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1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Ver. 1. Shall we continue ] Quasi dicat, that were most unreasonable, and to an ingenuous nature, impossible. To argue from mercy to liberty, is the devil’s logic. Should we not after deliverance yield obedience? said holy Ezra, Ezra 9:13-14 . A man may as truly say, the sea burns, or fire cools, as that certainty of salvation breeds security and looseness.
2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Ver. 2. Live any longer therein ] Fall into it we may and shall; but it is not the falling into the water that drowns, but lying in it; so it is not falling into sin that damns, but living in it.
3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Ver. 3. Baptized into his death ] Hoc est baptizari pro mortuis, saith Beza, to be buried with Christ in baptism, Colossians 2:12 , in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, Romans 6:11 .
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Ver. 4. We are buried ] Burial is a continuing under death, so is mortification a continuation of dying to sin, Mors quaedam perpetuata; sin is by degrees abated, and at length abolished, when once our earthly tabernacles are dissolved.
Walk in newness of life ] Resurrectione Domini configuratur vita, quae hic geritur. Walk as Christ walked after his resurrection.
5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
Ver. 5. For if we have been planted ] Burying is a kind of planting. The Dutch call the burial place God’s Acre.
6 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.
Ver. 6. The body of sin ] For whole evil is in man, and whole man in evil.
Is crucified ] Which is a lingering but a sure death.
Should not serve sin ] As those do that commit it, John 8:34 ; not only act it, but are acted by it, having as many lords as lusts, victors as vices. Titus 3:3 .
7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
Ver. 7. Is freed from sin ] Anacreon saith the like, ο θανων ουκ επιθυμει ; death is the accomplishment of mortification. It doth at once what death doth by degrees. Herbs and flowers breed worms, which yet at last kill the herbs and flowers. So sin bred death, but at last death will kill sin. A mud wall, while it standeth, harboureth much vermin, which when it falleth fly away; so doth corruption, when once these cottages of clay fall to ruin.
8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
Ver. 8. We shall also live ] Then we are said properly to live, when our regeneration is perfected in heaven. To live here is but to lie a dying.
9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
Ver. 9. Death hath no more, &c. ] Christ, being the life essential, swallowed up death in victory, as the fire swalloweth up the fuel, and as Moses’ serpent swallowed up the sorcerers’ serpents.
10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
Ver. 10. He died unto sin ] That is, to abolish sin, asRomans 8:2; Romans 8:2 .
11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Ver. 11. Reckon ye also ] By faith, reason and reckon yourselves wholly dead in and through Christ, who once died perfectly to sin, as a common person.
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
Ver. 12. Let not sin therefore ] As if the apostle should say, we preach purity and not liberty, as the adversary suggesteth, Romans 6:1 ; cf. Romans 3:8 . Let not sin reign; rebel it will; but do not actively obey and embrace the commands of sin, as subjects to your king. Let sin be dejected from its regency, though not utterly ejected from its residency. Give it such a deadly wound that it may be sure to die within a year and a day. Sprunt it may, and flutter as a bird when the neck is broken, but live it must not.
13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
Ver. 13. Unto sin ] As Satan’s general, who hath his trenches, 2 Corinthians 10:4 ; his commanders, as here, and his fighting soldiers,1 Peter 2:11; 1 Peter 2:11 ; his weapons, as here.
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Ver. 14. Sin shall not have dominion ] Rebel it may, but reign it shall not in any saint. It fareth with sin in the regenerate, as with those beasts, Daniel 7:12 ; they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.
Ye are not under the law ] i.e. Under the rigour, irritation, curse of the law, Quatenus est virtue peccati. Or, "ye are not under the law," sc. of sin, as Romans 7:23 ; Romans 7:25 .
15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
Ver. 15. Shall we sin, because, &c. ] Some Antinomian libertines would persuade men that God is never displeased with his people, though they fall into adultery, or the like sin, no, not with a fatherly displeasure; that God never chastiseth his people for any sin, no, not with a fatherly chastisement; that God seeth no sin in his elect; that the very being of their sin is abolished out of God’s sight; that they cannot sin, or if they do, it is not they, but "sin that dwelleth in them," &c. What is this but to "turn the grace of God into wantonness," which there hence becometh the savour of death to death unto them; like as Moses’ rod, cast on the ground, turned to a serpent; or as dead men’s bodies, when the marrow melteth, do bring forth serpents? Corruptio optimi pessima.
16 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?
Ver. 16. His servants ye are ] Sinners, though not drunk, yet are not their own men, but at Satan’s beck and check, whom they seem to defy, but indeed deify.
17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
Ver. 17. That form of doctrine ] Gr. "That type or mould;" the doctrine is the mould, hearers the metal, which takes impression from it in one part as well as another. And as the metal hath been sufficiently in the furnace, when it is not only purged from the dross, but willingly receiveth the form and figure of that which it is cast and poured into, so here.
18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
Ver. 18. Versus est planus, saith Pareus.
19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
Ver. 19. After the manner of men ] That is commonly, Crassius et rudius loquor, by a similitude drawn from human affairs of easy and ordinary observation.
To uncleanness, and to iniquity ] Mark the opposition, there are three tos in the expression of the service to sin; but in the service of God only two. Wicked men take great pains for hell; would they but take the same for heaven, they could not likely miss it.
20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
Ver. 20. Free from righteousness ] That is, utterly void of grace, and did therefore sin lustily and horribly, earnestly opposing with crest and breast whatsoever stood in the way of their sins and lusts.
21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
Ver. 21. Whereof ye are ashamed ] Where sin is in the saddle, shame is on the crupper. Men would have the sweet, but not the shame of sin; and the credit of religion, but not go to the cost of it.
22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
Ver. 22. Become servants to God ] Phrasis vulgatissima est, Deum colere. Non secus atque agri fertiles inprimis et optimi, sic Dei cultus, fructus fert ad vitam aeternam uberrimos.
Ye have your fruit unto holiness ] Every good work increaseth our holiness, and so hability for obedience.
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Ver. 23. For the wages of sin ] The best largesse or congiary ( οψωνιον ) that sin gives to his soldiers is death of all sorts. This is the just hire of the least sin. a The Jesuits would persuade us, that some sins against which the law thundereth and lighteneth, are so light in their own nature, Ut factores nec sordidos, nec malos, nec impios, nec Deo exosos reddere possint. (Chemnit. de Theol. Jesuitar.) But as there is the same roundness in a little ball as in a great one; so the same disobedience in a small sin as in a greater. Indeed there is no sin little, because no little God to sin against. Every sin hales hell at the very heels of it.
a αμαρτια ψυχη θανατου, και Θανατος ψυχης Nazianzen
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Romans 6". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent