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ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7494
Mississippi

 Re: Am I a wretched man ... still?

Mike, if I read you right, you are feeling a dryness in your soul and wonder what you can do to repair it?

Brother, I am not sure that anyone can speak for God in this matter except to say it is not anything unusual. Apparently, Paul experienced it, did you consider that? And he was a great man of God....

Have you considered Elijah, that great man of God who after experiencing a mighty victory over the prophets of Baal was depressed.

You say you have struggled with ....after you came to the LORD. Why some experience miraculous deliverance and others are left to struggle is one of the mysteries that appear to defy any explantion, unless it is a form of chastisement.

As long as I consider myself to have achieved and that it settled once and for all, I am opening myself to failure. "Him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall."

It is essential for us to know our weaknesses so we can throw ourselves at the feet of him who can and will lift us up. It is in our nature to want to achieve and then think we can do it all by ourself. Sounds like we do not enjoy being yoked up to Jesus, don't you think? Now what is wrong: we chafe at his yoke?

In my walk with God I am a lot like Peter: when Jesus invited Peter to join him on his walk on the water, I can do it until I take my eyes off of Him. The principle, as I understand, is universal, common to all who believe. God wants us to remain dependant on Him and if we are His, He will do whatever it takes to keep us that way. And humans are slow learners. Me included.

The bottom line is to go to Him for your answers, he will answer if you keep knocking.

(BTW, have you ever read "Pilgrim's Progress, Part 2"? I am almost done reading this book, reading The New Amplified version by Jim Pappas, Jr. Some do not like it, but I love it. www.amazon.com sells it. You might identify with some characters in this analogy.)

Blessings to you, brother,

ginnyrose


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Sandra Miller

 2007/12/25 22:36Profile
crsschk
Member



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

 Re: Wretched man I am

Quote:
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!



Kind of a loaded set of statements there, hard to tell where the aim is ... This is ratcheting up the rhetoric but it is not really helpful to explaining anything as it pertains here.

Quote:
Mike, if I read you right, you are feeling a dryness in your soul and wonder what you can do to repair it?

Brother, I am not sure that anyone can speak for God in this matter except to say it is not anything unusual. Apparently, Paul experienced it, did you consider that? And he was a great man of God....

Have you considered Elijah, that great man of God who after experiencing a mighty victory over the prophets of Baal was depressed.

You say you have struggled with ....after you came to the LORD. Why some experience miraculous deliverance and others are left to struggle is one of the mysteries that appear to defy any explantion, unless it is a form of chastisement.



Hi sister. Perhaps I gave off a wrong impression here. Maybe I should have framed my words a bit differently. I recognize all these things and was actually trying to make the point that there is often a great difference in how the Lord will take us through matters. There is no boasting whether the Lord might deliver instantaneously or protracted, it is glorious in the former as in the later and even if a season of suffering is what it takes to accomplish the purpose He has in mind I do not know that it is a higher respecter of persons over the one delivered spontaneously. I certainly wasn't questioning the means by any stretch.

The question "Am I a wretched man ... still?" isn't one I am really questioning from a point of doubting it, I am pretty well convinced it is the case but am attempting to allow a re-thinking of it openly. I might make things more difficult because of this penchant to hold opposing views in tension and not try and argue out from underneath them. It's tricky business but I am not attempting to be crafty about it either.

Rom 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

Something I have been taking a greater deal of notice is how the scriptures explain our experience as much if not more so than also teach us how to live, what to expect and so forth. What I mean is that I keep finding that the "Me too" is finding the experiences not as much lived up to but lived out and then reflected back upon; "Yes, me too!" Hope that makes some sort of sense.

For instance the verse above, "I find a law" ...
Well, I find a law as well, [i]when ... evil is present with me[/i]. Not past tense, but current tense, presently.

Gal 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

Recognize Annie's correlations here as well, but I am not starting from a construct, honestly. The word 'contrary' stands out. Not making a statement with this, just opening it up.

Is it so? Is it true to experience? [i]Still?[/i]

P.S. Ginny, isn't the second part of Pilgrims Progress ... I went and looked it up, recall that it continued on about his wife (the narrative) but thanks for the reminder, I do not recall why I never continued on and finsihed the whole of it. Will have to do that. Thanks!


_________________
Mike Balog

 2007/12/26 0:45Profile









 Re: Am I a wretched man ... still?


Hi Mike,

I began writing this before ginnyrose's post, and your latest one.

In your leading post you said

Quote:
might we truly lay aside whatever our holdings are by preconceived notion and take a fresh look at it? It will 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'd like to take you up on this invitation :-) to ask what you make of these verses from Romans 8, (which you must know by now are among my favourite for explaining this part of the gospel)?

