HE LAID UPON HIM THE INIQUITY OF US ALL [377]

Regardless of how you see it, the end result of all enquiry regarding the atonement for sin, comes down to this. That God placed the responsibility for our misdoings upon the one upon whom He designed it to fall. He bore the result of our inherent natural nature.

That being the case, we are freed from the reason  for our estrangement from God. The gap between Him and us, caused by our fear and apprehension as to the repercussions of our separation from Him, has been closed. We have been made the children of God by his election, rather than ours.

Faith has polarised us in a similar manner to that which Christ himself was polarised. We now find ourselves at the opposite end of the spectrum to our human nature, the nature in which we previously dwelt. Just as He by birth found himself, as a perfect spirit, in the imperfection of a human body, so we now also because of our new imposed identity, [our new birth] find ourselves with power over this “body of death”.

It is the image of him in us that now predisposes us to good, rather than evil.  1 John is so bold as to say 3-9 ” No one born of God practises sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God”.

3-5 “And you know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in Him there is no sin. 6. No one who abides in Him sins;…”

3-2 “Beloved, now we are children of God,…”

2-18 “Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen; from this we know that it is the last hour.”

[3-8 The one who practises sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The son of God appeared for this purpose, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one who is born of God practises sin, because he is born of God. 10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious; anyone who does not practise righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.]

[1 John 5-1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God; and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him.]

 

 

RESOLVING THE INNER CONFLICT [375]

Jesus came to relieve the inner conflict of mankind. This sounds a bit strange because he himself said that he had not come to bring peace, but a sword, and that members of households, families, would be at loggerheads with each other. In some parts of the world of course, a person gets killed for becoming a Christian, and often it is by a member of their own family.

The inner conflict is the sense of something wrong, something not right with oneself. We trace our beginning back to Adam and Eve, who left the guidance of God, left the one who WAS love, and initiated life without God, and therefore life without love.

Well living without love then, must be the problem. We feel unloved and we feel unable to produce love either towards ourselves or other people. We also fear.

The inner conflict can be described as being because there is something in our makeup that fears the future, fears God, fears death. [We don’t know who we are]. Being without love and fearing death is not happiness at all. (The complexity of how we behave is described as “the works of the devil”, which simply describes our behaviour when we are not controlled by love).

Jesus came to solve this problem, came to repair the damage, came to fix this inner problem of ours. Came to restore us to love. Love is not some mamby-pamby thing, it is God and God’s essence, his very being, (His Spirit) and his power. He came to restore this inner loss of self worth that overpowers our ability to function as whole, complete people. More than this, it was not a simple restoration only, it was a reformatting, a reforming of that which is called human, so that humanity becomes a new creation, as distinct from the old.

The problem in us was also in Jesus. That is why he came, not simply to tell us and show us how to live, but also to actually fix the problem. The trick is, that to bring this cure, this fix, into play and into effect, requires us to believe that it has been done. We need firstly to look at what is said to have been done. [Or what I am saying he did ]

He experienced something that is in common with us all. He experienced death. But on the way to this death and in the process of this death, he took on himself this problem of the inner conflict in man. He experienced it by entering into his deeper human nature, by looking into its jaws and by exposing its darkness of nature. There is something within us that rejects love for us because it considers us unworthy of love. So much so, that it produces all manner of bad things in reply to an initiated request from the mind to produce good things. It is confusion and darkness, and it controls us.

By Jesus entering into this inner darkness, he confronted it and destroyed it in himself,  in his body. This fear of death was destroyed by destroying death itself, both by altering (healing) the “genetic” or otherwise faulty, failing, deteriorating nature that ages and dies, and at the same time destroying altering and changing the internal physiological structure that initiates thoughts that are not going to end at all well.

When we are released from the need to defend ourselves and to hide behind whatever psychological structure we can think of, we can operate as free people, free of guilt shame condemnation fear whatever. We can assume an identity as someone who is perfectly suited to behave in a manner towards ourselves and to others, that is in keeping with how love behaves.

Although we see Jesus die on the cross, that death was a victory over the weakness of natural man. Jesus became perfect and was immortalised, was resurrected to become a “life giving Spirit” in accordance with the written record by witnesses of the time. It is our “faith” in this, in Him,  that releases us from fear.

How does it relate to us? God tells us that His death was for all mankind, that it is a sign of his love dealing with sin, and that his love deals with all sin in a similar fashion. But we have to let it. We have to let it, Him, do this for us, in us, using the proof of his resurrection as a sign and proof (guarantee) of His love for us, and his willingness to include us in what Jesus did. In what the Father and the Son in concert, did. Note that it is a past tense thing, He has DONE it already, PROVED his love for us, showing how his love has already acted in Jesus, and declares that it was for us, on our behalf, that he so acted to accomplish a situation where we could then admit Him and his love into ourselves, so we could agree with him and accept the free gift of his cleansing power, his love,.

Note further, that we only have to recognise that this has happened, has become reality for us, that by demonstrating his love for us in this way, by taking man’s death and declaring that this was his forgiveness of us as a free gift, we accept his freeing of Jesus from death as a guarantee of ourselves also being freed from death by the same love that freed His son. Because that which has caused injury to love, has been recognised in his suffering, it has been neutralised by this recognition, by his suffering. The full amount of it has been paid for, it is not endless, it was terminated and no longer has any punitive power over us.

Believing that we have been so freed, frees us also. “Justified by faith”, means we are considered to be guilt free, because we accept his word that Jesus removed our guilt, our sin, and any blame attached to that. The amazing thing is, that when we believe, our thinking structure alters, we actually engage in physical change of the grey matter, of our thinking structure, because we have accepted  that our circumstances are now subject to what God says they are, rather than what we think they are, or thought they were.

Faith causes an actual change to our physiological being and structure. Continuing faith reinforces whatever is going on as a result of that initial realisation, belief, commitment.

It is when we recognise God’s motivation behind His son being on the cross.

When Jesus entered into our darkness, he entered into the states of anxiety and depression, He experienced what we call hell. He experienced the same separation from God, from love, that man experiences to varying degrees in this life. And he experienced it to the maximum degree possible. The guilt of every conceivable scenario of the depravity of man was experienced by Him, not because He had committed or done any of it Himself, but because he was confronting internally all that was being conceived of, being created by,  this “fallen” natural inner mechanism.

Man controls his own destiny, only he doesn’t, because he is controlled by a faulty human nature that is impossible of doing completely what is right. He needs to hand over the reins of his independence from God and allow Him to guide as a loving parent. This is possible because Jesus as the Spirit returns to mould and guide our thinking and action, as we allow him to do so. We are not robots, but become complete people in him because we allow his love to touch us, to restore us, to heal us, by removing our inner death.

The simplicity of the gospel message is that “He tasted death for every man”, that it is by faith in his blood we are healed, saved. That his death, being the injured love of the Father and the Son, has taken our death away, has taken away the necessity for us to remain under this death sentence, because His action in Jesus has FORGIVEN us. His action in Jesus, and in his own heart, has taken upon himself the injury, the pain, and the debt to sin that we owed. Believing in Jesus as a “sacrifice” for sin, means that we believe his action as the Son of the living God, has borne on our behalf, IN OUR PLACE, the due end result of being natural man.

Natural man dies, the new non-natural man lives in the promise and the faith of eternal life, which appears in him by the power of that faith in his own body, and by the power [Spirit] of the one in whom that faith is exercised, “faith” simply meaning belief and believing. So we believe our death has been nullified. The word says “He has ABOLISHED” death. And by this, the law is also abolished, (It also says “he has abolished the law”) because where the penalty, the result or outcome of sin is nullified because it has had its cause and effect already in another who is the highest authority in the universe, then the law becomes pointless, is null and void over those over whom it previously had jurisdiction. ‘Mercy triumphs over judgement’ (law). New life results.

[When we find our identity in Him, we find ourselves.]

BOOK recommendation available from Amazon books    https://books.google.com.au/books/about/Present_Tense_Realities_Freedom_from_the.html?id=hZVRAwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false

VIDEO Silvie Paladino   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARPLwBo6QEk

[ Love is of course also a beautiful thing that connects through our emotions – and here lies a problem, as many of us are scared of our emotions and afraid to show them. In Christ though, our emotions are able to find their proper place within the healing of the whole person.]

IS GOD ANGRY AT HIMSELF [374a]

Is God angry with himself, are we angry with him, is he angry with us, are we angry with ourselves? Is anger just a difference of opinion?

Man being made in the image of God, seems to indicate that God must be angry, because so many of us are angry people. We see this anger emerging in various ways, often violently. Those people who have an angrier God that ours, react the more violently.

Many people see God as violent and angry.

Can God be angry with Himself? And if God is not so, why do we see our internal anger as being attributable to him?

What then, is anger. Anger is a conflict between two opposing sides or positions. Two “powers” wage war against one another. Therefore both of these parties must have some individual power to begin with. Man feels internal anger, and wants to release this on others, since he does not know how to release it on himself (Although some do).

Man was made like God, only without the perfection of God. Because man for whatever reason in his current state of “fallen-ness” sees himself as a god by birthright, he is frustrated by his inner weakness and then condemns himself for it. Not knowing or understanding the things within him that are opposing his desired reality of internal cohesiveness and integrity, there is a conflict involved that tends to tear him apart.

Notably this conflict is increased as the strength of one of the parties increases, and an example of this is when man is confronted with law which then presents a clear view of the difference between himself and his perception of wholeness and integrity. Because this is an unknown quantity and quality, fear enters the picture and the internal stresses worsen.

Man then is subject to an internal conflict in which he finds himself as the weaker factor because of all the unknowns [ my people perish for lack of knowledge] and because his concept of “God” is one of a being of superior strength to himself. This is a no win situation. Man who was created in the image of God now cowers in the shadow of perceived forthcoming defeat at the hands of the very being whose image he was supposed to exhibit.

The perceived inferiority is that which also perceives God as superior and therefore the aggressor. The difference of opinion is seen as anger, or why else would there be conflict from positional difference?

The perceived moral difference, enhanced by law, cannot remain static. The difference itself is a dynamic which reduces man to a quivering wreck under the watchful eye of a powerful, if not righteous, God. Man senses that the difference between the two positions, God’s and his own, has to be resolved, has to have resolution, and man fears that the outcome of this will end in his destruction.

AND YET THOUGH PERHAPS TRUE, THE PERCEPTION OF IT IS COMPLETELY WRONG.

Under God’s dealings with primitive man, he had to address those issues in understandable forms, including terms like jealousy and anger, because they were such basic issues of human nature. There is no way a God of love could be explained to them, even though such qualities were given in ‘their’ scriptures. God indeed requires man to behave in righteous ways, he requires of him that he not be violent, not be angry, not do harm to others.

But the reality of it is, that it is man’s perceived, conceptualisation of God that is the very problem. Certainly man is behind the eight ball in terms of morality. But it is the very degree to which he understands morality, that destroys him, destroys his moral power by sensitising his conscience to his inner corruption.

The fact of it is, that God is not a destructive God, else why would he create in the first place? Why would he bring forth the wonders of creation that we see and understand to be ‘good’, if he were to bring upon that very creation, ‘bad’?

God’s position is unenviable. That which is wrong cannot be allowed to remain, certainly it cannot be brought into a state of permanence. Man is God’s creation and his desire, he wants to embrace us in union with him as his children. He places us in a position of choice, where we have to make a judgement as to what is right and what is wrong, and we are destroyed by that, because we find ourselves to be in the wrong ‘camp’. Therefore He brings to us the knowledge of His mercy and his love, along with his power to redeem, to save, to rescue us from the dilemma we are in, by sending his son, who increases the moral gap while at the same time, also destroying it.

The destructive tension under which enlightened man lives is both increased by this new knowledge, but simultaneously is removed when that new knowledge is applied. The tension between God’s righteousness and man’s unrighteousness is perceived by man as wrath, when it is in reality, actually love. The stress is in being loved, without allowing that love to possess you. It is the denial of that love that is the stressor, and acceptance of that love removes the stress. Love cannot permit places of unlove to remain in a domain which is all love, perfect love. Ultimately the union, the embrace, of the unloved with the great lover, will destroy them, whereas the union of the loved with that same lover will combine them in that love. The combining of this latter occurs now between God and believers, while the destructive combining of the loveless because they denied accepting his love, although also currently true, will be confirmed later.

Anger then is the perceived conflict, the experienced conflict, between love (righteousness) and un-love (unrighteousness). God’s love is perceived as anger until it is allowed to be seen and find its resolution in the body of Christ, and then to become at one with, be part of, His body, which is love’s resolution and consumption..

Ultimately, the conflict becomes one of love instead of fear.

[Why do the loved feel unloved? Because they left (abandoned) their first love in the garden]

[the conflict that is in you, is expressed in him]

[Are we as lesser gods who are angry with ourselves, and have to be liberated by, surrender to, the greater God who loves us?] [John 10-34, Psalm 82-6, 82-1.]

THERE WAS WAR IN HEAVEN [375]

This verse in Revelation is talking about what happened on the cross, the conflict, the battle between his righteous Spirit and his unrighteous flesh, his “personal Armageddon”.  This is also when satan or the devil was kicked out of heaven. (Lost his place in the “high places”) This is the result of Jesus having come “to destroy the works of the devil”. This is where when and how he did it. The power of the accuser was overthrown.

[True “will” power can only come from true love, since only love is true reality]

IS GOD ANGRY AT HIMSELF [374]

Is God angry with himself, are we angry with him, is he angry with us, are we angry with ourselves? Is anger just a difference of opinion?

Man being made in the image of God, seems to indicate that God must be angry, because so many of us are angry people. We see this anger emerging in various ways, often violently. Those people who have an angrier God that ours, react the more violently.

Many people see God as violent and angry.

Can God be angry with Himself? And if God is not so, why do we see our internal anger as being attributable to him?

What then, is anger. Anger is a conflict between two opposing sides or positions. Two “powers” wage war against one another. Therefore both of these parties must have some individual power to begin with. Man feels internal anger, and wants to release this on others, since he does not know how to release it on himself (Although some do).

Man was made like God, only without the perfection of God. Because man for whatever reason in his current state of “fallen-ness” sees himself as a god by birthright, he is frustrated by his inner weakness and then condemns himself for it. Not knowing or understanding the things within him that are opposing his desired reality of internal cohesiveness and integrity, there is a conflict involved that tends to tear him apart.

Notably this conflict is increased as the strength of one of the parties increases, and an example of this is when man is confronted with law which then presents a clear view of the difference between himself and his perception of wholeness and integrity. Because this is an unknown quantity and quality, fear enters the picture and the internal stresses worsen.

Man then is subject to an internal conflict in which he finds himself as the weaker factor because of all the unknowns [ my people perish for lack of knowledge] and because his concept of “God” is one of a being of superior strength to himself. This is a no win situation. Man who was created in the image of God now cowers in the shadow of perceived forthcoming defeat at the hands of the very being whose image he was supposed to exhibit.

