Monday, September 12, 2011

Chapter 17

(1) What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? (2) God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? (3) Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? (4) Therefore we are baptized with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (5) For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: (6) Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. (7) For he that is dead is free from sin. (8) Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall live with him: (9) Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. (10) For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. (11) Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. (12) Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. (13) Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

Thus far the Romans epistle has proclaimed what God in His eternal plan of salvation has done for His people in redemption and justification. From 6:1- 8:39 we shall see what salvation does in us in regeneration and sanctification of our souls, and in the resurrection and glorification of our bodies. Here we see the bearing of the Divine method of justification on Sanctification — of the change of state, on the change of spiritual condition and character. The Holy Ghost led apostle shows us that justification is necessary to sanctification, and secures it. This he does from this verse to the 4th verse of chapter 8; and then he shows that sanctification is the evidence, the only satisfactory evidence, of a sinner’s having a true saving interest in God’s way of justification. This 6th chapter proves that the grace which brings salvation to guilty sinners, and which “reigns through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord,” has no tendency to relax the obligation of the redeemed to holiness, but that, on the contrary, it is a doctrine according to godliness (Heb. 12:14).

Sanctification is founded on the same grounds as that of justification. Christ died in our stead for our justification; we were counted dead in Him. Our positional death in Christ is the grounds for our sanctification, and the motive for a separated life. Sanctification consists of 2 things: mortification — the putting off the old man, and vivification — the putting on of the new man. One is dying to sin; the other is living to righteousness.

Verse 1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? This licentious inference of the carnal man and practical antinomianism leads him to reason that — because of superabounding grace — “the more sin, the more scope for grace to pardon it” (Rom. 3:8; Jude 4). The meaning is, Does salvation by free grace through faith in our sin-paying Substitute encourage to more sin, because the sinner does not himself pay the penalty, and thus by more sin gives greater scope to this superabounding grace? Or, does the imputation of the penalty of sin to our Sin-Bearer make void the Law to the sinner personally? Or does God’s justification of the sinner, through faith, instead of the sinner’s personal obedience, turn loose a defiled criminal (with a seemingly great experience) on society eager to commit more crime because his future offences, like his past offences, will be charged to the Substitute? Thus did men of corrupt minds “turn the grace of God into lasciviousness;” and thus, too, did many enemies of the Gospel build up an argument against its Divine original.

“In every age there have been those who object to salvation by the grace of God. These objectors fall into 2 classes: One, in order to remove the objection, sets out to establish his own righteousness through the Law; the other presumes on the grace of God, and uses it as an excuse for sinning . . . many that say ‘We are saved by the grace of God, therefore we may live as we please, for God is not interested in our morals.’ This is a lie. The doctrine of grace, rightly understood, separates God’s people from the things of the flesh, and the world. There will always be those who will turn grace into an excuse for sinning, but we must not measure Christianity by these” (Ferrell Griswold). That we should “continue in sin that grace may abound,” not only is never the deliberate sentiment of any real believer in the doctrine of grace, but is abhorrent to every Christian mind as a monstrous abuse of the most glorious of all truths. Charles Hodge did speak well when he said “Antinomianism is not only an error; it is a falsehood and a slander.”

Verse 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? “God forbid” — the apostle rejects such a suggestion with shock and abhorrence, and shows that it arises out of a total misconception of the nature and working of God’s way of justifying sinners. The Holy Ghost shows that the Divine method of justification establishes such a vital union or intimate relationship between the elect and the Lord Jesus Christ, both in His death and in His restored life, as secures that anything like habitual unholiness of heart and life cannot take place (Rom. 3:8); and as, besides, furnishes the strongest motives and encouragements to the cultivation of universal holiness (verse 13). By God-given faith the Law is not made void, but established, and that a free, full forgiveness, entirely on the ground of our Lord Christ — the redemption that is in Him — instead of encouraging to continue in sin, absolutely secures true holiness both of heart and life (Gal. 2:19). In Christ the true believer has the right to be delivered from the bondage of sin and this right is included in his justification (Rom. 8:3). We are judicially and principally dead to sin. The grace of justification does not mean an indulgence for life to sin, but liberty: the right to perfect freedom from the slavery of sin, the right to serve God in Christ. The saint of God is liberated from the dominion of sin through the Spirit of Christ that dwells in us (Rom. 8:2). The Bible does not say that sin is dead in the believer, but that he is dead to sin.

The work of mortification in the Scripture is everywhere assigned peculiarly to the Cross and death of Christ — His love manifested therein, and His Spirit flowing therefrom. The doctrine of the Law humbles the soul for Christ; but it is the doctrine of the Gospel that humbles the soul in Christ. It is “the grace of God that hath appeared, that teacheth us effectually to deny all ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world” (Titus 2:11-12). It is the grace of God working in the saint that leads him to mortification (Rom. 8:13). Our life before conversion was a life of living in and for sin. Now by God’s superabounding grace in the soul there is a resolution and desire that we will no longer live in sin but in Christ. This death to sin is but that mortification, that crucifixion, of sin in which sin is under sentence of death and has received the stroke of death, and is dying, but has not expired. We are not dead to sin in its influence (Rom. 7:15, 19), or in its presence (Rom. 7:21), nor to its effects (Rom. 7:24, Psa. 51:3). The Lord Jesus taught us to pray for forgiveness of our sins (1 John 1:9). By God’s justification we are dead to its penalty and guilt; sin cannot condemn us (Rom. 8:33-34). In regeneration we died to love and pleasure of sin. One of the first evidences of the implantation of a new nature is true hatred of sin (Psa. 97:10). We are dead to sin as a master who no longer rules over us, for now Christ is our Lord and Master. In sanctification we are dead to sin as a course of life; it is no longer our friend but now it is our bitter enemy and by the saving grace of God we are saved from its power.

All sinners that are justified by the grace of God are brought into a saving interest of His grace and are so intimately related to our Lord Jesus Christ — so “in Him,” as to have, as it were, died in Him — been buried in Him — been raised in Him, and as alive in Him. The death of our Substitute was a death by sin, or to sin; that the life to which Christ is raised, and by which we in Him are also raised, is a life by God and to God; and that the efficacy of our Lord Christ’s death — as a deliverance from the legal power of guilt, in consequence of His dying as a victim, proved by His resurrection and unending life — renders it absolutely impossible that the justified should continue under the depraving, any more than the condemning, power and influence of sin. Thus, we do not live any longer in sin (Psa. 19:13). This does not mean that the saint ceases entirely from sin. The Scripture does not teach sinless perfection in this life. The sin principle continues to live in the saints of God, and will do so until physical death or the coming of our Blessed Lord Christ (Rom. 7:14-25). But as regenerated the saints no longer take pleasure in sin, no longer fulfilling the lust of the flesh, and they are no longer ruled over by sin. There may be a falling into sin, but there will not be a practice of it. “If any man love not the Lord Jesus” (1 Cor. 16: 22), He is coming back to curse that man regardless of his profession. One vivid trait of the true saints of God is their hatred of sin, all sin, for “Ye that love the Lord, hate evil” (Psa. 97:10).

