SORTING OUT THE REALITY OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH [1899b]

Sooner or later this blog must come to an end, there is only so much time available for investigation and speculation about various religious notions, but I will throw a few “out there” for anyone interested.

It is obvious that this creation appears to be very FAULTY, the story being that the first two people (humans) messed up and we inherited the ability to behave badly, both inherently and by bad examples set up as a result of these two [Adam and Eve] having investigated their inner ability to explore their thoughts and the actions resulting from them, based on a querying of the basic premise that they were under a prohibition which necessitated the exploration of why it was so, why had God said this thing and why had this other voice offered up a “rational” explanation for this situation to exist at all.

But this was inevitable, it was necessary that man be able to do this, that he not be a robot, but be resourceful and inventive and to explore his life in order to discover its ultimate ambition as set forward by the accepted authority (God) of life itself.

The creation, man, was in conflict with himself in his inner being, and was restricted and prohibited from expanding further towards the ultimate realisation and completion of the creation itself as being that which was originally intended.

This called for the initiation of ANOTHER stage of the creative process, which involved the Creator’s Son to come to earth as a part of this faulty creation, in order to “sort it out” and provide a way of re-entering that design which man had departed from, to his detriment and destruction. But it was all meant to be and was unavoidable, there was collateral damage along the way which was regrettable, but was a part of the necessary process of allowing man himself to decide his own destiny, otherwise the “robot” tag would apply – love would not be generated of its own will for its own sake, but be only of a manufactured robotic and mechanical nature.

So Jesus came not to “lay down the law”, [As Moses did] but to lay down His life so the law could find its fulfillment and completion in HIM, so He could satisfy those laws that constituted the mechanics of sin and death, and having negated them, restore the righteousness required for the production of life, by gifting this overcoming of sin and death to us, by virtue of Him becoming the very Spirit of life itself (Himself) as delivered at Pentecost. By absorbing into Himself the costly side effects of the necessary creative process, which He could and DID do by His own nature of love, He was able to legitimately and legally place it all aside as being already dealt with in the body of His Son, so that justice having been seen to have taken place in HIS body, we could then also legitimately apprehend that same Spirit of overcoming and victory, by which we might then pursue by faith and trust in this His truth, the reality of the same inner victory which He achieved for us on our behalf.

Because this occurs within this same “fallen” world, there will be opposition to the implementation of this action of salvation occurring within us, because it is not to the advantage of those who don’t and won’t believe, who may object to truth and purity being evidenced in front of their eyes, because it would show up their own corruption, as such was the case with the Pharisees of old, so it is also with the “Pharisees” of today. So “trials troubles and tribulations” are placed in the path of what might otherwise be a clear run to the “finish line”. These “troubles” are there to strengthen the faith of the believer, so that in all ways TRUTH is perfected (as it was in Jesus). We do not have to do as Jesus did, and this was why He did it for us. We simply have to pick up the “garment” of salvation that He provided for us to “put on” and to hold to the truth that He having already conquered all things has provided, so that we START with perfection once again, but THIS time all and any IMPERFECTIONS that may arise are already dealt with and done with, to the point that God now considers sin and death to be of no further account.

What He DOES consider to be of account is whether or not the person remains dead in sin or has by Christ risen to life. When He returns He will discover you either spiritually alive or spiritually dead.

There is no need of any records or books to be opened because you yourself will have become that very record by your “life’s work”; by what you have done and consequently whether or not by faith you have become, whether having been “brought to life in Christ” by His Spirit, or have remained dead under law sin and fleshly death, those things which He has already vanquished. “One died for all, therefore ALL DIED” (already) through Jesus, it is a matter of believing this or not. Positionally we have already been made to die with Him so that we might willingly then rise with Him to life also.

“Our God is a consuming fire”. Much is written about the fire of the Holy Spirit, which fire is intended to burn out of us all that is not of Him, in the lifetime He provides us for this purpose. It is written that every man’s work will be tested by fire, so that what is not of God (righteousness) will be burned up and consumed. When He returns IN FIRE, that which is only of this physical creation will be destroyed, consumed; but that which has gained spiritual value will be assumed into that Spiritual fire and joined to God in the form of the new spiritual body, the resurrection of the body being the stated aim of the Christian, NOT “floating off to heaven to join the ranks of harp players”.

ALL people will be resurrected into that now eternal flame, into the “oven” like the three men thrown into the fiery furnace, only Jesus was there with them, and they survived. In like manner will Jesus be with us when we undergo the various “fiery furnaces” of unpleasant experiences that THIS present life can inflict upon us, and then at the last day that “second death” experience which believers will survive but which unbelievers without [recreative] FAITH will not. “The earth and the works therein will be burned up” which speaks to us of the nature and occasion of what is called HELL, and is reminiscent of what is called wrath and punishment, which is simply cause and effect, except that because this is set against the background of God’s LOVE which is His very nature, the torment of this flame will happen in the full knowledge of it being God’s LOVE that is in action against us because we ourselves are in DENIAL of its already emotionally accomplished victory, intended to free our hearts from the absence of His love and to instill its flame deep within those previously “hardened” hearts. “Their hearts were cleansed by faith”.

And the new creation is revealed from amongst the smoke and ashes of the old.

The revealing of these new creation people should be noted in THIS life as they go about in this world as members of this new “kingdom” (of God), but unfortunately this is not as obvious as it perhaps SHOULD be because there are many “lukewarm” “Christians” in the world, and also people tend to be willingly ignorant of them, often being inherently blinded to the virtues which they may be displaying.

[The new resurrected body will be of Spiritual matter, and the transformation of the old matter to Spiritual matter may be seen to be a rearrangement of all known molecular and atomic nature to form this Spirit nature, OR a completely new form of nature presently obscure to us, OTHER than that which is NOT obscure which we recognise as LOVE]

SORTING OUT THE REALITY OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH [1899a]

Sooner or later this blog must come to an end, there is only so much time available for investigation and speculation about various religious notions, but I will throw a few “out there” for anyone interested.

It is obvious that this creation appears to be very FAULTY, the story being that the first two people (humans) messed up and we inherited the ability to behave badly, both inherently and by bad examples set up as a result of these two [Adam and Eve] having investigated their inner ability to explore their thoughts and the actions resulting from them, based on a querying of the basic premise that they were under a prohibition which necessitated the exploration of why it was so, why had God said this thing and why had this other voice offered up a “rational” explanation for this situation to exist at all.

But this was inevitable, it was necessary that man be able to do this, that he not be a robot, but be resourceful and inventive and to explore his life in order to discover its ultimate ambition as set forward by the accepted authority (God) of life itself.

The creation, man, was in conflict with himself in his inner being, and was restricted and prohibited from expanding further towards the ultimate realisation and completion of the creation itself as being that which was originally intended.

This called for the initiation of ANOTHER stage of the creative process, which involved the Creator’s Son to come to earth as a part of this faulty creation, in order to “sort it out” and provide a way of re-entering that design which man had departed from, to his detriment and destruction. But it was all meant to be and was unavoidable, there was collateral damage along the way which was regrettable, but was a part of the necessary process of allowing man himself to decide his own destiny, otherwise the “robot” tag would apply – love would not be generated of its own will for its own sake, but be only of a manufactured robotic and mechanical nature.

So Jesus came not to “lay down the law”, [As Moses did] but to lay down His life so the law could find its fulfillment and completion in HIM, so He could satisfy those laws that constituted the mechanics of sin and death, and having negated them, restore the righteousness required for the production of life, by gifting this overcoming of sin and death to us, by virtue of Him becoming the very Spirit of life itself (Himself) as delivered at Pentecost. By absorbing into Himself the costly side effects of the necessary creative process, which He could and DID do by His own nature of love, He was able to legitimately and legally place it all aside as being already dealt with in the body of His Son, so that justice having been seen to have taken place in HIS body, we could then also legitimately apprehend that same Spirit of overcoming and victory, by which we might then pursue by faith and trust in this His truth, the reality of the same inner victory which He achieved for us on our behalf.

Because this occurs within this same “fallen” world, there will be opposition to the implementation of this action of salvation occurring within us, because it is not to the advantage of those who don’t and won’t believe, who may object to truth and purity being evidenced in front of their eyes, because it would show up their own corruption, as such was the case with the Pharisees of old, so it is also with the “Pharisees” of today. So “trials troubles and tribulations” are placed in the path of what might otherwise be a clear run to the “finish line”. These “troubles” are there to strengthen the faith of the believer, so that in all ways TRUTH is perfected (as it was in Jesus). We do not have to do as Jesus did, and this was why He did it for us. We simply have to pick up the “garment” of salvation that He provided for us to “put on” and to hold to the truth that He having already conquered all things has provided, so that we START with perfection once again, but THIS time all and any IMPERFECTIONS that may arise are already dealt with and done with, to the point that God now considers sin and death to be of no further account.

What He DOES consider to be of account is whether or not the person remains dead in sin or has by Christ risen to life. When He returns He will discover you either spiritually alive or spiritually dead.

There is no need of any records or books to be opened because you yourself will have become that very record by your “life’s work”; by what you have done and consequently whether or not by faith you have become, whether having been “brought to life in Christ” by His Spirit, or have remained dead under law sin and fleshly death, those things which He has already vanquished. “One died for all, therefore ALL DIED” (already) through Jesus, it is a matter of believing this or not. Positionally we have already been made to die with Him so that we might willingly then rise with Him to life also.

“Our God is a consuming fire”. Much is written about the fire of the Holy Spirit, which fire is intended to burn out of us all that is not of Him, in the lifetime He provides us for this purpose. It is written that every man’s work will be tested by fire, so that what is not of God (righteousness) will be burned up and consumed. When He returns IN FIRE, that which is only of this physical creation will be destroyed, consumed; but that which has gained spiritual value will be assumed into that Spiritual fire and joined to God in the form of the new spiritual body, the resurrection of the body being the stated aim of the Christian, NOT “floating off to heaven to join the ranks of harp players”.

ALL people will be resurrected into that now eternal flame, into the “oven” like the three men thrown into the fiery furnace, only Jesus was there with them, and they survived. In like manner will Jesus be with us when we undergo the various “fiery furnaces” of unpleasant experiences that THIS present life can inflict upon us, and then at the last day that “second death” experience which believers will survive but which unbelievers without [recreative] FAITH will not. “The earth and the works therein will be burned up” which speaks to us of the nature and occasion of what is called HELL, and is reminiscent of what is called wrath and punishment, which is simply cause and effect, except that because this is set against the background of God’s LOVE which is His very nature, the torment of this flame will happen in the full knowledge of it being God’s LOVE that is in action against us because we ourselves are in DENIAL of its already emotionally accomplished victory, intended to free our hearts from the absence of His love and to instill its flame deep within those previously “hardened” hearts. “Their hearts were cleansed by faith”.

And the new creation is revealed from amongst the smoke and ashes of the old.

The revealing of these new creation people should be noted in THIS life as they go about in this world as members of this new “kingdom” (of God), but unfortunately this is not as obvious as it perhaps SHOULD be because there are many “lukewarm” “Christians” in the world, and also people tend to be willingly ignorant of them, often being inherently blinded to the virtues which they may be displaying.

[The new resurrected body will be of Spiritual matter, and the transformation of the old matter to Spiritual matter may be seen to be a rearrangement of all known molecular and atomic nature to form this Spirit nature, OR a completely new form of nature presently obscure to us, OTHER than that which is NOT obscure which we recognise as LOVE]

SORTING OUT THE REALITY OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH [1899]

Sooner or later this blog must come to an end, there is only so much time available for investigation and speculation about various religious notions, but I will throw a few “out there” for anyone interested.

It is obvious that this creation appears to be very FAULTY, the story being that the first two people (humans) messed up and we inherited the ability to behave badly, both inherently and by bad examples set up as a result of these two [Adam and Eve] having investigated their inner ability to explore their thoughts and the actions resulting from them, based on a querying of the basic premise that they were under a prohibition which necessitated the exploration of why it was so, why had God said this thing and why had this other voice offered up a “rational” explanation for this situation to exist at all.

But this was inevitable, it was necessary that man be able to do this, that he not be a robot, but be resourceful and inventive and to explore his life in order to discover its ultimate ambition as set forward by the accepted authority (God) of life itself.

The creation, man, was in conflict with himself in his inner being, and was restricted and prohibited from expanding further towards the ultimate realisation and completion of the creation itself as being that which was originally intended.

This called for the initiation of ANOTHER stage of the creative process, which involved the Creator’s Son to come to earth as a part of this faulty creation, in order to “sort it out” and provide a way of re-entering that design which man had departed from, to his detriment and destruction. But it was all meant to be and was unavoidable, there was collateral damage along the way which was regrettable, but was a part of the necessary process of allowing man himself to decide his own destiny, otherwise the “robot” tag would apply – love would not be generated of its own will for its own sake, but be only of a manufactured robotic and mechanical nature.

So Jesus came not to “lay down the law”, [As Moses did] but to lay down His life so the law could find its fulfillment and completion in HIM, so He could satisfy those laws that constituted the mechanics of sin and death, and having negated them, restore the righteousness required for the production of life, by gifting this overcoming of sin and death to us, by virtue of Him becoming the very Spirit of life itself (Himself) as delivered at Pentecost. By absorbing into Himself the costly side effects of the necessary creative process, which He could and DID do by His own nature of love, He was able to legitimately and legally place it all aside as being already dealt with in the body of His Son, so that justice having been seen to have taken place in HIS body, we could then also legitimately apprehend that same Spirit of overcoming and victory, by which we might then pursue by faith and trust in this His truth, the reality of the same inner victory which He achieved for us on our behalf.

Because this occurs within this same “fallen” world, there will be opposition to the implementation of this action of salvation occurring within us, because it is not to the advantage of those who don’t and won’t believe, who may object to truth and purity being evidenced in front of their eyes, because it would show up their own corruption, as such was the case with the Pharisees of old, so it is also with the “Pharisees” of today. So “trials troubles and tribulations” are placed in the path of what might otherwise be a clear run to the “finish line”. These “troubles” are there to strengthen the faith of the believer, so that in all ways TRUTH is perfected (as it was in Jesus). We do not have to do as Jesus did, and this was why He did it for us. We simply have to pick up the “garment” of salvation that He provided for us to “put on” and to hold to the truth that He having already conquered all things has provided, so that we START with perfection once again, but THIS time all and any IMPERFECTIONS that may arise are already dealt with and done with, to the point that God now considers sin and death to be of no further account.

What He DOES consider to be of account is whether or not the person remains dead in sin or has by Christ risen to life. When He returns He will discover you either spiritually alive or spiritually dead.

There is no need of any records or books to be opened because you yourself will have become that very record by your “life’s work”; by what you have done and consequently whether or not by faith you have become, whether having been “brought to life in Christ” by His Spirit, or have remained dead under law sin and fleshly death, those things which He has already vanquished. “One died for all, therefore ALL DIED” (already) through Jesus, it is a matter of believing this or not. Positionally we have already been made to die with Him so that we might willingly then rise with Him to life also.

“Our God is a consuming fire”. Much is written about the fire of the Holy Spirit, which fire is intended to burn out of us all that is not of Him, in the lifetime He provides us for this purpose. It is written that every man’s work will be tested by fire, so that what is not of God (righteousness) will be burned up and consumed. When He returns IN FIRE, that which is only of this physical creation will be destroyed, consumed; but that which has gained spiritual value will be assumed into that Spiritual fire and joined to God in the form of the new spiritual body, the resurrection of the body being the stated aim of the Christian, NOT “floating off to heaven to join the ranks of harp players”.

ALL people will be resurrected into that now eternal flame, into the “oven” like the three men thrown into the fiery furnace, only Jesus was there with them, and they survived. In like manner will Jesus be with us when we undergo the various “fiery furnaces” of unpleasant experiences that THIS present life can inflict upon us, and then at the last day that “second death” experience which believers will survive but which unbelievers without [recreative] FAITH will not. “The earth and the works therein will be burned up” which speaks to us of the nature and occasion of what is called HELL, and is reminiscent of what is called wrath and punishment, which is simply cause and effect, except that because this is set against the background of God’s LOVE which is His very nature, the torment of this flame will happen in the full knowledge of it being God’s LOVE that is in action against us because we ourselves are in DENIAL of its already emotionally accomplished victory, intended to free our hearts from the absence of His love and to instill its flame deep within those previously “hardened” hearts. “Their hearts were cleansed by faith”.

And the new creation is revealed from amongst the smoke and ashes of the old.

The revealing of these new creation people should be noted in THIS life as they go about in this world as members of this new “kingdom” (of God), but unfortunately this is not as obvious as it perhaps SHOULD be because there are many “lukewarm” “Christians” in the world, and also people tend to be willingly ignorant of them, often being inherently blinded to the virtues which they may be displaying.

[The new resurrected body will be of Spiritual matter, and the transformation of the old matter to Spiritual matter may be seen to be a rearrangement of all known molecular and atomic nature to form this Spirit nature, OR a completely new form of nature presently obscure to us, OTHER than that which is NOT obscure which we recognise as LOVE]

ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD NOW [1898]

It is written that through much tribulation we must enter the kingdom of God. And so it is, that in this life you will have trouble, that in the process of getting from a to b, in getting from your faith entry into the kingdom to finally being literally in the kingdom, this will involve the trial of your faith, so that you will then emerge like gold from the furnace, IN the kingdom.

But Jesus said “seek you first the kingdom of God and His righteousness”, and He also said to the Pharisees that they themselves had not entered in and they had prevented others from entering in. So the faith journey is one where we are to consider ourselves to have already entered in, this is what the faith journey is all about, even though Paul said that he had not considered himself to have “attained” the final result and that he pressed on to obtain the prize, it is very much a matter of you containing the kingdom of God and that kingdom being built up in you NOW, because if not NOW, then NEVER.

Faith says we have been both buried and resurrected with Christ, even that we are now seated with Him in the heavenlies, from where we serve with Him as kings and priests NOW. So faith is a matter of assuming this victorious position WITH HIM by the power of His Spirit of resurrection, the Spirit of life. The trials and tribulations then seek to topple us from our place in the kingdom, they test us out and refine us as we continue in the faith. So in context we should not see “the kingdom” as something yet to come, because this is how many of the sects and cults view it, keeping it at arm’s length, because they are busily working away at trying to construct their own method of salvation instead of accepting Christ as having already saved them from the final fire, even if in the meantime we have to undergo the many “fires” of the testing of our heavenly position.

‘From now on I consider no man from a fleshly viewpoint’ says Paul, ‘even though we once considered Christ in this way we do so no longer’. For the Christian the kingdom has come*, but its final reward [the literal resurrection of the immortal body] is to be waited for patiently, while others stridently try to convince you that you are not kingdom material, and that “the kingdom” is a distant thing not be apprehended in THIS life. I tell you that if you do not enter it and apprehend it in THIS life, you will never do so. You must participate in “The First Resurrection” NOW, because Jesus IS that first resurrection, and you must in this life be lifted up with Him also lest you be ‘harmed by’ the “Second Death” which, along with salvation, will be at the occurrence of His Second Coming.

[*The faith journey is to live life in this world as a citizen of the next, and in and by that hope we are saved].

JESUS ENTERED INTO THE DARKNESS [165aq]

The difficulty of understanding all aspects of the cross may be lessened by understanding why Jesus said “My God…” in relation to his Father, since that is how most of mankind views God, as some sort of distant upholder of the law who is intent on bringing us to justice for our sins.

The subject of light and darkness is present in scripture as a means of understanding the good happy stuff as distinct from the bad sad stuff. That God is light and we (sin) are darkness. That he dwells in light while we dwell in darkness. [darkness is scary because you can’t see where you’re going].

