SET FREE FROM THE LAW OF SIN AND DEATH [1911]

Rom.7:6 We have been released from the law, having died to that by which we were BOUND. Rom.7:14 But I am of flesh (which was) sold into BONDAGE (slavery) to sin. In the former state we find ourselves RELEASED from bondage, but in the latter, we are STILL bound to sin through the law. So the latter is a representation of the problem that existed BEFORE we were released from the law. To be released from the law is to be released from the bondage of it and to it.

Rom.6:22 Now we have been freed from sin and enslaved to God. Yet in 7 we are still in bondage to it. How can people say that chapter 7 follows on from chapter 6 with the same subject of release from law and sanctification by the Spirit?

How can people centre arguments around Paul sinning or not? The fact is that he was explaining how that he had in the past sinned, and the mechanism by which this happened, that it was by the condemnation of the law that we were rendered powerless of will because we were declared GUILTY?

He is describing the power of sin that was gained through LAW, and does not return to any hint of the subject of sanctification until the name of Jesus is mentioned in 7:25 in answer to his (hypothetical) question of WHO will deliver me (from this bondage to sin).

Through this whole chapter from verse 7 on, Paul is discussing how the law KILLED him, and he REMAINS DEAD THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE REST OF THE CHAPTER. Dead in sin YES. Alive in Christ NO. (Paul has died UNDER the law, not TO the law.)

Chapter 7 does NOT follow chapter 6 in progressiveness of spiritual order. ‘WE’ (and Paul) were already alive at the end of chapter 6, but Paul goes back into theoretical bondage again in order to explain why the covenant had to change FROM law, TO grace. [“He has abolished the law”][The law is “the ministry of death”][The law is “the ministry of condemnation”] Christians are NOT UNDER THAT LAW.

Verse 25 is NOT the end of the matter discussed in chapter 7, as many seem to think. To remain with a dualistic nature of a two law scenario, the one being the “law of my mind” which serves God, while the other being the “law of sin”, still stuck in conflict with one another with the law of sin in charge under the law and the “law of his mind” being subservient to it: IS NOT THE VICTORY WHICH JESUS ACHIEVED.

Rom.8:1&2 is the victory, is the end of the law of sin and death. (“Christ is the end of the law for all who believe”).

[The law becomes to us the law of sin and death][“For the sting of death is sin, and the POWER OF SIN is the law”][The totality of Romans 7 is DEATH, there is no LIFE until Romans 8.]

LOVE WILL CRUCIFY YOUR FLESH [1909]

“Those who are His have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires”. So we can see that the whole subject matter of Romans 7, the desires of sin in the flesh, the body, has been crucified with Christ. He was crucified for us, and as we believe and take it to heart, we become crucified with Him. “One (has) died for all, therefore, ALL (have) DIED”. That we should no longer live for ourselves, but for Him who died for us and was raised again.

So what happened to our willpower which in Romans 7 was continually being overpowered by “the flesh”? That will power was regained in us, was revived to be in submission to HIS willpower, because our will was released BY His love INTO His love, allowing us to be released by that love, to ourselves be enabled to also love. We recognise the strength of His will in this regard, the strength of His love to empower His will, and the result of which enabled us to gain His life as we believe Him, as we gain a new will to also love, as we also love HIM.

Romans 7 verse 25 is not the final verse, the final conclusion to chapter 7, it is only the conclusion gained as to the duality of man’s nature, whether that be by natural law or Mosaic law. That there are TWO LAWS operating in man, every man, and these two laws are empowered in the first, by the appreciation of a conscience for good, and in the second, by a knowledge or appreciation of the consequences of evil.

The final conclusion to the subject matter of Romans 7, lies with Romans 8 verses 1 and 2, specifically that the “law of sin” in 7:25 is that very same law spoken of in 8:2 as “the law of sin and of death”. You see that we have now been set free from this law of sin that is in 7:25, set free by “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus”. So the law of life has now set us free from the law of (sin and ) death, and continues to do so.

In Romans 7 our will was bound to, and under the power of, the “law of” flesh and sin. But He has purchased us back by His blood. When He died, we also died, but it does not benefit us until and unless we BELIEVE it, Him. THEN the “law of” the Spirit of life (He became a lifegiving Spirit at Pentecost) is enabled to set us free from law flesh sin and death. Where we were dead in sin, now by faith in life meant to be ours, we come alive to life and gain His Spirit of life which then gives US life, its (His) life. Rom.8:11.

Because of faith, our fleshly desires become crucified with Him and replaced with desires that are FOR Him and OF Him. “To purify to Himself a people EAGER TO DO GOOD.” So that now, “the good that I would” but CANNOT do” I now CAN do. The sinner stops the evil and the mind is set free to follow Him, to follow the Spirit of life INTO life and all its processes in denial of natural nature and ITS processes..

JOYCE MEYER QUOTES ROMANS 7 TO ACCUSE PAUL OF COMPROMISE [1701b]

Nothing has changed with Joyce since her last incursion into false theology regarding Romans chapter 7. Now she is quoting from that chapter to show that Paul was compromising his position as a Christian, in her latest TV video about “compromise”. [July 2021]

Ignorant of the fact that Paul was NOT speaking as a Christian in this chapter, she continues to preach and teach this false theology, being herself as deceived as those she preaches against.

If preachers and teachers preach and teach darkness, “if the light that is in you is darkness, how great then is that darkness” was Jesus’ comment. She talks about the increasing deception, of the loss of the difference between good and evil that is now taking place in the world, yet she is not capable of discerning the difference between good and evil in this critical chapter of Romans 7. Yet another example of why Paul said “I do not permit a woman to teach”.

[Joyce has compromised the gospel][Joyce’s credibility continues to fall as her message increasingly centres on funding for her ministry][It is a sad thing when “bibles” such as the amplified version and others actually deliberately distort the word of God instead of sticking to faithful translations of it]

CLINGING TO A COUNTERFEIT CROSS [1654bg]

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. His “I” is where he sees or places his I-d-entity at the time.

.

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.]

THE NUMBER OF “I’s” IN ROMANS 7 AND IN ISAIAH 14 [1877a]

EXPLORATORY THEOLOGY

In relation to the identity of self, the ID the “I” and the ego; the comparison of Romans 7 with Isaiah is interesting. Creflo Dollar mentioned this recently, although he did not make the Romans 7 connection, he was comparing the self as a component of idolatry or as being able to be identified with idolatry itself.

So Romans 7 is shot through with many “I’s” (26 times in 25 verses) which is Paul’s “self” or identity, of himself and apart from God; and Isaiah 14:13-15 has 5 “I’s”) in relation to 14:12 “Lucifer, Son of the Morning” as being in identity separation from God, and where Creflo is drawing the comparison between self idolatry and Lucifer; which infers self worship which is idolatry.

This fall of Adam is also echoed in Romans 7* where ‘self’ desire tempted Eve into creating an entity ‘other than’ God, by the very same mechanism by which all of mankind from Adam down has also been created. That self serving is the natural order of the human race, firstly by its origin in Eve, and then by the learning of observation and imitation of gratification of self in the rest of us. Until Jesus came. Now we have a better example to follow, and far greater motivation by which to do so.

*Paul’s identity was of the “flesh”, of humanity, of the first natural birth. Trapped as he was in Romans 7, initially as one subservient to law, and then as one morally enlightened by that same law, he discovered his identity as now being separated from that law but which in that separation he was powerless to function morally against the condemning parameters now set up within him by the polarisation of the desires of his inherent natural self against the desires derived from his developed conscience which now created conflict between those two opposing desires.

In fact these two natures had always presented with opposing conflict, but only under law were they defined and made much more potent than before.

Adam “fell”, Paul “fell”, and lucifer “fell”. Likewise it was said of “Satan” that he had been cast out of heaven? just as Adam was cast out of heaven, and that wrath had followed that fall. [The devil has come down to the earth in great wrath because he knows his time is short] and [I saw Satan fall (like lightning falls from heaven?) like lightning from heaven. [“Law brings wrath”]

This results in idolatry, the worship of SELF. Paul reacted against his self identity as one identified and identifiable with SIN, now recognising his desire for righteousness (because of his recognition of his lack of it) he consciously and subconsciously created a gap between him and sin which though he declared to be real within him [Wretched man that I am] he had no power to legitimise it because sin and its consequence was empowered by law into that very position of legitimacy that he desired for himself in his desire for righteousness.

Said righteousness was only a train of thought sabotaged by a stronger train of thought, that of the righteous state of his condemnation because of the operation of natural sinful desires and processes within ‘him-self’. His desire for the status of righteousness remained just wishful thinking, he could provide no follow through that resulted in acts of righteousness because of the twisted reaction of condemnation [‘wrath of God’ (“law brings wrath)”] within him. [Paul’s conscience had fully developed.]

But the reality now was [had always been but now brought to peak reality] that there was now a division of entity within him. Defined now were the two natures, the one unrighteous and the other righteous, even though that righteousness existed only as a thought pattern and a desire for that righteousness. Recognising he, his identity was trapped within a “body of death”, he emits the cry of “wretched man that I am, WHO will release me from this body of death?”.

