Understanding Romans 8:5-9

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Van, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. Van

    Van
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    Who are those who are “according to the flesh?” They are natural fallen people, unsaved, unelected and unregenerate. They are “in Adam” and not “in Christ.”

    What are the “things of the flesh?” They are, in this context, ungodly behaviors such as immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing and things like these.

    Who are those who are “according to the Spirit?” They are people who have been elected, saved and regenerated (born anew). They are “in Christ because God transferred them from the realm of darkness (in Adam) into the Kingdom of Christ.

    What are the “things of the Spirit?” They are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

    So our first question, and one we will revisit as we work our way through the passage, is whether those who are according to the flesh do at times set their minds on godly things, even though their natural inclination would be set their minds on the things of the flesh. And the answer is verse 5 does not say.

    Why is the mind set on the flesh death? This refers to the result or outcome of such behavior. If we set our minds on the things of the flesh, ungodly sinful things, we will reap corruption, and become more hardened and that path leads to death.

    Why is the mind set on the Spirit life and peace. If we set our minds on the Spirit we will reap the rewards on following the paths of righteousness, i.e. the things of the Spirit including but not mentioned above eternal life. Paul provides a caveat later in the passage for this outcome.

    Thus Paul is contrasting our position – in Adam or in Christ – with the behaviors that go with those positions, ungodly behaviors with godly behaviors.

    Next, Paul addresses additional things that go with being in Adam and setting our minds of the flesh. First, the mind set on flesh, referring to the things of the flesh or ungodliness is (1) hostile toward God, and (2) not in submission to God’s law. Then Paul adds those whose mind is set on the things of the flesh are not able to either be devoted to God or follow the law. This is because they are doing just the opposite. It is impossible to be godly at the same time as being ungodly.

    And finally, Paul says those who are “in the flesh” cannot please God. Here we have a difficulty. In the flesh can mean in the natural fallen unregenerate unsaved state, or simply the condition of a person in either state, setting their minds on things of the flesh. However, here, I think Paul is saying in addition to points one and two, unsaved people cannot please God even if they set their minds on godly behavior because all our works of righteousness are as filthy rags. This view would bolster his argument for godly behavior of those in Christ, because we were created for good works.

    Here in verse 9 Paul shifts his topic from the expected behaviors of those who are according to the Spirit to the essential prerequisite of being “according to the Spirit” rather than striving to please God with godly behavior. Unless we have been born anew, and sealed with the Holy Spirit in Christ, such that we are in Christ and Christ is in us, our efforts at godliness will not please God.

    And if we continue reading in Romans 8 we will see that if Christ is in us we have God as our Daddy (Abba) and we are [spiritual] children of God.

    Now lets return to our unanswered question, does this passage say or suggest those who are according to the flesh, unregenerate and unsaved, cannot at any time set their minds on spiritual things such as the milk of the gospel.
    And the answer is no. In fact it suggests godly behavior cuts no ice if we are according to the flesh.
     
  2. Iconoclast

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  3. Van

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    Iconoclast says I ignored Romans 8:7-8, but I quoted the verses, NASB version, and I addressed them in detail. I addressed that people cannot be hostile to God and devoted to God at the same time.

    What Calvinists do, and I try not to do, is to extrapolate statements beyond what is actually said. What the verse says is when the mind of the unregenerate is set on the flesh, then they are unable to submit to the law. It does not say the unregenerate are unable to set their minds on anything but the flesh at all times. This is the unwarranted extrapolation of Calvinism and reflects shoddy bible study.

    But why not "assume" that is implied, for the verse also does not say they can set their minds anywhere other than the things of the flesh?
    If we look at 1 Corinthians 2:14 to 3:3 we see that unregenerates cannot, are unable, to discern the spiritual things which are discerned with the aid of our indwelt Spirit. But we see those who are indwelt can set their minds on the things of the flesh, and we see that men in the flesh, i.e. unregenerate men, can understand the milk of the gospel. QED
     
    #3 Van, Feb 11, 2012
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  4. beameup

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    Walking “according to the flesh” is not "being hostile to God",
    it is simply using your own SELF to guide you instead of using
    the SPIRIT to guide you. You can walk “according to the flesh”
    and be a very, very religious person; knowing and quoting all sorts
    of scripture (even in different languages).
    "Walking according to the flesh" is synonymous with "carnal":
    And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual,
    but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
    - 1 Cor 3:1


    The SELF or EGO is what you have inside that guides all your
    decisions in life from birth onward (the "little God", if you will).
    If God intervenes in your life and you are confronted with the
    Holiness of God, then your self/ego can "die" and you will be born again.
    This does not mean that your ego controlled flesh somehow just "disappears" ... poof!
    The Ego-Directed or Self-Directed Christian cannot produce fruit which will last into eternity.
    The Human Ego/Self is in conflict with the Holy Spirit of God.
     
    #4 beameup, Feb 11, 2012
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  5. Van

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    Thanks Beameup, while I disagree, your post was directed squarely at the issue!

    I think when we are walking according to the flesh we are being hostile toward God. His Law forbids the sins in view and therefore we are at that moment in time being hostile toward God and friendly toward the world, James 4:4.

    However, a person who is "according to the flesh" can in outward appearance "walk according to the Spirit" with a lip service commitment to God. These are the tares among our professing brethren.

    Last point, Paul speaks of the "inner man" and the "old man" You might want to study these passages and see if you think they are the same thing. Romans 7:22; 2 Corinthians 4:16; Ephesians 3:16; Ephesians 4:22; Colossians 3:6; and Romans 6:6
     
    #5 Van, Feb 11, 2012
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  6. beameup

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    Thanks, but I have personally "experienced" it.... and then I was directed to all
    the scriptures so that I might fully understand "the architecture of man".
    This is not "theory" to me, nor did I learn it from any man or book by man.

    Unfortunately, Romans 8 is aimed squarely at Christians, especially in this present age.
    Sadly, the "normal" Christian life of Paul's time is very rare indeed in these "last days".
    Like John says: "he who has an ear".

    I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. - Gal 5:16
     
    #6 beameup, Feb 11, 2012
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  7. Iconoclast

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    Your post denies the truth Paul sets out;
    7because the mind of the flesh [is] enmity to God, for to the law of God it doth not subject itself,

    8for neither is it able; and those who are in the flesh are not able to please God.

    as usual....you cannot accept the text as written...it says cannot, it is unable...you re-write to say it can. then throw in the anti cal reference:(

    beamup uses the apostle sigmund freud,along with the carnal christian heresy to explain the text...instead of the biblical language.
     
  8. Van

    Van
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    Reply to misrepresentation;

    First take note that the version posted seems to be Young's Literal Translation. Does the flesh have its own mind? Yes according to Iconoclast. Van says no. The actual idea is if we set our minds on fleshly thoughts and desires our viewpoint will be hostile toward God. But if we set our minds on godly thoughts and desires our viewpoint will be friendly toward God. And in a similar way, when our mind is set of fleshly thoughts and desires, we are unable to submit to the Law of God for those are opposite viewpoints.

    What the verse says is when the mind of the unregenerate is set on the flesh, then they are unable to submit to the law. It does not say the unregenerate are unable to set their minds on anything but the flesh at all times. This is the unwarranted extrapolation of Calvinism and reflects shoddy bible study.

    But why not "assume" that is implied, for the verse also does not say they can set their minds anywhere other than the things of the flesh?
    If we look at 1 Corinthians 2:14 to 3:3 we see that unregenerates cannot, are unable, to discern the spiritual things which are discerned with the aid of our indwelt Spirit. But we see those who are indwelt can set their minds on the things of the flesh, and we see that men in the flesh, i.e. unregenerate men, can understand the milk of the gospel.

    It is the Calvinists who do not accept what scripture says and adds to it, but with no actual basis in the text.
     
    #8 Van, Feb 11, 2012
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  9. Iconoclast

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    You contradict yourself in your own post which leads to your error...right here;

    who is indwelt ...in your understanding? regenerate only, unregenerate?or both?
    No...you "see"that. Paul says the mind set on the flesh is death romans 8:6
    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.
    Paul a calvinist does not play word games as you do. he tells the truth


    You think you "see that" but no verse says that.. you say it to pervert the teaching...and you do it wilfully:thumbsup:

    Well no ...we see the exact opposite in your post here,there, and everywhere.
     
