What a Little Research Does

What a Little Research Does…..

Romans 1-8

 

 

Romans 8:9-10 talks about our spirit being alive and how our sins will make us die if we don’t have the spirit of Christ in us. It goes ahead and let’s us know without the spirit of God in you, you are not a Chistian at all. But with the right relationship Your spirit is alive”.
 

 
 

The statement above was sent to me by email. As I read it, I was curious to see if the verse really said what the writer claimed it said. Since I am in this research program, I just had to look it up. This is what it said in the English Standard Version.

 
 

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. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness

Romans 8:9-10 (ESV)

 
 

After spotting the word “however,” I knew to look back further for the beginning of the thought. I went back to verse one and found another “therefore,” so I knew I had to go back even further than the end of Chapter 7 to get the full meaning. In fact, it goes back to Chapter 7 Verse 25. I decided that instead of trying to break down the whole book I would start at 8:1 to get a part of the entire thought. Here it is:

25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

1 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 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.

Romans 7:25-8:3 (ESV)

 
 

I have been taught to look up the verse in 40 translations to get a better understanding of the verse. However, time does not allow this process and the software I need is on my Christmas wishlist, but I will take what I have to look at a few different translations.

 
 

What I learned from various sources is that this verse is not really about just having the Spirit; although without the Spirit, one has no chance to succeed. However, the thrust of the passage is that because of the Spirit, we can walk the way our minds want to walk. It’s about having a choice in the struggle.

This is how it falls out.

 
 

Paul is talking about how the Law showed him that he had sin. Sin was so ingrained in his person that unless the Law existed he’d never have known that he was sinning. The problem was even when he knew he was sinning, it was impossible to act the way he set his mind to act. No matter how hard he tried, he could not live up to the standard of God. Paul was waging war with his own body. However, Chapter 7 and verse 25 turns the verse.

Paul tells us “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin”. Paul is saying that because of God’s grace he is not afraid of the condemnation even though his flesh still sins.

 
 

He is not worried about condemnation. He sees that it is God, not he, that does the work. He is free, not to commit sin, but to follow Torah because he loves God, not because he is trying to reach God’s standard. God loves obedience and not sacrifice; He will take care of the rest. This is not to say that Paul can be simply lackadaisical about the matter. He should think about his love relationship with God that he has through the Spirit of God and act accordingly.

Keeping in mind that there were no Christians until the third century, Paul is not talking to Christians. He’s talking to Jews and Gentiles who are believers in Messiah. Those people understood what following the Law was about. Most of them knew it was not for salvation, but rather as an obedient act toward a holy God. Similar to Paul as he said in 7:22, they delighted in the Law of God in their inner-beings. They, like Paul, had a problem with the struggle.

 
 

While the synopsis above of Romans 8:9-10 is not completely inaccurate, it does not carry the full weight of the verse. It implies a burden, which when reading the full passage, does not exist. The Spirit of God is an enabler not to sin. It is not a warning or threat that if we don’t have the relationship we will die.

With respect to the writer, I hope that they are able to “flesh” out the verse better next time…pun intended.

 
 

See Ya Next Time

 

You are free to use this study on your website or blog as long as you include the following:

Rev Dr. Cheryl A Durham, Biblical Counselor, Discipleship Coach, Above and Beyond Discipleship Ministries, provides services for individuals and groups online and via teleconference. www.abovenbeyonddiscipleship.com

 

 
 

Questions:

 
 

Read Romans 1-8

1. What is Paul talking about with regard to the following concepts?

A. Sin

B. Law

C. Flesh

D. Spirit

E. Desire to Sin

F. Desire for Righteousness

2. What is Paul talking about when he talks about the Law?

3. If Torah observance is the law and Christ said none shall pass away…

a. How should we as Christians observe Torah

b. What parts of Torah were fulfilled?

c. Which parts go, which parts stay?

 

You are free to use this study on your website or blog as long as you include the following:

Rev Dr. Cheryl A Durham, Biblical Counselor, Discipleship Coach, Above and Beyond Discipleship Ministries, provides services for individuals and groups online and via teleconference. www.abovenbeyonddiscipleship.com

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