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

Discussions about the Bible, and any issues raised by Scripture.
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Jac3510
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#16

Post by Jac3510 » Sun Oct 01, 2006 9:15 am

Turgonian wrote:I see...thank you for your response.

But what of the linguistic evidence which among others Mr Brooks cites?
He does present a good case, but a few of his points are a bit weak, to me. First, he equates sarkinos with non-Christian. However, how does that jive with verses 15 and 16:
  • 15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.
His comments here are vague. He says:\
It is not that "I" do not understand what "I" am doing; "I" don't even know what "I" am doing. In "my" striving to fulfill the law "I" am completely oblivious to the fact that "I" am failing to do what "I" in fact want to do, which is to fulfill the law by coming to faith in Christ. "I" end up doing what "I" hate without even realizing it. "I" am not misinformed; "I" am blind.
Now, this "I" is supposed to reprsent the Jew trying to fulfill the Law by works. And, as Brooks notes himself, no Jew could say this, for "this statement reflects a truth which is hopelessly invisible to the person outside of Christ." This is well demonstrated by the RYR and the Pharisees in general. These Jews thought that they were fulfilling the Law, and were thus earning eternal life. Their plight was truly invisible to them. That seems hard to hold, to me, though, because the entire thought seems to present that whoever the "I" is, is actually aware of this struggle. Besides, why wouldn't Paul have just said "legalistic Jews"? Further, where in the preceding chapters has Paul discussed the Jewish fallacy? The last place I can recall off the top of my head is in chapter 2. And how would that go along with the general purpose of the book? There seems to be no indication that the Roman Christians, Jewish or otherwise, were having trouble with Judaizers. And besides all THAT, the entire argument is based on Paul's use of sarkinos in Corinthians. Can we assume that those readers would have been aware of that letter and Paul's usage of the term there? If they were not, and there seems to be no reason to assume that to be the case, then doesn't it make sense that they would have read "I" just as you and I read "I"? To make matters worse, Paul only uses the actual word "I" one time in the Greek. Everywhere else it is part of the verb. Now, that is absolutey standard in Greek, just as it is in most languages. When Paul writes out "I," it is for emphasis. And what is the only place Paul uses "I"? When he says, "I am fleshly sarkinos." It is as if he is saying, "The law, not that is spiritual, but me, I'm fleshly!" That becomes the basis for explanation of the trouble that he faces daily as a Christian plagued with sin.

Anyway, Paul certainly considered himself "spiritual" and thus "mature." He certainly considered "fleshly" Christians as immature. But the two ideas are not mutually exclusive. Words have ranges of meanings, and there is no reason to assume that sarkinos is a technical, theological expression of immature. Basically, if Brooks is right, the Paul--and no mature believer, for that matter, would have no struggle with sin. But that is contradicted everywhere by Scripture. Take Gal. 6:1-5, for instance. There, Paul tells mature believers to help the fallen believer get back on track, but he warns these same mature believers to watch themselves, lest they fall into sin themselves. If, though, mature believers didn't struggle with sin, such a warning would be superfluous and actually a slap at the Holy Spirit. And what about Peter? Paul rebuked him publically for his association with the Judaizers. Was he not a mature believer?

So, again, while the case is well built, I think the linguistic foundation it is laid on is shaky. There are too many assumptions that cannot be made. There simply seems to be no reason not to take this at face value - Paul struggled with sin, but praise be to God, someday Christ would free him of that. That is the perfect bridge for chapters six and eight, and it deals with the issues the Romans would have been facing at the time.

Macguy:

I missed your comments. I absolutely agree with what you've said - I just wasn't nearly as concise as you in my explanation. Good deal, and welcome to the boards! :)
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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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#17

Post by LowlyOne » Sun Oct 01, 2006 11:35 am

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.
this person was holier than the Augustine that almost abandoned the faith, the Luther who would speak unholy words (yes Luther had a potty mouth) and the Calvin who perhaps murdered another person created in the image of God. In fact, he lived before all of them. And yes, he did live a completely holy and sinless life. To say that he didn't would be heretical. Sorry, did I forget to say people of our day call Him Jesus, the Son of God?
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.
Should it really be comforting to know that eminent theologians allowed their doctrines to be formed by their daily experience, instead of their daily experience to by formed by true doctrine, that is, Scripture?

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#18

Post by Gman » Sun Oct 01, 2006 12:14 pm

LowlyOne wrote:this person was holier than the Augustine that almost abandoned the faith, the Luther who would speak unholy words (yes Luther had a potty mouth) and the Calvin who perhaps murdered another person created in the image of God. In fact, he lived before all of them. And yes, he did live a completely holy and sinless life. To say that he didn't would be heretical. Sorry, did I forget to say people of our day call Him Jesus, the Son of God?
Oh, good one... :lol: I was almost going to say that in an earlier post but I thought I would let it ride...
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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#19

Post by LowlyOne » Sun Oct 01, 2006 1:58 pm

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]!'
However, we must, be more readily willing to error on the side of expecting too much victory over sin because of the wisdom of God demonstrated in the finished work of Christ than to error on the side of those who exalt sin over the blood of the covenant and insult the Spirit of Grace. For where sin abounded grace abounded much more. God's grace is abounding and working much more than the sin that previously worked in our lives when living in unbelief. The power power of righteousness and the Spirit of God active in the life of a believer is much greater than the power of sin and satan active in the life of an unbeliever. It is in these points where some Calvinist views error exalting the depravity of man, and the power of sin as if it were greater than the work of redemption accomplished through Christ Jesus.

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#20

Post by Turgonian » Thu Oct 05, 2006 8:26 am

LowlyOne -- Yes, yes, Jesus was victorious... But the question was,
LowlyOne wrote:...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?
It should be really comforting to know that earnest believers, pious, devout, intelligent, God-fearing men, whose salvation we can assume, sinned.

I don't believe we should be more willing to err on the bright side. Erring is serious. I agree we should hate sin and not exalt it, but it needs to be pointed out as a reality again and again, because it is a reality. Denying it or glossing over it will create a superficial kind of Christianity which will lose contact with reality, which is often grimmer than we would like to know (including me!).
The Bible says they were "willingly ignorant". In the Greek, this means "be dumb on purpose". (Kent Hovind)

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#21

Post by LowlyOne » Thu Oct 05, 2006 4:08 pm

It should be really comforting to know that earnest believers, pious, devout, intelligent, God-fearing men, whose salvation we can assume, sinned.


I'd say it is comforting to know that they too at times failed to life by faith in Christ for victory and triumph over sin, evil and temptations. It should not be comforting to hear believers, whether they were earnest, pious, devout, intelligent and God fearing men act and teach as if it is common, ok, and natural, for believers to have sins (undealt with) in their lives. For instance, "oh were just sinners saved by Grace". People who believe that's who and what we are do not have a proper or complete understanding of salvation nor grace.
I don't believe we should be more willing to err on the bright side. Erring is serious. I agree we should hate sin and not exalt it, but it needs to be pointed out as a reality again and again, because it is a reality. Denying it or glossing over it will create a superficial kind of Christianity which will lose contact with reality, which is often grimmer than we would like to know (including me!).
I too believe that erring is serious, but I think you are misunderstanding my point. There are people who exalt the depravity of man, and the power of sin as if it were greater than the work of redemption accomplished through Christ Jesus. You know this Turgonian. Why would God punish mankind with and inclination of sin from birth, and not redeem us from our depravity and restore us while giving us freedom from it as a reward for our faith and grace by being His elect? I thought he was sovereign? Wouldn't this victory I am talking about glorify His Sovereignty? Certainly we do not want to deny the reality that we aren't perfect, and won't be till we recieve our glorified bodies, but we must not be so earthy minded that we are no heavenly good in regards to fruit. It is earthly minded to be sin conscience instead of Christ conscience, for Scripture (2 Cor 3:18) says that - But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Scripture exhorts us and guides us to behold the glory of the Lord, and we will be transfigured in a similar manner to what metamorphisis means from glory to glory, by the Spirit. How can we behold the glory of the Lord, while simultaneously living as if sin is natural, common, and normal for the redeemed, whom Scripture refers to as the Saints (holy ones) of God. If only we knew who we truly are consequently because of the wisdom of God demonstrated in the finished work of Christ, and the abounding grace of God working in the souls of the redeemed.

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#22

Post by Gman » Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:05 pm

LowlyOne wrote:I too believe that erring is serious, but I think you are misunderstanding my point. There are people who exalt the depravity of man, and the power of sin as if it were greater than the work of redemption accomplished through Christ Jesus. You know this Turgonian. Why would God punish mankind with and inclination of sin from birth, and not redeem us from our depravity and restore us while giving us freedom from it as a reward for our faith and grace by being His elect? I thought he was sovereign? Wouldn't this victory I am talking about glorify His Sovereignty? Certainly we do not want to deny the reality that we aren't perfect, and won't be till we recieve our glorified bodies, but we must not be so earthy minded that we are no heavenly good in regards to fruit. It is earthly minded to be sin conscience instead of Christ conscience, for Scripture (2 Cor 3:18 ) says that - But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Nice job there LowlyOne...
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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#23

Post by Turgonian » Fri Oct 06, 2006 1:55 pm

No Reformed theologian I've read saw sin as 'normal'; rather, as a horrible guilt, both in the believer and non-believer.

By the way, Jac -- thanks for your reaction up there. It was a very balanced evaluation of the linked article, and it sure helped. Thanks!
The Bible says they were "willingly ignorant". In the Greek, this means "be dumb on purpose". (Kent Hovind)

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#24

Post by LowlyOne » Fri Oct 06, 2006 2:05 pm

No Reformed theologian I've read saw sin as 'normal'; rather, as a horrible guilt, both in the believer and non-believer.
If they teach that the redeemd are "sinners, saved by grace" then it is implied that sin is normal for believers. When they say, "we all sin" as if it is a regular thing in the life of the redeemed, then the implication is that sin is normal, even if they see it as a horrible guilt, if that even makes sense. But if I were to say, perhaps you are right, Turg, they might not see sin as normal, we still have it seen as natural and common.

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#25

Post by Turgonian » Fri Oct 06, 2006 2:41 pm

Turgy, I beg you. ;)

Sin is indeed a common thing in the life of believers, although, if God grants us, we will fall into sin less and less. However, we remain sinners, even though we have become God's saints. Simul iustus et peccator.

I wonder, is the following quote a little bit recognizable (about the church in general, not you personally)?
Tom Zwitser wrote:The pink cloud causes the feeling of wanting to live for Jesus entirely. But when the cloudy feeling has disappeared, one still wants to live for Jesus, but it's so hopeless: one doesn't succeed anymore, there's a guilt feeling and this brews six to eight months. Then, one experiences something 'gripping' and decides to go entirely for Jesus again. Well, this repeats itself a few times and then one admits to oneself one is a loser who is unable to dedicate oneself completely to Jesus and one starts upholding the happy appearance so characteristic for the Evangelical Smile. It is and remains theatre, doesn't it? Outside one goes for Jesus totally, inside one, at long last, doesn't know any better but this facade is all there is. Of the evangelical, nothing has remained but a facade. Every urge to be something directly reminds one of one's failure to dedicate oneself completely to Jesus. One would rather prefer the facade than admit one's own loss and inability again and again.
This is the danger of erring of your side. There are dangers in both ways of erring.
The Bible says they were "willingly ignorant". In the Greek, this means "be dumb on purpose". (Kent Hovind)

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#26

Post by LowlyOne » Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:06 pm

Oops, sorry Turg, I mean Turgy. JK!
I wonder, is the following quote a little bit recognizable (about the church in general, not you personally)?
The pink cloud causes the feeling of wanting to live for Jesus entirely. But when the cloudy feeling has disappeared, one still wants to live for Jesus, but it's so hopeless: one doesn't succeed anymore, there's a guilt feeling and this brews six to eight months. Then, one experiences something 'gripping' and decides to go entirely for Jesus again. Well, this repeats itself a few times and then one admits to oneself one is a loser who is unable to dedicate oneself completely to Jesus and one starts upholding the happy appearance so characteristic for the Evangelical Smile. It is and remains theatre, doesn't it? Outside one goes for Jesus totally, inside one, at long last, doesn't know any better but this facade is all there is. Of the evangelical, nothing has remained but a facade. Every urge to be something directly reminds one of one's failure to dedicate oneself completely to Jesus. One would rather prefer the facade than admit one's own loss and inability again and again.
This is very recognizagle, and it is the external evidence that one is trying to live the Christian life by his own methods, energy, strivings, and effort. Christ overcame sin, temptation, death, and satan once. He know lives in me, and I trust that He can do that again. Do you think He cannot? Is our will greater than His? Just Kidding.
This is the danger of erring of your side. There are dangers in both ways of erring.
I disagree. I think you are thinking more along the lines of perfectionism. That is not my side.

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#27

Post by FFC » Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:11 pm

Turgonian wrote:Turgy, I beg you. ;)

Sin is indeed a common thing in the life of believers, although, if God grants us, we will fall into sin less and less. However, we remain sinners, even though we have become God's saints. Simul iustus et peccator.

I wonder, is the following quote a little bit recognizable (about the church in general, not you personally)?
Tom Zwitser wrote:The pink cloud causes the feeling of wanting to live for Jesus entirely. But when the cloudy feeling has disappeared, one still wants to live for Jesus, but it's so hopeless: one doesn't succeed anymore, there's a guilt feeling and this brews six to eight months. Then, one experiences something 'gripping' and decides to go entirely for Jesus again. Well, this repeats itself a few times and then one admits to oneself one is a loser who is unable to dedicate oneself completely to Jesus and one starts upholding the happy appearance so characteristic for the Evangelical Smile. It is and remains theatre, doesn't it? Outside one goes for Jesus totally, inside one, at long last, doesn't know any better but this facade is all there is. Of the evangelical, nothing has remained but a facade. Every urge to be something directly reminds one of one's failure to dedicate oneself completely to Jesus. One would rather prefer the facade than admit one's own loss and inability again and again.
This is the danger of erring of your side. There are dangers in both ways of erring.
I miss that pink cloud. :cry:
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Act 9:6
And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?

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#28

Post by Atticus Finch » Sun Nov 05, 2006 10:04 pm

How is "err" pronounced? I've been saying it like "heir" but I'm wondering if it's like "fur"at all.

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#29

Post by FFC » Mon Nov 06, 2006 10:06 am

Atticus Finch wrote:How is "err" pronounced? I've been saying it like "heir" but I'm wondering if it's like "fur"at all.
Depends where yer from. :wink:
"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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#30

Post by Byblos » Mon Nov 06, 2006 10:17 am

Atticus Finch wrote:How is "err" pronounced? I've been saying it like "heir" but I'm wondering if it's like "fur"at all.
It's error, not urror. But then again, like FFC said, depends where y'all'er from.
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