CMF eZine The online magazine of the Christian Military Fellowship. 2 March Romans 7:23 - War on My Mind By Bob Flynn Romans 0 Comment The law of the mind in this place is not to be understood as referring to the mind as it is naturally, and as our mind is from our birth, but of the mind which is renewed by the Spirit of God. (Geneva Bible Translation Notes) He perceived it by experience; he felt the force and power of inbred corruption working in him, and as a law demanding obedience to it; and which he might well call "another law", it being not only distinct from, but opposite to the law of God he delighted in; the one is good, the other evil; this other law is a transgression of the law of God, and which he observed to be "in his members", i.e. in the members of his body; not that it had its seat only, or chiefly in his body, and the parts of it, but because it exerted itself by them, it made use of them to fulfill its lusts (Dr. John Gill) But I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. (NASB) But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. (KJV) But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. (NLT) But I see a different law in my members waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that is in my members. (NET) It is once again good to reiterate that the war wages because of the law that points out our fallen nature. But since we are no longer subject to the law the war is only fought when we place ourselves under the law. Notice I said, "we place ourselves." How stupid is that? Way stupid! Paul was sharing openly from "experience" the perceptions of his personal war that we might fully understand both our falleness and the victory that is ours in Christ Jesus! Fortunately for us God has created a new day, and called it today, whereby we may enter into His Sabbath rest! Each day is new and precious and ever so fragile. We now have a new chooser that allows us to choose to follow Christ or "we place ourselves" back under the law by our rebelliousness. If we are under the law then we are held captive as a prisoner is captured in a conflict and held against his will. Held not by the Law of God but by the law of sin and death. However, if we choose Christ, we are no longer captives to our own sin but bond-slaves of Christ's righteousness that lives in us the power to save us from our sin! My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 NLT) This is therefore no metaphysical speculation, but a practical matter: Slight and superficial conceptions of our state of natural degradation, and of our insufficiency to recover from it of ourselves, fall in too well with our natural inconsiderateness, and produce that fatal insensibility to the divine warning to "flee from the wrath to come," which we cannot but observe to prevail so generally. Having no due sense of the malignity of our disease, and of its dreadful issue, we do not set ourselves to work in earnest to obtain the remedy, as to a business arduous indeed, but indispensable: for it must ever be carefully remembered, that this deliverance is not forced on us, but offered to us; we are furnished indeed with every help, and are always to bear in mind, that we are unable of ourselves to will or to do rightly; but we are plainly admonished to "work out our own salvation with fear and trembling."--Watchful, for we are encompassed with dangers; "putting on the whole armor of God," for "we are beset with enemies." (William Wilberforce) The law of the mind in this place is not to be understood as referring to the mind as it is naturally, and as our mind is from our birth, but of the mind which is renewed by the Spirit of God. (Geneva Bible Translation Notes) He perceived it by experience; he felt the force and power of inbred corruption working in him, and as a law demanding obedience to it; and which he might well call "another law", it being not only distinct from, but opposite to the law of God he delighted in; the one is good, the other evil; this other law is a transgression of the law of God, and which he observed to be "in his members", i.e. in the members of his body; not that it had its seat only, or chiefly in his body, and the parts of it, but because it exerted itself by them, it made use of them to fulfill its lusts (Dr. John Gill) But I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. (NASB) But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. (KJV) But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. (NLT) But I see a different law in my members waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that is in my members. (NET) It is once again good to reiterate that the war wages because of the law that points out our fallen nature. But since we are no longer subject to the law the war is only fought when we place ourselves under the law. Notice I said, "we place ourselves." How stupid is that? Way stupid! Paul was sharing openly from "experience" the perceptions of his personal war that we might fully understand both our falleness and the victory that is ours in Christ Jesus! Fortunately for us God has created a new day, and called it today, whereby we may enter into His Sabbath rest! Each day is new and precious and ever so fragile. We now have a new chooser that allows us to choose to follow Christ or "we place ourselves" back under the law by our rebelliousness. If we are under the law then we are held captive as a prisoner is captured in a conflict and held against his will. Held not by the Law of God but by the law of sin and death. However, if