Verse 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? In the 3rd and 4th verses Paul gives a full answer to the objection stated in verse 1 by showing that the sanctification of the believer rests on the same foundation as his justification — union with Christ our Lord. In experience of a true saving interest in Christ that union is realized through regeneration. There are 2 baptisms mentioned in these verses. (1) We are baptized into Christ in actual experience in the baptism of the Holy Ghost (1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:27). This is a real union with Christ by the Spirit of God in which we are actually one with our Lord Jesus Christ (John 17:23; 1 John 4:12; Gal. 2:20). We can no longer be an ally of sin than Christ, for we are one with and in Him. (2) We are baptized in water, confessing the truth that water baptism emblematically represents, that we are identified with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. We are dead to the old life; it is buried, and we rise to walk as new creatures with new hearts, new principles and a new life (Phil. 3:8-11). It is a most solemn profession that being baptized into Jesus Christ are those and those only who are united to Him in saving faith.

Whom Almighty God justifies them He also regenerates and sanctifies in soul and raises and glorifies in body. In regeneration there is first the application of the blood of our Lord Christ by the Holy Ghost, by which the sinner is cleansed from the defilement of sin (Psa. 51:2, 7; Ezek. 36:25). Titus 3:5 speaks of “the washing (cleansings) of regeneration,” and Eph. 5:26 “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.” John 3:5 tells us of being “born of water (or the Spirit)” and all is set forth in the type of the red heifer (Heb. 9:13-14), an Old Testament teaching which Christ condemned Nicodemus for being ignorant of (John 3:10). Justified sinners have “washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rev. 7:14).

Secondly, in regeneration justified sinners are delivered from the love of sin by their renewed nature (Psa. 51:10; Ezek. 36:26; John 3:3, 5-6 “born from above . . . born of the Spirit”). Titus 3:5 speaks of the “renewing of the Holy Ghost.” So the regenerate are given the spirit of obedience (Ezek. 36:27; Titus 2:11-14; 3:8). While our obedience is so imperfect, yet through sanctification, when it is consummated at physical death, or at His coming, we will experience perfect obedience (Phil. 1:6; 3:12-14; 2 Cor. 3:17-18). And when our bodies are raised and glorified then this justified sinner has become personally, in soul and body, as holy and obedient as our Lord Jesus Himself (1 John 3:2; Psa. 17:15) and all of this is pictorially set forth in our water baptism (Rom. 6:4-5; Col. 2:12). So that true faith not only does not make void the Law to us personally (Rom. 3:31), but is the only way by which we shall be able to keep the Law personally, and not only does not encourage us to sin, but furnishes the only motives by which practically we cease from sin.

In Holy Spirit baptism into Christ, in God’s work of free and sovereign grace, we have evidence that we are in union with Him in His death and burial, and consequently in His resurrection. By our union with Christ we are dead to our old life, cleansed from the sins of our old life, and this spiritual resurrection to a new life in Him (2 Tim. 2:11). As He died for our sins, paying the penalty of a broken Law, so we in regeneration become dead to the claims of the Law because we died to sin in His death. Our union with Him in His death, burial, and resurrection is illustrated by the rite of water baptism in the mode of immersion.

Verse 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Our relationship to Christ is because He died for us but this is also expressed in the New Testament that we died in Him (2 Cor. 5:14-15; Eph. 2:4-7; Col. 3:3). This 6th chapter clearly shows that all those for whom He died are those, and those only, who die to sin and live to righteousness.

Christ was “raised up from the dead,” not simply as a private Person, but as the Head of His people. The Church, the elect, rose with and in Him (Eph. 2:5-6; Col. 3:1), as He brought forth a new creation out of that which was wrecked and ruined, in glorious power and triumph. The glory of God’s power is most often seen when it appears as an overcoming power, when victory attends it:  “Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father.” Praise the Lord! The apostle sets over against our utter weakness the mightiness of Divine grace, and His glorious power against our sinful corruption.
Regeneration — being born from above (John 3:7) — this being born again is the entry into “newness of life.” The spiritual life is called a walk (Eph. 4:1; 2 Cor. 5:7; Rom. 8:1; Col. 1:10).  The true Christian has a new principle to actuate him — love; a new design to regulate him — honoring His Master and Lord. The self will which dominated him while unregenerate is displaced by his seeking now to please His Lord Christ in all things (2 Tim. 2:4). 

“Newness of life” is in Christ. Not for one moment do we have life in separation from the Living Lord. We live only because He lives (John 14:19). It is He that lives in us. By and in Him we have a new life, or a new conversation, called walking in newness of life. In Him we have a new principle, the Spirit, and not the flesh; a new rule, the Law of God, and not the course of this world; a new scope, the pleasing, glorifying, and enjoying of God, and not the pleasing of men and our own fleshly mind. Having been made new creatures in Christ by the Spirit of God, we are influenced by another principle (Rom. 8:12; Gal. 5:16); having another rule (Gal. 6:16; Psa. 1:2); having another design and scope (Phil. 3:20; 2 Cor. 5:9); and therefore live another life for now Christ lives in the believer (Gal. 2:20).

In our water baptism, Christian baptism, we symbolize that which we have received in salvation, union with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. Too, this is our personal profession that we are dead to the world and have resolved to walk in newness of life in true holiness. The baptism of the Spirit puts us into Christ, and hence into His death, and then there is water baptism which is administered to those who are “dead with Christ.” And this baptism is a burial and also a resurrection, administered to those who are both dead and raised again with Christ. Our Lord tells us that adult sinners are made disciples by being taught of God and then, and only then, they are baptized (Matt. 28:19-20). This baptism is a burial, a symbolic burial, and the concept of burial is absolutely determinative of the form in which baptism must be administered — and that is immersion.

Verse 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. We must be in Christ as the branch is in the vine, planted in Him, or there is no life in us (John 11:25). The idea that a professor can have life outside of the mystical union with Immanuel is but a fiction of the imagination. There is no life ever but such as consists in union with Christ. We are saved not only in the sense that He merited all the blessings of salvation for us by His perfect obedience, death and resurrection, so that we are reconciled to God, but also in this sense, that it is the power of His grace which delivers us from all the power of sin and death and makes us actual partakers of righteousness and eternal life (Col. 1:13). Christ is our salvation. To the poor sinner He is the I am as He says I am the resurrection and the life; I am the bread of life; I am the fountain of living water; I am the light of the world; I am the way, the truth, the life! He does not call sinners unto Himself to instruct them in a good or best way; but He promised to give them life, rest, peace, everlasting happiness with Him, by giving them Himself. He is our righteousness, wisdom, knowledge, peace and rest, sanctification and redemption (1 Cor. 1:30; Eph. 2:14; Col. 1:14; 2:3; John 6:35, 48; John 6:51; John 8:12; John 11:25-26; John 14:6). He is our all. In saving us He was all the spiritual blessings that we needed to be transformed from death to life, from darkness into light, from corruption into righteousness — all in and by Him. He did not only die that He might be our righteousness in a juridical sense; He also arose and was exalted by the right hand of God — He received the Spirit without measure — in order that as the quickening Spirit He might set us free and bestow upon us the grace of eternal life. It is vital that one be connected, united with Christ, in order to receive salvation. We must be in Him, even as He must be in us (Col. 1:27), in order that He may become our righteousness, holiness, and eternal life, and in order that we may draw out of Him all the spiritual blessings of grace. Christ is our all, and all our salvation is in Him. To make a mere decision or profession regarding Him is useless for we cannot begin to draw our life and light, our knowledge and wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification, from Him until our inmost heart is joined in spiritual unity with Him, Who is the revelation of the God of our salvation.

