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Biblical Interpretation
 Shovel Shack : Biblical Interpretation
Subject Topic: flesh/spirit-law/freedom-death/life
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Dignz
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Posted: Mar-19-09 at 12:02pm | IP Logged  

i'm reading in romans - youngs literal translation - i seem to enjoy that translation the most lately.  it seems that paul was saying that the law was not able to set us free from sin and death.  it was not able because of the weakness of flesh.  it was never going to happen ... flesh being able to set itself free from the bondage of sin and death and all the condemnation that goes along with it.

he explains that the mind of the flesh is enmity to god and it is not even ABLE to subject itself to the law of god because the flesh is death.  the law of god is holy, righteous, good and from god.  however, to be redundant, the flesh is death and enmity toward god, too weak and unable to be subject to the law of god, therefore it is not able to please god.  NOT ABLE.  wow.  ...   that sounds pretty dark, hopeless and futile doesn't it?

so therefore the usual question, why the law?  to reveal the weakness of sinful flesh?  to proclaim its guilt?  a different kind of 'light' perhaps?  that which served a purpose until christ came.  the impression i get from youngs literal translation is that paul said the flesh is only able to serve one law and that is the law of sin and death.  the flesh is not even able to serve the law of god.  the law of god served to reveal this hopeless inadequacy of the flesh. 

the section of paul's letter to the romans designated by interpreters as chapter 7, was written to those who knew law and he was speaking to them specifically as one who once loved it and taught it, and shared his experience concerning it.  earlier on he said to them:

 5for when we were in the flesh, the passions of the sins, that [are] through the law, were working in our members, to bear fruit to the death;

   6and now we have ceased from the law, that being dead in which we were held, so that we may serve in newness of spirit, and not in oldness of letter. 

he did not stop there but moved on to what is designated as chapter 8 - these designations do serve to make finding specific parts of his letters a lot easier, doesn't it?    as long as we don't get trapped in parts and stay there and use them to beat ourselves and each other over the head with. 

anyway ... now there is another law altogether he is pointing out to them ... the law of the spirit of christ:

  2for the law of the Spirit of the life in Christ Jesus did set me free from the law of the sin and of the death;

it seems to me, and this could just be my imagination running away with me again, that paul is distinguishing between two things.  one, that which was hopeless and had its beginning and end in death and that was going to be it for the flesh ... no resurrection, no life, no hope, just a life of sin and death baring more of the same, endless futility, nothing of god.  and then, 'the other' - that which was life found in the spirit of christ ... a life which was miraculous because of christ and his spirit.  two distinctions - one was only of the flesh living by the flesh and would soon be dead, or that which was truly alive and living ... a new life as those alive and sons of god by the spirit of a living christ who would resurrect them as he himself was resurrected.  a life of hope, pleasing to god, an actual relation to him, baring fruit that is the same ... life.

13for if according to the flesh ye do live, ye are about to die; and if, by the Spirit, the deeds of the body ye put to death, ye shall live;

14for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God;


putting to death the deeds of the body ~ what does this part mean?  how is this done?  this is the stumper isn't it?  this is what i would truly appreciate more thoughts and dialogue on if anyone so desires.  i know this comes up all the time, but we understand why don't we?  it is what we wrestle with in our hearts and minds all the time.  it is the stuff that paul addresssed all the time.  it is what grabs at us and causes confusion and unrest and robs us of our confidence, isn't it?  

so i go back to ch. 7:5&6

5for when we were in the flesh, the passions of the sins, that [are] through the law, were working in our members, to bear fruit to the death;   
6
and now we have ceased from the law, that being dead in which we were held, so that we may serve in newness of spirit, and not in oldness of letter

from there he describes in more detail how the law of the flesh which was sin and death and the law of god worked.  but he didn't stop there ... he went on ... which i love, especially 8:

9
And ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God doth dwell in you; and if any one hath not the Spirit of Christ -- this one is not His;

   10and if Christ [is] in you, the body, indeed, [is] dead because of sin, and the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness,

   11and if the Spirit of Him who did raise up Jesus out of the dead doth dwell in you, He who did raise up the Christ out of the dead shall quicken also your dying bodies, through His Spirit dwelling in you.

