Matthew Henry's Commentary
he freedom of believers from condemnation. (1-9) Their privileges as being the children of God. (10-17) Their hopeful prospects
under tribulations. (18-25) Their assistance from the Spirit in prayer. (26,27) Their interest in the love of God. (28-31)
Their final triumph, through Christ. (32-39)
Verses 1-9: Believers may
be chastened of the Lord, but will not be condemned with the world. By their union with Christ through faith, they are thus
secured. What is the principle of their walk; the flesh or the Spirit, the old or the new nature, corruption or grace? For
which of these do we make provision, by which are we governed? The unrenewed will is unable to keep any commandment fully.
And the law, besides outward duties, requires inward obedience. God showed abhorrence of sin by the sufferings of his Son
in the flesh, that the believer's person might be pardoned and justified. Thus satisfaction was made to Divine justice, and
the way of salvation opened for the sinner. By the Spirit the law of love is written upon the heart, and though the righteousness
of the law is not fulfilled by us, yet, blessed be God, it is fulfilled in us; there is that in all true believers, which
answers the intention of the law. The favour 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. 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? Those that live in pleasure are dead, (1Ti 5:6). A sanctified soul is a living soul; and that life is peace. The carnal mind is not only an
enemy to God, but enmity itself. The carnal man may, by the power of Divine grace, be made subject to the law of God, but
the carnal mind never can; that must be broken and driven out. We may know our real state and character by inquiring whether
we have the Spirit of God and Christ, or not, ver. 9. Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit. Having the Spirit of Christ,
means having a turn of mind in some degree like the mind that was in Christ Jesus, and is to be shown by a life and conversation
suitable to his precepts and example.
Verses 10-17: If the Spirit be
in us, Christ is in us. He dwells in the heart by faith. Grace in the soul is its new nature; the soul is alive to God, and
has begun its holy happiness which shall endure for ever. The righteousness of Christ imputed, secures the soul, the better
part, from death. From hence we see how much it is our duty to walk, not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. If any habitually
live according to corrupt lustings, they will certainly perish in their sins, whatever they profess. And what can a worldly
life present, worthy for a moment to be put against this noble prize of our high calling? Let us then, by the Spirit, endeavour
more and more to mortify the flesh. Regeneration by the Holy Spirit brings a new and Divine life to the soul, though in a
feeble state. And the sons of God have the Spirit to work in them the disposition of children; they have not the spirit of
bondage, which the Old Testament church was under, through the darkness of that dispensation. The Spirit of adoption was not
then plentifully poured out. Also it refers to that spirit of bondage, under which many saints were at their conversion. Many
speak peace to themselves, to whom God does not speak peace. But those who are sanctified, have God's Spirit witnessing with
their spirits, in and by his speaking peace to the soul. Though we may now seem to be losers for Christ, we shall not, we
cannot, be losers by him in the end.
Verses 18-25: The sufferings of
the saints strike no deeper than the things of time, last no longer than the present time, are light afflictions, and but
for a moment. How vastly different are the sentence of the word and the sentiment of the world, concerning the sufferings
of this present time! Indeed the whole creation seems to wait with earnest expectation for the period when the children of
God shall be manifested in the glory prepared for them. There is an impurity, deformity, and infirmity, which has come upon
the creature by the fall of man. There is an enmity of one creature to another. And they are used, or abused rather, by men
as instruments of sin. Yet this deplorable state of the creation is in hope. God will deliver it from thus being held in bondage
to man's depravity. The miseries of the human race, through their own and each other's wickedness, declare that the world
is not always to continue as it is. Our having received the first-fruits of the Spirit, quickens our desires, encourages our
hopes, and raises our expectations. Sin has been, and is, the guilty cause of all the suffering that exists in the creation
of God. It has brought on the woes of earth; it has kindled the flames of hell. As to man, not a tear has been shed, not a
groan has been uttered, not a pang has been felt, in body or mind, that has not come from sin. This is not all; sin is to
be looked at as it affects the glory of God. Of this how fearfully regardless are the bulk of mankind! Believers have been
brought into a state of safety; but their comfort consists rather in hope than in enjoyment. From this hope they cannot be
turned by the vain expectation of finding satisfaction in the things of time and sense. We need patience, our way is rough
and long; but He that shall come, will come, though he seems to tarry.
Though the infirmities of Christians are many and great, so that they would be overpowered if left to themselves, yet the
Holy Spirit supports them. The Spirit, as an enlightening Spirit, teaches us what to pray for; as a sanctifying Spirit, works
and stirs up praying graces; as a comforting Spirit, silences our fears, and helps us over all discouragements. The Holy Spirit
is the spring of all desires toward God, which are often more than words can utter. The Spirit who searches the hearts, can
perceive the mind and will of the spirit, the renewed mind, and advocates his cause. The Spirit makes intercession to God,
and the enemy prevails not.
Verses 28-31: That is good for the saints
which does their souls good. Every providence tends to the spiritual good of those that love God; in breaking them off from
sin, bringing them nearer to God, weaning them from the world, and fitting them for heaven. When the saints act out of character,
corrections will be employed to bring them back again. And here is the order of the causes of our salvation, a golden chain,
one which cannot be broken. 1. Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son. All
that God designed for glory and happiness as the end, he decreed to grace and holiness as the way. The whole human race deserved
destruction; but for reasons not perfectly known to us, God determined to recover some by regeneration and the power of his
grace. He predestinated, or before decreed, that they should be conformed to the image of his Son. In this life they are in
part renewed, and walk in his steps. 2. Whom he did predestinate, them he also called. It is an effectual call, from self
and earth to God, and Christ, and heaven, as our end; from sin and vanity to grace and holiness, as our way. This is the gospel
call. The love of God, ruling in the hearts of those who once were enemies to him, proves that they have been called according
to his purpose. 3. Whom he called, them he also justified. None are thus justified but those that are effectually called.
Those who stand out against the gospel call, abide under guilt and wrath. 4. Whom he justified, them he also glorified. The
power of corruption being broken in effectual calling, and the guilt of sin removed in justification, nothing can come between
that soul and glory. This encourages our faith and hope; for, as for God, his way, his work, is perfect. The apostle speaks
as one amazed, and swallowed up in admiration, wondering at the height and depth, and length and breadth, of the love of Christ,
which passeth knowledge. The more we know of other things, the less we wonder; but the further we are led into gospel mysteries,
the more we are affected by them. While God is for us, and we keep in his love, we may with holy boldness defy all the powers
Verses 32-39: All things whatever, in heaven and earth,
are not so great a display of God's free love, as the gift of his coequal Son to be the atonement on the cross for the sin
of man; and all the rest follows upon union with him, and interest in him. All things, all which can be the causes or means
of any real good to the faithful Christian. He that has prepared a crown and a kingdom for us, will give us what we need in
the way to it. Men may justify themselves, though the accusations are in full force against them; but if God justifies, that
answers all. By Christ we are thus secured. By the merit of his death he paid our debt. Yea, rather that is risen again. This
is convincing evidence that Divine justice was satisfied. We have such a Friend at the right hand of God; all power is given
to him. He is there, making intercession. Believer! does your soul say within you, Oh that he were mine! and oh that I were
his; that I could please him and live to him! Then do not toss your spirit and perplex your thoughts in fruitless, endless
doubtings, but as you are convinced of ungodliness, believe on Him who justifies the ungodly. You are condemned, yet Christ
is dead and risen. Flee to Him as such. God having manifested his love in giving his own Son for us, can we think that any
thing should turn aside or do away that love? Troubles neither cause nor show any abatement of his love. Whatever believers
may be separated from, enough remains. None can take Christ from the believer: none can take the believer from Him; and that
is enough. All other hazards signify nothing. Alas, poor sinners! though you abound with the possessions of this world, what
vain things are they! Can you say of any of them, Who shall separate us? You may be removed from pleasant dwellings, and friends,
and estates. You may even live to see and seek your parting. At last you must part, for you must die. Then farewell, all this
world accounts most valuable. And what hast thou left, poor soul, who hast not Christ, but that which thou wouldest gladly
part with, and canst not; the condemning guilt of all thy sins! But the soul that is in Christ, when other things are pulled
away, cleaves to Christ, and these separations pain him not. Yea, when death comes, that breaks all other unions, even that
of the soul and body, it carries the believer's soul into the nearest union with its beloved Lord Jesus, and the full enjoyment
of him for ever
David Burnette's Life Application
Inseparable Love of God
Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making
an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue
in the book of Romans with Chapter 8 and in our text we see the Holy Spirit frees us from sin, the future glory, and how nothing
can separateus from the love of God. When I read of these truths and experience them through salvation it makes me wonder
how anyone can reject the Love of God. Even in our rejection we see the Love of God calling us to repentance. How about you?
Do you see how much God Loves You? Let us learn from our text today and the truths of Paul in this book of Romans to see that
our Lord loves you, gave His life for you, so that you can be saved and spend eternity with Him.
is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law
of sin and death.
3For what the law could
not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned
sin in the flesh:
4That the righteousness
of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
5For 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.
to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed
8So then they that are in the flesh
cannot please God.
9But ye are not in the
flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is
none of his.
10And if Christ be in you, the
body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
11But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ
from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
12Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
13For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall
die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
14For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received
the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with
him, that we may be also glorified together.
I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in
19For the earnest expectation of the creature
waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
21Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption
into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves
groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
24For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth,
why doth he yet hope for?
25But if we hope
for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh
intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according
to the will of God.
28And we know that all
things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
29For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image
of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he
31What shall we then say to
these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
33Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
34Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ
that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress,
or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38For I am persuaded, that neither death,
nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from
the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.