Galatians 2:19
For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live to God.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(19) In the last verse the Apostle had been putting a supposed case, but by a not unnatural process of thought he gradually takes the “I” rather more in earnest, and appeals directly to his own personal experience. The “I” of Galatians 2:18 is really St. Peter or the Judaisers; the “I” of this verse is St. Paul himself. The object of his appeal is to make good his assertion that to restore the dethroned Law to its old position is positively sinful.

Once having done with the Law I had done with it for ever. The Law itself had prepared me for this. It was a stage which I could not but pass through, but which was in its very nature temporary. It carried with it the sentence of its own dissolution.

For . . .—This assigns the reason for the use of the word “transgressor” in the verse before. It is a transgression to rebuild the demolished fabric of the Law, because the true Christian has done with the Law once for all.

Through the law am dead to the law.—In what sense can this be said? The Apostle himself had got rid of his obligations to the Law—not, however, by simply evading them from the first, but by passing through a period of subjection to them. The road to freedom from the Law lay through the Law. The Law, on its prophetic side, pointed to Christ. The Law, on its moral side, held up an ideal to which its votaries could not attain. It did not help them to attain to it. It bore the stamp of its own insufficiency. Men broke its precepts, and its weakness seemed to lead up to a dispensation that should supersede its own. St. Paul would not have become a Christian if he had not first sat at the feet of Gamaliel. If we could trace the whole under-current of silent, and perhaps only half-conscious, preparation, which led to the Apostle’s conversion, we should see how large a part was played in it by the sense, gradually wrought in him, of the Law’s insufficiency. Thus the negative side was given by his own private meditation; the positive side, faith in Christ, was given by the vision on the road to Damascus.

That I might live unto God.—We might not unnaturally expect here “unto Christ,” instead of “unto God.” But the Christian lives unto Christ in order that he may live unto God. The ultimate object of the Christian scheme is that he may be presented righteous before God. By the Law he could not obtain this righteousness. It is obtained in Christ.

2:15-19 Paul, having thus shown he was not inferior to any apostle, not to Peter himself, speaks of the great foundation doctrine of the gospel. For what did we believe in Christ? Was it not that we might be justified by the faith of Christ? If so, is it not foolish to go back to the law, and to expect to be justified by the merit of moral works, or sacrifices, or ceremonies? The occasion of this declaration doubtless arose from the ceremonial law; but the argument is quite as strong against all dependence upon the works of the moral law, as respects justification. To give the greater weight to this, it is added, But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ the minister of sin? This would be very dishonourable to Christ, and also very hurtful to them. By considering the law itself, he saw that justification was not to be expected by the works of it, and that there was now no further need of the sacrifices and cleansings of it, since they were done away in Christ, by his offering up himself a sacrifice for us. He did not hope or fear any thing from it; any more than a dead man from enemies. But the effect was not a careless, lawless life. It was necessary, that he might live to God, and be devoted to him through the motives and grace of the gospel. It is no new prejudice, though a most unjust one, that the doctrine of justification by faith alone, tends to encourage people in sin. Not so, for to take occasion from free grace, or the doctrine of it, to live in sin, is to try to make Christ the minister of sin, at any thought of which all Christian hearts would shudder.For I through the law - On this passage the commentators are by no means agreed. It is agreed that in the phrase "am dead to the law," the Law of Moses is referred to, and that the meaning is, that Paul had become dead to that as a ground or means of justification. He acted as though it were not; or it ceased to have influence over him. A dead man is insensible to all around him. He hears nothing; sees nothing; and nothing affects him. So when we are said to be dead to anything, the meaning is, that it does not have an influence over us. In this sense Paul was dead to the Law of Moses. He ceased to observe it as a ground of justification. It ceased to be the grand aim and purpose of his life, as it had been formerly, to obey it. He had higher purposes than that, and truly lived to God; see the note at Romans 6:2. But on the meaning of the phrase "through the law" (διὰ νόμου dia nomou) there has been a great variety of opinion.

