THE PROMISES OF JESUS [1915]

He who WAS the promise, also made promises to us. His assurance to us was that whoever believed in Him would not die but would have eternal life which would not be taken from him.

He who believes in me will never die. He will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life. He will never see death. He will not be harmed by the second death.

This was because anyone who took His sacrifice to heart, would gain power over sin. It was sin, the corruption of the creative design, which brought death to the human body. The sacrifice of Jesus was meant to be emulated by empathy with Him in recognition of His empathy with us.

“Those who are His HAVE CRUCIFIED the flesh with its passions and desires.”

One of the great tragedies of theological deception is the teaching that Paul was displaying Christian nature in Romans chapter 7, when it was in truth, the DEATH chapter of that great book, to be followed of course by the LIFE chapter, chapter 8.

The DEATH chapter 7 reveals the nature and operation of indwelling sin and how it brings about sin in man’s mortal body, which is why it is mortal.

The LIFE chapter 8 reveals and then displays the LIFE that is given through the Spirit of Christ in order for SIN to be overwhelmed and destroyed in the body of faith, that understanding and stance taken when one believes in that great victory over sin which Jesus achieved for us, and then gave TO us.

If you are a believer, then: You will never die. You will never see death. You will not be harmed by the second death. You will live forever. PROMISED by God.

[The destruction of sin enabled and enables the creation of love][Go and sin no more].

ROMANS 7 COMMENTARIES CRITIQUED [1777d]

A Michael Youssef update. See also post 1564a.

A WORK IN PROGRESS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DUNN. cat.1.

JOHN MURRAY. cat.1

TOM SCHREINER. cat.2

RUDOLPH BULTMANN. cat.

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

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

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

ADAM CLARKE. cat.2.

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

M.J. THOMPSON cat.1.

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

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

GODBEY cat.1. This is nothing but a load of complicated rubbish. The very reason for Paul writing chapter 7 was to show how and why the old covenant of law had to be replaced with a new covenant of grace. He shows how he was under the power of sin because of law and draws on his own experience in this regard to explain the process of the power that sin had over us because we were under law. His explanation is self contradictory on many points and his conclusion in verse 25 is the usual error of thinking that this is the duality of the Christian position, without the further influence of chapter 8.

CROSSROMAN cat. 2. I suppose I should include myself in this. Briefly, Paul has given us the gospel up to and including chapter 6, now he wants to ensure that those who came out of the Mosaic law system were fully in understanding of the situation, of why the covenant had to change, why grace had to supersede the law system. He explains that through faith in the sacrificial body of Christ we are released from servitude and slavery under the law. Then he goes back to explain how sin through the law killed him, and he remains in that death for the remainder of the chapter, including verse 25. From verse7 on he explains the (his) position as one under the law and captive to sin by it. In verse 14 he explains that though the law is spiritual, that he (and all mankind) was not, that we were all ‘of flesh’, even, and particularly so, Jesus. He is recalling the position of one of the flesh. He fell to sin’s temptation but Jesus did not. The argument that only a regenerate person would rejoice in the law is obviously false as not only does scripture say the opposite but it is easily understood that the law was all they had at the time and the glory of it (far surpassed now by the glory of the Spirit) was shown on Moses face when he came down from the mountain). Paul explains captivity to the law of sin under the law. Verse 24 expresses the utter hopelessness of one in this position, this “wretched man”. WHO WILL SET ME FREE FROM THIS BODY OF DEATH? In the final verse 25 he supplies the answer, that it is indeed JESUS who will set him free. (He speaks as one still under the law and in bondage to sin). It is an interjection, an exclamation of relief that the answer exists. He now sums up all that he has explained in the forgoing chapter, that his mind, which has been shown to be in servitude to the law of sin; even though it desires to do good can only do evil; is in itself willing to serve God’s law but is in slavery and bonded to, the law of sin with his flesh. Just because the name of Jesus has been mentioned does not mean that his bondage to the law of sin has been broken. The two laws sit there inside him ready to be provoked into action and the preceding has shown that the law of sin always takes over and defeats the law of his mind that ‘wishes’ to serve God. One would have to prove that the “prisoner” of verse 24 had been set free by or around the exclamation and revelation of verse 25 of “thanks to God”; in order to prove that verse 25 was the statement of a Christian. This is not so however, the duality of nature shown here is that of the two laws inherent in every man who has indeed any reasonable conscience regarding sin and his own part in it. It says he is serving the law of sin with his flesh, so nothing has changed from the whole of chapter 7 forwards, in which his servitude to the law of sin and death was proclaimed, even though his desire was otherwise, he was helpless against it. SIN was the result. [He is speaking AS one under law, this was not his actual experience here, he is drawing on past experience of his prior failures, showing that failure under law is inevitable.] He reveals the inner deficiencies of one not yet released from such bondage to sin by law.

