthew 2:15, citing Hosea 11:1). Jesus was the “Son” for whom every true believer had been waiting. It is little wonder that at His baptism the Father would speak these words: “This is My beloved Son …” (Matthew 3:17). It is also little wonder that the temptation of our Lord resembled the testing of Israel in the wilderness or that our Lord’s responses to Satan’s solicitations should come from the Book of Deuteronomy (see Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-12). Satan’s great effort in the temptation of our Lord was to divert Him from His role as the Son of God. When Peter made his great confession, it was the confession that Jesus was the Messiah, the promised Son of God: “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (Matthew 16:16). At His transfiguration, God the Father again identified Jesus as His beloved Son (Matthew 17:5). The writer to the Hebrews makes it clear that Jesus was unique in His identity and role as the “Son of God” through whom salvation would be accomplished and who would subdue the earth and rule over all creation. God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through

whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high; having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they. For to which of the angels did He ever say, “THOU ARE MY SO , TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTE THEE”? And again, “I WILL BE A FATHER TO HIM, A D HE SHALL BE A SO TO ME”? And when He again brings the first-born into the world, He says, “A D LET ALL THE A GELS OF GOD WORSHIP HIM.” And of the angels He says, “WHO MAKES HIS A GELS WI DS, A D HIS MI ISTERS A FLAME OF FIRE.” But of the Son He says, “THY THRO E, O GOD, IS FOREVER A D EVER, A D THE RIGHTEOUS SCEPTER IS THE SCEPTER OF HIS KI GDOM. THOU HAST LOVED RIGHTEOUS ESS A D HATED LAWLESS ESS; THEREFORE GOD, THY GOD, HATH A OI TED THEE WITH THE OIL OF GLAD ESS ABOVE THY COMPA IO S” (Hebrews 1:1-9). All Christians Are Sons of God Jesus Christ is the “Son of God” through whom all of God’s promised blessings are fulfilled. All who are justified by faith are joined with Him in an inseparable union (see Romans 6:3-11). By faith in Jesus as God’s Messiah, men may become sons of God: But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:12-13). John answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Sonship, therefore comes to all of those who have a new birth, through faith in Jesus Christ. It is to this sonship that the Holy Spirit, who indwells every Christian, bears testimony: So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy (Romans 9:16). We are God’s children, sons of God, by faith in the Son of God.” THE IMPORTA CE OF IDE TITY Dr. Thomas Gordon tells of his son who was his pride and joy. He was an a student all through school and valedictorian of his graduating class He was active in the church and taught Sunday School classes He was an Eagle Scout, president of the senior class, and a fine athlete. He had it all, but n the middle of his sophomore year in college he killed himself. He left a note saying “Dad, I don’t know w3ho I am.” His lack of identity led him to despair. Animals act instinctively, but people motivationally. There is a reason why they do what they do, and a value system that moves them to so act. The more we grasp who we are the more we will be motivated to act as those worthy to be called children of God. God cares about why we do things and not just what we do. Our motive is important to Him. People do many good things, but for the wrong and selfish reason. We are to act so as to please our heavenly Father. The Sonship We Await

Our sonship has both a present and a future dimension. In verse 17, this future dimension is introduced and is the subject of Paul’s teaching in verses 18-30. While we enter into sonship by birth—the new birth—our entrance into the future blessings of sonship comes by adoption. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body (Romans 8:19, 23). The Lord Jesus Christ is the “Son of God,” but His return to the earth to subdue His enemies and to rule over all creation is yet future. Our part as sons of God is future as well. Paul speaks of this future hope in Romans 8:18-25. As Paul explains in Galatians 4:1-7, there is a time when a son is kept under guardians and managers until the time comes for him to be put in authority. This process Paul refers to as adoption. When Christ returns to the earth to rule over it, we will receive our full adoption as sons and rule with Him. It is for this future dimension of sonship that we wait in hope. Our present sonship is a marvelous blessing and privilege, but there is much more to come. The blessings of our future sonship show our present sufferings in identification with Christ to be a small thing in the light of the glory yet to come. Sonship and Our Obligation to Walk in the Spirit With this survey of what it means to be a son of God, we return to our exposition of the text. Paul begins in verse 12 to make application of his teaching by speaking to the Christian concerning his obligations. The Christian is not obligated to the flesh, but he is obligated to the Spirit. In verse 13, Paul gives the first reason for our obligation to the Spirit but not the flesh: living according to the flesh leads to death; living according to the Spirit leads to death for the deeds of the flesh, but life for us. Verses 14-17 continue the contrast between these two ways of walking. How different they are. Walking according to the Spirit is described in verse 14 in terms of being led by the Spirit. How different this is from the way of walking in the flesh. Walking according to the flesh is slavery, and its motivation is fear (verse 15). Walking according to the Spirit is not serving a slave master but obeying our Father as He leads us by His Spirit. It is not a matter of slavery but of obedience, rooted in a deep sense of love, gratitude, and thus, obligation. How different are these two ways of walking. When we walk according to the flesh, we serve as slaves motivated by fear. We are overpowered and overrun by it. When we walk according to the Spirit, we are led. We serve our Father out of a deep sense of obligation, not fear. We owe the flesh nothing. We owe our Father everything. As we leave Paul’s words of application in verses 12-17, let me point out that the very spirit in which Paul applies his teaching is consistent with his teaching. The Christian’s walk according to the Spirit is a walk of obedience, based upon our obligation to God, based upon His goodness and grace to us. There are no harsh words, no dictatorial commands. Paul is not a sergeant here addressing new recruits but a brother reminding us of the goodness of our Father. God’s Spirit is a gift from the Father to every Christian. He reminds us that we are sons. He leads us and empowers us so that we may act like sons to the glory of the Father. Sonship is a glorious position with great privileges. Sonship does not come without suffering however. If we are to identify with our Lord in His future manifestation as the Son of God, we must now identify with Him in His rejection and suffering. It is this dimension of sonship to which Paul turns in verse 17. The ministry of the Holy Spirit in the midst of our struggles Paul will explain in verses 18-27, matters which we will consider in our next lesson.

Conclusion I must ask you: Are you a son of God? Have you become His child by faith in the Son of God? If not, why not become His son now? All you must do is acknowledge your sin, your desperate need for the forgiveness of your sins and your need for the righteousness which God requires for eternal life. That forgiveness is found in Jesus Christ, who died in the sinner’s place, bearing the punishment of God. That righteousness is found in Jesus Christ, whose righteousness God will impute to you on the basis of faith alone, apart from any works you might do, apart from any merit of your own. To receive God’s gift of salvation in His Son is to become a son of God. If you are a son of God by faith in Jesus Christ, this passage is foundational to your Christian life. Let me conclude by summarizing some of the major truths Paul teaches in this text and suggest some ways these truths apply to us as Christians. (1) The Christian life is possible because our sins have been forgiven, our guilt has been removed, and God’s Spirit has been given. What was impossible for us to do as unbelievers, and even impossible for us as Christians in our own strength, is possible through the enablement of the Holy Spirit of God. (2) The Christian life is impossible in the power of the flesh; it is possible only in the strength of the Holy Spirit. The unbeliever can only live according to the flesh by which he is enslaved. The Christian has a choice. The Christian can live in the realm of the flesh or in the realm of the Spirit. He will live in one of these two worlds. He will walk in accordance with one of these two ways—the way of the flesh or the way of the Spirit. (3) From the Christian point of view, there is no good reason to walk according to the flesh and every reason to walk according to the Spirit. The mind set on the flesh is death. The one who walks according to the flesh must die. To walk in the Spirit is life and leads to life. To walk in the Spirit is to be assured that God is your Father, and the Spirit is your guide and your strength. To walk in the Spirit is to be assured of your present sonship and an even greater sonship in the future. We are obligated to walk according to the Spirit, but there is no obligation to walk according to the flesh. (4) There is no middle ground between walking in the Spirit and walking in the flesh. We are either walking according to the Spirit, or we are walking according to the flesh. Many Christians seem to think there is some neutral ground.187 Jesus said it long ago: there are but two masters; we will either serve the one or the other (Matthew 6:24). We will love one and hate the other. We will live to the one and seek to put to death the other. (5) The flesh and the Spirit share nothing in common. They are incompatible. Indeed, they are mortal enemies (see Romans 8:13; Galatians 5:17). Why is it then that one of the key words in the Christian world today is integration? For example, many are trying to integrate psychology and theology.188 Why? Is there something necessary to living righteously which God has omitted either in His Word or in His provisions for us? Peter does not think so (2 Peter 1:3-4). either does Paul (2 Timothy 3:16-17). (6) The distinction between the Spirit and the flesh is fundamental and foundational in the Scriptures because it provides us with a biblical basis for separation. All too often we make distinctions but the wrong ones! For example, we distinguish between that which is “secular” and that which is “spiritual.” Herein lies the false assumption that those in “full-time ministry” are working at that which is spiritual while those with “merely secular” jobs are involved in that which is not spiritual. Falsely we assume that certain activities (like prayer, worship, and Bible study) are spiritual, but others (like washing dishes, changing diapers or the oil in the car) are

not. Paul’s teaching in Romans 8 says this is wrong. Consider this principle: IT IS OT WHAT WE DO THAT MAKES SOMETHI G SPIRITUAL OR FLESHLY, BUT HOW A D WHY WE DO IT. Whether we work at preaching, painting houses, or washing dishes the issue is whether we are doing it by means of God’s Spirit or by means of the flesh. Some of the activities which appear most spiritual are those which can be, and often are, done in the flesh. For example, prayer can be accomplished in the flesh, or in the Spirit: “And when you pray, you are not to be as the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners, in order to be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will repay you. And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition, as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words” (Matthew 6:5-7). You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures (James 4:3). But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith; praying in the Holy Spirit; (Jude 20). Preaching the gospel can be done in the flesh or in the Spirit: Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will; (Philippians 1:15). If therefore there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, (Philippians 2:1-5). The great danger faced by the church today is not that of “secular humanism” but that of “religious humanism”—seeking to serve God and to please Him in the power of our own flesh, rather than “according to His Spirit.” There are those who would advocate that the Christian can continue to live in sin, because of God’s grace, manifested in the person and work of Jesus Christ. But the greater danger is that of appearing to be spiritual and religious in the power of the flesh. As I conclude, I want to ask you to note the strong distinction which the Scriptures make between that which is of the flesh and that which is of the Spirit. May God grant us the ability to distinguish the two and to choose to walk according to the Spirit putting to death the deeds of the flesh. For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, that the cross of Christ should not be made void. For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God (1 Corinthians 1:1718). And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except

Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God (1 Corinthians 2:1-5). But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things? For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God (2 Corinthians 2:14-17). Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some, letters of commendation to you or from you? You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of human hearts. And such confidence we have through Christ toward God. ot that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life (2 Corinthians 3:1-6). Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing (2 Corinthians 4:1-2). But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, “In the last time there shall be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith; praying in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life (Jude 17-21). 171 Cited by F. L. Godet, The Epistle to the Romans (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House [reprint], 1969), p. 295. 172 The Holy Spirit is referred to approximately 29 times in the Book of Romans. One cannot be more definite about this number because the King James Version has one more reference to the Holy Spirit than the ASB, due to an additional phrase in Romans 8:1 which refers to the Holy Spirit. Also, because some references to the Holy Spirit use only the term “Spirit,” there is a difference of opinion in some instances as to whether or not the Holy Spirit is referred to (see, for example, Romans 7:6; 8:15). These small matters in mind, we can come to a general sense of proportion as to the frequency of references to the Holy Spirit in Romans. At most, there are but 4 references to the Holy Spirit in chapters 1-7 (1:4; 2:29; 5:5; 7:6). There are 18 references to the Spirit in chapter 8, 3 references in chapters 9-14 (9:1; 11:8; 14:17), and 4 references in chapter 15 (verses 13, 16, 19, 30). Sixty-two percent of all references to the Holy Spirit are found in chapter 8. ote that while the Holy Spirit is the most prominent person of the Godhead in these verses, His ministry is closely associated with that of the Father and the Son.

The flesh is the other prominent theme, although it has been more prominent than the Spirit in chapters 1-7. 173 Paul is choosing his words very carefully here. Jesus Christ was God manifested in human flesh. At the birth of our Lord, sinless humanity was added to His perfect deity. He was not sinful, nor was His flesh (human nature), but having taken on our sins, He must be described as being “in the likeness of sinful flesh” (8:3). Paul’s words are carefully chosen to maintain the sinlessness of our Lord who came in the flesh, and yet to reflect the fact that He took our sins upon Himself. 174 I see a distinction between those who “walk according to the flesh” (which includes Christians), and those who “are according to the flesh” or are “in the flesh.” The first category has to do with the way people live; the second category has to do with who people are. Verses 5-8 therefore describe the unbeliever (though a Christian can live like an unbeliever). Verses 9-11 describe the believer. 175 This is not to suggest that Christians are so spiritually minded that they fail to grasp earthly things. The Book of Proverbs illustrates that having your mind fixed on the Spirit enables you to better understand the earthly and physical realities of life as well. We might illustrate this way. The non-Christian can only think and comprehend reality in a very narrow band width, while the Christian can view life through the entire spectrum of truth and reality. To change the analogy, the non-Christian is “color blind” to those hues which are in the realm of the Spirit. 176 ote, also, that Paul does not say, “The mind set on the flesh is dead.” Instead, he says, “The mind set on the flesh is death.” 177 It would be a very profitable exercise to list all of the ministries of the Holy Spirit to the Christian referred to in Romans 8. 178 In my opinion, the context requires that the “spirit” (see ASB, verse 10) be understood as the Holy Spirit, who indwells every believer and empowers him to fulfill the requirement of the Law. 179 By inference, verses 14-16 provide us with a helpful insight concerning our assurance of salvation. The doctrine of eternal security assures us that we are saved once for all. If you would, “once saved, always saved.” Eternal security is objective, and it does not change, no matter how we feel. Our assurance of salvation is more subjective. Assurance deals with how certain we feel about being saved. I may be saved and eternally secure, but lack assurance. Those who are being led by the Spirit are the sons of God. The Spirit witnesses within us, that we are God’s sons. If we do not walk in the Spirit, this assurance is not realized. If I am not walking in the Spirit, and thus being led by the Spirit, my assurance of salvation will likely be deficient and defective. Those who are being led by His Spirit have the assurance that they are sons of God. 180 ote that verses 13, 14, and 15 all begin with “for,” indicating that they explain the reason for Paul’s statement in verse 12. 181 In reality it is the very same reason: living according to the flesh is self-serving and beneficial. 182 Interestingly enough, these words of our Lord follow Matthew’s account of Peter’s rebuke of our Lord for talking of His sacrificial death, and our Lord’s rebuke of Peter for “setting his mind on man’s interests” (16:21-23). 183 The present tense, “are being led,” rather than “are led,” suggests that the leading of the

Spirit is an on-going process, not a one time or an occasional experience. 184 There is, of course, a great difference between “a” son of God and “the” Son of God. Our Lord Jesus Christ alone is “the” Son of God. Every Christian is “a” son of God (see Galatians 3:26). 185 Luke carefully informs us that Joseph was only thought to be the earthly father of our Lord. The gospel writers have already informed us that God was the Father of the Lord Jesus, since He was conceived by the Holy Spirit (see Luke 1:34-35; compare Matthew 1:18-20). 186 I am strongly inclined to understand that Proverbs was written especially to those who would reign as God’s king, and that the expression, “my son” often found in Proverbs, is evidence of this. See, for example, Proverbs 31:2-9. 187 If there were such an in-between place, it would not be that which should give us any comfort (see Revelation 3:15-16). In reality, there is no middle ground between the Spirit and the flesh. You are either in the Spirit or in the flesh—saved or lost. You are either living according to the Spirit or living according to the flesh. 188 In my opinion, psychology must be subordinated to theology in some cases and rejected as unbiblical in most. 8. J. David Hoke, “Everyone ought to have a will. This is the common wisdom of our day. The reasoning is that none of us knows when we will be checking out and so we ought to be prepared. But wills are for the living, not the dead. That is probably why we procrastinate in making our wills. We like to think of other people's wills, because we might be in them. We don't like to think of our own, because of what they remind us that we will one day have to do. I do not know how many wills you have ever been in, if any. If you get word that a distant uncle died, who happened to be worth several million dollars, and that you were in the will, would you read the will? The answer is obvious. You would want to know what you had been left. As you read the Word of God, you come to understand that you have been named in a will. There is a lot to this business of being a child of God. It is more than simply having your sins forgiven. It is coming into an inheritance. We become heirs, the Scripture says, fellow heirs with Christ. In other words, you're in the will now that you are in the family. As believers, we need to understand what the Scripture says concerning the benefits of being a child of God. This is what being in the will is all about. …because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ``Abba, Father.”(Romans 8:14-15) One of the benefits of knowing the Lord Jesus Christ and being in His family is that we have fellowship with God. That is precisely what he is speaking of here. We have communion with God. We are in the family, and therefore, we can fellowship with God Himself. God is not some force in the universe, “out there somewhere,” not to be approached by mere mortals. He is a personal, living God, who loves us, a God who wants to be involved in our lives, a God who wants to be our lives. He wants to draw us into fellowship and communion with Him. He wants us to get to know Him personally. And He wants to be intimately involved in the very smallest details of our lives. This is what it means to be “led by the Spirit of God” — that God is intimately involved

with us, and that we come to know Him personally like we know a good friend. ow, the only way you get to know a good friend is to spend time with that friend, to fellowship with that friend, to converse, to listen, and to develop a relationship over a period of weeks, months, perhaps even years. That is precisely the same way we get to know God. After we are born from above and brought into His family, then we begin to dedicate ourselves to spend time in communion with Him, through prayer, through reading His word, and through interaction with the body of Christ. As we spend time with Him we get to know Him better every day. Only as we spend time with the Lord in these ways will we really know Him. You see, as a son or a daughter, we are privileged to be able to approach the very throne of God. I do not know if that excites you, but it should. Some people are afraid to approach God's throne because they do not really know what they are going to find there. Many people are afraid to close the door to their prayer closet and lock themselves in with God because they are not really sure what God is going to say to them. The God who sees the secrets of all hearts is an awesome King to stand before, especially alone. But the Bible says that we, as believers, can approach God's throne boldly. This is because this holy, righteous, just, awesome king of the universe loved us enough to send His son Jesus to die for us. Therefore, we can, on the basis of that love, approach His throne and enjoy intimate fellowship and communion with Him. The privilege of being a son or a daughter is that we can know God as our Father, and as our friend. An additional benefit is also the communication from God that we receive. In order for us to be led by the Spirit of God, it means that we have to be the recipients of His communication to us, the communication of His guidance in our lives. We have to be willing and ready to hear and obey to be led by the Spirit. How does the Spirit lead us as Christians? Some people will use spiritual jargon about being led by the Spirit. And many of the people who are constantly talking about being led by the Spirit, are not really as led as they make out to be. Others will use these kinds of spiritual phrases as excuses for not getting involved in the work of God. When you come to them and say, “You need to be involved,” they will say, “I just don't feel led.” You wonder if they aren't really feeling the lead in the seat of their pants. How are we led, practically, as a Christian? I believe the Spirit leads us in a number of ways. He leads us, firstly, by being our teacher and opening the Word up to us. He illuminates the Word. That is one of His functions, to guide us to the truth of the Bible, which is our rule of faith and practice. He is the author of the Word of God. He is committed to illuminate that word to our understanding and help us to apply that word to our lives. And so as you read the Word of God, the Bible, the Holy Spirit leads you as He reveals His holy Scriptures to your heart. But the Bible is not primarily a rule book. It is a living book, breathed by the Holy Spirit of God. And in order for us to understand this book, we have to read it in the anointing and the inspiration of the Spirit of God. If it is your practice to regularly read the Bible through, you understand what I am talking about. At times, you may have read the word and it seemed dry and unexciting. You know it is the Word of God, but at times you wonder what a certain passage means. You know that Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God,” but you think, “What does this passage have to do with my life?” At other times you are moving along through your daily reading, perhaps in a passage you have read many times before, and a verse leaps off the pages of Scripture. Your mind suddenly becomes keen and you

understand what the Holy Spirit is trying to say in that passage of Scripture. It is as if you are reading that passage for the very first time. And you really understand what it means in terms of your life. Faith is brought to birth in your heart and your life is forever changed as a result of reading that verse. What changed your life? What happened in that verse of Scripture? The Holy Spirit is what happened. He took that verse and applied it to your heart. Reading the Bible is not merely a duty. It is a privilege of encountering the living God. You see, this book is a place to meet with God. When you open its pages and ask the Lord Jesus to speak to your heart as you read His word, God will meet you there. And His Holy Spirit, the Spirit of wisdom and revelation will guide you into just the truth you need to hear. The Lord knows where we are in our spiritual pilgrimage. He knows where we are hurting, where our burdens are. He knows exactly where our weaknesses are, and He knows precisely how to speak the word to us which we need to hear for our lives today. It does not matter if you are in the Old Testament or the ew Testament, the Holy Spirit can take the Word of God and apply it to your life. He is not just interested in filling your notebook with spiritual principles, He is interested in filling your life with Himself. He leads us through revealing Scripture to us. Another of the functions of the Holy Spirit in the church today is to magnify Jesus Christ as Lord of the Church. As the Holy Spirit reveals Jesus to you, He does that to draw you into prayer and praise before the living God. He wants Jesus to occupy your vision, so that the world diminishes and the Lord increases in your life. And so, he leads us, not only through His sure word, but also through prayer, praise, and His indwelling presence in our lives. His fellowship is so sweet that we look at God and spontaneously cry out, “Abba! Father! You are my Father.” That is fantastic! Jesus began His model prayer with “Our Father.” That is a tremendous revelation in itself: “God, you are my Father; I am your child!” Fantastic! In this way, we experience the benefit of fellowship with God. 9. Os Hillman, “Joshua and Caleb are described in Scripture as men who had a different spirit. They were two of the 12 spies sent into the Promised Land to determine if it could be taken, as God had promised it to them. The other ten gave a bad report that instilled fear in the people, which ultimately caused a rebellion. This resulted in an entire generation dying in the desert. Joshua and Caleb were the only two who were led by the Spirit of God, versus the spirit of fear. They were the only ones to enter the Promised Land from their generation. Are you a person led by the Spirit? The verse above tells us that those who are led by the Spirit are sons of God. "But because My servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows Me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it" ( um. 14:24). Caleb was a Romans 8:14 man! The Spirit led him. He was not led by fear. Many of us have failed to enter into our own Promised Land because we have failed to be led by the Spirit rather than by fear. Fear prevents us from entering into what God has promised for each of us. God has reserved an inheritance for us that is exceedingly good. God described the Promised Land as a land of milk and honey. Our own Promised Land is the same. But you must be led by the Spirit to enter in. You cannot be led by fear, reason and analysis, or even skill. The Spirit must lead you. Commit yourself to being a Romans 8:14 man or woman. Then you will enter into the land God has promised for you. How do we know we are led of the Spirit. Stedman says first of all we will love the Bible, for this

is the Word of God given by the Spirit and it is the way we know how He is leading. He writes, “He is called the Spirit of truth. Therefore, when he comes into our lives, the first thing he will do is to make the Bible a living Word to us. We see it as truth -- we know it as truth. Our eyes are opened to understand that here at last is reality. This is the work of the Spirit of God.” “Another sign is that the Spirit makes the world empty, and makes God real. The Spirit directs us and checks us at times. Do you ever feel this? These are signs that we are being led by the Spirit of God. Of course, ultimately, the Spirit produces the fruit of the Spirit in us {cf, Gal 5:22-23}. If we have evidence at all that we are truly loving -- especially when it is hard to be loving -- if we feel love and joy and peace and gentleness and compassion and goodness and faith, then we know these have all been awakened by the Spirit of God.” “If you have ever sensed the fatherhood of God, the brotherhood of Jesus, it is because the Spirit of God has awakened your heart to sense that you belong to the family of God.” 10. Waggoner, “Sons of God. Those who yield to the strivings of the Spirit, and continue so to yield, are led by the Spirit; and they are the sons of God. They are taken into the same relation to the Father that the only-begotten Son occupies. "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God; therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." If we are led by the Spirit of God, we are now just as much the sons of God as we can ever be. We Are Sons ow. There is a notion held by some people that no man is born of God until the resurrection. But this is settled by the fact that we are now sons of God. "But," says one, "we are not yet manifested as sons." True, and neither was Christ when he was on earth. There were but very few that knew him to be the Christ, the Son of the living God. And they knew it only by revelation from God. The world knows us not, because it knew him not. To say that believers are not sons of God now because there is nothing in their appearance to indicate it, is to bring the same charge against Jesus Christ. But Jesus was just as truly the Son of God when he lay in the manger in Bethlehem, as he is now when sitting at the right hand of God. The Spirit's Witness. "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our Spirit, that we are the children of God." How does the Spirit witness? This is answered in Hebrews10:14-17. The apostle says that by one offering he hath perfected them that are sanctified, and then says that the Holy Spirit is a witness to this fact when he says, "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more." That is to say, the Spirit's witness is the word. We know that we are children of God, because the Spirit assures us of that fact in the Bible. The witness of the Spirit is not a certain ecstatic feeling, but a tangible statement. We are not children of God because we feel that we are, neither do we know that we are sons because of any feeling, but because the Lord tells us so. He who believes has the word abiding in him, and that is how "he that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself." 1 John 5:10. 10B. Haldane, “The Holy Spirit thus leads those in whom He dwells to the mortification of sin. He takes of the glory of the person of Jesus, as God manifest in the flesh, and of His office, as the one Mediator between God and man, and discovers it to His people. Convincing them of their sinful condition, and of Christ s righteousness, He leads them to renounce

everything of their own, in the hope of acceptance with God. He teaches them as the Spirit of truth shining upon His own word, striv ing with them by it externally, and internally by His grace conducting, guiding, and bringing them onwards in the way of duty, and, as the promised Comforter, filling them with Divine consolation. Thus He leads them to Christ, to prayer as the spirit of grace and of supplication, to holiness, and to happiness. This shows us the cause why the children of God, notwithstanding their remaining ignorance and depravity, and the many temptations with which they are assailed, hold on in the way of the Lord. Lead me in Thy truth, and teach me, for Thou art the God of my salvation ; on Thee do I wait all the day. Thy Spirit is good, lead me into the land of uprightness. This leading is enjoyed by none but Christians ; for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. Here and in the following verses the Apostle exhibits four proofs of our being the sons of God. The first is our being led by the Spirit of God ; the second is the Spirit of adoption which we receive, crying, Abba, Father, verse 15 ; the third is the wit ness of the Spirit with our spirits, verse 16 ; the fourth is our sufferings in the communion of Jesus Christ ; to which is joined the fruit of our sonship, the Apostle saying that if children we are heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together. 11. Keith R. Blades, “In this dispensation of grace we are the adopted sons of God. And this is a wonderful privilege of God's grace. However, unfortunately it is often not understood and appreciated as it ought to be due primarily to the restricted meaning given to the present usage of the word adoption. Today, when we speak of adoption we refer to the issue of someone, who is not the natural born child of a couple, being taken in by them and constituted a member of their family. By natural birth the child is not theirs, but by adoption the child legally becomes their own. This is the common meaning of the term today, and it certainly is an adoption. However, it is not what we should think of when we read about God adopting us. In Romans 8:14-15 Paul is not simply referring to the fact that we now belong to God being saved. He is not simply referring to the fact that we are part of God s family. Yet this is what is commonly thought. To adopt a child not naturally your own is only one kind of adoption. To adopt simply means to take something unto yourself and make it your own. Hence, there are other kinds of adoptions, especially in other cultures, one of which is the kind of adoption Paul refers to in Romans 8. In Hebrew culture, and even among the Greeks of Paul s day, parents adopted their own children. When they did this they recognized a level of maturity that their child had reached and they no longer treated him as a little child, but began treating him as an adult. By this kind of adoption the child was declared to be no longer in a state of childhood. He had now passed from childhood into adulthood. He was now declared to be a son and no longer a child, and he was now going to be treated as an adult by his parents. This is the kind of adoption Paul is referring to in Romans 8. This is made perfectly clear in Galatians 4 where he deals with it in quite some detail.

ow I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. (Galatians 4:1-2) Here Paul cites this unique cultural issue of adoption so common in his day. As he says, a father s own offspring is his heir. But for as long as he is a child, or is in the state of childhood, his father doesn t treat him any different from a servant. He may be lord of all being his father s heir, but he is not treated as such by his father for as long as he is in the state of childhood. Rather, in accordance with childhood and being a minor, the father deals with his offspring through the use of tutors and governors. The relationship between the two, therefore, is restricted and is on a puerile level. However, the father does not intend to always be treating his child as a child. There is an appointed time coming at which the father will no longer treat his child as a child, but will in accordance with his growth begin to treat him as an adult. This appointed time of the father is the time at which the father adopts his own child. He declares his offspring to no longer be a child in the state of childhood, but now he is an adult, a son. He has attained unto sonship. Being so his father is going to begin to treat him as such and deal with him accordingly. Again, this is the kind of adoption Paul is talking about when he declares that we in this dispensation of grace are now the adopted sons of God. Having adopted us God has put us into the position of adult sons. We possess sonship. He is not treating us like children. Instead, He is dealing with us as adults, as sons. The Privilege of Sonship In time past God s heirs did not possess the adoption of sons. Rather, as Paul points out in Galatians 4:3, they were children and God dealt with them as such. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: (Galatians 4:3) The Law contract with its elements of the world functioned like tutors and governors and through it God dealt with Israel as the children that they were. However, the appointed time was coming when God would make provision so that He could adopt His heirs and begin dealing with them as adult sons and no longer have to deal with them as children. When Christ came, He came in accordance with the appointed time of the father. But when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. (Galatians 4:4-5) The provision to enable God to deal with His heirs as sons and no longer have to deal with them as children was made by Christ on the cross. In view of it, God could adopt His heirs and the glories of sonship could begin to be enjoyed by them. God, however, suspended His program with Israel and they have yet to receive the adoption of sons. We, the members of the church the body of Christ, are the heirs of God in this present dispensation of grace. In accordance with the provision God has made through Christ for sonship to be a reality, and in view of the riches of His grace unto us, God has wonderfully adopted us,

putting us in the position of adult sons and treating us as such. We are not being treated by Him as children under the tutor and governor system of the Law, but we are being treated as sons. (Israel will receive the adoption when God resumes and fulfills His program with them upon the conclusion of this present dispensation of Gentile grace. See Romans 9-11, especially 9:1-5; 11:136.) The Glory of Sonship There are many wonderful issues associated with sonship. There are also a number of differences between the way God dealt with Israel in treating them as children and the way He now deals with us as sons. One outstanding issue is that of the intimacy and direct personal union that now exists between God and us. Instead of tutors and governors, we possess the Spirit of adoption. Instead of intermediaries, God deals with us directly through the Holy Spirit. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (Romans 8:14-15) And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. (Galatians 4:6) As Paul says, the major mark of sonship, (and one of its most glorious features), is the issue of being led by the Spirit of God. When a father adopts his child the relationship becomes much more personal between the two, and hence much more intimate. o longer does the father want tutors and governors to come between him and his child. And no longer does the child need them. o longer does the father want his child's education limited to elementary and rudimentary things. Instead, having placed his child in the position of an adult son, now the father himself personally becomes his son's teacher and guide. The father now personally assumes the remaining education of his son. This is something not only looked forward to by the father, but it is also a wonderful liberty for the son. Going from tutors and governors to being personally dealt with by his father is an issue of great joy and relief to a son. The adoption commences a glorious intimate relationship never experienced under the tutors and governors. In full accordance with establishing this new intimate relationship that sonship brings, Paul says God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into (our) hearts. Possessing the Spirit of God to be led by Him is in direct contrast to the tutor and governor system of the Law. The restrictions of relationship associated with that system are not being employed with us. The weak and beggarly elements of the world associated with that childhood system are not the basis of God's dealings with us today. Instead, nothing less than the personal operation of the Spirit of God within is what we possess as sons. In view of this, just as with any adopted son, our hearts ought to overflow with joy and relief. Hence, Paul says that the Spirit cries Abba, Father. And because ye are sons, God hath sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, CRYI G, ABBA, FATHER. (Galatians 4:6) The doctrine of our sonship status is full of glory. Being adopted sons is one of the jewels of the riches of God's grace unto us in Christ. Yet it remains one of the most least appreciated aspects of God's grace that we are possessors of today. And this is a shame.

This has been nothing more than a very short primer on this wonderful truth. Yet may this brief introduction to sonship motivate us all to learn more about this privilege of God's grace unto us, and most of all to live as the sons God has made us to be.

12. John MacDuff, “Among the Bible truths which owe their fuller development and acceptance to these later decades, prominently is the divine Fatherhood and sonship. They form the essential doctrine--the dual "Song" of ew Testament times and Gospel story. God, under the Old Covenant, was revealed as Jehovah--the Almighty, the Shepherd, the Stone (or Rock) of Israel (Gen. 17;1, 49;24). It was reserved to the Author and Finisher of the faith--Himself the divine Son, to be the revealer of the more endearing name of Father. How He loves to dwell upon it, and to enshrine it in discourse, and parable, and miracle! It is breathed by Him in His own mountain Oratories, whether by the shores of Gennesaret or on the green slopes of Olivet. It forms the opening word and key-note of His own appointed prayer, "Our Father in heaven!" It is repeated in His great Valedictory and in His great Intercessory prayer; in the hour of superhuman conflict in Gethsemane--the hour of superhuman darkness on the Cross. It is consecrated in the first Easter words--a possession for His Church in all time--"I ascend unto My Father and your Father; and to My God and your God!" (John 20;17). Who can wonder that Paul here catches up a strain that had so divine a warrant? We may well call the verses now to be considered, "the Song of the adopted children." o loftier cadence can rise from the lips of the holy Church throughout all the world– "For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God's very own children, adopted into his family—calling him "Father, dear Father." For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God's children. And since we are his children, we will share his treasures—for everything God gives to his Son, Christ, is ours, too. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering." Romans 8:14-17 "God," says Bernard; and he is the interpreter of the earlier, in contrast with the mediaeval centuries--"God is not called the Father of Vengeance, but the Father of Mercies." We do not thus set aside or minimize the Law and its demands. It must ever occupy its own important place in the divine economy. It demonstrates the deficiency and defilement of our best obedience, the hopelessness of any effort of ours to meet its requirements, satisfy its exactions and pay its penalties. But in the Gospel system, as unfolded in all its length and breadth in this eighth of Romans, we are taught to regard it as "a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ" (Gal. 3;24). It is not the great motive principle in the renewed nature. That new dominating motive is the sweet constraint of filial love, by which we are drawn to the Father. The "You shall" of Sinai, with its stern impossibilities, is changed for the words echoed from Calvary--"We love Him because He first loved us." O wondrous privilege! O marvelous sonship! Prodigals by nature--bondaged slaves--now, to use the expression of an old writer, "within the house." In accordance with the ew Covenant, the deed of release is signed and sealed by the divine Ransomer--" ow therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God" (Eph. 2;19). This is what the Apostle here calls in the corresponding antithetical clause, "the spirit of adoption." Even the freed slave in ancient times dared not address his master as a son. But Christ's ransomed freeman can. "If the Son makes you free, then you shall be free indeed." Yes, "free," as Paul here adds--free to address the mightiest and holiest of all Beings by the endearing name, "ABBA!" "Abba" is the Syro-Chaldaic form of the Hebrew word for Father. It was more

familiar to Paul, as a Hebrew of the Hebrews, than the foreign Greek [word], and would be the more genuine expression of his newborn filial devotion and consecration. Perhaps, too, in harmony with Luther's rendering of it--as "dear Father," it might be the avowal of familiarity and loving trust. Or, add to this, may it not have been like the superscription on the Cross, in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin--to bring the sacred name by an emphatic conjunction, home to Jew and Greek; the Father-Head of one vast united family? o strain in this Song of Songs is sweeter or more divinely musical. It is like a serenade of Angels--no rather, a lullaby from Him who is spoken of "as one whom his mother comforts" (Isa. 66;13)

15. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.[g] And by him we cry, "Abba,[h] Father."
1. Barnes, “The spirit of bondage - The spirit that binds you; or the spirit of a slave, that produces only fear. The slave is under constant fear and alarm. But the spirit of religion is that of freedom and of confidence; the spirit of children, and not of slaves; compare the note at Joh_8:32-36. Again to fear - That you should again be afraid, or be subjected to servile fear - This implies that in their former state under the Law, they were in a state of servitude, and that the tendency of it was merely to produce alarm. Every sinner is subject to such fear. He has everything of which to be alarmed. God is angry with him; his conscience will trouble him; and he has everything to apprehend in death and in eternity. But it is not so with the Christian; compare 2Ti_1:7. The spirit of adoption - The feeling of affection, love, and confidence which pertains to children; not the servile, trembling spirit of slaves, but the temper and affectionate regard of sons. Adoption is the taking and treating a stranger as one’s own child. It is applied to Christians because God treats them as his children; he receives them into this relation, though they were by nature strangers and enemies. It implies, (1) That we by nature had no claim on him; (2) That therefore, the act is one of mere kindness - of pure, sovereign love; (3) That we are now under his protection and care; and, (4) That we are bound to manifest toward him the spirit of children, and yield to him obedience. See the note at Joh_1:12; compare Gal_4:5; Eph_1:5. It is for this that Christians are so often called the sons of God. Whereby we cry - As children who need protection and help. This evinces the habitual spirit of a child of God; a disposition, (1) To express toward him the feelings due to a father; (2) To call upon him; to address him in the language of affection and endearing confidence; (3) To seek his protection and aid.

Abba This word is Chaldee (‫ אבא‬abba), and means “father.” Why the apostle repeats the word in a different language, is not known. The Syriac reads it. “By which we call the Father our Father.” It is probable that the repetition here denotes merely intensity, and is designed to denote the interest with which a Christian dwells on the name, in the spirit of an affectionate, tender child. It is not unusual to repeat such terms of affection; compare Mat_7:22; Psa_8:1. This is an evidence of piety that is easily applied. He that can in sincerity, and with ardent affection apply this term to God, addressing him with a filial spirit as his Father, has the spirit of a Christian. Every child of God has this spirit; and he that has it not is a stranger to piety. 1B. Daniel Hill, “The term ABBA, FATHER is used here and in two other places in the T: Mark 14:36 "And He [Jesus in the Garden] was saying, Abba! Father! All things are possible for Thee; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what Thou wilt."By the Holy Spirit, who was leading Jesus to the Cross, our Lord could put his faith and trust in the Father to do what was not only necessary but best for Him. Galatians 4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, Abba! Father! As in Romans 8:15 it is the Holy Spirit who does this in us as we are led of the Spirit, walking in the Spirit.” 1C. Constable, “Unlike sin the Spirit does not enslave us. He does not compel or force us to do God's will as slaves of God. Rather He appeals to us to do so as sons of God. The "spirit" in view is probably the Holy Spirit who has made us God's sons by regeneration and adoption. "Abba" and "Father" are equivalent terms the first being a transliteration of the Aramaic word and the second a translation of the Greek pater (cf. Gal. 4:6). Probably Paul used the Aramaic as well as the Greek term to highlight the intimate relationship the Christian disciple enjoys with God. The Lord Jesus revealed this intimate relationship during His training of the Twelve (Mark 14:36).255 In their translations J. B. Phillips paraphrased "Abba! Father!" as "Father, my Father," and Arthur S. Way rendered it, "My Father, my own dear Father." Adoption is another legal term (cf. justification). It indicates the legal bestowal of a legal standing. Both adoption and justification result in a permanent condition, and both rest on the love and grace of God. "Paul could hardly have chosen a better term than 'adoption' to characterize this peace and security. The word denoted the Greek, and particularly Roman, legal institution whereby one can 'adopt' a child and confer on that child all the legal rights and privileges that would ordinarily accrue to a natural child. However, while the institution is a Greco-Roman one, the underlying concept is rooted in the OT and Judaism [i.e., God's adoption of Israel]." 2. Clarke, “Ye have not received the spirit of bondage - All that were under the law were under bondage to its rites and ceremonies; and as, through the prevalence of that corrupt nature with which every human being is polluted, and to remove which the law gave no assistance, they were often transgressing, consequently they had forfeited their lives, and were continually, through fear of death, subject to bondage, Heb_2:15. The believers in Christ Jesus were brought from under that law, and from under its condemnation; and, consequently, were freed from its bondage. The Gentiles were also in a state of bondage as well as the Jews, they had also a multitude of burdensome rites and ceremonies, and a multitude of deities to worship; nor could they believe themselves secure of protection while one of their almost endless host of gods, celestial, terrestrial, or infernal, was left unpropitiated. But ye have received the Spirit of adoption - Ye are brought into the family of God by adoption; and the agent that brought you into this family is the Holy Spirit; and this very Spirit continues

to witness to you the grace in which ye stand, by enabling you to call God your Father, with the utmost filial confidence and affection. The Spirit of adoption - Adoption was an act frequent among the ancient Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans; by which a person was taken out of one family and incorporated with another. Persons of property, who had no children of their own, adopted those of another family. The child thus adopted ceased to belong to his own family, and was in every respect bound to the person who had adopted him, as if he were his own child; and in consequence of the death of his adopting father he possessed his estates. If a person after he had adopted a child happened to have children of his own, then the estate was equally divided between the adopted and real children. The Romans had regular forms of law, by which all these matters were settled. - See in Aulus Gellius. octes Attic., vol. i. cap. xix. p. 331. Edit Beloe; and the note there. Whereby we cry, Abba, Father - The reason why the Syriac and Greek words are here conjoined, may be seen in the note on Mar_14:36 (note), to which the reader is referred. The introduction of the words here shows that the persons in question had the strongest evidence of the excellence of the state in which they stood; they knew that they were thus adopted; and they knew this by the Spirit of God which was given them on their adoption; and let me say, they could know it by no other means. The Father who had adopted them could be seen by no mortal eye; and the transaction being purely of a spiritual nature, and transacted in heaven, can be known only by God’s supernatural testimony of it upon earth. It is a matter of such solemn importance to every Christian soul, that God in his mercy has been pleased not to leave it to conjecture, assumption, or inductive reasoning; but attests it by his own Spirit in the soul of the person whom he adopts through Christ Jesus. It is the grand and most observable case in which the intercourse is kept up between heaven and earth; and the genuine believer in Christ Jesus is not left to the quibbles or casuistry of polemic divines or critics, but receives the thing, and the testimony of it, immediately from God himself. And were not the testimony of the state thus given, no man could possibly have any assurance of his salvation which would beget confidence and love. If to any man his acceptance with God be hypothetical, then his confidence must be so too. His love to God must be hypothetical, his gratitude hypothetical, and his obedience also. If God had forgiven me my sins, then I should love him, and I should be grateful, and I should testify this gratitude by obedience. But who does not see that these must necessarily depend on the If in the first case. All this uncertainty, and the perplexities necessarily resulting from it, God has precluded by sending the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, by which we cry, Abba, Father: and thus our adoption into the heavenly family is testified and ascertained to us in the only way in which it can possibly be done, by the direct influence of the Spirit of God. Remove this from Christianity, and it is a dead letter. It has been remarked that slaves were not permitted to use the term Abba, father, or Imma, mother, in accosting their masters and mistresses. The Hebrew canon, relative to this, is extant in the tract Berachoth, fol. 16. 2, ‫ העבדים והשפחות אין קורין אותם לא אבא פלוגי ולא אימא פלוגית‬haabadim vehashshephachoth ein korin otham, lo Abba velo Imma . Men-servants and maid-servants do not call to their master Abba, (father), . nor to their mistress Imma, (mother), . And from this some suppose that the apostle intimates that being now brought from under the spirit of bondage, in which they durst not call God their Father, they are not only brought into a new state, but have got that language which is peculiar to that state. It is certain that no man who has not redemption in the blood of the cross has any right to call God Father, but merely as he may be considered the Father of the spirits of all flesh. Some have supposed that the apostle, by using the Syriac and Greek words which express Father, shows the union of Jewish and Gentile believers in those devotions which were dictated by a filial spirit. Others have thought that these were the first words which those generally

uttered who were made partakers of the Holy Spirit. It is enough to know that it was the language of their sonship, and that it expressed the clear assurance they had of being received into the Divine favor, the affection and gratitude they felt for this extraordinary blessing, and their complete readiness to come under the laws and regulations of the family, and to live in the spirit of obedience. 3. Gill, “ For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear,.... By "the spirit of bondage" is meant, not the Spirit of God: for this is just the reverse of his character, who is a "free Spirit", or ‫" ,רוח נדיבה‬a Spirit of liberty"; and is contrary to his work and office, which is to show a soul its state of bondage by nature, and to deliver out of it; and though fear may arise from the convictions of sin, yet this he removes by discoveries of love; moreover, his work is to make application of grace and righteousness to sensible sinners, and to administer comfort to distressed minds, and make them meet for glory; and it is also contrary to the character of the persons in whom he dwells, who are the sons of God; besides, the Spirit of God, as a spirit of adoption, is in the text itself manifestly opposed to this spirit: but by it is intended a man's own spirit whilst in a state of unregeneracy, and particularly whilst under a work of the law; and it refers to that "pharisaical" spirit which prevailed among the Jews. Men in a state of nature are under a spirit of bondage to the lusts of the flesh; by these they are captivated and enslaved, and the consequence of it is a fearful apprehension, when convicted, of death, judgment, and wrath to come. They are in slavery to the god of this world, who leads them captive, and by injecting into them fears of death, are subject to bondage. The Jews in particular were in bondage to the law, ceremonial and moral; to the ceremonial law, as circumcision, observation of days, and multitudes of sacrifices. This law was an handwriting of ordinances against them; it obliged them to keep the whole moral law; the sacrifices of it could not take away sin; the breach of it, being punishable with death, must unavoidably induce a "spirit of bondage unto fear": they were in bondage to the moral law, which naturally genders to it, as it demands perfect obedience, but gives no strength to perform; as it shows a man his sin and misery, but not his remedy, as it accuses charges with sin, and curses and condemns for moreover, a spirit of bondage is brought upon persons through it, when they seek for justification and salvation by the works of it, for such obey it with mercenary views, not from love, but fear; and their comforts rise and fall according to their obedience: now these believers, though they had formerly been under such a spirit of bondage, were now delivered from it; nor should they return to it again: but ye have received the spirit of adoption, by which is designed not a spirit of charity, or love, or inherent grace: adoption is not owing to inherent grace, or is any part of it: regeneration and adoption differ; adoption makes men the children of God, regeneration makes them appear to be so by giving them the nature of children; adoption is not a work of grace in us, but an act of grace without us, having its complete being in the mind of God; it is antecedent to a work of grace, inherent grace is a consequence of it, though no man knows, or has the comfort of his adoption, until he believes: rather a filial child like spirit, such a spirit as becomes the children of God is here meant; a spirit of freedom with God, of reverence of him, and of love of him, and of obedience to him; springing from filial affection and without mercenary views; a meek, harmless, and inoffensive spirit. Though it seems best of all to understand by it the Holy Spirit of God, who is distinguished from the spirit of believers, Rom_8:16, and is called "the Spirit of his Son" in a parallel place, Gal_4:6, and stands opposed here to a spirit of bondage, and may be so called because as a spirit of grace he flows from adoption; and is the discoverer, applier, witness, and ratifier of the blessing of adoption; and is the pledge, earnest, or seal of the future adoption or eternal inheritance: now the Spirit is received as such from the Father and the Son into the hearts

of believers, by the means of the Gospel, in order to make known their adoption to them, which is an instance of grace, and ought to be acknowledged; for we cry Abba, Father: by the help of the spirit of adoption; we, the saints under the Gospel dispensation, in opposition to the legal one, under which they had not that freedom; "cry" which denotes an internal vehemency and affection of soul, and an outward calling upon God, as a Father, with confidence; "Abba, Father, Father" is the explanation of the word "Abba", and which is added for explanation sake, and to express the vehemency of the affection, and the freedom and liberty which belongs to children: the words in the original are, the one a Syriac word in use with the Jews, the other a Greek one, and denotes that there is but one Father of Jews and Gentiles. The word "Abba" signifies "my Father", and is expressive of interest and of faith in it; and read backwards is the same as forwards, God is the Father of his people in adversity as well as prosperity; it is the word used by Christ himself in prayer, and which he directs his people to; to say no more, it is a word which the Jews did not allow servants, only freemen to make use of, and to be called by; "it is a tradition; (say they (b),) that servants and handmaids, they do not use to call ‫אבא פלוני‬ ‫" ,ואימא פלונית‬father such-a-one, or mother such-a-one";'' in allusion to which the apostle suggests, that only freemen, such as have the spirit of adoption, and not servants or bondsmen, can make use of this word "Abba", or call God their Father. 4. Jamison, “For, etc. — “For ye received not (at the time of your conversion) the spirit of bondage,” that is, “The spirit ye received was not a spirit of bondage.” again — gendering. to fear — as under the law which “worketh wrath,” that is, “Such was your condition before ye believed, living in legal bondage, haunted with incessant forebodings under a sense of unpardoned sin. But it was not to perpetuate that wretched state that ye received the Spirit.” but ye have received — “ye received.” the spirit of adoption, whereby — rather, “wherein.” we cry, Abba, Father — The word “cry” is emphatic, expressing the spontaneousness, the strength, and the exuberance of the final emotions. In Gal_4:6 this cry is said to proceed from the Spirit in us, drawing forth the filial exclamation in our hearts. Here, it is said to proceed from our own hearts under the vitalizing energy of the Spirit, as the very element of the new life in believers (compare Mat_10:19, Mat_10:20; and see on Rom_8:4). “Abba” is the Syro-Chaldaic word for “Father”; and the Greek word for that is added, not surely to tell the reader that both mean the same thing, but for the same reason which drew both words from the lips of Christ Himself during his agony in the garden (Mar_14:36). He, doubtless, loved to utter His Father’s name in both the accustomed forms; beginning with His cherished mother tongue, and adding that of the learned. In this view the use of both words here has a charming simplicity and warmth. 5. Henry, “You have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, Rom_8:15. Understand it, First, Of that spirit of bondage which the Old Testament church was under, by reason of the darkness and terror of that dispensation. The veil signified bondage, 2Co_3:15. Compare Rom_8:17. The Spirit of adoption was not then so plentifully poured out as now; for the law opened the wound, but little of the remedy. ow you are not under that dispensation, you have

not received that spirit. Secondly, Of that spirit of bondage which many of the saints themselves were under at their conversion, under the convictions of sin and wrath set home by the Spirit; as those in Act_2:37, the jailer (Act_16:30), Paul, Act_9:6. Then the Spirit himself was to the saints a spirit of bondage: “But,” says the apostle, “with you this is over.” “God as a Judge,” says Dr. Manton, “by the spirit of bondage, sends us to Christ as Mediator, and Christ as Mediator, by the spirit of adoption, sends us back again to God as a Father.” Though a child of God may come under fear of bondage again, and may be questioning his sonship, yet the blessed Spirit is not again a spirit of bondage, for then he would witness an untruth. [2.] But you have received the Spirit of adoption. Men may give a charter of adoption; but it is God's prerogative, when he adopts, to give a spirit of adoption - the nature of children. The Spirit of adoption works in the children of God a filial love to God as a Father, a delight in him, and a dependence upon him, as a Father. A sanctified soul bears the image of God, as the child bears the image of the father. Whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Praying is here called crying, which is not only an earnest, but a natural expression of desire; children that cannot speak vent their desires by crying. ow, the Spirit teaches us in prayer to come to God as a Father, with a holy humble confidence, emboldening the soul in that duty. Abba, Father. Abba is a Syriac word signifying father or my father; patēr, a Greek work; and why both, Abba, Father? Because Christ said so in prayer (Mar_14:36), Abba, Father: and we have received the Spirit of the Son. It denotes an affectionate endearing importunity, and a believing stress laid upon the relation. Little children, begging of their parents, can say little but Father, Father, and that is rhetoric enough. It also denotes that the adoption is common both to Jews and Gentiles: the Jews call him Abba in their language, the Greeks may call him patēr in their language; for in Christ Jesus there is neither Greek nor Jew. 5B. David Riggs, 1. "Spirit of bondage again to fear" - You have not received the spirit of slavery to once more fill you with fear. 2. "Spirit of adoption" - We have not received the diposition of slaves serving out of fear, but that of adopted sons. 1. It is called the "Spirit" of adoption because the Holy Spirit revealed the process, the means by which we become sons of God. 3. "By whom we cry out, "Abba, Father" - "Abba" is an Aramaic word which means "father" but expresses the love and trust a child has toward his father. 1. The Greek word "father" expresses an intelligent understanding of the relationship. 2. The two together express the love and intelligent confidence of the child. 3. Application: We as adopted children cry out intimately and intelligently to our heavenly Father. 5C. Consider the following precious chorus: " ear, so very near to God, nearer I could not be. For in the Person of God's Son, I am as near as He.

Dear, so very dear to God, dearer I could not be. For in the Person of God's Son, I am as dear as He." 5D. Drew Worthen, “If the old self is the one we're looking to get us through this life then we do have something to fear. But in Christ there's no excuse to dwell on the dead man when we are alive in Christ who has brought us into His Kingdom and has called us sons and daughters. 2Co 6:16 "What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people." 17 "Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you." 18 "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." That's what verse 15 in our text speaks to. The Spirit of God is nothing like the spirit of slavery from which we've been delivered. The Spirit of God brings us into His family. And that act is known as adoption. Adoption is one of the most beautiful acts that we could ever experience. To be personally chosen by God to be part of His family is an awesome thing. J.I. Packer in his book "Knowing God", which I highly recommend, speaks about this adoption from God. In fact he starts off with a question. "What is a Christian? The question can be answered in many ways, but the richest answer I know is that a Christian is one who has God for His Father." He goes on to say, "If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thought of being God's child, and having God as his Father. Our understanding of Christianity cannot be better than our grasp of adoption. Packer mentions that this relationship of God as our Father implies four things according to our Lord's own testimony in John's Gospel. 1) It implies authority. God our Father is ruler and is worthy of our love and obedience. This is why Jesus speaks of His heavenly Father in terms of desiring to please the One who sent Him. Joh 6:38 "For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me." Joh 4:34 "My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work." Joh 5:19 Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does." Joh 17:4 "I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began." 2) The Fatherhood implies affection. Joh 5:20 "For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does." Joh 15:9 "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. ow remain in my love."

3) Fatherhood implies fellowship. Joh 16:32 "But a time is coming, and has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me." Joh 8:29 "The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him." 4) Fatherhood implies honor. Joh 17:1 "After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: "Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you." Joh 5:22 "Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him." Our relationship to our heavenly Father is full and rewarding, but it's a relationship which has at its core an understanding that we are now His children who are to submit to His AUTHORITY, to bask and rejoice in the AFFECTIO of His love He pours out on us, to enjoy His ever abiding FELLOWSHIP, and to HO OR Him with our lives. Packer makes the comment..... "[Jesus] wants His disciples to know that, as God's adopted children, the same is true of them. The Father is always accessible to His children, and is never too preoccupied to listen to what they have to say. This is the basis of Christian prayer." Being a child of our heavenly Father brings with it the assurance that He knows our every need and is more than willing to meet those needs, whatever they may happen to be. But He wants us to know that our ultimate need is Him, and we must dwell in the presence of a Father who loves us. Mat 6:25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?" In his book "Knowing God" Packer says of this verse in Matthew, "But, someone may say, this is not realistic; how can I help worrying, when I face this, and this, and this? To which Jesus' reply is: your faith is too small; have you forgotten that God is your Father? Mat 6:26 "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" I've got one more quote from Packer. It's a bit lengthy, but it's worth the reading because it sums up what it is to be an adopted child of the living God and Creator. He say's, "Adoption, by its very nature, is an act of free kindness to the person adopted. If you become a father by adopting a child, you do so because you choose to, not because you are bound to. Similarly, God adopts because He chooses to. He had no duty to do so. He need not have done anything about our sins save punish us as we deserved........ ......... But He loved us; so He redeemed us, forgave us, took us as His sons, and gave Himself to us as our Father. or does grace stop short with that initial act, any more than the love of human parents who adopt stops short with the completing of the legal process that makes the child theirs. The establishing of the child's status as a member of the family is only a beginning....... ......... The real task remains: to establish a genuinely filial relationship between your adopted

child and yourself. It is this, above all, that you want to see. Accordingly, you set yourself to win the child's love by loving it. You seek to excite affection by showing affection. So with God. And throughout our life in this world, and to all eternity beyond. He will consistently be showing us, in one way or another, more and more of His love, and thereby increasing our love to Him continually. The prospect before the adopted sons (and daughters) of God is an eternity of love." 6. Harold White, “The word bondage (Gr. douleia) occurs here for the first of five times in the ew Testament. It is found again in verse 21; Galatians 4:24; 5:1; and Hebrews 2:15. Its simple meaning is "slavery." So the phrase, "the spirit of bondage...to fear," means a slavish fear, of being afraid. This is what the Jews under the law had. They had a constant fear of breaking even one of a multitude of rules and regulations of the Mosaic law or the tradition of the elders. So, the one who pits his trust in the works of the law must live and toil like a slave. He must be at the beck and call of a master, who is a tyrant. This is true of all who have the mind of the flesh, whether they are aware of it or not. They serve "the law of sin and death." (Rom. 8:2) They are secret rebels against the law, and the law condemns and commands. They are sullen slaves under the law, and the law must subdue and control. They remain "through fear of death...all their lifetime subject to bondage." (Heb.2:15) This is the state of all who wear the yoke of law. This is that state of mind in which men shrink from God as a Master who would bind them against their will. We have a new intimacy with God. After repeating his strong warning that people who live under the domination of their flesh will die in their sins, Paul added, “but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, ‘Abba, Father’ ” (vv.13-15). Yes, we have a high calling: “to put to death” the misdeeds of the body. But this is not a command to belittle ourselves or hate our bodies and their normal desires. It means rejecting those behaviors that are improper for a child of God. And because we are God’s children, we must see all anxious fear as out of place. We parents would be hurt if our children lived in fear of us. So is God. He wants us to look upon Him as Abba, the term Jewish children use for “Daddy.” He proved His love for us in giving His Son to become our Savior through the humiliation and pain of the incarnation. He knows we are weak and frail and understands when we fail (Ps. 103:1314). He stands always ready to forgive like a loving father and willing to help if we turn back to Him. For that reason, we can dismiss all anxious fear.” 7. Dr. Harold L. White goes on, “The word for adoption (Gr. huiothesia) also occurs here for the first of five times in the ew Testament. It is used only by Paul. (Rom. 8:15, 23; 9:4; Gal.4:5; and Eph. 1:5) It means literally "a placing as son." This was a Roman practice, not a Jewish one. God gives "adoption." He follows the gift with the Spirit of adoption. In nature as soon as a branch is grafted into a tree, the sap begins to flow into that branch and they become one. So, in Christ, the Spirit of adoption following the adoption seals the union by making the affinity close, happy, and eternal. The Spirit of adoption is not a spirit of doubt and anxiety - it is all hope. Adoption is that act whereby we are received into the family of God. The way in which this is brought about is this: Christ is the one Son of God. In the Son God elects and engrafts members. As soon as the union takes place, God sees the soul in relationship in the same manner as He sees Christ. He gives it a

partnership with the same privileges. Adoption is an act whereby one person takes another into his family and calls him his son and treats him like a son. Moses was the adopted son of Pharaoh's daughter. Esther was the adopted daughter of Mordecai. I have been adopted by God into His heavenly family. So, in a spiritual sense, adoption is that act of grace whereby God chooses every true believer and makes him a child of His. The very term, adoption, implies that we were by nature not His son. We were strangers and enemies when He took us into His holy family. A man who adopts a stranger for his child cannot bestow on him a spirit suitable to that new relationship. He may give him a son's portion, but he cannot give him a son's feelings. ow this is what the Lord does. He gives us the "Spirit of Adoption." He puts into us, by His grace, a fitness for this glorious relationship. We are not only the Lord's children, but we know and feel we are. (Verse 16) Unlike the spirit of bondage, the Spirit of adoption is a relationship dominated, not by fear, but by love. It is made effective by the indwelling of God's Spirit, and from the Spirit's presence within. In verse 16 Paul makes a point that adoption is so real that it brings about an actual likeness to God. Verse 17 explains further the meaning of this adoption as joint-heirs. Here, as elsewhere, is a blend of present eschatology and future eschatology. It is the Holy Spirit who places children of God as adult sons in a legal standing before God and in relation to Him. The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Adoption by which God makes us His children, and is the earnest and seal of our adoption. The Spirit of Adoption produces in us a sense of reconciliation with God, love to Him, a sense of holiness, a hatred of sin, and a peaceful conscience through the knowledge of the love of God in Jesus Christ. It begets within us a desire to glorify God here on earth, and to enjoy the glory of heaven hereafter. The Spirit of Adoption enlightens our understanding, sanctifies our will, and purifies our affections by the communication of those qualities which have a relation to his Divine nature. Adoption confers the nature of sons, and a title is the inheritance. Regeneration confers the nature of sons, and a fitness in Christ is the inheritance. The Holy Spirit, as the Spirit of Adoption, also influences the prayers of believers as to their manner and earnestness for by Him they not only say, but cry, "Abba, Father." The word, Father, also indicates the substance of our prayers, for when we can say no more to God than, "O God, Thou art our Father," we have said all that we can say. When we have said, "Father," we have said it all and comprehend in this all we can ask. 8. Ray C. Stedman, “But ye have received the Spirit of adoption] Ye are brought into the family of God by adoption; and the agent that brought you into this family is the Holy Spirit; and this very Spirit continues to witness to you the grace in which ye stand, by enabling you to call God your Father, with the utmost filial confidence and affection. The Spirit of adoption] Adoption was an act frequent among the ancient Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans; by which a person was taken out of one family and incorporated with another. Persons of property, who had no children of their own, adopted those of another family. The child thus adopted ceased to belong to his own family, and was in every respect bound to the person who had adopted him, as if he were his own child; and in consequence of the death of his adopting

father he possessed his estates. If a person after he had adopted a child happened to have children of his own, then the estate was equally divided between the adopted and real children. The Romans had regular forms of law, by which all these matters were settled. - See in Aulus Gellius. octes Attic., vol. i. cap. xix. p. 331. Edit Beloe; and the note there. Whereby we cry, Abba, Father.] The reason why the Syriac and Greek words are here conjoined, may be seen in the note on Mark xiv. 36, to which the reader is referred. The introduction of the words here shows that the persons in question had the strongest evidence of the excellence of the state in which they stood; they knew that they were thus adopted; and they knew this by the Spirit of God which was given them on their adoption; and let me say, they could know it by no other means. The Father who had adopted them could be seen by no mortal eye; and the transaction being purely of a spiritual nature, and transacted in heaven, can be known only by God's supernatural testimony of it upon earth. It is a matter of such solemn importance to every Christian soul, that God in his mercy has been pleased not to leave it to conjecture, assumption, or inductive reasoning; but attests it by his own Spirit in the soul of the person whom he adopts through Christ Jesus. It is the grand and most observable case in which the intercourse is kept up between heaven and earth; and the genuine believer in Christ Jesus is not left to the quibbles or casuistry of polemic divines or critics, but receives the thing, and the testimony of it, immediately from God himself. And were not the testimony of the state thus given, no man could possibly have any assurance of his salvation which would beget confidence and love. If to any man his acceptance with God be hypothetical, then his confidence must be so too. His love to God must be hypothetical, his gratitude hypothetical, and his obedience also. IF God had forgiven me my sins, then I should love him, and I should be grateful, and I should testify this gratitude by obedience. But who does not see that these must necessarily depend on the IF in the first case. All this uncertainty, and the perplexities necessarily resulting from it, God has precluded by sending the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, by which we cry, Abba, Father: and thus our adoption into the heavenly family is testified and ascertained to us in the only way in which it can possibly be done, by the direct influence of the Spirit of God. Remove this from Christianity, and it is a dead letter. It has been remarked that slaves were not permitted to use the term Abba, father, or Imma, mother, in accosting their masters and mistresses. The Hebrew canon, relative to this, is extant in the tract Berachoth, fol. 16. 2, µtwa yrwq ya twjphw µydb[h tygwlp amya aly ygwlp aba al haabadim vehashshephachoth ein korin otham, lo Abba , velo Imma . Men-servants and maid-servants do not call to their master Abba, (father,) . nor to their mistress Imma, (mother,) . And from this some suppose that the apostle intimates that being now brought from under the spirit of bondage, in which they durst not call God their Father, they are not only brought into a new state, but have got that language which is peculiar to that state. It is certain that no man who has not redemption in the blood of the cross has any right to call God Father, but merely as he may be considered the Father of the spirits of all flesh. Some have supposed that the apostle, by using the Syriac and Greek words which express Father, shows the union of Jewish and Gentile believers in those devotions which were dictated by a filial spirit. Others have thought that these were the first words which those generally uttered who were made partakers of the Holy Spirit. It is enough to know that it was the language of their sonship, and that it expressed the clear assurance they had of being received into the Divine favour, the affection and gratitude they felt for this extraordinary blessing, and their complete readiness to come under the laws and regulations of the family, and to live in the spirit of obedience. We are not to live in fear of God but feel close enough to call Him Father. We are not slaves but sons. Only the true son can cry out Father. o man can call Jesus Lord but by the Spirit and

none can call God Father by the same Spirit. 9. Stedman goes on, “The song Thank You, Lord, by Dan Burgess, says: It goes against the grain To put my human nature down And let the Spirit take control. That is a very honest reflection of the struggle that we all feel when we are under severe temptation. We want to do what is right, but we also want to do what is wrong; so the battle is on! The way that you win at times like that is to remember who you are. In the epistle to the Romans, especially in Chapters 7 and 8, we learn that God's way of releasing us in times of pressure is to remind us of who we really are before him. We have learned that we are no longer in Adam if we believe in Jesus Christ; we are in Christ, we are tied to him, we belong to him. The first half of Romans 8 teaches us that if we are in Christ, we are also in the Spirit. That helps us to understand something that is confusing to many people today. The Spirit and the Lord Jesus belong together; it is the work of the Spirit to make Jesus real. So, to be in Christ means to be in the Spirit. Romans 8:5-13 tells us that if we are in the Spirit, we have the possibility of walking according to the Spirit, and thus we have power to overcome the sin that is within. ow, that is a very important matter, and one that we ought to understand clearly. Because we do not always feel that we have power to overcome sin, we need to recognize that certain facts are true, whether we feel it or not. The fact is that, because we are in Christ, and in the Spirit, we have the power to walk according to the Spirit -- if we choose to. As Paul says in Galatians 5:25, "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit," {Gal 5:25 KJV}. That is the way to victory. What we really are saying is that behavior depends on seeing and recognizing who you are and the basic facts about your identity. Psychologists tell us this. They say that only when you have a clear idea of who you really are can you then act that way. But you can't turn the two around. You can't act like something you would like to be, and thus gradually become that kind of person. That is what confuses so many people today. Millions of people today are operating on the basis that they will become the kind of person they would like to be if they act that way. But that is wrong. The Word of God tells us the truth -- the way to become different is to become changed at the very basis of your being by faith in Christ, so that you are something different. And if you believe what you are, you will begin to act that way. What a difference that makes! In the second half of Romans 8, Paul gives us a further revelation of what being in Christ and in the Spirit actually means. The apostle has been leading us step by step to understand more fully our new identity in Jesus Christ. The more we understand that identity, and the more we believe it to be true, under all circumstances, the more quickly we will begin to act that way. In Verses 14-15, Paul uses a term he has never used before in this letter. He says, Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit who makes you sons. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." {Rom 8:14-15 IV} For the first time in this letter Paul uses the phrase "the sons of God." ow, I want to make something clear. This is a generic term that includes both sexes. There is no necessity now of referring to a female person as something different than the male. All believers in Christ who really trust him and have received the gift of righteousness by faith are sons of God -- regardless of whether they are male or female. There is no need for any differentiation of the sexes here. That is why the Scriptures speak of us -- all of us -- freely as the "sons of the living God," {Hos

1:10, Rom 9:26}. You see, this speaks of something that is true of our spirit, and our spirit is sexless. Spirit is not identifiable by male or female, so what is true of the human spirit is quite apart from what is true of the body.” Some of you may be saying at this point, "Look, you are confusing me. What do you mean when you say we are adopted into the family of God? I have been taught from the Scriptures that I was born into the family of God. I have been born again." That is the term that is being bandied about these days. Even politicians are boasting, "I've been born again!" Thank God, some of them are. "But," you say, "some passages talk about the new birth, about being born into the family of God. I thought we were born, not adopted. What do you mean by adopted?" I am glad you asked that question. You see, the truth is that both of these are true. You are both adopted and born into the family of God. As Jesus said on another occasion, "With man that is impossible, but with God, all things are possible," {Matt 19:26}. You can't be both adopted and born into a human family, but you can in God's family. God uses both of these terms because he wants to highlight two different aspects of our belonging to the family of God. You are said to be adopted because God wants you to remember always that you are not naturally part of the family of God. We have been seeing all along in this letter that we are born into Adam's family, and we are all children of Adam by natural birth. We belong to the human family, and we inherit Adam's nature. All his defects, all his problems, all the evil that came into his life by his acts of disobedience -- all these were passed along to us by natural birth. So by nature we are not part of God's family. This is just like some of you, who were born into one family, and, then, by a legal process, were taken out of that family and were adopted into another family. From then on you became part of the family that adopted you. This is what has happened to us. God has taken us out of our natural state in Adam, and, by the process of the Spirit, has made us legally sons of God, and we are part of his family. But he reminds us that we are in his family by adoption so that we might never take it for granted, or forget that if we were left in our natural state we would not have a part in the family of God. It is only by the grace of God that we come into his family. But it is also true that we are born into God's family. Once we have been adopted, it is also true that, because God is God, he not only makes us legally his sons but he makes us actually partake of the divine nature and we are born into his family. We actually share the nature of God! It is an amazing statement! This tie with Jesus is so real that we are seen to be actually one with him, and we share the divine nature. Peter puts it this way: "We have been made partakers of the divine nature," {cf, 2 Pet 1:4 KJV}. So we are as much a part of God's family as if we had originally been born into it, and we are born into it by the grace of God.” 10. H. R. Mackintosh: Many people are dimly conscious of a lack somewhere in their religious life, which is unaccountable to themselves. The fact is a grief to them, as well as a perplexity, yet there it is with a growing weight. Instead of religion curing all their cares, it proves only a new burden, perhaps the weariest burden of them all. Instead of healing other failures, it is the department in which they fail most frequently. Everything in the Bible stimulates the hope that religion will bring new life, power, confidence, joy; but to them it appears to bring only a sadder sense of weakness and troubled doubt. It is actually possible, then, to be the Father's child, yet live on in the spirit of bondage. It is possible to belong to God's family, while we continue to have the feelings of the outsider. Would some of us here confess this, if we were talking quietly to a trusted friend? Of course, if we are

Christians at all, the thought of God is a happy thought for us; but is it always so instinctively or at once? Does it there and then fill us with peace and joy? Or is it not often the case that to remember Him is in a real measure to be alarmed, not quieted; saddened, not gladdened; paralyzed, not empowered? If it be so, small wonder that even Christian hearts should be visited by an atmosphere of foreboding, doubt and care - in short, the spirit of bondage not of sonship. Let us try to get hold of the needed corrective which this text puts in our hand. It declares that despondency and gloom are out of place in hearts to which Christ has spoken. There is money in Chancery waiting for the rightful heirs; and if we have hoped in Jesus, we are the heirs of God, and blessings are there for us, of peace and courage, waiting to be taken. There is a continual temptation to question it, no doubt. We are tempted to regard that liberty of soul as a close privilege reserved for a special inner circle; it looks like a remote and all but inaccessible height to be scaled by an adventurous spirit here or there, but not really for people like ourselves. When Christ's love is offered in its fullness, we incline to accept a very little, then turn away mistrustfully: "such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain to it." So we fail to meet God in the spirit in which He comes to us. We refuse to drink because we are so thirsty, or to eat because we are faint with hunger. Yet all the time, as we know perfectly, the only right thing, the only thing that is sincere and wise and that will bear being looked back upon, is to take the Father at His word. We are not subjects of His merely, He tells us, or His pupils, or even His guests; we are His children - dear to His heart, never out of His mind, ransomed at a great cost. Let us for a moment consider this fact and its implications, as our text may guide us. ote, first of all, the contrast of these two types of spirit - bondage and sonship. The chief symptom of bondage is fear; of sonship the mark is child-like prayer. You and I can scarcely believe how crushing the blank sense of fear was in that old pagan world into which the Gospel burst. There was nothing men of that age needed so much to be saved from as just the sickening and stupefying dread of things. Life was hemmed round with darkness, and the darkness was full of devils. To understand what that signifies for human life, you need only talk to a modern missionary. He is up against the same phenomenon. It is pretty safe to say that at this moment the dark pall which hangs over every heathen soul in Africa-the great background of existence-is fear: fear of nature, fear of man, fear of God. And, what is the most pathetic feature of all, the terror at its worst is purely religious. Constantly the near approach of the divine is felt as a danger too awful to be endured, for the divine and the diabolical are much the same. It is easy enough for us, gathered here under the shadow of the Cross, to find it nearly incredible that men should be so afraid, so panic-stricken, so unnerved by unknown mysterious dangers; but to the expert it is the merest commonplace. And if we have escaped these haunting terrors which once filled the world, it is not because we are so strong-minded, or such powerful reasoners; it is because God came close beside us in Jesus, and we knew Him as our Friend. If we have escaped - but then, have we? We may no longer believe in unclean and malicious spirits continually waiting to seize upon and ruin us; that phase may have vanished. But even as we sit here in Church, are there not some amongst us whose outlook is overlaid darkly with fear, in the most varied forms? Fear perhaps of our own passions; the consequences of sin; the cloud of financial trouble; danger to our children; the failure of bodily powers; the loneliness of life; an impending operation-anything at all it may be, which can enter these hearts of ours and make us afraid. As was said the other day: "There are men and women in plenty whose lives are fettered and their moral energies imprisoned by an undefined but haunting fear. They are afraid of life and

afraid of death; they are even half afraid of themselves." I would ask you to note that this at bottom is a matter of religion. These fears flow from our wrong thought of God, and in turn they disturb and poison our relations with God. If our sense of God were different, the fear would die; and if it were dead, how near we might live to Him! Fear in religious men has two roots mainly. It may spring, in the first place, from doubt of God's love. It is the easiest thing to drift into the impression that God loves us in direct proportion to our goodness. Hence when we fail or wander or forget, that means we instantly suppose that His love is blotted out. We toil through duty lest we should forfeit His compassion; we strive to obey, in the hope that He will treat us kindly; like children, we make spasmodic efforts to be good, and so have Him love us. We must persuade Him to be our Father. But is not the ew Testament there all the time to tell us this is a pure mistake? From the first the persuasion has all been on His side. He invariably takes the first step. What else does revelation mean? What are Christ and His salvation for, and all the patient faithfulness that has guided us since first we listened to His voice but just to prove that we belong to Him and can claim Him, not because we are worthy, but because His love has given us all we need. And for all that do you know what return He is seeking? Just that you should believe it. othing more than that you should take and keep it as a warm, irradiating conviction in the heart, and let it work there day by day. Then you will be obedient, not that He may make you His child, but through the glad revolutionizing knowledge that you are His child, and that His mercy never ends. The sight of His love casts out fear. ow this strikes some people as presumption. They regard it as wiser and much more humble not to be too sure even of something God has made quite clear. At most they would say, "Well, I hope, I hope, I am a child of God;" and they do not much care to hear anybody else go further than that. But that is not the Bible's way. Think of that greatest of all texts on this subject, "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God." At the close of that verse we now have in the Revised Version the well-authenticated addition: "and such we are." That is a sort of rapid aside, striking the note of personal assurance. It echoes from earth the name "sons" spoken from heaven. "Such we are" - yes, such we are, notwithstanding failures and stains and wrong-doings, in all our hardship or monotonous drudgery; "sons of God we are," if God declares it. And when a man receives a declaration of that kind with mere humble-sounding protests that he is not worthy, then all you can say is that he is thinking far too much about himself, and what is best for him is that he should forget all about worthiness or its opposite, and show the filial spirit of confidence by responding to the name by which God calls him. We never can trust Him too completely. We never can be too sure that for Him to say this or that makes an end of the matter for good and all. So, when He stoops down and you hear Him say, "Son, thou art ever with Me, and all that I have is Thine," do not put it away from you as too good to be true, but take it with both hands, thankfully, and refuse to let it go. Or again, fear may spring from doubt of God's power. It is very widespread at this moment. Men are swept away by dread, feeling themselves in the grip of ruthless and inscrutable forces, against which it is vain to strive - forces that produce famine, war, disease, shipwreck, death. Does the sway of God's control extend over these? I am quite sure that the secret of victory here, too, is not hard thinking, but a deeper faith generated by living in Jesus' company. A child may decline to jump from a burning house at the word of a stranger, but she will make the venture when her father holds out his arms. We are afraid of life only when we suspect all things are against us, and that the Unknown is full

of terrors; but if we know that God in Christ is Father and that He is almighty, the fear will subside. Has there ever been one so masterfully triumphant over cowardice as Jesus, and has there ever been a life like His of deep, unbroken Sonship? The Sonship was the unseen cause of the courage, or rather the courage was but the outer side of the fabric, of the conscious Sonship within. "I am not alone, for the Father is with Me." And you and I, brethren, though at the long interval between Redeemer and redeemed, can be delivered from haunting fears through all that Christ has been and is, and in the strength of that filial spirit granted us when we lay hold of Him. When like Him, and in His name; we place all life in the Father's hand, when in His presence we open our hearts to the bracing call, "Be of good cheer, it is I; be not afraid," then the black pall of uncertainty is lifted off, and we breathe freely. Fear has torment, but perfect love casts it out. ote, secondly, some implications of this sonship for daily living. For one thing, the thought of sonship imparts a new meaning to life as a whole. There are secrets which will always be secrets till you try this key. There are melodies which the chords of experience will yield only to fingers that possess this touch. o man can persist in quarrelling with fortune and abusing fate who knows that God has called him son, and that the world is part of the Father's house. It is impossible to go on whispering suspicion to ourselves, or asking whether or not life is worth living, if we have once grasped the biggest, grandest truth ever offered to the human mind. Let me put the question Thomas Erskine put to the solitary shepherd on the hills one autumn, and to which a year later he got an affirmative answer: "Do you know the Father?" Can you look up and say: Thou art mine, and I belong to Thee? That makes everything new. The very woods and lakes will be more lovely for you, when that song is in your heart. "The sky above is softer blue, Earth around is sweeter green, Something lives in every hue, Christless eyes have never seen. Birds with gladder songs o'erflow, flowers with deeper beauties shine, Since I know, as now I know, I am His, and He is mine." Again, sonship is a pledge of personal goodness. Jesus once began by saying, "Be ye perfect"; and if He had stopped there, we should have despaired. Perfect - we find it hard enough to be respectable! But, as you remember, He went on "As your Father is perfect," and that makes all the difference. If God is Father, why, then, like other fathers, He will help us. He will bear with failure that He may nurse us back to victory. He will make us holy, not that He may love us, but for the reason that He loves us now. He will value our poor beginnings. I have seen a child pluck a daisy from the lawn and bring it, stumbling, to his mother as though it were some rare exotic flower; but I did not observe that she made light of it, or flung it away in scorn; no, she pinned it on her breast to wear. How like God that is! It is dear in His sight when a man does what he can. o work so cheerless as trying to earn the love we need; but to work out from sonship in Christ as our starting-point and our source of power at every moment-there is the secret that opens the gates of attainment and self-control. Then, again, think how sonship casts light on the great hereafter. The Gospel would be no Gospel at all unless it flung its beam right across the black, gaping gulf of death, and lit up enough of the

new world concealed there to show that it is a home. Yes, a home; because dwelt in and pervaded by God. There is always a home where there is a father. When Jesus came to die and was speaking to the Twelve, that last night, of what lay before Him, how did He describe the future? Did He talk of it with bated breath or tremulous uncertainty? Did He fall into any thing even remotely similar to that strange habit of speech common even among good people when they refer to a Christian who has passed forward as "poor So-and-So"? Very far otherwise. He perceived how the men beside Him were sunk in grief, and to cheer them He said, "If ye loved Me ye would rejoice." Why? "Because I go to the Father." And again, later in the same talk, "A little while, and ye shall see Me, because - I go to the Father." This is what our Forerunner saw: death is going to the Father. Well, then, the fact which He so clearly saw, we by His help can look through His eyes and see for ourselves. To grasp the Father who touches and blesses us in Christ that of itself gives faith in immortality. Strength for that untrodden journey comes only from the grasp, which may tremble but does not slacken, of the Father's hand here and now. "I am continually with Thee; Thou wilt guide me with Thy counsel and afterward receive me to glory." When God's will for you here is ended, and you depart, you will have to say farewell to many things - to familiar scenes, to treasured objects, even for a time to beloved friends. But never, never, if you know Him, will you have to say farewell to God your Savior." Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me." Finally, sonship gives a new and deeper sense to prayer. That, you will note, is a point the apostle particularly touches upon. "The spirit of sonship," he writes, "whereby we cry, Abba, Father." He means that we cry thus to God in emergencies of stress and pain. "Abba, Father" - we seem to have heard these words before. Are they not an echo of something familiar? Yes: in the Garden of Gethsemane, was it not? They were first uttered in that hour when Christ fell on the ground and prayed, "Abba, Father, take away this cup; nevertheless not what I will, but what Thou wilt." Sonship was there, but also pain and struggle, struggle and pain was there, yet the spirit of sonship reigned over all, and Christ went on with fearless eyes to the Cross awaiting Him. So, too, it may be with us. Even when the billows are going over us, the sense of belonging to God can hold us up. Though in ignorance and weakness, like children in the dark, our hearts are troubled, still if we cry with no bated or hesitating breath, "Father, Father," the presence we long for will calm the fear. Just as we wake in the night, and look out, and see the stars, and know that while we slept and when we sleep again, their shining eyes look down; so also it is with that unsleeping Lord to whom our prayers rise. So let me leave this question on your hearts, as I would strive to do on my own: Are we not mysteriously unwilling, in spite of all that we know of Christ, to believe that God is love, and that He is our Father? Do we not cling strangely to our fears? There was a time when men surmised that if the great ile were tracked up to its fountainhead, its origin might prove to be some tiny spring, some scanty nameless rivulet. But when explorers pierced the secret, it was to find that the river sprang from a vast inland sea, sweeping with unbroken horizon round the whole compass of the sky. And we, too, are ready with our fears lest the river of life and salvation that streams past our doors, and into which we have dipped our vessels, if followed back to its farthest source, might rise in some grudging and uncertain store. But in truth the Father's mercy is like that great inland sea in the continent's heart, from which the river breaks full and brimming at its birth. It is from everlasting to everlasting. I ask you to rise up and claim it for your own. Let it daily fill your heart and garrison the inward life with peace.

"Trust in the Lord, for ever trust, And banish all your fears; Strength in the Lord Jehovah dwells, Eternal as His years." Sermon preached by Dr. H. R. Mackintosh of Edinburgh, Scotland 11. Adoption in the Roman Empire "There were, however, some ways in which Romans could gain the perceived benefits of having children even if choice or circumstance rendered them childless. Adoption was the obvious means of gaining virtually all the benefits listed above as functions of children within the family. Even the notional physical continuity could be gained by adopting a relative; and indeed the majority of attested adoptions, many of them included in wills, so that they were performed posthumously, were of nephews or grandsons. In the case of sisters' sons or daughters' sons, adoption had the effect of continuing the family name, which normally passed through the male line, and of ensuring that the cult that went with it was maintained." "It must say something about Roman attitudes towards children - and about our own - that they usually adopted adults, while we of the urbanized West associate adoption with newborns. There are, to be sure, examples of the adoption of young children in documents from Roman Egypt and some instances of the adoption of females. There is even an attempt by a woman to simulate adoption by requiring her heir to take her name. In general, however, adoption was conducted between males and involved the legal transfer of the adoptee into the agnatic family of the adopter. The distinction between adoptio and adrogatio rests in the status of the adoptee: if he was in the power of his father, the process was called adoptio and must be done with the father's permission; if he was sui iuris, it was called adrogatio and the adoptee and any people in his power were also transferred to the adopting family. Adoption did not sever normal relations with the original family any more than marriage or emancipation from the father's authority would have done and the law still observed certain obligations between the adopted child and his biological father. In general, adoption altered hereditary succession, and the adoptee was subject to the same legal privileges and limitations of a legitimate biological son." Suzanne Dixon (1992) The Roman Family. Baltimore MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press "Just as divorce takes on meaning only by its relation to the politics of alliance, so too adoption takes on meaning only by the extreme importance attached by the Romans to status and filiation. In contrast to adoption at the end of the eighteenth and in the nineteenth century, it was not conceived as a humanitarian solution to the large-scale abandonment of children (related or not to the increase in illegitimate births). either, in contrast to contemporary adoption, was it a standard response to a couple's sterility. The loving couple introduced in the so-called Laudatio Turiae perhaps envisaged such an adoption: after having rejected the formula of divorce and remarriage, which could have provided the husband with the progeny of which he was deprived, they do seem to have formed a plan to adopt a daughter (not a son). The first, typically `Roman' thought was, however, to put an end to the childlessness (orbitas) of the husband: it should not be forgotten that the wife of the adopter did not become mother of the adopted child." "In Rome, adoption was normally linked to politics of succession and transmission. For Cicero in a polemical context, it is true (De domo 35), since it concerns a challenge to the validity of the adrogatio of P. Clodius - only the transmission of name, wealth, and rites (hereditas nominis pecuniae sacrorum) could be a legitimate reason for such an adoption. ... Adoption was governed

by strict rules, namely those of the transmission of a collection of real and symbolic possessions, the first and foremost of these being the family name." Mireille Corbier (1991) Divorce and Adoption as Roman Family Strategies in Beryl Rawson (Ed.), Marriage, divorce, and children in Ancient Rome, Oxford: Oxford University Press. 11B. Haldane, “It is of the greatest importance to believers to be assured that they are indeed the sons of God. Without a measure of this assurance, they cannot serve Him with love in newness of spirit. The Apostle therefore en larges here on his preceding declaration, that as many as are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God. In confirmation of this, he reminds those whom he addresses that they had not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but the Spirit of adoption, leading them to call on God as their Father. The word spirit occurs twice in this verse. In this chapter, as has already been remarked, it is used in various senses. Sometimes it is taken in Scripture in a bad sense, as when it is said, Isa. xix. 14, The Lord hath mingled a perverse spirit in the midst thereof ; and again, Isa. xxix. 10, For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep. In the verse before us it is taken both in a bad sense signifying a sinful affection of the mind, namely, the spirit of bondage, and in a good sense, signifying by the Spirit of adoption the Holy Spirit, as in the parallel passage, Gal. iv. 6, And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. The spirit of bondage. All who are not dead to the law, and know of no way to escape Divine wrath but by obeying it, must be under the spirit of bondage ; serving in the oldness of the letter, and not in newness of spirit. For so far from fulfilling the demands of the law, they fail insatisfying themselves. A spirit of bondage, then, must belong to all who are not acquainted with God s method of salvation. The spirit of bondage is the effect of the law, which, manifesting his sinfulness to man, and the fearful wrath of God, makes him tremble under the apprehension of its curse. The Apostle, comparing the two covenants, namely the law from Mount Sinai, and the Gospel from Mount Zion, says that the one from Mount Sinai gendereth to bondage, which is Hagar, but Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of all believers ; because, like Isaac, they are the children of the promise. ow this promise is the promise of grace. For as man has sinned, the law, which demands perfect obedience, and pronounces a curse against him who continues not in all things which it commands, must condemn and reduce him to the condition of a slave, who, after he transgresses, expects nothing but punishment. On this account, when God promulgated His law amidst thunderings and lightnings, the mountain trembled, and the people feared and stood afar off. This showed that man could only tremble under the law, as he could not be justified by it but that he must have recourse to another covenant, namely, the covenant of grace, in which God manifests His mercy and His love, in which He presents to sinners the remission of their sins, and the righteousness of His well- beloved Son; for in this covenant He justifies the ungodly, Rom. iv. 5, and imputes to them righteousness without works. He adopts as His own children those who were formerly children of wrath, and gives the Spirit of adoption to them who had before a spirit of bondage and servile fear.

The passage before us, and many others, as that of 2 Tim. i. 7, God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind, teaches us that servile fear ought to be banished from the minds of believers. This fear is a fear of distrust, and not that fear to which we are enjoined in various parts of Scripture, namely, a reverential fear of God impressed by a sense of His majesty, which is the beginning of wisdom, and which His children should at all times cherish. This fear is connected with the consolations of the Holy Ghost. Then had the churches rest throughout all Judea, and Galilee, and Samaria, and were edified ; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the com fort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied. There is also a salutary fear which ought always to be maintained in the hearts of Christians ; for the assurance of his salvation, which a believer ought to cherish, is not a profane assurance which prompts him to disregard the authority of God, but leads to a diligent carefulness to conform to His word, and make use of the means for edification of His appointment. This is what the Apostle intends when he says, Work out vour own salvation with fear and trembling ; for God designs to banish from our hearts a carnal security, as appears when it is added, for it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure, showing that it is God who produces in His people both the will and the performance. This fear is required from the consideration of our weakness, our propensity to evil, and the many spiritual enemies with whom we are surrounded ; and for the purpose of making us careful that we do not fall ; while we ought not to doubt of the love of our Heavenly Father, but, considering the infallible promises of our God, and the intercession of our Lord Jesus Christ, we should hold fast the assurance of our salvation. The Apostle Peter enjoins on those whom he addressed as elect unto obedience, through the foreknowledge of God, as loving Jesus Christ, and as rejoicing in Him with joy unspeakable and full of glory, to pass the time of their sojourning here in fear, because they had been redeemed with the precious blood of Christ. This consideration shows how horrible and dangerous is the nature of sin which works in our members. This fear implanted in the hearts of the children of God tends to their preservation in the midst of dangers, as that instinctive fear which exists in all men operates to the preservation of natural life, and is entirely consistent with the fullest confidence in God, with love, and the joyful hope of eternal glory. If, however, the fear of man, or of any evil from the world, deter believers from doing their duty to God, it arises from the remains of carnal and unmortified fear. But nothing is more unworthy of the Gospel, or more contrary to its spirit, which, in proportion as it is believed, begets love, and communicates joy, peace, and consolation, in every situation in which we are placed.” 12. John Wesley, “1. ST. PAUL here speaks to those who are the children of God by faith. "Ye," saith he, who are indeed his children, have drank into his Spirit; "ye have not received the spirit of bondage again unto fear;" "but, because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts." "Ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." 2. The spirit of bondage and fear is widely distant from this loving Spirit of adoption: Those who are influenced only by slavish fear, cannot be termed "the sons of God;" yet some of them may be styled his servants, and are "not far from the kingdom of heaven." 3. But it is to be feared, the bulk of mankind, yea, of what is called the Christian world, have not attained even this; but are still afar off, "neither is God in all their thoughts." A few names may be found of those who love God; a few more there are that fear him; but the greater part have neither the fear of God before their eyes, nor the love of God in their hearts.

4. Perhaps most of you, who, by the mercy of God, now partake of a better spirit, may remember the time when ye were as they, when ye were under the same condemnation. But at first ye knew it not, though ye were wallowing daily in your sins and in your blood; till, in due time, ye "received the spirit of fear;" (ye received, for this also is the gift of God;) and afterwards, fear vanished away, and the Spirit of love filled your hearts. 5. One who is in the first state of mind, without fear of love, is in Scripture termed a "natural man:" One who is under the spirit of bondage and fear, is sometimes said to be "under the law:" (Although that expression more frequently signifies one who is under the Jewish dispensation, or who thinks himself obliged to observe all the rites and ceremonies of the Jewish law:) But one who has exchanged the spirit of fear for the Spirit of love, is properly said to be "under grace." ow, because it highly imports us to know what spirit we are of, I shall endeavour to point out distinctly, First, the state of a "natural man:" Secondly, that of one who is "under the law:" And Thirdly, of one who is "under grace." I. 1. And, First, the state of a natural man. This the Scripture represents as a state of sleep: The voice of God to him is, "Awake thou that sleepest." For his soul is in a deep sleep: His spiritual senses are not awake; They discern neither spiritual good nor evil. The eyes of his understanding are closed; They are sealed together, and see not. Clouds and darkness continually rest upon them; for he lies in the valley of the shadow of death. Hence having no inlets for the knowledge of spiritual things, all the avenues of his soul being shut up, he is in gross, stupid ignorance of whatever he is most concerned to know. He is utterly ignorant of God, knowing nothing concerning him as he ought to know. He is totally a stranger to the law of God, as to its true, inward, spiritual meaning. He has no conception of that evangelical holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord; nor of the happiness which they only find whose "life is hid with Christ in God." 2. And for this very reason, because he is fast asleep, he is, in some sense, at rest. Because he is blind, he is also secure; He saith, "Tush, there shall no harm happen unto me." The darkness which covers him on every side, keeps him in a kind of peace; so far as peace can consist with the works of the devil, and with an earthly, devilish mind. He sees not that he stands on the edge of the pit, therefore he fears it not. He cannot tremble at the danger he does not know. He has not understanding enough to fear. Why is it that he is in no dread of God? Because he is totally ignorant of him: If not saying in his heart, "There is no God;" or, that "he sitteth on the circle of the heavens, and humbleth" not "himself to behold the things which are done on earth:" yet satisfying himself as well to all Epicurean intents and purposes, by saying, "God is merciful;" confounding and swallowing up all at once in that unwieldy idea of mercy, all his holiness and essential hatred of sin; all his justice, wisdom, and truth. He is in no dread of the vengeance denounced against those who obey not the blessed law of God, because he understands it not. He imagines the main point is to do thus, to be outwardly blameless; and sees not that it extends to every temper, desire, thought, motion of the heart. Or he fancies that the obligation hereto is ceased; that Christ came to "destroy the Law and the Prophets;" to save his people in, not from their sins; to bring them to heaven without holiness: -- otwithstanding his own words, " ot one jot or tittle of the law shall pass away, till all things are fulfilled;" and " ot every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord! shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." 3. He is secure, because he is utterly ignorant of himself. Hence he talks of "repenting by and by;" he does not indeed exactly know when, but some time or other before he dies; taking it for granted, that this is quite in his own power. For what should hinder his doing it, if he will? if he does but once set a resolution, no fear but he will make it good!

