CMF eZine The online magazine of the Christian Military Fellowship. 22 December Romans 6:06 - No Longer Slaves By Bob Flynn Romans 0 Comment Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our (h) old man is crucified with (i) [him], that the (k) body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not (l) serve sin. (h) Our entire nature, as we are conceived and born into this world with sin, is called "old", partly by comparing that old Adam with Christ, and partly also in respect of the deformed state of our corrupt nature, which we change with a new. (i) Our corrupt nature is regarded as belonging to Christ, not because of what he has done, but by imputation. (k) That wickedness which remains in us. (l) The end of sanctification which we aim at, and will at length come to, that is, when God will be all in all. (Geneva Bible Translation Notes) knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; (NASB) Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. (KJV) We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. (NLT) We know that our old man was crucified with him so that the body of sin would no longer dominate us, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. (NET) Remember the knowing: verse 3 - not to be ignorant of knowing and understanding in you mind; now verse 6 - an intimate knowledge. In this continuing illustration of Sin as the Master and Us as the slave, we see the redemption of Christ unfold. First we saw our identification with Christ through baptism into His death, burial, and resurrection. Now we see our identification with Him in the crucifixion so that death looses its power over our lives. We have been set free and are no longer slaves to obey its claim. Once again, there is the difference between the theoretical and the experiential that is bridged by the "knowing." For the one who is caught in sins power, he has not yet understood the declaration of freedom that is in Christ. In a most horrific time in American history, it was acceptable for one man to own another, despite the testimony of Paul to Philemon concerning Onesimus. But on June 19th, 1865 the word of the Emancipation Proclamation spread to Galveston, Texas by the arrival of 2,000 Union troops led by General Gordon Granger. Liberty had arrived and the Juneteenth celebration was born. But today, depending upon where you are standing, that experience of liberty may live in stark variance. The same can be said for those yet enslaved in sin and do not yet know that they have been set free and have yet to "exercise" their liberty in Christ. We are not merely connected with Christ as if bound together with rope, but joined together intimately so that our lives spring forth from the ground as He Himself sprang forth in resurrection! Death no longer could wield its power over Christ and sin no longer holds us captive. Our old man - Coeval with our being, and as old as the fall; our evil nature; a strong and beautiful expression for that entire depravity and corruption which by nature spreads itself over the whole man, leaving no part uninfected. This in a believer is crucified with Christ, mortified, gradually killed, by virtue of our union with him. That the body of sin - All evil tempers, words, and actions, which are the "members" of the "old man," Colossians 3:5, might be destroyed. (John Wesley) So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don't be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. (Colossians 3:5 NLT) Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our (h) old man is crucified with (i) [him], that the (k) body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not (l) serve sin. (h) Our entire nature, as we are conceived and born into this world with sin, is called "old", partly by comparing that old Adam with Christ, and partly also in respect of the deformed state of our corrupt nature, which we change with a new. (i) Our corrupt nature is regarded as belonging to Christ, not because of what he has done, but by imputation. (k) That wickedness which remains in us. (l) The end of sanctification which we aim at, and will at length come to, that is, when God will be all in all. (Geneva Bible Translation Notes) knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; (NASB) Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. (KJV) We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. (NLT) We know that our old man was crucified with him so that the body of sin would no longer dominate us, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. (NET) Remember the knowing: verse 3 - not to be ignorant of knowing and understanding in you mind; now verse 6 - an intimate knowledge. In this continuing illustration of Sin as the Master and Us as the slave, we see the redemption of Christ unfold. First we saw our identification with Christ through baptism into His death, burial, and resurrection. Now we see our identification with Him in the crucifixion so that death looses its power over our lives. We have been set free and are no longer slaves to obey its claim. Once again, there is the difference between the theoretical and the experiential that is bridged by the "knowing." For the one who is caught in sins power, he has not yet understood the declaration of freedom that is in Christ. In a most horrific time in American history, it was acceptable for one man to own another, despite the testimony of Paul to Philemon concerning Onesimus. But on June 19th, 1865 the word of the Emancipation Proclamation spread to Galveston, Texas by the arrival of 2,000 Union troops led by General Gordon Granger. Liberty had arrived and the Juneteenth celebration was born. But today, depending upon where you are standing, that experience of liberty may live in stark variance. The same can be said for those yet enslaved in sin and do not yet know that they have been set free and have yet to "exercise" their liberty in Christ. We are not merely connected with Christ as if bound together with rope, but joined together intimately so that our lives spring forth from the ground as He Himself sprang forth in resurrection! Death no longer could wield its power over Christ and sin no longer holds us captive. Our old man - Coeval with our being, and as old as the fall; our evil nature; a strong and beautiful expression for that entire depravity and corruption which by nature spreads itself over the whole man, leaving no part uninfected. This in a believer is crucified with Christ, mortified, gradually killed, by virtue of our union with him. That the body of sin - All evil tempers, words, and actions, which are the "members" of the "old man," Colossians 3:5, might be destroyed. (John Wesley) So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don't be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. (Colossians 3:5 NLT) Related Romans 6:14 - No Longer Down Under He grants that sin is not yet so dead in us that it is utterly extinct: but he promises victory to those that contend bravely, because we have the grace of God given to us which works so that the law is not now in us the power and instrument of sin. (Geneva Bible Translation Notes) For we are not under law - We who are Christians are not subject to that law where sin is excited, and where it rages unsubdued. But under grace - Under a scheme of mercy, the design and tendency of which is to subdue sin, and destroy it. In what way the system of grace removes and destroys sin, the apostle states in the following verses. (Dr. Albert Barnes) Rom 6:14 Sin shall not have dominion over you - God delivers you from it; and if you again become subject to it, it will be the effect of your own choice or negligence. Ye are not under the law - That law which exacts obedience, without giving power to obey; that condemns every transgression and every unholy thought without providing for the extirpation of evil or the pardon of sin. But under grace - Ye are under the merciful and beneficent dispensation of the Gospel, that, although it requires the strictest conformity to the will of God, affords sufficient power to be thus conformed; and, in the death of Christ, has provided pardon for all that is past, and grace to help in every time of need. (Dr. Adam Clarke) For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. (NASB) For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. (KJV) Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God's grace. (NLT) For sin will have no mastery over you, because you are not under law but under grace. (NET) Remembering the primary illustration of this passage and the contrasts from previous verses, sin was the master and we were the slaves. But since we are now dead (in Christ) we are no longer slaves but freemen and enjoy the liberty (deliverance from bondage) that is in His Grace. The law reveals and even excites our propensity to sin. But we are no longer under its impossible weight that could not be carried rather we are under Grace that carries us. No longer burdened by the law but because of Grace a fulfillment of the law. Rom 6:11-15 The strongest motives against sin, and to enforce holiness, are here stated. Being made free from the reign of sin, alive unto God, and having the prospect of eternal life, it becomes believers to be greatly concerned to advance thereto. But, as unholy lusts are not quite rooted out in this life, it must be the care of the Christian to resist their motions, earnestly striving, that, through Divine grace, they may not prevail in this mortal state. Let the thought that this state will soon be at an end, encourage the true Christian, as to the motions of lusts, which so often perplex and distress him. Let us present all our powers to God, as weapons or tools ready for the warfare, and work of righteousness, in his service. There is strength in the covenant of grace for us. Sin shall not have dominion. God's promises to us are more powerful and effectual for mortifying sin, than our promises to God. Sin may struggle in a real believer, and create him a great deal of trouble, but it shall not have dominion; it may vex him, but it shall not rule over him. Shall any take occasion from this encouraging doctrine to allow themselves in the practice of any sin? Far be such abominable thoughts, so contrary to the perfections of God, and the design of his gospel, so opposed to being under grace. What can be a stronger motive against sin than the love of Christ? Shall we sin against so much goodness, and such love? (Matthew Henry) Romans 6:16 - Slaves of Righteousness To whom ye yield yourselves - To whom ye give up yourselves for servitude or obedience. The apostle here refers to voluntary servitude; but where this existed, the power of the master over the time and services of the servant was absolute. The argument of the apostle is, that Christians had become the voluntary servants of God, and were therefore bound to obey him entirely. Servitude among the ancients, whether voluntary or involuntary, was rigid, and gave the master an absolute right over his slave (Dr. Albert Barnes) doúlos; gen. doúlou, masc. noun. A slave, one who is in a permanent relation of servitude to another, his will being altogether consumed in the will of the other (Matthew 8:9; Matthew 20:27; Matthew 24:45-46). Generally one serving, bound to serve, in bondage (Romans 6:16-17). (Word Study - Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D.) Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? (NASB) Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? (KJV) Don't you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. (NLT) Do you not know that if you present yourselves as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or obedience resulting in righteousness? (NET) Once again the Apostle make the argument from the standpoint of "knowing." Quite literally, don't you know that you become a slave of who you stand beside and listen under. If we stand next to sin we are once again enslaved! However, if we stand next to Christ we are liberated from sin's power and empowered to live righteous lives. Beloved, our life of liberty is found in slavery! A volitional choice we make each day is who then shall we serve. If you want to live in compound misery, try deluding yourselves into thinking you are serving two masters (sin and Christ) a Non sequitur (doesn't follow - fallacy). When I rise in the morning, my body hurts and rebels against my wishes almost from the minute of conscience thought. If I were to base my life upon feelings, I would be thwarted before my feet could touch the floor. My faith must be in the Word alone that lives forever, Amen! "I dare not trust the sweetest phrase but wholly lean on Jesus Name" (my Rock and my Redeemer). I am a slave of Christ by choice yielding to his perfect goodness and steadfast love for me a lowly sinner for whom he bled and died. This love given to me undeserved is what puts wind in my sails and give meaning to my life today as I enter into His Sabbath Rest! The word δουλος, which we translate servant, properly signifies slave; and a slave among the Greeks and Romans was considered as his master’s property, and he might dispose of him as he pleased. Under a bad master, the lot of the slave was most oppressive and dreadful; his ease and comfort were never consulted; he was treated worse than a beast; and, in many cases, his life hung on the mere caprice of the master. This state is the state of every poor, miserable sinner; he is the slave of Satan, and his own evil lusts and appetites are his most cruel task-masters. The same word is applied to the servants of Christ, the more forcibly to show that they are their Master’s property; and that, as he is infinitely good and benevolent, therefore his service must be perfect freedom. Indeed, he exacts no obedience from them which he does not turn to their eternal advantage; for this master has no self-interest to secure. (Dr. Adam Clarke) Romans 6:22 - Free Slaves Rom 6:22 But now being made free from sin - As being free from righteousness is the finished character of a sinner, so being made free from sin is the finished character of a genuine Christian. And become servants to God - They were transferred from the service of one master to that of another: they were freed from the slavery of sin, and engaged in the service of God. Fruit unto holiness - Holiness of heart was the principle; and righteousness of life the fruit. (Dr. Adam Clarke) But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. (NASB) But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. (KJV) But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. (NLT) But now, freed from sin and enslaved to God, you have your benefit leading to sanctification, and the end is eternal life. (NET) John 3:36 And anyone who believes in God's Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn't obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God's angry judgment." (NLT) The "end fruit," the culmination and completion (telos - completion as in a state of perfection) of God's plan is our sanctification and eternal life. There is no more perfect example than that of Christ Jesus Himself who yielded to the will of the Father. This is our fruit (derived benefit) of His holiness permeating every fiber of our being by His presence in our lives. We are now delivered from sin's slavery and have been transformed into slaves of His righteousness (bond slaves of Christ) who is Lord. It is hard for the American mindset to understand that there can be such amazing liberty in slavery because what our flesh really desires is freedom to do what our fallen nature desires. But as we have seen this has been described as bondage with the illusion of freedom. Only in Christ is there true liberty because our current tent of habitation is a vessel of corruption. So we wait patiently for our Lord's return when these earthly bodies will be raised incorruptible and our final perfection realized. However, the here and now is life in the Spirit who will lead us in the way everlasting. In the Greek mind the idea of freedom (eleutheroo?) was in contrast to slavery (douloo?) and was considered in the political context. Aristotle phrase this as κοινων?α τ?ν ?λευθ?ρων ,the assembly of freedom (The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament). In this sense we are now the congregation of the liberated! Romans 3:28 - The Liberty of the Yoke Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude, etc. - Seeing these things cannot be denied, viz., that all have sinned: that all are guilty, that all are helpless: that none can deliver his own soul, and that God, in his endless mercy, has opened a new and living way to the holiest by the blood of Jesus, Hebrews 10:19-20, etc: therefore we, apostles and Christian teachers, conclude, λογιζομεθα, prove by fair, rational consequence, that a man - any man, is justified - has his sins blotted out, and is received into the Divine favor, by faith in Christ’s blood, without the deeds of the law, which never could afford, either to Jew or Gentile, a ground for justification, because both have sinned against the law which God has given them, and, consequently, forfeited all right and title to the blessings which the obedient might claim. Dr. Adam Clarke Romans 3:28 Justification: Justification and righteousness are inseparably united in Scripture by the fact that the same word (Greek, "dikaios", means "righteous"; Greek, "dikaioo", means "to justify") is used for both. The believing sinner is justified because Christ, having borne his sins on the cross, has been "made unto him righteousness" (1Corinthians 1:30). Justification originates in grace; (Romans 3:24); (Titus 3:4); (Titus 3:5) is through the redemptive and propitiatory work of Christ, who has vindicated the law; (Romans 3:24); (Romans 3:25); (Romans 5:9) is by faith, not works; (Romans 3:28-30); (Romans 4:5); (Romans 5:1); (Galatians 2:16); (Galatians 3:8); (Galatians 3:24) and may be defined as the judicial act of God whereby He justly declares righteous one who believes on Jesus Christ. It is the Judge Himself (Romans 8:31-34) who thus declares. The justified believer has been in court, only to learn that nothing is laid to his charge. (Romans 8:1); (Romans 8:33); (Romans 8:34). C. I. Scofield "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law." (NASB) "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." (KJV) "So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law." (NLT) "For we consider that a person is declared righteous by faith apart from the works of the law." (NET) Nothing is more maligned today than the meaning of these few words! All manner of confusion, deception, error and even heresy have been born from wrongly dividing these words of truth. Let us consider that the reason this is so is because there is a dynamic tension present in the very concept of Grace. Jesus invites us to find rest by taking on His yoke. Lewis Sperry Chafer, in Grace, over emphasized the concept of liberty to the point of entertaining unintentionally antinomian thought. Liberty by definition is deliverance from oppression and not necessarily the freedom to do what we please. Yet if you preach Grace hard enough that is the very thought that comes to mind (thus the warning from the Apostle Paul in Romans 6:1 — should we sin more so that Grace might abound?). Grace, recorded in Titus, says that we should deny the realities of our fleshly nature and rather live according to our new nature: For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. (Titus 2:11-13 NLT) The idea that salvation is a wonderful gift and yet cost us everything that we are remains a paradox but like God and country are not mutually exclusive concepts. Today we suffer because iniquity abounds and the love of many grows cold (Matthew 24:12). But we my also abound in hope because the comforter has been given and lives within those who call Christ Savior and Lord. We are not free to follow the carnal desires of the flesh but rather are empowered to live abounding in the Spirit (2 Corinthians 8:7). I read in the newspaper this morning of a new church where you can believe whatever you want. People come there because the did not like the message elsewhere. We do not want to hear the real truth but instead search for a truth we like! One that will allow us to cling to the vile creatures we are and thus begin the slow downward spiral of self-deception that leads to eternal separation. We are saved because we were surrounded by the fullness of Christ's love for the lost. His love is providential and brings us to that place where we can say yes to His wondrous forgiveness and say no to the sin that so easily entangles us. The liberty of the yoke! Romans 8:1 - Now No Condemnation Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation - Either for things present or past. Now he comes to deliverance and liberty. The apostle here resumes the thread of his discourse, which was interrupted, Romans 7:7. (John Wesley) CONDEMNATION, n. 1. The act of condemning; the judicial act of declaring one guilty, and dooming him to punishment. For the judgment was by one to condemnation. Rom 5. 2. The state of being condemned. Dost thou not fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation. Luke 23. 3. The cause or reason of a sentence of condemnation. John 3. Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (NASB) There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (KJV) So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. (NLT) There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (NET) We find here a conclusion drawn of all that has preceded from chapter 1 verse 16. Where we were once objects of God's holy wrath, condemned under the law, but now by faith, having died with Christ and have been set free from the law, are now declared to be grafted into Him. We are, in Christ, not guilty and delivered from the punishment for our sins. As Dr. Zodhiates points out with the contrast from Romans 5:16 that this resulted from the Lordship of Christ in our lives. We have been given liberty but are no longer freeman but bond-slaves of our Lord and Savior, no longer living for ourselves but living for Christ who died for us and was raised for us (2 Cor 5:15 paraphrase mine). 2 Cor 5:15 He died for everyone so that those who receive His new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. G2631 κατάκριμα katákrima; gen. katakrímatos, neut. noun from katakrínō (G2632), to condemn. The suffix -ma makes it the result of judgment. A decision against someone, a condemnatory judgment. Only in Romans 5:16, Romans 5:18; Romans 8:1. In verse sixteen, contrast dikaíōma (G1345) justification, the right given to the believer as a result of his acknowledgment of the lordship of God in his life. In verse eighteen katákrima contrasted with a more definite dikaíōsis (G1347) justification, the act of making life righteous; therefore, a judgment of condemnation in the sense of the economy of redemption. (The Complete Word Study Dictionary, General Editor: Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D.) Rom 5:16 And the result of God's gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man's sin. For Adam's sin led to condemnation, but God's free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins. (NLT) Rom 5:16 And the gift is not like the one who sinned. For judgment, resulting from the one transgression, led to condemnation, but the gracious gift from the many failures led to justification. (NET) Rom 5:18 Yes, Adam's one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ's one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. (NLT) Rom 5:18 Consequently, just as condemnation for all people came through one transgression, so too through the one righteous act came righteousness leading to life for all people. (NET) So when the shadow of your past comes knocking (and it will) we can remember that we are no longer condemned for the things we have done, nor the things we may yet do. Even when we trip over our own shoelaces we remain safe in the arms of Christ. The verse does not say “no mistakes” or “no failures,” or even “no sins.” Christians do fail and make mistakes, and they do sin. Abraham lied about his wife; David committed adultery; Peter tried to kill a man with his sword. To be sure, they suffered consequences because of their sins, but they did not suffer condemnation. (The Bible exposition commentary.) I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (Philippians 3:12-14 NLT) One must notice immediately the additional clause rendered in Romans 8:1 in the King James Version. I have included a couple of notes that well explain the accepted probabilities. The addition adds the obvious and its omission detracts nothing. This last clause is wanting in the principal MSS., versions, and fathers. Griesbach has excluded it from the text; and Dr. White says, Certissime delenda; it should most undoubtedly be expunged. Without it, the passage reads thus: There is, therefore, no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus; for the law of the Spirit of life, etc. It is a fairly assumed point, that those who are in Christ Jesus, who believe in his name, have redemption in his blood; are made partakers of his Spirit, and have the mind in them that was in him; will not walk after the flesh, but after the Spirit: therefore the thing itself is included in the being in Christ, whether it be expressed or not: and it was probably to make the thing more obvious, that this explanatory clause was added by some copyist, for it does not appear to have made an original part of the text; and it is most likely that it was inserted here from the fourth verse. (Dr. Adam Clarke) Romans 3:26 - The Wonder of the Gospel Romans 3:21-26 Must guilty man remain under wrath? Is the wound for ever incurable? No; blessed be God, there is another way laid open for us. This is the righteousness of God; righteousness of his ordaining, and providing, and accepting. It is by that faith which has Jesus Christ for its object; an anointed Savior, so Jesus Christ signifies. Justifying faith respects Christ as a Savior, in all his three anointed offices, as Prophet, Priest, and King; trusting in him, accepting him, and cleaving to him: in all these, Jews and Gentiles are alike welcome to God through Christ. There is no difference, his righteousness is upon all that believe; not only offered to them, but put upon them as a crown, as a robe. It is free grace, mere mercy; there is nothing in us to deserve such favors. It comes freely unto us, but Christ bought it, and paid the price. And faith has special regard to the blood of Christ, as that which made the atonement. God, in all this, declares his righteousness. It is plain that he hates sin, when nothing less than the blood of Christ would satisfy for it. And it would not agree with his justice to demand the debt, when the Surety has paid it, and he has accepted that payment in full satisfaction. Matthew Henry Concise Commentary Romans 3:26 For a demonstration of his righteousness - Both of his justice and mercy. That he might be just - Showing his justice on his own Son. And yet the merciful justifier of every one that believeth in Jesus. That he might be just - Might evidence himself to be strictly and inviolably righteous in the administration of his government, even while he is the merciful justifier of the sinner that believeth in Jesus. The attribute of justice must be preserved inviolate; and inviolate it is preserved, if there was a real infliction of punishment on our Savior. On this plan all the attributes harmonize; every attribute is glorified, and not one superseded no, nor so much as clouded. John Wesley "for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus." (NASB) "To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." (KJV) "for