This first touch of the soul of the sinner is not accomplished by the sinner himself, or contingent for its accomplishment upon the will and choice of the sinner as is preached by even many so-called “grace preachers.” The natural man is spiritually dead and loves darkness rather than light. He cannot come to Christ unless He is drawn by the Father (John 6:44, 65). But, blessed be God, He does draw, and the Father does give, and the Father does unite us with the Living Lord Christ! And He does so through Christ Himself, Who is exalted and draws all given Him by the Father unto Himself (John 6:37). He draws with cords or love and irresistible power of grace (Jer. 31:3). And when we are so drawn and so united with Christ, and He by His Spirit lives in us, we then hunger and thirst for Him, long and pray, come and embrace Him, eat the Bread of Life and are satisfied, drink the Water of Life for thirsty sinners, and draw all from Him Who is the fullness of all the blessings of salvation. This condition is unconditionally and absolutely the work of God’s pure sovereign grace in Christ our Lord. “For by grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”

Verse 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. “Our old man” is that corrupt and polluted nature which is with us from birth — the old nature received in our fall in Adam. It is the sinner in his unregenerate state, with all his parts and members such as the will, mind, affections and actions (Eph. 4:22; Col. 3:9-10). This old nature can never be improved; it must be destroyed, done away with, rendered powerless. When we are brought to behold the beauties of holiness in the service and finished work of our Lord Christ we become dead to the world by His mediatorial sufferings for His Bride, His Church. And we reckon ourselves “to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (vs. 11). Here we are crucified, mortified, dead. At the birth of the new man, the new birth, there takes place the death of the old man. When the sinner is made a partaker of the Divine nature and receives the righteousness of Christ and of God Himself, he is killed to the love of sin and made alive to righteousness. The newborn sinner is brought to repentance with a godly sorrow not to be repented of or turned back from; he is mortified, crucified and killed to his former life of lust in the flesh and ungodly conversation.

The death of Christ on behalf of the elect is so “that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin;” and be “married to another” and bring forth “fruit unto God,” as Paul states in Rom. 7:4. Christ met the demands of a broken Law and paid the penalty for sin, and God imputed to the sinner His righteousness through the work of Christ for them. But another work must be done in the sinner and that is the imparting of the nature of God by His Holy Spirit. This is true salvation “which is of the Lord,” and anything less than this is mere worthless profession. God not only imputes His righteousness to the sinner, but He also imparts to them the very nature of that righteousness and true holiness in regeneration.

The puritan John Owen said, “We are crucified with Him meritoriously, in that He procured the Spirit for us to mortify sin; efficiently, in that from His death virtue comes forth for our crucifying; in the way of representation and exemplar we shall assuredly be crucified unto sin, as He was for our sin. This is that the apostle intends: Christ by His death destroying the works of the devil, procuring the Spirit for us, hath so killed sin, as to its reign in believers, that it shall not obtain its end dominion.” The saints are crucified daily by the Spirit and grace of Christ that sins reigning power might be subdued. An evil principle remains with us until physical death, but we shall not indulge it or make provisions for it, but crucify it (Gal. 5:24). The regenerate serves Christ, not sin (Rom. 6:16). When the sinner, by God-given faith, lays hold of the atoning sacrifice of Christ the soul is for ever delivered from the condemnation and guilt of sin (Rom. 8:1) and it can never obtain legal “dominion” over him again. By the moral purification of the renewed soul it is cleansed from the prevailing love and power of sin, so that the lusts of the flesh are detested and resisted. Sin is divested of its reigning power over the soul, so that full and willing subjection is no longer rendered to it.  A. W Pink adds, “Its dying struggles are hard and long, powerfully felt within us, and though God grants brief respites from its raging, it breaks forth with renewed force and causes us many a groan.”

The old man and the new man do not co-exist in the believer. Such a concept is foreign to the New Testament, and Robert L. Dabney describes it as a form of “vicious dualism” which is untrue and dangerous. He says that Paul “teaches that the renewed man (one man and one nature still) is imperfect, having 2 principles of volition mixed in the motives even of the same acts: but he does not teach that he has become two men, or has two natures in him. Paul’s idea is, that man’s one nature, originally wholly sinful, is by regeneration, made imperfectly holy, but progressively so.”

Verse 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. He who has died by sin, for sin, has been justified from the sin by which, for which, he died. There are 2 ways in which one can satisfy the Law and meet all of its just claims — either by perfectly obeying the Law, or by meeting the penalty of the Law. Christ died for the sins of the elect; we died in His death, just as we died in Adam and came under condemnation for it. Now when we died with Christ, that death on the Cross justifies us from sin; signifying our absolution from the guilt of every breach of the Law and declaring us righteous. “By Him all that believe are justified from all things (Acts 13:39). We are not freed from the presence of sin, nor from the burden of it, nor from a continual war with it, nor even from it in our best deeds (as Paul clearly shows in the next chapter), but we are freed from its dominion, from the guilt of it and from punishment on account of it. All that are in Christ — all that are “justified freely through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” have died, not indeed in their own persons, but in the Person of their Surety; and, therefore, are delivered from the reign of sin — from its power to condemn, and, therefore, also from its power to rule in the heart and life. In view of the fact that we no longer have the guilt of sin upon us, we no longer have the wrath of God upon us; therefore we have the Divine aid of the Spirit for living apart from a life of sin. All glory to God, union with the Lord Christ, in His death, necessarily secures deliverance from the demoralizing influence of a state of guilt.

Verse 8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. “To live with Christ,” here, is to be so united to Christ, in union with Him, that the principles of spiritual activity and enjoyment are the same in justified sinners as they are in our perfect Redeemer, the risen Saviour. Our “life is hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3). My Soul, it is not so much that we live, as it is that Christ lives in us (Gal. 2:20). We are in reference to sin as if we had died with Christ, and now live with Him. “If we be dead with Christ,” or have died with Christ as His death is past; “we shall live with him,” His life is present and future, and so is ours with Him now, and future with Him for ever. All believers who are united to our Lord Christ as dying, are united to Him in living, and have our interest in what He secured by dying. As the Christian died legally in the death of Christ, they were legally resurrected when our Saviour emerged triumphant from the tomb. The saints have fellowship with the Lord Christ in His resurrection, a participation of the same holy life that our Lord lives in Heaven. “We shall live” refers not to what is to happen hereafter, but to what is the certain consequence, both now and for ever, of our union with Christ.

