Paul's Passing Thoughts

A Blog for TANC Ministries

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on February 19, 2016

What is TANC Ministries?

PPT horizontal  tanc pub horizontal 2  blogtalk horitontal  OWP horizontal  Andy horizontal

Understanding the World Through Under Law and Under Grace: Part Three; The Other Law

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 29, 2017

In regard to the law’s relationship to salvation, though the Jew was given oversight of God’s oracles, there is no advantage over the Gentile—there is no partiality. Paul begins this line of thought as follows:

Romans 2:12 – For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.

This passage interprets and defines a lot of anthropology while refuting a vast body of bad theology. While the unregenerate man is a sinner, he is also born with the “work[s] of the law” written on his/her heart. We are all created with a conscience as well that “bears witness” to that law and invokes conflicting thoughts within us that excuse or accuse. In the soul of every person, God’s court of law is continually in session. Man is directly responsible to God, and this reality throws much controversy into spiritual caste systems and the Reformed notion of total depravity. Man is capable of doing things that agree with his God-given conscience and the “work of the law.” This will not in any way earn salvation for him, but sadly, many are deceived otherwise. Living primarily by conscience will make eternal judgment more bearable, but of course, we long that every person would choose eternal life instead. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that the works of unregenerate man have merit of some sort which again brings a litany of Reformed ideas into question. The following is an excerpt from the teachings of Wayne Jackson:

On the opposite side of the equation, there is the matter of degrees of punishment. If anything, the Bible is even more decisive on this issue.

Jesus informed the citizens of certain communities in Galilee that in the day of judgment, it would be “more tolerable” for certain people of the ancient world (e.g., Tyre, Sidon, and Sodom) than for them (Mt. 11:20-24; cf. 10:15). The word “tolerable” means “bearable, endurable.” In the Greek Testament the word represents a comparative format. The difference was in the opportunities each had enjoyed. Judgment was to be balanced against this factor.

Christ told about a certain master who took a trip. While he was away, his servants, who had been charged with various responsibilities, disobeyed him. When the Lord returned, and discovered that some had knowingly been disobedient, while others had disobeyed in ignorance, he punished them according to the level of their culpability (Lk. 12:47-48). There is perhaps no clearer passage than this, that teaches degrees of punishment.
During the course of his trial, Jesus informed Pilate: “He who delivered me unto you has the greater sin” (Jn. 19:11). Does not justice require a greater punishment for a greater sin?

A man who set aside the law of God under the Mosaic regime, was executed without mercy. The writer of the book of Hebrews declares that the one who tramples on the Son of God and who treats, as a common thing, the blood by which he was sanctified, will deserve a much “worse” punishment (Heb. 10:26-31). The principle is this: there is a greater level of responsibility for those who live under the better covenant, and there will be appropriate punishment meted out for those who, through apostasy, reject that which they previously embraced.

The apostle Peter wrote regarding those who had “escaped the defilements of the world” by virtue of their knowledge of the truth, i.e., obedience to the gospel (2 Pet. 2:20-22; cf. 1 Pet. 4:17). He warned that should they become entangled again in these defilements, and overcome, their “last state” (their apostate condition) would be “worse” than the first (the pre-conversion state). Ominously, he says it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness, than, after knowing it, to turn back to their former lifestyle. This, most assuredly, teaches a greater level of punishment for apostate Christians than for those who never knew the truth.

James provides a word of caution appropriate to this topic. “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness” (3:1 ESV). Is there any question about the implication of that warning?
“The main thought in vv. 1-12 is the greater responsibility of teachers and the extremely dangerous character of the instrument [the tongue] which they have to use? Greater responsibility brings greater judgment” (James B. Adamson, The Epistle of James, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1976, p. 141).

(Wayne Jackson: The Christian Courier; Are There Degrees of Blessedness and Punishment in Eternity? Online source: http://goo.gl/wM7Rq).

Again, we need to emphasize that the Bible is God’s full philosophical statement to man regarding truthful metaphysics, sound epistemology, God’s own ethics, and wise politics. Lost people will always be better off following the Bible, and we must remember that unrighteous activity by man in general continually provokes God’s anger (Psalm 7:11). Indeed, society at large would be much more peaceful, and would provoke God a lot less if they would yield to this simple principle:

Ecclesiastes 8:11-Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil.

