27 Jan 2007

Romans 7: our continuing reality in Christ?

Submitted by theshovel
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Listen. I am under law and dying no question. But the only option I have at this point is to let my flesh run wild and put my trust in earthly treasures and security. I am trying really trying...I know that you would say that is not the way, but what can I do when I don't have anything else to move out of? I have tried to crucify that which was my foundation for living previous to the bible (the flesh) and have had nothing replace it. I feel totally dead. I understand the fallacies, but don't know what else to do. I want this message to be true. Life is meaningless otherwise. I have tried so hard to find my purpose solely in Him. Tried so hard to be obedient to my understandings. I feel so alone and unsure of His really having raised and the story really being true and me really being His. John

Hello my friend, John,

While you assume this is some kind of indictment against you all I see is the expression of real life within you, a life that cannot be satisfied with that which is of the flesh, no matter what kind of religious spin it is labeled with. You also expressed this well:

I never bought the religious take on less than perfection. I never bought the religious take on Romans 7 being our continuing reality. I believed that when it said free it meant free. I have tried and have only been under Law. Don't know what else to do. John

I'm sure you remember how Romans 7 ends, but I'll quote it anyhow:

Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. Romans 7:24-25

I used to think this was such an odd or incomplete answer to the question, especially as he seemed to be making a conclusion. I mean, even when I heard the emphasis put on "THROUGH Jesus Christ our Lord" I still couldn't see the connection with his conclusion ... especially when the next statement jumps right into this most amazing declaration of the totality of a lack of condemnation toward those who are in Christ.

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1

How could there be no condemnation in view of the second half of his conclusion: "I myself ... am serving ... with my flesh the law of sin" ... unless, as you have suggested, Romans 7 is not our continuing reality? What I've come to see is that such a viewpoint is the only conclusion the logical/religious mind can produce. The mind of the flesh cannot see past its own demise, extend beyond its own confinement, nor understand a choice it cannot make. No wonder something within us balks at fleshly interpretations of the expressions of another dimension, that is, from the real.

You are absolutely correct, Romans 7 does not define or lay out our continuing reality in Christ. Instead, it describes "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" that cannot nor will not be contained, controlled or defined by the delusion brought on by the fleshly mind. It demands that who you really are in Christ is not made up of a blend between the two, but of a life that cannot help but see through the conclusions of the law of sin and death.

New Testament: 

Comments

I get caught up in Paul's dilemma. For upon becoming conscious of having something 'good' yet to do I also simultaneously become aware of those motions within me that do the exact opposite of what I recognize as good. So I always end up transgressing against the boundaries established in my mind and am never doing the good that I recognize is supposed to be done. And the more that I establish new boundaries to suppress the evil that I do in transgressing the old ones, the more am I aware of the intensity of the power of those motions that transgress against what I forbid. My deliverance comes through the recognition that in the midst of all of this I myself am already by nature in agreement with the good things, even though I may appear to do the evil I am in disagreement with. Therefore I am no longer in need of engaging myself in the pursuit of what is right for I am apprehended by the life of what is good and in virtue of it I cannot do evil, so that the obligation of having to choose good over evil ends up being dismissed.

theshovel's picture

Georgi, this is great! :)

Jim

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