THE CHRISTIAN GOD DOES NOT REQUIRE PEOPLE TO OBEY WRITTEN LAWS [1795]

God wants His people who are His children, to contain His very nature, those who can operate in righteousness without reference to a written down set of secondhand rules. This is why He gave His Spirit in the form of His Son. This is why the old covenant is referred to as a schoolmaster until Christ came, and now that Christ has come we are no longer under the supervision of the law.

CLINGING TO A COUNTERFEIT CROSS [1654bb]

The above is the title of a piece by J.P. Shelly, “Chapter 15, sin and the misinterpretation of Romans 7”, in “TRUTH ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURE” which I reproduce here in part.

“When considering the topic of sin, the passage most often used to defend its pervasiveness in the Church is that of Romans 7:14-25. It is one of the most controversial and debated passages in Scripture. Is Paul speaking of a believer, an unbeliever, or something else entirely? The massive amount of material written on the subject is evidence of the extent of its significance in influencing one’s view of the Christian life. Emotions run high when debating this issue and the rigidity on both sides are dramatic, A.W. Pink states:

(View 1) “This moan, ‘O wretched man that I am,’ expresses the normal experience of the Christian, and any Christian who does not so moan is in an abnormal and unhealthy state spiritually. The man who does not utter this cry daily is either so out of communion with Christ, or so ignorant of the teachings of scripture, or so deceived about his actual condition, that he knows not the corruptions of his own heart and the abject failure of his own life. The one who is truly in communion with Christ, will…emit this groan…daily and hourly.”

On the other side of the issue Adam Clarke says:

(View 2) “It is difficult to conceive how the opinion could have crept into the church, or prevailed there, that the apostle speaks here of his regenerate state; and that what was, in such a state, true of himself, must be true of all others in the same state. This opinion has, most pitifully and most shamefully, not only lowered the standard of Christianity, but destroyed its influence and disgraced its character…. That all that is said in this chapter of the carnal man, sold under sin, did apply to Saul of Tarsus, no man can doubt: that what is here said can ever be with propriety applied to Paul the Apostle, who can believe? Of the former, all is natural; of the latter, all here said would be monstrous and absurd, if not blasphemous.”

Web link https://www.truthaccordingtoscripture.com/documents/books/counterfeit-cross/romans-7.php#.YIEbwB3iuUk

MY COMMENT ON THIS IS. These two views given of Romans 7 surely demonstrate the extreme degree of error involved in either the one or the other.

These two views seem to embrace fully and completely, the idea and therefore reality of, EITHER the absolute ACCEPTANCE of sin in the Christian life, or the absolute REJECTION of sin in the Christian life.

AS SUCH, they must represent the two views of EITHER the “mind of the flesh” OR, “the mind of the Spirit”.

WHICH IS WHICH?

The ‘mind of the flesh’ must surely seek to retain its “life”, its IDENTITY, by the continuation of its presence. The ‘mind of the Spirit’ must surely seek to destroy or severely disable any presence or identity of sin, just as Jesus did.

The question then is, “What is intended to be achieved by FAITH? The last part of the second view allocates BLASPHEMY to the first view, this being how serious this matter is.

BY FAITH, this sinful identity, this SELF, this “sin in the flesh” is intended to be put to death. Its power and identity has been killed on the cross, and by faith we ACQUIRE this same death. “Those who are his have crucified the flesh…”. They acquire Christ.

So the FIRST view is surely an expression of how this has failed to happen, and is continuing to fail to happen. It is an expression of defeat, allowing for continuation of both SIN and LAW, the one obtaining power from the other.

BY FAITH we leave the identity of “sinner” to join with Christ in His identity of Victor, Overcomer, sinless. This expression is found in John, “…he cannot sin, because he has been born of God”.

So here we surely have revealed to us how the mind of the flesh is determined at any cost to hang onto its sinful identity by refusing to submit or to be submitted to, the identity of CHRIST. Blasphemy indeed.

The FIRST view then, is a refusal and a reluctance to be in submission to Christ, and expresses the continuing dominance of the flesh over the identity of the person involved. Those of this first view then, are willingly in denial of the cross of Christ.

Christ in His life, separated the two natures, the spiritual from the natural, so that His identity was “IN” the Spiritual. We now do the same thing; only now we live in Him, in His identity, having rejected our natural identity in order to assume to ourselves HIS SPIRIT, now passed through the fire so we might gain, by faith, HIS VICTORY ALSO.

When we consider the fall of creation, the “opening of Pandora’s box”, the release of evil, the creation of the “Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” situation, and the horrific consequences that resulted in the monstrous fallen identity of mankind: Then the term BLASPHEMY in relation to the promulgation of view number one is surely not strong enough.

[We are reconciled by His physical body through death]

Joyful songs https://crossroman.wordpress.com/2021/04/09/joyful-songs-773ay/

We have been betrayed https://crossroman.wordpress.com/2021/06/08/we-have-been-betrayed-by-pastors-ministers-and-priests-1682b/

Romans 7 Does Not Describe Your Christian Experience

See also Bible Life Ministries https://biblelife.org/romans7.htm

FURTHER TO THE ISSUE OF THE “I”. Just a quick note to say that there is no mystery about Paul’s “I” at all. In amongst his historical dealings with the law, he comments that he of himself, I myself, “that is” and “in my flesh”, IN THE OLD NATURE dwells no good thing; “flesh” being his old nature which is what he is talking about in relation to the law. EVERYBODY is “of flesh”, even Jesus was, and the flesh in relation to the law, which is the whole context of Romans 7, will produce no good thing. So his “flesh” in relation to the LAW is a dead thing or situation, relationship (needing divorce from). Because he is “of” the flesh in this ongoing explanation about how sin through law kills us, he is reciting the experience as of one who is “in” the flesh, NOT of one who is “in” the Spirit, as he actually is. Paul’s story is about one who is “alive” to law, not “dead” to it.

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THE FIRST RESURRECTION [1o]

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]

*Latest edit [And so also transferring this to within themselves by the empathy involved]**[And He has risen in them][‘Until the dawn star rises in your heart’]

First published before May 2015 ( The First Resurrection)

Cresurrection

WELL KNOWN TELE-EVANGELIST TALKS ABOUT SPEAKING IN TONGUES [1651b]

[UPDATE TO BELOW. He still claims that because he is speaking to God, then he is OK to do it at a church service in contradiction of Paul’s plain teaching].

He is Pentecostal and so speaks in tongues. But he starts out by saying how their meetings are criticised because they are all speaking in tongues together, at once, at the same time. To which criticism he responds that, well, they are speaking in an unknown language to God, praising Him, as if to say well, that’s OK then.

But it’s NOT OK, the criticism is valid, is “right on the money”, because it is precisely this situation that is quoted in the bible as being unacceptable and shouldn’t be done. If all speak in tongues and someone unfamiliar with the meetings comes in, they will say that you are mad, nuts, loco etc. Can he not read this for himself? And so, those wishing to speak in tongues should do so at home for their own edification, not speak it in church unless there is one who interprets present, and if there is none to interpret*, he should keep quiet.

This is all plainly to be read in 1 Corinthians 14:23. And Paul is NOT saying that he speaks in tongues more than you all, but that he thanks God more than any of you that he speaks in tongues….”. ‘Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind than ten thousand words in a tongue…’ AND, “Do all speak in tongues?” Obvious answer NO. And the Pentecostal experience was one of KNOWN LANGUAGES of the time. And Paul said he would rather that you prophesied than speak in tongues. Just saying.

*[So “none to interpret” would also mostly disqualify the person themselves from interpreting]

ANOTHER POINT ABOUT ROMANS 7 [1793a]

All of the the wrong views about Romans 7 being written about a believer, are INVALID because the subject person has not died to the law, but is very much alive to it. One cannot have the Spirit if they are alive to law, they must first die to law. The Spirit can only inhabit a dead to the law person, it is only the Spirit that makes a Christian a Christian, one who is dead to the law, that makes one alive to God.

