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philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
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Reading, UK

 Re:

Hi Mike
you wrote Back to the Romans verse. Somewhere in this dusty, disorginized file system of a brain I recall hearing about...wait, found it;

Ver 24; Re; 'body of death'

"Tradition says that an ancient tribe near Tarsus tied the corpse of a murder victim to it's murdrer, allowing its spreading decay to slowly infect and execute the murdrer - perhaps that is the image Paul has in mind."

From The MacArthur Study Bible

Thankfully, as Mr. Ravenhill put's it, "there is verse 25"

The murdered corpse illustration has been used by many, Watchman Nee, Leonard Ravenhill, I have never been convinced. For me, such as illustration springs too quickly into view at this point with nothing to give us prior warning.

I think this is the 'body of sin' from Rom 6:6 but we might do well to stay out of Rom 7 for a while. There's valuable stuff in there but I think it will spread our attention too widely at this stage.

The 'body of sin' in Rom 6:6, I think, needs to be distinguished from our 'mortal body' in 6:12.


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Ron Bailey

 2004/2/9 12:06Profile
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 Re:

Let's put it into the wider context of Romans...

In Romans 1-4 Paul is in a law-court. He brings the accusation against the whole world and concludes there is no difference; For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. He then shows how God has been able to 'pass over' the sins of generations before Christ. The payment for sins was already seen in the one slain from before the foundation of the world, and on this basis God was both 'just and the justifier of him who believeth in Jesus'. In Rom 4 Paul asks the question 'what was Abraham's experience?' and expounds the truth of justification by faith, as he comes to the end of that chapter he shows the basis for our justification. But justification, vital though it is as a foundational doctrine, is not the climax of Romans; he is still only up to the end of Chapter 4.

Chapt 5 continues and shows other ascpects of our salvation, and several times through this chapter we get the phrase 'much more' which is used 4 times in this chapter. Chap 5 is the 'much more' of the gospel.

Rom 5:12 is one of the most amazing pieces of literature in the world. It is the only explanation to the question "how did we get into this mess?" The rest of Chapter 5 is concerned with 2 men and 2 events. The men and the events are contrasted, but Paul says that the 1st man is a figure of him that was to come. Although the verses are detailing the contrast between the 2 men and the 2 events, there is a similarity which Paul calls a 'type'. We have lots of wonderful teaching about scriptural types, but it is not often we hear reference to Adam as a type of Christ; according to Paul, he is. Adam did something and it has its consequences; Christ did something and it has its consequences. In what follows we shall need to remember Adam and Christ are parallel characters. In another place (1 Cor 15:45, 47) Paul calls Christ the Last Adam and the Second Man.

Romans 5:12 tells us that sin entered the cosmos by one man. This is a unique revelation. Sin pre-dated Adam; but it came into the cosmos through Adam in one act of disobedience. This is a vital revelation; sin is older than the human race, but it came into the human race through one man. The revelation continues in telling us that death 'entered' through sin; and death passed to all men, for that all sinned. The tense of verbs used in this passage are Aorist; there is a finality in the Aorist tense, the old grammarians used to say it implies an action complete in itself at a point of time. These verbs are references to a single completed act at a point of time. Sin entered once, it passed into all men once, all sinned once.

There is something else of significance in this passage. For the remainder of the passage the word sin is prefixed with the definite article; that means it has the sense of The Sin. This is not different sins in the sense of individual transgressions but something which is singular, Sin. Sin could only enter the cosmos once, from that time on it would be already here; it could not be said to enter a second time until it had exited, but it didn't exit, it stayed. In fact, it passed into (eis-into) all men. Theologians have given different names to this truth. Some called it the Ancient Sin, others original sin, others hereditary sin. There have been lots of theories as to how it is transmitted. I don't believe it was transmitted, so I prefer my own term 'Congenital Sin'. That says we were born with it but does not try to explain any process.

Let me illustrate. There is a concept which is strange to our individualistic western minds but which is part of God's revelation as to 'how' things sometimes work. Hebrews says that the priesthood of Melchizedek is greater than that Aaron, because Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek. Melchizedek was greater than Aaron for he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchizedek met him, and there are ongoing implications to that. I am not trying to explain it; this is simply revelation of the way in which we are more connected that we usually think. And you and I were in the loins of Adam when he met Satan in the garden, and there are ongoing implications to that too.

This post has been much longer than I intended, my apologies. I will pause having made one more point. In strict chronological terms Eve sinned before Adam, and yet her sin does not seem to have impacted Adam, but Adam sins and his sin impacts the whole cosmos (including Eve). Why should this be? Adam was the federal head and representative of our entire race; he spoke for us, he acted for us. As Daniel once told Nebuchadnezzar that 'thou art this head of gold' (he was the embodiment of the whole Babylonian empire), so Adam was mankind. Eve was not and consequently her sin had no knock-on effect. (you ladies always knew it wasn't your fault didn't you? )

It is because we have a congenital condition that we need to be born again from above. Sins can be forgiven but the only way that Sin can be dealt with is by us having a brand new start. Justification will deal with sins; it will take regeneration to deal with Sin. In terms of our nature, we shall need to be re-gene-rated.

If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away behold all things are become new.

This is just to give more background. I'll return to the distinction between sin and guilt next.


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Ron Bailey

 2004/2/9 12:21Profile
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 Re:

Hi Ron,
As High Priest of the Columbus Ga. Sanhedrin, I'm very interested in your comments regarding "congenital guilt". An apparent lack of interest on the subject by other observers on this site, makes me SAD you see. :-D
We are a former British Penal Colony here in Georgia, and public stoning and death by crucifiction are rarely practiced anymore. We do enjoy a little electrical shock treatment, and lethal injection is really catching on (on and off Death Row). So,please let us hear from you on this subject. It won't hurt long, I promise. :-o
Clutch :-P


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Howard McNeill

 2004/2/10 5:56Profile
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 Re:

As Ron pointed out the fact that The Sin entered the world through one man, and I add that The Life is there too. In Genesis 3:15 the curse on Satan, Eve, and Adam and all generations can be summed up in this. Hatred would exist from this point forward in mankind. The sons of God through The Life would be hated by the offspring of Satan. Adam and Eve just prior to the curse saw that they were naked. I believe that they lost the Holy Spirit. As Jesus said, There is no one who is good except the Father. Man without the Holy Spirit became naked. So as the revelation of God's word grew over time we learn that the only way to restore man is through the work of The Life directing the Counselor to lead us. So all sin because we do not know the will of the Father. Jesus said, The volume of this book is writen of Me to [b]do Your will O God.[/b] It is The Life that gives us understanding of God's will for us. Prior to the regeneration, man is lost in his rational thought.

In Christ
Jeff


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Jeff Marshalek

 2004/2/10 6:51Profile
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 Re:

clutch wrote
I just got done reading the previous posts on this thread.

In fact this thread got broken. The earlier part, also called Original Sin, can be found
here


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Ron Bailey

 2004/2/10 8:26Profile
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 Re:

Ron
I went back to your link, is your question in regard to what Reidhead said? I guess I should listen to his sermon on original sin.

However, again, what does it mean in Romans when Paul writes, "Therefore God also gave them up?" Without faith man can only continue to sin. The absence of the Holy Spirit allows man to sink into depravity. Man born of the flesh is without the Holy Spirit, therefore he is condemned. Without knowledge of God's will man sins. He chooses his own ways. Anything but God's will is sin. That is the change that took place in the garden of Eden. Darkness filled the world. But Jesus is the true light which gives light [b]to every man coming into the world."[/b] John 1:9 If man chooses darkness over the Light, God will give them up.

In Christ
Jeff


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Jeff Marshalek

 2004/2/10 8:45Profile
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 Re:

Jeff asked However, again, what does it mean in Romans when Paul writes, "Therefore God also gave them up?"

Ron commented So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. (Romans 5:18)

On this key text, your approach is to further distinguish between "condemnation to death (a present condition of sin)" and "condemnation to perdition (a future judgment)". The condemnation in Romans 5:18 would fall into the former category according to this thought, and is therefore not related to our future destiny in hell or in heaven.

All this sound very good, except I am not certain whether that is what Paul really had in mind when he wrote the Epistle to the Romans. The distinctions made do not seem that clearly cut in my own reading.

This will be a long post but I don’t know how to break it up into smaller portions and leave the sense whole. I will try to answer Jeff’s question and Ron’s comment. This is very much a work in process with me at present.

I see two stages of God's wrath; present and future.

The present sense is one which began in the past but is still in process.
Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; "is revealed" is present tense, passive voice which means it is a continuing process in which God is revealing his wrath. the wrath of God is being revealed...

but it is being revealed against
all ungodliness and righteousness of men who are pinning down the truth in unrighteousness. the KJV 'hold' is katexO which implies to hold something down, or hinder. It would be used of a cat pinning down a mouse. What I want to explore is the phrase 'who hold down the truth'. This phrase describes a class of men/women who are characterised by the fact that they are 'holding down ones'. It sounds clumsy in English but, for those who might be interested, it it a present participle preceded by a definite article; this shows the prevailing character of the people described. John uses this construction in John 3:16 that whosoever believeth. It could be translated the believer. So here in Rom 1:18 we have people who persistently pin down the truth; they are characterised by this behaviour. They ‘suppressed truth’ as a way of life.

We then have a history lesson of how this revelation of God's wrath has worked out in history. These "truth suppressors' are without excuse because God has revealed aspects of His nature in the creation; his eternal power and divinity. They knew God; but refused to accept the truth of what they knew. They did not give God is rightful place and were ungrateful. (BTW that's the way back to God... give Him His rightful place and thank Him.) Paul says something happened to these people; they became vain their thinking processes failed and they became fools who turned to idolatry. They changed the truth of God into a lie.

