I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord,.... There is a different reading of this passage; some copies read, and so the Vulgate Latin version, thus, "the grace of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord"; which may be considered as an answer to the apostle's earnest request for deliverance, "who shall deliver me?" the grace of God shall deliver me. The grace of God the Father, which is communicated through Christ the Mediator by the Spirit, the law of the Spirit of life which is in Christ, the principle of grace formed in the soul by the Spirit of God, which reigns in the believer as a governing principle, through righteousness unto eternal life, will in the issue deliver from indwelling sin, and all the effects of it: but the more general reading is, "thanks be to God", or "I thank God"; the object of thanksgiving is God, as the Father of Christ, and the God of all grace: the medium of it is Christ as Mediator, through whom only we have access to God; without him we can neither pray to him, nor praise him aright; our sacrifices of praise are only acceptable to God, through Christ; and as all our mercies come to us through him, it is but right and fitting that our thanksgivings should pass the same way: the thing for which thanks is given is not expressed, but is implied, and is deliverance; either past, as from the power of Satan, the dominion of sin, the curse of the law, the evil of the world, and from the hands of all spiritual enemies, so as to endanger everlasting happiness; or rather, future deliverance, from the very being of sin: which shows, that at present, and whilst in this life, saints are not free from it; that it is God only that must, and will deliver from it; and that through Christ his Son, through whom we have victory over every enemy, sin, Satan, law, and death; and this shows the apostle's sure and certain faith and hope of this matter, who concludes his discourse on this head thus:
So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin; observe, he says, "I myself", and not another; whence it is clear, he does not represent another man in this discourse of his; for this is a phrase used by him, when he cannot possibly be understood of any other but himself; see Romans 9:3; he divides himself as it were into two parts, the mind, by which he means his inward man, his renewed self; and "the flesh", by which he designs his carnal I, that was sold under sin: and hereby he accounts for his serving, at different times, two different laws; "the law of God", written on his mind, and in the service of which he delighted as a regenerate man; "and the law of sin", to which he was sometimes carried captive: and it should be taken notice of, that he does not say "I have served", as referring to his past state of unregeneracy, but "I serve", as respecting his present state as a believer in Christ, made up of flesh and spirit; which as they are two different principles, regard two different laws: add to all this, that this last account the apostle gives of himself, and which agrees with all he had said before, and confirms the whole, was delivered by him, after he had with so much faith and fervency given thanks to God in a view of his future complete deliverance from sin; which is a clinching argument and proof that he speaks of himself, in this whole discourse concerning indwelling sin, as a regenerate person.