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Men Will Always Act According To Their Nature: Sophistic Statement. True Or False.

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  • Men Will Always Act According To Their Nature: Sophistic Statement. True Or False.

    I have often heard it said that men will always act according to their nature. I believe that this is a sophistic statement that if true would exclude men from ever doing anything that does not morally displease God.

    Would like to discuss here whither Paul has one nature, two natures standing side or both natures mixed together. Was the old nature destroyed when God gave Paul a new nature?

    Romans 7:
    13 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.
    14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
    15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
    16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
    17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
    18 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.
    19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
    20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
    21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
    22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
    23 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.
    24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
    25 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.

  • #2
    For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. (Galatians 5:17, NASB)

    Robertson describes this as "a tug of war".
    http://www.studylight.org/commentary...cgi?bk=47&ch=5

    So I do not believe the old nature is "destroyed" when one becomes a Christian.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by foudroyant View Post
      For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. (Galatians 5:17, NASB)

      Robertson describes this as "a tug of war".
      http://www.studylight.org/commentary...cgi?bk=47&ch=5

      So I do not believe the old nature is "destroyed" when one becomes a Christian.

      Then why was Christ sent?

      Romans 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
      25 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.
      Last edited by footwasher; 05-25-2014, 06:35 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        There are already multiple threads going on discussing very similar issues, so I will confine my thoughts here to the narrower question of whether Christians still have their "old nature." This appears to be one of those "now and not yet" things. As you say, Romans 7 describes a war between two natures within the believer. Some try to say Paul is not speaking of himself as a believer, but I have found that line of explanation very unconvincing. Ephesians 4:22 and surrounding verses, in exhorting Christians to live holy lives, commands them to "put off the old self," which in context sounds like something done continually rather than once-for-all. The parallel passage in Colossians 3:9, on the other hand, tells Christians to live holy lives because they have already "put off the old self with its practices," which could be a matter of self-identification or of ontological change.

        One formulation of the different sorts of man runs like this:

        1) Adam: Able to sin, able not to sin, able to please God.
        2) Fallen man: Able to sin, unable not to sin, unable to please God.
        3) Christians on earth: Able to sin, unable not to sin, able to please God.
        4) Glorified saints in heaven and eternity: Unable to sin, able not to sin, able to please God.

        Ugh, seeing the word "able" together that many times in a small space made it start looking weird. I hate it when that happens...

        Comment


        • #5
          The most probable view is that Paul describes the universal condition of man, a noble spirit breathed into a creature driven by natural instincts of survival. A normal way to layout a framework, describe a situation, and then announce the solution.

          God desired to grow Adam into the creature who would learn His ways, His love, His care through working WITH Him, but Adam failed the first test he was put through (belying the claim he was not able to sin). Really, bias makes the home not the best place to grow in wisdom, able to make judgement calls. Out he is sent into the world, where he immediately realises his need for God, if he had any sense to begin with. Or if he was like Cain, responding to selfish survival instincts, leading to overcompetitiveness in turn leading to disaster. The simple solution: walk with God, to reach fulfillment.

          Like 15:17"When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, 'At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger!

          Acts 17: 24“The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; 26and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’

          God wasn't caught out. He made man and said he was good, warts and all. Judaism never had a doctrine of original sin, nor does the Eastern Orthodox.

          Hey RB, repeated usage of "able" is being guilty of the fault of pleonasm:

          Quote
          On the other hand, as is the case with any literary or rhetorical effect, excessive use of pleonasm weakens writing and speech; superfluous words distract from the content. Writers wanting to conceal a thought or a purpose obscure their meaning with verbiage. William Strunk Jr. advocated concision in The Elements of Style (1918):

          Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.

          http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleonasm

          Originally posted by RBerman View Post
          There are already multiple threads going on discussing very similar issues, so I will confine my thoughts here to the narrower question of whether Christians still have their "old nature." This appears to be one of those "now and not yet" things. As you say, Romans 7 describes a war between two natures within the believer. Some try to say Paul is not speaking of himself as a believer, but I have found that line of explanation very unconvincing. Ephesians 4:22 and surrounding verses, in exhorting Christians to live holy lives, commands them to "put off the old self," which in context sounds like something done continually rather than once-for-all. The parallel passage in Colossians 3:9, on the other hand, tells Christians to live holy lives because they have already "put off the old self with its practices," which could be a matter of self-identification or of ontological change.

          One formulation of the different sorts of man runs like this:

          1) Adam: Able to sin, able not to sin, able to please God.
          2) Fallen man: Able to sin, unable not to sin, unable to please God.
          3) Christians on earth: Able to sin, unable not to sin, able to please God.
          4) Glorified saints in heaven and eternity: Unable to sin, able not to sin, able to please God.

          Ugh, seeing the word "able" together that many times in a small space made it start looking weird. I hate it when that happens...

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by footwasher View Post
            Then why was Christ sent?

            Romans 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
            25 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.
            You did not address the passage I cited in Post #2.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by dacristoy View Post
              I have often heard it said that men will always act according to their nature. I believe that this is a sophistic statement that if true would exclude men from ever doing anything that does not morally displease God.

              Would like to discuss here whither Paul has one nature, two natures standing side or both natures mixed together. Was the old nature destroyed when God gave Paul a new nature?

              Romans 7:
              13 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.
              14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
              15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
              16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
              17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
              18 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.
              19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
              20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
              21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
              22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
              23 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.
              24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
              25 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.
              Well, the problem here is that Romans 7 isn't talking about a believer... (see surrounding context of Romans)


              That being said, I think you bring up a fair issue with regards to the 'always act according to your nature' idea. It does seem to present unnecessary issues with regards to moral decisions for both pre- and post-faith.




              Note:
              IMO, I have yet to see any good exegetical reasons to believe Romans 7 is discussing the reality of a believer, especially given the surrounding context. Most arguments I have seen, ultimately rely on presupposition (based on prior theological beliefs), begging the question, or a false dilemma.
              (no offense meant, of course, to those who disagree)
              Last edited by phat8594; 05-27-2014, 12:46 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by phat8594 View Post
                Well, the problem here is that Romans 7 isn't talking about a believer... (see surrounding context of Romans)

                That being said, I think you bring up a fair issue with regards to the 'always act according to your nature' idea. It does seem to present unnecessary issues with regards to moral decisions for both pre- and post-faith.

                Note:
                IMO, I have yet to see any good exegetical reasons to believe Romans 7 is discussing the reality of a believer, especially given the surrounding context. Most arguments I have seen, ultimately rely on presupposition (based on prior theological beliefs), begging the question, or a false dilemma.
                (no offense meant, of course, to those who disagree)
                Verse 24 & 25 firmly and without a doubt establish Paul as a firm believer in Christ in this writing. Under what circumstances do you see a non-believer seeking to be delivered from his body of death. I have heard this position before, never has it appeared to resonate from scripture, or even common sense for that matter.
                24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
                25 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.

                Not only does he thank God, but he also claims Christ as his lord. Unbelievers have a sin nature, but not the new nature that desires to be obedient to Christ.
                (no offense meant, of course, to those who disagree)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by dacristoy View Post
                  Verse 24 & 25 firmly and without a doubt establish Paul as a firm believer in Christ in this writing. Under what circumstances do you see a non-believer seeking to be delivered from his body of death. I have heard this position before, never has it appeared to resonate from scripture, or even common sense for that matter.
                  24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
                  25 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.

                  Not only does he thank God, but he also claims Christ as his lord. Unbelievers have a sin nature, but not the new nature that desires to be obedient to Christ.
                  (no offense meant, of course, to those who disagree)

                  Well there is quite a bit confirming (IMO) it to be an unbeliever. Too much for a simple post...however, I will try to hit the big points. The main thing to look at (as always) is context. After all, a text without a context is a pretext to make the text say whatever you want...

                  1. The context of Romans 7:14-25 finds itself in an area where Paul is discussing the Law. Nowhere in the context does Paul bring up the 'issue' of believers still dealing with sin. With this in mind, it should be noted that Paul's main objective is NOT to describe an unbeliever or believer, but rather to make an argument regarding the Law (what it can / cannot do, it's nature, etc.). This is why Paul brings up the question in 7:13:

                  13 Did that which is good [the Law], then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.
                  Paul then continues expounding on that statement as shown by saying:

                  14 For we know...

                  2. Paul continually describes someone in Romans 7 that contradicts his surrounding statements regarding Christians. It isn't surprising that the first time he does this is his introduction to the dilemma (to set the stage for the hearers):

                  14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin.
                  This of course contradicts Paul's earlier statements regarding Christians:

                  6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin.
                  11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
                  14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
                  17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.
                  20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.
                  22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.
                  3. The man in Romans 7 does not exhibit Christian qualities or a life of Christian victory (as realized in Christ), but rather of defeat by depending on the flesh to attain righteousness through the law. The following statements in Romans 7 should be considered:

                  For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.
                  23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.
                  So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin
                  It should be noted that this Spirit devoid life is juxtaposed to Paul's surrounding descriptions of believers:

                  For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.
                  4 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God
                  5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.
                  6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code
                  There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
                  8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
                  9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
                  12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live
                  4. Outside of textual context, we can also consider the cultural context which saw Jews who 'loved the law' and were trying to attain righteousness through the Law. Paul, of course, is showing how one cannot attain righteousness through the Law, even though the Law is good. Paul shows the problem, of course, is not with the Law, but rather with the flesh. How can something that is fleshly and sold under sin fulfill a Law which, by nature, is Spiritual? Answer, it can't. And that is why Paul shows the solution:

                  3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

                  I hope that helps. Honestly, the big thing is context.

                  How does Paul describe the reality of the believer, and the unbeliever alike? How does this line up with 'the man' in Romans 7?

                  Furthermore, to add insult to injury, if we are to take the man in Romans 7 as a believer (or even Paul) and actually take the text for what it says...we would be left with some pretty far off (and unbiblical) conclusions, such as:

                  1. Believers are sold under sin
                  2. Believers are unable to do good.
                  3. Believers serve the Law of sin
                  Last edited by phat8594; 05-28-2014, 12:15 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    [[
                    Originally posted by foudroyant View Post
                    You did not address the passage I cited in Post #2.
                    For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. (Galatians 5:17, NASB)

                    All men who are sensitive to God's image imprinted on their being cry out for deliverance from the natural drives (Gal 5:17). Those who have heard the Gospel thank God for sending Jesus, for He saved sensitive men from their sins.

                    How is it done, this saving from sins? We know the law could not save, it only revealed sin. However, those who did the law had theur sins revealed. Those who misinterpreted the law, like the Jews, were obviously not brought to humility, which the law could do, which saved, because God exalts the humble.

                    Or those who suppressed the law like the Gentiles. They could also not be brought to humility, for that same reason.

                    After Christ's work on the Cross, there was a quantum change. Just as those who entered the Promised Land could benefit from the wells, houses, crops others had set up, believers who abide in Christ could benefit from the living waters that Christ won, bearing gifts that He gave to men.

                    I reiterate, those who abide in Christ could fulfil ANY law, do what the flesh obstructed:

                    John 15:5I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.

                    Genesis 26:4Through your descendant all the nations of the earth will be blessed.

                    Isaiah 55:1"Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.

                    John 4:14but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life."

                    Ezekiel 47:9
                    Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live.

                    Ezekiel 37: 1The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

                    I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”

                    4Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breatha enter you, and you will come to life. 6I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’ ”

                    7So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
                    Ezekiel 37:11Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope has perished. We are completely cut off.’ 12“Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13“Then you will know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people. 14“I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken and done it,” declares the LORD.’”
                    Last edited by footwasher; 05-28-2014, 12:26 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dacristoy View Post
                      Verse 24 & 25 firmly and without a doubt establish Paul as a firm believer in Christ in this writing. Under what circumstances do you see a non-believer seeking to be delivered from his body of death. I have heard this position before, never has it appeared to resonate from scripture, or even common sense for that matter.
                      24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
                      25 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.

                      Not only does he thank God, but he also claims Christ as his lord. Unbelievers have a sin nature, but not the new nature that desires to be obedient to Christ.
                      (no offense meant, of course, to those who disagree)
                      Oh, I forgot to respond to 7:24-25.

                      This is actually quite simple when we consider that Paul is writing from the standpoint of making an argument about Law. See, the natural conclusion that the Law should bring one to is that we are unable to actually fulfill it, and therefore, we need someone to help us, to save us, to deliver us. So the natural conclusion of the Law is point us to the Savior, Christ.

                      Of course two things should also be noted in those verses. Firstly, in verse 25 I noticed that you highlighted 'I myself serve the law of God'. This of course, is not really what the verse is saying. The verse says:

                      So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
                      Notice the dichotomy between mind and flesh? This is the problem for the unbeliever (as you can see from my earlier post) -- they can know what is right, and even love what is good (see Jews and the Torah) -- but that is not enough to actually carry out the Law, or actually do what is good. The Law shows us what is right, but it is the Spirit who enables us to actually do good.


                      Now as for verse 24...something that most people do not realize, is that once again, it actually firmly and without a doubt establish 'the man' as an unbeliever in Christ. Crazy? It might seem so...but the secret is in the verb tenses. Notice how Paul says:

                      Who will deliver me from this body of death?
                      Paul uses a 'future tense for the word deliver (ῥύομαι - rhyomai). Of course, as believer, we currently, right now, experience the freedom and power of Christ.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by phat8594 View Post
                        Oh, I forgot to respond to 7:24-25.

                        This is actually quite simple when we consider that Paul is writing from the standpoint of making an argument about Law. See, the natural conclusion that the Law should bring one to is that we are unable to actually fulfill it, and therefore, we need someone to help us, to save us, to deliver us. So the natural conclusion of the Law is point us to the Savior, Christ.
                        “Point us”, what us are you talking about. Us, the non-believer, or is that us; the believer.
                        Paul has already stated the he is speaking to those that know the law. “Romans 7
                        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?” Brethern, is this a term used in scripture to denote a non-believer.
                        Of course two things should also be noted in those verses. Firstly, in verse 25 I noticed that you highlighted 'I myself serve the law of God'. This of course, is not really what the verse is saying. The verse says:
                        I know what the verse says, I highlighted a portion of the passage, and I deleted nothing. Everything is still there in all its full glory and context…

                        Notice the dichotomy between mind and flesh? This is the problem for the unbeliever (as you can see from my earlier post) -- they can know what is right, and even love what is good (see Jews and the Torah) -- but that is not enough to actually carry out the Law, or actually do what is good. The Law shows us what is right, but it is the Spirit who enables us to actually do good.
                        The non-believer is not saved, ergo he is not indwelt with the new nature that Christ gives. There is no condemnation of self as evidenced in Paul’s narrative. You make no sense in your extrapolations… First of all you cannot read Paul’s mind, therefore all that we/you have to work with is what is stated by scripture.

                        Now as for verse 24...something that most people do not realize, is that once again, it actually firmly and without a doubt establish 'the man' as an unbeliever in Christ. Crazy? It might seem so...but the secret is in the verb tenses. Notice how Paul says:
                        “Without a doubt”; I find many scriptural reasons to doubt, as well as discard…

                        Paul uses a 'future tense for the word deliver (ῥύομαι - rhyomai). Of course, as believer, we currently, right now, experience the freedom and power of Christ.
                        Future tense”, is this meant to be diversionary, it is meaningless in support of your supposition. Just read the bible, let it say what it says…

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dacristoy View Post
                          “Point us”, what us are you talking about. Us, the non-believer, or is that us; the believer.
                          Paul has already stated the he is speaking to those that know the law. “Romans 7
                          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?” Brethern, is this a term used in scripture to denote a non-believer.
                          The purpose of the Law is to point us to Christ. I used 'us' in the indiscriminate sense.

                          Those that know the law would be Jews. In the case of Romans, it would be Jewish believers. Paul uses the term 'brethren' because Paul is talking to the church. Of course, it should be noted that who you talk to does not determine who or what you are talking about.

                          What does this have to do with the 'man' in Romans 7 being a believer or unbeliever?

                          Originally posted by dacristoy View Post
                          I know what the verse says, I highlighted a portion of the passage, and I deleted nothing. Everything is still there in all its full glory and context…
                          That is correct. I was just noting that the rest of the verse contradicts what Paul says about the believer. (serving the Law of sin in the flesh). Paul describes believers in Romans 6, 7 & 8 as using the members for righteousness -- NOT sin.

                          Originally posted by dacristoy View Post
                          The non-believer is not saved, ergo he is not indwelt with the new nature that Christ gives. There is no condemnation of self as evidenced in Paul’s narrative. You make no sense in your extrapolations… First of all you cannot read Paul’s mind, therefore all that we/you have to work with is what is stated by scripture.
                          ??? I am a little lost by your statements...

                          I am working from Scripture. That's why I referred to (and cited) Romans 6, 7, and 8 extensively.


                          Did you read the previous post?


                          I would love to hear what your scriptural and contextual basis is for believing Paul to be referring to a believer here...

                          Originally posted by dacristoy View Post
                          “Without a doubt”; I find many scriptural reasons to doubt, as well as discard…
                          And in context, they would be...?

                          Originally posted by dacristoy View Post
                          Future tense”, is this meant to be diversionary, it is meaningless in support of your supposition. Just read the bible, let it say what it says…
                          No, its not diversionary at all. Do you believe that freedom in Christ is a present reality for believers or not? Future means future...as in it hasn't happened yet (at all)...future tense means that its not a present reality.

                          If Paul was describing the present plight of a believer, shouldn't Paul have used a past or at least present tense for the verb 'deliver'?
                          Last edited by phat8594; 05-28-2014, 05:52 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by phat8594 View Post
                            The purpose of the Law is to point us to Christ. I used 'us' in the indiscriminate sense.

                            Those that know the law would be Jews. In the case of Romans, it would be Jewish believers. Paul uses the term 'brethren' because Paul is talking to the church. Of course, it should be noted that who you talk to does not determine who or what you are talking about.
                            Excellent observations. You and I both agree that Paul is talking specifically to believers

                            What does this have to do with the 'man' in Romans 7 being a believer or unbeliever?
                            The man in Romans 7 is Paul, he is describing his daily struggles (Old nature Vs. new nature) to walk with Christ. In doing so, he illuminates his struggles as a believer to other believers.

                            That is correct. I was just noting that the rest of the verse contradicts what Paul says about the believer. (serving the Law of sin in the flesh). Paul describes believers in Romans 6, 7 & 8 as using the members for righteousness -- NOT sin.

                            ??? I am a little lost by your statements...
                            Don't feel pregnant, I am lost by what you just stated...

                            I am working from Scripture. That's why I referred to (and cited) Romans 6, 7, and 8 extensively.

                            Did you read the previous post?
                            Yes I did. The overall context of these three paragraphs does not negate the immediate context established found in smaller sentences or single paragraphs. You use this method of context in order to achieve a personal belief of yours. If you cannot have your way established by applying Romans 6, 7. & 8, you will extend your search to 3, 4, 5, 6 7, 8, & 9. If that does not work you will attempt to apply the context of Acts & Matthew. A tad exaggerated, but my point is established,

                            I would love to hear what your scriptural and contextual basis is for believing Paul to be referring to a believer here...


                            And in context, they would be...?
                            Never heard of a Non Believer calling on Christ for salvation or even less, to ne saved from his sins, Paul is describing a person that has a strong desire to be obedient to God, not someone that's totally unconcerned with such. Just read the Romans 7 passages that I posted, it's all there...


                            No, its not diversionary at all. Do you believe that freedom in Christ is a present reality for believers or not? Future means future...as in it hasn't happened yet (at all)...future tense means that its not a present reality.

                            If Paul was describing the present plight of a believer, shouldn't Paul have used a past or at least present tense for the verb 'deliver'?
                            Lost.... Unable to apply this to our conversation...

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dacristoy View Post
                              The man in Romans 7 is Paul, he is describing his daily struggles (Old nature Vs. new nature) to walk with Christ. In doing so, he illuminates his struggles as a believer to other believers.
                              I am aware that you have asserted this.


                              Originally posted by dacristoy View Post
                              Yes I did. The overall context of these three paragraphs does not negate the immediate context established found in smaller sentences or single paragraphs. You use this method of context in order to achieve a personal belief of yours. If you cannot have your way established by applying Romans 6, 7. & 8, you will extend your search to 3, 4, 5, 6 7, 8, & 9. If that does not work you will attempt to apply the context of Acts & Matthew. A tad exaggerated, but my point is established,
                              Actually, if you read my post you will notice that I quoted the IMMEDIATE context as well as the surrounding context. Although you have asserted that I have used context in order to prove my belief, I have actually used context to come to my belief. I previously viewed Romans 7 as the believer simply because of personal experience (I struggled with sin, so therefore I believed Romans 7 must be talking about a believer). Of course, this was until I learned proper hermeneutics and the importance of context. It was from looking at what Paul actually wrote in context that I came to the position I now hold firmly.

                              After all, without context people can make the Bible say pretty much whatever they want it to say. Context essentially works in concentric circles. For example, words have semantic ranges -- which take on meaning within a sentence. The sentence takes on meaning within a paragraph, and the paragraph takes on meaning within the surrounding paragraphs, and greater work. To remove context, removes the text from its original intent and meaning. And after all, a text cannot mean something different today than when it was first written.

                              AND, although you have tried using a slippery slope argument with regards to context (coupled with an appeal to spite, I might add) you have still yet to provide context of your own, merely asserting that Paul is talking about a believer.

                              Besides this, you still must deal with not only the context, but the contradictions that occur (with what Paul writes in Romans 6-8) when taking Romans 7:14-25 to be a believer.



                              Originally posted by dacristoy View Post
                              Never heard of a Non Believer calling on Christ for salvation or even less, to ne saved from his sins, Paul is describing a person that has a strong desire to be obedient to God, not someone that's totally unconcerned with such. Just read the Romans 7 passages that I posted, it's all there...
                              Then I wonder how someone ever becomes a believer in the first place?

                              (PS, the man in Romans 7 is unable to do good. Are believers unable to do good they want to do?)

                              (PPS - Paul point is to make an argument about the Law - not describe in the reality of a believer / unbeliever. Paul is using the plight of an unbelieving Jew who is trying to attain righteousness through the Law, to show that it cannot be done.)



                              Originally posted by dacristoy View Post
                              Lost.... Unable to apply this to our conversation...
                              The question is simple:

                              Do you believe that freedom in Christ is a present reality for believers or not?
                              Last edited by phat8594; 05-29-2014, 11:51 AM.

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