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i just happened on to this blog today, and the verse Romans 7 just put everything in perspective with me. How come when we try so hard we still sin. I love God so much and i am glad to know he LOVES me too. Even when i do sin.

Romans 7

If there is a choice, I would rather you read Bob Deffingbaugh's commentary on this section than anything I write. If you do not have much time - at least read the Conclusions. It is a powerful commentary.
http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=2304

Paul has talked about Christians not going back to obey the Law - "shackles" to a saved soul. And that the Law is good, it is sin that is evil and our "flesh" that is weak.

Romans 7:14-25

Struggling With Sin (The War within a Saved Soul)

Boy, this chapter has been tough. It has been hard to focus, and did not want to write - because of this section.

Earlier Paul talked about Salvation, and how when saved we are no longer at war with God. But one war seems to have been exchanged for another. Now within the Christian is a war with sin.

The "I DO" Verses

So tough to read. I can understand each sentence individually, but when read in toto (vs. 14-20), I find it hard to maintain the thread of thought. (Plan on re-reading it each day for awhile, until it flows.) Paul (and we as Christians) want to do good, but keep(s) on sinning. Huh? I thought we had the "new man". What is Paul talking about?

Nestled in the middle of the paragraph, are the two truths that devastate me. I knew of one, then just realized the second tonight.

Vs. 18
"I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out." NIV

1) There is no good in my old nature ("flesh").
2) There is no power in my new nature.

I knew the first, sin has a "base of operations" in my "flesh" (old nature), and it is working overtime. Satan would like nothing better than to discredit a Christian. He may have lost that soul, but by discrediting the Christian, he believes he can stop the geometric spread of Christianity. Sin is Satan's WMD.

Andrew B.- the second reminded me of your question awhile back. We have the new nature - the "new mind", but why isn't Paul experiancing the "abundant blessings of the Holy Spirit? Why all this failure? At this point, it seems it is because of the "I"'s.

"..but I cannot carry it out"

I (you) cannot do it. The "new man" is like a bomb, it has to be "armed" before it can be utilized. The "believer" is not qualified to do this, it must be "armed" by another. We can sit there all day long atop an "inert bomb" and we will be trampled by sin. We are not only not qualified to "arm" it, we are not qualified to "utilize" the bomb. We must depend on another.

"Who will rescue me from this body of death?" (sin and the old nature).

["When Paul describes this body of death, some commentators see a reference to ancient kings who tormented their prisoners by shackling them to decomposing corpses. Paul longs to be cut free from the wretched body of death clinging to him." - David Guzik]

The answer: "Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!"

and on to the next chapter..... :)


Romans 8:1-8

The Power of the Holy Spirit

“‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of Hosts” (Zechariah 4:6).

"God’s work is never accomplished by human effort but only by divine enablement. It has always been this way." - Bob Deffingbaugh
======================================================
One of the Great Truths
vs. 1a
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,.." NIV

"Since the Father does not condemn Jesus, neither can He condemn those are in Him. They are not condemned, they will not be condemned, and they cannot be condemned." - David Guzik

Jesus's death on the cross meant that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met "in us".

[Paul was very careful, not "by us" - as we can do nothing to become righteous on our own. But "in us" - requirements fulfilled through Christ.]

Through Jesus' ressurection we receive new life (new man) and the Power of the Holy Spirit.

Vs.8
Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires." NIV

"Paul gives an easy way for us to determine if we walk in the Spirit or walk in the flesh - to simply see where our mind is set. The mind is the strategic battleground where the flesh and the Spirit fight." - David Guzik

The mind controlled by the Spirit is "life and peace". Sounds good! Much better than last chapter.


1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,[b] 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death...
... but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind of sinful man[f] is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace...

Indeed!!! Romans 8 is powerfully straigthforward! If we make God the only center of our lives, then we begin to see the dissipation of the duality or dichotomy in our lives... and we become one in Thee!