Bloomfield, Rosenmuller, and some others suppose that he means the Christian religion, and that the meaning is, "by one law, or doctrine, I am dead to another;" that is, the Christian doctrine has caused me to cast aside the Mosaic religion. Doddridge, Clarke, Chandler, and most others, however, suppose that he here refers to the Law of Moses, and that the meaning is, that by contemplating the true character of the Law of Moses itself; by considering its nature and design; by understanding the extent of its requisitions, he had become dead to it; that is, he had laid aside all expectations of being justified by it. This seems to me to be the correct interpretation. Paul had formerly expected to be justified by the Law. He had endeavored to obey it. It had been the object of his life to comply with all its requisitions in order to be saved by it; Philippians 3:4-6. But all this while he had not fully understood its nature; and when he was made fully to feel and comprehend its spiritual requirements, then all his hopes of justification by it died, and he became dead to it; see this sentiment more fully explained in the note at Romans 7:9.

That I might live unto God - That I might be truly alive, and might be found engaged in his service. He was dead to the Law, but not to every thing. He had not become literally inactive and insensible to all things, like a dead man, but he had become truly sensible to the commands and appeals of God, and had consecrated himself to his service; see the note at Romans 6:11.

19. Here Paul seems to pass from his exact words to Peter, to the general purport of his argument on the question. However, his direct address to the Galatians seems not to be resumed till Ga 3:1, "O foolish Galatians," &c.

For—But I am not a "transgressor" by forsaking the law. "For," &c. Proving his indignant denial of the consequence that "Christ is the minister of sin" (Ga 2:17), and of the premises from which it would follow. Christ, so far from being the minister of sin and death, is the establisher of righteousness and life. I am entirely in Him [Bengel].

I—here emphatical. Paul himself, not Peter, as in the "I" (Ga 2:18).

through the law—which was my "schoolmaster to bring me to Christ" (Ga 3:24); both by its terrors (Ga 3:13; Ro 3:20) driving me to Christ, as the refuge from God's wrath against sin, and, when spiritually understood, teaching that itself is not permanent, but must give place to Christ, whom it prefigures as its scope and end (Ro 10:4); and drawing me to Him by its promises (in the prophecies which form part of the Old Testament law) of a better righteousness, and of God's law written in the heart (De 18:15-19; Jer 31:33; Ac 10:43).

am dead to the law—literally, "I died to the law," and so am dead to it, that is, am passed from under its power, in respect to non-justification or condemnation (Col 2:20; Ro 6:14; 7:4, 6); just as a woman, once married and bound to a husband, ceases to be so bound to him when death interposes, and may be lawfully married to another husband. So by believing union to Christ in His death, we, being considered dead with Him, are severed from the law's past power over us (compare Ga 6:14; 1Co 7:39; Ro 6:6-11; 1Pe 2:24).

live unto God—(Ro 6:11; 2Co 5:15; 1Pe 4:1, 2).

Through the law of Christ, as some say; or rather, through the law of Moses, of which he had been before speaking: that is, say some, through the death of the law; the law itself being dead, as a covenant of works, Romans 7:6. Or rather, by means of the law, giving me a knowledge of sin, and condemning me for sin.

Am dead to the law, as to any expectation of being justified by obedience to it.

That I might live unto God; not that I might live in disobedience to it, as it is a rule of life, but that I might live more holily unto God: so as my being dead to the law, as a covenant of works, or as to any expectation of being justified from my obedience to it, gives me no liberty to sin at all; for this is the end why God hath freed me from the bondage and rigour of the law, that I might live unto him, and serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness. For I through the law am dead to the law,.... The apostle further replies to the objection against the doctrine of justification, being a licentious one, from the end of his, and other believers, being dead to the law: he owns he was dead unto it, not in such sense as not to regard it as a rule of walk and conversation, but so as not to seek for life and righteousness by it, nor to fear its accusations, charges, menaces, curses, and condemnation: he was dead to the moral law as in the hands of Moses, but not as in the hands of Christ; and he was dead to it as a covenant of works, though not as a rule of action, and to the ceremonial law, even as to the observance of it, and much more as necessary to justification and salvation: and so he became "through the law"; that is, either through the law or doctrine of Christ; for the Hebrew word to which answers, signifies properly doctrine, and sometimes evangelical doctrine, the Gospel of Christ; see Isaiah 2:3 and then the sense is, that the apostle by the doctrine of grace was taught not to seek for pardon, righteousness, acceptance, life, and salvation, by the works of the law, but in Christ; by the doctrine of the Gospel, which says, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved; he became dead to the law, which says, do this and live: or through the books of the law, and the prophets, the writings of the Old Testament, which are sometimes called the law, he learnt that righteousness and forgiveness of sins were only to be expected from Christ, and not the works of the law; things, though manifested without the law, yet are witnessed to by the law and prophets: or through the law of his mind, the principle of grace formed in his soul, he became dead to the power and influence of the law of works, he being no longer under the bondage of that, but under grace, as a governing principle in his soul: or the word law, here twice used, may signify one and the same law of works; and the meaning be, either that through Christ's fulfilling the law in his room and stead, assuming an holy human nature the law required, and yielding perfect obedience to it, and submitting to the penalty of it, he became dead to it; that is, through the body of Christ, see Romans 7:4 and through what he did and suffered in his body to fulfil it; or through the use, experience, and knowledge of the law, when being convinced of sin by it, and seeing the spirituality of it, all his hopes of life were struck dead, and he entirely despaired of ever being justified by it. Now the end of his being dead unto it, delivered from it, and being directed to Christ for righteousness, was, says he,

that I might live unto God; not in sin, in the violation of the law, in neglect and defiance of it, or to himself, or to the lusts of men, but to the will of God revealed in his word, and to his honour and glory; whence it most clearly follows, that though believers are dead to the law, and seek to be justified by Christ alone, yet they do not continue, nor do they desire to continue in sin, or indulge themselves in a vicious course of living, but look upon themselves as under the greater obligation to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.

For I through the law am dead to the {t} law, that I might live unto God.

(t) The Law that terrifies the conscience brings us to Christ, and he alone causes us to indeed die to the Law, because by making us righteous, he takes away from us the terror of conscience. And by sanctifying us, he causes the mortifying of lust in us, so that it cannot take such occasion to sin by the restraint which the Law makes, as it did before; Ro 7:10-11.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
f