Of course, he has been conveying and telling a story line which has followed through the natural sequence of events from first being under law, to the point of recognition of being trapped by it through being UNDER it. He always knew the name of his deliverer but his narrative had not up till now required that call for release to be made. He then renders the conclusion he reaches regarding this duality of nature of which he finds himself to consist of, and that it was not the law that was sin, but he himself who produced sin as a reaction of his flesh (natural firstborn nature) in producing “sinful passions aroused by the law”. So the law was not sin, HE was.

This duality of nature which causes all the internal conflict in man, and which spills out into his external environment, is then stated to be in the form of two laws, the one which his mind desires to follow, called “the law of God” (but which is always defeated under law) and the other which seeks to follow the desire of the flesh, called the “law of sin”. These two laws lie latent within but have the propensity to break out into action when provoked by the stimulus of the call for action, which results only in a ‘call to arms’ for the “flesh”, his unredeemed natural and born only of the flesh, nature. Not until Romans 8 verse 2 is that “law of sin” (and death), caused by the sacrifice of Christ to release us from its grip, its authority and dominion over us.

So we may see in natural man the inability to recognise his own identity, and only able to find it dimly amongst the wreckage of his fallen nature, amongst that sin ridden nature with which all men are saddled. Jesus though was clear on His own identity, He always knew He was the Son of God. The ID the “I” and the ego were not a problem for Him, other than when He confronted the temptation to see Himself as ‘other’ than His true identity, when He was tempted to take on another one which would see Him as ruler of this present world instead of that which He was, the ruler of the world to come.

[In Romans 7 Paul speaks of “you” and “we” in terms of release from law (verse 4-6) but then his investigation of law and sin from verse 7 onwards puts it in the personal …”I” would not have come to know sin except through the Law… which follows from verse 6 “But now we have been released from the Law…” He is about to investigate that condition of being under the law which ‘they’ had now been released from and from which identity they at the time had identified with. So the initial “knowledge of good and evil” as instigated in the garden of Eden, under law, becomes focused in Paul as being the two opposing conditions or states of identity within him. So in his desire to follow the law of righteousness, he finds instead that it is this very law which condemns him. The law which awakened him to righteousness also killed him by its condemnation of that which he found within himself, and reacts within him as a denial of responsibility for it, since he had the desire to do good, but was prevented from doing so by his natural nature being condemned by ‘the law of goodness’ itself. Paul’s own efforts to fulfill a law of righteousness were futile without the Spirit of righteousness which was to follow in Romans chapter 8.

Paul’s desire to do good was present from the very beginning where he desired to follow the law, to comply with its righteous requirements. It’s teaching was to prove to him of his inherent deficiency of moral resources and his need of inward change, of inner redemption from his natural born state. He needed a spiritual rebirth which was to be fulfilled in chapter 8 in reiteration of 7:6.]

THE NUMBER OF “I’s” IN ROMANS 7 AND IN ISAIAH 14 [1877]

EXPLORATORY THEOLOGY

In relation to the identity of self, the ID the “I” and the ego; the comparison of Romans 7 with Isaiah is interesting. Creflo Dollar mentioned this recently, although he did not make the Romans 7 connection, he was comparing the self as a component of idolatry or as being able to be identified with idolatry itself.

So Romans 7 is shot through with many “I’s” (26 times in 25 verses) which is Paul’s “self” or identity, of himself and apart from God; and Isaiah 14:13-15 has 5 “I’s”) in relation to 14:12 “Lucifer, Son of the Morning” as being in identity separation from God, and where Creflo is drawing the comparison between self idolatry and Lucifer; which infers self worship which is idolatry.

This fall of Adam is also echoed in Romans 7* where ‘self’ desire tempted Eve into creating an entity ‘other than’ God, by the very same mechanism by which all of mankind from Adam down has also been created. That self serving is the natural order of the human race, firstly by its origin in Eve, and then by the learning of observation and imitation of gratification of self in the rest of us. Until Jesus came. Now we have a better example to follow, and far greater motivation by which to do so.

*Paul’s identity was of the “flesh”, of humanity, of the first natural birth. Trapped as he was in Romans 7, initially as one subservient to law, and then as one morally enlightened by that same law, he discovered his identity as now being separated from that law but which in that separation he was powerless to function morally against the condemning parameters now set up within him by the polarisation of the desires of his inherent natural self against the desires derived from his developed conscience which now created conflict between those two opposing desires.

