Calvin On Romans 8:4

verse 4. That the justification of the law might be fulfilled, etc. They who understand that the renewed, by the Spirit of Christ, fulfil the law, introduce a gloss wholly alien to the meaning of Paul; for the faithful, while they sojourn in this world, never make such a proficiency, as that the justification of the law becomes in them full or complete. This then must be applied to forgiveness; for when the obedience of Christ is accepted for us, the law is satisfied, so that we are counted just. For the perfection which the law demands was exhibited in our flesh, and for this reason — that its rigor should no longer have the power to condemn us. But as Christ communicates his righteousness to none but to those whom he joins to himself by the bond of his Spirit, the work of renewal is again mentioned, lest Christ should be thought to be the minister of sin: for it is the inclination of many so to apply whatever is taught respecting the paternal kindness of God, as to encourage the lasciviousness of the flesh; and some malignantly slander this doctrine, as though it extinquished the desire to live uprightly.

—Calvin, Commentary on Romans 8:4 (HT: Jack Miller)

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2 comments

  1. I’m trying to parse through this quote from Calvin,

    Because he seems to be arguing against the view that the regenerate have the law fulfilled in them by the Work of the Spirit.

    And in this particular case, that this same view was used to encourage lasciviousness of the flesh. Which is odd, because the way it is being argued right now is to *discourage* lasciviousness in the flesh. Am I reading this correctly?

  2. Steele and Thomas commenting on Romans 8:4 and the requirement of the law fulfilled in us, (Romans: An Interpretative Outline) –“In order to free believers from the guilt or condemnation of sin, God sent His own Son into the world (in a nature like man’s sinful nature, but not itself sinful) Christ gave Himself as a sacrifice for sin, and thereby legally put sin away and thus freed His people from its guilt. As a result of Christ’s sacrificial work, the just requirement (demand) of the law has been fulfilled (fully met) in those who are joined to Him. This is because what Christ did, He did as their substitute or representative, and it is therefore counted (imputed) to them by God as if they themselves did it.

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