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unworthy minister. And may the Holy Spirit so apply the address to your hearts, that you may now accept the offer of mercy, and be enabled to look forward to that glorious appearing with hope and joy.
To you, therefore, my dear brethren, who have through grace been led to Jesus, we would speak the word of encouragement and congratulation. The circumstances of God's own dear children here are very various. With some there is a larger and fuller measure of joy. Some have been placed in situations of less outward disturbance than others, and have felt less inward opposition from the corruption of their own hearts, and the wiles and devices of their spiritual enemy. But however great your joy here, and great it may be, and great it ought to be, it will hereafter be greater; indeed inconceivably greater. The extent of it is quite beyond the reach of our finite faculties. And if this be so, how blessed is the consideration to those who, notwithstanding their joy, have experienced more of the drawbacks, who have felt more of the corruption of their hearts, and of the plague that is there; and have been conscious of the dominion, temporary though they hope, of him who is continually on the alert to surprise them; or who, even in the midst of their inward peace, have been exposed to more of those outward trials, which, whether from the chastening hand of God, or from the malignant heart of man, have been at times heaped upon them. Oh how blessed to know that to such he will return; that "HE WILL SEE THEM,"
that he will receive them, that they shall be with him closely united for ever, that THEIR HEART SHALL INDEED REJOICE, and THEIR JOY NO MAN TAKE FROM THEM; that then they shall indeed be delivered fully and finally out of all and every "bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God."
8 Rom. viii. 21.
ROMANS VI. 9-11.
KNOWING THAT CHRIST BEING RAISED FROM THE DEAD DIETH NO MORE; DEATH HATH NO MORE DOMINION OVER HIM. FOR IN THAT HE DIEd, he dieD UNTO SIN ONCE; BUT IN THAT HE LIVETH, HE LIVETH UNTO GOD. LIKEWISE RECKON YE ALSO YOURSELVES TO BE DEAD INDEED UNTO SIN; BUT ALIVE UNTO GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.
THE apostle had been occupied in the preceding portion of this epistle, in opening to the Christians of Rome all the precious doctrines of the gospel of the grace of God. In the chapter which immediately precedes that from which my text is taken, he had been dwelling on the great truth of justification by faith in Jesus Christ; of the peace resulting from it; of the access which it gives us into a state of grace, and the joy which it conveys in the hope of the glory of God; showing that all the evils which sin had introduced, were removed from the believer in Christ, and that even where "sin abounded grace did much more abound;" that as
"sin" hath "reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord." In this chapter the apostle anticipates the arguments which the natural mind of man might raise against a system of such free and perfect salvation; and puts into the mouth of the objector the same specious plea which has been directed against it, with little variation, from his time to the present day, "What shall we say then, shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?" which he rejects with indignation, whilst he goes on to prove by a variety of arguments, that the believer, freely justified, is bound to holiness of heart and life by every consideration of the new and privileged condition in which he has been placed. For this purpose he refers to that union which has taken place between the Lord and each of his people; by which they become, as it were, identified with him, and interested in every thing that concerns him. In illustration of this, he refers to the events which were symbolized in their baptism, in which they were represented as "buried with Christ," and as risen again with him, "planted together in the likeness of his death," and assured that they should rise "in the likeness of his resurrection;" from which he draws the inference of the necessity of their present spiritual conformity in these respects, that they should "die to sin," that the "old man" should be "crucified with him,
1 Rom. v. 20, 21.
4 Ibid. vi. 5.
3 Ibid. vi. 4.
2 Ibid. vi. 1.
5 Ibid. vi. 5.
that henceforth they should not serve sin ;" and that as "Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so, they also should walk in newness of life." This seems to be the obvious practical improvement of that great event which we this day commemorate; and to such a consideration of it our church would evidently lead us by the appointment of this chapter for the second lesson; and still more by the selection of those verses, which I have taken for my text, to form a portion of her peculiar song of praise.
This passage I shall simply endeavour to expound with earnest prayer that God would vouchsafe his holy Spirit to enlighten our understandings, to enable us to apply it to our hearts, and to raise us "from the death of sin unto the life of righteousness;" for the sake of Him who died and was buried, and rose again for us.
The subject presents two points for our consideration.
I. THE FACTS; and
II. THE INFERENCE TO BE DRAWN FROM THEM. THE FACTS are contained in the ninth and tenth verses, which declare the DEATH and the RESURRECTION of Christ; the INFERENCE is contained in the eleventh, which points out the INFLUENCE which the knowledge and admission of these facts ought to have UPON THE BELIEVER's life.
I. The first FACT relates to the DEATH OF CHRIST. 7 Ibid. vi. 4.
6 Rom. vi. 6.
8 Preached on Easter Sunday.