Romans 3

CHAPTER III.

The apostle points out the peculiar privileges of the Jews,

1-8.

But shows that they, also, as well as the Gentiles, had sinned,

and forfeited all right and title to God's especial favour, 9.

The corrupt state of all mankind, 10-18.

All the world is guilty before God, and none can be justified by

the works of the law, 19, 20.

God's MERCY in providing redemption for a lost world, by Jesus

Christ, 21-26.

This excludes boasting on the part both of Jew and Gentile;

provides salvation through faith for both; and does not set

aside, but establishes the law, 27-31.

NOTES ON CHAP. III.

Dr. Taylor observes:-"In the preceding chapter the apostle has

carried his argument to the utmost length: what remains is to keep

the Jew in temper, to fix his convictions, and to draw the grand

conclusion.

"He has shown that the Jews were more wicked than the Gentiles;

that their possession of the law, circumcision, and outward

profession of relation to God, were no ground of acceptance with

him. This was in effect to say that the Jews had forfeited their

right to the privileges of God's peculiar people, and that they

were as unworthy to be continued in the Church as the Gentiles

were to be taken into it; and consequently, in order to their

enjoying the privileges of the Church under the Messiah, they

stood in need of a fresh display of grace, which if they rejected,

God would cast them out of the vineyard. The apostle was sensible

that the Jew would understand what he said in this sense; and that

it must be very irritating to him to hear that his law,

circumcision, and all his external advantages, were utterly

insufficient to procure him the favour of God. This at once

stripped him of all his peculiar honours and privileges; and the

apostle, who had often argued with his countrymen on these points,

knew what they would be ready to say on this subject; and,

therefore, introduces a dialogue between himself and a Jew, in

which he gives him leave to answer and defend himself. In this

dialogue the apostle undoubtedly refers to the rejection of the

Jews, which he considers at large in the ninth, tenth, and

eleventh chapters. After the dialogue is finished, he resumes his

argument, and proves, by their own Scriptures, that the Jews were

guilty as well as other men; and that no part of mankind could

have any right to the blessings of God's kingdom by any works

which they had performed, but merely through the propitiatory

sacrifice offered by Christ; and that this, far from destroying

the law, was just the thing that the law required, and by which

its claims were established.

"The sum and force of the apostle's argument is this: All sorts

of men, Jews as well as Gentiles, have sinned; therefore, none of

them can lay claim to the blessings of his kingdom on the ground

of obedience. The Jew, therefore, stands as much in need of God's

grace to give him a title to those blessings as the Gentile; and,

consequently, the Gentile has as good a title as the Jew. And,

when all are in the same circumstances, it is perfectly absurd for

any to pretend to engross it to themselves, exclusively of others,

who are only as bad as they.

"Thus the apostle solidly proves that we, Gentiles, through

faith alone, have a good and firm title to all the blessings of

the Gospel covenant-election, adoption, pardon, privileges,

ordinances, the Holy Spirit, and the hope of eternal life."

As the nine first verses are a dialogue between the apostle and

a Jew, I shall prefix the speakers to their respective questions

and answers, to make the whole the more intelligible to the

reader.

Verse 1. JEW. What advantage then hath the Jew? Or what

profit is there of circumcision?] As if he had said: You lately

allowed, (Ro 2:25,)

that circumcision verily profited; but if circumcision, or our

being in covenant with God, raises us no higher in the Divine

favour than the Gentiles; if the virtuous among them are as

acceptable as any of us; nay, and condemn our nation too, as no

longer deserving the Divine regards; pray tell me, wherein lies

the superior honour of the Jew; and what benefit can arise to him

from his circumcision, and being vested in the privileges of God's

peculiar people?

Verse 2. APOSTLE. Much every way] The Jews, in reference to

the means and motives of obedience, enjoy many advantages beyond

the Gentiles; and, principally, because to them were committed the

oracles of God-that revelation of his will to Moses and the

prophets, containing a treasure of excellencies, with which no

other part of the world has been favoured; though they have most

grievously abused these privileges.

