23. Now, it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him,
23. Non est autem scriptum propter ipsum tantum, imputatum fuisse illi;
24. But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
24. Sed etiam propter nos, quibus imputabitur credentibus in eum, qui excitavit lesum Dominum nostrum ex mortuis:
25. Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
25. Qui traditus fuit propter delicta nostra, et excitatus propter nostram justificationem.
We are, by this passage, reminded of the duty of seeking profit from the examples recorded in Scripture. That history is the teacher of what life ought to be, is what heathens have with truth said; but as it is handed down by them, no one can derive from it sound instruction. Scripture alone justly claims to itself an office of this kind. For in the first place it prescribes general rules, by which we may test every other history, so as to render it serviceable to us: and in the second place, it clearly points out what things are to be followed, and what things are to be avoided. But as to doctrine, which it especially teaches, it possesses this peculiarity, -- that it clearly reveals the providence of God, his justice and goodness towards his own people, and his judgments on the wicked.
What then is recorded of Abraham is by Paul denied to have been written only for his sake; for the subject is not what belongs to the special call of one or of any particular person; but that way of obtaining righteousness is described, which is ever the same with regard to all; and it is what belonged to the common father of the faithful, on whom the eyes of all ought to be fixed.
If then we would make a right and proper use of sacred histories, we must remember so to use them as to draw from them sound doctrine. They instruct us, in some parts, how to frame our life; in others, how to strengthen faith; and then, how we are to be stirred up to serve the Lord. In forming our life, the example of the saints may be useful; and we may learn from them sobriety, chastity, love, patience, moderation, contempt of the world, and other virtues. What will serve to confirm faith is the help which God ever gave them, the protection which brought comfort in adversities, and the paternal care which he ever exercised over them. The judgments of God, and the punishments inflicted on the wicked, will also aid us, provided they fill us with that fear which imbues the heart with reverence and devotion.
But by saying,
But I cannot assent to those who refer this second clause to newness of life; for of that the Apostle has not begun to speak; and further, it is certain that both clauses refer to the same thing. For if justification means renovation, then that he died for our sins must be taken in the same sense, as signifying that he acquired for us grace to mortify the flesh; which no one admits. Then, as he is said to have died for our sins, because he delivered us from the evil of death by suffering death as a punishment for our sins; so he is now said to have been raised for our justification, because he fully restored life to us by his resurrection: for he was first smitten by the hand of God, that in the person of the sinner he might sustain the misery of sin; and then he was raised to life, that he might freely grant to his people righteousness and life. 3 He therefore still speaks of imputative justification; and this will be confirmed by what immediately follows in the next chapter.
1 It is
Take the first instance -- "for our offenses." There are those who say that
2 Christ is said here to have been raised from the dead by God, as well as delivered into death. "However much of the import of this," says Chalmers, "may have escaped the notice of an ordinary reader, it is pregnant with meaning of the weightiest importance. You know that when the prison door is opened to a criminal, and that by the very authority which lodged him there, it envinces that the debt of his transgression has been rendered, and that he stands aquitted of all it's penalties. It was not for his own, but for our offenses that Jesus was delivered unto the death, and that his body was consigned to the imprisonment of the grave. And when an angel descended from heaven, and rolled back the great stone from the door of the sepulchre, this speaks to us, that the justice of God is satisfied, that the ransom of our iniquity has been paid, that Christ has rendered a full disch of all the debt for which he undertook as the great surety between God and the sinners who believe in him." -- Ed.
3 "Either therefore as the evidence of the acceptance of his suffering as our substitute, or as a necessary step toward securing the application of their merit to our benefit, the resurrection of Christ was essential to our justification." -- Professor Hodge.