Introduction

\\INTRODUCTION TO ROMANS 8\\

As the former chapter shows that sanctified ones are not free from the
being of sin in them, which is a ground of general complaint and
uneasiness; this chapter shows, that justified ones are freed from the
guilt of sin, and secure from punishment for it; and have the utmost
reason to rejoice and be glad, and even to triumph in a plerophory and
full assurance of faith, on account of the various privileges they
enjoy, through the grace of the Father, of the Son, and of the Spirit;
and which are distinctly, largely, and severally mentioned: it begins,
\\#Ro 8:1\\, with taking notice of a particular privilege saints have
in Christ, and, by virtue of union to him, security from all
condemnation; and which is inferred from their sure and certain
deliverance from sin by Christ, \\#Ro 8:25\\, the persons sharing in
this privilege are described by their being in Christ, and by their
walking after the Spirit of Christ, in consequence of it: a reason
confirming this privilege is given, \\#Ro 8:2\\, taken either from the
Gospel, declaring the saints' freedom from the law; or from the power
and efficacy of the Spirit, delivering them from the tyranny and
dominion of sin; or rather from the holiness of Christ's human nature,
as a branch of their justification: this privilege is made more fully
to appear, and the saints' interest in it by the mission of Christ, to
bring in everlasting righteousness for them, which is the foundation of
it, \\#Ro 8:3\\, the occasion of which was the weakness of the law, or
rather the impotency of man, through the corruption of nature, to
fulfil the law: the sender, or the efficient cause of this mission, is
God the Father; the person sent, his own Son; the manner in which he
was sent, in human nature, which had the appearance of being sinful;
what God did in it, he condemned sin in it; which is a reason, why
there is no condemnation to them, that are in him; and the end of all
this, \\#Ro 8:4\\, was, that the law of righteousness might be
perfectly fulfilled by Christ for them, or by them in him; who are
described in part, as in \\#Ro 8:1\\, upon the repetition of which part
of the description, the apostle proceeds to show the difference between
unregenerate and regenerate persons, \\#Ro 8:5\\, partly by their
characters; the one being carnal, or after the flesh, the other being
spiritual, or after the Spirit; and by their different affections, the
one minding the things of the flesh, the other the things of the
Spirit; the different issue and effect of which, namely, a carnal and a
spiritual mind are observed, \\#Ro 8:6\\, death following upon the one,
life and peace upon the other; the reasons of which, with respect to
the former, are given, \\#Ro 8:7\\, taken from the enmity of the carnal
mind to God, and the non-subjection of it to the law of God, and the
impossibility of its being subject to it; and therefore nothing but
death can be expected; from whence this conclusion is made, \\#Ro 8:8\\,
that unregenerate men are not in a state, nor in a capacity to please
God, or do what is acceptable to him, the above being the disposition
and temper of their minds: and then in \\#Ro 8:9\\, the apostle returns
to the argument from whence be had digressed, and suggests, that though
he had said the above things of unregenerate men, he had other thoughts
of those to whom he writes; they were not in the flesh, nor minded the
things of the flesh, and so were not liable to condemnation and death;
and which he proves by the inhabitation of the Spirit of God in them;
for such who have him not, have no proof nor evidence of their being
Christ's, and so consequently have no proof of their security from
condemnation; and partly by Christ's being in them, and which is the
evidence of their being in Christ, and so of the above privilege,
\\#Ro 8:10\\, the consequence of which is, that though by reason of sin
the body is mortal, and does die, yet the soul lives not only
naturally, but spiritually, by faith in Christ now, and in glory
hereafter, by virtue of Christ's righteousness imputed to it, and so is
free from condemnation and death; besides, by virtue of the Spirit's
dwelling in them, their mortal bodies will be quickened in the general
resurrection, \\#Ro 8:11\\, and from all these blessings of divine
goodness, both in soul and body, the apostle infers, that the saints
are under obligation, not to live in a carnal, but in a spiritual
manner, \\#Ro 8:12\\, and to which he exhorts, \\#Ro 8:13\\, and presses
by motives, taken from the different consequences of those things;
death following by living after the flesh, and life through the
mortification of sin, by the Spirit of God: and whereas the walking
after the Spirit, by which he had described those that are safe from
condemnation, is owing to their being led by him; and their being led
by him, being an evidence of their divine sonship, \\#Ro 8:14\\, from
hence he passes to consider the privilege of adoption: and that these
saints were interested in this privilege, he proves \\#Ro 8:15\\,
partly by their not having the spirit of bondage which belongs to
servants; and partly by their having the spirit of adoption, who had
made known this grace unto them, and their interest in it: and that
they had received him as a spirit of adoption, was evident by their
calling God their Father under his influence; and also by the witness
he bore to their spirits, that they were the children of God,
\\#Ro 8:16\\, of which they were conscious: and from this privilege of
adoption, the apostle concludes heirship, \\#Ro 8:17\\, and which is
of such a nature, that there is none like it; both with respect to the
subject of it, God himself; with respect to him with whom they are
heirs, Christ Jesus; and the way in which they come to share the
glorious inheritance with him, is through suffering with him, and for
him; and this they need not grudge to do, since there is no comparison
between their sufferings, and the glory they shall enjoy, \\#Ro 8:18\\,
which both Jews and Gentiles were in the expectation of; the latter of
which are described in \\#Ro 8:19-22\\, by their name, the creature,
the whole creation; and by their present condition, the Gospel being
come among them to the conversion of many, which raised an expectation
of many sons and daughters being born to God among them, \\#Ro 8:19\\,
and by their former state and condition, \\#Ro 8:20\\, which is
mentioned, to illustrate the grace of God in the present blessing
bestowed upon them, in sending the Gospel to them; which state was a
subjection to vanity, through the god of this world, who led them
captive at his will, \\#Ro 8:21\\, and then by the deliverance of
them, they were in hope and expectation of, from bondage to liberty,
\\#Ro 8:21\\, and this groaning and travailing: in birth in a
spiritual sense, for the bringing forth of many sons to God among the
Gentiles, the apostle, and other ministers of the word, who had
preached the Gospel among them, were witnesses of, \\#Ro 8:22\\, yea,
not only the Gentiles, but the Jews also, who are described as having
the first fruits of the Spirit, \\#Ro 8:23\\, were waiting for the
manifestation of the children of God among the Gentiles, with them to
complete at last the mystical body, who shall share together the glory
before spoken of, which their sonship and heirship entitle them to;
and for which there is encouragement to wait with patience and in
hope, from the connection of salvation with the grace of hope; and
from, the nature of the thing hoped for, which is unseen, but certain,
\\#Ro 8:24,25\\. From hence the apostle proceeds to consider another
privilege which the saints have, who are in the Spirit, and walk after
the Spirit, the Spirit helps their infirmities; particularly in
prayer, the matter of which, in some cases, they are at a loss about,
\\#Ro 8:26\\, and this he does, by making intercession for them; the
manner in which this is done in them, is with unutterable groans; and
the rule according to which it is made, is the will of God, the mind
of the Spirit being known by the searcher of hearts, \\#Ro 8:27\\, in
a word, such are the privileges of believers in Christ, that every
thing in the whole world, in heaven, and in earth, in themselves and
others, whether good or bad, prosperous or adverse, work together for
their good, so that nothing can go wrong with them in the issue,
\\#Ro 8:28\\, who are described by their love to God, and by their
effectual calling, according to his purpose; which being mentioned,
leads the apostle to the source and spring of all these and other
privileges, the everlasting love of God; signified by his
foreknowledge of his people, \\#Ro 8:29\\, which is the cause of their
predestination to a conformity to the image of Christ, the firstborn
among many brethren; with which predestination, calling,
justification, and glorification, are inseparably connected, \\#Ro 8:30\\,
from all which blessings of grace it may be concluded, that God is on
the side of such persons, who are interested in these favours; and
nothing is to be feared, but every good thing is to be expected by
them, \\#Ro 8:31\\, which is confirmed by an argument from the greater
to the lesser, that if God has given his Son for them, he will freely
give all things to them, \\#Ro 8:32\\, in a view of which, the apostle
rises up in a triumph of faith, and challenges all the enemies of the
saints, and denies that any charge can be brought against them of any
avail, since God is the justifier of them, \\#Ro 8:33\\, or that they
shall ever enter into condemnation, being secured from it by the death
of Christ; and which security is yet more strengthened by his
resurrection, session at the right hand of God, and intercession for
them, \\#Ro 8:34\\, and then asks, since Christ has shown such love to
them, by these instances of it, what can separate from it, \\#Ro 8:35\\,
and enumerates several things which befall the saints in this life,
which, however mean and abject they may render them in the esteem of
men, do not at all abate the love of Christ to them: that such is
their case, that they are exposed to afflictions and sufferings, and
even death itself, for the sake of Christ, is proved \\#Ro 8:36\\, by
a testimony out of \\#Ps 44:22\\, and then an answer is returned to
the above question in the negative, that none of the things mentioned
could separate them from the love of Christ; so far from it, that by
virtue of Christ who had loved them, they were conquerors, and more
than conquerors in all these things, and over all their enemies,
\\#Ro 8:37\\, and the chapter is concluded in \\#Ro 8:38,39\\, with
the full and firm persuasion of the apostle, that nothing in the whole
universe, in the whole compass of created beings, be they what they
will, good or bad, or which are or shall be, an enumeration of many of
which is made, should ever separate him, or any of the people of God
from his love, which is in Christ Jesus: so that upon the whole,
notwithstanding indwelling sin, notwithstanding the various
afflictions which attend them in this world, yet in consideration of
the many privileges they enjoy, and the glory they are heirs of, they
have great reason to rejoice, and look upon themselves to be in the
most safe and happy condition.