For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die - Though μελλετε αποθνησκειν may mean, ye shall afterwards die, and this seems to indicate a temporal death, yet not exclusively of an eternal death; for both, and especially the latter, are necessarily implied.
But if ye through the Spirit - If ye seek that grace and spiritual help which the Gospel of Christ furnishes, resist, and, by resisting, mortify the deeds of the flesh, against which the law gave you no assistance, ye shall live a life of faith, love, and holy obedience here, and a life of glory hereafter.
For if you live - If you live to indulge your carnal propensities, you will sink to eternal death; Romans 7:23.
Through the Spirit - By the aid of the Spirit; by cherishing and cultivating his influences. What is here required can be accomplished only by the aid of the Holy Spirit.
Do mortify - Do put to death; do destroy. Sin is mortified when its power is destroyed, and it ceases to be active.
The deeds of the body - The corrupt inclinations and passions; called deeds of the body, because they are supposed to have their origin in the fleshly appetites.
Ye shall live - You shall be happy and saved. Either your sins must die, or you must. If they are suffered to live, you will die. If they are put to death, you will be saved. No man can be saved in his sins. This closes the argument of the apostle for the superiority of the gospel to the Law in promoting the purity of man. By this train of reasoning, he has shown that the gospel has accomplished what the Law could not do - the sanctification of the soul, the destruction of the corrupt passions of our nature, and the recovery of man to God.
O, how much better is the condition of those who act their part in God's service, looking to Jesus for His approval, writing daily in their account book their mistakes, their errors, their sorrow, the victories they have gained over temptation, their joy and peace in Christ! Such youth will not have to meet their life record with shame and dismay.—The Youth's Instructor, June 22, 1899. MYP 44.1
Our confession of His faithfulness is Heaven's chosen agency for revealing Christ to the world. We are to acknowledge His grace as made known through the holy men of old; but that which will be most effectual is the testimony of our own experience. We are witnesses for God as we reveal in ourselves the working of a power that is divine. Every individual has a life distinct from all others, and an experience differing essentially from theirs. God desires that our praise shall ascend to Him, marked with our own individuality.—The Ministry of Healing, 100. MYP 44.2Read in context »
Paul could be as zealous as any of the most zealous, in his allegiance to the law of God, and show that he was perfectly familiar with the Old Testament Scriptures. He could dwell upon the types and shadows that typified Christ; he could exalt Christ, and tell all about Christ and His special work in behalf of humanity, and what a field he had to explore. He could advance most precious light upon the prophecies, that they had not seen; and yet he would not offend them. Thus the foundation was laid nicely, that when the time came that their spirits softened, he could say in the language of John, Behold in Jesus Christ, who was made flesh, and dwelt among us, the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world. 6BC 1089.1
To the Gentiles, he preached Christ as their only hope of salvation, but did not at first have anything to say upon the law. But after their hearts were warmed with the presentation of Christ as the gift of God to our world, and what was comprehended in the work of the Redeemer in the costly sacrifice to manifest the love of God to man, in the most eloquent simplicity he showed that love for all mankind—Jew and Gentile—that they might be saved by surrendering their hearts to Him. Thus when, melted and subdued, they gave themselves to the Lord, he presented the law of God as the test of their obedience. This was the manner of his working—adapting his methods to win souls. Had he been abrupt and unskillful in handling the Word, he would not have reached either Jew or Gentile. 6BC 1089.2
He led the Gentiles along to view the stupendous truths of the love of God, who spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us; and how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? The question was asked why such an immense sacrifice was required, and then he went back to the types, and down through the Old Testament Scripture, revealing Christ in the law, and they were converted to Christ and to the law (Special Testimonies, Series A, 6:54, 55). 6BC 1089.3Read in context »