ROMANS 7 SHENANIGANS – possible arguments to support my view of Romans seven [1341a]

Because of alternative viewpoints to Romans 7, and the specific nature of the objections now raised by one particular person, I present these following aspects as being relevant to the case. Obviously there is much much more that could be said, but these particular points are relevant to the objections concerned.

The argument centres around whether the person speaking in R7 is a Christian or not, but more specifically, whether or not it is a Christian point of view, IE is this person speaking of a Christian’s experience, or is he simply relating what happens to a person if subjected to law. IE is this the pre-Christian experience, of one under LAW, or is it the ongoing experience of one who has become a Christian, IE an ongoing conflict experienced between mind and flesh.

IN verse 23, Paul says how his description of the previous verses demonstrates that it makes him a prisoner of sin.

In verse 24, he exclaims his wretchedness and seeks for a deliverer to his situation.

But If he is already explaining the Christian experience, then he would already know the name of his deliverer.

If he is already a Christian then verse 25 is the conclusion to the matter.

But this then makes 8-1 superfluous because it is giving victory to one who already has it, if he is indeed speaking as a Christian in R7. – He would be giving the victory TWICE.

Since chapter 8 has to be the statement of release from condemnation, then it is stating that release as applying to the forgoing exclamation and condition of Paul as “wretched man, WHO will deliver me?”

Are we trying to say there are TWO releases? One that releases us from the inherited sin, and another that releases us from ongoing sin??!!!  (being R7)  – NO WAY can this be true.

CH.8 has to be the release from sin/law to GRACE and referring to the sin-slavery condition of CH.7;  CH 7 is not an ongoing addition to the revelations of CH. 5&6, but is an in-depth analysis of the change from law to grace.

The person in R7 does NOT have “free-will” as one objection stated, but is bound by law-sin-flesh. See 7:15-20.

And 8-13 actually is the closest thing to putting a condition on the Christian status, other than “believing” of course (and there is also James that faith without works is dead), which is that you must actually be achieving victory over flesh – “…you must die. BUT IF by the Spirit you are PUTTING TO DEATH THE DEEDS OF THE BODY, (not happening in CH.7) You will live.”

[Which possibly raises an interesting point, being that the “putting to death of the works of the body” may be the minimum expected, which then becomes the base point on which any “good works” are built in terms of “if any man’s work survives…” So 8-13 would then appear to be mandatory for ‘bare’ survival]

[If he needs a liberator, then obviously he speaks from a pre-liberated position]

ROMANS 7 SHENANIGANS – possible arguments to support my view of Romans seven [1341]

Because of alternative viewpoints to Romans 7, and the specific nature of the objections now raised by one particular person, I present these following aspects as being relevant to the case. Obviously there is much much more that could be said, but these particular points are relevant to the objections concerned.

The argument centres around whether the person speaking in R7 is a Christian or not, but more specifically, whether or not it is a Christian point of view, IE is this person speaking of a Christian’s experience, or is he simply relating what happens to a person if subjected to law. IE is this the pre-Christian experience, of one under LAW, or is it the ongoing experience of one who has become a Christian, IE an ongoing conflict experienced between mind and flesh.

IN verse 23, Paul says how his description of the previous verses demonstrates that it makes him a prisoner of sin.

In verse 24, he exclaims his wretchedness and seeks for a deliverer to his situation.

But If he is already explaining the Christian experience, then he would already know the name of his deliverer.

If he is already a Christian then verse 25 is the conclusion to the matter.

But this then makes 8-1 superfluous because it is giving victory to one who already has it, if he is indeed speaking as a Christian in R7. – He would be giving the victory TWICE.

Since chapter 8 has to be the statement of release from condemnation, then it is stating that release as applying to the forgoing exclamation and condition of Paul as “wretched man, WHO will deliver me?”

Are we trying to say there are TWO releases? One that releases us from the inherited sin, and another that releases us from ongoing sin??!!!  (being R7)  – NO WAY can this be true.

CH.8 has to be the release from sin/law to GRACE and referring to the sin-slavery condition of CH.7;  CH 7 is not an ongoing addition to the revelations of CH. 5&6, but is an in-depth analysis of the change from law to grace.

The person in R7 does NOT have “free-will” as one objection stated, but is bound by law-sin-flesh. See 7:15-20.

And 8-13 actually is the closest thing to putting a condition on the Christian status, other than “believing” of course (and there is also James that faith without works is dead), which is that you must actually be achieving victory over flesh – “…you must die. BUT IF by the Spirit you are PUTTING TO DEATH THE DEEDS OF THE BODY, (not happening in CH.7) You will live.”

[Which possibly raises an interesting point, being that the “putting to death of the works of the body” may be the minimum expected, which then becomes the base point on which any “good works” are built in terms of “if any man’s work survives…” So 8-13 would then appear to be mandatory for ‘bare’ survival]

[If he needs a liberator, then obviously he speaks from a pre-liberated position.]