2 Chronicles 6 (NKJV)
14
and he said: “LORD God of Israel, there is no God in heaven or on earth like You, who keep Your covenant and mercy with Your servants who walk before You with all their hearts.
15
You have kept what You promised Your servant David my father; You have both spoken with Your mouth and fulfilled it with Your hand, as it is this day.

18
“But will God indeed dwell with men on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple [LITERALLY HOUSE] which I have built!
19
Yet regard the prayer of Your servant and his supplication, O LORD my God, and listen to the cry and the prayer which Your servant is praying before You:
20
THAT YOUR EYES MAY BE OPEN TOWARD THIS TEMPLE [Literally House] DAY AND NIGHT, TOWARD THE PLACE WHERE YOU SAID YOU WOULD PUT YOUR NAME, that You may hear the prayer which Your servant makes toward this place.

30
THEN HEAR FROM HEAVEN YOUR DWELLING PLACE, and forgive, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of the sons of men),

NOTE:
How matchless is the only true and living God!

I echo the question that the Holy Spirit spoke through Solomon: “But will God indeed dwell with men on the earth?”

Will God—who is the Most High and above all—indeed dwell with men on earth?

Note that God’s dwelling place is in heaven, yet He has put His Name in the Temple (literally HOUSE) that Solomon built.

The Temple (literally HOUSE) of God was the first step in preparing you and I for the truth that the Holy Spirit later revealed through the Lord Jesus:

man’s spirit and being is designed to be the “house” of the Spirit of the Most High through GRACE.

First, Jesus came in John 1 (Amplified Bible)
14
And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and TABERNACLED (FIXED HIS TENT OF FLESH, LIVED AWHILE) AMONG US; and we [actually] saw His glory (His honor, His majesty), such glory as an only begotten son receives from his father, full of grace (favor, loving-kindness) and truth.

Then, later through the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus—we can now become the houses of God.

Romans 8 (Amplified Bible)
10
But if Christ lives in you, [then although] your [natural] body is dead by reason of sin and guilt, the spirit is alive because of [the] righteousness [that He imputes to you].

~~~
May I—and may we—really ponder and meditate on the wonder of the Presence of God within us.

Once we really come to grasp and know clearly and with certainty the reality of God's Presence in us as the Spirit teaches and convinces us—then our lives will never be the same.

We will bring glory to the One who honors us with His very Presence!

2 Chronicles 7 (NKJV)
3
When all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD on the temple, they bowed their faces to the ground on the pavement, and worshiped and praised the LORD, saying: “For He is good, for His mercy endures forever.” [Compare Psalm 106:1]

6
And the priests attended to their services; the Levites also with instruments of the music of the LORD, which King David had made to praise the LORD, saying, “For His mercy endures forever,” [Compare Psalm 106:1] whenever David offered praise by their ministry. The priests sounded trumpets opposite them, while all Israel stood.

NOTE:
It is obvious from the first three (3) verses in 2 Chronicles 7 how eager God is to demonstrate the Glory of His Presence and His Love to man.

It is also obvious that God’s Name is His Presence! His Presence is Glorious!

May these truths be lodged deep within you and I as we meditate on Colossians 1:27
“Christ in you—Who is the certain, guaranteed hope of Glory!”

May God’s manifest Glory be demonstrated more and more in our lives as we pray, meditate, surrender, and have deep and intimate fellowship with the Lord. Then, the will of the Lord Jesus will be fulfilled:

John 7 (NKJV)
38
He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, OUT OF HIS HEART WILL FLOW RIVERS OF LIVING WATER.”

John 14 (NKJV)
21
He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. AND HE WHO LOVES ME WILL BE LOVED BY MY FATHER, AND I WILL LOVE HIM AND MANIFEST MYSELF TO HIM.”
~~~

Romans 7 (NKJV)
20
Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
21
I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.
22
For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.
23
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.

NOTE:
I like these jewels of truth – my paraphrase:
a. Because I do what I do not want to do, I no longer sin—but SIN DWELLING IN ME
b. I do not mean I am not responsible for sin I commit
c. I see two (2) unchanging laws within me at the same time:

* Law of God’s Overcoming Righteousness:
I am righteous in my inner man and delight to do God’s will.