we choose Christ, we are no longer captives to our own sin but bond-slaves of Christ's righteousness that lives in us the power to save us from our sin! My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 NLT) This is therefore no metaphysical speculation, but a practical matter: Slight and superficial conceptions of our state of natural degradation, and of our insufficiency to recover from it of ourselves, fall in too well with our natural inconsiderateness, and produce that fatal insensibility to the divine warning to "flee from the wrath to come," which we cannot but observe to prevail so generally. Having no due sense of the malignity of our disease, and of its dreadful issue, we do not set ourselves to work in earnest to obtain the remedy, as to a business arduous indeed, but indispensable: for it must ever be carefully remembered, that this deliverance is not forced on us, but offered to us; we are furnished indeed with every help, and are always to bear in mind, that we are unable of ourselves to will or to do rightly; but we are plainly admonished to "work out our own salvation with fear and trembling."--Watchful, for we are encompassed with dangers; "putting on the whole armor of God," for "we are beset with enemies." (William Wilberforce) Related Romans 8:5 - The Man Is as the Mind Is Romans 8:5 — The Man Is as the Mind Is For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. (NASB) For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. (KJV) Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. (NLT) For those who live according to the flesh have their outlook shaped by the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their outlook shaped by the things of the Spirit. (NET) Col 3:1 Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Keep thinking about things above, not things on the earth, for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (NET) The words “carnally minded” are to phronēma tēs sarkos (το φρονημα της σαρκος), literally, “the mind of the flesh.” The words “spiritually minded” are to phronēma tou pneumatos (το φρονημα του πνευματος), literally, “the mind possessed by the Spirit,” thus a mind controlled or dominated by the Holy Spirit. (Wuest's word studies from the Greek New Testament : For the English reader) The mind (8:5–11; cf. 7:22–23; 8:5–7) is allowed to have its way in the Spirit. There is an absolute separation between being in the flesh and in the Spirit. In this section the potency of life in the Spirit is stressed, not the details of how such a life comes about. (Tyndale concise Bible commentary) It is our sinful nature that tries to make our mind focus on our fleshly desires, which will lead to only one end and that is death. However, the indwelling Spirit tries to take illuminate the reality of our flesh (sinful desires) and then lead us to life. If we are focused on our own sinful pleasures we will have set a course for death. If we focus on Christ and His righteousness, then we will sail a course pleasing to the Spirit. I suppose the reality is that our flesh is NOT interested in making a good decision here. Our place of departure then must be the honest recognition that we cannot choose rightly apart from the Spirit's power. We must confess then our inability in order to gain the victory. This deliverance from the law of sin and death is not a mere experience (it will produce precious experiences); it is a divine operation, known by faith in His operation who raised up from the dead, known in all its power by its accomplishment in Jesus, in the efficacy of which we participate by faith. The difficulty of receiving it is that we find our experience clashing with it. That Christ has put away my sins, and that God has loved me, is a matter of simple faith through grace. That I am dead is apt to find itself contradicted in my heart….The passage does not say that the flesh is changed — quite the contrary; one would not speak of the law of a thing which no longer existed. We have to contend with it, but it is no more a law; neither can it bring us under death in our conscience. (Dr. John Darby) By looking to our minds. How may we know whether we are after the flesh or after the Spirit? By examining what we mind, the things of the flesh or the things of the spirit. Carnal pleasure, worldly profit and honor, the things of sense and time, are the things of the flesh, which unregenerate people mind. The favor of God, the welfare of the soul, the concerns of eternity, are the things of the Spirit, which those that are after the Spirit do mind. The man is as the mind is….Which way do our thoughts move with most pleasure? Which way go our plans and contrivances? Are we most wise for the world, or for our souls? (Matthew Henry) Romans 8:6 - The Mind Set on the Spirit Romans 8:6 — The Mind Set on the Spirit is Life and Peace The elements of truth, morality, and piety scattered throughout ancient heathenism, may be ascribed to three sources. In the first place, man, even in his fallen state, retains some traces of the divine image, a knowledge of God,67 however weak, a moral sense or conscience,68 and a longing for union with the Godhead, for truth and for righteousness.69 In this view we may, with Tertullian, call the beautiful and true sentences of a Socrates, a Plato, an Aristotle, of Pindar, Sophocles, Cicero, Virgil, Seneca, Plutarch, "the testimonies of a soul constitutionally Christian,"70 of a nature predestined to Christianity. Secondly, some account must be made of traditions and recollections, however