7-22-2017 The Humanity of Paul
The fight The Victory
1 Don’t you know, brothers (I speak to you who know the law) how the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives?
2 For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives, but if her husband is dead, she is freed from the law of her husband.
Dead: apothnesko 599, dead, death, die – from 575 apo meaning separation, departure, cessation, & 2348 thenesko meaning die, be dead. All = literal, physical death.
3 For if she marries another man while her husband lives, she is an adulteress, but if her husband is dead, she is free from that law and even though she marries another man she is not an adulteress.
4 Therefore brothers, you are also dead to the law by the body of Christ so that you are free to marry another, even He who is raised form the dead (to live for Jesus) that we should bring fruit forth unto God.
Paul correlates being bound by the law but free under grace to a married woman whose husband dies. After all, we are the bride of Christ, are we not? But not if our salvation is based on the Mosaic Law. Keep the law and live, break the law and die. That’s works, not grace and under Jesus, we are under grace. When a woman’s husband dies, literally, she is free to remarry. But if she remarries while the first husband still lives, the woman becomes an adulteress because her husband lives, she is still bound by that first covenant. When we are still ‘bound’ by the law we are still obligated to it. But because Jesus fulfilled the law (Matt. 5:17) and we are now in Jesus (John 15:4) we are free from the letter of the law and live under grace.
5 For while we were yet in the flesh, all our sinful actions worked in our members to bring forth death as mandated by the law.
6 But now we are delivered from the law, dead to that which held us, that we should serve in the newness of spirit and not in the oldness of the letter (of the law).
Here comes the spiritual part. Paul says that before salvation, to break the law just compounded our death sentence (which is already upon us for refusing Jesus (2 Thess. 2:10 & 1 John5:12), but we are free from the law’s death sentence because we serve a new standard – Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. Now this new covenant doesn’t eliminate the old law, but intensifies it to where it’s not just a matter of keeping the ‘doing’ of the law but even ‘considering’ going contrary is now transgression. Now we find under the new covenant, even desiring to do wrong is the same as actually doing it (Matt. 5:28).
7 What shall we say then, is the law sin? God forbid! I would not have known about sin if it weren’t for the law. I would not have known about lust except that the law said ‘don’t covet’.
8 But sin, taking advantage of the law, worked all manner of sin and lust in (note the word ‘in’) me, for without the law, there was no sin (penalty).
How can someone be aware that they are doing wrong if they aren’t told? However we see that those whose names are not entered into the Book of Life are cast into the lake of fire (Rev.20”15) AND there is no other name given among men whereby we may attain salvation, save Jesus (Acts 4:10-12).
9 For I was alive without the law once, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.
Without the law, I didn’t know I was sinning, but because the law defines sin, now I know. Now I have a choice to make – continue to live in sin and die to (not ‘for) Jesus or to die to self and live for Jesus.
10 And the commandment, which was intended for life, I found death (to self).
11 For sin, by taking advantage of the commandment, deceived me and through it (the commandment) slew me.
12 Therefore the law is holy and the commandment is holy, just and good.
13 So that which is good became death for me? God forbid! But sin, that it would appear as sin, became death to me by that which is good, that sin, by the commandment would become exceedingly sinful. (all have sinned and come short of the glory of God therefore sin becomes dead in Jesus (Rom. 3:23))
So is the law bad because it reveals sin? Of course not. When we don’t understand about sin, we live our lives however we feel, not realizing we’re doing good or bad. But the law brings awareness of doing wrong, that is going against God’s standard, and once I am aware of that wrongdoing, I am bound to not to transgress God’s standard anymore. However, becoming aware of the law I now realize that I have transgressed it but what has been done, is done. I can’t undo it. So, the law which was intended to prevent me from doing evil has now convicted me of the evil which I have done and I come to realize that I am under a death sentence, an eternal death sentence. I am convicted and know that I must eventually pay the penalty. Transgressing of any point of the law one becomes guilty of the whole law, (James 2:10), and being guilty of sin equals death (James 1:14-15)!
However, what is the commandment Paul mentions here? The great commandment! Which is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:29-30) and, of course, to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31).
Living in God’s love helps us to abide in Jesus (John 15:8-10) so we can be one with the Father through Jesus (John 17:20-21). And why do we want to live in Jesus and be one with Him? Jesus came to fulfill the law (Matt. 5:17) so when we accept Jesus we are living, abiding, in His love, right? Does not love cover a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8)? So when we abide in His love we abide in Him (John 15:10) ergo, His love (John 15:13) which cleanses us from our sins, because we have confessed them (1 John 1:9) and that He did through the shedding of His blood (1 John 1:7), right? So by accepting Jesus into our hearts, we also fulfill the law as we abide in Him.
So both the law and the commandment (love) are good. The law reveals that I sin but the commandment redeems me from its (eternal) death penalty. But should I sin (after salvation) I have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous (1 John 2:1) and as I confess and repent those sins I am forgiven and cleansed for my iniquity (1 John 1:9). And when God forgives, He forgets (Isaiah 38:17).
14 For we know that the law is spiritual and that I am carnal, sold under sin.
15 For the things I do, I shouldn’t and the things I don’t do, I should, so I find myself doing the things I hate, to do.
16 So if I do those things that I shouldn’t, I testify that the law is good (It reminds me of the error of my ways, my sin).
17 For it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me. (where does it dwell?)
18 For I know that which is in me (that is my flesh) dwells no good thing for to do the right thing is always present with me, but I can’t seem to find a way to that which is good.
19 For the good which I should do, it don’t and the evil that I shouldn’t do, I do.
20 Now if I do that which I shouldn’t, it is no longer me that does it, but sin which dwells within me. (But, it is still my body)
21 Then I find a law that when I do good, evil is also present with me.
When we’re trying to do good, how can evil be present with us? Strong’s gives us three Greek words which are closely related with our body: Psyche, which is our emotions, intellect and will, animal sense or feeling, soul (5590); Pneuma (4151) which is breeze, blast of air, breath, spirit or rational, immortal soul, Holy Spirit (note caps), spirit, ghost; and Zoe (2222) life (animation). All are evidences of ‘life’.
Paraphrasing what Frank Hammond explains from “Pigs in the Parlor”, pneuma, spirit, is what enables us to grasp spiritual concepts. Psyche is our natural or soulish self, how we think, our emotions, etc.. Here, I’ll add zoe which is that which gives our bodies breath, to live, animation. It seems to me that whatever has life, breathes air, so it has zoe. It also seems, by what I’m reading, psyche would animate us and give us purpose of direction and the ability to relate to that which is around us. This is where we’re able to think, rationalize, feel and so forth. Look at life. Everything that breaths has some sense of rationality, the ability to think. Observing my pets over the years, I have discovered even pets relate to us. When I was a child, we had a cocker spaniel which my mother reprimanded one night and put her in the kitchen. Sitting in a chair by the kitchen door way, I observed the dog sneak out of the kitchen and peek around the chair in which I was sitting. She looked to see where my mother was, peed on the living room carpet and ran back into the kitchen. Even animal can rationalize. Now whether animals have pneuma, I don’t know, but from observation, they would seem to clearly have zoe and psyche. But, Dr. Hammond points out (Pigs in the Parlor) that Paul says we are a three part being, body, soul and spirit (1 Thess. 5:23). Zoe relates to body (alive), psyche relates to soul (emotion & thought) and pneuma (ability to connect spiritually).
Without Jesus (salvation) our pneuma is essentially dead at least to God, but we do have psyche and zoe to carry us on (just like animals), so we ‘live’. We walk, we talk, we ‘do’. But through pneuma, we are connected eternally with the Father. Jesus is preparing a place for all who believe so we can be with Him (John 14:3). With salvation, pneuma is quickened and brought to life with God’s indwelling Holy Spirit. Reading this material implies that demonic spirits cannot enter pneuma, at least not at the same time the Holy Ghost occupies that area, but are confined to operating in the psyche, our soulish self, influencing our thoughts and emotions. This might explain why Paul declared “Oh, wretched man am I? Who shall deliver me from this body of death (psyche & zoe)? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. With my mind (3563-intellect) I serve the law of God but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.” (Rom. 7:24-25). So ask yourself, ‘where are most spiritual battles waged?’ I can speak for myself, most are in my mind (psyche).
Now, hold the fort. Mind equals psyche and we said the Holy Ghost dwells in our pneuma. Paul said he serves God with his ‘mind’. Understand, our psyche follows something or someone. We cannot serve God and mammon (Matt. 6:24), we love one and hate the other or hold on to one despise the other. Realize what our spiritual growth means: we come into alignment with something or someone, Satan or God. Our choice. Through the Holy Ghost dwelling in our pneuma, we align ourselves with the Father, by transforming and renewing our minds (psyche) to that which is good, perfect and acceptable, the will of God (Rom. 12:2). So our psyche is acting more and more like our Spirit filled pneuma. The Holy Ghost will lead us into all truth (John 16:13) and reveal God’s mysteries to us (1 Corinth. 14:2). We grow spiritually. So when there is no Holy Ghost filled pneuma, what is left to fill that space? It is dead to God, but does that mean it then doesn’t exist? Without the Holy Ghost, it is clearly dead to eternal salvation. What about our ‘self-will’, or a demonic spirit occupying that space? Or does pneuma not exist until the Holy Ghost comes into our lives? Paul AND Dr. Hammond suggest that we are a three part being so I don’t think pneuma just ‘doesn’t exist’ until the Holy Ghost takes up residence. So, again, what is left? Our own self-will or a demonic spirit. Don’t be fooled, our self-will resides in our psyche and is influenced by something – God or Satan. It is a spiritual battle for our soul which results on the final destination of our eternal spirit (pneuma), which brings our bodies along with it (1 Corinth. 15:47-54). When we aren’t listening to God, we are automatically making the opposing choice – listening to Satan, by default, whether we admit it or not. Yes, we may think we make the choice, but we are influenced by something.
So I would suggest that when any external source or power tries to influence our thoughts and emotions (the battle is for our psyche) that is oppression but who owns our eternal spirit (pneuma) possesses it.
So in Romans, Paul wrestles with his own soul as he endeavors to hear the Holy Ghost and draw his psyche (soul) closer into God’s will. What we also find, now, is the possibility of our being influenced, possibly even possessed in our psyche even though our pneuma draws us forward in the strength of the Holy Ghost, into complete alignment with Father as it contends with the rebellion of our psyche. The things I should do, I don’t and the things I shouldn’t do, I do. Technically, psyche and pneuma are not occupying the same space. So to break any satanic influence, our psyche must become aligned with our Holy Ghost filled pneuma. Zoe does whatever the pneuma and/or psyche does. Ergo, Paul wrestles flesh against spirit. Thereby bringing into alignment with God, through Jesus Christ via the indwelling Holy Spirit (God is one) our pneuma, psyche and zoe as one. And because we’ve become aligned with God, we are now one with Father, Son and Holy Spirit (John 17:21).
22 For I delight in the law after the inward man.
23 But I see another law in my members (body) warring against the law of my mind bringing me into captivity to the law of sin, which is also present in my body (the war between pneuma and psyche).
24 Oh, wretched man am I! who shall deliver me from this body of death?
25 I thank God through Jesus Christ, our Lord. So then with my mind (because I have brought, or am bringing, my mind under subjection of the HG), I serve the Lord, but with the flesh, the law of sin (my intellect and instincts).
I am persuaded that this battle continues in some degree until we are literally with the Lord. But, we can choose whom we obey and who ends up with our eternal spirit and remember, body, soul and spirit come (or if you will – goes) as a complete package. So Paul tells us he brings his body under subjection (1 Corinth. 9:27) while yielding his souls to the Holy Ghost (2 Corinth. 10:3-5)
Jesus tells us the dead shall be raised first then whose who are alive on the earth shall be caught up in the air with them (1 Thess. 4:16-17). In spirit? After His resurrection, Jesus appeared before His disciples who become fearful for they thought they were seeing a ghost. And Jesus says “… behold My hands and my feet, it is Me. A spirit doesn’t have flesh and bone as you see Me having.” (Luke 24:39). So in our resurrection, we are not ghostly apparitions, we have physical bodies, just as Jesus after His resurrection.
Note that Jesus said flesh and ‘bone’, not flesh and ‘blood’. Blood is the life source of all living things (Lev. 17:12-14). On ‘that’ day, we all shall be changed because flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven, as we are raised incorruptible (1 Corinth. 15:50-52). We will have a new life source and Jesus says that He is the resurrection and the life (John 11:25).
And because of our faith and acceptance of Jesus as our Messiah and through our obedience by living in His love, our eternal spirit (and body) will exist with the Father, through Jesus Christ, our Lord (Rom. 10:9). And the Holy Ghost is our assurance that this is true for He helps us to align our psyche with God’s will as He resides in our pneuma.