Verse 9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. “Knowing” — that is, for we know, it is this word from God that gives us assurance — “having died with Christ, we shall also live with him:” we know “that Christ being raised from the dead, dieth no more, death hath no more dominion over Him; for in that He died, He died unto sin once, but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God. Christ being raised from the dead “dieth no more,” shall never, can never again submit to death. “He was dead, but He is alive again, and lives for ever more” (Rev. 1:18). The phrase “death hath no more dominion over him,” assigns the reason why He shall not, why He cannot, ever die again. It was because He bore the guilt of God’s elect that death had dominion over Him (Isa. 53:4-5). It was only thus that death could be permitted to touch that Holy One born of the virgin, the Son of God. But having met our responsibilities by dying for us, death, the Law’s officer, has no more authority over Him. The JFB Commentary says, “Though Christ’s death was, in the most absolute sense, a voluntary act (John 10:17-18; Acts 2:24), that voluntary surrender gave death such rightful ‘dominion over Him’ as dissolved its dominion over us. But this once past, ‘death hath,’ even in that sense, dominion over him no more.” Our blessed Lord, having been raised from the dead, will not die again, so neither will those who have died with Him and are risen with Him. The Law, sin, and death have no charge against us; for the full price is paid, the Law is honored and justice is satisfied (Rom. 8:32-34). Christ died to sin once, because in that death He fully satisfied every charge. He lives to God in unbroken fellowship with Him.

Verse 10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. “For in that he died,” means “as to his death.” He died to or by sin — that is, His death was a death to sin or by sin. For Christ to “die to sin,” was to be completely freed from the reign of sin. But how could He be freed from the reign of sin; was He ever subject to it? The Scriptural answer is, As to the depraving influence of sin, Christ never was subject to it — “He knew no sin” (2 Cor. 5:21); but as to the penal power of sin — what the apostle styles “sin reigning unto death” — no one ever knew, experimentally knew, that as our Lord did; He was subject to it in consequence of God’s “making him, though he knew no sin, to be sin for us” (2 Cor. 5:21). Christ, occupying the place of sinners, was subject to that reign of sin unto death which they had incurred; and, by sustaining the full punishment awarded by the great Lawgiver and Moral Ruler, He delivered Himself, and all whom He represented, from the penal reign, which, owing to the absolute singularities of His case, was not in Him as it is in all other men beside, accompanied by its depraving influence.

“Died to sin” means, with regard to His death, Christ died “by sin,” that is, He died “on account of sin” — through the condemnatory power of sin. His death was expiatory. He suffered what sin deserved. And He died to sin “once.” This indicates how completely our Lord’s death, in which the elect are united with Him, answered its purpose in delivering both Himself and them from the reign of sin and of death. The “offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all,” (Heb. 10:10) indicates the completeness of His sacrifice. “For such a high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; who needed not daily to offer sacrifice for the sins of the people; for this he did once — once for all — when he offered up himself” (Heb. 7:26-27). When He bare the body of our sins in His body to the bloody tree, there to destroy it by a complete expiation, “he suffered once for sin, the just for the unjust” (1 Pet. 3:18).

The believer has the same interest in Christ’s life as in His death which equally secures that the believer cannot continue in sin. “In that he liveth, he liveth unto God” — the phrase “liveth to God,” is to live devoted to God (Romans 14:6-8). Christ came out of the tomb devoted to the promotion of the Divine glory, and if Christians have fellowship with Him in that life, how can they live in sin? “Because he lives they live also” (John 14:19), and His life is the pattern of our life. Again we quote from the JFB Commentary, “There never, indeed, was a time when Christ did not ‘live unto God.’ But in the days of His flesh He did so under the continual burden of sin ‘laid on Him’ (Isa. 53:6; 2 Cor. 5:21); whereas, now that He has ‘put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself,’ He ‘liveth unto God,’ the acquitted and accepted Surety, unchallenged and unclouded by the claims of sin.”

Verse 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Paul now passes from doctrine to application of this truth. He presses upon the saints, as a motive and encouragement to universal holiness, the doctrine he had taught regarding their security from the continuance of that depraving power of sin, which is connected with its penal reign. We are to reckon ourselves to be dead to sin and alive to God in Jesus Christ our Lord, for it is rather Christ’s headship than His mediatorship that is referred to here. The belief of this, in his apprehension, lay at the root of our ongoing sanctification. The apostle does not call on the saints “to die to sin, or to live to God.” The death to sin, and the life to God, he here speaks of, are not duties to be performed, but privileges enjoyed in consequence of union with our Lord Christ, laying a foundation for the performance of all duties. Paul is saying that since, according to God’s method of justification, the true believers, are, by faith, united to Christ, and since by sin He died and liveth to God, we have died to sin in Him, and we in Him live to God. And it is most important that we firmly believe and habitually ponder these truths. It is by the influence of these truths believed that the moral transformation, which was secured by the expiatory death and the new life of our Lord Jesus Christ, is carried forward.

Sin is effectually “mortified” in its reigning power at the first moment of regeneration, for at the new birth a principle of spiritual life is implanted and the sinner becomes alive unto God, walks in a new path, possesses new desires, looks in a new direction, breathes a new atmosphere, loves a new Object with new affections, has new feelings, is actuated by new motives, and handles new things with new hands. Yet, at the same time, this spiritual life lusteth against the flesh, opposing its solicitations, so that sin is unable to dominate as it would (Gal. 5:17); and this breaks its tyranny. Our conscious enjoyment of this is dependent upon our obedience to the truth of this verse of God’s Holy Word; by the exercise of God-given faith in what His Word declares, regarding ourselves as having legally passed from death to life in our Lord Jesus Christ. By virtue of Christ’s death we are dead to sin, and by virtue of His resurrection are alive to God, and so live as never to resume our former courses, or return again to our former sins. So believers are alive unto God in our Lord Jesus, receiving from Him that virtue whereby our spiritual life is begun, maintained, and perfected (Phil. 1:6).