faint, coming down from the general primal revelations to Adam and Noah. But the third and most important source of the heathen anticipations of truth is the all-ruling providence of God, who has never left himself without a witness. Particularly must we consider, with the ancient Greek fathers, the influence of the divine Logos before his incarnation,71 who was the tutor of mankind, the original light of reason, shining in the darkness and lighting every man, the sower scattering i the soil of heathendom the seeds of truth, beauty, and virtue.72 (Phillip Schaff) 67 Rom. 1:19, το–ῒ –ͅϊγνωστὸντοῦ θεοῦ. Comp, my annotations on Lange in loc. 68 Rom. 2:14, 15. Comp. Lange in loc. 69 Comp. Acts 17:3, 27, 28, and my remarks on the altar to the θεὸς ἄγνωστος in the History of the Apost. Church. § 73, p. 269 sqq. 70 Testimonia animae naturaliter Christianae. 71 Λόγος ἄσαρκος , Λόγος σπερματικός . 72 Comp. John 1:4, 5, 9, 10. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, (NASB) For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (KJV) So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. (NLT) For the outlook of the flesh is death, but the outlook of the Spirit is life and peace, (NET) Watchmen Nee calls this phenomenon the "latent power of the soul." "For the mind set on the flesh is death" Romans 8:6a NASB This is the "reprobate" mindset that prevents us from distinguishing the Gospel of Christ from the 99.9% pure Gospel of Satan. The former bringing a life of liberty (deliverance from the oppression of sin) versus a life of freedom. Which is why we are to "work out our salvation with fear and trembling." o gar fronema tos sarkos thanatos, to de fronema tos pneumatos zoo kai eirene The Greek (transliterated above) helps us capture the idea (fronema tos sarkos thanatos) mind of flesh death — (fronema tos pneumatos zoo kai eirene) mind of spirit life and peace. Because of this "latent power of the soul," we will be deceived into thinking that we are walking in the light when we are actually walking in the darkness of our own making. We become oblivious to the fact that as we do this we are acting as a double agent perhaps even a terrorist. For in allowing the flesh to assert itself we will serve the purposes of the enemy of our soul with great zeal while the true Gospel languishes. We presuppose that the carnal Christian is one who is struggling with sin. However, the carnal Christian is actually the one who is serving in the power of the flesh! For over 200 years the American arrogance has believed that we are blessed because of something we have done. The reality is that we are blessed in spite of what we have done. Grace is not, cannot, and will not, dependant upon the works of man. But the sarkos thanatos will always think so! The Emperor Constantine said, "everybody into the pool," and sarkos thanatos said, "God is working." The church parking lot has 15,000 cars in it while the pastor preaches, "God wants you to have the best parking space," and sarkos thanatos said, "God is good!" We have created Christ in our own image and think we are blessed. When the Anti-Christ rises we won't even notice because we wont' know the difference! Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God reprised. Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded - Margin, “The minding of the flesh.” The sense is, that to follow the inclinations of the flesh, or the corrupt propensities of our nature, leads us to condemnation and death. The expression is one of great energy, and shows that it not only leads to death, or leads to misery, but that it is death itself; there is woe and condemnation in the very act and purpose of being supremely devoted to the corrupt passions, Its only tendency is condemnation and despair. (Dr. Albert Barnes) Sin is no longer at all a law. This deliverance, to one who loves holiness, who loves God, is a profound and immense subject of joy. The passage does not say that the flesh is changed — quite the contrary; one would not speak of the law of a thing which no longer existed. We have to contend with it, but it is no more a law; neither can it bring us under death in our conscience. (Dr. John Darby) Whatever the flesh savors, that brings about death: and whatever the Spirit savors, that is conducive to joy and everlasting life. (Geneva Bible Translation Notes) "Then I realized that God allows people to continue in their sinful ways so he can test them. That way they can see for themselves that they are no better than animals." (Ecclesiastes 3:18 NLT) Romans 7:25 - Mind With God - Flesh with Sin This is the true perfection of those that are born again, to confess that they are imperfect. (Geneva Bible Translation Notes) Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. (NASB) I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. (KJV) Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God's law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin. (NLT) Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. (NET) Perhaps it would be good to remember the beginning of this section of the argument as we come to its conclusion. It began with the thought that: God's law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God's wonderful kindness became more abundant. So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God's wonderful kindness rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:20-21 NLT96) Paul has expanded the argument by illustrating that sin is the master and we are the slaves. I would have liked it better had the