Verse 3. JEW. For what] τιγαρ, What then, if some did not

believe, &c. If some of the Jewish nation have abused their

privileges, and acted contrary to their obligations, shall their

wickedness annul the PROMISE which God made to Abraham, that he

would, by an everlasting covenant, be a God to him and to his seed

after him? Ge 17:7. Shall God, therefore, by stripping the Jews

of their peculiar honour, as you intimate he will, falsify his

promise to the nation, because some of the Jews are bad men?

Verse 4. APOSTLE. God forbid] μηγενοιτο, Let it not be, far

from it, by no means. Yea, let God be true, but every man a liar,

&c. We must ever maintain that God is true, and that if, in any

case, his promise appear to fail, it is because the condition on

which it was given has not been complied with; which is the sense

of what is written, Ps 51:4: I acknowledge my sin, and condemn

myself that the truth of thy promise (2Sa 7:15, 16)

to establish my house and throne for ever, may be vindicated when

thou shalt execute that dreadful threatening, (2Sa 12:10,) that

the sword shall never depart from my house, which I own I have

brought upon myself by my own iniquity. Should any man say that

the promise of God had failed toward him, let him examine his

heart and his ways, and he will find that he has departed out of

that way in which alone God could, consistently with his holiness

and truth, fulfil the promise.

Verse 5. JEW. But if our unrighteousness commend the

righteousness of God] May we not suppose that our

unrighteousness may serve to commend and illustrate the mercy of

God in keeping and fulfilling to us the promise which he made to

our forefathers? The more wicked we are, the more his

faithfulness to his ancient promise is to be admired. And if so,

would not God appear unjust in taking vengeance and casting us off?

I speak as a man] I feel for the situation both of myself and

my countrymen, and it is natural for one to speak as I do.

Verse 6. APOSTLE. God forbid] μηγενοιτο, by no means. God

cannot be unjust; were he unjust, he could not be qualified to

judge the world, nor inflict that punishment on the unfaithful

Jews, to which I refer.

Verse 7. JEW. For if the truth of God, &c.] But to resume my

reasoning (Ro 3:5:) If the faithfulness of God in keeping his

promise made to our fathers is, through our unfaithfulness, made

far more glorious than it otherwise would have been, why should we

then be blamed for that which must redound so much to the honour

of God?

Verse 8. APOSTLE. And not rather, &c.] And why do you not

say, seeing you assume this ground, that in all cases we should do

wickedly, because God, by freely pardoning, can so glorify his own

grace? This is a most impious sentiment, but it follows from your

reasoning; it has, indeed, been most injuriously laid to the

charge of us apostles, who preach the doctrine of free pardon,

through faith, without the merit of works; but this is so manifest

a perversion of the truth that a just punishment may be expected

to fall on the propagators of such a slander.

Verse 9. JEW. What then?] After all, have not we Jews a

better claim to the privileges of the kingdom of God than the

Gentiles have?

APOSTLE. No, in no wise] For I have already proved that both

Jews and Gentiles are under the guilt of sin; that they are

equally unworthy of the blessings of the Messiah's kingdom; and

that they must both, equally, owe their salvation to the mere

mercy of God. From this, to the end of the 26th verse, the

apostle proceeds to prove his assertion, that both Jews and

Gentiles were all under sin; and, that he might enforce the

conviction upon the heart of the Jew, he quotes his own

Scriptures, which he acknowledged had been given by the

inspiration of GOD, and consequently true.

Verse 10. As it is written] See Ps 14:1-3; from which this

and the two following verses are taken.

There is none righteous] This is true, not only of the Jews,

but of the Gentiles; of every soul of man, considered in his

natural and practical state, previously to his receiving the mercy

of our Lord Jesus Christ. There is no righteous principle in

them, and, consequently, no righteous act can be expected from

them; see on Ro 3:12. God himself is represented as looking down

from heaven to see if there were any that feared and sought after

him; and yet he, who cannot be deceived, could find none! And

therefore we may safely conclude there was none to be found.

Verse 12. They are all gone out of the way] παντεςεξεκλιναν,

they have all diverged from the right way, they have either

abandoned or corrupted the worship of God: the Jews, in

forsaking the law and the prophets, and the Gentiles, in acting

contrary to the law which God had written on their hearts. And

the departure of both from the truth proves the evil propensity of

human nature in general.

