Author Topic: Romans 7 and 8  (Read 90968 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Mike Lowe

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 518
    • http://www.wildernesswayadventures.com/index.html
Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #80 on: September 05, 2002, 08:03:00 AM »
7:16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good."

If I go 65 in a 55mph zone and say I don't really want to speed, I acknowledge that the law is a good one and do not want to do
away with it.

Mike: if the Holy Spirit empowers me to recognize and resist the unholy clamorings of my fallen flesh nature, then I am led to conclude that whatever the law condemns is for my best good.

7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me."

So even though I don't want to sin (I see it is wrong) I still do it because my mind is under the control of my flesh.

Mike: now that I am born again it is no longer I who clamors for sin, but rather they originate with my fallen nature.

7:18 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."

Even though I want to obey God, I do not know how. I keep sinning. I lie, I steal, I cheat, I break the seventh commandment. I
can not keep the law of God, BUT I want to Keep the law of God.

Mike: my flesh is full of sinful desires, but in the mind of new man I am willing and able to obey the law, however the power to perform in harmony with the law is not found within me but in Jesus Christ.

7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do."

I want to keep the commandments, but I continually break the commandments.

Mike: the good things I enjoy doing in the Spirit and mind of the new man, and the evil things I hate doing, are the very things my flesh craves to experience.

7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me."

Since I do that which I do not want to do, it is not me, but my flesh that is sinful. I really want to do good, but my flesh just
keeps sinning.

Mike: it's not me craving unholy thoughts and feelings, when I'm walking in the Spirit and mind of the new man I am dead to sin and awake to righteousness, thus it is my flesh that generates and communicates sinful suggestions.

7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me."

I see a principle that even though I profess to be an Israelite, I am not, I am evil. I do want to be a son of Abraham, but I am not
faithful as he was. I live as did Solomon when he fell.

Mike: my fallen flesh nature always craves to express and experience sin.

7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:"

I love the law of God!!!

Mike: so long as I am walking in the Spirit and mind of the new man I love the law of God.

7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members."

But, I see another principle in my flesh warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to sin. I cannot resist sin. I cannot gain the victory over even "little" sins.

Mike: I am born in captivity to a sinful, fallen nature which is at war with my born again new man mind.

7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

O wretched sinner that I am! Israel's One Great God cannot keep me from sinning! I cannot keep myself from sinning! WHO, WHO,
WHO..... can deliver me from myself???? Is there not anyone that can save me? I am condemned and lost.......

Mike: "this death" is a referrence to the sinful clamorings of fallen nature.

7:25 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."

I have found the answer to my question! I now know "Who". I have found a Saviour who I thought was an imposter and whos disciples I persecuted. I did not understand that Jesus was the Lamb of God. I now see why Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son, for God did sacrifice His Son to pay the price for my sins. He has come and delivered me from the law of sin and death. I now can keep the law of God, I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me. If I cease to look unto Jesus for grace, I then have no power to do good and I then, in my flesh serve the
law of sin.

Mike: Jesus is the One who empowers us to live in harmony with His law, and to reject and resist the unholy suggestions generated by our fallen flesh natures. In the Spirit and mind of the new man we serve the law of God, while at the same time our flesh generates and communicates tempting unholy thoughts and feelings.


DLWilson

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 19
    • http://
Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #81 on: September 08, 2002, 06:23:00 PM »
Dear Brother Mike,

I hope that you will excuse me for jumping in at this point.  BTW, I am sorry if I missed it earlier, but I was wondering where it is that you pastor.  I couldn't find you listed in the AZ Conf., so I was wondering if you are new to AZ, or whether you were a retired minister.  

Thank you for sharing your position on this passage.  Surely God does want us to come into a harmonious understanding on this subject.  The difference between Richard's view and yours seems clear to me.  Was Paul discussing his converted experience or unconverted experience in the latter part of Romans 7?  

I believe that some of the following points should be considered.  

1.  First, I think we can probably all agree with this.  Paul is not shifting blame in this passage, when he says, "it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me".  It would be well for us to note that this is not unprecedented phraseology.  Jesus used it a number of times.  

Mark 13:11  "for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost"

John 12:44  "He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on Him that sent me."  

These texts, like Romans 7:20, appear to contain contradictions.  In reality, they are easily understood.  Obviously the disciples were speaking.  Obviously people would believe on Jesus.  These texts are simply elucidating the deeper cause or implications of the original action.  This demonstrates that according to the way Scripture uses this phraseology, Paul can be referring to known sin without blame shifting.  Therefore, we should not assume that Paul is denying that he was actually sinning on the basis of Romans 7:17,20.  

2.  The plain wording of the passage demonstrates that Paul is clearly referring to the commission of sin and omission of good deeds that he knows to are right or wrong.  "For the good that I would I do not:  but the evil which I would not, that I do."  Describing the "do it" as only temptations or the clamors of the flesh is a very unsatisfactory explanation.    

The problem in Romans 7 is not temptation.  Jesus was "in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin".  The problem is what is happening in relation to temptation.  Paul is doing evil and not doing the good he knows to do in the experience described.   The issue here is clearly performance.  

3.  "In the flesh", Paul realizes that he is a slave to sin.  He cannot do the right that he desires to do.  He is in "captivity to the law of sin which is in his members".    In fact, the man in Romans 7:24 is very much aware of his dilemma.  He needs to be delivered; to be saved.  Romans 8:2 is in direct apposition to this.  When the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus enters the picture, Paul is no longer captive, but "free from the law of sin and death."  It would be very bad news to hear that the Holy Spirit leaves us "wretched" and needing to be "delivered".  

4.  A person "in the flesh" cannot be equated with a saved person.  Whether the "motions of sins" is temptation or not, the "in the flesh" person has no defense against them and they bring forth "fruit unto death".  Rom. 7:5

5.  In the first part of Romans 7 Paul contrasts the person in the flesh with the one in the Spirit.  In the last part of Romans 7 and the first part of Romans 8, Paul contrasts the experience of the person that is "in the flesh" with that of the person "in the spirit".  The person who is "in the flesh" is lost.  See Romans 8:7-9.  Note the person who is in the flesh, not only has "sinful flesh".  We all have that.  The person in the flesh, has the "carnal mind", that is enmity with God.

6.  Yes, the flesh of itself is not sin, but Paul is not only describing the flesh, but what dwells in the flesh-  a mind of sin and rebellion, that cannot do what is right but is enslaved to unbelief.  A carnal mind is controlled by the flesh.  The lusts and cravings of the flesh control it, therefore the person with such a carnal mind cannot please God, because he cannot be in harmony with the law of God, no matter how much he might desire to be.  "But I see another law (ruling principle) in my members warring against the law (rulership) of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law (rulership) of sin which is in my members."  Paul is describing the experience of a person who cannot say "No" to the desires of the flesh.  His carnal mind "is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."  

7.  Of course, I hope that we all agree that Paul was converted when he wrote this.  However, it would a mistake to assume that Paul was describing his "in the Spirit" experience in Rom. 7:13-25.  Paul plainly says, that he is describing, "ego autos", that is "I, myself".  Paul is describing what it is to be on our own, without the Holy Spirit.  

8.  While the man of Romans 7, has come through the conviction of the Spirit by the Law to realize what is right and wrong.  And though a person in the flesh, may have desires to do what is right.  Yes, a person in the flesh may recognize the beautiful nature of doing what is right.  They may delight in the law after the inward man (their mind).   Nevertheless, none of these things is enough.  Conviction is not conversion.  The Pharisees really delighted in the law, but unfortunately being in the flesh, they had no defense against temptation.  Without Christ, nobody can "perform that which is good".  The person in the last part of Romans 7 is not able to successfully resist or reject the temptations of the flesh;  He is rather "brought into captivity".  Our own resistance to temptation is weak and ineffective.  This is the position of the man described in Romans 7.  

9.  The usage of death in the entire passage clearly refers to death from the condemnation of sin.  See Romans 7:5-6,9-12.  Clamors for sin could not be rightly described as leading to death.  The commission of sin is what leads to death.  This must be the "death" referred to in Romans 7:24.  

In conclusion, I must respectfully disagree with your interpretation of this passage.  

In Christian love,

David L Wilson


Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 38344
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #82 on: September 09, 2002, 08:12:00 PM »
Amen, Brother David. That is the way I see it.

Pastor Mike, I appreciate your comments, but I have a hard time when I attempt to ignore some of Paul's statements. I think I understand what you are saying. It appears that we can still be in harmony on the gospel even with our difference on these verses. It does not appear that your interpretation allows for a person to sin, a known sin and retain eternal life. Is this true?

If I understand your position, I look forward to us coming into a better understanding of these verses. May the Lord grant us an extra measure of His Spirit.

Richard

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

Mike Lowe

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 518
    • http://www.wildernesswayadventures.com/index.html
Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #83 on: September 10, 2002, 09:07:00 AM »
David and Richard, thank you for the detailed discussion on this issue. It is a blessing studying with you. I am not currently serving the church as a conference pastor. I took leave two years to start a self-supporting outdoor ministry. The Lord is truly blessing.

RE: Rom 7:14-25. I agree that Paul is not blame shifting. And I also agree that it is not a sin to be tempted. And I agree that sinful flesh nature cannot sin. A born again believer does not and cannot commit a moral sin so long as he walks in the Spirit and mind of the new man. Galatians 5:16   This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 1 John 3:9   Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. However, this is not to suggest that he cannot resurrect the mind of the old man and revert back to some crucified and buried moral defect of character and commit a sin. But sin cannot happen in the mind of the new man, it can only happen in the mind of the old man. Romans 6:6   Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

I believe the context of Rom 7:14-25 is "sin that dwelleth in me... that is, in my flesh" (Rom 7:17,18), as such I am led to conclude that he is talking about the tempting sinful thoughts and feelings generated and communicated by his fallen flesh nature. I realize we don't see eye to eye on this passage, but praise God we do agree on the important aspects of salvation - Jesus came to set us free from sin to live a life unto His honor and glory, NOW! Amen. Thank you, Jesus!!! 1 Peter 4:1   Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;  2   That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

Randy S

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 134
    • http://
Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #84 on: September 10, 2002, 09:34:00 AM »
I like your understanding Mike.  There seem to be different types of sin.  One is defined as law breaking: "sin is transgression of the law".  But stories like those found in 2 Chronicles 30, or David's eating of the shewbread, show that the sin "that is unto death" is an attitude of the heart, an attitude of rebellion toward God, moreso than simply a breaking of the law.  God judges by looking at the motives of the heart.

This type of sin (attitude of rebellion) is fatal.  It is this type of sin that requires a new heart, being born again.  As long as you maintain an attitude of loyalty to God you cannot lose your salvation.  But you can always choose to change your mind, grieve the Spirit, and adopt an attitude of rebellion against God.  There will be no rebels in Heaven.


DLWilson

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 19
    • http://
Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #85 on: September 10, 2002, 05:33:00 PM »
Dear Mike,

That's a neat project!  

Thank you for clarifying your position on sin.  We can rejoice together in the assurance that as believers we can and do have victory through the indwelling Spirit.

It seems to me that your clear understanding of victory over sin would lend itself more readily to the historical position on Romans 7 rather than the new one.  I am definitely intrigued by the fact that you don't fit that pattern.

If I understand you correctly, your position does seem to be very unique.  After all, most people that argue for Romans 7 describing the converted Paul, seem to hold experiencing victory over actual sin as not necessary to conversion.  From my experience, they also seem to teach that committing known sin is normative for the Christian life.  They also usually ascribe moral fallenness to our flesh itself.  Because of the latter point, they usually deny that Jesus took our fallen flesh.  They argue that His flesh had to be different than ours or else He would have sinned.  

In order to understand where you are coming from on this passage, I was wondering whether you believe that Jesus took flesh that was exactly like yours and mine, or if he took flesh exempt from the tempting feelings, etc.  

In Christ,

David L Wilson


Mike Lowe

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 518
    • http://www.wildernesswayadventures.com/index.html
Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #86 on: September 10, 2002, 08:18:00 PM »
Randy, you make a good point about the different ways of sinning. What I like about Jesus is that He empowers us to live without sin. Thank you Lord!!

David, I think Rom 8:3 makes it clear that Jesus possessed the same fallen flesh nature described in Rom 7:14-25. And like the man of Romans 7, Jesus successfully resisted the unholy thoughts and feelings generated and communicated by His sinful flesh nature. I do not buy into the excuses people make up to justify sinning and repenting. Jesus is bigger than all the excuses man can come up with. Amen!!


Mike Lowe

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 518
    • http://www.wildernesswayadventures.com/index.html
Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #87 on: September 11, 2002, 07:27:00 AM »
2 Peter 1
4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

According to this passage, when do we start partaking of the divine nature - before or after we escape our moral defects of character?


Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 38344
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #88 on: September 12, 2002, 11:51:00 AM »
"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." Before my conversion, I was captive to the law of sin and death, but with Jesus in my heart, I am set free from the captivity and am able to walk in the Spirit.  When ever I take my eyes off of Jesus, I am again captive to sin and death.

Richard

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

DLWilson

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 19
    • http://
Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #89 on: September 26, 2002, 03:21:00 PM »
Dear Mike,

Thank you for answering my question on Christ's nature.  I am glad to say that we definitely agree that Jesus took our fallen flesh.  We should rejoice that we have such a Savior as can identify with our temptations and trials.  He overcame in our flesh, proving beyond controversy that we, too, may overcome fully, through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.  

I continue to be intrigued with your interpretation of the latter part of Romans 7.  I cannot see how you can defend the idea that the man of Romans 7 "successfully resisted the unholy thoughts and feelings generated by....his sinful flesh".  I would appreciate if you could show me where the text speaks of such a successful and victorious experience.  

Please allow me to submit some other thoughts for your consideration.  Would it be clearly appropriate for us to use the phrases in Romans 7 to describe Jesus?  When the law of sin, warred in Christ's members did it actually bring Him "into captivity to the law of sin"?  Remember Paul introduces this experience by describing himself as "carnal".  Is it safe to say that Jesus was ever "carnal"?  Did Jesus ever do the sin that He hated?  Did sin ever dwell in Jesus?  See Rom. 7:17.  Did Jesus ever do the evil which He would not?  

We should take the words of this passage for their plain and obvious meaning.  When we take the Bible as it plainly reads, I cannot see how we can fully identify Jesus with the fallen experience described in the text of Romans 7.  

In Christ,

D L Wilson  


Mike Lowe

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 518
    • http://www.wildernesswayadventures.com/index.html
Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #90 on: September 30, 2002, 01:48:00 PM »
DL Wilson wrote:

"Please allow me to submit some other thoughts for your consideration. Would it be clearly appropriate for us to use the phrases in Romans 7 to describe Jesus? When the law of sin, warred in Christ's members did it actually bring Him "into captivity to the law of sin"? Remember Paul introduces this experience by describing himself as "carnal". Is it safe to say that Jesus was ever "carnal"? Did Jesus ever do the sin that He hated? Did sin ever dwell in Jesus? See Rom. 7:17. Did Jesus ever do the evil which He would not?"

I believe that the fact Romans 8:3 goes on to describe Jesus in the context of "sinful flesh" leaves the reader with no other conclusion than that Jesus did indeed wage the same war that born again believers must fight daily as they resist the unholy clamorings of their fallen flesh natures.

It is this clear connection that encourages Bible students to interpret the experience of the man of Romans 7:14-25 in light of a born again believer successfully resisting the unholy thoughts and feelings generated and communicated by his fallen nature.

Yes, as I see it, Jesus was born with a carnal or fallen nature just like the rest of us. In this sense He too was sold into the slavery and captivity of sinful nature. His sinful flesh nature warred against His mind in the same it wars against the mind of a born again believer.

But Jesus never sinned. He never gave into the unholy clamorings of His fallen flesh nature. Like a born again believe, who walks in the Spirit and mind of the new man, Jesus did not sin.

Do you see what I mean?


Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 38344
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #91 on: October 04, 2002, 09:29:00 PM »
Pastor Mike, I think that DL has a very good point. He (she) points out that the phrase "into captivity to the law of sin" does not apply to Jesus. You are saying it does.

This is quite difficult for the reading is rather pointed. Jesus was never "captive" to sin. Yes, you may think in terms of the flesh, that you or I are captive, but we may not think of Jesus as being "captive" to the law of sin and death. Jesus did not need a saviour, but we all do.

The three of us agree on the most important point of  victory over sin, so this discussion is of little consequence from that standpoint, but there is benefit to be gained from the correct understanding.

