Sup guys. I’ve been quiet for a time, but I have a blog now, prepared for you, about one of my most hated chapters of the scriptures, and one of the most abused and misused passages.
I say most hated, but today it has become one of my most loved sections of this letter, to the Romans, penned by the Apostle Paul.
See, we have all heard this line: “I do what I don’t want to do.” Unless we haven’t been in church for more than a couple services, of course. And of course, it is in Romans 7. A cursory reading of this chapter, removed from the context of the whole letter, does support such a foolish, literalistic reading of that phrase. But what about in context? Both of the chapters directly surrounding it, and of the whole chapter, eh? In the first six verses, it tells us outright that Paul was writing as one who understands the law, to those CURRENTLY UNDER THE LAW. That kinda changes this literalistic reading to a different light altogether. What was Paul saying in this passage? Let me paraphrase it for you, and then you can go read the chapter for yourself…
“As a good little jewish boy, I know the right thing to do, but I am powerless to do it.” (I do what I don’t want to do, but don’t do the things I want to do..)
The Apostle proceeds to expound upon these things, explaining that in his body(sarx) there is the law of sin and death, which goes against the Law which he had already explained is Holy… But he does end the chapter with a question and a statement: O! Wretched man that I am, who can set me free from this body of sin and death! Thanks and praise be to Jesus!(Why is He thanking Christ after a question..? because Christ has set Him free!) So I found that with the body I serve sin, and the mind I serve Christ..”
Note that here, he is still speaking as one under the law, and this proceeds into chapter 8. This type of speaking goes on for several verses where he continues to wax eloquent about the differences between being under the law or under grace.. And then! Verse 9! But you are not of the flesh, you are of the Spirit. In other words: You are not of a sinful nature, but you are of a Spirit of Life. In fact, elsewhere, 2 Peter, It tells us that we are partakers of the Divine Nature of God in Christ.
I stated earlier that I feel this is one of the most abused passages of the Letter of Romans, and I could be wrong, but I doubt that I am. It says, in context, exactly the SAME as the chapters surrounding it. However, it often gets used to turn us into dual-natured, bipolar Christians. Such Foolishness! Ridiculousness of the highest order! Jesus didn’t partially clean us up! He completely cleansed us. His blood totally took care of the problem of sin, cursing it to death in the flesh by His own death, of which we shared in, being co-crucified with Him. In fact, these chapters here explain our death in Him removing us entirely from Sin. This is where you say, but Paul! You haven’t physically died yet! or the stupid question: Where are your scars, if you were crucified with Him? It is a mystery, a mystical death and union with Him. Trying to make the leap from scriptures to logic will always land you flat on your arse. It just doesn’t flow well together when you try to add logic to the gospel. There is absolutely no logic at all behind the gospel, if you believe that you are inherently a sinful being and only ever sinful. In fact, the book of 1 John tells us that believers will NOT intentionally continue in sin, because the seed of God remains in them, and that if they continue to intentionally do so, they are not children of God but of the devil.. So please.. Call yourself a sinner. You child of the devil you..
You are children of God, He doesn’t share space with the devil, and He lives in you. His fullness is in your belly. Believe and you will see it begin to manifest in your life. Quit arguing that you are a sinner saved by grace. That’s a sound good theology that fails the test of scriptures. It is the way that seems right to a man..
~The Christian Mystic