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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Am I a wretched man ... still?

Reluctantly almost, thought it better to start something along this line due to it's inroads elsewhere ...

Just as paradoxical on the heels of a very good article [url=] A Breif Exhortation Concerning Theology and Division[/url] that might perhaps serve as a primer to how we might go about this. That is, might we truly lay aside whatever our holdings are by preconceived notion and take a fresh look at it? It will be difficult if not impossible I full well recognize to scrap everything, I can tell by my own reluctance lingering in the backdrop ...

But if I may as a last suggestion add something redundant. Zac Poonen's challenge to approach the scriptures everyday as if it was the first time we ever read them. Charity and edification, I would want to learn through this rather than become further entrenched into debate or debacle. The tense and motivation is one of "Have you considered?" Not as a point of hostility and likewise would like to hear the same question brought back into my hearing; "Have I considered?"

[i]O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?[/i] Rom 7:24


Left this siting up for awhile while we went and opened Christmas presents and came back thinking I would save it for another day, another time.

But apparently it is far enough in motion elsewhere to warrant it. Please, let's keep it charitable.

Throw it out there as a question by the heading.

Mike Balog

 2007/12/25 12:51Profile

 Re: Am I a wretched man ... still?

Brother, for whatever it is worth, the Lord laid on my heart last week, that whatever can be shaken, is.

We were taught that Romans 7 still applies to us. That the battle remains with our decision to "walk in the spirit" or in the flesh, on a minute to minute basis.

But that is not the point I'm looking to make.
I felt that among us, who are not off unto the really wacky doctrine websites, etc., that our shaking will come in the form of debates on Calvinism and it's counter-doctrines.

I'm not a Calvinist, but I am a member of a Reformed Theology Church. They accept me - as I am and I don't try to change their minds.
We have Christ in common and I believe it will stay that way, unless they bring in something of the emergent or worse.

I believe we need to draw a line in the sand, whether we'll split over this difference between us and the Authors featured here or not.

That is our decision and we must make it soon.

I pray the Lord's Peace between us all here and an acceptance in our Beloved between us all on this particular issue.

I know there is a middle ground where we can all agree.

The Elect are eternally secure but only God knows who they are - and their heart will prove out who they are, as we continue unto the end.

His Peace, I pray.


 2007/12/25 14:32

 Re: The Bottomline ~

The Real Presence by A. W. Tozer ~

Whatever else it embraces, true Christian experience must always include a genuine encounter with God. Without this, religion is but a shadow, a reflection of reality, a cheap copy of an original once enjoyed by someone else of whom we have heard. It cannot but be a major tragedy in the life of any man to live in a church from childhood to old age and know nothing more real than some synthetic god compounded of theology and logic, but having no eyes to see, no ears to hear, and no heart to love.

The spiritual giants of old were men who at some time became acutely conscious of the real Presence of God and maintained that consciousness for the rest of their lives.

The first encounter may have been one of terror, as when a "horror of great darkness" fell upon Abram, or as when Moses at the bush hid his face because he was afraid to look upon God. Usually this fear soon lost its content of terror and changed after a while to delightsome awe, to level off finally into a reverent sense of complete nearness to God.

The essential point is, they experienced God. How otherwise can the saints and prophets be explained? How otherwise can we account for the amazing power for good they have exercised over countless generations?
Is it not that they walked in conscious communion with the real Presence and addressed their prayers to God with the artless conviction that they were addressing Someone actually There?

 2007/12/25 15:11

Joined: 2005/11/26
Posts: 496


O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? Rom 7:24

Go on to Rom. 8 and you'll see who can deliver you from your old man.

The Elect are eternally secure but only God knows who they are - and their heart will prove out who they are, as we continue unto the end.

Yes the Elect are secure, but God uses His word, His warnings, His people to get them moving. Just like Paul was used to rebuke the corinthans for backsliding and thru Paul's warnings the corinthians repented.

There are still many who do not understand being DEAD to sin because they have not forsaken ALL for Christ. There are many christians who think its impossible to be dead to the affections of this world, thinking they will always lust after it and struggle. Why? because they are not obeying the word and take up their cross and DIE. When God delivered me from drug addiction and lust of the world its not like I had to try and quit, God took away the desires completely. That is the power of His Salvation! All I have to do is obey the first commandment, to make Him above all and He does the rest in me, without me TRYING so hard. That is called rest. Ceasing from your works and where God is working in you because you truly have surrendered your life to Him. But, the power of the cross is foolish to those who are perishing who do not believe. They do not understand this new life in Him because they are still in unbelief living in the old man when Christ say that you are a new creation and have given you a new heart.

I would encourage all s.i. people to put away mans articles and audios about God and seek the Lord yourself. People are not getting revelation of His truth from Him, but from man. This kind of seeking will only make you depend on man and not God. man can encourage you toward Him, but they cannot break you free from sin or give you peace and rest, and faith and confidence in His word. Only God can do that!

Do you really want revival for yourself? Because it will cost you your life! and those who want revival in there life can have it! But, the reason why you are not revived is because you are depending on man to bring about revival instead of you placing yourself on the altar and DIE.

Christians make things so hard when it is really simple. If, only they would believe His word.

Whom the Lord sets free is free indeed! The truth will set you free, but it seems that many aren't set free because they don't believe the truth or else they would be FREE.


 2007/12/25 15:29Profile

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 A wretched man ...

Go on to Rom. 8 and you'll see who can deliver you from your old man.

Unfortunate chapter divisions it is true. But are we still not in the realm of positing a doctrine it seems if we are going to put a wedge in between at that very point. Is it not a continuum of thought? Sister, the effort is to only try and take a fresh look at this.

When God delivered me from drug addiction and lust of the world its not like I had to try and quit, God took away the desires completely. That is the power of His Salvation!

Sister, for me, it was just the opposite, a long, protracted, drawn out process and battle. Why did He not do the same in my case? It is not necessarily a question ... I recognize now why it was handled in the manner that is was, but do you see that this may not always be a correct way of interpreting our experience against that which we might want to hold to?

We can end up basing our experience as the 'norm' for everyone else and use scripture to back it up.

I would encourage all s.i. people to put away mans articles and audios about God and seek the Lord yourself.

I would encourage this as well only perhaps do both if necessary, read and absorb from those who have go on and before ... but indeed seek the Lord for yourself. He may, as suggested, have you leave off this just as well.

Mike Balog

 2007/12/25 16:24Profile


Hia Sis Lisa. Praying that you and Josef are well.

Sis, I don't see where you disagree with my two posts, but I'll stretch what you've said out a bit further.

We are not to only choose to "walk in the spirit", but by doing so, we are "IN His Image", while we are doing so and just "us" when we're not.

The "flesh" is not just blatant sin, but our 'wills' in All things and decisions.
Can even be our 'good deeds'.

It is so much more than just not "following after the flesh" in the sense of "sins".
It is the being transformed into His Likeness or Image.

You've mentioned the one main "how" --- to seek Him until you Love Him with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength and others as yourself.

To seek until you find Him.
Tozer put it across rather well I believe.

Sis, "salt" makes people thirsty for HIM.

We must watch our words in order to make anyone thirsty for that actual "personal relationship with Him and a reality of 'experiencing' having been in His Presence."

Just capitalizing "DIE" won't help Sis. But to draw us to The Lovely One, so that we want to be with Him in the closest way and in that way, we will desire nothing less but to be in His Presence and transformed into His Image.
One cannot "die" until we fully Love Him more than ourselves and not until we've sought Him with all of our might.

Since Deut. 6, our relationship with Him has all hinged upon our Love for Him.
And walking in the spirit is just that stopping and waiting to ask His will, moment by moment or minute by minute. It's not just the cesstation of what most call "sins". The goal is to be like Him, in the Holy Spirit's power. Without Him, we can do nothing.

Well, "The Lord knows them that are His."

By His Foreknowledge, He knew who would seek Him until they love Him and be faithful unto the end, because of that love.
He knows all of our hearts and how we each individually feel about Him or how much we [i]experientially[/i] Know Him.

His Sheep that "[b]hear[/b] His Voice and Follow and will not follow another."

I don't believe He is nervous at all.
He knows already who are His and who will follow Him until their death or the resurrection.

He said, "If you Love Me, you'll keep my commandments." How much more simpler could He have said it? But He is also the Author and finisher of our faith and He who began this good work, will finish it, in those whom He did foreknow, He did predestine to come into the Image of The Son and who would have a heart that seeks Him out until they truly 'find' Him.

Heb 5:11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
Heb 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be [i]the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.[/i]
Heb 5:13 For every one that useth milk is unskillfull in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
Heb 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Heb 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
Heb 6:2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
Heb 6:3 And this will we do, if God permit.

It's time we moved into the deeper things I pray.
Of being salt, that makes all people thirsty for more of JESUS-Himself.

If we're still struggling, we just need to ask ourselves if we've sought Him hard enough to find Him, because if we have, we'd Love Him with a passion and desire to be more and more like Him. The beatitudes speak of this process.
That's the/His Goal - to be like Him and not just some sort of moral code [u]only[/u].
If it's done in the flesh alone - who gains?
Being careful not to throw out His Word, that He [i]will[/i] have a people and how He works to keep them His own and His plan to transform them into His Image.
He already knows 'who' will be faithful [as a Spouse would] unto the end, by love/spirit and not by the flesh. Gal 3.

Sis, I prefer we not use those words "they", as if any of us have "attained", but I prefer "we" in discussing anything remotely resembling "perfection" - As Paul -

Php 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
Php 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
Php 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Php 3:11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
Php 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
Php 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
Php 3:14 [u]I press[/u] toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Php 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

HE is worthy!

 2007/12/25 17:20

Joined: 2006/9/27
Posts: 85

 Re: Am I a wretched man ... still?

I have struggled for a long time with the Romans 7:14-25 question. There are good points for both sides of the argument, and men of God whom I greatly respect on both sides as well. But, as it has been mentioned here, we need to look to Scripture first, and be willing to lay aside our preconceived ideas and just take the text for what it says. A good guideline to remember is to judge and examine Scripture in the light of its [i]context[/i], and not by our own experiences.

And having done just that with Romans 7, I have become utterly convinced that Paul is NOT speaking of himself as a regenerate, born again believer. Now's not my intention to cause any strife or more locked threads. Before you disagree with me at least take the time to hear me out.
I challenge everyone reading this to please look at Romans 7:14-25 in its proper context, and if possible, it would be very helpful to have a Greek dictionary/Strongs numbers (E-Sword really helps). I believe that if you take an honest look, you will be convinced as well.

But just to clear something up before I continue--I am NOT an advocate of what's comonly called "sinless perfection." SO I'm not coming from that biased viewpoint. I stand more with Wesley's view of Christian perfection which is different (ONLY because I can see it in Scripture), but that's a whole other issue.

Am I a wretched man still? I'm going to recommend an article and 3 sermons that will explain it way better than I can. They hold to the same viewpoint as myself, that Paul is speaking as an unregenerate man in Romans 7:14-25. [b]BUT[/b] the wierd thing about these is that they were not preached or written by men of the Wesleyan/holiness persuasion...but by Calvinists, and very staunch ones at that!
And I must say, it is probably the most honest and balanced look on Romans 7 I have ever come across.
Please take the time to read and listen to these. Even if you disagree, it might broaden your view a bit more on this highly controversial topic.
The article is actually a chapter from the book [i]Justification and Regeneration[/i] by Charles Leiter. Heartcry Missionary Society (Paul Washer's ministry) sells this book on their website. The sermons are by Tim Conway, a preacher from a Baptist church in Texas.