Lord done away with sin, but instead he did away with the sinner for in Christ we have died to sin. Then he used the illustration of marriage to express the law and its holiness provoking sin to display itself in us. But since we are dead to the law in Christ, it no longer has the power to provoke: So then, dear friends the point is this: The law no longer holds you in its power, because you died to its power when you died with Christ on the cross. And now you are united with the one who was raised from the dead. As a result, you can produce good fruit, that is, good deeds for God. (Romans 7:4 NLT96) This then culminates the finding of fact in Paul's experience that with the "law of his mind," he tries to obey the "law of God," but the "law of sin and death" give him only one choice. We have thus seen the sad but continuous epitaph of the sin in a battle with God Himself and the sinner with a terminal case of self-inflicted wounds. The first husband (the Law) unable to extricate the fallen but the second husband (Christ and His Gospel) bringing not only deliverance but everlasting triumph! Thanks is too small a word to convey the song of a soul set free! Romans 8:7 - The Carnal Mind Romans 8:7 — The Carnal Mind To be carnally minded: To be under the dominion of the fleshly impulses of the body. (The People's New Testament) Is not subject (ouch hupotassetai). Present passive indicative of hupotassō, late verb, military term for subjection to orders. Present tense here means continued insubordination. (Robertson's Word Pictures) Originally to arrange under. Possibly with a shade of military meaning suggested by enmity. It is marshaled under a hostile banner. (Vincent's Word Studies) Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. A reason and proof why the wisdom of the flesh is death: because, he says, it is the enemy of God. A reason why the wisdom of the flesh is enmity to God, because it neither wants to nor can be subject to him, and by flesh he means a man that is not regenerated. (Geneva Bible Translation Notes) because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, (NASB) Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (KJV) For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God's laws, and it never will. (NLT) because the outlook of the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to the law of God, nor is it able to do so. (NET) It is the question of the dispositions and to whom they are subject. Interestingly enough the word, hupotasso, is the same word used in Ephesians 5:21 where we are to "submit" (hupotasso) ourselves to one another out of reverence for Christ. For those who have never served in the military, when one gives the distinction (as Robertson and Vincent have above), there is probably a shaded perception created. Tasso means to arrange in an orderly manner and thus give purpose and utility to the word and further to the concept of subjection. In the Ephesian passage, we do this out of reverence for Christ. In the Roman passage, "does not subject (submit, obey)" (ouch hupotassetai) means that we remain "out of order" or "unarranged." It is the Master's hand that must put us in tune with His will and plan. And though we have two dispositions that can "lean toward," the fallen disposition may (Romans 7) be dominate until the spiritual disposition is in control. If we confess that we are (of ourselves) unable to lean toward righteousness then that is the place of honesty where Christ will meet us to lead us and empower us. The hostility is vanquished by the Peace of Christ. Rom 1:28 Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, He abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. (NLT) Rom 1:30 They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. (NLT) Rom 5:10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of His Son while we were still His enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of His Son. (NLT) Joh 7:7 The world can't hate you, but it does hate Me because I accuse it of doing evil. (NLT) Eph 4:18-19 Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against Him. They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity. (NLT) Col 1:21 This includes you who were once far away from God. You were His enemies, separated from Him by your evil thoughts and actions. (NLT) 2Ti 3:4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. (NLT) Jas 4:4 You adulterers! Don't you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. (NLT) 1Jn 2:15-16 Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. (NLT) Romans 3:28 - The Liberty of the Yoke Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude, etc. - Seeing these things cannot be denied, viz., that all have sinned: that all are guilty, that all are helpless: that none can deliver his own soul, and that God, in his endless mercy, has opened a new and living way to the holiest by the blood of Jesus, Hebrews 10:19-20, etc: therefore we, apostles and Christian teachers, conclude, λογιζομεθα, prove by fair, rational consequence, that a man - any man, is justified - has his sins blotted out, and is received into the Divine favor, by faith in Christ’s blood, without the deeds of the law, which never could afford, either to Jew or Gentile, a ground for justification, because both have sinned against the law which God has given them, and, consequently, forfeited all right and title to the blessings which the obedient might claim. Dr. Adam Clarke Romans 3:28 Justification: Justification and righteousness are inseparably united in