In fact these two natures had always presented with opposing conflict, but only under law were they defined and made much more potent than before.

Adam “fell”, Paul “fell”, and lucifer “fell”. Likewise it was said of “Satan” that he had been cast out of heaven? just as Adam was cast out of heaven, and that wrath had followed that fall. [The devil has come down to the earth in great wrath because he knows his time is short] and [I saw Satan fall (like lightning falls from heaven?) like lightning from heaven. [“Law brings wrath”]

This results in idolatry, the worship of SELF. Paul reacted against his self identity as one identified and identifiable with SIN, now recognising his desire for righteousness (because of his recognition of his lack of it) he consciously and subconsciously created a gap between him and sin which though he declared to be real within him [Wretched man that I am] he had no power to legitimise it because sin and its consequence was empowered by law into that very position of legitimacy that he desired for himself in his desire for righteousness.

Said righteousness was only a train of thought sabotaged by a stronger train of thought, that of the righteous state of his condemnation because of the operation of natural sinful desires and processes within ‘him-self’. His desire for the status of righteousness remained just wishful thinking, he could provide no follow through that resulted in acts of righteousness because of the twisted reaction of condemnation [‘wrath of God’ (“law brings wrath)”] within him. [Paul’s conscience had fully developed.]

But the reality now was [had always been but now brought to peak reality] that there was now a division of entity within him. Defined now were the two natures, the one unrighteous and the other righteous, even though that righteousness existed only as a thought pattern and a desire for that righteousness. Recognising he, his identity was trapped within a “body of death”, he emits the cry of “wretched man that I am, WHO will release me from this body of death?”.

Of course, he has been conveying and telling a story line which has followed through the natural sequence of events from first being under law, to the point of recognition of being trapped by it through being UNDER it. He always knew the name of his deliverer but his narrative had not up till now required that call for release to be made. He then renders the conclusion he reaches regarding this duality of nature of which he finds himself to consist of, and that it was not the law that was sin, but he himself who produced sin as a reaction of his flesh (natural firstborn nature) in producing “sinful passions aroused by the law”. So the law was not sin, HE was.

This duality of nature which causes all the internal conflict in man, and which spills out into his external environment, is then stated to be in the form of two laws, the one which his mind desires to follow, called “the law of God” (but which is always defeated under law) and the other which seeks to follow the desire of the flesh, called the “law of sin”. These two laws lie latent within but have the propensity to break out into action when provoked by the stimulus of the call for action, which results only in a ‘call to arms’ for the “flesh”, his unredeemed natural and born only of the flesh, nature. Not until Romans 8 verse 2 is that “law of sin” (and death), caused by the sacrifice of Christ to release us from its grip, its authority and dominion over us.

So we may see in natural man the inability to recognise his own identity, and only able to find it dimly amongst the wreckage of his fallen nature, amongst that sin ridden nature with which all men are saddled. Jesus though was clear on His own identity, He always knew He was the Son of God. The ID the “I” and the ego were not a problem for Him, other than when He confronted the temptation to see Himself as ‘other’ than His true identity, when He was tempted to take on another one which would see Him as ruler of this present world instead of that which He was, the ruler of the world to come.

[In Romans 7 Paul speaks of “you” and “we” in terms of release from law (verse 4-6) but then his investigation of law and sin from verse 7 onwards puts it in the personal …”I” would not have come to know sin except through the Law… which follows from verse 6 “But now we have been released from the Law…” He is about to investigate that condition of being under the law which ‘they’ had now been released from and from which identity they at the time had identified with. So the initial “knowledge of good and evil” as instigated in the garden of Eden, under law, becomes focused in Paul as being the two opposing conditions or states of identity within him. So in his desire to follow the law of righteousness, he finds instead that it is this very law which condemns him. The law which awakened him to righteousness also killed him by its condemnation of that which he found within himself, and reacts within him as a denial of responsibility for it, since he had the desire to do good, but was prevented from doing so by his natural nature being condemned by ‘the law of goodness’ itself. Paul’s own efforts to fulfill a law of righteousness were futile without the Spirit of righteousness which was to follow in Romans chapter 8.

Paul’s desire to do good was present from the very beginning where he desired to follow the law, to comply with its righteous requirements. It’s teaching was to prove to him of his inherent deficiency of moral resources and his need of inward change, of inner redemption from his natural born state. He needed a spiritual rebirth which was to be fulfilled in chapter 8 in reiteration of 7:6.]

CLINGING TO A COUNTERFEIT CROSS [1654bf]

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. His “I” is where he sees or places his I-d-entity at the time.

