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Featured Alive without the Law (Rom. 7:9)

Discussion in 'Christian Theology Forum' started by Stranger, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. Stranger

    Stranger Well-Known Member

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    (Rom. 7:9) "For I was alive without the law once; but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died."

    What time period is Paul speaking of in his life? Is it iimportant? I believe so as it will affect the rest of chapter (7).

    Stranger
     
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  2. Episkopos

    Episkopos Well-Known Member

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    Paul is speaking of his early Christian walk....when he discovers that grace is not just life apart from the law...but a life that must also obey the law. At first these seem opposed to each other. The function of the law is that it exposes us to the standard of holiness that God expects of us...not by the power of the law (there is NO power there...quite the opposite...it saps our power) that exposes our lack of holiness...but a grace that is meant to overcome sin and satisfy the law. But this is something, the depth of which, we cannot perceive at the outset. It was new for Paul too when he started out. It looks like the life we get by grace makes us free from the law in every respect. But in fact we have yet to learn their relation to each other....as Paul attests to. He needed to get a step further in grace which is to seek an abiding into Christ....above and beyond having life given to him by Christ living within him.

    I would say that most Christians haven't come to the same honest conclusion of Paul's which is that grace must be that which makes us holy as God is holy.

    Paul didn't want to fall short of God's standard and fail the grace of God. The law "tricked" him by imposing it's standard on a man who was alive by grace through faith. But was it really that law that tricked him or a superficial grasp of what grace does? That is where we modern believers so often fail....and fall short. We reason this challenge from God away.
     
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  3. Stranger

    Stranger Well-Known Member

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    But Paul says he was alive apart from the Law. But when the Law came he died. So you're saying it is better to be killed by the law then alive without it?

    Stranger
     
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  4. Episkopos

    Episkopos Well-Known Member

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    We are born again by the Spirit apart from the law as Paul is describing. But then he was overcome by the law. What is better is to go to God for the full power of grace. The whole purpose of God is that we should seek Him and know Him...not just to give us gifts that make us able to live without Him.
     
  5. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    I believe verse 9 is a reference to the time in Paul's life before he began to comprehend the Bible truth that the wages of sin is death. The Ten Commandments render all human beings guilty before God, and the consequence of violating those commandments is spiritual death, as well as eternal death.

    So prior to understanding the significance of the Ten Commandments, Paul believed that he was alive. But after that he realized that because of sin in his life, he was a walking dead man.
     
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  6. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps Paul was thinking back to his childhood, before knowing what the Law meant?
    Just a thought...
     
  7. Stranger

    Stranger Well-Known Member

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    Why should Paul have been overcome by the Law if he was alive without the Law. In other words, the Law didn't give him life. To go back to the Law did only one thing. It killed him.

    (Rom. 8:10) "And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death."

    Stranger
     
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  8. Stranger

    Stranger Well-Known Member

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    Are you saying this referred to the time prior to Pauls conversion on the Damascus road?

    Stranger
     
  9. Stranger

    Stranger Well-Known Member

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    That is a possibility. And then once he knew the Law, the Law killed him. But in Paul's testimony he declared concerning the righteousness of the Law that he was blameless. (Philippians 3:5-6) "...an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless."

    So Paul's experience in (Rom. 7) was he was alive and then the Law killed him. But here in (Phillippians) as a Pharisee, he considered himself righteous according to the Law. In other words, I don't think he saw the Law as killing him. I think he saw here that he was alive under the Law.

    This brings to mind something I haven't thought of before. The Law did not bring Paul to Christ. Paul was not going about feeling guilty under the Law. He was going about feeling that he was totally righteous under the Law. Jesus alone brought Paul to Himself.

    Stranger
     
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  10. Episkopos

    Episkopos Well-Known Member

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    It must go back to the holy purpose of the law. Can we ignore the law of God? We will all be judged by the law. Our works must be found to be lawful. This is the problem with understanding grace...unless we understand that through grace we must fulfill the requirements of the law. Grace does not mean lawlessness. Unfortunately there are not many teachers that lead people the right way on this.

    Romans 3:31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.

    Do we really uphold the law by grace? Or do we set these against each other?

    This is something that each of us must come to grips with in order to understand the purpose of salvation. If we don't reconcile grace with the law...over time...we may disqualify ourselves from the kingdom of God. We risk entering into iniquity. Look at all we do as Christians...in the name of the Lord...and look at the ones to whom Jesus said...I never knew you. Do we not also become convinced in ourselves that we can do things for God all the while being so very human in our failings? Do we not begin to forsake the faith that leads to holiness in the place of a religious idea that we are saved in spite of our transgressions against the law? Should we not seek to be doing things IN God (and not religiously for God)?

    All this is averted and remedied by going to the Lord to be empowered by His Spirit and walk in victory by grace through faith....the full grace and the full victory. Know the Lord. Seek His face and live. This message has never changed. It is the real purpose of the New Covenant that HIS law be written on our hearts...and not a faulty understanding of grace imprinted on our carnal minds.

    We must reconcile grace and the law to realize what we are being called to. Otherwise we are making up our own human religion that avoids responsibility for obedience to God.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
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  11. Episkopos

    Episkopos Well-Known Member

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    The law could not then have "killed" Paul while he was yet an unregenerate man. He thought he was justified by the law. He would never have seen the law as something that condemned him...before encountering the Lord, that is. He was raised in Judaism. Go ask any Jew if he feels that God gave them the law in order to condemn them. He will justify himself rather that he has received the law and the covenant of God which is by the Torah. He feels this justifies him....not condemns him. So then Romans 7 is about the beginning of his journey of faith in Christ. Besides...Paul elsewhere talks about when he was a child. A child does not consider condemnation by the law. Paul is writing to adults not children. He is writing to people who also must come to grips with what Paul experienced.

    So it is directly speaking to our own concerns.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
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  12. Stranger

    Stranger Well-Known Member

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    Well, Paul was saved without the Law. If the Law did not save him, neither can it keep him. And isn't that what he is saying? He was alive without the Law, then he returned to the Law, and he died. The Law did nothing but kill him. Instead of saving him, instead of furthering his walk with the Lord, it slew him. (Rom. 8:9)

    (Rom. 7:10) "And the commandment which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death."

    Isn't Paul saying he was alive once without the Law, then he made the mistake of going back to the Law. The result was the Law killed him. (Rom. 7:11) "For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me." The commandment fed sin. Empowered sin.

    Stranger
     
  13. Stranger

    Stranger Well-Known Member

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    Yes, prior to Paul's conversion, the Law was not killing him. He saw himself blameless before the Law. Which seems to me that in (Rom. 7) Paul is writing of a time after he was saved and then returned to the Law. The result was, it killed him.

    You say (Rom. 7) is about the beginning of his journey of faith. What do you base that on? I don't see it.

    Indeed Christians must come to grips with what Paul is experiencing here.

    Stranger
     
  14. farouk

    farouk Well-Known Member

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    This is part of the message of Galatians also. :)
     
  15. Episkopos

    Episkopos Well-Known Member

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    It's not that he returned to the law.....it's that grace was trying to get him away from the law. The law doesn't go away...we just set it aside for a time to concentrate on life in Christ. But if while we are seeking to live in Christ we become lawbreakers...then there is something we're missing. The law is ever there to show us our sins. There is a conundrum to be understood. If a person is free from the law...then why does he still have to keep it? So then the law "ambushed" Paul (and us) because of grace. Or actually grace ambushed him because of the law.

    I've had a few turning points in my own life because of this. I had to go deeper into Christ to reconcile the problem between grace and law. I think that's the point....going deeper with Christ.