Scripture by the fact that the same word (Greek, "dikaios", means "righteous"; Greek, "dikaioo", means "to justify") is used for both. The believing sinner is justified because Christ, having borne his sins on the cross, has been "made unto him righteousness" (1Corinthians 1:30). Justification originates in grace; (Romans 3:24); (Titus 3:4); (Titus 3:5) is through the redemptive and propitiatory work of Christ, who has vindicated the law; (Romans 3:24); (Romans 3:25); (Romans 5:9) is by faith, not works; (Romans 3:28-30); (Romans 4:5); (Romans 5:1); (Galatians 2:16); (Galatians 3:8); (Galatians 3:24) and may be defined as the judicial act of God whereby He justly declares righteous one who believes on Jesus Christ. It is the Judge Himself (Romans 8:31-34) who thus declares. The justified believer has been in court, only to learn that nothing is laid to his charge. (Romans 8:1); (Romans 8:33); (Romans 8:34). C. I. Scofield "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law." (NASB) "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." (KJV) "So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law." (NLT) "For we consider that a person is declared righteous by faith apart from the works of the law." (NET) Nothing is more maligned today than the meaning of these few words! All manner of confusion, deception, error and even heresy have been born from wrongly dividing these words of truth. Let us consider that the reason this is so is because there is a dynamic tension present in the very concept of Grace. Jesus invites us to find rest by taking on His yoke. Lewis Sperry Chafer, in Grace, over emphasized the concept of liberty to the point of entertaining unintentionally antinomian thought. Liberty by definition is deliverance from oppression and not necessarily the freedom to do what we please. Yet if you preach Grace hard enough that is the very thought that comes to mind (thus the warning from the Apostle Paul in Romans 6:1 — should we sin more so that Grace might abound?). Grace, recorded in Titus, says that we should deny the realities of our fleshly nature and rather live according to our new nature: For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. (Titus 2:11-13 NLT) The idea that salvation is a wonderful gift and yet cost us everything that we are remains a paradox but like God and country are not mutually exclusive concepts. Today we suffer because iniquity abounds and the love of many grows cold (Matthew 24:12). But we my also abound in hope because the comforter has been given and lives within those who call Christ Savior and Lord. We are not free to follow the carnal desires of the flesh but rather are empowered to live abounding in the Spirit (2 Corinthians 8:7). I read in the newspaper this morning of a new church where you can believe whatever you want. People come there because the did not like the message elsewhere. We do not want to hear the real truth but instead search for a truth we like! One that will allow us to cling to the vile creatures we are and thus begin the slow downward spiral of self-deception that leads to eternal separation. We are saved because we were surrounded by the fullness of Christ's love for the lost. His love is providential and brings us to that place where we can say yes to His wondrous forgiveness and say no to the sin that so easily entangles us. The liberty of the yoke! Romans 3:26 - The Wonder of the Gospel Romans 3:21-26 Must guilty man remain under wrath? Is the wound for ever incurable? No; blessed be God, there is another way laid open for us. This is the righteousness of God; righteousness of his ordaining, and providing, and accepting. It is by that faith which has Jesus Christ for its object; an anointed Savior, so Jesus Christ signifies. Justifying faith respects Christ as a Savior, in all his three anointed offices, as Prophet, Priest, and King; trusting in him, accepting him, and cleaving to him: in all these, Jews and Gentiles are alike welcome to God through Christ. There is no difference, his righteousness is upon all that believe; not only offered to them, but put upon them as a crown, as a robe. It is free grace, mere mercy; there is nothing in us to deserve such favors. It comes freely unto us, but Christ bought it, and paid the price. And faith has special regard to the blood of Christ, as that which made the atonement. God, in all this, declares his righteousness. It is plain that he hates sin, when nothing less than the blood of Christ would satisfy for it. And it would not agree with his justice to demand the debt, when the Surety has paid it, and he has accepted that payment in full satisfaction. Matthew Henry Concise Commentary Romans 3:26 For a demonstration of his righteousness - Both of his justice and mercy. That he might be just - Showing his justice on his own Son. And yet the merciful justifier of every one that believeth in Jesus. That he might be just - Might evidence himself to be strictly and inviolably righteous in the administration of his government, even while he is the merciful justifier of the sinner that believeth in Jesus. The attribute of justice must be preserved inviolate; and inviolate it is preserved, if there was a real infliction of punishment on our Savior. On this plan all the attributes harmonize; every attribute is glorified, and not one superseded no, nor so much as clouded. John Wesley "for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus." (NASB) "To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." (KJV) "for He was looking ahead and including