GOD’S LOVE AND HIS WRATH ARE THE SAME THING [865e]

When two opposing forces come together, there is conflict, and a resolution must result. We see this conflict within man, and see his anger as an outworking or display of this conflict.

When righteousness and unrighteousness come together, there is conflict. Now God and his Spirit of love are righteousness, and man and his spirit of sin are unrighteousness. These two, like Spirit and flesh, are incompatible and conflict results.

The nature of this conflict is that there is an agitation of the elements involved, and the stronger of them will overcome the weaker, and God who is love and righteousness will always emerge victorious from such a contest, as he did in Jesus on the cross, where, although death resulted to the physical, confirmed spiritual life then re-emerged with a new physical, that of the immortal body.

So when God’s love is in confrontation with man’s sin which is IN man, the internal agitation caused by the fear of the judgement inherent in this action which seeks a remedy to the difference between God’s righteousness and our unrighteousness, results in anger and what we perceive to be God’s “wrath”. With this wrath “on” us and in us, we are extremely uncomfortable, to say the least.

But it is God’s love we are experiencing, it is just that it is in opposition to what we are or have become because we identify with our sin nature, not with His love nature. He is flame to our paper. His nature HAS to create drama and trauma in us, for us, because our human nature is only temporary and must undergo change to be atone with HIS nature, the divine nature.

We experience the judgement on sin WITHIN us, and this results in the inner guilt that we feel whenever anything to do with God or righteousness presents itself to our awareness or consciousness. And because we were made in HIS image, we condemn ourselves because, having the knowledge of good and bad, we are capable of judging ourselves as guilty also. We also create inner wrath because we know our position is untenable and unsurviveable, unsustainable.

God then reveals to us that His very own nature of love through his very only begotten son, has confronted the sin nature of man that lies in his natural body and which lay in Jesus body also, and brought about the ultimate conflict and wrath towards the nature of “sin in the flesh”. Jesus’ personal “Armageddon”, which is also OUR “Armageddon”, and brought about, in the nature of his love, the “final resolution”.

The nature of love has been assaulted and tortured to the death  within the same body of sin that hosted the perfect spirit nature that Jesus was, and the Father suffered this conflict also as he watched his son die a terrible death on his cross. The perfect Spirit of Jesus was in conflict with the, our, inner nature of sinful flesh. His loving righteousness was brought to bear on the corrupted sin nature of “sin in the flesh” and the inner stress of this was painful and of immense anguish, as He was confronted with the reality of what the absence of the Spirit of God means in the darkness of its terrible presence. He was ‘in anguish in its flame’. The fires of hell brought Him to the ‘pit’ of hell, the grave, the tomb, from which he would emerge victorious, having overcome his mortal body, having changed it through loving conflict, to an immortal body.

This victory is ours in Him who has wrought this victory and who now presents it to us as a completed gift of life, of righteousness. The battle is over, “It is finished” for him and for us. Our only “battle” now is to install by faith this victory over death and all its components. And this “battle” lies in accepting this truth, that he has come in the flesh and provided all that we need to live life in and from Him, he who is love, and the “installation” lies only in this one word, BELIEVE.

THE WRATH OF GOD [7e]

Wrath and Love are the same thing where the love is perfect. We may not think so, if we had our hand in the biscuit jar, and Dad or Mum caught us. Human anger is often irrational, whereas God’s “anger” is always rational, because it is a constant, and always has the same motivation, to benefit his creation.

This is because God’s Love and Anger are the same thing. He is not multifunctional, he is a constant being whom, though we see him in the progression of time, is actually fixed in time. Not that this has a lot to do with anything.

“Our God is a consuming fire.” The Holy Spirit is spoken of in terms of fire. At Pentecost the Spirit came on them all and appeared as flames of fire. When Moses came down from the Mount, his face was glowing from the residual Glory of the Lord, and from the glory of the given law. There is a principle of cleansing with fire. The wheat will be gathered into the barn, but the chaff will be burned.

The task of the Spirit is to burn out sin from believers, whether in large lumps or bit by bit. The Spirit confronts sin and destroys it. Similarly it will burn up the physical creation to reveal the Spiritual creation, when Christ returns with his fiery angels.  Men feel the presence of God’s wrath, because the sin within them filters it as anger and guilt and judgement. Paul said it was better to marry than to burn, whether with passion or whether he meant the Spirit perhaps. Errant cities were consumed by fire. True, some were also drowned in water, but that symbolism seems reserved for better things like baptism and rivers like the Jordan. Here too is the symbolism of cleansing, perhaps also by destruction.

At the end, it is God’s love that removes all sin from the creation. Love cannot be love if even a small part of hate is left to survive. It is spiritual matter in confrontation with earthly matter. Matter and Anti-matter. Fire and paper. And as for the hypothetical believer whose “works do not stand”, “he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames”.

The Spirit confronts sin. Galatians shows conflict and confrontation between Spirit and flesh. All flesh will be destroyed. All sin will be destroyed. Righteousness destroys unrighteousness. God’s love and wrath are the same thing, it is only our perception of it (him), as perceived by us, that sees a difference.

[see also “Punishment and Passion (wrath II) ” ] [and “Rising to life (wrath III”)]

PAUL’S SPIRITUAL CREDENTIALS [1450b]

Paul, along with all the other believers in Romans chapter 6, are firmly joined with Jesus, and have been, according to Paul’s own words elsewhere,  risen with Him into the heavenlies, where Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father. The matter is settled, they are all now spiritual people, freed from sin and law, no longer in the flesh, and enslaved to God.

PROGRESSION.

So Paul enters chapter 7 in a progressive exploratory explanation of why the law covenant had to be replaced with the grace covenant. So he starts with the marriage analogy to explain our divorce from the law, or law, and the resultant legitimacy of our being free to join with Christ. [to whom we are now ‘betrothed’, ‘engaged to be married’.]

He states this in R7-4. “Therefore my brethren, you also were made to die to the law through the body of Christ, that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, that we might bear fruit for God.”

Then he comes up with what had been the former condition, or state of past being, in verse 5. “For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death”.

Then he concludes this with verse 6 “BUT NOW, we have been released from the law, having died to that by which we were bound, (law), so that we serve in newness of the Spirit, and not in oldness of the letter.

So both his and their credentials spiritually have been firmly established, they are where they are supposed to be, they in Jesus and Jesus (who is the Spirit) in them. They are spiritual men, they have died with Christ and been raised with Him “into the heavenlies”. They have spiritually taken part in “The First Resurrection” and will not be harmed by the Second Death. There is no going back. The matter is ‘finished’.

Having explained his SALVATION, (verse 6), he now explains his DAMNATION which was his situation when under the law, (verse 5), why the new covenant had to come, and what he was freed from.

(Supposed) REGRESSION.

Now, straightaway, in verse 14, the wrong view of it says that Paul was a Christian, a believer in this. That he was ‘spiritual’ [that he had the Spirit](which he was/did), but this is contradicted by Paul who says he was UNSPIRITUAL, (version dependent, it may say “of flesh”) of flesh, SOLD INTO BONDAGE TO SIN (law). So he is saying his origin was ‘of flesh‘. Which was bonded to sin.

So you see, we are no longer in verse 6, (salvation) we are right back to being under the LAW in verse 5 again (damnation). Sold into slavery to sin. [the opposite of our freedom having been “bought with His blood”]

Paul is explaining our origins, using himself as an example. We have to understand that his purpose here is to explain why the law had to go, why grace had to come. He goes on to explain captivity to law flesh sin and the internalised conflict (“law brings wrath”) that results from it, (and also causes it) being as how he was already in spiritual death (the law killed me) and this death was outworking as works of the flesh. It results in death, being that he was in an unredeemed “body of death”.

Paul who was “of flesh” as we all are, being of this basic creation and following in Adam’s footsteps of corruption; Paul who was now taking the position of one who is IN the flesh, which was ALL of us, we had no say in it (futility), but who was himself NOT ‘in’ flesh, never said he was, only that he was OF flesh.

But ONCE (Verse 5) he had been in the flesh like us all, before redemption. So he knew all about sin and sinning in the flesh, (he was “the chief of sinners”) and was able to draw on his total experience, even while at the present time he himself was in the Spirit, had the Spirit of Christ; to represent the position of one who was “in” the flesh.

And his statement had come after the enquiry about the nature of law itself. V13, and was in direct response to it. His subject matter is law. (the law of sin and death). V9 “And I was once alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive, and I died”. Just like Adam. And it is as one of Adam’s unredeemed race that he speaks.

But he has told us this in verse 14. “I am OF FLESH”. And in verse 18, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, THAT IS, IN MY FLESH”. What I am through Adam. And verse 25. I, MYSELF. (on my own) Am serving sin’s law, WITH MY FLESH.

So we all may be OF flesh (we are), but we certainly don’t have to be IN (the) flesh. We are to be IN the Spirit, betrothed to Christ, awaiting marriage to the Lamb.

Paul has explained how the covenant of law was unable to bring life to the spiritually dead, and why it needed to be replaced with the spiritual solution that was Christ. When law came to my natural human nature, although my rational mind can agree with it, without the moral strength that comes from the Spirit, from Jesus and His redemption of us by the death of His own flesh, my mind is overpowered by the demands of the “flesh”, my sinful nature rejected the ‘good’ law so it could enact its own desires. That is why law had to go. And by HIS death, and faith in that death, it did, and does.

[“Law brings wrath”][Spirit brings peace][In R7 under law there is unresolvable conflict between our mind (conscience) and our flesh. In Galatians, In the Spirit, there is resolvable confliction between the Spirit and our flesh][‘of flesh’ = of Adam]

 

PAUL’S SPIRITUAL CREDENTIALS [1450a]

Paul, along with all the other believers in Romans chapter 6, are firmly joined with Jesus, and have been, according to Paul’s own words elsewhere,  risen with Him into the heavenlies, where Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father. The matter is settled, they are all now spiritual people, freed from sin and law, no longer in the flesh, and enslaved to God.

PROGRESSION.

So Paul enters chapter 7 in a progressive exploratory explanation of why the law covenant had to be replaced with the grace covenant. So he starts with the marriage analogy to explain our divorce from the law, or law, and the resultant legitimacy of our being free to join with Christ. [to whom we are now ‘betrothed’, ‘engaged to be married’.]

He states this in R7-4. “Therefore my brethren, you also were made to die to the law through the body of Christ, that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, that we might bear fruit for God.”