4. But this ignorance never so strongly glares, as in those who are termed, men of learning. If a natural man be one of these, he can talk at large of his rational faculties, of the freedom of his will, and the absolute necessity of such freedom, in order to constitute man a moral agent. He reads, and argues, and proves to a demonstration, that every man may do as he will; may dispose his own heart to evil or good, as it seems best in his own eyes. Thus the god of this world spreads a double veil of blindness over his heart, lest, by any means, "the light of the glorious gospel of Christ should shine" upon it. 5. From the same ignorance of himself and God, there may sometimes arise, in the natural man, a kind of joy, in congratulating himself upon his own wisdom and goodness: And what the world calls joy, he may often possess. He may have pleasure in various kinds; either in gratifying the desires of the flesh, or the desire of the eye, or the pride of life; particularly if he has large possessions; if he enjoy an affluent fortune; then he may "clothe" himself "in purple and fine linen, and fare sumptuously every day." And so long as he thus doeth well unto himself, men will doubtless speak good of him. They will say, "He is a happy man." For, indeed, this is the sum of worldly happiness; to dress, and visit, and talk, and eat, and drink, and rise up to play. 6. It in not surprising, if one in such circumstances as these, dosed with the opiates of flattery and sin, should imagine, among his other waking dreams, that he walks in great liberty. How easily may he persuade himself, that he is at liberty from all vulgar errors, and from the prejudice of education; judging exactly right, and keeping clear of all extremes. "I am free," may he say, "from all the enthusiasm of weak and narrow souls; from superstition, the disease of fools and cowards, always righteous over much; and from bigotry, continually incident to those who have not a free and generous way of thinking." And too sure it is, that he is altogether free from the "wisdom which cometh from above," from holiness, from the religion of the heart, from the whole mind which was in Christ. 7. For all this time he is the servant of sin. He commits sin, more or less, day by day. Yet he is not troubled: He "is in no bondage," as some speak; he feels no condemnation. He contents himself (even though he should profess to believe that the Christian Revelation is of God) with, "Man is frail. We are all weak. Every man has his infirmity." Perhaps he quotes Scripture: "Why, does not Solomon say, -- The righteous man falls into sin seven times a day! -- And, doubtless, they are all hypocrites or enthusiasts who pretend to be better than their neighbours." If, at any time, a serious thought fix upon him, he stifles it as soon as possible, with, "Why should I fear, since God is merciful, and Christ died for sinners?" Thus, he remains a willing servant of sin, content with the bondage of corruption; inwardly and outwardly unholy, and satisfied therewith; not only not conquering sin, but not striving to conquer, particularly that sin which doth so easily beset him. 8. Such is the state of every natural man; whether he be a gross, scandalous transgressor, or a more reputable and decent sinner, having the form, though not the power of godliness. But how can such an one be convinced of sin? How is he brought to repent? To be under the law? To receive the spirit of bondage unto fear? This is the point which in next to be considered. II. 1. By some awful providence, or by his word applied with the demonstration of his Spirit, God touches the heart of him that lay asleep in darkness and in the shadow of death. He is terribly shaken out of his sleep, and awakes into a consciousness of his danger. Perhaps in a moment, perhaps by degrees, the eyes of his understanding are opened, and now first (the veil being in part removed) discern the real state he is in. Horrid light breaks in upon his soul; such light, as may be conceived to gleam from the bottomless pit, from the lowest deep, from a lake of fire burning with brimstone. He at last sees the loving, the merciful God is also "a consuming fire;" that he is a just God and a terrible, rendering to every man according to his words, entering into judgment with the ungodly for every idle word, yea, and for the imaginations of the heart. He

now clearly perceives, that the great and holy God is "of purer eyes than to behold iniquity;" that he is an avenger of every one who rebelleth against him, and repayeth the wicked to his face; and that "it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." 2. The inward, spiritual meaning of the law of God now begins to glare upon him. He perceives "the commandment is exceeding broad," and there is "nothing hid from the light thereof." He is convinced, that every part of it relates, not barely to outward sin or obedience, but to what passes in the secret recesses of the soul, which no eye but God's can penetrate. If he now hears, "Thou shalt not kill," God speaks in thunder, "He that hateth his brother is a murderer;" "he that saith unto his brother, Thou fool, is obnoxious to hell-fire." If the law say, "Thou shalt not commit adultery," the voice of the Lord sounds in his ears, "He that looketh on a woman to lust after he hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." And thus, in every point, he feels the word of God "quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword." It "pierces even to the dividing asunder of his soul and spirit, his joints and marrow." And so much the more, because he is conscious to himself of having neglected so great salvation; of having "trodden under foot the son of God," who would have saved him from his sins, and "counted the blood of the covenant an unholy," a common, unsanctifying thing. 3. And as he knows, "all things are naked and open unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do," so he sees himself naked, stripped of all the fig-leaves which he had sewed together, of all his poor pretenses to religion or virtue, and his wretched excuses for sinning against God. He now sets himself like the ancient sacrifices, cleft in sunder, as it were, from the neck downward, so that all within him stands confessed. His heart is bare, and he sees it is all sin, "deceitful above all things, desperately wicked;" that it is altogether corrupt and abominable, more than it is possible for tongue to express; that there dwelleth therein no good thing, but unrighteousness and ungodliness only; every motion thereof, every temper and thought, being only evil continually. 4. And he not only sees, but feels in himself, by an emotion of soul which he cannot describe, that for the sins of his heart were his life without blame, (which yet it is not, and cannot be; seeing "an evil tree cannot bring forth good fruit,") he deserves to be cast into the fire that never shall be quenched. He feels that "the wages," the just reward "of sin," of his sin above all, "is death;" even the second death; the death which dieth not; the destruction of body and soul in hell. 5. Here ends his pleasing dream, his delusive rest, his false peace, his vain security. His joy now vanishes as a cloud; pleasures, once loved, delight no more. They pall upon the taste: He loathes the nauseous sweet; he is weary to bear them. The shadows of happiness flee away, and sink into oblivion: So that he is stripped of all, and wanders to and fro, seeking rest, but finding none. 6. The fumes of those opiates being now dispelled, he feels the anguish of a wounded spirit. He finds that sin let loose upon the soul (whether it be pride, anger, or evil desire, whether self-will, malice, envy, revenge, or any other) is perfect misery: He feels sorrow of heart for the blessings he has lost, and the curse which is come upon him: remorse for having thus destroyed himself, and despised his own mercies; fear, from a lively sense of the wrath of God, and of the consequences of his wrath, of the punishment which he has justly deserved, and which he sees hanging over is head; -- fear of death, as being to him the gate of hell, the entrance of death eternal; -- fear of the devil, the executioner of the wrath and righteous vengeance of God; -- fear of men, who, if they were able to kill his body, would thereby plunge both body and soul into hell; fear, sometimes arising to such a height, that the poor, sinful, guilty soul, is terrified with everything, with nothing, with shades, with a leaf shaken of the wind. Yea, sometimes it may even border upon distraction, making a man "drunken though not with wine," suspending the exercise of the memory, of the understanding, of all the natural faculties. Sometimes it may approach to the very brink of despair; so that he who trembles at the name of death, may yet be

ready to plunge into it every moment, to "choose strangling rather than life." Well may such a man roar, like him of old, for the very disquietness of his heart. Well may he cry out, "The spirit of a man may sustain his infirmities; but a wounded spirit who can bear?" 7. ow he truly desires to break loose from sin, and begins to struggle with it. But though he strive with all his might, he cannot conquer: Sin is mightier than he. He would fain escape; but he is so fast in prison, that he cannot get forth. He resolved against sin, but yet sins on: He sees the snare, and abhors, and runs into it. So much does his boasted reason avail, -- only to enhance his guilt, and increase his misery! Such is the freedom of his will; free only to evil; free to "drink in iniquity like water;" to wander farther and farther from the living God, and do more "despite to the Spirit of grace!" 8. The more he strive, wishes, labours to be free, the more does he feel his chains, the grievous chains of sin, wherewith Satan binds and "leads him captive at his will;" his servant he is, though he repine ever so much; though he rebel, he cannot prevail. He is still in bondage and fear, by reason of sin: Generally, of some outward sin, to which he is peculiarly disposed, either, by nature, custom, or outward circumstance; but always, of some inward sin, some evil temper or unholy affection. And the more he frets against it, the more it prevails; he may bite but cannot break his chain. Thus he toils without end, repenting and sinning, and repenting and sinning again, till at length the poor, sinful, helpless wretch is even at his wit's end and can barely groan, "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" 9. This whole struggle of one who is "under the law," under the "spirit of fear and bondage," is beautifully described by the Apostle in the foregoing chapter, speaking in the person of an awakened man. "I," saith he, "was alive without the law once:" (Verse 9:) I had much life, wisdom, strength, and virtue; so I thought: "But, when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died:" When the commandment, in its spiritual meaning, came to my heart, with the power of God, my inbred sin was stirred up, fretted, inflamed, and all my virtue died away. "And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me:" (Verses 10,11:) It came upon me unaware; slew all my hopes; and plainly showed, in the midst of life I was in death. "Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good:" (Verse 12:) I no longer lay the blame on this, but on the corruption of my own heart. I acknowledge that "the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin:" (Verse 14:) I now see both the spiritual nature of the law; and my own carnal, devilish heart "sold under sin," totally enslaved: (Like slave bought with money, who were absolutely at their master's disposal:) "For that which I do, I allow not; for what I would, I do not, but what I hate, that I do:" (Verse 15:) Such is the bondage under which I groan; such the tyranny of my hard master. "To will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would, I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do:" (Verses 18, 19:) "I find a law," an inward constraining power, "that when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in "or consent to "the law of God, after the inward man:" (Verses 21, 22:) In my "mind:" (So the Apostle explains himself in the words that immediately follow; and so, _o esO anthrOpos_, the inward man, is understood in all other Greek writers:) "But I see another law in my members," another constraining power, "warring against the law of my mind," or inward man, "and bringing me into captivity to the law" or power "of sin:" (Verse 23:) Dragging me, as it were, at my conqueror's chariot-wheels, into the very thing which my soul abhors. "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" (Verse 24.) Who shall deliver me from this helpless, dying life, from this bondage of sin and misery? Till this is done, "I myself" (or rather, that I, _autos egO_, that man I am now personating) "with the mind," or inward man, "serve the law of God;" my mind, my conscience is on God's side; "but

with my flesh," with my body, "the law of sin," (verse 25,) being hurried away by a force I cannot resist. 10. How lively a portraiture is this of one "under the law;" one who feels the burden he cannot shake off; who pants after liberty, power, and love, but is in fear and bondage still! until the time that God answers the wretched man, crying out, "Who shall deliver me" from this bondage of sin, from this body of death? -- "The grace of God, through Jesus Christ thy Lord." III. 1. Them it is that this miserable bondage ends, and he is no more "under the law, but under grace." This state we are, Thirdly, to consider; the state of one who has found grace or favour in the sight of God, even the Father, and who has the grace or power of the Holy Ghost, reigning in his heart; who has received, in the language of the Apostle, the "Spirit of adoption, whereby" he now cries, "Abba, Father!" 2. "He cried unto the Lord in his trouble, and God delivers him out of his distress." His eyes are opened in quite another manner than before, even to see a loving, gracious God. While he is calling, "I beseech thee, show me thy glory!" -- he hears a voice in the inmost soul, "I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord: I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will show mercy to whom I will show mercy." And, it is not long before "the Lord" descends in the cloud, and proclaims the name of the Lord." Then he sees, but not with eyes of flesh and blood, "The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth; keeping mercy for thousands, and forgiving iniquities, and transgressions and sin." 3. Heavenly, healing light now breaks in upon his soul. He "looks on him whom he had pierced;" and "God, who out of darkness commanded light to shine, shineth in his heart." He sees the light of the glorious love of God, in the face of Jesus Christ. He hath a divine "evidence of things not seen" by sense, even of the "deep things of God;" more particularly of the love of God, of his pardoning love to him that believes in Jesus. Overpowered with the sight, his whole soul cried out, "My Lord and my God;" For he sees all his iniquities laid on Him, who "bare them in his own body on the tree;" he beholds the Lamb of God taking away his sins. How clearly now does he discern, that "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself; making him sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God through him;" -- and that he himself is reconciled to God, by that blood of the covenant! 4. Here end both the guilt and power of sin. He can now say, "I am crucified with Christ: evertheless I live; yet not I but Christ liveth in me: And the life which I now live in the flesh," (even in this mortal body,) "I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Here end remorse, and sorrow of heart, and the anguish of a wounded spirit. "God turneth his heaviness into joy." He made sore, and now his hands bind up. Here ends also that bondage unto fear; for "his heart standeth fast, believing in the Lord." He cannot fear any longer the wrath of God; for he knows it is now turned away from him, and looks upon Him no more as an angry Judge, but as a loving Father. He cannot fear the devil, knowing he has "no power, except it be given him from above." He fears not hell; being an heir of the kingdom of heaven: Consequently, he has no fear of death; by reason whereof he was in time past, for so many years, "subject to bondage." Rather, knowing that "if the earthly house of this tabernacle be dissolved, he hath a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens; he groaneth earnestly, desiring to be clothed upon with that house which is from heaven." He groans to shake off this house of earth, that "mortality" may be "swallowed up of life;" knowing that God "hath wrought him for the self-same thing; who hath also given him the earnest of his Spirit." 5. And "where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty;" liberty, not only from guilt and fear, but

from sin, from that heaviest of all yokes, that basest of all bondage. His labour is not now in vain. The snare is broken, and he is delivered. He not only strives, but likewise prevails; he not only fights, but conquers also. "Henceforth he does not serve sin." (Chap. 6:6 &c.) He is "dead unto sin, and alive unto God;" "sin doth not now reign," even "in his mortal body," nor doth he "obey it in the desires thereof." He does not "yield his members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin, but as instruments of righteousness unto God." For "being now made free from sin, he is become the servant of righteousness." 6. Thus, "having peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ," "rejoicing in hope of the glory of God," and having power over all sin, over every evil desire, and temper, and word, and work, he is a living witness of the "glorious liberty of the sons of God;" all of whom, being partakers of like precious faith, bear record with one voice, "We have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father!" 7. It is this spirit which continually, "worketh in them, both to will and to do of his good pleasure." It is he that sheds the love of God abroad in their hears, and the love of all mankind; thereby purifying their hearts from the love of world, from the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life. It is by him they are delivered from anger and pride, from all vile and inordinate affections. In consequence, they are delivered from evil words and works, from all unholiness of conversation; doing no evil to any child of man, and being zealous of all good works. 8. To sum up all: the natural man neither fears nor loves God; one under the law, fears, -- one under grace, loves him. The first has no light in the things of God, but walks in utter darkness; the second sees the painful light of hell; the third, the joyous light of heaven. He that sleeps in death, has a false peace; he that is awakened, has no peace at all; he that believes, has true peace, -- the peace of God filling and ruling his heart. The Heathen, baptized or unbaptized, hath a fancied liberty, which is indeed licentiousness; the Jew, or one under the Jewish dispensation, is in heavy, grievous bondage; the Christian enjoys the true glorious liberty of the sons of God. An unawakened child of the devil sins willingly, one that is awakened sins unwillingly; a child of God "sinneth not," but "keepeth himself, and the wicked one toucheth him not." To conclude: the natural man neither conquers nor fights; the man under the law fights with sin, but cannot conquer; the man under grace fights and conquers, yea, is "more than conqueror, through him that loveth him." IV. 1. From this plain account of the three-fold state of man, the natural, the legal, and the evangelical, it appears that it is not sufficient to divide mankind into sincere and insincere. A man may be sincere in any of these states; not only when he has the "Spirit of adoption," but while he has the "spirit of bondage unto fear;" yea, while he has neither this fear, nor love. For undoubtedly there may be sincere Heathens, as well as sincere Jews, or Christians. This circumstance, them does by no means prove, that, a man is in a state of acceptance with God. "Examine yourselves, therefore," not only whether ye are sincere, but "whether ye be in the faith." Examine narrowly, (for it imports you much,) what is the ruling principle in your soul! Is it the love of God? Is it the fear of God? Or is it neither one nor the other? Is it not rather the love of the world? the love of pleasure, or gain? of ease, or reputation? If so, you are not come so far as a Jew. You are but a Heathen still. Have you heaven in your heart? Have you the Spirit of adoption, ever crying, Abba, Father? Or do you cry unto God, as "out of the belly of hell," overwhelmed with sorrow and fear? Or are you a stranger to this whole affair, and cannot imagine what I mean? Heathen, pull off the mask! Thou hast never put on Christ! Stand barefaced! Look up to heaven; and own before Him that liveth for ever and ever, thou hast no part, either among the sons of servants of God!

Whosoever thou art: Dost thou commit sin, or dost thou not? If thou dost, is it willingly, or unwillingly? In either case, God hath told thee whose thou art: "He that committeth sin is of the devil." If thou committest it willingly, thou art his faithful servant: He will not fail to reward thy labour. If unwillingly, still thou art his servant. God deliver thee out of his hands! Art thou daily fighting against all sin? And daily more than conqueror? I acknowledge thee for a child of God. O stand fast in thy glorious liberty! Art thou fighting, but not conquering? striving for the mastery, but not able to attain? Then thou art not yet a believer in Christ; but follow on, and thou shalt know the Lord. Art thou not fighting at all, but leading an easy, indolent, fashionable life! O how hast thou dared to name the name of Christ, only to make it a reproach among the Heathen? Awake, thou sleeper! Call upon thy God before the deep swallow thee up! 2. Perhaps one reason why so many think of themselves more highly than they ought to think, why they do not discern what state they are in, is because these several states of soul are often mingled together, and in some measure meet in one and the same person. Thus experience shows, that the legal state, or state of fear, is frequently mixed with the natural; for few men are so fast asleep in sin, but they are sometimes more or less awakened. As the Spirit of God does not "wait for the call of man," so, at some times he will be heard. He puts them in fear, so that, for a season at least, the Heathen "know themselves to be but men." They feel the burden of sin, and earnestly desire to flee from the wrath to come. But not long: They seldom suffer the arrows of conviction to go deep into their souls; but quickly stifle the grace of God, and return to their wallowing in the mire. In like manner, the evangelical state, or state of love, is frequently mixed with the legal. For few of those who have the spirit of bondage and fear, remain always without hope. The wise and gracious God rarely suffers this; "for he remembereth that we are but dust;" and he willeth not that "the flesh should fail before him, or the spirit which he hath made." Therefore, at such times as he seeth good, he gives a dawning of light unto them that sit in darkness. He cause a part of his goodness to pass before them, and shows he is a "God that heareth the prayer." They see the promise, which is by faith in Christ Jesus, though it be yet afar off; and hereby they are encouraged to "run with patience the race which is set before them." 3. Another reason why many deceive themselves, is, because they do not consider how far a man may go, and yet be in a natural, or, at best, a legal state. A man may be of a compassionate and a benevolent temper; he may be affable, courteous, generous, friendly; he may have some degree of meekness, patience, temperance, and of many other moral virtues. He may feel many desires of shaking off all vice, and of attaining higher degrees of virtue. He may abstain from much evil; perhaps from all that is grossly contrary to justice, mercy, or truth. He may do much good, may feed the hungry, clothe the naked, relieve the widow and fatherless. He may attend public worship, use prayer in private, read many books of devotion; and yet, for all this, he may be a mere natural man, knowing neither himself nor God; equally a stranger to the spirit of fear and to that of love; having neither repented, nor believed the gospel. But suppose there were added to all this a deep conviction of sin, with much fear of the wrath of God; vehement desires to cast off every sin, and to fulfill all righteousness; frequent rejoicing in hope, and touches of love often glancing upon the soul; yet neither do these prove a man to be under grace; to have true, living, Christian faith, unless the Spirit of adoption abide in his heart, unless he can continually cry, "Abba, Father!" 4. Beware, then, thou who art called by the name of Christ, that thou come not short of the mark of thy high calling. Beware thou rest, not, either in a natural state with too many that are accounted good Christians; or in a legal state, wherein those who are highly esteemed of men are

generally content to live and die. ay, but God hath prepared better things for thee, if thou follow on till thou attain. Thou art not called to fear and tremble like devils; but to rejoice and love, like the angels of God. "Thou shalt love the lord thy God will all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength." Thou shalt "rejoice evermore;" thou shalt "pray without ceasing:" thou shalt "in everything give thanks." Thou shalt do the will of God on earth as it is done in heaven. O prove thou "what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God!" ow present thyself "a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God." "Whereunto thou hast already attained, hold fast," by "reaching forth unto those things which are before:" until "the God of peace make thee perfect in every good work, working in thee that which is well-pleasing in his sight through Jesus Christ: To whom be glory for ever and ever! Amen!"

[Edited by Brent Peterson (student at orthwest azarene College) with corrections by George Lyons of orthwest azarene College ( ampa, Idaho) for the Wesley Center for Applied Theology.]

16. The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.

1. Barnes, “The Spirit - The Holy Spirit. That the Holy Spirit here is intended, is evident, (1) Because this is the natural meaning of the expression; (2) Because it is of the Holy Spirit that the apostle is mainly treating here; (3) Because it would be an unnatural and forced construction to say of the temper of adoption that it bore witness. Beareth witness - Testifies, gives evidence. With our spirit - To our minds. This pertains to the adoption; and it means that the Holy Spirit furnishes evidence to our minds that we are adopted into the family of God. This effect is not infrequently attributed to the Holy Spirit, 2Co_1:22; 1Jo_5:10-11; 1Co_2:12. If it be asked how this is done, I answer, it is not by any revelation of new truth; it is not by inspiration; it is not always by assurance; it is not by a mere persuasion that we are elected to eternal life; but it is by producing in us the appropriate effects of his influence. It is his to renew the heart; to sanctify the soul; to produce “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance,” Gal_5:22-23. If a man has these, he has evidence of the witnessing of the Spirit with his spirit. If not, he has no such evidence. And the way, therefore, to ascertain whether we have this witnessing of the Spirit, is by an honest and prayerful inquiry whether these fruits of the Spirit actually exist in our minds. If they do, the evidence is clear. If not, all vain confidence of good estate; all visions, and raptures, and fancied revelations, will be mere delusions. It may be added, that the effect of these fruits of the Spirit an the mind is to produce a calm and heavenly frame; and in that frame, when attended with the appropriate fruits of the Spirit in a holy life, we may rejoice as an evidence of piety.

That we are the children of God - That we are adopted into his family. 2. Clarke, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit - Αυτο το πνευµα, that same Spirit, the Spirit of adoption; that is, the Spirit who witnesses this adoption; which can be no other than the Holy Ghost himself, and certainly cannot mean any disposition or affection of mind which the adopted person may feel; for such a disposition must arise from a knowledge of this adoption, and the knowledge of this adoption cannot be given by any human or earthly means; it must come from God himself: therefore the αυτο το πνευµα must have reference to that Spirit, by whom alone the knowledge of the adoption is witnessed to the soul of the believer. With our spirit - In our understanding, the place or recipient of light and information; and the place or faculty to which such information can properly be brought. This is done that we may have the highest possible evidence of the work which God has wrought. As the window is the proper medium to let the light of the sun into our apartments, so the understanding is the proper medium of conveying the Spirit’s influence to the soul. We, therefore, have the utmost evidence of the fact of our adoption which we can possibly have; we have the word and Spirit of God; and the word sealed on our spirit by the Spirit of God. And this is not a momentary influx: if we take care to walk with God, and not grieve the Holy Spirit, we shall have an abiding testimony; and while we continue faithful to our adopting Father, the Spirit that witnesses that adoption will continue to witness it; and hereby we shall know that we are of God by the Spirit which he giveth us. 3. Gill, “ The Spirit itself beareth witness,.... The thing which the Spirit of God witnesses to is, that we are the sons of God; which supposes the case in some sense doubtful and uncertain, at least that it is called in question; not by others, though it sometimes is, as by Satan, which need not seem strange, since he called in question the sonship of Christ himself, and by the world who know them not, and by good men, till better informed: but the testimony of the Spirit is not the satisfaction of others, but the saints themselves; who are ready to doubt of it at times, because of the greatness of the favour, and their own sinfulness and unworthiness; especially after backslidings; through the temptations of the devil, and because of their many trials and afflictions. ow this witness of the Spirit is to establish and confirm it; not to make the thing itself surer, for that stands on the sure foundation of predestination, on the unalterable covenant of grace, on union to Christ; redemption by him, the gift of Christ, and continuance of the Spirit; but to assure them of it, and of their interest in it; for the testimony is given "to our spirits"; so the words are read by the Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions, and by the Vulgate Latin; which reading seems better than with our spirits; for our own spirits are no witnesses to ourselves: the Father and Son are cowitnesses of the Spirit, but not our own spirits; the spirits of the saints are they which receive the witness of the Spirit of God, to which it is made; not to their ears, for it is not an audible testimony; but to their hearts, it is internal; to their renewed souls, where faith is wrought to receive it; to their understandings, that they may know and be assured of it; to their spirits, which are apt to faint and doubt about it. ow it is "the Spirit itself" that bears this witness, and not others, or by others, but he himself in person; who is a divine witness, whose testimony therefore must be greater than others, and a faithful one, who will never deceive; for he witnesses what he knows, and what is sure and certain: his very being and habitation in the saints are witnesses and proofs of their adoption; his powerful operations and divine landings persuade to a belief of the truth of it; and by shedding abroad the Father's love in the heart, and by the application of Gospel promises, he causes and encourages them to "cry Abba", Father; which is a

wonderful instance of his condescension and grace. 4. Jamison, “The Spirit itself — It should be “Himself” (see on Rom_8:26). beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children — “are children” of God — The testimony of our own spirit is borne in that cry of conscious sonship, “Abba, Father”; but we are not therein alone; for the Holy Ghost within us, yea, even in that very cry which it is His to draw forth, sets His own distinct seal to ours; and thus, “in the mouth of two witnesses” the thing is established. The apostle had before called us “sons of God,” referring to our adoption; here the word changes to “children,” referring to our new birth. The one expresses the dignity to which we are admitted; the other the new life which we receive. The latter is more suitable here; because a son by adoption might not be heir of the property, whereas a son by birth certainly is, and this is what the apostle is now coming to. 5. Henry, “To witness to the relation of children, Rom_8:16. The former is the work of the Spirit as a Sanctifier; this as a Comforter. Beareth witness with our spirit. Many a man has the witness of his own spirit to the goodness of his state who has not the concurring testimony of the Spirit. Many speak peace to themselves to whom the God of heaven does not speak peace. But those that are sanctified have God's Spirit witnessing with their spirits, which is to be understood not of any immediate extraordinary revelation, but an ordinary work of the Spirit, in and by the means of comfort, speaking peace to the soul. This testimony is always agreeable to the written word, and is therefore always grounded upon sanctification; for the Spirit in the heart cannot contradict the Spirit in the word. The Spirit witnesses to none the privileges of children who have not the nature and disposition of children.

6. Paul Tillich, “"The Spirit beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God." Something new has come, a new reality, a new being, a Spirit distinguished from our spirit, yet able to make itself understood to our spirit, beyond us and yet in us. The whole message of Christianity is contained in this statement. Christianity overcomes law and despair by the certainty that we are the children of God. There is nothing higher than this. For although we are in the flesh and under the law and in the cleavage of our existence, we are, at the same time, in the Spirit and in the fulfillment and unity with the ultimate meaning of our life. This paradox, for Paul, is the astonishing and, humanly speaking, the incredible content of Christianity. This certainty gave him the impulse to preach his message to the whole world, and to conquer it. It gave him the power to break with his caste and his nation, and to take upon himself an abundant amount of suffering and struggle, and finally, martyrdom. Christ has overcome the law, the system of commands which makes us slaves because we cannot escape it, and which throws us into despair because it makes us enemies of our own destiny and our own ultimate good. Having this certainty that we are the children of God means, for Paul, "having the Spirit." Out of this certainty follows everything that makes Christian existence what it is. First of all, it gives us the power to cry, "Abba, Father!" that is, the power to pray the Lord's prayer. Only he who has the Spirit has the power to say "Father" to God. Everybody can say the Lord's prayer, and it is recited millions and millions of times every day. But how many of those who say it have received the power to pray it? The fatherhood of God, which is the greatest and most incredible concept of Christianity, has become one of the most usual and insignificant phrases of daily life. Christianity has forgotten that in every invocation of God as Father the enmity against God must be overcome, the ecstatic certainty of our childhood

must be given by the Spirit. Many of those outside Christianity know more about it than those within it. They know how paradoxical and impossible it is to call God "Father." But where it happens that man has gained freedom, "the spirit of bondage" to fear is overcome by "the spirit of adoption." When a child has a moment that we could call a moment of grace, he suddenly does the good freely, without command, and more than had been commanded; happiness glows in his face. He is balanced within himself, without enmity, and is full of love. Bondage and fear have disappeared; obedience has ceased to be obedience and has become free inclination; ego and super-ego are united. This is the liberty of the children of God, liberty from the law, and because from the law, also from the condemnation to despair.” 7. Tillich continues, “But someone may say: "I have not received this witness. I have not experienced the Spirit of which Paul speaks. I am not Christian in this sense." Listen to Paul's reply. Perhaps it is the most puzzling and mysterious of all his sayings. "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 for us with groanings which cannot be uttered; and he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God." Paul recognizes the fact that usually we are possessed by weakness which makes the experience of the Spirit and the right prayer impossible. But he tells us that in these periods we must not believe that the Spirit is far from us. It is within us, although not experienced by us. Our sighing in the depth of our souls, which we are not able to articulate, is taken by God to be the work of the Spirit within us. To the man who longs for God and cannot find Him; to the man who wants to be acknowledged by God and cannot even believe that He is; to the man who is striving for a new and imperishable meaning of his life and cannot discover it, to this man Paul speaks. We are each such a man. Just in this situation, where the Spirit is far from our consciousness, where we are unable to pray or to experience any meaning in life, the Spirit is working quietly in the depth of our souls. In the moment when we feel separated from God, meaningless in our lives, and condemned to despair, we are not left alone. The Spirit, sighing and longing in us and with us, represents us. It manifests what we really are. In feeling this against feeling, in believing this against belief, in knowing this against knowledge, we, like Paul, possess all. Those outside that experience possess nothing. Paul, in spite of the boldness of his faith and the depth of his mysticism, is most human, most realistic, nearer to those who are weak than to those who are strong. He knows that we, with all other creatures, are in the stage of expectation, longing and suffering with all animals and flowers, with the oceans and winds. The soundless mourning of these other creatures echoes the soundless longing of the human soul. Paul knows that what we are to be has not yet appeared. And yet he has written his triumphant and ecstatic letter on Spirit and Life. It is not his spirit which inspired him to write those words, but rather the Spirit which has witnessed to his spirit and which witnesses to our spirits that we are the children of God.” 8. Beet, “In one sense all men are such by creation in the image of God. But although the Bible occasionally speaks of God as the common Father of all, it never speaks of all men as His children. Paul's readers were sons of God by adoption. The use of this term proves how completely, in Paul's view, they had lost by sin their original sonship. For the adopted son owed his position and prospects, not to birth, but to the pure goodwill of his adoptive father. Hence the word adoption reminds us that it is by the undeserved favour of God that we are permitted to call Him our Father. That all men are not sons is also implied in the heirship to eternal glory which all the sons possess, v, 1 7.

We frequently meet with an agent called, in the O. Test, the Spirit of God, of Jehovah; in the . Test., the Spirit of God, of Christ, the Holy Spirit. In Job xxvii. 3, the spirit of God is the human spirit breathed by God into man ; and in Hos. xiii. 1 5, a wind sent from God. Most frequently the Spirit of God is the source of an influence acting upon man from within, and giving him a power, Jud. xiv. 6, 19, xv. 14, xvi. 20; skill, Ex. xxxi. 3, etc.; and voice, um. xxiy. 2, i Sam. x. 6, 2 Sam. xxiii. 2, altogether beyond his own natural power, skill, knowledge. Men thus become the arm and hand and voice of God. Since this influence always aims at the purposes of God, its source is called the Spirit of Holiness, Ps. Ii. 11, Is. Ixiii. lof, and in the . Test, the Holy Spirit. We also find an evil spirit of God, ue.^ one who carries out in men God's purpose of anger against them, i Sam. xvi. 14 — 23, Jud. ix. 23. Comp. i Kings xxii. 21. Looking only at the O. Test., we conceive the Spirit of God to be the source of an inward influence from God, and the bearer of the presence, the power and the knowledge, of God. In this ep. the Spirit reveals Himself as in the O. Test., except that He now appears as the Spirit of Christ. He is to us the inward presence of Christ ; and a pledge of immortal life, v, 10. He makes us conscious of the love of God manifested in the death of Christ, V. 5; and puts a new voice into our lips, viii. 15, 26. He gives to us moral strength to conquer sin, v. i^\ and is the guide of our life, v, 14. He makes us in heart the people of God, ii. 29 ; and becomes the mainspring of a new life, vii. 6. He is thus the source of holiness, xv. 16 ; hope, xv. 13 ; joy, xiv. 17. The analogy of our own spirit helps us to understand the nature and work of the Spirit of God, i Cor. ii. 11. Just as the human spirit breathed by God into Adam's lifeless body as it lay on the greensward of Paradise, unconscious of its destiny and of the beauties of the garden, gave life to the body, filled it with consciousness of the objects around, opened its eyes and ears to the beauties and songs of Paradise, raised it from the ground to bodily and spiritual activity, and put a voice of praise into the hitherto silent lips ; so the Spirit of God breathed into us gives us a deathless life, makes us conscious of the realities of the eternal world, of its grandeur and its harmonies, and fills us with spiritual power and activity. And just as our own spirit is altogether different from, and in essential dignity greater than, our body, yet united to it by an all-pervading and mysterious fellowship ; so the Spirit of God is in essential dignity infinitely greater than our spirit, yet united to it in a still more mysterious fellowship. The word spirit is used to distinguish this divine person from the Father and. Son, who are also essentially spirit, because He is that person of the Trinity who comes into actual contact with our spirit, as the immediate inward source of our higher life, and the moving principle of our thoughts, words, acts. The title * holy,' which also belongs in its highest sense to the Father and the Son, is applied with special frequency to the Spirit ; because His chief feature is that God is the one aim of the influence which He constantly exerts. Every moment He comes forth from the Father, that He may lead us back to the Father. Every other influence leads us away from God. Only so far as we are moved by the Spirit of God is God the aim of our purposes and efforts. Hence all human holiness is the mind of the Spirit realized in those to whom He is the soul of their soul and the life of their life. 9. Spurgeon, “The first witness is our spirit; the second witness is The Spirit, the eternal Spirit of

God, who beareth witness with our spirit. It is as if a poor man were called into court to prove his right to some piece of land which was disputed. He standeth up and beareth his own faithful testimony; but some great one of the land—some nobleman who lives near—rises, stands in the witness box, and confirms his witness. So is it with our text. The plain, simple spirit of the humble-minded Christian cries, "I am God's child." The glorious Spirit, one with God, attests the truth of the testimony, and beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. Let us notice in the first place, how it is that our spirit is able to bear witness; and as this is a matter of experience, I can only appeal to those who are the true children of God; for no others are competent to give testimony. Our spirit bears witness that we are the children of God, when it feels a filial love to God. When bowing before his throne we can boldly say "Abba Father."—"Thou art my father," then our spirit concludes that we are sons, for thus it argues, "I feel to thee as a child feeleth to its parent, and it could not be that I should have the feeling of a son if I had not the rights of a son—if I were not a child thou wouldst never have given to me that filial affection which no dares to call thee "Father." Sometimes, too, the spirit feels that God is its Father not only by love but by trust. The rod has been upon our back and we have smarted very sore, but in the darkest hour we have been able to say, "The time is in my Father's hands; I cannot murmur; I would not repine; I feel it is but right that I should suffer, otherwise my Father would never have made me suffer." He surely doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of man for nought; and when in these dark gloomy times we have looked up to a Father's face, and have said, "Though thou slay me, yet will I trust in thee; thy blows shall not drive thee from me; they shall but make me say, "Show me wherefore thou contendest with me, and purge me from my sin."" Then our spirit beareth witness that we are the children of God.” 10. Spurgeon continues, “And now I press forward to notice that in order that we may know whether we are partakers of this high—this royal relationship of children of God, the text furnishes us with a SPECIAL PROOF—"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. You will notice here, my beloved, that there are two witnesses in court— two who are ready to prove our filiation to the eternal God. The first witness is our spirit; the second witness is The Spirit, the eternal Spirit of God, who beareth witness with our spirit. It is as if a poor man were called into court to prove his right to some piece of land which was disputed. He standeth up and beareth his own faithful testimony; but some great one of the land—some nobleman who lives near—rises, stands in the witness box, and confirms his witness. So is it with our text. The plain, simple spirit of the humble-minded Christian cries, "I am God's child." The glorious Spirit, one with God, attests the truth of the testimony, and beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. Let us notice in the first place, how it is that our spirit is able to bear witness; and as this is a matter of experience, I can only appeal to those who are the true children of God; for no others are competent to give testimony. Our spirit bears witness that we are the children of God, when it feels a filial love to God. When bowing before his throne we can boldly say "Abba Father."—"Thou art my father," then our spirit concludes that we are sons, for thus it argues, "I feel to thee as a child feeleth to its parent, and it could not be that I should have the feeling of a son if I had not the rights of a son—if I were not a child thou wouldst never have given to me that filial affection which no dares to call thee "Father." Sometimes, too, the spirit feels that God is its Father not only by love but by trust. The rod has been upon our back and we have smarted very sore, but in the darkest hour we have been able to say, "The time is in my Father's hands; I cannot murmur; I would not repine; I feel it is but right that I should suffer, otherwise my Father would never have made me suffer." He surely doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of man for nought; and when in these dark gloomy times

we have looked up to a Father's face, and have said, "Though thou slay me, yet will I trust in thee; thy blows shall not drive thee from me; they shall but make me say, "Show me wherefore thou contendest with me, and purge me from my sin."" Then our spirit beareth witness that we are the children of God. And are there not times with you, my dear friends, when your hearts feel that they would be emptied and void, unless God were in them. You have perhaps received an increase to your wealth, and after the first flush of pleasure which was but natural, you have said, "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity; this is not my joy." You have had many mercies in your family, but you have felt that in them all there was a lack of something which could satisfy your heart, and you have felt that that something was God. My God, thou art my all in all—the circle where my passions move, the centre of my soul. ow these longings—these pantings for something more than this world can give you—were but the evidences of a child-like spirit, which was panting after its Father's presence. You feel you must have your Father, or else the gifts of his providence are nothing to you. That is, your spirit beareth witness that you are the child of God. But there are times when the heir of heaven is as sure that he is God's child as he is sure that he is his own father's son. o doubt can make him question. The evil one may whisper, "If thou be the son of God." But he says, "Get thee hence, Satan, I know I am the son of God." A man might as well try to dispute him out of the fact of his existence as out of that equally sure fact that he has been born again, and that by gracious adoption he has been taken into the family of God. This is our witnessing that we are born of God. But the text, you see, furnishes us with a higher witness than this. God that cannot lie, in the person of the Holy Ghost, graciously condescendeth to say "Amen" to the testimony of our conscience. And whereas our experience sometimes leads our spirit to conclude that we are born of God, there are happy times when the eternal Spirit from off the throne, descends and fills our heart, and then we have the two witnesses bearing witness with each other, that we are children of God. Perhaps you ask me, how is this. I was reading a passage by Dr. Chalmers the other day, in which he says, that his own experience did not lead him to believe that the Holy Spirit ever gave any witness of our being the children of God, apart from the written Word of God, and his ordinary workings in our hearts. ow, I am not sure that the doctor is perfectly right. As far as his own experience went I dare say he was right, but there may be some far inferior to the doctor in genius, who nevertheless were superior in nearness of fellowship with God, and who could therefore go a little farther than the eloquent divine. ow, I do believe with him this morning, that the chief witness of God the Holy Spirit lies in this—the Holy Spirit has written this book which contains an account of what a Christian should be, and of the feelings which believers in Christ must have. I have certain experiences and feelings; turning to the Word, I find similar experiences and feelings recorded; and so I prove that I am right, and the Spirit bears witness with my spirit that I am born of God. Suppose you have been enabled to believe in Jesus Christ for your salvation; that faith has produced love to Christ; that love to Christ has led you to work for Christ; you come to the Bible, and you find that this was just the very thing which was felt by early believers; and then you say, "Good Lord, I am thy son, because what I feel is what thou has said by the lips of thy servant must be felt by those who are thy children." So the Spirit confirms the witness of my spirit that I am born of God. But again, everything that is good in a Christian you know to be the work of God the Holy Ghost. When at any time then the Holy Spirit comforts you—sheds a sweet calm over your disturbed spirit; when at any period he instructs you, opens to you a mystery you did not understand before; when at some special period he inspires you with an unwonted affection, an unusual faith

in Christ; when you experience a hatred of sin, a faith in Jesus, a death to the world, and a life to God, these are the works of the Spirit. ow the Spirit never did work effectually in any but the children of God; and inasmuch as the Spirit works in you, he doth by that very working give his own infallible testimony to the fact that you are a child of God. If you had not been a child he would have left you where you were in your natural state; but inasmuch as he hath wrought in you to will and to do of his own good pleasure, he that put his stamp on you as being one of the family of the Most High. But I think must go a little further than this. I do believe that there is a supernatural way in which apart from means, the Spirit of God communicates with the spirit of man. My own little experience leads me to believe that apart from the Word of God, there are immediate dealings with the conscience and soul of man by the Holy Spirit, without any instrumentality, without even the agency of the truth. I believe that the Spirit of God sometimes comes into a mysterious and marvellous contact with the spirit of man, and that at times the Spirit speaketh in the heart of man by a voice not audible to the ear, but perfectly audible to the spirit which is the subject of it. he assures and consoles directly, by coming into immediate contact with the heart. It becomes our business then to take the Spirit's witness through his Word, and through his works, but I would seek to have immediate, actual, undivided fellowship with the Holy Ghost, who by his divine Spirit, should work in my spirit and convince me that I am a child of God.” 11. Spurgeon on heirs, “Oh! what angelic tongue shall hymn his glory? What fiery lips shall ever speak of his possessions, of his riches,—the unsearchable riches of God in Christ Jesus. But, beloved, all that belongs to Christ belongs to Christ's people. It is as when a man doth marry. His possessions shall be shared by his spouse; and when Christ took his Church unto himself he endowed her with all his goods, both temporal and eternal. He gives to us his raiments, and thus we stand arrayed. His righteousness becomes our beauty. He gave to us his person, it has become our meat and our drink; we eat his flesh and drink his blood. He gave to us hi inmost heart; he loved us even to the death. He gave to us his crown; he gave to us his throne; for "to him that overcometh will I give to sit upon my throne, even as I have overcome, and have sat down with my Father upon his throne." He gave to us his heaven, for "where I am, there shall my people be." He gave to us the fulness of his joy, for "my joy shall be in you, that your joy may be full." I repeat it, there is nothing in the highest heaven which Christ has reserved unto himself, "for all things are yours, and ye are Christ's and Christ is God's." 12. Spurgeon continues, “I cannot stay longer on that point, except just to notice, that we must never quarrel with this divine arrangement. "Oh," say you, "we never shall." Stay, stay, brother; I have known you do so already, for when all that is Christ's belongs to you, do ye forget that Christ once had a cross, and that belongs to you? Christ once wore a thorny crown, and if you are to have all that he has, you must bear the thorny crown too? Have you forgotten that he had shame and spitting, the reproach, the rebuke of men, and that he conceived all those to be greater riches than all the treasures of this world? Come, I know as you look down the inventory, you are apt to look a little askance on that cross, and you think, "Well, the crown is glorious, but I love not the spittle, I care not to be despised and rejected of men." Oh! you are quarreling with this divine arrangement, you are beginning to differ with this blessed policy of God. Why, one would have thought you would rejoice to take your Master for better or for worse, and to be partaker with him, not only in his glories but in his sufferings. So it must be, "If so be that we suffer with him that we also may be glorified together." Is there a place into which your Master went that you would be ashamed to enter? If so, methinks your heart is not in a right state. Would you refuse to go with him to the garden of his agony? Believer, would you be ashamed to stand and be accused as he was, and have false witness born against you? And would you blush to sit side- by-

side with him, and be made nothing of as he was? Oh, when you start aside at a little jest, let your conscience prick you, and say, "Am I not a joint heir with Christ, and am I about to quarrel with the legacy? Did he not say, "In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world?" And oh, would you be ashamed to die for Christ; methinks, if you are what you should be, you will glory in tribulations also, and count it sweet to suffer for Christ. I know the world turns this into ridicule and says, "That the hypocrite loves persecution;" no, not the hypocrite, but the true believer; he feels that though the suffering must ever be painful, yet for Christ's sake, it becomes so glorious that the pain is all forgotten. Come, believer, will you be partaker with Christ to-day in the battle, and then divide this spoil with him? Come, will you wade with him through the deep waters, and then at last climb up the topless hills with him? Are you prepared now to be despised and rejected of men that you may at last ascend up on high, leading captivity captive? The inheritance cannot be divided; if you will have the glory, you must have the shame. He that will live godly in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution. Come, men, put your face against all weathers; be ready to come up hill, with the snow blowing in your face, be ready to march on when the tempest howls, and the lightnings flash over head, and the snow becomes knee-deep; nay, be ready to go into the crevasse with him, and perish, if need be. Who quarrels with this sacred regulation? Certainly no true child of God; he would not have it altered, even if he might.” 13. Bob Wilkin, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. According to the Westminster Confession of Faith, there are three pillars of assurance of salvation: the promises of God's Word, the works which the Holy Spirit produces, and the inner witness of the Spirit to the believer. All three of these witnesses are viewed as necessary in order for one to be reasonably confident of his salvation. According to the GES Affirmations of Belief, there is only one pillar of assurance: the promises of God's Word. Good works may have a secondary, confirmatory value; however, they are not needed for assurance. (See the article by Zane Hodges on works and assurance on Are Good Works ecessary for Assurance? of this issue for more information on this question.) Since the GES Affirmations do not even mention the so-called inner witness of the Spirit, I thought it might be helpful to address that issue here. Does He Witness to Us or with Us? Most people misread Romans 8:16 as though it read, "The Spirit Himself bears witness to our spirit that we are children of God." Actually the text says that He "bears witness with our spirit. . ." The Greek makes this clear. One Greek verb (summartureo) conveys the meaning "bears witness along with." It is a compound verb which has a preposition prefixed to it. The preposition clearly means along with, not to. Romans 8:16 speaks of two witnesses, the Holy Spirit and our human spirit. They both bear witness together. This is in keeping with the OT principle that all matters need to be verified by at least two witnesses. To Whom Does He Bear Witness? The Holy Spirit bears witness along with our human spirit that we are children of God. But to

whom does He bear witness? The answer is clear in the context. Verse 15 indicates that we (i.e., our human spirits) cry out, "Abba, Father." In other words, our witness is to God the Father. If the Spirit is bearing witness with our human spirits, then He, too, must bear witness to God the Father. This conclusion is confirmed by v 26 which asserts that whenever we pray the Holy Spirit intercedes for us. Clearly the Person to whom He is interceding for us is God the Father. God the Father is the One to whom our human spirits, and the Holy Spirit, bear witness. It Happens As We Pray The Holy Spirit's witness does not occur constantly. Rather, it happens as we pray. Whenever our human spirits cry out to God saying, "Abba, Father" (Rom 8:15; Gal 4:6; see also the Lord's Prayer, Luke 11:2, "Our Father. . ."), the Holy Spirit witnesses to God the Father that we are indeed His children. To call God our Father is a way of reminding Him that we are His children. Whenever that greeting is true-that is, whenever a genuine child of God is praying, the Holy Spirit confirms its validity. The Spirit's Witness Is Undetectable While we are aware when our human spirits cry out to God in prayer, calling Him our Father, we are unable to monitor the Holy Spirit's confirming witness. We cannot infallibly feel, see, hear, or in any way tune in to the witness of the Holy Spirit to God the Father that we are His childreneven though in our experience of prayer we might have a general sense that the Holy Spirit is at work. The only sure way we know that He does this is because the Bible tells us that He does. God Delights in These Reminders God takes pleasure in this twofold testimony of our status as His children. This should motivate us to do our part. And what is our part? Our part is to pray. As we say, "Our Father," the Holy Spirit says, "Yes, this is a child of God." What a joy it is to realize that God delights in being reminded by us, and by the Holy Spirit, that we are His children. God's Promises Are All We eed According to the Apostle John, if we accept the testimony of God concerning His Son, then we know that we have eternal life (1 John 5:913). Assurance is objective. It is sourced in the Gospel. If we accept Jesus' claim that "He who believes in Me has everlasting life" (John 6:47), then we know that we have everlasting life! It goes without saying that if we can know we have eternal life simply by accepting the testimony of God, then nothing else is needed. I have a birth certificate that indicates that I was born in Los Angeles in 1952. That objectively testifies to me that I am a citizen of the United States. I need not evaluate how I feel to determine if I am really a U.S. citizen. My birth certificate is all I need. The birth certificate of the believer is God's Word. It objectively testifies to us that we are citizens of heaven.

Assurance Is the Backbone of Confident Prayer Those who search for the so called inner witness of the Spirit do so in vain since that is His witness to God the Father, not to us. Feelings can be deceptive. Liver quivers are unreliable. Look to the biblical promise that he who accepts the testimony of God concerning His Son has ever lasting life. That and that alone is the only way to know for sure that you are a child of God. The Scriptures are the real witness of the Holy Spirit to us. The Spirit's work in assurance is through the Word, not through feelings. Only on the basis of the promises of God as found in His infallible and inerrant Word can we know for sure that we are His children. And only with such assurance can we confidently call God our Father. 14. Interpretation by Daniel B. Wallace, Ph.D, “Romans 8:16, There are two possible translations at the crucial juncture. Either “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are God’s children,” or “The Spirit himself bears witness to our spirit that we are God’s children.” Grammatically, the issue is simply this: Is tw'/ pneuvmati a dative of association (“with our spirit”) or a dative indirect object (“to our spirit”)? Exegetically and theologically, the issue may be far deeper: If a dative of association is in view, then our spirit joins God’s Spirit in bearing witness that we are God’s children, that we are saved. But to whom is this witness made? Many argue that such a witness is made to ourselves (thus, “the Spirit bears witness along with our spirit to us that we are God’s children”). On the other hand, some argue that such a witness is made to God. In this construct, there is no witness of God’s Spirit to us. Rather, both ‘spirits’ testify Godward; both are advocates of our status before the great Judge. If, on the other hand, a dative indirect object is in view, then God’s Spirit is testifying to our spirits, that is, tous. In this case, believers are the recipients of the testimony of the Spirit. The first view (what we’ll call the associative view) may imply that the Spirit has nothing to do with the believer’s assurance of salvation.1 This is especially the case if the witness is Godward. The second view (what we’ll call the indirect object view) certainly implies that the Spirit’s testimony to the believer is an important aspect of assurance. The first view allows one to claim assurance based directly on the objective data, the Word. The second view opens the doors to a soft mysticism, suggesting that though the Word is essential to assurance, God’s Spirit is also essential to offer such comfort. A. Arguments for “with our spirit” Scholars are divided on this issue—even evangelical scholars. However, it seems that the predominant view is the dative of association view (“with our spirit”). Most translations take this view. Thus, “with our spirit” is the reading of the AV, ASV, ASB, RSV, RSV, JB, JB, and Moffatt. It is also adopted by many commentators today such as Stifler, Hendrickson, Dunn, Fitzmyer, probably Moo, and possibly Stuhlmacher. Others, too, seem to be in favor of this view.2 Most recently, the associative view has been promoted by two Evangelical Theological Society members: First, Bob Wilkin of the Grace Evangelical Society takes the associative view. The very title of his

paper that was to be delivered at the Evangelical Theological Society ( ovember 1996) indicates his approach: “Does the Inner Witness of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:16) Play a Role in Assurance? o.” Although I’ve not yet seen his paper, I have talked with Dr. Wilkin about his view. He takes the approach that the witness of the Spirit is toward God. That is, God is the implied indirect object. If so, then neither the Holy Spirit nor our spirit is addressing us. The testimony offered is directed elsewhere. Second, Gordon Fee, in his massive work, God’s Empowering Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul, adopts this view. He argues as follows: To take the dative as an indirect object is an “unnecessary expedient that abandons Pauline usage for the sake of a prior theological concern that is not involved here.”3 He draws the negative conclusion that “This means that those who make much out of the concept of ‘the inner witness of the Spirit’ are probably also missing Paul’s point.”4 The main arguments for the associative view are as follows:5 1. In keeping with Deut 19:15, two witnesses are needed to establish the truth of a matter. Thus, the Holy Spirit and our spirit must give a combined testimony to confirm our salvation.6 2. To argue that the Spirit bears witness to our spirits seems to presuppose that the moment of salvation is in view. But the present tense (summarturei') argues against this; this is an activity that is ongoing in the life of the believer. Hence, “to our spirit” cannot be the meaning of the text here. 3. The verb itself suggests an associative idea: it is marturevw prefixed by the preposition suvn. Such verbs regularly take datives of association.7 B. Arguments for “to our spirit” The indirect object view is not without its representatives. For the most part, English translations are against it, but other translations (such as the Vulgate8 and Luther’s Bible) are often for it. As well, several notable scholars have adopted this view, such as Luther, Calvin, Leenhardt, Godet, Hodge, Strathman (in TD T), Morris, Murray, and Cranfield. The view is well represented, though more so among older, Reformed works than recent writers. I think that this is the correct view. I wish to first interact with the arguments mentioned above; then, offer some further evidence on behalf of the indirect object position. The arguments are as follows. (1) To see Deut 19:15 as part of the background of this verse is unnecessary. It seems to presuppose that the Spirit’s testimony is not good enough if offered by itself. This also presupposes that our testimony, in combination with the Spirit’s, is good enough! But elsewhere in the T a single testimony is often acceptable, especially one offered by God.9 Indeed, the vast bulk of texts in which the Spirit bears witness rest the claim made on that witness alone; no other witness is necessary.10 Further, if a second witness is sought in this text, there is a better candidate than our own spirits. Paul uses the verb marturevw only twice in Romans, only once before chapter eight. In what is his central passage on justification, 3:21-26, he notes that “the righteousness of God has been witnessed by the Law and the Prophets.” This righteousness is applied “to all who believe” (3:22). There, the justified state of the believer is witnessed by the Scriptures; here, it is witnessed by the Spirit. It is precisely this twofold testimony—that of the Spirit and the Word—offered at two key junctures in Romans, that constitutes the basis of the believer’s assurance.

But I don’t think that’s Paul’s point here. I don’t think that he’s looking back five chapters to find a second witness. Let me repeat: the necessity of having a second witness is based on two assumptions: (1) that summarturevw means bear witness together with and (2) that the Spirit’s testimony is inadequate to confirm the truth of our salvation. I think that the first of these assumptions is wrong, and the second is not in the picture here. But even if the first assumption is correct, this does not mean that “our spirit” needs to be that second witness. (2) It is erecting a straw man to say that the indirect object view only applies to the moment of conversion. To be sure, it does apply to that moment. But it also applies later. We should give the present tense, summarturei', its full force. But as such, it is rather broad. The present tenses in this chapter that refer to the Spirit consistently are used of the entire time period from regeneration to glorification. ote for example: *0“But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Any one who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him” (v 9) *1“. . . the Spirit dwells in you” (v 11) *2“all who are being led by the Spirit, these are the sons of God” (v 14) *3“the Spirit helps us . . . the Spirit intercedes for the saints” (vv 26, 27) It is self-evident from these verses that the Spirit’s inner witness is part of the process of sanctification and encompasses the time from the spiritual cradle to the physical grave. Is not his intercessory ministry true for our entire lives, from the time we were converted? Does he not dwell in us from day one? (3) The lexical argument is the most compelling—namely, that suvn- prefixed verbs take datives of association. This is the view we all learn in first year Greek. But, as you well know, after a year of Greek all of us were dangerous! Our view of syntax needed some nuancing. There are four problems with this assumption. First, even if a suvn- prefixed verb does take a dative of association, this does not mean that it cannot take an indirect object or some other dative use. In my Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: Exegetical Syntax of the ew Testament, I argue, “not every dative following a suvnprefixed verb is a dative of association. . .”11 A doen exampples are supplied to demonstrate the point.12 Second, a number of suvn- prefixed verbs have lost their associative force in Koine Greek. Sometimes the compound verb is weakened, becoming synonymous with the simple verb. At other times, the prepositional prefix functions much like other prepositional prefixes, viz., to intensify or strengthen the force of the verb. We are all well aware of examples such as katesqivw as an intensification of ejsqivw (“to eat” becomes “to devour”). This same kind of transformation occurs with suvn- prefixed verbs on occasion. Thus, for example suvmbainw means “happen to,” not “go with” as in “it has happened to them [sumbevbhken aujtoi'"] according to the true proverb, ‘a dog always returns to its vomit’“ (2 Pet 2:22).13 Third, BAGD’s assessment of summarturevw is that it is an intensified verb. BAGD note that as early as the sixth century BC “the prefix sun- [on this verb] has in the highest degree the effect of strengthening” the force of the verb.14 Fourth, although this particular verb occurs only three times in the T (and not at all in the LXX), all of its occurrences are in Romans. (Remarkably, it is more frequent than marturevw in this book!) In its other two occurrences, it most likely has the force of intensifying the force of the verb;15 in the least, the evidence offers no comfort to the associative view. For example, Rom 9:1

reads, “My conscience bearing me witness [that] I am not lying” (or, “my conscience bearing witness to me [that] I am not lying”).16 Along these lines, for what it is worth, in my cursory examination of Hellenistic Greek, I have found summarturevw predominantly to take dative indirect objects rather than datives of association.17 The lexical argument, then, though plausible on its face, seems to fall apart upon closer scrutiny. Along these lines, it may be noteworthy that Gordon Fee does not even raise the lexical issue, but prefers to argue against the indirect object view by insisting that it is only a theologically motivated interpretation without substance. Just the opposite seems to be the case. ******************* In addition to these three counter-arguments, I would like to put forth a few others on behalf of the indirect object view. (4) The associative view involves too many complications. If, for example, the Godward associative view is adopted (viz., that our combined testimony is to God), then we have a couple of problems. First, where else does the Bible promote such a radical inequality in the co-witnesses? (This would be like the President of the United States and a drug dealer testifying together about their mutual friend. Well, maybe that’s not such a good example!) In particular, the Holy Spirit’s witness does not require a second opinion. Our testimony is unnecessary. To suggest otherwise is like saying, “God says—and I can back him up on this . . .” Second, as Cranfield notes, “What standing has our spirit in this matter? Of itself it surely has no right at all to testify to our being sons of God.”18 In the context our spirit especially seems to have little say. The self-doubts expressed in Romans 7—whether that chapter is autobiographical or of a more universal nature —stand in bold relief to Romans 8. Whatever else chapter 7 is saying, it is arguing that the unaided inner self is defeated by sin and makes no contribution to sanctification. But thanks be to God that the law of the Spirit of life has set me free! (5) So much for the Godward witness. But if the dual witness is manward, there is another problem. If “our spirit” refers to our “inner person,” as almost all commentators take it, then what is the difference between ‘our spirit’ and ‘ourselves’? If there is no real difference, what does it mean that ‘the Spirit bears witness with our spirit to ourselves’? Does this mean that we witness to us? This sounds as if the responsibility to convince myself of my salvation is myself. (6) Positively, we can argue from two vantage points: context and correlation. The context of Romans 8 involves especially two themes—assurance of salvation and the role of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s sanctification. These two are not unrelated. The assurance offered seems to come from two sources: inner testimony and external fruit. The one, in fact, seems to be the prerequisite for the other. otice the following verses: *4Verse 4—”in order that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” *5Verse 9—”But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.” *6Verse 14—”For whoever are led by the Spirit are sons of God.” *7Verse 23—”we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons.” *8Verses 25-27—”But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. (26) Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words. (27) And he who searches the

hearts of men knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Paul is stressing in these verses, it seems, that though we might waver, the Spirit does not. The Spirit helps us in our weakness and our doubts. *9Paul concludes with vv 31-39 in which he evidently is arguing against doubts that are caused by our own inner turmoil as well as by external forces. Verses 31-34 ask the repeated question, “Who can condemn us if God is for us?” Verses 35-39 ask the question, “What can separate us?” The accusation of condemnation is something felt on the inside. The defense is also internal: because we are in Christ and because he is in us, we stand secure before God. *10In this great chapter it seems that the Spirit produces the assurance we so desperately need. Because we have the Spirit, we have hope. Yet even in our hope, he helps our weakness and intercedes for us. Because we have the Spirit, we bear fruit for God. The order is significant: The Spirit dwells in us, thus enabling us to live for God. We can have assurance of our salvation the moment we are converted, and as much as our own hearts try to condemn us, the Spirit intercedes. (7) Finally is the argument from correlation. To see the Spirit of God working on our hearts, sustaining our belief both in God and in our relationship to him, is a theme found elsewhere in the T. I think this theme suggests an inaugural fulfillment of Jeremiah 31. As new covenant believers, the Spirit of God has come to reside in us. We each know God immediately. Thus, in Hebrews 10 the author picks up the prophecy of Jeremiah 31 and essentially argues that God places a knowledge of himself within us when he forgives our sin. The author begins the OT quotation with an introductory statement that looks like it was lifted from Rom 8:16: “The Spirit also bears witness to us. . .”19 Thus, in both passages we are told that the Spirit bears witness and that there is something placed within us by God in relation to securing our salvation. I would suggest that this is no accident; it is part of the T authors’ understanding of the new covenant. As well, the whole of 1 John stresses the role of the Spirit in our assurance. First John 3:20 is right to the point—”If our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart.” This is perfectly in keeping with what I believe Paul is saying in Rom 8:16. The associative view has an anthropological-hamartiological problem at this point: if our heart condemns us, in what sense could it be a witness to God on our behalf? To sum up: Romans 8:16 should be translated “The Spirit himself bears witness to our spirit that we are God’s children” because of sound lexical, contextual, and biblico-theological reasons. Further, to take it otherwise leaves too many loose ends and raises more questions than it answers. Although to be sure some of the arguments are on better footing than others, it seems to me that the most probable exegesis of this passage (not just what is possible) is that there is an inner witness of the Spirit which prompts in the believer that filial response of “Abba, Father!”, leading him to the assurance of salvation. Some Implications (1) Obviously, the main implication has to do with assurance of salvation: We know that we are saved because of the testimony of Scripture and because of the inner witness of the Spirit. I know I’m a child of God not just because the Bible tells me so, but because the Spirit convinces me so. The present tenses in relation to the Spirit in Rom 8 are used predominantly to suggest an ongoing state from regeneration to glorification (thus, customary presents). Thus, because of the Spirit’s witness I have assurance at the front end and throughout my life. But the Spirit sustains in me not just belief, but fruit. Because he dwells in me, he can prompt me to good works. The cause-effect relationship here must be carefully noted: I am assured of my salvation, first, because the Spirit indwells me. Thus, I can have such assurance before I do any good works for

God. But as I continue, because of the Spirit’s presence and power, I will persevere. My saved status thus receives confirmation by my works. (2) For perseverance of the saints: There are some today who argue for eternal security, but against the perseverance of the saints. This viewpoint, in its most rigorous form, argues that the perseverance doctrine makes assurance based on works and thus cannot offer such assurance at the point of conversion. This view also argues that even if a person believed only for a short time, and then stopped believing, he is still saved. In order to sustain this argument, one has to deny the inner witness of the Spirit. The only assurance is the objective Word. This, to me, smacks of rationalism. It is a view that, ultimately, finds its roots in the Enlightenment, not in the revealed Word. The Spirit not only assures our hearts that we are saved; he also sustains that belief. If the Spirit were to evacuate our hearts right now, all of us would walk out of here as unbelievers. True believers continue to believe because the Spirit energizes that faith. And he does more: he also energizes the fruit that results from that faith. Thus, the position that we can be eternally secure without persevering seems to embrace both a weak view of sin (in that we have the ability to sustain belief without the Spirit’s aid) and, consequently, a defective pneumatology. (3) How does the Spirit bear witness to our spirits? Certainly, he works on our hearts to convince of the truth of Scripture. But there is more. His inner witness is both immediate and intuitive. It involves a non-discursive presence that is recognized in the soul. This at least is the position of Calvin and the Reformers, and I can find nothing to contradict this either in Romans 8 or in my own experience. Indeed, except for periods of heightened rationalism in church history (such as we are facing today), this seems to be the steady opinion of the majority of orthodox theologians.20 Thus, the inner witness of the Spirit is supra-logical, not sub-logical—like the peace from God that surpasses all understanding. There are elements of the Christian faith that are not verifiable on an empirical plane. This makes them no less true. (4) For conflict in the academic realm: If the witness of the Spirit that I am a child of God is intuitive, then it is outside the realm of that which is objectively verifiable. This does not make it any less true. We are too much sons of the Enlightenment when we deny intuition and internal apprehensions any value. When you fell in love, what scientific means did you use to verify the state of your heart? It’s an apt analogy because it is one of the last vestiges of the preEnlightenment that we still affirm. o one challenges it because there are no scientific means for determining whether a person is in love. Yet, we send bright young students, armed with a Th.M. from one of our evangelical seminaries, into battle at pagan schools, telling them only, “Trust your exegesis.” Too many have become spiritual casualties because they suppressed the inner witness of the Spirit. Liberal theology can tamper with the meaning of the text and plant seeds of doubt about historical proofs. If I am trusting only in historical evidences, not realizing that there is still a step of faith involved, I’ve lost the battle. Don’t misunderstand: we need to contend for the faith with all the logical and empirical tools at our disposal. But by themselves, these evidences are not capable of proof. The noetic effects of sin are so powerful that without the Spirit’s aid, we, too, will begin to doubt. Doctoral students and academicians, more than anyone else, need to maintain a warm heart for God precisely because of the academic rigor. An academic life gives one no excuse for a lack of piety. Indeed, if it is to be for God’s glory, piety must be at the heart of that breathless pursuit of truth. We simply cannot risk giving God a partial offering of our minds without our hearts. There are certainly more implications that could be drawn from this brief study. But I trust that these have stimulated your thinking. Below are his footnotes.

1. “ ot all take it this way, of course. Many Reformed scholars have assumed the associative view, but have read the text either as though following the indirect object view, or with the assumption that the Holy Spirit and our spirit combine to witness to us. In other words, many have translated the text “with our spirit,” but interpreted the text to mean “to our spirit.” To some degree, this is sloppy exegesis. But I can understand how they get this. If I say, “The archangel Michael did battle with Satan,” the preposition certainly does not mean “alongside of Satan”! Yet, many interpreters assume that the same thing is going on in Rom 8:16. One simply has to read their comments (such as Berkhof’s) to see that they embrace the inner witnesses view (“to our spirit”), but read it as though it were otherwise (“with our spirit”). The problem with this in English usage has to do with the governing verb. If it implies some tension or contention, then “with” really has the force of “against” (“Michael did battle against Satan”). But if it implies collaboration, then “with” typically means “alongside of.” Even verbs such as “dialogue,” in which the tension is subdued, suggest a notion of less than full collaboration: “He dialogued with me on the issue,” may involve hostility or not. It stops short of “alongside notion.” I think it is because of such verbs used frequently with “with” that many scholars adopt the “with” translation in Rom 8:16 but the “to” exegesis. Hence, the data may well be skewed a bit in favor of the “with” view (especially with translations which are too cryptic to indicate which view is in mind). 2. So Millard Erickson, G. Berkhof, etc. Surprisingly, G. I. Williamson’s annotations in the Westminster Confession of Faith for Study Classes (Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1964) argue the same point, but for a slightly different reason (133): “Some have maintained that the Holy Spirit communicates assurance to the soul of the believer immediately, that is, without the use of Scripture. And Romans 8:16 is claimed in support of this view. . . . It is true that the Spirit himself bears witness. But he bears witness with the spirit of man immediately, and not to it immediately. In other words God exerts an immediate influence upon the spirit of man, but not by speaking directly to man’s spirit apart from Scripture. Rather, the immediate influence is such that man and God speak together . . . .” 3. Gordon D. Fee, God’s Empowering Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1994) 568. The exact quotation is in the plural because Fee combines the argument of the dative indirect object with that of “a watered down sense” of the verb “(‘assures our spirits’)”: “But these are unnecessary expedients that abandon Pauline usage for the sake of a prior theological concern that is not involved here.” What Fee never elaborates on, as far as I could see, is what the Pauline usage is that is ignored. If he means lexical usage of this verb, he is clearly wrong (see later discussion). If he means theological usage of Paul’s overall meaning, that is something to be construed in the context under consideration. Yet, if so, then isn’t Fee guilty of a theological predisposition in this text himself? 4 Ibid., 569. 5 This is taken from Fee, who gives the most cogent presentation. Wilkin’s paper is not yet completed, but I was able to get the gist of it via a phone conversation with him this week. 6 This is Fee’s argument (ibid., 567). It can, of course, be nuanced in more than one way. Some may argue that our spirit’s testimony before God is essential for our own salvation. Others might argue that our spirit combines testimony with the Holy Spirit before us. 7 Fee offers other arguments that are not very compelling. For example, he argues by innuendo that the indirect object viewpoint is theologically motivated from the get-go and that therefore it should be rejected: “Disturbed by the supposed theological infelicity of Paul’s sentence . . .

some . . . take the dative as an indirect object . . .” (568). He pushes hard on Cranfield especially, saying that he has “an extensive argument that manifestly begins with this theological agenda in hand” (ibid.). Yet Fee’s theological agenda is hardly less suppressed: “the Spirit has not come to ‘take over,’ as it were, so that our own human responsibility is diminished” (569). What matters is not whether a particular viewpoint involves presuppositions, but whether there is evidence in the text to support such a viewpoint. 8 “Spiritus testimonium reddit spiritui nostro”: “The Spirit offers testimony to our spirit.” 9 Cf. Acts 13:22; 15:8; Rom 10:2; Col 4:13; 1 Tim 6:13; Heb 10:15; 11:4; 1 John 5:9-10; Rev 1:2. 10 1 John 5:7 is an apparent exception to this, for the Spirit is among the three who bear witness. But the previous verse highlights just the Spirit’s testimony, suggesting that it is sufficient in itself. 11 D. B. Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: Exegetical Syntax of the ew Testament (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996) 159. 12 Ibid. . ote the following texts in which the suvn- prefixed verb takes other than a dative of association: Luke 11:48; Acts 6:9; 8:1; 18:7; Rom 7:22; 8:26; 12:2; 1 Cor 4:4; Eph 5:11; Phil 1:27; 2 Tim 1:8; Rev 18:4. Several other passages could be noted as well. 13 In six of its eight occurrences in the T it takes a dative, none of which are datives of association (Mark 10:32; Acts 3:10; 20:19; 1 Cor 10:11; 1 Pet 4:12; 2 Pet 2:22). 14 This overall assessment is not shared by Strathman in TD T however. evertheless, he argues that the force is generally “agree with,” but still sees Rom 8:16 at “bear witness to.” The problem with this view is that (sum)marturevw is not oJmologevw. That is, although those texts where he sees “agree with” as the meaning of this verb has a certain plausibility in those contexts, “bear witness to” is equally valid. Further, the semantic domains of these two verbs seem to be quite different, even though in translation they may well look alike. 15 So Moo, Romans 1-8, loc. cit., who nevertheless does not seem to adopt this view here. 16 In Rom 2:15 no dative is found. 17 My examination must be considered preliminary at this point. Although I have accessed all instances in Greek literature from this period via Thesaurus Linguae Graecae , I have not had occasion to look at all in context. evertheless, a quick scan of the instances with only five lines of contexts revealed only one dative of association, but scores of indirect objects. The authors who use the verb as we have described include Josephus, Eusebius, Galen, Gregory yssenus, John Chrysostom (in his comments on Rom 2:15 he adds the dative indirect object aujtoi'"), John Damascene (in his comment on 1 John 5:7—”John witnesses to the word”), Origen, Plutarch (“he witnesses to such a time”; “witnessing to works”); the Scholia in Aeschylus, Theodoret (“the great Peter bearing witness to the truth”), Vettius Valens, etc. 18 Cranfield, Romans (ICC) 1. 403. 19 Marturei' deV« hJmi'n kaiV« toV pneu'ma toV a{gion. 20 Credit is due to M. James Sawyer for this historical summary. The Puritans did not hold to the immediate inner witness, but felt that through the long process of sanctification one came to this. Thus, they both reversed the dwelling and the doing roles of the Spirit and virtually held to a second blessing view of assurance! Warfield and many modern Reformed scholars also hold to a different view, shaped, it seems, by Scottish common sense and the Enlightenment.

15. We can know and be assured that we are children of God. It would be terrible if this could not be known for sure, for it would leave all in doubt of their salvation. Wesley said if you love, delight and rejoice in god you are a child of God. We do no know the Spirit like we know Jesus. He is one with us, but we do not have a picture of the Spirit. It is hard for us to get ahold on Him and His work in us. We need to grasp that He is Jesus in us. When a tree produces apples we are assured we are right in calling it an apple tree, and so when we have the fruit of the Spirit we can be assured we are led of the Spirit and have the witness of the Spirit. 16. Dr. Harold White, “This very verse is the declaration of a personal function: the Spirit's witness. In all the great experiences of life we need a voice other than our own to complete the degree of satisfaction which begins in our own conscious awareness. In common affairs we may be strong enough without external encouragement; but when life lunges into a crisis, we need something more. There are times when we need to hear our own convictions reiterated by the voice of another. Let that second witness be greater than ourselves, and His testimony will bring with it the strength and comfort that we need. He is wiser than men and at once we are filled with peace and joy unspeakable. The importance of having the Spirit as the chief witness will appear from the nature of the facts to be witnessed to - namely, " that we are the children of God." I could not receive this testimony on the authority of a mere human. Though that person may be wise and holy, the subject is beyond that person's knowing and ability. But the Holy Spirit was there when I was born again. He knows when the act of grace became a reality for me. He knows when Jesus came into my heart. These are things that are known by the Holy Spirit because it was because of Him and through Him that all these experiences were made to happen. *9Are the eyes open? It is His to enlighten. *10Is the conscience awakened? It is His to reprove. *11Does your stubborn will yield? It is His to subdue. *12Is your heart at peace? It is His to seal. There are those who think of the witness of the Spirit as a kind of revelation from heaven, or as a rapture - something which lifts us up above other people and singles us out as favorites of God. They look at it as though they were better to begin with than someone else. If anything can make a person a Pharisee - it is that kind of thinking. There are those who conceive that a feeling suddenly arises in them, and that this amounts to the conviction that they have been elected to become a Christian. They believe that this feeling is the witness of the Holy Spirit. But, to rely on any feeling or emotion, is to rely upon our own spirit bearing witness with itself. So, the "Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit:" *13In every perception of God's Word. *14In every revelation of His counsel. *15In every aspiration after Him. *16In every holy resolution. *17In every thrill and throb of love and desire. Look in this eighth chapter as to the work of the Holy Spirit.

*18He helps against sin. (v.2) *19He leads and guides. (v.14) *20He gives assurance of sonship. (Verses 15 & 16) *21He aids in prayer. (v.26) *22He gives believers a happy sense of their acceptance and future.(v.17) The text describes a great spiritual reality. It is a witness to a great fact. It is the witness to the heart's peace and the soul's comfort. It is a witness to life's prospects. Everything hinges and turns upon the clearness of this two-fold testimony. It brings with it heaven's credentials. It is stamped with heaven's seal. It places within us heaven's peace. It is the witness of the Spirit of God! It is the testimony that we are the children of God. It is a high exaltation when the Spirit calls us: "The children of light." (John 12:36) and "The children of the bride chamber." (Matthew 9:15) The Spirit’s witness is not ordinarily an experience in the sense in which orgasm or shock or bewilderment or being “sent” by beauty in music or nature or eating curry are experiences— datable, memorable, short-lived items in our flow of consciousness, standing out from what went before and what came afterward. Yet there are moments of experience in which the Spirit’s witness becomes suddenly strong. Such was the famous experience of Blaise Pascal on ovember 23, 1654, the record of which he began thus: From about half-past ten in the evening till about half-past twelve FIRE God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, not of the philosophers and scholars (savants). Certainty. Certainty (certitude). Feeling (sentiment). Joy. Peace. Such too was Wesley’s equally famous experience on May 24, 1738. While listening to Luther’s preface to Romans, he felt his heart “strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation; and an assurance was given me that he had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.” Such experiences intensify a quality of experience that is real in some measure for every believer from the first. Paul speaks of the Spirit’s witness in the present tense, implying that it is a continuous operation that imparts permanent confidence in God. Though not always vividly felt and sometimes overshadowed by feelings of doubt and despair, this confidence remains constant. The Spirit himself sees to that! Your Father Loves You by James Packer 17. David Wilkerson, “The apostle Paul wrote, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God" (Romans 8:16). "Children of God." We often use this phrase to describe ourselves as believers. But I believe we

use these words too flippantly, with little understanding of the power and depth of their true meaning. What does it mean to be a child of God? It means simply to be God's dependent - that is, "one who is unable to exist or function without help; one who is controlled by another." A child of God knows he cannot control his own life. He is incapable of functioning without the Lord's daily help. He lives wholly dependent upon God for everything. Of course, I am speaking here of spiritual children. There are no such "dependents" existing in the world, because sinners are self-sufficient people. They see themselves as achievers, "can-do" people. They preach that whatever the mind can conceive, it can achieve - that with the right mental attitude, a person can do anything. Frank Sinatra popularized their theme song: "I did it my way!" Sadly, there are very few children in the house of God these days as well. The church has been flooded with self-help books of all kinds. Many are about taking matters into your own hands: winning your own victory over self, doubt, fear and loneliness. Yet they're all part of the flesh's tendency to avoid total dependence on God Himself! Many in the church today believe if you have the right formula, you can figure out everything for yourself and solve your own problems. This attitude says, "God, You gave me a good mind. I'll just think this through. I know if I do that properly, I can work everything out." This self-help message is also being preached from our pulpits. Ministers promise, "If you can think it, you can do it. If you can name your blessing, you can claim it. Just speak the word into existence!" Beloved, this message is nothing more than humanism - a self-centered, self-fulfilling "gospel of self!" Preachers by the thousands are trying to teach people how to cope - but it is impossible to cope in this life, outside of the power of Jesus Christ! Jesus said we must become like a child, and this means to be dependant and helpless without our Father. Wilkerson goes on to sayFor example, my ten-month-old grandson, Elliot, is not capable of trust. He simply doesn't know what it means. When he is hungry, he has only one weapon: a good pair of lungs! He can only cry. Elliot isn't trusting; rather, he is totally dependent. That is his human condition. And he is dependent on his parents, whether he trusts or not. Jesus was focusing on our condition - our utter helplessness - not on trust, faith or innocence. The child He brought into the midst of His disciples was to be a mirror of their own helplessness - not just spiritual helplessness, but also natural, human helplessness. Helplessness is an inability to defend or help oneself. Jesus was telling His followers, "Look at this little boy. He is totally defenseless. He cannot cope with life alone - he must be fed and clothed. And he is a picture of you. You must see yourself as defenseless - as helpless as this little boy." I agree that we must learn to trust God, and that without faith it is impossible to please Him. Indeed, we are to grow up and become men and women of spiritual maturity. We are to put away childish things. We are no longer to be children in our understanding. But never in our lifetime can we put away our human condition of a child's dependency! God wants us to see ourselves as totally, absolutely incapable of facing this life by trying to figure out or take care of things on our own. We must see our condition as one of utter helplessness! Dependency on God means three things:

2.Committing yourself to God's absolute power. 3.Submitting to His will. 4.Waiting for Him to act in His proper time and way. Children have many negative characteristics such as selfishness and stubborness but they are all dependent upon others and especially dad and so this is the essence of being childlike. It is being dependant and knowing it. 18. HOKE, The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. This is how we know if we are a child of God. We know because the Holy Spirit Himself bears witness with your spirit that you are His child. The Holy Spirit confirms in our life that we are a child of God by His working in our lives. When you feel convicted over sin, when you feel troubled because you are not in the will of God, that is the Holy Spirit's confirmation in your life that you are a child, a son or a daughter. He would not bother with you, you would not feel the conviction of the Spirit, you would not feel the troubling of the Spirit, nor would you feel the chastening hand of the Spirit were you not His son or His daughter. As we experience these things the Spirit is confirming to our spirit that we are a child. He confirms our place in His family, and by that confirmation He gives us confidence. We realize, perhaps for the first time, that we are a child of the king and we need to begin to act like one. Let's say you were a waif on the street, a pauper, a beggar, someone people kicked around on a regular basis, and some benevolent monarch, having no children, adopted you and made you heir to the throne of his land. As you were escorted into the palace, you might not have any concept at all of what are now your rights, privileges and authority in that position. A servant might cause you to cringe in the corner for fear that he was going to throw you out. But once the realization that you were now royalty came clear to you, you would find that you no longer had to cower from fear, you could command the servants. And you would begin to take upon you the dignity, authority and the responsibility incumbent upon one who is the heir to the kingdom. It makes a difference how you view yourself, doesn't it? You can have confidence because you are a king's kid. You are a child of the most high God. The Bible calls us kings and priests. We are royalty. We are the blue-blood of the kingdom. We don't have to cower in fear before anyone. We do not ever have to be ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God. The keys to the kingdom, Jesus called it. The power of proclaiming the Gospel to unlock the gates of heaven to the lost is ours. What a power that is. God has not chosen angels to do that work. He has chosen His children to unlock heaven's gates by proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world. What an awesome responsibility. He did not give it to us because He thought we would fail. He sent the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost so we could succeed. It is the Holy Spirit of God living within us, inhabiting us, empowering us, who enables us to live in victory. 19. WAGGO ER, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God." In Ephesians 1:13 we are told that [the] Spirit is the "earnest of our inheritance. Some do not seem to be able to understand this witness of the Spirit. They say if they only had it they would rejoice. What is the witness of the Spirit? "Why," says one, "it is a sort of feeling, and when I have it I will know that God has accepted me." But brethren, it rests on something more substantial than a feeling. I am glad that God has not left the witness of His Spirit to be dependent on my feeling.

Sometimes I feel so tired and exhausted that I have hardly any power to feel any way. And that is the very time when I want to know more than at any other time that I am a child of God. Sometimes disease takes hold of us and saps all our strength, and we have no power of mind or body. We are just alive, conscious, but with no emotion. That is the time we want the witness of the Spirit. Can we have it then? Yes, "The Spirit beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God." How does it witness? "If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which He hath testified of His Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself." 1 John 5:9, 10. ow what does a witness do? Bears testimony, does he not? I am brought up as a witness in a court. How do I bear witness in that case? By telling what I know. That is all. I give my word and perhaps I back it by my oath. Then if the Spirit witnesses, it must say something, must it not? Yes. Then how do we recognize the witness of the Spirit? How does the Spirit speak? Mark this point: God spake by the mouth of His holy prophets since the world began. The Holy Spirit spake by the prophet Jeremiah. David, the sweet psalmist, says, "The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and His word was in my tongue." It spoke by the apostle Paul. Whose word is this? [Holding up the Bible.] It is the word of God. What speaks in this word? The Spirit of God. Then what is the witness of the Spirit? It is the word of God. Well, but how about this witness in myself? Remember the words of Paul in Romans 10:6-8. "Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend unto heaven? (that is, to bring Christ from above) or, who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead). But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith which we preach." what word? The word of Christ, that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth and believe with thy heart, that God raised Christ from the dead, "ye shall be saved." The Word of God is the voice of the Spirit of God. Then we have the witness in ourselves, when we have His word in our hearts by faith. We eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ, by feeding upon His word, and so we have the witness, within ourselves. This witness has been sworn to. God has put His testimony on record and He swore to that testimony. When God has put Himself on record, what can you bring to corroborate that word? When God has spoken, will you bring up the testimony of a man to sustain it? o. It is the word of God--that is our sheet anchor. It is our only hope, and it is the anchor of the soul, sure and steadfast. It enters in within the veil, whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus. Our Christian life, from the very beginning, must be based on the word of God. That is why I want you to take the word of God and believe it. When you go to your homes--to your closets-recognize the voice of God speaking to you; for His Spirit witnesses with our spirit, that we are the children of God. I thank God for the witness of His word. 19B. “The Holy Spirit has a very important ministry of CO VI CI G ME (convicting men). He once convinced me that I was a sinner. He now convinces me that I am a saint (saved, a child of God). How does the Spirit do this work? He convicts and convinces men by using God’s Word. The Spirit used the Word of God to convince us of our sinfulness. The same Spirit uses the same Word to convince us that we belong to God: "these things are written that ye might K OW that ye have eternal life" (1 John 5:13 and compare verse 10 which also speaks of an I ER WIT ESS). ( ote: the Gospel of John was written so that men might believe on Christ and the key word is BELIEVE--John 20:31; the book of 1 John was written so that believers might have

assurance and the key word is K OW-1 John 5:13). See 1 John 5:10--the key is this: BELIEVE A D YOU WILL K OW! (you will have the witness in yourself). According to Romans 8:15-16 if you believe then the Spirit will bear witness with your spirit that you are a child of God. BELIEVE A D YOU WILL K OW. Psalm 34:8 illustrates this. How do I know if the Lord is good? TASTE A D SEE! Those who taste will know! Compare 1 Peter 2:3. How can you know how good the dessert is if you have never tasted it? How can you know the blessedness of a personal relationship to God if you have never believed?” author unknown 20. John Wesley, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." Rom. 8:16 1. How many vain men, not understanding what they spake, neither whereof they affirmed, have wrested this Scripture to the great loss if not the destruction of their souls! How many have mistaken the voice of their own imagination for this witness of the Spirit of God, and thence idly presumed they were the children of God while they were doing the works of the devil! These are truly and properly enthusiasts; and, indeed, in the worst sense of the word. But with what difficulty are they convinced thereof, especially if they have drank deep into that spirit of error! All endeavors to bring them to the knowledge of themselves they will then account fighting against God; and that vehemence and impetuosity of spirit which they call "contending earnestly for the faith," sets them so far above all the usual methods of conviction that we may well say, "With men it is impossible." 2. Who can then be surprised if many reasonable men, seeing the dreadful effects of this delusion, and labouring to keep at the utmost distance from it, should sometimes lean toward another extreme? -- if they are not forward to believe any who speak of having this witness concerning which others have so grievously erred? -- if they are almost ready to set all down for enthusiasts, who use the expressions which have been so terribly abused? -- yea, if they should question whether the witness or testimony here spoken of, be the privilege of ordinary Christians, and not, rather, one of those extraordinary gifts which they suppose belonged only to the apostolic age? 3 . But is there any necessity laid upon us of running either into one extreme or the other? May we not steer a middle course? -- keep a sufficient distance from that spirit of error and enthusiasm, without denying the gift of God, and giving up the great privilege of his children? Surely we may. In order thereto, let us consider, in the presence and fear of God, First. What is this witness or testimony of our spirit; what is the testimony of God's Spirit; and, how does he "bear witness with our spirit that we are the children of God?" Secondly. How is this joint testimony of God's Spirit and our own, clearly and solidly distinguished from the presumption of a natural mind, and from the delusion of the devil? I. 1. Let us first consider, what is the witness or testimony of our spirit. But here I cannot but desire all those who are for swallowing up the testimony of the Spirit of God, in the rational testimony of our own spirit, to observe, that in this text the Apostle is so far from speaking of the testimony of our own spirit only, that it may be questioned whether he speaks of it at all, -whether he does not speak only of the testimony of God's Spirit. It does not appear but the original text may fairly be understood thus. The Apostle had just said, in the preceding verse, "Ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father;" and immediately subjoins,

_Auto to pneuma_ (some copies read _to auto pneuma_) _symmartyrei tOi pneumati hEmOn, hoti esmen tekna Theou_, which may be translated, "The same Spirit beareth witness to our spirit that we are the children of God" (the preposition _syn_ only denoting that he witnesses this at the same time that he enables us to cry Abba, Father.) But I contend not; seeing so many other texts, with the experience of all real Christians, sufficiently evince, that there is in every believer, both the testimony of God's Spirit, and the testimony of his own, that he is a child of God. 2. With regard to the latter, the foundation thereof is laid in those numerous texts of Scripture which describe the marks of the children of God; and that so plain, that he which runneth may read them. These are also collected together, and placed in the strongest light, by many both ancient and modern writers. If any need farther light, he may receive it by attending on the ministry of God's Word; by meditating thereon before God in secret; and by conversing with those who have the knowledge of his ways. And by the reason or understanding that God has given him, which religion was designed not to extinguish, but to perfect; -- according to that of the Apostle, "Brethren, be not children in understanding; in malice" or wickedness "be ye children; but in understanding be ye men;" (1 Cor. 14:20;) -- every man applying those scriptural marks to himself, may know whether he is a child of God. Thus, if he know, First, "as many as are led by the Spirit of God," into all holy tempers and actions, "they are the sons of God;" (for which he has the infallible assurance of holy writ;) Secondly, I am thus "led by the Spirit of God;" he will easily conclude, -- "Therefore I am a son of God." 3. Agreeable to this are all those plain declarations of St. John, in his First Epistle: "Hereby we know that we do know him, if we keep his commandments." (1 John 2:3.) "Whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected; Hereby know we that we are in him;" that we are indeed the children of God. (1 John 2:5.) "If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that everyone that doeth righteousness is born of him." (1 John 2:29.) "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren." (1 John 3:14) "Hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him;" namely, because we "love one another not in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth." "Hereby know we that we dwell in him, because he hath given us of his" loving "Spirit." (1 John 4:13.) And, "hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the" obedient "spirit which he hath given us." (1 John 3:24.) 4. It is highly probable there never were any children of God, from the beginning of the world unto this day, who were farther advanced in the grace of God and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, than the Apostle John, at the time when he wrote these words, and the fathers in Christ to whom he wrote. otwithstanding which, it is evident both the Apostle himself, and all those pillars in God's temple, were very far from despising these marks of their being the children of God; and that they applied them to their own souls for the confirmation of their faith. Yet all this is no other than rational evidence, the witness of our spirit, our reason or understanding. It all resolves into this: Those who have these marks are the children of God: But we have these marks. Therefore we are children of God. 5. But how does it appear, that we have these marks? This is a question which still remains. How does it appear, that we do love God and our neighbour, and that we keep his commandments? Observe, that the meaning of the question is, How does it appear to ourselves, not to others? I would ask him, then, that proposes this question, How does it appear to you that you are alive, and that you are now in ease, and not in pain? Are you not immediately conscious of it? By the same immediate consciousness, you will know if your soul is alive to God; if you are saved from the pain of proud wrath, and have the ease of a meek and quiet spirit. By the same means you cannot but perceive if you love, rejoice, and delight in God. By the same you must be directly assured, if you love your neighbour as yourself; if you are kindly affectioned to all mankind, and

full of gentleness and longsuffering. And with regard to the outward mark of the children of God, which is, according to St. John, the keeping his commandments, you undoubtedly know in your own breast, if, by the grace of God, it belongs to you. Your conscience informs you from day to day, if you do not take the name of God within your lips unless with seriousness and devotion, with reverence and godly fear; if you remember the Sabbath-day to keep it holy; if you honour your father and mother; if you do to all as you would they should do unto you; if you possess your body in sanctification and honour; and if, whether you eat or drink, you are temperate therein, and do all to the glory of God. 6. ow this is properly the testimony of our own spirit; even the testimony of our conscience, that God hath given us to be holy of heart, and holy in outward conversation. It is a consciousness of our having received, in and by the Spirit of adoption, the tempers mentioned in the Word of God as belonging to his adopted children; even a loving heart toward God and toward all mankind; hanging with childlike confidence on God our Father, desiring nothing but him, casting all our care upon him, and embracing every child of man with earnest, tender affection: -- A consciousness that we are inwardly conformed, by the Spirit of God, to the image of his Son, and that we walk before him in justice, mercy, and truth, doing the things which are pleasing in his sight. 7. But what is that testimony of God's Spirit, which is superadded to, and conjoined with, this? How does he "bear witness with our spirit that we are the children of God?" It is hard to find words in the language of men to explain "the deep things of God." Indeed, there are none that will adequately express what the children of God experience. But perhaps one might say, (desiring any who are taught of God to correct, to soften or strengthen the expression,) The testimony of the Spirit is an inward impression on the soul, whereby the Spirit of God directly witnesses to my spirit, that I am a child of God; that Jesus Christ hath loved me, and given himself for me; and that all my sins are blotted out, and I, even I, am reconciled to God. 8. That this testimony of the Spirit of God must needs, in the very nature of things, be antecedent to the testimony of our own spirit, may appear from this single consideration: We must be holy of heart, and holy in life before we can be conscious that we are so; before we can have the testimony of our spirit, that we are inwardly and outwardly holy. But we must love God, before we can be holy at all; this being the root of all holiness. ow we cannot love God, till we know he loves us. "We love him, because he first loved us." And we cannot know his pardoning love to us, till his Spirit witnesses it to our spirit. Since, therefore, this testimony of his Spirit must precede the love of God and all holiness, of consequence it must precede our inward consciousness thereof, or the testimony of our spirit concerning them. 9. Then, and not till then, -- when the Spirit of God beareth that witness to our spirit, "God hath loved thee, and given his own Son to be the propitiation for thy sins; the Son of God hath loved thee, and hath washed thee from thy sins in his blood," -- "we love God, because he first loved us;" and, for his sake, we love our brother also. And of this we cannot but be conscious to ourselves: We "know the things that are freely given to us of God." We know that we love God and keep his commandments; and "hereby also we know that we are of God." This is that testimony of our own spirit, which, so long as we continue to love God and keep his commandments, continues joined with the testimony of God's Spirit, "that we are the children of God." 10. ot that I would by any means be understood, by anything which has been spoken concerning it, to exclude the operation of the Spirit of God, even from the testimony of our own spirit. In no wise. It is he that not only worketh in us every manner of thing that is good, but also shines upon his own work, and clearly shows what he has wrought. Accordingly, this is spoken of by St. Paul,

as one great end of our receiving the Spirit, "that we may know the things which are freely given to us of God:" That he may strengthen the testimony of our conscience, touching our 'simplicity and godly sincerity;" and give us to discern, in a fuller and stronger light, that we now do the things which please him. 11. Should it still be inquired, "How does the Spirit of God bear witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God,' so as to exclude all doubt, and evince the reality of our sonship?" -- the answer is clear from what has been observed above. And, First, as to the witness of our spirit: The soul as intimately and evidently perceives when it loves, delights, and rejoices in God, as when it loves and delights in anything on earth. And it can no more doubt, whether it loves, delights, and rejoices or no, than whether it exists or no. If, therefore this be just reasoning, He that now loves God, that delights and rejoices in him with an humble joy, and holy delight, and an obedient love, is a child of God; But I thus love, delight, and rejoice in God; Therefore, I am a child of God: -- Then a Christian can in no wise doubt of his being a child of God. Of the former proposition he has as full an assurance as he has that the Scriptures are of God; and of his thus loving God, he has an inward proof, which is nothing short of self-evidence. Thus, the testimony of our own spirit is with the most intimate conviction manifested to our hearts, in such a manner, as beyond all reasonable doubt to evince the reality of our sonship. 12. The manner how the divine testimony is manifested to the heart, I do not take upon me to explain. Such knowledge is too wonderful and excellent for me: I cannot attain unto it. The wind bloweth, and I hear the sound thereof; but I cannot tell how it cometh, or whither it goeth. As no one knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of a man that is in him; so the manner of the things of God knoweth no one, save the Spirit of God. But the fact we know; namely, that the Spirit of God does give a believer such a testimony of his adoption that while it is present to the soul, he can no more doubt the reality of his sonship, than he can doubt of the shining of the sun, while he stands full blaze of his beams. II. 1. How this joint testimony of God's Spirit and our spirit may be clearly and solidly distinguished from the presumption of a natural mind, and from the delusion of the devil, is the next thing to be considered. And it highly imports all who desire the salvation of God, to consider it with the deepest attention, as they would not deceive their own souls. An error in this is generally observed to have the most fatal consequences; the rather, because he that errs, seldom discovers his mistake till it is too late to remedy it. 2. And, First, how is this testimony to be distinguished from the presumption of a natural mind? It is certain, one who was never convinced of sin, is always ready to flatter himself, and to think of himself, especially in spiritual things, more highly than he ought to think. And hence, it is in no wise strange, if one who is vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, when he hears of this privilege of true Christians, among whom he undoubtedly ranks himself, should soon work himself up into a persuasion that he is already possessed thereof. Such instances now abound in the world, and have abounded in all ages. How then may the real testimony of the Spirit with our spirit, be distinguished from this damning presumption? 3. I answer, the Holy Scriptures abound with marks, whereby the one may be distinguished from the other. They describe, in the plainest manner, the circumstances which go before, which accompany, and which follow, the true, genuine testimony of the Spirit of God with the spirit of a believer. Whoever carefully weighs and attends to these will not need to put darkness for light. He will perceive so wide a difference, with respect to all these, between the real and the pretended

witness of the Spirit, that there will be no danger, I might say, no possibility, of confounding the one with the other. 4. By these, one who vainly presumes on the gift of God might surely know, if he really desired it, that he hath been hitherto "given up to a strong delusion," and suffered to believe a lie. For the Scriptures lay down those clear, obvious marks, as preceding, accompanying, and following that gift, which a little reflection would convince him, beyond all doubt, were never found in his soul. For instance: The Scripture describes repentance, or conviction of sin, as constantly going before this witness of pardon. So, "Repent; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matt. 3:2.) "Repent ye, and believe the gospel." (Mark 1:15.) "Repent, and be baptized every one of you for the remission of sins." (Acts 2:38.) "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out." (Acts 3:19.) In conformity whereto, our Church also continually places repentance before pardon, or the witness of it. "He pardoneth and absolveth all them that truly repent, and unfeignedly believe his holy gospel." "Almighty God -- hath promised forgiveness of sins to all them, who, with hearty repentance and true faith, turn unto him." But he is a stranger even to this repentance: He hath never known a broken and a contrite heart: "The remembrance of his sins" was never "grievous unto him," nor "the burden of them intolerable." In repeating those words, he never meant what he said; he merely paid a compliment to God. And were it only from the want of this previous work of God, he hath too great reason to believe that he hath grasped a mere shadow, and never yet known the real privilege of the sons of God. 5. Again, the Scriptures describe the being born of God, which must precede the witness that we are his children, as a vast and mighty change; a change "from darkness to light," as well as "from the power of Satan unto God;" as a "passing from death unto life," a resurrection from the dead. Thus the Apostle to the Ephesians: "You hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins." (Eph. 2:1.) And again, "when we were dead in sins, he hath quickened us together with Christ; and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." (Eph. 2:5, 6.) But what knoweth he, concerning whom we now speak, of any such change as this? He is altogether unacquainted with this whole matter. This is a language which he does not understand. He tells you he always was a Christian. He knows no time when he had need of such a change. By this also, if he give himself leave to think, may he know, that he is not born of the Spirit; that he has never yet known God; but has mistaken the voice of nature for the voice of God. 6. But waving the consideration of whatever he has or has not experienced in time past; by the present marks may we easily distinguish a child of God from a presumptuous self-deceiver. The Scriptures describe that joy in the Lord which accompanies the witness of his Spirit, as a humble joy; a joy that abases to the dust, that makes a pardoned sinner cry out, "I am vile! What am I, or my father's house? ow mine eye seeth thee, I abhor myself in dust and ashes!" And wherever lowliness is, there is meekness, patience, gentleness, long-suffering. There is a soft, yielding spirit; a mildness and sweetness, a tenderness of soul, which words cannot express. But do these fruits attend that supposed testimony of the Spirit in a presumptuous man? Just the reverse. The more confident he is of the favour of God, the more is he lifted up; the more does he exalt himself, the more haughty and assuming is his whole behaviour. The stronger witness he imagines himself to have, the more overbearing is he to all around him; the more incapable of receiving any reproof; the more impatient of contradiction. Instead of being more meek, and gentle, and teachable, more "swift to hear, and slow to speak," he is more slow to hear, and swift to speak; more unready to learn of anyone; more fiery and vehement in his temper, and eager in his conversation. Yea, perhaps, there will sometimes appear a kind of fierceness in his air, his manner of speaking, his whole deportment, as if he were just going to take the matter out of God's hands,

and himself to "devour the adversaries." 7. Once more: the Scriptures teach, "This is the love of God," the sure mark thereof, "that we keep his commandments." (1 John 5:3.) And our Lord himself saith, "He that keepeth my commandments, he it is that loveth me." (John 14:21.) Love rejoices to obey; to do, in every point whatever is acceptable to the beloved. A true lover of God hastens to do his will on earth as it is done in heaven. But is this the character of the presumptuous pretender to the love of God? ay, but his love gives him a liberty to disobey, to break, not keep, the commandments of God. Perhaps, when he was in fear of the wrath of God, he did labour to do his will. But now, looking on himself as "not under the law," he thinks he is no longer obliged to observe it. He is therefore less zealous of good works: less careful to abstain from evil; less watchful over his own heart; less jealous over his tongue. He is less earnest to deny himself, and to take up his cross daily. In a word, the whole form of his life is changed since he has fancied himself to be at liberty. He is no longer "exercising himself unto godliness;" "wrestling not only with flesh and blood, but with principalities and powers," enduring hardships, "agonizing to enter in at the strait gate." o; he has found an easier way to heaven; a broad, smooth flowery path, in which he can say to his soul, "Soul, take thy ease; eat, drink, and be merry." It follows, with undeniable evidence, that he has not the true testimony of his own spirit. He cannot be conscious of having those marks which he hath not; that lowliness, meekness, and obedience: or yet can the Spirit of the God of truth bear witness to a lie; or testify that he is a child of God when he is manifestly a child of the devil. 8. Discover thyself, thou poor self-deceiver! -- thou who art confident of being a child of God; thou who sayest, "I have the witness in myself," and therefore defiest all thy enemies. Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting; even in the balance of the sanctuary. The word of the Lord hath tried thy soul, and proved thee to be reprobate silver. Thou art not lowly of heart; therefore thou hast not received the Spirit of Jesus unto this day. Thou art not gentle and meek; therefore thy joy is nothing worth: It is not joy in the Lord. Thou dost not keep his commandments; therefore thou lovest him not, neither art thou partaker of the Holy Ghost. It is consequently as certain and as evident, as the Oracles of God can make it, his Spirit doth not bear witness with thy spirit that thou art a child of God. O cry unto him, that the scales may fall off thine eyes; that thou mayst know thyself as thou art known; that thou mayest receive the sentence of death in thyself, till thou hear the voice that raises the dead, saying, "Be of good cheer: Thy sins are forgiven; thy faith hath made thee whole." 9. "But how may one who has the real witness in himself distinguish it from presumption?" How, I pray, do you distinguish day from night? How do you distinguish light from darkness; or the light of a star, or glimmering taper, from the light of the noonday sun? Is there not an inherent, obvious, essential difference between the one and the other? And do you not immediately and directly perceive that difference, provided your senses are rightly disposed? In like manner, there is an inherent, essential difference between spiritual light and spiritual darkness; and between the light wherewith the Sun of righteousness shines upon our heart, and that glimmering light which arises only from "sparks of our own kindling:" And this difference also is immediately and directly perceived, if our spiritual senses are rightly disposed. 10. To require a more minute and philosophical account of the manner whereby we distinguish these, and of the criteria, or intrinsic marks, whereby we know the voice of God, is to make a demand which can never be answered; no, not by one who has the deepest knowledge of God. Suppose when Paul answered before Agrippa, the wise Roman had said, "Thou talkest of hearing the voice of the Son of God. How dost thou know it was his voice? By what criteria, what intrinsic marks, dost thou know the voice of God? Explain to me the manner of distinguishing this from a human or angelic voice." Can you believe the Apostle himself would have once attempted to

answer so idle a demand? And yet, doubtless, the moment he heard that voice he knew it was the voice of God. But how he knew this, who is able to explain? Perhaps neither man nor angel. 11. To come yet closer: Suppose God were now to speak to any soul, "Thy sins are forgiven thee," -- he must be willing that soul should know his voice; otherwise he would speak in vain. And he is able to effect this; for, whenever he wills, to do is present with him. And he does effect it: That soul is absolutely assured, "this voice is the voice of God." But yet he who hath that witness in himself, cannot explain it to one who hath it not: or indeed is it to be expected that he should. Were there any natural medium to prove, or natural method to explain, the things of God to unexperienced men, then the natural man might discern and know the things of the Spirit of God. But this is utterly contrary to the assertion of the Apostle, that "he cannot know them, because they are spiritually discerned;" [1 Cor. 2:14] even by spiritual senses, which the natural man hath not. 12. "But how shall I know that my spiritual senses are rightly disposed?" This also is a question of vast importance; for if a man mistake in this, he may run on in endless error and delusion. "And how am I assured that this is not my case; and that I do not mistake the voice of the Spirit?" Even by the testimony of your own spirit; by "the answer of a good conscience toward God." [Acts 23:1] By the fruits which he hath wrought in your spirit, you shall know the testimony of the Spirit of God. Hereby you shall know, that you are in no delusion, that you have not deceived your own soul. The immediate fruits of the Spirit ruling in the heart, are "love, joy, peace, bowels of mercies, humbleness of mind, meekness, gentleness, long-suffering." [Gal. 5:22, 23] And the outward fruits are, the doing good to all men; the doing no evil to any; and the walking in the light, [1 John 1:7] -- a zealous, uniform obedience to all the commandments of God. 13. By the same fruits shall you distinguish this voice of God, from any delusion of the devil. That proud spirit cannot humble thee before God. He neither can nor would soften thy heart, and melt it first into earnest mourning after God, and then into filial love. It is not the adversary of God and man that enables thee to love thy neighbour; or to put on meekness, gentleness, patience, temperance, and the whole armour of God. [see Col. 3:12-14; Eph. 6:11] He is not divided against himself, or a destroyer of sin, his own work. o; it is none but the Son of God who cometh to "destroy the works of the devil." [1 John 3:8] As surely therefore as holiness is of God, and as sin is the work of the devil, so surely the witness thou hast in thyself is not of Satan, but of God. 14. Well then mayst thou say, "Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift!" [2 Cor. 9:15] Thanks be unto God, who giveth me to "know in whom I have believed;" [2 Tim. 1:12] who hath "sent forth the Spirit of his Son into my heart, crying, Abba, Father," [Gal. 4:6] and even now, "bearing witness with my spirit that I am a child of God!" [Rom. 8:16] And see, that not only thy lips, but thy life show forth his praise. He hath sealed thee for his own; glorify him then in thy body and thy spirit, which are his. [1 Cor. 6:20] Beloved, if thou hast this hope in thyself, purify thyself as he is pure. While thou beholdest what manner of love the Father hath given thee, that thou shouldst be called a child of God; [1 John 3:1] cleanse thyself "from all filthiness of flesh and Spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God;" [2 Cor. 7:1] and let all thy thoughts, words, and works be a spiritual sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God through Christ Jesus! [Rom. 12:1, 2] 21. I am Accepted in the Beloved I am Blessed with all blessings I am Chosen in Him before time began I am Delivered from spiritual darkness

I am Elevated to a heavenly position I am Forgiven from all my sins I am God's Masterpiece I am Healed by Jesus' stripes I am In Him I am Justified by my faith in Christ I am Kept safe by the power of God I am Loved unconditionally by God I am More Than A Conqueror I am ot Condemned to Guilt or Hell I am Overcoming the world thru Christ I am Predestined to Sonship I am Quickened with Christ the Lifegiver I am Redeemed from the curses of the Law I am Sealed with the Holy Spirit I am To His praise I am Unto His glory I am Victorious by faith in Christ I am Washed in the Blood of Christ I am Xcrucified with Christ I am Yoked together with other believers I am Zealous of good works (A. Ephesians 1:6, B. Ephesiansd 1:3, C. Ephesians 1:4, D. Colossians 1:13, E. Ephesians 2:6, F. Colossians 1:14, G. Ephesians 2:10 LT, H. 1 Peter 2:24, I. 2 Corinthians 5:21, J. Romans 5:1, K. 1 Peter 1:5, L. John 3:16, M. Romans 8:37, . Romans 8:1, O. 1 John 5:4-5, P. Ephesians 1:5, Q. Ephesians 2:1, R. Galatians 3:13,14, S. Ephesians 1:13, T. Ephesians 1:12, U. Ephesians 1:12, V. 1 Corinthians 15:57, W. Revelation 1:5, X. Galatians 2:20, Y. 2 Corinthiams 6:14, Z. Titus 2:14) Copyright 1990 Dr. Dan Cheatham

22. Unknown author, “QUESTIO : What is the O E THI G I can do that would help me grow QUICKLY... at an exponential rate of Christian maturity? A SWER: Discover your ew Identity In Christ! ow that you are saved, find out from the Bible WHO YOU REALLY ARE! What is your new identity, your true identity, now that you are born again? What really happened to you on the I SIDE, in your heart, when Jesus moved in? Let me illustrate with the animal called a SKU K. If a skunk K OWS that he is a skunk, no predator dare touch him. All other animals, large or small, faster or smaller, quickly learn not to mess with a skunk because of that protective odor God gave the skunk as a defense against predators. However, if a skunk DOES 'T K OW that he is a skunk or if he FORGETS that he is a skunk, he will not dispense his odor and thus he will quickly be devoured by stronger and swifter animals. Another illustration is the era of Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement. Black men and women discovered that they were just as much a human being as white people and they had just as much rights and privileges as anyone else. When black people began to realize who they were, when they began to feel good about themselves, when they began to resist the lies about their inferiority, when they began to get their self-esteem back, then they

began to take action to recover the rights and privileges that legally and lawfully belonged to them. Its the same for Christians. When Christians begin to realize the full benefits of what Jesus did for them and who they really are now that they are saved, they immediatley begin to live life more victoriously, grow closer to God, and become more successful in their relationships, their finances, their health, and in every area of their lives. The Bible teaches that when you received Christ, you became a EW CREATURE. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" The Bible teaches that you are now an AMBASSADOR FOR CHRIST. 2 Corinthians 5:20 says, "We are therefore Christ's ambassadors..." The Bible teaches that you are RIGHT OW (not just later when you get to heaven) a SO OF GOD, a DAUGHTER OF GOD, a CHILD OF GOD. 1 John 3:1-3 says, "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure." The Bible teaches that you are already ACCEPTED by Him. Ephesians 1:6 says, "...wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." The Bible teaches that you are His CHOSE O E. Ephesians 1:4 says, "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love..." When you begin to realize who you really are in Christ, you will begin to live like who you really are. Above is a poster that you can print or copy and tape to your bathroom mirror or your car dashboard or your desk wall. CO FESS THESE BIBLE TRUTHS REGULARLY! TAKE THESE GOS-PILLS O CE A DAY by declaring them aloud to God and yourself. They will make you feel better about yourself and your relationship with God. “

23. Maclaren, “The sin of the world is a false confidence, a careless, complacent taking for granted that a man is a Christian when he is not. The fault, and sorrow, and weakness of the Church is a false diffidence, an anxious fear whether a man be a Christian when he is. There are none so far away from false confidence as those who tremble lest they be cherishing it. There are none so inextricably caught in its toils as those who are all unconscious of its existence and of their danger. The two things, the false confidence and the false diffidence, are perhaps more akin to one another than they look at first sight. Their opposites, at all events— the true confidence, which is faith in Christ ; and the true diffidence, which is utter distrust of myself — are identical. But there may sometimes be, and there often is, the combination of a real confidence and a false diffidence, the presence of faith, and the doubt whether it be present. Many Christians go through life with this as the prevailing temper of their minds — a doubt some-times arising almost to agony, and sometimes dying down into passive patient acceptance of the condition as inevitable — a doubt whether, after all, they be not, as they say, 'deceiving themselves'; and in the per- verse ingenuity with which that state of mind is constantly marked, they manage to distil for themselves a bitter vinegar of self-accusation out of grand words in the Bible, that were meant to afford them but the wine of gladness and of consolation. ow this great text which I have ventured to take — not with the idea that I can exalt it or say anything worthy of it, but simply in the hope of clearing away some misapprehensions — is one that has often and often tortured the mind of Christians. They say of themselves, * I know nothing of any such evidence : I am not conscious of any Spirit bearing witness with my spirit.' Instead of looking to other sources to answer the question whether they are Christians or not —

and then, having answered it, thinking thus, ' That text asserts that all Christians have this witness, therefore certainly I have it in some shape or other,' they say to themselves, 'I do not feel anything that corresponds with my idea of what such a grand, supernatural voice as the witness of God's Spirit in my spirit must needs be ; and therefore I doubt whether I am a Christian at all.' I should be thankful if the attempt I make now to set before you what seems to me to be the true teaching of the passage, should be, with God's help, the means of lifting some little part of the burden from some hearts that are right, and that only long to know that they are, in order to be at rest. ' The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.' The general course of thought which I wish to leave with you may be summed up thus : Our cry ' Father ' is the witness that we are sons. That cry is not simply ours, but it is the voice of God's Spirit. The divine Witness in our spirits is subject to the ordinary influences which affect our spirits. Let us take these three thoughts, and dwell on them for a little while. I. Our cry ' Father ' is the witness that we are sons. Mark the terms of the passage: 'The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit — .' It is not so much a revelation made to my spirit, considered as the recipient of the testimony, as a revelation made in or with my spirit considered as co-operating in the testimony. It is not that my spirit says one thing, bears witness that I am a child of God ; and that the Spirit of God comes in by a distinguishable process, with a separate evidence, to say Amen to my persuasion ; but it is that there is one testimony which has a conjoint origin — the origin from the Spirit of God as true source, and the origin from my own soul as recipient and co-operant in that testimony. From the teaching of this passage, or from any of the language which Scripture uses with regard to the inner witness, it is not to be inferred that there will rise up in a Christian's heart, from some origin consciously beyond the sphere of his own nature, a voice with which he has nothing to do ; which at once, by its own character, by something peculiar and distinguishable about it, by something strange in its nature, or out of the ordinary course of human thinking, shall certify itself to be not his voice at all, but Gods voice. That is not the direction in which you are to look for the witness of God's Spirit. It is evidence borne, indeed, by the Spirit of God; but it is evidence borne not only to our spirit, but through it, with it. The testimony is one, the testimony of a man's own emotion, and own conviction, and own desire, the cry, Abba, Father! So far, then, as the form of the evidence goes, you are not to look for it in anything ecstatic, arbitrary, parted off from your own experience by a broad line of demarcation ; but you are to look into the experience which at first sight you would claim most exclusively for your own, and to try and find out whether there there be not working with your soul, working through it, working beneath it, distinct from it but not distinguishable from it by anything but its consequences and its fruit- fulness — a deeper voice than yours — a * still small voice,' — no whirlwind, nor fire, nor earthquake — but the voice of God speaking in secret, taking the voice and tones of your own heart and your own consciousness, and saying to you, 'Thou art my child, inasmuch as, operated by My grace, and Mine inspiration alone, there rises, tremblingly but truly, in thine own soul the cry, Abba, Father.' So much, then, for the form of this evidence — my own conviction. Then with regard to the substance of it : conviction of what? The text itself does not tell us what is the evidence which the Spirit bears, and by reason of which we have a right to conclude that we are the children of God. The previous verse tells us. I have partially anticipated what I have to say on that point, but it will bear a little further expansion. ' Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear ; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba, Father.' ' The Spirit itself,' by this means of our cry, Abba, Father, 'beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.'

The substance, then, of the conviction which is lodged in the human spirit by the testimony of the Spirit of God is not primarily directed to our relation or feelings to God, but to a far grander thing than that — to God's feelings and relation to us. ow I want you to think for one moment, before I pass on, how entirely different the whole aspect of this witness of the Spirit of which Christian men speak so much, and sometimes with so little understanding, becomes according as you regard it mistakenly as being the direct testimony to you that you are a child of God, or rightly as being the direct testimony to you that God is your Father. The two things seem to be the same, but they are not. In the one case, the false case, the mistaken interpretation, we are left to this, that a man has no deeper certainty of his condition, no better foundation for his hope, than what is to be drawn from the presence or absence of certain emotions within his own heart. In the other case, we are admitted into this 'wide place,' that all which is our own is second and not first, and that the true basis of all our confidence lies not in the thought of what we are and feel to God, but in the thought of what God is and feels to us. And instead, therefore, of being left to labor for ourselves, painfully to search amongst the dust and rubbish of our own hearts, we are taught to sweep away all that crumbled, rotten surface, and to go down to the living rock that lies beneath it ; we are taught to say, in the words of the book of Isaiah, ' Doubtless Thou art our Father — we are all an unclean thing ; our iniquities, like the wind, have carried us away ' ; there is nothing stable in us ; our own resolutions, they are swept away like the chaff of the summer threshing-floor, by the first gust of temptation; but what of that? — 'in those is continuance, and we shall be saved ! ' Ah, brethren ! expand this thought of the conviction that God is my Father, as being the basis of all my confidence that I am His child, into its widest and grandest form, and it leads us up to the blessed old conviction, I am nothing, my holiness is nothing, my resolutions are nothing, my faith is nothing, my energies are nothing; I stand stripped, and barren, and naked of everything, and I fling myself out of myself into the merciful arms of my Father in heaven ! There is all the difference in the world between searching for evidence of my sonship, and seeking to get the conviction of God's Fatherhood. The one is an endless, profitless, self -tormenting task ; the other is the light and liberty, the glorious liberty, of the children of God. And so the substance of the Spirit's evidence is the direct conviction based on the revelation of God's infinite love and fatherhood in Christ the Son, that God is my Father ; from which direct conviction I come to the conclusion, the inference, the second thought, Then I may trust that I am His son. But why ? Because of anything in me ? o : because of Him. The very emblem of fatherhood and sonship might teach us that that depends upon the Father's will and the Father's heart. The Spirit's testimony has for form my own conviction : and for substance my humble cry, ' Oh Thou, my Father in heaven!' Brethren, is not that a far truer and nobler kind of thing to preach than saying. Look into your own heart for strange, extraordinary, distinguishable signs which shall mark you out as God's child — and which are proved to be His Spirit's, because they are separated from the ordinary human consciousness ? Is it not far more blessed for us, and more honoring to Him who works the sign, when we say, that it is to be found in no out-of-rule, miraculous evidence, but in the natural (which is in reality supernatural) working of His Spirit in the heart which is its recipient, breeding there the conviction that God is my Father ? And oh, if I am speaking to any to whom that text, with all its light and glory, has seemed to lift them up into an atmosphere too rare and a height too lofty for their heavy wings and unused feet, if I am speaking to any Christian man to whom this word has been like the cherubim and flaming sword, bright and beautiful, but threatening and repellent when it speaks of a Spirit that bears witness with our spirit — I ask you simply to take the passage for yourself, and care- fully and patiently to examine it, and see if it be not true what I have been saying, that your trembling con-

viction — sister and akin as it is to your deepest distrust and sharpest sense of sin and unworthiness — that your trembling conviction of a love mightier than your own, everlasting and all-faithful, is indeed the selectest sign that God can give you that you are His child. Oh, brethren and sisters! be confident; for it is not false confidence : be confident if up from the depths of that dark well of your own sinful heart there rises sometimes, through all the bitter waters, unpolluted and separate, a sweet conviction, forcing itself upward, that God hath love in His heart, and that God is my Father. Be confident ; * the Spirit itself beareth witness with your spirit.' II. And now, secondly, That cry is not simply ours, but it is the voice of God's Spirit. Our own convictions are ours because they are God's. Our own souls possess these emotions of love and tender desire going out to God — our own spirits possess them ; but our own spirits did not originate them. They are ours by property ; they are His by source. The spirit of a Christian man has no good thought in it, no true thought, no perception of the grace of God's Gospel, no holy desire, no pure resolution, which is not stamped with the sign of a higher origin, and is not the witness of God's Spirit in his spirit. The passage before us tells us that the sense of Fatherhood which is in the Christian's heart, and becomes his cry, conies from God's Spirit. This passage, and that in the Epistle to the Galatians which is almost parallel, put this truth very forcibly, when taken in connection. ' Ye have received,' says the text before us, * the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.' The variation in the Epistle to the Galatians is this : ' Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying (the Spirit crying), Abba, Father.' So in the one text, the cry is regarded as the voice of the believing heart ; and in the other the same cry is regarded as the voice of God's Spirit. And these two things are both true ; the one would want its foundation if it were not for the other; the cry of the Spirit is nothing for me unless it be appropriated by me. I do not need to plunge here into metaphysical speculation of any sort, but simply to dwell upon the plain practical teaching of the Bible — a teaching verified, I believe, by every Christian's experience, if he will search into it — that everything in him which makes the Christian life, is not his, but is God's by origin, and his only by gift and inspiration. And the whole doctrine of my text is built on this one thought — without the Spirit of God in your heart, you never can recognize God as your Father. That in us which runs, with love, and childlike faith, and reverence, to the place ' where His honor dwelleth,' that in us which says 'Father,' is kindred with God, and is not the simple, un-helped, un-sanctified human nature. There is no ascent of human desires above their source. And wherever in a heart there springs up heavenward a thought, a wish, a prayer, a trembling confidence, it is because that came down first from heaven, and rises to seek its level again. All that is divine in man comes from God. All that tends towards God in man is God's voice in the human heart ; and were it not for the possession and operation, the sanctifying and quickening, of a living divine Spirit granted to us, our souls would for ever cleave to the dust and dwell upon earth, nor ever rise to God and live in the light of His presence. Every Christian, then, may be sure of this, that howsoever feeble may be the thought and conviction in his heart of God's Fatherhood, he did not work it, he received it only, cherished it, thought of it, watched over it, was careful not to quench it; but in origin it was God's, and it is now and ever the voice of the Divine Spirit in the child's heart. But, my friends, if this principle be true, it does not apply only to this one single attitude of the believing soul when it cries, Abba, Father ; it must be widened out to comprehend the whole of a Christian's life, outward and inward, which is not sinful and darkened with actual transgression.

To all the rest of his being, to everything in heart and life which is right and pure, the same truth applies. * The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit' in every perception of God's word which is granted, in every revelation of His counsel which dawns upon our darkness, in every aspiration after Him which lifts us above the smoke and dust of this dim spot, in every holy resolution, in every thrill and throb of love and desire. Each of these is mine — inasmuch as in my heart it is experienced and transacted ; it is mine, inasmuch as I am not a mere dead piece of matter, the passive recipient of a magical and supernatural grace ; but it is God's ; and therefore, and therefore only, has it come to be mine ! And if it be objected, that this opens a wide door to all manner of delusion, and that there is no more dangerous thing than for a man to confound his own thoughts with the operations of God's Spirit, let me just give you (following the context before us) the one guarantee and test which the Apostle lays down. He says, 'There is a witness from God in your spirits.' You may say, That witness, if it come in the form of these convictions in my own heart, I may mistake and falsely read. "Well, then, here is an outward guarantee. ' As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God ' ; and so, on the regions both of heart and of life the consecrating thought, — God's work, and God's Spirit's work — is stamped. The heart with its love, the head with its understanding, the conscience with its quick response to the law of duty, the will with its resolutions, — these are all, as sanctified by Him, the witness of His Spirit ; and the life with its strenuous obedience, with its struggles against sin and temptation, with its patient persistence in the quiet path of ordinary duty, as well as with the times when it rises into heroic stature of resignation or allegiance, the martyrdom of death and the martyrdom of life, this too is all (in so far as it is pure and right) the work of that same Spirit. The test of the inward conviction is the outward life; and they that have the witness of the Spirit within them have the light of their life lit by the Spirit of God, whereby they may read the handwriting on the heart, and be sure that it is God's and not their own. III. And now, lastly, this divine Witness in our spirits is subject to the ordinary influences which affect our spirits. The notion often prevails that if there be in the heart this divine witness of God's Spirit, it must needs be perfect, clearly indicating its origin by an exemption from all that besets ordinary human feelings, that it must be a strong, uniform, never flickering, never darkening, and perpetual light, a kind of vestal fire burning always on the altar of the heart! The passage before us, and all others that speak about the matter, give us the directly opposite notion. The Divine Spirit, when it enters into the narrow room of the human spirit, condescends to submit itself, not wholly, but to such an extent as practically for our present purpose is wholly to submit itself to the ordinary laws and conditions and contingencies which befall and regulate our own human nature. Christ came into the world divine : He was ' found in fashion as a man,' in form a servant ; the humanity that He wore limited (if you like), regulated, modified, the manifestation of the divinity that dwelt in it. And not otherwise is the operation of God's Holy Spirit when it comes to dwell in a human heart. There too, working through man, it 'is found in fashion as a mian'; and though the origin of the conviction be of God, and though the voice in my heart be not only my voice, but God's voice there, it will obey those same laws which make human thoughts and emotions vary, and fluctuate, flicker and flame up again, burn bright and burn low, according to a thousand circumstances. The witness of the Spirit, if it were yonder in heaven, would shine like a perpetual star ; the witness of the Spirit, here in the heart on earth, burns like a flickering flame, never to be extinguished, but still not always bright, wanting to be trimmed, and needing to be guarded from

rude blasts. Else, brother, what does an Apostle mean when he says to you and me, * Quench not the Spirit ' ? what does he mean when he says to us, 'Grieve not the Spirit'? What does the whole teaching which enjoins on us, 'Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning,' and 'What I say to you, I say to all, Watch ! ' mean, unless it means this, that God-given as (God be thanked !) that conviction of Fatherhood is, it is not given in such a way as that, irrespective of our carefulness, irrespective of our watching, it shall burn on — the same and unchangeable ? The Spirit's witness comes from God, therefore it is veracious, divine, omnipotent; but the Spirit's witness from God is in man, therefore it may be wrongly read, it may be checked, it may for a time be kept down, and prevented from showing itself to be what it is. And the practical conclusion that comes from all this, is just the simple advice to you all : Do not wonder, in the first place, if that evidence of which we speak, vary and change in its clearness and force in your own hearts. ' The flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh.' Do not think that it cannot be genuine, because it is changeful. There is a sun in the heavens, but there are heavenly lights too that wax and wane; they are lights, they are in the heavens though they change. You have no reason. Christian man, to be discouraged, cast down, still less despondent, because you find that the witness of the Spirit changes and varies in your heart. Do not despond because it does ; watch it, and guard it, lest it do ; live in the contemplation of the Person and the fact that calls it forth, that it may not. You will never brighten your evidences' by polishing at them. To polish the mirror ever so assiduously does not secure the image of the sun on its surface. The only way to do that is to carry the poor bit of glass out into the sunshine. It will shine then, never fear. It is weary work to labor at self -improvement with the hope of drawing from our own characters evidences that we are the sons of God. To have the heart filled with the light of Christ's love to us is the only way to have the whole being full of light. If you would have clear and irrefragable, for a perpetual joy, a glory and a defense, the unwavering confidence, 'I am Thy child,' go to God's throne, and lie down at the foot of it, and let the first thought be, • My Father in heaven,' and that will brighten, that will establish, that will make omnipotent in your life the witness of the Spirit that you are the child of God.” 23. John MacDuff, “But then comes, with solemn urgency, the all-important, all-momentous question--"How do I know that this sonship is mine? How can I establish my claim to these lofty privileges and immunities." The Apostle proceeds to reply. There is, first, the "leading" of the Spirit. In the solemn emphasis of the original Greek in v. 14--"As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they" (these and these only,) "are the sons of God." Then, secondly, there is the witness of the Spirit--the inward evidencing power of this divine Agent in the soul. "The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God" (v. 16). How does the Spirit thus bear witness? Here we tread on difficult and delicate ground, the borderland of mysticism and faith. One thing we know, "The Spirit of God is not straitened." He can act how, and where, and when, and as He pleases. Moreover, the means He employs vary with the individual feelings and idiosyncrasies of those who are the subject of His divine operations. We must take special care, however, not to mistake the character of these. Especially should we be jealous of the demand which not a few make, of pronounced outward manifestations--the display of vehement emotion--"sensationalism." Such tests are often unsafe and unreliable; the hallucination of excited feeling and overwrought temperament. Far less are we to look for the

witness of the Spirit in mere mechanical rites; the alleged efficacy of sacramental symbol. His normal operations are rather thus beautifully described by lips of sacred authority--"The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound thereof, but can not tell whence it comes, and where it goes; so is every one that is born of the Spirit" (John 3;8). Or again, He is likened to the dew-silently distilling on the earth; hanging its pearl-drops on leaf of tree or spire of grass--without noise or premonition. "The kingdom of God comes not with observation." Yes; "not with observation;" and yet, in a very real sense, with observation--subjective, yet at the same time objective. His witness may be most safely described as evidenced in daily life--"known by its fruits." These fruits are not left for our conjecture. They are specially enumerated; they are specially called "the fruits of the Spirit,"--"love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance" (Gal. 5;22, 23). The indwelling of the Spirit is authenticated and countersigned by a holy, pure, consistent, heavenly character. These are evidences patent to every honest "seeker after God;" that, too, despite of many mournful alienations and deflections--the ever-present painful consciousness of coming so far short of the divine ideal. O God--my Father-God!--have I been enabled in any feeble measure to realize this my sonship, and to have the inward, divine, responsive witness of the Spirit? Have I been able to dismiss the old slavish fear of You? Am I among the number of those of whom the Savior speaks, who "will" (desire) "to do Your will?"--saying, "Your Spirit, O God, is good, lead me to the land of uprightness?" Can I stand such simple tests as these--do I love the Word? do I prize the privilege of prayer? When affliction comes, and the divine hand is heavy upon me, am I "led" by this Spirit of Yours to own the rectitude of Your dispensations; and just because of conscious sonship am I able to say, it may be through tears, "Even so, FATHER! for so it seemed good in Your sight; and, as Your son, I shall not permit it to be evil or unrighteous in mine!" There are few tokens of the Spirit's "leadings" more frequently or more beautifully evidenced than this latter; when He is visibly seen to come down, as predicted, "like rain upon the mown grass, and as showers that water the earth." The human soul, mowed by the scythe of affliction, humble, stricken, lies withered and faded. But the heavenly Agent descends--faith and love and devout resignation go up like a cloud of fragrant incense to the Father's throne and the Father's heart. "As many as are led." It was the Savior's own promise--"He will guide you into all truth…He will show you things to come" (John 16;13). Just as some of us may recall, in early days, the guide over Alpine glaciers and crevasses, terrains and boulders; then up the jagged precipices that conducted above mist and cloud to "the blue skies," with boundless prospect of "everlasting hills." That experienced conductor, of strong muscle, and eagle eye, and unerring footstep, is a feeble type of the Infallible GUIDE of His Church, alike individually and collectively. Blessed Spirit! whose office and mission was thus announced by the departing Christ, do lead me! Let me strive to do nothing that would grieve the gracious Agent, by whom I am "sealed unto the day of redemption." Enable me to curb passion, restrain temper, subdue and mortify pride and vainglory. Attune my life and heart to an Old Testament Song, which has its sweetest cadence in the ew--"He LEADS me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; he leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake." or let me be satisfied with negative results; but rising to the dignity and glory and responsibility of sonship, give me increase of holiness--gradual conformity to the divine mind. Waking up from spiritual sloth and ease, help me to rebuild the collapsed purpose, and consecrate fresh energy in the heavenly service, aiming to live and walk so as to please You. Specially enable me to follow the footsteps of the Great Example. When, from His divine lips comes still, as of old, the solemn heart-searching question--"Do you love Me?" may it be mine to reply, even though under a trembling apprehension of my own vacillation and instability--"Lord, You know all things, You know it is my desire to love You!"

And it may be a help to those who are most feelingly alive to this fitfulness of their love and the inefficacy of their obedience, that that sonship is not dependent on their capricious frames and feelings. Like all else in the everlasting covenant, it is divinely secured, ratified, sealed. For thus runs their charter deed--"Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He has made us accepted in the beloved" (Eph. 1;5, 6). The glory of that sonship, with all its concomitant blessings, is rendered sure by a God that cannot lie--"I have called you by your name; you are Mine!" (Isa. 43;1). "But I said, How shall I put you among the children, and give you a pleasant land, a goodly heritage of the hosts of nations? And I said, You shall call me, My Father; and shall not turn away from me" (Jer. 3;19). "I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people" (Heb. 8;10).

17. ow if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
1. Barnes, “And if children - If adopted into his family. Then heirs - That is, he will treat us as sons. An heir is one who succeeds to an estate. The meaning here is, that if we sustain the relation of sons to God, that we shall be treated as such, and admitted to share his favors. An adopted son comes in for a part of the inheritance, um. 27. Heirs of God - This expression means that we shall be partakers of that inheritance which God confers on his people. That inheritance is his favor here, and eternal life hereafter. This is an honor infinitely higher than to be heir to the most princely earthly inheritance; or than to be the adopted son of the most magnificent earthly monarch. And joint heirs with Christ - Christ is by eminence the “Son of God.” As such, he is heir to the full honors and glory of heaven. Christians are united to him; they are his friends; and they are thus represented as destined to partake with him of his glory. They are the sons of God in a different sense from what he is; he by his nature and high relation, they by adoption; but still the idea of sonship exists in both; and hence, both will partake in the glories of the eternal inheritance; compare Phi_2:8-9; Heb_2:9-10. The connection between Christ and Christians is often referred to in the ew Testament. The fact that they are united here is often alleged as a reason why they will be in glory, Joh_14:19, “Because I live, ye shall live also,” 2Ti_2:11-12; “For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him; if we suffer, we shall also reign with him, Rev_3:21; “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne,” etc., Joh_17:22-24. If so be - If this condition exist; We shall not be treated as co-heirs with him, unless we here give evidence that we are united to him. That we suffer with him - Greek, “If we suffer together, that we may also be glorified together.” If we suffer in his cause; bear afflictions as he did; are persecuted and tried for the same thing; and thus show that we are united to him. It does not mean that we suffer to the same extent that he did, but we may imitate him in the kind of our sufferings, and in the spirit with which they are borne; and thus show that we are united to him.

That we may be also glorified together - If united in the same kind of sufferings, there is propriety in being united in destiny beyond the scenes of all suffering, the kingdom of blessedness and love. 2. Clarke, “And if children, then heirs - For the legitimate children can alone inherit the estate. This is not an estate to which they succeed in consequence of the death of a former possessor; it is like the promised land, given by God himself, and divided among the children of the family. Heirs of God - It is neither an earthly portion nor a heavenly portion; but God himself, who is to be their portion. It is not heaven they are to inherit; it is God, who is infinitely greater and more glorious than heaven itself. With such powers has God created the soul of man, that nothing less than himself can be a sufficient and satisfactory portion for the mind of this most astonishing creature. Joint heirs with Christ - Partaking of the same eternal glory with the glorified human nature of Christ. If so be that we suffer with him - Observe, says Dr. Taylor, how prudently the apostle advances to the harsh affair of suffering. He does not mention it till he had raised up their thoughts to the highest object of joy and pleasure - the happiness and glory of a joint inheritance with the everblessed Son of God. We are heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ, if so be that we suffer with him. This, with the additional consideration that we suffer with Christ, or, as he himself suffered, would greatly qualify the transitory afflictions of this world, and dispose them to attend to the other arguments he had to offer. 3. Gill, “And if children, then heirs,.... Children, whether natural or adopted, are heirs to their parents, and according to the Roman laws, which some think the apostle here respects, whether male or female; but according to the Jewish laws (c), females did not inherit only in case of want of male issue; for though Job's daughters inherited with his sons, this was a peculiar case; and the Jewish writers say (d), it was ‫" ,מתוך חשיבתן ויופין‬on account of their worth and beauty"; yet adopted children among them, whether male or female, were equal to natural children in possessing the inheritance; however, the apostle includes both here, who are all one in Christ Jesus, and are all the children of God by faith in him, and so heirs of God: either efficiently, he makes them heirs; they are not so by nature, nor do they become such by the works of the law; but God his rich grace adopts them into his family, begets them again, and freely bestows the inheritance on them: or subjectively, they are heirs of himself; he not only makes them his heirs, but he himself is their inheritance and portion; they are heirs of all things which are his; they share in his love, grace, and mercy; and his wisdom, power, truth, and faithfulness, and indeed, every perfection of his are engaged on their side, and in their favour; all things are theirs who have God to be their God and Father; the Gospel and the ministers of it are theirs; the world and the things of it, life and death, things present and things to come; heaven and happiness, which go by the names of glory, riches of glory, kingdom, eternal life and salvation, are all represented as things to be inherited by the saints. The Jews speak of God's inheriting of man, as the highest pitch of greatness man can arrive unto; thus explaining and paraphrasing on the names of the places from which the Israelites journeyed, um_21:18, say (e),

"when a man makes himself as a wilderness, which is common to all, the law is given to him by gift, as it is said, "and from the wilderness to Mattanah": and when it is given to him by gift, ‫נהלו‬ ‫" ,אל‬God inherits him", as it is said, "and from Mattanah to ahaliel"; the gloss upon it is, the law becomes to him ‫" ,כמו נחלה‬as an inheritance"; and when ‫" ,שנחלו אל‬God inherits him", he ascends to his greatness, i.e. to the highest pitch of it, as it is said, from " ahaliel to Bamot";'' for when a man is worthy of this, as one of their commentators (f) on this place observes, he is called, "the inheritance of God", according to Deu_32:9; but our apostle speaks not of the saints as God's inheritance, which to be sure they are, but of God as theirs; and not of their inheriting the law, but God himself, which is certainly the highest pitch of honour and greatness that men can possibly enjoy. It is added, and joint heirs with Christ: it is through him they are heirs of God and of glory; and with him will they partake of and enjoy the inheritance, which is secured to them by their being co-heirs with him: nor does this at all derogate from the honour of Christ, as heir of all things, since he is the firstborn among many brethren, and in this, as in all things, he has the pre-eminence. But before the saints enjoy the inheritance with Christ they must expect to suffer with him and for him; though in the issue they may be assured of this, that they shall be glorified together; their sufferings lie in the way to glory, and glory is and will be the end of their sufferings: if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together: Christ and his people being one, he the head, and they the members, suffer together; when he suffered, they suffered with him and in him, as their head and representative; and they partake of the virtue and efficacy of his sufferings; and they also suffer afflictions, many of them at least of the same kind with Christ, only with these differences; his were penal evils, theirs not; his were attended with a vast sense of wrath and terror, theirs oftentimes with, joy and comfort; his were meritorious, not so theirs. Moreover, many of their sufferings are for the sake of Christ and his Gospel; on the other hand, by reason of that union which is between Christ and believers, he suffers with them, he reckons their afflictions his, and sympathizes with them; and the consideration of this greatly animates and encourages them in their sufferings, and especially when they observe that they shall be "glorified together"; not with his essential glory, nor with his mediatorial glory, but with that glory which his Father has given him for them. There is a glorification of the saints in Christ, and a glorification of them by Christ, and a glorification of them with Christ, which will consist in likeness to him, and in the everlasting vision and enjoyment of him. 4. Henry, “In these words the apostle describes a fourth illustrious branch of the happiness of believers, namely, a title to the future glory. This is fitly annexed to our sonship; for as the adoption of sons entitles us to that glory, so the disposition of sons fits and prepares us for it. If children, then heirs, Rom_8:17. In earthly inheritances this rule does not hold, only the first-born are heirs; but the church is a church of first-born, for they are all heirs. Heaven is an inheritance that all the saints are heirs to. They do not come to it as purchasers by any merit or procurement of their own; but as heirs, purely by the act of God; for God makes heirs. The saints are heirs though in this world they are heirs under age; see Gal_4:1, Gal_4:2. Their present state is a state of education and preparation for the inheritance. How comfortable should this be to all the children of God, how little soever they have in possession, that, being heirs, they have enough in reversion! But the honour and happiness of an heir lie in the value and worth of that which he is heir to: we read of those that inherit the wind; and therefore we have here an abstract of the premises. 1. Heirs of God. The Lord himself is the portion of the saints' inheritance (Psa_16:5), a goodly heritage, Psa_16:6. The saints are spiritual priests, that have the Lord for their

inheritance, um_18:20. The vision of God and the fruition of God make up the inheritance the saints are heirs to. God himself will be with them, and will be their God, Rev_21:3. 2. Joint-heirs with Christ. Christ, as Mediator, is said to be the heir of all things (Heb_1:2), and true believers, by virtue of their union with him, shall inherit all things, Rev_21:7. Those that now partake of the Spirit of Christ, as his brethren, shall, as his brethren, partake of his glory (Joh_17:24), shall sit down with him upon his throne, Rev_3:21. Lord, what is man, that thou shouldst thus magnify him! ow this future glory is further spoken of as the reward of present sufferings and as the accomplishment of present hopes. I. As the reward of the saints' present sufferings; and it is a rich reward: If so be that we suffer with him (Rom_8:17), or forasmuch as we suffer with him. The state of the church in this world always is, but was then especially, an afflicted state; to be a Christian was certainly to be a sufferer. ow, to comfort them in reference to those sufferings, he tells them that they suffered with Christ - for his sake, for his honour, and for the testimony of a good conscience, and should be glorified with him. Those that suffered with David in his persecuted state were advanced by him and with him when he came to the crown; see 2Ti_2:12. See the gains of suffering for Christ; though we may be losers for him, we shall not, we cannot, be losers by him in the end. 4B. “In the experience of Christ it was SUFFERI G FIRST and GLORY LATER (Luke 24:26) and so it shall be for the believer. SUFFERI G FIRST and GLORY LATER is actually the theme of the book of 1 Peter. For example see 1 Peter 1:5-6 which contrasts the glory of future salvation with the difficulties of present trials. See 1 Peter 1:11 which speaks of the sufferings of Christ which were followed by the GLORY. This is also seen in 1 Peter 3:18 (Christ’s suffering) and 3:22 (Christ’s glory). Thus believers will partake of Christ’s sufferings OW and we will partake of His glory LATER(1 Peter 4:13). 1 Peter 5:1 echoes the same theme. Caring for God’s flock involves much present suffering and difficulty (1 Peter 5:2-3) but will involve future glory (1 Peter 5:4). Finally the theme of 1 Peter is summarized in 5:10. otice the present suffering which is only for a while (the present suffering in light of eternity is not very long) to be followed by future glory which is forever (1 Peter 5:10). The present suffering is to be expected (see John 15:18-21; 16:1-3; 16:33; 17:14; 1 Thess.3:3; 2 Timothy 3:12; 1 John 3:13). The present suffering is a God-given privilege (Phil. 1:29; Acts 5:41).” author unknown 4C. For every hill I’ve had to climb, For every stone that bruised my feet, For all the blood and sweat and grime, For blinding storms and burning heat, My heart sings but a grateful songThese were the things that made me strong! For all the heartaches and the tears, For all the anguish and the pain, For gloomy days and fruitless years, And for the hopes that lived in vain, I do give thanks for now I know These were the things that helped me grow! Tis not the softer things of life Which stimulate man’s will to strive; But bleak adversity and strife

Do most to keep man’s will alive. O’er rose-strewn paths the weaklings creep, But brave hearts dare to climb the steep.

Author Unknown.

5. Phil Beach, Jr., “There is a crisis hour that we all must go through if we are called to know the transformed life in a very real way. God must bring about a severe dealing in us to make us come to the complete end of ourselves and all the hopes we have in something other than Himself. Deep within us we yet trust in our own ability, our temperaments or our gifts. Our past victories, not a true, intimate knowledge of the Lord Himself, are our confidence that we can succeed today. There must be a far deeper letting go in all things, an abandonment unto Him wherein we cease and live only unto Him and by Him. One author says, "There comes a crisis-hour to each of us, if God has called us to the highest and best, when all resources fail; when we face either ruin or something higher than we ever dreamed; when we must have infinite help from God and yet, ere we can have it, we must let something go; we must surrender completely; we must cease from our own wisdom, strength, and righteousness, and become crucified with Christ and alive in Him. God knows how to lead us up to this crisis, and He knows how to lead us through." Indeed the need of the hour it a total deliverance from ourselves so we may be fully captive to His purposes. Yet beloved, the end of God's thought is not just dying to self and sin. This becomes an end to many and great limitation occurs. God has not called us with the end being only our freedom from the curse of the self-life. o! Rather it is only when we are freed from ourselves that our call from eternity can become effectual. This call is to participate in the life of the Son of God and through Him see "all creation" delivered from the captivity of death itself! (cf. Rom. 8). Our call is not just to be released from the bondage of sin. It is a call out of Adam and into Christ where all things are ours for Him. God looks and waits for the hour when a people will have been so delivered from the "wretched man" that has been crucified with Christ, that He may pour forth the glory that His Son-sons shall be arrayed in for the demonstration of His power in the whole earth. o, this is not something we can muster up with revival meetings or some lofty plans to get spiritual. Only God can bring this about through the severe dealings of His Spirit in a people who do not harden their heart nor resist His voice! either will this anointing come upon uncrucified people who think they are called to be "a witness" for Jesus. "Restoration" movements, reconstructionism theories and doctrines are not God's means to bring this about and will fail. The realization of these things cannot be equated or associated with any so-called "movement" that man is presently initiating or a part of. God will share His glory and anointing with none other than Christ and, therefore, those who fully bear His image, who are truly bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh, who by reproduction are what He is in character and nature. To these and these alone will God commit Himself with the fullness of His Spirit! There is absolutely no other way for this to occur than for the Lord to make good in us the full meaning of the glorious fact, "I am crucified with Christ. I no longer live. Yet I do live. Yet it is not I but Christ who lives in me" (Gal. 2:20, paraphrase). To bypass the cross and the totality of its stripping power as the way into the fullness of God's thought for this hour is to follow the devil and his lying spirits. Many are seeking anointing, power, dominion, great worship, evangelism,

etc. all apart from the necessity of dying a deeper death in Christ. Yet, all that is produced apart from the cross is of man and his own power, and is fully rejected by Christ. God will have nothing to do with the offerings of Cain, the spirit of human potential! The great issue of the hour now: Who will endure the fiery testings that are essential for a people to come forth as pure gold? Many will turn away at the cost and offense of the cross and its merciless demand for all of the old to be crucified! Many will be enticed by the cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches and the desire for things, and the seed will not bring forth fully in them. Some, like Demas, who loved this present world system, will leave the way of the cross and complete death to all things and find their own "Thessalonica". Here they may engage in Christian activity but will have left the Lord's perfect way, and will eventually dry up spiritually and be set aside, disqualified for the prize, which only those who run the race and finish will obtain! Eventually the Lord will have a people who will have had the cross made effectual in them to the removing of the old out of the way, who will corporately groan for immortality. So dealt with by the Lord's hand, so made to see the Lord's purpose for His Son to have a people in whom the fullness of His person is made known, and so detached from earth and this life--that a groaning for life, life, life and immortality comes forth. Such a corporate groaning must spring up in His beloved! Will we let Him do this? Will we consider the cost as nothing compared to what He will get in us and through us for His glory? Will we let Him smite all the works of our own hands, no matter how lovely and comely they appear to us? Will we let Him so work His Son in us as to get us to where, in real, daily life, we can say in living truth, "I can do nothing of and out of myself. Only what the Father enables me to do--that I will and can do"? (cf. John 5:19, 15:4, 5; etc.). This beloved, is the issue of the hour. May the Lord grant us much grace to endure His dealings in us so as to let Him fully get what He is after. How easy to resist and go our own way, staying religious and keeping to the usual traditions of our daily Christian life and service, yet losing out on the high calling and missing the hour of His appearing to and in those who are waiting for Him, longing for and loving His appearing! 6. Spurgeon, “...brethren, what a contrast there is between the present and future estate of the child of God! The believer is here the brother to the worm; in heaven he shall be next of kin to the angels. Here he is covered with the sweat and dust which he acquired by Adam's fall; there his brow shall be bright with the immortality which is conferred upon him by the resurrection of Christ. Here the heir of heaven is unknown; he is in disguise, full often clad in the habiliments of poverty, but there his princely character shall be discerned and acknowledged, he shall be waited upon by angels, and shall share in the admiration which the universe shall pour upon the glorified Redeemer.” “I say, it is utterly needless for me to refresh your memories about your present condition; but I feel it will be a good and profitable work if I remind you that there are high privileges of which you are possessors even now; there are divine joys which even this day you may taste. The wilderness has its manna; the desert is gladdened with water from the rock. God hath not forsaken us; the tokens of his goodness are with us, and we may rejoice in full many a gracious boon which is ours this very day. I shall direct your joyous attention to one precious jewel in your treasury, namely, your adoption into the family of God.” Christians are uniquely children of God, which is not true of people in general, even though God is their Creator. Spurgeon, “Galatians iii. 26.—"For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus," declaring as it seems to me, and rightly enough, that all believers, all who have

faith in Christ are the children of God, and that they become actually and manifestly so by faith in Christ Jesus, and implying that those who have no faith in Christ Jesus, are not God's sons, and that any pretence which they could make to that relationship would be but arrogance and presumption. And hear ye this, John i. 12.—"To as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God." How could they have been the sons of God before, for "to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name, who were born not of blood,"—then they were not make the sons of God by mere creation—"nor of the will of the flesh," that is to say, not by any efforts of their own "but of God." “But listen to another word of the Lord in the first epistle of John, iii. 1-.—"In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth no righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother." Here are two sorts of children, therefore all are not the children of God. Can it be supposed that those who are the children of the devil are nevertheless the children of God? I must confess my reason revolts against such a supposition, and though I think I might exercise a little imagination, yet I could not make my imagination sufficiently an acrobat to conceive of a man being at the same time a child of the devil, and yet a real child of God. Hear another, 2 Corinthians, vi. 17.—"Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." Is not that "coming out" necessary to sonship, and were they his sons, were they his daughters, had they any claim or right to call him Father, until they came out from the midst of a wicked world, and were separate? If so, why doth God promise them what they have already. But again, Matthew v. 9.— "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." A fine title indeed if it belongs to every man! Where is the blessedness of the title, for they might be lovers of strife, and yet according to modern theologians they might still be the sons of God. Let us mark a yet more positive passage, Romans ix. 8.—"The children of the flesh, these are not the children of God." What then is to be said to this, "These are not the children of God." If any man will contradict that flatly—well, be it so. I have no argument with which to convince the man who denies so strong and clear a witness. Listen to the divine apostle John, where in one of his epistles he is carried away in rhapsody of devout admiration, "Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God." And then he goes on giving a description of those who are the sons of God, who could not mean any but those who by a living faith in Christ Jesus, have cast their souls once for all on him. As far as I can guess, the main text on which these people build the doctrine of the universal Fatherhood, is that quotation which the apostle Paul took from a heathen poet—"As certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring." The apostle endorses that sentiment by quoting it, and against that endorsement we can of course have no contention; but the word there used for "offspring," expresses no idea of Fatherhood in the majestic sense of the term, it is a word which might be used as appropriately for the young of animals, the young of any other creature, it has not about it the human sympathies which belong to a father and a son. I know, besides this, nothing which could support this new theory. Possibly they fancy that creation is a paternal act, that all created things are sons. This is too absurd to need an answer, for if so, horses and cows, rats and mice, snakes and flies are children of God, for they are surely creatures as well as we. Taking away this corner-stone, this fancy theory tumbles to the ground, and that theory which seemed to be as tall as Babel, and threatened to make as much confusion, may right soon be demolished, if you will batter it with the Word of God. The fact is, brethren, that the relationship of a son of God belongs only to those who are "predestinated unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of the Father's will:" Ephesians i. 5. The more you search the Bible, the more sure will you be that sonship is the special privilege of the chosen people of God and of none

beside.” “Consider again, I pray you, what a dignity God hath conferred upon you—even upon you in making you his son. The tall archangel before the throne is not called God's Son, he is one of the most favoured of his servants, but not his child. I tell thee, thou poor brother in Christ, there is a dignity about thee that even angels may well envy. Thou in thy poverty art as a sparkling jewel in the darkness of the mine. Thou in the midst of thy sickness and infirmity art girt about with robes of glory, which make the spirits in heaven look down upon the earth with awe. Thou movest about this world as a prince among the crowd. The blood of heaven runs in thy veins; thou art one of the blood royal of eternity—a son of God, descendant of the King of kings. Speak of pedigrees, the glories of heraldry—thou hast more than heraldry could ever give thee, or all the pomp of ancestry could ever bestow.” 7. Spurgeon goes on in his morning and evening devotions, “The boundless realms of His Father's universe are Christ's by prescriptive right. As "heir of all things," He is the sole proprietor of the vast creation of God, and He has admitted us to claim the whole as ours, by virtue of that deed of joint-heir-ship which the Lord hath ratified with His chosen people. The golden streets of paradise, the pearly gates, the river of life, the transcendent bliss, and the unutterable glory, are, by our blessed Lord, made over to us for our everlasting possession. All that He has He shares with His people. The crown royal He has placed upon the head of His Church, appointing her a kingdom, and calling her sons a royal priesthood, a generation of priests and kings. He uncrowned Himself that we might have a coronation of glory; He would not sit upon His own throne until He had procured a place upon it for all who overcome by His blood. Crown the head and the whole body shares the honour. Behold here the reward of every Christian conqueror! Christ's throne, crown, sceptre, palace, treasure, robes, heritage, are yours. Far superior to the jealousy, selfishness, and greed, which admit of no participation of their advantages, Christ deems His happiness completed by His people sharing it. "The glory which thou gavest me have I given them." "These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." The smiles of His Father are all the sweeter to Him, because His people share them. The honours of His kingdom are more pleasing, because His people appear with Him in glory. More valuable to Him are His conquests, since they have taught His people to overcome. He delights in His throne, because on it there is a place for them. He rejoices in His royal robes, since over them His skirts are spread. He delights the more in His joy, because He calls them to enter into it.” 8. Unknown author, “ ow since you are His very own child, you have a birthright, being the heir of God. ow you are a joint owner of everything belonging to Christ. His rights are your rights. His privileges are your privileges. His thoughts can become your thoughts; his values your own. As I just finished discussing above, realize that their is some suffering associated with the conflict between your new spirit and your old flesh. Christ Himself experienced this warfare. But focus in on the fact that we will soon enjoy the same resurrection glory He is now experiencing in heaven. And if children, then heirs] For the legitimate children can alone inherit the estate. This is not an estate to which they succeed in consequence of the death of a former possessor; it is like the promised land, given by God himself, and divided among the children of the family. Heirs of God] It is neither an earthly portion nor a heavenly portion; but GOD himself, who is to be their portion. It is not heaven they are to inherit; it is GOD, who is infinitely greater and more glorious than heaven itself. With such powers has God created the soul of man, that nothing less than himself can be a sufficient and satisfactory portion for the mind of this most astonishing creature.