It is not until chapter 8 that release from this law of sin is proclaimed and obtained. 8:2 agrees with 7:6. There is no mention of Spirit control from 7:7 onwards, it only emerges in 8:2 “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death” (this is that same “law of sin” in v25). 7:6 said “But now we have been released from the law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter”. Of course that was the end of any mention of the Spirit, as he goes into his explanation of why the covenant of law had to go, because it in itself stimulated sin in men of flesh, which we all are, until we, although OF the flesh, get to be excluded from the description of being as those IN the flesh, being now IN the Spirit, in accordance with 8:9.

So chapter 7 is all LAW FLESH SIN DEATH completely. Paul is hypothetically IN DEATH until chapter 8. where liberation from this deathly position is now proclaimed.

In verse 25 there was one version of the N.I.V. that said “I, OF myself…”. This is confirming of where Jesus said “without me you can do nothing” as Paul in Romans 7 was certainly without Jesus in any form.

TO BE CONTINUED…..

ARE WE AT WAR WITH THE LAW? [1891]

The conflict and conflicted state we may be in and dealing with, may be a matter of being in conflict with “the” law, or just “law” in general. Where our natural nature is composed of some elements or other which do not line up or agree with the law or righteous ‘principles’, this internal conflict produces elements of death within us, within our bodies.

This is the natural nature state of man ever since Adam “fell” and this state continues to produce death dealing elements within us and to us so that death is our natural end.

But we must now leave this natural nature of man state or condition, and “die” to it, “die” to this natural state of laws and become part of a new state with a new mindset altogether, and this can only be done by accepting the death of Christ as being full ‘payment’ for our own death, as we accept that this death is a necessary end so as to facilitate a new beginning.

While we live, we speak of death in spiritual terms, with the understanding that while physical death inevitably normally follows, unless Jesus returns beforehand, spiritual death inevitably produces physical death because natural sin has already worked its death in our physiology as well as our psychology. But by being “born again” in Jesus, we can experience a spiritual birth now in this life, which will carry on into the next in the physical sense of being gifted a new body based on what that old body (us) has done and become in the meantime between spiritual rebirth and physical death.

So while we continue to operate at a law based level, we will continue to foster and to feed those deathly elements of guilt and judgement which is exactly what Christ died for to overcome for us, so we could then rely on Him and His loving qualities and nature to grow us into the final creative pattern that He set forth for us to follow by obedience to His Spirit, the gift of life that He became in order to give to us and create in us His own eternal nature as second sons to His first born Son status.

Life can only come by faith receiving His Spirit of life into ourselves that our own earthly and mortal bodies can begin to function according to His initially created eternal design, having been spiritually resurrected in Christ to then become physically resurrected when He returns to physically claim His own to Himself even as He has already spiritually reclaimed them to Himself.

LAW WARS [1890]

VERY EXPLORATORY THEOLOGY. Not Star wars, law wars. All conflict occurs through the clash of opposing positions, and those positions can be defined by “laws”. You cannot live under law, you can only die under law. ‘If a law could have been given that would bring life, then righteousness would certainly have come through law, but God has declared that all men are guilty under law…’. Sin and Judgement. The actual quote is Gal.3:21.

“AND THERE WAS WAR IN HEAVEN…” (How could there be literal war in [God’s] heaven?) [“Thy will be done, as it is in heaven”].

