For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,…
Although the doctrine of the Churches of the Old and New Testament be the very selfsame in regard —
1. Of the author, who is God;
2. Substance and matter, which is perfect righteousness required in both;
3. Scope and end to the justification of a sinner before God; yet are there diverse accidental differences between them which, that we may the better understand both the offices and the benefits by Christ, are meet to be known.Some of them we shall note out of these words as we shall come unto them.
(1) The first difference is in that the gospel is called grace, which word the law acknowledgeth not; nay, these two are opposed, to be under the law and to be under grace. To be under the law is not to be under it as a rule of life, for so all believers on earth, yea the saints and angels in heaven, are under it; but to be under the yoke of it, which neither we nor our fathers were able to bear. For to omit the least part of the yoke, standing in the observation of —
4. Burdensome ceremonies,what a killing letter is the law which commandeth inward and perfect righteousness, for nature and actions, and that in our own persons? which promiseth life upon no other condition but of works, "Do this, and live"; and these must be such as must be framed according to that perfect light and holiness of nature in which we are created, which wrappeth us under the curse of sin. Now to be under grace is to be freed from all this bondage; not only from those elements and rudiments of the world, but especially —
1. When the yoke of personal obedience to justification is by grace translated from believers to the person of Christ our surety, so that He doing the law we might live by it.
2. When duties are not urged according to our perfect estate of creation, but according to the present measure of grace received; not according to full and perfect righteousness, but according to the sincerity and truth of the heart, although from weak and imperfect faith and love: not as meriting anything, but only as testifying the truth of our conversion, in all which the Lord of His grace accepteth the will for the deed done.
3. When the most heavy curse of the law is removed from our weak shoulders and laid upon the back of Jesus Christ, even as His obedience is translated unto us, and thus there is no condemnation to those that are in Him.
4. When the strength of the law is abated so as believers may send it to Christ for performance, for it cannot vex us as before the ministry of grace it could; which is another law, namely of faith, to which we are bound, the which not only can command us as the former, but also give grace and power to obey and perform in some acceptable sort the commandment. And this is the doctrine of grace which we are made partakers of.
(T. Taylor, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,