Since the person in Romans 7 is very obviously still alive to the law (otherwise they would not still be talking about it) then neither are they Christian, nor do they possess the Spirit. They are still dead under the law, in the law. Christians are those not under law, not in the flesh at all. Only law makes flesh alive to sin, the Spirit makes the spirit alive and puts natural flesh to death.

“Those who are His have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires”. “One died for all, therefore all died”.

[Romans 4:15 “…for the law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, neither is there violation”.][A legalist cannot inherit the Spirit of Christ][but only the legalistic mind can interpret this because it is aimed at legalists][And this may be why some godly people get it wrong]

REVISITING DEREK J. BROWN’S ROMANS 7 [1794a]

Back in some time after his article was written in 2019, I commented on it in my usual enthusiastic fashion, but was rebuffed because of lack of detail in answering his six points. As usual, it is because the wrong questions are asked that the wrong answers also emerge, apart from the wrong preconceived mindset also being involved.

So his first point is that Paul did not describe having a sense of guilt* before he was converted, so how does he then respond to the law with affirmation of its right over his wrong? Without getting too deep here, I know that the record shows that Jesus confronted him on the Damascus road with “It is hard to kick against the pricks” (of conscience), after all, he had been wandering around killing innocent people in his ‘persecution of Jesus’, so why wouldn’t he, somewhere, somehow, have a guilty conscience?

And we have to look at the broad issue of just what man’s problem is, that it stems from guilt which hardens men’s hearts and they proceed in that mindset that holds them ‘under the wrath of God’, a legalistic mindset without charity, grace mercy forgiveness or love. As Derek himself admits in another of his points, that he himself identifies with this chapter. But that is the thing, everybody does, and for the same reason, which is estrangement from God through guilt and fear of death. The predominant answer is that we must accept eternal security from God, and that will never happen until we accept His love, and that can never happen while we see Him as a set of laws.

Yes in Philippians 3:4-6 Paul does quote his qualifications in the flesh, that he persecuted the church with zeal, and as to the righteousness of the law, blameless. Yet amongst this, Jesus still noted his guilty conscience. “Law brings wrath” and this wrath is seen in Romans 7, from which it does not depart from Paul throughout. Romans 8 says this is the mindset of the flesh, it is captivity to sin, regardless of supposed satisfaction of the law. “That which is not of faith is sin”. Outside of faith men are blind and condemned, the problem being that they cannot “do” righteousness, even though law spells it out to them. The keeping of law does not bring righteousness, in fact, law cannot be kept because it involves love, and if men loved, they would be blameless.

Yes men can recognise righteousness and unrighteousness, this is their whole problem since Eve, but they are not empowered to DO righteousness, (only unrighteousness) in fact the reverse is true, just as Adam discovered when he became conscious of his sin and was removed (by his conscience) from the garden of Eden. So the world’s problem amounts to estrangement from God through guilt, and consciences can also be “seared as with a hot iron” to be suppressed in part. Paul goes on in Philippians to say “I count all things to be loss” compared to knowing Jesus.

So Paul was doggedly pursuing Christians to the death, within his claim of righteousness within the law, but in chapter 7 he is not speaking so much of the end result of his life, as the beginning which brought the problem about due to his knowledge of right and wrong and its confrontation with law that condemns him for doing the wrong and not doing the good. This causes inner conflict in all men, and is that which Jesus came to fix. So how can we now reconcile all this with Paul’s clarity and vision concerning law in 7?

Paul is looking back now with the clarity of his overall experience in the light of his life in law as well as his life in the Spirit. But even though at the time of writing, he is the Christian apostle, he is not writing of his Christian experience, but of his experience prior to conversion. Paul’s desire was to satisfy the law, which he thought he was doing, but which later reflection revealed he was satisfying law to some extent, but never the law of love, which the law required but he could not do. “The good that I want to do, I cannot do”. “It is evil that I do”.