He was looking ahead and including them in what He would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate His righteousness, for He Himself is fair and just, and He declares sinners to be right in His sight when they believe in Jesus." (NLT) "This was also to demonstrate his righteousness in the present time, so that he would be just and the justifier of the one who lives because of Jesus' faithfulness." (NET) It is a hard thing for me to understand even after all these years how Christ could look from eternity past to beyond the cross and make a way for lost sinners like me. This is a good place to reflect upon our own lives and to take ownership for our inner emotions! Is this the way we look at our neighbors and even the people we love? Or do you find, like I do, that sometimes and even oftentimes that I fall way short of this attitude that was in Christ Jesus (Philippians Chapter 2). This is not something that the human heart can conjure up via intestinal fortitude or sheer power of the will. All we can do is confess our sin (the absence of His Grace) in this area of our life. Why has Christ bestowed such favor upon fallen man? For "no reason" (the same way Christ was persecuted). Because of Christ we are justified! It is the same each day of our life! In now way can we repay by our actions, "not as a result of works." We cannot take credit for His Grace in any way! (Ephesians 2:8-9) This should give way to thankfulness that grows each day as we begin to see the length and breadth of this amazing pardon. Romans 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time - To manifest now, by the dispensation of the Gospel, his righteousness, his infinite mercy; and to manifest it in such a way, that he might still appear to be the just God, and yet the justifier, the pardoner, of him who believeth in Jesus. Here we learn that God designed to give the most evident displays both of his justice and mercy. Of his justice, in requiring a sacrifice, and absolutely refusing to give salvation to a lost world in any other way; and of his mercy, in providing The sacrifice which his justice required. Thus, because Jesus was an atonement, a ransom price, for the sin of the world, therefore God can, consistently with his justice, pardon every soul that believeth in Jesus. This is the full discovery of God’s righteousness, of his wonderful method of magnifying his law and making it honorable; of showing the infinite purity of his justice, and of saving a lost world. (Dr. Adam Clarke) Romans 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time, his righteousness,.... This end is further explained, it being to declare the righteousness of God "at this time", under the Gospel dispensation; in which there was such a display of the grace, mercy, and goodness of God: that he might be just; that is, appear to be so: God is naturally and essentially just in himself; and he is evidentially so in all his works, particularly in redemption by Christ; and when and while he is the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus: Jesus, the Savour, is the object of faith, as he is the Lord our righteousness; the believer in Jesus is a real, and not a nominal one; God is the justifier of such in a declarative way, and God only, though not to the exclusion of the Son and Spirit; and which sentence of justification is pronounced by him on the foot of a perfect righteousness, which neither law nor justice can find fault with, but entirely approve of; and so he appears just and righteous, even though he justifies the sinner and the ungodly. (Dr. John Gill) Romans 3:26 To declare ... at this time — now for the first time, under the Gospel. his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus — Glorious paradox! “Just in punishing,” and “merciful in pardoning,” men can understand; but “just in justifying the guilty,” startles them. But the propitiation through faith in Christ’s blood resolves the paradox and harmonizes the discordant elements. For in that “God hath made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin,” justice has full satisfaction; and in that “we are made the righteousness of God in Him,” mercy has her heart’s delight! Note, (1). One way of a sinner’s justification is taught in the Old Testament and in the New alike: only more dimly during the twilight of Revelation; in unclouded light under “its perfect day” (Romans 3:21). (2). As there is no difference in the need, so is there none in the liberty to appropriate the provided salvation. The best need to be saved by faith in Jesus Christ; and the worst only need that. On this common ground all saved sinners meet here, and will stand for ever (Romans 3:22-24). (3). It is on the atoning blood of Christ, as the one propitiatory sacrifice which God hath set forth to the eye of the guilty, that the faith of the convinced and trembling sinner fastens for deliverance from wrath. Though he knows that he is “justified freely, by God’s grace,” it is only because it is “through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” that he is able to find peace and rest even in this (Romans 3:25). (4). The strictly accurate view of believers under the Old Testament is not that of a company of pardoned men, but of men whose sins, put up with and passed by in the meantime, awaited a future expiation in the fullness of time (Romans 3:25, Romans 3:26; see on Luke 9:31; see on Hebrews 9:15; see on Hebrews 11:39, Hebrews 11:40). (A Commentary on the Old and New Testaments by Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown) Comments are closed.