When Jesus “bore our sin”, he entered into the darkness that is common to mankind, he entered into the state of separation from God who is light. This separation from God is a theme which began in the garden when Adam failed to maintain his relationship with God, who was his Father. Henceforth his relationship would be felt by him [Adam] as one who was an outcast from God’s presence, and as one who was unworthy of God’s love.

He felt this condition because his PERCEPTION of God had been altered by the cloud of sin and guilt that acted as a filter to prevent his own view of himself as being one who was acceptable and lovable. Where once there was only the singularity of God and his love, there now lay the complexity of sin and guilt, which heavily filtered out the light and brought darkness to his “soul”. [this darkness is seen as condemnation and “wrath” ]

Jesus was “made in all points as us”. This means he was not only the perfect son of God, but that he was a “heavenly Spirit” who lived in an earthly body. As such, his identity was always that of consciously being “The Son of God”, and to him, God was his Father. “Do you not know that I must be about my Father’s business” he said when he was twelve years old or so. This identity heavily “polarised” him so that his conscious self always dwelt within this identity, and any temptation that came to him was immediately isolated as being from an “alien” source.

This position/condition remained with him throughout his life until he began to enter into his “passion”, which means until he began to enter into the realm within himself that was identified as man’s “world”, man’s consciousness, man’s deficiencies, and man’s sins and the very mechanism within from which and by which sin is generated. This passion began in the garden, where he began to feel the effects of it so severely that he literally began to die*. “Father if it be thy will let this cup pass from me, but nevertheless, thy will be done”.

This is ultimately portrayed on the cross where literal darkness came over the scene. Jesus cried “My God, my God, why have you forsaken [abandoned] [left] me.” He was no longer feeling the loving presence of his Father, he was feeling the same sense of isolation from Love that we feel, he was caught up in the darkness of “soul” that we feel, his perception was not that of his loving Father but that of an angry God who was confronting him with the sin that by indwelling mankind, continued to express and produce the works of darkness that he now felt within him.

He stayed in this condition, feeling what we call “hell”, subject to all that we perceive to be the “punishment” of hell, feeling the burning wrath of the inner conflict that had now erupted into anguish and agony of soul. Until at last all of the inner death that mankind had “brought to the table” had been extinguished, had been overcome, had been brought to a state of life, where previously there was only death. Sure, he could have bailed at any time, he could have, as Spirit, returned to the Father. But once entered into the battle, it was inconceivable that he would quit the mission for which he was born. He was entitled to retain life, but having uttered the words “It is finished”, having defeated the “enemy” and restored the human condition, he surrendered his life, his Spirit,  to God. To his now restored perception, of God as Father. He died.

God the Father was never any different, had not changed, yet sin had changed man’s idea, view, of God into being someone who was out for revenge, someone who wanted to set things right by punishing us for sin. And we feel that sense of punishment within, we feel the impending doom through guilt and fear of death, yet God has never changed from being the loving Father to us all. He has never wanted us to die in our sins, he has always been available to wash us in his love, to restore us from darkness to light. We simply have been blinded to him in that way, because of the indwelling  darkness of sin.

Jesus was the revelation of the true nature of God. He came to remove the blinkers from our eyes, to take the shroud of death from our hearts, to release us from the misery of self condemnation that was empowered by the law that exists within us because we were made as sons of God. That law that is reinforced by the correct judgement we bring to bear on ourselves, so that, unable to bear it, we hide from it and from him, because the perceived unattainable love is so painful and miserable a condition. Jesus entered into this same condition, and destroyed its validity, destroyed its falseness of accusation against us and God, so that by our recognition of his loving righteousness in restoring us in Jesus, we rightly judge and agree with his action in forgiving us in this way as being the ultimate righteousness of all.

As created sons of God, we condemned ourselves to the point where our perception was that God was of the same nature as our false perception.

Christ didn’t remove the barrier between us and God because there never was one. What he did was to reveal his Father as being our Father, by presenting him in the correct perspective in relation to us and our own faulty perspective. Certainly he destroyed the faulty nature of man and suffered that which was the natural outcome of our “sickness”.

But by showing the outcome of this process as being life itself, he draws us to himself and the heavenly Father. We are drawn to his love which is able to cleanse us as we submit to that which always was, from the perfection of his concern for us to perfect us in the love that he is. By faith our sins are remitted, as they do not exist in his eyes, but only in our eyes. Such sorrow there may be as to hold us back from such submission, but such love must ultimately bring us to his heart and allow that love to consume us and consume our faults, our defects, our sin and darkness. “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life”, no man comes to the Father but by me”.

Jesus exampled the father and also humanity within his own body. In this way he has become the high Priest for us, the intermediary for us. We are perfected in him, once we commit to him. We are not perfect as he is perfect, but we are perfected in that we will live with him regardless of our “performance” as we continue in the process of ultimate perfection, in which we are saved regardless of our ultimate condition, as long as we remain in him. “live a life of love”. “All things are yours”.

Love is the active ingredient that engages the enemy and suffers because of it. The nature of love is something that is continued in as faith builds a new reality which is really an old reality (I give you a new commandment which is really an old commandment) but is the reality of God and his love for us. Love one another, bear each others burdens, and so fulfill the “law” of Christ.

[* The idea of Jesus beginning to die was introduced by a certain theologian, but which should not dispel the accepted concept of it simply being the repugnancy of/for the condition of the sin experience he was about to enter. He also knew that when he was in this state that he would be unable to understand this separation from the Father, giving rise to “why have you forsaken me?”]

https://www.compellingtruth.org/Jesus-died-for-our-sins.html

This link is provided to an article on the atonement, but I have not yet checked out the source, nor many of the other associated articles. I know they have got at least one thing wrong, that being where they say that Paul in Romans 7 was struggling with sin, which is a bad error if they are saying He did this as a Christian, which I think is what they are saying [yes, this is error] . And while it covers many subjects, it may be the opening of a can of theological errors. For those with the time to investigate further, it may be an interesting exercise in futility, or an expose’ of whoever the originating authority is. THEIR Romans 7 ref.   https://www.compellingtruth.org/assurance-of-salvation.html

Canxiety Cdepression

ROMANS 7 COMMENTARIES CRITIQUED [1777d]

A Michael Youssef update. See also post 1564a.

A WORK IN PROGRESS

Category 1 commentaries are those where the author predominately believes that Romans 7 is that of the Christian position. Category 2 commentaries are those where the author predominately believes that Romans 7 is that of the pre Christian position. The number of category 1 commentaries seem to far outweigh the category 2 ones, which is a pity because category 1 is the incorrect position and the consequences of this are far reaching, far beyond what one would expect them to be.

A.W. PINK. cat. 1. http://www.pbcofdecaturalabama.org/AWPink/Romans7.htm It is hard to imagine just what background Pink came from to enable such a poor understanding of this chapter. He says that morally we are bound to obey the law, which presupposes that the law is still relevant and not fulfilled or “abolished”. He splits the legal law from the moral law, for which there is no precedent, we have died to the law, which means as far as the law goes we cease to exist, and as far as we go, the whole law ceases to exist. Death frees us from both law and sin. Pink wants us to obey the law we are no longer under.

Then he says that believers are dead to the law, but then says that this experience from 7:7 on is a Christian one. But the ongoing description is actually that of one still under the law and very much alive to it, not dead to it at all. If he were dead to the law then there would be no further interaction with it, because the law only has jurisdiction over a man as long as he lives. Death dissolves the partnership, the marriage, the old covenant of law. We would not still be talking about the law at this point if he had indeed died to it.

Verse 7 on speaks of the past, since people make such an issue of verse 14 being present tense. So Paul’s experience is that the law killed him, and nowhere forward does this situation change, he is speaking as one who has been killed by the law. He is in a state of spiritual death under the law. He speaks as a dead man.

Then, failing to address the scripture itself, Pink launches into a whole heap of his opinions before jumping straight to the last two verses. “O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of death?” So Paul has expressed the conclusion that he is controlled by his body of death, and needs a deliverer (from his bondage to sin and death). That deliverer whose name he has not known, is Jesus. So he now knows there is a deliverer who can deliver him from the situation he has just described, that being of one who is under the power and control of sin, which means that the situation he was in, was there because he had not had a deliverer up to this point. IE the problem he described which was now about to be solved by the application of the deliverer Jesus to that problem, meant that the solution (Jesus) was not present during the time of the problem, otherwise the problem would have ceased to exist. So Jesus was not present, but absent, and only law was present, which is why the problem existed. “Without me you can do nothing” Jesus said, and this is the example that Paul in Romans 7 could do nothing of himself, because it was ONLY “of himself” and Jesus or the Spirit were completely absent until chapter 8. Having expressed relief that there WAS a deliverer, he returns to his conclusion of the duality of man’s unredeemed nature under the law.

Pink presupposes that “the law” is eternal and this is what draws his error. When he concludes with the “two laws”, the law of Paul’s mind and the law of sin, he assumes that this is the final conclusion to the chapter, but it is not. The law of sin “in his members” is the very law Jesus died for to release us from, as you will find to be the final conclusion in Romans 8:2, where from that law of sin and death we are now freed by the “law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus”, thus removing one of the “laws” from the “duality” of nature, and he and the “law of his mind” is then set free from the law of sin and death, which is what “the law” becomes to us when we transgress it. But which Christians are now dead to. If you are not dead to it then you have negated the conditions of the new covenant by not exercising faith in Jesus body of death FOR us to relieve us from the power of the law to induce sin in us. [“Having a form of religion, but denying the power thereof”].

Most sadly, he appears to believe that every day of our lives we should be experiencing the “wretched man” position. How many times does he want the question “who will deliver me…” answered?

[Pink’s position is one which maintains the power of the law over the flesh, excusing sin as being covered by Christ’s death instead of sin’s power being removed. “For the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law, but thanks be to God who gives us the victory in Christ”].