THE TWO LAWS OF ROMANS 7 [1339b]

“LAW BRINGS WRATH.”

At Paul’s conclusion of the description of a man who is a slave to sin, on His own, devoid of Christ or Spirit, behaving badly under the law, [in conflict and under wrath][and under the curse of the law] He finds that there were two laws in operation throughout the explanation of what happens to a man under law. [apart from the main subject of the law itself]

V25.    1.   I myself [by myself, of myself] find I am serving the LAW of God with my mind,

2.  but on the other hand, myself [by myself, of myself] am serving the LAW of sin with my flesh.

Chapter 7 has just finished describing how “with his mind” He is powerless to do any good, that though he has a will towards “serving” the law of God, that his will is overpowered by the stronger “will” of the flesh.

This is the impasse’ that is now resolved in R8 because the sacrifice of Jesus for sin ‘in the flesh’, has now removed it. The flesh has been relegated to death, so it has no power or authority now, other than that which we ourselves may continue to give it. But even then, it still has no power or authority IN ITSELF to condemn us, since God is done with condemnation, his message is the very opposite, FREEDOM from condemnation.

So we have (by death) been set free from the law of sin and of death*. R8 v 2.

“Law” 2. then is negated by this. Flesh, having been apportioned death, is disempowered. [we died with Him].

“Law” 1. is now free to be carried out, not as under law, but because of and through the very thing which liberated us from law sin and death, the SPIRIT. The mind is liberated.

Problems occur when people read v25 as meaning that this is the final conclusion to what had been written in the forgoing material of chapter 7, and that it means that the ongoing position of a believer, is now that it doesn’t matter that my flesh serves sin, because my mind is serving God!!??  The reality is that v25 is just setting us up for chapter 8 v1.

THE BIGGER PROBLEM MAY OCCUR IF IT IS BELIEVED THAT THE CONCLUSION REACHED SHOWS THE TWO STATES AS A CONFLICT, AS THE PERMANENT STATE THEN OF THE BELIEVER. And not that it is resolved in 8-1.

Paul found that the mind of one under law was in captivity to the law of the flesh within him, because being under the condemnation of the law, this gave the flesh power over us. That although the mind WANTED to serve God’s laws, principles, and it may have even initiated the motions of outworking some good, that in the process of this the flesh had a huge say in it and disrupted, perverted and corrupted the final outcome. His wishing to do good amounted to pure wishful thinking.

The “I” is myself, my identity, my consciousness of who I am, but there are two possibilities, either law 1 or law 2 when I am under ‘the’ law. Romans 7 is describing how both these laws apply to the person under law, and this is what gives rise to inner conflict of the kind which R7 describes. This inner conflict is what Jesus came to fix, and by His actions on the cross, it is truly FIXED.

So the “fixed” person (the believer) no longer has this inner conflict IF HE TRULY BELIEVES. Because this is the power of God towards us. Knowing (believing) this inner conflict to have been overcome FOR US empowers us to reach out in the Spirit towards Him and His righteousness, because he has given us the status of righteousness, as proved in Jesus’ body on the cross, and His subsequent and consequent resurrection. FOR US.

Where previously the man had NO “will” power, being a SLAVE to sin, He now being liberated can fix his will and the mind of that will, firmly in God’s direction. He has “crossed over” from death to life.

R7 has NO SPIRIT. (especially if you consider that ch.7 should not have started until verse 7) and is all about “I” myself (on my own, of myself) and my flesh and the law.

R6 should not have ended until what presently is CH, 7 verse 6.

Romans 7 is completely the picture of a man under the law and the power of sin over him because of it. It is NOT the picture of a believer, even though it is Paul telling the story. Paul is relating the state of every man, particularly in this case Paul himself, in his experience of being under law, or “the law”. So Paul certainly can say “but I”, (wretched man) because he is relating the carnal state of every man of human nature, even though particularly in this case of human nature, (flesh) is being magnified (increased) and exemplified under law.

There is no victory here, only defeat. No life, only death. [no peace] Pure conflict.

This chapter is an after piece to what he said in chapters 5 6 7 where He told the Christian story. Now he goes back to explain just what the problem with being under law was/is, and what the ramifications of it are. Because he is relating this from his own experience, even though he is a Christian at the time of writing (obviously), he is not talking as a Christian, because the whole subject is and always has been in this chapter, LAW. And do I have to say it, Christians are not under law, THIS IS WHAT MAKES THEM CHRISTIANS. To be describing the effects of law on a man and then try to call that man a Christian is ridiculous.

Confusion again arises because of his use of the present tense when he describes how flesh (HIS flesh) is the same as anybody else’s flesh, so that (particularly) when provoked by law, it produces “the works of the flesh”. When Paul or any man is subjected to law, nothing good will come of it, because as it says “In me THAT IS, IN MY FLESH (HUMAN NATURE) DWELLS NO GOOD THING”.

