Some Themes of the Second Part of Romans.

1. "In Adam" and "In Christ" Romans 5:12-21.

My desire is to take up and discuss as simply as possible, and yet as fully as may be necessary, some of the leading truths of the epistle to the Romans. My aim is not controversy, as I trust, but edification yet on this very account I shall seek to remember all through the need of those who have been exercised by questions which have of late arisen. Exercise is not to be deprecated. It is well to be made thus to realize how far we have really learned from God, and our need of being taught in His presence that which cannot be shaken. There is an uneasy dishonoring fear in the hearts of many as to submitting all that they have apparently learned, through whomsoever or in what way soever learned, to be afresh tested by what seems "novel" and in some measure in conflict with it. But it will only be found, by those who in patience and confidence in God allow every question to be raised that can be raised, and seek answer to it from Him through the Word, how firm His foundation stands, and how that which seems at first to threaten more or less the integrity of our faith only in result confirms it. Difficulties are cleared away, things obscure made to take shape and meaning, the divine power of the Word to manifest itself, Christ and His grace to be better known. Much too that we looked at or were prepared to look at as fundamental difference in another's view turns out to be only the emphasizing (though perhaps the over-emphasizing) of what was really defective in our own. And so "by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part," there is made "increase of the body to the edifying of itself in love."

Let us now look at what is surely the key-note to the interpretation of what is known to many as the second part of Romans (Rom. 5:12 – Rom. 8), the two contrasted thoughts, "in Adam" and "in Christ." This is what we start with in chap. 5:12-21, though as yet we have neither term made use of. Indeed the first term occurs but once in Scripture, and that not in Romans, but in 1 Cor. 15, where the first Adam and the last are put in emphatic contrast.

The statements of chap. 5:12-21 are the exposition of the doctrine: —
"By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned."
"If through the offense of one the many be dead."
"The judgment was by one to condemnation."
"By one man's offense death reigned by one."
"By the one offense toward all men to condemnation." (Greek.)
"By the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners."
"Sin hath reigned in death." (Greek.)

These are the statements as to the first man and the consequences of his sin. They show that his sin has affected not himself alone, but many with him; that it brought in death as a present judgment upon a fallen race, and tending to merge in final condemnation.

Two things as to present fact: a race of sinners; death as God's judgment-stamp upon this race. The final outlook or tendency for all, utter condemnation.

The first man was thus in a very real way the representative of his race; not indeed by any formal covenant for his posterity, of which Scripture has no trace; but by his being the divinely constituted head of it. As the father of men, he necessarily stood as charged with the interests of his posterity; from his fall, a corrupt nature became the heritage of the race, and thus death and judgment their appointed lot, the final issue no uncertain one. Thus in a real way he represented them before God; but, as I have said, not by any formal covenant on their behalf. His representative-character was grounded in what men call natural law, which is nothing but divine law, and which is both evident in nature and asserted in the plainest possible way in Scripture. "Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one," expresses the law. "What is man, that he should be clean? and he that is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?" "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me." The Lord's words in the gospel fully and emphatically confirm these sayings of saints of old: "That which is born of the flesh is flesh." What men now call, The principle of "heredity," is thus affirmed, and it is the whole scriptural account of the matter. The theories of a covenant with Adam for his posterity, and the imputation of his sin to them, are simply additions to Scripture, and as such, not only needless, but an obscuring of the truth, as all mere human thoughts of necessity are.

"By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned."* Such is the apostle's statement here. It speaks of death as with every individual the result of his own sins, although his being made (or "constituted") a sinner was the result of Adam's disobedience (v. 19). I know it has been argued that this could not apply to infants, who if they sinned could only have done so in Adam. But the apostle is not speaking of infants, nor did their case need to be considered here. Sinning in Adam is not a doctrine of Scripture, and it is not allowable to insert words of such a character and importance in this place. The apostle is addressing himself to believers, to show the application of the work of Christ to such, as delivering them from all that attached to them by nature or practice. From this the case of infants may be easily inferred, but it is not his object to speak of it, and it cannot be shown that he does so at all.**

{*The marginal reading, "in whom all have sinned," will hardly be now justified by any scholar.

**For those "that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression" (v.14) are not infants, as many have supposed, but those who had not sinned against positive law as Adam had. For Adam's law in its nature could not be that of his posterity, who, until Moses, had none. The words "from Adam to Moses" show what is meant.}

Sin, then, came in through Adam. The nature of man was corrupted; by his disobedience the many were made sinners: and thus death introducing to judgment was the stamp of God upon the fallen condition. Adam was the representative of his race by the fact that he was the head of it, and thus, as it is put in 1 Corinthians 15:22, "in Adam all die."