Joint heirs with Christ] Partaking of the same eternal glory with the glorified human nature of Christ. If so be that we suffer with him] Observe, says Dr. Taylor, how prudently the apostle advances to the harsh affair of suffering. He does not mention it till he had raised up their thoughts to the highest object of joy and pleasure-the happiness and glory of a joint inheritance with the everblessed Son of God. We are heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ, if so be that we suffer with him. This, with the additional consideration that we suffer with Christ, or, as he himself suffered, would greatly qualify the transitory afflictions of this world, and dispose them to attend to the other arguments he had to offer.” 8B. David Riggs, 1. "Then heirs" - Since we are sons, we are privileged to share in the favors and will be partakers of the inheritance. 2. "Joint heirs with Christ" - We are His brethren (Heb. 2:11) and shall inherit with Him (Rev. 3:21). 3. "If indeed we suffer with Him" - Thus, again, our glorification is conditional. 4. "That we may also be glorified together" - We must suffer with Him in this life so that we can glorified with Him in eternity. 1. Application: When our faithfulness to Him leads to suffering, let us rejoice and patiently endure because, some day, we will be glorified together with Him. Acts 5:40-42; 1 Pet. 4:11-16; 2 Tim. 2:11-12; Matt. 5:10-12. 8C. Constable, “The ew Testament teaches that the amount of inheritance the children of God receive will vary depending on our faithfulness to God (Luke 19:11- 27). However, there is no doubt that all Christians are the heirs of God and will inherit glorification as well as many other blessings (cf. 1 Pet. 1:3- 12).259 8D. Dillow, "All regenerate men have God as their inheritance, or as Paul puts it, are 'heirs of God' (Rom. 8:17; Gal. 4:7). That heirship is received on the basis of only one work, the work of believing. But there is another inheritance in the ew Testament, an inheritance which, like that of the Israelites, is merited. They are also heirs of the kingdom and joint heirs with the Messiah (2 Tim. 2:12; Rom. 8:17)." 9. Great Texts, “The Inheritance belongs to all God s children. It does not always follow in human reckoning, " if children, then heirs," because in our families but one is the heir. There is but one that can claim the heir s rights, and the heir s title. It is not so in the family of God. Man, as a necessary piece of political policy, may give to the heir that which surely he can have no more real right to, in the sight of God, than the rest of the family may give him all the inheritance, while his brethren, equally true-born, may go without ; but it is not so in the family of God. All God s children are heirs, however numerous the family, and he that shall be born of God last shall be as much His heir as he who was born first. Abel, the protomartyr, entering alone into heaven, shall not have a more secure title to the inheritance than he who, last of woman born, shall trust in Christ, and then ascend into His glory. Turn to the 1st chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews, the 14th verse, you will find that we are there called "heirs of salvation." Looking on a little further in the same Epistle, in the 6th chapter, and the 17th verse, you will find that we are called " the heirs of promise." In his Epistle to Titus, the 3rd chapter, and the 7th verse, Paul calls us " heirs according to the hope of eternal

life " ; while James says, in the 2nd chapter of his Epistle, at the 5th verse, that we are "heirs of the kingdom which God hath promised to them that love him " ; and Peter says, in his First Epistle, the 3rd chapter, and 7th verse, that we are " heirs together of the grace of life." We are heirs of God s Possessions. When God gives Himself to us, He gives us with Himself all that He has. And this means treasures vast and immeasurable. The stars in their glittering splendor are the dust of His feet. The kingdoms of the world are to Him the small dust of the balance. Writing to the Corinthians, Paul says : " All things are yours ; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come ; all are yours. We are heirs of God s Attributes. Is He omnipotent? His omnipotence is ours, to be our defence. Is He omniscient ? His infinite wisdom is ours, to guide us. Is He eternal ? His eternity is ours, that we may ever be preserved. Is He full of love and grace ? Then all His love, as though there were not another to be loved, is mine, and all His grace, as though there were never another sinner to partake of it, is mine. " The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup." " God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. The proper possessor of the Inheritance indeed is "the Son of God," the only-begotten of the Father. But His brethren are to share in it. All that glory, therefore, which the Lord had in enjoyment with the Father as His well-beloved Son before the Incarnation, together with whatever added glory the Incarnation and Atonement brought Him all is to be shared with His brethren. He is the First-born, but He is the First-born among many brethren. My eyes for beauty pine, My soul for Gods grace: o other care nor hope is mine; To heaven I turn my face. One splendour thence is shed From all the stars above: Tis named where God s name is said, Tis Love, tis heavenly Love. And every gentle heart, That burns with true desire, Is lit from eyes that mirror part Of that celestial fire. 9B. Great Texts on sharing in his suffering. “The Opposition of the World. Part of Christ s sufferings sprang from the contact of the sinless Son of Man with a sinful world, and the apparently vain attempt to influence and leaven that sinful world with care for itself and love for the Father. If there had been nothing more than that, yet Christ s sufferings as the Son of God in the midst of sinful men would have been deep and real. " faithless generation, how long shall I be with you ? how long shall I suffer you ? " was wrung from Him by the painful sense of want of sympathy between His aims and theirs. " Oh that I had wings like a dove ! for then I would fly away and be at rest," must often be the language of those who are like Him in spirit, and in consequent sufferings. O. H. Knight, “If we are living in oneness of spirit with our Lord, the same thing will sadden us

that saddened Him the world s unbelief and sin, its cold contempt of God, its hard rebellion against His law, its proud rejection of His love. To share in His mission to the world will inevitably make us sharers in His trials and sufferings as we carry it on. We shall need to bear reproach as He did, to be evil-spoken-of as He was, to be shunned and stigmatized for the same faithfulness to God that drew down on Him the enmity of men. The more perfectly we resemble Him, the more of this we shall have to endure ; indeed, the measure in which we suffer it will often be an accurate measurement of the extent of our resemblance to our Lord.” 9C. Spurgeon, “Our right to it stands or falls with Christ s right to the same inheritance. We are co-heirs; if He be truly an heir, so are we ; and if He be not, neither are we. Our two interests are intertwined and made one, we have neither of us any heir ship apart from the other ; we are joint-heirs, Christ jointly with us, ourselves jointly with Christ. So, then, it follows that if there be any flaw in the will, so that it be not valid, if it be not rightly signed, sealed, and delivered, then it is no more valid for Christ than it is for us. If we get nothing, Christ gets nothing ; if there should be no heaven for us, there is no heaven for Christ. If there should be no throne for us, there would be no throne for Him ; if the promise should utterly fail of fulfillment to the least of the joint heritors, it must also fail of accomplishment to our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. 10. J. David Hoke, “Everyone ought to have a will. This is the common wisdom of our day. The reasoning is that none of us knows when we will be checking out and so we ought to be prepared. But wills are for the living, not the dead. That is probably why we procrastinate in making our wills. We like to think of other people's wills, because we might be in them. We don't like to think of our own, because of what they remind us that we will one day have to do. I do not know how many wills you have ever been in, if any. If you get word that a distant uncle died, who happened to be worth several million dollars, and that you were in the will, would you read the will? The answer is obvious. You would want to know what you had been left. As you read the Word of God, you come to understand that you have been named in a will. There is a lot to this business of being a child of God. It is more than simply having your sins forgiven. It is coming into an inheritance. We become heirs, the Scripture says, fellow heirs with Christ. In other words, you're in the will now that you are in the family. As believers, we need to understand what the Scripture says concerning the benefits of being a child of God. This is what being in the will is all about. We share in Christ's inheritance. If we are children, then we are co-heirs with Christ. Romans 8:17 says that if [we are] children, then heirs — heirs of God and co- heirs with Christ. What exactly will we inherit? (1) Salvation. Titus 3:7 tells us that “we become heirs having the hope of eternal life,” meaning that we inherit salvation. (2) We also inherit God Himself. Psalm 73:25 says, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I besides you.” Revelation 21:3 records the Apostle John saying, “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, " ow the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.” (3) ext, we inherit glory. Romans 5:1-2 says, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained

access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.” (4) Lastly, we will inherit everything in the universe. Hebrews 1:1-2 says, “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.” Matthew Perry 11. Darby, “The relation of child of God, formed in our hearts by the Spirit of adoption, having been named, the privileges which belong to children are afterwards brought out. The first of the privileges mentioned is that of our participation in the inheritance of God. We are ‘heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ.’ But the saints, before they receive the inheritance, have to tread a road which is sown with sorrows. Sufferings mark their path towards the glory which is to come. Suffering for Christ is not exactly the subject here; it is suffering with Christ. A spiritual man cannot do other than suffer with Christ, because he will feel the things as Christ felt them.” 11B. Maclaren, “The gift and blessing of salvation is primarily a spiritual gift, and only involves outward consequences secondarily and subordinately. It mainly consists in the heart being at peace with God, in the whole soul being filled with divine affections, in the weight and bondage of transgression being taken away, and substituted by the impulse and the life of the new love. Therefore, neither God can give, nor man can receive, that gift upon any other terms, than just this, that the heart and nature be fitted and adapted for it. Spiritual blessings require a spiritual capacity for the reception of them; or, as my text says, you cannot have the inheritance unless you are sons. If salvation consisted simply in a change of place ; if it were merely that by some expedient or arrangement, an outward penalty, which was to fall or not to fall at the will of an arbitrary judge, were prevented from coming down, why then, it would be open to Him who held the power of letting the sword fall, to decide on what terms He might choose to suspend its infliction. But inasmuch as God's deliverance is not a deliverance from a mere arbitrary and outward punishment : inasmuch as God's salvation, though it be deliverance from the penalty as well as from the guilt of sin, is by no means chiefly a deliverance from outward consequences, but mainly a removal of the nature and disposition that makes these outward consequences certain, — therefore a man cannot be saved, God's love cannot save him, God's justice will not save him, God's power stands back from saving him, upon any other condition than this, that his soul shall be adapted and prepared for the reception and enjoyment of the blessing of a spiritual salvation. But the inheritance which my text speaks about is also that which a Christian hopes to receive and enter upon in heaven. The same principle precisely applies there. There is no inheritance of heaven without sonship ; because all the blessings of that future life are of a spiritual character. The joy and the rapture and the glory of that higher and better life have, of course, connected with them certain changes of bodily form, certain changes of local dwelling, certain changes which could perhaps be granted equally to a man, of whatever sort he was. But, friends, it is not the golden harps, not the pavement of * glass mingled with fire,' not the cessation from work, not the still composure, and changeless indwelling, not the society even, that makes the heaven of heaven. All these are but the embodiments and rendering visible of the inward facts, a soul at peace with God in the depths of its being, an eye which gazes upon the Father, and a heart which wraps itself in His arms. Heaven is no heaven except in so far as it is the possession of God. That saying of the Psalmist is not an exaggeration, nor even a forgetting of the other elements of future blessedness, but it is a simple statement of the literal fact of the case, ' I have none in heaven but Thee ! ' God is the heritage of His people. To dwell in His love, and to be filled with His light, and

to walk for ever in the glory of His sunlit face, to do His will, and to bear His character stamped upon our foreheads — that is the glory and the perfectness to which we are aspiring. Do not then rest in the symbols that show us, darkly and far off, what that future glory is. Do not forget that the picture is a shadow. Get beneath all these figurative expressions, and feel that whilst it may be true that for us in our present earthly state, there can be no higher, no purer, no more spiritual nor any truer representations of the blessedness which is to come, than those which couch it in the forms of earthly experience, and appeal to sense as the minister of delight — yet that all these things are representations, and not adequate presentations. The inheritance of the servants of the Lord is the Lord Himself, and they dwell in Him, and there is their joy. Well then, if that be even partially true — admitting all that you may say about circumstances which go to make some portion of the blessedness of that future life — if it be true that God is the true blessing given by His Gospel upon earth, that He Himself is the greatest gift that can be bestowed, and that He is the true Heaven of heaven — what a flood of light does it cast upon that statement of my text, 'If children, then heirs ' ; no inheritance without sonship ! For who can possess God but they who love Him? who can love, but they who know His love? who can have Him working in their hearts a blessed and sanctifying change, except the souls that lie thankfully quiet beneath the forming touch of His invisible hand, and like flowers drink in the light of His face in their still joy ? How can God dwell in any heart except a heart which has in it a love of purity ? Where can He make His temple except in the ' upright heart and pure' ? How can there be fellowship betwixt Him and any one except the man who is a son because he hath received of the divine nature, and in whom that divine nature is growing up into a divine likeness? 'What fellow- ship hath Christ with Belial ? ' is not only applicable as a guide for our practical life, but points to the principle on which God's inheritance belongs to God's sons alone. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God '; and those only who love, and are children, to them alone does the Father come and does the Father belong.” 12. Daniel Hill, “Romans 8:18-25 details being sustained in suffering by the Spirit: There is perhaps no greater time in our lives that faith is sharpened, concentrated, clearly realized than under suffering. When you can do nothing about the pressure, persecution, and problems you are under the only thing you have to hold to in faith in God and what He is doing. 1.All problems in life are not designed to be solved 2.God gives mankind freewill and we suffer as a result of that freewill 3.God allows sin to continue in the world and we suffer the results of sin 4.We live outside the Garden of Eden and in an imperfect world full of disasters and disease and we suffer as a result 5.God allows us to suffer as He allowed His Son to suffer 6.In the suffering we face we are drawn not to solutions but to faith 7.In the sufferings we face we are drawn not to a system or a mechanic or often not even a promise, but a Person. We know that God is God and when we place faith in Him we are giving a living testimony that He is who He is, the sovereign God of the universe. 13. “There are some who teach that every believer is an "heir of God" but not every believer is a "joint-heir" or "co-heir" with Christ. They understand the "joint-heirs" to be a special class of believers who are victorious and who persevere to the end even though doing so requires

difficulties and suffering. This teaching reflects a serious misunderstanding of this verse. Paul is not talking about some special class of overcoming believers who qualify as joint heirs of Christ and who will reign with Him in the kingdom, in contrast to worldly, non-suffering believers who will be excluded from the millennial kingdom and will be punished in outer darkness with weeping and gnashing of teeth for a thousand years. [For an analysis of this false teaching, see the following document: The Theology of Zane Hodges and Joseph Dillow and the Grace Evangelical Society.] Though it is true that some believers suffer more than others, it is also true that all believers share in Christ's sufferings (2 Cor. 1:5; John 15:18-21; 16:33, etc.). Every believer is a joint-heir with Christ, sharing in His glory. All believers will reign with Christ in His kingdom (Matthew 13:40-43). Are the Joint-Heirs of Christ A Special, Elite Class of Victorious, Overcoming Christians? William ewell says the following in his commentary under Romans 8:17: If so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified with Him---Here two schools of interpretation part company, one saying boldly that all the saints are designated, and that all shall reign with Christ; the other, that reigning with Christ depends upon voluntary choosing of a path of suffering with Him. "That we may also be glorified together." This is the key to our question: WHO are to be glorified with Christ when He comes? In Chapter Five Paul says (and that of, and to, all the saints), "We rejoice in hope of the glory of God." And in 2 Thessalonians 1:10 we read, "When He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be marveled at in all them that believed." And again (Col. 3:4): "When Christ our life shall be manifested, then shall ye also [evidently all the saints!] with Him be manifested in glory." Again (1 John 3:2): " ow are we [all the saints] children of God . . . We know that, if He shall be manifested, we [all the saints] shall be like Him; for we shall see Him even as He is!" (Romans, pages 316-317). Zane Hodges is among those who teach that only an elite group of believers will reign with Christ, thus dividing the body of Christ during the millennium and consigning the unfaithful, non-suffering believers to outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth for a thousand years. Hodges teaches that all believers are "heirs of God," but that only suffering, victorious, overcoming believers are "joint heirs with Christ." But this is not what the text of Romans 8:16-17 actually says. Romans 8:16 teaches that we are the children (tekna) of God (and certainly this is true of all believers--John 1:12). Romans 8:17 teaches that if we are children (and we are!) then we are also heirs. As God's children, what kind of heirs are we? We are heirs in two ways: 1) We are heirs of God; 2) We are joint-heirs of Christ (see Heb. 1:2 where we learn that Christ is the great Heir). In his excellent Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, Daniel B. Wallace translates Romans 8:17 as follows: " ow if we are children, [we are] also heirs: on the one hand, heirs of God, on the other hand, fellow heirs with Christ" (p. 129). "If so be" (eiper) means "if so be that." It is used six times in the ew Testament. It is used by Paul in Romans in only one other place, also in this same chapter: Romans 8:9--"But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you." Paul makes a statement

that is true of every believer ("you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit") and then he follows this with another statement that is true of every believer ("the Spirit of God dwell(s) in you"). Paul was saying something like this: "You are a true Christian (not in the flesh but in the Spirit) because I'm assuming that the Spirit of God dwells in you." Let's follow the same pattern in Romans 8:17. Paul makes a statement that is true of every believer ("you are heirs--heirs of God and joint-heirs of Christ") and then he follows this with another statement that is true of every believer (a true believer suffers with Christ--John 15:1821; 1 Pet. 5:10; Phil. 1:29; etc.). Paul was saying something like this: "You are true Christians (heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ) because I'm assuming that He is I YOU, and if He is in you, then the world who hated Him is going to hate you because you have been so identified with Him (Col. 1:24; John 16:33). Every true believer, therefore, suffers with Him. That is, those who share His glory then are those who share His sufferings now (see 1 Peter 5:10 where Peter gives no indication whatsoever that he is talking about some elite group of suffering believers as opposed to carnal, non-suffering believers; nor does Paul in Philippians 1:29).” author unknown 14. John MacDuff, “What is the heritage thus spoken of and promised? His words are remarkable. They can be best left to their own mystic, divine interpretation. The ideas they embody are untransferable by the poor vehicle of human language. They are among those he elsewhere describes as being "impossible for a man to utter" (2 Cor. 12;4)--"Heirs of God!"--"partakers of the divine nature." We have recalled the like symbol in the Book of Revelation describing the indescribable glories of the Redeemed; "And I saw no Temple therein, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the Temple of it" (Rev. 21;22). "And there shall be no night there, and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God gives them light, and they shall reign forever and ever" (Rev. 22;5 ). "Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out; and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God; and I will write upon him my new name" (Rev. 3;12). "Heirs of God!" In these three words are comprehended all the blessings Omnipotence can bestow. Every attribute of the divine nature is embarked on my side and pledged for my salvation--Power, Wisdom, Faithfulness. ABBA!--a Father's house--a Father's halls--a Father's love--a Father's welcome--a Father's presence forever and ever! "This," says Luther, "far passes all man's capacity, that God should call us heirs, not of some rich and mighty Prince, not of the Emperor, not of the whole world merely, but of Himself, the Almighty Creator of all things. If a man could comprehend the great excellency of this, that he is indeed a son and heir of God, and with a constant faith believe the same, he would abhor all the pomp and glory of the world in comparison of the eternal inheritance." (Watchwords from Luther," p. 334.) or is this all. These peerless blessings are confirmed and ratified by the farther guarantee--"joint-heirs with Christ." Christ, as the Brother in my nature, has made the heritage doubly sure "for us miserable sinners, who lay in darkness and the shadow of death, that He might make us the children of God, and exalt us to everlasting life." He, indeed, in His divine essence, occupies a place and realm all His own. He is "Heir," by virtue of His essential dignity; what the old writers call His "Crown rights." He is "the First-born among many brethren"--a name is given Him which is above every name. "He has on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, King of Kings and Lord of Lords" (Rev. 19;16). We, on the other hand, are heirs by adoption and grace, by virtue of our living union with our living Head. This heritage is ours, first and partially in possession--"Beloved, now are we the sons of God." Its full blessings are ours in

future possession, when Christ's own words, uttered, not in the days of His humiliation, but in His exaltation at the right hand of power, will be fulfilled"--To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me (a fellow heir) on My throne" (Rev. 3;21). Oh wondrous endowment!--and as free and gracious as it is wondrous! Under the Hebrew code, the law of first-born was rigidly observed. The, eldest-born received the inheritance. Isaac was Abraham's heir; and while the other children of the patriarch had their limited portions meted out to them, he, as the recognized son of the promise, entered on his father's goods and possessions. It is different with the spiritual Israel. There is no law of first-born in the Church of God's first-born. All are on divine equality here. All are warranted and welcome to enter on the purchased heritage--to claim the adoption of sons and the co-heirship with Christ. There is but one condition--"And IF CHRIST'S--then are you Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Gal. 3;29). The remaining clause of the verse is needed to complete this Adoption-Song, though we shall reserve its fuller consideration for the kindred one which follows, and which will demand a separate treatment. (V. 17) "If so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together." Observe it is not only, that suffering is the law of the kingdom, but that we SUFFER WITH HIM. Elevating and inspiring surely is the thought to all sufferers whatever the diverse causes of affliction may be, that they and their great Lord pass through the same ordeal; that He has drunk of every sorrow-brook by the way (Ps. 110;7). "Perfect through suffering" is the characteristic alike of the Head and the members. In all their afflictions He was afflicted; in all their tears "Jesus wept." "With Him!" How the assurance disarms trial of its sting--"I am undergoing the experience of the Son, who 'learned obedience by the things which He suffered.'" Who knew better than Paul the boon, and blessing of this identity of suffering with his suffering Master? Hear his testimony in the Mamertine dungeon, with certain death hanging over him, "All men forsook me; notwithstanding, the Lord stood with me and strengthened me; and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion" (2 Tim. 4;16, 17). This suffering culminates in glory--"That we may be also glorified together" (v. 17). "If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him" (2 Tim. 2;12). "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you; but rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy" (1 Pet. 4;12, 13). o words in the Redeemer's intercessory prayer are more elevating and comforting than those, in which the Father's name is linked with the bliss of His ransomed people--"FATHER, I will that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory" (John 17;24). Following their Lord's example, and echoing His utterance, the inspired writers seem to love thus to repeat the filial name and recount the adoption privileges. In selecting from one of these, let us, in closing, put emphasis on the words of John's apostrophe, and make them the refrain of this Redemption Song--"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him." 1 John 3:1 15. Maclaren on sharing the suffering of Christ wrote, “ ow, of course, whatever may be the operation of suffering in fitting for the possession of the Christian inheritance, either here or in another world, the sonship and the sorrows do not stand on the same level in regard to that possession. The one is the indispensable condition of all ; the other is but the means for the operation of the condition. The one — being sons, ' joint-heirs with Christ,' — is the root of the

whole matter ; the other — the • suffering with Him,' — is but the various process by which from the root there come 'the blade, and the ear, and the full corn in the ear.' Given the sonship — if it is to be worked out into power and beauty. there must be suffering with Christ. But unless there be sonship, there is no possibility of inheriting God ; discipline and suffering will be of no use at all. The chief lesson which I wish to gather from this text now is that all God's sons must suffer with Christ ; and in addition to this principle, we may complete our considerations by adding briefly, that the inheritance must be won by suffering, and that if we suffer with Him, we certainly shall receive the inheritance. I. First, then, sonship with Christ necessarily involves suffering with Him. I think that we entirely misapprehend the force of this passage before us, if we suppose it to refer principally or merely to the outward calamities, what you call trials and afflictions, which befall people, and see in it only the teaching, that the sorrows of daily life may have in them a sign of our being children of God, and some power to prepare us for the glory that is to come. There is a great deal more in the thought than that, brethren. This is not merely a text for people who are in affliction, but for all of us. It does not merely contain a law for a certain part of life, but it contains a law for the whole of life. It is not merely a promise that in all our afflictions Christ will be afflicted, but it is a solemn injunction that we seek to know ' the fellowship of His sufferings, and be made conformable to the likeness of His death,' if we expect to be ' found in the likeness of His Resurrection,' and to have any share in the community of His glory. In other words, the foundation of it is not that Christ shares in our sufferings; but that we, as Christians, in a deep and real sense do necessarily share and participate in Christ's. We 'suffer with Him'; not He suffers with us. ow, do not let us misunderstand each other, or the Apostle's teaching. Do not suppose that I am forgetting, or wishing you to account as of small importance, the awful sense in which Christ's suffering stands as a thing by itself and unapproachable, a solitary pillar rising up, above the waste of time, to which all men everywhere are to turn with the one thought, 'I can do nothing like that; I need to do nothing like it ; it has been done once, and once for all; and what I have to do is, simply to lie down before Him, and let the power and the blessings of that death and those sufferings flow into my heart.' The Divine Redeemer makes eternal redemption. The sufferings of Christ — the sufferings of His life, and the sufferings of His death — both because of the nature which bore them, and of the aspect which they wore in regard to us, are in their source, in their intensity, in their character, and consequences, unapproachable, incapable of repetition, and needing no repetition whilst the world shall stand. But then, do not let us forget that the very books and writers in the ew Testament that preach most broadly Christ's sole, all-sufficient, eternal redemption for the world by His sufferings and death, turn round and say to us too, ' " Be planted together in the likeness of His death " : you are " crucified to the world " by the Cross of Christ ; you are to " fill up that which is behind of the sufferings of Christ." ' He Himself speaks of our drinking of the cup that He drank of, and being baptized with the baptism that He was baptized with, if we desire to sit yonder on His throne, and share with Him in His glory. ow what do the Apostles, and what does Christ Him- self, in that passage that I have quoted,

mean, by such solemn words as these ? Some people shrink from them, and say that it is trenching upon the central doctrine of the Gospel, when we speak about drinking of the cup which Christ drank of. They ask. Can it be ? Yes, it can be, if you will think thus : — If a Christian has the Spirit and life of Christ in him, his career will be molded, imperfectly but really, by the same Spirit that dwelt in his Lord; and similar causes will produce corresponding effects. The life of Christ which — divine, pure, incapable of copy and repetition — in one aspect has ended for ever for men, remains to be lived, in another view of it, by every Christian, who in like manner has to fight with the world; who in like manner has to resist temptation ; who in like manner has to stand, by God's help, pure and sinless, in so far as the new nature of him is concerned, in the midst of a world that is full of evil. For were the sufferings of the Lord only the sufferings that were wrought upon Calvary? Were the sufferings of the Lord only the sufferings which came from the ' contradiction of sinners against Himself? Were the sufferings of the Lord only the sufferings which were connected with His bodily afflictions and pain, precious and priceless as they were, and operative causes of our redemption as they were? Oh no. Conceive of that perfect, sinless, really human life, in the midst of a system of things that is all full of corruption and of sin; coming ever and anon against misery, and wrong-doing, and rebellion ; and ask yourselves whether part of His sufferings did not spring from the contact of the sinless Son of man with a sinful world, and the apparently vain attempt to influence and leaven that sinful world with care for itself and love for the Father. If there had been nothing more than that, yet Christ's sufferings as the Son of God in the midst of sinful men would have been deep and real. * O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you?' was wrung from Him by the painful sense of want of sympathy between His aims and theirs. * Oh that I had wings like a dove, for thep I would fly away and be at rest,' must often be the language of those who are like Him in spirit, and in consequent sufferings. And then again, another branch of the 'sufferings of Christ ' is to be found in that deep and mysterious fact on which I durst not venture to speak beyond what the actual words of Scripture put into my lips — the fact that Christ wrought out His perfect obedience as a man, through temptation and by suffering. There was no sin within Him, no tendency to sin, no yielding to the evil that assailed. 'The Prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me.' But yet, when that dark Power stood by His side, and said, ' If thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down,' it was a real temptation and not a sham one. There was no wish to do it, no faltering for a moment, no hesitation. There was no rising up in that calm will of even a moment's impulse to do the thing that was presented ; — but yet it was presented, and, when Christ triumphed, and the tempter departed for a season, there had been a temptation and there had been a conflict. And though obedience be a joy, and the doing of His Father's will was His delight, as it must needs be in pure and in purified hearts ; yet obedience which is sustained in the face of temptation, and which never fails, though its path lead to bodily pains and the • contradiction of sinners,' may well be called suffering. We cannot speak of our Lord's obedience as the surrender of His own will to the Father's, with the implication that these two wills ever did or could move except in harmony. There was no place in Christ's obedience for that casting out of sinful self which makes our submission a surrender joined with suffering, but He knew temptation. Flesh, and sense, and the world, and the prince of this world, presented it to Him ; and therefore His obedience too was suffering, even though to do the will of His Father was His meat and His drink. His sustenance and His refreshment. But then, let me remind you still further, that not only does the life of Christ, as sinless in the midst of sinful men, and the life of Christ, as sinless whilst yet there was temptation presented to

it — assume the aspect of being a life of suffering, and become, in that respect, the model for us ; but that also the Death of Christ, besides its aspect as an atonement and sacrifice for sin, the power by which transgression is put away and God's love flows out upon our souls, has another power given to it in the teaching of the ew Testament. The Death of Christ is a type of the Christian's life, which is to be one long, protracted, and daily dying to sin, to self, to the world. The crucifixion of the old manhood is to be the life's work of every Christian, through the power of faith in that Cross by which ' the world is crucified unto Me, and I unto the world.' That thought comes over and over again in all forms of earnest presentation in the Apostle's teaching. Do not slur it over as if it were a mere fanciful metaphor. It carries in its type a most solemn reality. The truth is, that, if a Christian, you have a double life. There is Christ, with His power, with His Spirit, giving you a nature which is pure and sinless, incapable of transgression, like His own. The new man, that which is born of God, sinneth not, cannot sin. But side by side with it, working through it, working in it, leavening it, indistinguishable from it to your consciousness, by anything but this that the one works righteousness and the other works transgression, there is the 'old man,' 'the flesh,' ' the old Adam,' your own godless, independent, selfish, proud being. And the one is to slay the other ! Ah, let me tell you, these words — crucifying, casting out the old man, plucking out the right eye, maiming self of the right hand, mortifying the deeds of the body — they are something very much deeper and more awful than poetical symbols and metaphors. They teach us this, that there is no growth without sore sorrow. Conflict, not progress, is the word that defines man's path from darkness into light. o holiness is won by any other means than this, that wickedness should be slain day by day, and hour by hour. In long lingering agony often, with the blood of the heart pouring out at every quivering vein, you are to cut right through the life and being of that sinful self; to do what the Word does, pierce to the dividing asunder of the thoughts and intents of the heart, and get rid by crucifying and slaying — a long process, a painful process — of your own sinful self. And not until you can stand up and say, ' I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me,' have you accomplished that to which you are consecrated and vowed by your sonship — ' being conformed unto the likeness of His death,' and ' knowing the fellowship of His sufferings.' It is this process, the inward strife and conflict in getting rid of evil, which the Apostle designates here with the name of ' suffering with Christ, that we may be also glorified together.' On this high level, and not upon the lower one of the consideration that Christ will help us to bear outward infirmities and afflictions, do we find the true meaning of all that Scripture teaching which says indeed, 'Yes, our sufferings are His'; but lays the foundation of it in this, 'His sufferings are ours.' It begins by telling us that Christ has done a work and borne a sorrow that no one else can ever do. Then it tells us that Christ's life of obedience — which, because it was a life of obedience, was a life of suffering, and brought Him into a condition of hostility to the men around Him — is to be repeated in us. It sets before us the Cross of Calvary, and the sorrows and pains that were felt there ; — and it says to us. Christian men and women, if you want the power for holy living, have fellowship in that atoning death ; and if you want the pattern of holy living, look at that Cross and feel, ' I am crucified to the world by it ; and the life that I live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God.'”

18. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

1. Barnes, “For I reckon - I think; I judge. This verse commences a new division of the subject, which is continued to Rom_8:25. Its design is to show the power of the gospel in sustaining the soul in trials; a very important; and material part of the scheme. This had been partially noticed before Rom_5:3-5, but its full power to support the soul in the prospect of a glorious immortality had not been fully discussed. This topic seems here to have been suggested by what is said of adoption. The mind of the apostle instantly adverted to the effects or benefits of that adoption; and one of the most material of those benefits was the sustaining grace which the gospel imparted in the midst of afflictions. It should be borne in mind that the early Christians were comparatively few and feeble, and exposed to many trials, and that this topic would be often, therefore, introduced into the discussions about their privileges and condition. The sufferings - The afflictions; the persecutions, sicknesses, etc. The expression evidently includes not only the special trials of Christians at that time, but all that believers are ever called to endure. Of this present time - Probably the apostle had particular reference to the various calamities then endured. But the expression is equally applicable to afflictions of all times and in all places. Are not worthy to be compared - Are nothing in comparison; the one is far more than an equivalent. in compensation for the other. With the glory - The happiness; the honor in heaven. Which shall be revealed in us - That shall be disclosed to us; or of which we shall be the partakers in heaven. The usual representation of heaven is that of glory, splendor, magnificence, or light; compare Rev_21:10, Rev_21:23-24; Rev_22:5. By this, therefore, Christians maybe sustained. Their sufferings may seem great; but they should remember that they are nothing in comparison with future glory. They are nothing in degree. For these are light compared with that “eternal weight of glory” which they shall “work out.” 2Co_4:17. They are nothing in duration. For these sufferings are but for a moment; but the glory shall be eternal. These will soon pass away; but that glory shall never become dim or diminished; it will increase and expand forever and ever. In us - Unto us εἰς ἡµᾶς eis hēmas. 1B. David Riggs, “The remainder of chapter 8 may be viewed as six reasons why Christians should endure suffering: (1) Because of the glorious reward, vs. 18. (2) The body will be redeemed, vs. 19-23. (3) We are saved by hope, vs. 24-25. (4) The Spirit helps in our weaknesses, vs. 26-27. (5) All things work together from good, vs 28-30. (6) God is for us, vs. 31-39. The book of Romans is much more than a explanation of God's redeeming grace. It is a letter of comfort, encouragement, and exhortation addressed to you and me. 2. Gill, “ For I reckon, that the sufferings of this present time,.... By "this present time" may be meant, the then present age, in which the apostle lived; which was an age in which the people of God suffered much, as was foretold by Christ, and which was necessary for the confirmation of the Gospel; for grace and strength answerable to their trials were given them; and the power of God was visibly to be seen in the supporting of them; though this was not the only suffering age: wherefore by the present time may be understood, the present time of life here on earth; which is

a time of suffering, and which cannot well be otherwise, considering the world in which we are, and the nature of it, the state and condition of our souls, and the constitution of our bodies, and the many enemies we have about us; but then this present time of life is the only suffering time to the saints, for no sooner are they removed from hence, but they are in heaven, where neither wicked men nor devils can reach them, where their souls are freed from sin and unbelief, from doubts and fears, and everything that is distressing; and after the resurrection there will be no more diseases nor death in their bodies; and this present time is but a short time, a little while, and all sufferings will be at an end; wherefore they are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us. The future happiness of the saints is expressed by glory, of which the glory of this world is but a faint resemblance; a glory which is already given to Christ, and he is entered into the possession of; it is already, but as yet it is unseen, but will be "revealed" hereafter, when Christ himself shall appear in it; and it will not only be revealed to the saints, as the glory of Christ, as Mediator; and it will not only be visible upon them, upon their bodies, which will be made like to the glorious body of Christ; but it will be revealed in them, and greatly lie in the perfection of knowledge and holiness in their souls: now between the sufferings of the saints in the present state of things and their future happiness, is no comparison, either with respect to quality or quantity. Their afflictions are "light" in comparison of the due desert of sin, the sufferings of Christ, and the torments of the damaged in hell, and when under divine supports; but glory is heavy, it is a "weight of glory". The sufferings of the saints are but for a time, but their glory is eternal; nor is there any comparison to be made between them by way of merit, for there is no manner of proportion between the one and the other, nor can the one have any causal influence upon the other. This is the judgment of things the apostle made, "I reckon" or "I think" which is said, not as his bare opinion, or as in the least doubting the truth of what he said; but having deliberately weighed things in his mind, and reasoned upon them, came to this conclusion, that so it must be. The allusion is either to logicians, who having settled the premises draw the conclusion; or to arithmeticians, who, having cast up the account, give the sum total. Though, after all, the "glory" here spoken of may mean the glorious Gospel of Christ, which was more and more to be revealed in the Gentile world, "in" or "by us" the apostles, in comparison of which all their sufferings were as nothing. 3. Henry, “ In one scale he puts the sufferings of this present time. The sufferings of the saints are but sufferings of this present time, strike no deeper than the things of time, last no longer than the present time (2Co_4:17), light affliction, and but for a moment. So that on the sufferings he writes tekel, weighed in the balance and found light. 2. In the other scale he puts the glory, and finds that a weight, an exceeding and eternal weight: Glory that shall be revealed. In our present state we come short, not only in the enjoyment, but in the knowledge of that glory (1Co_2:9; 1Jo_3:2): it shall be revealed. It surpasses all that we have yet seen and known: present vouchsafements are sweet and precious, very precious, very sweet; but there is something to come, something behind the curtain, that will outshine all. Shall be revealed in us; not only revealed to us, to be seen, but revealed in us, to be enjoyed. The kingdom of God is within you, and will be so to eternity. 3. He concludes the sufferings not worthy to be compared with the glory ouk axia pros tēn doxan. They cannot merit that glory; and, if suffering for Christ will not merit, much less will doing. They should not at all deter and frighten us from the diligent and earnest pursuit of that glory. The sufferings are small and short, and concern the body only; but the glory is rich and great, and concerns the soul, and is eternal. This he reckons. I reckon logizomai. It is not a rash and sudden determination, but the product of a very serious and

deliberate consideration. he had reasoned the case within himself, weighed the arguments on both sides, and thus at last resolves the point. O how vastly different is the sentence of the word from the sentiment of the world concerning the sufferings of this present time! I reckon, as an arithmetician that is balancing an account. He first sums up what is disbursed for Christ in the sufferings of this present time, and finds they come to very little; he then sums up what is secured to us by Christ in the glory that shall be revealed, and this he finds to be an infinite sum, transcending all conception, the disbursement abundantly made up and the losses infinitely countervailed. And who would be afraid then to suffer for Christ, who as he is before-hand with us in suffering, so he will not be behind-hand with us in recompence? ow Paul was as competent a judge of this point as ever any mere man was. He could reckon not by art only, but by experience; for he knew both. He knew what the sufferings of this present time were; see 2Co_11:23-28. He knew what the glory of heaven is; see 2Co_12:3, 2Co_12:4. And, upon the view of both, he gives this judgment here. There is nothing like a believing view of the glory which shall be revealed to support and bear up the spirit under all the sufferings of this present time. The reproach of Christ appears riches to those who have respect to the recompence of reward, Heb_11:26. 4. Barclay 18-25, “Paul has just been speaking of the glory of adoption into the family of God; and then he comes back to the troubled state of this present world. He draws a great picture. He speaks with a poet's vision. He sees all nature waiting for the glory that shall be. At the moment creation is in bondage to decay. "Change and decay in all around I see." The world is one where beauty fades and loveliness decays; it is a dying world; but it is waiting for its liberation from all this and the coming of the state of glory. When Paul was painting this picture, he was working with ideas that any Jew would recognize and understand. He talks of this present age and of the glory that will be disclosed. Jewish thought divided time into two sections--this present age and the age to come. This present age was wholly bad, subject to sin, and death and decay. Some day there would come The Day of the Lord. That would be a day of judgment when the world would be shaken to its foundations; but out of it there would come a new world. The renovation of the world was one of the great Jewish thoughts. The Old Testament speaks of it without elaboration and without detail. "Behold I create new heavens and a new earth" (Isa. 65:17). But in the days between the Testaments, when the Jews were oppressed and enslaved and persecuted, they dreamed their dreams of that new earth and that renovated world. "The vine shall yield its fruit ten thousand fold, and on each vine there shall be a thousand branches; and each branch shall produce a thousand clusters; and each cluster produce a thousand grapes; and each grape a cor of wine. And those who have hungered shall rejoice; moreover, also, they shall behold marvels every day. For winds shall go forth from before me to bring every morning the fragrance of aromatic fruits, and at the close of the day clouds distilling the dews of health" (Bar. 29:5).

"And earth, and all the trees, and the innumerable flocks of sheep shall give their true fruit to mankind, of wine and of sweet honey and of white milk and corn, which to men is the most excellent gift of all" (Sibylline Oracles 3: 620-633).

"Earth, the universal mother, shall give to mortals her best fruit in countless store of corn, wine and oil. Yea, from heaven shall come a sweet draught of luscious honey. The trees shall yield their proper fruits, and rich flocks, and kine, and lambs of sheep and kids of goats. He will cause sweet fountains of white milk to burst forth. And the cities shall be full of good things, and the fields rich; neither shall there be any sword throughout the land or battle-din; nor shall the earth be convulsed any more with deep-drawn groans. o war shall be any more, nor shall there be any more drought throughout the land, no famine, or hail to work havoc on the crops" (Sibylline Oracles 3: 744-756). The dream of the renovated world was dear to the Jews. Paul knew that, and here he, as it were, endows creation with consciousness. He thinks of nature longing for the day when sin's dominion would be broken, death and decay would be gone, and God's glory would come. With a touch of imaginative insight, he says that the state of nature was even worse than the state of men. Man had sinned deliberately; but it was involuntarily that nature was subjected. Unwittingly she was involved in the consequences of the sin of man. "Cursed is the ground because of you," God said to Adam after his sin (Gen. 3:17). So here, with a poet's eye, Paul sees nature waiting for liberation from the death and decay that man's sin had brought into the world. If that is true of nature, it is still truer of man. So Paul goes on to think of human longing. In the experience of the Holy Spirit men had a foretaste, a first instalment, of the glory that shall be; now they long with all their hearts for the full realization of what adoption into the family of God means. That final adoption will be the redemption of their bodies. In the state of glory Paul did not think of man as a disembodied spirit. Man in this world is a body and a spirit; and in the world of glory the total man will be saved. But his body will no longer be the victim of decay and the instrument of sin; it will be a spiritual body fit for the life of a spiritual man. Then comes a great saying. "We are saved by hope." The blazing truth that lit life for Paul was that the human situation is not hopeless. Paul was no pessimist. H. G. Wells once said: "Man, who began in a cave behind a windbreak, will end in the disease soaked ruins of a slum." ot so Paul. He saw man's sin and the state of the world; but he also saw God's redeeming power; and the end of it all for him was hope. Because of that, to Paul life was not a despairing waiting for an inevitable end in a world encompassed by sin and death and decay; life was an eager anticipation of a liberation, a renovation and a recreation wrought by the glory and the power of God. In Rom. 8:19 he uses a wonderful word for eager expectation. It is apokaradokia (GS 0603) and it describes the attitude of a man who scans the horizon with head thrust forward, eagerly searching the distance for the first signs of the dawn break of glory. To Paul life was not a weary, defeated waiting; it was a throbbing, vivid expectation. The Christian is involved in the human situation. Within he must battle with his own evil human nature; without he must live in a world of death and decay. onetheless, the Christian does not live only in the world; he also lives in Christ. He does not see only the world; he looks beyond it to God. He does not see only the consequences of man's sin; he sees the power of God's mercy and love. Therefore, the keynote of

the Christian life is always hope and never despair. The Christian waits, not for death, but for life.” 5. WAGGO ER, “"And if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." There is one thought about this glory that I wish to make plain to you. I stated last night that if we were joint-heirs with Christ, we must have whatever Christ has. When He enters upon His kingdom, receiving that promise which God made to Abraham and to his seed, we shall enter upon it with Him. We are joint-heirs with Christ; therefore whatever Christ enjoys now, we have too, if we are in Him. Whatever glory He has now, is for us also. All the love that He enjoys in the presence of His Father, we enjoy likewise; for He says, "That the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me." So it is that God has bestowed this wonderful love upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. Think of it--God has one only begotten Son, the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person; He is the well beloved; but O, the wideness of His love, that He is able to take us into it--to adopt us into His family and make us sharers of the same title that His only begotten Son shares. Therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. Just as the world did not recognize Him as the divine Son of God, the heir of heaven; so it will not recognize us as the sons of God and the heirs of heaven. "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is." We are the children of God now, just as much His sons now as we ever will be. The glory of the Sonship is not manifested in us, but when Christ shall appear, we shall be like Him, for He "shall change this vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body." Then shall the children of God shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Brethren, since I have learned that God gives both grace and glory, I delight more and more in thinking of the glory that shall be revealed in us. For I understand that God gives them both by the same power and that that throne to which we come and make our petitions, as to a throne of grace, is likewise a throne of glory. Says Jeremiah, when making petition for his people: "Do not abhor us, for thy name's sake, do not disgrace the throne of thy glory; remember, break not thy covenant with us." And so, since it is both a throne of grace and a throne of glory, the grace that is bestowed is equal to the measure of the glory that there is in that throne. That glory is by and by going to be revealed in us, so that this poor, vile body will shine like the sun. This assurance-that the glory to be revealed in us by and by, is our assurance that the measure of that grace may be revealed in us now; and that is why the Lord has revealed to us now just as much of the glory that is to come, as we can understand. Here is where we often fail to get the benefit of things that God has set before us about this glory that is to come. We forget that they are given for our present help, that we can have and share all the strength that there is in them now. Just as much as the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed; just that much are the sufferings of this present time not worthy to be compared with the grace that is given us at this present time to endure them. The grace is equal to the glory. Paul climbs the stairs of grace step by step: children, heirs of God, joint heirs with Christ. Each step brings us to higher level until we reach the pinnacle. We share with Christ all that he inherits. We are partners with Jesus and what is His is ours. He came into our suffering and we must enter into His.

6. “As a matter of fact, when I compare this present warfare we experience with the radiating splendor that will soon be ours, these brief passing battles are not even worth mentioning. These little skirmishes we have with our flesh are eclipsed by the prospect of eternal glory and the certain fact that we will receive glorified bodies never again subject to these earthly problems. It will all be worth it...won't it! If we consider the greatness and the glory of the life we shall have when we have risen from the dead, it would not be difficult at all for us to bear the concerns of this world. If I believe the Word, I shall on the Last Day, after the sentence has been pronounced, not only gladly have suffered ordinary temptations, insults, and imprisonment, but I shall also say: “O, that I did not throw myself under the feet of all the godless for the sake of the great glory which I now see revealed and which has come to me through the merit of Christ!” We haven’t seen anything yet, and what we are is just the beginning of what we will one day become. Paul has weighed the evidence and calculated the cost and he says what he has paid is nothing compared to what he gets in return. A life of suffering for Jesus is a bargain. o matter what he has to pay to be loyal to Jesus it is worth it, for he will not lose but gain. He knew more suffering than most will ever know, and yet it was no big deal in the light of eternity. It is light affliction compared to the heavy load of blessing. His present suffering is like a cockle burr, and his glory ahead was like the Taj Mahal. You cannot exaggerate the glory of heaven.” author unknown 7. Stephen Muncherian, "Paul knew suffering - knew more suffering than any one of us have gone through or ever will go through. He was beaten - stoned - rejected - shipwrecked - chained imprisoned - starved - hungry - naked - cold. Paul isn’t writing a bunch of spiritual platitudes and wishful happy thoughts. Paul knew suffering. And Paul writes this: There’s no comparison to what’s coming. As horrible - as horrific - as the sufferings of today are - the crud and crisis and calamity and corruption of today - whatever the present suffering - no matter how intense or extreme - there is no comparison. What’s coming is so far greater - so unimaginably better - so magnificently awesome - so beyond anything experienced in this life - that there is no way to even begin to put the two side by side - or anywhere near to each other to make a comparison between the two. C.S. Lewis writes in The Weight of Glory: “We want so much more… something the books on aesthetics take little notice of, but the poets and mythologies know about it. We do not merely want to see beauty, though God knows that is bounty enough. We want something else that can hardly be put into words… to become part of it. That is why the poets tell us such lovely falsehoods. They talk as if the west wind could really sweep into a human soul, but it can’t. They tell us that the beauty born of a murmuring sound will pass into a human face, but it won’t, or at least not yet… The door on which we have been knocking all our lives will open at last. We are to shine as the sun. We are to be given the morning star..... What more, you may ask do we want? Ah, but we want so much more. Something the books on aesthetics take little notice of. But the poets and mythologies know all about it. We do not want merely to see beauty, through God knows even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into wordsto be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it.” We want to be the glory of heaven. That’s where Paul is going in these verses - here in chapter 8. The incomparable reality that’s coming - that God has given to each one of us who have turned to Him - who’ve trusted in Jesus as our Savior. ot because we deserve it. But because God is gracious.”

8. Arnold, “The sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the past guilt which is remitted, with the present grace of consolation which is emmited, with the future glory which is promitted.” O love of God, how strong and true, Eternal and yet ever new, Uncomprehended and unbought Beyond all knowledge, and all thought. 8B. Henry Alford, “It is a mathematical sum. " I reckon," he says. And it must be admitted that no man that ever lived was more capable of working out this sum than this Apostle. On the one hand, he has given us, in the eleventh chapter of his Second Epistle to the Corinthians, a sketch of his own sufferings, such as, perhaps, the experience of no other mortal man could match. On the other hand, he had held personal converse with the Lord Jesus Christ ; he is able to tell of " the abundance of his revelations " ; already he had been " caught up into Paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter." Who, then, was so fit as St. Paul in the wonderful contrast of his un paralleled life to put the two together, and to decide the contrast ? In sufferings, who has come up to the Apostle ? In revelations of the things which God has prepared for them that love Him, who has been equally honored ? When he wrote of the sufferings of this present time, he was not reclining on the couch of luxury and imagining the lot of the afflicted. He was in and surrounded by those very sufferings. In perils from his own countrymen, and in perils from false brethren, he was working with his own hands for his daily bread in the wealthy and dis solute Corinth. He bore about with him that thorn in the flesh, which, however difficult it may be for us to assign its nature, we know was the messenger of Satan to buffet him : which, with all his zeal, all the wonders and signs of an Apostle wrought by him, rendered his bodily presence weak, and his speech contemptible. Day by day he entered deeper than other men into that inward conflict between the good which he would do but could not, and the evil which he would not do but did. Of a character wonderfully susceptible and habitually introspective, he had, besides, his spiritual faculties penetrated and intensified by the abiding and indwelling Spirit of God, given him for his apostolic work. Mighty was He that wrought in him weak and frail the earthen vessel by which that energy must be sustained. We hear him speak of bearing about death, of daily dying ; we hear him crying out, " wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death ? " Truly, in sufferings, without and within, but One ever surpassed him that Divine Master whom he followed, and of whom he says in his fervor that he fills up that which is lacking of His sufferings for the sake of the Church which is His body. 8C. I think man s great capacity for pain Proves his immortal birthright. I am sure o merely human mind could bear the strain Of some tremendous sorrows we endure.

Art s most ingenious breastworks fail at length, Beat by the mighty billows of the sea; Only the God-formed shores possess the strength To stand before their onslaughts, and not flee. The structure that we build with careful toil, The tempest lays in ruins in an hour; While some grand tree that springs forth from the soil Is bended but not broken by its power. Unless our souls had root in soil divine We could not bear earth s overwhelming strife. The fiercest pain that racks this heart of mine Convinces me of everlasting life. Author unknown 9. “SCATTERED JOY AT PLEASA T I S ALO G THE WAY The settled happiness and security which we all desire God withholds from us by the very nature of the world; but joy, pleasure and merriment He has scattered broadcast. We are never safe, but we have plenty of fun, and some ecstasy. It is not hard to see why. The security we crave would teach us to rest our hearts in this world and pose an obstacle to our return to God: a few moments of happy love, a landscape, a symphony, a merry meeting with our friends, a bath or a football match, have no such tendency. Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home. C. S. Lewis, as quoted in Westhope Presbyterian Church bulletin, Saratoga, California. 9B. ALL WILL BE WELL! by MARY PETERS Though we pass through tribulation; All will be well; Ours is such a full salvation, All, all is well; Happy still in God confiding; Fruitful, if in Christ abiding; Holy, thro’ the Spirit’s guiding, All must be well. We expect a bright tomorrow; All will be well; Faith can sing thro’ days of sorrow, All, all is well. On our Father’s love relying, Jesus every need supplying; Or in living, or in dying All must be well.

10. Grace Community Church, “Let me tell you about a very different book, written in 1962. It wasn't as big of a seller as Jonathan Livingston Seagull, though it did earn its author the obel Prize for Literature. It was written by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, was at the time an unknown writer recently released from years in a Siberian Gulag. Its entitled One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. Like Jonathan Livingston Seagull, this is a deeply spiritual book. But this book is very subtilely about Christian rebirth. It is a prison novel, but it is in the Russian epic style, which we Americans often find boring. There are no torture scenes or rape scenes. The torture is the Russian winter. The irony s that the guards - the oppressor- suffer it worse than the prisoners, because they have to stand around in the wind and watch. The whole book is about the routine of a single day, as the main character, Ivan Denisovich watches that day unfold. We taste his food, we smell the earth, we feel the icy wind, we see the steam coming from his nostrils. But all this builds up to a simple scene at the end of the novel. The day is nearly over and Ivan - the cynic- is in his bunk. A few bunks over is a man named, Alyoska - a Baptist Christian. Alyoska is reading his copy of the Gospels. Ivan is smoking and he says outloud "Thank God for this cigarette!" Alyoska hears this and decides to bear witness to Ivan. He says something like, "Ivan, you know that your heart wants to pray, why don't you pray to God?" Ivan the atheist responds, "Why should I pray? I don't see where your prayers do you any good. They all come back marked "rejected.' In fact, I don't see where you are better off at all. You pray and you are here for ten years. Everyone else is here for ten years. You don't get out one day early. What is the good of all your prayers?" Alyoska answers, "But Ivan, I don't pray for that." And then he recites for Ivan the Lord's Prayer: "....thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven." Alyoska says, " I pray that I might do the will of God here." He's saying "I don't expect to escape. Sure I'd like it to happen. But it is coming in God's time. I pray to be faithful where God has put me, to live faithfully in the evil world I am in with the hope, the confidence that this is not my final destination." He had joy from knowing that his present suffering did not compare to the glory that will be come to him. 11. DRI KI G FROM MY SAUCER > > > > I've never made a fortune > > and it's probably too late now. > > But I don't worry about that much, > > I'm happy anyhow. > > > > And as I go along life's way, > > I'm reaping better than I sowed. > > I'm drinking from my saucer, > > 'Cause my cup has overflowed. > > > > I haven't got a lot of riches, > > and sometimes the going's tough. > > But I've got loved ones around me, > > and that makes me rich enough. > > > > I thank God for his blessings, > > and the mercies He's bestowed. > > I'm drinking from my saucer, > > 'cause my cup has overflowed. > > > > I remember times when things went wrong, > > My faith wore somewhat thin. > > But all at once the dark clouds broke, > > and the sun peeped through again. > > > > So God, help me not to gripe about > > the tough rows that I've hoed. > > I'm drinking from my saucer, > > 'Cause my cup has overflowed. > > > > If God gives me strength and courage, > > when the way grows steep and rough. > > I'll not ask for other blessings, > > I'm already blessed enough. > > > > And may I never be too busy, > > to help others bear their loads. > > Then I'll keep drinking from my saucer, > > 'Cause my cup has overflowed. 12. Robert Brow, “8:18-22 It is not only our own suffering and glory that is at stake. It seems that the butterflies, birds, fish , mammals, and perhaps even the grass, trees, and flowers, and even more astonishingly the land and sea, of our world all share an unfulfilled longing. Instead of confusion, death and decay, the whole of creation looks forward to "a new heaven and a new

earth" (Revelation 21:1). This a breathtaking "plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth" (Ephesians 1:10; see Colossians 1:16).” 13. R. L. Stevenson, “There is perhaps no argument so frequently used against Christianity at the present day, or with such force, as the argument that the pain and misery of the world are irreconcilable with a God who is both good and powerful. ever was there an age so sensitive to pain as our own, and never an age therefore that found it so hard to reconcile the existence of pain with the love of God. Professor Huxley used to declare that his reason for rejecting the Christian creed was simply that he could not find in ature the God of infinite love of which the ew Testament speaks. The difficulties of miracles and the science of Genesis were nothing in comparison with " the impassable gulf between the anthropomorphism, however refined, of theology and the passionless impersonality of the Unknown and Unknowable which science shows in nature." If other difficulties have slain the faith of thousands, the fact of pain has slain the faith of tens of thousands. The Fact of Pain. St. Paul admits, he insists on, the pain, the waste, the imperfection, the bondage to vanity and corruption, to be found both in ature and in Man. He depicts them in even darker colors than the materialist or the skeptic. And yet he aids us to bear the burden which seems intolerable. For he does not charge the evil that is in the world to any defect either in the power or in the goodness of the Maker of the world. He charges it, rather to the self-will, the depravity, of man; as indeed we ourselves do when in our common talk we say, " The world would be a very good world if only men were good enough to live in it." Like Schopenhauer, he says, " The world is what men have made it," and hence " the world is itself the judgment of the world." Are we offended at the cruelties of society ? St. Paul knows them fully. " Filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity, whisperers, back-biters, hateful to God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, unmerciful." Are we perplexed because Christ has added to the world s pain, and in the name of His Cross blood has been shed in torrents ? " If we suffer with him." Do we suppose that the physical agony of the brute creation is a modern discovery ? " We know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now." As it has been said, " Here we have, as nowhere else in the Bible, perhaps nowhere else in ancient literature, a man who feels the pain of creation." And this man, one of the world s greatest intellects, who knew the whole world s anguish, nevertheless declares throughout the whole Epistle that God is love. It is something at least to know that he knew all the facts. Overmastering pain the most deadly and tragical element in life alas ! pain has its own way with all of us ; it breaks in, a rude visitant, upon the fairy garden where the child wanders in a dream, no less surely than it rules upon the field of battle, or sends the immortal war-god whimpering to his father ; and innocence, no more than philosophy, can protect us from this sting.” 14. Samuel Cox, “The world is full of beauty and joy ; full, too, of suffering and pain. Suffer we

must, each one of us. What shall we gain by it ? Shall we suffer so that, when the pain has swept by, it leaves us nothing but the spirit of rebellion, the angry feeling of helpless despair ? Or shall we suffer so that even our darkest moments are times of victory, so that out of the pain and anguish come God s beautiful gifts that can turn sorrow into joy ? That is the question we have to ask ourselves. Shall it be triumph or despair? Often enough we shall have to choose suffering, deliberately choose it, as the escape from defeat and despair. When sin has laid its defiling touch upon us, and there lie before us the two ways the way of easy acquiescence in evil as inevitable, and the nobler, harder way of godly sorrow we dare not hesitate ; and this is but the picture of what God calls us to in the school of brave endurance where we are being trained, where the way of ease is the way of danger, and the pathway of the Cross the road to victory.”

15. J. Gregg, “We might have expected joy to be placed over against suffering. It is glory, the perfection of our being the blessedness of God. And what is glory ? It is a vague word to many of us. But this passage may serve to clear it up. Glory is the manifestation of excellence. Applied to God, as in the phrase so common in Scripture, "the glory of God," it means the manifestation of what God is, whether in power, or in wisdom, or in goodness, or in all of these together. Applied to men, to Christian men, in the sense here designed, it means the mani festation hereafter of what they are, not in themselves for that could only be the exhibition of weakness, faultiness, and sinfulness but in their relation to God as His children, to Christ as His redeemed, to the Holy Spirit as His dwelling-place and His temple. We cannot in our present state say much about this glory. Our words are apt to darken rather than brighten the simple statement of the text. " ow we see through a glass, darkly," and " It doth not yet appear what we shall be." But we are not, therefore, forbidden to think and speak of the future. If it is right to set our affection on heavenly things, it cannot be wrong to set our thoughts upon them too. We think of the glory of saved men as different from that of angels. The one is the brightness of robes never stained with sin ; the other the brightness of those who have been washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb. The one is the glory of those who have been born to wealth ; the other that of those who from poverty have been made rich. The one is born in a palace ; the other is taken from a pit, and, by the grace of God, led up to empire. It is the glory of a complete triumph over sin. Then there is the glory of the Judgment Day of standing at the right hand of God, of being acknowledged as His own before heaven and earth and hell, of God Himself being glorified, and His way fully justified in our redemption. Who would compare the slanders of the wicked with such a recognition ? Who would speak of the disgrace of the cross in view of such an honor ? Involved in all this, and indeed but the figure or shadow of it, is the glory that literally shall be revealed in us. The glory of perfect conformity to Christ. The unfathomable blessedness of being altogether one with God partaking of His strength and beauty, His freedom and eternity ; enjoying at once the highest liberty and obeying the highest law ; being heirs of God and jointheirs with Christ. How sparing the Holy Ghost is in the description of future glory ! How chaste, if I may po speak,

is He in depicting the future triumphs of the saints ! It is well known by accurate observers of human nature that there is no one thing that would sooner wear out the frame and mind of man than exquisite enjoyment ; and God, in mercy to our frail nature, has been sparing as to future scenes. " I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now," says Jesus to His disciples. So our God has many joys, much glory, much enjoyment for us ; but we cannot bear it now ; and so He puts it off until we attain to the maturity of manhood, and then the eternal weight of glory shall be revealed in us (or, as in the original, towards us, which, of course, means for our benefit). Sufferings are depressing, but glory hereafter will be exalting. Sufferings are disheartening, but glory will be exhilarating. Sufferings darken and sadden the countenance, but glory hereafter will brighten it. What is that glory, people of God ? Do you believe it ? Just as certainly as that the Man of Sorrows is now on a throne of joy as certainly as that He who was crowned with the crown of thorns is now in the glory of His Father so all the children of God shall, like Him, be crowned. As He has entered into His rest, where death has no more dominion over Him, so shall all the people of God for ever ! for He is the Head, and they are the members. Where the Head is, there shall also His members be.” 16. Be comforted, be comforted, Ye tempest-tossed and worn, Who wait amid the shadows For hope s celestial morn ! The valley hath its burden, Its vision, and its song, And strains of joy are wafted From heaven s immortal throng. He makes my windows agates, That I may dimly see The glories that await me, The joys prepared for me. Oh, were the full effulgence To break upon my sight, My spirit were too eager To take its upward flight ! Through mists of tears the bulwarks Of Zion s City rise;

I greet its pearly portals, Its jasper meets mine eyes ; A mystic glory lightens it, It shines upon my road, And through my agate windows My heart exults in God ! Author unknown

17. E. A. French, “We have seen how great were the sufferings of this Apostle. Yet the mere mention of the sufferings and the glory together suggests that the former is unworthy of comparison with the latter. The magnanimity of St. Paul prevents him from dragging his afflictions into comparison with the glory of God. It is the mark of a great soul in every sphere of life to suffer quietly in the way of truth, and make no parade or comparison of its sufferings with the glory of the end for which it suffers. The thought that in any degree he had paid for the glory would be an offense. He does not strike a balance with mercenary spirit between what he gives and what he receives. If he makes any comparison at all, it is to show that his sufferings are part of the glory that his wounds are his brightest ornaments ; as the scars on the body of Jesus become shining tokens to all eternity of a love and valor that cast away self, and triumphed over death. The Apostle cares not to compare the prospect before him with the dark and rugged way that leads to it. The memory of past hardships is all but swallowed up in the enthusiasm of hope ; and in this he follows his Master, " who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame." Do you feel you suffer more than others ? Then remember that you can estimate better than others how great the glory will be. For the glory will be greater than the sufferings. Others measure the city of gold with the " measure of a man," you with the " measure of an angel." Remember that, whatever you have lost, you have gained a clearer vision of the glory that shall be. And through your sorrows you may also know God better. For sorrow is a revelation of God. Dr. Dale lost a little child, and years after, writing to comfort a friend, he said, "I learnt what God must feel at the loss of His children." A lady once told me of the experience which led her to Christ. Her husband was very unkind to her and her life was very hard. But she had a little boy whom she dearly loved. One day he had committed some childish fault, and she felt it her duty to punish him for the first time in his life. It was agony to her to do it. And it suddenly flashed into her mind that she who had always thought God hard had misunderstood Him, that it must be infinitely greater pain to God to send her pain than for her to bear it. And, looking up through the sorrows that revealed the heart of God, she gave herself up to the love that dares to wound so deeply because it so truly loves.” 18. Great Texts, “This power of a great hope may become the power of a great temptation. This dream of a glory to be revealed has played a baneful as well as a beneficial part in the history of Christianity. As long as we ourselves do not feel the misery of life, but only contemplate it from outside, there is nothing easier than to sit with folded hands, looking away from the wretchedness at our feet to the sunlit cloudland of the future. It has been the temptation of many men, and even

of many good men, in all ages. It is this that underlies the tendency to monasticism, which fills so large a place in Christian history, and which is not wholly absent from us now. There were monks who felt as keenly as any of us could feel the misery and wickedness which surrounded them, and who painted, in more glowing colours than any one before or since has painted, the glory of the Jerusalem that is to come, and yet who made no single effort to lessen the misery or to bring the glory nearer. There are men among us still who, though not monks, but entangled in the network of common life, take the misery that they find there as an inevitable element of it, and wait in unmoving acquiescence, if not in placid self- satisfaction, until God sends some change. But this, so far from being hope, is rather its paralysis ; for hope that does nothing is not hope, but an idle dream. On the other hand, the power of a great hope may become the power of a great motive. There are few among us whose lives have not an element of sadness. For all of us the consolations of the future are still needed. But, if they come to us at all, they should come as a motive power ; they should help to shape our character. It was so with St. Paul. His conception of the glory which should be revealed was not, as we have seen, so much a complete change in external circumstances as a change of the spirit and the inner life. It was a change of character and a change of power. It was the final victory of the spirit over the flesh. It involved the obligation to work towards it by new efforts after spiritual life. This is never lost sight of : " We are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die : but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." Again, after speaking of the earthly and the heavenly tabernacle, and of mortality being swallowed up in life, his inference is, " Wherefore we labor, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him." And again, St. John, after speaking of the same hope of immortality, adds, " Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." That is a lesson which we may all take home. The life after the Spirit, the communion with God, the realization in our own characters of the character of Christ, which are the elements of the glory of the life to come, must have their beginnings in this present life below. In the struggle which this involves we may be content to live, for in the hope which it brings we may be glad to die. 19. John MacDuff, “We found, in the previous verses, the inspired writer expatiating on the name and character of believers, as "heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ." But as he contemplates this wealth of privilege--a difficulty--a mystery--presents itself. How can the Fatherhood of God be reconciled with the existence of present suffering? And, be it observed, the sufferings and sorrows of which he speaks are not those to which all flesh is heir; but the afflictions of His own dear children. If the Father welcomes His prodigals home--calls them "sons"--gifts them with best robe and ring and sandal--making His halls resonant with music; how can we account, alongside of this, for the many "songs of a heavy heart"? How can we account for beds of pain and tearful eyes; for the badges–pictures of dead ones surmounting the household porticoes of those who cling most lovingly to the paternal name and relationship? He had just revealed to us in elevating words the glow of a summer sky. How can it be permitted or ordained that dark clouds should dim its azure? Why in a valley flushed with flowers of heavenly beauty and fragrance, allow these chill avalanches to descend, blighting all loveliness? Why permit these grating 'life-discords' into the believer's Song of Songs? That Song here moans and sobs itself away in a dirge. In our last meditation, we had one answer given--or at all events had stated one glorious

compensation; that, as heirs of the kingdom, His people are honored and privileged to be fellow sufferers with their great suffering Head--"If so be that we suffer with Him." Christians in their deepest experiences of sorrow and trial are identified with the King of Sorrows--"Unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake" (Phil. 1;29). Truly, when He is seen rejected, despised, homeless--forsaken of trusted friends--bowed in anguish; scourged, spit upon--nailed to the cruel Cross; what are His servants' severest trials?-dust in the balance compared with His. In one dreadful sense can He exclusively use and appropriate the words--"I have trodden the wine-press alone." Yet, too, in a very real manner, are they called and permitted to enter as He did, within the portals of sorrow, and to listen to His own words--"Tarry here (under the shadow of these gloomy olive-trees) and watch with Me!" Yes, tried believer, may it not well disarm suffering (your suffering) of its sting, to know that the same afflictions appointed for you, were appointed to Him before you? In your deepest Gethsemanes of trial there is consecration in the thought "He suffered!" "Christ also has suffered for us (yes, suffered with us), leaving us an example that you should follow His steps." Those called, in v. 14, "sons of God," and led by the Spirit to cry Abba, Father, have, as their transcendent solace--"the fellowship of His sufferings;" while words, elsewhere recorded for the special encouragement of God's children, may well repress all rebellion and hush all murmurs--"Consider Him who endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest you be wearied and faint in your minds" (Heb. 12;3). But in the verse now before us the Apostle proceeds to state another reason for accepting affliction and trial. He makes these the subject, so to speak, of divine arithmetic--a question of heavenly proportion. Or, as implied in the other figurative expression of the verse, he weighs the two opposites in his balance. In the one scale he puts "the sufferings of the present time." And it is noteworthy that, different from the other verses of our chapter, he seems to detail here his own personal, individual experience. It is, if I may so venture to call it, a Solo in this inspired Song, "I reckon." Few so well qualified to make the calculation. Few so able to load that scale as he! "What great things he must suffer for My sake," were the terms of his commission--his "marching orders" at the outset of his apostolic campaign. How bravely he accepted them; and how faithfully he discharged them--from the first hour of midnight flight; through storms of land and sea--the outer types of far fiercer moral hurricanes that swept over his sensitive yet dauntless spirit--on to the close of all, when from dreary dungeon he was hurried outside the Ostian Gate to encounter the executioner's axe and undergo a martyr's death! Yes, I repeat, few were in a position to put down, as he could, one portion of the figures in this summation--"the sufferings of the present time!" If we may surmise that he had others also of the family of affliction in his eye, none could well be more conspicuous than those to whom he now wrote. They knew already, and they were before long to know in more terrible form, what suffering was. If we are correct in assigning A.D. 57, or spring of 58, as the date of the writing of this Epistle, it was the fourth year of the reign of ero--a name suggestive of horrors and ferocities in their most revolting shape. Though the worst of these cruelties associated with his "reign of terror" were not yet reached (the circus and garden-fires occurring a few years later), he was already beginning to develop the barbarous instincts of "the lion" in its savagery (2 Tim. 4;17). The martyr era, at all events, was at hand--so that by anticipation Paul could call on his Roman converts and their infant church to prepare for a speedy reckoning of "the sufferings of this present time." With us the age of martyrdom is over. Bigotry has meanwhile closed her iron dungeons. But sorrow, trial, in their thousand forms and phases, still remain as they ever were, to load the Apostle's scale and give point to his question of proportion. "All that live godly in Christ Jesus

will suffer," if not persecution, at all events affliction. Suffering has ever been, and ever will be, God's appointed discipline. The King's highway is paved with trial. "We must, through much tribulation, enter into the kingdom of God" (Acts 14;22). We now turn to the other scale in the balance--"the glory that is to be revealed in us." Or, reverting to his other figure as a question of divine calculation; he puts down a unit--that unit represents present suffering. But he adds countless ciphers, to represent the contrast. The two are not to be compared. They are incomparable--out of proportion. This apostolic reckoner had obtained, through "visions and revelations," a glimpse of the inner glory. Darkness gives place to the brightness of eternal day. This, then, is the second explanation of the otherwise baffling mystery of suffering; that, as he otherwise expresses it--compared with "the ages of the ages," it is "our light affliction, which is but for a moment" (2 Cor. 4;17). He sees, close by, a few Marah-drops of earth's bitter pool. He looks onward, and beholds "a river, the streams whereof make glad the city of God." It is "a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." "A far more exceeding;"--the expression in the original Greek is difficult to render with sufficient intensity--"More and more exceedingly" is the R.V. The Apostle sees glory rising on glory. The weight of the Cross may be great, but it is nothing to the weight of the Crown. Taking this, then, as his deliberate, truthful summation, " ot worthy to be compared;" let us, aided by Paul's few suggestive words, farther analyze his "reckoning." Sorrowing believer– (1) "Reckon" that your sufferings are LIMITED to " this present time;"--"After you have suffered awhile." They are finite; and as such, cannot be compared with their corresponding glory, which is infinite. The sorrows of earth thus restricted in duration, when seen from "the glory revealed," will be but as the visions of a troubled dream in the night, which the morrow's dawn has dispelled. And yet, be it remarked in passing, let us not from this, and through any unworthy, morbid feeling, diminish the importance of time and of the present time. In this great question of divine arithmetic, if it be but a unit, it is the significant unit which gives the figures which follow all their value. It is standing on the all-momentous platform of the present, that we can say of the outlook on the Great Beyond--"The world passes away, and the lust thereof; but he that does the will of God abides forever" (1 John 2;17). (2) "Reckon," that your afflictions and sorrows are METED OUT, appointed, controlled by your Father in heaven. Affliction springs not from the dust nor trouble from the ground. He does not conceal His hand--"I bring a cloud over the earth" (Gen. 9;14). It is no capricious dealing of fate, or accident, or cruel misfortune. They are the words of our "Abba, Father"--"I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction." "Wearisome nights" are "appointed." "I will afflict you in measure." (3) "Reckon," that this divine Chastener--this Father-God--will not allow His afflictions to go TOO FAR. He would not permit the Adversary to touch the life of His servant Job (Job 2;6). He held him as in a chain, saying, "Thus far shall you go, and no farther." He "stays His rough wind in the day of His east wind;"--"tempering the wind to the shorn lamb." There is no such thing as superfluous or unnecessary suffering. In quaint Hebrew symbolism, "He puts my tears into His bottle" (Ps. 56;8). He metes out drop by drop--tear by tear. "If need be, you are in heaviness" (1 Pet. 1;6). (4) "Reckon," that in sufferings here there are always SOLACES--sweet drops in the bitter cup, lulls in the fiercest storm--silver linings in the darkest cloud--gracious alleviations and mitigations. This, too, carrying out the figure of the Apostle, is another question of proportion--"As you are partakers of the sufferings, so shall you be also of the consolation" (2

Cor. 1;7). When God allures us into the wilderness, it is not to abandon us there; but it is to "speak comfortably unto us," and to "make the valley of Achor a door of hope" (Hos. 2;14, 15). He takes Jacob to the wild uplands of Bethel and gives him a hard stone for his night-pillow; but He makes the solitary place glad, He peoples his dreams with a ladder of angels and visions of glory. "I will sing," says the Psalmist, "of mercy and judgment; and he puts the mercy first. God's judgments may be "a great deep." But Your mercy, O God, is vaster still; for it is "in the heavens; and Your faithfulness reaches unto the clouds" (Ps. 36;5, 6). (5) "Reckon," yet once more, and, chiefly, that suffering is the pledge of a Heavenly Father's love. This is the point dominating all, and to which the previous verses, descriptive of the believer's heritage, lead up. "Whom the Lord loves He chastens." "What son is he whom the Father chastens not?" "As many as I love I rebuke and chasten." O strange, yet true! Suffering--a covenant privilege, a covenant badge; one of the insignia of sonship--a turn in the believer's "Song of Songs!" O gracious triumph in this divine reckoning, that we can fall submissive at the feet of the great Chastener and say--"Even so, FATHER; for so it seems good in Your sight;" "I know that Your judgments are right, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me." He is ever employing His angels of affliction "to minister to them that are heirs of salvation." He will not permit His people to settle on their lees. Rather does He see fit ever and anon to "empty from vessel to vessel." He puts a thorn in the nest to drive to the wing. When, at times, a Father's footsteps fail to be traced and a Father's love fails to be apparent-when the hands hang down and the knees grow feeble and the weights of sorrow burden and oppress the spirit, let us try to place in the other scale the wealth of glory to be revealed in that sinless, sorrowless, tearless world, where there are no fiery trials, no debasing corruptions or overmastering temptations--no baffled schemes or thwarted plans, or divided friends or carking cares, or unsolved mysteries or sceptic doubts. The two antithetical words of our verse--"suffering" and "glory"--seem specially to remind us of an element peculiar to the bliss of the redeemed in heaven--a joy which the unfallen angels cannot share. It is the glory and the joy of contrast. "What are these which are arrayed in white robes, and whence came they?" The answer points to the contrasted earthly condition. The brightness is all the greater from its background of gloom. "These are they which came out of great tribulation" (Rev. 7;14). And may there not, here too, have been an implied word of encouragement and heart-cheer to Paul's Roman converts--the revelation of the true, in comparison and contrast with the false and spurious glory? Glory was a word familiar to the Romans--they boasted of their proud roll of heroes, their imperial triumphs, above all of their eternal city. But he now reveals "glory" in its best, highest, only real sense. ot the tinsel of earth--the flash of an hour, the tinted bubble dancing its little moment on the stream then vanishing forever--but the glory whose birthright is in the divine counsels and its duration eternity--the purchased inherited glory of God's own sons! He pointed those to whom he wrote, away from the Ichabod that was soon to be written on their fallen military colossus--the ruin of earth's greatest capital, to "the city which has foundations whose builder and maker is God." 20. Haldane on 18 to 22, “In the 18th verse, the Apostle, for the comfort of believers, had declared that there is reserved for them a weight of glory to which their sufferings while in this world bear no comparison. To the same purpose he now refers to the existing state and future destination of the visible

creation. In thus appealing to a double testimony the one the voice of grace uttered by himself, the other the voice of universal nature, which speaks the same language he encourages the children of God to endure with patience their present trials. In the verses before us, Paul, by an example of personification common in the Scriptures, which consists in attributing human affections to things inanimate or unintelligent, calls the attention of believers to the fact that the whole creation is in a state of suffering and degradation ; and that, wearied with the vanity to which it has been reduced, it is earnestly looking for deliverance. That interpretation which, according to Dr. Macknight and Mr. Stuart, applies this expectation to mankind in general, is contrary to fact. Men in general are not looking for a glorious deliverance, nor is it a fact that they will obtain it ; but it is a fact that there will be new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. All that Mr. Stuart alleges against this is easily obviated. Most of it applies to passages that have been injudiciously appealed to on the subject, which do not bear the con clusion. But if the earth, after being burnt up, shall be restored in glory, there is a just foundation for the figurative expectation. In order to understand these verses, it is necessary to ascertain the import, first, of the term creation, or creature ; 2tf, of that of the vanity to which it is subjected; of that deliverance which it shall experience. Creature. The word in the original, which is translated in the 19th, 1 Ps. xcvi. 11, 12, cviii. 8, cxlviii. 3, 10 ; Isa. Iv. 12 ; Hab. iii. 10. 20th, and 21st verses, creature, and in the 22d, creation, can have no reference to the fallen angels, for they do not desire the manifestation of the children of God ; this they dread, and, looking forward to it, tremble. either can it refer to the elect angels, of whom it cannot be said that they shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption, for to this they were never subjected. It does not apply to men, all of whom are either the children of God or of the wicked one. It cannot refer to the children

of God, for they are here expressly distinguished from the creation of which the Apostle speaks ; nor can it apply to wicked men, for they have no wish for the manifestation of the sons of God, whom they hate, nor will they ever be delivered from the bondage of corruption, but cast into the lake of fire. It remains, then, that the creatures destitute of intelli gence, animate and inanimate, the heavens and the earth, the elements, the plants and animals, are here referred to. The Apostle means to say that the creation, which, on account of sin, has, by the sentence of God, been subjected to vanity, shall be rescued from the present degradation under which it groans, and that, according to the hope held out to it, is longing to participate with the sons of God in that freedom from vanity into which it shall at length be introduced, partaking with them in their future and glorious deliverance from all evil. This indeed cannot mean that the plants and animals, as they at present exist, shall be restored ; but that the condition of those things which shall belong to the new heavens and the new earth, prepared for the sons of God, shall be de livered from the curse, and restored to a perfect state, as when all things that God had created were pronounced by Him very good, and when, as at the beginning, before sin entered, they shall be fully adapted to the use of man. As men earnestly desire what is good, and, on the contrary, groan and sigh in their sufferings, the like emotions of joy and sorrow are here ascribed to the inanimate and unintelligent creation. In this way the prophets introduce the earth as groaning, and the animals as crying to God, in sympathy with the condition of man. The land mourneth, for the corn is wasted; the new wine is dried up ; the oil languisheth, because, joy is withered away from the sons of men! How do the beasts groan ! the beasts of the field cry also unto Thee ! Joel i. 10-20. How long shall the land mourn and the herbs of every field wither, for the wicked ness of them that dwell therein? Jer. xii. 4. The earth mourneth and fadeth away ; the world languishes and fadeth away ; the haughty people of the earth do languish. The earth also is defiled, under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance,

broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth. The new wine mourneth ; the wine languisheth ! Isa. xxiv. 4-7. To the same purpose, Isa. xiii. 13, xxxiii. 9, xxxiv. 4. On the other hand, the Prophet Isaiah, xlix. 13, predicting a better state of things, exclaims, * Sing, O heavens ; and be joyful, O earth ; and break forth into singing, O mountains; for the Lord hath comforted His people, and will have mercy upon His afflicted ! And in Ps. xcviii. 46, Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth ; make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praises ! Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof! Let the floods clap their hands : let the hills be joyful together ! Thus, in the language of Scripture, the sins of men cause the creation to mourn ; but the mercy of God, withdrawing His rebukes, causeth it to rejoice. Vanity. What is called vanity in the 20th verse, is in the 21st denominated bondage of corruption. When the creation was brought into existence, God bestowed on it His blessing, and pronounced everything that He had made very good. Viewing that admirable palace which lie had provided, He appointed man to reign in it, commanding all creation to be subject to him whom He had made in His own image. But when sin entered, then, in a certain sense, it may be said that all things had become evil, and were diverted from their proper end. The creatures by their nature were appointed for the service of the friends of their Creator ; but since the entrance of sin they had become subservient o His enemies. Instead of the sun and the heavens being honored to give light to those who obey God, and the earth to support the righteous, they now minister to rebels. The sun shines upon the wicked, the earth nourishes those who blaspheme their Maker ; while its various productions, instead of being employed for the glory of God, are used as instruments of ambition, of avarice, of intemperance, of cruelty, of idolatry, and are often employed for the destruction of His children. Ail these are subjected to vanity when applied by men for vain purposes. This degradation is a grievance to the works of God, which in themselves have remained in allegiance. They groan under it, but, keeping within

their proper limits, hold on their course. Had it been the will of the Creator, after the entrance of sin, the creature might have refused to serve the vices, or even the necessities of man. This is sometimes threatened. In reproving the idolatry of the children of Israel, God speaks as if He intended to withdraw His creatures from their service, in taking them entirely away. Therefore will I return and take away My corn in the time thereof, and My wine in the season thereof, and will recover My wool and My flax given to cover her nakedness/ Hos. ii. 9. And sometimes the creature is represented as reclaiming against the covetousness and wickedness of men. The stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it, Hab. ii. 11. The whole creation, then, groaneth together, and is under bondage on account of the sin of man, and has suffered by it immensely. As to the inanimate creation, in many ways it shows its figurative groaning, and the vanity to which it has been reduced. * Cursed is the ground for thy sake ; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee. It produces all noxious weeds, and in many places is entirely barren. It is subject to earthquakes, floods, and storms destructive to human life, and in various respects labors under the curse pronounced upon it. The lower animals have largely shared in the sufferings of man. They are made to be taken and destroyed, 2 Pet. ii. 1 2, and to devour one another. They have become subservient to the criminal pleasures of man, and are the victims of his oppressive cruelty. Some partake in the labors to which he is subjected ; and all of them terminate their short existence by death, the effect of sin. All that belongs to the creation is fading and transitory, and death reigns universally. The heavens and the earth shall wax old like a garment. The earth once perished by water, and now it is reserved unto fire. The heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat ; the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burnt up. The heavens being on fire shall be dissolved. The cause of this subjection to vanity is not from their original tendencies, or from any fault in the creatures. They

have been so subjected, not willingly, not owing to any natural defect or improper disposition in themselves, but by reason of the sin of man, and in order to his greater punishment. The houses of those who were guilty of rebellion were destroyed, Ezra vi. 11 ; Dan. ii. 5, not that there was guilt in the stones or the wood, but in order to inflict the severer punishment on their criminal possessors, and also to testify the greater abhorrence of their crime, in thus visiting them in the things that belonged to them. In the same manner, man, having been constituted the lord of the creatures, his punishment has been extended to them. This in a very striking manner demonstrates the hatred of God against sin. For as the leprosy not only defiled the man who was infected with it, but also the house he inhabited, in the same way, sin, which is the spiritual leprosy of man, has not only defiled our bodies and our souls, but, by the just judgment of God, has infected all creation. In whatever way it may be attempted to be accounted for, it is a fact that the world and all around us is in a suffering and degraded condition. This state of things bears the appearance of being inconsistent with the government of God, all-powerful, wise, arid good. The proud skeptic is here completely at a stand. He cannot even conjecture why such a state .of things should have had place. With Mr. Hume, the language of every reflecting unbeliever must be, * The whole is a riddle, an enigma, an inexplicable mystery. Doubt, uncertainty, suspense of judgment, appear the only result of our most accurate scrutiny concerning this subject. The Book of God alone dispels the darkness, and unveils the mystery. Here, then, we learn how great is the evil of sin. It has polluted the heavens and the earth, and has subjected the whole to vanity and corruption. Evil and misery prevail, and creation itself is compelled to witness the dishonor done to its Author. It would be derogatory to the glory of God to suppose that His works are now in the same condition in which they were at first formed, or that they will always continue as at present. In the meantime, all the creatures are groaning under

their degradation, until the moment when God shall remove those obstacles which prevent them from answering their proper ends, and render them incapable of suitably glorifying Him. But the righteous Judge, who subjected them to vanity in consequence of the disobedience of man, has made provision for their final restoration. The creation, then, is not in that state in which it was originally constituted. A fearful change and disorganization, even in the frame of the natural world, has taken place. The introduction of sin has brought along with it this subjection to vanity and the bondage of corruption, and all that ruin under which nature groans. How miserable is the condition of those who have their portion in this world ! Of them it may be truly said, Surely they have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit. Of those who mind earthly things, it is written, their * end is destruction. The heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. Delivered. Some suppose that the word delivered signifies an entire annihilation, and in support of this opinion allege such passages as 2 Pet. iii. 10; Rev. xx. 11. But as a tendency of all things in nature is to their own preservation, how could the creation be represented as earnestly expecting the manifestation of the sons of God, if that manifestation were to be accompanied with its final ruin and destruction? Besides, the Apostle promises not merely a future deliverance, but also a glorious future existence. The Scriptures, too, in various places, predict the continued subsistence of the heavens and the earth, as 2 Pet. iii. 13 ; Rev. xxi. 1. Respecting the passages quoted above, as importing their annihilation, it ought to be observed that the destruction of the sub stance of things differs from a change in their qualities. When metal of a certain shape is subjected to fire, it is destroyed as to its figure, but not as to its substance. Thus the heavens and the earth will pass through the fire, but only that they may be purified and come forth anew, more excellent than before. In Psalm cii. 26, it is said, They shall

perish, but Thou shalt endure ; yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt Thou change them, and they shall be changed. That the Apostle Peter, when he says that the heavens shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, does not refer to the destruction of their substance, but to their purification, is evident from what he immediately adds, evertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. A little before he had said, The world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished, although its substance remains as at the beginning. If, then, the punishment of sin has extended to the creatures, in bringing them under the bondage of corruption, so, according to the passage before us, that grace which reigns above sin, will also be extended to their deliverance. And, as the punishment of the sins of men is so much the greater as their effects extend to the creatures, in like manner so much the greater will be the glory that shall be revealed in them, that the creatures which were formed for their use shall be made to participate with them in the day of the restitution of all things. Through the goodness of God they shall follow the deliverance and final destination of the children of God, and not that of His enemies. When God created the world, He saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. When man transgressed, God viewed it a second time, and said, * Cursed is the ground for thy sake. When the promise that the Deliverer should come into the world to re-establish peace between God and man was given, the effect of this blessed reconciliation was to extend even to the inanimate and unintelligent creation ; and God, it may be said, then viewed His work a third time, and held out the hope of a glorious restoration. The creature, then, has been subjected to the indignity which it now suffers, in hope l that it will one day be delivered from the bondage of corruption, and partake of the glorious freedom of the children of God. This hope was held out in the sentence pronounced on man, for, in the doom of our first parents, the Divine purpose of providing a deliverer

was revealed. We know not the circumstances of this change, how it will be effected, or in what form the creation those new heavens and that new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness, suited for the abode of the sons of God shall then exist; but we are sure that it shall be worthy of the Divine wisdom, although at present beyond our comprehension. Manifestation of the sons of God. Believers are even now the sons of God, but the world knows them not, 1 John iii. 1. In this respect they are not seen. Their bodies, as well as their spirits, have been purchased by Christ, and they are become His members. Their bodies have, how ever, no marks of this Divine relation, but, like those of other men, are subject to disease, to death, and corruption. And although they have been regenerated by the Spirit of God, there is still a law in their members warring against the law of their mind. But the period approaches when their souls shall be freed from every remainder of corruption, and their bodies shall be made like unto the glorious body of the Son of God. Then this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and then shall they shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. It is then that they shall be manifested in their true character, illustrious as the sons of God, seated upon thrones, and conspicuous in robes of light and glory.”

19. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.

1. Barnes, “For the earnest expectation - ἀποκαραδοκία apokaradokia. This word occurs only here and in Phi_1:20, “According to my earnest expectation and my hope,” etc. It properly denotes a state of earnest desire to see any object when the head is thrust forward; an intense anxiety; an ardent wish; and is thus well employed to denote the intense interest with which a Christian looks to his future inheritance. Of the creature - τῆς κτίσεως tēs ktiseōs.” Perhaps there is not a passage in the ew Testament that has been deemed more difficult of interpretation than this Rom_8:19-23; and after all the

labors bestowed on it by critics, still there is no explanation proposed which is perfectly satisfactory, or in which commentators concur. The object here will be to give what appears to the writer the true meaning, without attempting to controvert the opinions of critics. The main design of the passage is, to show the sustaining power of the gospel in the midst of trials, by the prospect of the future deliverance and inheritance of the sons of God. This scope of the passage is to guide us in the interpretation. The following are, I suppose, the leading points in the illustration. (1) The word “creature” refers to the renewed nature of the Christian, or to the Christian as renewed. (2) He is waiting for his future glory; that is, desirous of obtaining the full development of the honors that await him as the child of God; Rom_8:19. (3) He is subjected to a state of trial and vanity, affording comparatively little comfort and much disquietude. (4) This is not in accordance with the desire of his heart, “not willingly,” but is the wise appointment of God; Rom_8:20. (5) In this state there is the hope of deliverance into glorious liberty; Rom_8:21. (6) This condition of things does not exist merely in regard to the Christian, but is the common condition of the world. It all groans, and is in trial, as much as the Christian. He therefore should not deem his condition as especially trying. It is the common lot of all things here; Rom_8:22, But, (7) Christians only have the prospect of deliverance. To them is held out the hope of final rescue, and of an eternal inheritance beyond all these sufferings. They wait, therefore, for the full benefits of the adoption; the complete recovery even of the body from the effects of sin, and the toils and trials of this live; and thus they are sustained by hope, which is the argument which the apostle has in view; Rom_8:23-24. With this view of the general scope of the passage, we may examine the particular phrases. (The opinion which is perhaps most generally adopted of this difficult passage, is what explains κτίσις ktisis of the whole irrational creation. According to this view, the apostle, having adverted to the glory that awaited the Christian, as a ground of joy and comfort under present sufferings, exalts our idea of it still higher by representing the external world as participating in, and waiting for it. “This interpretation is suitable to the design of the apostle. Paul’s object is not to confirm the certainty of a future state, but to produce a strong impression of its glorious character. othing could be better adapted to this object, than the grand and beautiful figure of the whole creation waiting and longing for the glorious revelation of the Son of God, and the consummation of his kingdom.” Hodge. In the original it is the same word that is rendered alternately “creature” and “creation.” And the meaning of the passage depends, in great measure, on the sense of this single word. Generally speaking, it signifies anything created. The particular kind of creation is determined by the context alone. Of course, whatever sense we may attach to it, must be continued throughout the whole passage, as we cannot suppose the apostle uses the same word in two different senses, in one place, without any intimation of the change. To what then does κτίσις ktisis refer? It is maintained by those who adopt the view noticed above, that it cannot refer to angels, either elect or fallen, since the former have never been subject to the bondage of corruption, and the latter are not waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God; that it cannot allude to wicked people, for neither do they anxiously look out for this manifestation; that it can no more refer to saints or renewed people, since these are expressly distinguished as a separate class in Rom_8:23; and that, therefore, it must be understood of the whole manimate and

irrational creation. It is further argued, that every part of the context may be explained consistently with this view. The passage is supposed to present a very bold and beautiful instance of the figure called prosopopoeia, by which things inanimate are invested with life and feeling, a figure which is indeed very common in Scripture, and which we need not be surprised to find in this place, amid so much that is grand and elevating; Joe_1:10, Joe_1:20; Jer_12:4; Isa_24:4, Isa_24:7. According to this interpretation of κτίσις ktisis then, the general sense of the apostle may be thus given. The whole irrational creation is interested in the future glory of the sons of God, and is anxiously waiting for it. For then the curse will be removed from the very ground, and the lower animals relieved from oppression and cruelty. The very creation, on account of the sin of man, has been subjected to the curse, and has become “vain” or useless in regard to the original design of it, having been made subservient to the evil purposes and passions of man. This state of subjection to vanity is not willing, but by restraint. Violence is imposed, as it were, on external nature. But this shall not continue. There is hope in the heart of the subject world, that ὅτι hoti it shall be delivered from this bondage, and participate in the liberty of the children of God. This representation may seem strange and unusual, but “we know” certainly, adds the apostle, that it is so; that “the whole creation πᾶσα ἡ κτίσις pasa hē ktisis, groaneth and travaileth in pain throughout every part. Even we, who are saints of God, and have been favored with the earnests of future bliss, feel the general oppression, and groan within ourselves, while we wait for the period of deliverance, in which the very body shall be ransomed from the grave and fashioned like unto Christ’s glorious body.) Of the creature - The word here rendered “creature” κτίσις ktisis, occurs in the ew Testament nineteen times, and is used in the following senses: (1) Creation; the act of creating; Rom_1:20, (2) The creature; what is created or formed; the universe; Mar_10:6; Mar_13:19; 2Pe_3:4; Rom_1:25; Rom_8:39. (3) The rational creation; man as a rational being; the world of mankind; Mar_16:15; Col_1:23; 1Pe_2:13. (4) Perhaps the church, the new creation of God taken collectively; Col_1:15; Rev_3:14. (5) The Christian, the new creation, regarded individually; the work of the Holy Spirit on the renewed heart; the new man. After all the attention which I can give to this passage, I regard this to be the meaning here, for the following reasons, namely. (1) Because this alone seems to me to suit the connection, and to make sense in the argument. If the word refers, as has been supposed by different interpreters; either to angels, or to the bodies of people, or to the material creation, or to the rational creation - to people (mankind); it is difficult to see what connection either would have with the argument. The apostle is discoursing of the benefits of the gospel to Christians in time of trial; and the bearing of the argument requires us to understand this illustration of them, unless we are compelled not to understand it thus by the proper laws of interpreting words. (2) The word “creature” is used in a similar sense by the same apostle. Thus, 2Co_5:17, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature” καινὴ κτίσις kainē ktisis. Gal_6:15, “for in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” (3) The verb create is thus used. Thus, Eph_2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works.” Eph_2:15, “having abolished in his flesh the enmity ...for to make in himself of twain one new man:” Greek, “That he might create κτίσῃ ktisē the two into one

newman.” Eph_4:24, “the new man, which is created in righteousness,” etc. (4) othing was more natural than for the sacred writers thus to speak of a Christian as a new creation, a new creature. The great power of God involved in his conversion, and the strong resemblance between the creation and imparting spiritual life, led naturally to this use of the language. (5) Language similar to this occurs in the Old Testament, and it was natural to transfer it to the ew. The Jewish people were represented as made or created by God for his service, and the phrase, therefore, might come to designate those who were thus formed by him to his service. Deu_32:6, “hath he not made thee, and established thee?” Isa_43:7, “ ... Everyone that is called by my name; for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.” Isa_43:21, “this people have I formed for myself.” From all which reasons, it seems to me that the expression here is used to denote Christians, renewed people. Its meaning, however, is varied in Rom_8:22. Waiteth for - Expects; is not in a state of possession, but is looking for it with interest. The manifestation of the sons of God - The full development of the benefits of the sons of God; the time when they shall be acknowledged, and received into the full privileges of sons. Here Christians have some evidence of their adoption. But they are in a world of sin; they are exposed to trials; they are subject to many calamities; and though they have evidence here that they are the sons of God, yet they wait for that period when they shall be fully delivered from all these trials, and be admitted to the enjoyment of all the privileges of the children of the Most High. The time when this shall take place will be at the day of Judgment, when they shall be fully acknowledged in the presence of an assembled universe as his children. All Christians are represented as in this posture of waiting for the full possession of their privileges as the children of God. 1Co_1:7, “waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2Th_3:5; Gal_5:5, “for we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.” 1Th_1:10. 2. Clarke, “For the earnest expectation of the creature - There is considerable difficulty in this and the four following verses: and the difficulty lies chiefly in the meaning of the word ἡ κτισις, which we translate the creature, and creation. Some think that by it the brute creation is meant; others apply it to the Jewish people; others to the godly; others to the Gentiles; others to the good angels; and others to the fallen spirits, both angelic and human. Dissertations without end have been written on it; and it does not appear that the Christian world are come to any general agreement on the subject. Dr. Lightfoot’s mode of explanation appears to me to be the best, on the whole. “There is,” says he, “a twofold key hanging at this place, which may unlock the whole, and make the sense plain and easy. 1. The first is the phrase, πασα ἡ κτισις, which we render the whole creation, Rom_8:22, and with which we meet twice elsewhere in the ew Testament. Mar_16:15 : Preach the Gospel, πασῃ τῃ κτισει, to every creature; and Col_1:23 : The Gospel was preached, εν πασῃ τῃ κτισει, to every creature. ow it is sufficiently apparent what is meant by πασα κτισις in both these places, viz. all nations, or the heathen world. For that which in St. Mark is, preach the Gospel to every creature, is, in St. Matthew, go and teach, παντα τα εθνη, all nations. And this very phrase in this place lays claim to that very interpretation. And the Hebrew ‫ כל הבריות‬col habberioth, which answers to the Greek πασα ἡ κτισις, every creature, is applied by the Jews to the Gentiles, and that by way of opposition to Israel. 2. The second key is the word µαταιοτητι, Rom_8:20, which is not unfitly rendered vanity; but then this vanity is improperly applied to the vanishing, dying, changing state of the

creation. For µαταιοτης, vanity, does not so much denote the vanishing condition of the outward state, as it does the inward vanity or emptiness of the mind. So the apostle, speaking of the Gentiles concerning whom he speaks here, tells us εµαταιωθησαν, They became vain in their imaginations, Rom_1:21; and again, The Gentiles walk εν µαταιοτητι, in the vanity of their mind, Eph_4:17; so also, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, ὁτι εισι µαταιοι, that they are vain, 1Co_3:20. To all which let me add this farther observation, that throughout this whole place the apostle seems to allude to the bondage of the Israelites in Egypt, and their deliverance from it; with a comparison made betwixt the Jewish and the Gentile Church. When God would deliver Israel from his bondage, he challenges him for his Son, and his first-born, Exo_4:22. And in like manner the Gentiles earnestly expect and wait for such a kind of manifestation of the sons of God, within and among themselves. The Romans, to whom the apostle writes, knew well how many predictions and promises it had pleased God to publish by his prophets, concerning gathering together and adopting sons to himself among the Gentiles; the manifestation of which sons the whole Gentile world with a neck as it were stretched out, as the word αποκαραδοκια implies, (απο, from, and καρα, the head, and δοκαω, to expect), doth now wait for.” See the observations at the end of this chapter, (Rom_8:39 (note)). 3. Gill, “For the earnest expectation of the creature,.... Some by the creature understand the universe, all created beings animate and inanimate, which having suffered much by the sin of man, are introduced by a rhetorical figure, as waiting for deliverance and a restoration to their paradisiacal estate; but some part of the world is manifestly distinguished from them, Rom_8:23, others think that angels are here meant, who being obliged to minister to sinful men, are represented as groaning and longing for the time when all the children of God shall be brought in, that they may be dismissed from their service; but what is said of subjection to vanity, of the bondage of corruption, and of their groaning and travailing in pain, can never agree with such happy spirits: others suppose that men in general are designed, being by sin brought into a state of bondage and corruption, subjected to vanity, attended with troubles, and liable to death, and so groan under their present miseries for deliverance; but to desire anything of a spiritual nature cannot be ascribed to men in general; and besides, as before observed, some persons are distinguished from them, Rom_8:23, others have been of opinion, that the new creature, or renewed persons, are here intended, who being burdened with indwelling sin, groan under it, long for deliverance from it, and are waiting for the heavenly glory; but these cannot be said to be in a state of bondage to corruption, for they are freed from the dominion of sin, and are become the servants of righteousness. It is best of all by "the creature" to understand the Gentile world. "The creature" here, and "the whole creation", Rom_8:22, must be the same; now the phrase πασα κτισις, "the whole creation", or "every creature", as it may be rendered, signifies the nations of the world, in distinction to the Jews; see Mar_16:15; compared with Mat_28:19 and answers to ‫" ,בריות‬the creatures"; by which name the Jews often in their writings call the Gentiles, to distinguish them from the Israelites. Take two or three instances, as follow, "let your commerce (say they (g)), &c. be in a peaceable manner, ‫" ,עם הבריות‬with the creatures"; what do "the creatures" say concerning him? such an one, blessed be his father who taught him the law, blessed be his master who taught him the law; woe ‫" ,להם לבריות‬to the creatures", because they learn not the law; such an one who hath learned the law, they observe how beautiful are his ways, and how well ordered his works; of him it is written, saying, "and said unto me, thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified", Isa_49:3;''

where the creatures and the Israelites are evidently distinguished from one another: again (h), "woe ‫" ,להם לבריות‬to the creatures", who know not, nor have they any regard for the service of their Creator; for it is a tradition, (says R. Isaac,) that "Bath Kol", or a voice, goes out every day from Mount Horeb, and says, woe ‫" ,להם לבריות‬to the creatures", because of the service of their Creator.'' And a little after, "if ‫" ,הבריות‬the creatures", knew the love with which the holy blessed God loves Israel, they would roar like young lions to follow after him.'' Once more (i), "all the prayer ‫" ,של הבריות‬of the creatures", is only for the earth; Lord let the earth be fruitful, Lord let the earth prosper; all the prayer ‫" ,של ישראל‬of the Israelites", is only for the house of the Lord, Lord let the house of the sanctuary be built.'' ow what "the creature", the Gentile world, is represented as earnestly waiting, and wistly looking out for, is the manifestation of the sons of God; which is made first at their conversion, and afterwards openly and more fully at the appearance of Christ in the resurrection morn. There is a manifestation of the sons of God, at conversion. They that are the sons of God, are his sons before by divine predestination, and through the covenant of grace; as such they were given to Christ; and under this character, and as standing in this relation, he assumed their nature, and died for them, in order to gather them together; and indeed, this previous relation is the ground and foundation of the Spirit of Christ being sent down into their hearts, to manifest their adoption to them; for before conversion, it is not manifested, neither to themselves nor others, but then it is in some measure made known. This may in a particular manner be applied to the Gentiles, and God's elect among them. They were the sons of God before they were manifested as such; they are spoken of in prophecy as in that relation; see Isa_45:11; and seemed to be designed chiefly, if not altogether, by "the children of God scattered abroad", in Joh_11:51. These were not known, nor looked upon by the Jews, to be the children of God; but when the Gospel came in among them, as the power of God, it manifested them to be such: so that where it was formerly said, "ye are not my people", there it is said, "ye are the sons of the living God", Hos_1:10. But the full manifestation of the sons of God will be in their glorification at Christ's second coming; when they shall be openly taken into God's family, and shall be owned by Christ in this relation, before angels and men; they will appear in themselves otherwise than now they do; they will be put into the possession of the inheritance they are adopted to, and will have that honour and dignity which belong to their character actually conferred on them; so that they shall appear, not only to themselves, but to all the world, to be what they are: now this, in the whole compass of it, the Gentiles might be said to be in earnest expectation of, and waiting for. They may be said, in some sense, to expect and wait for the manifestation of the Son of God himself, the Messiah, who is called "the desire of all nations", Hag_2:7, for it was promised, that "to him should the gathering", Gen_49:10, or, as some read it, "the expectation of the people", or "nations be": they also waited for his law, his doctrine, the everlasting Gospel, Isa_42:4, and when that was come among them, and became the power of God to the salvation of many of them, this raised in them an earnest expectation of many, of multitudes of the sons of God being manifested among

them, according to several prophecies of the Old Testament, which largely speak of this matter; and they continue to wait for the bringing in of the fulness of them in the latter day, and for the ultimate glory, which all the sons of God, whether Jews or Gentiles, shall enjoy together. 4. Henry, “As the accomplishment of the saints' present hopes and expectations, Rom_8:19, etc. As the saints are suffering for it, so they are waiting for it. Heaven is therefore sure; for God by his Spirit would not raise and encourage those hopes only to defeat and disappoint them. He will establish that word unto his servants on which he has caused them to hope (Psa_119:49), and heaven is therefore sweet; for, if hope deferred makes the heart sick, surely when the desire comes it will be a tree of life, Pro_13:12. ow he observes an expectation of this glory, In the creatures Rom_8:19-22. That must needs be a great, a transcendent glory, which all the creatures are so earnestly expecting and longing for. This observation in these verses has some difficulty in it, which puzzles interpreters a little; and the more because it is a remark not made in any other scripture, with which it might be compared. By the creature here we understand, not as some do the Gentile world, and their expectation of Christ and the gospel, which is an exposition very foreign and forced, but the whole frame of nature, especially that of this lower world - the whole creation, the compages of inanimate and sensible creatures, which, because of their harmony and mutual dependence, and because they all constitute and make up one world, are spoken of in the singular number as the creature. 4B. David Riggs, “The second reason for enduring suffering is because Christians eagerly await the redemption of the body. This section is one of the most difficult in the book of Romans. There are many different interpretations on the meaning of "creature," "the whole creation," and "we ourselves." Paul is dealing with the present suffering and future glory. Suffering is temporary, but man is eternal. The suffering Christian will some day be delivered from this present state and transformed into a glorious state. 1. "Earnest expectation" - Eagerly watching with suspense. 2. "The creation" - We list four possibilities: (1) "The creation" - All created things including inanimate objects. (2) "The creation" - Intelligent beings; humanity. The same as "whole creation" in verse 22. (3) "The new creation" - The spiritual creation of God; the Christian. (4) "The creature" - The physical makeup of man; the body. 1. As we will show, the second one seems to be the correct meaning in this text. 3. "Revealing of the sons of God" - "Waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed." ( IV) 1. The emphasis is on man's hope of immortality. 2. James MacKnight on this verse said: "...The earnest desire of mankind hath ever been to obtain that glorious endless life in the body, by which the sons of God shall be made known." 5. Grace Community Church, “Here Paul pictures all animate and inanimate creation as an audience eagerly waiting for the sons of God (the believers) to come into their true glory. The phrase in verse 19 that we translate "waits in eager expectation" comes from words which mean to "crane the neck" or "stretch forward." One translation renders this verse "The whole of

creation is on tiptoe to see the wonderful sight of the sons of God coming into their own." Creation longs for the day of liberation. Paul gives us the reason for this in verse 20: "For creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it." This is about the curse which the Fall brought on all of the Earth. Man's sin did not just effect himself and his offspring, but it brought a curse to all of plants and animals and mountains and minerals, to the air, to all of the created order. So now the forces of nature actually work against themselves, as well as against man. ature is, as one famous poet said, "red in tooth and claw." To make matters worse, humanity, in its sin, does not behave as a good steward of creation. We exacerbate the problem by polluting and poisoning our home. So, Paul tells us, the earth itself groans like a woman in labor. As if it desperately wants the delivery to be over. Many of you dads have photos of your wives after they have delivered a child, and typically the baby is in their arms and they are radiant. Anybody here carry photos of your wife during labor? obody pulls out his wallet and says, "Let me show you this great shot of Belinda in labor. Isn't her agony terrific?" But like labor, the pain has a purpose. God is preparing to deliver the birth of a new earth and a new heaven. Someday our groaning creation will come into the glorious freedom of the children of God. Think what that will be like. o hurricanes, no diseases, no death, no violence. We are going to see that day! But for now we live with groans. There is a longing for things to be made right. 6. Unknown author, “For the earnest expectation of the creature] There is considerable difficulty in this and the four following verses: and the difficulty lies chiefly in the meaning of the word h ktisiv, which we translate the creature, and creation. Some think that by it the brute creation is meant; others apply it to the Jewish people; others to the godly; others to the Gentiles; others to the good angels; and others to the fallen spirits, both angelic and human. Dissertations without end have been written on it; and it does not appear that the Christian world are come to any general agreement on the subject. Dr. Lightfoot's mode of explanation appears to me to be the best, on the whole. "There is," says he, "a twofold key hanging at this place, which may unlock the whole, and make the sense plain and easy. 1. The first is the phrase, pasa h ktisiv, which we render the whole creation, ver. 22, and with which we meet twice elsewhere in the ew Testament. Mark xvi. 15: Preach the Gospel, pash th ktisei, to every creature; and Col. i. 23: The Gospel was preached, en pash th ktisei, to every creature. ow it is sufficiently apparent what is meant by pasa ktisiv in both these places, viz. all nations, or the heathen world. For that which in St. Mark is, preach the Gospel to every creature, is, in St. Matthew, go and teach, panta ta eqnh, all nations. And this very phrase in this place lays claim to that very interpretation. And the Hebrew twyrbh lk col habberioth, which answers to the Greek pasa h ktisiv, every creature, is applied by the Jews to the Gentiles, and that by way of opposition to Israel. The second key is the word mataiothti, ver. 20, which is not unfitly rendered vanity; but then this vanity is improperly applied to the vanishing, dying, changing state of the creation. For mataiothv, vanity, does not so much denote the vanishing condition of the outward state, as it does the inward vanity or emptiness of the mind. So the apostle, speaking of the Gentiles concerning whom he speaks here, tells us emataiwqhsan, They became vain in their imaginations, chap. i. 21; and again, The Gentiles walk en mataiothti, in the vanity of their mind, Ephesians iv. 17; so also, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, oti eisi mataioi, that they are vain, 1 Cor.

iii. 20. To all which let me add this farther observation, that throughout this whole place the apostle seems to allude to the bondage of the Israelites in Egypt, and their deliverance from it; with a comparison made betwixt the Jewish and the Gentile Church. When God would deliver Israel from his bondage, he challenges him for his Son, and his first-born, Exod. iv. 22. And in like manner the Gentiles earnestly expect and wait for such a kind of manifestation of the sons of God, within and among themselves. The Romans, to whom the apostle writes, knew well how many predictions and promises it had pleased God to publish by his prophets, concerning gathering together and adopting sons to himself among the Gentiles; the manifestation of which sons the whole Gentile world with a neck as it were stretched out, as the word apokaradokia implies, (apo, from, and kara, the head, and dokaw, to expect,) doth now wait for." This is not the best of all possible worlds, and even creation knows that, and it is expectant of the better yet to be. Man and nature go together for all eternity, for the Creator loves both and has a plan for both. This is the basis for our respect for all creation. He prayeth best who loveth best All things both great and small, For the dear God who loveth us He made and loveth all. ature does not function as God intended and so their is evil in nature as well as in man. It is not a finished product, and will not be until man himself is completed, and so there will be a perfect man and perfect nature in the eternal kingdom. Paul Bids us see in heaven and earth, In all fair things around, Strong yearnings for a blest new birth, With sinless glories crowned.

7. The Bible gives emotions to nature. A. . Arnold writes, “The land mourns, and the herbs of every field wither, for the wickedness of them that dwell therin. The voice of blood cries from the ground. The wilderness and the solitary places are glad, and the desert rejoices with joy and singing. The deep utters his voice and lifts up his hands on high. The heavens rejoice; the earth is glad; the sea roars; the field is joyful; and all the trees rejoice before the Lord.” Giving creation the attributes of living creature is common in Hebrew thought. See Ps 98:1-9 and Isa. 44:23. Will plants and animals be saved? Yes, but not meaning the individual but rather the species. It can be assumed that all that God has made will be a part of the eternal kingdom. When we are complete, the environment that we love will also be complete. We are in this together in the fall and in the resurrection. Isa. 65:17, 66:22-24 II Pet. 3:10-13 All the world is linked to the destiny of man.” 8. Beet, “The argument of vv, 19—22 is this. From the present confusion of nature, so anomalous and so contrary to its divine origin, and from the story of Gen. iii. 18, Paul infers that better days await the material creation. He therefore conceives it to be a prisoner listening for the footsteps of the liberator. And, since nature's bondage was the result of man's sin, nature's coming liberation

attests that man will be made free. That nature is waiting for the moment when it will burst into a song, tells that glory is coming. And if so, it is coming for those in whom the Spirit bears witness that they are sons of God. Obs. that Paul, when speaking of the future, adopts the thoughts and words of the old prophets. Comp. Ps. xcviii. 8, Is. Iv. I2f, etc. We have here another proof of Paul's careful contemplation of the material world. So i. 20. For an important coincidence, see A. xiv. 17, xvii. 24. If our exposition be correct, these verses plainly teach that the world beneath our feet will be rescued from the curse of sin, to be our eternal home. Comp. A. iii. 21, Rev. xxi. I. Just as the sin of man's spirit brought a curse upon the body in which the spirit dwells, so it brought a curse also upon the greater dwelling-place of the entire race. And just as the body will some day share the liberation which the spirit already enjoys, so will also the world around. Thus are the fortunes of the material world indissolubly joined to those of its inhabitant, man.”

9. Great Texts, “This whole creation of which St. Paul writes is to him not a dead but a living thing. Its movement is not the movement of machinery, but the movement of life. It groans and travails with its desire to fulfill itself. It is, he says, earnestly expectant; it waits for that which is to come. It is a sympathetic, a patient world. Instead of a blind, purposeless, mechanical process, this man sees a universe with an intention and a desire of its own, bringing forth at last, through the pains which we now call the struggle for existence, the state of things we see. Instead of a world-factory, grinding out with indifference its tides and storms, its plants and animals, and the emotions and ideals of men, he sees a universe working out with expectancy and desire a divinely appointed end. Thus he simply anticipates the whole series of philosophers and poets who have seen in ature a living and purposeful process, manifesting at each step the presence of one comprehensive will. It might have been St. Paul instead of Tennyson who sang of One far-off divine event To which the whole creation moves. By a strong figure, the Apostle represents all the universe, even to the dumb brutes, even to the lifeless fields and rocks and trees, as doing what in strict fact only sentient and intelligent man could do grieving and sorrowing over the prevalence of misery and guilt, and longing for the day when these shall go for ever awakened to a sense of the moral and physical evil to which it is subject, groaning under the bondage of its own corruption, and sustained only by the hope of a future emancipation into liberty worthy of the creature of God, and of a purification which shall bring it back to the goodness in which it was created at the first. We have missed much in Christian thought by separating man as we have done from the great living creation around him. The poet went out to meet the sunrise with his eyes wide open, and he came back with a shining face and wonder streaming out of his eyes, and he sang, and would not be denied, of a speaking heart of creation that had responded to his own. The breezes had been whispering to him, the flowers had smiled upon him, the brooks had been chattering weary legends of the past, the great sun had been laughing the sorrow out of his soul, and he had caught a great eternal message, which showed that ature and he were one. We easily tolerated the poet and listened to his pleasant voice, though we thought his words were wild, and even detected a gleam of insanity in his gaze. But now God is forcing us out of our useless isolation to realize that

we are not isolated souls living in a nameless void, but a living and integral part of this splendid creation, that we live in it and it lives in us, that in some real sense it shares our travail and shall share our glory. ot from his fellows only man may learn Rights to compare and duties to discern ! All creatures and all objects, in degree, Are friends and patrons of humanity. The Greek word translated " earnest expectation " is a picture in itself. It is the expectation of a man with head erect, looking out afar towards the source from which the succor is to come. It presents to the eye the waiting of all creation for the manifestation or further work of the children of God ; groaning meanwhile and travailing in pain. And so, as we read the great Apostle s words, as we seek to picture to our minds their meaning, there rises before us, as some vast, majestic vision, the imagery of a whole world, a whole universe fields, trees, rivers, clouds, and stars great nations, thronged cities, endless crowds of immortal beings, numberless hosts of creatures animate yet with out rational souls all waiting, watching, looking out; standing with the head thrust forward, and silently, eagerly, gazing far away for something hoped and longed for something that is slow, indeed, in coming, but that is sure to come at last. 10. Great Text goes on, “Why is creation waiting so earnestly for the revealing of the sons of God ? Because creation is subjected to vanity, that is, to instability, decay, corruption, from which it is to be delivered at the revelation in glory of the sons of God. To this vanity creation became subject not of its own will, i.e. not of its own doing or of its own fault. It was the appointment of the Divine Will. When man fell, God so ordained it that man s sin should affect also the brute creation, and inflict a blight on even inanimate nature. It was thus that the intense evil of sin was broadly marked, and that man reaped bitter fruit of his own transgression in the deterioration of that which otherwise would have been unto him only and altogether a beauty and a joy. Subjected, however, as creation is to vanity, it is still a condition of hope, for it is to undergo a regeneration ; it is to be set free from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. And it is represented as being so conscious of this bond age, and so longing for deliverance, that the Apostle speaks of nature as like a woman in the pangs of childbirth, " groaning and travailing in pain together until now." Creation longs to be delivered from the bondage of its own corruption. This deliverance depends upon the redemption of man ; for, as the sins and degradation of the human race have cast their shadow of pain and desolation over the fair face of the earth, and the tares of evil in the heart of man have been imaged in the thorns and thistles of the field, so has there been also a wondrous sympathy in the upward path. Man s nature is redeemed from degradation through the mercy of God, and ature around him shares in his elevation. " The merciful man is merciful to his beast," and societies for preventing cruelty to animals, and hospitals for the dumb creatures, attest the reality of this relationship. One of the first signs of improvement in a squalid house or street is the appearance in the windows of pots or boxes of plants which are evidently the objects of loving care. Even here and now we may catch glimpses of an age when the manifestation of the Divine Sonship in man shall not tolerate the devastation of the face of the earth by war, or the wasting of its beauty and usefulness by folly or ignorance. And for this more perfect era, this Eden of peace and wisdom, creation waits, " groaning and travailing in pain together until now."

But the expectation of creation is also that it shall yet become a good servant to the sons of God. Man is the head and king over the lower creatures, and creation longs for her head to be worthy of his place in the world. The earth is a storehouse full of things of use and beauty, which are designed by the great Creator to supply the intelligent needs of man. But in order that creation may thus be a good and gracious servant to our race, it needs eyes to see, ears to hear, wisdom to act. For how many ages has creation lain in travail with her choicest treasures in her womb, waiting the manifestation of the God-given skill of man to enable her to deliver them to the world ! Generations gazed with stupid, uncomprehending eyes upon steam rushing from boiling water, and this creature of God waited until at last a man was enlightened to understand and use this mighty power, and with it to change the face of the earth. ature, ever since sin came into our world, has refused to give her strength to man, fallen man. ature has never gone forth in her fulness, but then, when these " sons of God " walk this earth, she will put forth again, as at the first, her power, her loveliness, and her fragrance ; and there will be such a bursting in " the new heavens and the new earth " as was never seen and never conceived before. 11. John MacDuff, “1st. It is the "PARADISE LOST" which here takes precedence in his description--creation "made subject to vanity;"--under "the bondage of corruption;"--"groaning and travailing in pain." Strange statements at first sight are these--grim chorus this in the Apostle's Canticle--surely, we are apt to think, an exaggerated symbolism as applied to the beautiful world surrounding us; with its pastures clothed with flocks, and its valleys covered with corn! Here the verdure of spring, there the mellowed stores of autumn. Here are its groves resonant with melody; there the silvery ripple of its brooks. Here is its sapphire skies; there the deep calm of its lakes reduplicating the drapery of rock and fern and birchen tresses. Here are the mountains and their crowns of snow--flushed alternately with morning gold and evening crimson--there is the great temple of night burning ten thousand altar-fires! How can "lost," or "vanity," or "bondage," be inscribed on the portico of such a sanctuary as this? How can there be dirge or discord in this its own ever-varying Song of Songs? He who wrote thus of material nature could himself speak as he conjured up image on image from life's retrospect. The loveliness of creation had been familiar to him, ever since, as a boy, he had roamed by the banks of the Cydnus, and gazed upon the vine-clad heights and tapering cypresses which encircled his native Tarsus. He had been for many years of youth spectator of the mountains round about Jerusalem. He had watched often the gleam of evening light on the Moab precipices, as on a long bastion of ruby and amethyst. He had traversed the valleys of Samaria and aphtali, with their streams rushing through tangled thickets of olive and oleander. He was familiar with all that was most picturesque about "the roots of Hermon." He had crossed that great barrier mountain of northern Palestine, and gazed at a distance on the wealth of groves and gardens of Damascus--he had witnessed--never to be forgotten by any who have been privileged to contemplate them--the glorious sunsets on the Isles of the Archipelago. He had stood on Acrocorinthus--with its wide outlook east and west. He had wandered among its pine-groves, from which were gathered the corruptible crowns for the athletes in the plain below. He had stood on the Areopagus, under the charm of an Atticus sky, and there beheld nature and are in their most wonderful combination. In one sense, to him it must have seemed a travesty and misnomer to speak of all that diversified creation as "bondaged"--a slave with the doom of "vanity" branded

on its fair brow! And we too, who have been in any measure taught to admire its beauty and note its harmonies, may well at first refuse to see such widespread evidences of corruption, or listen to the wail of thraldom or travail pang. We behold in this great "building of God"--this Temple of His glory-the "gold and silver and precious stones." We look in vain for "the wood and hay and stubble." o, not in vain. The superficial listening to this dirge of the Apostle, is soon recognized to be in sad keeping with the reality. The gilded frame encloses an only too truthful picture of "lamentation and mourning and woe.'' Like the shifting scenes in a panorama, the one, bathed in summer sunshine we have just been gazing upon, changes into the chill and darkness of winter night. We need look no farther than on its outer physical conditions. That azure sky is at times swept with tempest or turned into battlements of thundercloud. The pestilence walks in darkness--the destruction wastes at noonday. Ever and anon, its fairest climates are desolated with earthquake--the sirocco careers in wild havoc over its deserts, the tornado lays its cities in ruins and "discovers its forests." The volcanic fires slumbering beneath its crust demand safetyvalves for their lava and flame, accompanied with widespread destruction. Look at her seas--the highway of the nations; yet how often roused to madness--their surface heaving with demon rage--strewed with wrecks, and deaf to the shrieks of perishing crews. Think of the myriads that lie sleeping unshrouded, uncoffined, unepitaphed in their depths--the hapless owners and tenants of "a wandering grave!" Look at her fields, abandoned to blight and curse; and which but for the unceasing toil of man would make perpetual surrender to the dominion of thorn and thistle, and noxious weed! Think how her productions have been prostituted to every foul and debasing purpose. The iron dug for weapons of war--the ploughshare defrauded of its benignant use, that its material may be fabricated into instruments of mutual destruction. Corn and wine, too, graciously and beneficently designed, if employed in moderation--one of these "the chalice of God"--His own selected sacramental symbol, alienated to ruin soul and body, dethroning reason and degrading to the brute-level--the cup of blessing turned into the cup of devils! Then ponder, further, the universal reign of "change and decay." The very vegetation--a conspicuous source of creation's beauty--bursting into perfection only to wither. We see spring and summer breaking out into a leafy and floral resurrection. But these, before long, have to succumb to the iron grasp of winter, or are bound in its frosty chains. The lowlier tribes bow to the same inexorable law; while superadded in their case is the startling anomaly of mutual destruction--the stronger preying on the weaker; ature in ceaseless rapine, "red with beak and claw;"--the suffering of the brute-tribes often aggravated by the neglect or cruelty of man. Then, conspicuous above all, is the mystery of human pain and sorrow--the cry of slavery--so well known by those to whom Paul now wrote, ever ascending from the outraged and despairing--the pangs of martyrs at the stake--the shrieks of those "butchered to make a Roman holiday" in circus and amphitheater. And apart from this--where there is no trace of human tyranny--there is the suffering of sick beds, the agony of bereavement, the sudden close of lives of promise--bright suns going down before they have reached the meridian--human ties formed only to be sundered, births succeeded by deaths, marriage chimes followed by the funeral-bell. The wailing lamentation has risen for six millenniums--" aked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there!" Yes, say as we will--earth--while a home of beauty--the vestibule of heaven, may be described, with equal truth, as a vast hospital of anguish--a cemetery and receptacle for the dead! There is a special emphasis in the closing word of the Apostle in our present passage--"The whole creation groans and travails in pain together." TOGETHER. It is a united, universal pang--one long lamentation, in which the human wail is perhaps the loudest, and with no favored exceptions

to the doom of mortality. That orator who held captive the ear of listening senates--his tongue is silenced! That monarch who gathered around him at his bidding vassal princes, has himself to own a sterner vassalage! That warrior who made the world to tremble--the terror of kings--has himself to bow to the King of Terrors! "Vanity"--is the one loud agonizing miserere--waking responsive echoes all around--"Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, all is vanity." And what, in a word, is the true history and explanation of it all! Let those call it myth and legend who please; it is the only rational interpretation of the oracle, otherwise so baffling and ambiguous--"By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death has passed over all men, for that all have sinned" (Rom. 5;12). II. We now turn from the dirge to the SO G--from the wail of bondage, "the still, sad music of humanity"--to the strain of anticipated emancipation. Let us merge the pessimistic in the optimistic. "The earnest expectation of the creation waits for the manifestation of the sons of God…In hope that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God" (v. 21). ote, in passing, that this bondage of creation is here described as involuntary. It is expressly said that the degradation is borne "not willingly." It was "subjected to the same." The Apostle employs one of these bold but beautiful figures of frequent occurrence in Scripture, by which inanimate nature--God's outer materialism, is represented waking up from her silent thraldom. As if unable to remain mute under the insult she has been constrained to bear, she would utter a loud protest at being fettered. She sighs for deliverance, like the Israelites of old in their bondage, crying for freedom from the hand of the Egyptians. In our opening verse the creation is spoken of as in "earnest expectation." The Greek word is there remarkable and significant. It implies bending forward with outstretched neck, like the runners in the Isthmian games--the head in advance, as they pressed on to the mark for the prize. Unwillingly chained and hampered, she is in eager expectation of her own deliverance; the crown and consummating glory of that deliverance being the "manifestation of the sons of God" and the coming of the Christ. Her cry, could her stifled voice put the invocation into words, would be--"Why tarry the wheels of His chariot?"--"Make haste, my Beloved, be as a young roe or a young deer on the mountains of Bether!" Yes, let us take comfort in the thought that the present condition of our world was never designed to be final. There is a second Genesis--a golden age in store--"the restitution of all things," "the times of refreshing," when present evil will be exterminated from her tribes, every trace of dislocation and catastrophe removed; the old saying and promise fulfilled--"You shall be in league with the stones of the field; and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with you" (Job 5;23). Above all--when the last enemy shall be vanquished; when this long dismal tolling of funeral bells shall cease; when there shall be no longer the pathetic announcement, that God's own creature, fashioned after His own likeness, has passed away into the "great silences" of death--claiming strange brotherhood and sisterhood with corruption. Death shall be swallowed up in victory, and the Creator's own final, as was His primal aim completed, when He pronounced all that He had made "very good." Into speculations regarding the future of the new creation, we shall not now enter--avoiding the ranks of too confident soothsayers. With some, indeed, it is a favorite picture--and not one assuredly to be rashly dismissed, that this very world in which we live--re-beautified and readorned--with sin and sorrow purged from its borders, may become the future heaven of the glorified. Dr. Chalmers has said all that can be said on such a subject, and said as no other could

say it, in his great sermon. While there is no ground for positive affirmation, there is certainly, I repeat, nothing to negative this "physical theory of another life." If these two gloomy factors just mentioned, sin and sorrow (and we may add death), were eliminated, there is nothing to prevent associating our present material world with "the new heavens and the new earth" whose characteristic is "righteousness." Untie from our globe these three swaddling-bands, and there is nothing to hinder her going forth from the couch of her degradation--"the bondage of corruption"--walking and leaping and praising God! But meanwhile, we prefer leaving in its own undefined golden haze the Apostle's declaration. It is enough for us to know that there is a "new world" in store for our terrestrial abode, the nature and extent of which we can only feebly surmise. Earth is being furnished and prepared as a reception-hall for God's children. It is meanwhile "waiting for their manifestation"--"the liberty of their glory." Spirit of God! who brooded at first over creation, in its chaos--come and make all things new! Hasten the blessed era when "the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold!" Come! and let another bright picture by the same prophet have its full and perfect realization; when "the present evil world," with all her wrongs rectified and redressed, will enter on her promised jubilee--"You shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree, and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off" (Isa. 55;12, 13). Then, no one SO G of a solitary inspired singer--but song upon song will spread their harmonies through a renovated creation, yes, through a rejoicing universe. The key-note may possibly be struck in this our planet where Redemption was won. Deepest in the center, it will circulate to the circumference of being. The morning stars will, once more, sing together, and all the sons of God shout for joy!

20. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope

1. Barnes, “For the creature - The renewed creature; the Christian mind. This is given as a reason for its aspiring to the full privileges of adoption, that the present state is not one of choice, or one which is preferred, but one to which it has been subjected for wise reasons by God. Subject to vanity - The word “subject to” means placed in such a state; subjected to it by the appointment of another, as a soldier has his rank and place assigned him in an army. The word “vanity” here µαταιότης mataiotēs is descriptive of the present condition of the Christian, as frail and dying; as exposed to trials, temptations, and cares; as in the midst of conflicts, and of a world which may be emphatically pronounced vanity. More or less, the Christian is brought under this influence; his joys are marred; his peace is discomposed; his affections wander; his life

is a life of vanity and vexation. ot willingly - ot voluntarily. It is not a matter of choice. It is not what is congenial to his renewed nature. That would aspire to perfect holiness and peace. But this subjection is one that is contrary to it, and from which he desires to be delivered. This describes substantially the same condition as Rom_7:15-24. But by reason - By him διά dia. It is the appointment of God, who has chosen to place his people in this condition; and who for wise purposes retains them in it. Who hath subjected the same - Who has appointed his people to this condition. It is his wise arrangement. Here we may observe, (1) That the instinctive feelings of Christians lead them to desire a purer and a happier world, Phi_1:23. (2) That it is not what they desire, to be subjected to the toils of this life, and to the temptations and vanities of this world. They sigh for deliverance. (3) Their lot in life; their being subjected to this state of vanity, is the arrangement of God. Why it is, he has not seen fit to inform us fully. He might have taken his people at once to heaven as soon as they are converted. But though we know not all the reasons why they are continued here in this state of vanity, we can see some of them: (a) Christians are subjected to this state to do good to their fellow sinners. They remain on earth for this purpose: and this should be their leading aim. (b) By their remaining here the power of the gospel is shown in overcoming their sin; in meeting their temptations; in sustaining them in trial; and in thus furnishing living evidence to the world of the power and excellency of that gospel. This could not be attained if they were removed at once to heaven. (c) It furnishes occasion for some interesting exhibitions of character - for hope, and faith, and love, and for increasing and progressive excellence. (d) It is a proper training for heaven. It brings out the Christian character, and fits it for the skies. There may be inestimable advantages, all of which we may not see, in subjecting the Christian to a process of training in overcoming his sins, and in producing confidence in God, before he is admitted to his state of final rest. (e) It is fit and proper that he should engage here in the service of Him who has redeemed him. He has been ransomed by the blood of Christ, and God has the highest claim on him in all the conflicts and toils, in all the labors and services to which he may be subjected in this life. In hope - See the note at Rom_5:4. Hope has reference to the future; and in this state of the Christian, he sighs for deliverance, and expects it. 2. Clarke, “For the creature was made subject to vanity - The Gentile world were subject to vanity of mind; but how? not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same. May we not say, it became vain willingly, but was made subject to vanity unwillingly? For, let us recur to the origin of Gentilism, the confusion of languages, by reason of the attempt to build the tower of Babel; and though there are some passages in the gloss of the Targumists upon this matter that are sufficiently ridiculous, yet as to their scope and design they are worthy of notice. “They said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, and let its head reach unto the top of heaven; and let us make a house of worship in the top of it; and let us put a sword in his hand that he may wage war for us against our enemies, before we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” It is an ancient tradition among the Jews, that this tower was built on an idolatrous account. The confusion of tongues, by which true religion was lost in the world, is a proof that the builders of

this tower sinned against God in the highest degree. They were inclined to vanity, i.e. idolatry, Willingly; but they were subjected to vanity Unwillingly; for this proceeded from the just indignation and vengeance of God. From this time the world lay under heathenism till the bringing in of the Gospel, upwards of 2000 years after. See Lightfoot. 3. Gill, “ For the creature was made subject to vanity,.... This designs the vanity and emptiness of the minds of the Gentiles, who were without God and Christ, and the Holy Spirit, without the law and Gospel, and grace of God; also the vain conceits they had of themselves, of their wisdom, knowledge, learning, and eloquence; likewise their vain philosophy, particularly their gross idolatry, their polytheism, or worshipping of many gods; together with their divers lusts and vices, to which they were addicted, to such a degree, that they might be truly said to be made subject thereunto, being under the government of these things, slaves unto them, and in such subjection, as that they could not deliver themselves from it; though it is said, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope. Though they were willingly vain, yet they were not willingly made subject to vanity; they willingly went into idolatrous and other evil practices, but the devil made them subject, or slaves unto them; he led them captive at his will, and powerfully worked in them, by divine permission, so that they became vassals to him, and to their lusts; for he seems to be designed, "by him who hath subjected the same", and not Adam, by whom sin entered into the world. 4. God made nature to never be able to be fully what he intended it to be, and so it longs, along with man, for the day of total redemption when it too shall be able to be fully what it is capable of being. It was part of mans punishment to have a fallen world, and it will be a part of his reward to have a perfected world. Why are their earthquakes and tornadoes and other natural disasters? It is because the world is corrupted and not under the control of the perfect will of God as it will eventually be. God forced nature to be a part of the fallenness of man, but with the hope of redemption along with man. God could not allow fallen man to live in a perfect paradise with all of nature being ideal, for then there would be no consequences to be a fallen creature. It would be like putting criminals in a resort setting with all the comforts of life and ideal food and enjoyments with no negative consequences for their crimes. God has to make the environment a danger to man to keep him fully aware that all the problems and risks are due to his rebellion against the Creator. ote it was not by its own choice, for nature did not choose to fall like man, and so God had to make nature less than it was meant to be. God made nature to never be able to be fully what he intended it to be, and so it longs, along with man, for the day of total redemption when it too shall be able to be fully what it is capable of being. 5. David Riggs, 1. "For the creation" - Humanity; rational beings. 2. "Subjected to futility" - "Subject to vanity" (KJV) Subject or liable to suffering (sickness, pain, sorrow, and death). 3. " ot willingly" - ot by their own choice or will. 4. "Because of Him" - God.

1. In the beginning when man sinned, God pronounced curses upon him and thus brought him under futility. 5. "Subjected it in hope" - In hope of the ultimate deliverance from corruption. 1. Even when God pronounced the curses upon man in the beginning, He gave him hope of deliverance. 2. Man was thus subjected in hope.

21. that[i] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
1. Barnes, “Because - This is the ground of his hope, and this sustains him now. It is the purpose of God that deliverance shall be granted, and this supports the Christian amidst the trials to which he is subjected here. The hope is, that this same renewed man shall be delivered from all the toils, and cares, and sins of this state. The creature itself - The very soul that is renewed; the ransomed man without essential change. It will be the same being, though purified; the same man, possessed of the same body and soul, though freed from all the corruptions of humanity, and elevated above all the degradations of the present condition. The idea is everywhere presented, that the identical person shall be admitted to heaven without essential change, 1Co_15:35-38, 1Co_15:42-44. That this is the hope of all Christians, see 2Pe_3:13. From the bondage of corruption - This does not differ materially from “vanity,” Rom_8:20. It implies that this state is not a willing state, or not a condition of choice, but is one of bondage or servitude (see Rom_7:15-24); and that it is a corrupt, imperfect, perishing condition. It is one that leads to sin, and temptation, and conflict and anxiety. It is a condition often which destroys the peace, mars the happiness, dims the hope, enfeebles the faith, and weakens the love of Christians, and this is called the bondage of corruption. It is also one in which temporal death has dominion, and in the bondage of which, believers as well as unbelievers shall be held. Yet from all this bondage the children of God shall be delivered. The glorious liberty - Greek, The freedom of the glory of the children of God. This is, (1) “Liberty.” It is freedom from the bondage under which the Christian groans. It will be freedom from sin; from corruption; from evil desires; from calamity; from death. The highest “freedom “in the universe is that which is enjoyed in heaven, where the redeemed are under the sovereignty and government of their king, but where they do that, and that only, which they desire. All is slavery but the service of God; all is bondage but that law which accords with the supreme wish of the soul, and where commands accord with the perfect desires of the heart. (2) This is glorious liberty. It is encompassed with majesty; attended with honor; crowned with splendor. The heavenly world is often described as a state of glory; ote, Rom_2:10. Of the children of God - That the children of God shall enjoy. 2. Clarke, “Because the creature - This and the preceding verse should be thus connected: in hope

That (ὁτι) the creature itself also shall be delivered. The word φθορα denotes, very frequently, sinful corruption. So, 2Pe_1:4 : Corruption through lust, της εν επιθυµια φθορας. 2Co_11:3 : Lest your minds should be corrupted. 1Co_15:33 : Evil communications corrupt good manners. The sense, therefore, of the apostle in this place seems to be: the Gentile world shall, in time, be delivered from the bondage of their sinful corruption, i.e. the bondage of their lusts and vile affections; and be brought into such a noble liberty as the sons of God enjoy. 3. Gill, “ Because the creature itself also,.... The phrase in hope, which stands in our version, at the end of the preceding verse, should be placed in the beginning of this, and be read in connection with Rom_8:19 being a parenthesis, thus: "the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God, in hope that the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption"; and so it is placed in some copies, and in the Syriac version: that is, "the Gentiles" earnestly wait and expect a larger number of converts among them, in hopes that ere long the whole Gentile world will be freed from the bondage of corruption, under which it at present groaned; by which is meant, the bondage they were in, not only to their sinful lusts, but to Satan the god of this world; and particularly to their idols, by which they corrupted themselves, and to which they were enslaved: they hope for a deliverance from hence, into the glorious liberty of the children of God; which designs either the liberty of grace the children of God have here; and which consists in a freedom from the dominion of sin and Satan, from the law and bondage of it, in the free use of Gospel ordinances, in liberty of access to God, and a freedom from the fear of death, and a glorious liberty it is; or the liberty of glory the saints shall enjoy in the other world, which will lies in a freedom from the prison of the flesh, from the body of sin and death, from all sorrows and afflictions, from all reproaches and persecutions, from the temptations of Satan, from doubts, fears, and unbelief, and in the full vision of God through Christ, and in a free conversation with angels and saints. 4. Jamison, “Because the creature itself also — “even the creation itself.” shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption — its bondage to the principle of decay. into the glorious liberty — rather, “the liberty of the glory.” of the children of God — that is, the creation itself shall, in a glorious sense, be delivered into that freedom from debility and decay in which the children of God, when raised up in glory, shall expatiate: into this freedom from corruptibility the creation itself shall, in a glorious sense, be delivered (So Calvin, Beza, Bengel, Tholuck, Olshausen, De Wette, Meyer, Philippi, Hodge, Alford, etc.). 5. Henry, “There is an impurity, deformity, and infirmity, which the creature has contracted by the fall of man: the creation is sullied and stained, much of the beauty of the world gone. There is an enmity of one creature to another; they are all subject to continual alteration and decay of the individuals, liable to the strokes of God's judgments upon man. When the world was drowned, and almost all the creatures in it, surely then it was subject to vanity indeed. The whole species of creatures is designed for, and is hastening to, a total dissolution by fire. And it is not the least part of their vanity and bondage that they are used, or abused rather, by men as instruments of sin. The creatures are often abused to the dishonour of their Creator, the hurt of his children, or the

service of his enemies. When the creatures are made the food and fuel of our lusts, they are subject to vanity, they are captivated by the law of sin. And this not willingly, not of their own choice. All the creatures desire their own perfection and consummation; when they are made instruments of sin it is not willingly. Or, They are thus captivated, not for any sin of their own, which they had committed, but for man's sin: By reason of him who hath subjected the same. Adam did it meritoriously; the creatures being delivered to him, when he by sin delivered himself he delivered them likewise into the bondage of corruption. God did it judicially; he passed a sentence upon the creatures for the sin of man, by which they became subject. And this yoke (poor creatures) they bear in hope that it will not be so always. Ep' elpidi hoti kai, etc. - in hope that the creature itself; so many Greek copies join the words. We have reason to pity the poor creatures that for our sin have become subject to vanity. 6. Creation is in bondage to decay. It is not a free nor well world. It is a sick world, and like a computer with viruses that make it act in such a way that it produces errors and will not do all it is meant to do. Jesus died to save man, but also the whole of his creation, and to restore it to its original beauty and perfect functioning. When Jesus comes again he will resurrect man and their will be a new heaven and earth that is perfected.

22. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
1. Barnes,