But you see, the subject, the context, is always about LAW. It has nothing to do with being a Christian, being born again, being a believer or any such thing. It is talking about the Jewish law and the ins and outs of how and why it had power over us. It is the perfect description of one who is a slave to sin, who has no will power in the face of fleshly power given it through law. Verse 25 sums up his conclusion, that indeed we want to follow the law, but the flesh empowered by the law overrides our wishing to actually produce what is right. But all this is plainly and clearly laid out in the chapter itself.

For someone to point to Romans chapter 7 and say that this is a picture, a portrayal of a Christian and the Christian experience is just nuts.

[Law loses its power to incite to sin, just as verse 11 says – “..for sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, deceived me, and through it killed me.” Verse 8 says “..apart from the law sin is dead”. and “He (Jesus) has ABOLISHED the law.”] 

*[By accepting His death for ours, we are admitting to the necessity for our death also][The rational mind seeks to serve God, the irrational flesh seeks to serve sin]

[“You have fallen from grace, you who seek to be justified by law”][Man cannot be justified by law]

PAUL RE-ENTERS INTO THE DARKNESS OF ROMANS 7 [1340a]

Romans 7 was my basic entry point into theology in the sense that the wrong view of it was being taught in times past, and I sought to bring light to this to avoid others being led astray in similar fashion. It is still being taught wrongly today, but it is interesting how fresh aspects of it keep surfacing.

For example, Paul in 7 is demonstrating the same situation that Jesus found Himself in when He “Entered into the darkness” as in a previous post (165). Both Paul and Jesus experienced similar things, similar anguish and mental torment. Jesus said “Why have you forsaken me” and Paul said “wretched man that I am”. In this sense they were both experiencing the “hell” of separation from God.

Jesus bore the consequences within Himself, in His own flesh, of OUR flesh, of being of human nature and doomed to failure.

The success of Paul (and other believers) in Romans 8, following the disaster of Romans 7, is similar to the state in which Jesus lived while on the earth. The overcoming and conquering of the flesh, by faith, that Paul “accomplished” by belief in what Jesus had done, as apparent in Romans 8, is similar to how Jesus kept the flesh (His flesh) at arms length until His mission was coming to its final conclusion, and He had to confront His own flesh in His body and deal with it – heal it, convert it, destroy it. [bearing our sin].

Paul and believers now have taken up the position which Jesus gives us as a victory, to be taken by faith, as a free gift. That means that now we understand our identity in Him, that we also have “polarised” our being so that by our faith in His rendering of His flesh to death, so also is our flesh rendered inert and dead.

Jesus went from physical and spiritual life to physical death to eternal life, and we go from spiritual death (human flesh) to spiritual life and then physical death.

The same means of overcoming the flesh are employed, that being the polarisation of good and evil by the awareness of our identity, Jesus as literal Son of God, and we as adopted sons of God, by faith in what He achieved on our behalf, the ‘destruction’ of the flesh. (and law and death).

The wrong view would have you believe that Paul the Apostle had again (Galatians) “taken up the yoke of the law” (which neither He nor the Fathers were able to bear (Hebrews). In Romans 7, anywhere you read “I” in this chapter you should insert “without Jesus” because this is what it means. Jesus of course said that “without me you can do nothing”, and this is the prime example of a man being without Jesus, and left alone with His mind under the control of sin by the power of the law.

Law, you will note, is that which Christians are no longer under, but you will also note that the person in 7 is well and truly under the power of sin via the law. Paul in 7 is a victim of “The ministry of death”, the law. He begins this chapter by saying, “I write to those of you who know the law”, so it should hardly be considered strange that the WHOLE SUBJECT OF 7 IS THE LAW and what it does to people via the flesh.

What Paul is describing is the inner conflict which all men have, and which conflict destroys them. It is the same “hell” that all end up in, one way or another, some just passing through, others remain. You will note that up until verse 6 Paul is alive, but from 7 onward he is “dead“. It is no coincidence that the true ending of chapter 6 should be at chapter 7 verse 6, and the beginning of chapter 7 should be at verse 7. In this way, there is absolutely NO mention of any “Spirit” at all, and no “fruit of the Spirit”, and that it is an absolute disaster as you would expect from one who was ensnared under law and in captivity, a slave, to sin. [Dead man talking].

While He was on earth, Jesus avoided this conflict until the time came for Him to enter His “passion” and suffer in the same darkness which we have done and all men are in, and Paul in Romans 7 was in as well. This darkness (hell) is the separation from God which Jesus bore the conflict of in His own flesh, for us. We gain the benefit as a gift, His resultant Spirit is gifted to us so we might be sons and daughters of God, Law sin and death no more have power over us unless we let it. We now are gifted the will power which Paul in 7 was denied.

In R7, Paul was “under the wrath” of God just like Jesus was on the cross. “Law brings wrath”. The solution for Paul came in the victory of chapter 8  which was Jesus’ finished victory now accessible to us. [Paul the apostle revisited his own flesh/law situation in R7 and describes its/his conflict]

NOTE that Paul is both a Christian and an apostle at the time of writing, but that he is simply describing the power that sin had over us because of law, the law which Jesus abolished (in His flesh) (with His love). [funny that Paul should be entering into the law which Jesus has already abolished?].

PAUL RE-ENTERS INTO THE DARKNESS OF ROMANS 7 [1340]

Romans 7 was my basic entry point into theology in the sense that the wrong view of it was being taught in times past, and I sought to bring light to this to avoid others being led astray in similar fashion. It is still being taught wrongly today, but it is interesting how fresh aspects of it keep surfacing.

For example, Paul in 7 is demonstrating the same situation that Jesus found Himself in when He “Entered into the darkness” as in a previous post (165). Both Paul and Jesus experienced similar things, similar anguish and mental torment. Jesus said “Why have you forsaken me” and Paul said “wretched man that I am”. In this sense they were both experiencing the “hell” of separation from God.

Jesus bore the consequences within Himself, in His own flesh, of OUR flesh, of being of human nature and doomed to failure.

The success of Paul (and other believers) in Romans 8, following the disaster of Romans 7, is similar to the state in which Jesus lived while on the earth. The overcoming and conquering of the flesh, by faith, that Paul “accomplished” by belief in what Jesus had done, as apparent in Romans 8, is similar to how Jesus kept the flesh (His flesh) at arms length until His mission was coming to its final conclusion, and He had to confront His own flesh in His body and deal with it – heal it, convert it, destroy it. [bearing our sin].

Paul and believers now have taken up the position which Jesus gives us as a victory, to be taken by faith, as a free gift. That means that now we understand our identity in Him, that we also have “polarised” our being so that by our faith in His rendering of His flesh to death, so also is our flesh rendered inert and dead.

Jesus went from physical and spiritual life to physical death to eternal life, and we go from spiritual death (human flesh) to spiritual life and then physical death.

The same means of overcoming the flesh are employed, that being the polarisation of good and evil by the awareness of our identity, Jesus as literal Son of God, and we as adopted sons of God, by faith in what He achieved on our behalf, the ‘destruction’ of the flesh. (and law and death).

The wrong view would have you believe that Paul the Apostle had again (Galatians) “taken up the yoke of the law” (which neither He nor the Fathers were able to bear (Hebrews). In Romans 7, anywhere you read “I” in this chapter you should insert “without Jesus” because this is what it means. Jesus of course said that “without me you can do nothing”, and this is the prime example of a man being without Jesus, and left alone with His mind under the control of sin by the power of the law.

Law, you will note, is that which Christians are no longer under, but you will also note that the person in 7 is well and truly under the power of sin via the law. Paul in 7 is a victim of “The ministry of death”, the law. He begins this chapter by saying, “I write to those of you who know the law”, so it should hardly be considered strange that the WHOLE SUBJECT OF 7 IS THE LAW and what it does to people via the flesh.

What Paul is describing is the inner conflict which all men have, and which conflict destroys them. It is the same “hell” that all end up in, one way or another, some just passing through, others remain. You will note that up until verse 6 Paul is alive, but from 7 onward he is “dead“. It is no coincidence that the true ending of chapter 6 should be at chapter 7 verse 6, and the beginning of chapter 7 should be at verse 7. In this way, there is absolutely NO mention of any “Spirit” at all, and no “fruit of the Spirit”, and that it is an absolute disaster as you would expect from one who was ensnared under law and in captivity, a slave, to sin. [Dead man talking].

While He was on earth, Jesus avoided this conflict until the time came for Him to enter His “passion” and suffer in the same darkness which we have done and all men are in, and Paul in Romans 7 was in as well. This darkness (hell) is the separation from God which Jesus bore the conflict of in His own flesh, for us. We gain the benefit as a gift, His resultant Spirit is gifted to us so we might be sons and daughters of God, Law sin and death no more have power over us unless we let it. We now are gifted the will power which Paul in 7 was denied.

In R7, Paul was “under the wrath” of God just like Jesus was on the cross. “Law brings wrath”. The solution for Paul came in the victory of chapter 8  which was Jesus’ finished victory now accessible to us. [Paul the apostle revisited his own flesh/law situation in R7 and describes its/his conflict]

NOTE that Paul is both a Christian and an apostle at the time of writing, but that he is simply describing the power that sin had over us because of law, the law which Jesus abolished (in His flesh) (with His love). [funny that Paul should be entering into the law which Jesus has already abolished?].

THE TWO LAWS OF ROMANS 7 [1339a]

“LAW BRINGS WRATH.”

At Paul’s conclusion of the description of a man who is a slave to sin, on His own, devoid of Christ or Spirit, behaving badly under the law, [in conflict and under wrath][and under the curse of the law] He finds that there were two laws in operation throughout the explanation of what happens to a man under law. [apart from the main subject of the law itself]

V25.    1.   I myself [by myself, of myself] find I am serving the LAW of God with my mind,

2.  but on the other hand, myself [by myself, of myself] am serving the LAW of sin with my flesh.