Galatians 2:19 f., containing the “summa ac medulla Christianismi” (Bengel), furnishes the confirmation of Galatians 2:18; for which purpose Paul makes use of his own experience (not—as Olshausen and Baumgarten-Crusius hold, contrary to the context—designating himself as representative of believers generally) with sublime self-assurance and in a way sufficient to shame Peter: For I for my own part (to give utterance here to the consciousness of my own experience, apart from the experience of others) am through the law dead to the law, in order to live to God. In this view the contrast to Χριστός is not expressed already by this ἐγώ (Hofmann); but only by the ἐγώ of Galatians 2:20. The point confirmatory of Galatians 2:18 lies in διὰ νόμου; for he, who through the law has passed out of the relation to the law which regulated his life, in order to stand in a higher relation, and yet reverts to his legally-framed life, acts against the law, παραβάτην ἑαυτὸν συνιστάνει. The νόμος in both cases must be the Mosaic law, because otherwise the probative force and the whole point of the passage would be lost; and because, if Paul had intended νόμου to refer to the gospel (Jerome, Ambrose, Erasmus, Luther, Vatablus, Zeger, Vorstius, Bengel, Michaelis, Koppe, Morus, Rosenmüller, Borger, Vater), he must have added some distinguishing definition (Romans 3:27; Romans 8:2; Romans 9:31; comp. 1 Corinthians 9:21). The immediate context, that is, the Χριστῷ συνεσταύρωμαι κ.τ.λ. which closely follows (and not Galatians 2:16), supplies precise information how Paul intended the διὰ νόμου νόμῳ ἀπέθανον to be understood. By the crucifixion the curse of the law was fulfilled in Christ (Galatians 3:13); and so far Christ died through the law, which demanded, and in Christ’s death received, the accomplishment of its curse. In one, therefore, who is crucified with Christ, the curse of the law is likewise fulfilled, so that in virtue of his ethical fellowship in the death of Jesus he knows himself to be dead διὰ νόμου[106] and consequently at the same time dead to the law (comp. Romans 7:4); because, now that the law has accomplished in his case its rights, the bond of union which joined him to the law is broken; for κατηργήθημεν ἀπὸ τοῦ νομοῦ, ἀποθανόντες ἐν ᾧ κατειχόμεθα, Romans 7:6. So, in all essential points, Chrysostom[107] and others, Zachariae, Usteri (Schott wavers in his view, Rückert still more so): comp. Lipsius, l.c. p. 81 f.; Weiss, bibl. Theol. p. 363; Möller on de Wette, p. 50. This is the only interpretation which keeps closely to the context, and is therefore to be preferred to the views of others, who understand διὰ νόμου to refer to the Messianic contents of the law and the prophets, by which Paul had been induced to abandon the law (Theodoret, Corn. a Lapide, Hammond, Grotius, and others; also Baumgarten-Crusius), and of others still, who find the insufficiency of the law for salvation expressed, as Winer (“lex legem sustulit; ipsa lex, cum non posset mihi salutem impertire, mei me juris fecit atque a suo imperio liberavit”), Olshausen, Matthias, and likewise Hofmann, who understands it to refer to the knowledge acquired through the law, that it was impossible to attain righteousness in the way of the law,—which righteousness, therefore, could only be attained by means of faith; comp. Hilgenfeld, Reithmayr, also Ewald, whose interpretation would seem to call for διὰ τὸν νόμον. Neither is there suggested in the context the reference to the pedagogic functions of the law, Galatians 3:24, which is found by Beza (“lex enim terrens conscientiam ad Christum adducit, qui unus vere efficit, ut moriamur legi, quoniam nos justificando tollit conscientiae terrores”), Calvin, Wolf, and others; also by Matthies, who, however, understands διά as quite through (“having passed quite through the law, I have it behind me, and am no longer bound to it”). De Wette thus explains the pedagogic thought which he supposes to be intended: “By my having thoroughly lived in the law and experienced its character in my own case, I have become conscious of the need of a higher moral life, the life in the Spirit; and through the regeneration of my inner man I have made my way from the former to the latter.” So also, in all essential points, Wieseler, although the usus paedagogicus of the law does not produce regeneration and thereby moral liberation from its yoke (which, however, διὰ νόμου must affirm), but only awakens the longing after it (Romans 7:21 ff.), and prepares the ground for justification and sanctification. The inner deliverance from the yoke of the law takes place διὰ πνεύματος (Galatians 5:18; Romans 8:2). A clear commentary on our passage is Romans 7:4-6.

ἵνα Θεῷ ζήσω] that I might live to God, that my life (brought about by that ἀπέθανον) might be dedicated to God, and should not therefore again serve the νόμος,[108]—which is the case with him who Ἃ ΚΑΤΈΛΥΣΕ ΤΑῦΤΑ ΠΆΛΙΝ ΟἸΚΟΔΟΜΕῖ (Galatians 2:18). Comp., moreover, Romans 6:11.