   12So, then, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh;

   13for if according to the flesh ye do live, ye are about to die; and if, by the Spirit, the deeds of the body ye put to death, ye shall live;

   14for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God;


we now through the spirit serve in the spirit of life and we bare fruit to life because we ARE life and can bare nothing else.  we are no longer in the flesh, but in the spirit.  the spirit bears fruit to life.  the flesh can only produce fruit to death ... futility, nothing of god, death all the way to its very end. 

in the flesh we once had nothing but fear and produced more of the same.  the flesh is a spirit of bondage leading to fear.  the spirit of god was given to us ... one of kinship/relationship as children of god and siblings of christ.




Edited by Dignz on Mar-20-09 at 10:28am


      

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meek
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we now through the spirit serve in the spirit of life and we bare fruit to life because we ARE life and can bare nothing else.  we are no longer in the flesh, but in the spirit.  the spirit bears fruit to life.  the flesh can only produce fruit to death ... futility, nothing of god, death all the way to its very end. 

After digesting this (BURP, complements to the chef), I'm just wondering if it is possible to have both "flesh" and "spirit" in us?  It seems like a contradiction, or do we need both to exist?

Tracey





      

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luvin
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Posted: Mar-19-09 at 1:22pm | IP Logged  

Sher! I love it!!!!!

      

It is peace[the kind we long for] to know that my life patterns do not distract or derail the Living God"-Adam

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Dignz
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Posted: Mar-19-09 at 9:22pm | IP Logged  

hey tracey ... i am reading some good stuff on the shovel ... look for the shovel writings ... then look for romans.  i think it will answer our questions.    i keep forgetting there is such great stuff there 'cuz i get lost in here on the shack having such a great time hanging out with you guyz!    i would like to remember share my time in both areas.  but .... i get into routines and forget other routines.  i am mostly a one-track mind/one project at a time kinda gal.  no multitasking for this brain!  

anyway ... that is where i am with all this for now ... reading through the shovel.    i recommend it. 


      

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Dignz
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Posted: Mar-19-09 at 9:27pm | IP Logged  

these below are thoughts from the shovel dude ... too good not to share!  

"How shall we who died to sin still live in it?"

Do you notice how Paul asked this question as if it should have been understood? No, this is NOT a separate part of the good news of Christ that must be taught in some kind of "Advanced Christianity" class. No, it is inherent, built into the very basic reality of Christ and him crucified! Jesus did not hang and die upon that cross because he came to fulfill some kind of protocol or ritualistic demand of death so that God could be placated by the action. Instead, he removed the old creation of man out of the way by having entered human history, being its very source, and took on its form so that he could take it down into his death.

In him, humanity was judged in his death so that it could be delivered (saved), and this salvation is in the LIFE of Christ. "For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." (Romans 5:10) Jesus didn't try to subdue, modify or reform the "irreconcilable differences" between God and man, but instead he killed them in his own body as he became the very substance of them for us ... while we became the righteousness of God through him.

Ah yes, we have become the RIGHTEOUSNESS of GOD in Christ. Boy, oh boy do our doctrinally fabricated formulas play with this one until it has been bled dry! Mostly, the truth of what happened at the cross and beyond has been presented in such a sterile form that the reality that we've been made the righteousness of God is religiously refuted at every turn. A common theologically-based denial comes by making carefully dissected distinctions between "imputation" (legal declaration) and "impartation" (a passing on of something) so that it can be demanded in no uncertain terms that this righteousness is ONLY a legal statement, an "as if" proposition that opposes the truth of any REAL transmission of something from God to us. Now, while it might seem that those who profess and gather under the premise of receiving the Holy Spirit would stand behind the reality of having been made the righteousness of God in Christ their denial is often just as strong as their religious counterparts. Formulas are formulas no matter their origin, and there seems to be no end of doctrinal approaches.