11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

I would draw your attention to three words in particular: v 11 'quicken' and 'mortal' and v 13 'through'.

Here's another verse with 'through' in it:

1 John 4:9
In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, [u]that we might [b]live[/b][/u] through Him.


Here's Tyndale on those three verses from Romans 8, beginning in 10:

[i]Wherefore if the spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from death, dwell in you: even He that raised up Christ from death, shall quicken your mortal bodies, because that this spirit dwelleth in you.

Therefore brethren we are now debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh ye must die. But if ye mortify the deeds of the body, by the help of the spirit, ye shall live.[/i]


Here's one last verse with 'through' in it:

Romans 7
24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
25 I thank God [u]through[/u] Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Here's Tyndale to the first verse of Rom 8:

[i]O wretched man that I am: who shall deliver me from this body of death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then I myself in my mind serve the law of God, and in my flesh the law of sin. There is then no damnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, which walk not after the flesh but after the spirit.[/i]


Quote:
For instance the verse above, "I find a law" ...
Well, I find a law as well, [i]when ... evil is present with me[/i]. Not past tense, but current tense, presently.

I am assuming you are referring (only) to flesh and not to other kinds of 'evil'.

Quote:
Am I a wretched man ... still?

Honestly, I believe Paul described this situation as 'wretched' only when he knew no way out. It is impossible to argue that he was unconverted when he wrote to the Roman church, and I do believe his use of the present tense is a fair literary device for the sake of emphasis, as well as to recreate in his own mind - for the sake of writing about it accurately - that sense of unresolvable bondage which existed before the cross. He had stopped living like this a [i]long[/i] time ago, and yet he was intimately acquainted with the issues Jews would be facing as they tried to live without the law.

Also, as with the poor, the flesh we have always with us, always demanding from us a regular commitment to the cross. If it is not possible to break through this barrier eventually, Peter could not write:

1 Peter 4
1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the [u]same mind[/u]: for he that hath suffered in the flesh [u]hath ceased[/u] from sin;
2 That he no longer should live the rest of [i]his[/i] time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.


There may be great struggles, and many repetitive choices to be made to deepen the first decision to be dead to the world in Christ Jesus, but His death is that [i]great news[/i] that there [u]is[/u] a way through.

Quote:
for me, it was just the opposite, a long, protracted, drawn out process and battle.

I think this happens more when one has chosen ways to survive which in turn produce a backlash of side-effects which also require survival strategies. By the time one comes to one's spiritual senses and understands all the answers are in Christ and Him crucified, the way back is not a simple [i]about turn[/i]. Many other lifestyle choices and decisions may arise for reconsideration, and some of these may be irreversible and burdensome. However, surely one must abide in His death over these also?

 2007/12/26 2:02
rowdy2
Member



Joined: 2007/1/21
Posts: 528
Southern USA

 Re: Am I a wretched man ... still?

Reply to crsschk

The Biblical answer that I find as plausible is found by example in the O.T. in the children of Israel when they entered their promised destination, the land of Canaan. They were instructed to drive out all the peoples off the land.
Zephaniah 1-2-3 by O. T. examples I find fuller understanding in the N. T. that contain our instruction to drive out all sin when we have entered our resting place and the example is still a reality today in the land of Canaan were the children of Israel and the inhabitants of the land are still locked in mortal combat as we are with sins that we have allowed to remain and have not bound on earth and consequently are not bound in heaven (our rest) . Their conflict is different than ours in respect to the fact they were resisting flesh and bones and we are resisting the devilish spirit of the flesh.


Zechariah 3

1. And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.
2. And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?
3. Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.
4. And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.
5. And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord stood by.
6. And the angel of the Lord protested unto Joshua, saying,
7. Thus saith the Lord of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.
8. Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the Branch.
9. For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.
10. In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree.


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Eddie

 2007/12/26 8:03Profile
crsschk
Member



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

 In my flesh dwelleth ...

Quote:
I would draw your attention to three words in particular: v 11 'quicken' and 'mortal' and v 13 'through'.



Love this, drawing out words to derive their meaning and intention. "Through", that may be the hinge perhaps of all of this? Interesting to put [i]quicken[/i], well, actually just as you have it here, in this order ... seems to be speaking of progression. In just going through this process already the verses keep cropping up, lately, this one;

1Co 9:27 but I buffet my body, and bring it into bondage: lest by any means, after that I have preached to others, I myself should be rejected.

Just to draw off what I am musing on, Matthew Henry here;

[i]They were not only temperate, but inured themselves to hardships. Those who fought with one another in these exercises prepared themselves by beating the air, as the apostle calls it, or by throwing out their arms, and thereby inuring themselves, beforehand, to deal about their blows in close combat, or brandish them by way of flourish. There is no room for any such exercise in the Christian warfare. Christians are ever in close combat. There enemies make fierce and hearty opposition, and are ever at hand; and for this reason they must lay about them in earnest, and never drop the contest, nor flag and faint in it. They must fight, not as those that beat the air, but must strive against their enemies with all their might. One enemy the apostle here mentions, namely, the body; this must be kept under, beaten black and blue, as the combatants were in these Grecian games, and thereby brought into subjection. By the body we are to understand fleshly appetites and inclinations. These the apostle set himself to curb and conquer, and in this the Corinthians were bound to imitate him. Note, Those who would aright pursue the interests of their souls must beat down their bodies, and keep them under. They must combat hard with fleshly lusts, and not indulge a wanton appetite, and long for heathenish sacrifices, nor eat them, to please their flesh, at the hazard of their brethren's souls. The body must be made to serve the mind, not suffered to lord over it.[/i]

Again, finding these things true to experience.

Quote:
Honestly, I believe Paul described this situation as 'wretched' only when he knew no way out. It is impossible to argue that he was unconverted when he wrote to the Roman church, and I do believe his use of the present tense is a fair literary device for the sake of emphasis, as well as to recreate in his own mind - for the sake of writing about it accurately - that sense of unresolvable bondage which existed before the cross. He had stopped living like this a [i]long[/i] time ago, and yet he was intimately acquainted with the issues Jews would be facing as they tried to live without the law.




Somewhat, tracking with you here on the emphasis but still am uncertain that this emphasis is all in the past tense. It can get muddled right here at this very part and perhaps this is the great area of so much controversy. Will give it a shot as just ongoing musing ... It is as if I want to say, [i]largely[/i] these things are in the 'past' due to and [i]through[/i] (that great hinge word) the Lord, (thanks be to God!). Yet, there is still this 'resident evil' and I do not know that this is still not the same wretch ...

Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: ...

"I know". Perhaps what I continue to take note of is the present tense aspects, they seem to me to be statements of fact and of experience. Have been hedging a bit on where I know this all may want to leap forward to, namely 'victory' and there is this and there ought to be and there will be if there is continuity and continuance and ... endurance. But there is something of jumping over the cliff it seems that wants to make this all a clean and distinct division when there is still to be found ... this 'law'. Maybe I am thinking of eradication when experience seems to be dictating otherwise, a boxing match, a race, a warfare. In a sense you could still be reigning heavy weight champ, yet all of a sudden a Buster Douglas comes along and knocks you back on to your keester. (1Co 10:12)

"[i]for me, it was just the opposite, a long, protracted, drawn out process and battle.[/i]"

Quote:
I think this happens more when one has chosen ways to survive which in turn produce a backlash of side-effects which also require survival strategies. By the time one comes to one's spiritual senses and understands all the answers are in Christ and Him crucified, the way back is not a simple about turn. Many other lifestyle choices and decisions may arise for reconsideration, and some of these may be irreversible and burdensome. However, surely one must abide in His death over these also?



Speaking as a veteran of that battle ... Certainly there are aspects of that survival mode (in the flesh) it's ... long conditioning and development. But [i]I find a law[/i] and the battle was intense, spiritually a bloody and painful experience, it has stayed with me all these years now due to it's intensity. I should add however there was something of a more remarkable 'deliverance' at one point, with one substance, which it would seem contrary as the withdrawal symptoms can be excruciating (speaking of meth\crank\speed). It was comparatively 'easy' compared with the other green herb. What I am trying to say here is this was a truly [i]spiritual battle[/i] as much but definitely more than a physical one. It was a crisis and pinnacle of allegiance, [i]contrary[/i] indeed! It was a fight to the death, not merely rolling over and dying. I also mean to say and perhaps am glimpsing off Paul here that ... it was beyond me. It was a suffering and a proclivity to conquer, it was too late to turn back. When it got to a point of 'one or the other' must go, then I was in a heart wrenching crisis ... the will to do and yet ... It was exhausting day after day, but I am still not speaking of sheer 'will power' if it was that at all. [i]Having tasted that the Lord is good ...[/i]. Trust this is but the Readers Digest version here and it may well be why I hedge at hearing how simplistic this might be for someone else. It may well be protracted and indeed spiritual bloody.

12 rounds and beaten, bloodied, counted out, TKO'd, but one solid right and it was all over ;-)


_________________
Mike Balog

 2007/12/26 10:20Profile
davyman
Member



Joined: 2007/12/21
Posts: 83


 Re:

I am just dropping by to say that this has been a very edifying discussion. I still fall on the side of being sinner and just at the same time. I believe I am in the good company of Edwards and Luther in saying this. God bless everyone in this discussion. We are all defeated and victorious, praise God!

SDG,

Dave

 2007/12/26 19:06Profile









 Re: Am I a wretched man ... still?


Hi Mike,

Quote:
It was a crisis and pinnacle of allegiance, contrary indeed! It was a fight to the death, not merely rolling over and dying.

Without doubt, mortification is something we [u]do[/u] (to our flesh) with the help of the Spirit. But the only reason we can hope of succeeding, is in that 'our old man' was crucified so long ago.

In another thread someone said 'Sin is not a person', but in Paul's terminology I'm noticing he captures a truth in the phrase 'body of sin' (Rom 6:6) and 'body of the sins of the flesh, (Col 2:11) and Rom 7:24 'this body of death'.

Since death passed upon all men 'through' Adam's sin (Rom 5:12), these seem reasonable descriptions. Also, we have in Heb 2:14, Jesus taking part in 'flesh and blood ... that [i]through death[/i] He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil'.

What you said about 'rolling over and dying' sounds like the action of a seasoned veteran, who knows from the pain of previous extensive battling, that a short, sharp death-blow through the Spirit, has become (perhaps not [i]infinitely[/i], but definitely) [i]preferable[/i]. ;-)

Then, Romans 5:10
For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God [u]through the death of His Son[/u], much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.


Perhaps easy-believism tried to make 'I am crucified with Christ' sound attractively easy? I do think there are some pain barriers which would be very hard to break without practice. Rather than thinking of these as [i]failures[/i], perhaps we should think of them as legitimate [u]training[/u] for the (much) more serious warfare ahead...


Interesting to think of 'through' as a 'hinge' word .... something to do with the Door, perhaps? ... whereas I think of it more as being an action or a corridor, or an aperture.

 2007/12/26 22:10
ChrisJD
Member



Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA

 Re: Am I a wretched man ... still?

Hi everyone. Hope all of you had a blessed time on Tuesday.



I don't know if this will be helpfull to the discussion or not, but I thought it was worth sharing.


I got my wife this huge book called Cosmos for Christmas. It is really big, I mean maybe like 2 feet long by 2 feet wide. And it has all these pictures from outer-space.


In part of the introduction, there is a photo of outer-space that spreads across two pages, and in the text in the bottom half it says, speaking about the vastness of space



"But this nocturnal display is just an infinitesmial fraction of the riches to be found in a cosmos that, while not infinite in extent, so dwarfs human experience that it might as well be. If we could percieve the full extent of the cosmos at a glance, our skies would blaze with the light of approximately a billion trillion stars in a view that stretched for 13.7 billion light years. But the human eye is a poor detector of light..."


David said the heavens declare the glory of God and that God has set His glory above them.


Paul said we have all sinned, and fallen short of the glory of God.



Chris


_________________
Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2007/12/26 23:19Profile









 Re: Am I a wretched man ... still?



Quote:
I mean maybe like 2 feet long by 2 feet wide. And it has all these pictures from outer-space.

'... an infinitesmial fraction of the riches to be found in a cosmos that, while not infinite in extent, so dwarfs human experience that it might as well be...'

Chris, you might enjoy a talk called 'Father of Lights' by Percy Gutteridge. His definition of the cross comes quite near the end, but I've never heard anyone couch it in terms of light before... ;-) This is the only one of his teachings I've listened to all through, but you'll see there is quite a lot around 'the heavens declare the glory of God'. The link is on this page.

[url=http://parbarwestward.org/Percy_Gutteridge/Percy_Gutteridge_Intro.php]http://parbarwestward.org/Percy_Gutteridge/Percy_Gutteridge_Intro.php[/url]

 2007/12/26 23:42
UniqueWebRev
Member



Joined: 2007/2/9
Posts: 640
Southern California

 Re: A Wretched Man...Still!

Quote:

myfirstLove wrote:
Quote:
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.

...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...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.



Ah, but I do believe Him, and take Him at His Word. My Spirit is free because of what Jesus did, and my heart is clean because I reconcile it daily, sometimes hourly, with Him.

And this body of death? I will not claim perfection over sin, and no one should even suggest that it is capable of being completely done, when only Jesus could do it.

Dying to sin is a process, a shedding of the old life for the new, and the only one who can do it is not us, but the Holy Spirit. We cooperate, we struggle, and if we think we are done, we fool ourselves, for temptation will be knocking at the door unto death, and falling to the sins of the body is only a prerequisite for falling on your knees before God, and asking for His promised mercy.

Else Christ is come in vain.

Blessings,

Forrest


_________________
Forrest Anderson

 2007/12/27 1:08Profile





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