The perceived inferiority is that which also perceives God as superior and therefore the aggressor. The difference of opinion is seen as anger, or why else would there be conflict from positional difference?

The perceived moral difference, enhanced by law, cannot remain static. The difference itself is a dynamic which reduces man to a quivering wreck under the watchful eye of a powerful, if not righteous, God. Man senses that the difference between the two positions, God’s and his own, has to be resolved, has to have resolution, and man fears that the outcome of this will end in his destruction.

AND YET THOUGH PERHAPS TRUE, THE PERCEPTION OF IT IS COMPLETELY WRONG.

Under God’s dealings with primitive man, he had to address those issues in understandable forms, including terms like jealousy and anger, because they were such basic issues of human nature. There is no way a God of love could be explained to them, even though such qualities were given in ‘their’ scriptures. God indeed requires man to behave in righteous ways, he requires of him that he not be violent, not be angry, not do harm to others.

But the reality of it is, that it is man’s perceived, conceptualisation of God that is the very problem. Certainly man is behind the eight ball in terms of morality. But it is the very degree to which he understands morality, that destroys him, destroys his moral power by sensitising his conscience to his inner corruption.

The fact of it is, that God is not a destructive God, else why would he create in the first place? Why would he bring forth the wonders of creation that we see and understand to be ‘good’, if he were to bring upon that very creation, ‘bad’?

God’s position is unenviable. That which is wrong cannot be allowed to remain, certainly it cannot be brought into a state of permanence. Man is God’s creation and his desire, he wants to embrace us in union with him as his children. He places us in a position of choice, where we have to make a judgement as to what is right and what is wrong, and we are destroyed by that, because we find ourselves to be in the wrong ‘camp’. Therefore He brings to us the knowledge of His mercy and his love, along with his power to redeem, to save, to rescue us from the dilemma we are in, by sending his son, who increases the moral gap while at the same time, also destroying it.

The destructive tension under which enlightened man lives is both increased by this new knowledge, but simultaneously is removed when that new knowledge is applied. The tension between God’s righteousness and man’s unrighteousness is perceived by man as wrath, when it is in reality, actually love. The stress is in being loved, without allowing that love to possess you. It is the denial of that love that is the stressor, and acceptance of that love removes the stress. Love cannot permit places of unlove to remain in a domain which is all love, perfect love. Ultimately the union, the embrace, of the unloved with the great lover, will destroy them, whereas the union of the loved with that same lover will combine them in that love. The combining of this latter occurs now between God and believers, while the destructive combining of the loveless because they denied accepting his love, although also currently true, will be confirmed later.

Anger then is the perceived conflict, the experienced conflict, between love (righteousness) and un-love (unrighteousness). God’s love is perceived as anger until it is allowed to be seen and find its resolution in the body of Christ, and then to become at one with, be part of, His body, which is love’s resolution and consumption..

Ultimately, the conflict becomes one of love instead of fear.

[Why do the loved feel unloved? Because they left (abandoned) their first love in the garden]

[the conflict that is in you, is expressed in him]

[Are we as lesser gods who are angry with ourselves, and have to be liberated by the greater God who loves us?]

ROMANS CHAPTER SEVEN [2e]

May 2015   (These two older versions of Romans 7 are still informative, I believe.)

http://www.biblestudytools.com/romans/7.html   will give you the description of man’s problem.    And  [ http://www.gospeltruth.net/rom7gr.htm ] will give you an exhaustive reference.

Unfortunately there are some serious errors that people make concerning this very important chapter in the bible.

This chapter describes how man is a slave to his basic nature, but some would have you believe it is the description of a Christian. It is the description of what man is released from when he becomes a Christian. It is the documentation by the apostle Paul of his experiences under the law, or, under LAW.

The law was “a schoolmaster unto Christ”, meaning that the law was a teacher by means of presenting to man his inability to put into practice those higher aspirations that man might have through coming into contact with spiritual matters.

When man finally realises and accepts his failings and inadequacies, he is in a position to accept Christ as the answer to his problem. (Similar to the thief on the cross). Some who fail to understand the nature of this chapter, do so because they fail to accept  that God has dealt with their sin in a complete way in Christ, and so are unable to see the magnitude of its implications for them regarding the removal of the power of sin to enslave them. “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 through Christ”).

Since Christ absorbed the penalty of the law for us, its penalty is no longer held against us, and so the power of sin is also removed. Of course, we must respond to this action by “taking advantage” of this reconciliation God has offered, and by believing its truth, make it real in our lives. The cross was the proof and reality of his forgiveness of us, we only have to accept it (Him).

[ in Romans7 Paul was “under the wrath of God”][ I have to say I am utterly amazed that intelligent people still get Romans 7 wrong]

I inadvertently omitted to reproduce this  earlier version of R7. Maybe a bit primitive and to some degree superceded but still relevant I believe….

ROMANS CHAPTER SEVEN. May 30 2015.   This chapter of Romans is very controversial. I spent a lot of time trying to figure it out (although the basic premise was there and most of the time was spent bumping heads with pastors and ministers) and I believe I was led to the right answers! There are many explanations to be found on the web, some quite simple and short, some quite long and complicated.

There are older compositions and more modern approaches. Apart from misconceptions due to a certain innocence in approaching this writing of Paul’s, even though the warning is given that there are some things that Paul writes about that are hard to understand, there are a couple of things that provide difficulties for those stick in the muds who can’t get the overall sense of it!

Those things are the tenses as given in the Greek, and the fact that Paul speaks highly of the law. The former item is a matter for Greek scholars or by referral o some of the more elaborate sites, and the latter is for evaluation by references to other scriptures or again, by reference to those elaborate sites aforementioned.

A couple of other things trip people up, one being the tendency to accept time frames in the sequence they seem to appear. This occurs from the beginning in Paul’s transition from the previous chapter 6, where he has just finished wrapping up how we are now no longer slaves to sin. In 7 though, he does not carry on as though it were in some sort of sequence, No, he starts a new tack by stopping to analyse what the problem was with the law that caused the strife mentioned in the preceding chapters, and what this strife was and how it came about. He is going to explain just what the mechanism of sin is inside the human personality, and the how and why of its power over sinners to keep them sinning!

As Paul goes deeper into his story, he eventually gets to the point where he reveals how he himself is, as a member of humanity, and how he was when he was placed in that position of being under law, and how he would again react if he (hypothetically) was placed again under the law. It is in fact, a dramatic melodrama that he lays out before us, reflecting his increasing agitation as the law, schoolmaster that it is, reveals to him his inability to perform that which he wants to do. He discovers that he is not in charge of his own will, it is all wishy washy wishful thinking that leads to nothing, or to be more precise, leads to something other than he wanted to happen, and in fact was invariably evil, though he wanted good.

And he starts it all with, So then, I write to those of you WHO KNOW THE LAW. That should provide some sort of clue as to his subject matter in 7. He is going to enquire into this law that caused the slavery to sin that he has just finished explaining in chapter 6 doesn’t exist anymore for the Christian!

Some say that he is relating a “flashback”, and this may be somewhat true. Some important points though are that he says he is carnal or of flesh. Whatever the wording, he is simply saying that he, like all of us, are not some spiritual thing that descended from heaven, but he was born into humanity with all its failings, and when placed under law, there is an adverse reaction. Conversely, the law is said to be spiritual, so he is decidedly outgunned!

By the time he gets to “Wretched man” etc, he is expressing the totality of his failure and frustration at his inability to control himself, and he is recognising how lost he is in the depths of sin and death. “Who will deliver me?”. So he does not know the name of his Saviour at this point in the proceedings, Given of course that this is a hypothetical discourse in which Paul goes off like a frog in a sock.

Another of those sticking points occurs here, because as soon as the name Christ is mentioned, from that point on people think it is the after Christ experience he is talking about. But no, it is simply an interjection of relief that there is indeed, a Saviour.

Now the next problem is because of that thought that what is being said is being said in Christian context. But all Paul is doing is summing up the situation that he has just described insofar as he has discovered about himself and the rest of the human race. And that is that the second part of verse 25 is stating that he has found within himself two states, the one is that his mind, his will, (for what it’s worth), is aligned with the good, wants to do good. The other is that within himself (in his flesh, his natural human nature) he has discovered a law or principle that wants to follow, is aligned with, the very opposite.

(It seems there is some kind of “catch 22” or contrariness that ties him up in knots.) (Additional – see “afterthoughts” as a footnote below. Paul is under the wrath of God!) (it could be that it is this wrath that disturbs his intended righteousness and corrupts it).

The point here is, that he is identifying two aspects within him that are in opposing conditions, and he has already said that “it is not I, but sin that dwells in me”. So he has divorced himself, his mind, from that within him that causes the trouble. And he has identified it as sin.

To further labour the point, he is simply concluding that he is a two state kind of guy, who has already shown that if he is presented with law, he reacts to it badly, but who is about to reveal what happens when he is placed under grace instead of law. And this he does in the next chapter, which, building on the words just spoken, says, “There is now THEREFORE no condemnation (now) for those (in Christ) for the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set us (me?) free from the law (of sin and death).

But of course, he was already free from sin and death at the end of chapter 6. His excursion into 7 was explanatory, and dramatic under the schooling of the law, until that law, as a teacher (school master), BROUGHT HIM TO CHRIST. Then there was no longer need of the law, it had done its job.

The story Paul relates is true, because he went through all this as a Pharisee who went about killing Christians. He is well aware of what happens if you were to try and produce righteousness on your own, by yourself, without Christ. Because he, as an expert in the law, did this himself when he was Saul. [although he kept the “letter of the law”]

Chapter 8 of course, is further elaboration of the freedom theme, that really would have logically flowed on from 6. But it all makes perfect sense, and when you see it for what it is, it is difficult to imagine how anyone really could consider that Paul in this chapter was supposed to be a Christian! And it is extremely frustrating that this view still abounds out there!