There are some who take the nature of Christ past where need be. We refute the teachings of such as Walter Martin and Desmond Ford, but we need not make Jesus in all ways like us.  He is God and always was. He never sinned and all of us have. In Him was no propensity to sin. Again, we are solid in our understanding that Jesus is our example and He came in the "likeness of sinful flesh." There was no excuse for Adam to sin and there is less excuse for us to sin. We may be partakers of the divine nature and escape the corruption that is in the world. We may walk with Jesus continually.

The incarnation is a mystery. How God could be in humanity we cannot fathom, but we believe. Not a taint of sin rested upon Christ. Never a sinful thought lingered upon His mind. All suggestions were immediately repulsed. Oh, that we too shall reach this condition on a continual basis. By God's grace we shall.

So, I return to our friends point. Jesus was never in "captivity to the law of sin and death". His death was in response to our sins, not His. On the other hand, when we are not in Christ, we are indeed in "captivity to the law of sin and death." We do the things we ought not to and we don't do the things we ought to. Praise the Lord though, that we know who can deliver us from the body of death.  We will never ask "Who can deliver us?" We know full well and testify of it daily.   :)

In His love and grace,

Richard

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

Mike Lowe

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 518
    • http://www.wildernesswayadventures.com/index.html
Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #92 on: October 08, 2002, 09:20:00 AM »
Richard, thank you sharing your thoughts. I agree with what you wrote, but I'm not ready to concede that we can use Romans 7:14-25 to substantiate what you said about Jesus and His sinful flesh nature.

Romans 7:14 and 23
"I am carnal, sold under sin.... But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members."

My interpretation of these passages is very different than the one you subscribe to, which accounts for our different points of view. I agree with you that getting this passage right is beneficial.

As I understand it, Adam "sold" out the human race when he sinned. Ever since then every person is born with a sinful flesh nature. We are born "captive" in fallen flesh nature, and will ever remain in slavery or bondage until the day Jesus rewards us with sinless flesh nature. That's the imagery Paul and Peter use in 2 Cor 5:1-9 and 2 Peter 1:13,14. That is, we are stuck with sinful flesh nature until we die or until Jesus arrives.

"The law of sin in my members" isn't, from what I can tell, referring to the commission of known sin, but is referring to the unholy clamorings of fallen flesh nature. I believe this is the trust of what Paul is talking about in Romans 7. He's describing the warfare that wages within the mind of born again believers.

I believe the "do it" throughout Romans 7:14-25 is talking about the unholy thoughts and feelings generated and communicated by sinful flesh nature. It's the "law in my members [sinful flesh]" warring against the "law of my [new man] mind." Jesus experienced this same kind of warfare.

Otherwise, if the "do it" in verses 17 and 20 is talking about actually committing a known sin then Paul is blame shifting, i.e., blaming sinning on sin.

At any rate, this is what makes sense to me.


DLWilson

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 19
    • http://
Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #93 on: October 10, 2002, 09:16:00 AM »
Dear Mike,

I appreciate your willingness to candidly and kindly discuss this issue.  I would not wish to belabor the point under discussion, but I believe it would be nice if we could come into harmony on the subject.

I am glad that we all agree that Christ took our fallen flesh and that we all may overcome the clamourings of our fallen flesh.  I would add, that such overcoming is absolutely essential to our salvation.  

I agree with your general viewpoint in the 9-30 post, although this is not what I find being described in Romans 7.  

Rather, I find that Romans 7 is talking about my experience, as I, "of myself", a carnal being, continually fail.  As I try to resist my fleshly clamourings with my own resources, I find that "sin dwelling" in my heart always responds favorably to the flesh.  Making it impossible for me to do the good that I want to do.  Instead I actually do the sin, because there is sin dwelling in me causing me to do it.  I am a captive in slavery to sin.  If the law of sin is "sinful clamourings", than being captive to it must mean that I am forced to obey and follow those clamourings.  This is exactly the circumstance, I find myself in, apart from Christ.  I can only do what my flesh urges me to do, because my carnal mind has no defense against.  My will is captive to the flesh.   Nevertheless, the law tells me of my condemnation unto death and therefore of my need to be delivered.  Because of this I am entirely miserable.  Therefore I cry out for deliverance in my miserable state.  Is there anyone that can deliver me from captivity to the clamourings of my flesh?  Only Jesus Christ, my Lord, who has made the New Birth possible.  

Romans 8 describes a new and different experience, through Jesus Christ.  One of being free from the law of sin and death.  This is in total contrast to being "captive".  This freedom does not come because I have a different flesh.  As we all agree, we will only receive sinless flesh when Christ comes again.  Rather, I am set free from the law of sin and death because through Christ sin itself no longer dwells in me, but the Holy Spirit.  I am no longer carnal, but spiritual---in harmony with the law.  When I was carnal, having a carnal mind, I could not possibly obey the law of God, but now through the Spirit I am free to please God by obeying His commands.  Through Christ, the righteous requirement of the law is fullfilled in me.  

That is how I understand Romans 7 and 8.  I would be grateful if you would point out any place where this understanding contradicts with Romans 7 and 8 or with sound doctrine in general.  

In Christ,

David L Wilson



Mike Lowe

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 518
    • http://www.wildernesswayadventures.com/index.html
Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #94 on: October 14, 2002, 10:22:00 PM »
David, thank you too for the excellent manner in which you are engaging this study. It is a privilege studying with you.

I like what you are saying about being carnal and captive versus being spiritual and free. However, I believe we continue to possess our carnal nature even after we are born again with the new man mind. Converted Christians are captive slaves in a body of sin in the same way Jesus was. But they do not sin even though they are held prisoners in sinful flesh nature.

Romans 7:17, 18 and 20
Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing... Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

It is the wording of these verses that lead me to conclude that Paul is talking about the unholy thoughts and feelings generated and communicated by fallen flesh nature. These verses do not indicate to me that he is talking about the commission of known sins.

Do you see where I'm coming from?


Mike Lowe

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 518
    • http://www.wildernesswayadventures.com/index.html
Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #95 on: October 18, 2002, 07:53:00 AM »
David wrote:

"As I try to resist my fleshly clamourings with my own resources, I find that "sin dwelling" in my heart always responds favorably to the flesh. Making it impossible for me to do the good that I want to do. Instead I actually do the sin, because there is sin dwelling in me causing me to do it. I am a captive in slavery to sin."

I agree that unconverted people are incapable of resisting their inherited (sinful nature) and cultivated (sinful character) propensities. However, I am quite sure Paul isn't talking about unconverted people walking in the mind of their old man (sinful character) in step with the unholy clamorings of their sinful flesh nature.

It appears both of us agree on the idea that humans possess two types of propensities: 1) inherited, and 2) cultivated. Inherited propensities are associated with the unholy thoughts and feelings generated and communicated by fallen flesh nature. And cultivated propensities are associated with the unholy thoughts and feelings we choose to act upon.

As I understand it, unconverted people live in harmony with both types of propensities. As a result they develop old man character. But when a person embarks upon the process of conversion his sinful old man traits of character are gradually crucified (no faster or slower than Jesus can empower him).

Once self is completely dead and buried he is born again a new man in Christ Jesus. The old man propensities cease to exist. They no longer exert a force against his new man mind. However, the propensities associated with his sinful flesh nature continue to war against his new man mind.

The reason why I believe this distinction is important is because of how it impacts our understanding of Paul's discussion regarding the old man, sinful flesh nature and the mind of the new man. In Romans 7 I think it is significant Paul is careful to differentiate between the mind of his fallen "flesh" and the mind of his new man.

I believe the main point Paul is discussing is - "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing..." verse 18. In this passage he is dealing with born again believers who are connected to Jesus in the same way Jesus was connected to the Father. Jesus resisted the clamorings of His sinful flesh nature in the same way Paul describes born again believers resisting them in Romans 7.

The carnal, captive slave aspect of Romans 7 is merely a description of the fact that everyone, including Jesus, is born with inherited sinful propensities, which can only be successfully resisted through conversion and rebirth.

Does that agree with your understanding of salvation?


Edward F. Sutton

  • Regular Member
  • Posts: 177
    • http://
Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #96 on: January 11, 2003, 03:50:00 AM »
1. The Saviour took upon Himself the infirmities of humanity and lived a sinless life, that men might have no fear that because of the weakness of human nature they could not overcome. Christ came to make us "partakers of the divine nature," and His life declares that humanity, combined with divinity, does not commit sin. {MH 180.5}

2. Victory Assured Through Christ's Sinless Life.--The Saviour took upon Himself the infirmities of humanity, and lived a sinless life, that men might have no fear that because of the weakness of human nature they could not overcome. Christ came to make us "partakers of the divine nature," and His life declares that humanity, combined with divinity, does not commit sin.  {Te 107.1}

3. The Son of God came to our world in human form to show man that divinity and humanity combined does not commit sin. He is our Pattern. Through Him we may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.--Ms 16, 1898, p. 6. ("Wholehearted Service," February 10, 1898 {8MR 291.5}

Perhaps crossreferencing Romans chapters 6-8, with 2nd Peter chapter 1, would be helpful; along with verse by verse SOP commentary in context.

------------------
Ed Sutton

Ed Sutton

Edward F. Sutton

  • Regular Member
  • Posts: 177
    • http://
Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #97 on: January 11, 2003, 04:07:00 AM »
Mike,

You are in error RE: Jesus Christ and His physical / spiritual nature.

quote:
Mike
The carnal, captive slave aspect of Romans 7 is merely a description of the fact that everyone, including Jesus, is born with inherited sinful propensities, which can only be successfully resisted through conversion and rebirth.


" (Ch. 14:30; Luke 1:31-35; 1 Cor. 15:22, 45; Heb. 4:15.) Be careful, exceedingly careful as to how you dwell upon the human nature of Christ. Do not set Him before the people as a man with the propensities of sin. He is the second Adam. The first Adam was created a pure, sinless being, without a taint of sin upon him; he was in the image of God. He could fall, and he did fall through transgressing. Because of sin his posterity was born with inherent propensities of disobedience. But Jesus Christ was the only begotten Son of God. He took upon Himself human nature, and was tempted in all points as human nature is tempted. He could have sinned; He could have fallen, but not for one moment was there in Him an evil propensity. He was assailed with temptations in the wilderness, as Adam was assailed with temptations in Eden.  {5BC 1128.4}"

I am not saying Jesus came in Edenic prefall nature. Years earlier I put forth a very detailed 7 part exposition upon Inspiration's declarations of the First Advent nature of Jesus Christ. I reccommend looking it up. Richard had said then that I left little or no room for supposition.

------------------
Ed Sutton

Ed Sutton

Mike Lowe

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 518
    • http://www.wildernesswayadventures.com/index.html
Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #98 on: January 12, 2003, 09:04:00 AM »
S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 7, page 943
We must realize that through belief in Him it is our privilege to be partakers of the divine nature, and so escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. Then we are cleansed from all sin, all defects of character. We need not retain one sinful propensity.

Edward, thank you sharing the quote about Jesus not having one evil propensity. I agree. The quote I shared above teaches that born again believers are also free from all evil propensities.

But I'm quite sure you would agree that even though born again believers are from all evil propensities it does not mean that our fallen nature ceases to communicate sinful thoughts and feelings.

With Ralph Larson I believe Ellen White taught that there are two types of sinful propensities: those associated with, 1) inherited sinful flesh, and 2) cultivated sinful character.

Jesus did not have the evil propensities associated with cultivated sinful character. But He did possess the same evil propensities associated with inherited sinful flesh that born again believers possess.


Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 38344
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: Romans 7 and 8
« Reply #99 on: January 12, 2003, 11:03:00 AM »
We have entered a very difficult area. When we begin to discuss the nature of Christ we need to take great care. It is a blessing to have light on the subject and I think it very important that we continue to quote inspiration.

The subject of the nature of Christ has a bearing on this topic, but I believe we can continue without getting side tracked. Can we agree that Jesus came in the "likeness of sinful flesh"? And, that this means he did not have a pre-fall nature, but rather inherited the nature of man after 4000 years of sin?  Can we agree that He is not in all ways like us, yet He is fully man and fully God?

I think we are in agreement that there is no excuse for defects of character. In Christ they are hid. We become partakers of the divine nature. We agree that we live in sinful flesh and it strives for the mastery, but in Christ it is kept under.

Ralph Larson is not an authority on the subject. Unless he has changed his teaching on the gospel, he does not agree with our understanding. He gives eternal life to those with defects of character. This can be seen in his book Tell of His Power.

If we want to continue the discussion on the nature of Christ, let us do so in the Worship forum in a new topic.

Richard

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