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THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS - Chapter 6 - Verse 14

Verse 14. For sin, etc. The propensity or inclination to sin.

Shall not have dominion. Shall not reign, Ro 5:14; 6:6. This implies that sin ought not to have this dominion; and it also expresses the conviction of the apostle that it would not have this rule over Christians.

For we are not under the law. We who are Christians are not subject to that law where sin is excited, and where it rages unsubdued. But it may be asked here, what is meant by this declaration? Does it mean that Christians are absolved from all the obligations of the law? I answer,

(1.) The apostle does not affirm that Christians are not bound to obey the moral law. The whole scope of his reasoning shows that he maintains that they are. The whole structure of Christianity supposes the same thing. Comp. Mt 5:17-19.

(2.) The apostle means to say that Christians are not under the law as legalists, or as attempting to be justified by it. They seek a different plan of justification altogether; and they do not attempt to be justified by their own obedience. The Jews did; they do not.

(3.) It is implied here, that the effect of an attempt to be justified by the law was not to subdue sins, but to excite them, and to lead to indulgence in them. Justification by works would destroy no sin, would check no evil propensity, but would leave a man to all the ravages and riotings of unsubdued passion. If, therefore, the apostle had maintained that men were justified by works, he could not have consistently exhorted them to abandon their sins. He would have had no powerful motives by which to urge it; for the scheme would not lead to it. But he here says that the Christian was seeking justification on a plan which contemplated and which accomplished the destruction of sin; and he therefore infers that sin should not have dominion over them.

But under grace. Under a scheme of mercy, the design and tendency of which is to subdue sin, and destroy it. In what way the system of grace removes and destroys sin, the apostle states in the following verses.

{x} "have dominion over you" Mic 7:19

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