| || |An Alphabetical Analysis Volume 6 - Doctrinal Truth - Page 58 of 270 INDEX | |
'The dictate of or inclination imparted by the Spirit, Who quickens
those that once were dead in trespasses and sins, and gives them the
predominant inclination to live in Christ' (Moses Stuart).
But surely this interpretation is seriously at fault. In what way can
it possibly be taught that our subsequent growth in grace or 'inclination
imparted by the Spirit' is the effectual cause of our freedom from
condemnation? We are not freed from condemnation because we are sanctified.
We are freed because of the finished Work of Christ, accomplished on our
behalf while we were 'yet sinners', and in order that we might be sanctified.
Let us not intrude anything of ourselves, not even the new life given by God,
into this solemn transaction, in which Christ alone must be the one great
The whole of this glorious chapter of Romans may be likened to a flight
of seven steps leading ever upwards, from the doctrinal statement that 'there
is no condemnation' to the answering challenge, 'Who is he that condemneth?'
In order that none of our readers may miss the essential relationship between
the close of the chapter and its opening, we set out the structure of the
chapter as a whole:
Romans 8:1 -39
1 -4. No condemnation.
God sent His own son (huios).
Led by the Spirit of God. sons now (huios).
Spirit Himself bears witness. sonship
17 -21. Suffering and Glory. Manifestation of sons
22 -28. Spirit Himself intercedes. sonship (huiothesia).
Conformed to the image of His son then (huios).
Who condemns? He spared not His own son (huios).
It will be observed, we trust with joy, that God's answer throughout
the varied experiences of this chapter is to be found in 'His Son' and in
'sonship' in Him.
The opening member (8:1 -4) deals with the subject of 'no condemnation'
stated doctrinally, in its Godward aspect. The law of the spirit of life in
Christ Jesus sets us free from the law of sin and death; and the utter
failure of the flesh in respect to obedience and righteousness is met by the
gift of God's Son, Who 'by a sacrifice for sin, condemned sin in the flesh'
(margin 8:3). The closing member likewise deals with the subject of 'no
condemnation', but approaches it from the experimental standpoint, viewing it
not so much from the angle of the law, as in relation to suffering and trial.
And just as 'His Son' proved an all -sufficient answer to the failure of the
flesh, so again He provides an all -sufficient answer to the conscious
weakness of the flesh. In the opening section we are 'free from the law of
sin and death'; in the closing section we are 'more than conquerors' in the
midst of tribulation.
The theme of this last section (Rom. 8:31 -39) is developed by a series
of questions and answers, which can be seen best in the form of a structure: