516. Deinde cum dicit stipendia enim peccati, etc., manifestat quod dixerat de finibus malorum et bonorum.
516. Then when he says, for the wages of sin, he clarifies what he had said about the ends of evil and of good.
Et primo quantum ad mala. Dicit: dictum est quod finis peccatorum est mors, stipendia enim peccati, mors. Dicuntur autem stipendia mercedes militum, a stipe pendenda, id est ponderanda: quia pecunia distribuenda militibus ponderabatur. Quia ergo peccatores peccato militant, membra sua exhibentes arma peccato, ut supra dictum est, mors dicitur esse stipendium peccati, id est retributio, quam retribuit sibi servientibus.
First, in regard to evil he says: we have stated that the end of sins is death: for the wages of sin is death. Wages or stipends were the salaries paid soldiers. These were paid in money. Therefore, because by sinning one makes war by using his members as arms for sin, death is said to be the wages of sin, i.e., the return paid to those who serve it.
Et ex hoc manifestum est, quod mors sit finis peccatorum, non quem peccantes quaerunt, sed qui eis retribuitur. Ps. X, 6: ignis, sulphur, spiritus procellarum, pars calicis eorum.
Death, therefore, is the return which pays those who are its slaves. It is not the end they seek but the end paid to them: on the wicked he will rain coals of fire and brimstone; a scorching wind will be the portion of their cup (Ps 11:6).
517. Quantum vero ad bona, dicit gratia Dei vita aeterna.
517. In regard to the good he says, but the grace of God, life everlasting.
Quia enim dixerat iustos homines habere vitam aeternam, quam certum est non posse haberi, nisi per gratiam: ideo hoc ipsum quod bona operamur, et quod opus nostrum est dignum vita aeterna, est a gratia Dei. Unde et in Ps. LXXXIII, 12, dicitur: gratiam et gloriam dabit Dominus.
For since he had said that just men have eternal life, which it is certain cannot be had except through grace, then the very fact that we do what is good and that our works are worthy of eternal life is the result of God’s grace: he bestows grace and glory (Ps 84:11).
Sic igitur opera nostra si considerentur in sui natura et secundum quod procedunt ex libero arbitrio hominis, non merentur ex condigno vitam aeternam, sed solum secundum quod procedunt ex gratia Spiritus Sancti. Unde dicitur Io. IV, 14: quod fiet in eo fons aquae salientis in vitam aeternam.
Thus, therefore, if our works are considered in themselves and as coming from our free will they do not merit eternal life condignly, but only as coming from the grace of the Holy Spirit. Hence it is said: the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life (John 4:14).
Et hoc fit in Christo Iesu Domino nostro, id est, per Christum, vel in quantum in ipso sumus per fidem et caritatem. Io. VI, 40: omnis qui videt Filium, et credit in eum, habet vitam aeternam.
And this in Christ Jesus our Lord, i.e., through Christ or inasmuch as we exist in him through faith and love: every one who sees the Son and believes in him has eternal life (John 6:40).
Lex et Peccatum
The Law and Sin
Solutio a lege mortis
Loosed from the law of death
7:1 An ignoratis, fratres (scientibus enim legem loquor), quia lex in homine dominatur quanto tempore vivit? [n. 518]
7:1 Do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law) that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? [n. 518]
7:2 Nam quae sub viro est mulier, vivente viro, alligata est legi: si autem mortuus fuerit vir ejus, soluta est a lege viri. [n. 521]
7:2 For the woman who has a husband, while her husband lives is bound to the law. But if her husband dies, she is loosed from the law of her husband. [n. 521]
7:3 Igitur, vivente viro, vocabitur adultera si fuerit cum alio viro: si autem mortuus fuerit vir ejus, liberata est a lege viri, ut non sit adultera si fuerit cum alio viro. [n. 525]
7:3 Therefore, while her husband lives, she will be called an adulteress, if she be with another man: but if her husband dies, she is delivered from the law of her husband: so that she is not an adulteress, if she be with another man. [n. 525]
7:4 Itaque fratres mei, et vos mortificati estis legi per corpus Christi: ut sitis alterius, qui ex mortuis resurrexit, ut fructificemus Deo. [n. 527]
7:4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have died to the law, by the body of Christ: that you may belong to another, who is risen again from the dead that we may bear fruit to God. [n. 527]
7:5 Cum enim essemus in carne, passiones peccatorum, quae per legem erant, operabantur in membris nostris, ut fructificarent morti.
7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the passions of sins, which were by the law, worked in our members, to bear fruit unto death.
7:6 Nunc autem soluti sumus a lege mortis, in qua detinebamur, ita ut serviamus in novitate spiritus, et non in vetustate litterae. [n. 531]
7:6 But now we are loosed from the law of death in which we were detained; so that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. [n. 531]
518. Postquam Apostolus ostendit quod per gratiam Christi liberamur a peccato, hic ostendit quod per eamdem gratiam Christi, liberamur a servitute legis.
