The Law rules over all mankind for as long as he lives

Fred R. Coulter—August 5, 2017

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As we're going along with this Mystery of Protestantism, let's just summarize: John 5 tells us you have to have:

  • the Father
  • the Son
  • the Word of God
  • the love of God dwelling in you

In Jeremiah 23 we'll understand perfectly this problem of the false prophets in the latter days. God says:

Jeremiah 23:22: "But if they had stood in My counsel and had caused My people to hear My words, then they would have turned them from their evil way and from the evil of their doings." They do this partly.

  • Are there a lot of people out there trying to stop abortion? Yes!
  • Are there a lot of people out there trying to stop drugs? Yes!
  • Are there people out there saying, 'You need Jesus to help you so you can overcome'? Yes!

All of those things fit right here. Salvation is:

  • a calling
  • answering the call
  • repentance
  • baptism
  • you enter into the covenant

The Protestants think they're under the New Covenant, but they are not. They can claim it. They can claim the grace of God, but even all of those things are not true, according to the Word of God.

Let's review just a little bit of covenants. What is the key covenant this side of the Flood, after Noah's? Noah's covenant was with every living thing on the earth, that God wouldn't flood it again. What was the key covenant after that? Abraham! That covered two very important things:

  • physical descendants, as the sand of the sea
  • spiritual descendants, as the stars of heaven

In order to guarantee that, Abraham prepared the offering, but God walked between that special covenant sacrifice. Walking between, He guaranteed His death. His death accomplished two major things when we come to the time that He died.

When Abraham was 99-years-old, there was the covenant of circumcision. That was Abraham's covenant sacrifice for the physical seed, shed blood. He had to wait until Isaac was born. Then what did God ask him to do? A New Covenant thing! You have to forsake everything for God!Think about that.

'You take Isaac. You go over here to the mountains of Moriah and you offer him where I show you to offer him.' What would have happened if Isaac had been killed in that sacrifice? God would have broken the covenant! But God cannot, will not ever lie. When you read in the Old Testament, it's not God Who broke the covenant. It's the people who broke the covenant.

That's why there were always the conditions: IF you diligently do this, you do that, and you do the other thing, I'll bless you. Your enemies are My enemies and your foes are My foes. I'll fight for you, but if not, cursed shall you be in the city, store, everything you do.' Those are the terms of the covenant. All of the men had to be circumcised on the eighth day. Women did not participate in the circumcision until they were married.

This brings us all the way down to Christ. Remember, the Jews learned the lessons about idolatry and that's why when we come to Romans, there's a lot there that has to do with Judaism, but it also affects Protestantism as well. That's the important thing. Protestantism must have those five things that we mentioned:

  • the Father
  • the Son
  • the Word of God dwelling in them
  • love of God dwelling in them
  • believing in the teachings of Jesus

Let's come to the book of Romans and we'll just review a couple of things. Remember covenant law. Sometimes it's good to back off and just take an overview of everything, after you understand the details.

Rom. 1 shows what happens to any society, be it Israel or the Jews, or the Gentiles. They end up in debauchery and sin, and God has to carry them off.

Rom. 2—the way that you overcome sin in your personal life is by repentance and believing God. Repentance means to stop sinning—'sin is the transgression of the Law'—turn around and go the other way.

You cannot be forgiven until you repent. You can't be standing there with a machine gun and say, 'Oh, God, forgive me for killing all these people.' You might say that's a ludicrous example. May be, but it's true.

Rom. 3 shows the sacrifice of Christ. The covenant that He established with Abraham carries over to the New Covenant.

Galatians 3:29: "And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

When the Lord God walked between the sacrifice that Abraham prepared for Him, that was a symbol that His covenant—both for the physical seed and the spiritual seed—would happen.

A covenant is binding from the beginning of the agreement and the shedding of the blood. Not like a will and testimony.

Someone can have a will and testimony. It's all written out and 'I'm going to give so much to this one, and so much to that one, so much to the other one.' But one went off the deep end and went bad, so what can you do? You call up your attorney and say, 'I'm going to change my will.' That happens. Then when they're all gathered around—you've seen this on television—the one that was the worst thought he would get the most and got nothing.

A covenant is different. A covenant, your word must be true from the start all the way through. If you change it, you must die. That's why God walked between the parts:

  • to secure the covenant
  • to prophesy of His future death

Because in order to enact the spiritual covenant, He had to end the physical covenant. In ending the physical covenant with Israel, that did not end the promises that were given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob concerning the destiny of their children in history down through time. Those were secure. That's why God Himself had to come in the flesh and give Himself as a sacrifice to cover many things.

What is it that we all have inside of us? The Law of sin and death! How did that get there? God put it there in Adam and Eve! Then He prophesied that He was going to come and pay the price. Isn't that interesting? The very first prophecy in the Bible covers everything to the end of Rev. 20 and on into 21 & 22. Isn't that an amazing thing when you think about that?

In order to become the sacrifice, the One Who gave 'the law of sin and death' in us had to die. He had to take 'the law of sin and death' within His flesh. If it was impossible for Him to ever sin, what good would His sacrifice have been to cover 'the law of sin and death'?

  • God is just
  • God is righteous
  • God is fair

Therefore, Rom. 3 shows only with the sacrifice and shed blood of Jesus Christ does God forgive sin spiritually unto eternal life. That's what we're talking about here. Rom. 4 & 5 talk about Abraham. Here's how he covers that part of it:

Romans 5:12: "Therefore, as by one man sin entered into the world…" It says Eve was deceived and was in transgression. A lot of people say, 'Eve is the problem.' No, Adam could have stopped it. He knew better!

Verse 12: "Therefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and by means of sin came death; and in this way death passed into all mankind; and it is for this reason that all have sinned" (v 12). That's defined a little later as 'the law of sin and death.'

His sacrifice, as I pointed out, He was actually baptized in His own blood with the sacrifice that He did. It wasn't just that He had a spear pierced His side, He was beaten, He was scourged, everything, almost to the point of those animals of Gen. 15. Look at how comparable that was. Shed all of His blood, Creator God for all mankind. All sins have not been forgiven, but the means to forgive sin now individually is available. God is the One Who calls (John 6:44-45).

What sacrifice do we have today? There are two things to the sacrifice we have today:

  • repentance
  • baptism

Then where we first started:

  • God the Father
  • Jesus Christ
  • the Word of God
  • the love of God
  • Moses

See how all of that comes together?

  • What is our sacrifice?
  • Your right hand?
  • Your left foot?
  • What's the closest thing you can come to death and yet not die?
  • Baptism!

That's why Rom. 6 is so important. This is how the circumcision of the heart takes place.

We're just about ready to get to Rom. 7. You'll understand why I'm taking this long route to get there, because Paul wrote some things very difficult to understand, especially if you're out in the world and the only thing you have known is Protestantism and you come and start reading the Bible—especially Romans, Galatians and Hebrews—you think sure enough the law's been done away because of:

  • mistranslation
  • misinterpretation
  • lack of obedience

Baptism, we've covered. You are conjoined to His death. His death was a covenant death. His death also, as we will see when we get to Rom. 7, nullified the covenant with Israel. You can't have both of the covenants running at the same time. So it nullified it.

The choice for God was that in order to end the covenant with Israel, He would have to kill all the Israelites and all the Jews for Himself. But God has greater plans for all of mankind. So, He has to have something for all of mankind. That's why the Creator of mankind came and did what He did, and died. He was beaten in the way that He was beaten, and crucified, and all of that.

Romans 6:4: "Therefore, we were buried with Him through the baptism into the death… [v 5]: For if we have been conjoined together in the likeness of His death, so also shall we be in the likeness of His resurrection. Knowing this, that our old man was co-crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be destroyed…" (vs 4-6). That's the body of sin within us.