It is not even about “sinning”, it is about the propensity to sin that he talks. And just look at what’s involved here. The two basic views are that either he is a Christian, with all this hopelessness and sinfulness, and his will being empowered to sin through the law; OR it is a description of one under law, albeit by proxy, who is a slave to sin, again, because he is enslaved by the law to a life of helplessness and hopelessness. Surely the latter is that which is described as a life of futility to which men have been subjected.

So just what do you think it means for a Christian to be told that he, like Paul in 7, is in slavery to sin? For that is what it is saying. Or should they be told just what Paul stated in 6 and elaborated on in 8, that what was the case in 7 has now been overcome, NOT BECAUSE OF THE STRENGTH OR WEAKNESS OF HIS FAITH, [or flesh] BUT BECAUSE OF THE CHRIST WHO TOOK OUR DEATH, AND BECAUSE OF THAT, DIS-EMPOWERED THE LAW. And how much the wiser will he be through understanding R7 the right way!

“For the sting of death is sin, and THE POWER OF SIN IS THE LAW”.

So does it describe a Christian in slavery to sin? Or does it describe the sin condition from which one is released when they become a christian? – Your choice!

Romans 7 text   ( http://www.biblestudytools.com/romans/7.html ) Romans 7 a commentary. ( http://www.gospeltruth.net/rom7gr.htm )

Afterthoughts, NOTES.  In R7, Paul is under the wrath of God. He is under the wrath of the law for, “Law brings wrath“. The opposition between law and flesh, compared to the opposition of the Spirit and the flesh? For the Spirit and the flesh are opposed, so you cannot do as you will?!! (Galatians)..

ROMANS CHAPTER SEVEN [2d]

Unfortunately there are some serious errors that people make concerning this very important chapter in the bible.

This chapter describes how man is a slave to his basic nature, but some would have you believe it is the description of a Christian. It is the description of what man is released from when he becomes a Christian. It is the documentation by the apostle Paul of his experiences under the law, or, under LAW.

The law was “a schoolmaster unto Christ”, meaning that the law was a teacher by means of presenting to man his inability to put into practice those higher aspirations that man might have through coming into contact with spiritual matters.

When man finally realises and accepts his failings and inadequacies, he is in a position to accept Christ as the answer to his problem. (Similar to the thief on the cross). Some who fail to understand the nature of this chapter, do so because they fail to accept  that God has dealt with their sin in a complete way in Christ, and so are unable to see the magnitude of its implications for them regarding the removal of the power of sin to enslave them. “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 through Christ”).

Since Christ absorbed the penalty of the law for us, its penalty is no longer held against us, and so the power of sin is also removed. Of course, we must respond to this action by “taking advantage” of this reconciliation God has offered, and by believing its truth, make it real in our lives. The cross was the proof and reality of his forgiveness of us, we only have to accept it (Him).

[ in Romans7 Paul was “under the wrath of God”][ I have to say I am utterly amazed that intelligent people still get Romans 7 wrong]

I inadvertently omitted to reproduce this earlier version of R7. Maybe a bit primitive and to some degree superceded but still relevant I believe….

[2][2]  ROMANS CHAPTER SEVEN. May 30 2015.   This chapter of Romans is very controversial. I spent a lot of time trying to figure it out (although the basic premise was there and most of the time was spent bumping heads with pastors and ministers) and I believe I was led to the right answers! There are many explanations to be found on the web, some quite simple and short, some quite long and complicated.

There are older compositions and more modern approaches. Apart from misconceptions due to a certain innocence in approaching this writing of Paul’s, even though the warning is given that there are some things that Paul writes about that are hard to understand, there are a couple of things that provide difficulties for those stick in the muds who can’t get the overall sense of it!

Those things are the tenses as given in the Greek, and the fact that Paul speaks highly of the law. The former item is a matter for Greek scholars or by referral to some of the more elaborate sites, and the latter is for evaluation by references to other scriptures or again, by reference to those elaborate sites aforementioned.

A couple of other things trip people up, one being the tendency to accept time frames in the sequence they seem to appear. This occurs from the beginning in Paul’s transition from the previous chapter 6, where he has just finished wrapping up how we are now no longer slaves to sin. In 7 though, he does not carry on as though it were in some sort of sequence. No, he starts a new tack by stopping to analyse what the problem was with the law that caused the strife mentioned in the previous chapters, and what this strife was and how it came about. He is going to explain just what the mechanism of sin is inside the human personality, and the how and why of its power over sinners to keep them sinning!

As Paul goes deeper into his story, he eventually gets to the point where he reveals how  he himself is, as a member of humanity, and how he was when he was placed in that position of being under law, and how he would again react if he (hypothetically) was placed again under the law. It is, in fact, a dramatic melodrama that he lays out before us, reflecting his increasing agitation as the law, schoolmaster that it is, reveals to him his inability to perform that which he wants to do. He discovers that he is not in charge of his own will, it is all wishy washy wishful thinking that leads to nothing, or to be more precise, leads to something other than he wanted to happen, and in fact was invariably evil, though he wanted good.

And he starts it all with, So then, I write to those of you WHO KNOW THE LAW That should provide some sort of clue as to his subject matter in 7. He is going to enquire into this law that caused the slavery to sin that he has just finished explaining in chapter 6 doesn’t exist anymore for the Christian!

Some say that he is relating a “flashback”, and this may be somewhat true. Some important points though are that he says he is carnal or of flesh. Whatever the wording, he is simply saying that he, like all of us, are not some spiritual thing that descended from heaven, but he was born into humanity with its failings, and when placed under law, there is an adverse reaction. Conversely, the law is said to be spiritual, so he is decidedly outgunned!

By the time he gets to “Wretched man” etc, he is expressing the totality of his failure and frustration at his inability to control himself, and he is recognising how lost he is in the depths of sin and death. “Who will deliver me?”.  So he does not know the name of his Saviour at this point in the proceedings, given of course that this is a hypothetical discourse in which Paul goes off like a frog in a sock.

Another of those sticking points occurs here, because as soon as the name Christ is mentioned, from that point on people think it is the after Christ experience he is talking about. But no, it is simply an interjection of relief that there is indeed, a Saviour.

Now the next problem is because of that thought that what is being said is being said in Christian context. But all Paul is doing is summing up the situation that he has just described insofar as he has discovered about himself and the rest of the human race. And that is that the second part of verse 25 is stating that he has found within himself two states, the one is that his mind, his will, (for what it’s worth) is aligned with the good, wants to do good. The other is that within himself (in his flesh, his natural human nature) he has discovered a law or principle that wants to follow, is aligned with,the very opposite.

(It seems there is some kind of “catch 22” or contrariness that ties him up in knots.) (Additional- see “afterthoughts” as a footnote below. Paul is under the wrath of God!) (It could be that it is this wrath that disturbs his intended righteousness and corrupts it).

The point here is, that he is identifying two aspects within him that are in opposing conditions, and he has already said that “It is not I, but sin that dwells in me”. So he has divorced himself, his mind, from that within him that causes the trouble. And he has identified it as sin.

To further labour the point, he is simply concluding that he is a two state kind of guy, who has already shown that if he is presented with law, he reacts to it badly, but who is about to reveal what happens when he is placed under grace instead of law. And this he does in the next chapter, which, building on the words just spoken, says, “There is now THEREFORE no condemnation (now) for those (in Christ) for the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law (of sin and death).

But of course, he was already free from sin and death at the end of chapter 6. His excursion into 7 was explanatory, and dramatic under the schooling of the law, until that law, as a teacher (school master), BROUGHT HIM TO CHRIST. Then there was no longer need of the law, it had done its job.

The story Paul relates is true, because he went through all this as a Pharisee who went about killing Christians. He is well aware of what happens if you were to try and produce righteousness on your own, by yourself, without Christ. Because he, as an expert in the law, did this himself when he was Saul. [although he kept the “letter of the law”].

Chapter 8 of course, is further elaboration of the freedom theme, that really would have logically flowed on from 6. But it all makes perfect sense, and when you see it for what it is, it is difficult to imagine how anyone really could consider that Paul in this chapter was supposed to be a Christian! And it is extremely frustrating that this view still abounds out there!

It is not even about “sinning”, it is about the propensity to sin that he talks. And just look at what’s involved here. The two basic views are that either he is a Christian, with all this hopelessness and sinfulness, and his will being empowered to sin through the law, OR it is a description of one under law, albeit by proxy, who is a slave to sin, again, because he is enslaved by the law to a life of helplessness and hopelessness. Surely the latter is that which is described as a life of futility to which men have been subjected.

So just what do you think it means for a Christian to be told that he, like Paul in 7, is in slavery to sin? For that is what it is saying. Or should they be told just what Paul stated in 6 and elaborated on in 8, that what was the case in 7 has now been overcome, NOT BECAUSE OF THE STRENGTH OR WEAKNESS OF HIS FAITH, [or flesh] BUT BECAUSE OF THE CHRIST WHO TOOK OUR DEATH, AND BECAUSE OF THAT, DIS-EMPOWERED THE LAW. And how much the wiser will we be through understanding R7 the right way!

“For the sting of death is sin, and THE POWER OF SIN IS THE LAW”

So does it describe a Christian in slavery to sin? Or does it describe the sin condition from which one is released when they become a Christian? – Your choice!

Romans7 text    http://www.biblestudytools.com/romans/7.html   and Romans 7 a commentary   http://www.gospeltruth.net/rom7gr.htm

Afterthoughts, NOTES. In R7, Paul is under the “wrath” of God. He is under the wrath of the law for, “Law brings wrath”. The opposition between law and flesh, compared to the opposition of the Spirit and the flesh? For the Spirit and the flesh are opposed, so you cannot do as you will?!! (Galatians).

Cseven Cromans C7 Cwrath

 

THE FIRST RESURRECTION [1c]

Christian belief has it that there are two basic resurrections, the “Judgment seat of Christ”, and the “Great white throne”.

These are taken from the book of Revelation.   (it is also said there is a resurrection of the just and the unjust)

However, greater importance regarding resurrection, arises because Revelation also says, “Those who take part in the first resurrection will not be harmed by the second death”.

It can be reasonably discovered that the “First Resurrection” is actually when people become Christians, when they are “born again”. These are those who are not harmed by the true (second) death that follows natural (first) death, they are unharmed by the spiritual judgment that is to come, because they have already accepted their judgment in Christ, and so their death (judgment) has already taken place in Christ, just as they have also “risen with him”.

In Revelation, the commonly accepted “Judgement seat of Christ”, can only be where, in common with all creation, they will be subjected to the proof testing of their spiritual position, by “fire”. Christians will emerge from this in varying degrees according to the good they have done on earth.The “Great White Throne” is said to be the general mass of humanity, where it has to be assumed they will not survive, this being the “Second Death”.

So though the “Judgement seat of Christ” may actually precede the “Great White Throne” judgement, the greater meaning is obtained from understanding that Christians, who have taken part in “The First Resurrection”, as “born again” believers on this earth, will not be harmed by the “Second Death”, which is that judgement which will come upon the whole of creation and where the chaff will be burnt up and the wheat survive.

“Our God is a consuming fire”, When Christ returns, he will come, in flaming judgement, upon all. That which is of him, compatible with his nature, will be assumed into him. That which does not contain his nature or substance, will be consumed by him. It says that those who disbelieve stand self condemned. “This is the judgement, that they believe not…”

By refusing to accept God as Supreme creator, and his sacrificed son as true redeemer, they continue their separation (“willingly ignorant”) from God. Separation occurred when Adam disobeyed and went his own way. Now God offers reconciliation and a free “ticket” to return to him, just like “The Prodigal Son”. The cross was his forgiveness offered to all, but only those who believe will actually “take advantage” of that offer, the rest will remain “dead”. The judgement is simply confirmation of that death they are already in.

This “fire” is seen as the “Wrath” of God. In fact, it is simply his nature of love which, being incompatible with anything that is NOT love, will by natural consequence of incompatibility, annul or destroy it. Men in their lives, via their consciences, feel this “wrath” of God, which is really the consciousness of their separation from God, and their subsequent “hiding” from the reality of what this really means. They are hiding from their punishment, judgement, and death. In this state they are confused by the deceitfulness necessary to cover up their “sin”, they hide in the lie, and cannot stand the truth.

Those who take part in the first resurrection, will also reign with Christ while they are on the earth, as “kings and priests” , doing God’s will “on earth, as it is in heaven”. Denial of this is part of the deception that some are caught up in, where they believe that in the kingdom to come, even animal sacrifices will be reinstated. But this is small error compared with what some of them do to the cross, where major error holds them in captivity to the flesh, as they deny the totality of Christ’s victory on our behalf. [just have to add a comment to repudiate the idea that there will be a literal 1000 year reign of Christ, once he returns. This period is figurative, and denotes the time roughly between Christ’s first and second coming].

Captivity to sin through the flesh is via the law, which Christ has satisfied on our behalf. Paul said the law was “temporary” until Christ had come, and, “now that Christ has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law”. He also said, “He has abolished the law”. there are those who assert that we should be keeping all the law, and so want bondage to continue. The freedom of the Spirit is a rare and precious thing, and not to be given up so easily as to fall for this one.

Major error exists in Romans chapter seven, where Paul, speaking as one under bondage to sin through the law, is taught as being a Christian, (even an apostle) while he was in a position of total captivity and wretchedness such as to cry out “Who will deliver me from this body of death”. [similar in a way to Christ’s cry “My God why have you abandoned me”]. Both of them were in a very dark place, and to place Paul as being a Christian is just so wrong on every level. [This dark place is to be seen as the darkness of sin, of broken relationship with God].  [they were both under “wrath”.]

EDIT Someone has said that the first resurrection is actually Christ’s. This makes sense because of verses like “we are raised with him” and so has a more direct connection to things. Rather than isolating believers as the group who make up the first resurrection, (which they do), it ties them to the one who IS the resurrection. (“I am the resurrection”). It also strengthens verses about baptism (buried with him, raised with him). He also may have provided further information that strengthens my prevailing view that there is only one event that encompasses all the common beliefs regarding resurrection and judgement and supposed millenniums etc and reduces them to this one return of Christ in fire. [although I have problems with his “souls” aspect, the rest seems pretty good.]. https://wordwatchman.wordpress.com/the-first-resurrection/  [LATER EDIT those who “take part in”, participate in, are participants in; not so much the first resurrection as the event of their own “spiritual” resurrection, so much as being participants in HIS resurrection]

WHAT ARE CHRISTIANS TO DO [373]

If believers in Christ are born again, why does it seem so hard to fulfill the wishes of Jesus? Love joy and peace are supposed to be the order of the day. It seems a simple matter to just do what is required (having been born again as a result of believing) without reference to mountains of books and references or some mystical interaction because of some particular teaching.

LOVE one another, do good to those who do not do that to you, don’t be like everybody else, be different because you are doing what is required of you. It’s not that difficult. If you really believe that your death is done with and you are going to a better place, then your attitude in life needs to be as His was – to serve others, not yourself.