What I wanted to express here was the various conflict situations in scripture. [Of course the old testament is full of literal wars and conflicts]. In the garden of Eden we have an idealised conflict where Adam is then excluded from that garden, or that PERFECT (HEAVENLY) PLACE [though supposedly on earth] because of the turmoil ensuing after the “fall”. It appears it was his conscience that excluded him from the place of innocence, now lost and unretainable, and unreturnable.

It could be seen that the temple veil or curtain that was torn when Jesus died may symbolise that return to the holy place that the first Adam initially lost for us and the second Adam returned to us, it may symbolise the returned or cleansed conscience. ‘There is now dust in heaven’ as someone has said. Of course there is a whole existent regime of thought [because the word says so] about Lucifer falling from heaven. Then also Jesus said “I saw satan fall like lightning from heaven”. This becomes a matter of whether He means that satan fell from heaven or that he simply meant that satan fell like lightning does from heaven, which are two different things. The “enemy” certainly lost all authority after the cross, he “fell” from any ‘heavenly’ place of authority, forever. [People also talk about Jesus sweating drops of blood, only it doesn’t say this, only that His SWEAT resembled the way drops of blood fall.]

The “war” that occurred in Jesus body that resulted in our salvation by Him winning it, is the same “war” that occurs in us also by the conflict in our bodies of our “flesh” against our moral conscience and which war, in the natural, we always lose. It is the same “war” that occurred in Paul in Romans 7 which he also similarly lost through the authority of law which condemned his mortal flesh, but which in Romans 8 he and we were given the victory of Christ in the form of His Spirit, the “Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus” coming into effect for all mankind to avail themselves of by believing it to be true, and which “gives life to your mortal bodies” Rom.8:11.

So in all these “wars” or conflicts between man and his conscience, or righteousness (Jesus or God) against unrighteousness; there exists that which is not of God in conflict with that which is of God, and there is only one ultimate outcome, that of the emergence of the righteousness of God, and the destruction of all that is not of God. There is only one victor Jesus, and only one perfect victory which has been made available to all through faith in that perfect victory. That is why to see Romans 7 as the situation of a believer is perverse and perverted, because it perverts and distorts and corrupts the very victory that Christ won for us. WE may not be perfect (though the word says we have been made so in Him) but the victory (HIS) in which we partake and in which divine nature we partake OF, IS perfect, otherwise there would be no power in it for US at all.

LAW AND FLESH WRATH, LOVE AND FLESH WRATH [1884a]

EXPLORATORY THEOLOGY. There is a similarity between the good law and (sin) wrath in the the flesh in Romans 7, and the presence of wrath in the flesh in the presence of love.

So Paul advocates the case for the law* in the presence of the flesh, explaining that it is the “good” law working on the “bad” flesh that produces, provokes sin in the flesh. “Law brings wrath”, hence Romans 7:5 “…the sinful passions aroused by the law…” Sin being aroused, created, CONCEIVED in the flesh, results in internal wrath being produced if there is a state of realised conflict between the two states, so we need to look at what Paul is saying here. (1).

Similarly, what is commonly called “God’s wrath” is really not ‘His wrath’ at all, but is the product of righteousness versus unrighteousness, again, created, sensed or produced WITHIN the flesh of man. His LOVE is the provocation of the inner conflict and turmoil in mankind (2) as PERCEIVED and EXPERIENCED by man.

In both (1) and (2) we see righteousness portrayed in opposition to unrighteousness.

Paul’s ‘angle’ in Romans 7 is that of being a prisoner of sin under law, and his inner conflict is expressed as his flesh waging WAR against his mind, (the conflict) and the “wrath”, the effects of that conflict experienced in him as a WRETCHEDNESS that such a confliction of purposes and motivations exists within him; which feelings and confliction results in his, the, inner wrath which is his mind in contradiction and frustration, in turmoil because, as a composite personality he is at war within and against HIMSELF.

Brain cells in conflict with brain cells, thoughts in conflict with other thoughts, loss of a cohesive identity resulting in inner stresses and anguish with no way out. Fear, anxiety and depression would result.