I had posted these threads earlier this year:

[url=]Understanding Romans 7[/url]

[url=]Romans 7 Sermons[/url]

May you be blessed and edified...

 2007/12/25 18:26Profile

Joined: 2005/11/26
Posts: 496


Hia Sis Lisa. Praying that you and Josef are well.

Hi HE_Reigns,

Actually my husband is "sscott". Your confusing me with Josef and Lina.

I won't be responding anytime soon again on S.I. unless I am led too. I was moved to respond on the last thread. But, regret responding to this.

As you will noticed I did mention that we MUST put God above ALL. That is loving God. I mention first and greatest commandment.

You cannot be salt unless you die to yourselves, and many are not wiling too, but still expect much from God.

I don't need to share this again. The message of the cross is all over S.I. in articles and sermons, but many are not willing to come to Him. It is all head knowledge to most. Not many live it.

Ezekiel describes what the children of God are like. This is what most of the children of God are like today. They love to hear good preaching from holy men, but do not take heed to their words. These holy men are like entertainment to them and they deceive themselves thinking they are holy because they know a lot of stuff about holiness and they listen to alot of stuff about it, but their hearts are still wicked and in bondage to sin!

This is what God shared with Ezekiel and today the same words are being shared to those who hear, they wil see this too.

Ezekiel 33:30-33

Hearing and Not Doing

30 “As for you, son of man, the children of your people are talking about you beside the walls and in the doors of the houses; and they speak to one another, everyone saying to his brother, ‘Please come and hear what the word is that comes from the LORD.’ 31 So they come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain. 32 Indeed you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument; for they hear your words, but they do not do them. 33 And when this comes to pass—surely it will come—then they will know that a prophet has been among them.”



 2007/12/25 19:47Profile

 Re: A wretched man ...

crrschk wrote:

Unfortunate chapter divisions it is true. But are we still not in the realm of positing a doctrine it seems if we are going to put a wedge in between at that very point. Is it not a continuum of thought?

And there's the point. And to bring that point out all the more, is the Greek, the grammar and that Romans is normally always taught "with Galatians" in Bible Colleges. Just as it was always, "Daniel & Revelation" that were taught as one class.

Context is the whole of the book, and not just verses and chpt.s and then also, bringing Galatians in, especially chpt. 3.

Paul is trying to teach the Gentiles in Rome, what he also had to teach the Gentiles in Galatia --- that we are not and cannot be saved or walk in obedience to God by the flesh.
Both Rom. 8 and Gal 3 insist that we must "walk in the spirit".

Because the church does not understand what that means, they insist on doing exactly what Paul warned against in Romans and Galatians.

Very disheartening.

People read all the "thou shall nots" that are in the N.T. and try to fulfill these in their own strength and fail miserably.
That is the struggle that Paul was discussing in Romans 7 and Galatians 3.

The solution, Romans 8.

If anyone denies that there is not a battle within them - that's fights their ability to "resemble Christ", in word, thought, or deed - then I'd like to meet such a human.

To 'battle' is not to "excuse sin" in one's life.

Paul shows the battle of trying to fulfill this law in the flesh in Rom 7. You'll fall flat on your face or become the worst of them in self-righteousness. Have seen both.

Well, the rest of whatever our part is I posted earlier.

I won't get into Author-Wars, by pulling up Sermons for what I was taught.

Again, I pray that HE be magnified and only Him through-out.

GOD Bless!

 2007/12/25 19:53


That last reply wasn't to you sis. Your post wasn't there when I hit reply. :-)

I got you confused with Lina because of the prayer thread of when they were in England.
We prayed a lot.

I still don't see where we disagree and why I wrote how I did before - not seeing where you disagree.

I felt as though the "way out" was all that I wanted to expound more on.

Lord Bless and don't be a stranger.

His Love.

 2007/12/25 19:59

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