The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

Haydock Commentary on Romans 8:12-17

Posted by Dim Bulb on July 17, 2010

Rom 8:12  Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh to live according to the flesh.
Rom 8:13  For if you live according to the flesh, you shall die: but if by the Spirit you mortify the deeds of the flesh, you shall live.
Rom 8:14  For whosoever are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Rom 8:14  They are the sons of God, by this new grace of adoption, by which also they call God, Abba; that is to say, Father, whereas under the former law of Moses, God rather governed his people by fear; there were his servants, we are his sons; and if sons, also the heirs of God, with the promise of an eternal inheritance in his kingdom, provided we suffer for Christ’s sake, as he suffered for us.  And surely the short sufferings in this world have no proportion, nor can be put in balance with the future endless glory, which is promised and prepared for us in heaven. (Witham) — Abba is a Syriac word, which signifies my father.  This is properly the word of free and noble children; for amongst the Hebrews, the children of slaves were not allowed to cal their fathers Abba, nor their mothers Imma.  This kind of expression was very rarely used under the old law.  The Hebrews called the Almighty their Lord, their God, their Salvation, their King, their Protector, their Glory, &c. but seldom their father, scarcely ever, except in the case of Solomon, who was a particular figure of the Messias, the true Son of God.  On this account God said to him: “He shall call me Father and God; and I will be to him a Father, and will treat as my first-born.”  But it is the property of the Christian to call the Almighty his Father with confidence indeed, yet tempered with a filial awe; remembering at the same time that he is his judge. (Calmet) — Mat. Polus says that not any one of the just dared to call God, my Father, before the coming of Christ, as this favour was reserved for the time of the gospel. (In this location.) (Haydock) — St. John Chrysostom[1] takes notice, that God was also called the Father of the Israelites, and they his children, in the Old Testament, when God rather governed his people by fear of punishments, and promises of temporal blessings, but not in that particular manner as in the new law. (Witham) — The Spirit himself, &c.  By the inward motions of divine love, and the peace of conscience, which the children of God experience, they have a kind of testimony of God’s favour; by which they are much strengthened in the hope of their justification and salvation; but yet not so as to pretend to an absolute assurance, which is not usually granted in this mortal life: during which we are taught to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians ii. 12.)  And that he who thinketh himself to stand, must take heed lest he fall. (1 Corinthians x. 12.)  See also Romans xi. 20, 21, 22. (Challoner) — He hath given to us, says St. John, (chap. i. 12.) the power, or dignity, of being the sons of God.  Christ taught us to pray, and to begin our prayers with our Father, &c. (Matthew vi. 9.) (Witham)

Rom 8:15  For you have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear: but you have received the spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry: Abba (Father).

Abba (Pater) St. John Chrysostom, hom. xiv. p. 115. Greek: oude euchomenous outos, &c.

St John Chrysostom citation: “The Spirit Itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.”  For it is not from the language merely, he says, that I make my assertion, but from the cause out of which the language has its birth; since it is from the Spirit suggesting it that we so speak. And this in another passage he has put into plainer words, thus: “God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba Father.” (Ga 4,6). And what is that, “Spirit beareth witness with spirit?” The Comforter, he means, with that Gift, which is given unto us. For it is not of the Gift alone that it is the voice, but of the Comforter also who gave the Gift, He Himself having taught us through the Gift so to speak. But when the “Spirit beareth witness” what farther place for doubtfulness? For if it were a man, or angel, or archangel, or any other such power that promised this, then there might be reason in some doubting. But when it is the Highest Essence that bestoweth this Gift, and “beareth witness” by the very words He bade us use in prayer, who would doubt any more of our dignity? For not even when the Emperor elects any one, and proclaims in all men’s hearing the honor done him, does anybody venture to gainsay.

Rom 8:16  For the Spirit himself giveth testimony to our spirit that we are the sons of God.
Rom 8:17  And if sons, heirs also; heirs indeed of God and joint heirs with Christ: yet so, if we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified with him.

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3 Responses to “Haydock Commentary on Romans 8:12-17”

  1. […] Haydock Commentary on Romans 8:12-17. […]

  2. […] Haydock Commentary on Romans 8:12-17 for Sunday Mass, July 18 (Extraordinary Form). […]

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