Paul’s point of writing in Romans 7 is for a particular purpose, that of identifying the cause of sin and its manifestation in and through man, and the parameters governing it. In other scriptures he writes similarly in that there is a purpose and point of his focus, and depending on the subject matter he expresses himself differently in order to clarify that individual subject.

But in Romans 7 he has, through law, defined the nature of the division between man’s knowledge of goodness and his knowledge of badness. He has through this acquired a conscience by which He knows good from bad in a clearly defined way, that of law. And he expresses this in the last verse, the two laws within him that are opposed to each other but which because of law, only one, the law of sin, is empowered to “win the war” within of righteousness versus unrighteousness. (Unrighteousness of the flesh wins).

His experienced “wrath” is not fully concentrated on here in this chapter, but the parameters for it are clearly set up by this scenario of law versus man (“flesh”), in which law wins by supporting the condemnation of sin, and man loses because while such condemnation continues to exist, His desire for and expression of that desire for righteous conformation with the law of righteousness (the law of his mind that wants to serve the law, “serve God”) will always be frustrated and defeated by the inherent law of “sin in the flesh”.

Hence this condemnation of the believer in righteousness but who found no way to express it or produce it, had to be removed by the sacrifice of Christ and its, His, acceptance by man. He had to become a believer in Christ.

ANOTHER conflict later exists between the Spirit and the flesh whereby submission to the SPIRIT of Christ enables the overcoming of the flesh and the production of the wanted and desired righteousness. The MIND and heart, having apprehended the righteousness of Christ, now defers to His Spirit in matters of moral conflict, in which otherwise the mind would be the loser as Romans 7 shows.

The FORMER conflict results in the wrath of God ON MAN and IN man as expressed by Paul’s wretched defeat, while the latter conflict results in an expression of wrath as seen in the judgement on sin on Christ on the cross, where Jesus took on board that inner conflict of flesh versus law, but also with the righteousness of God, as revealed from within Himself, and his ability to overcome all unrighteousness and in His case POTENTIAL unrighteousness of the flesh.

CORRUPTED man cannot see God as LOVE, but only sees Him through the result of his guilty conscience, as guilt, law and condemnation. Through law he sees himself condemned under God’s “love” when that love is only perceived through the filter of a sinner under the righteousness of the law. Once the corruption is out of the way through Christ, God’s love can then be seen as truly LOVE. Before this He is seen as WRATH.

Paul’s experience of wrath in Romans 7 is inherent in his WRETCHEDNESS, in his perceived guilt and condemnation when under law, in his inability to do good but to do only evil, as being, in his narrative, one who was unredeemed FROM (the result of) THE LAW. Having within, as all unredeemed men do to varying degrees, the inherent conflict between right and wrong because of guilt and condemnation, under their own steam, between their own mind and their own flesh. FLESH WINS. Wrath results.

[war and conflict, death consciousness, guilt, condemnation, internal agitation, ‘burning’ = wrath][Love and law will both provoke wrath in unredeemed man because they are righteousness contrasted with man’s unrighteousness][until the sentence of death is removed by Christ’s sacrifice]

[The absence of love in us is perceived, construed and experienced by FEAR in us as wrath when confronted with the love we ourselves do not possess.] [Wrath is the agitation within us caused by the components of our unrighteousness being confronted with righteousness. It is the unresolved condition of our threatened insecurity].

[Wrath in Jesus was His own righteousness in conflict with the unrighteousness (corruption) of the inner potential of the flesh to create sin and with the corrupted elements that produce death and are themselves already products of death. This wrath is the activity of that stress as it seeks to resolve the polarisation of good and evil by entering into battle, into a conflict of these opposing forces.]

[In Romans 7 Paul was trying to keep the law of himself and by himself and failing miserably]

[“Where there is no law there is no transgression”? So without law there is no wrath. But a condition of ‘two states’ is necessary to bring about an adjustment or change in a condition. Without law there is no opposition to what we are doing, or to what we are. This is why God “chastises” us in order to draw us into His environment and away from the naturality of our own. It requires PRESSURE to create the change and it is such pressure we see Jesus subjected to on the cross, where HIS nature was at odds with OUR nature by virtue of HIM being made “in every way” like US. Righteous and unrighteousness at war in the same body, HIS body. Not that He ever sinned, but He bore the same body as us which was prone to weakness, but which His OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS as Son of God was able to overpower, to heal and change, to destroy or alter that which needed to be perfected from that initial creation which was the fallen Adam, to make His body whole, to be immortalised and thus resurrected.]