.

ROMANS 7 FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF TEMPTATION [1874a]

I can only suggest people start looking at some of these things more seriously because the implications involved in this matter of just what the true definition of temptation may be, seem to presently lie beyond the scope of most theological thought.

So to Romans 7, where all the elements of such as definition of temptation seem to exist, seem to be present, as much as they are in any other part of scripture, and perhaps even more definitively so.

Originating in the garden of Eden of course, we have the ‘crooked’ serpent, who couldn’t lie straight in bed, which metaphorically inspires such word use as ‘deception’. Rom:7:11 “sin deceived me” and “through the commandment killed me” which draws on the metaphor of sin being the poison of that serpent. [Shades of Paul on Malta being bitten by the serpent but managing to shake it off into the fire of the Spirit].

Acceptable as a definition of temptation are the words “every man is tempted when by his own [evil] desire he is led and enticed and then when sin is fully grown, death…” or something like that. We see how Sapphira and co. were questioned as to “how is it that you have conceived this evil in your heart?” or some such question.

So in Romans 7 we see all of this played out and laid out in the scriptural verses used to describe this very same serpentine activity of SIN being used to describe the inner nature of MAN.

It is all there. When the commandment [law] came to Adam, he died. When the commandment [law] came to Paul, he ‘died’. 7:9 “And I was once alive apart from law; but when the COMMANDMENT came, sin became ALIVE, and I died; and this commandment , which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me; for sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, DECEIVED me, and through it, killed me. [the temptation is inherent in the deception][but Jesus was not deceived]

7:5 “For while we were IN the flesh, the sinful PASSIONS, which were AROUSED by the Law, [commandment] were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.”

“PASSIONS AND DESIRES”. “Those who are his have put to death the FLESH, with its PASSIONS AND DESIRES.” (Galatians). Rom.7:8 “But sin [poison of the serpent] taking OPPORTUNITY [deceitful] through the commandment, produced in me coveting of EVERY KIND; for apart from the law sin is DEAD.”

Both sin and the serpent were the cause of more sinning in the wilderness for 40 years until the serpent was lifted up [dead] on the pole. “And I when I am lifted up will draw all men to me” said Jesus. “He became sin for us”.

So we see how the commandment, or the law, aroused sinful passions, sinful desires in us by stirring up the inner emotions associated with lusts and desires of the flesh. Then we are led by those desires to fully associate with sin and its activities, ultimately bringing about our death. We see in R7:15 that deceitfulness of sin causes confusion of mind, such that to clarify the logic of it requires an analytical mental process which then concludes that there is no answer to it; resulting in a wretchedness of captivity to it. “Who will set me free from THIS BODY OF DEATH? [the ‘law enlightened’ mind can recognise it but can do nothing about it][“without me you can do nothing” said Jesus]

So it is freedom from this body of death which is required, this body of death with its passions and desires which tempt us into sin. “Every man is tempted when BY HIS OWN DESIRE he is led and enticed…” “Sin in the flesh”.

So just why did/does the commandment or law bring about, provoke, the AROUSAL of sinful passions? We probably have to look to the proposition put forth by the serpent in the garden of Eden. The serpentine GUILE, the twisting and writhing of the thinking process when placed under the pressure or duress caused by deviating from God’s thought ‘process’ which put forth the proposition that to eat of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil would result in death.

Putting forth this command allowed for, provoked, NECESSITATED the INEVITABLE response of AROUSAL of a different response, of the OPPOSITE response [a death response] by virtue of the creation of a questioning of God’s proposition in counter measure to the statement they would die, because “to die” removes all possibility of man being able to conceive of or to create something autonomous, something of his own thought and thinking, by God putting forth the very proposition of the possibility of death, that a counter to death had to be instigated from within. AND it brought forth the possibility of death which had not previously been part of his psyche.

So the command stirred up the thinking process which then had to wander off in its own direction in order to create an appropriate response, but which response (and not less the thinking process itself) was in itself a deathly deviation from the flawless nature of God. 7:8 “But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind, for apart from the law, SIN IS DEAD.”

“…and sin, when it is full grown, DEATH…” This comes from James 1:13 onwards.

So Romans 7 is describing the whole of the sin nature progression from the instigation of temptation by law to its operation in man and the resultant slavery to itself and to its own death. This death not being removed until Romans chapter 8.

JAMES 1:13 “Let no one say when he is tempted “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust [desire]. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death”.

[Intensely interesting that temptation is not named as such in Romans 7 and devil is not mentioned as such in James 1:13]