Then he comes up with what had been the former condition, or state of past being, in verse 5. “For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death”.

Then he concludes this with verse 6 “BUT NOW, we have been released from the law, having died to that by which we were bound, (law), so that we serve in newness of the Spirit, and not in oldness of the letter.

So both his and their credentials spiritually have been firmly established, they are where they are supposed to be, they in Jesus and Jesus (who is the Spirit) in them. They are spiritual men, they have died with Christ and been raised with Him “into the heavenlies”. They have spiritually taken part in “The First Resurrection” and will not be harmed by the Second Death. There is no going back. The matter is ‘finished’.

Having explained his SALVATION, (verse 6), he now explains his DAMNATION which was his situation when under the law, (verse 5), why the new covenant had to come, and what he was freed from.

(Supposed) REGRESSION.

Now, straightaway, in verse 14, the wrong view of it says that Paul was a Christian, a believer in this. That he was ‘spiritual’ [that he had the Spirit](which he was/did), but this is contradicted by Paul who says he was UNSPIRITUAL, (version dependent, it may say “of flesh”)(“carnal”) of flesh, SOLD INTO BONDAGE TO SIN (law). So he is saying his origin was ‘of flesh‘. Which was bonded to sin.

So you see, we are no longer in verse 6, (salvation) we are right back to being under the LAW in verse 5 again (damnation). Sold into slavery to sin. [the opposite of our freedom having been “bought with His blood”]

Paul is explaining our origins, using himself as an example. We have to understand that his purpose here is to explain why the law had to go, why grace had to come. He goes on to explain captivity to law flesh sin and the internalised conflict (“law brings wrath”) that results from it, (and also causes it) being as how he was already in spiritual death (the law killed me) and this death was outworking as works of the flesh. It results in death, being that he was in an unredeemed “body of death”.

Paul who was “of flesh” as we all are, being of this basic creation and following in Adam’s footsteps of corruption; Paul who was now taking the position of one who is IN the flesh, which was ALL of us, we had no say in it (futility), but who was himself NOT ‘in’ flesh, never said he was, only that he was OF flesh.

But ONCE (Verse 5) he had been in the flesh like us all, before redemption. So he knew all about sin and sinning in the flesh, (he was “the chief of sinners”) and was able to draw on his total experience, even while at the present time he himself was in the Spirit, had the Spirit of Christ; to represent the position of one who was “in” the flesh.

And his statement had come after the enquiry about the nature of law itself. V13, and was in direct response to it. His subject matter is law. (the law of sin and death). V9 “And I was once alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive, and I died”. Just like Adam. And it is as one of Adam’s unredeemed race that he speaks.

But he has told us this in verse 14. “I am OF FLESH”. And in verse 18, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, THAT IS, IN MY FLESH”. What I am through Adam. And verse 25. I, MYSELF. (on my own) Am serving sin’s law, WITH MY FLESH.

So we all may be OF flesh (we are), but we certainly don’t have to be IN (the) flesh. We are to be IN the Spirit, betrothed to Christ, awaiting marriage to the Lamb.

Paul has explained how the covenant of law was unable to bring life to the spiritually dead, and why it needed to be replaced with the spiritual solution that was Christ. When law came to my natural human nature, although my rational mind can agree with it, without the moral strength that comes from the Spirit, from Jesus and His redemption of us by the death of His own flesh, my mind is overpowered by the demands of the “flesh”, my sinful nature rejected the ‘good’ law so it could enact its own desires. That is why law had to go. And by HIS death, and faith in that death, it did, and does.

[“Law brings wrath”][Spirit brings peace][In R7 under law there is unresolvable conflict between our mind (conscience) and our flesh. In Galatians, In the Spirit, there is resolvable confliction between the Spirit and our flesh][‘of flesh’ = of Adam]

 

PAUL’S SPIRITUAL CREDENTIALS [1450]

Paul, along with all the other believers in Romans chapter 6, are firmly joined with Jesus, and have been, according to Paul’s own words elsewhere,  risen with Him into the heavenlies, where Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father. The matter is settled, they are all now spiritual people, freed from sin and law, no longer in the flesh, and enslaved to God.

PROGRESSION.

So Paul enters chapter 7 in a progressive exploratory explanation of why the law covenant had to be replaced with the grace covenant. So he starts with the marriage analogy to explain our divorce from the law, or law, and the resultant legitimacy of our being free to join with Christ. [to whom we are now ‘betrothed’, ‘engaged to be married’.]

He states this in R7-4. “Therefore my brethren, you also were made to die to the law through the body of Christ, that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, that we might bear fruit for God.”

Then he comes up with what had been the former condition, or state of past being, in verse 5. “For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death”.

Then he concludes this with V6 “BUT NOW, we have been released from the law, having died to that by which we were bound, (law), so that we serve in newness of the Spirit, and not in oldness of the letter.

So both his and their credentials spiritually have been firmly established, they are where they are supposed to be, they in Jesus and Jesus (who is the Spirit) in them. They are spiritual men, they have died with Christ and been raised with Him “into the heavenlies”. They have taken part in “The First Resurrection” and will not be harmed by the Second Death. There is no going back. The matter is ‘finished’.