*[Obviously Paul was opposed to the law in its written form because his opponents were in opposition to His gospel message, on the basis of what they saw as a message in competition with their law, to replace it with ‘another’ ‘religion’. Those who wanted to retain the law or elements of it in the ‘new religion’ were his adversaries whether they were existing people who were still ‘of the law’ or those within the new Christian gatherings. Paul made it clear, and it appears obvious, that the SPIRIT as delivered at Pentecost is the antithesis of all and any law because it ‘works’ with opposing and completely different parameters. Rom.8:2 “For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free from the law of sin and death” which is what law had become to them, because of its condemnation. Paul called law both “The ministry of death” as well as “The ministry of condemnation”. It was now to be replaced by “The ministry of reconciliation” in Christ Jesus. Paul made this plain by writing Romans 7 explicitly for “those who knew the law” IE the Jewish converts.]

LAW AND FLESH WRATH, LOVE AND FLESH WRATH [1884]

EXPLORATORY THEOLOGY. There is a similarity between the good law and (sin) wrath in the the flesh in Romans 7, and the presence of wrath in the flesh in the presence of love.

So Paul advocates the case for the law* in the presence of the flesh, explaining that it is the “good” law working on the “bad” flesh that produces, provokes sin in the flesh. “Law brings wrath”, hence Romans 7:5 “…the sinful passions aroused by the law…” Sin being aroused, created, CONCEIVED in the flesh, results in internal wrath being produced if there is a state of realised conflict between the two states, so we need to look at what Paul is saying here. (1).

Similarly, what is commonly called “God’s wrath” is really not ‘His wrath’ at all, but is the product of righteousness versus unrighteousness, again, created, sensed or produced WITHIN the flesh of man. His LOVE is the provocation of the inner conflict and turmoil in mankind (2) as PERCEIVED and EXPERIENCED by man.

In both (1) and (2) we see righteousness portrayed in opposition to unrighteousness.

Paul’s ‘angle’ in Romans 7 is that of being a prisoner of sin under law, and his inner conflict is expressed as his flesh waging WAR against his mind, (the conflict) and the “wrath”, the effects of that conflict experienced in him as a WRETCHEDNESS that such a confliction of purposes and motivations exists within him; which feelings and confliction results in his, the, inner wrath which is his mind in contradiction and frustration, in turmoil because, as a composite personality he is at war within and against HIMSELF.

Brain cells in conflict with brain cells, thoughts in conflict with other thoughts, loss of a cohesive identity resulting in inner stresses and anguish with no way out. Fear, anxiety and depression would result.

Paul’s point of writing in Romans 7 is for a particular purpose, that of identifying the cause of sin and its manifestation in and through man, and the parameters governing it. In other scriptures he writes similarly in that there is a purpose and point of his focus, and depending on the subject matter he expresses himself differently in order to clarify that individual subject.

But in Romans 7 he has, through law, defined the nature of the division between man’s knowledge of goodness and his knowledge of badness. He has through this acquired a conscience by which He knows good from bad in a clearly defined way, that of law. And he expresses this in the last verse, the two laws within him that are opposed to each other but which because of law, only one, the law of sin, is empowered to “win the war” within of righteousness versus unrighteousness. (Unrighteousness of the flesh wins).

His experienced “wrath” is not fully concentrated on here in this chapter, but the parameters for it are clearly set up by this scenario of law versus man (“flesh”), in which law wins by supporting the condemnation of sin, and man loses because while such condemnation continues to exist, His desire for and expression of that desire for righteous conformation with the law of righteousness (the law of his mind that wants to serve the law, “serve God”) will always be frustrated and defeated by the inherent law of “sin in the flesh”.

Hence this condemnation of the believer in righteousness but who found no way to express it or produce it, had to be removed by the sacrifice of Christ and its, His, acceptance by man. He had to become a believer in Christ.

ANOTHER conflict later exists between the Spirit and the flesh whereby submission to the SPIRIT of Christ enables the overcoming of the flesh and the production of the wanted and desired righteousness. The MIND and heart, having apprehended the righteousness of Christ, now defers to His Spirit in matters of moral conflict, in which otherwise the mind would be the loser as Romans 7 shows.

The FORMER conflict results in the wrath of God ON MAN and IN man as expressed by Paul’s wretched defeat, while the latter conflict results in an expression of wrath as seen in the judgement on sin on Christ on the cross, where Jesus took on board that inner conflict of flesh versus law, but also with the righteousness of God, as revealed from within Himself, and his ability to overcome all unrighteousness and in His case POTENTIAL unrighteousness of the flesh.

CORRUPTED man cannot see God as LOVE, but only sees Him through the result of his guilty conscience, as guilt, law and condemnation. Through law he sees himself condemned under God’s “love” when that love is only perceived through the filter of a sinner under the righteousness of the law. Once the corruption is out of the way through Christ, God’s love can then be seen as truly LOVE. Before this He is seen as WRATH.

Paul’s experience of wrath in Romans 7 is inherent in his WRETCHEDNESS, in his perceived guilt and condemnation when under law, in his inability to do good but to do only evil, as being, in his narrative, one who was unredeemed FROM (the result of) THE LAW. Having within, as all unredeemed men do to varying degrees, the inherent conflict between right and wrong because of guilt and condemnation, under their own steam, between their own mind and their own flesh. FLESH WINS. Wrath results.

[war and conflict, death consciousness, guilt, condemnation, internal agitation, ‘burning’ = wrath][Love and law will both provoke wrath in unredeemed man because they are righteousness contrasted with man’s unrighteousness][until the sentence of death is removed by Christ’s sacrifice]

[The absence of love in us is perceived, construed and experienced by FEAR in us as wrath when confronted with the love we ourselves do not possess.] [Wrath is the agitation within us caused by the components of our unrighteousness being confronted with righteousness. It is the unresolved condition of our threatened insecurity].

[Wrath in Jesus was His own righteousness in conflict with the unrighteousness (corruption) of the inner potential of the flesh to create sin and with the corrupted elements that produce death and are themselves already products of death. This wrath is the activity of that stress as it seeks to resolve the polarisation of good and evil by entering into battle, into a conflict of these opposing forces.]

[In Romans 7 Paul was trying to keep the law of himself and by himself and failing miserably]

[“Where there is no law there is no transgression”? So without law there is no wrath. But a condition of ‘two states’ is necessary to bring about an adjustment or change in a condition. Without law there is no opposition to what we are doing, or to what we are. This is why God “chastises” us in order to draw us into His environment and away from the naturality of our own. It requires PRESSURE to create the change and it is such pressure we see Jesus subjected to on the cross, where HIS nature was at odds with OUR nature by virtue of HIM being made “in every way” like US. Righteous and unrighteousness at war in the same body, HIS body. Not that He ever sinned, but He bore the same body as us which was prone to weakness, but which His OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS as Son of God was able to overpower, to heal and change, to destroy or alter that which needed to be perfected from that initial creation which was the fallen Adam, to make His body whole, to be immortalised and thus resurrected.]

*[Obviously Paul was opposed to the law in its written form because his opponents were in opposition to His gospel message, on the basis of what they saw as a message in competition with their law, to replace it with ‘another’ ‘religion’. Those who wanted to retain the law or elements of it in the ‘new religion’ were his adversaries whether they were existing people who were still ‘of the law’ or those within the new Christian gatherings. Paul made it clear, and it appears obvious, that the SPIRIT as delivered at Pentecost is the antithesis of all and any law because it ‘works’ with opposing and completely different parameters. Rom.8:2 “For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free from the law of sin and death” which is what law had become to them, because of its condemnation. Paul called law both “The ministry of death” as well as “The ministry of condemnation”. It was now to be replaced by “The ministry of reconciliation” in Christ Jesus. Paul made this plain by writing Romans 7 explicitly for “those who knew the law” IE the Jewish converts.]

