Romans 7, understanding Romans 7:7-25 from chapter 6:16-23

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Romans7man, Nov 5, 2011.

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  1. Romans7man

    Romans7man
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    Most likely this will be different than what you have heard before. Generally when Romans 7 is debated as to why it is a lost man Paul is describing, chapters 6 and 8 are contrasted to 7 because of the polar opposites and rightly so. There are a number of verses in 7 itself that are pointed out as well. Verses like 9, 14, 23, and 25b. Also the fact that Paul starts off in past tense in verse 7 continuing to verse 13. Those of us that hold to this as a lost man say Paul is using historical present tense from verse 14-25, after setting the stage in past tense in 7:7-13.
    On the other side, when it is defended as a saved man verses like 22, and 25a are listed. Also the tenses being present tense in verses 14-25 are factored in.

    For the most part, I think most of us have heard both sides of the debate, so for now I will not get to much into that part. What I intend to do is show that it is a lost man, but from another perspective. More than 90% of this is my own personal studies over a number of years.

    In Romans 6:15 Paul asks the question, What then? shall we sin, because we not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. This kicks off a series of verses reiterating his main points he has made in his letter thus far and just so no one will misunderstand where he is going with his argument he lays out a few more verses pointing to where he is going. You could call this a set of instructions or a blue print to understanding Romans 1-8. I know there are a lot of details throughout Romans 1-8, but this is his main points I believe he wants us to know at this point for arguments sake.

    This is how it will look.
    Romans 6:16 is about Romans 1:18-3:20.
    Romans 6:17 is about Romans 3:21 through the end of chapter 4.
    Romans 6:18 is about Romans 5.
    Romans 6:19 is about Romans 6 through 7:6. present tense
    Romans 6:20 and 21 is about Romans 7:7-25. past tense
    Romans 6:22 and 23 is about Romans 8. present tense

    We will break this down and discuss it, but for now, so you will know where I'm going with this, you will notice the verse I listed for chapter 6 is in the present tense, the verses I listed for 7:7-25 are in the past tense, and then it returns to present tense in the verses I listed for chapter 8.
    If this were the only place Paul does this it would still be enough to convince us chapter 7 is indeed a lost man, but this is not the only place he does this. In fact Paul does this more than a half dozen times in Romans 5-8 in some degree or another. Some only cover chapters 5-8 and others 6-8, but every time where chapter 7 is listed it is always, without exception, past tense or a lost man condition, always!
    Thats not all, Paul uses the same method in another chapter of another book he wrote. We will get into that later.
     
  2. Winman

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    Wow, I've never seen this approach, I will have to check this out.

    I hope you will go into detail, this would be an interesting study.
     
  3. Romans7man

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    I want those interested to be able to take the verses listed and go back and study the chapter(s) I have said they go with and see if they make the connection. We will indeed get into details. I'm debating in my mind on whether or not to start a new thread for each section, as I mentioned Paul does this a good number of times. I don't know that it will be necessary to do all of them, perhaps only a few will suffice. I know I have taken an entirely different approach, but it is pretty simple once you see it. It may be that it is so simple that is why it has been overlooked. I know when I saw this I was blown away to say the least.

    I'm am looking forward to hearing the cons as well as the pros I'm sure will come. I don't mind anyone not agreeing as long as what they say comes from scripture and not popular belief and experience. Perhaps if we except what scripture says we may very well have a different experience. I say this because I think many are reading their experience into Romans 7, as many see themselves struggling as this man, but if we understand what is actually being said here we may experience something different, freedom from "living" in sin.
     
  4. Iconoclast

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    It is a christian being spoken of in Romans 7
     
  5. convicted1

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    I agree with you....:eek: :laugh:


    Apostel Paul is contrasting the natural man with the spiritual man. When the spiritual man has been born again/born from above, it is given a new nature, that which hates sin. Whenever we do something not pleasing unto God, it brings us into subjection, by the working of the Holy Ghost. IOW, there is a warfare betwixt the two.
     
  6. freeatlast

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    We need to keep one thing in mind. This was a letter to a church. It is not like they were going to go around and read it on the streets of Rome. It was directed to those who were in a place to hear and be taught what this letter says.
    I will be watching to see what you believe on this but for now I will say this now. I believe Paul is speaking to OT Jews at this point who had heard about Christ and made some move towards Him but had not come all the way by making a total break with the law.
     
  7. kyredneck

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    Agree!

    For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary the one to the other; that ye may not do the things that ye would. Gal 5:17

    It's a conflict we all deal with.
     
  8. Greektim

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    I can't get past v. 18 referring to the saved person:

    "For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but I cannot carry it out."

    Even if you take "flesh" to refer theologically to the sin nature (which I don't here), for Paul to say nothing dwelling in him is good (especially considering chpt. 8 he speaks of Christ dwelling in you and the Spirit dwelling in you) is quite alarming. And then to speak of the inability to do good seems obvious for the unregenerate man.
     
  9. sag38

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    Tim, I think the key is "...,that is, in my flesh." Even after we are saved, nothing good lives in the flesh. It's just as rotten and lost as it ever was.
     
    #9 sag38, Nov 7, 2011
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  10. freeatlast

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    You are using that passage incorrectly. Paul is not saying that a Christian is battling two wars as that is not what he is dealing with. He is contrasting those who seek to be under the law and those who are lead by the spirit. Read down a little more and see.
     
    #10 freeatlast, Nov 7, 2011
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  11. kyredneck

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    How is that any different than Christ noting that 'the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak'? Also the unregenerate man would have no desire to do what is right, imo.
     
  12. Greektim

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    Interesting comparison, but the temptation to sleep instead of pray is not quite so extreme as what Paul is detailing.

    And I believe you made my point why v. 18 in this context seems strange to apply to a regenerate person. I agree that the unregenerate man has no desire to do what is right in the sense of general morality and a sense of pleasing God. Paul says so earlier in chpt 3. But Paul takes it further. If he is speaking of his own pre-conversion situation, then he did have a desire to do what is right as determined by Pharisaical Judaism. Paul desired to follow Torah which in one sense is a desire to do what is right even though this desire was not necessarily for God-honoring purposes. In that sense, he desired to do right, observe Torah. Yet he does not have the capacity to do so. This is a great example for total depravity of one who has received the oracles of God as a Jew and yet not the ability to fulfill covenant loyalty to God prior to regeneration.

    This interpretation has value since the context is set about the law being holy, just, and GOOD (7:12). Vv. 1-14 are all about the Law and its values (esp. vv. 12-14). Then Paul says that he is only "flesh" sold as a slave to sin in v. 14. And we are to conclude that this is a saved person saying he is a slave to sin when in chpt 6:17-18 he just talked about being freed from sin and a slave to righteousness and God?!?!
     
  13. freeatlast

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    Let me pose something to you that I feel is a mass misconception in many biblically educated people. First just to let you know I do not disagree with you about the passage dealing with an unregenerate person although I think there is more to it then that. Back to what I wanted to deal with. Here is what you said:
    "I agree that the unregenerate man has no desire to do what is right in the sense of general morality and a sense of pleasing God."

    I believe that statement is incorrect. It is too absolute. I have known a few Jewish people who are not Christians and they had a passion for God and all He represents in holiness, except the cross. They will tell you that they want to please God. I also know many gentiles who are religious, though not saved and hold a desire to please God. They want please to God even though they are not saved.
     
    #13 freeatlast, Nov 7, 2011
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  14. kyredneck

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    You may be splitting the proverbial hair here. I think it's safe to surmise that there was a significant Jewish contingent at the Church at Rome. Paul seems to be directly addressing Jews at times in the epistle, and in 7:1 he says "Or are ye ignorant, brethren (for I speak to men who know the law)". Perhaps some of this escapes us because we weren't raised up under the law? Just throwing that out there.
     
    #14 kyredneck, Nov 7, 2011
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  15. kyredneck

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    I Am A Stranger Here Below (Old Baptist Hymn) (Listen to)

    (Derived from the spiritual truths contained in Romans 7)

    I am a stranger here below,
    And what I am tis hard to know;
    I am so vile, so full of sin,
    I fear that I'm not born again.

    When I experience call to mind,
    My understanding is so blind;
    All feeling sense seems to be gone,
    Which makes me fear that I am wrong.

    I find myself out of the way,
    My thoughts are often gone astray;
    Like one alone I seem to be
    Oh! Is there anyone like me?

    It's seldom I can ever see
    Myself as I would wish to be;
    What I desire I can't attain,
    From what I hate, I can't refrain.

    My nature is so prone to sin,
    Which makes my duty so unclean;
    That when I count up all the cost,
    Without free grace, I know I'm lost.


    "Which makes my duty so unclean"; how many times you've gone to Church (out of duty, last place you want to be) knowing what you've been thinking, or what you've done the past week, or yesterday, but you go anyway and perform your duty, irregardless, knowing what you really are? Without free grace, I know I'm lost.

    Wretched man that I am!
     
    #15 kyredneck, Nov 7, 2011
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  16. kyredneck

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    I believe the passage to be a lamentation of Paul which is not unlike some of the Psalms or other scriptures.

    If the Spirit were not present there would be no conflict or remorse for sin.
     
  17. freeatlast

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    Just because the word spirit is usedd it does not always mean the Holy Spirit.
     
  18. kyredneck

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    His Jewish brethren (7:1) would definitely relate with his lamentation of the power of the law of sin that is within.
     
    #18 kyredneck, Nov 7, 2011
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  19. freeatlast

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    That is not what is happening. Paul is relating to their lamenting because they are trying to straddle the fence by living under law while having some type of belief in Jesus. They need set free by coming all the way to Jesus.
     
  20. kyredneck

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    Paul is lamenting, not he Jewish Christians. but, you strike close to articulating a point that I've felt is an underlying intent of Paul's letter to the Roman Church. Their influence in that Church was [at the least] significant, and a whole lot of Paul's message to the Roman Church centers around 'God is no respector of persons' concerning Jew and Gentile, there is no difference between the two in God's eyes.

    I fail to see where there's any indication of those Jews 'straddling the fence' as you say. I get the feeling he was trying to subtlely put the Jews on the same plane as the Gentiles at the Roman Church; although there's no indication of any problem in that area. Preemptive on his part, maybe?
     
    #20 kyredneck, Nov 7, 2011
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