We're going to read a certain part in Rom. 8 that looks like when you're baptized God removes 'the law of sin and death.' But that's not true! Most of Rom. 7 must be applied spiritually, not just carnally, but spiritually.

"…so that we might no longer be enslaved to sin" (v 6). What most people in the world don't know is they're enslaved to sin. Everything they do is right in their own eyes. Even if they do wrong, they think they're going to get away with it.

Every once in a while when the news is real boring, I turn to I Almost Got Away With It. Every single one of those who escaped from prison think they're going to get away with it. Even one man got away with murder for twenty years, but they caught him. They think they're right. 'If I can win a million dollars, I'll lie,' because getting the million dollars is the goal.

They may know right and wrong, and especially apply it to other people. 'He shouldn't have done that.' True, shouldn't have done it, but what have you done? 'Every way of a man is right or a woman is right in their own eyes.' That's the way it is. They have no consciousness of right and wrong in the way that we who have the Spirit of God are. That's a key to Rom. 7.

Now to show that it's not removed from you, v 9: "Knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has any dominion over Him. For when He died, He died unto sin once for all… [from the beginning to the ending] …but in that He lives, He lives unto God. In the same way also, you should indeed reckon yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God through Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore, do not let sin rule in your mortal body by obeying it in the lusts thereof" (vs 9-12).

What does this verse tell us? Even after baptism, and the circumcision of the heart, you have 'the law of sin' still in you! But now with the Holy Spirit, you don't have to let it rule you! You don't have to let it enslave you. What is the ultimate enslavement of a person? Drug addiction, Satan worship, things like that! They are addicted because they are enslaved. How do they get out of it? They may need a lot of help! Some people can stop cold turkey, others can't.

Likewise, when he says, 'Do not let sin rule in your moral body by obeying it in the lusts thereof.' Do we still have lust? Yes!

Verse 13: "Likewise, do not yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin; rather, yield yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God." If you do that—this is our part, we have to do that:

Verse 14: "For sin shall not rule over you because you are not under law…" As we've covered, everybody in the world is under law. This has nothing to do with trying to earn salvation by commandment-keeping.

"…but under grace" (v 14). What is under grace?

Eph. 2 shows you what grace means. Grace is not just the forgiveness of sin. Grace is your direct connection to God the Father and Jesus Christ! Your fellowship between you and God the Father. That is the grace. Forgiveness is the first step of grace.

  • What else do you need to do?
  • What is the plan of God?
  • What is He going to do with us?
  • What is He working within us?
  • What is the goal?
  • Where are we going?
  • What are we going to do?

Ephesians 2:18: "For through Him we both… [Jews and Gentiles] …have direct access by one Spirit to the Father."

How are we to pray? Our Father! That's the grace. The world does not have that. We are in a covenant relationship with God the Father, through Jesus Christ, to be His sons and daughters, born at the resurrection when Christ returns.

Under grace means you come to God to help you overcome the sin, to help you overcome the lust. That's what the rest of Rom. 6 is all about. Now we are ready for Rom. 7. So let's begin. As we do, we'll ask certain questions as we go along.

Romans 7:1: "Are you ignorant, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know law)… [Who are the ones who knew law? The Jews!] …that the Law rules over a man for as long a time as he may live?"

If the Law is over you, what's another way of describing that? You are under law! Every human being is. All human beings are being judged one of three ways:

  • those who have the Spirit of God unto eternal life
  • those in the world who do not commit the unpardonable sin, but are good people in society
  • those who commit the unpardonable sin

Everybody's in one of those three categories. We'll see what it is with us. It's entirely different for those who have the Spirit of God.

"…the Law rules…" This means rules. What does it say over here? Don't let sin rule in your life! What convicts people of sin their lives? The law! "…the Law rules over a man for as long a time as he may live" (v 1).