They are together become unprofitable] ηχρειωθησαν. They are

useless, good for nothing; or, as the Hebrew has it,

neelachu, they are putrid: he views the whole mass of mankind as

slain and thrown together, to putrefy in heaps. This is what is

termed the corruption of human nature; they are infected and

infectious. What need of the mercy of God to save from such a

state of degeneracy!

There is none that doeth good] In Ro 3:10 it is said,

There is none righteous; here, There is none that doeth good: the

first may refer to the want of a righteous principle; the second,

to the necessary consequence of the absence of such a principle.

If there be no righteousness within, there will be no acts of

goodness without.

Verse 13. Their throat is an open sepulchre] This and all

the following verses to the end of the 18th Ro 3:13-18 are

found in the Septuagint, but not in the Hebrew text; and it is

most evident that it was from this version that the apostle

quoted, as the verses cannot be found in any other place with so

near an approximation to the apostle's meaning and words. The

verses in question, however, are not found in the Alexandrian MS.

But they exist in the Vulgate, the AEthiopic, and the Arabic.

As the most ancient copies of the Septuagint do not contain these

verses, some contend that the apostle has quoted them from

different parts of Scripture; and later transcribers of the

Septuagint, finding that the 10th, 11th, and 12th, verses were

quoted from the xivth Psalm, Ps 14:10-12 imagined that the rest

were found originally there too, and so incorporated them in their

copies, from the apostle's text.

Their throat is an open sepulchre-By their malicious and wicked

words they bury, as it were, the reputation of all men. The whole

of this verse appears to belong to their habit of lying,

defamation, slandering, &c., by which they wounded, blasted, and

poisoned the reputation of others.

Verse 14. Whose mouth is full of cursing, &c.] They never

speak but in profane oaths, blasphemies, and malice.

Verse 15. Their feet are swift to shed blood] They make use

of every means in their power to destroy the reputation and lives

of the innocent.

Verse 16. Destruction and misery are in their ways]

DESTRUCTION is their work, and MISERY to themselves and to the

objects of their malice is the consequence of their impious and

murderous conduct.

Verse 17. And the way of peace have they not known] They

neither have peace in themselves, nor do they suffer others to

live in quiet: they are brooders and fomenters of discord.

Verse 18. There is no fear of God before their eyes.] This

completes their bad character; they are downright atheists, at

least practically such. They fear not God's judgments, although

his eye is upon them in their evil ways. There is not one article

of what is charged against the Jews and Gentiles here that may not

be found justified by the histories of both, in the most ample

manner. And what was true of them in those primitive times is

true of them still. With very little variation, these are the

evils in which the vast mass of mankind delight and live. Look

especially at men in a state of warfare; look at the nations of

Europe, who enjoy most of the light of God; see what has taken

place among them from 1792 to 1814; see what destruction of

millions, and what misery of hundreds of millions, have been the

consequence of Satanic excitement in fallen, ferocious passions!

O SIN, what hast thou done! How many myriads of souls hast thou

hurried, unprepared, into the eternal world! Who, among men or

angels, can estimate the greatness of this calamity! this butchery

of souls! What widows, what orphans, are left to deplore their

sacrificed husbands and parents, and their own consequent

wretchedness! And whence sprang all this? From that, whence come

all wars and fightings; the evil desires of men; the lust of

dominion; the insatiable thirst for money; and the desire to be

sole and independent. This is the sin that ruined our first

parents, expelled them from paradise, and which has descended to

all their posterity; and proves fully, incontestably proves, that

we are their legitimate offspring; the fallen progeny of fallen

parents; children in whose ways are destruction and misery; in

whose heart there is no faith; and before whose eyes there is

nothing of the fear of God.

Verse 19. What things soever the law saith] That the word

law, here, does not mean the pentateuch, is evident from the

preceding quotations, not one of which is taken from that work.

Either the term law must here mean the Jewish writings in general,

or that rule of moral conduct which God had given to both Jews and

Gentiles: to the former in their own Scriptures; to the latter in

that law written in their hearts by his own Spirit, and

acknowledged in their written codes, and in their pleadings in

every civil case. Now, according to this great law, this rule of

moral conduct, whether given in a written revelation, as to the

Jews, or by the secret inspiration of his Spirit, as in certain

cases to the Gentiles, every mouth must be stopped, and the whole

world, παςοκοσμος, both Jews and Gentiles, stand convicted

before God: for all mankind have sinned against this law.