* Law of sin and death in my members
I am called to the process of surrender and doing God’s will, so my whole being and all my members are trained in righteousness through Holy Spirit

Yes… we have to practice righteousness, and yes we have to choose to participate in being set apart and sanctified. Yes, we always have to resist sin in the power of the Spirit.

Yet, may we never forget WHO WE ALREADY ARE in Christ. We are not “helpless victims” as we resist sin and the sin in our members.

We are already spiritual victors through Christ, and He—only by His matchless grace—has imparted to us His victory!

I thoroughly enjoy these rich verses in Romans 8 (Amplified).

1
THEREFORE, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit.
2
For THE LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE [which is] in Christ Jesus
** [THE LAW OF OUR NEW BEING]
Has Freed Me From The Law Of Sin And Of Death.
3
For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh [the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. SENDING HIS OWN SON IN THE GUISE OF SINFUL FLESH AND AS AN OFFERING FOR SIN, [GOD] CONDEMNED SIN IN THE FLESH

** [Subdued, Overcame, Deprived It Of Its Power Over All Who Accept That Sacrifice],
4
So that the righteous and just requirement of the Law might be fully met in us who live and move not in the ways of the flesh BUT IN THE WAYS OF THE SPIRIT [OUR LIVES GOVERNED NOT BY THE STANDARDS AND ACCORDING TO THE DICTATES OF THE FLESH,
** But Controlled By The Holy Spirit].

~~~
May we really realize who we already ARE in Christ! Did you catch that the Law of the Spirit of Life IS THE LAW OF OUR NEW BEING!

We are alive in our spirits because of God’s righteousness! So before Satan deliberately focuses attacks on us through sin in our members, MAY WE DELIBERATELY SET OUR MINDS on Christ and His Overcoming Life.

Then, we will be prepared! Prepared not just to “survive”, but prepared to OVERCOME and to win many for the Lord Jesus!

So, may we put our highest priority on fellowship and intimacy with the Holy Spirit. His Life is in us!

We are in Christ and Christ is in us!

Then, may we take the next stept and fulfill the Holy Spirit’s joy of unity TOGETHER as expressions of the Body of Christ all over the world:

Philippians 2 (NKJV)
2
fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

THEN, as we do that, then the victory of Christ—we are in Christ and He is in us—will be MORE manifest so all people in the world WILL NOT BE ABLE TO MISS THE REALITY, PRESENCE, AND GLORY OF JESUS in us!

This is the will of Jesus:

John 17 (NKJV)
21
that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
22
And The Glory Which You Gave Me I Have Given Them, That They May Be One Just As We Are One:
23
I IN THEM, AND YOU IN ME; THAT THEY MAY BE MADE PERFECT IN ONE, AND THAT THE WORLD MAY KNOW THAT YOU HAVE SENT ME, AND HAVE LOVED THEM AS YOU HAVE LOVED ME.
~~~

Proverbs 19 (NKJV)
24
A lazy man buries his hand in the bowl,
[Septuagint and Syriac read bosom; Targum and Vulgate read ARMPIT] and will not so much as bring it to his mouth again.
25
Strike a scoffer, and the simple will become wary; rebuke one who has understanding, and he will discern knowledge.

NOTE:
Please notice the note in the New King James Version I have included after the phrase “A lazy man buries his hand in the bowl”. One possible alternate meaning of “bowl” is “armpit”.