Notice what he does, v 2: "For the woman who is married is bound by law to the husband…" Who is he referring to there, other than just a single marriage? Was not the covenant with Israel a marriage? Didn't God say, 'I'm your husband'? Yes, indeed! That covenant cannot be broken by God unless He dies. That's why He died. This is what he's talking about here.

"…as long as he is living; but if the husband should die… [Who died? Jesus! …she is released from the law that bound her to the husband."

With the Jews, as I explained last time, they wouldn't want to worship Jesus or God the Father. So, they have to know that that covenant has ended, been terminated by the death of the husband Jesus Christ.

Verse 3: "So then, if she should marry another man… [Who are we to marry? The risen Christ! That's why He was raised from the dead.] …as long as the husband is living, she shall be called an adulteress…"
Isn't that what God calls Israel all the time? Even Hosea had to marry an adulteress! (Ezek. 16 and 23).

"…but if the husband should die, she is free from the law that bound her to the husband…" (v 3).

Here is an interpretive italic statement put there to clarify. Because in the King James Version it says that you are 'free from the Law.' Protestants read that and say, 'We are not bound to keep the commandments of God.'

Verse 6 (KJV): "But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter."

Verse 4 (KJV): "Wherefore, my brethren, you also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ." So, if you accept Christ, you're dead to the law.

  • What does he mean here law?
  • The Ten Commandments?

"…by the body of Christ; that you should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the lead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God" (v 4).

He's talking about the covenant between God and Israel. Israel being the woman, the man being Christ. You were made dead to the marriage law—that's what we were talking about here. Were we talking about all the Law from Mount Sinai? No! We're talking about the marriage law, covenant law!

Verse 4 (FV): "In the same way, my brethren, you also were made dead to the marriage law of the Old Covenant by the Body of Christ in order for you to be married to another, Who was raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit to God. For as long as were in the flesh… [unconverted] …the passions of sins, which were through the Law… [because where there is no law, there is no sin] …were working within our own members to bring forth fruit unto death" (vs 4-5).

Why? Because the wages of sin is death! Do the people in the world have any consciousness of this? No! Everything seems good to them. 'Every way of a man or woman is right in his own eyes.' The more you watch some of these criminal shows, the more you understand that is true.

Verse 6: "But now we have been released from the Law… [the covenant law] …because we have died… [by baptism] …to that in which we were held… [by being under law] …so that we might serve in newness of the spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter."

Let's analyze this a little bit. Let's read that again, because this is the pivotal point, Verse 6: "But now we have been released from the Law…"—the covenant law.

As far as Jews are concerned, the Father would be a second God. You can only worship the one God. They really didn't comprehend Elohim, having more than one, as we read in John 10 and covered here recently.

You can't be released from the Laws of God, because if that's the case there would be no sin.

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You're released from that covenant law because:

  • the Lord God of the Old Testament died to end it
  • you have died with Him

"…because we have died to that in which we were held…" (v 6). If you were under the Old Covenant you were held under that Old Covenant.

"…so that we might serve in newness of the spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter" (v 6).

  • Is this new teaching?
  • Is this new from what Jesus taught?
  • Did they have the righteousness of the Law? Yes, indeed!

Matthew 5:17: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill." That means to complete and make more binding. Doesn't mean to fulfill, to do away with.

Verse 18: "For truly I say to you, until the heaven and the earth shall pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no way pass from the Law until everything has been fulfilled."

  • That's the Law in the Old Covenant.
  • How about within the New Covenant?
  • Are there jots and tittles to the Greek? Yes!
  • Are they very important? Yes!

Verse 19: "Therefore, whoever shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven…"

  • What is the least commandment that the Protestants think? Sabbath and Holy Days!
  • Catholics? Idols!

"…and shall teach men so…"

  • Is that what they teach?
  • What's their standing in the Kingdom of Heaven? The least!

Doesn't say they'll even be there!

"…But whoever shall practice… [to habitually do; Greek: 'poieo'] …and teach them..." (v 19).

