The Cross’s Double Cure

 By Nathan Eshelman - Posted at Place for Truth:

That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:4

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Save from wrath and make me pure….
As Christ’s secured salvation for sinners, he freed us from the wrath of God; freed us from sin and death; condemned sin; and after the Spirit, fulfilled the righteousness of the law in us. What does Romans 8:4 mean by fulfilled in us? Thomas Manton in his exposition of Romans 8 raises the question concerning the words, “in us.” He asks, “How is this to be understood? Of justification or of sanctification?” (Manton’s Works, 11.430.)

Through the grammar of “for” versus “in,” Manton begins with demonstrating that the words are unable to be understood as related to justification. He says, “The words will not bear it [as justification], for the apostle does not say that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled for, but fulfilled in us.” (Ibid.) This is a very important distinction as Manton considers what this fulfillment looks like in the life of the Christian. Surely, the Apostle Paul, according to Manton, meant that Christ’s work was not only a justifying work, but a sanctifying work: “Christ came not only to redeem us from wrath, but to renew and sanctify us.” (Ibid, 11.431.)


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