I want to follow this process
1. God's revelation - they knew God
2. the rejection process: refusal to accept the revelation
3. dependence on their own 'failed' reasoning powers.
4. idolatry
5. God's judgment.

Their own choices resulted in their thinking processes going awry, and ultimately in idolatry; this was a process.

God's punishment is to 'abandon' them; He gave them up. He released them to the consequences of their own choices. People begin to behave like those they worship. God abandoned them to this process, which resulted in worship and service of created things rather than God. To satisfy creature hungers became more important than the satisfying of God’s intentions. The cycle takes another turn; God abandons them to "vile affections" (‘dishonourable feelings’) which resulted in ‘unnatural behaviour’; same sex unions.

The process continues with people refusing to ‘retain God in their knowledge’. There is a word-play here that I don’t know how to get into English. The word ‘refuse’ in the ASV, ‘like’ in the KJV is ‘dokimazO’. We use an idea from it when we say ‘document your answer’; it means show me your proof for the statements you are making. I worked for a couple of years for Wedgwood the pottery manufacturers as a labourer. As a piece of pottery went through the manufacturing process is was regularly examined until it was ready for the final firing and decoration. If it was perfect the Wedgwood stamp was added to the base. If it was found imperfect and ‘failed’ the examination it was sold off as ‘seconds’ but without the Wedgwood stamp. The Wedgwood stamp didn’t only mean where it was manufactured by Wedgwood, it also meant that Wedgwood ‘approved’ (see the word ‘prove’ in there) of this piece of pottery. It was quality control as well as origin. A similar process took place in ancient times and a seal or mark was added to a piece of pottery or writing to say that it was ‘approved’ or genuine. Here is the idea in John 3:33 John 3:33 He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.

The people referred to in Rom 1:28 refused to put their stamp on what they had examined and knew to be authentic; they ‘failed’ the revelation of God. Their punishment is that God gave them over to a ‘failed mind’. The KJV ‘reprobate’ translates ‘adokimos’, unapproved. (dokimazO/a-dokimos. It is a word-play that is lost to all but the Greeks!) They refused to put their stamp of approval on God’s revelation of Himself, and God abandoned them to a mind that failed the quality test. They ‘failed’ God and He abandoned them to the mind-set that had ‘failed’ Him. Their subsequent behaviour is ‘not fitting’. Their understanding ‘failed’ and their behaviour ‘failed’.

They became ‘filled with all unrighteousness’. [Rom 1:29] And this is man as we find him ever since. He has not just committed ‘unrighteousness’, he is ‘filled with all unrighteousness’.

This is the outworking of the original ‘condemnation’. This is death, spreading, corrupting, bringing its contagion to the whole of our human-ness. This is “wrath, being revealed”. But there is another “wrath” coming; And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: This is future wrath and its punishment is based on “every man according to his deeds”. This future wrath is not the consequence of mankind’s history of rebellion, but of the individual and his own response to revelation. For those who seek for glory, honour and immortality it offers ‘eternal life’, but those who are contentious and obey not the truth (there’s that refusal to receive revelation again) there awaits indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish…

so, two aspects of the wrath of God, two condemnations, one we experience here, the other to come.

what do you think?


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Ron Bailey

 2004/2/11 3:21Profile
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Oak Ridge, Tennessee

 Re:

Hi Ron,
This is getting off track from your statement that " you are not responsible for what you don't know."

You said:
"Their own choices resulted in their thinking processes going awry, and ultimately in idolatry; this was a process."

Yes it was a process, passed down from generation to generation until there was no more knowledge of God, except what was in that invisible soulish relm of their conciense.

But the question that still remains unanswered is who will stand before God and take reponsibility?

I believe it this way:
Take your pick, the judgement seat of Christ, or the Great White Throne judgement, it will be the individual giving an account of what he did, or didn't do with the things of God in his/her generation. Regardless of whether he/she knew them, or should have known. Convince me otherwise. If I'm wrong I'll receive it, repent, and line up with the Word.

I'll try to get the boys to slow down a little bit,on building the gallows.
Clutch :-)


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Howard McNeill

 2004/2/11 5:39Profile
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Joined: 2003/6/3
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 Re:

Hi Ron,

You wrote: "This is wrath being revealed...
Thankyou for this insight.

I am sorry if I missed this point, Do you believe all are without excuse?
In Christ
Jeff


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Jeff Marshalek

 2004/2/11 6:19Profile
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
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 Re:

But the question that still remains unanswered is who will stand before God and take reponsibility?

I had a momentary glimpse, in my spirit, of someone in rags and blood and tears who stands before God. He hears our question, stretches out nail pierced hands and says "I will".


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Ron Bailey

 2004/2/11 8:57Profile





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