Remember what we covered in Jer. 23, that if the prophets of Baal would teach the people God's Word, then He would turn them from their sins.

  • Do Protestants do that to a good degree? Yes!
  • Do they do good works? Yes!
  • What kind of works are we to have?
  • works of loving God the Father
  • works of loving Jesus Christ
  • good works of God

Verse 20: "For I say to you, unless your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees…" They had all the laws of the Old Testament plus all of their traditions. Unless your righteousness is going to exceed that:

"…there is no way that you shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven…. [Is that not in newness of Spirit?] … You have heard that it was said to those in ancient times, 'You shall not commit murder…'" (vs 20-21). There are varying degrees of killing someone: manslaughter, murder is premeditated, but you could hate someone in your heart.

"…but whoever commits murder shall be subject to judgment" (v 21). How is that judgment supposed to be carried out? They had safety cities where anyone who killed a man could run to and his life would be spared until they had set up a council and judgment to judge what he did.

If he committed murder, he was to be executed. If he committed manslaughter, he could be let off, such as if the head of an ax fell off an ax and killed someone you were working with, that was an accident. There's nothing to pay. If it was something that you had fault, and he died, like with manslaughter, then you would pay so much or you would do something else.

But notice, newness of Spirit, v 22. What Paul is teaching is nothing new from what Christ taught. "But I say to you, everyone who is angry with his brother without cause shall be subject to judgment. Now, you have heard it said, 'Whoever shall say to his brother, "Raca," shall be subject to the judgment of the council.' But I say to you, whoever shall say, 'You fool,' shall be subject to the fire of Gehenna."

Is that not newness of Spirit? Yes, indeed! Then He talks about adultery. He says, v 27: "You have heard that it was said to those in ancient times, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you, everyone who looks upon a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (vs 27-28)—same way with killing.

Here's the ultimate goal of newness of Spirit, v 48: "Therefore, you shall be perfect…" What was it that God told Abraham? Walk before Me and be perfect!

"…you shall be perfect… [how?] …as your Father Who is in heaven is perfect" (v 48). That is the goal, the purest standard of all.

There are many other Scriptures we could tie in with that. Let's see how Rom. 7 applies; let's see what it means. Do those people who keep the letter of the Law of God's commandments, they are doing good as it appears. But what is in the mind? What's in the heart? Everything after Rom. 7:6 shifts from the letter of the Law to the spirit of the Law. That's what everyone misses at this point. It gets confusing otherwise if you don't understand that.

Romans 7:7: "What then shall we say? Is the Law sin? MAY IT NEVER BE!...." The Protestants call the Law a curse. 'We are delivered from the cursed Law.' No! We are delivered from the curse of the Law. What is the curse ofthe Law? The penalty for sin!

You look out in society today. Are God's laws active everywhere in the letter of the Law? Yes, indeed! You look at some of the most idolatrous countries in the world. They have the worst standard of living, the most pitiful. Look at India: 40,000 gods! They can never rise above because of that. So the letter of the Law is applied to all. They're all under Law to God.

He did not comprehend the Ten Commandments. What was Paul before he became an apostle? He was Saul the Pharisee! Did he know the law? But now he's confessing he didn't understand the spirit of the Law. There's a difference.

"…But I had not known sin except through the Law. Furthermore, I would not have been conscious of lust, except that the Law said, 'You shall not covet'" (v 7). Even though many people know that, they don't understand what covetousness is. Covetousness is all the sin within.

Verse 8: "But sin, having grasped an opportunity by the commandment… [because God made the Law] …worked out within me every kind of lust because apart from law, sin was dead."

He began to understand what it meant to covet, what it meant to sin within. Imagine that, here he was, a high official, directly connected with the Sanhedrin and the high priest.

What was Paul's mission? Go out and get all of those Christians and you bring them back to Jerusalem to be punished. He consented to the death of Stephen. He thought he was doing good. 'I was doing exactly what the high priest said.' Didn't the covenant say you shall obey the high priest? These are all idolaters out here! They're worshiping another god! So, Paul didn't understand it. He didn't understand the law, which then is through the lust within.

Verse 9: "For I was once alive without Law…"—without the spiritual knowledge of the Law. He was never alive without law. He understood the Ten Commandments as a Pharisee.

"…but after the commandment came…"—spiritually understood the commandment. That's what that means. That's why these two verses are hard to understand.

Can you ever conceive of Paul being without Law? No, not all! Paul says in Phil. 3 concerning law in the flesh, blameless. So, this doesn't mean he was a wanton criminal. This has to mean he didn't have the spiritual knowledge of what the Law spiritually meant. That's why that's hard to understand.

"…but after the commandment came… [the true knowledge of the commandment came] …sin revived… [Paul saw sin within himself, like he never understood it] …and I died" (v 9). How did he die? Two ways:

  • he saw he was as good as dead when it came to his consciousness
  • when he was baptized

If he died, how could he have written this? Magic from the tomb, my hand came out. Not so! "…sin revived..."

Verse 10: "And the commandment, which was meant to result in life…"

Think about this. This refers to the Old Covenant. Isn't that what God said? 'If you keep these commandments, you will live long and I will bless you. Your children will be blessed.'

Meant to be the life, but spiritually—"…was found to be unto death for me" (v 10). You understand the depths of human nature. That's what he's talking about.

Verse 11: "Because sin, having taken opportunity by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me." He understood the spiritual ramification of lust and the other things of the flesh.

Notice how he explains it in v 12. If you don't understand that he's talking about the spiritual application of the Law, you would have to say that Paul indeed is schizophrenic.

Verse 12: "Therefore, the Law is indeed Holy, and the commandment Holy and righteous and good." In the letter of the Law, yes. In the spirit of the Law, magnified. Jesus came to magnify the Law and make it spiritual or honorable or glorious.

Where does God want obedience? In the heart and mind! But He did not take away 'the law of sin and death.' He gave us the power through His Spirit to overcome it. That's the key. Why? Wouldn't it be a whole lot nicer to have it totally removed? Yes, probably would be! But He would have to make us spirit beings instantly to do that.

So, why? Because to live forever as a spirit being, we have to understand the deep profound evil of sin! That's why we still have to work hard to overcome.

Here he understood the Law for the first time, v 12: "Therefore, the Law is indeed Holy, and the commandment Holy and righteous and good."

Verse 14: "For we know that the Law is spiritual…" He's explaining the spiritual perspective of the Laws of God, the absolute antithesis of doing away with the Laws of God.

But if you would ask a Protestant, he would read that and say, 'We're good enough to keep Sunday. God doesn't want that Sabbath anymore. We're going to have our Sunday Easter ham dinner, love our pork chops and all of our lobsters, shrimp, crab, catfish. What a feast!' Whatever else.

To carry this to an extreme, I've mentioned this several times before, I remember one time I was visiting with a woman. She wanted to know about baptism. She had her Baptist friend there. I was telling her about repentance and about keeping the law and everything like that.

Her Baptist friend butted in and said, 'I don't have to keep the Law at all.' I looked at her and I said, 'Do you believe in the rapture?' She said, 'Oh, yes, indeed.' I said, 'What if when the rapture came and you were in the act of committing adultery with a man, would you be taken in the rapture?' She said, 'Oh, yes, because I can't sin.' I had never heard anything like that in all my life!

Verse 13: "Now then, did that which is good become death to me? MAY IT NEVER BE!.... [Why did that happen that way?] …But sin, in order that it might truly be exposed as sin in me…"

To understand what sin really is—in me. Inner, we're talking spiritual, mental and heart.

" that which is good… [spiritual aspect of the Law] …was working out death; so that by means of the commandment, sin might become exceedingly sinful" (v 13).