Many of the same principles of anthropology, and plain common sense if you will, need to be vigorously applied to the Christian life, and the anthropology of conscience is no exception. The Bible has much to say about how the Christian is to approach the conscience and utilize it in spiritual growth. To not do so greatly waters down the gospel. When the world sees that our wisdom is effective for real life, this gives our gospel validity. If Christians do not have wisdom for the earthly, it will be rightly assumed that we have no eternal wisdom as well (Jn 3:12).

This is the great antinomian evil of our day—practical application from the Bible and common sense for living life is replaced with gospel contemplationism and a habitual revisiting of the elementary principles of salvation while opining  about “pragmatism,” “moralism,” and “therapeutic deism.” While some unbelievers will find hope in mystical ambiguity, many won’t. Salvation calls on man to “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

Salvation is a new “way.” The unregenerate will be little impressed if it is a way that has no more wisdom for life than their own, though crystal balls will always appeal to the mindless element of any culture. Once again, we must remember that the gospel was problem centered from the very beginning. We should at least show the gospel as a different way that supplies real-life remedies. This is the way it has always been:

And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it (Isaiah 35:8).

This line of thought by Paul also answers the question regarding those who have never heard the gospel. What law will they be judged by? Answer: the law written on their heart and argued by their conscience. This introduces an extraordinary biblical principle. All those who are under the law will be judged by the law, and thereby condemned—whether the written law of God (the Scriptures) or the law written on their hearts. This is also the same law that informs them that God’s glory is revealed in creation (Romans 1:19,20).

God has always held man responsible for passing His law/gospel onto to subsequent generations, and one of the primary goals of the gospel is to show a way of escape from being “under the law.” All are born “under the law,” and will be judged by it (with poor results because the standard is perfection) unless they escape it via the gospel. The only man ever born into the world who could withstand the judgment of the law was Jesus Christ. But once one is saved from the law, they live by the law and honor God with it. It is the guide for our faith working through love (Gal 5:6).

Said another way: we are not saved by keeping the law, but we are sanctified by keeping the law. Repentance, a change of mind about one of two “ways,” justifies us and removes us from being “under the law” which guarantees that we will not “perish by the law.” This is Paul’s point in his indictment of the Jews starting in verse 17:

Romans 2:17 – But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast in God 18 and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law; 19 and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— 21 you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. 24 For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”

25 For circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision. 26 So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? 27 Then he who is physically uncircumcised but keeps the law will condemn you who have the written code and circumcision but break the law. 28 For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. 29 But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.

Paul’s point is clear: the Jews had a problem with thinking that because they were the vanguards of God’s law—hearing the law was all that was necessary along with being circumcised. In other words: a ritual hearing of God’s word along with the ritual of circumcision. James, in his letter to the Jewish Christians, notes that this is self-deception. It is remaining on the road of judgment under the law as opposed to obeying the perfect law of liberty:

James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

And the message to the Romans is clear: they will condemn the Jew if they have committed to believing and obeying the law of liberty, starting with what Christ did to abolish the law for purposes of justification. Because of what Christ did, the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, but yet, we are informed by the law for how we live and believe (Romans 3:21,22). Circumcision means nothing without a commitment to obey the law. That commitment frees us from the law by committing to loving our savior by keeping His commandments. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” Note carefully what Paul wrote to the Corinthians:

I Corinthians 7:19 – Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts.

The law informs us as to how we escape from its condemnation. The law informs us as to how we are transformed and transferred from serving the law of condemnation to serving the law according to the Spirit’s second use of the law:

Galatians 2:19 – For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God.

Romans 3:21 – But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—

Romans 7:4 – 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…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.

The old way of the written code speaks to the condemnation of the law, but that doesn’t exclude being under the “law of liberty” that we follow to love God and others. “Under grace” does not mean we are not under any law…it means we are no longer under the law’s indictment for sin or its condemnation. Moreover, we are still called on to pay attention to the law written on our hearts arbitrated by conscience. God’s law has much to say about attending to the other law written on our hearts that we were all born with (Acts 24:16, Heb 9:14, Titus 1:15, 1Pet 3:16).

Mankind is not totally depraved because if he was the world would be run over with demonism. The world is a halfway decent place to live because all people are born with the works of God’s law written on their hearts and mediated by the conscience. The born-again Christian utilizes both laws and our consciences are better defined as we grow in our knowledge of God’s word (Romans chapter 14).

Living by the golden rule of the conscience will not save us because people are under the condemnation of two laws; the Bible and the law of conscience. Being under the latter only will result in less condemnation, but condemnation nevertheless. As we will see, those under condemnation cannot receive a living wage, but only the “wages of death.” People who live well by the so-called golden rule will merely receive less condemnation—the judgment of God will be more tolerable for them than others.

This now brings us to Sin’s use of the law.

NEXT: Understanding the World Through Under Law and Under Grace: Part Four; Sin

The Total Depravity of the Saints

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 29, 2017

Validation

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 27, 2017

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Proper Exegesis: What is the Object of God’s “Choosing”

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on May 26, 2017

“Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple. ”

The translators of this verse made the assumption that the object is man or the individual.  God chose man.  But if you look closely at the verse, there are many words in italics.  This means the words do not appear in the manuscript.  Try reading that verse without the italicized words.  What if the object is not man but God Himself?  What if God chose to dwell with man?

“And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” ~ Revelation 21:3

~ Andy

Tagged with: ,

Understanding the World Through Under Law and Under Grace: Part Two; Law

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 26, 2017

ppt-jpeg4In part one we see how the word “grace” describes a vast state of being resulting from becoming God’s offspring. Why this series? To present salvation as a whole new state of being rather than a simplistic canned legal declaration; to adorn the gospel by comparing it to the under law condition. In reality, for any Protestant or former Protestant who pays attention, the church adds few converts on a regular basis. Why? Because Protestantism offers no real change of life, but rather salvation by social club membership.

What is the law, and what does it mean to be under it? First, let’s clarify the point that “under grace” does not mean that we are not under a law, but more on that later. Let’s first define what we mean by, “law.”

Simply stated, “law” is God’s written revelation to mankind. It is the Bible. This is what the Bible claims about itself in several passages. The Bible is God’s philosophical statement to mankind. Philosophy is the study of state of being, how we know what our state of being is, how we communicate state of being, and how we apply the knowledge of our state of being to life; metaphysics, epistemology, politics, ethics. The Bible is God’s full-orbed counsel to mankind.

“Law” is not merely the Ten Commandments or the Mosaic law, it is the whole Bible. Man does not live by the Ten Commandments or the Mosaic law alone, “but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt 4:4). “All” Scripture is required to fully equip God’s offspring for “every” good work (2Tim 3:16,17).

One law, two purposes; one purpose for those under law, and another purpose for those under grace. We may call this the Spirit’s two uses of the law. The same law imparts knowledge of mature life and love to the believer (John 17:17), and the same law convicts the world of sin and the judgment to come (John 16:8). But herein is something we want to understand about God: even in condemnation, God uses the condemnation as a vessel for salvation. The law, even in its condemnation posture, is a vessel of mercy.

The Old and New Covenants

The Bible is divided into two primary covenants (Old and New Testaments). These two covenants are God’s unfolding plan to offer salvation to all persons born into the world. The old covenant is “passing away” (Heb 8:13), but was not replaced by the new covenant though it is a “better” (Heb 8:6) covenant.

The old covenant serves three purposes: first, a law that when obeyed showed love towards God and one’s neighbor resulting in life blessings (Due 6:1-9, 7:6-9, 29:29, 30:11-18). This has never changed and holds true for the new covenant as well. This is sanctification.

Second, it was a will written in blood. If you were an Old Testament believer, you were written into the will:

Hebrews 9:15 – Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. 16 For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. 17 For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. 18 Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. 19 For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.” 21 And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. 22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

Imputation

The true biblical definition of “imputation” is the imputation of sin to the old covenant. All sin is imputed to the old covenant. This is the third purpose of the old covenant; imputation. Therefore, “sin” is defined by that which violates the law:

1John 3:4 – Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law (KJV).

So, the three purposes of the old covenant are; love/sanctification, a will promising eternal life, and imputation.

What then is the new covenant? It ended sin for the believer because when Christ died he executed the promises of the old covenant will; all sin imputed to the old covenant is ended, and not only that, sin no longer exists because its ability to exist depends on the old covenant.

2Corinthians 3:4 – Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

7 Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? 9 For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. 10 Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. 11 For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory.

All people born into the world are “under law” or under the “ministry of condemnation.” When we believe on Christ, the law’s condemnation is ended for them (Rom 8:1). They are deemed “perfect” and “holy.” Does this mean we no longer sin as Christians? Yes it does. Those who sin are still under law because sin can only exist where there is the law’s condemnation.

Romans 3:19 – Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

4:15 – For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.

5:13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.

7:6 – 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.

10:4 – For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

1Timothy 1:9 – understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers,

Galatians 2:19 – For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God.

Colossians 2:13 – And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.

Therefore, it can be said that we are “perfect” and do not sin. One who is perfect and holy is no longer under the law’s indictment. The new birth, or being “born of God” changes our hearts and makes our motive that of love. Indeed, we do not love perfectly because the “spirit is willing but the flesh is weak,” but righteousness is not defined by perfect law-keeping (that’s NOT a “righteousness apart from the law”); rather, the new birth:

1John 3:1 – Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. 6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. 7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous. 13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. 14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. 20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. 22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. 23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. 24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us (KJV).

This is where passages like Hebrews chapter 11 confuse us; while reading the praise heaped upon the subjects of that passage for being righteous people of faith, we are perplexed by this because of their documented failures in loving God and others perfectly. Actually, far from perfection. But it is the seed of God that we are born of in these “earthen vessels” that make us perfect, not the legal demands of the law. There is no law to accuse us. In reality, the idea that we are perfect and holy probably means that we are given a new birth by Perfection and Holiness, and this, in fact, makes us perfect/holy:

John 3:3 – Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

The weakness of our mortality does not make us evil or “sinners.” Being weaker than God does not exclude holiness. It can be said that our truthful intentions, desires, and motives resulting from the new birth are characteristics of our holiness, not perfect law-keeping although a desire to obey the law perfectly is present because that would be perfect love. It’s a direction, not perfection as defined by the world.

In case we have trouble getting past this truth, the Bible has an interesting additional angle in explaining it. In the same way that one under law breaks the law at all points (James 2:10), one under grace fulfills the whole law by love.

Matthew 22:36 – “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Galatians 5:14 – For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 

Romans 13:8 – Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

The New Birth: Passing from One Law to Another

The key to understanding all of this is Romans 8:1ff.

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. 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. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

God does not condemn nor ridicule His children for their weakness. His focus is their desire to please Him. The new birth transforms God’s children and transports them from one jurisdiction of the law to another purpose for the law. This is the Spirit’s two uses of the law. In His “ministry of death,” He uses the law to goad the unbeliever into seeing sin as set against the righteous demands of the law. The new birth puts the believer to death with Christ who He (the Spirit) raised from the dead according to “the promise,” and recreates a new person in Christ who is under the Spirit’s second use of the law…to sanctify. Remember as well, that ALL sin under the Spirit’s first purpose of the law is imputed to that law, and when that person is baptized spiritually in the death part, all sin is ended with that law. When the same person is resurrected as a new person, being baptized in Christ’s resurrection as well, the same person is under the Spirit’s second use of the law; sanctification. Hence, to be “under grace” does not mean that we are no longer under any law, but rather the Spirit’s second use of the law:

Romans 7:1 – Or do you not know, brothers, for I am speaking to those who know the law, that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? 2 For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. 3 Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.

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.

In the next part, sin will be introduced, and sin’s use of the law. So, we have the Spirit’s two uses of the law, and sin’s use of the law. As we unpack these biblical truths, fuller understanding of how law and grace are experienced will come more into focus.

paul

%d bloggers like this: