Romans 7, understanding Romans 7 from Ephesians chapter 2.

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Romans7man, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. Romans7man

    Romans7man
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    This is one of three threads I started on the study of Romans 7. It got no replies in the other section, so hopefully it will here.

    Many see Romans 7 as a saved man because they see chapter 7 being in a line of progression, in chronological order, of going from depravity (1:18-3:20), to saved by faith (3:21-6:23), to struggling (7), to victory (8).

    It is because chapter 7 is so far removed from the depravity of man in 1:18-3:20 they don't make the connection. But as we will see from Ephesians 2 Paul uses the same train of thought as he did in Romans. It's not exact, but it is so close I believe it can be used to defend my interpretation of how I see Romans 7 as a lost man.

    Ephesians 2:1-3, the depravity of man in sin. This can be compared to Romans 1:18-3:20.

    Ephesians 2:4-10, the gospel. This can be compared to Romans 3:21-7:6.

    Ephesians 2:11 and 12, looking back. As is Romans 7 so far removed from 1:18-3:20, this to is far removed from the depravity mentioned in Ephesians 2:1-3. So this can be compared to Romans 7, remembering our former life to make a contrast to our new life in Christ.

    Ephesians 2:13-22, just as we have the promises of overcoming sin, by walking in the Spirit, in Romans 8, here we have the promises of God through Christ in Ephesians 2:13-22

    Ephesians 2:1-3, lost condition.
    Ephesians 2:4-10, The gospel. (present tenses)
    Ephesians 2:11 and 12, remembering (past tense)
    Ephesians 2:13-22, moving forward (present tense)
     
  2. Jerry Shugart

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    How about this verse?:

    "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" (Ro.7:25).

    How could Paul say that with his mind he serves the law of God if he was speaking as an unsaved man?

    I think he makes a distinction between the flesh (being self centered) and the mind (being God centered) and when he is living a self centered life he cannot serve the law of God:

    "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" (Ro.7:18).

    Then Paul says that the "law of sin" (being self centered) wars against the "law of his mind" (being God centered) and this leads to him being controlled by his self centeredness which leads to him sinning:

    "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" (Ro.7:23).

    That is the same thing he talked about in the next chapter in regard to the Christian's "walk":

    "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For 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: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For 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" (Ro.8:1-5).
     
    #2 Jerry Shugart, Dec 31, 2011
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  3. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: I might take a shot at answering that. Paul's testimony is that he had lived in all good conscience unto the day he stood before the High Priest. He had said that as touching the righteousness of the law he was blameless. If he was not, in all the light and knowledge he had, serving the law with his mind, how could he have said the things he said?

    Php 3:6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
     
    #3 Heavenly Pilgrim, Dec 31, 2011
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  4. Jerry Shugart

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    I believe that he was saying that in the eyes of others he was blameless because here he says that he was not blameless in regard to the righteousness of the law:

    "What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died" (Ro.7:7-9).

    Now, let us look at this verse which you cited:

    "And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day" (Acts 23:1).

    I believe that Paul was pleading his case where he was charged with being "a mover of sedition" among the Jews:

    "For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes" (Acts 24:5).

    I do not think that when Paul said that he had lived "in all good conscience" that he was speaking of his life from birth to that point in time because he persecuted the church and he broke the commandment which said, "Thou shalt not covet." He also said:

    "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief" (1 Tim.1:15).
     
  5. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: We have the starting of a great debate!

    Back to Romans7man.:smilewinkgrin:


     
  6. Romans7man

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    Are you saying only saved people keep the law (or at least try)? I can think of a number of denominations that try and keep the law in order to either get saved or stay saved.

    One of Paul's points here is they were only keeping the law in their mind, but were not able to keep it in the flesh. In other words, they were not keeping the law. As Paul says in Romans 8:3, the law was weak through the flesh.

    Paul covers this way back in chapters 2 and 3 where he says the Jew rested in the law, but were not actually doing the law.