Chapter 7 has just finished describing how “with his mind” He is powerless to do any good, that though he has a will towards “serving” the law of God, that his will is overpowered by the stronger “will” of the flesh.

This is the impasse’ that is now resolved in R8 because the sacrifice of Jesus for sin ‘in the flesh’, has now removed it. The flesh has been relegated to death, so it has no power or authority now, other than that which we ourselves may continue to give it. But even then, it still has no power or authority IN ITSELF to condemn us, since God is done with condemnation, his message is the very opposite, FREEDOM from condemnation.

So we have (by death) been set free from the law of sin and of death*. R8 v 2.

“Law” 2. then is negated by this. Flesh, having been apportioned death, is disempowered. [we died with Him].

“Law” 1. is now free to be carried out, not as under law, but because of and through the very thing which liberated us from law sin and death, the SPIRIT. The mind is liberated.

Problems occur when people read v25 as meaning that this is the final conclusion to what had been written in the forgoing material of chapter 7, and that it means that the ongoing position of a believer, is now that it doesn’t matter that my flesh serves sin, because my mind is serving God!!??  The reality is that v25 is just setting us up for chapter 8 v1.

THE BIGGER PROBLEM MAY OCCUR IF IT IS BELIEVED THAT THE CONCLUSION REACHED THAT SHOWS THE TWO STATES AS A CONFLICT, IS THE PERMANENT STATE THEN OF THE BELIEVER. And not that it is resolved in 8-1.

Paul found that the mind of one under law was in captivity to the law of the flesh within him, because being under the condemnation of the law, this gave the flesh power over us. That although the mind WANTED to serve God’s laws, principles, and it may have even initiated the motions of outworking some good, that in the process of this the flesh had a huge say in it and disrupted, perverted and corrupted the final outcome. His wishing to do good amounted to pure wishful thinking.

The “I” is myself, my identity, my consciousness of who I am, but there are two possibilities, either law 1 or law 2 when I am under ‘the’ law. Romans 7 is describing how both these laws apply to the person under law, and this is what gives rise to inner conflict of the kind which R7 describes. This inner conflict is what Jesus came to fix, and by His actions on the cross, it is truly FIXED.

So the “fixed” person (the believer) no longer has this inner conflict IF HE TRULY BELIEVES. Because this is the power of God towards us. Knowing (believing) this inner conflict to have been overcome FOR US empowers us to reach out in the Spirit towards Him and His righteousness, because he has given us the status of righteousness, as proved in Jesus’ body on the cross, and His subsequent and consequent resurrection. FOR US.

Where previously the man had NO “will” power, being a SLAVE to sin, He now being liberated can fix his will and the mind of that will, firmly in God’s direction. He has “crossed over” from death to life.

R7 has NO SPIRIT. (especially if you consider that ch.7 should not have started until verse 7) and is all about “I” myself (on my own, of myself) and my flesh and the law.

R6 should not have ended until what presently is CH, 7 verse 6.

Romans 7 is completely the picture of a man under the law and the power of sin over him because of it. It is NOT the picture of a believer, even though it is Paul telling the story. Paul is relating the state of every man, particularly in this case Paul himself, in his experience of being under law, or “the law”. So Paul certainly can say “but I”, (wretched man) because he is relating the carnal state of every man of human nature, even though particularly in this case of human nature, (flesh) is being magnified (increased) and exemplified under law.

There is no victory here, only defeat. No life, only death. [no peace] Pure conflict.

This chapter is an after piece to what he said in chapters 5 6 7 where He told the Christian story. Now he goes back to explain just what the problem with being under law was/is, and what the ramifications of it are. Because he is relating this from his own experience, even though he is a Christian at the time of writing (obviously), he is not talking as a Christian, because the whole subject is and always has been in this chapter, LAW. And do I have to say it, Christians are not under law, THIS IS WHAT MAKES THEM CHRISTIANS. To be describing the effects of law on a man and then try to call that man a Christian is ridiculous.

Confusion again arises because of his use of the present tense when he describes how flesh (HIS flesh) is the same as anybody else’s flesh, so that (particularly) when provoked by law, it produces “the works of the flesh”. When Paul or any man is subjected to law, nothing good will come of it, because as it says “In me THAT IS, IN MY FLESH (HUMAN NATURE) DWELLS NO GOOD THING”.

But you see, the subject, the context, is always about LAW. It has nothing to do with being a Christian, being born again, being a believer or any such thing. It is talking about the Jewish law and the ins and outs of how and why it had power over us. It is the perfect description of one who is a slave to sin, who has no will power in the face of fleshly power given it through law. Verse 25 sums up his conclusion, that indeed we want to follow the law, but the flesh empowered by the law overrides our wishing to actually produce what is right. But all this is plainly and clearly laid out in the chapter itself.

For someone to point to Romans chapter 7 and say that this is a picture, a portrayal of a Christian and the Christian experience is just nuts.

