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8. Life Through the Spirit

1There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. 2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death. 3For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4that the ordinance of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5For they that are after the flesh mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6For the mind of the flesh is death; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace: 7because the mind of the flesh is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be: 8and they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. But if any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the spirit is life because of righteousness. 11But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelleth in you, he that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead shall give life also to your mortal bodies through his Spirit that dwelleth in you. 12So then, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh: 13for if ye live after the flesh, ye must die; but if by the Spirit ye put to death the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15For ye received not the spirit of bondage again unto fear; but ye received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God: 17and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified with him. 18For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us-ward. 19For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the revealing of the sons of God. 20For the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, but by reason of him who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. 22For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23And not only so, but ourselves also, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for our adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 24For in hope were we saved: but hope that is seen is not hope: for who hopeth for that which he seeth? 25But if we hope for that which we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. 26And in like manner the Spirit also helpeth our infirmity: for we know not how to pray as we ought; but the Spirit himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered; 27and 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. 28And we know that to them that love God all things work together for good, even to them that are called according to his purpose. 29For whom he foreknew, he also foreordained to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren: 30and whom he foreordained, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. 31What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not also with him freely give us all things? 33Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth; 34who is he that condemneth? It is Christ Jesus that died, yea rather, that was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36Even as it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; We were accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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31. What then, etc. The subject discussed having been sufficiently proved, he now breaks out into exclamations, by which he sets forth the magnanimity with which the faithful ought to be furnished when adversities urge them to despond. And he teaches us in these words that with the paternal favor of God is connected that invincible courage which overcomes all temptations. We indeed know, that judgment is usually formed of the love or of the hatred of God, in no other way than by a view of our present state; hence when things fall out untowardly, sorrow takes possession of our minds, and drives away all confidence and consolation. But Paul loudly exclaims, that a deeper principle ought to be inquired after, and that they reason absurdly who confine themselves to the sad spectacle of our present warfare. I indeed allow, that the scourges of God are in themselves justly deemed to be tokens of God’s wrath; but as they are consecrated in Christ, Paul bids the saints to lay hold, above all things, on the paternal love of God, that relying on this shield they may boldly triumph over all evils; for this is a brazen wall to us, so that while God is propitious to us we shall be safe against all dangers. He does not, however, mean, that nothing shall oppose us; but he promises a victory over all kinds of enemies.

If God be for us, etc. This is the chief and the only support which can sustain us in every temptation. For except we have God propitious to us, though all things should smile on us, yet no sure confidence can be attained: but, on the other hand, his favor alone is a sufficient solace in every sorrow, a protection sufficiently strong against all the storms of adversities. And on this subject there are many testimonies of Scripture, which show that when the saints rely on the power of God alone, they dare to despise whatever is opposed to them in the world.

“When I walk in the midst of the shadow of death, I shall not fear evils, for thou art with me.” (Psalm 23:4.)

“In the Lord I trust: what shall flesh do to me.”
(Psalm 56:11.)

“I shall not fear the thousands of the people who beset me.”
(Psalm 3:6.)

For there is no power either under or above the heavens, which can resist the arm of God. Having him then as our defender, we need fear no harm whatever. Hence he alone shows real confidence in God, who being content with his protection, dreads nothing in such a way as to despond; the faithful are doubtless often shaken but are never utterly cast down. In short, the Apostle’s object was to show, that the godly soul ought to rely on the inward testimony of the Holy Spirit, and not to depend on outward things.




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