Verse 20. Therefore, by the deeds of the law] On the score of

obedience to this moral law, there shall no flesh, ουπασασαρξ,

no human being, be justified; none can be accepted in the sight of

God. And why? Because by the law is the knowledge of sin: it is

that which ascertains what sin is; shows how men have deviated

from its righteous demands; and sentences them to death because

they have broken it. Thus the law is properly considered as the

rule of right; and, unless God had given some such means of

discovering what SIN is, the darkened heart of man could never

have formed an adequate conception of it. For, as an acknowledged

straight edge is the only way in which the straightness or

crookedness of a line can be determined, so the moral obliquity of

human actions can only be determined by the law of God; that rule

of right which proceeds from his own immaculate holiness.

Verse 21. But now the righteousness of God] God's method of

saving sinners is now shown, by the Gospel, to be through his own

mere mercy, by Christ Jesus; without the law-without any right or

claim which might result from obedience to the law; and is

evidently that which was intended by God from the beginning; for

it is witnessed by the law and the prophets-the rites and

ceremonies of the one, and the preachings and predictions of

the others, all bearing testimony to the great design of God, and

to the absolute necessity there was for the sacrifice and

salvation which God has provided.

Verse 22. Even the righteousness of God] That method of saving

sinners which is not of works, but by faith in Christ Jesus; and

it is not restrained to any particular people, as the law and its

privileges were, but is unto all mankind in its intention and

offer, and becomes effectual to them that believe; for God hath

now made no difference between the Jews and the Gentiles.

Verse 23. For all have sinned:] And consequently are equally

helpless and guilty; and, as God is no respecter of persons, all

human creatures being equally his offspring, and there being no

reason why one should be preferred before another, therefore

his endless mercy has embraced ALL.

And come short of the glory of God] καιυστερουνταιτηςδοξης

τουθεου. These words have been variously translated. Failed of

attaining the glory of God: Have not been able to bring glory to

God: Stand in need of the glory, that is, the mercy of God. The

simple meaning seems to be this: that all have sinned, and none

can enjoy God's glory but they that are holy; consequently both

Jews and Gentiles have failed in their endeavours to attain it,

as, by the works of any law, no human being can be justified.

Verse 24. Being justified freely by his grace] So far from

being able to attain the glory of God by their obedience, they are

all guilty: and, to be saved, must be freely pardoned by God's

grace; which is shown to them who believe, through the redemption,

απολυτρωσεως, the ransom price, which is in the sacrifice of

Christ Jesus. The original is compounded of απο, from, and

λυτροω, I redeem, and properly means the price laid down for

the redemption of a captive. Comprehendit haec Christi

απολυτρωσις, quicquid is docuit, fecit et passus est, eo

consilio, ut homines malis liberati, praecipue peccato, malorum

fonte immunes, veram felicitatem adipiscerentur.-Rosenmuller.

This redemption of Christ comprehends whatsoever he taught, did,

or suffered, in order to free men from evil; especially to free

them from sin, the source of evils; that they might attain true

felicity. And that it here means the liberation purchased by the

blood-shedding of Christ, is evident from Eph 1:7:

We have REDEMPTION, απολυτρωσινδιατουαιματοςαυτου, THROUGH HIS

BLOOD, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.

See also Col 1:14, where the same words are found.

λυτρα according to Suidas, is μισθοςηταπαρεχομεναυπερ

ελευθεριαςεπιτωλυτρωσασθαιβαρβαρωνδουλειας. A reward; or

the price given to be redeemed from the slavery of the barbarians.

Schleusner, under the word απολυτρωσις, says, Negari quidem non

potest, hanc vocem proprie notare redemptionem ejus, qui captivus

detinetur, sive bello, sive alio captus sit modo, quae fit per

pretti solutionem; quo sensu verbum απολυτροω legitur haud raro

in Scripp. Graecis. No man certainly can deny that this word

properly means the redemption of a captive, (whether he may have

been taken in war or in any other way,) which is procured by the

payment of a price. That the word also means any deliverance,

even where no price is paid down, nobody will dispute; but that

it means redemption by a price laid down, and the redemption of

the soul by the price of the death of Christ, the above scriptures

sufficiently prove.

