Author Topic: Romans 7 and 8  (Read 105983 times)

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Mike Lowe

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Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #100 on: January 14, 2003, 07:10:00 AM »
To me it is obvious Paul is describing the nature of sinful flesh in Romans 7:14-25. He says, "That is, in my flesh." Our fallen flesh nature has, as it were, a mind of its own and is capable of communicating sinful thoughts and feelings.

When Paul writes, "It is no more I that do it", he's clearly talking about the sinful suggestions generated by his fallen flesh nature. He's saying, I'm not the one coming up with all those hideous thoughts and feelings, it's my sinful flesh doing it.

Is that how the rest of you see it?


Richard Myers

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Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #101 on: February 25, 2003, 09:11:00 AM »
It is sometimes difficult to establish what one is speaking of. But, from a careful study of the man's writings we may with the aid of the Holy Spirit come to the correct interpretation.

Paul throughout the Bible speaks of being free from sin. Here in Romans seven is a departure from all other places. Why? Paul is telling us of what it was like to be under the condemnation of the broken law. He tells us that when the depth of the requirements of the law came home to his heart he saw himself a slave to sin. Nowhere else in his writings does he speak like this. He understands that in Christ he is made free from sin. This is what he expresses in Romans eight. But, in Romans seven Paul wants us to relate to the process of coming to a full surrender to Christ. It is an important thing to understand since all who will live eternally with Jesus will have this experience.

He is telling us of his conversion. He reveals that the law is indeed the schoolmaster. He tells us what it is like to want to obey God, but not be able to. He tells us that even though he knows the law is good, he has no power to obey. He is undone and does not know what to do.

It is the same today with many who want to keep the law, but have not given their hearts fully to Christ. They have no power. Many come to the point of saying "no more, I cannot do it." They are right, but there is an answer and that is the reason why Paul tells of his pre-conversion battle to keep the law, and then goes on in chapter eight to explain the power he found in Christ.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Sister Glass

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Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #102 on: February 26, 2003, 05:55:00 AM »
Amen Brother Sutton. Jesus was born  without sin just as Adam was, and He was fully as capable of sinning as was Adam, but He did not. He did not even cherish one sinful thought, but He could have had He not leaned on His Father in prayer so much. He was sorely tempted, but without sin.

We need to be very careful how we portray the Son of God. The Salvation (or acceptance of it) depends on how we look on the Son of God. By seeing His Character incorrectly we see the Fathers character incorrectly and are lead to not believe.

Jesus was sinless in every way!

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With Christian Love,
Sister Glass

With Christian Love,
Marie

Mike Lowe

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Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #103 on: February 26, 2003, 09:48:00 AM »
Possessing sinful flesh nature does not makes us guilty of sin. Sister White makes it very clear that our fallen flesh nature cannot commit a sin, it can only generate tempting sinful thoughts and feelings. It is what we do with these temptations that determines if we are guilty of sin or not. Jesus never ever, not even once, yielded to the clamorings of His "sinfulf flesh" human nature.

Jesus demonstrated that it's possible for born again believers to live without sinning in spite of their fallen flesh natures. We must remain connected to the divine nature in order to resist the unholy propensities of our sinful flesh nature.

To insist that Jesus did not possess sinful flesh nature, with all of its unholy clamorings and propensities, is to insist that Jesus was not tempted in all points as we are, and that He is not our perfect example. I am surprised that TRO allows people to post this common misconception without at least a protest.


Richard Myers

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Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #104 on: February 26, 2003, 08:46:00 PM »
This discussion is taking us away from the topic. Jesus came in the likeness of sinful flesh. He came in the nature of Adam after he fell. He took on the weakness of humanity after 4,000 years of sin. But, he was not in all ways like us. It is a miracle that God could fully be man and that a man could be fully God. There are some aspects of this that we shall not be able to explain. What we have agreed to is that we may overcome as Jesus overcame. This removes the error taught by Desmond Ford and company.

Romans 8:1-14 describes the Christian experience afer conversion. Let us take a look at these verses. The Word of God is clear.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mike Lowe

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Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #105 on: February 27, 2003, 08:03:00 AM »
If the man of Romans 7:14-25 does not describe a born again believer successfully resisting the unholy clamorings generated and communicated by sinful, fallen flesh nature - then where in the Bible is this situation articulated?

Romans 7:17-20
17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

If Paul is not specifically talking about the unholy clamorings generated and communicated by sinful flesh nature - then why is he so careful to specify "the sin that dwelleth in me... that is, in my flesh." If he wanted us to realize he's describing someone who is not converted, who is guilty of committing sin - then again I ask why didn't he say so? Instead, he wrote - "Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me."

Since Paul says it's no longer him doing "it", rather "now" that he is born again it is the sin that dwells in his sinful flesh nature that's doing "it" - the "it" cannot be sinning. Since Paul is not excusing sinning he is obviously not talking about the commission of a known sin, therefore he can only be talking about the unholy thoughts and feelings generated and communicated by his sinful flesh nature.

He says the "will" to obey "is present with me", for "I delight in the law of God after the inward man", so "then with the mind I myself serve the law of God." Paul is clearly talking about a converted, born again believer. But just because we experience the miracle of rebirth and victory over sin that does not mean our sinful flesh nature stops generating and communicating unholy tempting thoughts and feelings.

Paul wrote in Romans chapter 6 that born again believers are dead to sin, free from sin, the servants of righteousness. In chapter 7 he goes on to explain that even though we are free from sin that does not mean we are free from the temptations generated by our sinful flesh nature. We must not blame ourselves for the existence of tempting unholy thoughts and feelings. It's not us doing "it" rather it is our sinful flesh nature that's doing "it".

Making this distinction between what is doing "it" makes all the difference for new convertes struggling with "it". Jesus suffered being tempted because temptation was so repulsive to him. The idea of violating God's law was disgusting to Him. And that's how it is for born again believers. Which is also why is it so very important that we understand that it is not us doing "it" intead it is our sinful flesh nature that's doing "it". Unholy tempting thoughts and feelings originate with our sinful flesh nature, not us. "Now" that I am born again "it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me."


Richard Myers

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Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #106 on: February 27, 2003, 09:06:00 AM »
Pastor Mike, you are making a bigger deal out of fallen flesh than God would have us to do. The Apostle Paul said that he keeps the flesh under. In Christ the flesh is in subjection to the mind that in under the control of Christ.

Maybe we can be a little more explicit here. You have not been real clear on this matter of thoughts and have left the wrong impression some time ago. I tried to correct it, but let me be very clear again. A thought entering the mind is not sin. But, a thought not immediately repulsed is sin if it is a wrong thought. Where do these thuughts come from? Many are given to us from outside of ourselves. They originate with the evil one.

Can we generate bad thoughts? I don't think we do so on purpose when we are concentrating on Jesus. It may be that association with someone or something will bring back a memory and associated with that is a feeling that is sinful. The mind under the control of Christ immediatley repulses such thoughts. If we are not in Christ, the thought will linger and may even be enjoyed. This is because the mind is in subjection to the flesh. This is sin.

Now, let us go back to Romans seven verse 15. What we see here is not a moment's thought, but we have an action. "what I hate, that do I." This is clearly the yielding up of what Saul knew was wrong. This is not done by one who is abiding in Christ. This is Paul telling us about his experience when he did not know Jesus Christ. Could Paul be telling us about an experience after conversion? Yes, he could if we did not have other verses to tell us of when he was speaking. It is true that when one is converted that there is a period of time in most Christian's experience when they fall. They do not know their need of Jesus continually and they take their eyes off of Him. Paul could be saying that then "what I hate, that do I." But, this is not the case. Paul has clearly established the time period as when he was dead in his tresspasses and sins prior to conversion. We need only go back to verse 13 to confirm this. He is making reference to verse eleven when he said he was condemned to death. "Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful."

We are not at liberty to take verse fifteen and make it a temporary thought when it is clearly an action of sin... and, we must keep the verse in context which is while Saul was under the condemnation of the broken law. Paul is explaining to us what it is like to all of a sudden realize one has been a "Pharisee." He explains the purpose of the law which is good and holy, but has brought death. He tells us that he was under conviction to keep the law, but had no power to do so. He willed to keep it, but found no way to do so. This is quite a shock to a Pharisee. At this point in his life he does not know Jesus as Saviour, but as an imposter. He was about the business of persecuting His disciples. He made no association between the God of heaven who he desires to serve and Jesus Christ.

It is a miserable condition to be in, but it is part of the process that leads each of us to Jesus Christ. We must see ourselves as condemned by the broken law before we have need of a Saviour.

This is an important understanding that helps us to become true Christians. Many today profess Christ, but deny Him by their lives. A profession of religion means nothing with God. He wants the heart, all of it. When we don't see ourselves condemned by our sin, we do not see our need Jesus as a Saviour. Paul's writings labor with many today in an effor to bring conviction of sin and a realization of their true condition before God. How many today are in a similar situation where "what I hate, that do I"?

If we do those things which we know are wrong  and we do not do those things that we know we ought to do, then we can know that we are not abiding in Christ. We have need of a new experience which Jesus promises IF we will come to Him just as we are.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mike Lowe

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Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #107 on: February 28, 2003, 08:46:00 AM »
Richard, I agree with what you wrote about sin and law before we're converted. It's just that I'm sure that's not what Paul is describing in Romans 7:14-25. And perhaps I should apologize for making a big deal out this passage of scripture, but I happen to believe it makes all the difference in the world what we think about the origin and existence of tempting thoughts and feelings.

I also agree with you that we must immediately, without hesitating, reject and resist the sinful tempting thoughts and feelings that enter our mind, whether it comes from within or without. If we delay or linger at all we we have become guilty of it and must repent.

Paul wrote the "will" to obey "is present with me", for "I delight in the law of God after the inward man", so "then with the mind I myself serve the law of God." I'm having a hard time believing this is the description of someone not yet born again. To me it sounds like he's talking about someone who has already received the sinless mind of the new man.

And then when Paul wrote - "Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me... that is, in my flesh." - It's very difficult for me to believe he is excusing sinning or blame shifting.

Perhaps we'll never see this portion of the Bible in the same way, which is sad, because I believe it's one of the most helpful explanation of how and why we still have tempting thoughts and feelings after we are dead to sin and born again a new man in Christ.


Richard Myers

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Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #108 on: February 28, 2003, 11:30:00 AM »
Pastor Mike, I understand what you are trying to say, but even if you saw the conversion process the same way I do, I would still disagree with you. But, because you give etnernal life and perfection of character to those who have not been born again, it is more difficult for you to see your error here in Romans 7.

If you will attempt to stay with me for a moment I will try again to explain how you can see most easily that you have misunderstood. Again, as I explained in my last post, look at verse 15 and put it in context. Does this not mean that he "sins" when he does not want to? And you already agree that it is not after conversion that he sins. So, we have a Paul sinning when?

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mike Lowe

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Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #109 on: March 01, 2003, 09:40:00 AM »
Okay, it looks as though you are focusing on verses 15 and 19 and I am focusing on verses 17,18 and 20. What do you think Paul means when says "it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me... that is, in my flesh."

Also, I think I need to clarify what I believe about character perfection before rebirth. I do not view confessing and crucifying our moral imperfections during the process of conversion as the same thing as being born again morally perfect. Not sinning is not righteousness. Just because we cease to sin it does not mean that we have perfected Christian character.

Crucifying our defective traits of character is not the same thing as being born again morally perfect. Crucifying our old man habits of sin is not the same thing as perfecting character. Being dead to sin is not the same thing as being awake to righteousness. 1 Cor 15:34. We are not free from sin until we are dead to sin.

Even though we are born again morally perfect it does not mean that we are morally mature. Jesus was born morally perfect but He also grew and matured morally. The seed is perfect but it must grow and mature and blossom otherwise it will die.

We must cooperate with the influence of the Holy Spirit and crucify our moral imperfections during the process of conversion, but we do not begin perfecting Christian character until after we are born again morally perfect. We begin at rebirth where Jesus began at birth.

I thought I remember you saying awhile back that we are born again morally perfect. Did you change your mind, or did I just misunderstand you?

[This message has been edited by Mike Lowe (edited 03-01-2003).]


Richard Myers

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Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #110 on: March 01, 2003, 12:59:00 PM »
As we can see we have some major problems with our definitions.

But, keeping on topic, let us return to verse 15. Is Paul sinning and if so before or after conversion?

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Mike Lowe

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Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #111 on: March 01, 2003, 03:27:00 PM »
Personally I do not believe Paul is talking about committing sin anywhere in Rom 7:14-25. Instead, he's talking about the unholy tempting thoughts and feelings generated and communicated by sinful flesh nature. He's makes this clear in verses 17,18 and 20. Thus I believe he's talking about a converted, born again believer.

What do you think?


Richard Myers

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Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #112 on: March 01, 2003, 10:42:00 PM »
7:13  "Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.
14  For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin."

Verse fourteen taken in context with all before it reveals that Saul is unable to keep the law because he is sold under sin.

How can a Christian who is walking in the Spirit make a statement like verse 19?
"For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do." This cannot be taken in any way except to say that a person is actually doing something (sinning) that they do not want to do.

Pastor Mike, your question about the last verse in chapter 7 is Paul's answer to his question in the previous verse. 24 "Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Saul did not know Jesus, he did not know he needed a Savior. He found Jesus and the road to Damascus and in response says--"I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin" verse 25.

Your thoughts that Paul is speaking of evil thoughts that come to his mind is out of context with what he is saying. He cleary states that he does these things, not just thinks about them.

A converted Christian is not captive to the law of sin and death as Paul is describing himself in 7:23. A true Christian has been set "free from the law of sin and death" verse 8:2.

The correct interpretation of Romans seven will help those who are in the process of conversion. The law has a purpose. It is the school master that leads us to Christ. It is a terrible struggle that Paul describes in Romans seven. He wants to serve God, he wants to obey the law, but cannot without a Saviour. Pastor Mike, your idea that a person prior to conversion can be saved and keep the law is in conflict with what Paul is saying about his pre-coversion experience here in Romans seven.

Saul thought he kept the law prior to his  revelation of his lost condition. When he saw the depth of the law and it's spirituality, he saw himself undone. He knew he was lost and nobody could help him because he did not have a Savoiur.

Today many repeat his experience. They think they can keep the law prior to making a whole heart surrender to Christ, but they cannot. Our efforts to keep the law prior to the new birth are filled with selfishness. Saul came to see this and was in pain as he cried out "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" 7:25.

Paul admitted that he was a Pharisee of Pharisees. He knew what this meant and spent all his time in ministry showing that only in Christ could a man keep the law. A man is only justified by faith in the atoning blood of Jesus. He must accept the righteousness of Christ before he may wear His robe.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mike Lowe

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Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #113 on: March 02, 2003, 08:59:00 AM »
Richard, there probably isn't much more we can say that will change our minds about this passage. You are certain your interpretation is correct, and I'm certain mine is correct. It is also certain that they are in radical contradiction.

The human race was sold into slavery and sin when Adam fell. We are born carnal, we are carnal by nature. I believe as long as we reside in sinful flesh nature we are in a prison house of sin - "the body of this death." And this will continue to be true until Jesus returns to reward us with sinless flesh nature.

But just because we are captives of sin and death it does not mean that we are guilty of sinning. Jesus proved that it's possible for born again believers to recognize and resist the unholy clamorings generated by their fallen flesh nature. Jesus makes us free from committing sin but we are not free from the law of sin and death so far as it's ability to create tempting thoughts and feelings.

One thing you haven't addressed yet is verses 17,18 and 20. If Paul is talking about the actual commission of sin then why does he say - "Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me... that is, in my flesh." I'm still waiting for your interpretation of this.

I also said - "I thought I remember you saying awhile back that we are born again morally perfect. Did you change your mind, or did I just misunderstand you?" If you believe as I do that we are born again morally perfect, free from any and all moral imperfections, then you and I are alone, because everyone else thinks we are born again full of unknown moral imperfections.


Richard Myers

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Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #114 on: March 03, 2003, 09:08:00 PM »
Pastor Mike, you ask about verses 17 and 18.
"Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me... that is, in my flesh." You say that this is not Paul talking about sinning, but just thoughts coming to his mind.  I don't see how you can say he is talking about thoughts that are momentary and rejected when he says "I do that which I would not..." Paul may be hard to understand at times, but we cannot undo such a simple statement.

Your interpretation in made in the light of your misunderstanding of Paul's experience in the three years prior to his conversion. You don't believe he suffered prior to his new birth on the road to Damascus. You don't see the school master "killing" Saul. You don't see Saul on his knees because he could not keep the law of God without a Saviour. You do not see Saul dead in his tresspasses and sin, but rather you see him perfecting his character and in a saved contition. This stands in your way of seeing that Paul was under the condemnation of the broken law until he met Christ.  Saul had to see his need before he was ready to accept Jesus Christ as his Saviour. Saul came to understand that the law that he knew was holy , just, and good could not save him, but rather it "slew" him, verse 11.

Let me try another approach that may help. Is it not true that Saul was murdering the disciples of Christ prior to his new birth when meeting Jesus? Is it not true that this behaviour continued right up to his conversion? If so, how can you give him eternal life and call him a law keeper while doing such things? He was not keeping the Spirit of the law, nor the letter of the law. He was very ambitious and was climbing the ladder of success as a Pharisee. The Holy Spirit was speaking to Saul. What do you think the Spirit was saying to Saul? Do you think it was trying to point out that Saul was doing wrong? Do you think that Saul may have begun to understand that those who he was responsible for killing were reflections of the God of heaven and more just than himself?

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mike Lowe

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Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #115 on: March 05, 2003, 06:14:00 AM »
Richard, you're right, my understanding of the salvation status of people during the process of converting influences what I think about Paul before he was converted. He wrote - "For I was alive without the law once." Rom 7:9. "If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless." Phil 3:4-6.

Paul's description of himself does not remind me of someone who was a hypocrit or of someone who was violating his conscience or convictions. He was living the letter of the law blamelessly, faultlessly. The nature of his outward acts of obedience did not change when he was converted. Yes, the origin of his obedience changed radically, but not the nature of his obedience. That is, he was still sincere, upright, conscientious, honest, refused to violate his convictions, kept the law to the letter, etc. These are the same attributes of someone who is saved who does not know Jesus as their personal Saviour. If Gentiles are saved uner the same circumstances why not Saul?

"Concerning zeal, persecuting the church." Paul refers to this part of his life as something that was noble and honorable. He was fighting for the dignity and purity of the church. What he was doing, in his mind, was in harmony with the will of God. It was not unlike Moses giving the order to stone sinners to death for transgressing the law, for jeoparding the safety and security of the nation of Israel. He was defending the honor of God. His intentions were good, but his efforts were misguided.

After he was converted he redirected the same kind of holy zeal towards defending the church of Christ. "Ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." Jude 3. The same fiery indignation existed, only now he trusted God to repay. "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." Gal 1:8. "I would they were even cut off [castrated] which trouble you." Gal 5:12.

Back to this: "Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me... that is, in my flesh." If my interpretation is wrong, then what is he talking about? If he's not talking about tempting thoughts and feelings, then what is he talking about? If he's talking about committing sin, then why is he excusing it? why is he blame shifting? The Paul I know would not blame sinning on the clamorings of sinful flesh nature .


Richard Myers

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Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #116 on: March 05, 2003, 09:32:00 AM »
Paul is not blame shifting, he is stating the reality that he has no power to do that which he sees as being right. He is admitting that in him is a power that can only do evil. We must begin in Eden and understand what happened when Adam sinned. This is what Paul is stating so clearly.

When Adam disobeyed God and ate the forbidden fruit there was a change in his nature. Before, he did what was right naturally. He was one in Spirit with God. But, when he sinned he no longer had power to do good. The mind still understood what was good, but Adam had no power to do it. His flesh was master and his mind was the servant. This is precisely what Paul is telling us. He knew what was right, just, and good, the law of God. He wanted to obey it, but had no power to do it. Paul is only saying it like it is. In the flesh there is no power to keep the law as it is to be kept.

As for blame shifting, I don't see this is what is going on. Paul understood when he wrote these words that there is never an excuse for sin, but he also understood that he was ignorant of his need of a Saviour at the time before he was converted. God gives us temporal life and many opportunities to learn our need. I am sure that the Apostle Paul felt that he had been given many opportunties to know Jesus and I am sure that he felt badly that he was not converted sooner. I do not see him blame shifting, but only stating the reality of the utter futility to do what is right in his own strength.

It appears that your understanding of verse 7:9 is out of context. "For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died."  Before there is a knowledge of the spirituality of the law, a man who professes religion can see himself as being a very good person, ie. Nicodemus in the garden and Saul prior to the stoning of Stephen. There is a principle at work here that Jesus refers to when He said "If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth." John 9:41.

Both Paul and Jesus do not give countenance to sin, nor do they give eternal life to the unconverted. What they are both saying is that before the knowledge of the depth of the law comes home to the heart, we are not seen by God as guilty of that sin as we would be when the truth is revealed to us.

When Paul said he was alive once, he is not talking about the period of time being discussed in verses 10-24. If you will again look at verse nine you will see there is a change in Saul's life. He goes from believing he is alive to understanding he is "dead". Does he here refer to temporal life? No, of course not. Then it must be taken to be spiritual life.

Why did Saul die? He saw himself as he really was, condemned by the broken law of God. This is why he goes on to say all that he does in Romans seven until the very last verse where he reveals the power of Christ.

The Holy Spirit was using the "school master" to show Saul his need of Jesus. He learned that he was under the condemnation of the broken law. He went from thinkng himself alive to seeing the reality of his condition.  Saul remains in this state through verse 24 when he tells us that he was earnestly wanting to know who could save him, for he had a true knowledge of himself and his helplessness.

Having come to this place of utter brokeness, he was ready to meet Jesus.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Sister Glass

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Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #117 on: March 06, 2003, 09:22:00 AM »
 "For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died."

No law = one sees no sin.  they think their  ok.

When Paul understood the commandments and their application to him sin became alive to him and he felt as a dead man seeing then his true Spiritual state. The law does not save; it only serves as a mirror so we can see if we are living a Godly life in Christ. It shows us our real condition. When we become aware of this, we too will feel as if Spiritually dead. And only dying to Christ can change that. Surrendering our lives to Jesus total control. The more we see our condition and take it to the Lord for repair the more He will show us that needs repair. True Christians I feel will always be in a state of overcoming (repair) as the Lord opens the door more and more.


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With Christian Love,
Sister Glass

With Christian Love,
Marie

Drew

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 182
Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #118 on: March 06, 2003, 12:41:00 PM »
I have been reading this tread of posts, and find it very profitable to be having this discussion.  I believe as you all do, that a correct understanding of Romans 7 is important.

Brother Mike, you make the point that “”Paul's description of himself does not remind me of someone who was a hypocrite or of someone who was violating his conscience or convictions.””  And further mention that “”Paul refers to this part of his life as something that was noble and honorable. He was fighting for the dignity and purity of the church.””

I took a look at what is written in The Acts of the Apostles pages 118, 119, and see that we have been given light that even though Saul thought himself good and was sincere, he was not saved – he had not yielded himself to Jesus – he hadn’t met Jesus – he didn’t know Jesus.  If he had died in this state, Jesus would have come up to him at the Wedding feast and asked him why he wasn’t wearing a wedding garment – and he would have had no answer to give – “For many are called but few are chosen.  

AA says = “As Saul yielded himself fully to the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, he saw the mistakes of his life and recognized the far-reaching claims of the law of God. He who had been a proud Pharisee, confident that he was justified by his good works, now bowed before God with the humility and simplicity of a little child, confessing his own unworthiness and pleading the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. Saul longed to come into full harmony and communion with the Father and the Son; and in the intensity of his desire for pardon and acceptance he offered up fervent supplications to the throne of grace.”

“With horror he thought of his guilt in allowing himself to be controlled by the malice and prejudice of the priests and rulers, even when the face of Stephen had been lighted up with the radiance of heaven. In sadness and brokenness of spirit he recounted the many times he had closed his eyes and ears against the most striking evidences and had relentlessly urged on the persecution of the believers in Jesus of Nazareth.”

Please Brother Mike, compare these statements with your thoughts on Romans 7 and that of Richard’s, and I believe you will see that the experience Paul is relating in chapter 7 is not that of a saved Christian who knows and loves Jesus.  

Very important point to realize about those that are sincere, they are always capable of being sincerely wrong.  And being sincerely wrong is not a safe place to be.  “If it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”

“Jesus read the character of His disciples. He knew how sorely their faith was to be tried. In this incident on the sea He desired to reveal to Peter his own weakness,--to show that his safety was in constant dependence upon divine power. Amid the storms of temptation he could walk safely only as in utter self-distrust he should rely upon the Saviour. It was on the point where he thought himself strong that Peter was weak; and not until he discerned his weakness could he realize his need of dependence upon Christ. Had he learned the lesson that Jesus sought to teach him in that experience on the sea, he would not have failed when the great test came upon him.”  DA 382

Mike, could you expand on your point “”These are the same attributes of someone who is saved who does not know Jesus as their personal Saviour.””  Prior to his experience on that Damascus journey, was Saul sincere and saved, or was he guilty, lost and in desperate need of a Saviour?

May God continue to lead in this worthy study of God’s word.

Looking unto Jesus…………

Drew


Sister Glass

  • Regular Member
  • Posts: 7555
  • May God's Light Shine On Us All
Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #119 on: March 06, 2003, 03:22:00 PM »
Good to have you with us Drew. Welcome to TRO

:)

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With Christian Love,
Sister Glass

With Christian Love,
Marie