The Berean Expositor
Volume 23 - Page 109 of 207
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grace as before. The apostle himself has raised this question, in order to correct a false
impression that Christian liberty can countenance licence:--
"For brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to
the flesh, but by love serve one another (notice the thought of service again). For all the
law is fulfilled in one word, even in this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself"
(Gal. 5: 13, 14).
This principle is more fully developed in Rom. 13: 8-10:--
"Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath
fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt
not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any
other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love
thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the
fulfilling of the law."
The truth enunciated in the opening section of chapter 6: (verses 1-14) is expanded
and expounded in what follows. Rom. 6: 15 - 7: 6 corrects any false idea that being
"under grace" imperils morality. Rom. 7: 7-25 deals with various aspects of law, the
written and the unwritten law, the law without and the law within. And Rom. 8:
shows that grace itself is by no means lawless:--
"For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin
and death" (Rom. 8: 2).
The statement of Rom. 8:, however, will be better appreciated when the utter
failure both of the law and of the flesh is realized. It is the office of Rom. 7: to impress
this upon the believer, so that, while recognizing that the law was rendered utterly
ineffective in that it was weak through the flesh, he may realize with joy that God has in
grace accomplished all His purpose in the gift of His own Son. "What the law could not
do, in that it was weak through the flesh" sums up Rom. 7:, while the whole of
Rom. 8: is an exposition of what grace has wrought through Christ.
We have now reached the conclusion of the first part of Rom. 6: and have seen that
sanctification has:--
A sphere: "newness of life."
A condition: "oneness with Christ."
A state: "freedom from bondage."
An apprehension: by "reckoning".
And it affords the practical possibility of freedom to serve the Lord, not as a slave but
as a son, not under law but under grace.