[Law loses its power to incite to sin, just as verse 11 says – “..for sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, deceived me, and through it killed me.” Verse 8 says “..apart from the law sin is dead”. and “He (Jesus) has ABOLISHED the law.”] 

*[By accepting His death for ours, we are admitting to the necessity for our death also][The rational mind seeks to serve God, the irrational flesh seeks to serve sin]

[“You have fallen from grace, you who seek to be justified by law”][Man cannot be justified by law]

THE TWO LAWS OF ROMANS 7 [1339]

“LAW BRINGS WRATH.”

At Paul’s conclusion of the description of a man who is a slave to sin, on His own, devoid of Christ or Spirit, behaving badly under the law, [in conflict and under wrath][under the curse of the law] He finds that there were two laws in operation throughout the explanation of what happens to a man under law. [apart from the main subject of the law itself]

V25.    1.   I myself [by myself, of myself] find I am serving the LAW of God with my mind,

2.  but on the other hand, myself [by myself, of myself] am serving the LAW of sin with my flesh.

Chapter 7 has just finished describing how “with his mind” He is powerless to do any good, that though he has a will towards “serving” the law of God, that his will is overpowered by the stronger “will” of the flesh.

This is the impasse’ that is now resolved in R8 because the sacrifice of Jesus for sin ‘in the flesh’, has now removed it. The flesh has been relegated to death, so it has no power or authority now, other than that which we ourselves may continue to give it. But even then, it still has no power or authority IN ITSELF to condemn us, since God is done with condemnation, his message is the very opposite, FREEDOM from condemnation.

So we have (by death) been set free from the law of sin and of death*. R8 v 2.

“Law” 2. then is negated by this. Flesh, having been apportioned death, is disempowered. [we died with Him].

“Law” 1. is now free to be carried out, not as under law, but because of and through the very thing which liberated us from law sin and death, the SPIRIT. The mind is liberated.

Problems occur when people read v25 as meaning that this is the final conclusion to what had been written in the forgoing material of chapter 7, and that it means that the ongoing position of a believer, is now that it doesn’t matter that my flesh serves sin, because my mind is serving God!!??  The reality is that v25 is just setting us up for chapter 8 v1.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

THE BIGGER PROBLEM MAY BE THAT THEY SEE THIS DUAL LAW POSITION AS  BEING THE [‘NATURAL’] ONGOING CONFLICT OF THE BELIEVER. Rather than seeing the conflict then resolved in 8-1. (And that it is the resolution to this conflict which is the answer to everything).

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Paul found that the mind of one under law was in captivity to the law of the flesh within him, because being under the condemnation of the law, this gave the flesh power over us. That although the mind WANTED to serve God’s laws, principles, and it may have even initiated the motions of outworking some good, that in the process of this the flesh had a huge say in it and disrupted, perverted and corrupted the final outcome. His wishing to do good amounted to pure wishful thinking.

The “I” is myself, my identity, my consciousness of who I am, but there are two possibilities, either law 1 or law 2 when I am under ‘the’ law. Romans 7 is describing how both these laws apply to the person under law, and this is what gives rise to inner conflict of the kind which R7 describes. This inner conflict is what Jesus came to fix, and by His actions on the cross, it is truly FIXED.

So the “fixed” person (the believer) no longer has this inner conflict IF HE TRULY BELIEVES. Because this is the power of God towards us. Knowing (believing) this inner conflict to have been overcome FOR US empowers us to reach out in the Spirit towards Him and His righteousness, because he has given us the status of righteousness, as proved in Jesus’ body on the cross, and His subsequent and consequent resurrection. FOR US.

Where previously the man had NO “will” power, being a SLAVE to sin, He now being liberated can fix (set) his will and the mind of that will, firmly in God’s direction. He has “crossed over” from death to life.

R7 has NO SPIRIT. (especially if you consider that ch.7 should not have started until verse 7) and is all about “I” myself (on my own, of myself) and my flesh and the law.

R6 should not have ended until what presently is CH, 7 verse 6.

Romans 7 is completely the picture of a man under the law and the power of sin over him because of it. It is NOT the picture of a believer, even though it is Paul telling the story. Paul is relating the state of every man, particularly in this case Paul himself, in his experience of being under law, or “the law”. So Paul certainly can say “but I”, (wretched man) because he is relating the carnal state of every man of human nature, even though particularly in this case of human nature, (flesh) is being magnified (increased) and exemplified under law.

There is no victory here, only defeat. No life, only death. [no peace] Pure conflict.

This chapter is an after piece to what he said in chapters 5 6 7 where He told the Christian story. Now he goes back to explain just what the problem with being under law was/is, and what the ramifications of it are. Because he is relating this from his own experience, even though he is a Christian at the time of writing (obviously), he is not talking as a Christian, because the whole subject is and always has been in this chapter, LAW. And do I have to say it, Christians are not under law, THIS IS WHAT MAKES THEM CHRISTIANS. To be describing the effects of law on a man and then try to call that man a Christian is ridiculous.