    Romans 8:1 is about chapter 5.
    Romans 8:2 is about chapter 6.
    Romans 8:3 is about chapter 7.
    Romans 8:4 is about chapter 8.

    Chapter 7 is about the weakness of the flesh and it is because of that weakness we are not able to keep the law, therefore that is why we are lost to begin with.
    From the very beginning sin came at us by the means of the flesh. Lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, pride of life. It is this outward man that we see that enslaves the inward man that we can't see, always has been.

    God created us to be in fellowship with Him and Him being our pilot over the flesh. Being born estranged from God and that fellowship, our spirit is out of proportion to our flesh, world, and Satan. Being left to ourselves we can not, on a continual basis, overcome sin. Not will not, but can not, because of the weakness of the flesh. Christ comes along and crucifies the flesh and puts it to death. We are filled with the Holy Spirit and as we yield to the Spirit and not to the flesh, we overcome sin.

    Now, as for the "I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord". That is an interjection of praise. Paul is so excited he is not that man any longer, he thanks God for it. The conclusion to 7:7-25 is the next sentence. So then, begins his conclusion.
     
  7. Romans7man

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    Php 3:6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

    This verse is generally brought up as a defense of those that hold to Romans 7 is a saved man. They will say, Paul did not think of himself as to have sinned, because he was convinced he was righteous when held up next to the law's standards. Maybe, but I don't know of any Jews that thought they never sinned. Even the High Priest made sacrifice for his own sins before going into the Holy of Hollies.
    This is just my perspective here, but I think when Paul made the comment of "touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless" he was not saying he never sinned, but rather if he did sin he went through the proper requirements in the law to make atonement for them. Therefore, he could say he was blameless. I'm sure someone will find fault with that, but with everything I read that sounds like as logical solution as any.
     
  8. Romans7man

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    I hope so! Romans is a good study, but it seems that this chapter is one of a lot of debate.
     
  9. Jerry Shugart

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    There is nothing inherently bad about our bodies so none of our sins can be blamed on that. When Paul is speaking about being in the flesh he is not speaking about the body or otherwise we must believe that we are not now in our bodies:

    "But 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" (Ro.8:9).

    It is only when the Christian walks in the Spirit that he can truly serve the Law:

    "That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Ro.8:4).
    Once again, I believe that when the word "flesh" is referred to the meaning is in regard to being "self-centered." When the "mind" is being referred to I believe that the reference is in regard to being God-centered, as are the terms "in the Spirit" and "walking...after the Spirit."

    The things of which Paul speaks in these verses in the seventh chapter of Romans are very closely related to what is said about the Christian's "walk" in the very next chapter. I do not believe that this is a mere coincidence but instead Paul is laying the foundation for the truths which he reveals in chapter eight in regard to the Christian's "walk."
     
  10. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    This is going to be a difficult task if we desire to keep the interest of the reader. We have to address one or two issues at the most in a concise fashion. I will start anywhere you two desire to start. How about Romans 7: 7-9 since Jerry mentined this portion? If Romans7man wants to back back up, just say so.
    Paul was speaking there of a time prior to his understanding of the law, entirely possible prior to his moral agency. He, looking in retrospect to a time where sin was not a reality, having not been a moral agent or had no understanding or light on covetousness, saw in retrospect his former actions as contrary to the law. Upon receiving light, the new light smote his conscience to the point he purposed from then on to live in accordance to the light he received concerning covetousness. Sin is not sin until one has first has light. He well could have been a moral agent and simply did not have the light until the point in time he is speaking of.
     
  11. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Key point: Paul, obviously in light of his testimony before the council, had no guilt of past actions at the time they were committed, obviously due to a lack of light at the time such actions were committed. In yet another place he speaks of doing it in ignorance, and for that reason God used him so mightily.
     
    #11 Heavenly Pilgrim, Dec 31, 2011
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  12. Jerry Shugart

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    Paul certainly believed that he died spiritually as a result of his sin so I believe that this tells us that he broke this commandment after he knew its truth.
     
  13. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    What if I said it is a mystery?:saint:
     
  14. Jerry Shugart

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    I find it difficult to believe that Paul had no guilt in regard to his actions which lead to the death and persecution and punishment of believers (Acts 22:3-5). I cannot see how he would have any excuse for not believing that the Lord Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, especially considering the fact that many Jews believed those facts.
    Could you please be more specific?

    Thanks!
     
  15. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Seriously, we would all most likely agree that Paul's life is extremely out of the ordinary, much like John being filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother womb. With that said, I will explain it in the following manner.

    Just as God called Job perfect, and yet in retrospect after God gave Job new revelation Job saw himself as a sinner, Paul in retrospect after receiving new light saw himself in retrospect as the chief of sinners. Obviously , from God's testimony of Job, God had not accounted sin to Job, or if He had, he had received forgiveness and was walking perfect before God when God addressed Satan concerning him.

    Paul said he was ignorant of the transgression, doing them in ignorance or without knowledge of them being sin at the time they were committed, and for this reason God used him as He did. He was a strange example of a man indeed.

    1Ti 1:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
    1Ti 1:13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
     
    #15 Heavenly Pilgrim, Dec 31, 2011
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  16. Romans7man

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    I agree, there is nothing inherently "wrong" with our body of flesh, but as Paul says, "the law was weak through the flesh". The law is only weak because of the weakness or inability of the flesh.
    When Jesus was in the garden just before he was arrested he told his disciples to pray. They just fell asleep. After a couple of times Jesus said, The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. He was not talking about the Holy Spirit, but man's spirit.

    When Paul is speaking of the flesh, he indeed is referring to the body. Read through and see how many times he refers to the flesh, members, and body. We are in the body of Christ, because we are no longer in ours'.

    I realize this does not make any sense, but we are not looking at this with our physical eyes. We walk by faith, not by sight. Christ came just as we are, Flesh and bone. It was His flesh that was crucified. It was His flesh that was buried. It was His flesh that was raised. When we believe, we enter into that death, burial, and resurrection. We are now bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh. As long as you continue to look at all this outside of faith, you will not believe Paul.

    The flesh is the old man that was crucified in chapter 6. The first husband is the flesh in 7:1-6. Christ is the second husband. The first husband is also representative of Adam in chapter 5 and we are taken out of Adam and placed in Christ.

    Romans 7:1-3 is about chapter 5.
    Romans 7:4 is about chapter 6.
    Romans 7:5 is about chapter 7:7-25.
    Romans 7:6 is about chapter 6.
     
  17. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Just as a man as a soldier can kill without committing murder, Paul, under the authority of the council could have well did what he did thinking he was in fact carrying out God's work. How else could he say he had lived in all good conscience? He said he did it ignorantly. He had no knowledge that what he was doing was against God.
     
  18. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Some in the last days will l kill believers believing they are doing God a service. They well may not be held accountable for that specific action but they certainly will for other actions of sin that they did at least at one time have knowledge of. They may be fully guilty of repressing the truth at some point which led to their heinous actions in the end. God may have revealed light to them in other areas, but they rejected that light and that light became darkness, and oh how great that darkness becomes.

    Somewhere those in the last days spoken of have been deceived. They will be held accountable for what they have knowledge of, the light they had at one time been given, not what they honestly do not have knowledge of.
     
  19. Romans7man

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    In Paul's zeal for "serving" God, he thought he was honoring God by punishing those "law breaking Christians". One must remember, when the Church first begun it was mainly Jewish and law breaking Jews had to be dealt with, The law required it. Again, Paul thought he was serving God and keeping the law by punishing law breakers. The veil was still on his eyes and he was doing all this in ignorance.
     
  20. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP:Well stated. I need to quit stumbling through this discussion and simply listen to you and Jerry debate. Both of you do a better job than myself, and are certainly better writers. :thumbsup:
     

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