Edited by Dignz on Mar-20-09 at 10:31am


      

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Dignz
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Posted: Mar-19-09 at 9:36pm | IP Logged  

and more from the shovel dude:

I think one of the biggest mistakes we make regarding the meaning of the "sin" to which we have died is to assume that it refers to a collection of individual sins, when in fact it refers to the existence or the realm or the domain from which sins flow. Truth is we learned our definitions of both sin and sins by an institution of religion that thrives upon the elemental things of the world so that we are well-equipped to judge between different varieties of sin, or else come to fear the very word itself. But in Christ we are not under obligation to any such option! :)

What does it mean to be "dead to sin"? Well, it's both as simple and as complex as what an accountant would discover should he visit the graveyard to collect on past due bills. Simple, because the death of former debtors speaks for itself; complex, because we still often insist that our life is what appearance says it is.

i love that!  we owe NOTHING!  the debt collectors are bogus.  why do we think we must answer to anyone who acts as our 'spiritual debt collector'?   when they call don't waste your time or breath!   HANG UP!    or ... tell them they are looking for the wrong person, and send them to the graveyard!   they have nothing to do with us and we have nothing to do with them.




Edited by Dignz on Mar-20-09 at 10:33am


      

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Dignz
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Posted: Mar-19-09 at 9:49pm | IP Logged  

i hope i don't overwhelm, but this is such good stuff ... here is more: 

Paul's demands regarding the finality of death also make the contradiction between our "doctrinal" and "practical" understandings even more contradictory and oppositional.

It doesn't seem to be death that confuses us for its finality is too blasted inflexible, despite our many attempts to defy it. The confusion of the gospel issues from the absurdity of a co-experienced death and new life with Christ that just doesn't seem to pan out according to what we see in the world around us. You know, if it's supposed to be an actual death and resurrection it sure doesn't offer any indications to the senses or to the computations of logic. Then again, maybe death still confuses us beyond our imagination, since our perception of it seems to be bound by what appears to be, or not to be.

So, did we really die with Christ, or is this merely a teaching that rests upon symbolism? Ah yes, now this distinction really explains quite a bit of "Christian" teaching on the subject. As I mentioned already, while we might talk about Christ having died FOR us, we pretty much gloss over this demand of the good news of having died WITH Christ -- as if it were little more than a symbolic reference to how we OUGHT to think in order to better motivate a deeper devotion to God.

... yakking about rituals and ordinances, or symbolism and doctrinal viewpoints while the reality of having truly DIED with Christ escapes our notice! Just because we cannot go to the morgue or to a grave-site and verify the physical evidence of our own dead bodies, in the expected manner, WE did indeed die.

The truth of the matter is that we had already experienced death in another - the first man, Adam - so that our existence clearly reflected it in everything we thought, said and did. Geez, we hadn't even noticed it, except in the extreme cases, because the world around us made us assume it was "normal" to exist in deadness.

In Adam we were dead IN sin (as well as, dead in our sins), while in Christ we were made dead TO (as in, toward) sin. The death we shared with Adam brought us into this world totally in relation to sin, but the death we shared with Christ removed us from its association. Both refer to a death that is as dead as dead can be. Morgue dead. Rotting-in-the-grave dead. Devoid-of-life dead.




Edited by Dignz on Mar-20-09 at 10:36am


      

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Dignz
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Posted: Mar-19-09 at 10:11pm | IP Logged  

well, you know ... i just think that maybe others won't actually go to the shovel and check this out for themselves, so ... i just want to have it handy here 'cuz otherwise ... there will be some AWESOME and TRULY ENCOURAGING stuff missed out on.  here is some more of it: 

Consider how Paul phrased his question: "How shall we who died to sin still live in it?" Notice how his question couldn't be even remotely reworded, "How shall we who BELIEVE still live in sin?" Now, Paul obviously had no problem declaring the wonderful reality of the miraculous faith to which we have been called in Christ - because it is totally intertwined within the truth of the good news that he preached - but when it came to the sin question he did not pit it against (or ask it in relation to) our BELIEVING in Christ but against our DYING with him.

