July 30, 2012
Searching the Scriptures
“Search the Scriptures…They are they which testify of Me.” John 5:30
Author: Bob Moses
Commentary on Romans
We are presented here with a most unique analogy. Paul shares with us the relationship of one dead to sin, as to a widow who is dead to her obligation regarding her deceased husband. Namely, that once a woman is freed from the obligation of the marriage tie upon the death of her husband, so also, is man freed from the condemnation of sin upon receiving Christ. A newness of life is restored, such as a newness of life is bestowed upon a woman once her husband has died. She may now pursue a new life, just as one may pursue a new beginning, upon receiving Christ into his or her life.
Let us observe how Paul addresses this cornerstone of Christian faith, in verses: 1 through 6 of this Chapter. “Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath a husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth: but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while, her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, through she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. 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.”
Note how Paul persuades the Roman Church, that we are no longer bound by the letter of the law, but by a newness of spirit. The spirit of Grace outweighs the letter of the law. The Grace of Christ outweighs the Law of Moses. Choose whom you will serve, the Grace of God, and forgiveness, or the demands of the Law, and condemnation. For none can fulfill the demands of the Law except through Christ; who did so; And for which, led to His crucifixion upon the cross, for the recompense of us all and the propitiation of our favor before God.
Verses 7—14; become very enlightening. First, we shall quote, then the commentary. “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 the manner of concupiscence ( lustful feeling; lust; sinful desire, desirous of unlawful pleasures, etc) , 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. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid, But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin.
What I am invoking at this juncture is the fact that the nation of Israel petitioned God to give them a Law, so that they would know the do’s and don’ts; regarding their relationship with the Almighty God. At Mount Sinai, through Moses, they received their demands. However, the demands were more than they could bear. They could not fulfill the law, that a Most Holy God required. So, therefore, by demanding a Law, mankind fell in yet a worst position than that acquired from the sin of Adam. Adam sinned against God by not obeying His demand. Israel sinned by not fulfilling Gods Law. The point I am making here, is that human nature has a natural rebellion against God. Submission to the divine theosophy offers the only safeguard to mankind; in his or her spiritual quest.
So what are we to make of these sayings of Paul? The explanation comes in the following verses of 15—25: “For that which I do I allow not; for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which, I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 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. For the good that I would I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more that I do it but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man; 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. O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 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.
Wow!! What a revelation we have before us! Paul is explaining the two natures of man. The natural man and how it strives against the Spiritual man. The natural man comes from Adam and is of the flesh. The Spiritual man comes from Jesus Christ and is given to us by the Holy Spirit. We cannot shed our human nature as we are of the flesh, and the flesh and the lust thereof is sinful. Nor can we lose our salvation through Christ if we are indeed gifted by the blessing of spiritual life by the Holy Spirit.
While this may all seem somewhat confusing, it is really very simple. Paul actually gives a more clear disclosure of this mystery in Galatians 5: 16—25: “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lust. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
Jesus makes it even plainer; all things yield to His supremacy, and His glory. Note His words to Nicodemus in 1 Peter. 1:23:“Except a man be born of water (the Word of God): James 1:18; and of the Spirit (Holy Spirit), he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God” Then in John 3:5. Jesus says: “For that which is born of Flesh is Flesh; and that which is born of Spirit is Spirit.” Christ here has exposed the two lines of the heritage of man. The “Flesh” line verses the “Spirit” line. The Scriptures refer to them generally as the Natural man and the Spiritual man. So therefore while the “Natural Man” has a human parentage, in Adam. The “Spiritual Man” has a divine parentage, through the Holy Spirit.
So what have we learned from these chapters 5, 6, & 7 of Romans? The overriding message is Paul explaining the two natures of man and unless we receive Christ into our lives, and become subject to the Spirit we shall not be permitted to enter the Kingdom of God. If we remain in the flesh, we shall be condemned, for flesh cannot enter the Kingdom of God. As we feed the natural man for subsistence in this world, so must we also feed the spiritual man. The next question is how do we feed the spiritual man? “Search the Scriptures…They are thy which testify of Me.” John 5:30. “Study to show thyself approved” II Tim. 2:15. We cannot allow Satan to occupy all of our time with charm, yearnings and the fleshly things of this world. Even if you do not understand what you may read in the Holy Cannon, spend time in your Bible. If you are sincere, diligent and approach it in prayer understanding will come to you. Ask questions, seek out a Christian mentor, teacher or pastor who is well grounded in the Scriptures and solid in the faith, who may be able to help you, but by all means do not ignore it. If you do not have or know of anyone who can answer your inquiries feel free to contact me. I will answer to the best of my ability to help and enable you to grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Word.
Paul has given us some invaluable insight in what we have learned so far in the Book of Romans. He reveals here truths which were hidden from view by the Old Testament; mostly, the commencement of God’s transparent disclosure of Himself. We will learn even more as we progress through the rest of this Commentary.