Confusion again arises because of his use of the present tense when he describes how flesh (HIS flesh) is the same as anybody else’s flesh, so that (particularly) when provoked by law, it produces “the works of the flesh”. When Paul or any man is subjected to law, nothing good will come of it, because as it says “In me THAT IS, IN MY FLESH (HUMAN NATURE) DWELLS NO GOOD THING”.

But you see, the subject, the context, is always about LAW. It has nothing to do with being a Christian, being born again, being a believer or any such thing. It is talking about the Jewish law and the ins and outs of how and why it had power over us. It is the perfect description of one who is a slave to sin, who has no will power in the face of fleshly power given it through law. Verse 25 sums up his conclusion, that indeed we want to follow the law, but the flesh empowered by the law overrides our wishing to actually produce what is right. But all this is plainly and clearly laid out in the chapter itself.

For someone to point to Romans chapter 7 and say that this is a picture, a portrayal of a Christian and the Christian experience is just nuts.

[Law loses its power to incite to sin, just as verse 11 says – “..for sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, deceived me, and through it killed me.” Verse 8 says “..apart from the law sin is dead”. and “He (Jesus) has ABOLISHED the law.”] 

*[By accepting His death for ours, we are admitting to the necessity for our death also][The rational mind seeks to serve God, the irrational flesh seeks to serve sin]

[“You have fallen from grace, you who seek to be justified by law”][Man cannot be justified by law]

THROUGH THE WRECKAGE OF THE CURTAIN [1338]

Looking back from the other side. Feeding on the wreckage of what His body accomplished, the power and authority over death which we now hold because of Him.

EMPOWERMENT. Although I have said that we do not, nor can we, do what He did on the cross (although some groups attempt to) ; we are in fact participant in the complete victory He achieved, by virtue of our acceptance of the immense weight and importance of it, which now distances us from sin and its power.

Elsewhere in this blog I have spoken about Jesus’ “POLARISATION” in that He Himself, knowing His identity as THE Son of God, was empowered by His belief (faith) to be able to separate good from evil, in the form of discerning His own body, His “flesh” and its production of defective sinful inclinations, from Himself, His true identity, His perfect SPIRIT.

With Him there was separation of the good that He was and the potential ‘evil’ of the natural human bodily “fleshly” nature. These two natures were ‘polarised’, IE were driven apart by the difference of the two natures, so that Jesus was ‘isolated’ from His flesh almost in the sense of Him having an internal “virus vault” which contained the fleshly contamination and isolated it from Himself, who He was and what His allegiance was to, and what the desires of His Spirit were. [until on the cross He brought these two natures into conflict (‘hell’) with each other][This is the conflict which is NORMAL* to man who has not yet had his internal conflict resolved in Jesus].

So through His life, any ‘impulses’ from His “flesh” were rejected by Him as being from an ‘alien’ source, foreign to His nature and foreign to His identity.

And now, because of acceptance of Him, our own desires are changed and a similar polarisation has occurred whereby we also, are empowered to easily separate fleshly desires from Spiritual desires. The great drama and spectacle of His cross and His suffering has impacted our hearts so that in recognition of His empathy with us, we also empathise with Him and polarisation occurs, of the magnitude of the separation of our life from our death.

We now also, are strongly inclined to reject the desires of the flesh, (which He put to death for us) and instead, to obey the desires or impulses of the Spirit. We are empowered by faith in His death and His life for us.

So we are in possession of this great victory wrought for us, on our behalf, [He mortified the flesh FOR us] and equally and fully applying to us as much as it did to Him. And spiritually fully in application and potential application to us, as newness of spirit. The way this is applied to us at the ongoing level, is that there is continuous and ongoing reference to this victory over sin death and flesh, so that we also now have this discernment in the knowledge of good and evil; only instead of now condemning us as it used to, it now saves us because we are driven to oppose the evil and to accept the good instead. [As we abide in our separation, our “crossing over”  from death to life].

So while potentially all that He did is ours as well, and indeed in the spiritual sense is already ours, it only becomes apparent as we ongoingly now produce good instead of evil. We partake in His victory bit by bit as it presents to us to do good and deny what is bad. And we have the weight of our past experience to fuel this position, because it is the reverse side of what He destroyed on our behalf. The wreckage of our past life is seen in the suffering of His cross, and being that He suffered for US, we are impacted and polarised by it, by HIM. [by His love for us].

No, we don’t have to do what He did in its entirety, we simply apply it [ongoingly] as occasion demands of us to respond one way or the other to the stimulus of good and bad. From our position of power and authority with Him, we render evil impotent (because He sent it to the grave) and we render the occasion and opportunity to do good, with the appropriate [love] response.

We draw from Him, His victory, His cross, His Spirit; the strength we need to overcome as He overcame. We operate from His strength and from His position of victory. According to the value and the cost of this victory will also determine the degree of power we have to implement it. ‘The one who loves me will be the one who is able to do my commandments’. Paraphrased.