ΧΡΙΣΤῷ ΣΥΝΕΣΤΑΎΡΩΜΑΙ] Situation in which he finds himself through that ΔΙᾺ ΝΌΜΟΥ ΝΌΜῼ ἈΠΈΘΑΝΟΝ, and accompanying information how this event took place in him. Corresponding with this, afterwards in Galatians 2:20, ΖῶΧΡΙΣΤΌς contains information as to the way in which ἵνα Θεῷ ζήσω was realized in him. With Christ I am crucified, thus expressing the consciousness of moral fellowship, brought about by faith, in the atoning death of Christ,—a subjective fellowship, in which the believer knows that the curse of the law is accomplished on himself because it is accomplished on Christ (comp. Galatians 3:13) (διὰ νόμου ἀπέθανον), and at the same time that his pre-Christian ethical state of life, which was subject to the law, is put an end to (ΝΟΜῷ ἈΠΈΘΑΝΟΝ). Comp. Romans 6:6; Romans 7:4, and on Colossians 2:20. Observe also how in this very passage it is evident from the whole context, that ΣΎΝ in ΣΥΝΕΣΤΑΎΡ. and in the corresponding expressions (Romans 6:8; Colossians 2:12; Colossians 2:20, et al.) denotes not the mere typical character of Christ or the resemblance to Him (Baumgarten-Crusius), but the actual fellowship, which, as accomplished and existing in the consciousness of faith, is matter of real experience. On the perfect, which expresses the blessed feeling of the continuance of what had taken place, comp. Galatians 6:14. Here it is the continuance of the liberation of the moral personal life from the law, which was begun by the crucifixion with Christ.

[106] Not, therefore, as Hermann interprets, διὰ νόμον ὅν κατέλυσα, through the law rejected by myself.

[107] He indeed also specifies the interpretation, by which νόμου is understood of the gospel, as well as the view, which takes νόμου of the Mosaic law, but elucidates the relation of διά by Deuteronomy 18:18. He nevertheless evidently gives the preference to the interpretation given above.

[108] ἵνα Θεῷ ζήσω is therefore not (with Chrysostom, Cajetanus, Calvin, and others) to be joined to Χριστῷ συνεσταύρωμαι; for it essentially belongs to the completeness of the thought introduced by γάρ.Galatians 2:19. Ἐγὼ. The stress laid on the personal pronoun shows that Paul is here referring to the facts of his personal history. He singles out his own conversion for the sake of the crucial example which it afforded of the difficulty of reconciling the commands of Christ with the traditional law of Israel, for he was actually bearing the commission of the high priest, and carrying out the orders of the Sanhedrim when Christ met him in the way and laid His commands upon him. He had to choose between the two: and at Christ’s word he flung up his office and renounced for ever the service of the Law.—διὰ νόμου: though under law. The translation of these words in our versions through the law seems to me fatal to the sense: for the death to Law which is here recorded was not due to the instrumentality of Law, but was the immediate effect of the vision and words of Christ; and the express object of this reference to the conversion of Saul is to show how union with Christ annihilates the authority of an outward law. διὰ νόμου is really akin to διὰ γράμματος καὶ περιτομῆς in Romans 2:27, and to διʼ ἀκροβυστίας in Romans 4:11. In all these cases διά denotes the environment, whether of the letter, of circumcision, of uncircumcision, or of law, which was subsisting at the time. Saul was on official duty, surrounded by the circumstances and machinery of Law when Christ stayed him, and he became at once dead to the claim of Law upon him.—νόμῳ ἀπέθανον. These words give a vivid description of the spiritual revulsion produced by his conversion in the heart of Saul. Whereas, hitherto, his whole mind had been set on fulfilling the whole Law, and he had counted its obligations all in all to him, he now entirely renounced the duty of obedience to its commands and repudiated its authority. And just as death works a final change, and leaves behind an indelible effect, so did his conversion affix a permanent stamp of lifelong change on all his after years: thenceforth he served another Master, owned absolute obedience to His will, listened for His inward voice or outward revelation, and drank of His Spirit.

The absence of the article before νόμῳ is noteworthy; whereas the Law of Moses, being the one revealed Law, is always designated the Law (ὁ νόμος), νόμῳ denotes law in the abstract, so that this clause comprehends emancipation from all control of external law. The freedom was, of course, purely spiritual: Paul continued fully to acknowledge the duty of outward submission to all duly ordained authority, but maintained the absolute independence of his spirit and conscience from its dictates.—ἵνα Θεῷ ζήσω. This clause adds the motive for this death to Law. It was a veritable death unto life: Saul had striven in vain to obtain life before God by zealous fulfilment of every commandment; he now acknowledged his utter failure, surrendered all the pride and ambition of his life, and cast himself in humble trust at the feet of Jesus to receive from Him that precious life which he had sought in vain by his most zealous efforts under the Law.19. For it was through the law, through the conviction of its inability to give life, that I became dead to the law. The law demanded a perfect obedience, as a condition of justification. This none can render; and it was when I experienced its condemning power, that I fled to Christ for salvation. “When the commandment came, sin revived, and I died”, Romans 7:9. Thus it was through the law that I died to the law.

am dead to the law] Better, died to the law. The reference is to the time when deeply convinced that he could not be justified by his own obedience, he abandoned for ever all trust in his own “righteousness, which is of the law”; that he might “win Christ and be found in Him”, and might so possess the righteousness which is of God on the condition of faith only, Php 3:9. We observe that St Paul does not regard faith and works, Christ and the sinner, as supplementing one another. He is ‘dead to the law’, he has no more to do with it, as a means of justification or ground of merit, than if he were dead. The same expression occurs Romans 7:4, where the figure employed is that of the marriage tie, which is entirely dissolved by death.

that I might live unto God] not, that I might live in sin or carelessness. The Gospel which provides a perfect righteousness in Christ, which is justification, provides also a life of holiness by the Spirit, a life unto God, which is sanctification. These are distinct, but inseparable—nay, the latter is the end and the result of the former.

To live unto God, is to live with the eye of the soul ever turned upward, to have the affection set on things above. Its motto is ‘sursum corda’, its prayer ‘fiat voluntas tua’. The same form of expression occurs Romans 6:11, ‘Reckon ye yourselves dead unto sin, but living to God in Christ Jesus’.Galatians 2:19. Ἐγὼ γὰρ, for I) The reason assigned [aetiologia] for, God forbid. Christ is not the minister of sin and death, but the Establisher [Stator] of righteousness and life. I am entirely in Him. This is the very sum and marrow of Christianity.—διὰ νόμου νόμῳ) by the law of faith [I am dead] to the law of works, Romans 3:27. I do not do an injustice to the law; I depend on a law, not less divine. This is set forth as it were enigmatically, and is presently explained by the definition of the law of faith. In the same sense in which transgressor [παραβάτης] is used, law,[17] is used, in speaking of faith.—ἀπέθανον, ἵνα Θεῷ ζήσω) Romans 7:4; Romans 7:6, note.

[17] Referring to the law of works.—ED.Verse 19. - For I through the Law am dead to the Law (ἐγὼ γὰρ διὰ νόμου μόμῳ ἀπέθανον,); for I, for my part, through the Law died unto the Law. This ἐγὼ is not the hypothetical "I" of ver. 18, which in fact recites the personality of St. Peter, but is St. Paul himself in his own concrete historical personality. And the pronoun is in a measure antithetical; as if it were: for whatever may be your feeling, mine is this, that I," etc. The conjunction "for" points back to the whole passage (vers. 15-18), which has described the position to which St. Paul had himself been brought and on which he still now, when writing to the Galatians, is standing; he here justifies that description. "Through the Law;" through the Law's own procuring, through what the Law itself did, I was broken off from all connection with the Law. From the words, "I have been crucified with Christ," in the next verse, and from what we read in Galatians 3:13, most especially when taken in connection with the occurrences at Antioch which at any rate led to the present utterance, and with the hankering after Judaical ceremonialism in Galatia which occasioned the writing of this letter, we may with confidence draw the conclusion that St. Paul is thinking of the Law in its ceremonial aspect, that is, viewed as determining ceremonial purity and ceremonial pollution. He is here most immediately dealing with the question, whether Jewish believers could freely associate without defilement in God's sight with Gentile believers who according to the Levitical Law were unclean, and could partake of the like food with them. The notion of becoming dead to the Law through the cross of Christ has other aspects besides this, as is evinced by Romans 7:1-6; a fact which is indeed glanced at by the apostle even here; but of the several aspects presented by this one and the same many-faced truth, the one which he here more particularly refers to is that which it bore towards the Law as a ceremonial institute. That which the Law as a ceremonial institute did in relation to Christ was this - it pronounced him as crucified to be in the intensest degree ceremonially accursed and polluting; to be most absolutely cherem. But Christ in his death and resurrection-life is appointed by God to be the sinner's only and complete salvation. It follows that he who by faith and sacrament is made one with Christ, does, together with the spiritual life which he draws from Christ, partake also in the pollution and accursedness which the Law fastens upon him; he is by the Law bidden away: he can thenceforth have no connection with it, - the Law itself will have it so. "But (the apostle's feeling is) the Law may curse on as it will: I have life with God and in God nevertheless." This same aspect of the death of Christ as disconnecting believers from the Law viewed as a ceremonial institute, through the pollutedness which the Law attached to most especially that form of death, is referred to in Hebrews 13:10-13. The phrase, "I died unto the Law," is similar to that of "being made dead to the Law" (ἐθανατώθητε τῷ νόμῳ), and being "discharged [or, 'delivered'] from the Law (κατηργήθημεν ἀπὸ τοῦ νόμου)," which we have Romans 7:4, 6; though the particular aspect of the fact that the cross disconnects believers from the Law is not precisely the same in the two passages, since in the Romans the Law is viewed more in its character as a rule of moral and spiritual life (see Romans 7:7-23). That I might live unto God (ἵνα Θεῷ ζήσω); that I might become alive unto God. It is not likely that ζήσω is a future indicative, although we have καταδουλώσουσιν after ἵνα in ver. 4, and the form ζήσομεν in Romans 6:2; for the future would most probably have been ζήσομαι, as in Galatians 3:11, 12; and Romans 1:17; Romans 8:13; Romans 10:5. It is more likely to be the subjunctive of the aorist ἔζησα, which, according to the now accepted reading of ἔζησεν for ἐνέστη καὶ ἀνέζησεν, we have in Romans 14:9; where, as well as the ζήσωμεν of 1 Thessalonians 5:10, it means "become alive." In verbs denoting a state of being, the aorist frequently (though not necessarily) means coming into that state, as for example, ἐπτώχευσε, "became poor" (2 Corinthians 9:9). "Living unto God" here, as in Romans 6:10, does not so much denote any form of moral action towards God as that spiritual state towards him out of which suitable moral action would subsequently flow. The apostle died to the Law, in order that through Christ he might come into that vital union with God in which he might both serve him and find happiness in him; this service to God and joy in God being the "fruit-bearing" in which the "life" is manifested (Romans 7:5, 6). For (γὰρ)

Justifying the previous thought that the reerection of the law as a standard of Christian life and a means of justification is a condemnation of the faith which relies on Christ alone for righteousness.

I, through the law, am dead to the law (ἐγὼ διὰ νόμου νόμῳ ἀπέθανον)

For am dead, render died. Faith in Christ created a complete and irreparable break with the law which is described as death to the law. Comp. Romans 7:4, Romans 7:6. The law itself was the instrument of this break, see next verse Ἑγὼ is emphatic. Paul appeals to his personal experience, his decided break with the law in contrast with Peter's vacillation.

Might live unto God (θεῷ ζήσω)

With death to the law a new principle of life entered. For the phrase, see Romans 6:10, Romans 6:11.

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