You understand the spiritual ramification of it. Now then, here is what we all go through. Sometimes more intensely than other times. That is, fighting the sin within!

Before you're converted, you don't even recognize it. There's a song out there, Watching All the Girls Go By. They're all lusting after all the girls going by.

Now then, the commandment comes and you understand that the thought of lusting after all of those girls is sin. The wages of sin is death. Then you had this is what it's talking about here. You can apply any sin.

Verse 14: "For we know that the Law is spiritual; but I am carnal, having been sold as a slave under sin." That's what we were before baptism.

What did Paul say there in Rom. 6? Don't let sin rule in your mortal body! He didn't say you're going to be without sin. He said don't let it rule!

Verse 15: "Because what I am working out myself… [apart from God, without the knowledge of the spiritual aspect of sin] …I do not know…. [didn't even comprehend what it was] …For what I do not desire to do… [now fighting against sin. It still pops back and he says]: …this I do; moreover, what I hate, this is what I do."

  • Why am I still sinning in my mind? That's the question!
  • What do you do? That's with prayer and study!
  • What do we have to have dwelling in us? The love of God, with all our heart, mind, soul and being! And the Word of God as well.

The only way to overcome the sin within is through:

  • the Spirit of God
  • the grace of God
  • repentance
  • prayer
  • controlling your thoughts

Here's what we are fighting. This is what Paul is talking about in Rom. 8 in a different manner, than he does in 2-Cor. 10.

2-Corinthians 10:3: "For although we walk in the flesh… [yes, we're still fleshly] …we do not war according to the flesh." We don't become better people by ten points of how to be a successful person.

Verse 4: "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal…" No, it has to be with:

  • the Spirit of God
  • the Spirit of Christ in us
  • the Word of God
  • Truth
  • loving God

Those are all spiritual!

"…but mighty through God to the overthrowing of strongholds" (v 4). Where are the strongholds still? This is why perfection will not come until the resurrection! But we have to understand how to:

  • overcome sin
  • fight evil
  • cleanse our minds
  • cleanse our thoughts
  • overcome passions
  • overcome lusts

Why? Because this gives you the desire to love and serve God even more! Here's what we are to do. I'm sure you can relate to this very clearly.

Verse 5: "Casting down vain imaginations…" What goes on in the mind? We're all talking to ourselves all the time. I answer myself, too!

"…and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God…" (v 5). What exalts itself against the knowledge of God? A little sin won't hurt! A little lust is enjoyable!

"…and bringing into captivity every thought into the obedience of Christ" (v 5). That's the working of 'the law of sin and death' within us that we go along and we do things we don't want to do and we didn't desire to do it, but we did it. That's what Paul is explaining in Rom. 7.

Verse 6: "And having a readiness to avenge all disobedience, whenever your obedience has been fulfilled"—spiritually.

This is the inner battle. You really can't understand Rom. 7 unless you understand the shift in v 6 from 'in the letter of the Law,' to the 'spirit of the Law.'

Romans 7:18: "Because I fully understand that there is not dwelling within me—that is, within my fleshly being—any good.…"

Even though you can do good, even though you intend good, in our heart and in our mind there is no good. You have to have the Spirit of God, the love of God, and the knowledge of God to be able to accept that and not collapse—as they would say in the world—psychologically. That's why all people say, 'We're good people.'

I imagine in Tennessee a lot of people asked, 'Are you a good person?' They would say, 'Oh, yeah, I'm a good person.' What about this guy over there, what do you think about that? 'I hate him.' No good dwelling within us inherently. All goodness must come from God.

"…For the desire to do good is present within me… [we all intend to do good] …but how to work out that which is good, I do not find" (v 18).

Have you ever started out to do something really good and everything goes wrong? I've done that! How do you feel when that happens? That devastation comes along, you need to bring every thought into the obedience of Christ!

Verse 19: "For the good that I desire to do, I am not doing; but the evil that I do not desire to do, this I am doing. But if I do what I do not desire to do, I am no longer working it out myself, but sin that is dwelling within me…. [the law of sin] …Consequently, I find this law…" (vs 19-21). It's a law of human beings. This is the stronghold that we are to overcome.

"…in my members, that when I desire to do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the Law of God according to the inward man" (vs 21-22). Spiritually that's wonderful, great, good, marvelous.

Verse 23: "But I see another law within my own members…" This is what the overcoming is about. What does it say to all of the churches in Rev. 2 and 3? To the one who overcomes!

"…warring against the law of my mind, and leading me captive to the law of sin that is within my own members. O what a wretched man I am!...." (vs 23-24).

Remember, he wrote this when he had been an apostle for about twenty years.

  • How long have you been in the Church?
  • How long have I been in the Church?
  • Do we still have this battle going on? Yes, because this is the battle of overcoming!

This is the battle of perfection! We're learning the lesson, eternally, forever, that sin never pays.

"…Who shall save me from the body of this death?" (v 24). This verse is a hard one to understand unless you understand the internal battle going on.

Verse 25: "I thank God for His salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of this, on the one hand, I myself serve the Law of God with my mind; but on the other hand, with the flesh, I serve the law of sin."

That means that when he sins, it's not his intent to sin, but he still does it and it's because of the law of sin and death within him.

Romans 8:1: "Consequently…"—because there's this struggle going on, goes on every day, sometimes many times a day.

"…there is now no condemnation…" (v 1). If you're struggling and overcoming and repenting and drawing close to God, working toward that perfection that Christ talked about:

"…no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who are not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit" (v 1).

What is exposing that sin within? The Spirit of God! You wouldn't think anything of it if you didn't have the Spirit of God. That's all natural.

Verse 2: "Because the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus…" The Spirit of God giving us the power to overcome the sin within! It can only be done through:

  • Christ
  • the Spirit of God
  • the Word of God
  • the love of God

right where started at the beginning.

Verse 2: "Because the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has delivered me from the law of sin and death."

How does it deliver us? By giving us the power to overcome! As Paul said, don't let sin rule in your mortal body. You can't do that unless you have the Spirit of God. You'll just substitute one lust for another lust, one sin for another sin.

Verse 3: "For what was impossible for the Law to do… [because the Law can't make you do anything] …in that it was weak through the flesh, God having sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh."

Likeness comes from the Greek 'homoiomati,' meaning in the exact sameness that we have!

How can Christ condemn sin in the flesh if He didn't have the law of sin and death within Him as well? That's how it was condemned in the body of Christ.

Verse 4: "In order that the righteousness of the Law… [spiritually] …might be fulfilled in us… [Did Jesus say He came to fulfill the law? Is He doing it in each one of us with the Spirit of God?] …who are not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." That's what we're doing!

If you're a Protestant and you know nothing about the Bible, and you start reading some of these verses, on the surface it looks like you're home free. No law, whoopee!

That's part of the mystery of Protestantism. We will see that it's all wrapped up in

  • assumptions
  • bad translations
  • misinterpretation
  • disobedience

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible In Its Original Order, A Faithful Version (except where noted)

Scriptural References:

  • Jeremiah 23:22
  • Galatians 3:29
  • Romans 5:12
  • Romans 6:4-6, 9-14
  • Ephesians 2:18
  • Romans 7:1-3, 6, 4-6
  • Matthew 5:17-22, 27-28, 48
  • Romans 7:7-12, 14, 13, 14-15
  • 2-Corinthians 10:3-6
  • Romans 7:18-25
  • Romans 8:1-4

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • John 5
  • Romans 1-3
  • Revelation 20-22
  • Romans 4
  • Genesis 15
  • John 6:44; 45
  • Ezekiel 16; 23
  • John 10
  • Philippians 3
  • Revelation 2; 3

Transcribed: 8-14-17
Formatted: 8/15/17

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