Then a comical picture came to mind: I chuckled to myself when I read this. I thought of a lazy man who had one hand in his armpit (I HOPE HE SHOWERED!!)—while he was sucking the thumb of his other hand!
~~~

Proverbs 19: 24 really speaks volumes. But, in one way, this verse appears to have nothing to do with American society, as Americans are moving at a faster and frenzied pace than ever.

Yet, in another way, verse 24 precisely speaks to our fast paced and frenzied American culture. For, though we are busy and very active, the business of “busy-ness” can be a huge distraction to keep us from doing what we are called to do.

So, we can be extremely busy at the wrong thing, and yet be lazy at doing the right thing.

Mike had written this as one of his comments on Proverbs

“So - thankfully - as we know from our recent Romans readings, we can be free from our lazy ways! Being in relationship with Jesus has literally cured me of my laziness.”

My question is this? Mike mentioned: “as we know from our recent Romans readings, we can be free from our lazy ways!”

Which recent Romans readings pertain to laziness? Maybe I was so lazy, I missed it! (Ha!)

I am extremely glad that being in relationship with the Lord Jesus has cured Mike of laziness. In Jesus’ Matchless Name—I receive some of that zeal with wisdom!

I pray for “zeal with wisdom” for I find myself going fast—but sometimes I feel like a laboratory rat continually running around in an enclosed maze in the laboratory. I do not just want to be “doing” things—I want to be wise and find out what the Lord’s will is—and do that.

As Jesus said, “I only do those things I see my Father doing.” May we emulate the best example in the world, that of the Lord Jesus—the Perfect Man Who always resisted sin and distraction—as He prayed and then followed His Father.

Vance

2 Chronicles 6:12-8:10

Paul stated, Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keepunder my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27 KJVR)

I keep thinking about Paul’s comments in regard to Solomon, he forgot the very words he prayed. He was distracted, waylaid in the midst of his race. I am not so focused on Solomon as I am on my own actions, or not actions. If the man God gave the most wisdom to, of course Solomon’s wisdom is nothing compared to the Wisdom of God, Jesus, fails to heed his own words and stumbles at the end of his life—Big Time, what can I learn from Solomon to avoid that mistake?

There is a children’s story that I have for sometime considered it really an adult’s story, The Emperor New Clothes. While Solomon was going about running amok, not taking heed to the commands of the Lord, who was the child crying out, The Emperor has no clothes?” Pomp, circumstance, the glitter of gold, silver and bronze can give the appearance of something that it really isn’t. Let us not be blinded by the gold, let us be blinded by the One who created the gold and placed it in the earth.

When you enter the land that GOD, your God, is giving you and take it over and settle down, and then say, "I'm going to get me a king, a king like all the nations around me," make sure you get yourself a king whom GOD, your God, chooses. Choose your king from among your kinsmen; don't take a foreigner--only a kinsman. And make sure he doesn't build up a war machine, amassing military horses and chariots. He must not send people to Egypt to get more horses, because GOD told you, "You'll never go back there again!" And make sure he doesn't build up a harem, collecting wives who will divert him from the straight and narrow. And make sure he doesn't pile up a lot of silver and gold. This is what must be done: When he sits down on the throne of his kingdom, the first thing he must do is make himself a copy of this Revelation on a scroll, copied under the supervision of the Levitical priests. That scroll is to remain at his side at all times; he is to study it every day so that he may learn what it means to fear his GOD, living in reverent obedience before these rules and regulations by following them. He must not become proud and arrogant, changing the commands at whim to suit himself or making up his own versions. If he reads and learns, he will have a long reign as king in Israel, he and his sons. (Deuteronomy 17:14-20 MSG)

The promise God gave Solomon at the Temple Dedication was not really because of all the offerings that were burnt on the alter; but a repeating of what had been Promised by God to Moses. Yet Solomon did not adhere to the commands of God. God hears our prayers, and desires to bless us; we receive the promise and the blessing than we go off the beaten path. Why? We go from nothing to something not because of anything within us; and when we become something because of what God did, we think we are better than everyone else, as if we became something by pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps. We are deceived. It’s all about God; It all comes from God and it all belongs to God.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

In a comment above John reminded me about a long outstanding open question arising from earlier comments of mine.

I have now written up my reply to John's question on my weblog at http://isthistheway.typepad.com/my_weblog/2006/07/what_are_we_mis.html

Reactions are welcome.

Blessings,
Andrew

"For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit." (Romans 8:3-4 (NIV))

Paul manages to pack a whole lot into two sentences. There is the whole history of God's relationship with his people through the OT, the reason and effect of Jesus coming, and our new life in the Spirit, all packed in here.

Amazing,
Andrew B

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