This expression, though found but once, is of great significance, because it is contrasted with and throws light upon another expression which is of the highest importance to us, and which the following chapters of Romans use repeatedly. "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." We are now prepared to understand how "in Adam all die." In his death was involved and insured the death of all men. As head of the race, his ruin and death was theirs, and so "in him," their representative, they die. "In Adam" speaks of place, — of representation; as the apostle argues as to Levi and Abraham (Heb. 7:9, 10): "And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, paid tithes in Abraham; for he was yet in the loins of his father when Melchisedek met him." We too were in the loins of Adam when he fell and sentence of death was passed upon him; and in him we die. Thank God, we have heard the voice of Another, Head and Representative too of His race, which says, "Because I live, ye shall live also." (John 14:19.) In Adam we die: in Christ we live.

As in Adam, then, we are completely ruined. We are "constituted sinners" — sinners by constitution. Death and judgment are our appointed lot. This is what has to be met in our behalf, if Christ comes in for us. It is not enough for Him to be a new head and fountain of life for us from God. He must not only be our new Representative in life, but our Representative in death, and under curse also, taking the doom of those whose new Head He becomes. Hence comes a distinction which we must bear in mind. In life, He is our Representative that with Him we may live and inherit the portion He has acquired for us: in death, He is our Representative that we may not die, because already dead with Him. This last is substitution. He dies for us, and He alone: in life He lives for us, and (blessed be God!) lives not alone.

Now let us look at the apostle's statements. And first, —

Adam "is the figure of Him that was to come." (v. 14.)

Thus it is that in 1 Cor. 15:22 "in Christ" is set over against "in Adam," and that in ver. 45 again "the last Adam" is seen in essential contrast to the "first:" "The first Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening Spirit."

But what, then, does a "last Adam" mean? The head of a new race. And thus "if any man be in Christ" — set over against "in Adam" in the verse already looked at, — "it is a new creation." (2 Cor. 5:17, Gr., comp. marg. Rev. Vers.) The first Adam was the head of the old creation; the last Adam is the Head of the new. "In Christ" means to belong to the new creation and the new Head.

I merely link these terms together now. I do not propose to examine here what exactly the new creation is. The term is not used in Romans, though in Galatians (its kindred epistle, though wider in scope,) it is. But it should be obvious that the first Adam, as "the figure of Him that was to come," figures Christ as "the last Adam," the representative Head of a new race. As such, the apostle compares the results of the obedience of the One to "the many" who stand in Him, with the results of the first man's disobedience to "the many" who fell with him.

But we must pause before proceeding with this, to make it perfectly clear to any who have a doubt that Scripture speaks of the last Adam as really the Head of a race. Spite of the term "last Adam," some have doubt of this. They say, "We are never called children of Christ, but of God" which is true, because it is divine life that is communicated, and "children of Christ" would imply only human life. "The last Adam is made a quickening Spirit" surely proves, however, that in this character He quickens (or gives life), while at the same time it shows the character of the life communicated; for "that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." And this action of the last Adam we find imaged by the Lord in resurrection breathing upon His disciples when He says, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost." The first Adam was but a "living soul" into whose nostrils God breathed the breath of life, that he might become so. The last Adam breathes upon others; He is a quickening Spirit, not merely a living soul.

Isaiah also, foreseeing the glory of the Lord, declares, "When Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed" (Isa. 53:10). And again, in words which are quoted and applied to Christ by the apostle, "Behold, I and the children which God hath given Me" (ch. 8:18; Heb. 2:13).

There is surely no more need to prove that Christ as last Adam, like him whose antitype He is, is the Head of a race. It is the key to all that follows in Romans 5 and the two next chapters, where "in Christ" as Corinthians gives it, is in contrast, yet anti-typical correspondence, with "in Adam."

Now, as in Adam's case we have traced the results of the disobedience of the one to the many, let us trace the results of the obedience of the new Representative-Head to the many connected with Him.
"Much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many."
"The free gift is of many offenses unto justification."
"They which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ."
"By the one righteousness toward all men to justification of life." (Gr.)
"By the obedience of the one shall the many be made righteous."

These are the statements corresponding to, yet contrasted with, the former ones which we considered. One thing we must remember in considering them, that these two accounts do not exhibit a mere balance of results. "Not as the offense so also is the free gift (v. 5). If righteousness be shown in dealing with sin, the "free gift," while of course it must be righteous, absolutely so, is yet measured only by the grace that has given Christ for us. Hence His work by no means merely cancels the results of sin, but lifts us into a place altogether beyond what was originally ours. Let us see what we have here, although even here the tale is not fully told.

