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[Photograph above: Cave Hill, Belfast, Northern Ireland.]

Further Light on Romans  5: 12 - 6: 11.

 

 

 

 

 

NORWICH:

 

FLETCHER AND SON, DAVEY PLACE

 

1894.

 

 

 

 

Before entering upon the comment on the second half of Romans 5., it is desirable to observe the point up to which Paul has led his epistle.

 

 

His main argument begins at the fifteenth verse of the first chapter.  He was ready to preach the Gospel at Rome.  For he was not ashamed of the good news concerning the Christ.  For it was the power of God unto salvation to every believer, whether Jew or Gentile.  Wherein, then, consisted its force?  In ‘the righteousness which God had revealed in it for the unrighteous  That righteousness of God becomes ours by faith; and it is revealed unto the man of faith; as it is written: ‘The unrighteous by faith, shall live’* For the wrath of God from heaven on all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men is also revealed.

 

19.                  There is indeed present righteousness and peace with God; but the eternal life which is the result of it must be believed in and waited for.  The righteous by faith is to live in resurrection; and that comes only at Christ’s return.

 

 

And all men, Gentiles or Jews, are unrighteous and ungodly.

 

 

Chapter 1.  This is proved first against the Gentiles.  They know that sins like theirs deserve death, and yet they do them.

 

 

Chapter 2.  The light given by Jehovah in His Word enabled the Jew to see and condemn the wickedness of the Gentile.  Yet he committed the same sins.  How then should he escape the coming wrath of God? For, in spite of present grace and patience, God has appointed a day of judgment wherein He will requite Jew and Gentile, the living and the dead, the saved and the lost -  according to their works.  Some in that day would receive the reward of reigning with Christ; while others would experience at that time the heavy rebuke of the Most High.  For God, as the Judge, is quite impartial, and no respecter of faces.

 

 

The Jew in that day would be smitten more severely, if a transgressor than the heathen.

 

 

Chapter 3.  All, both Jews and Gentiles, are sinners; the testimonies of the Old Testament convicting both of transgression: that every mouth may be stopped before God in the judgment.  No justification, then, is possible for sinful flesh set under law.  For law discovers sin and its penalty.

 

 

Then comes (ver. 21) the statement of the Gospel.  God, in His wisdom and love, has provided in Christ a righteousness in which the unrighteous, taken out from law and Adam, and set in Christ, may be pronounced righteous before Him.  God even in the beginning of Genesis, gave tokens of this, in His clothing the guilty in coats of skin.  Under Moses He more distinctly opened His counsels of goodness, in the ritual of the Day or Atonement.

 

 

In the twenty-second verse are some words very distinctly connected with the passage especially to be treated of.  “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith in Jesus Christ (1) for all men, and (2) upon all them, that believe where number one describes the extent to which the good news may be proclaimed; and number two the much smaller body of those who accept, and are clothed with, the righteousness provided.

 

 

We are accepted without our payment of God’s dues, through Christ’s payment of the ransom, and buying us out from under law and its wrath: ver. 24.

 

 

The twenty-fifth verse takes up and carries on the redemption by the payment of a ransom, in the Saviour’s violent death of sacrifice; and our appropriation of it by faith in its meaning, as given of God.

 

 

There was in that a twofold manifestation of God.  God had remained veiled even from His priests, in the Holiest, until the death of Christ; then the veil was rent, and the greatest sin of man drew forth the greatest grace of God.  Thus He showed how He could pass by the sins of the saved; and yet be just.  The true sin-offering had been offered.  And now came an expansion of the Levitical words about the sin offering: Lev. 4.  “The priest shall take of the blood of the sin-offering with his finger and put it upon the (four) horns of the altar of burnt-offering, and shall pour out his blood at the bottom of the altar of burnt-offering  The Saviour’s blood was put on the upper horn of the cross, through the crown of thorns.  On the two side-horns, blood flowed through the nails in the hands; and at the bottom of the main beam, by the nails driven into the feet.  After His death followed the blood and water at the foot of the cross, by the thrust of the soldier’s spear.  “The priest shall make atonement for him, and it shall be forgiven him

 

 

The Saviour’s resurrection completed the righteousness of God; in His life there was the perfection of obedience; in His death the blotting out of sin.  Hence God was manifested as righteous in pardoning sin; righteous too in pronouncing the believer to be righteous, who is by faith united to Jesus.  We conclude, that “a man is justified by faith without the works of law  Blest and satisfying conclusion!

 

 

30.  A future justification also is coming when God shall pronounce righteous both Jew and Gentile that believe in His Son.

 

 

31. This salvation of God does not do away law, but establishes it.  All the righteous demands of law have been met, and believers are set beyond it, to obey in the spirit of sonship.

 

 

Chapter 4.  The fourth chapter presents to us Abraham in two aspects.  (1) As justified by faith before he was circumcised; and (2) after circumcision he is shown as an example of the obedience of faith.  1. As justified by faith, he is a pattern to Gentile believers.  2. As obedient, he is a pattern to his sons both Jewish and Gentile, to add to faith the practice of the commands of the Most High.  What a lesson to those who speak of obedience as not necessary!

 

 

Gentiles generally rest content with justification, and stop short of obeying the rite which Christ commands, immersion.

 

 

The rite commanded to Abraham was circumcision; and it was both a (1) sign and a (2) seal.  1. The sign was the active putting away of the filth of the flesh.  2. The seal was the permanent mark; being the token of the righteousness by faith previously possessed by Abraham.

 

 

But under the Gospel, (1) the sign and (2) the seal are separated.  Immersion is the sign of our oneness with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection.  But it is no seal: it leaves behind no lasting trace. Hence the Lord granted, as a seal, the miraculous gifts of the Holy Ghost, obtained at Pentecost, immediately after the baptism in water.  “In whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promiseEph. 1.  Thus the early Christians were not only at peace with God within, but they were also witnesses to men, as God’s acknowledged righteous ones.

 

 

So Peter afterward witnesses to the High Priest and the Sadducees.  Christ “hath God exalted with His     right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.  And we are

witnesses of these things (of Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension).  And so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey Him Acts 5.  Where were prophets and healers to be found? Not among the Sadducees; but only among the men of Christ.

 

 

13.  Those, then, who were men of faith, and men of power by gift of the Holy Ghost, were on their way to the “millennial inheritance of the world,” promised to Abraham, and one day to be bestowed upon the obedient men of faith, as God by oath declared to the patriarch over the sacrifice of Isaac, raised from the dead in a figure.  No reward can be earned by the men of law; law works to the sinner only wrath.

 

 

15. Therefore the eternal inheritance is by faith, (here the obedience of faith is omitted, to which belongs millennial reward).  On this ground of grace the eternal glory is assured to both the circumcised and to the uncircumcised seeds of Abraham.

 

 

16.  For Abraham has two seeds; the circumcised seed become, “the nations” of the new earth: Rev. 21: 21-26; 22: 2.  The uncircumcised men of faith become in resurrection the citizens of the New Jerusalem.

 

 

19.         Abraham believed in (1) a “God that raised the dead,” and that sets them at length in His heavenly city, and His eternal Eden.  Also he believed in a God (2) that “calls the things that be not as though they were  “I have made thee father of many nations  That was said when Isaac was not yet born to him. These are the nations that dwell outside the city; and that come up to the New Jerusalem, as did the twelve tribes to the Old Jerusalem.

 

 

Abraham’s faith in resurrection was tested by Jehovah’s not giving His servant the Seed of Promise in Isaac, till hopes of it from the flesh had been cut off.  0ur faith rests on Jesus the Christ raised out from the tomb to dwell on high.

 

 

As Abraham was accepted as righteous by faith, so to us, one day will righteousness be imputed by God,

if we (as we do) believe in Jesus, given up to death for our sakes; and raised again, because of our justification completed.

 

 

5. The fifth chapter opens with the assurance of our present justification by faith, and our peace, with God.  We are able, too, to draw near to God; while Israel was fenced off, and any one was to be put to death, if he but touched the Mount of God.

 

 

Moreover, we have the hope of “the glory of God,” to be manifested, at the return of our Lord.  It will be a better glory than that which shone on the top of Sinai.  “The appearance of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire, to the eyes of the children of IsraelEx. 24.  There was also a glory set on the face of Moses, when he came down from the Mount to the people below: a glory which made them draw back in fear.  But there was a better glory which appeared with the descent of the Holy Ghost at the proclamation of the Gospel – tongues of fire, but not of devouring fire, rested on the heads of the servants of Christ, and loosed their tongues to tell of God’s goodness.

 

 

The lot of believers now is trouble, but it is made to yield us profit.  The Holy Ghost works in us the love of God; a moral proof of our onward movement to dwell with Him on high, as His sons.  Adam’s hope in committing His offence arose out of unbelief in God and trust in the devil; and when the sin was finished, it wrought fear, and the attempt to hide from Jehovah.  The Holy Ghost now dwells within the Lord’s [obedient] people, and that assures us of our being raised by Christ from among the dead, if we have fallen asleep before the Lord arrives.  Christ’s death for us is divine love, out-topping loftily the highest love, of men; it was love of the lost; death, to save enemies!

 

 

But His death has been followed by His resurrection and ascension; and on high, at the Right Hand of God, He maintains our cause against Satan the Great Accuser.  Yea, and He has sent down the Holy Spirit to abide with us, as the Comforter.  If Christ’s death did for us so much, much more shall His risen and eternal life, wherein He is entrusted with all power in heaven and earth.

 

 

11. And now, through this grace in which we stand we can even boast in God through whom we have now received the reconciliation.  How glorious a contrast to Adam, and Eve, hiding away from God as an enemy, and called before Him only to receive their sentence!

 

 

At the twelfth verse begins the comparison between Adam, and Christ, which we have now more particularly to consider.

 

 

It is especially connected with the main subject of the righteousness of God and the need for it arising out of the unrighteousness and death brought in by Adam’s trespass.  That trespass took place under law; and only through the grace brought in by Christ, can there be salvation.

 

 

The passage consists of three parts.

 

 

I. Adam’s sin and its consequences are unfolded in the first three verses.  The Saviour is introduced as the type of future blessing; even as Adam’s sin gave the outline of the grace of God, which was to introduce the salvation eternal of a multitude whom none can number: verses 12-14.

 

 

2. Here we have the consequences of Adam’s sin entailed on men, as compared with benefits offered or won in the Gospel-day (verses 15-17).  Here are given us the Exceptions to Parallelism between Adam and Christ.

 

 

3. We have the blest effects resulting from the Saviour’s merits imputed unto eternal life (verses 18-21), as compared with the mournful consequences of Adam’s disobedience.

 

 

12-14. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and by sin entered death; and so death passed through to all men, for that all sinned.  For up to law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed where there is no law.  But death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who sinned not according to the likeness of the trespass of Adam, who is the figure of the coming (Adam).”

 

 

Sin and death entered ‘the world’ by the first Adam.  His sin was imputed to ‘all men  This is to be received on God’s testimony.

 

 

It is confirmed by chapter 3: 23: “For all sinned

 

 

This mystery, which all feel, has been, and is, lightened to my mind by a consideration of the circumstances, as discovered to us in Gen. 2., 3.

 

 

19.                  First observe, that Adam was not under covenant, but was set under a law; and law supposes a penalty on the breach of the command.

 

 

Gen.2: 15-17. “The Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden, to dress it and to keep it.  And the Lord God (Jehovah Elohim) commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of (moral) good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.’”

 

 

Many sins leave no traces to human eye after their commission, either on the immediate actor, or on the things around him.  But the eating of the forbidden tree introduced a new knowledge, or faculty, into the, bosoms of Adam and Eve; as we see on studying the history.  When they were ejected from Eden, and children were born to them, the new power of conscience was transmitted to them also, and the possession of conscience by the flesh at once brought in alienation from God; while death follows as the penalty.  Conscience, latently, dwells in infants also; although not manifested; and in them, too, it brings in death.

 

 

“Sin entered into the world.”  Not merely did its ill consequences attach to man, but to his surroundings also.  In Rom. 4: 13, we have “The promise that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham or his seed through the law.”  Here the world is seen to be different from men; and Abraham and his sons are one day to inherit it: Gal. 4: 3; Col. 2: 8, 20, confirm this.

 

 

The sin of the Garden brought in evil both to the vegetable creation, and to the animal.  1. The herbs and trees were linked to the Fall by the sin’s being the eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge.  2. The animal creation was stricken through the part taken by the serpent.  “Thou art cursed above all cattle, and every beast of the field  The serpent, and the woman, too, with their respective seeds, were set at enmity against one another.

 

 

The seasons were altered.  The change of man’s food from the abundant produce of the tree to the annual herb of the field produced toil, specially as weeds sprung up to choke the good seed.

 

 

The Gospel does not alter this original sentence.

 

 

“The earnest expectation of the creation is waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God  God has children of His on earth; but they are not now manifested.  “For the creation was subjected to vanity, not through its own will but by (God) it was subjected in hopeRom. 8.

 

 

Tokens indeed were granted by the Risen Christ of the coming victory of His Kingdom, in the signs promised in Mark 16: 16-18, to the baptized believer.  The Saviour in Matthew says, to His apostles: “Ye, which have followed Me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit on the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel: Matt. 19; see also Luke 22: 28-30.

 

 

“Death passed through

 

 

This tells us how the sin and death earned by the one man spread to all his posterity.  It took place by natural generation, passing from father to son.  It passed through regularly, none escaping.

 

 

Do faith and salvation pass as regularly along the same line of birth of the flesh?  By no means.  There, must be the regeneration of the Holy Spirit, before man the fallen can partake of the righteousness of Christ, the Second Adam.  This point has been treated of in the previous parts of the epistle: 3: 22, 28, 30. In the Gospel the offer of righteousness and salvation is made to all who hear it.

 

 

“For up to law, sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law

 

 

Here law is taken in its true sense; as a command given by a superior.  But a law supposes also a penalty to be inflicted on the breakers of it.  And the execution of the penalty under a just government, is the proof of the breach of the law by the person punished.

 

 

The fourteenth verse assures us of the infliction of death, and of its consequences running on after dissolution, “from Adam to Moses  It affected the whole creation. And so when the blest effects of Christ the Righteous One come on, the creation is blest in millennial days; and after that, without a break in the new heavens and earth.  As both the fruit of the tree and the serpent were concerned in the entrance of sin, a blight lies upon both.  But this shall one day be removed.

 

 

Thus we see the force of the word here used; that death passed through (from father to son); and corruption was the consequence.  With the one eating, sin passed into our first parents, and death; and thence flowed through into all their posterity.  The stolen goods were found in the breast of all. Conscience in every man is ‘contraband but there is no getting rid of it.  God Himself will not remove it; but make it rule.

 

 

13.  But, from the entry of death, which was the penalty of Eden inflicted on all Adam’s race, we learn that law was enforced.  There was but one law threatening death given to Adam.  As it fell on all his race, it was shown, that his breach of the law was imputed to all.*

 

  1. ‘But God said, that death should follow on the day of the sin’s commission:  Adam lived 930 years.’ “Be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord, as a thousand years2 Pet. 3: 8.  And neither Adam nor any of his race has lived on earth a thousand years.

 

 

The execution of the penalty proves law to be in force.  The spread of death from father to son proved the imputation of sin to all.  Where there is no law there is no transgression.  Death proves sin; sin and death are the proof of law broken and law avenged.  Cain’s murder of Abel was not forbidden by any law; nor did God then sentence Cain to death.  Cain, on his petition to God, was assured, that no man should slay him.

 

 

14. “But death reigned from Adam to Moses even over them that sinned not in the likeness of the trespass of Adam: who is the figure of the coming (Adam).”

 

 

The reign of death is something beyond simple death.  What is death?  The stroke of death is the separation of body and soul.  But after death both the parts of man were kept apart under sentence.  The body was taken to the tomb, there lying under sentence to turn to dust – a slavery not to be broken by any human power.  And the soul departed into Hadees, the place of custody for the spirits of the departed. For two thousand years not one broke out of His prison.

 

 

“From Adam to Moses

 

 

This verse is not treating of the case of “all men” -  but of the patriarchal dispensation – ending with the covenant with Israel at Horeb.  Of the patriarchs we read not (Gen. 5.), that any new sin was alleged against them.  They were not put back again into Eden, anew to be tried.  They did not attempt to eat of the tree of life.  We read of them, that they increased and multiplied,- and it is added of each, except Enoch – that “he died  Their death was not due to new laws, and fresh sins against them, but to the one broken law of Eden imputed to them.  They died from one cause, both adults and infants: both Seth’s race and Cain’s, even though they themselves sinned not against a positive law, as did Adam.