them in what He would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate His righteousness, for He Himself is fair and just, and He declares sinners to be right in His sight when they believe in Jesus." (NLT) "This was also to demonstrate his righteousness in the present time, so that he would be just and the justifier of the one who lives because of Jesus' faithfulness." (NET) It is a hard thing for me to understand even after all these years how Christ could look from eternity past to beyond the cross and make a way for lost sinners like me. This is a good place to reflect upon our own lives and to take ownership for our inner emotions! Is this the way we look at our neighbors and even the people we love? Or do you find, like I do, that sometimes and even oftentimes that I fall way short of this attitude that was in Christ Jesus (Philippians Chapter 2). This is not something that the human heart can conjure up via intestinal fortitude or sheer power of the will. All we can do is confess our sin (the absence of His Grace) in this area of our life. Why has Christ bestowed such favor upon fallen man? For "no reason" (the same way Christ was persecuted). Because of Christ we are justified! It is the same each day of our life! In now way can we repay by our actions, "not as a result of works." We cannot take credit for His Grace in any way! (Ephesians 2:8-9) This should give way to thankfulness that grows each day as we begin to see the length and breadth of this amazing pardon. Romans 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time - To manifest now, by the dispensation of the Gospel, his righteousness, his infinite mercy; and to manifest it in such a way, that he might still appear to be the just God, and yet the justifier, the pardoner, of him who believeth in Jesus. Here we learn that God designed to give the most evident displays both of his justice and mercy. Of his justice, in requiring a sacrifice, and absolutely refusing to give salvation to a lost world in any other way; and of his mercy, in providing The sacrifice which his justice required. Thus, because Jesus was an atonement, a ransom price, for the sin of the world, therefore God can, consistently with his justice, pardon every soul that believeth in Jesus. This is the full discovery of God’s righteousness, of his wonderful method of magnifying his law and making it honorable; of showing the infinite purity of his justice, and of saving a lost world. (Dr. Adam Clarke) Romans 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time, his righteousness,.... This end is further explained, it being to declare the righteousness of God "at this time", under the Gospel dispensation; in which there was such a display of the grace, mercy, and goodness of God: that he might be just; that is, appear to be so: God is naturally and essentially just in himself; and he is evidentially so in all his works, particularly in redemption by Christ; and when and while he is the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus: Jesus, the Savour, is the object of faith, as he is the Lord our righteousness; the believer in Jesus is a real, and not a nominal one; God is the justifier of such in a declarative way, and God only, though not to the exclusion of the Son and Spirit; and which sentence of justification is pronounced by him on the foot of a perfect righteousness, which neither law nor justice can find fault with, but entirely approve of; and so he appears just and righteous, even though he justifies the sinner and the ungodly. (Dr. John Gill) Romans 3:26 To declare ... at this time — now for the first time, under the Gospel. his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus — Glorious paradox! “Just in punishing,” and “merciful in pardoning,” men can understand; but “just in justifying the guilty,” startles them. But the propitiation through faith in Christ’s blood resolves the paradox and harmonizes the discordant elements. For in that “God hath made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin,” justice has full satisfaction; and in that “we are made the righteousness of God in Him,” mercy has her heart’s delight! Note, (1). One way of a sinner’s justification is taught in the Old Testament and in the New alike: only more dimly during the twilight of Revelation; in unclouded light under “its perfect day” (Romans 3:21). (2). As there is no difference in the need, so is there none in the liberty to appropriate the provided salvation. The best need to be saved by faith in Jesus Christ; and the worst only need that. On this common ground all saved sinners meet here, and will stand for ever (Romans 3:22-24). (3). It is on the atoning blood of Christ, as the one propitiatory sacrifice which God hath set forth to the eye of the guilty, that the faith of the convinced and trembling sinner fastens for deliverance from wrath. Though he knows that he is “justified freely, by God’s grace,” it is only because it is “through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” that he is able to find peace and rest even in this (Romans 3:25). (4). The strictly accurate view of believers under the Old Testament is not that of a company of pardoned men, but of men whose sins, put up with and passed by in the meantime, awaited a future expiation in the fullness of time (Romans 3:25, Romans 3:26; see on Luke 9:31; see on Hebrews 9:15; see on Hebrews 11:39, Hebrews 11:40). (A Commentary on the Old and New Testaments by Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown) Comments are closed.