First, we have "life;" and this in the next chapter (v. 23) is expanded into "eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." It is not merely life from another source, but life of an entirely new character and quality; not a restoration of the failed and forfeited life, but a life infinitely higher — a divine life. There is but one life which is eternal, and "in Christ Jesus our Lord" declares its source to be in a divine Person, and now become man. Nor only so, for the force of the expression is precise. It is not correctly given in our common version, but in the revised it is, as I have quoted it. It is "in," not, as the common version, "through;" and "Christ Jesus," not "Jesus Christ." Such differences, minute as they may seem, are in Scripture never without significance. "Jesus Christ" is the Lord's personal name emphasized; "Christ Jesus" emphasizes His official title. It speaks of a place now taken through His work accomplished. In the eleventh verse it should read similarly, "alive to God in Christ Jesus." Again we have it in the eighth chapter, "no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus;" and in the second verse, "life in Christ Jesus." Elsewhere we have "sanctified" and "saints in Christ Jesus," "created in Christ Jesus," "of Him are ye in Christ Jesus," and so repeatedly. Except once — Peter (1 Peter 5:10), no inspired writer uses this order of words, but only Paul. "In Jesus," or "in Jesus the Christ," we are never said to be, but only "in Christ," or "in Christ Jesus." The special force ought to be therefore clear.

Our life, then, is not only in Him, but in Him as now having accomplished His work and gone up to God. There, as Peter on the day of Pentecost bears witness, He is made Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36), actually reaching the place which was His already by appointment, but to be reached only in one way. The last Adam becomes Head of the race after His work of obedience is accomplished, as the first Adam became head when his work of disobedience was accomplished. And as in the one case, so in the other, the results of the work become the heritage of the race. The head of the race represents the race before God. The ruin of the head becomes the ruin of the race. If the head stands, so does the race.

In either case, the connection of the head and the race is by life and nature, a corrupt nature being transmitted from the fallen head, a divine life and nature, free from and incapable of taint, from the new head, Christ Jesus. Death and judgment lay hold upon the fallen creature; righteousness characterizes the possessor of eternal life.

But here there is another need to be met; for these possessors of righteousness in a new life are by the old one children of Adam, and under wrath and condemnation because of manifold sins. Christ, the Son of the Father, is not stooping to take up unfallen beings, and bring them into a new place of nearness to God, but He is taking up sinners. For these, then, He must provide, along with a new life, a righteousness which shall justify them from all charge of sin. They must not only be delivered from inward corruption by a principle of righteousness imparted; they must be delivered from guilt also by a righteousness imputed. There must be a "justification of life," — that is, a justification belonging to the life communicated "by one righteousness toward all men," — God's grace offering itself for acceptance by all, — "unto justification of life."

Here, then, comes in, not representation simply, but substitution, representation under penalty for those who had incurred the penalty. He who is our Representative-Head in life must be our Substitute in death also. He must be "obedient unto death," standing in our place, that we may stand in His, — in the place He has won and taken for us with God.

His obedience avails for much more than negatively to justify from all charge of sin: it has its own infinite preciousness before God, in virtue of which we have a positive righteousness measured by this. He "of God is made unto us righteousness" (1 Cor. 1:30). We "receive abundance of the gift of righteousness," as the passage before us says, and "shall reign in life by One, Jesus Christ."

Thus are the effects of the fall for us removed, and we stand in a new place under a new Head. We are in Christ, not Adam; and this, as we have seen, speaks of place in a representative, — that by virtue of headship of a race. Our connection with Christ is now, as formerly it was with Adam, by the life which we receive from Him, and of which we partake in Him, that is, by belonging to the race of which He is head. This and its consequences are unfolded further in the following chapters, to which this doctrine of the two Adams is the key.

2. — Justification and Dead to Sin.

The doctrine of justification is developed mainly in the first part of Romans, but extends, in a certain very important application of it, into the sixth chapter, while the latter part of the fifth, which we were last considering, connects it with the doctrine of the two Adams therein given. It is as in Christ we find it, accompanying the new life by which we are made of His race as last Adam: — "justification of life." For this reason a glance back will be here in place.

The truth is developed in this epistle in the order of application to the soul's need. And the first part accordingly begins with that which is its first conscious need, the guilt of sins committed; the second part takes up what is a later discovery and distress, the sin inherent in a fallen nature. The first of these is met by the application of the blood of Christ, justification by His blood. The second is met by the application of the death of Christ: "our old man is crucified with Christ," "he that is dead is justified from sin" (6:6, 7, marg.).