 

 

The severity of the law took no account of the differences of degrees of guilt in those who lay under the imputation of Adam’s sin.

 

 

“Adam is the figure of the coming One

 

 

Since that day Christ has come, and He has wrought a perfect righteousness, “the righteousness of God.” Through Adam came natural life; through Christ and the Holy Spirit comes the inward renewal of the lost, or spiritual life.  As the end of unrighteousness is death; so “in the pathway of righteousness is no death  Before the working of evil by each individual, sin was imputed, and death followed.  Through the imputation of the righteousness of Christ we become righteous, before we do good works.  But the blest effects of Christ’s work are yet waiting to be manifested by the reunion of soul and body, and the man coming forth from the custody and bondage of the tomb.  The great testimony to this is the Saviour’s resurrection, the belief of which is the foundation of the Gospel.

 

 

The Authorized Version renders the words of verse 14 – “Who is the figure of Him that was to come.” But that last misleads.  It is indeed true, that the Second Adam has already come: but in coming He did not bring in “life,” in its full sense, as the result of His righteousness.  His life in the flesh on earth was the time of His working out the righteousness needed to save us.

 

 

But the results of Adam’s sin in their effects on others are apparent in the reign of death.  The reign of reward and of the First Resurrection is not yet come, so the Saviour tells us, that His day is yet to appear.  “He said unto the disciples, Days will come, when ye will desire to see one of the Days of the Son of man [of his power, as promised in the eighth Psalm], and ye will not see it.  But you will suffer persecution, longing for the deliverance of My return.  For as the lightning that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven shineth unto the other part under heaven, so shall also the Son of man be in His Day Luke 17: 24.  Has the Saviour since then shown Himself in full glory in the sky, seen by every eye?  By no means!  But “even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealedver. 30.  This is the Day of trial, loss, and suffering, to be requited in that time of Christ’ return and recompense.

 

 

We now arrive at the EXCEPTIONS to Parallelism.

 

 

15. “But not as THE TRANSGRESSION, SO IS THE ACT OF GRACE.*  For if by the transgression of the One, the many died: much more the grace of God, and the gift in grace, which is by One Man Jesus Christ, abounded for the many

 

  1. See Note A.

 

 

Two dispensations are here implied.  1. The first one was under law, founded on the trespass of Adam; and affecting his posterity.  God tried men.  Could conscience, or the knowledge of right and wrong, stolen in disobedience to law, guide men aright?  “Behold, the man is become as one of US, to know good and evil  This was said at Adam’s ejection from Eden.  Three words, descriptive of different aspects of misdoing occur in this passage.

 

 

1. The common one, ‘sin   “Sin entered into the world

 

 

2. That which especially set forth the guilt of Adam – ‘trespass  “Death reigned even over those that sinned not after the similitude of Adam’s trespass

 

 

3. The third one is more difficult to translate.  It may be rendered sometimes appropriately – ‘Fall’ – at other times perhaps, ‘Transgression

 

 

The effects of the trial of man were: “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth.” Not like the dispensation of the two thousand years and upwards, that passed between Adam, and Moses, is “the Act of Grace  This last is the dispensation founded on “the righteousness of God,” provided in grace for the salvation of the lost: Rom. 1: 16-18.  Righteousness was wrought by Christ.  God interposed in mercy, when man was powerless to save himself.  It began with Pentecost and lasts till the Day of Judgment, and ‘the end of the Age  By it the saved are led out from law and their ill-deserts, to be sons and heirs of God.  Each dispensation then finds its beginning in one of the Two Great Heads of mankind, - Adam and Christ.

 

 

“For by the transgression of the One, the many died

 

 

These words sum up the first dispensation, or “the transgression  It may be called ‘the Patriarchal dispensation,’ when men were tried under law transgressed.  Driven out of Eden, could they return thither?  “The many” – does not mean “all men  It sums up those who lived during the first dispensation under the Fall, “The many died

 

 

“Much, more Judgment and the infliction of death are God’s strange work.  His delight is in mercy.  He is the God of all grace: His throne now is the throne of grace, to which sinners may come boldly for aid, now that the Redeemer, our Righteousness, is come.

 

 

This grace is founded on the righteousness accomplished by Christ.

 

 

“The Grace of God

 

 

It was first manifested in its fulness at Pentecost.  Christ the Righteous One had been slain: but God had raised Him from among the dead.  When the cry of inquirers, afraid of vengeance on themselves as the foes of Christ, arose, it was commanded them – “Repent, and be immersed every one of you in the name (on the authority) of Jesus Christ unto the forgiveness of sins  The repentant and immersed are forgiven.

 

 

Leave law and your place in Adam, by God’s command; yea, and Moses also.  His offered gifts and sacrifices could not make him, that did the service perfect, as regarded the conscience: Heb. 9: 9.  But in Christ, “let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and the body bathed in clean water10: 22.

 

 

Like this is the testimony of Paul at Antioch.  “Be it known unto you, therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins, and from all things, from which ye could not by the law of Moses be justified, in Him every one that believes is justifiedActs 13: 38, 39.

 

 

“And the gift in grace

 

 

The Holy Ghost at Pentecost descended with gifts miraculous, tongues, prophecy, visions.  Peter expounds the wonders that happened on that day as having been foretold by Joel.  And he promises the inquirers, that after repentance and immersion; “Ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  For the promise (of Joel) is for you (Jews) and your children; and for all that are afar off (Gentiles), even as many as the Lord our God shall call  After Philip had led many to Christ, at the city of Samaria, and to baptism, the apostles at Jerusalem send to them Peter and John: “Who prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Ghost  “Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost First they received by faith in Christ the righteousness of God; and then the seal of God was set upon them as His righteous ones in the bestowal of the supernatural gifts of the Holy Ghost.  But the apostles refused this gift to Simon the magician because he, was not possessed of the righteousness of God and was therefore not to be sealed as one of the righteous being “still in the gall of bitterness, and the bond of iniquity.”  But God caused Abraham when righteous by faith, to be sealed by circumcision.

 

 

The first to be sealed was Jesus Christ the Righteous.  “Him hath God the Father sealedJohn 6: 27.  To Abraham circumcision was a sign, but also “a seal of the righteousness of the faith which He had, not being circumcisedRom. 4: 11.

 

 

This seal was set on Gentiles also.  “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all that heard the word.  And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that even on the Gentiles the gift of the Spirit was poured out.  For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify GodActs 10: 48.

 

 

“The gift in grace, which is by the One Man, Jesus Christ.”

 

 

The dispensation of grace, and the gifts of the Holy Ghost both came through the Man Jesus, ‘the Anointed,’ at His baptism.  The Saviour also promised, that on His ascent to the Father, He would ask. Him to give the disciples another Comforter, even the Spirit of truth: John 14.  And at Pentecost Peter declares, that the Holy Spirit had come, through Christ’s power with the Father.  The Spirit came down to be a guide into all the truth.  Our Lord at His last interview with the disciples related in Mark, while He testified the terms of the salvation of grace, announced the signs of power, that should confirm the word of His grace.

 

 

Gift and grace “abounded for the many

 

 

This is a truth which Peter declared also at Pentecost.  The gifts of the Holy Spirit were designed to be a continual supply for the Tribes, after Jehovah is reconciled to them.  “Fear not 0 Jacob My servant, and Jeshurun [Israel] whom, I have chosen  “I will pour My Spirit upon thy seed, and My blessing upon thine offspringIsa. 44: 2, 3.

 

 

The sixteenth of Mark proclaims the signs that Should follow on faith, and attest the coming victory of the millennium.

 

 

Here is “the” (second) “many” distinguished sharply from “the” (first) “many  1. The first “many” lived between Adam and Moses: and died under law.  2. “The” (second) “many” lived, or are living, under grace.  And to all those living in Gospel-times, grace and gift are thrown open.

 

 

“They abounded for the many

 

 

They came with a view to the benefit and salvation of those hearing and accepting the Gospel.  Paul is speaking of the gracious offer. Not all would receive them.

 

 

In the Patriarchal dispensation there was no offer of grace; no new choice of blessing opened to the Many.  Man was to use his powers.  Could he save himself?

 

 

18. “And not, as by One that sinned is the ENDOWMENT.  For the judgment was by one (transgression) unto condemnation: But the Act of Grace was after* many transgressions unto justification

 

  1. Literally, ‘out of

 

 

There are, then, two endowments: one arising out of man’s sin; the other arising out of the righteousness of Christ.  Man’s great superiority over the animals was brought in by his eating unlawfully of the forbidden tree.  That deed introduced into the mind of our first parents the moral sense, or conscience. Till then, if we may trust the Scripture, man was only the first and chief of animals.  The fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil caused him to receive a new faculty.  As the Scripture says, after eating, “their eyes were opened and a new series of feelings began to move in them.  Innocence was gone – “They knew that they were naked;” and attempted to clothe themselves with fig-leaves.  When they heard the sound of Jehovah’s feet in the Garden, sensible of their guilt, they fled and hid.  In the trial which followed, each sought to cast the blame on one of the others.

 

 

The endowment of conscience, permanent in them, was transmitted to each and all of their offspring; and Paul speaks of conscience as a faculty to be found even in the heathen.  The presence of conscience in each is ‘original sin’ – the sin of his origin.  Man is opposed to God, and is glad to hide from Him. Jehovah treats the race according to the one sentence in Eden.  All are marked as being offenders; yea, even infants, by death.

 

 

“For the judgment was by one (transgression) unto condemnation (of death.

 

 

On the very day of the offence, being committed, it was tried, and sentence was passed, even before the three culprits had separated.  God became the Just Judge against man; man became the guilty criminal, driven out of the Garden of Beauty.  The possession of conscience condemns every man.  Law forbids the lusts, which nevertheless dwell and grow within him.  “I had not known lust, except the law had said unto me, ‘Thou shalt not lust.’”  And “the wrath of God from heaven is revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men

 

 

We might have thought, perhaps, that as conscience had been seized against law, and as the very possession of it was a proof of the being one of the guilty race, that God would at once, or by degrees, have taken away the intruded faculty.  But no!  Its sin shall be atoned for: its enmity against God and fears of guilt removed.  The effecting this drew out the wisdom, power, and grace of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

 

 

One day conscience shall without fail perfectly rule the whole man.  Already in this life Paul could say – “Our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience  And Peter could speak of the saints taught by him – “The like figure whereunto (to Noah’s salvation in the ark), baptism doth now save us also: (but what is meant by baptism?) not the putting away the filth of the flesh (by the bathing in water), but the answer of a good conscience toward God, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ  And Paul again – “Now the end of the commandment is love out of a pure heart, and a good conscience, and faith unfeigned1 Tim. 1: 5.

 

 

“But the Act of Grace was after many transgressions unto justification

 

 

The Act of Grace. Was founded on Christ’s work of righteousness, and God the Judge’s acceptance of it. It sprang not out of a change in man for good; but in the goodness of the Most High.  The act of grace brings pardon of offences, and a righteousness which justifies.

 

 

And this grace of God is preached and pressed on men.  As Adam the sinner endows us with condemning conscience, so. Jesus, “the Anointed Saviour” gives the guilty conscience, peace.  The receiver of the righteousness bestowed is justified already.  He stands in grace, hoping for the glory of God, in the coming day of His rest.

 

 

17. “For if, through the Transgression of the one, death reigned through the one; much more they who receive (take)        the abundance of the grace, and of the gift of the righteousness shall reign in life, through the One, Jesus Christ

 

 

In verse 12 we find – “Death by sin, and so death, passed through to all men  But in verse 14 we have “Death reigned from Adam to Moses

 

 

The EXCEPTIONS (verses 15-17) carry on the differences imported by the Gospel.  In verse 15 we have – “Through the transgression of the One, the many died  In verse 17 it is – “By the One man’s transgression death, reigned by the one  But the contrast is not stated exactly as we should expect.  It is not – “If by the transgression of the One Man death reigned, so by the righteousness the One shall life reign  Paul tells us, that this feature is among the exceptions to the parallelism between Adam and Christ.

 

 

“Much more

 

 

Here the same principle which has been stated in verse 15 applies.  If the one trespass of Adam, brought in the reign of Death, much more the many holy acts of the One Man’s righteousness, and the Act of Grace shall bring in the reign of life.  And so it shall be at last; for God, while He is righteous is also love. But here the matter is viewed in relation to the reward of some, who shall resemble Christ in doing and sufferings.  Some of the dead under law died, because of the imputation of Adam’s sin; but they also followed him in like transgression.  Christ shall have some to be His “fellows who not only are righteous with the imputation of His righteousness, but who, as our Lord, “love righteousness and hate iniquity;” and therefore shall be anointed with the oil of gladness as the fellows of Christ.

 

 

“They receive of the abundance of the grace, and of the gift of the righteousness

 

 

They “receive  “Out of His fulness all we received, and grace answering to every grace (of Christ):”John 1: 16.

 

 

It might with equal propriety be rendered, “They who take” a continual supply.  And then the reference will be to the first transgression.  “Eve took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also to her husband with her; and he did eat

 

 

These approved ones take, what God bids them; as Eve and Adam took, what God forbid.  Now verse 15 has told us, that the Act of Grace, founded on the work of the Second Adam, has brought in, not alone the righteousness of God in which the justified may stand, but also gift in grace.  These saints take both of the graces of the Spirit, and of the gifts supernatural; and both in large measure.  Great is the variety of sanctifying grace, which Christ may, and will bestow; and great the variety of forms of power bestowed by the Holy Ghost.  “Pursue after love, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy  “Seek that ye may abound (not ‘excel’), to the edifying of the church1 Cor. 14.

 

 

Not all believers are obedient.  Not all are “profitable” to Christ.

 

 

There are two baptisms; or, if you will, two parts of God’s complete baptism.  1. The first is “the baptism of instruction” and of water, which is first administered, denoting that the man comes out from the world to serve Christ; and that he takes the Saviour’s righteousness instead of his own.  2. The second baptism is that of the Spirit, bestowed by the laying on of apostles’ hands: which we have not now, as, not having apostles; nor have we any illapse of the Holy Ghost, as far as I am aware.  The great majority of Christians refuse the immersion in water of the believer, and will not obey even as far as they may.  Many believers are not in spirit, or in life, like Christ.  They are caught by the lures of Satan, and stride after the world, and its prizes.

 

 

Now while justification by faith suffices to obtain eternal life, the Gift of God, - it is not sufficient to obtain the Prize.  For that (or the millennial glory) sanctification is needed.  And sanctification is obedience to Christ, wrought in the believer by the Holy Ghost.  The, receivers of grace are to act in grace to others: James 2: 12.

 

 

The Grace and the Gift both spring out of “the Righteousness of God.”  But to righteousness, through God’s goodness, are attached both the indwelling of the Holy Ghost; and the [His] power which accompanies His falling upon any.

 

 

As the first Adam was the guilty one and sentenced to death, so the last Adam is “Jesus Christ the Righteous  “Ye denied the Holy and the Righteous One, and desired a man that was a murderer to be granted to youActs 3: 15.  “If any sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous 1 John 2.  “The God of our Fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know His will, and see the Righteous One the one sufficient distinction of Christ, excluding all other men.

 

 

1. The Gospel Day is the time of receiving the grace and gift.

 

 

2. The Coming Day is the Day of reward and of dominion in resurrection.  Then God will render “to them who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory, and honour, and incorruptibility, eternal life. ... in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my GospelRom. 2: 7-16.

 

 

“Glory” refers to the splendour of the risen body, when star differs from star in the glory of the resurrection.  So Moses’ face shone, and the people could not look steadfastly at him, for the glory of his countenance.  His ‘honour’ too appeared, when he descended as the Mediator entrusted with the Tables, the work and writing of God.  But Moses died, and was buried.  The approved shall come out of the tomb and corruption to ‘incorruptibility’; and death shall be swallowed up in victory.  “For of Him are ye, in Christ Jesus, who was made unto you wisdom from God, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption  This last answers to the “incorruptibility” of Rom. 2.

 

 

This class will be the smaller, not only than ‘all men,’ but also much smaller than “the many” of the Gospel Day.

 

 

The abundance of the grace, and of the gift of the righteousness is an explanation of the endowment, provided by God through Christ, for those who have left Adam.