MATTHEW HENRY. cat.1. https://www.christianity.com/bible/commentary/matthew-henry-concise/romans/7

Henry makes the statement “When the commandment came to his conscience* by the conviction of the Holy Spirit“. Now just a minute, we are talking about the law in the context of Romans 7:8 for example, “But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law, sin is dead.” The life he just said that he had before the law came, was extinguished by the law when it prompted a sin reaction in him and he died. So the commandment caused his death, the law killed him, but yet he was supposed to have already DIED to the law if he supposedly contained the Spirit.

How can these expressions of LAW and COMMANDMENT be associated with the Holy Spirit, since the Spirit could only come once the matter of law had been dealt with by faith that the body of Jesus had allowed us to DIE TO THE LAW? And these matters cannot be reconciled with the old covenant, law, being separated from us through death so we could be “joined to another”. Since we have already in Paul’s explanation been made to die to the law, why then would further explanation ensue concerning that law that we died to, except as explanation and instruction as to why it had to go? Rom.7 explains it was the law which held us in the power of sin, but now we are no longer under the law. The coming of the Spirit at Pentecost CREATED the new covenant within them, displacing the old. They then just needed explanation as to why this was so, which is what Paul is explaining in 7.

The commandment came to his conscience*’ when he received the law. 7:13. “…That through the commandment, sin might become utterly sinful”. 7:9 “And I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came (as it did in Eden), sin became alive and I died”. Sin became alive to his conscience, and HE died. GUILT was the result, not by the Spirit, but by the LAW, which was the whole idea of the old covenant. 5:20 “And the law came in that the transgression might increase…” So if he is dead under the law, he is not alive in the Spirit. Can you be dead and alive at the same time? What makes the difference? The SPIRIT of 8:2. Rom.6:14 “For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace”. They already knew they were not under law, and 7 revealed to them the how and why of the necessity for that. “Who will set me free from this body of death?” but this takes us straight back to 6:6,7 to ground already covered.

Matthew says “…serve and obey the law of God” And there you have the error. WE ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW. Do we die to the law in order to keep the law? There is an oxymoron for you. But in effect, YES, only by dying to the law can we keep the law, but not by or as law, only by the SPIRIT is the INTENT (Rom.8:4) of the law kept, not the law as law, in written form or otherwise, but only in spirit, as spirit, by the Spirit.

JOHN WESLEY. cat.2. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/wen/romans-7.html Appears to be essentially correct.

GODET (FREDERICK LOUIS). cat.2. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gsc/romans-7.html correct.

SPURGEON. cat.1. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/spe/romans-7.html incorrect. He claims Paul as Christian when he says “wretched man that I am” but this goes on to say “who will deliver me from this body of death”. It would be a strange Christian who did not already know that the one who had ALREADY “delivered him from this body of death”, was JESUS. And as a Christian, to claim you were a “wretched man” would hardly entice others to the faith if that were to be the experience. (Shades of A.W. PINK). Christ having delivered us from this body of death is the foundation of the faith. And then, without referencing scripture further, he goes off into some long winded huff and puff like some demented novelist determined to use as many words as possible.

JOHN PIPER. cat.1. https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/articles/romans-7-does-describe-your-christian-experience incorrect. John jumps around a fair bit here. He as well, cannot see the pause between 7:6 and 7:7, and ends up seeing “two great victories” being that of 7:6 and that of 7:24, 25, where he proclaims “thanks be to Jesus” and calls 7:25 “with the mind serving God but his flesh serving sin” as a victory?? He fails to see that the mind “serving God” is the same mind that WANTED to serve God but could not, because the law of the flesh causing sin was still in control. Paul’s thanks to Jesus can only come into effect AFTER 8:2 where this law of sin (in the flesh) has been disempowered by the cross, and by faith in which we are now set free from the very law of sin (and death) of 7:25. His initial “thanks be to Jesus” is only an interjection that there IS a deliver whose name he did not know until then, and who obviously was not with him in the whole of this chapter or he would already have had the victory he talks about. So he was not speaking as a believer.

COFFMAN. cat.2. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bcc/romans-7.html While Coffman seems to be on top of the main issue, his difference with Hodge is interesting – he seems to be arguing over the difference between “he that believes and is baptised will be saved”, and “he that believes will be saved”. This is a diversion from the subject at hand.

HODGE. cat.1. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hdg/romans-7.html Even while he speaks of a “believer” he continues to speak about the law. This is after the person is supposed to have become a believer on the basis of Christ having died to the law for him. He does not realise that the continuing conflict being spoken of, exists because of its context under law, the same law that Christians are NOT under. He obviously cannot make the distinction between where Paul ends up in 7:6 using words of a believer in the Spirit, and where it starts afresh with the purpose of disclosing just why the law had to go in 7:7. He also creates this strange explanation which includes the fact that we die to the law, but then reintroduces it as being beneficial to the believers life. He continues with its use. “Paul, having shown that we must be delivered from the law, …that the law enlightens a believers conscience…comes to explain what are the use and effect of the law”.

BILL RANDLES. cat.1. https://billrandles.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/two-conflicting-laws-within-me-romans-7/ Bill jumps right in with his view that Romans 7 is the regenerated, Spirit filled person. He presents his case without any meaningful reference to scripture and blindly makes assertions that the scripture does not make. In common with much of this problem is the simple failure to see that the subject matter is LAW, not Spirit, and the reasons he gives to explain this are not credible. There is flat out failure to see that the two subjects of law and Spirit are direct opposites, so that if we are involved in a discussion about law, we are not able to simultaneously entertain a discussion about the Spirit. And to say it again, WE ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW. He says “Why does the Christian have to be delivered from the law of God? Well no Bill, the Christian doesn’t have to be delivered from the law of God, the Christian has ALREADY been delivered from the law of God, that is what makes him a Christian. He was dead under the law, now he has been delivered from law sin and death. It is not the Christian who needs to be delivered from the law of God, but the non Christian. As Romans 7 shows. [Conversely it well may be that the very point of all this, is that it is indeed the Christian who needs deliverance from the law, or law(s). Because it seems that the “law of the Spirit of life” is always being opposed by laws which do NOT come from life, but which seek to install death. See Godet where he says that the gospel has become to, and accepted by, many who see it as a new modified form of law (other than the law of the Spirit of life).]

DOUGLAS MOO. cat.2. Though Moo is not correct in all his assertions, he does fall on the right side of the argument. But I am still looking for a decent commentary by which to confirm this.

DUNN. cat.1.

JOHN MURRAY. cat.1

TOM SCHREINER. cat.2

RUDOLPH BULTMANN. cat.

J.W. MACGORMAN. https://preachingsource.com/journal/romans-7-once-more/ One of the many discourses on this chapter, revealing the intricate delicacies of the subject matter, and how for various reasons people get hopelessly entangled in it like a spiders web, probably because of their faulty theology in other facets of the faith. I enclose it, not necessarily because it is a good example, but because it shows some of the arguments involved. The desire to place verse 25 after 23 is an interesting but desperate attempt to make scripture fit their thesis.

PS One of the wrong ideas commonly put forward by opponents of the truth is that only a believer could rejoice in the law. This is a flat out LIE. A believer in WHAT? There are many old testament old covenant examples of how in what high regard the law was held, after all, that was all they had. Even though now, the glory of the new far surpasses the old, at the time Moses still had to veil his face to conceal that glory. This “only a believer” is used because it is a weapon in their armoury they can use to try to discredit the Spirit’s power in delivering to us the absolute and complete victory of Christ.

DAVID GUZIK. cat.1. https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/romans-7/ “The spiritual man knows he is carnal” David includes. Here we have one of those oxymorons where the so called ‘spiritual’ man is exhibiting only the characteristics of the carnal man. Paul says elsewhere “let those who are spiritual restore…” yet the man in seven is in need of severe restoration himself, he can hardly be called spiritual. “But I am carnal, sold as a slave…” Now immediately we know that Paul was NOT describable as carnal as a Christian, and he would definitely be described as spiritual. So he is NOT speaking here of his Christian self. AND he says “sold as a slave…” when we know Jesus BOUGHT us back from slavery to sin, and that this slavery to sin was because of the law, that is why law sin and death can no more have dominion over us. THAT is why we “die” to the law. THAT is why WE ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW.

ADAM CLARKE. cat.2.

EU CHRISTIANS. cat. 2. Although this group are on the right side of things there are a couple of errors in their article. They say that 7:9 reveals Paul is not speaking of his personal experience when he writes, “I was once alive apart from the law”. This is wrong because this is the experience of all men, even of Adam and Eve in the garden, which was the first recorded case of this commandment coming and them consequently dying. Also he says of the law “It does not bring about sin…” but 7:8 says that sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the law sin is dead.” So the law certainly brings about sin. 7:5 “…sinful passions AROUSED BY THE LAW…”

M.J. THOMPSON cat.1.

MICHAEL YOUSSEF cat.1. Whilst Michael is very good in other directions, he has managed to get this wrong. He has not directly sought to interpret this chapter 7, but has bypassed any explanation by simply saying that it describes SELF EFFORT which is basically correct, but it should specifically be noted that this self effort comes about as a result of being under law, which he does not say, it is not part of the description of being a Christian, which is the very opposite, that of reliance on Christ as the answer to all problems pertaining to legalism. Michael’s falling on the wrong side of the divisive line here, is to be seen by his statement about Romans 7 being preceded by Romans 6 as being about sanctification, a clear reference that he considers chapter 7 to be a continuation of the subject of sanctification. Also that he then mentions how he had in the past had some great conversations with prominent “saints”, and he mentions this with regard to them openly admitting and embracing their failures, again, obviously referring to Romans 7 as being part of the sanctification process of a Christian. He has not directly addressed the scripture nor any of the issues involved. His talk on Romans 7 may be seen at “From valley to Victory Part 9” of March 11 2019.

DAVID RICE cat.1. David has chosen the category 1 side of the argument, which is his choice of course. He has a web site called “End Time Thinker”.

TO BE CONTINUED…..