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154 To what sense many were made sinners through one.
HOMIL. received the abundance of grace, of the gift of righteousness, shall reign in life. And as he had now clearly demonstrated this, he again makes use of his former argument, clenching it by taking up the same word afresh, and saying that if for that offence all were punished, then they may be justified too by these means. And so he says,
Ver. 18. Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of One the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
And he insists again upon it, saying,
Ver. 19. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous.
What he says seems indeed to involve no small question: but if any one attends to it diligently, this too will admit of an easy solution. What then is the question? It is the saying that through the offence of one many were made sinners. For the fact that when he had sinned and become mortal, those who were of him should be so also, is nothing unlikely. But how would it follow that from his disobedience another would become a sinner? Fo at this rate a man of this sort will not even deserve punishment, if, that is, it was not from his own self that he became a sinner. What then does the word 'sinners' mean here? To me it seems to mean liable to punishment and condemned to death. Now that by Adam's death we all became mortals, he had shewn clearly and at large. But the question now is, for what purpose was this done? But this he does not go on to add: for neither does it contribute to his present object. For it is against a Jew that the contest is, who doubted and made scorn of the righteousness by One. And for this reason after shewing that the punishment too was brought in by one upon all, the reason why this was so he has not added. For he is not for superfluities, but keeps merely to what is necessary. For this is what the principles of disputation did not oblige him to say any more than the Jew; and therefore he leaves it unsolved. But if any of you were to enquire with a view to learn, we should give this answer: That we are so far from taking any harm from this death and condemnation", if we be d i. e. since we have been redeemed. See on Rom. 9, 11.
Benefits of death, Purpose and Effects of the Low.
soberminded, that we are the gainers even by having become ROM. 5, 20. mortal, first, because it is not an immortal body in which we sin; secondly, because we get numberless grounds for being religious. For to be moderate, and to be temperate, and to 200φίας be subdued, and to keep ourselves clear of all wickedness, is what death by its presence and by its being expected persuades us to. But following with these, or rather even before these, it hath introduced other greater blessings besides. For it is from hence that the crowns of the martyrs come, and the rewards of the Apostles. Thus was Abel justified, thus was Abraham, in having slain his son, thus was John, who for Christ's sake was taken off, thus were the Three Children, thus was Daniel. For if we be so minded, not death only, but even the devil himself will be unable to hurt us. And besides there is this also to be said, that immortality awaits us, and after having been chastened a little while, we shall enjoy the blessings to come without fear, being, as if in a sort of school in the present life, under instruction by means of disease, tribulation, temptations, and poverty, and the other apparent evils, with a view to our becoming fit for the reception of the blessings of the world
Ver. 20. Moreover the Law entered, that the offence might abound.
Since then he had shewn that the world was condemned from Adam, but from Christ was saved and freed from condemnation, he now seasonably enters upon the discussion of the Law, here again undermining the high notions of it. For it was so far from doing any good, he means, or from being any way helpful, that the disorder was only increased by its having come in. But the particle that' again does not assign the cause, but the result. For the purpose of its being given was not in order that it might abound, for it was given to diminish and destroy the offence. But it resulted the opposite way, not owing to the nature of the Law, but owing to the listlessness of those who received it. But why did he not say the Law was given, but the Law entered by the way? It was to shew that the need of it was temporary, and not absolute or imperative. And this he says also to the Galatians, shewing the very same thing
156 Grace does more than restore what man had lost by sin.
HOMIL. another way. For before faith came, he says, we were kept X_under the Law, shut up unto the faith which should afterGal. 3, wards be revealed. And so it was not for itself, but for another, that it kept the flock. For since the Jews were somewhat gross-minded, and enervated, and indifferent to the gifts themselves, this was why the Law was given, that it might convict them the more, and clearly teach them their own condition, and by increasing the accusation might the more repress them. But be not thou afraid, for it was not that the punishment might be greater that this was done, but that the grace might be seen to be greater. And this is why he proceeds.
But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.
He does not say did abound, but did much more abound. For it was not remission from punishment only that He gave us, but that from sins, and life also. As if any were not merely to free a man with a fever from his disease, but to give him also beauty, and strength, and rank; or again, were not to give one an hungered nourishment only, but were to put him in possession of great riches, and were to set him in the highest authority. And how did sin abound? some will say. The Law gave countless commands. Now since they transgressed them all, sin became more abundant. Do you see what a great difference there is between grace and the Law? For the one became an addition to the condemnation, but the other, a further abundance of gifts. Having then mentioned the unspeakable munificence, he again discusses the beginning and the root both of death and of life. What then is the root of death? It is sin. Wherefore also he saith,
Ver. 21. That as sin reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life, through our Lord Jesus Christ.
This he says to shew that the latter ranks as a king, the former, death, as a soldier, being marshalled under the latter, i. e. sin and armed by it. If then the latter1 armed death, it is plain enough that the righteousness destructive hereof, which by grace was introduced, not only disarms death, but even destroys it, and undoes entirely the dominion thereof, in that it is the greatest of the two, as being brought in not
Practical result of the doctrine of Death unto sin. 157
6, 1. 2.
by man and the devil, but by God and grace, and leading Roм. our life unto a goodlier estate, and to blessings unlimited. For of it there will never be any end, (to give you a view of its superiority from this also). For the other cast us out of our present life, but grace, when it came, gave us not the present life, but the immortal and eternal one. But for all these things Christ is our voucher. Doubt not then for thy life if thou hast righteousness, for righteousness is greater than life as being mother of it.
Chap. vi. ver. 1. What then? shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
He is again turning off to exhortation, yet introducing it not directly, lest he should seem to many to be irksome and vexing, but as if it rose out of the doctrines. For if, even so diversifying his address, he was afraid of their being offended at what he said, and therefore said, I have written to you with somewhat more boldness in part, much more would he have seemed to them, had he not done so, to be too harsh. Since then he shewed the greatness of the grace by the greatness of the sins it healed, and owing to this it seemed to the unthinking to be an encouragement to sin, (for if the reason, they would say, why greater grace was shewn, was because we had done great sins, let us not give over sinning, that grace may be more displayed still,) now that they might not say this or suspect it, see how he turns the objection. back again. First he does it by his deprecation. God forbid. And this he is in the habit of doing at things confessed on all hands to be absurd. And then he lays down an irrefragable argument. And what is it?
Ver. 2. How shall we, he says, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
What does we are dead mean? Does it mean that as for that, and as far as it goes, we have all received the sentence" of death? or, that we became dead to it by believing and being enlightened. This is what one should rather say, since the sequel makes this clearly right. But what is becoming dead to it? The not obeying it in any thing any more. For this Baptism effected once for all, it made us
ὁ ἀπόφασιν ἐδεξάμεθα, see the same phrase, Hom. vii. P. 103.
e i. e. baptized, S. Cyr. Cat. Intr. §. 1. Oxf. Tr. p. 1.
Baptism into Christ's Death a pledge of Life.
HOMIL. dead to it. But this must of our own earnestness thenceforth X. continually be maintained, so that, although sin issue countless commands to us, we may never again obey it, but abide unmoveable as a dead man doth. And indeed he elsewhere saith that sin itself is dead. But there he sets that down as wishing to shew that virtue is easy. But here, as he earnestly desires to rouse the hearer, he puts the death on his side. Next, since what was said was obscure, he again explains, using what he had said also in the way of reproof.
Ver. 3, 4. Know ye not, he says, my brethren', that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? therefore we are buried with Him by Baptism into death.
What does being baptized into His Death mean? That it is with a view to our dying as He did. For Baptism is the Cross. What the Cross then, and Burial, is to Christ, that Baptism hath been to us, even if not in the same respects. For He died Himself and was buried in the Flesh, but we have done both to sin. Wherefore he does not say, planted together in His Death, but in the likeness of His Death. For both the one and the other is a death, but not of the same subject; since the one is of the Flesh, that of Christ; the other of sin, which is our own. As then that is real, so is this. But if it be real, thens what is of our part again must be contributed. And so he proceeds,
That as Christ was raised up from the dead by the Glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Here he hints, along with the duty of a careful walk, at the subject of the resurrection. In what way? Do you believe, he means, that Christ died, and that He was raised again? Believe then the same of thyself. For this is like to the other, since both Cross and Burial is thine. For if thou hast shared in Death and Burial, much more wilt thou in Resurrection and Life. For now the greater is done away with, the sin I mean, it is not right to doubt any longer about the lesser, the doing away of death. But this he leaves to the f So Sav. and all Mss. but one of
8 Or 'still,' i nadàλntès. 3 Mss.
conscience of his hearers to
ing; una might also be rendered, must correspond, but is hardly Greek in either sense.