ROMANS 7 COMMENTARIES CRITIQUED [1777c]

A Michael Youssef update. See also post 1564a.

A WORK IN PROGRESS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DUNN. cat.1.

JOHN MURRAY. cat.1

TOM SCHREINER. cat.2

RUDOLPH BULTMANN. cat.

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

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

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

ADAM CLARKE. cat.2.

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

M.J. THOMPSON cat.1.

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

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

TO BE CONTINUED…..

ROMANS 7 FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF SPIRIT [1872]

We know of only two spirits here, the one being that of Paul but which is never described here as “spirit”, and the other being that of God. Spirit is the essence, the core centre of an entity, is the driving force and (singular) nature of the being himself.

“Spirit” gets only ONE mention in Romans 7, which is indicative of the whole chapter’s “fleshly” nature. That one time occurrence is in 7:6 which is a summation of the gospel having been described to those people of chapter 6, which is now to be built upon from 7:7 onwards to serve as an explanation, mainly to the Jewish converts, (those “who know the law”) as an explanation of just why the covenant of old had to be REPLACED with a new one.

So because this whole chapter is about the production of sin, through the flesh, empowered by law; there is only this one reference to The Spirit of God at all, being that chapter 7 is the very opposite, that of law flesh sin death. And this ONE reference of 7:6 is really the conclusion to chapter 6 where the elements of the gospel had just been explained, and how the Jews were included also in this predominately gentile? new covenant arrangement, in the very first verse 7:1 about law only being in force until there is a death of one party to it.

The Jewish members of the congregation, then having been singled out for a more intense and complete explanation of why the covenant had to change (HAD CHANGED) means that verse 4 says they had been MADE TO DIE through the body of Christ and so were included in this new covenant of grace and life in the Spirit (7:4-6). Verse 6 concludes the matter of the proclamation of the gospel effect, and verse 7 begins Paul’s explanation mainly for their benefit. He is going to tell them exactly why that covenant change was necessary, and why it and they needed to be ‘put to death’ with the body of Christ.

7:6 This was the statement about the change of covenants and that it was now by the Spirit [that appeared at Pentecost] they were to serve God and NOT in the “oldness of the letter” (of the law).

From 7:7 forward Paul then goes on to explain the failure of the law to enable and assist the production of righteousness because of its inhibiting factor of the communication of guilt, which only condemns us. The more the righteousness of the law is explained, the more condemnation by it we experience.

The active ingredients are law flesh sin death, and Paul’s MIND, but NOT ever Spirit. The conflict here is NOT between Spirit and flesh, as it is in Galatians, but is between Paul’s MIND and his flesh, it is this seemingly never ending conflict which exists in mankind regardless of the degree of guilt felt or appreciated. That felt guilt depends on conscience levels, so that there is a verse “When the gentiles, who DON’T have the law, DO BY NATURE what the law REQUIRES*, they show they are a law unto themselves..”

In Galatians the conflict is between the Spirit and the flesh, in which contest the Spirit is superior (the power is the Spirit). But in R7 the contest is NOT between Spirit and flesh, but MIND and flesh (sin), and FLESH (SIN) is superior (the power is the law).

In Galatians Paul is talking to believers about the weakness of the flesh which is coming about because they are being influenced by LAW, which they should not allow to be happening; whereas in Romans 7 Paul is talking about that very same weakness in them WHEN THEY WERE UNDER THE LAW before they became believers, using his own story as an example of that.

Christians ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW. They are under grace, IN the Spirit, NOT “IN” the “flesh”. Those OF the flesh [all living creatures][are subject to the law of sin and death] may be in man’s case either OF the flesh and NOT in the Spirit, but IN the flesh: OR OF the flesh but IN the SPIRIT. The gospel provides man with that choice which he never before Jesus could have.

There is no Spirit or His victory in Romans 7. There is only sin and our defeat under law.

*[ 8:4 “In order that the REQUIREMENT of the law might be fulfilled in us…”][from our new nature]