8:10-17 If the Spirit be in us, Christ is in us. He dwells in the heart by faith. Grace in the soul is its new nature; the soul is alive to God, and has begun its holy happiness which shall endure for ever. The righteousness of Christ imputed, secures the soul, the better part, from death. From hence we see how much it is our duty to walk, not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. If any habitually live according to corrupt lustings, they will certainly perish in their sins, whatever they profess. And what can a worldly life present, worthy for a moment to be put against this noble prize of our high calling? Let us then, by the Spirit, endeavour more and more to mortify the flesh. Regeneration by the Holy Spirit brings a new and Divine life to the soul, though in a feeble state. And the sons of God have the Spirit to work in them the disposition of children; they have not the spirit of bondage, which the Old Testament church was under, through the darkness of that dispensation. The Spirit of adoption was not then plentifully poured out. Also it refers to that spirit of bondage, under which many saints were at their conversion. Many speak peace to themselves, to whom God does not speak peace. But those who are sanctified, have God's Spirit witnessing with their spirits, in and by his speaking peace to the soul. Though we may now seem to be losers for Christ, we shall not, we cannot, be losers by him in the end.
15. For, &c.—"For ye received not (at the time of your conversion) the spirit of bondage," that is, "The spirit ye received was not a spirit of bondage."
to fear—as under the law which "worketh wrath," that is, "Such was your condition before ye believed, living in legal bondage, haunted with incessant forebodings under a sense of unpardoned sin. But it was not to perpetuate that wretched state that ye received the Spirit."
but ye have received—"ye received."
the spirit of adoption, whereby—rather, "wherein."
we cry, Abba, Father—The word "cry" is emphatic, expressing the spontaneousness, the strength, and the exuberance of the final emotions. In Ga 4:6 this cry is said to proceed from the Spirit in us, drawing forth the filial exclamation in our hearts. Here, it is said to proceed from our own hearts under the vitalizing energy of the Spirit, as the very element of the new life in believers (compare Mt 10:19, 20; and see on Ro 8:4). "Abba" is the Syro-Chaldaic word for "Father"; and the Greek word for that is added, not surely to tell the reader that both mean the same thing, but for the same reason which drew both words from the lips of Christ Himself during his agony in the garden (Mr 14:36). He, doubtless, loved to utter His Father's name in both the accustomed forms; beginning with His cherished mother tongue, and adding that of the learned. In this view the use of both words here has a charming simplicity and warmth.