    Being made alive without the law....alive in Christ. A new spiritual kind of life with it's love, joy and peace. We come alive when we are regenerated in Christ.
    Amen, and thank you for the thread. :)
     
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  16. VictoryinJesus

    VictoryinJesus Well-Known Member

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    John 12:24-25
    [24] Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. [25] He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

    Hebrews 9:14-17
    [14] How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? [15] And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. [16] For where a testament is , there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. [17] For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.

    A testimony is without the power of God as long as a man lives. You can’t bear Spiritual fruit without being (dead to sin) and being born again from above. Paul knew the Law but he had not been born again from above until meeting Jesus on that road. The Pharisees also knew God’s word but they didn’t know the voice of the prophets or His voice ...otherwise they would not have crucified Him. Neither did Paul know His voice or in ignorance he wouldn’t have been persecuting Christ.
     
  17. farouk

    farouk Well-Known Member

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    Great verses there; vital Godliness through the effect of the Word is essential, not in word only but in deed and in truth...
     
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  18. Stranger

    Stranger Well-Known Member

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    But, the problem is not that Paul set the Law aside for a time. The problem is he didn't set it aside for good. If you are not under the Law, then you are not a lawbreaker. It doesn't matter how long you set the Law aside, as soon as you go back to the law you are a law breaker.

    We may be saying somewhat the same thing here, but it appears to me there is a difference. Paul has not mentioned grace up to this point other than that he was alive apart from the law. The law instead of empowering Paul to a better walk with Christ, empowered sin in him. (7:10-11) And, the Law made Paul sin more. (7:13) "...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."

    In other words, the Law killed Paul. The Law did nothing to forward his walk with Christ. Any time he looks back to the Law, or places himself under the Law, then it kills him. And what is the difference? If you are looking at the law to follow or to gauge your conduct, what would be the difference? It kills you either way.

    I see what you are saying 'at the beginning of Paul's journey'. Yes, the beginning is his being born-again as ours is. Yet I was interested as to the time when he turned back to the law and it killed him. It wouldn't matter when it was because whenever it was, the law would have killed him. So, Paul was alive unto God for a while and then went back to the law. That was a time I was interested in.

    You're quite welcome.

    Stranger
     
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  19. Stranger

    Stranger Well-Known Member

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    I agree. While lost, Paul knew the Law, and in his eyes concerning the Law, he was blameless. Then he was saved by Christ, made alive unto God. Made alive without the law. But then for some reason, as he would have struggled more with law than any believer having been a great keeper of the whole law, he went back to the law. And it killed him.

    I mentioned earlier here of a new thought of mine, maybe not to anyone else, that the Law never did lead Paul to Christ. Christ literally brought him kicking and screaming. And Paul, who considered himself blameless before the Law, was now born-again. So whenever the point in time was that Paul went back to the Law, he had no reason to think it would kill him as he didn't see it killing him before. What a surprise he got. Now that he was in a right relationship with God, he saw himself as he truly was. A great sinner. And the Law not only found him guilty but empowered sin in him.

    Stranger
     
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  20. Episkopos

    Episkopos Well-Known Member

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    That's not how law works. The law of God is like the law of gravity...it is immutable. The only way to overcome the law of gravity...is with a greater law...the law of flight...or in this case, the law of faith. What I meant about setting the law aside was that Paul didn't consider what he was doing...to see if he was actually fulfilling the law. We must all be lawful in our walk. So this is not about "going back" to the law....but it is about examining what we walk in with grace to see if the law is being fulfilled or not. The law is just a gauge. If we are walking in the power of Christ...then we are fulfilling the law by not sinning against it.
    The difference is that the full measure of grace causes us to have victory over sin and therefore fulfills the law. We are only given a deposit at the beginning...and must God seek for the whole amount.
    Actually I don't think Paul returned to the law instead of living by the Spirit...he roundly condemns that in others. I think he just examined himself by the law and found that he was not as pure as he ought to be. So he went back to God for more grace.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
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