 

 

“Shall reign in life

 

 

With sin came in death, and degradation even after death.  Adam made ruler at first over the creatures of earth, by his trespass became subject to being devoured by wild beasts; yea, worms were made to devour him.

 

 

Our present dying existence is not properly life.  The life in resurrection is truly life. – Until that day the seed of Christ are not manifested.  The sons of Adam have long ago been manifested in their pursuits of the flesh.  But creation is waiting for “the Kingdom of God” in gory.  To have part in that, will be glory, honour, and incorruption.  In Revelation 20., the partaking in that day is traced to acting, suffiering, and testimony for God and His Christ.  The approved will obtain the life of ‘the thousand years’, while the disapproved remain [in Hades] under death.  Hence the First Resurrection is a resurrection [out] from among the dead, leaving the vast majority under the slavery, from which none can break away.

 

 

Life and dominion, a kingdom far higher than Adam’s shall then be enjoyed.  The day of the millennial kingdom is one of reward to good works.  “If ye love them that love you, what reward have ye?  Do not even the publicans the same?  And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than other?  Do not even the publicans so?  Become ye therefore perfect (in grace see context), even as your Father which is in heaven is perfectMatt. 5: 43-48.  “Look to yourselves that we lose not the things that we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward2 John 8.  At the seventh trumpet is come, “the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give the reward unto Thy servants  “Behold, I come quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to each as his work shall beRev. 22: 12.

 

 

The reign of death is an abiding advance for the worse on the stroke of death, which removes from among the living.  So the reception of the Holy Spirit’s grace and gift is an advance for the latter on the generality of Christians, who content themselves with the imputation of Christ’s righteousness.  The parties here set forth are those profitable to God and Christ, working in the service of the Lord Jesus. Both the present grace of the Gospel, and, the future glory of the millennial kingdom come in “through the One, Jesus Christ

 

 

In the patriarchal dispensation, the strife of flesh and conscience led only to death; and after it, to the reign of death.  But now, through the righteousness of Christ imputed, God can accept His people’s work, and has bound Himself by promise to reward it.  Life, and dominion are coming to those who serve in life the Lord Jesus.  “His Lord said unto him: Well done, good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord  “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course; I have kept the faith.  Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the Righteous Judge, shall give me at that day

 

 

Immersion is not necessary to salvation; but obedience is necessary to reward.  Some shall come forth out of the tomb, and corruption, and be promoted to reign with Christ, while it is written: “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.”

 

 

In the Talents and the Pounds we have presented the same two seasons, (1) of grace now, and (2) of reward by and by, that we have in this passage.  Life has been greatly shortened, from nearly a thousand years to seventy or, eighty.  But those accounted worthy shall enjoy ‘a thousand years’ with Christ in [after the ‘first] resurrection’.

 

 

As so few [Bible] teachers speak of reward to the obedient believer, it will be well to give a few texts.

 

 

1. “When thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand is doing; that thine alms may be in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openlyMatt. 6: 3, 4.

 

 

2. “Seek ye first the (millennial) kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto youver. 33; Luke 12: 31; Rom. 2: 7.

 

 

3. “Let us labour therefore to enter into that (future) rest, lest any fall after the same example of disobedience” (Greek): Heb. 4: 11.

 

 

4. “He that cometh to God must believe that He is and that He becometh the Rewarder of those that diligently seek Him11:  6.

 

 

5. “He that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice togetherJohn 4: 36.

 

 

6. “But love ye your enemies, and do good, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be greatLuke 6: 35.

 

 

7. “They which shall be accounted worthy to attain that (millennial) age, and the resurrection from among the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage.  For neither can they die any more; for they are equal to the angels; and are the Sons of God, being the sons of the resurrectionLuke 20: 35.

 

 

8. “Thou hast a few names in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white; for they are worthy Rev. 3: 4.

 

 

 

THE RESEMBLANCES

 

 

18. “Accordingly then, as by one transgression (judgment came) unto all men unto condemnation; so also by one act of righteousness (the Act of Grace came) for all men with a view to justification of life

 

 

This attaches itself to verses 12 and 13 and to the last clause of verse 14, which asserts, that ‘Adam the first was the type of the Adam who is to come  Christ has indeed come already; but the first time He came to finish the work on which the Gospel rests.  His second Coming is the time, when the effect of His righteousness achieved shall be seen, in the undoing of death and the bringing forth [‘bodies’] out from the tombs [and ‘souls’ out of Hades] of the doers of good “to the resurrection of life,” and for ever after the thousand years.  Till then the difference between the Seed of the Woman and the Seed of the Serpent is not fully manifested.  The work of the Lord now is justification; and in the coming day – ‘The righteous by faith shall live

 

 

“Accordingly then” –

 

 

This intimates, that the apostle has finished treating of the differences between Adam and Christ, and that now he is proceeding to set forth the resemblances.  Look at verses 12, 13.  ‘By One man came sin,’ through sin death: the death of all men is the proof of the sin of all men.  ‘But death is the penalty of law; and the only law known to Adam was that of Eden  Only in verses 12 and 18 are “all men” spoken of.  Now, in the Second Adam, righteousness is come, and life through it.  Spiritual life, or life of the spirit before God is already begun.  But life as visiting the dead in Hadees, and the bodies of the saints, is not yet come; though, as exhibited in Christ’s resurrection and ascension, we see what is to come to those in Him.

 

 

“By one transgression (judgment came) unto all men

 

 

The distinctive note of verse 12 is “all men  “Death passed through to all men, for that all sinned

 

 

In the intermediate verses, we have two different bodies named, (1) “the many” of the First Dispensation, and (2) “the many” of the Gospel Day (verses 15, 16).  We have in verse 17 a notice of a smaller body still, of those “accounted worthy” to reign with Christ in the millennial day.  Now we have got back again to the “all men” affected by the sin of Adam.

 

 

The additions – ‘judgment came’ – and ‘the Act of grace came,’ – are supplied from verse 16.

 

 

The ‘one transgression’ brought condemnation on all, - ‘the one righteousness’ of Christ has come for all men with a view for their justification, and eternal life.

 

 

How exactly to render for the best the Greek word translated “righteousness” in the Authorised Version, is not easy.  But the meaning is clear, whether you translate it “sum of righteousness imputed,” or ‘rectification’ or ‘justification,’ as the natural opposite to “condemnation” in the first clause.  The word imports that the righteousness has come in upon unrighteousness, and its sad consequences; replacing ‘condemnation’ with ‘justification,’ while justification [by faith] brings with it ‘eternal life  One righteousness suffices to save all the redeemed.  It is not, as under law, that each is to work out, and to present his own righteousness as the price of his individual salvation.  “The man that doeth these things shall live by them

 

 

The Act that opens the door of salvation to the lost is not man’s change from evil to good; but God’s goodness and mercy in appointing Christ to be, the new and righteous Head of men.

 

 

No sons of Seth’s race were “sons of God;” they were not sons, but slaves, as unrighteous under law,       and the sentence and penalty of law: Gal. 4: 1-7.

 

 

This righteousness came “for all men

 

 

In verse 15, Grace is spoken of as visiting “the many  The view there given of the Gospel’s aspect is limited by the actual number of those to whom the Good News has come.  The Gospel, as sent by God, has, as its field, all men.  The disciples of Christ have not made “all men” even nominal Christians.

 

 

It is not rightly rendered in the Authorised Version, “upon” all men.  If the robe of righteousness were upon all, all would be saved.  Paul distinguishes between ‘unto’ and “upon  “The righteousness of God without law is manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God which is by faith in Jesus Christ (1) unto all (men), and (2) upon them that believeRom. 3: 21, 22.

 

 

‘Righteousness open to all men’ – is the Gospel proclamation.

 

 

1. “Go ye therefore, disciple all the nations Matt. 28.

 

 

2. “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel in all the creationMark 16.

 

 

3. “Repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in His (Christ’s) name among all the nations Luke 24.

 

 

4. “John (Baptist) came as a witness, to bear witness to the light, that all through, Him might believe John 1: 7.

 

 

5. “It shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved Acts 2: (Peter so says).

 

 

6. “In Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of MosesActs 13, (Paul so says).

 

 

7. The Gospel “is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believethRom. 1: 16.

 

 

“With a view to justification of life

 

 

So the apostle here is speaking of the great Gospel offer, founded on the righteousness of God, and eternal life proposed to every one that hears of the Good News.  Any neglecting or refusing it, perishes through his own fault.  For all are now living under “the Act of Grace  Life eternal is put within the reach of those who take God at His word.

 

 

‘Justification of life’ is the opposite to ‘condemnation’ (of death).  The life here spoken of is eternal life; result of Christ’s merits.  “The righteous by faith shall live

 

 

19. “For just as by the disobedience of the One Man, the many were constituted sinners (in law); so also by the obedience of the One, the many shall be constituted righteous (in law).”

 

 

This justifies the last clause of verse 18.  “The Act of Grace (came) for all men with a view to justification of life  That was God’s merciful intention in the sending of the Gospel.

 

 

Many converted ones of our day make light of obedience.  ‘You see that immersion is commanded; why then, do you not obey it  ‘I do not think it of importance  ‘Not of importance,’ that you should obey? It is the only way to please God, after believing in His Son.  What says this passage of the mighty results of woe derived from the one act of disobedience in Adam?  What on the other hand said God, when, in answer to His call to the sacrifice of His son Isaac, Abraham obeyed?  “By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, that in blessing I will bless thee  “In thy Seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed: because thou hast obeyed My voice Gen. 22: 16-18.  “To whom sware He, that they should not enter into His rest, but to them that obeyed not (Greek) Heb. 3: 18.  “To them that obey not the truth but obey unrighteousness shall be indignation and wrath:”  Rom. 2: 8.

 

 

“By the one disobedience (of Adam) the Many were constituted sinners (in law).”

 

 

This refers to the judgment passed on our first parents in Eden, and their consequent rejection from the Garden.  That was regarded as the trial and sentence of all from Adam up to Moses.  They were sinners; for God treated them as guilty under law; and every bosom carried within itself a stolen conscience, at enmity with God and His law: Rom. 8: 6-8.

 

 

How comes it, then, that many suppose the sons of Adam in the line of Seth to be called “sons of God”?  “On the contrary, in that Patriarchal dispensation all died* and remained under the custody of death, in both soul and body, as being sinners, who after death entered into the First Death” (the place of departed

sinners.)  That proved them, not sons of God, but slaves of law manifestly.  The sons of God of Genesis 6. are angels, whose offence it was to leave their own abode, and choose for themselves a lot among men. They died when the Flood came; and were imprisoned in cells of darkness, reserved there till the day of judgment.  They were addressed by Christ when He, as a disembodied spirit [soul] visited them.  They received His tidings, and shall one day be restored.  But as yet they still remain in prison.

 

*Except Enoch; and he is coming back to die: Rev. 11.

 

 

So they are regarded, I believe, as some of “the many” to whom the grace of the Gospel has come, who by the obedience of the One Christ, shall be constituted righteous at the last day.  But those who would trace this out further, are referred to my tract: “The Spirits in Prison  The angels that fell with Satan through enmity to man are at liberty, but condemned; as carrying on the deceit and destruction begun by Satan in Eden.  And as Adam before his Fall gave names to the creatures, and those names became affixed to them, so Christ, the Last Adam, will pronounce some to be Righteous, and “BlessedMatt. 25: 34.  While He shall sentence some as “accursed and both names shall abide with them for ever.  So Joseph in the dungeon discriminated between two of Pharaoh’s offending officers, and the word he spake to the justified one, and the sentence on the condemned one, were both fulfilled.

 

 

So our Lord on the cross - the Righteous One, distinguishes between the two malefactors.  To the penitent robber he says: “To day thou shalt be with me in Paradise  But darkness and the due of his sins rest on the robber that abode in unbelief.

 

 

The “three days” of the dreams of both Pharaoh’s officers answer to the two Dispensations (1) of the Patriarchs and (2) of the Gospel; the third Day being the Day of the Marriage Feast of the King’s Son, and the judgment of angels, as well as of men.  “Know ye not, that we shall judge angels?”

 

 

The translation “made righteous,” and “made sinners,” is a bad one; leading people to suppose that it relates to some inward operation of sanctification, or the contrary.  It really refers to the sentence of the Judge at the last judgment.

 

 

“The many” of the First Dispensation were pronounced sinners, in the condemnation of Adam.  To Adam, God, during the trial in Eden, cites his breach of the law of Eden.  “Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee, that thou shouldest not eat  Thereupon all the sons of Adam are treated as their father.  While alive they were shut out of Eden: at death committed to the custody of him who “hath the power of death, that is, the devil

 

 

There is yet a judgment to come - and it is the Final One.  With regard to the wicked, there are two factors in their doom.  1. Imputation of unrighteousness, arising out of Adam’s Fall; and their possession of conscience, the fruit of the transgression.  2. Their own life of sin, and the record of it, in the books of the deeds of men: Rev. 20.

 

 

With regard to the approved by Christ, there are also two factors.  1. The imputation of Adam’s sin is removed, and their own sins are forgiven by “the righteousness of God,” announced in this epistle.

 

 

2. But it is declared by Peter on the Day of Pentecost that they are to break away from “the crooked generation” - the Seed of the Serpent; and to come out, not only invisibly by the power of faith within, but also visibly and openly by obeying Christ’s call to be immersed.  “Repent and be immersed, every one of you  That was the way to “Save themselves from the crooked generation  “Then they that gladly received His word were immersed, and the same day there were added to them about three thousand souls  This first rite of Christ says to the man of faith: ‘You are by nature among the dead of soul before God; and you are going down at death to dwell among those who abide in the First Death - of Which the Saviour keeps the keysRev. 1: 18.  But God has provided a rite, whereby you may go down into death not with Adam, the condemned, but with Christ the Justified.  So shall you in the coming judgment be recognized as one of those who came forth from the world of the sinful to be called up to Christ in resurrection, when He descends for His saved ones.  At this rite begins the new life of sanctification in Christ, and of obedience to the words of the Son of God.  Those who do not move on thus will not be approved of by the Saviour, nor rewarded at that day.

 

 

“So also by the obedience of the One, the many shall be constituted righteous (in law)  This is the issue of the reception of the justified through Christ’s righteousness as now testified.  From Adam to all sons of his comes the imputation of his sin.  From Christ as Second Adam comes the imputation of His righteousness, justification, and the entrance on the eternal heritage of the saved.

 

 

It is evident that ‘the (two) manys’ here used are not the same.  1. ‘The many’ of ‘the Transgression’ died as sinners.  2. The second ‘many’ are accepted as righteous. The judgment of ‘the (first) many’ is past; that of “the (second) many” is to come.  “The (second) many” are those already righteous by faith in the righteousness of God, and they “shall live  ‘The (first) many’ remain under law and death.  These others have come out from law to abide in Christ.  See again verse 15, where also ‘the (two) manys’ stand opposed.

 

 

Not all, then, will be saved.  “Through the obedience of the One, the many shall be constituted righteous (in law).”

 

 

After the coming judgment the eternal state of all is settled.  The names of the saved are in “the Book of Life  The lives of the lost are judicially described in the Books of Death opened at the Judgment Day.

 

 

Christ's obedience is the only One which the Judge can own as coming up to the demands of the Most High.  The obedience of the saved is but partial, and defective.  The day of millennial reward is supposed here to be over, and Christ is made to them not righteousness alone, but sanctification also.  To the saved it is the time of the reign of Grace.  The body is to be made alive ‑ the soul is life because of righteousness.  Then they enter on 'their heritage in the city of God, of which they are citizens enrolled.

 

 

There is a present imputation of righteousness, which brings “peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” for we are justified by faith: Rom. 5: 1.  But there is to be another, a future, and a pronounced justification.  (l.) “Seeing it is one God, who shall justify the circumcision by faith, and the uncircumcision through faithRom. 3: 30.  (2) “Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him (Abraham).  But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him, that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead4: 23, 24.  In this verse, and in the one preceding, the righteousness is that of Christ.  There is only that one.

 

 

20. “Now Law came in between, in order that the Transgression might multiply.  But where sin multiplied, grace superabounded

 

 

That there was a previous law to that of Moses, a law affecting all men has been testified by verse 13. Adam’s dispensation after the Fall, and the Gospel of Christ have been compared.  Israel was disposed too greatly to magnify the law given to them.  The Apostle now shows its secondary nature, and its ineffectiveness for good.