Having explained his SALVATION, (verse 6), he now explains his DAMNATION which was his situation when under the law, (verse 5), why the new covenant had to come, and what he was freed from.

(Supposed) REGRESSION.

Now, straightaway, in verse 14, the wrong view of it says that Paul was a Christian, a believer in this. That he was ‘spiritual’ [that he had the Spirit](which he was/did), but this is contradicted by Paul who says he was UNSPIRITUAL, (version dependent, it may say “of flesh”) of flesh, SOLD INTO BONDAGE TO SIN (law). So he is saying his origin was ‘of flesh‘. Which was bonded to sin.

So you see, we are no longer in verse 6, (salvation) we are right back to being under the LAW in verse 5 again (damnation). Sold into slavery to sin. [the opposite of our freedom having been “bought with His blood”]

Paul is explaining our origins, using himself as an example. We have to understand that his purpose here is to explain why the law had to go, why grace had to come. He goes on to explain captivity to law flesh sin and the internalised conflict (“law brings wrath”) that results from it, (and also causes it) being as how he was already in spiritual death (the law killed me) and this death was outworking as works of the flesh. It results in death, being that he was in an unredeemed “body of death”.

Paul who was “of flesh” as we all are, being of this basic creation and following in Adam’s footsteps of corruption; Paul who was now taking the position of one who is IN the flesh, which was ALL of us, we had no say in it (futility), but who was himself NOT ‘in’ flesh, never said he was, only that he was OF flesh.

But ONCE (Verse 5) he had been in the flesh like us all, before redemption. So he knew all about sin and sinning in the flesh, (he was “the chief of sinners”) and was able to draw on his total experience, even while at the present time he himself was in the Spirit, had the Spirit of Christ; to represent the position of one who was “in” the flesh.

And his statement had come after the enquiry about the nature of law itself. V13, and was in direct response to it. His subject matter is law. (the law of sin and death). V9 “And I was once alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive, and I died”. Just like Adam. And it is as one of Adam’s unredeemed race that he speaks.

But he has told us this in verse 14. “I am OF FLESH”. And in verse 18, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, THAT IS, IN MY FLESH”. What I am through Adam. And verse 25. I, MYSELF. (on my own) Am serving sin’s law, WITH MY FLESH.

So we all may be OF flesh (we are), but we certainly don’t have to be IN (the) flesh. We are to be IN the Spirit, betrothed to Christ, awaiting marriage to the Lamb.

Paul has explained how the covenant of law was unable to bring life to the spiritually dead, and why it needed to be replaced with the spiritual solution that was Christ. When law came to my natural human nature, although my rational mind can agree with it, without the moral strength that comes from the Spirit, from Jesus and His redemption of us by the death of His own flesh, my mind is overpowered by the demands of the “flesh”, my sinful nature rejected the ‘good’ law so it could enact its own desires. That is why law had to go. And by HIS death, and faith in that death, it did, and does.

[“Law brings wrath”][Spirit brings peace][In R7 under law there is unresolvable conflict between our mind (conscience) and our flesh. In Galatians, In the Spirit, there is resolvable confliction between the Spirit and our flesh][‘of flesh’ = of Adam]

 

ADDRESSING THE MAIN PROBLEMS OF ROMANS 7 [1447a]

Verse 18. No good in my flesh. Verse 19. I practise evil. Verse 21. It is a principle that evil is present in me.

So now for a casual look at what appears to be the main problems in this debate.

Firstly, it has to be stated that verses 5 and 6 clearly state the boundaries of the matter, 5. “For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.” So this clearly appears to say that the problem is that we were “IN THE FLESH”, and it was WHILE we were there, that sin in the form of SINFUL PASSIONS were AROUSED BY THE LAW.

That appears clear cut, that “being in the flesh” was the condition from which Jesus saved us. [removed us] And in a discussion about law, which this appears to be, one has to conclude that ‘this’ person was your typical “under law” person, who was not a believer, not a Christian, and not saved. In other words, at the time, probably a Jew in many cases. (Paul was a Jew).

Now verse 6 says “BUT NOW, we have been released from the law, having died to that by which we were bound, (presumably talking about dying with Jesus) so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter”. (Paul uses the “us”/”we” at this time, not “I”).

So all the elements are there which speak about release from the law, which releases us from the problem situation of sin induced in us because of sinful passions aroused by the law.

And this HAS to be taken as the point of salvation, as the new birth. Clearly, operating in the law was the whole issue here, which caused us to be confined to being IN THE FLESH. And henceforth operating from out of “the flesh”. And clearly, this is what was being described in chapter 5 and 6, they had experienced this transition from verse 5 to verse 6.

So it would appear that the matter is resolved – released from the law, believers are now freely operating in the Spirit, not in the flesh. Fruit of the Spirit is there, instead of works of the flesh.

Now, as someone has said, why would a believer then go messing around in or with the law? We know as per the Galatians, that to re-enter into law is death all over again.

No one that I know of, has answered this question of why a believer, a Christian, released from slavery to sin under the law, would then again enter into any arrangement whatsoever, with the law? As Spock would say, it is illogical.

And yet that is what one side is saying, that Paul is now submitting himself again to the captivity of sin, which was the whole problem in the first place. “Law brings wrath”. Where there is law, there is the empowerment of sin.

Surely NO ONE is going to deny that the whole context of 7 is LAW? That Paul is not submitting himself to the demands and conditions imposed by LAW? And yet they propose that Paul again enters into the very same potential manifestation of sin that he had before chapter 6, and which is clearly stated in 7-5.

If we look at verses 5 and 6, we will see that Paul is now apparently conforming again to that which is stated in verse 5. We will observe that NOTHING of verse 6 is implemented, mentioned, or involved; there is no Spirit, no success, certainly no joy, and no apparent Christian contribution at all to righteousness. To say this Paul is the Paul transformed from being initially on the Damascus road persecuting Christians, to the Paul who met Jesus and then largely went on to instigate the Christian church in the power of the Spirit, is surely “drawing a long bow”.

It hardly seems worthwhile going any further – As I said before, no one has successfully explained why Paul would be in the power of the Spirit one minute, and in the power of the flesh the next. More to the point, being IN THE FLESH, a complete denial of Jesus and the faith itself. AND ALL COMING ABOUT BY REFERENCING THE LAW. THE WHOLE POINT OF EVERYTHING WAS TO LEAVE THE LAW IN FAVOUR OF THE SPIRIT.

A lot of the initial problem was because people could not let go of the law. All sorts of people for one reason or the other. Differing theology, being connected to sects or semi-Judaistic groups, modern day Pharisees of many different persuasions, clinging to some set of particular laws or other, seemingly little different from the Pharisees of old. 630 commandments or whatever, brought back to whatever quantity their particular group may find advisable in order to  shore up their belief system. We have enough trouble with 10.

So while we wait for an answer as to why Paul would be playing around with the law again, proving that it can’t be kept, especially without Jesus the Spirit on hand, people keep talking about particular points of failure in R7 that are obviously going to be there because we are talking about law, about the origin of failure and the situation from which we are extracted by the grace of God. Not the situation we continue to remain in because of that grace, NO, the situation from which we are extracted, die to, leave in favour of the Spirit and His power to overcome the things talked about in terms of Paul’s FAILURE? Under LAW?

Oh well, verse 18. Paul finds no good in himself. But not just himself as himself, it is himself as his flesh that is spoken of. Just as he spoke of himself in terms of his mind, here he talks of himself in terms of his flesh. This is because he is in accordance with 7-5, he is, to all appearances, IN the flesh. In verse 14 he said that he was OF flesh (like everybody is) and the things he describes are those which arise from being (his identity) IN flesh. (although they never at the time arose from HIS flesh, his reference in this regard was to his past).

So there is no good in his flesh. This is no surprise, this is what has been said time and time again, that the natural birth leads to death, is in fact already in death, we need to be “born again”. This is nothing new, under law or without law all flesh is dead, so it is little wonder he speaks AS a dead person (The law killed me).

Verse 19. I practise evil. Well again, the whole question is moot until the original question of just why Paul would reference law in any way at all is answered. (There is only one reason, which is to inform us how law flesh sin death works, which necessitated him taking the position of one under law, (because he is referencing flesh) in order to show what happens).

So evil comes out of the flesh, out of natural born nature, which is why Jesus came along to CHANGE this situation, that people stop living this way, that they “go and sin no more” as Jesus said.

Verse 21. It is a principle that evil is present in me. This principle is mentioned  verse 17, sin indwells him, IN HIS FLESH. Verse 20 it is sin that does it, not himself of his rational mind, he is a slave to it. Verse 23, he is a prisoner of it. 24 WHO will free him? (as if he didn’t know). And so the same picture is presented again, but this time, unlike chapter 5 and chapter 6, he goes into all the detail concerning this failure of man under law so as to make it quite clear just how that works.

This principle is stated in the conclusion of verse 25. That in the natural man, especially one familiar with the properties of law, there is both the admission of the recognition of righteousness and the desire to perform it, and the recognition of the failure to perform it because of greater overriding desires of the natural self.

The overall situation is the detailed explanation of why reform is necessary.

Perhaps the two views are that one group are looking to the change of environment from flesh to Spirit in which freedom of condemnation is given for the pursuit of that righteousness; and the other is expressing that it is necessary to provide freedom from condemnation in order to supply that environment of freedom.

Of course, both are sort of true, because it is freedom from condemnation that releases us into whatever form of righteous spiritual expression we visualise and attempt to make our goal. But there still remains the suspicion that freedom in failure will not encourage success as much as freedom in victory.

Although the argument seems to centre more around providing latitude for people to sin, based on the reality that they do sin. I prefer to accept that the victory is complete so I can pursue it in that fashion, rather than have “the flesh” hanging over me as some yet to be vanquished “boogy man” or “Damocles sword”.

We would surely have to accept that 7-6 was inferring that this person was now no longer “in the flesh”. R8 verse 9 says that you are NOT in the flesh if the Spirit is in you. The conditions of R7 clearly match those of the unbeliever in 7-5, as one “in the flesh” and therefore not as one “in the Spirit”. And of course, as being under law.

V14. “I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin”. This is of course, a distinct ‘giveaway’ because it combines the three elements of “flesh” and “bondage” and “sin” together. ANY of these three elements taken individually would be enough to prove that this person was a representation of someone in bondage to sin by the power of law over the flesh, because, being OF flesh, they were by nature, IN the flesh.

Still looking for an admission that the context of R7 is LAW, and an answer as to what Paul is doing there.

[This is not Paul the apostle speaking of weaknesses because of his flesh, but of weaknesses because of the law, which experience he is reliving.][we do not see Spirit until R8 which then becomes the solution to R7, the problem][which is fundamentally hypothetical][Paul uses “I” where before he used “us” because he was speaking of his personal (past) sin and the lessons which that taught him]

[The question now arises, could Paul be speaking of his ‘natural’ experience BEFORE and APART FROM law?][Is he, in verses 14 and 22, comparing his natural life before the Mosaic law yet still under ‘natural’ law in the flesh?][law ‘killed him’ yes, but we were dead before Mosaic law, we all have a conscience by whatever means. “When the Gentiles, who have not the law, do by nature what the law contains..”][Is he using verses 14 and 22 as a “touch stone” between his natural flesh self and “the” law?][Is he explaining that sin was always there and the law just brought it out? Interesting…][but he still is not a believer].

ADDRESSING THE MAIN PROBLEMS OF ROMANS 7 [1447]

Verse 18. No good in my flesh. Verse 19. I practise evil. Verse 21. It is a principle that evil is present in me.

So now for a casual look at what appears to be the main problems in this debate.

Firstly, it has to be stated that verses 5 and 6 clearly state the boundaries of the matter, 5. “For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.” So this clearly appears to say that the problem is that we were “IN THE FLESH”, and it was WHILE we were there, that sin in the form of SINFUL PASSIONS were AROUSED BY THE LAW.

That appears clear cut, that “being in the flesh” was the condition from which Jesus saved us. [removed us] And in a discussion about law, which this appears to be, one has to conclude that ‘this’ person was your typical “under law” person, who was not a believer, not a Christian, and not saved. In other words, at the time, probably a Jew in many cases. (Paul was a Jew).

Now verse 6 says “BUT NOW, we have been released from the law, having died to that by which we were bound, (presumably talking about dying with Jesus) so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter”. (Paul uses the “us”/”we” at this time, not “I”).

So all the elements are there which speak about release from the law, which releases us from the problem situation of sin induced in us because of sinful passions aroused by the law.

And this HAS to be taken as the point of salvation, as the new birth. Clearly, operating in the law was the whole issue here, which caused us to be confined to being IN THE FLESH. And henceforth operating from out of “the flesh”. And clearly, this is what was being described in chapter 5 and 6, they had experienced this transition from verse 5 to verse 6.

So it would appear that the matter is resolved – released from the law, believers are now freely operating in the Spirit, not in the flesh. Fruit of the Spirit is there, instead of works of the flesh.

Now, as someone has said, why would a believer then go messing around in or with the law? We know as per the Galatians, that to re-enter into law is death all over again.

No one that I know of, has answered this question of why a believer, a Christian, released from slavery to sin under the law, would then again enter into any arrangement whatsoever, with the law? As Spock would say, it is illogical.

And yet that is what one side is saying, that Paul is now submitting himself again to the captivity of sin, which was the whole problem in the first place. “Law brings wrath”. Where there is law, there is the empowerment of sin.

Surely NO ONE is going to deny that the whole context of 7 is LAW? That Paul is not submitting himself to the demands and conditions imposed by LAW? And yet they propose that Paul again enters into the very same potential manifestation of sin that he had before chapter 6, and which is clearly stated in 7-5.

If we look at verses 5 and 6, we will see that Paul is now apparently conforming again to that which is stated in verse 5. We will observe that NOTHING of verse 6 is implemented, mentioned, or involved; there is no Spirit, no success, certainly no joy, and no apparent Christian contribution at all to righteousness. To say this Paul is the Paul transformed from being initially on the Damascus road persecuting Christians, to the Paul who met Jesus and then largely went on to instigate the Christian church in the power of the Spirit, is surely “drawing a long bow”.

It hardly seems worthwhile going any further – As I said before, no one has successfully explained why Paul would be in the power of the Spirit one minute, and in the power of the flesh the next. More to the point, being IN THE FLESH, a complete denial of Jesus and the faith itself. AND ALL COMING ABOUT BY REFERENCING THE LAW. THE WHOLE POINT OF EVERYTHING WAS TO LEAVE THE LAW IN FAVOUR OF THE SPIRIT.

A lot of the initial problem was because people could not let go of the law. All sorts of people for one reason or the other. Differing theology, being connected to sects or semi-Judaistic groups, modern day Pharisees of many different persuasions, clinging to some set of particular laws or other, seemingly little different from the Pharisees of old. 630 commandments or whatever, brought back to whatever quantity their particular group may find advisable in order to  shore up their belief system. We have enough trouble with 10.

So while we wait for an answer as to why Paul would be playing around with the law again, proving that it can’t be kept, especially without Jesus the Spirit on hand, people keep talking about particular points of failure in R7 that are obviously going to be there because we are talking about law, about the origin of failure and the situation from which we are extracted by the grace of God. Not the situation we continue to remain in because of that grace, NO, the situation from which we are extracted, die to, leave in favour of the Spirit and His power to overcome the things talked about in terms of Paul’s FAILURE? Under LAW?

Oh well, verse 18. Paul finds no good in himself. But not just himself as himself, it is himself as his flesh that is spoken of. Just as he spoke of himself in terms of his mind, here he talks of himself in terms of his flesh. This is because he is in accordance with 7-5, he is, to all appearances, IN the flesh. In verse 14 he said that he was OF flesh (like everybody is) and the things he describes are those which arise from being (his identity) IN flesh. (although they never at the time arose from HIS flesh, his reference in this regard was to his past).

So there is no good in his flesh. This is no surprise, this is what has been said time and time again, that the natural birth leads to death, is in fact already in death, we need to be “born again”. This is nothing new, under law or without law all flesh is dead, so it is little wonder he speaks AS a dead person (The law killed me).

Verse 19. I practise evil. Well again, the whole question is moot until the original question of just why Paul would reference law in any way at all is answered. (There is only one reason, which is to inform us how law flesh sin death works, which necessitated him taking the position of one under law, (because he is referencing flesh) in order to show what happens).

So evil comes out of the flesh, out of natural born nature, which is why Jesus came along to CHANGE this situation, that people stop living this way, that they “go and sin no more” as Jesus said.

Verse 21. It is a principle that evil is present in me. This principle is mentioned  verse 17, sin indwells him, IN HIS FLESH. Verse 20 it is sin that does it, not himself of his rational mind, he is a slave to it. Verse 23, he is a prisoner of it. 24 WHO will free him? (as if he didn’t know). And so the same picture is presented again, but this time, unlike chapter 5 and chapter 6, he goes into all the detail concerning this failure of man under law so as to make it quite clear just how that works.

This principle is stated in the conclusion of verse 25. That in the natural man, especially one familiar with the properties of law, there is both the admission of the recognition of righteousness and the desire to perform it, and the recognition of the failure to perform it because of greater overriding desires of the natural self.

The overall situation is the detailed explanation of why reform is necessary.

Perhaps the two views are that one group are looking to the change of environment from flesh to Spirit in which freedom of condemnation is given for the pursuit of that righteousness; and the other is expressing that it is necessary to provide freedom from condemnation in order to supply that environment of freedom.

Of course, both are sort of true, because it is freedom from condemnation that releases us into whatever form of righteous spiritual expression we visualise and attempt to make our goal. But there still remains the suspicion that freedom in failure will not encourage success as much as freedom in victory.

Although the argument seems to centre more around providing latitude for people to sin, based on the reality that they do sin. I prefer to accept that the victory is complete so I can pursue it in that fashion, rather than have “the flesh” hanging over me as some yet to be vanquished “boogy man” or “Damocles sword”.

We would surely have to accept that 7-6 was inferring that this person was now no longer “in the flesh”. R8 verse 9 says that you are NOT in the flesh if the Spirit is in you. The conditions of R7 clearly match those of the unbeliever in 7-5, as one “in the flesh” and therefore not as one “in the Spirit”. And of course, as being under law.

V14. “I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin”. This is of course, a distinct ‘giveaway’ because it combines the three elements of “flesh” and “bondage” and “sin” together. ANY of these three elements taken individually would be enough to prove that this person was a representation of someone in bondage to sin by the power of law over the flesh, because, being OF flesh, they were by nature, IN the flesh.

Still looking for an admission that the context of R7 is LAW, and an answer as to what Paul is doing there.

[This is not Paul the apostle speaking of weaknesses because of his flesh, but of weaknesses because of the law, which experience he is reliving.][we do not see Spirit until R8 which then becomes the solution to R7, the problem][which is fundamentally hypothetical][Paul uses “I” where before he used “us” because he was speaking of his personal (past) sin and the lessons which that taught him]

[The question now arises, could Paul be speaking of his ‘natural’ experience BEFORE and APART FROM law?][Is he, in verses 14 and 22, comparing his natural life before the Mosaic law yet still under ‘natural’ law in the flesh?][law ‘killed him’ yes, but we were dead before Mosaic law, we all have a conscience by whatever means. “When the Gentiles, who have not the law, do by nature what the law contains..”][Is he using verses 14 and 22 as a “touch stone” between his natural flesh self and “the” law?][Is he explaining that sin was always there and the law just brought it out? Interesting…][but he still is not a believer].

JEFF PATON DESCRIBES R7 [1443c]

Paton has “hit the nail on the head” in attributing the error of R7 to Augustine.   http://www.eternalsecurity.us/romans_chapter_seven_paton.htm

In particular, take note of what is said under the heading of  “AUGUSTINE AND HIS CONFESSIONS”.

“Some see Paul’s language here as a confession of indwelling sin and failure. This goes hand in hand with the popular attitude of spiritual pride that brags about how sinful and unworthy we are. The more self loathing we are, the more spiritual we are, right? At least that is what modern Calvinism argues for. But Calvin’s spiritual Father, Augustine, gave this idea through a record of all his failures called  his “Confessions”.”  ETC.

Now what does this say about people who say things like “wretched man that I am”, and “We are all miserable sinners saved by grace”? Are they not stuck in the very problem that Romans 7 announces? That they are without Christ?

This encapsulates the very problem that this wrong interpretation of R7 creates – the idea that after all Christ has done, that we are still not worthy to be at his side, That reconciliation to God is never fully possible because we are always sinful, regardless of all else.

This is a denial of What Jesus did for us and what has been given to us freely, as a complete gift of righteousness. And this is why they object to the correct view of R7, because then they might be obligated to bring peace to their soul, and this they cannot do.

Augustine’s view leads to the endless confessions of sins, which produces the mindset of slavery to sin, and is no better than the animal sacrifices of old. (..which were a continual reminder of sin..)(..which cannot cleanse the conscience..)

Where John speaks of the confession of sin, he refers to the initial changeover from the sin mindset to the Christ mindset. It is not the confession of sin that cleanses us, but the fellowship that results from it.

The one thing most seem to miss is that Paul is speaking as one in the flesh, which he cements by saying such as “I of myself”, or “I, myself”. And “That is, in my flesh”. In R7 he depicts the empowering of sin because of law, and its dethronement because of grace which follows shortly after. His personal flesh is never empowered in this chapter, rather, he speaks of the potential to sin that lies in us all if we follow after, if we “live in” the flesh rather than the Spirit. R7:5,6 are the two states. You cannot be in both at the same time.

[See comments on 1443b]

JEFF PATON DESCRIBES R7 [1443b]

Paton has “hit the nail on the head” in attributing the error of R7 to Augustine.   http://www.eternalsecurity.us/romans_chapter_seven_paton.htm

In particular, take note of what is said under the heading of  “AUGUSTINE AND HIS CONFESSIONS”.

“Some see Paul’s language here as a confession of indwelling sin and failure. This goes hand in hand with the popular attitude of spiritual pride that brags about how sinful and unworthy we are. The more self loathing we are, the more spiritual we are, right? At least that is what modern Calvinism argues for. But Calvin’s spiritual Father, Augustine, gave this idea through a record of all his failures called  his “Confessions”.”  ETC.

Now what does this say about people who say things like “wretched man that I am”, and “We are all miserable sinners saved by grace”? Are they not stuck in the very problem that Romans 7 announces? That they are without Christ?

This encapsulates the very problem that this wrong interpretation of R7 creates – the idea that after all Christ has done, that we are still not worthy to be at his side, That reconciliation to God is never fully possible because we are always sinful, regardless of all else.

This is a denial of What Jesus did for us and what has been given to us freely, as a complete gift of righteousness. And this is why they object to the correct view of R7, because then they might be obligated to bring peace to their soul, and this they cannot do.

Augustine’s view leads to the endless confessions of sins, which produces the mindset of slavery to sin, and is no better than the animal sacrifices of old. (..which were a continual reminder of sin..)(..which cannot cleanse the conscience..)

Where John speaks of the confession of sin, he refers to the initial changeover from the sin mindset to the Christ mindset. It is not the confession of sin that cleanses us, but the fellowship that results from it.

The one thing most seem to miss is that Paul is speaking as one in the flesh, which he cements by saying such as “I of myself”, or “I, myself”. And “That is, in my flesh”. In R7 he depicts the empowering of sin because of law, and its dethronement because of grace which follows shortly after. His personal flesh is never empowered in this chapter, rather, he speaks of the potential to sin that lies in us all if we follow after, if we “live in” the flesh rather than the Spirit. R7:5,6 are the two states. You cannot be in both at the same time.

JEFF PATON DESCRIBES R7 [1443a]

Paton has “hit the nail on the head” in attributing the error of R7 to Augustine.   http://www.eternalsecurity.us/romans_chapter_seven_paton.htm

In particular, take note of what is said under the heading of  “AUGUSTINE AND HIS CONFESSIONS”.

“Some see Paul’s language here as a confession of indwelling sin and failure. This goes hand in hand with the popular attitude of spiritual pride that brags about how sinful and unworthy we are. The more self loathing we are, the more spiritual we are, right? At least that is what modern Calvinism argues for. But Calvin’s spiritual Father, Augustine, gave this idea through a record of all his failures called  his “Confessions”.”  ETC.

Now what does this say about people who say things like “wretched man that I am”, and “We are all miserable sinners saved by grace”? Are they not stuck in the very problem that Romans 7 announces? That they are without Christ?

This encapsulates the very problem that this wrong interpretation of R7 creates – the idea that after all Christ has done, that we are still not worthy to be at his side, That reconciliation to God is never fully possible because we are always sinful, regardless of all else.

This is a denial of What Jesus did for us and what has been given to us freely, as a complete gift of righteousness. And this is why they object to the correct view of R7, because then they might be obligated to bring peace to their soul, and this they cannot do.

Augustine’s view leads to the endless confessions of sins, which produces the mindset of slavery to sin, and is no better than the animal sacrifices of old. (“..which were a continual reminder of sin..”  “…which could never cleanse the conscience”…)

Where John speaks of the confession of sin, he refers to the initial changeover from the sin mindset to the Christ mindset. It is not the confession of sin that cleanses us, but the fellowship that results from it.

The one thing most seem to miss is that Paul is speaking as one in the flesh, which he cements by saying such as “I of myself”, or “I, myself”. And “That is, in my flesh”. In R7 he depicts the empowering of sin because of law, and its dethronement because of grace which follows shortly after. His personal flesh is never empowered in this chapter, rather, he speaks of the potential to sin that lies in us all if we follow after, if we “live in” the flesh rather than the Spirit. R7:5,6 are the two states. You cannot be in both at the same time.

[See comments on 1443b]