Romans 7:14-25 -- 'It wasn't me!'

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Turgonian
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Romans 7:14-25 -- 'It wasn't me!'

#1

Post by Turgonian » Wed Aug 23, 2006 7:30 am

We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Augustine, Luther, Calvin have interpreted this passage in light of the believer's struggle against sin, which every Christian experiences. Numerous people have drawn comfort from this passage, to know that such a holy man as Paul struggled just like they. The theologian Kohlbrugge was released from his agonizing doubts when he saw that the passage read 'carnal, sold under sin' rather than 'carnally sold under sin' (in Dutch, the difference is only a comma, which once again shows the need for correct interpunction) (sorry, grammar hammer talking here :lol:). John Piper and John MacArthur also defend this view.

However, like Daniel Thompson and my cherished JP Holding, Michael E. Brooks disagrees.
Paul is not talking about himself as a Christian, Brooks says. Paul puts pneumatikos (spiritual) over against sarkinos (fleshly), and he considers himself to be pneumatikos. In Romans 6:15-23, Paul says the Christian has been set free from sin. So if he would be talking about himself, he would be contradicting what he just said.
He isn't talking about himself before he came to Christ, either. He strongly states that he considered himself blameless as a Jew (Philippians 3:2-6).
So who is he talking about? According to Brooks, about a Jew as seen from a Christian perspective. It is dialogical move towards a fictive 'I'. It is a Jew because he is aware of the importance of the law, but unaware of his inability to keep that law.

Any thoughts?
The Bible says they were "willingly ignorant". In the Greek, this means "be dumb on purpose". (Kent Hovind)

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#2

Post by Turgonian » Sat Sep 23, 2006 11:14 am

I'd like to hear some thoughts...
The Bible says they were "willingly ignorant". In the Greek, this means "be dumb on purpose". (Kent Hovind)

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#3

Post by LowlyOne » Sun Sep 24, 2006 2:07 pm

If the former view held by Piper and McArthur is correct, then what hope is there to live a victorious life over sin, temptation, and evil, which is made possible by the finished work of Christ and the continuous ministry of Christ as He rules and reigns in the hearts of believers by the Spirit of God?

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#4

Post by FFC » Sun Sep 24, 2006 4:51 pm

Romans 7 I tend to agree with you, Turgy, but I also think it can be applied to Christians as well. Paul definately talks a lot about the war that wages within us.
"Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible." - Corrie Ten Boom

Act 9:6
And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?

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#5

Post by macguy » Mon Sep 25, 2006 3:11 am

I personally believe that it can be a little bit of both. It's true that we don't have the tendency to do good with our sinful nature but at the end, Paul asks who will rescue him and thanks Jesus Christ in which all good comes from. While true that one is free from sin, they nevertheless continue to do sin as pertaining to the flesh.

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#6

Post by Canuckster1127 » Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:38 am

macguy wrote:I personally believe that it can be a little bit of both. It's true that we don't have the tendency to do good with our sinful nature but at the end, Paul asks who will rescue him and thanks Jesus Christ in which all good comes from. While true that one is free from sin, they nevertheless continue to do sin as pertaining to the flesh.
macguy,

Just wanted to welcome you to our board. We're glad you're here! I hope you find this to be a helpful community. Any questions just let me know.

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Dogmatism is the comfortable intellectual framework of self-righteousness. Self-righteousness is more decadent than the worst sexual sin. ~ Dan Allender

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#7

Post by Turgonian » Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:05 pm

Certainly. ;)

LowlyOne -- Do you know anyone who had, at some point in life, reached a totally victorious state?
I say, like some others here, that Christians keep committing sins, even though those may decrease in number over time.
The Bible says they were "willingly ignorant". In the Greek, this means "be dumb on purpose". (Kent Hovind)

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#8

Post by Canuckster1127 » Wed Sep 27, 2006 9:12 am

Please note that I split some posts from this thread to create a new one, to try and keep things from getting confused.

None were deleted.

New thread on Creation and the Big Bang is http://discussions.godandscience.org/vi ... highlight=

Any questions, pm me.

Thanks!

Bart
Dogmatism is the comfortable intellectual framework of self-righteousness. Self-righteousness is more decadent than the worst sexual sin. ~ Dan Allender

//bartsbarometer.com/

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#9

Post by Jac3510 » Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:58 am

Paul is talking about the war he wages within himself. He is no longer "in the flesh" but now "in Christ." However, he has a choice to walk "according to the flesh" or "according to the Spirit" (important change in prepositions there). He is talking about how hard it is to stay in the Spirit, and given Paul's personality, I could see why! Can't you just see him going off on heretics! ;)

Anyway, this is confirmed by the last part of chapter 7 and the first of chapter 8. Paul asks, given this war, when he will be freed from this body of death - the thing that is causing the struggle. But praise God, he says, because when he is resurrected, the war will end. Salvation truly is through Jesus Christ. Thus, in chapter 8, Paul says that there is THEREFORE no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus. Why not? Because if they are "in Christ," though the struggle with the flesh and sometimes walk "according to" it, in the end, they will be saved. They will not be condemned.

In my view, that takes a much plainer meaning of the text.

God bless
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And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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#10

Post by Turgonian » Thu Sep 28, 2006 2:14 pm

I see...thank you for your response.

But what of the linguistic evidence which among others Mr Brooks cites?
The Bible says they were "willingly ignorant". In the Greek, this means "be dumb on purpose". (Kent Hovind)

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#11

Post by LowlyOne » Fri Sep 29, 2006 8:36 pm

Turgonian,
You asked:
LowlyOne -- Do you know anyone who had, at some point in life, reached a totally victorious state?


I actually do.

Also, I was sincere in the question I asked, and would love to get an answer from those who hold to the view held by MacArthur etc. To be honest, the question you asked is problematic, because it takes our attention off of things above and fixes them on the things on earth- people. So it's almost like a trick question for those who believe in living a victorious Christian life, which is Christ in us, Christ through us, and Christ as us!
I say, like some others here, that Christians keep committing sins, even though those may decrease in number over time.
Maybe so, but Romans 7 doesn't justify us to sin, nor does it comfort us as sins are committed. In fact, this attitude is towards sin does not originate from the Holy Scriptures.

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#12

Post by Gman » Fri Sep 29, 2006 9:39 pm

I just wanted to share Romans 8:1-13...

1There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

3For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

4That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

5For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

6For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

8So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

9But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

10And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

11But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

12Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

13For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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#13

Post by Turgonian » Sat Sep 30, 2006 3:36 am

LowlyOne wrote:
Turgonian wrote:LowlyOne -- Do you know anyone who had, at some point in life, reached a totally victorious state?


I actually do.
Wow. That person would need to be holier than Augustine, Luther, Calvin, &c.
I was talking about completely holy and sinless. I don't believe anyone can be in life.
LowlyOne wrote:Also, I was sincere in the question I asked, and would love to get an answer from those who hold to the view held by MacArthur etc. To be honest, the question you asked is problematic, because it takes our attention off of things above and fixes them on the things on earth- people. So it's almost like a trick question for those who believe in living a victorious Christian life, which is Christ in us, Christ through us, and Christ as us!
Yes, we need to conform to Christ's image; but I cannot conceive of anyone of whom it could be said, 'He acts just like Jesus in every tiny detail of his life [even the details unknown to others]!'
LowlyOne wrote:
Turgonian wrote:I say, like some others here, that Christians keep committing sins, even though those may decrease in number over time.
Maybe so, but Romans 7 doesn't justify us to sin, nor does it comfort us as sins are committed. In fact, this attitude is towards sin does not originate from the Holy Scriptures.
It certainly doesn't justify us. But it may take away doubt about one's salvation, and in that sense it may be comforting. If Paul occasionally failed in resisting sin, it does not endanger our eternal state if we fail (although I needn't say we should try our utmost NOT to fail).
And even if Paul didn't mean that at all, it may still be comforting to know that eminent theologians held to that explanation because they found it in their own lives.
The Bible says they were "willingly ignorant". In the Greek, this means "be dumb on purpose". (Kent Hovind)

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#14

Post by Gman » Sat Sep 30, 2006 8:58 am

Yes Turgy, complete perfection will not occur until Christ comes back for his church...

1 John 3:2
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

1 Corinthians 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

Also, if we could become totally perfect now, why would we be judged at the bema?
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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#15

Post by macguy » Sun Oct 01, 2006 2:45 am

So no one had a comment on what i thought about the passage eh? I was wondering if my thinking was flawed. Oh well.

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