 

 

It came in by Moses; but it wrought no deliverance for Israel.  It proposed to show the blessings of Israel, if obedient.  But that which offered life, through men’s sin ended in death.  Israel, tested by law, as Adam had been, fell by their own trespasses against law, under a new curse.  If Adam the un-fallen stood not before temptation, how much less did his fallen sons when tempted?  They were worse in the eye of justice, than the men of Adam’s dispensation, who did not sin so deeply as Adam.  In the first dispensation, only Adam’s sin was imputed.

 

 

It was God’s design in the matter, to prove that law cannot save the fallen.  His intent was to show the multiplication of transgression, when law was again applied to man.  “Sin (arose) that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinfulRom. 7: 13.  “Wherefore then (serveth) the .Law?  It was added, for the sake of its transgressions, until the Seed should have come, to whom the promises were madeGal. 3: 19.  For by works of law shall no flesh be saved: Rom. 8: 7.

 

 

“The Transgression multiplied

 

 

One law given to Adam brought in Transgression.  But 613 laws given to some two millions of men, multiplied transgressions at a prodigious rate.  God would show man, not his righteousness, but his innate depravity.  The command, “Thou shalt not lust given to one whose heart was full of lusts, condemned even whose seven boasts in law were probably the highest ever realised by any Israelite: Phil. 3: 5, 6.

 

 

“But where sin multiplied, grace superabounded

 

 

The transgressions of Israel were not only more numerous than those of any other nation, but their heinousness was greater.  Great was the breach of the covenant at Horeb by idolatry.  But in the land came the slaying of the prophets; and the murder of the Son of God Himself at Jehovah’s chosen city.

 

 

Will all, then, under the Patriarchal dispensation, and the Law of Moses, be lost?  No. There will be the election of God.

 

 

But did not Israel’s sense of sinfulness under law prepare them with joy for the call of John the Baptist? and the appearance of the Redeemer?  “If I had not come and spoken unto, them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin  “Now have they both seen and hated both Me and My FatherJohn 15.  “But where sin, multiplied, Grace superabounded

 

 

From the very guilt of the Cross of Christ, God made His Act of Grace to arise.  Pardon by His heralds was to be proclaimed among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  The piercing spear drew forth the blood and water.  The dying cry, of the Redeemer rent the veil, which under law hid Jehovah from the eyes even of His priests.

 

 

Destruction was deserved; but free salvation came.  And now the believer is to leave alike, both Adam. and Moses, for Christ and grace.  This is the sentiment taken up in chapter 6: 1: ‘God glorified Himself by His grace against man’s sin.  Shall, we not incite Him to show still more abundant grace

 

 

21. “In order that, as Sin reigned in death, so also Grace might reign through righteousness unto eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord

 

 

In this verse we have God’s final counsels concerning the lost, and the saved.  It is shown by summing up the effects of Adam’s transgression, and of the Son’s righteousness.

 

 

“Sin reigned in death.”

 

 

It is not to be rendered “unto death  Death was not the end of the consequences.  On the contrary, after the sinner’s death came the full power of Death, over the severed parts of the man, (1) in his body turning to dust in the tomb; and (2) his soul kept in custody in Hadees.

 

 

This verse is a reference back to verse l4: “Death reigned from Adam to Moses  Even at that early date the full effects of transgression showed themselves.  Death first, then the reign of Death!  No change after it!  This tells of the eternal result of the judgment.

 

 

These were its naked first results, before law and Gospel came in to modify consequences.

 

 

They will be its last also.

 

 

“So also might grace reign

 

 

Grace in offer was presented, in verses 15 and. 18.

 

 

But at last it takes to itself its power of bestowing eternal life on those who accepted it during the Gospel day.

 

 

“Through Righteousness

 

 

In verse 17 we have “the abundance of the grace and of the gift of the righteousness  Here we have come to “righteousness” alone, which is the same righteousness for all the saved; while verse 17 was speaking of the special use of God’s abundant grace and gift as leading to entrance into the temporary kingdom of Christ.

 

 

So the reign of death, over the lost, and the reign of grace over the saved, both abide for ever.

 

 

Law, first applied to Adam, and then by Moses to Israel, brought in, not righteousness, but wrath.  “By the law is the knowledge of sin  Righteousness there must be, in man, or in his Surety, if he is to be saved.  And the kingdom of Eternal Life is founded on an Eternal Righteousness.

 

 

1. “And the work of righteousness shall be peace and the effect of righteousness, quietness, and assurance for ever Isa. 32: 17.

 

 

2.  “My salvation shall be for ever; and My righteousness shall not be abolishedIsa. 51: 6.

 

 

3. “My righteousness shall be for ever; and My salvation from generation to generationver. 8.  See also Psa. 114: 142.

 

 

It is bestowed on all who believe in Christ as Son of man and Son of God.  “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness [so that from guilty he at once becomes righteous], and with the mouth confession is made unto salvationRom. 10: 10.  Adam’s sin imputed is death; Christ’s righteousness imputed is life eternal.

 

 

“Unto eternal life

 

 

After the Judgment of the Great White Throne: after the resurrection of those not judged worthy of millennial reward.  Those written in the Book of Life enter then on the mansions of the City of God, and the Better Eden above.

 

 

All those who are saved, whether counted worthy to reign with Christ on earth, or not so accounted, both at last occupy the same footing of grace!  The reign of Reward is temporary; eternal life comes from grace.  “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord6: 23. 

“That being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs (according to hope) of eternal life Titus 3: 7.

 

 

“Through Jesus Christ our Lord

 

 

Jesus is our ‘Anointed Saviour  But He is also ‘our Lord  What follows at once in the next chapter of Romans 6.? The immersion He has commanded!  The obedient die, are buried, and rise (in emblem) with Christ in the baptism He appointed.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

THE STRUICTURE OF THE PASSAGE

 

 

The passage we have been considering is divided into three parts which we will call A, B, and C.  A takes up the three first verses, 12‑14.  It describes the effects of the first man’s trespass under law, with its consequences to all his posterity generally; and specially to those of the Patriarchal dispensation.  B and C compare the righteousness of Christ and its effects with that of the sin of Adam.  B takes up the EXCEPTIONS TO LIKENESS between the first Adam and the Last; and is contained in verses 15‑17. C in verses 18‑21, regards the POINTS OF RESEMBLANCE between the Two Great Heads of men.

 

 

B tells of the coming in of “the Grace of God” instead of the severity of law.  On the righteousness of Christ the Ascended one, came down the Holy Spirit of regeneration and of power.  It was given for the day of present service, looking on in hope to the day of future reward.  No such field of blessing was opened to those living under “the Transgression  But we have also in B to observe the falling short even

of the regenerate and justified.  The majority refuse to obey the commanded immersion; and most have given up the hope of the coming millennial glory: ver. 17.

 

 

C treats of the opening for salvation made for “all men,” by the mission of the apostles to the world.  “We have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world 1 John 4: 14.  But the offer was refused by the men of law, who persecuted and slew the Son, and the messengers sent by Him.  They upheld their own righteousness; and refused that proclaimed to them.  The Gentiles were not far behind them in this wickedness.

 

 

In verse 19 we have the sentence at last of salvation or damnation upon the accepters or refusers of the Grace of God.  And there is no acceptance for those of the fallen who cleave to law.  Before the Great White Throne at last the Books of Death are opened, which bring to light the works of the unpardoned; and their doom is “the Second Death,” the lake of fire and brimstone.  They are condemned, not only because of the possession of conscience, but for their own deeds.  Those written in the Book of Life enter eternal life through Christ’s righteousness.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

THE FOUR REIGNS OR KINGDOMS SPOKEN OF

 

 

I. First we have, in verse 14, THE REIGN OF DEATH.  It lasted beyond two thousand years.  ‘The many’ could not conceal themselves, or break away from its power.  One was taken out from earth into heaven before death could strike him; but even he is coming back with Elijah to die: Rev. 11.  But none, once seized on by death, escaped the Reign of Death.  “The many died  The dead were held fast.

 

 

II.  There is coming, when Christ returns, “the Reign in Life” of some living under Gospel grace: ver.17.  The grace and gift offered in Gospel times through Christ, for the justified by faith will have by them been received and used.  Their reward will be a partaking with the Lord Jesus in His kingdom.  They were, as Christ was, “lovers of righteousness and haters of iniquity;” and are then accounted worthy to be

companions of the Christ, anointed with the oil of joy.

 

 

Not all “the many” of Gospel times receive this reward.  That is “the hope of our calling  “We rejoice,” says Paul, “in hope of the (coming) glory of God” - in resurrection the First.  This hope has now fallen away from the eyes of most Christians; and how shall they win the prize, who are not aware of it?  How shall they obtain it, who deny there is such a thing? Luke 18: 17.  The scoffers at Israel’s hope, Dathan and, Abiram, were slain and buried in the desert at a stroke.

 

 

‘The reign in life’ finds most of its approved ones among the dead.  Christ gives them life out of death; and so it is life in resurrection.  During life they were “rejoicing in hope  After resurrection they are promoted to rule and reign with Christ for the millennial day.  They are risen priests and kings to God. This was the joy, which, Christ receiving, “endured the cross, despising the shame  Of that life and promotion, Joseph is the type.  He is taken up from the dungeon to be Prince of the land of Egypt.  This is the opposite to the lot of those who remain under death while they receive the reward of their evil works and disobedience.

 

 

III.  There is thirdly.  The Reign of SIN in DEATH: ver. 21.

 

 

A specimen of that was given in the Adamic Dispensation under law.  ‘Law’ is twice spoken of; first in verses 13, 14, where the trespass of our first parent is named.  At last is enforced its eternal penalty: ver. 21.

 

 

IV. THE REIGN OF GRACE through righteousness.

 

 

That reign is eternal life.  The reign in Life of verse 17 is temporary only.  Man the fallen cannot earn eternal life.  Nor in verse 21 are ‘Grace and gift’ spoken of, as they are in verses 15 and 17.

 

 

The two last reigns are put side by side in the same verse. The reign of Sin and death is for ever.  The reign of Grace through the righteousness of Jesus is for ever also.

 

 

Before the Day of Christ’s power, arise Two Leaders of sin from the pit below.  Satan sets up his King and Prophet for the rebellious: Psa. 94: 20, 21.  They condemn those who will not worship the Great Usurper, and slay them.

 

 

Jehovah then sends down from above two leaders of righteousness, Enoch and Elijah.  Their heels are bruised by crucifixion, and at Jerusalem; as were those of Christ: Rev. 11.  But after being slain,- on the fourth day they arise and ascend, and the bruising of the heads of the rebels, the Seed of the Serpent, takes place by the shocks of an earthquake wherein seven thousand men of renown perish.

 

 

Then the Redeemer descends in righteousness and in power, and puts down the hosts of His foes, and the kingdom of glory is His: Rev. 19., 20.

 

 

A tabular view of the Passage which has chiefly engaged us, is given on the next page.

 

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ROMANS 6: 1.

 

 

Let s then consider the teaching of the opening of ROM. 6.  We have first THE PROPOSAL.

 

 

1. “What shall we say then?  Should we continue in Sin, in order that grace may abound

 

 

The proposal is evil, but it draws out God’s counsel toward His people, which is good.

 

 

It brings us to the stress of difficulty felt at this point of doctrine.  ‘Let a man earn his justification by his own powers, and then law must be observed.  But if man is to be justified by grace and through the merits of another, how is holiness to be joined with justification?  May not the justified live in sin, and God thus be wrought on to manifest further grace

 

 

2. “Far be it!  How shall we that died to sin, live any longer therein

 

 

The apostle rejects The proposal altogether.  * ‘We died to it.  Your scheme comes too late.  ‘How can those who died to sin live in it

 

* Not – ‘We are dead’ - That would be another expression in the Greek.  See verse 11.  “Reckon yourselves to be dead

 

 

‘We never heard of that before.  Please prove it to us

 

 

3. “What!  Are ye ignorant, that as many of us as were immersed into Christ Jesus* were immersed into His death

 

* ‘Christ Jesus’ in this chapter:- ‘Jesus Christ’ in chapter 5.

 

 

Are you ignorant then of the meaning of the first step, which, at Christ’s call, you took after believing?  (1) “Repent and be (2) immersed, every one of you!”

 

 

Repentance is the breaking off of sin.  And the meaning of immersion following thereon is the breaking off of sin by death.  It was your removal from Adam, lying under sin and the power of death, that you might belong to Christ.  The waters were not ‘a refreshing bath as some who have misinterpreted the rite suppose.  They are the waters of death, which drowned the men of earth at the Flood; and swallowed up the foes of God and of Israel, at the Red Sea.

 

 

The force of this is much lost to Christians in our day.  The great majority are sprinklers of infants, destitute of faith in Christ.  Hence believers, supposing themselves already baptized in infancy, refuse Christian immersion after faith.

 

 

God has given two commands; but most Christians will obey but one.  The Scripture order is (1) ‘Repent, and (2) be immersed’ - But most prefer to believe without immersion; putting sprinkling of water before faith.  1. Hence most after faith, vote baptism ‘unnecessary,’ because they possess the chief point.

 

 

God’s plan is, that there should first be faith in Christ; then that a man should be immersed - and that into the death of Christ.  So with Abraham (Rom. 4.) there were, first, faith and justification, then the rite that sealed him.

 

 

4. “We were buried with Him therefore by the immersion, into Death; in order that, as Christ was raised from among the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also should walk in newness of life

 

 

We have here first, (1) immersion into Christ, (2) then into death, (3) then buried with Him by means of the immersion into death.  This is the proof of our having died, with Christ, to sin.  The ‘If’ in verse 5 confirms the “as many as” of verse 3.  “If we have ‘grown together’ in the likeness of His death

 

 

In chapter 5. we have our Lord called ‘Jesus Christ,’ for there He is set forth as Son of Adam.  In chapter 6.  He is twice called ‘Christ Jesus,’ - and God is called His Father in verse 4.

 

 

We die with Christ by faith; we are buried with Him, not by faith, but “by means of the (commanded) immersion” of the believer, fulfilled by the obedient.  Death with Christ takes us out from death, as the penalty of sin under law.  Its sting is taken away.  Chapter 5. has shown us, that ‘the reign of death’ ensuing after death, is an advance in judgment arising from oneness with Adam.  It is the entry of the body into the tomb; and of the soul into Hadees, or the First Death, of which Christ holds the keys.  After the judgment of the Throne, the lost are cast, soul and body united, into the Second Death, the lake of fire.

 

 

But what if we die with Christ?  Then we shall live with Him ever.  What if we are buried with Christ? Then we go into the Paradise of the departed.  To such, death is sleep, and it looks onward to Christ’s awakening of His people at the last day.  And then some will be accounted worthy to attain the First Resurrection.  “I am Resurrection and Life

 

 

This emblematic burial is the choice of the obedient, in answer to the command of God.  “Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through faith in the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the deadCol. 2: 12.  “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on ChristGal. 3: 27.

 

 

Do we read anything in the New Testament about baptismal ‘vows and promises’? and have we exhortations to fulfil them?  Never!  That belonged to the old things of the flesh under the law at Horeb.

 

 

“Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice and said, - ‘All the words which the Lord hath said will we do.’”  Did they keep their vows?  The sword sent on them forty days after, told what the flesh is worth.

 

 

So now we are shown in baptism our passiveness, and the power of God and Christ, on His believing people.  “We were immersed into Christ - immersed into His death  “We were buried with Him into death  “We died to sin,” not ‘We Promised and voiced to die

 

 

Burial is a further step beyond death.  It is the burial of the living into death as the way to death and to interment at once.  The departure of the soul is invisible.  But the disposal of the body is something seen and wrought on the dead

 

 

Those buried in the water receive death and interment at once.  The argument at this point is broken, if sprinkling or pouring are used instead of immersion.  In neither sprinkling nor pouring is there the emblem of death, burial, or resurrection.  So that is not true which is often said, - that the quantity of water used in baptism is of no moment.  It takes a good deal of water to bury a living man.  “John was baptizing at AEnon near to Salim, because there was much water thereJohn 4: 23.  There the Lord’s disciples also were immersing.

 

 

Burial, under Adam and law, was the giving over of the departed to the reign of death.  But death and burial with Christ import resurrection to come.  Death might not reign over Christ.  He saw no corruption.  Death could not detain Him, the Risen One.

 

 

The Saviour was born out of the tomb, and saluted as His Son by God His Father: Psa. 2.; John 12: 28.

 

 

“In order that we should walk in newness of life

 

 

Here is God’s intention presented to us, - as it regards a present life of holiness.  We must then follow that, if we would attain the reward, which it is His mind to give to the obedient.  This was taught from the first by John Baptist.  His proclamation was – “the immersion of repentance, unto the forgiveness of sins  And lest the comers to his baptism should think it merely a form, he adds – “Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of the repentance” you profess.  ‘Nor imagine, that because you are sons of Abraham according to the flesh, you shall surely enjoy the coming kingdom of glory

 

 

The old life was sin, the new one is to be holy.  The old life was under law and sentence on the slave.  The new is life of the sons of God, begotten again by the Holy Spirit: Heb. 1: 9.

 

 

The duty and wisdom of obedience herein are then touched on.  It is not, - as some put it, - that the believer, as possessed of a new nature, cannot fail to live as he ought.  For the regenerate is not a man of one nature only.  Within him still dwells sin: Rom. 7: 13-17.

 

 

Christ after His baptism walked in new life:- not that He was sinful before it.  But after His immersion He no longer lived ss the carpenter, but came forth as the Herald of the coming Kingdom of glory.  He went forth to conquer our Great Foe in the desert, and, anointed with the Holy Ghost without measure, He taught by inspiration, accredited by miracles.  After His real resurrection from the dead, His life during the forty days He tarried on earth was also new.  Christians have new life of the Spirit, and as such are spiritually raised from among the dead in spirit, to look onward to the resurrection of reward and of glory embracing both body and soul.

 

 

The omission now of baptism at once on faith, leads most Christians to think, that salvation once received by faith, they are at liberty to live as sons of Adam.

 

 

A very important sentiment precedes this conclusion of the Apostle.

 

 

“Like as Christ was raised from among the dead by the glory of the Father

 

 

“Raised from among the dead by the glory of the Father  The expression is remarkable, and not easy to understand.  The following is, I believe, the meaning.

 

 

It is the glory of God to raise the dead.  It was the height of Abraham’s faith to believe in a God that giveth life to the dead: Rom. 4: 17.  The nations had no such hope.  The Sadducees even, among the chosen people, believed it not.  To this day multitudes of so-called Christians believe it not.

 

 

The Saviour asserted His own power in this matter.  “For, as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom He will  Of this an example was given at the death of Lazarus.  The notice of his friend’s illness was sent to our Lord.  He replies: “This sickness is not with a view to death, but for the sake of the glory of God, in order that the Son of God might be glorified by means of itJohn 11.

 

 

Accordingly, four days after, our Lord appears to the sisters, and moves to the tomb of His friend.  He bids the bystanders roll away the stone from the sepulchre.  Martha suggests, that the demand was unworthy of Christ.  He replies: “Said I not unto thee, that if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?” He had said: “Thy brother shall rise again  Therein was the glory of God the Son to be shown.  After a brief address to the Father, Jesus in His own name shouts, - “Lazarus, come forth!” and He is obeyed.

 

 

But when the Son of God was committed to the tomb, who shall call Him forth?  The Father, in the glory of His natural and of His moral attributes.  That is the testimony of the next chapter of John – “Father said the Son, “glorify Thy name  The Father replied, “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again 

 

 

Accordingly, after the death of Christ, under circumstances of the deepest humiliation, the Son is raised from amongst the millions of the dead by the Father.  The reproach of the wicked is rolled away.  The Saviour is raised, is lifted to His right hand, above all principality and power.  “Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee  As the Righteous One He had not seen corruption; He is never more to return, as others of the raised have, to the tomb.

 

 

5. “For if we became grown together in the likeness of His death, why we shall be also partakers of the resurrection

 

 

Before the comment can run on smoothly, we must look carefully at the sense of one of the Greek words.  There are two main renderings of it.

 

 

1. “Planted together  This is not only the rendering of the Authorized Version, but of Liddell and Scott’s Lexicon, and of Carson.  The figure then would refer to the planting of two seeds in one hole, there to die and thence to rise together.  The objection to this translation is that the proper word for ‘planted together’ is a word like this, but not the same.

 

 

2. The other rendering is ‘Grown together  Of this sense there are good examples: and on reconsideration of the matter I adopt it.  It imports the growing together of the substance of two seeds put into the ground, intended to die, and to rise together.  This union is the result of the believer’s immersion into Christ, and burial with Him.

 

 

This rendering is in far closer connection with the argument of the Apostle.  What is affirmed is, that the believer is one with Christ, in His death and burial, if immersed, as commanded.  Thus are satisfied the statements of being “immersed into Christ and “alive unto God in Jesus Christ “Grown together” affirms a union much more intimate than the merely sowing together of two seeds side by side in the same hole.

 

 

“We became grown together  It was not something that took place at the birth of nature; but a work of God, at and after our repentance.

 

 

A word of caution is also added – “IF we became  ‘Do not assume it to be true of all believers.  Not all believers observe the rite of immersion commanded by Christ.  And hence they miss the God-given link of connexion between justification and sanctification, and the God-given object of hope and pursuit set before them

 

 

Now we may have the likeness of Christ’s death, in baptism.  But what is coming is the reality of resurrection.  The apostle’s argument is set aside also where there is the sprinkling of infants.  Paul is speaking of believers.

 

 

The' Holy Spirit does not assume, that all believers are immersed.  “As many of us as were immersed.” The act had already taken place in regard of the Roman saints generally; and the apostle now expounds for them the meaning of God in the command.  “If we became grown together in the likeness of His death, why we shall be also (partakers) of the resurrection

 

 

The Saviour’s first rite gives a likeness of His death.  It is not a dramatic likeness, like the funeral of the Emperor Charles the Fifth, celebrated while he was yet alive.  That funeral had no perceptible tendency to put him to death; but the immersion of a living man under water has a tendency very speedily to take away life, and at the same moment to bury.  It is an emblematic action enjoined by our Lord.  It is an act of humiliation, despised by the world.  But as the believer is thus joined with Christ, glory in resurrection will one day arise out of it.  “Buried with Him? by means of the immersion, into Death

 

 

The force of the passage then I apprehend to be this – ‘If we thus obey, and walk in newness of life, we shall one day enjoy the millennium in company with Christ

 

 

But how then do you make the pursuit of holiness to be the same thing with the expression here – ‘the being grown together in the likeness of His death’?

 

 

The answer thereto is, that there are two aspects of Christ’s death here presented.

 

 

1. The first comes from obedience to the rite of immersion, already past and complete, as the apostle assumes.  Death and burial were endured with Christ, and the believer set in resurrection, in emblem.  It was a visible action leading, in God’s mind, to the activity of the new man, risen in spirit to observe the holiness He calls for.

 

 

2. But there is also another aspect of the matter to be set forth in the next verse.

 

 

Here a motive is suggested for present holiness: great will be the reward of the obedient.

 

 

“We shall be (partakers) of the resurrection

 

 

By “the resurrection” is meant as in other passages, the first and blest one.  Of the maker of a feast according to the Saviour’s instructions we read: “And thou shalt be blessed, for they cannot recompense thee; for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the righteous Luke 14: 14; 20: 34-36.

 

 

It is a resurrection not of the dead, but from among the dead: an honourable distinction of life for a thousand years of dominion with Christ.  Of this select resurrection Christ was the first example, Rom. 1: 1‑4; Acts 26: 23.

 

 

This answers to the reward named in the fifth chapter of Romans – “the reigning in life through the Lord Jesus Christver. 17.  All believers will indeed be raised, and set before the judgment-seat of Christ; but only the approved enjoy the honours of the [millennial] Kingdom of God.

 

 

6. “Knowing this - that our old man was crucified together with Him, in order that the body of sin might be paralyzed; that we should be no longer slaves to sin

 

 

‘Knowing’(though the same word is not used), is spoken of thrice in this passage.

 

 

(1) It is spoken of immersion first, and Paul intimates, that it is disgraceful to a Christian not to be aware of God’s meaning in it: ver. 3.

 

 

(2) The second occurrence of “knowing” relates to our understanding God’s meaning in Christ’s death by crucifixion, and how it applies to the believer.

 

 

(3) The third occurrence is in verse 9, where we learn, that death can no more touch Christ.

 

 

The reference of the next clause – “Our old man was crucified with Him,” - seems to be to “grown together in the likeness of His death  Our resemblance to the death of the Saviour, in completing the mind of God, takes two forms.  For spiritual ‘newness of life’ must combine (1) abstinence from sin with (2) activity in holiness.  Both these are mirrored as God’s mind, for those who desire glory in the coming Day.  The Saviour has two rebukes, one for each of those offending.

 

 

1. A servant appears before Him, who has done nought of good.  He is cast out of the banquet-room as an “unprofitable servantMatt. 25: 2.   Others appear, asserting their claims to enter the millennial kingdom, as those who have laboured in its interests.  These are rejected with the words: “Depart from Me, ye that work iniquityMatt. 7: 23.

 

 

1. Immersion gives us a view of the Saviour’s death and burial as ended in resurrection, and newness of life.

 

 

2. But the cross of Christ pictures Him as disabled from activity, and every moment moving downward to death.

 

 

“Our old man was crucified together with Him

 

 

“Our old man  Paul assumes, then, that He was not perfect; nor any of his fellow-disciples.  (1) “Sin dwelleth, in me  (2) “In me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing Rom. 7: 17, 18-20.

 

 

The Christian now is regarded as at discord with himself.

 

 

1. In him is the new man; and after it he walks.

 

 

2. In him still abides the old man.  “Lie not one to another, seeing at ye have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man Col. 3: 9.  Live not like the nations, “if you have been taught the truth as it is in Jesus, that ye have put off concerning your former conduct, the old man, which is corrupting according to the lusts of deceit; and have put on the new man that is created according to God in righteousness and holiness of the truthEph. 4: 22, 23.

 

 

1. Baptism, with its coming forth out of the waters of death, represents the obedient Christian as having passed through death to the new life of holiness.  The death and burial were visible and momentary; the new life is to abide, but is invisible.

 

 

2. But the Saviour crucified under the curse, represents the Christian’s old man, as, by God’s design, fettered from action.  This is wrought by Him, for all the saved.

 

 

“I am crucified with Christ, yet I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me  “They that are Christ’s crucified the flesh with its affections and its lusts4: 24.  “God forbid that I should boast, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world is crucified to me, and I to the world6: 14.  Sin is fastened to the cross with a view to its final death.  “Reckon yourselves dead to sin  The old man is to die without resurrection.

 

 

“In order that the body of sin should be paralyzed

 

 

Not - ‘that therefore in all Christians it is palsied, and never moves  This is God’s testimony with regard to it.  But in many Christians the flesh moves more than the spirit.

 

 

“The body of sin  This may be taken in two senses, not far apart from one another.

 

 

1. It may be regarded as spoken literally of the body, as the place where sin dwells.  “O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me out of the body of this death7: 24.

 

 

2. Or it may be taken figuratively, as representing the whole system of sin.  This invisible repression of inward sin is to continue during our lives.  Else “the wages of sin is death  That is a word spoken by Paul to believers: 6: 23.  Christ is the Chief in the coming kingdom of glory - as “the Lover of righteousness, and Hater of iniquityTherefore, God will anoint Him with the oil of gladness above His fellows: Heb. 1.  So God has devised “walking” for the new man; and entire crippling for the old man.

 

 

“That we should be no longer slaves to sin

 

 

Sin is a Master, whose wages are death.  “Verily, verily I say unto you, whosoever committeth sin, is the slave of sinJohn 8.  To believers, Paul declares their deliverance from the domination of sin.  “Sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under law, but under grace.  Shall we sin, then, because we are not under law, but under grace?  God forbid 

 

 

A slave, if crucified, was unable to obey his master’s commands: while he became free from him, by death.

 

 

7. “For he that died hath been justified from sin

 

 

Who is meant here?  Christ!  On the cross sin pressed Him sore.  “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me  The cross was not in itself and at once, death.  Therefore the apostle notices, that He died on the cross.  And this is the consummation as to sin, for which we are to look.  We are to be in the twofold “likeness of His death.”*

 

* ‘Justified,’ margin.  ‘Freed’ a wrong translation.

 

 

Christ too, at His death, was “justified from sin  On the cross He was “made sin for us, who knew no sin  But at His death even the centurion of the crucifixion confessed, - “Certainly this was a righteous man He was not shovelled into the ground with the malefactors but was raised [out] from among the dead by the Father.  Paul beheld Him on high in the glory of God.

 

 

That “He who died” is Christ, is clearly marked in the passage.

 

 

1. “Immersed into Christ Jesus, we were immersed into His death ver. 4.

 

 

2. “We have grown together into the likeness of His deathver. 5.

 

 

3. “He that died hath been justified from sinver. 7.

 

 

4. “If we died with Christ, we shall live with Himver. 8.

 

 

When the Jews and the Romans conspired to break His bones, God interfered; and while the legs of the two malefactors were broken, His side, out of which came the blood of atonement, was pierced.

 

 

Why were not His bones broken?  Because He was the true Lamb of the Passover; and of that it was written: “Neither shall ye break a bone thereof  Thus Israel sinned in their intention, at the cross; while the Lord defeated their counsel.  Moreover it was written in the thirty-fourth Psalm‑ - “Many are the afflictions of the Righteous One, but Jehovah delivereth Him out of them all.  He keepeth all His bones: not one of them is broken

 

 

The piercing of the Saviour’s side, and the pouring out of His blood at the foot of the cross marked Him out as the true sin-offering.  His blood had been already put on the four horns of the cross, as directed in Leviticus 4: 27-31.

 

 

At His death came the opening of the tombs, and the bodies of many saints arose and came out of the tombs after His resurrection.*  He who could deliver Himself and others out of Death must needs have been the Righteous One.

 

[* Note. This does not infer that the “holy people” of (Matt. 27: 52), ascended into the presence of God in heaven immediately after their brief appearance on earth: like Samuel, who was called up by the witch “in Endor” to counsel Saul (1 Sam. 28: 7-19), they must have returned again to the place of the dead in the underworld.  See also, Psa. 139: 8b. cf. John 3: 13; Matt. 16: 18; Rev. 1: 18; Luke 16: 25-31; Acts 2: 34; Heb. 39, 40; Rev. 3: 21, etc. 

 

All saints of God must wait for the “First Resurrection” for the body to be redeemed – (to be immortal) - and properly equipped to appear in the presence of God in the highest Heaven, where our God and Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ is now seated at His Father’s right hand.  Death, with all of its effects must be removed before anyone can enter there!  The soul must be reunited to a body of “flesh and bones”: and that does cannot take place at the time of Death - as multitudes of the Lord’s redeemed people erroneous teach and believe - but will take place at the time of Resurrection, ( 2 Tim. 2: 18; 1 Thess. 4: 16. cf. Rev. 6: 9-11; Rev. 20: 4, 5.).  Hence the Paul’s seeking “to attain to the [out] resurrection [out] from the dead”, which will open the door to all “considered worthy” to reign with Christ 1,000 years before Hades is emptied, and all the remaining dead are judged.  Phil. 3: 11; Luke 20: 35; Rev. 20: 4-6, 11-13. ]

 

 

The chief links with sin are two.  1. Past acts, demanding the penalty of law, on the fruits of sin.  2. The present indwelling of sin; the root.  While that remains, the evil is ready to spring up again of the same kind, as before.  But Christ was justified from it both in the fruits, and in the roots, that we also might be.

 

 

8. “Now if we died with Christ, we believe, that we shall also live with Him

 

 

This takes up the person intimated in verse 7.  Who but Christ, after being “made sin for us,” and going down among the spirits [and souls] of the departed, could be justified from sin?

 

 

We have now reached a point, where all Christians, are on the same level.  All died with Christ by faith in His death; all will live with Him for ever.  Paul is taking up and expanding the statement of verse 2. “How shall we who died to sin, live any longer therein?  Death to Christ was death to sin; and we died with Christ, and so died to sin.  Not merely He died for us; but we died with Him.

 

 

In verses 3-5, the apostle comments on the immersion of the Roman Christians as establishing his point. And he leads on their minds to the blest results of obedience, and being set “in the likeness of His death

looking forward to the great First Resurrection.  There was one ‘If’ in verse 5; but now we have the second; and only a statement of the effects of the imputation of Christ’s death.  There is no word here about burial with Christ in baptism, nor reigning in life after.  There is no promise of the first resurrection, but only of life with Christ, a life yet future.

 

 

We have, in short, the same difference that we found in chapter 5., between (1) the reward to the obedient Christian and the (2) result of eternal life after that reward, to those enrolled in “the book of life

 

 

“We believe, that we shall live  The acceptance of the rite which is to follow on faith is not here supposed.  We are on the same ground as in Romans 10.

 

 

The word of faith, which we preach (is) “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus the Lord, and shalt believe in thine heart, that God raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with mouth confession is made, unto salvation

 

 

Death with Adam was a being given up to the reign of death. But death with Christ carries with it a coming forth from the tomb unto eternal life.

 

 

9, 10.  “Knowing that Christ being raised from among 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

 

 

Our faith in eternal life rests on the assurance, that Christ has put away sin.  Sin is the cause [of death], and death the effect, of sin.  Where there is no sin, death cannot come.  And God has justified Him from sin.  He is the Righteous One.  And righteousness and life are eternally connected in God’s mind, and by His hand.  Even when the sin of a world was laid on Christ, and He went down into the abode of the departed, it could not detain Him beyond the appointed time.  And if Death have no further hold on Christ, it will have no further hold on those one with Him.

 

 

He died to sin, after having lived to righteousness.  And now He lives to God who raised Him from the dead.  But it is not now said, that He lives unto righteousness.  That expression was suitable to the time of His life on earth, when He was working for us the robe of an eternal righteousness.  But now He is beyond all further trial.

 

 

11. “So do ye also reckon yourselves to be, on the one hand dead to sin, but on the other alive unto God in Christ Jesus.”

 

 

This is the twofold attitude of the Christian, up to the time of Christ’s return to raise us to eternal life.

 

 

We are not really as yet “dead to sin  This confirms the statements of Romans 7.  This overthrows the ideas of the Perfectionists.  But God’s counsels are, that one day we shall be dead to sin, and justified from it, as was Christ.  So it will be true before long.  And as we say of the criminal condemned to be hung – ‘He is a dead man’ - so we may curb the evil propensities of the old man by this word – ‘No!  I am to reckon myself dead to sin  The old man is on the cross, and it will not be long before he dies there.

 

 

The Christian is already, by faith in Christ, alive to God.  By nature, he was at enmity with Him: and enmity is death.  Now in some measure he loves God; and love is life.

 

 

“Alive unto God in Christ Jesus

 

 

Some manuscripts and some critics omit – “Our Lord” – after “Christ Jesus;” and I think rightly.  The Saviour is manifestly “Lord and Christ” during the Great Day when He is subduing a revolted world to God.  But after the thousand years, He surrenders to God the power entrusted to Him as Son of man.  “That God may be all in all:” and that, I think, is the reason of the omission.

 

 

“In Christ Jesus

 

 

Much interest attaches to the prepositions used in this Scripture.

 

 

We begin by “into” - Thrice found. (1) “We were immersed into Christ Jesus  (2) “Immersed into His death ver. 3. (3) “We were buried by the immersion into Deathver. 4.  Does not this show how important immersion is?  The apostle’s argument turns on it.  The argument comes to nought, if sprinkling or pouring is used, and if infants be substituted for believers.

 

 

Where, too, there is the likeness neither of death, nor burial, no resurrection of reward with Christ is implied.

 

 

Important as it is to the apostle’s argument, so important is it also to the obedience of the disciple. Immersion is spoken of as the point of appointed contact between the Saviour and the saved.

 

 

Next we have the preposition “with” (speaking of our union with Him) four times united to the verb, making up the sacred seven.

 

 

(1) “Buried with Him by means of the immersion, into deathver. 4.  Here we have ‘with,’ ‘intoand ‘by means of’ - as the link between us and Christ.

 

 

(2) “Grown together with Himver. 5.

 

 

(3) “Crucified together withver. 6.

 

 

(4) “We shall live together with ver. 8.

 

 

And in the last verse we have the preposition apart from the verb, making the eighth occurrence.  Now eight is the number of resurrection.  On the eighth day, or the first of a new week, Jesus rose.  The name Jesus’ makes in Greek 888.

 

 

Then we have as the final preposition, prepared for by the foregoing ones - the eternal one – “IN Christ

 

 

It remains now only to observe the inspired reply made to THE PROPOSAL. The proposal is of two parts.

 

 

1. It suggests a certain line of conduct during the Gospel‑day.  2. It proposes to affect God’s plans, by leading Him to manifest still more wonderful grace.

 

 

1. “Shall we continue in sin

 

 

2. “In order that grace may abound

 

 

Both parts of the suggestion are utter mistakes.

 

 

The plan of God refuses the evil counsel.  The idea had come too late.  1. Already the Christians had by faith in Christ died to sin.

 

 

2.  God is at enmity with sin - And in His scheme of salvation He commands, that those who receive the righteousness of His providing, should die with Christ who wrought that righteousness.  Through this visible death with Christ they had already passed in the rite of immersion.  This was a voluntarily accepted likeness to the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.  And as Christ’s death was to sin, so was theirs who were one with Him.  It told of the Christian hope also, in the coming forth out of the waters of death.  If the touching of Elisha’s bones in the sepulchre raised a corpse to new life - how much more our union with Christ after the counsel of God?  Kings 13: 20, 21.

 

 

Our hope is the return of the Lord Jesus, and the First Resurrection to the thousand years of bliss Rom. 8: 12, 13.  That is made to turn upon a new life, not like the old one of Adam.

 

 

And resurrection is for us divided into two portions.

 

 

(1) Already the believer possesses new life in his spirit.  He has come out from the world; the company of those dead in trespasses and sins; and he is to manifest it by holiness of life.

 

 

(2) But new life is not complete, till the body also partakes of it.  That is to come forth out from the abodes of the literally dead.  But it is the “resurrection of the righteous  It is the resurrection of the “blessed and holywho belong to the First Resurrection of reward.

 

 

The act of obedience, which sets this hope and pledge before the eyes of the believer and of the world, is not observed by all those who trust in Christ for pardon.  Let the reader who believes in the coming glory of the Personal Reign, obey at once!

 

 

Newness of life is not complete as a matter of present sanctification, till the disciple abstains from sin, as well as shows his activity in good works.  God then has given us another picture of the death of Christ which we are to follow, in the Saviour’s crucifixion; which represents the disabling of “the old man” of the believer.  The Christian is made up at present, partly of the old man, and partly of the new.  Those who would walk with God then must take the directly opposite stand to that proposed.  They must keep under the flesh; they must be zealous of good works.

 

 

Christ, after His death on the cross, was justified from sin.  But how shall they be justified from it, who are living in it on principle?  “The wages of sin is death,” - And that death is in the coming day to attach to all who practise sin: Rom. 2.

 

 

And now a word as to the result suggested by the proposal.  Continuance in sin was intended to lead God on to further acts of goodness.  But the Scripture, and the special passage of Joel quoted by Peter at Pentecost, told of “THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE DAY OF THE LORD” - as that which was about to appear, as soon as the calling on the name of the Lord Jesus in the Gospel-day shall have ceased.  The coming season is one of joy to the doers of good; of woe to the doers of evil.  Now ’tis grace!  Seize it, and hold it fast; for judgment and the wrath of God from heaven are nigh to all workers of iniquity.

 

 

The Scripture thus commented on is of much significance when taken in connexion with the calls of some for ‘more lightand ‘the larger hope  God accounts the instruction given in the New Testament to be “marvellous light;” and so do His believing ones.  But the light is too strong and clear for the men of the world.  It discloses truth at once humiliating and alarming, and therefore by no means pleasant. Also the salvation set forth is not to the taste of the worldly.  The last verse of Romans 5., overthrows ‘the larger hope.’  The Day that is coming is not of grace; no new Gospel, no salvation by any other than by the Son, and by the Spirit of God.  It is to bring with it recompense to each according to his work, and so to end the history of man on earth.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

APPENDIX

 

 

ROMANS 5: 15. NOTE A.

 

 

“ACT OF GRACE

 

 

This was first openly announced by Peter on the Day of Pentecost.  It was founded on the finished work of Christ.  By His resurrection He was manifestly accepted of God.  By His ascending on high, the Holy Spirit was poured out.

 

 

Let us then consider Peter’s argument in the second of Acts.  Some of the multitude of Jews, attracted to the house where the disciples were, scoffed at their speaking with tongues, as nothing more than the babble of drunkards.  This, Peter, with the other eleven apostles, refutes.  It was too early in the day for so many women, as well as men, to be intoxicated.  What they heard and saw was explained by a prophecy of Joel. - The Most High foretold, that in the last days, then begun, He would pour out of His Spirit on all flesh.  There should be signs of power attendant on the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the disciples.  These gifts would fit them to testify to Christ at Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth: Acts 1: 8.  They would usher in a day of mercy, not to Israel alone, but to all who should hear of God’s goodness through Christ to the lost.

 

 

“Whosoever (not men of Israel alone) should call upon the name of the Lord should be savedver. 21.

 

 

The day of Gospel grace would, however, end in signs of woo and wrath displayed in the heavenly bodies, and felt on earth.  They would be testimonies of the nearness of the coming days of indignation, of which the prophets spoke so oft: ver. 20.

 

 

These signs of judgment are re-echoed in the Sixth Seal of the Apocalypse, and the opening strokes of wrath described in the Trumpets: Rev. 6: 12-17; 8: 7; 9: 2.

 

 

The seventh chapter of Revelation gives us a view of God’s two people.  (1) Of Israel’s twelve tribes, and the first fruits of the earthly people.  (2) Then those are seen out of all the nations, gathered in heaven by Christ as the Lamb, rejoicing in their victory gained in resurrection, and ascribing the glory of it to God and the Lamb.

 

 

Peter then (verse 22) addresses himself to testify to the congregation before him the sin of Israel, in slaying Jesus, accredited by God to them with all forms of miracle, while yet they delivered Him over to death by the Romans.

 

 

But while Israel’s enmity had been shown by putting the Saviour to death, God had raised Him from among the dead.  This had been foretold by the sixteenth Psalm:

 

 

“I foresaw the Lord always before My face;

For He is on my right hand, that I should not be moved;

Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad;

Moreover also My flesh shall rest* in hope

 

* A remarkable expression in the Greek, applied to the roosting of birds: Matt. 8: 20.

 

 

This word implies, in its connexion, the Saviour’s death.

 

 

His body, as distinct from His soul, should be laid in the tomb in the hope of resurrection.

 

 

“Because thou wilt not leave My soul in Hadees,

Neither wilt thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption

 

 

It is here implied that the two things go together, and the one is the proof of the other.  Where the body is left to corrupt in the tomb, the soul is in Hadees.

 

 

Thus was it with David who was laid in the tomb to moulder there to dust.  And while it was so, his soul was left among the disembodied spirits [souls] in Hadees.  For none can approach to the presence of God in heaven, while suffering the effects of His sentence on sin.  As long as body and soul are disunited, which is the meaning of death, so long the man is not presentable on high.  Believers are “waiting for adoption, to wit, the redemption of our bodyRom. 8: 24.

 

 

But thus was it NOT with the Lord Jesus Christ.  “His soul was not left in Hadees;” and the proof was, that His body was left in the tomb too short a time to suffer corruption.

 

 

Peter still continues the question from the sixteenth Psalm:

 

 

“Thou hast made known to me the ways of life;

Thou shalt make me full of joy with Thy countenance

 

 

In the example of the Saviour, God showed His way of life.  It is a life which is to be eternal, in the rescue both of soul and body in resurrection.  The next line of the Psalm implies, not merely the Saviour’s resurrection, but His Ascension to the Presence of His Father in heaven.

 

 

Peter then affirms, that as the words were not fulfilled to David, in regard of resurrection from the tomb; much less were they in regard of His Ascension to the throne of God.  “Therefore (David) being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with all oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ (the true Anointed One) to sit on his throne, he seeing this before, spake of the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hadees, nor did His flesh see corruptionver. 30, 31.

 

 

But not only did David foretell the Christ’s resurrection, and His reign on the throne of David His father, but he, and the apostles, and brethren then present were witnesses, that the prophecy had been then fulfilled.  They had seen, had spoken to, had eaten with Jesus raised from the dead.  The passage of the Old Testament supposed to be pointed at is given by Alford, as 2 Sam. 7:  8-16.  Against this I object, that no oath of God is named in that passage; while it is in Psa. 132: 11.  “The Lord hath sworn in truth unto David, He will not turn from it, of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne  This greatly confirms the usual reading of Acts 2. in verse 30.  Christ is the Lord coming to reign, as now exalted by God’s right hand to His throne.

 

 

What they “saw” - in the tongues of fire; and “heard” in the foreign languages spoken by the hundred and twenty, was due to the Lord Jesus Christ.  The signs below on earth were a testimony to His having been lifted up to God’s right hand.  Jesus had poured out the Spirit.  If so, Jesus is God.  “It shall come to pass in the latter days, saith God, I will pour out of My spirit ver. 17.

 

 

There Christ is to sit, till the day of judgment on His foes.  He is the Stone at rest.  Whosoever shall fall on the Stone at rest, will bruise his flesh and break his bones.  But what if the Stone descend from heaven, and fall on him as a foe, in the time of wrath?  “It will grind him to powder

 

 

“Therefore says Peter, “let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye crucified, but (1) Lord and (2) Christ

 

 

Peter is occupied first in proving the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, as the proof of His being God’s Holy One, and Anointed Christ”).  Then follows the proof of His being “Lord by His ascent to the presence of the Father.

 

 

The hearers are made sensible of their sin, and of their danger as the enemies of God and of His Christ.

 

 

‘Was there any way of escape

 

 

Peter replies: “Repent and be immersed every one of you on the authorityname’) of Jesus Christ, unto (obtaining) the forgiveness of sin  Here is the Act of Grace, after their heinous guilt. Then comes “the gift  “Ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” in tongues, visions, prophecy.

 

 

“For the promise [of Joel] is unto you [Jews] and to your children [from generation to generation: Isa. 44: 1-4], and to all that are afar off [elect Gentiles: Eph. 2: 13], even as many as the Lord our God shall call

 

 

Repentance, and immersion in the name of the Lord Jesus would prove their coming out from “the crooked generation” of unbelief, the Seed of the Serpent, the foes of Christ, the Seed of the Woman. “Save yourselves from them They are to be destroyed.  “Then they that gladly received His word were immersed thankful, on so gracious terms, to be led out from perdition.

 

 

Here begin “the many” of the Gospel-day, righteous in the righteousness of Christ, and sealed by the gifts of the Holy Ghost.  Their justification and calling on the name of the Lord are set forth when Paul arises, as Christ’s witness to Gentiles.  “And now, why tarriest thou?  Arise, and be immersed, and bathe away thy sins, having called on the name of the Lord22: 16.   At Antioch of Pisidia Paul testifies, “Through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins.  And in Him all that believe are justified for all things, from which ye could not be justified by the Law of MosesActs 13: 38, 39.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

ROMANS 5: 16. NOTE B.

 

 

How are sinners, enemies of Christ, to become friends?

 

 

1.  This most important question was treated in the New Testament from the first.  John the Baptist was sent, - and of him it is written. – “John was immersing in the wilderness, and proclaiming the immersion of repentance unto (obtaining) the forgiveness of sins Mark 1: 4; Luke 3: 3.  In Matthew 3. his announcement is given.  “Repent ye; for the (millennial) kingdom of heaven hath drawn near  He implies, (1) that faith and baptism were the way to escape the wrath that is about to cut off the wicked (ver. 7): and (2) the way to obtain a part in the coming desirable Day of the millennial kingdom.

 

 

The Saviour travels to the Jordan, and receives immersion at the hand of John.  At this act of obedience and humiliation the heavens are opened; He is anointed with the Holy Ghost, and the Father proclaims Him as His Beloved Son.

 

 

2.  He is put to death; but rises from the dead.  He appoints a meeting with His disciples at a mountain in Galilee.  He announces the gift of all authority in heaven and earth, to Himself.  On this footing He sends forth His apostles – “Go ye therefore, disciple all the nations, and immerse them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost

 

 

Here is the first stage:- it supposes a passage over from the world of enemies, to become disciples of the Redeemer.  It consists of two steps, closely connected: the persuasion of the soul and spirit by the evidences of His death and resurrection; and the rite which follows is an emblematic death, burial, and resurrection with Christ.

 

 

The next stage is thus described b our Lord.

 

 

“Teaching them (the disciples) to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you all the days, up to the end of the age(Greek.)

 

 

After the entry among disciples, comes the instruction suited to an accepted disciple.  Christ has given further commands, such as the Lord’s Supper, at which disciples are to meet and edify one another.

 

 

A similar account is given in Mark.  “And He said unto them (the eleven) – ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel in all the creation.  He that believeth and is immersed shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be damned.’”  The terms then of salvation are – ‘Faith and immersion

 

[* Note.  There is also a future ‘salvation’ - (the salvation ‘of the soul’) - at the time of the ‘first’ or ‘better Resurrection’:  eternal salvation, purchased in full by Christ, is what all regenerate believers receive by the grace of God through faith in Christ alone: and that ‘salvation’ does not depend upon any ‘terms’ fulfilled by the believer.]

 

 

But here many fail to obey.  Faith of the soul is so much superior to the bathing of the body, that they take leave to omit the second step.  God would take the entire man, soul and body, and set him in a new and better position than that given by natural birth.  But they vote the second step unnecessary.  What then will be the consequence when the Saviour comes, in His kingdom of glory, to reign over earth and heaven?  There is no entry into the glory of the thousand years without a body; and they have refused the cleansing of it appointed by Christ.  They are therefore not ready to enter; they are disobedient. Christ Himself ascended not to the Father’s presence till after His death, burial, and resurrection.  These have not been buried and risen with Him, they must wait.

 

 

3.  As Acts 2. has been treated of just before, we will here introduce the inquiry of the convicted of sin, and the apostle’s reply, which is the main object of this note.

 

 

They inquire eagerly: Whether any escape from so dismal a position were possible? ver. 37.

 

 

Peter replies - (1) “Repent, and (2) be immersed every one of you on the authority of Jesus Christ, unto (the reception of) the forgiveness of sins” (Greek).

 

 

First, their spirit was to be set right.  “Repent!”  Turn from the heinous sin of unbelief, which led you to crucify the Lord of life.  Then (2) “Be immersed, every one of you Not – ‘Parents, be careful to get your infants sprinkled  But let each who hears, obey the command for himself!  Then the authority on which this command was pressed on them.

 

 

Some of them might have been immersed on the authority of John the Baptist.  “For all counted John, that he was a prophet indeed.” This is indeed the foundation alleged by the twelve at Ephesus.  Paul asks: “Unto what then were ye baptized  They answer, “Unto John’s baptism  Paul in his reply tells them, that the foundation of baptism, as ministered by and through himself, was not John Baptist, but Christ.  On their receiving immersion on the grounds of its being Christ’s command, came the gifts of the Holy Ghost, here prophesied.  But Israel had rejected and slain Jesus, whom John commended to their faith.  They must now receive baptism, no longer on John’s authority, but on that of the Lord Jesus.  ‘By receiving in faith this rite, you will testify that you own the Lordship of Jesus Christ; and with that will come the pardon of your sins

 

 

Peter’s next testimony is – “And ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” - of which Joel had testified - the first fruits of which were then before them.  For the promise [of Joel] was for the Jews, from generation to generation, and for the Gentiles effectually called of God, during the Gospel-day.

 

 

He further enforces the rite of immersion, as a visible escape out of the position occupied by Israel, as “the crooked generation” - the Seed of the Serpent, whose head should be perpetually bruised.  The whole man, both spirit and body, should leave the awful place that Israel held – “His blood be on us, and on our children!”  “Then they that gladly received His word were immersed, and the same day were added to them about three thousand souls  Here then - as Peter puts together the two steps - (1) Repent, and (2) be immersed, the hearers wrought upon by the Holy Spirit, obey that same day - true children of Abraham.  The invisible work wrought within was manifested by the visible ceremony seen by all.  They were cleansed as those seeking to partake of the millennial kingdom.

 

 

They had left their old place of unbelief, to become the friends and members of Christ.

 

 

Thenceforward began the Second Stage, which the Holy Spirit thus characterizes: “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine, and fellowship, and in the breaking of the bread, and of the prayers* Those who have died, been buried, and are risen with Christ, are moving on their way to the kingdom of millennial glory.  And in the Lord’s Supper the kingdom is set fully before us. “I will not drink henceforth of the product (not ‘fruit’) of the vine, till that day when I drink it with you new in the kingdom of My Father Matt. 26: 29.  That is not the Old Covenant, but the New Testament in the blood of the Lord Jesus.  Mark gives nearly the same statement.

 

* There is a reading here which is probably genuine.  It omits kai – thus: “They continued in the fellowship in the breaking of the bread and the prayers.”  Baptism was a rite for the individual.  But the Lord’s Supper and the prayers were for the disciples together.

 

 

But Luke enters far more deeply into the matter, and discovers to us the two people of God, with their places before Christ in the coming day: Luke 22: 13-30.  First, Christ and the apostles celebrate the Passover of Israel. The Passover of the Old Covenant was a partial deliverance.  But the true victory of Israel is coming, when Christ shall fulfil the Passover in the coming Kingdom of God.  Till then he took on Himself the Nazarite vow.  As then Jesus has never since then celebrated the Passover with His apostles, or ended his vow – the Kingdom of God has never yet come.  At verses 19, 20, He celebrates the Lord’s Supper.  It is intended for God’s other people, who thus remember Him while absent.  The Betrayer was there, at that very table; for Judas was the representative of unbelieving treacherous Judah. Even those of the apostles who, were faithful to the Lord had need to be taught, that their ambition must be just the opposite in its spirit to that of the world.  The way to future glory is present service of self-denial, and humiliation.

 

 

Then our Lord gives us a brief, but bright glimpse of the glory of the thousand years.  “Ye are they which have continued with Me in My temptation; and I appoint unto you a kingdom, as My Father hath appointed unto me, (1) that ye may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, (2) and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel  Here, then, is the restoration of the whole House of Israel.  They are the subjects of the Lord Christ; His apostles with Him rejected, are then exalted to sit at the table of the King of kings and reign with Him the thousand years.  “Blessed and holy” are all such.

 

 

4.  Acts 8.  Philip preaches Christ and the kingdom at Samaria.  Many believe and are immersed.  But the gifts of the Holy Ghost are not bestowed, till the apostles Peter and John come down to them, and pray for them. It appears, then, that Philip’s work as an evangelist was not complete, till they had been baptized.  So when he is sent to the eunuch, He preaches to him Jesus; but he is not caught away, till the eunuch is immersed.

 

 

5.  Saul is arrested by the Lord appearing in His glory from heaven.  He is struck blind.  But Ananias is sent by the Saviour to open his eyes, and to bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost.  “He received sight forthwith, and arose and was baptized before even he tasted food.  In his account of the matter to the men of Jerusalem, he tells them, that Ananias spoke of his being appointed to be God’s witness for Christ.  “And now, why tarriest thou?  Arise, and be immersed, and bathe away thy sins; having called on the name of the Lord:” (Greek) 22.

 

 

6.  At Philippi, Lydia’s heart is opened, and she is immersed with all her household. The jailer is smitten - with conviction of sin, hears, accepts the word of the Lord, and is at once immersed with all his house immediately.  Paul and Silas depart: they had fulfilled their part as evangelists.

 

 

These instances are adduced to show, that the first stage in Christian life is not reached, till to faith is added baptism.  Other examples might be given, but these will suffice.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

ROMANS 5: 17. NOTE C.

 

 

Here comes in the doctrine of MILLENNIAL REWARD.

 

 

Justification [by faith] is the Gift of God to [all] those who believe.  The way into the [millennial] kingdom of the Christ requires beside - Sanctification by the Holy Ghost; or obedience to the commands of Christ. This point is of immense moment.  And, as many will listen in this matter only to the teaching of Paul, let us look at the Pauline epistles, in order to decide our views.  We will take some passages POSITIVE, and SOME NEGATIVE.  (1) HOLINESS IS REQUIRED.  (2) UNIIOLINESS WILL EXCLUDE.

 

 

1. ROMANS.

 

 

Holiness is required.

 

 

Rom. 2. “After thy hardness and impenitent heart (thou) treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the Day of Wrath, and Revelation of the righteous Judgment of God: who will render to each according to his work: to them who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for (1) glory [both moral and physical], (2) honour, and incorruptibility [of the risen body], eternal [‘age-lasting’*] life

 

[* The context here demands the translation of the Greek word to be ‘age-lasting’ and not ‘eternal’.  “By perseverance in a work good, glory and honour and incorruptibility are seeking, life age-lasting; to those but from a party spirit, and disobeying indeed the truth, obeying but the unrighteousness, wrath and indignation, affliction and distress…” etc. (Lit. Greek). 

 

See other examples in (1) Tit. 3: 7, - “we might become heirs having the hope of eternal [age-lasting] life”; at “the appearing of the glory [R.V.] of our great God and Saviour…” (Tit. 2: 13).  (2) See also Heb. 5: 9, where the same word, in a context of works, for those whom Christ has become the “source of eternal [age-lasting] salvation for all who obey him”!  Does the “Source of eternal salvation” depend upon our obedience?  No.  It depends on what He has done for us; and on nothing else!]

 

 

“But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth but obey unrighteousness, indignation, and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil; of the Jew first and also of the Gentile” [a parenthesis] “in the Day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my Gospelver. 16.

 

 

2. Christian immersion, as taking a man out from both Adam and Moses, is necessary to the Millennial Kingdom.

 

 

“Know ye not, that as many of us as were immersed into Jesus Christ, were immersed into His death? Therefore, we were buried with Him by the immersion into death; in order that, as Christ was raised up from among the dead by the glory of the Father, so also should we walk in newness of life.  For if we became grown together in the likeness of His death, why we shall be also (grown together) of the [First] Resurrection6: 3 - 5 (Greek).

 

 

“And all the people that heard Him (Jesus), and the publicans, justified God, being immersed with the immersion of John.  But the Pharisees and the 1awyers rejected the counsel of God against (or, ‘with regard to’) themselves, being not immersed by HimLuke 8: 29, 30.

 

 

2. 1 AND 2 CORINTHIANS.

 

 

1. “According to the grace of God, which is given to me, as a wise master-builder I have laid the foundation, but another is building upon it.  But let each [Christian teacher] take heed how He buildeth upon it. For other foundation none can lay beside, that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ

 

 

“But if any [Christian teacher] build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble, the work of each shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it; because it shall be revealed in fire, and the fire shall try the work of each of what sort it is.  If the work of any abide, which he hath built thereon, he shall receive a reward.  If the work of any shall be burned up, he shall be fined; but he himself shall be saved; but so as (one escaping) through fire3: 10-15.

 

 

2.  “Know ye not, that they who run in the racecourse run all, but one only receiveth the prize?  So run, that ye may obtain.  Now every one that contendeth for a prize, is temperate in all things: they indeed, that they may receive a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.  I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so box I, not as one that scourgeth the air; But I keep under My body, and treat it as a slave; lest, after having acted as the herald to others, I myself should become disapproved9: 24-27 (and lose the prize).

 

 

3. GALATIANS.

 

 

1.  “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.  Behold, I ` Paul, say unto you, that if ye get yourselves circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.  But I testify again to every man that is getting himself circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.  Ye are cut off from the Christ, you who are being justified by law;. ye are, fallen from grace 5: 1-4 (Greek).

 

 

2.  “Be not deceived; God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  For he that soweth to his own flesh, out of the flesh shall reap corruption: But he that soweth to the spirit, out of the spirit shall reap life everlasting [age-lasting]6: 6-8.

 

 

4. EPHESIANS 4: 1-6.

 

 

1. “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you, that ye walk worthy of the calling wherewith ye were called.  With all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering endeavouring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.  One is the body, and one the Spirit, even as also ye were called in one hope of your calling.  One Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all

 

 

2. “Slaves, obey your lords according to the flesh, with fear and trembling in singleness of heart, as unto the Christ.  Not with eye service, as pleasers of men; but as the servants of the Christ, doing the will of God from the soul.  With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men; knowing that whatsoever good each doeth, that shall he receive front the Lord, whether slave or freeman6: 5-8.

 

 

5. PHILIPPIANS 3: 8-12.

 

 

“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things and I count them to be dung, in order that I may gain Christ, and be found in Him not having mine own righteousness that (comes) out of law, but that which is by faith in Christ the righteousness which is from God on faith.  That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and fellowship in His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if by any means I may arrive at the select resurrection that is from, among the dead (Greek).

 

 

“Not as though I had already received (the title to it), or were already perfected.  But I pursue, if I may only lay hold on that for which I was laid hold on by Christ.  Brethren, I do not reckon myself to have laid hold on it; but one thing I do, forgetting indeed the things behind but reaching out after the things in front, I pursue toward the goal for the prize of God’s calling (of us) above in Christ Jesus.  Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, be thus minded” (Greek); ver. 12-14.

 

 

6. COLOSSIANS.

 

 

1. “And you, that once wore alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, now hath He reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and blameless, and not called in question before Him – if at least ye remain in the faith grounded and settled, not moved away from the hope of the Gospel, which ye have heard1: 21-23.

 

 

2. “Slaves, obey in all things your lords according to the flesh, not with eye service, as pleasers of men ... knowing that from, the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance; for, ye serve the Lord Christ.  But he that doeth wrong shall receive (recompence) for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of faces3: 22-25.

 

 

7. 1 AND 2 THESSALONTANS.

 

 

1. “Ye know, how we exhorted, as a father doth his children, each one of you, and comforted you, and testified, that ye should walk worthy of the God who is inviting you unto His own kingdom and glory2: 11, 12.

 

 

2. “So that we ourselves boast of you in the assemblies of God, because of your patience and faith in all your persecutions, and in the afflictions that ye endure, - an indication of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be accounted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye even suffer

 

 

8. HEBREWS.

 

 

1. “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things that we have heard, lest we should drift by them.  For if the word spoken by angels became steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a righteous recompense, how shall we escape, if we neglect so great a salvation2: 1, 3.

 

 

2. “So then there remaineth the keeping of a sabbath-rest for the people of God.  For He that is entered into His rest (Christ) Himself also ceased from His works, as God did from His.  Let us therefore be diligent to enter into that rest, lest any fall into the same example of disobedience4: 9-11.

 

 

9. REVELATION.

 

 

Shall we add to these some of our Lord’s own words to the seven churches?

 

 

1. “All the churches shall know, that I am He which searcheth the reins and hearts, and I WILL GIVE TO EACH OF YOU ACCORDING TO YOUR WORKSRev. 2: 23.

 

 

2. “And he that overcometh, and keepeth to the end My works, to him will I give power over the nations ver. 26.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

THREATENINGS

 

 

1. ROMANS.

 

 

And now let me cite from these epistles some passages, in proof that certain sins will shut out of the  millennial kingdom.

 

 

1. “What then?  Shall we sin, because we are not under law, but under grace  The answer briefly is, that if you do, you will in the coming Day of Judgment, get the wages of sin, which is death – while the servants of Christ will be rejoicing in the First Resurrection.

 

 

“Far be it.  Know ye not, that to whom ye present yourselves as servants unto obedience, his servants ye are whom ye obey, whether of SIN unto DEATH, or of OBEDIENCE unto RIGHTEOUSNESSRom. 6: 15, 16.

 

 

2. “So then, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh to live according to the flesh; for if ye live according to the flesh, Ye are about to die; but if by the spirit ye put to death the deeds of the body, Ye shall live” (in the special life of [after] the First Resurrection).

 

 

2. 1 AND 2 CORINTHIANS.

 

 

1.  “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God? and the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?  If any defile the temple of God, him shall God defile 2 Chron. 26: 19-21 (Greek).

 

 

2. “Know ye not, that unrighteous persons shall not have part in the kingdom of God?  Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with men, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall have part in the (millennial) kingdom of God1 Cor. 6: 9-11.

 

 

3. GALATIANS.

 

 

1. Turning back from grace to law will exclude: Gal. 5: 1-4.  Already cited.  The fifth verse, rightly rendered, confirms this – “For we, by the Spirit which (comes) from faith, are expecting the hope (attached to) righteousness that is, the First Resurrection, the hope of our calling.

 

 

2. The works of Me flesh will exclude.  “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are such as these - Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, contentions, wrath, strife, seditions, party-making, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings and things like these; concerning which I tell you beforehand, as I also declared in the past, that they which do such, things shall have no part in the kingdom of God5: 19-21.