[In Romans 7, rather than empowerment we see enslavement under the law. There is no polarisation other than that which has been provided by ‘evil’ from the flesh, which polarises in the reverse direction to that which is required, albeit in Paul’s example unwillingly]

[Putting aside the desires of the flesh which have been relegated to death by Him, leaves only the [Spirit] desire to do good to be fulfilled, instead.]

*[There is ‘normal’ conflict which varies greatly from person to person, and then there is the conflict which attains dizzy heights because of that person’s confrontation with law in his attempts to fulfill or obey it, which reveals and results in absolute failure]

LOOKING ON THE BRIGHT SIDE. THE FLESH IS DEAD. [1337]

The whole world, as seen as being under condemnation under the reign of law, is now to be viewed as that which has been freed from condemnation so that the liberated spirit, by THE Spirit, might be free to operate in righteousness.

All those sinners out there, be they thieves or liars or murderers or homosexuals, have been forgiven of their sinful life and sinful nature so they might now serve God instead. So instead of preaching condemnation, now we must preach release from condemnation and judgement, because Jesus took all of that FOR US.

So the good news is that life has come to those who want it, who on the basis of Jesus taking away our condemnation by taking it upon HIMSELF, that all men are now free to return to Him and do what is right. The whole world has been set free from death, there is now no need to stay defeated any longer.

This good news unfortunately “goes over like a lead balloon” for most. They have grown comfortable with their sinful life and do not wish to change it. They alter the laws of their governments to allow further degradation, and to legalise SIN.

It remains that by our example they might see and recognise something that may stir them deep within and cause them to pause and think about their lives, past present and future. They might, by SEEING what real life is about, be encouraged to seek further for the answers which are out there for them, if they only look for them.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

If someone, in their greater knowledge and wisdom, did what was required for you to advance in life far beyond that which otherwise could take place, would you argue and disagree with them about it? If God says something, although we might not understand it, can we not see WHY it is implemented?

“One died for all. THEREFORE ALL DIED”. And they died that they might now live for God, and for the one who died for them, that they might be free of the old deathly kind of life, to live anew a life that is now truly life.

If you are dead then you are no longer responsive to incoming information. At least, not through and from the earthly process for earthly reasons. If you have been put to death with Him, or have died with Him, then you are also now alive with Him, unless you missed the step one, step two of it all.

If you achieved mortification of your earthly body with Him, then you are free of accusation guilt and penalty. Free of punishment, since the law of death and punishment has been satisfied, in Him and in you. UNLESS you revoke the deal, the arrangement, by which you were rendered “as dead”, and again reproduce the works of death that were present in your first life, again in your second life.

But being “born again” you have received all the available and necessary information to be able to live in the second life and not the way the first (unsuccessful) one was.

And HIS mortification of HIS flesh was achieved also for YOUR flesh, which is now considered to be, and should be accorded, DEATH. He ACHIEVED MORTIFICATION OF OUR MORTAL BODIES for us. Even if we reproduce the works of death, they are still DEAD. HE is now only interested in the reproduction of LIFE.

Being DEAD, the flesh is now INERT as far as God is concerned, and we should render it so, to the place He has assigned, to the grave. Spiritual resurrection is now the life he has given us.

The world has been accounted (for its lack of faith) as DEAD, over with and forgotten. Only life remains in the equation. His victory over flesh was credited to us, to our account, to be taken up and to be the driving force behind us, seeing as how by this He has rendered impotent the flesh and its demands on us.

DEAD MEN WALKING The old creation has been dealt with as a forerunner of what is to come, when he absolutely deals with it finally and completely. By faith we accept our death as having been already accomplished by Him, (we died together with Him) and also that HIS victory over death has been accomplished on our behalf, by Him, for us.

That means that regardless of anything else, that our death is certain, and that our victory depends on our faith in Him and His victory, by Him, for us, on our behalf.

WE ARE DEAD, it is just a matter of time before this is really so, even as it is now positionally so. We can rise to life with Him just as He did and be placed with Him in heaven from where we can serve Him as kings and priests. OR, we can remain in the death which He has assigned all flesh and all of the old creation.

HIS SPIRIT is to be dominant in us now, instead of the spirit of the flesh. Being LED by that living Spirit, and not by any impulses of the dead body which now accompanies us on our travels. (This “body of death”).

Remain in and rely on His victory, achieved for us, mortification of the flesh (we are dead) is a past accomplishment – and remain in His love, which we have come to know and rely on.

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FOR THOSE WHO CONTINUE WITH THE WRONG VIEW OF ROMANS SEVEN – You have taken away the keys to the kingdom, you have sentenced men to death, the death inherent in the old body of flesh. You have settled for compromise, instead of seeing that there is a victory so great as to be worth the life and suffering of the only begotten Son of God. May He have mercy on your souls. [“you yourselves did not enter, and you hindered those who were trying to enter”].

Unfortunately and of equal or greater concern, are the false views of the atonement, those that effectively mean that you can earn your own salvation.