The truth is that our having died with Christ is an integral part of THE faith of Christ that has been declared. Unfortunately, we have fallen victim to the contemporary hocus-pocus that says faith in Christ is about what WE have done with Christ as opposed to it being the very essence of the good news of Christ ... so essential that it is the very embodiment of our hope, who is Christ himself.

really awesome!

This rather potent statement of Paul's to the saints in Galatia describes through different wording what he also addressed in Romans 6-8, especially chapter 7. "Seeking to be justified in Christ" was one of Paul's summations of the "other gospel, which is really not another" to which the Galatian believers were giving ear. "Seeking to be justified in Christ" is nothing other than a "Christianized" version of living by law, and this is what happens when we give heed to "another gospel".

Simply stated, if the life to which Christ has called us is in fact based upon a seeking of acceptance in Christ so that our continued following Him - whatever one believes this to be - only proves how unacceptable we are, then Christ would be nothing but a dealer or an enforcer of sin. But then, that is totally absurd since Christ is the one who did away with sin.



      

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Dignz
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Posted: Mar-19-09 at 10:14pm | IP Logged  

"... the good news of Christ declares the removal of all that offends, so that there is nothing to miss in Christ!!"  <-- the shovel

      

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meek
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Posted: Mar-20-09 at 9:20am | IP Logged  

I remember reading that specific shovel and how Jim put it makes total sense. 

I am not sure how to word this but here it is: The fleshy stuff (the dead stuff ) exists but since it holds no life, it is as if it does not exist? Boy, am I confused about the fleshy thing.

Tracey


      

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luvin
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Posted: Mar-20-09 at 9:44am | IP Logged  

It is funny,

Many would soppose that the flesh is very much alive because of our experience with it. I guess in a certain sense it is alive..just not alive to God. It carries NO LIFE whatsoever and can not perform anything of that Life.[so in fact it is DEAD..and all wrath and indignation has already been pronounced upon it and carried out through Jesus] Those still in the flesh can not and will not please God. They are not pleasing to God to begin with. We who have the Spirit are pleasing to God and no longer live as in the flesh. We live in resurrection.



      

It is peace[the kind we long for] to know that my life patterns do not distract or derail the Living God"-Adam

http:newthatsliving.blogspot.com
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Dignz
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this is where my confusion comes in .... because of the mixture and placement of words 'body', 'flesh',  'dead', 'dying', 'sin in the body', etc. 

i mean, obviously we have a body and it is not dead.  this is where i get all twisted, tangled and confused.  paul said the body is dead because of sin.  he said they were not in the flesh but in the spirit and then he says their body is dead because of sin, but they have the spirit of righteousness and there is somehow a putting to death the deeds of the body with a result of living, and ... sheeeesh!  round and round and round ... and i get so dizzy. 

i 'get it' one moment and lose it in another, which makes me ponder whether i 'have it' at all.    and trying to 'get it back' when i lose it just gets me lost even further.  then i start to feel like i am trying to brainwash myself into getting something i don't have in the first place.         then i feel like a real schizoid and very quickly and easily see the schizoid reasoning, etc.  why is it so much clearer for some than others? 

all i know is that jesus did everything that was necessary to reconcile me to god, to make me pleasing to god by his complete and perfect sacrifice ... that miraculous sacrifice ... god in a man dieing to satisfy that which needed to be satisfied once and for all time because it was hopeless and impossible any other way.  (the law proved over and over by its revealing the weakness of flesh that man was never going to be able to save himself.  he has always been deluded to ever think he could.)  death of the truly sinless one was required and that was final.  there could be only one to fulfill that miraculous requirement and that was jesus christ. 