 

 

4. EPHESIANS.

 

 

1. “Fornication and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not once be named among you, as becometh saints; nor filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not consistent; but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no fornicator, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any part in the kingdom of the Christ and God. Let none deceive you with vain words: for because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the children of disobedience.  Be not ye therefore partakers with them5: 3-7.

 

 

5. COLOSSIANS.

 

 

1. “Let none deprive you of reward by an affected humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed by the mind of his flesh2: 18.

 

 

6. 1 AND 2 THESSALONIANS.

 

 

1. “For this is the will of God, your sanctification, that ye abstain from fornication, that each of you should know how to keep his own vessel in sanctification and honour, not in the affection of lust, as the nations that know not God, that (none) overreach and defraud his brother in the matter; because the Lord is the Avenger of all these things, as also we have forewarned you and testified

 

 

7. HBREWS.

 

 

1. In chapter three, we have warning given, not to treat God as did Israel, after being made His people. On them came at last the oath of God, that they should not enter His rest; - while on Abraham, the obedient, came the oath of God, that he should assuredly enter, and behold his two,‑yea, his three, Seeds.

 

 

2. “Watching lest any falling from the grace of God, - lest any root of bitterness spring up and trouble you, and by it many be defiled: lest any be a fornicator, or profane, as Esau, who for a single meal gave away his birthright.  For ye know, that even when afterwards he wished to obtain the blessing, he was rejected; for he found no room for repentance, though he sought it earnestly with tears12: 15-17.

 

 

8. REVELATION.

 

 

1. “I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest thy wife Jezebel, who calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols.  And I gave her time, that she might repent of her fornication, and she will not repent of her fornication.  Behold, I cast her into a bed, and those that commit adultery with her into great affliction, except they repent of her deeds.  And her children I will slay with pestilence2: 20-23.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

NOTE D.

 

 

Having, through mercy, obtained some new light on Romans 6: 1-11, I here present it.

 

 

The passage is divided into three main parts.

 

 

A. The first extends from. verses 1-5.  B. The second from 6 to 7.  C. The third from 8-11.

 

 

A.  More particularly; verse 1 contains THE PROPOSAL.

 

 

Verse 2 the general reply thereto, refusing the proposal.

 

 

Verses 3‑5 gave the meaning of baptism. (or immersion).

 

 

B (or verses 6, 7) gives the meaning of our Lord’s crucifixion in its application to the Christian.

 

 

C gives us, death with Christ now, and life with Him forever: 8-11.

 

 

COMMENT

 

 

1. The Proposal consists of two parts:

 

 

1. The course of action suggested.  “Shall we continue in sin  2. The motive and end in view – “In order that grace may abound

 

 

Verse 2 gives the Divine Reply thereto in general - refusing the Proposal.

 

 

“We died to sin; how shall we live in it?  True of all Christians.

 

 

In verse 3 we have the proof of believers’ death to sin, derived from the entrance rite commanded.

 

 

3. That rite is immersion.  The significance of it, as then already observed by all but a few, is stated, as something which all who have received it ought to know.  There are special benefits attached to observers of it.

 

 

(1) The first is the movement away from Adam and from Law to Christ and grace, in obedience to God.

 

 

“So many of us (believers) as were immersed (were immersed) into Christ

 

 

(2) “We were immersed into His death

 

 

(3) Verse 4 gives us a further view of the rite.

 

 

“We were buried therefore with Him by means of the immersion [not ‘by faith though faith must precede] into Death

 

 

The waters into which we are immersed are those of death.  Water, as in the Flood, and at the Red Sea, suffocated those plunged under it.  And it not only put them to death, but was the element in which they were entombed, as soon as death overtook them.  So the believer is plunged, with a view to his death, into the waters of baptism.  But it is a death and burial alone, with Christ.

 

 

The number of prepositions here used is remarkable, and while they add to the difficulty of the passage, they are so exactly used, that they lend much light, when carefully followed in their meaning.

 

 

Twice we have “Into

 

 

“Immersed (1) into” Christ Jesus.*

 

* We should read “Christ Jesus” both in verse 3, and in the closing verse 11.

 

 

(2) “Immersed into His death

 

 

(3) Then ‘with’ – “Buried with Him

 

 

(4) Then ‘By means of,’ and (5) ‘Into  “By means of the immersion‘into Death  A similar passage is found in Colossians 2: 12, 13.  “Buried with Him (Christ) in the immersion, wherein also ye were raised together with, Him by means of faith in the energy of God, who raised Him from among the dead

 

 

This is not true of the un-immersed believer.

 

 

So far then we (the baptized) have gone in company with Christ.  Then comes a movement, granted as yet to Christ alone.  And preceding it we have the first of God’s motives in the matter, putting His counsel into direct opposition to THE PROPOSAL.

 

 

“In ORDER THAT - ”

 

 

“Just as Christ was raised (6) from among the dead (7) by means of the glory of the Father

 

 

We pass, in these words, from ‘Death’ to the inmates of death – “the dead  Christ our Lord went down among the dead: Matt. 17: 9; 28: 7.  This gives us His passage upward in resurrection, leaving the dead behind Him.  We are taught also the power by which this great blessing was obtained - the power was that of the Father.  But there was more than power.  The Father wrought it to His own glory and joy, and to that of His Son.  “I will declare the decree; the Lord said unto me, Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten thee;’” and that, in order to Christ’s taking the kingdom: Psa. 2.

 

 

“Even so we also should walk in newness of life

 

 

This is a conclusion which we do not expect, after what has gone before.  ‘We have died with Christ to sin; we have been buried with Him’ - why then do we not find, ‘We shall be raised by the Father as His sons together with Christ’?

 

 

Because a new condition comes in.  Not every believer after faith, and immersion, will enter into the First Resurrection of the thousand years.

 

 

In the commanded baptism of the believer, these to whom the apostle is writing had also received the Emersion, or the emblematic* rising up out of the waters of death to new life.

 

* An emblem here is a picture or action; giving one view to the eye, and intended to represent a religious truth to the heart.  In baptism, the immersion represents death; the emersion, resurrection; or the coming up from among the dead.

 

 

The instructed believer is waiting for the return of the Lord Jesus; who will bring reward to each according to his work: Matt. 16: 27; Rev., 22: 12.  How then is he to spend the intermediate time?  In obedience to Christ.  He is to “walk in newness of life John the Baptist came with his proclamation of the kingdom, demanding a walk “in the way of righteousness: Matt. 21: 28-32.  Our Lord, on whom the Holy Spirit rested in form of a dove, came to teach us the grace of God, and to urge us to walk in the way of grace toward our fellows.  He came, to set before us the new principle exemplified in His own perfect life.  He tells us, that those who will not advance, beyond “the way of righteousness or the ten commands of the Law, shall not obtain part in the millennial kingdom: Matt. 5: 20; 7: 21-27; Luke 7: 24-35; Matt. 18: 21-35.

 

 

So the resurrection from among the dead to which Christ first calls us is [in a sense a] spiritual resurrection - a new life of obedience in grace, the opposite to our old one, under Adam or Moses.  Christ’s life before His death was new and perfect.  We who were sinners, condemned before we have faith in Him, have to alter our principle of life after faith and immersion, and to continue in it till His return.  Herein the apostle puts in a striking way the opposition between God’s scheme, and the Proposal to continue in sin.

 

 

5. “For if we became grown together in the likeness of His death, why we shall be also of the resurrection

 

 

‘For’ takes up the last clause of the former verse, as is customary with Paul.  It confirms the necessity of the new walk.  On this turns the entry into the millennial kingdom of God.  “Not every one that saith unto Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father, which is in heaven.  Many will say unto Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out demons? and in Thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from Me, ye that work. Iniquity Matt. 7: 21-23.

 

 

2. “Nay, ye are doing wrong; and defrauding, and that, brethren.  Know ye not that unrighteous ones shall not have part in the kingdom of God?  Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall have part in the (millennial) kingdom of God1 Cor. 6. (Greek).

 

 

3. “Add to your faith, virtue (courage), and to courage, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.  For so shall the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ be ministered to you abundantly 2 Peter 1.  The eternal kingdom begins for some [regenerate believers] a thousand years earlier than for others.

 

 

“For if

 

 

This new walk is not fulfilled by all immersed believers.  Here comes in our responsibility.

 

 

“Ye became grown together

 

 

This gracious union with Christ is not of nature: it is wrought in us by God: it is the union with Christ of obedient faith.

 

 

“Grown together

 

 

This means our real union with Christ, evidenced by our new walk.  In the emblematic union with Christ represented by baptism, lies couched a silent pledge of a resurrection to follow on our immersion into Death.  This will not be realised by all immersed believers, because of a life after the flesh.  But where the outside resemblance to Christ’s death was joined to inward fellowship with Him, and the holiness of the Gospel, there will be part in the hope and promise set before us.

 

 

But, besides holiness, there must be “the likeness of Christ’s death” - There must be obedience to the positive command of immersion.

 

 

“Why we shall be also partakers of the resurrection

 

 

“We shall be

 

 

It respects the coming Day, when Christ shall take the kingdom.

 

 

But why is it said of “the resurrection”?  Observe, that the expression follows after – “Christ was raised from among the dead by the glory of the Father  The First Resurrection, as Rev. 20: 4-6 tells us, is not the general resurrection of all.  It is a resurrection of honour and of reward, given to some, and leaving the vast majority of the dead still in the tombs.  “If by any means I might attain to the select resurrection, that is from among the deadPhil. 3. See Critical Editions.

 

 

2. “The children of this age marry and are given in marriage; but they which are accounted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from among the dead neither marry, nor are given in marriage.  For neither can they die any more, for they are equal to the angels; and they are the sons of God, being sons of the resurrection Luke 20: 34-36 (Greek).

 

 

Even at Horeb and its covenant there were two sights of God, and two walks.  The people were to sanctify themselves; and the third day Jehovah would descend in clouds on the peak of Sinai, in the sight of all.  He did so: they left their camp, it was a day of terror.  But after the blood of the covenant was shed, and sprinkled, a few were led up, by the Mediator Moses, through the clouds into the visible presence of the God of Israel; and there they worshipped and feasted.

 

 

In the first case, Jehovah descended to Israel.  In the second, some [not all] went up to God.

 

 

6. “Recognizing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, in order that the body of sin might be disabled, that no longer should we be the slaves of sin

 

 

“Recognizing this

 

 

Here we have a further view of the application of the death of Christ to us.  The Christian in this time of God’s patience, is a strange composition of good and evil; of death and life.  “If Christ be in you, the body is dead, because of sin; but the spirit is life, because of righteousness.  But if the Spirit of Him (the Father), who raised up Jesus from among the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from among the dead, shall also give life to your bodies subject to death, because of His Spirit that dwelleth in youRom. 8. (Greek).  Thereupon the apostle founds an exhortation to the believer.  Live not to the flesh which is under death.  “For if ye live after the flesh, ye are about to die; but if ye through the spirit put to death the deeds of the body, ye shall live - in the Select Resurrection, a thousand years before those judged unworthy.

 

 

The duty of the new man is a new walk; activity in Christ, deriving his power from Christ, to whom he is united.  But our old man (which is in every believer), has been by God “crucified together with Christ  The crucified was paralyzed from action: so ought our old man, or the whole body of sin, to be disabled.  This is God’s counsel; so firmly opposed is He to all sin.  The new man of obedience is to come out from the tomb to the early resurrection. The old man, smitten with paralysis, is to end in speedy death, and we to be eternally delivered from sin, the old lord of the flesh.

 

 

7. “For He that died has been justified from sin

 

 

This is not a general proposition, true of all the dead, whether godly or ungodly. The reference is to Christ’s death on the cross, by which the apostle sums up what he has said of the nailing to the tree.  On the cross the Saviour breathed His last.

 

 

There are several faults in the authorized version here.  It is not properly - “For he that is dead, is freed from sin

 

 

1. It should be: “He that died - the Aorist [tense], relating to a single past fact.  If it were a general preposition, we should have had the present participle.

 

 

2. It should not be rendered is “freed from sin  Here are two errors - (1) One of translation; it should be – “Has been (and is) justified (2) The second is error of fact.  Is it true that death frees all men from sin?  Was the impenitent robber justified, as soon as he died?  Was Judas?  Of course not!  Death is the wages of sin; and after death comes the reign, - not of life, but of death.

 

 

But of our Lord it is true, that after death, sin, which had been laid upon Him, was atoned for; and He was justified by God.

 

 

1. When the legs of the malefactors were broken, His were not.  Why? Because He was righteous.  “The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous  “He keepeth all His bones: not one of them is broken Psa. 34: 15, 20.  And that, although Israel intended that the bones of Christ, the true Paschal Lamb, should be, broken, contrary to the command of the Law.  “Neither shall ye break a bone of itEx. 12: 46.

 

 

2. He was raised [out] from among the dead by the glory of the Father; he was exalted to His own right hand.

 

 

8-11.  As the Saviour is justified from sin, therefore is He free from death, the wages of sin; and that for ever.  Hence to believers who are justified in Christ, eternal life is certain.  And thus it is stated at the close of this passage.  “Likewise reckon ye yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God IN Christ Jesus our Lord

 

 

Let me drop, in conclusion, a word to the un-baptized believer.  He will be saved at last, after the resurrection of reward is past.  Will he be content to wait a thousand years for the glory?

 

 

He has not ‘entered’ for the race, and the prize.  Of the two commands – (1) “Repent (2) and be immersed” - he has observed but one.  He has not come out visibly from the world which lies under death in sin; nor has he expressed, as he has been commanded, his desire to be unlike it, in the day of reward.  How much is made by the apostle of immersion in this passage is plain.  Immersion is the emblematic act which passes upon the body.  And the resurrection takes not place without the body.  Not till Christ had risen from the tomb, did He ascend to His Father.

 

 

Immersion is not necessary to eternal life, the gift of God.  But it is necessary to the obedience on which reward turns.

 

 

In the sprinkling or pouring on the face of infants, which many call baptism, there is not the likeness of either death or resurrection.  Let the [regenerate] believer take the safe side: much turns on it.

 

 

So, then, the way to the [millennial] Glory begins with two steps of humiliation, (1) Death and (2) Burial. Death comes first, and is the chief.  Burial comes after death, and is subordinate.

 

 

There are also two steps of ascent to be taken by us.

 

 

1. Resurrection of spirit, producing “the walk” of newness of life.  This is the main thing; the result of union with Christ.*

 

* [… See the Greek word] Referring to two seeds, after burial grown together.

 

 

2. “In the likeness of His death

 

 

This speaks first of the visible resemblance to Christ’s death in immersion of the believer.  “Buried with Him by the immersion into death

 

 

The union here with Christ is the ‘burial’ - the result of the immersion, as soon as death takes place.  At burial comes the disposal of the two parts of main.  God’s hand sets the disembodied believer in Hadees, the place of departed spirits [i.e., disembodied ‘souls’].  Man puts the body in the tomb.  The time in the history of Christ here referred to is the time after His burial, and before His resurrection.  Jesus [body] was buried in Joseph’s sepulchre, abiding there three days; waiting the Father’s raising of Him from among the dead [in Hades], to whom He descended at death.  He was then dead in flesh, but alive in spirit, carrying on the Father’s counsels, by preaching to the spirits in prison, and taking the penitent malefactor to ‘Paradise’ – [that blessed portion of Hades, where Abraham now is].

 

 

The baptized Christian is, in this, like His Lord, after the emblematic death and burial, and before the resurrection.  Only, the three days are now of a thousand years each.  The living and the departed saints are waiting till the Father sends the Son to gather to Him His saints in air.

 

 

During the time of waiting, the obedient grow up into Christ their Head.  “Abide in Me, and I (will abide) in you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, so neither can ye, except ye abide in MeJohn 15.  If this walk of holiness conjoined with obedience to baptism is found, there will then be part in the first resurrection.

 

 

Every Christian has the death with Christ by faith, but that is not visible.  Here it is “in the likeness of His death” - a something seen.

 

 

Resurrection of the spirit in the new walk prepares for the resurrection of the body, and of the whole man, in the First Resurrection.  This is the opposite of the burial of the body.  Faith, without immersion, leaves out God’s care for the reunion of the spirit [and soul] and body, and the cleansing of the body for the kingdom of glory.  And there is no having part in resurrection without the body.  Therefore, I believe, that the un-immersed believer will not be by Christ adjudged worthy to “attain that age, and the resurrection from among the dead Luke 20.

 

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