Verse 25. Whom God hath set forth] Appointed and published to

be a propitiation, ιλαστηριον, the mercy-seat, or place of

atonement; because the blood of the sacrifice was sprinkled on and

before that, in order to obtain remission of sin, punishment, &c.

The mercy-seat was the lid or cover of the ark of the covenant,

where God was manifest in the symbol of his presence, between the

cherubim; therefore the atonement that was made in this place was

properly made to God himself. See Clarke on Lu 18:13.

Through faith in his blood] This shows what we are to

understand both by the απολυτρωσις, redemption, and the

ιλαστηριον, propitiation; viz. that they refer to the

sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, as the atonement made, and the

price paid down, for the redemption of the souls of men.

To declare his righteousness] ειςενδειξις, for the

manifestation of his righteousness; his mercy in saving sinners,

by sending Jesus Christ to make an atonement for them; thereby

declaring his readiness to remit all past transgressions committed

both by Jews and Gentiles, during the time in which his merciful

forbearance was exercised towards the world; and this applies to

all who hear the Gospel now: to them is freely offered remission

of all past sins.

Verse 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 honourable; of showing the infinite purity of his

justice, and of saving a lost world.

Hitherto, from the ninth verse, Ro 3:9 the apostle had gone

on without interruption, proving that Jew and Gentile were in a

state of guilt and condemnation, and that they could be saved only

by the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. The Jew, finding his

boasted privileges all at stake, interrupts him, and asks:-

Verse 27. JEW. Where is boasting, then?] ηκαυχησις, This

glorying of ours. Have we nothing in which we can trust for our

acceptance with God? No merit of our own? Nothing accruing to us

from our circumcision and being in covenant with God.

APOSTLE, It is excluded] εξεκλεισθη, It is shut out; the door

of heaven is shut against every thing of this kind.

JEW. By what law?] By what rule, doctrine, or reason is it

shut out? by the law of works? The rule of obedience, which God

gave to us, and by which obedience we are accepted by him?

APOSTLE. Nay] Not by the law of works; glorying is not cut off

or shut out by that; it stands in full force as the rule of life;

but you have sinned and need pardon. The law of works grants no

pardon, it requires obedience, and threatens the disobedient with

death. But all glorying in the expectation of salvation, through

your own obedience, is excluded by the law, the doctrine of faith:

faith alone, in the mercy of God, through the propitiation made by

the blood of Jesus, (Ro 3:25,) is that by which you can be

justified, pardoned, and taken into the Divine favour.

Verse 28. Therefore we conclude, &c.] 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, Heb 10:19, 20, &c: 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 favour, 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.

Verse 29. Is he the God of the Jews only?] Do not begin to

suppose that because you cannot be justified by the works of the

law and God has in his mercy found out a new method of saving you,

that therefore this mercy shall apply to the Jews exclusively. Is

not God the maker, preserver, and redeemer, also of the Gentiles?

Yes, of the Gentiles also, as much as of the Jews; for all have

equally sinned and there is no reason, if God be disposed to show

mercy at all, that he should prefer the one to the other; since

they are all equally guilty, sinful, and necessitous.

Verse 30. Seeing it is one God] επιπερειςοθεος. This has

been rendered, Seeing God is one. It however makes little

difference in the sense: the apostle's meaning most evidently is,

it is one and the same God who made both Jews and Gentiles, who

shall justify-pardon, the circumcision-the believing Jews, by

faith; and the uncircumcision-the believing Gentiles, by the same

faith; as there is but one Saviour and one atonement provided for

the whole.

It is fanciful to suppose that the apostle has one meaning when

he says, εκπιστεως, BY faith, and a different meaning when he

says, διατηςπιστεως, THROUGH faith. Both the prepositions are

to be understood in precisely the same sense; only the addition of

the article της, in the last case, extends and more pointedly

ascertains the meaning. It is one and the same God who shall

justify the believing Jews by faith; and the believing Gentiles

διατηςπιστεως, by THAT SAME faith.

Verse 31. Do we then make void the law through faith?] 1. By

law here we may understand the whole of the Mosaic law, in its

rites and ceremonies; of which Jesus Christ was the subject and

the end. All that law had respect to him; and the doctrine of

faith in Christ Jesus, which the Christian religion proclaimed,

established the very claims and demands of that law, by showing

that all was accomplished in the passion and death of Christ, for,

without shedding of blood, the law would allow of no remission;

and Jesus was that Lamb of God which was slain from the

foundation of the world, in whose blood we have redemption, even

the remission of sins. 2. We may understand, also, the moral law,

that which relates to the regulation of the manners or conduct of

men. This law also was established by the doctrine of salvation

by faith; because this faith works by love, and love is the

principle of obedience: and whosoever receives salvation through

faith in Christ, receives power to live in holy obedience to every

moral precept; for such are God's workmanship, created anew in

Christ Jesus, unto good works; in which they find it their duty

and their interest incessantly to live.

1. IN the notes on the preceding chapter, I have, in general,

followed the plan of Dr. Taylor, and especially in regard to its

dialogue form, but I have often differed much from that very

learned and judicious man, in the application of many words and

doctrines. He cannot allow that the death of Christ should be

considered as a price paid down for the salvation of men and, I

confess, I cannot understand the apostle in any other way. Nor

can I see the weight of many of his observations, nor the force of

his conclusions, on any other ground than this, that the passion

and death of Christ were an atonement made to Divine justice in

the behalf of man; and that it is through the merit of that great

sacrifice that God forgives sin. Nor can I see any reason why

such great stress should be laid on faith, but as that lays hold

on and takes up the sacrifice of Christ as a ransom price for the

redemption of the soul from the thraldom and misery of sin and

Satan.

2. This chapter contains a fine and striking synopsis of the

whole Christian system. The wretched state of man is awfully

exhibited, from the 10th to the 18th verse; Ro 3:10-18 and the

plan of salvation, in the 24th, 25th, and 26th verses. Ro 3:24-26

A pious writer calls these the Catechism of Christian

Righteousness. The following points in this catechism are worthy

of high consideration-viz. How is God glorified in us, and we in

him?-By his GRACE. What does his grace work in us?-True holiness.

Upon what motive?-Because it is pleasing to him. By whom does he

give us salvation?-By Jesus Christ. How has Christ obtained this

for us?-By redeeming us. What price did he give?-His BLOOD.

What does his blood effect?-It reconciles us to God. How is it

applied?-By FAITH. Who has given this victim of reconciliation?-

-God the Father. Why did he choose these means?-To confound the

false righteousness of the Gentiles; to abolish the FIGURATIVE

righteousness of the Jews; and to establish his own. What does

this grace of God perform?-It pardons sin and purifies the heart.

For whom is this designed?-For all mankind, both Jews and

Gentiles. To whom are these blessings actually communicated?-To

all who repent, turn from their sin, and believe on the Lord

Jesus. Why did not God make known this grand method of salvation

sooner? 1. To make it the more valued: 2. To show his fidelity in

the performance of his promises: and, 3. To make known the virtue

and efficacy of the blood of Christ, which sanctifies the present,

extends its influence to the past, and continues the availing

sacrifice and way of salvation to all future ages.

3. On considering this glorious scheme of salvation, there is

great danger, lest, while we stand amazed at what was done FOR us,

we neglect what must be done IN us. Guilt in the conscience and

sin in the heart ruin the man. Pardon in the conscience and

Christ in the heart save the soul. Christ has done much to save

us, and the way of salvation is made plain; but, unless he justify

our conscience from dead works, and purify our hearts from all

sin, his passion and death will profit us nothing. While we boast

in Christ Jesus, let us see that our rejoicing, καυχησις, our

boasting, be this, the testimony of our conscience, that in

simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by

the grace of God, we have our conversation in the world,

2Co 1:12.

4. We must beware of Antinomianism; that is, of supposing that,

because Christ has been obedient unto death, there is no necessity

for our obedience to his righteous commandments. If this were so,

the grace of Christ would tend to the destruction of the law, and

not to its establishment. He only is saved from his sins who has

the law of God written in his heart; and he alone has the law

written in his heart who lives an innocent, holy, and useful life.

Wherever Christ lives he works: and his work of righteousness will

appear to his servants, and its effect will be quietness and

assurance for ever. The life of God in the soul of man is the

principle which saves and preserves eternally.

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