Then Derek says “…7:7-25 is how God’s good law relates to a sinful person. He must have gotten this wrong, because his claim is that 7:14-25 is Paul’s Christian experience. Derek quotes this as the second point, that in 7:5-13 Paul speaks of past reality, but in 7:14-25 he speaks in present reality. He then says “this change of perspective would argue for a change in Paul’s spiritual status”. But he neglects to see that Paul is specifically speaking of his flesh, and that he and his flesh have been sold into bondage to sin. Not bought out of bondage by Jesus. And all this neglects to recognise that the subject matter of 7 is and always will be, law; not Spirit. If Paul were a Christian he would have died to the law, not be responsive to law, but rather, be dead to it. He would not still be talking about it if indeed he had “changed his spiritual status”, since his “spiritual status” here is DEATH, and has been since verse 9. He does not suddenly come to life just because the tense changed from past to present.

He says that “In 7:5-13, he is describing his pre-conversion experience”. But he neglects the impact of the contrast between 7:5 and 7:6, which reveals the before and after senses of the states of under the law in 5, and being released from the law in 6. 7:6 clearly imparts cessation from law and entry into Spirit, in fact it is the only place in 7 where Spirit is mentioned at all. He says that a new “I” pops up in 7:14-25 which was absent in 7:5-13, but he ignores the obvious sense of a new “I” emerging at the conclusion of 7:6 . And it all falls apart because 7:7 obviously starts a new phase altogether, which is to investigate “Is the law sin?”, meaning that the subject matter under investigation is law and sin, nothing to do with Christ or Spirit, because Christ and Spirit have long ceased to be involved with or to relate to law, and believers are only those who have DIED to law.

These are all errors compounded because of a lack of understanding that Romans 7 was written “to those who know the law”, not to those who did not know the law because they had no immediate concern with it, not having been brought up in it (gentiles), but it is addressed to Jewish converts to Christianity because it is they who are going to be most concerned about the change from the law covenant to a grace covenant. This also means that the whole context and subject matter is LAW and not GRACE.

His third point “Paul distinguishes between the “I” and the “flesh” or “sin” that dwells in him (7-17-22).

Paul’s desires as provoked by law are a parallel to Genesis “when the commandment came”. There is no sin consciousness apart from law, just as in 7:9, the commandment came and “I” died. Paul is explaining how sin works by provocation of law. His separation of his “I” from his natural “flesh” nature comes about by his knowledge of good and evil, by the emergence of a consciousness of his guilt, a ‘conscience’. Paul is without Spirit, without Jesus, by himself, under law. His flesh runs rampant and his guilt holds him powerless over it, it is in fact that his flesh has all power over him, his “I” can only stand on the sidelines and watch it all fall apart.

Derek says “There is a new “I” with new “desires” that battles against this flesh…” NO, there is only the continual defeat at the hands of his “flesh” ever mentioned, NEVER any victory of Christ here at all. The only thing that is new is the change from basic human nature without law, to human nature WITH law. His “I” has only emerged from a oneness, a unity WITH his flesh in its ‘innocence’, to a separation from that flesh once law has delineated the no responsibility of the innocence of immaturity to the responsibility of maturity. This is when he “dies” under law. But the emergence of his identity is that of one condemned by that law, by the wrath of God that accompanies law. His “I” has nowhere to go, there is no release from this sin condition, this “wretched man”. Derek says “The controlling “I” is the new Paul”. But this is wrong, this “I” has no control at all, even right up to the last verse of 7, he is in total failure, his “flesh” is still serving the law of sin, just as it has throughout the whole chapter. His mind still has no control over the flesh, even though his mind agrees with the law, he still cannot DO the law, Nothing has changed until Rom.8:1-2, when he is finally released from the law of sin and of death. [Paul’s “I” shifts to identification with Christ].

The fourth point “Paul delights in the law of God”. Now no man who has Christ and His Spirit, having been released from law to acquire them, is going to be found “delighting in the law”, the thing under which he was condemned until he was released from it, having been bought by the blood of Jesus, FROM it. There is ample example of those of the Old Testament who delighted in, rejoiced in, the law which was their only form of righteousness, but whose glory faded in comparison with the new ministry of the Spirit. The law written on the heart is only there because of the things of it we have been released from, forgiven of, all things from which you could NOT be released from by the law. Derek now comments in a revealing way, “Yet, it is precisely Paul’s delight in the law that compels the apostle to war against indwelling sin”. So he is saying that the victory lies NOT with the Spirit, but with the LAW. How wrong can you be?

The fifth point. Derek could not be more wrong than here. Galatians is nothing like Romans, is a completely different condition and scenario altogether. The one is under law, the other is in the Spirit. The Romans 7 example is that of the mind (on its own) in conflict with the flesh, the other is the Spirit in conflict with the flesh. In the former lies absolute defeat, in the latter lies absolute victory . And this is the whole point of Christ and the Spirit coming, being gifted to us, and the means by which we obtain victory over the “flesh” through Him. We left the mind in 7 agreeing with the law, but unable to perform it, and the flesh still very much in control. In Galatians, they lost control to subversive elements of law again, and Paul had to enjoin them to regain that Spirit which they had now lost. “O foolish Galatians…”

Sixth point. Derek says “This is my experience”. While most men will at some time or other admit to identifying with Romans chapter 7, this is usually a matter of theoretical or doctrinal clarification, that 7 teaches us something extremely valuable about the difference between law and grace, which is immense. That helps clarify that “great gulf” between God and us, which is then removed by Jesus. But it is important to note that Christ’s victory was meant to REMOVE us from that position of being under the power of sin and from being in its control. Unfortunately there are those who will use the grace provided by Christ to distort Romans 7 so that verse 25 becomes the end of it, they believing that it is OK that we serve the law with our mind and our flesh with the law of sin, instead of allowing Romans 8:1,2. to remove the law of sin, so our mind does not try to serve the [abolished in His body] law at all, but follow the Spirit instead.

https://equip.sbts.edu/article/six-reasons-romans-7-written-perspective-post-conversion-christian/

Guilt*, a sense of…Rom 7:7 “…I would not have come to know sin except through the law…” So he knew sin through the law, not through grace. What came to him first, law or grace? To know about coveting is to understand the activity of coveting, it is a mental activity. He was acting out of spiritual death, whether he fully comprehended it or not in the past does not matter, he later fully comprehended it at the time of writing it for our benefit.

In 7:14 He says he is sold into bondage to sin. This is the pre-Christ position, not the bought out of bondage position of Christ. “Bought with a price”.

Those under law are in death, only those in the Spirit are alive.

JESUS ENTERED INTO THE DARKNESS [165ao]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Canxiety Cdepression

REVISITING DEREK J. BROWN’S ROMANS 7 [1794]

Back in some time after his article was written in 2019, I commented on it in my usual enthusiastic fashion, but was rebuffed because of lack of detail in answering his six points. As usual, it is because the wrong questions are asked that the wrong answers also emerge, apart from the wrong preconceived mindset also being involved.

So his first point is that Paul did not describe having a sense of guilt before he was converted, so how does he then respond to the law with affirmation of its right over his wrong? Without getting too deep here, I know that the record shows that Jesus confronted him on the Damascus road with “It is hard to kick against the pricks” (of conscience), after all, he had been wandering around killing innocent people in his ‘persecution of Jesus’, so why wouldn’t he, somewhere, somehow, have a guilty conscience?

And we have to look at the broad issue of just what man’s problem is, that it stems from guilt which hardens men’s hearts and they proceed in that mindset that holds them ‘under the wrath of God’, a legalistic mindset without charity, grace mercy forgiveness or love. As Derek himself admits in another of his points, that he himself identifies with this chapter. But that is the thing, everybody does, and for the same reason, which is estrangement from God through guilt and fear of death. The predominant answer is that we must accept eternal security from God, and that will never happen until we accept His love, and that can never happen while we see Him as a set of laws.

Yes in Philippians 3:4-6 Paul does quote his qualifications in the flesh, that he persecuted the church with zeal, and as to the righteousness of the law, blameless. Yet amongst this, Jesus still noted his guilty conscience. “Law brings wrath” and this wrath is seen in Romans 7, from which it does not depart from Paul throughout. Romans 8 says this is the mindset of the flesh, it is captivity to sin, regardless of supposed satisfaction of the law. “That which is not of faith is sin”. Outside of faith men are blind and condemned, the problem being that they cannot “do” righteousness, even though law spells it out to them. The keeping of law does not bring righteousness, in fact, law cannot be kept because it involves love, and if men loved, they would be blameless.

Yes men can recognise righteousness and unrighteousness, this is their whole problem since Eve, but they are not empowered to DO righteousness, (only unrighteousness) in fact the reverse is true, just as Adam discovered when he became conscious of his sin and was removed (by his conscience) from the garden of Eden. So the world’s problem amounts to estrangement from God through guilt, and consciences can also be “seared as with a hot iron” to be suppressed in part. Paul goes on in Philippians to say “I count all things to be loss” compared to knowing Jesus.

So Paul was doggedly pursuing Christians to the death, within his claim of righteousness within the law, but in chapter 7 he is not speaking so much of the end result of his life, as the beginning which brought the problem about due to his knowledge of right and wrong and its confrontation with law that condemns him for doing the wrong and not doing the good. This causes inner conflict in all men, and is that which Jesus came to fix. So how can we now reconcile all this with Paul’s clarity and vision concerning law in 7?

Paul is looking back now with the clarity of his overall experience in the light of his life in law as well as his life in the Spirit. But even though at the time of writing, he is the Christian apostle, he is not writing of his Christian experience, but of his experience prior to conversion. Paul’s desire was to satisfy the law, which he thought he was doing, but which later reflection revealed he was satisfying law to some extent, but never the law of love, which the law required but he could not do. “The good that I want to do, I cannot do”. “It is evil that I do”.

Then Derek says “…7:7-25 is how God’s good law relates to a sinful person. He must have gotten this wrong, because his claim is that 7:14-25 is Paul’s Christian experience. Derek quotes this as the second point, that in 7:5-13 Paul speaks of past reality, but in 7:14-25 he speaks in present reality. He then says “this change of perspective would argue for a change in Paul’s spiritual status”. But he neglects to see that Paul is specifically speaking of his flesh, and that he and his flesh have been sold into bondage to sin. Not bought out of bondage by Jesus. And all this neglects to recognise that the subject matter of 7 is and always will be, law; not Spirit. If Paul were a Christian he would have died to the law, not be responsive to law, but rather, be dead to it. He would not still be talking about it if indeed he had “changed his spiritual status”, since his “spiritual status” here is DEATH, and has been since verse 9. He does not suddenly come to life just because the tense changed from past to present.

He says that “In 7:5-13, he is describing his pre-conversion experience”. But he neglects the impact of the contrast between 7:5 and 7:6, which reveals the before and after senses of the states of under the law in 5, and being released from the law in 6. 7:6 clearly imparts cessation from law and entry into Spirit, in fact it is the only place in 7 where Spirit is mentioned at all. He says that a new “I” pops up in 7:14-25 which was absent in 7:5-13, but he ignores the obvious sense of a new “I” emerging at the conclusion of 7:6 . And it all falls apart because 7:7 obviously starts a new phase altogether, which is to investigate “Is the law sin?”, meaning that the subject matter under investigation is law and sin, nothing to do with Christ or Spirit, because Christ and Spirit have long ceased to be involved with or to relate to law, and believers are only those who have DIED to law.

These are all errors compounded because of a lack of understanding that Romans 7 was written “to those who know the law”, not to those who did not know the law because they had no immediate concern with it, not having been brought up in it (gentiles), but it is addressed to Jewish converts to Christianity because it is they who are going to be most concerned about the change from the law covenant to a grace covenant. This also means that the whole context and subject matter is LAW and not GRACE.

His third point “Paul distinguishes between the “I” and the “flesh” or “sin” that dwells in him (7-17-22).

Paul’s desires as provoked by law are a parallel to Genesis “when the commandment came”. There is no sin consciousness apart from law, just as in 7:9, the commandment came and “I” died. Paul is explaining how sin works by provocation of law. His separation of his “I” from his natural “flesh” nature comes about by his knowledge of good and evil, by the emergence of a consciousness of his guilt, a ‘conscience’. Paul is without Spirit, without Jesus, by himself, under law. His flesh runs rampant and his guilt holds him powerless over it, it is in fact that his flesh has all power over him, his “I” can only stand on the sidelines and watch it all fall apart.

Derek says “There is a new “I” with new “desires” that battles against this flesh…” NO, there is only the continual defeat at the hands of his “flesh” ever mentioned, NEVER any victory of Christ here at all. The only thing that is new is the change from basic human nature without law, to human nature WITH law. His “I” has only emerged from a oneness, a unity WITH his flesh in its ‘innocence’, to a separation from that flesh once law has delineated the no responsibility of the innocence of immaturity to the responsibility of maturity. This is when he “dies” under law. But the emergence of his identity is that of one condemned by that law, by the wrath of God that accompanies law. His “I” has nowhere to go, there is no release from this sin condition, this “wretched man”. Derek says “The controlling “I” is the new Paul”. But this is wrong, this “I” has no control at all, even right up to the last verse of 7, he is in total failure, his “flesh” is still serving the law of sin, just as it has throughout the whole chapter. His mind still has no control over the flesh, even though his mind agrees with the law, he still cannot DO the law, Nothing has changed until Rom.8:1-2, when he is finally released from the law of sin and of death. [Paul’s “I” shifts to identification with Christ].

The fourth point “Paul delights in the law of God”. Now no man who has Christ and His Spirit, having been released from law to acquire them, is going to be found “delighting in the law”, the thing under which he was condemned until he was released from it, having been bought by the blood of Jesus, FROM it. There is ample example of those of the Old Testament who delighted in, rejoiced in, the law which was their only form of righteousness, but whose glory faded in comparison with the new ministry of the Spirit. The law written on the heart is only there because of the things of it we have been released from, forgiven of, all things from which you could NOT be released from by the law. Derek now comments in a revealing way, “Yet, it is precisely Paul’s delight in the law that compels the apostle to war against indwelling sin”. So he is saying that the victory lies NOT with the Spirit, but with the LAW. How wrong can you be?

The fifth point. Derek could not be more wrong than here. Galatians is nothing like Romans, is a completely different condition and scenario altogether. The one is under law, the other is in the Spirit. The Romans 7 example is that of the mind (on its own) in conflict with the flesh, the other is the Spirit in conflict with the flesh. In the former lies absolute defeat, in the latter lies absolute victory . And this is the whole point of Christ and the Spirit coming, being gifted to us, and the means by which we obtain victory over the “flesh” through Him. We left the mind in 7 agreeing with the law, but unable to perform it, and the flesh still very much in control. In Galatians, they lost control to subversive elements of law again, and Paul had to enjoin them to regain that Spirit which they had now lost. “O foolish Galatians…”

Sixth point. Derek says “This is my experience”. While most men will at some time admit to identifying with Romans chapter 7, this is usually a matter of theoretical or doctrinal clarification, that 7 teaches us something extremely valuable about the difference between law and grace, which is immense. That helps clarify that “great gulf” between God and us, which is then removed by Jesus. But it is important to note that Christ’s victory was meant to REMOVE us from that position of being under the power of sin and from being in its control. Unfortunately there are those who will use the grace provided by Christ to distort Romans 7 so that verse 25 becomes the end of it, they believing that it is OK that we serve the law with our mind and our flesh with the law of sin, instead of allowing Romans 8:1,2. to remove the law of sin, so our mind does not try to serve the [abolished in His body] law at all, but follow the Spirit instead.

https://equip.sbts.edu/article/six-reasons-romans-7-written-perspective-post-conversion-christian/

IF YOU CAN’T TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SINNER AND A SAINT [1792a]

The term “sinner” seems to have been lost from the Christian vocabulary. It is a bit like the use of the “good man” terminology to which people would inevitably reply with the text where Jesus said that “none is good but God” which uses the same kind of condemnation which others use with “The heart is desperately wicked, who can understand it”. But they then neglect to mention that “Their hearts were cleansed by faith”. Jesus Himself also used the term “good man” in its proper context, that there is no problem in using the term good or bad as in its normal use, that there are good and bad people.

In the church it has not been unusual to hear people say “we are all miserable sinners saved by grace”. No wonder Paul said “wretched man that I am…” when this is all that supposed Christians can come up with. The King James version of the bible says that “sin is the transgression of the law” but this is wrong because it also says that before the law was given, sin was in the world. Other versions read it as “sin is lawlessness” which apparently is a better rendering of the matter.

There is a reason why the law described the condition of sin as being distinct from the condition of non-sinning, and that is so we can tell the difference between these two states. Jesus said to the woman, “GO AND SIN NO MORE” but the church has taught that it is impossible not to sin, and the reason it has taught this is because it is judging from law and not from grace, it has not changed the terms of reference which change the conditions under which the person operates, it is still referencing law and not Spirit.

Paul’s experience in Romans 7 is that of a sinner, not of a saint. The position of being a sinner is the position from which one needs to be rescued so that they cease in the main to sin, because they are now operating from a cleansed heart instead of an evil heart. “The good man out of the treasure of his heart speaks forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart”.

So it is indeed “by their fruit you shall know them”. The sinner naturally sins, the one released from the condition of sin does not naturally sin. John even says “He cannot sin, for the seed of God remains in him”. Or similar. Christ in the heart is the seed of God remaining, the Christian is following Christ, is led by the Spirit, under which condition it says “you will NOT fulfill the lust of the flesh”. Paul in Romans 7 is under the control of, and being led by, his flesh, not by the Spirit. He confesses he does evil, not good. He also confesses that it is the evil that dwells in him that does this against his own will, his will is completely powerless to do good, because the seed in him is that of the flesh, of evil, it is evil seed.

The point is that many of the church cannot differentiate between good and evil, between a sinner and a saint, and they just want to ‘tar them both with the same brush’ so as to allow sin and sinning to continue. So if you cannot tell the difference between the spiritual and the fleshly, the heavenly and the earthly, which is the whole point of Romans 7, then you should not be attempting to represent the Christian church to others, especially if you are supposed to be a spiritual leader of them.

ANOTHER POINT ABOUT ROMANS 7 [1793]

All of the the wrong views about Romans 7 being written about a believer, are INVALID because the subject person has not died to the law, but is very much alive to it. One cannot have the Spirit if they are alive to law, they must first die to law. The Spirit can only inhabit a dead to the law person, it is only the Spirit that makes a Christian a Christian, one who is dead to the law, that makes one alive to God.

Since the person in Romans 7 is very obviously still alive to the law (otherwise they would not still be talking about it) then neither are they Christian, nor do they possess the Spirit. They are still dead under the law, in the law. Christians are those not under law, not in the flesh at all. Only law makes flesh alive to sin, the Spirit makes the spirit alive and puts natural flesh to death.

“Those who are His have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires”. “One died for all, therefore all died”.

[Romans 4:15 “…for the law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, neither is there violation”.][A legalist cannot inherit the Spirit of Christ][but only the legalistic mind can interpret this because it is aimed at legalists][And this may be why some godly people get it wrong]