  10. Van

    Van
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    Charge from Calvinist, I contradict myself. Fact, I do not. Thus a calculated spurious charge without merit. That is all these people offer, false charges and silly arguments.

    Next, the Calvinist suggests I do not know who is indwelt. Talk about pure twaddle.

    Next we see a wholesale demonstration of Calvinism denying the very words of scripture. The babes in Christ, and they would be regenerate and indwelt, have set their minds on fleshly desires.

    And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, 3 for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? NASB

    Paul's list of the things of the flesh include jealousy. QED
     
  11. Van

    Van
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    Folks, Calvinism is false doctrine, and it is obvious if you just read scripture. They deny verse after verse, James 2:5 does not mean what it says, 1 Corinthians 2:14-3:3 does not mean what it says, Romans 9:16 does not mean what it says, Romans 8:5-9 does not mean what it says, and on and on.

    The OP explains my view of Romans 8:5-9, and thus far no credible argument has been offered to refute my view.

    I was charged with not addressing Romans 8:7-8, but I quoted it and explained my view of it. False charge #1.

    I contradict myself. False charge #2

    I willfully pervert scripture. False charge #3

    In baseball, three strikes and you are out. :)
     
  12. Iconoclast

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    fiddlesticks,and twaddle:laugh::laugh::laugh:
     
  13. jbh28

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  14. Iconoclast

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    :laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:
     
  15. beameup

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    Context: Paul speaking to Christians - those who sew to the flesh and those who sew to the Spirit:
    Gal 6:6-8
    Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.

    Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap


    For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; [sew to flesh = no eternal rewards]
    but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting [sew to the Spirit = eternal rewards]

    2 Cor 5:10
    For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ;
    that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done,
    whether it be good
    [walking in the Spirit, sewing to the Spirit]
    or bad. [walking in the flesh, sewing to the flesh]

    Clearly, Christians have the option to either walk (sew) in the flesh or walk (sew) in the Spirit.

    At the judgment: did you walk in the Spirit and produce Spiritual rewards;
    or did you walk in the Flesh (ego) and produce no rewards?
     
  16. Van

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    One of the hallmarks of Calvinism's defense is they charge their opponents with whatever they are doing. They charge me with altering the text, perverting the teaching to use Iconoclasts words, but Calvinism is the doctrine of adding to the text. Here we have a verse that says when our minds are set on the flesh we are unable to submit to the law. Calvinism adds "unable at any time." But this extrapolation is not actually in the text. So they charge me with adding to the text and sidestep, do not address that Calvinism has added it to the text.

    One of the flaws in Calvinism's hermeneutics is that it does not stick with the minimum scope or extent of a statement, they take the scope or extent beyond what the context supports. Hence, rather than when our minds are set on the flesh, Calvinists say it means at all times, whether or not our minds are set on the flesh because unregenerate men are unable to set their minds on godly things. But men of flesh, unregenerate men, can understand the milk of the gospel, obviously they can set their minds on godly things. Therefore the Calvinist extrapolation is unwarranted. QED
     
  17. Van

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    Why are the Calvinists so upset? Because this passage is one of their "proof" texts where they take something in scripture said and extrapolate it beyond what the context supports. This same behavior where Calvinism takes a passage out of context and extrapolates its scope can be found all through the list of proof texts. But as the OP shows, this behavior does not stand up to study.
     
    #17 Van, Feb 12, 2012
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  18. HankD

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    A good example of the fickleness of our human heart is shown by Peter when (in Matthew 16) he proclaims a revelation given to him by God the Father concerning Christ as "the Son of the Living God" a nd Jesus calls him "blessed", then just a few verses later Jesus calls him "satan" rebuking him for his fleshy thinking.

    HankD
     
  19. Van

    Van
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    Yes we can find this capacity to look up or look down all through scripture, whether saved or unsaved. Consider the rich young ruler who came to Jesus looking for a works based salvation. What must I do? The whole premise that the unsaved cannot seek God or put their wholehearted trust in Jesus is shown to be false throughout God's word.
     
  20. HankD

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    I agree, and that from the very beginng.
    God is capable of whatever He wants, whatever pleases him

    It pleased him to speak with Cain to offer a proper sacrifice.

    Of course Cain really messed up (we all know the story).
    Then after another discourse Cain prayed to God for protection and God answered his prayer.

    HankD
     

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