518. After showing that we are set free from sin through the grace of Christ, the Apostle now shows that through the same grace we are freed from slavery to the law.
Et circa hoc duo facit.
In regard to this he does two things:
Primo proponit propositum;
first, he states his proposition;
secundo excludit obiectionem, ibi quid ergo dicemus, et cetera.
second, he excludes an objection, at what shall we say, then (Rom 7:7).
Circa primum duo facit.
In regard to the first he does two things:
Primo ostendit, quod per gratiam Christi liberamur a servitute legis;
first, he shows that through the grace of Christ we are freed from the slavery of the law;
secundo ostendit utilitatem huius liberationis, ibi ut fructificemus Deo, et cetera.
second, that this liberation is useful, at that we may bring forth fruit to God.
Circa primum tria facit.
In regard to the first he does three things:
Primo proponit documentum, ex quo arguitur ad propositum ostendendum;
first, he makes a statement from which he argues to his proposition;
secundo manifestat ipsum, ibi nam quae sub viro est, etc.;
second, he clarifies it, at for the woman who has a husband;
tertio concludit, ibi itaque, fratres mei, et cetera.
third, he concludes, at therefore, my brethren.
519. Documentum autem proponit eis quasi notum.
519. The statement he makes is presented as something known to them.
Unde dicit an ignoratis, fratres, quasi diceret: hoc ignorare non debetis. I Cor. c. XIV, 38: si quis ignorat, ignorabitur.
Hence he says, do you not know, brethren? As if to say: you should not be ignorant of this. But if any man does not know, he will not be known (1 Cor 14:38).
Et causam quare non debent ignorare, ostendit subdens scientibus enim legem loquor.
The reason they should not be ignorant of it is shown when he says, for I speak to those who know the law.
520. Sed cum Romani gentiles essent et legem Moysi ignorarent, videtur eis non competere quod hic dicitur. Et ideo quidam exposuerunt hoc de lege naturali, quae gentibus non erat incognita, secundum illud, supra II, 14: cum gentes quae legem non habent, naturaliter ea quae legis sunt, faciunt, et cetera. Unde et subditur quia lex in homine dominatur, scilicet naturalis, quanto tempore vivit, scilicet lex in homine. Quae quidem vivit, quamdiu ratio naturalis efficaciter in homine viget. Moritur autem lex naturalis in homine quamdiu ratio naturalis passionibus succumbit. Is. XXIV, 5: dissipaverunt foedus sempiternum, scilicet legis naturalis.
520. But since the Romans were gentiles and ignorant of the law of Moses, it seems that what is said here does not apply to them. Therefore, some explained this as referring to the natural law, of which the gentiles were not ignorant, as he said earlier: when the gentiles who have not the law do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves (Rom 2:14). Hence it is added: that the law has dominion over a man, i.e., the natural law, as long as he lives, i.e., the law in man. And it lives as long as natural reason functions efficaciously in a person; but it dies, as long as natural reason succumbs to the passions: they have broken the everlasting covenant (Isa 24:5), i.e., of the natural law.
Sed hoc non videtur esse secundum intentionem Apostoli qui, absolute et indeterminate de lege loquens, semper loquitur de lege Moysi.
But this interpretation does not seem to agree with the intention of the Apostle who always has in mind the law of Moses, when he speaks of the law with no modifying qualifications.
Et ideo dicendum est quod Romani fideles non erant solum gentes sed inter eos erant multi Iudaei. Unde habetur Act. XVIII, v. 2, Paulus Corinthi invenit quemdam Iudaeum, nomine aquilam, qui nuper venerat ab Italia, et Priscillam uxorem eius, eo quod praecepisset Claudius discedere omnes Iudaeos a Roma.
Therefore, it is better to say that the Roman believers were not only gentiles; there were many Jews among them. Hence it says that Paul found at Corinth a certain Jew named Aquila, who had recently arrived from Italy, and Priscilla his wife, because Claudius had expelled all the Jews from Rome (Acts 18:2).
Lex ergo hoc modo dominatur in homine, quanto tempore vivit, scilicet homo. Data est enim lex ad dirigendum homines in via huius vitae, secundum Ps. XXIV, 12: legem statuit ei in via quam elegit. Ideo legis obligatio morte solvitur.
Therefore, the law is binding on a person as long as he lives. For the law was given to direct man in the way of this life, as it says in the Psalm: he will instruct him in the way that he should choose (Ps 25:12). Therefore, the obligation of the law is dissolved by death.
521. Deinde, cum dicit nam quae sub viro, etc., manifestat quod dixerat per exemplum in lege matrimonii.
521. Then he clarifies what he had said with an example from the law of marriage, when he says for the woman who has a husband: