12 We are not debtors to the flesh - We ought not to follow
13 The deeds of the flesh - Not only evil actions, but evil desires,
tempers, thoughts. If ye mortify - Kill, destroy these. Ye shall live -
The life of faith more abundantly here, and hereafter the life of glory.
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God - In all the ways of
righteousness. They are the sons of God - Here St. Paul enters upon the
description of those blessings which he comprises, Ro 8:30, in the word
glorified; though, indeed, he does not describe mere glory, but that which
is still mingled with the cross. The sum is, through sufferings to glory.
15 For ye - Who are real Christians. Have not received the spirit of
bondage - The Holy Ghost was not properly a spirit of bondage, even in
the time of the Old Testament. Yet there was something of bondage remaining
even in those who then had received the Spirit. Again - As the Jews did
before. We - All and every believer. Cry - The word denotes a vehement
speaking, with desire, confidence, constancy. Abba, Father - The latter
word explains the former. By using both the Syriac and the Greek word,
St. Paul seems to point out the joint cry both of the Jewish and gentile
believers. The spirit of bondage here seems directly to mean, those operations
of the Holy Spirit by which the soul, on its first conviction, feels itself
in bondage to sin, to the world, to Satan, and obnoxious to the wrath of
God. This, therefore, and the Spirit of adoption, are one and the same
Spirit, only manifesting itself in various operations, according to the
various circumstances of the persons.
16 The same Spirit beareth witness with our spirit - With the spirit
of every true believer, by a testimony distinct from that of his own spirit,
or the testimony of a good conscience. Happy they who enjoy this clear
17 Joint heirs - That we may know it is a great inheritance which God
will give us for he hath given a great one to his Son. If we suffer with
him - Willingly and cheerfully, for righteousness' sake. This is a new
proposition, referring to what follows.