it has been done and that is that.  it is done and final and god is pleased.  there has been death, there has been resurrection, there has been birth of something totally new, there is true life and freedom and all that wonderfulness we talk about and encourage one another in him with. 

so why is this whole romans thing such a stumper?!  the body, the flesh, the death, the dying, the sin in the body, the dying body being quickened by the spirit, sin is paid for but we are in a body, sin is in the body, the body is dead ...   is it just the wording of paul?  is it the placement of the and timing of the words?   i mean, i suppose who he wrote to understood him just fine.  they knew his kind of communication, etc.  they knew him. 

my hubby 'gets it' and many of you 'get it'.  sometimes i think i 'get it' and have clarity and then all of a sudden i can read some wording and explanation he uses and i don't 'get it' again.     very frustrating, yes? 




Edited by Dignz on Mar-20-09 at 11:48am


      

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Simpleton
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Sherri, as you know it's that time of year again so only have a minute to jot down a thought or two. My understanding of "flesh" as Paul seems to use it is that it is a reference to to those who seek salvation through the law as opposed to those who have Christ by the Spirit. In other words, for the most part Paul uses flesh and spirit to contrast two races of people. When flesh is used in that context it refers to a people enslaved to sin. Spirit is us enslaved to righteousness. I realize in writing so briefly that this might raise more questions than answers as various scripture references flood the mind. Nevertheless for me the spirit-flesh thing is not a reality that exists within us. Rather we are one or the other notwithstanding the fact that we can be tempted to act like what we are not. Must run but this verse constantly rattles around in my head...

Then the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years." (Gen 6:3 NASB)

Fred



      

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Dignz
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hi fred!   great to see you again!     have missed seeing you.       thanks for popping in AND for sharing even tho' i know you are pressed timewise and probably otherwise as well. 

just still working it out in my head ... indeed, no flesh shall be nor could it ever be justified by works of the law.  i thank god for his righteousness so graciously and generously given in christ jesus.  i thank god that we are no longer slaves of and to sin, but that we have been made alive to god in him.  i am also thankful that just as we are saved by the faith of christ, we also live by the faith of christ, and not by going back to that which we could never live by in the first place as far as the law of god goes.  the law of sin and death is all the flesh could live by.   the law of god was that which concluded all flesh dead in sin.  and as you well pointed out, there was once enslavement to sin.   but now in christ, we are no longer enslaved to it, but are indeed free 'slaves' of righteousness.    when dead to god in our enslavement to sin, we were not able to please or satisfy his law.  it was impossible and hopeless.  but then jesus christ ...

that i get ... just not some of romans and how it is communicated i guess.  i dunno ...

hey fred, take care and i send you and the other OG hugs!    (ol' guy/ol' gal)   




      

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Dignz
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ya know, i know it would help if i actually knew what my questions were.  i am still trying to figure that out.    i will have to get back to that ... maybe.

i know the answer is found in christ himself.  i am just thrown off by words that have apparently become 'buzz' words for me.  i want to get rid of the 'buzz'.  i just want to understand paul and why he said what he said where he said it and the way he said it. 

a couple of questions that just came to mind:

i guess i just don't know what to think about this body i am in.  what about this body i am in?  how am i to view it?  is it possessed by sin?  if it is, then am i separate from this body?   'cuz if the real me is alive to god and has the righteousness of christ, then what of this body i am in?  what is it that is dead then?  (i seem to remember joy asking this same question)  or is there an interconnectedness with it?  new age and ancient teachings preach that we are not our bodies, that we are separate, etc. 

the body issue with the new life of christ issue is the confusing part.  back to the 'body is dead because of sin' and it is 'dying'  stuff ... if it is dead, how is it dying?  hmmm ... i think i already did ask those questions? 




Edited by Dignz on Mar-20-09 at 2:08pm


      

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Dignz wrote:
... i am reading some good stuff on the shovel ... look for the shovel writings ... then look for romans.  i think it will answer our questions.    i keep forgetting there is such great stuff there 'cuz i get lost in here on the shack having such a great time hanging out with you guyz!   


Thanks for this reminder, Sher.  I've gone back to read a couple of them.
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luvin
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 guess i just don't know what to think about this body i am in.  what about this body i am in?  how am i to view it?  is it possessed by sin?  if it is, then am i separate from this body?   'cuz if the real me is alive to god and has the righteousness of christ, then what of this body i am in?  what is it that is dead then?  (i seem to remember joy asking this same question)  or is there an interconnectedness with it?  new age and ancient teachings preach that we are not our bodies, that we are separate, etc.  -Dignz

 

Somehing tells me you are not the only one asking this!



      

It is peace[the kind we long for] to know that my life patterns do not distract or derail the Living God"-Adam

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meek
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Posted: Mar-20-09 at 8:09pm | IP Logged  

i 'get it' one moment and lose it in another, which makes me ponder whether i 'have it' at all.    and trying to 'get it back' when i lose it just gets me lost even further.  then i start to feel like i am trying to brainwash myself into getting something i don't have in the first place.         then i feel like a real schizoid and very quickly and easily see the schizoid reasoning, etc.  why is it so much clearer for some than others?

Sherri, are you some kind of mind reader?  Seriously, I find myself on that confusing merry go round too.

I guess in a certain sense it is alive..just not alive to God.
Wow, just not alive to God, that makes sense. 




      

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csnarnia
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Posted: Mar-21-09 at 11:53am | IP Logged  

Thanks for that review...I keep telling myself that I need to reread Jims stuff and keep putting it off.

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Lots of good questions and thoughts here. Something I certainly went in circles with for years. I'm sure not saying that I am not in circles still but it doesn't consume me anymore. I do believe understanding the dead, dying, die off etc....helps immensely in understanding those verses. It makes all the difference in the world. We do have to know what Paul meant when he wrote. So many words are translated into our English and we lose the meat of what he is saying, thus we are stuck with confusion!!

The flesh always wants to have its say, its part, but Jesus will not put up with it. We keep trying to have our part, but oil and water don't mix, just as Spirit and flesh don't mix. It is all about Jesus though, He has won and He will win. He isn't in time, we only see it from time. When we mess up, we focus back on Him. Life is that simple, that free. I'm really expressing what I need to hear myself today! 

Gal 5:16 Paul tells them to walk in the Spirit. Then vs. 17 he says the flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh. (He was speaking to the church, that is us.) BUT if you are lead by the Spirit you are not under the law. Then vs. 18, BUT if you are lead by the Spirit you are not under the flesh. He directly relates this war to the law. It comes down to living by faith....just Jesus, no flesh and no law to hold on to. Vs 24, after he talks about the fruits of the Spirit, the evidence, he says it is crucified. AND SINCE we live in the Spirit, let us also WALK in the Spirit. Walk where we live....Sherri, you quoted so much of Romans 8. IICor 4:10-11. Carrying about the DYING of the Lord Jesus Christ. To as many as believed Him, to as many as received Him....this is our present tense, not past tense. This gives HOPE moment by moment.
love,
Joy 

Edited by nyagali on Mar-22-09 at 10:08am
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luvin
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Posted: Dec-10-10 at 10:15am | IP Logged  

Hi Sher!