Verse 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. By sin Paul means the corruption of our nature which he had called before the old man, and the body of sin. These remain in the regenerate; in them it is mortified, but not eradicated. The saint is not told not to let it be present or reside, but not to let it reign or preside; let it not be the master or have dominion in you; let it not have the upper hand of the motions of the Spirit of God. “In your mortal body” — the body is here viewed as the instrument by which all the sins of the heart become facts of the outward life (Mark 7:20-23) It is called our “mortal body” to remind us how unsuitable is this reign of sin in those who are “alive from the dead.” The reign of sin here meant is the unchecked dominion of sin within us, although all sinful lusts do mostly show and manifest themselves in and through the body (Gal. 5:19). The meaning is that we are not to suffer indwelling sin to Lord it over us. Since we are absolved from all that we did in our life before conversion, we are to yield obedience to God, and not to our corruptions. We are to strive against sin, resist temptation, overcome Satan by the Blood of the Lamb, and bring forth the fruits of holiness to Him. Christ is our Lord and Master and since our new birth His way has been, and is, pleasing to us, and His commandments are our delight. We now desire to live for His glory and make known His grace within us. As believers, sin remains in us, to our dismay and regret, but it no longer reigns as our master. Sin is a struggle to us; it tries us and troubles us, but it does not dominate or control us.

Verse 13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. The daily exercise of faith on Christ as crucified, and we in Him, is the great fundamental means of the mortification of sin. “Our old man is crucified with Christ, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” Our “old man,” or the body of sin, is the power and reign of sin in us. These are to be destroyed; that is, so mortified that “henceforth we should not serve sin,” that we should be delivered from the power and rule of it. This, said the apostle, is done in Christ: “Crucified with him.” Therefore, do not allow your members — your faculties, your powers of action — to be use as they, in habitual practice, were in your unregenerate state — to sin as tools of wickedness. Then they were instruments of unrighteousness and stood in opposition to the holy, just, good will of God, as expressed in His Holy Law (Rom. 7:12). To the contrary, in the belief of this truth, surrender and devote yourself to God as your reconciled Father and God in Christ, as those whom He has in Christ raised from the dead, in consequence of His having died for them, the just in the room of the unjust, and to who He has given a new life — proof of His love — fitting them for His service; and let all your faculties, brought under the influence of your new state, become instruments of righteousness in the service of God. In other words, “Walk at liberty, keeping His commandments.”

The word “yield” means a definite, voluntary, personal act of full surrender to God. The child of God is to continue as he began. “As ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him” (Col. 2:6). In receiving Christ Jesus as our Lord we were brought to the forsaking all that was opposed to Him (Isa. 55:7). We are to continue thus and not “turn again to folly” (Psa. 85:8). We were required to throw down the weapons of our warfare against God and be reconciled to Him, and to “keep ourselves from idols” (1 John 5:20). The Holy Ghost brought us to full surrender of ourselves to our Lord’s righteous claims and giving to Him the throne of our hearts.” As William Romaine pointed out, “He must be received always as He was received once.” God’s claims are now recognized, His rightful dominion over us is lovingly acknowledged, and He is owned as God. The converted yield themselves “unto God, as those that are alive from the dead,” and their members as “instruments of righteousness unto God.” This is the demand which He makes upon us: to be our God, to be served as such by us; for us to be and do, absolutely and without reserve, whatsoever He demands, totally surrendering ourselves fully to Him (Luke 14:26-27,33). We care to endeavor to so subject ourselves to the commandments of Christ that we are wholly ruled by Him, constrained by His love, always ready to do His bidding. As Christ has won our hearts, our duty, yea, our desire, is to serve our new Master — use to His glory the same faculties of soul as we formerly did in the life of pleasing ourselves. Our responsibility, as Christians, consists in resisting our evil propensities and acting according to our new inclinations and desires after holiness. We are to walk according to the rule of the Word of God. Regarding the phrase, “but yield yourselves unto God,” David Brown remarks, “Suggesting the one act for all, of self-surrender, which the renewed believer performs immediately upon his passing from death to life, and to which he only sets his continuous seal in all his after-life.”

In concluding this chapter we offer this fine statement on Sanctification by A. W. Pink: “Sanctification is still more complex, for a threefold distinction is necessary in order to bring into view its leading features, namely, our federal, personal, and practical holiness. By our fall in Adam we lost not only the favor of God but the purity of our nature, and therefore we need to be both reconciled to Him and sanctified in our inner man. The former is secured by the work of Christ; the latter is effected by the operation of the Holy Spirit. The former is judicial; the latter is vital. Christ is the Covenant Head of His people, and since He is the Holy One, all in Him are representatively holy. He is their holiness as truly as He is their righteousness: ‘But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption’ (1 Cor. 1:30). He is ‘made unto them’ sanctification in precisely the same way as God ‘made Him to be sin for us’ (2 Cor. 5:21), namely, by legal reckoning, by imputation. But that is not all: believers are not only sanctified federally and legally but personally and vitally in themselves. In consequence of their covenant union with Christ, the Holy Spirit is sent to quicken them into newness of life, to indwell them, to abide with them forever. This is their ‘sanctification of the Spirit’ (2 Thes. 2:13).”  RCLVC.