These are two different applications of the same work of Christ, which avails in all its fullness for every believer. No one can be justified by the blood of Christ who is not at the same time justified by the death of Christ. The blood is already the sign of death having taken place, and only as that could it avail for us. It is only as that that it could put away our sins, so as to give us effectual peace with God at all.

Justification is the act of divine righteousness. It is for this reason that the righteousness of God is so prominent in the first part of Romans, while it is not found at all in the second part. Righteousness is that quality in God which has of necessity to say to sin, and on account of which the soul conscious of its guilt trembles to meet Him. No one, whatever be his guilt, is afraid of God's love; but how great soever that love may be, the awakened conscience at once begins to realize that it is righteousness must have to say to sin. The glory of the gospel is this, that it takes up just this character of God to put it on the side of the believer in Jesus, so as to make it his very boast and confidence. "I am not ashamed of the gospel [the glad tidings]," says the apostle "for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth." And how this power? "For therein" — in these glad tidings to guilty men, — "the righteousness of God is revealed, by faith, to faith" (Rom. 1:16, 17, Rev. Vers.). It is the revelation of divine righteousness in a gospel to the guilty, faith alone being required to receive the gospel, it is this which is the power of God for the deliverance of souls.

In the third chapter it is more fully made known as divine righteousness declared by the cross "in the passing over of the sins done aforetime, in the forbearance of God" (Rom. 3:25, R.V.), and at this time, "that He might be just and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus" (Rom. 3:26). The righteousness of God is that, then, which makes Him righteous in pronouncing righteous the believer in Jesus. This righteousness of God becomes as it were a house of refuge with its door open "unto all," and its protecting roof, impervious to the storm, "over* all them that believe," — over all that have fled to the cross for refuge (v. 22).

{* epi, "over," or "on." There is indeed a question of reading here, and some would leave out "and over all;" but we need not consider this now.}

It is the righteousness of God which repels every charge against the believer in Jesus. His justification is an act of righteousness, for the blood that is before God is the token of the death of his Substitute in his behalf. The penalty of his sins has been endured by Another, who, if "delivered for our offenses," "was raised again for our justification." This is the public sentence of it which declares on God's part His acceptance of the work. The ground is the blood; the sentence is the resurrection of our Surety. This sentence is God coming in to manifest Himself for us on account of the work of Christ accomplished. Faith rests in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.

This might seem all that is needed. Assuredly the work of Christ meets every need, and His resurrection is the token of complete acceptance. What is needed is not in fact something more than this, but the fuller bringing out of what is involved in it; that in our Substitute we have therefore passed away as on the footing of the first man, identified with Adam, and are in Christ on the footing of the Second Man, alive in Him to God. For faith, therefore, I am dead to sin; because He died to it, and cannot live in what I am, — though for faith only, — dead to. This approves the holiness of the doctrine, as the seventh and eighth chapters show its tower. It answers the moral question with which the sixth chapter opens.

Let us notice the way the doctrine is unfolded. The objection is started, "If then grace abounds over sin, then the more our sin the more His grace. Shall we then continue in sin, that grace may abound?" To which he answers, "We are dead to sin, how can we live in it?" This is conclusive against the abuse of the doctrine, although it is only for faith that we are dead: for then faith in it must tend to holiness, and not unholiness. The truth is ever according to godliness.

But how then are we dead to sin? He bids them think of what was involved in their baptism. Baptized to Christ Jesus, — again the order of words whose significance we have seen before, — we were baptized to His death.. to have our part in this, according to the ordained testimony of it upon earth. Burial is just putting a dead man into the place of death: "we are therefore buried with Him by baptism into death." Our place in natural life is ended: upon earth we have but our part in the death of Jesus. But He is risen; the glory of the Father necessitated His resurrection from among the dead, and this is to give its character to the new life in which henceforth we are to walk; "for if we have come to be identified * [with Him] in the likeness of His death, we shall be also on the other hand in the likeness of His resurrection." That is, if our baptism — the "likeness of His death" — have real meaning with us, we shall be, in the character of our walk, in the likeness of His resurrection.** One thing will be the result of the other "knowing this, that our old man" — all that we were in that old fleshly life — "is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed," — "nullified," rather, "brought practically to nothing," — "that henceforth we should not serve sin."

{*I follow the London New Translation. "United," which the Revised Version gives, does not give the full force. It is literally "grown together" (not "planted") so as to be one. "With Him" is evidently to be understood.

{** Observe the gegonamen, "we have become," in contrast with the edometha, "we shall be," — not "become." But this is only moral "likeness." not the full being "risen with Him" of Ephesians and Colossians.}

The "knowing this" connects with the sentence before, and confirms the meaning of "the likeness of His resurrection" as a present moral result. Our old man received its sentence of shame and condemnation from God, (for this is what the cross means,) where Christ died for us. We know and have accepted its setting aside thus.

But here we must inquire the exact force and meaning of "our old man." Many take it as the expression of the "natural corruption or unholy affections of men," or "the old nature." But Scripture has a different term for the old nature, and for the principle of evil in it. It speaks of the "flesh," and of "sin in the flesh." Between person and nature there is an essential and important difference; and if we are to take the inspired words as a perfect guide, (which we surely are,) "the old man" is person, and not nature. The importance lies in this, that responsibility (because the real activity) belongs to the person, not the nature. It is not nature that acts, although it may give character to the actions; and we as Christians are exhorted not to "walk after the flesh, but after the Spirit:" practically though with an important difference too, which we may by and by consider, — not after the old nature, but after the new. The responsible person is distinguished as such from both natures,* which are together in him.

{*"Nature" (from flatus, "born,") means the character derived from birth; and we are born, and born again. The man of Romans 7:17, 18, although new born, and able to distinguish himself from "the sin that dwelleth in" him, still must say, in his "flesh dwelleth no good thing."}

So, in full accordance with this, we read of "the flesh with its affections and lusts," and even of "the works of the flesh" (Gal. 5:24, 19), — i.e., fleshly works; but "doings" (praxeis) are attributed to the "old man" only (Col. 3:9).

Moreover, the old man is never said to be in the Christian, but always to have been "put off," as in Ephesians 4:22, Gr., Colossians 3:9, or as here, "crucified with Christ" (6:6); while the flesh, on the contrary, (though he is not in it,) is always recognized as in him.*

{*Galatians 5:24 may be objected to this, where it is said that "they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts." But this is not the same thing with Romans 6:6. There, it is "with Christ," — the effect of His cross: here, it is they that are Christ's have done it, as accepting in heart and mind their place as His.}

The "old man" is not, therefore, "the flesh" — the old nature, but the person identified with the nature. It is myself as I was under the old head, — as a living responsible child of Adam. It is as such the Lord stood for me upon the cross, and dying, ended for me the whole standing and its responsibilities together. He died for me, not for the old man, to restore it, but for me, that as the sinner that I was, I might find, in nature and activities together, my rightful condemnation in the cross, and have my place in Himself before God, and not in Adam. Responsibility as a Christian of course only here begins, but as a child of Adam it is over. My Substitute has died, and death ends the whole condition to which responsibility attaches. Eternal judgment is only for the deeds done in the body; and, my Substitute having died, I have died with Him — have passed out of the whole sphere of accountability in this respect.

We see how well it may be said, "Much more, then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him." Every thought that might raise a question is indeed for the once-justified one completely gone; and, in Christ, we live because He lives.

And what is the consequence of this crucifixion of the old man? It is that "he that is dead is justified from sin." So the Greek, and the Revised Version rightly now. We see how truly it is a question of person and personal standing all through here. Justification is of course that, but it is a justification more complete than in the first part of the epistle. No lust, no sin of thought, no evil passions, belong to a dead man — to a corpse. And this shows in how far we are dead to sin. Nothing of all this can be imputed to one dead with Christ. "Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him." The life now begun is as much involved in and dependent upon His life as the death we have been considering is involved in His death. Changeless, eternal, past the power of death it therefore is: "knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more: death hath no more dominion over Him; for in that He died, He died unto sin once; but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God."

He has died to sin, but what sin? In Him there was none, but on the cross — standing there for us — He had to say to it, and as "made sin for us" died. But thus He has passed away from it forever, to live ever to Him now from whose blessed face, when bearing the burden of it, it had necessarily separated Him. For us He died, and died to sin: this death and this deliverance by death belong to us. But in Him also we live, in the life He lives, a life wholly to God. "Even so reckon yourselves dead indeed unto sin, and alive unto God in Christ Jesus" (v. 11, R.V.).

We are to "reckon" this so, not feel, find, or experience. It is not a matter of feeling. or experience that Christ has died to sin. By faith we know it, and by faith also that He lives to God beyond the power of death. It is a most certain fact; but faith alone can apprehend it; and faith alone can apprehend our death with or our life in Him.

But here let us pause a little to consider some things that have been in dispute of late, and their application to what is before us. Is it condition, or standing, to be in Christ before God? or is it perhaps both together? The doctrine already considered, if it be clearly according to the Word, will enable us, surely, conclusively to settle this.

What is meant by "standing"? Clearly it is the same as position or place,* but in a certain aspect which makes it practically somewhat narrower. The last words are not found in Scripture in the present application, and in the New Testament in any real application to what we call Christian standing, the former possibly three times* Two passages say it is in grace we stand; one speaks of standing "faultless in the presence of His glory." In Romans 5:1 it is "this grace," referring, not necessarily to what has gone before, but to present known grace — the free and absolute favor of God. Further than this, if we insist on the direct use of the word, Scripture does not carry us.

{*The same verb, histemi, in certain tenses means "to stand," and in certain others, transitively, "to make to stand: to set, or set up, establish, etc."

** Rom 5:1; 1 Peter 5:12; Jude 24. In the last case it is in the transitive form, "present," or "make you stand." We must not confound with these such passages as Rom. 11:20; 1 Cor. 15:1; 2 Cor. 1:24; Col. 4:12, etc., the force of which is really different. The text in Peter is doubtful: many read "stand," not "ye stand."}

But the force of the word is simple, and its legitimate application does not seem hard to reach. As I have said, "standing is position in a certain aspect, namely, in view of its capability of being maintained. Thus it is used often for continuance, as in opposition to falling: "If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand." — "I continue [or 'stand '] unto this day." "Standing" is used, therefore, of position where there might be question of such continuance; and the question before God being as to the claim of His righteousness being met, and the claim of His righteousness being the demand of His throne, I believe "position before the throne" would fitly express what would be meant by "standing."

It does not follow that this will be negative merely, however, — a mere question of guilt. For the throne of God is surely as much that which appraises righteousness as guilt; nay, it is this which involves the other. Our standing before God is much — how much! — more than as justified from sins or sin; it is "the abundance of the gift of righteousness," — the best robe for the Father's house.

But we do not ordinarily, — and I think, rightly — speak of standing as sons, or as members of the body of Christ. The terms of the throne we do not apply to the family, or to Church-relationship. Standing is what we call a forensic term, and does not convey the whole truth of our position.

Now if we speak of condition, it is simple that this may refer to either a fixed or a variable state. If born again, that is a condition which abides unchangeable, while there are states, as of feeling, etc., which may change in the lapse of a few moments.

In the application of this to what we have before us, what does this speak of? standing, or state, or both — "dead to sin, and alive unto God in Christ Jesus"?

Now being "dead" is state — the state of one who has died. I have died with Christ to sin, as real a fact as can be; and though He lives, and death has no more dominion over Him, yet as to sin He remains still separated from it by death, to it still and ever dead: and this is my condition too as dead with Him. Though faith alone can realize it, it is a state in which I am unchangeably. So also, and of course, as to being "alive unto God:" that is unmistakably a condition contrasted with the other.

But what is implied in being "dead to sin"? The apostle answers, "Being justified from it." "Our old man is crucified with Christ." It is I myself as one standing on the old ground, — myself as identified with the old nature and its fruits alike — who have come to an end, and come to an end in deserved judgment: crucified; yes, and crucified with Christ. It is Christ who has stood for me, died for me: the old standing is gone. In this "dead to sin," condition and standing are inseparably united.

What then about the other side? If the old condition and standing are removed together, what replaces these? A new condition — "alive unto God; inseparably connected with a new standing — "in Christ Jesus." This, and this alone, is the complete answer. I have before remarked upon the order of the words. "In Christ," in contrast with "in Adam," speak of a new Head of a new race, who is at the same time the Representative of it, as Adam of his. "In Adam" we die: "in Christ we live," — our life bound up with His life: "Because I live, ye shall live also." — "If we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him." This life is already begun: by faith we know, and reckon it so. We are "dead indeed unto sin, and alive unto God in Christ Jesus."

This gives us the new standing, and the positive righteousness which is ours before God. As Head. of His race, He stands before God in the perfection of the work He has accomplished, in the value of that matchless obedience, raised from the dead by the glory of the Father. "Of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who is made unto us wisdom from God, — even righteousness." This is not merely guilt removed; it is the best robe in the Father's house.

3. — "In the flesh and "in the Spirit."

The doctrine of Rom. 7:1-6, which is the key to all that follows, is that of the fourth verse — that "ye are become dead to the law by the body of Christ, that ye should belong to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit to God." It is the same doctrine of our being dead with Christ, dead in His death, but differently applied.

First of all, as a fundamental necessity for holiness, the spirit of lawlessness is met by the doctrine that we are dead to sin. Here, as a step further in the same direction, the spirit of legality is met by the doctrine that we are dead to the law. In either case it is holiness — fruit-bearing — that is in question; not justification from sins, and peace with God, which the former part of the epistle has already answered. Here, it is "that we may bring forth fruit," "that we may serve in newness of spirit."

The sixth chapter deals with the objections of unbelief, whether outside or inside the profession of Christianity. The seventh chapter deals with the objections of earnest but self-occupied hearts, ignorant of God's way of liberty and power. The objections in the one case are of those who have no experience, as we may say; the objections in the other are drawn from experience, but yet unenlightened by the Word. In the one case, the apostle can appeal to the experience of men who had found no fruit in things of which now they were ashamed (Rom. 6:21); in the other, he appeals from experience to the truth of the place which God had given them, and which faith, and only faith, could receive.

We are not now to look at the whole argument, (for argument it is,) but at two pregnant expressions, which must be understood, rightly to apprehend it. "For, when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death." "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of Christ dwell in you; now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His."

What is it, then, to be in the flesh, and what to be in the Spirit, — these two evidently contrasted and mutually exclusive conditions? In the one, (if Christ's,) we are not; in the other we are. In the one, we "cannot please God;" in the other, if we live, we have yet to walk in order to please Him (Gal. 5:25).

Turning to the doctrine of the seventh chapter, it would seem the simplest thing possible to define what is meant by being "in the flesh." To be in the flesh is to be just a living man. We have it twice applied in the natural sense — Gal. 2:20, Phil. 1:22. Here in Romans it is the condition of one who has not died with Christ. It is as "dead . . . . . . by the body of Christ" that the apostle can say with all Christians, "When we were in the flesh" (Rom. 7:4, 5).

Condition and standing, as we have seen, are here inseparable. Condition is, in the context of the passages before us, the thing most dwelt upon; but it is the condition of one in the standing, and of no other. "When we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death." This is what we find in the sixth chapter: "What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now, being freed from sin, and made servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life." The man in the flesh is one on the road to death.

Again in the eighth chapter: "For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh, and they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit; for the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind of the flesh is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be: so then they that are in the flesh cannot please God." (Rom. 8:5-8.)

They that are in the flesh are thus in a state of spiritual death, going on to eternal death. They are "after the flesh" — characterized by and identified with it. They are mere natural men: flesh, as born of flesh.

Here, then, was no fruit, while we were in this condition. The law is what applies to it, but is no remedy for it. "The law was not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and unruly, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane" (1 Tim. 1:9, R.V.). Moreover, "the law is not of faith faith is not its principle (Gal. 3:12); and "as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse" (Gal. 5:10). To be "under the law" and "under grace" are things exclusive of one another (Rom. 6:14).

It is true that God had once a people under law, for His own purposes of unfailing wisdom. As the "ministration of death" and "of condemnation" (2 Cor. 3:7, 9), it was a "schoolmaster" under which in Israel even saints were "kept, shut up unto the faith which should afterward be revealed" (Gal. 3:23, 24). The wholesome lessons of man's natural helplessness and hopelessness were taught by it, God saving of course all the time by a grace which He could not yet declare openly. But to believers it was necessarily bondage, "added" only "till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made," and when "faith came," as God's openly acknowledged principle, they were "no longer under the schoolmaster" (Gal. 5:19, 25). We are henceforth disciples of Christ and not of the law, although we have the good of the tutorship under which others were of old.

For the child of God, from the first moment of his being that, "faith" and "grace," — the opposites of law, — are God's linked principles of unfailing blessing. The ministry of the new covenant is the "ministration of life" and "of righteousness" (2 Cor. 3:6, 9). "The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord," — a new standing and a new condition. The power of His death attaches to the gift of His life, and he who lives in Him has died with Him. This is death to sin and to law* alike.

{*It may be urged that God never put the Gentile under law at all . and this is true. The apostle addresses himself especially to Jewish converts. Yet the practical freedom is the same for all. And the Gentile needs the apprehension as well as the Jew, as we are witness to ourselves.}

The law was in Israel, then, that to which man was linked, a link from which fruit was looked for, nay, demanded. In fact, only "passions of sins" were "by the law" (v. 5), the full account of which the apostle gives afterward (vv. 7-13). The law is not merely the ministration of condemnation; it is also "the strength of sin" (1 Cor. 15:56). "Sin shall not not have dominion over you, because ye are not under the law, but under grace" (Rom. 6:14).

Death to the law is therefore absolutely necessary for fruitfulness. The death of Christ is the believer's effectual divorce, that he may be free to be linked with Christ raised up from the dead, that thus there may be fruit.

But here, the doctrine goes beyond that of the sixth chapter. For the figure is that of marriage, — of union; and a, divorce from the law must have come first in order that we may be united to Christ. We cannot be disunited by what unites us to another. It is not, therefore, by life in Christ that we are united to Christ, nor is this what could be figured by marriage. For this, we must go on to what really unites Christians to their Lord, — the gift of the Spirit. It is the contrast of Rom. 8:9 to which this brings us. "In the flesh," the link is with law; the fruit, the passions of sins; the end, death. "In the Spirit," we are linked with Christ, the fruit is holiness, the end everlasting life. "If ye through the Spirit mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live."

I pass over the experience of the seventh chapter entirely now to consider the statement of chap. 8:9, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you;" to which is emphatically added, "Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His."

It seems unaccountable how any one, except by some preoccupation of the mind, should see in this the statement that we only cease to be in the flesh by the indwelling of the Spirit. To take the figure already used by the apostle: one alive in the flesh is married to the law; if by the Spirit he is now married to Christ, — does he die to the law by the new marriage? must he not be dead to the law to be free for the new marriage? Surely it is as clear as noonday that a new marriage cannot dissolve an old one, but that the old, as long as it existed, would forbid the new!

On the other hand, what more simple than to argue that if you are in the new bond (the Spirit), you are not in the old one (the flesh), without at all implying that the new bond had destroyed the old? It only shows, and that conclusively, that the old does not exist.

The "old man" — what for a Christian is now such — is a man in the flesh, as the sixth chapter has already shown us. He is the man "corrupt according to the deceitful lusts," and "they that are in the flesh cannot please God." Is it in such the Spirit comes to d well? They may think so who suppose the indwelling of the Spirit to be only tantamount to being born again; but Scripture is of course clear that it is "having believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise" (Eph. 1:13, R. V .), the very form of expression showing that it is that which began at Pentecost (Acts 1:4, 5) that is referred to, and not the common possession of believers of all time.

God's order is, first, new birth, then sealing; first, the preparing of the house, and then dwelling in the house prepared; not simply a new life for us, but a divine Person dwelling in us: and this is the testimony to the perfection of the work now accomplished for us, for God's seal can only be set on perfection. Having believed, we have already seen that we are in the value of Christ's work before God, sin and flesh completely gone from before Him, ourselves dead to sin, alive to God in Christ. It is here the Spirit of God can seal us, and unite us to Christ as His. And where one is found upon whom the value of that work is, there is but one thing for which He waits, and that is the acknowledgment of Christ as Lord and Saviour, before He takes possession of His dwelling-place, and unites that soul to Christ on high.

Hence, among those owning Christ it can be said, "If any one have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His." The seal of the Spirit is Christ's mark upon His own; therefore among those professing to be His, if the mark is not, it is a false profession.

Thus there is no thought in the New Testament of a class of believers in Christ who have not, — or may not have, — the Holy Ghost. It is in vain to seek elsewhere for a class of persons the existence of which the apostle here denies. To the Corinthians he writes in the most general way, so as to include all bowing really to the name of Jesus," To the Church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours." And what does he ask of all these? "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?" (1 Cor. 1:2; 1 Cor. 6:19.) Surely, this is the prescience of the divine Word, to settle all controversy. Who will say, in face of this, that one who in heart calls on the name of Jesus Christ his Lord has not the Holy Ghost?

But then Romans 8:9 becomes simplicity itself, and the many questions raised receive their absolute settlement. Our eyes have not to roam over Christendom, lamenting that in so few of Christ's people the work of God is no more than half accomplished. That there is so little manifestation we may still lament, as even at Corinth the apostle could, and we may urge upon men still, with the apostle to the Galatians, "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit" (v. 25), for these still are different things.

Does it make less of the gift that it is so little realized? or would it be more honoring to God to suppose that He has not bestowed it, where there is so little manifestation of it? Surely, surely, it is no such thing. Let the grace, and the responsibility of the grace, be pressed upon Christians; for it is faith that works for God, not doubt. Oh for a voice of power to cry in the ears of slumberers, "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?" Ye belong to Christ — ye are Christ's, and the seal of God is upon you. Lord, wake up Thy beloved people to the apprehension of Thy marvelous gift!