Hey you said[way back when]:

"13for if according to the flesh ye do live, ye are
about to die; and if, by the Spirit, the deeds of
the body ye put to death, ye shall live;
14for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these
are the sons of God;


putting to death the deeds of the body ~ what does
this part mean? how is this done? this is the
stumper isn't it? this is what i would truly
appreciate more thoughts and dialogue on if anyone
so desires. i know this comes up all the time, but
we understand why don't we? it is what we wrestle
with in our hearts and minds all the time. it is
the stuff that paul addresssed all the time. it is
what grabs at us and causes confusion and unrest and
robs us of our confidence, isn't it?   -Dignz"


Hey what if what Paul was speaking here was ALREADY
accomplished? For it IS true that if we ARE in the
flesh still..we "must die". However if we actually
DID die to the law[which births sin in us] then we
could have only died to it for ONE reason. Him! And
if we DID die with him, then we are no longer under
the law[which gives life to SIN]. If we now are
'reborn' in a new life, what life is it? It is HIS
life! If our life is hidden in His, new, not redone,
but brand spanking new, then our true life has no
connection to the law of sin and death.[the Law]
Again if we are alive to God and dead to the law
then we HAVE put to death the deeds of the flesh!
Otherwise Paul would be saying 'we', by the power of
our own will[law/human effort] are to put to death
the deeds of the flesh[sin]. We KNOW that isn't what
Paul was saying though!

No we HAVE put to death the deeds of the flesh[given
power by the Law] by way of the Spirit coming into
our hearts. We could not do this ourselves[for the
body is dead, and unable to do anything for God]
but, God DID IT for us by sending His Son to come
and live and die for us and then enter into our
death in Adam and giving us life!

      

It is peace[the kind we long for] to know that my life patterns do not distract or derail the Living God"-Adam

http:newthatsliving.blogspot.com
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luvin
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Posted: Dec-10-10 at 11:54am | IP Logged  

it was just some thoughts of mine on what ya said..I
do not claim to have my own doctrine or anything. lol
What do you think?

      

It is peace[the kind we long for] to know that my life patterns do not distract or derail the Living God"-Adam

http:newthatsliving.blogspot.com
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the shovel
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Posted: Dec-10-10 at 6:55pm | IP Logged  

And some excellent thoughts/insights they are! :) This is such a wonderful section of the letter Paul wrote to the Romans, and I think you have accurately taken the context into consideration with what you suggest. I know there are many who love to play with certain phrases in this and other chapters in Romans, but often the "Christian Life" that arises from those out-of-context phrases have little to do with anything Paul wrote.

For those who are fleshly set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace. Because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not submit to the law of God, nor indeed can it. And those that are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. But if Christ is in you, the body indeed is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit indwelling in you. Therefore, brothers, we are debtors--not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you shall die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the practices of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again unto fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. And if children, then heirs--heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer together, so that we may also be glorified together.  (Romans 8:5-17 EMTV)

If all the religious formulas hadn't been so embedded into our reading of these words, we would not miss the simplicity of what it means to have received the Spirit of God. We wouldn't wonder if living according to the Spirit or having the mind set on the Spirit were benefits we were missing out on, but rather we would recognize the overwhelming grace that has been bestowed upon us. And we would find strength and sanity as we continue on in the midst of a world that reveals itself as not being our real home. :)

Jim


      

DIGGIN'THE LIFE!
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mary
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Posted: Dec-10-10 at 9:42pm | IP Logged  



      Adam, 

          Yes, I have considered this before...HOWEVER, your thoughts are FULL of light and life!    Thank you!


           And I LOVE what Jim said here:
                                                             
(If all the religious formulas hadn't been so embedded into our reading of these words, we would not miss the simplicity of what it means to have received the Spirit of God. We wouldn't wonder if living according to the Spirit or having the mind set on the Spirit were benefits we were missing out on, but rather we would recognize the overwhelming grace that has been bestowed upon us. And we would find strength and sanity as we continue on in the midst of a world that reveals itself as not being our real home. :)

          Very encouraging today! 
  

      

Mary
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Dignz
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Posted: Dec-11-10 at 9:24am | IP Logged  

reahhhhhlly AWESOME!!  encourages and strengthens that new and living heart and mind that is ours in all abundance in christ!  






      

"afterall, he's not a tame lion"
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