Romans 8:10


He has said (ver. 6) that the "mind of the spirit is life." We have seen in what a large, rich sense these words are true. But it might be objected - and our special familiarity with one aspect of the meaning of "life" would lead to this - that after all, we die; that, in Solomon's language, "all things come alike to all; there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked." And at first sight this would seem to be a formidable objection. The brand of condemnation is upon us to the last: we die! Of what validity, then, is the justification through Christ? and of what reality the renewal by the Spirit? The objection is answered in these verses, in which are set forth - the persistence of death, the triumph of life.

I. THE PERSISTENCE OF DEATH. It is, indeed, true that, in spite of our justification and renewal, death seems to have dominion over us in our physical relations: "the body is dead." This needs no proving; no human fact can be more patent. We die daily, and at last yield to the final triumph of the foe. How is this reconcilable with the new life? The body is dead "because of sin," viz. the sin of the first man, our federal head. This is the sad heritage which descends to the race on account of the transgression.

1. And one main secret of the persistence of death consists in this, that mankind, in all its natural relations, is one organism. If one member suffer, the other members suffer with it. More especially do ancestral actions, entailing physical consequences, affect the condition of succeeding generations. Therefore, as above (ver. 15 of ch. 5.), "by the trespass of the one the many died." The complex unity of man's natural relations necessitated this permanent consequence to the race.

2. Yes, each one's mortality is linked on to the mortality of the race; man, by necessary natural entailment, is "born to die." But why, it may be asked, does not the individual, volitional agency by which the Christian believer is linked on to a new federation, and made partaker of the power of life, involve of equal necessity the reversal of the original cause? The answer in part is this: that, for reasons which we may or may not partially discern, in the present economy of things there is a permanence of natural causation even in spite of altered spiritual conditions. It is this principle which effectuates the ordained unity of the race, as above set forth; and the same principle involves that, not merely must each member of the race accept at birth his natural heritage, but even his own free spiritual choice and action may not, at least now, effect a change in the sequence of natural causation. This is true of such natural consequences as may have resulted from each one's individual transgressions; it is equally true of the inherited consequences of the first transgression; it is eminently true of the unique entailment of mortality.

3. And one special reason for this permanence of natural causation, in addition to the economic considerations requiring the organic unity of the race, is the necessity that man, under a process of redemptive recovery from sin, should be subjected to the chastening influence which only an experience of the evil of sin's effects can supply. Illustrate by continuance of penalty resulting from individual transgression; as, e.g., drunkenness, dishonesty. So, generally, the continuance of all the ills that flesh is heir to, on account of human sin. In this twofold sense, then, "the body is dead because of sin:" the transgression involved it as a natural consequence; also, in view of redemption, as a remedial discipline.

II. THE TRIUMPH OF LIFE. "But" - oh, what a "but" is this! - "the spirit is life because of righteousness." Observe, not living, as the body is said to be dead, i.e. not merely possessed of an attribute; but life! itself, through the inhabitation of the Spirit of God, a living power, which shall eventually penetrate with its vitality all man's psychical and even bodily nature (see Godet). All this is involved in the peculiar phraseology of the tenth verse, and is plainly set forth in the eleventh.

1. A new organic unity of the race, with its own laws of natural causation, is established in Christ. He is the second Adam, the "greater Man." And as by the "sin" of the former came death, so by the "righteousness" - the justification - which is through the latter comes life.

2. "With its own laws of natural causation:" yes; for, though we may not trace their working, they are at work, and shall eventuate in our triumph, through Christ, over even the mortality to which we now must submit. The case is complex; the two humanities are as yet commingled; the two trains of causation are jointly at work. But of the triumph of life, we have the pledge in that he was raised from the dead; himself submitted to the old law, and rose by the power of the new. "Christ the Firstfruits, afterward they that are Christ's at his coming."

3. "Afterward:" yes, when the remedial discipline shall have done its work, and from a restored world, from a renewed mankind, the curse shall be utterly removed. For this we wait, for this we work; and we do not work and wait in vain. "The Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead shall quicken also your mortal bodies." Such, then, is our assurance, such is our hope. But on what is it conditioned? "If Christ be in you;" "If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you." Oh, let us hasten to him who is the Source of the new life, the Giver of the living Spirit! - T.F.L.









And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
I. FOR THE PRESENT THE INDWELLING OF CHRIST IN BELIEVERS, BY HIS SPIRIT, REMOVES THE POWER OF DEATH FROM THE SPHERE OF THEIR SPIRITUAL NATURE ONLY.

1. From that nature, however, it is removed. For "if Christ be in you,...the Spirit is life because of righteousness" (1 John 5:12). But on account of what "righteousness"? Surely not our own, for apart from Christ we have none. Under law, indeed, being alive, we should have continued to live, if we had maintained a perfect righteousness (Romans 10:5). But under the gospel, being found dead, we must first be made to live, in order to become holy. This "righteousness," therefore, is that "righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ" (Romans 3:22; Romans 5:17, 18). That one thing which of necessity precedes our life in Christ is justification in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 4:1-13, 22-25), which is hence called a "justification of life" (Romans 5:18).

2. The new life, however, does not as yet extend beyond the spirit. "The body is dead because of sin," and for the furtherance of the great mediatorial purpose. The postponement of the completed "adoption, to wit, the redemption of their body" (ver. 23), is made, not on account of any sin yet remaining in believers (ver. 1), but on account of the sin of the world, in so far as the deferring of their redemption from death promotes the world's salvation. And how needful and wise that it should be so! How obviously inconsistent with a state of probation it would have been for believers to be exempted from death! If only these at the end of their probation were translated to heaven, how completely would the free exercise of the human will, in respect to matters of religion and the free development of human character, be fettered or overborne! Not to insist upon the anguish which would come into every stricken household if death were known to be the precursor of hell; nor to think how dark and dreary this world would become if there were in it no cemeteries in which were to be found the treasured remains of those who sweetly sleep in Jesus, awaiting the call to a deathless life. Let anyone try to imagine what possible advantage there could accrue from such an arrangement. Therefore Christians must continue to die, that they may "fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ...for His body's sake, which is the Church" (Colossians 1:24).

II. THE REMOVAL OF THE DOMINION OF DEATH FROM THE BODIES OF BELIEVERS IS BUT DELAYED TILL THE SAVIOUR'S SECOND COMING (Cf. Hebrews 9:28; John 6:39, 40; Romans 8:19-23; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; 1 Corinthians 15:42-54). Of this believers have a double earnest.

1. The objective fact that God raised the body of Jesus. So strongly did the apostle feel upon this point as to maintain that the whole fabric of Christianity stands or falls with it (1 Corinthians 15:12-23).

2. The subjective fact of the indwelling of the resurrective Spirit. "If the Spirit of Him who raised up Jesus...dwell in you."(1) If we are entitled to that Spirit as the life of our souls, we have an equal title to the same Spirit as the life of our bodies.(2) This assurance is made still stronger by the fact that the indwelling of this Spirit sanctifies and marks out for the Lord these very bodies in which He dwells. The living temple claimed by Him, consecrated by His glorious presence, and made to become, even here and now, the instrument of His purposes, can never be suffered to remain a permanent prey to corruption. This "is the earnest of our inheritance" (Ephesians 1:14). Therefore, professed Christians, —

1. Abjure the flesh and its debasing service. You are in no sense such debtors to the flesh as to be required to live according to its desires. Either you must slay the sinful flesh, or it will slay you (ver. 18).

2. Remember that the Spirit of Christ is yours. Say not that you are unequal to the work (Philippians 4:13).

3. When called to endure suffering and death, shrink not as though they were tokens of God's displeasure, but rather be comforted that herein you are called to share the sufferings of your Lord, and to further His redeeming work (Philippians 3:10, 11).

4. And bear in mind that the state of suffering on account of sin is but for a time (Romans 6:5 Timothy 11, 12).

(W. Tyson.)

I. THE SUPPOSITION. "If Christ be in you" (2 Corinthians 13:5; Colossians 1:27).

1. Christ is in us —(1) Objectively. As the things we think of and love are in our hearts and minds, so Christ is in us, as He is apprehended and embraced by faith and love (Ephesians 3:17; 1 John 4:18).(2) Effectively. So Christ is in us by His Spirit and gracious influence. Now, the effects of His Spirit are —

(a)Life (Galatians 2:20).

(b)Likeness or renovation of our natures (Galatians 4:19; 2 Corinthians 5:17).

(c)Strength by the continued influence of His grace to overcome temptation (1 John 4:4; Philippians 4:12; 1 Corinthians 15:10; Hebrews 13:21).

2. None are Christians but those who have Christ in them.(1) Because we must be partakers of Christ before we can be partakers of any benefit purchased by Him (1 John 5:12).(2) Where Christ once enters, there He takes up His abode, not to depart thence (1 John 3:24; John 14:28; John 15:5).(3) Where Christ is, He rules and reigns (Colossians 2:6).

II. THE CONCESSION. "The body is dead because of sin." Because —

1. The sentence is passed (Genesis 2:17; Hebrews 9:27). As we say of a condemned man, he is a dead man.

2. Sin is the cause of death.(1) The meritorious cause. Death is not a natural accident, but a punishment; we die not as the beasts die, or as the plants decay (chap. Romans 5:12; 6:23). Sin procured it, and the law ratifies it. As regards the faithful, though their sins be forgiven, yet God would leave this mark of His displeasure and teach the world the sure connection between death and sin.(2) Its end and use.

(a)To finish transgression and make an end of sin.

(b)To free us from the natural infirmities which render us incapable of that happy life in heaven which is intended for us.(3) Had it not been for sin, we had never had cause to fear dissolution.

III. THE ASSERTION OR CORRECTION, "The Spirit is life because of righteousness." In which observe —

1. That believers have a life, notwithstanding death (John 11:25). Though the union between body and soul be dissolved, yet not their union with God.

2. This life is to be understood of body and soul (ver. 11).(1) The soul, being the noblest part, is most happily provided for; being purified from all her imperfections, is brought into the sight and presence of God (Luke 20:38; Hebrews 12:23).(2) At the resurrection the soul shall assume its body again (Philippians 3:21; John 6:40).

3. The grounds are —(1) The Spirit is life. He doth not draw His argument from the immortality of the soul, for that is common to good and bad; but from the new life wrought in us by the Spirit, which is the beginning and earnest of a blessed immortality (1 John 3:15; 1 Peter 1:28).(2) The meritorious cause is the righteousness of Christ. When once forgiven, we are out of the reach of the second death (1 Corinthians 15:56; Hebrews 2:14, 15).Conclusion: To enforce the great things of Christianity.

1. To live holily.(1) The comforts of Christianity are not common to all indifferently, but suspended on this condition, "if Christ be in you," by His sanctifying Spirit (Ephesians 1:4; 2 Corinthians 5:5).(2) From the concession, "the body is dead"; sentence is passed, and in part executed; this awakeneth us to think of another world, and to make serious preparation (Romans 6:12; Galatians 6:8).(3) The corrective assertion that there is the life promised for body and soul, breedeth the true spirit of faith (2 Corinthians 4:13, 14), true diligence and godliness (1 Corinthians 15:58), and patience (Romans 2:7).(4) It is the effect both of the Spirit's renewing, and the righteousness of Christ.

2. To die comfortably. Christianity affordeth the proper comfort against death, as it is a natural and penal evil (Hebrews 9:27). Heathens could only teach them to submit to it out of necessity, or as a debt to nature, or an end of the present miseries; but for us the sting of it is gone (1 Corinthians 15:56) and the property is altered (1 Corinthians 3:22).

(T. Manton, D. D.)

I. ITS EFFICIENT CAUSE — Christ in you.

II. ITS DEVELOPMENT.

1. The body dies, through sin, preparatory to life.

2. The spirit lives, through righteousness, as the earnest of a better life.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

He dwells in us.

I. AS THE SOURCE OF LIFE.

1. By faith.

2. In the power of His Word and Spirit.

3. Producing a new birth unto righteousness.

II. AS THE SPIRIT OF LIFE.

1. Quickening.

2. Sanctifying.

3. Invigorating the soul.

4. By righteousness.

III. AS THE EARNEST OF LIFE.

1. The body is mortal through sin.

2. Shall be raised again in glory.

3. By the same Spirit that now dwelleth in us.

4. By whom also Christ was raised from the dead.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

A gifted poet (Rev. W. Calvert) has feigned a most instructive allegory, to illustrate the connection and history of the body and soul, with respect to the Christian believer. He calls the soul Psyche, and the body Sarx, which are the proper terms in the Greek. These two start forth together on the pilgrimage of life. At the outset of their journey both are equally small, infantile, and feeble. Ere long, however, it is seen that Sarx grows faster than his more delicate companion, and begins to exercise an ascendency over her. Alas! if she were abandoned to his tyranny, she would in time be reduced to the most abject slavery, and finally sink with her despotic lord into the abyss of eternal woe. But the discordant pilgrims are met by a radiant stranger, Christ the Lord. To Him Psyche lends a charmed ear, as He tells her of her heavenly parentage and immortal destiny, and bids her take up arms against her coarse and cruel master, nor rest till she has brought him down to his proper position as her slave. It is only by subjecting him that she can either secure her own freedom or fit him for being her equal and honoured companion hereafter. Fired by the Lord's exhortations, and assisted by His prowess, Psyche asserts her liberty, assumes superiority, and attempts the subjugation of the flesh. When symptoms of this change appear, Sarx, like an insolent giant, is first disdainful, then indignant, and finally takes up cudgels against his fair companion. This opposition calls forth all her strength, and, aided by her Saviour, she at length obtains the victory, binds the strong man with cords and fetters, and compels him to follow her footsteps, obedient to her pleasure. Many a treacherous effort doth he make, if Psyche remits her watchfulness and care, to regain his forfeited dominion; but, by the grace of Christ, she maintains her headship, waxing stronger and stronger as the pilgrimage advances, until at its close she seems endowed with the might of an angel, while her vanquished companion has sunk into the imbecility of an infant. Thus, though the "outward man perish," "the inward man is renewed day by day" (2 Corinthians 4:16). A little longer, the day of trial closes, and their pilgrimage comes to an end. Sarx, exhausted, sinks on the cold strand and dies; while Psyche, released and happy, passes on, to cross the silver stream and enter the flowery land beyond. Yet is not her former companion forgotten. The Lord hath marked the spot where he fell, and will return again, at the last day, to bid him rise from the dust, and rejoin the glorified Psyche in the skies.

(T. G. Horton.)

The work of the Spirit in us does not pour the elixir of immortality into the material frame, however much it may strengthen and prepare the imperishable spirit for its immortal well-being. After Christ hath made a temple of our body, there remaineth a virus in the fabric that sooner or later will work its dissolution. Were the body, by some preternatural operation, to be wholly delivered of its corrupt ingredient, we do not understand why death should interpose between our earthly and heavenly state ever. And accordingly, on nature's dissolution, they who remain alive must, to become incorruptible, at least be changed. And the reason why those in whom Christ dwells have still a death to undergo, is that sin still adheres to them — and the wearing down of the body by disease, and the mouldering of it into dust, and then its re-ascent from the grave — would appear to be the steps of a refining process, whereby the now vile body is changed into a glorious one — the soul's suitable equipment for the delights and the services of eternity. For death, in the case of Christians, cannot surely be because of the judicial sentence on transgression; for those who believe in Christ are delivered from this (ver. 1). It cannot be that by any death of ours we eke out, as it were, the satisfaction which hath been already rendered for sin. A believer's death, then, must be to root out the existence of sin. It is not inflicted upon him as the last discharge of the wrath of God, but is sent as a release from the plague which adheres, it would seem, as long as the body adheres to us. Now this fact that the body is still subjected to death because of sin is the strongest experimental argument for heaven being a place to which sin can find no entry. It is not in the way of penalty that the Christian has to die — for the whole of that penalty has already been sustained. It is not exacted from him as the payment of a debt — for Christ our surety hath paid a full and a satisfying ransom. It is not to help out the justification which is already complete in Him, nor to remove a flaw from that title deed which we have received perfect from His hand. It stands connected, in short, with the sanctification of the believer. The justice of God would have recoiled from the acceptance of a sinner, and so an expiation had to be made; and the holiness of that place where God dwelleth would have recoiled from the approaches of one whose character was still tainted with sin, even though its guilt had been expiated; and so it is, that there must be a sanctification as well as an atonement. For the one, Christ had to suffer and to die; for the other, man has also to die, and so to fill up that Which is behind of the sufferings of Christ. And it is indeed a most emphatic demonstration of heaven's sacredness, that, to protect its courts from violation, not even the most pure and sainted Christian upon earth, can, in his present earthly garb, find admittance therein.

(T. Chalmers, D. D.)

I. THE MORTAL DOOM OF THE FLESH. "The body is dead because of sin."

1. The fact is that Christians die even as others. If Christians were not to die, as other men, what else could be done with them?(1) Imagine the wicked dying at various ages and in the usual way, while the holy lingered on to extreme old age, waiting for the consummation of all things — what then? Why, this detention would be an unutterable disappointment and torture. They wish not to live here always. When they have filled up the ordinary term of human life they have a desire to depart and to be with Christ, which is far better. Better by far, that, having served their generation according to the will of God, they should fall on sleep; that, like a shock of corn fully ripe, they should be gathered into the Master's garner. Besides, so marked a departure from the law of mortality, in favour of believers, would destroy the essential conditions of our present life as a probation for eternity. How could we be said to walk by faith, and not by sight, when we beheld the way in which religion suspended the laws of nature, and placed a most conspicuous difference between the evil and the good?(2) Look, then, at the alternative. Suppose that every believer might expect a miraculous translation like that of Enoch and Elijah; then, plainly, such a translation must be accompanied by a transformation as well, for flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; and such a transformation will take effect on those who are alive at Christ's coming (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). But now such a procedure would be highly impolitic and injurious, for it would constitute a perpetually recurring miracle, and destroy the probationary character of man's career on earth. Belief in Christianity would then be inevitable, and unbelief impossible.

2. The reason is assigned — "because of sin."(1) Our death, like that of other men, is a mark or expression of God's anger at sin; and we are forcibly taught by it how fearful a thing it is to fall into the hands of the living God. It was just in this way that Moses was treated; when, though his sin was forgiven, he was still prevented by it from entering the promised land.(2) Death may possibly stand connected with some special sin. John speaks of a sin unto death; that is, a sin which, though forgiven, demands that our fleshly life should be required of us.(3) We may regard sin as intimately connected with the body; so much so as to render it doubtful whether any believer ever wholly escapes from its virus and contamination so long as he remains in the flesh; and therefore it is better for this tabernacle to be taken down, like an old Hebrew house incurably infected with the leprosy, and destroyed because of sin.

II. ITS EVENTUAL RESUSCITATION AND RECOVERY (ver. 11). The doctrine of the resurrection is peculiar to the Bible. The peculiarity to be observed is that here our resurrection is ascribed to the operation of the Holy Ghost, and also to the Father. Jesus Himself claims to be "the resurrection and the life." All that is done by any one of the adorable Trinity may, in some sense, be said to be done by the others as well; for Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one. But still there is a reason why the resurrection is here ascribed to the Spirit. The Holy Ghost is the giver of life to the soul of the believer; and the same Spirit, who is the author of our holiness, is also to be the resuscitator of our lower nature. Hence, we learn the connection there is between present holiness and future glory. As sin is the defilement of the flesh, and occasions its consignment to decay and corruption, so holiness sanctifies the flesh, and tends to its conservation and incorruption. The body may be temporarily dissolved, but it is not to be lastingly destroyed. Therefore the surest pledge you can have of a joyful resurrection is the conscious possession of the Spirit of holiness now. Conclusion:

1. If the body be dead because of sin, let us keep it in subjection.

2. Yet, if this body is to rise again by virtue of the Spirit dwelling in it, let us not despise it.

3. Let us have patience under bodily affliction and submission in death.

4. Let us, while seeking to live as long as we can, be also willing, at God's behest, to die and lay this body down.

(T. G. Horton.)

I. ITS PRESENT LIMIT.

1. It is associated with a moral cause as its explanation. The death of the body, apart from the gospel, could be accounted for only by causes such as a physician could furnish. Its great lesson would, however, thus be lost. To the heathen death was a gloomy necessity, and its only lesson was that men should seize the joys of the passing hour. The gospel associates death with sin, and its removal with the removal of sin. It is intended as a witness for God that sin is an evil thing.

2. Death in the case of believers is limited to the body. There are three classes of death. Spiritual death, which has ceased to exist in the believer. "To be spiritually minded is life." Eternal death, which has been abolished by Christ. "He that believeth on Me shall never die." Bodily death, from which believers are not exempt; but it is limited to the lowest part of our nature. The body is indeed dead, but the spirit is life.

3. Death in this limited dominion is associated with the believer's welfare. Why does Paul say, "because of sin"? Is it that there is some remainder of condemnation for sin which is still to be executed on the believer himself? If so, how can it be said, "There is now no condemnation"? If it be in wrath, why does the apostle say, "All things are yours, whether life or death"? "The body is dead because of sin," in mercy. It shall work good. It shall be a process of refinement, a furnace for gold. Let the captive of sin be redeemed, and the hand of death shall take off his prison dress, and he shall be clothed upon with his house which is from heaven.

4. Death, thus confined to a narrowed dominion, and even then made subservient to our good, is altogether subservient to the higher power which occupies the centre of our being. Death has been forced out of the metropolis of his empire, and now "the spirit is life because of righteousness."(1) As its cause, when righteousness works and produces this life, viz., "the righteousness of faith." "He that believeth in Him hath everlasting life."(2) As its end. "That, being made free from sin, we might have our fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life."

(P. Strutt.)

I. WHAT IS THE RELIGION OF A TRUE CHRISTIAN?

1. It does not chiefly consist —

(1)In any opinions which he may embrace, however scriptural and correct.

(2)In any modes or forms of piety, however excellent.

(3)In preserving an inoffensive and blameless conduct before men.

(4)In what are termed good works, whether done to the bodies or souls of men.

2. But in being "in Christ," and having "Christ in him." These two phrases are not quite synonymous, yet they imply each other, and cannot be separated (John 14:20).(1) The former is used in Romans 8:1; Romans 16:7; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 Thessalonians 4:14; Revelation 14:13. It implies —

(a)Having an interest in Him, as a woman in her husband (Romans 7:4).

(b)Union with Him, as a branch with the tree in which it grows.

(c)Or a member with the head of the body to which it belongs.(2) The other implies that Christ is in us, as the leaven in the meal, the sap of the root in the branch, as the light of the sun in the air, as the heat of the fire in the coal or the iron. He is in us —(a) As our wisdom, enlightening us in the knowledge of God and ourselves, so as to produce repentance; and of Christ, so as to beget confidence (chap. Romans 15:12; Ephesians 1:12, 13) and love.(b) As our righteousness, producing justification, peace with God, and a hope of immortality.(c) As our sanctification, delivering us from the power, and, at length, from the whole influence of sin, consecrating us to God, and conforming us to His image.(d) As our redemption, that having redeemed our whole persons by price, He may rescue all by power.(3) Christ is thus "formed in us." On our part, by faith (John 17:20-23; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 3:17), and on the part of God by His Spirit (John 14:20; 1 John 3:24; Romans 8:8, 9).

II. THIS RELIGION, AT PRESENT, PRODUCES NO MATERIAL CHANGE IN THE BODY, WHICH STILL REMAINS "DEAD BECAUSE OF SIN."

1. The body is under sentence to die (Galatians 3:19; Hebrews 9:27).(1) It is in its own nature mortal, having all the seeds of dissolution, bringing upon us old age and death, even if particular diseases should be escaped.(2) It is encompassed with infirmities and exposed to diseases.(3) It is a constant clog to the soul, impeding its motions and preventing its activity. Hence we "groan, being burdened" (2 Corinthians 5:4).

2. All this is because of sin; the sin of our first parents (Romans 5:12), being seminally one with them, or through the derivation of our nature from them, just as Levi paid tithes to Melchisedec in Abraham (Hebrews 7:9, 10); besides which we have committed actual sins, the wages of which are death (Romans 6:23).

3. Here we have the true reason why "the world knoweth us not" as being the children of God. They only judge by appearance, and hence they conclude that all that is said of Christians as having the Spirit of God, and being new creatures, is mere enthusiasm. For they have no idea of any spiritual change.

III. THIS RELIGION PRODUCES A BLESSED CHANGE IN THE INNER MAN. "The Spirit is life because of righteousness," in which clause the opposition to the former is three fold: spirit is opposed to body, life to death, and righteousness to sin.

1. Man consists of a soul as well as a body, which soul will live when the body dies.

2. This spiritual part is by nature involved in moral death (Ephesians 2:1-5; Colossians 2:13), under wrath (Ephesians 4:18), and "carnally minded" (Romans 8:6). But by "Christ in it" it is made alive from this death (Romans 6:13). Christians live by Him, through His influence; to Him, in fulfilling His will; like Him, a wise, holy, useful, happy life.

3. This spiritual life they have "because of," or through, "righteousness" (John 20:31; John 6:53, 57; John 11:25, 26; Galatians 2:20). Through justifying righteousness they have the favour of God, through sanctifying righteousness they have the image of God; through practical righteousness, or obedience, they walk with God, and obtain more and more of a spiritual mind. Through the same righteousness they have eternal life. Through their justification they are entitled to it; through their sanctification they are tilted for it; through practical obedience they are in the way to it; and through faith (Hebrews 11:1) they have an earnest of it (John 6:47). Happiness is indeed the result of the whole. Justification, and the favour of God, bring peace, hope, and joy; sanctification brings deliverance from restless and distressing lusts and passions; practical righteousness brings the approbation of God, and the testimony of a good conscience.

IV. THIS RELIGION WILL HEREAFTER PRODUCE, OR BE REWARDED WITH, A MOST IMPORTANT CHANGE, EVEN OF THE OUTWARD MAN. For "if the Spirit of Him that raised," etc. Not only is immortality implied, but this mortal body also shall be quickened. The bodies of all, indeed, will rise from their graves (John 5:28, 29), but the righteous only to what is worthy the name of life. For this we have Christ's promise (John 6:39-44, 54), of which we have pledges in His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:12-20) and His Spirit's indwelling. The mortal body shall be quickened.

1. That we may be judged in the body for "the deeds done in the body."

2. That the children of the great King, and the brethren and sisters of the Son of God, may not be found naked, but clothed with an external glory, exactly answering to, and perfectly descriptive of, their internal graces and virtues.

3. That we may be conformable to the Lord Jesus, in body as well as soul, and so fit to dwell with Him (1 Corinthians 15:47-49).

4. In honour of the Holy Spirit, whose temples our bodies now are.

5. That our triumph over Satan may be perfectly complete, no part of us being lost.

6. And with respect to all, that we may rise higher from the ruins of the fall than the state we had been in before (1 Corinthians 15:36-38, 42-44).

(J. Benson.)

For the first, to wit, the evil itself, that is here expressed to be mortality or bodily death, the body is dead. Dead — that is, subject to death. This is the state of the body, and even in the servants of God themselves, in whom Christ Himself dwells by His Spirit, are subject to death as well as others. The bodies of Christians are frail and mortal as well as the bodies of any other men. This is grounded partly upon the general sentence which is passed upon all men (Hebrews 9:27). And partly also upon those frail principles whereof the godly themselves do consist in their natural condition. It is no wonder for dust to return to dust. First, to teach us to be frequently in the thoughts and meditations hereof, we should look upon our bodies as mortal and corruptible, even the best that are here in this world. That they have this treasure in earthen vessels. Secondly, we should hence be persuaded against all inordinate care of the body, pampering of it, and glorying in the excellencies and accomplishments of it; for, alas! it will quickly be dissolved and lie in the dust. Thirdly, let us not from hence be offended at the troubles of the children of God here in this life, that they are in deaths oft. While their bodies are subject to death, it is no marvel that their lives are also subject to affliction. Though Christ be in you, yet the body which you carry about you is dead. And that is the first particular here considerable, which is the evil itself. The second is the occasion of this evil, or the ground whereupon it proceeds, and that is guilt. The body is dead because of sin (Romans 5:12). It is sin which exposes all men, both good and bad, to the stroke of death. First, take it remotely, because of sin; that is, of the first sin and transgression that was in the world. Secondly, because of sin; that is, because of actual sin, and sin considered more immediately and proximately. There is a double influence which sin may be said to have upon death as causal of it. First, it hath sometimes, and in some cases and persons, a physical and productive influence upon it, as immediately and directly effecting it, and bringing it about. There are abundance of persons in the world whose very sins are their death by their luxury, and wantonness, and intemperance — "the body is dead because of sin." But secondly, it is always so in a moral, and considered demeritoriously. So that wherever there is death there is sin antecedent to it. The consideration of this point may be thus far useful to us, as it may serve, first, to convince us of the grievous nature of sin, and to humble us under the guilt and sense of it, as being that which brings so much evil and mischief with it, as consequent upon it. And if we are not sensible of it as it is an offence and dishonour to God, yet let us at least be sensible of it as it is a grievance and annoyance to ourselves, and occasions the greatest evil to us of anything else. And so let us learn to justify God in His dealings with us, and to condemn ourselves as the causes of our own suffering. The second is the qualification, "But the Spirit is life because of righteousness." Wherein, as in the former, we have two particulars more. First, the benefit itself; and secondly, the ground of this benefit. First, for the benefit itself, "The Spirit is life." This, it is life, or lives (as some translations carry it), namely, the life of grace here, and the life of glory hereafter. This is the meaning of the words. And the point which we learn from them is this — that God's children, although they be mortal, in regard of their bodies, yet they are in a state of immortality in regard of their souls: "The Spirit is life." While we say that God's children do live in regard of their souls, this is not to be taken exclusively, but rather emphatically; not exclusively, as denying the immortality of the souls of other men, but emphatically, as fastening a special immortality upon these. But now when it is said here in the text that the souls of God's children live, we are to take it in a two-fold explication. First, for the life of grace. They live such a life as this even when their bodies are in a manner dead, that is, subject or near unto it. "The just shall live by faith" (Romans 1:17). There may be a lively and vigorous soul in a withered and decayed body. Then when the flesh is ready to perish, yet the spirit may flourish (2 Corinthians 4:17). This is so upon this account — first, because they are lives of a several nature and kind. Now thus it is with the flesh and the spirit, with the body and the soul, the life of nature and the life of grace. These are lives of a different kind, and so they do not mutually depend one upon the other. These things which are hurtful to the one, they do not prejudice the other. Secondly, there is this also in it, that the good of one is sometimes so much the more advanced and promoted by the prejudice of the other. Those who are always well and in health, they do for the most part little consider of their latter end, neither are they so careful to provide for a better world; whereas those who are sick, they are often put upon such thoughts as these are. Those tenants who have often warning given them to depart out of their house, they are careful to provide themselves a dwelling somewhere else. The consideration of this point may be thus far useful to us. First, as it may serve for an encouragement to the children of God in the midst of all those bodily infirmities which they are subject to here in this life. What though their bodies decay, yet their souls and spirits may live; and this is that which is chiefly to be looked after by them. There are a good many people in the world whose care is all taken up about their outward man. Secondly, here is that also which calls us to search and self-inquiry. And whether does sickness and weakness and diseases and distempers of body make us better or no in our spirits and inward man? The second is the life of glory. The Spirit is life — that is, it lives such a life as this. This is grounded not only upon the nature of the soul itself, which cannot die, but more especially upon the decree and purpose and promise of God Himself, who hath appointed us to obtain salvation by Jesus Christ, as the apostle elsewhere speaks. The use of this point is very comfortable against the inordinate fear of death. And so as for death in any other way whatsoever, here is that which does serve very much to mollify and mitigate it to them, and the thoughts of it either as to their own particular persons or to their Christian friends dying in the Lord. That though it be a privation of one life, yet it is a promotion of another; and though it separates the soul from the body, and other friends here below in the world, yet it joins it so much the closer to Christ, and makes them partakers of a better estate and condition in a better place. If Christ be in them, though the body be dead, yet the Spirit is life. And that is the first particular which is here observable and considerable of us in this second general, to wit, the benefit itself. The second is the ground of this benefit, and that is expressed in these words, "Because of righteousness." We are to understand two things, either first of all the righteousness of Christ imputed, which gives us a right and title to salvation; or else, secondly, inherent righteousness, as a condition required in that subject which shall indeed be saved: in either sense it is because of righteousness. This shows us, first, what great cause we have, all that may be, to labour to get into Christ, and to endeavour to become members of His body, that so, partaking of His righteousness, we may consequently partake of His salvation and of eternal life itself. Secondly, seeing our souls came to live by virtue of the righteousness of Christ, meriting and procuring at the hands of God this life for us, this, then, shows us how for we are indeed beholden to Christ, and what cause we have to be thankful to Him, even as much as to one who has redeemed us from death itself and hath bestowed life upon us. And so now, according to this interpretation of the words, we have here in this present verse set forth unto us the admirable effects of the being of Christ in believers, and that in two points especially. First, in point of mortification, there is a killing of sin in them; the body is dead because of sin. Secondly, in point of vivification, grace is alive and active in them. The Spirit is life because of righteousness. The ground hereof is taken, first, from the nature of all life in general, which is to be operative and active. Secondly, from the end of spiritual life in particular, which is especially to serve God.

(Thomas Horton, D. D.)

ces: — Some of the hardest burdens which men bear are the consequences of their past weaknesses and sins. There is a certain deep and lasting satisfaction in making expiation for one's offences, and in recognising in one's own soul the evidences of a genuine sorrow; but when the sin, instead of retreating into the background, walks with us day by day in its effects and results, there are times when the bravest spirit grows faint and discouraged in such companionship. One feels in such moments as if the sin ought to be blotted out in its material effects as truly as in its spiritual results. But this cannot be. No such promise is anywhere to be found in the revelation of God's purpose to men. We are delivered from our sins, and that is matter for deep and eternal rejoicing; but we are not and cannot be delivered wholly from the consequences o! our sins. Those offences have become operative causes in the universal order of things, and we must stand by and see results flow from them, no matter how agonising the spectacle may be. But this experience, though often intensely painful, ought not to be crushing; it is from our sins and not from their effects that we care most to be delivered. That deliverance is for eternity; the effects are for time only. But there is in the immutability of the law which preserves the evil that men do in life a sublime and awful vindication of the steadfastness and eternal justice of Him who forgiveth our iniquities — who has, in fact, borne them. Once forgiven for Christ's sake, these iniquities are washed clean from the soul; but there is constant need that he who has gone through this ordeal shall see clearly the awful crime of offending against the laws of life, and that he shall be accompanied perpetually by the witnesses to this great truth. When the consequences of former weaknesses and sins, accompanying us year after year, become to us, not avenging Furies, but angels of Divine justice, this companionship will not dismay us, but will serve as a new inspiration. One may make, even of the consequences of his sins, sources of strength rather than of weakness. He who accepts these things as the inevitable results of his own action, and recognises in them the working of an immutable and righteous law, will be kept humble by them, will be restrained from other departures from rectitude, and will draw from their companionship a deeper and deeper sense of that misery from which he has escaped, and of the permanent joy and peace into which he has entered.

Links
Romans 8:10 NIV
Romans 8:10 NLT
Romans 8:10 ESV
Romans 8:10 NASB
Romans 8:10 KJV

Romans 8:10 Bible Apps
Romans 8:10 Parallel
Romans 8:10 Biblia Paralela
Romans 8:10 Chinese Bible
Romans 8:10 French Bible
Romans 8:10 German Bible

Romans 8:10 Commentaries

Bible Hub
Romans 8:9
Top of Page
Top of Page