Worthy Doctrinal and Spiritual Notes and Quotes on Romans 6:1-13.
Verse 1. Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Am I saying that you can live as you please?  By no means! And with utmost horror I turn away from what is called antinomianism — the idea that as long as you believe, you can do as you please. Rather, because of His great love and grace, we seek to live as He wants us to live and to do those things that please Him. What we do for God is no down payment toward salvation. It is not interest on a debt. Jesus paid it all. The love of Christ constrains us to serve Him. That is the fruit of grace. — Donald G. Barnhouse (1895-1960).
The antinomian does not need a better exposition of the Scriptures. He needs to come to salvation. — E. W. Johnson (1914-2001).
But now, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? — GOD FORBID.” Because God has purposed that because of sin, salvation should be necessary, and grace might appear and reign; because the truth of God by the effectual working of His grace has more abounded through my lie unto His glory; because He has taken up such a polluted wretch in which to manifest His holiness; because He has taken my feet out of the mire and clay to set them upon a Rock; because He took me as a sinner to reveal His Son and show His mercy and grace in me — shall I therefore continue in sin that this grace may thus abound? — GOD FORBID! — W. J. Berry (1908-1986).
But grace does not leave its subjects in the condition in which it finds them. No indeed, it appears “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present evil world; looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:12-13). Saving faith is ever accompanied by evangelical repentance, which mourns over past sins and resolves to avoid a repetition of them in the future. Saving faith ever produces obedience, being fruitful in good works. — A. W. Pink (1886-1952).
Tell me, are there not many of you saying within yourselves, “This is a licentious doctrine; this preacher is opening a door for encouragement in sin?” But this does not surprise or terrify me at all. It is a stale antiquated objection, as old as the doctrine of justification itself. And (which, by the way, is not much to the credit of those who urge it now) it was first made by an infidel. Paul, in his epistle to the Romans, after he had, in the first five chapters, most plainly proved the doctrine of justification by faith only, in the sixth brings in an unbeliever, saying, “Shall we continue in sin then, that grace may abound?” But as he rejected such an inference with a “God forbid!” so do I. For the faith which we preach is not a dead speculative creed, “an assenting to a thing credible, as credible,” as it is commonly defined. It is not a faith of the head only but of the heart. It is a living principle wrought in the soul by the Spirit of the everlasting God, convincing the sinner of his lost undone condition by nature, enabling him to lay hold on the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ, and continually exciting him, out of a principle of love and gratitude, to show forth the same by abounding in every good word and work. This is the sum and substance of the doctrine that has been delivered; and if this be licentious doctrine, judge ye. No, my brethren, this is not decrying all good works, but teaching you how to do the same from a proper principle. — George Whitefield (1714-1770).
Christ did not die for sin that we might live to sin. — John Mason (1719-1791).
Verse 2. It is fitting that we should now proceed to consider the real and experimental change that takes place in their state, which change is begun at their sanctification and made perfect in glory. Though the justification and the sanctification of the believing sinner may be, and should be, contemplated singly and distinctively, yet they are inseparably connected, God never bestowing the one without the other; in fact we have no way or means whatsoever of knowing the former apart from the latter. “These individual companions, sanctification and justification, must not be disjoined: under the law the ablutions and oblations went together, the washings and the sacrifices” (T. Manton). — A. W. Pink (1886-1952).
Fact is, that when we are ingrafted into Christ and the power of the Cross is realized in us and we are justified by faith, sin is not dead but remains very much alive. In this life we never have more than a small beginning of the new obedience. Even the very holiest of the saints, he that is farthest advanced on the way of grace and sanctification, still has only a principle of the new life in Christ. Our old nature, earthly and carnal, remains with us till the grave. Not until we breathe our last are we delivered from sin. And in that old nature are the motions of sin, and they are very active. In fact, it often seems that, according as we grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, the motions of sin in our members also increase their activity, always attempting to bring us again into bondage. We must, therefore, till the day of our death heed the exhortation of the Word of God to put off the old man and to put on the new . . . No, the apostle does not teach us in this passage that sin is dead in the Christian but, on the contrary, that he is dead to sin. — Herman Hoeksema (1886-1965).
But what force (ask some) has this ordination or command of God unto good works, when, notwithstanding it, though we fail to supply ourselves diligently unto obedience, we shall nevertheless be justified by the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, and so may be saved without them? Such a senseless objection proceeds from utter ignorance of the believer’s present state and relation to God. To suppose that the hearts of the regenerate are not as much and as effectually influenced with the authority and commands of God unto obedience as if they were given in order unto their justification is to ignore what true faith is, and what are the arguments and motives whereby the minds of Christians are principally affected and constrained. Moreover, it is to lose sight of the inseparable connections which God has made between our justification and our sanctification: to suppose that one of these may exist without the other is to overthrow the whole Gospel. The apostle deals with this very objection in Romans 6:1-3. — A. W. Pink (1886-1952).
Verse 3. We must do something about the Cross, and one of two things only can we do — flee it or die upon it. — A. W. Tozer (1897-1963).
No one may ask a believer whether he has been baptized with the Spirit. The very fact that a man is in the body of Christ demonstrates that he has been baptized with the Spirit, for there is no other way of entering the body. — Donald Grey Barnhouse (1895-1960).
In taking the sinner’s place on the Cross, Jesus became as totally accountable for sin as if He was totally responsible for it. — Anonymous.
Verse 4. What is it to be raised to newness of life? Practically, what I have been describing to you in dying daily to sin, in watching, warring, struggling and fighting against sin. Experimentally and believingly in sitting in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus. For, as we have died and been buried with Him, so shall we live eternally with Him in thorough newness of life upon the throne of His glory. The first is a foretaste of the last. — William Parks (1809-1866).
It is at regeneration that the soul passes from death unto life, when by a sovereign act of God’s power — wherein we are entirely passive — we are spiritually quickened and thereby capacitated to turn unto Him. This miracle of grace is made manifest by the understanding of its subject being enlightened to perceive his awful enmity against God, by his conscience being convicted of his guilty and lost condition, by his affections being turned against sin so that he now loathes it, by his will being inclined Godwards; all of which issues in a genuine conversion or right-about-face — a forsaking of his wicked ways, an abandoning of his idols, a turning away from the world, and a taking of Christ to be his absolute Lord, all-sufficient Saviour, and everlasting Portion. — A. W. Pink (1886-1952).
Christ did not rise from the dead as a private Person, but as the public Head of the Church. — Thomas Watson (d. 1690).
But let us not despise the ordinance because it has been abused. Baptism does certainly teach our death to sin, our separation from it, our mortification to it, and all by our blessed union with Christ. Voluntarily to live in sin after baptism is to follow the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. — William Plumer (1802-1880).
Verse 5. The doctrine of this passage is not simply that the believer dies and rises, as Christ died and rose; that there is an analogy between His death and theirs; but, as before remarked, the main idea is, the necessary connection between the death and resurrection of Christ and the death and resurrection of His people. Such is the union between them and Him, that His death and resurrection render theirs a matter of necessity. The life or death of a tree necessitates the life or death of the branches. — Charles Hodge (1797-1878).
That word “implanted” denotes we have been united to Christ, or grafted into Christ. If we have died with the Lord Jesus, we live with Him, planted, or united, in His death; we are united in His resurrection. This union with the Lord Jesus Christ is both in His death and in His life; we died with Him, were buried with Him, arose with Him. He died to sin; we died with Him. He arose, He lives; we live. And the life of the Son of God guarantees our eternal life, because we are ingrafted in the resurrected Lord. — L. R. Shelton (1898-1971).
As the death of believers to sin is not a sinking down into abiding inertness and sloth, but is early followed by a resurrection from death in sin to a life of holiness; so the temporal death of believers is not an eternal sleep but shall at the right time, be followed by a blessed resurrection of the body, it being made like unto the glorious body of our Lord Jesus Christ. The blessed resurrection of the last day pre-supposes, in ordinary cases, a spiritual resurrection, a renewal of our moral nature followed by newness of life. — William Plumer (1802-1880).
Verse 6. In sanctification something is actually imparted to us, in justification it is only imputed. Justification is based entirely upon the work Christ wrought for us, sanctification is principally a work wrought in us. Justification respects its object in a legal sense and terminates in a relative change — a deliverance from punishment, a right to the reward; sanctification regards its object in a moral sense, and terminates in an experimental change both in character and conduct — imparting a love for God, a capacity to worship Him acceptably, and a meetness for Heaven. Justification is by righteousness without us, sanctification is by a holiness wrought in us. Justification is by Christ as Priest, and has regard to the penalty of sin; sanctification is by Christ as King, and has regard to the dominion of sin: the former cancels its damning power, the latter delivers from its reigning power. — A. W. Pink (1886-1952).
When were we crucified with Christ? When He died for us. Let’s not get away from that fact — when Christ died on the Cross, we died with Him. He died for sin; we died to sin in Christ. — L. R. Shelton (1898-1971).
Scripture knows nothing of the sanctification of “the old man,” and as long as we are hoping for any improvement in him, we are certain to meet with disappointment. If we are to “worship God in the Spirit” and “rejoice in Christ Jesus” we must learn to have “no confidence in the flesh” (Phil 3:3). — A. W. Pink (1886-1952).
Verse 7. Oh, what peace fills the soul when that Divine Word is received with childlike simplicity! It is because the believer has died legally, died in the death of his Substitute, that he is acquitted from all guilt and condemnation, for death cancels everything. It is not that the believer ought to die to sin which is here in view, but that his death is an accomplished fact in the death of his Surety (Rom. 6:2). In the crucifixion of Christ he is, by faith, to see himself crucified too. — A. W. Pink (1886-1952).
Though justification and sanctification are both of them blessings of grace, and though they are absolutely inseparable, yet they are so manifestly distinct, that there is in various respects a wide difference between them. Justification respects the person in a legal sense, is a single act of grace, and terminates in a relative change; that is, a freedom from punishment and a right to life. Sanctification regards him in an experimental sense, is a continued work of grace, and terminates in a real change, as to the quality both of habits and actions. The former is by a righteousness without us; the latter is by holiness wrought in us. Justification is by Christ as a priest, and has regard to the guilt of sin; sanctification is by Him as a king, and refers to its dominion. Justification is instantaneous and complete in all its real subjects; but sanctification is progressive. — Abraham Booth (1734- 1806).
The apostle has not been speaking of natural death, but of death with Christ; of the believer being crucified with Him. It is of that he is now speaking. He has just said that the believer cannot continue to serve sin. He here gives the reason: for he who has died (with Christ) is justified, and therefore free from sin, free from its dominion. This is the great evangelical truth which underlies the apostle’s whole doctrine of sanctification. — Charles Hodge (1798-1878).
He that is dead to sin, and has renounced it, and abhors it, is a justified man, being absolved from the guilt of all his sins. His hatred of sin proves his justification before God. — Phillip Doddridge (1702-1751).
Verse 8. Purification and sanctification. These two things are not absolutely identical: though inseparable, they are yet distinguishable. We cannot do better than quote from G. Smeaton, “The two words frequently occurring in the ritual of Israel, “sanctify” and “purify,” are so closely allied in sense, that some regard them as synonymous. But a slight shade of distinction between the two may be discerned as follows. It is assumed that ever-recurring defilements, of a ceremonial kind, called for sacrifices which removed, and the word “purify” referred to these rites and sacrifices which removed the stains which excluded the worshipper from the privilege of approach to the sanctuary of God, and from fellowship with His people. The defilement which he contracted excluded him from access. But when this same Israelite was purged by sacrifice, he was readmitted to the full participation of the privilege. He was then sanctified, or holy. Thus the latter is the consequence of the former. We may affirm, then, that the two words in this reference to the old worship, are very closely allied; so much so, that the one involves the other. This will throw light upon the use of these two expressions in the N. T.: Ephesians 5:25, 26; Hebrews 2;11; Titus 2:14. All these passages represent a man defiled by sin and excluded from God, but readmitted to access and fellowship, and so pronounced holy, as soon as the blood of sacrifice is applied to him.” Often the term “purge” or “purify” (especially in Hebrews) includes justification as well.”
Objective holiness is the result of a relationship with God, He having set apart some thing or person for His own pleasure. But the setting apart of one unto God necessarily involves the separating of it from all that is opposed to Him: all believers were set apart or consecrated to God by the sacrifice of Christ. Subjective holiness is the result of a work of God wrought in the soul, setting that person apart for His use. Thus “holiness” has two fundamental aspects. Growing out of the second, is the soul’s apprehension of God’s claims upon him, and his presentation of himself unto God for His exclusive use (Rom. 12:1; etc.), which is practical sanctification. The supreme example of all three is found in Jesus Christ, the Holy one of God. Objectively, He was the One “whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world” (John 10:36); subjectively, He “received the Spirit without measure” (John 3 :34); and practically, He lived for the glory of God, being absolutely devoted to His will – only with this tremendous difference: He needed no inward purification as we do.
To sum up. Holiness, then, is both a relationship and a moral quality. It has both a negative and a positive side: cleansing from impurity, adorning with the grace of the Spirit. Sanctification is, first, a position of honour to which God has appointed His people. Second, it is a state of purity which Christ has purchased for them. Third, it is an inducement given to them by the Holy Spirit. Fourth, it is a course of devoted conduct in keeping therewith. Fifth, it is a standard of moral perfection, at which they are ever to aim: 1 Peter 1:15. A “saint” is one who was chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4), who has been cleansed from the guilt and pollution of sin by the blood of Christ (Heb. 13:12), who has been consecrated to God by the indwelling Spirit (2 Cor. 1:21, 22), who has been made inwardly holy by the impartation of the principle of grace (Phil. :6), and whose duty, privilege, and aim is to walk suitable thereto (Eph. 4:1). — A. W. Pink (1886-1952).

Do thou, dearest Lord, cause me to have my redemption by Thee always in remembrance. May my soul be more and more humbled to the dust before Thee that my GOD and my SAVIOUR may be more and more exalted. Through life, in death, and for ever more, be it my joy to acknowledge that there can be no wages mine, but the wages of sin, which is death; and all the Lord bestows, even eternal life, with all its preliminaries, can only be the free, the sovereign, the unmerited gift of God, through JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD. — Robert Hawker (1753-1827).

Indeed the Church is a mystical body, of which Christ is the Head, and believers are the members. If one member suffers, all suffer. When Paul waged war on Christians, Jesus did not say, Why persecutes thou these good people? But, “Why persecutest thou me?” Now as Christ’s resurrection and glory inevitably followed His humiliation and death, so the believer’s death to sin by the Cross of Christ shall surely be followed by a life and glory which will, in its measure, be like the life and glory won by Christ. Only He possesses His by His Own merits. His people hold entirely under Him and by His righteousness. — William Plumer (1802-1880).

Verse 9. The first question to consider: What was there particularly in connection with the raising of Christ from the dead which made God’s mighty power far more manifest than the future rising of the whole human race will? Since the death which Christ died was no ordinary one, His resurrection must be an extraordinary one. Here we enter the realm of profoundest mystery, and only as our thoughts are formed by the clear teaching of Scripture can we, in any measure, enter into its meaning. God made Christ to be sin for His people when He laid upon Him the iniquities of them all. Consequently He was “made a curse” and was required to receive the awful wages of sin, which involved much more than the dissolution of soul and body. Christ not only died but was committed to the grave. “Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him” (Rom. 6:9). This clearly implies that during those three days He was under death’s power. He was death’s prisoner. He was death’s “lawful captive” (Isa. 49:24), held fast in its terrible grip . . . “Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it” (Acts 2:24). Here is New Testament proof that Christ was held by death and that God loosed Him from something in order for His resurrection. — A. W. Pink (1886-1952).

It is a consolation to the believer to know, that if he has evidence of being now a Christian, he may be sure that he shall live with Christ. As long and as surely as the Head lives, so long and so surely must all the members live. The fact that Christ lives, renders it certain that His people shall live in holiness here, and in glory hereafter. — Charles Hodge (1798-1878).

For when Christ rose from the dead, that was the beginning of eternal life in Him. His life before His death was a mortal life, a temporal life; but His life after His resurrection was an eternal life: Rom. 6:9, “Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead, dieth no more: death hath no more dominion over him.” Rev. 1:18, “I am he that liveth and was dead; and behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen.” — But He was put in possession of this eternal life, as the Head of the body; and took possession of it, not only to enjoy Himself, but to bestow on all who believe in Him: so that the whole Church, as it were, rises in Him. And now He Who lately suffered so much, after this is to suffer no more forever, but to enter into eternal glory. God the Father neither expects nor desires any more suffering. — Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758).

Verse 10. Christ’s work and sufferings were unto all the ends of a full and perfect deliverance of all His people from the guilt and power of sin, and from death as the curse, the penal consequence of sin. His release from suffering and humiliation is the token that His work as all done, and in that He liveth, “he liveth unto God,” that is He lives to the perpetual honor, the highest and everlasting glory of God, He has an eternal life in the most blessed enjoyment of God. And in this His people are and ever shall be, in their measure, conformed to Him. Because He lives, they shall live also (John 14:19). Their life is hid with Christ in God (Col. 3:3). As He lives and shall ever live unto God, so shall they. — William Plumer (1802-1880).

To be in Christ is the source of the Christian’s life; to be like Christ is the sum of his excellence; to be with Christ is the fulness of his joy. — Charles Hodge (1798-1878).

All that the righteous possess, or enjoy, or have in reversion, or hope for is in, by and through Jesus Christ. — William Plumer (1802-1880).

Verse 11. They differ, then, in their order (not of time, but in their nature), justification preceding, sanctification following: the sinner is pardoned and restored to God’s favor before the Spirit is given to renew him after His image. They differ in their design: justification removes the obligation unto punishment; sanctification cleanses from pollution. They differ in their form: justification is a judicial act, by which the sinner is pronounced righteous; sanctification is a moral work, by which the sinner is made holy: the one has to do solely with our standing before God, the other chiefly concerns our state. They differ in their cause: the one issuing from the merits of Christ’s satisfaction, the other proceeding from the efficacy of the same. They differ in their end: the one bestowing a title to everlasting glory, the other being the highway which conducts us thither. “And an highway shall be there, . . .  and it shall be called the way of holiness” (Isa. 35:8). — A.W. Pink (1886-1952).
The first work of the Spirit is to make a man look upon sin as an enemy and to deal with sin as an enemy, to hate it as an enemy, to loathe it as an enemy and to arm against it as an enemy. — Thomas Brooks (1608-1680).

If a true mortification must be not only a striving against the motions of inward corruptions, but also the weakening of its roots, then I fear that all my endeavors have been in vain. Some success I have obtained against the outbreakings of lust, but still I find the temptation of it as strong as ever. I perceive no decays in it, but rather does it grow more violent every day. Answer, That is because you are more conscious and take more notice of corruption than formerly. When the heart is made tender by a long exercise of mortification, a less temptation troubles it more than a greater did formerly. This seeming strengthening of corruption is not a sign that sin is not dying, but rather an evidence that you are spiritually alive and more sensible of its motions. — Ezekiel Hopkins (1634-1690).

Verse 12. Like “salvation” itself — according to the use of the term in Scripture (see 2 Tim. 1:9, salvation in the past; Phil. 2:12, salvation in the present; Rom. 13:11, salvation in the future) and in the actual history of the redeemed — so sanctification must be considered under its three tenses. There is a very real sense in which all of God’s elect have already been sanctified: Jude 1; Heb. 10:10; 2 Thes. 2:13. There is also a very real sense in which those of God’s people on earth are daily being sanctified: 2 Cor. 4:16; 2 Cor. 7:1; 1 Thes. 5:23. And there is also a very real sense in which the Christians’ (complete) sanctification is yet future: Rom. 8:30; Heb. 12:23; 1 John 3:2. — A. W. Pink (1886-1952).

No child of God, with grace in his heart, can act but from that grace in all his deliberate purposes. The Lord hath put His fear in his heart that he shall not depart from Him (Jer. 32:40). And this childlike fear becomes the most persuasive of all motives to love and obedience. — Robert Hawker (1753-1827).

Let us never be found with the formalist and the enemies of righteousness, objecting to the doctrines of free grace, or abusing them to vile purposes. If sinners cannot be freely justified, they cannot be saved. It is a fact in the history of theological doctrine that no class of men have held so high a standard of pious living, as those who have been stanch advocates of the doctrine of gratuitous justification. — William Plumer (1802-1880).

Verse 13. When Satan sat on the throne of the soul, as king, the members of the body, which the Holy Ghost termeth in unregenerate persons “weapons of unrighteousness,” Rom. 6:13, were his militia, and employed to defend his unjust title, to execute his ungodly designs, to perform his hellish pleasure, the head to plot, the hands to act, the feet to run, the eyes to see, the ears to hear, the tongue to speak for him; but as when an enemy is conquered, and a magazine in a war is taken, the general maketh use of those arms and of that ammunition for his service, which before were employed against him; so the strong man Satan being beaten out of his strongholds by Christ the stronger than he, the members of the body which before were instruments of unrighteousness unto sin, are now instruments of righteousness unto God, Rom. 6:13,16. — George Swinnock (1627-1673).

If God has my members as weapons and instruments in His hands, I shall certainly be able not only to work, but also to conquer, since He understands full well how to manage them. May the Lord only give me grace, not to wind myself out of His hands, else I must needs be like a dead, useless carcass; for how can a pen write alone without being in the hand of a writer? It is true, indeed, that it is very hard, nay, impossible, to be really good, and to do all that is good, if we undertake it alone; but God Himself living and working in us, and we truly delighting in Him, it is very easy and pleasant. Therefore, care is only to be taken that our hearts may be always the working-place, and our members the instruments of God, in which and through which, He can perform everything Himself. — C. H. V. Bogatzky (1690-1774).

That sanctification or personal holiness, which we desire to show the absolute necessity of, lies in or consists of three things. First, that internal change or renovation of our souls, whereby our minds, affections and wills are brought into harmony with God. Second, that impartial compliance with the revealed will of God in all duties of obedience and abstinence from evil, issuing from a principle of faith and love. Third, that directing of all our actions unto the glory of God, by Jesus Christ, according to the Gospel. This, and nothing short of this, is evangelical and saving sanctification. The heart must be changed so as to be brought into conformity with God’s nature and will: its motives, desires, thoughts and actions required to be purified. There must be a spirit of holiness working within so as to sanctify our outward performances if they are to be acceptable unto Him in whom “there is no darkness at all.” — A. W. Pink (1886-1952).

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