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TEXT.

12 I would they were even cut off which trouble you. 13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty.

PARAPHRASE.

verts are to be circumcised, and so subjected to the law, the great offence of the Gospel', in relying solely on a crucified 12 Saviour for salvation, is removed. But I am of another mind, and wish that they may be cut off who trouble you about this 13 matter, and they shall be cut off. For, brethren, ye have been called by me unto liberty.

NOTE. 'Offence of the cross; see chap. vi. 12-14.

SECTION XI.

CHAPTER V. 13-26.

CONTENTS,

FROM the mention of liberty, which he tells them they are called to, under the Gospel, he takes a rise to caution them in the use of it, and so exhorts them to a spiritual, or true Christian life, showing the difference and contrariety between that and a carnal life, or a life after the flesh.

TEXT.

Only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one

another.

PARAPHRASE.

Though the Gospel, to which you are called, be a state of liberty from the bondage of the law, yet pray take great care you do not mistake that liberty, nor think it affords you an opportunity, in the abuse of it, to satisfy the lust of the flesh, 14 but serve a one another in love. For the whole law, concern

NOTE.

13 Auxus7s, serve, has a greater force in the Greek than our English word, serve,

B

does in the common acceptation of it express. For it signifies the opposite

TEXT.

14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

PARAPHRASE.

14 ing our duty to others, is fulfilled in observing this one pre15 cept"; "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." But, if

you bite and tear one another, take heed that you be not de16 stroyed and consumed by one another. This I say to you, conduct yourselves by the light that is in your minds, and do not give yourselves up to the lusts of the flesh, to obey them, 17 in what they put upon you. For the inclinations and desires

of the flesh are contrary to those of the Spirit: and the dictates and inclinations of the Spirit are contrary to those of the flesh; so that, under these contrary impulses, you do not do the 18 things that you purpose to yourselves. But if you give

NOTES.

to

pa, freedom. And so the apostle elegantly informs them, that though, by the Gospel, they are called to a state of liberty from the law; yet they were still as much bound and subjected to their brethren, in all the offices and duties of love and good-will, as if, in that respect, they were their vassals and bondmen.

14 b Lev. xix. 18.

16 That which he here, and in the next verse, calls Spirit, he calls Rom. vii. 22, the inward man; ver. 23, the law of the mind; ver. 25, the mind.

17 d Do not; so it is in the Greek, and ours is the only translation that I know, which renders it cannot.

16, 17 There can be nothing plainer, than that the state St. Paul describes here, in these two verses, he points out more at large, Rom. vii. 17, &c. speaking there in the person of a Jew. This is evident, that St. Paul supposes two principles in every man, which draw him different ways; the one he calls Flesh, the other Spirit. These, though there be other appellations given them, are the most common and usual names given them in the New Testament: by flesh, is meant all those vicious and irregular appetites, inclinations, and habitudes, whereby a man is turned from his obedience to that eternal law of right, the observance whereof God always requires, and is pleased with. This is very properly called flesh, this bodily state being the source, from which all our deviations from the straight rule of rectitude do for the most part take their rise, or else do ultimately terminate in: on the other side, spirit is the part of a man, which is endowed with light from God, to know and see what is righteous, just, and good, and which, being consulted and hearkened to, is always ready to direct and prompt us to that which is good. The flesh then, in the Gospel language, is that principle which inclines and carries men to ill; the spirit, that principle which dictates what is right, and inclines to good. But because, by prevailing custom, and contrary habits,

TEXT.

18 But if ye be led by the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these ; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do

PARAPHRASE.

yourselves up to the conduct of the Gospel, by faith in Christ, 19 ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh, as is manifest, are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasci20 viousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, enmities, quarrels, emula21 tions, animosities, strife, seditions, sects, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: concerning which I forewarn you now, as heretofore I have done, that they who

NOTES.

this principle was very much weakened, and almost extinct in the Gentiles, see Eph. iv. 17-21, he exhorts them to be renewed in the spirit of their minds," ver. 23, and to "put off the old man," i. e. fleshly corrupt habits, and to put on the new man," which he tells them, ver. 24," is created in righteousness and true holiness." This is called "renewing of the mind," Rom. xii. 2. "Renewing of the inward man," 2 Cor. iv. 16. Which is done by the assistance of the Spirit of God, Eph. iii. 16.

e

18 The reason of this assertion we may find, Rom. viii. 14, viz. Because,

"6

they who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God," and so heirs, and free without the law, as he argues here, chap. iii. and iv.

:

This is plainly the sense of the apostle, who teaches all along in the former part of this epistle, and also that to the Romans, that those, who put themselves under the Gospel, are not under the law the question, then, that remains is only about the phrase, “led by the Spirit." And as to that, it is easy to observe how natural it is for St. Paul, having in the foregoing verses more than once mentioned the Spirit, to continue the same word, though somewhat varied in the sense. In St. Paul's phraseology, as the irregularities of appetite, and the dictates of right reason, are opposed under the titles of Flesh and Spirit, as we have seen: so the covenant of works, and the covenant of grace, law, and Gospel, are opposed under the titles of Flesh and Spirit. 2 Cor. iii 6, 8, he calls the Gospel Spirit; and Rom. vii. 5, in the flesh, signifies in the legal state. But we need go no further than chap. iii. 3, of this very epistle, to see the law and the Gospel opposed by St. Paul, under the titles of Flesh and Spirit. The reason of thus using the word Spirit is very apparent in the doctrine of the New Testament, which teaches, that those who receive Christ by faith, with him receive his Spirit, and its assistance against the flesh; see Rom. viii. 9-11. Accordingly, for the attaining salvation, St. Paul joins together belief of the truth, and sanctification of the Spirit, 2 Thess. ii. 13. And so Spirit, here, may be taken for "the Spirit of their minds," but renewed and strengthened by the Spirit of God; see Eph. iii. 16, and iv. 23.

20 & Dapμanua signifies witchcraft, or poisoning.

21 h Kaμ, Revellings, were, amongst the Greeks, disorderly spending of the night in feasting, with a licentious indulging to wine, good cheer, music, dancing, &c.

TEXT.

such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts.

25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

26 Let us not be desirous of vain-glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

PARAPHRASE.

22 do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But, on the other side, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, sweetness of disposition, beneficence, faithful23 ness, Meekness, temperance: against these and the like there 24 is no law. Now they who belong to Christ, and are his members, have crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts 25 thereof. If our life then (our flesh having been crucified) be,

as we profess, by the Spirit, whereby we are alive from that state of sin we were dead in before, let us regulate our lives 26 and actions by the light and dictates of the Spirit. Let us not be led, by an itch of vain-glory, to provoke one another, or to envy one another 1.

NOTES.

24 1 Οί του Χριστού, "Those who are of Christ," are the same "with those, who are led by the Spirit," ver. 18, and are opposed to "those, who live after the flesh," Rom. viii. 13, where it is said, conformably to what we find here, "they, through the Spirit, mortify the deeds of the body."

"Crucified the flesh." That principle in us, from whence spring vicious inclinations and actions, is, as we have observed above, called sometimes the Flesh, sometimes the Old Man. The subduing and mortifying of this evil principle, so that the force and power, wherewith it used to rule in us, is extinguished, the apostle, by a very engaging accommodation to the death of our Saviour, calls" Crucifying the old man, Rom. vi. 6, Crucifying the flesh, here. Putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, Col. ii. 11. Putting off the old man, Eph. iv. 22. Col. iii. 8, 9. It is also called, Mortifying the members which are on earth, Col. iii. 5. Mortifying the deeds of the body," Rom. viii. 13.

26 1 Whether the vain-glory and envying, here, were about their spiritual gifts, a fault which the Corinthians were guilty of, as we may see at large, 1 Cor. xii. 13, 14, or upon any other occasion, and so contained in ver. 26 of this chapter, I shall not curiously examine: either way, the sense of the words will be much the same, and accordingly this verse must end the 5th, or begin the 6th chapter.

SECTION XII.

CHAPTER VI. 1—5.

CONTENTS.

He here exhorts the stronger to gentleness and meekness towards the weak.

TEXT.

1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.

4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.

PARAPHRASE.

2 are

1 Brethren, if a man, by frailty or surprise, fall into a fault, do you, who are eminent in the church for knowledge, practice, and gifts, raise him up again, and set him right with gentleness and meekness, considering that you yourselves not out of the reach of temptations. Bear with one another's infirmities, and help to support each other under your 3 burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if any one be conceited of himself, as if he were something, a man of weight, fit to prescribe to others, when indeed he is not, he deceiveth 4 himself. But let him take care that what he himself doth be

right, and such as will bear the test, and then he will have

NOTES.

1 Пval, Spiritual, in 1 Cor. iii. 1, and xii. 1, taken together, has this

a

sense.

2 See a parallel exhortation, 1 Thess. v. 14, which will give light to this, as also Rom. xv. 1.

e See John xiii. 34, 35, and xiv. 2. There were some among them very zealous for the observation of the law of Moses; St. Paul, here, puts them in mind of a law which they were under, and were obliged to observe, viz." the law of Christ." And he shows them how to do it, viz. by helping to bear one another's burdens, and not increasing their burdens, by the observances of the levitical law. Though the Gospel contain the law of the kingdom of Christ, yet I do not remember that St. Paul any where calls it "the law of Christ," but in this place; where he mentions it, in opposition to those, who thought a law so necessary, that they would retain that of Moses, under the Gospel.

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