• John Hicks

Keeping the correct context ensures a correct doctrine...


I put this together to help supplement a study in Romans that I am currently doing with my family. Some of this I have shared already but including more of it here for anyone interested. Apologies in advance for any typos as I did this on my phone. Will try yo edit more later. Romans chapter 7 verses 8 through 24 absolutely cannot stand alone in order to arrive at the correct conclusion of what Paul was stating. Paul did not intend to separate his thoughts with chapters and verses. Both chapters and verses were first used together in the mid-1500's. The original writings were essentially contiguous within each letter or book, if you will. With this being so, it is imperative to not separate chapters such as Romans 6, 7 and 8 and for that matter all of Romans as Paul used every bit of his epistle to the Roman Church to convey various truths and concepts that are interrelated and dependant on the whole in order to correctly explain the salvation of men through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When people "float" portions of passages in isolation of the whole then it is very likely a very wrong ideology will emerge such as is done with the last two-thirds of the seventh chapter. See here starting with Romans 6:1-2: What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? [2] God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?🤔 and then Romans 6:7,14-18... For he that is dead is FREED FROM SIN. [14] For sin SHALL NOT HAVE DOMINION OVER YOU: for ye are 👉not under the law, but under grace👈 (DON'T FORGET THE FIRST TWO VERSES IF THIS CHAPTER SS WELL AS THIS NEXT ONE 👉. [15] What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid (GRACE IS NOT THE FREEDOM TO SIN BUT GRACE IS GOD GIVING US ALL WE NEED IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO NOT SIN!!!). [16] Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?🤔 (REMEMBER, YOU CAN'T SERVE TWO MASTERS... Many today who float chapter 7 verses 8 through 24 alone would have you think in some way that you can) [17] But God be thanked, that ye 👉WERE👈 (PAST TENSE!!!) the servants of sin, but ye HAVE OBEYED from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. [18] Being then 👉👉👉MADE FREE FROM SIN, YE BECAME THE SERVANTS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS👈👈👈. (Many today who float chapter 7 verses 8 through 24 alone would have you think you are somehow still a servant of sin and RIGHTEOUS at the same time or that you cannot be righteous at all even though Paul clearly says you can but more accurately that you must be if you are to be the servant of RIGHTEOUSNESS) In Romans 6 Paul is building an impenetrable case that there are only two options, we can only be servants of sin or servants to God (of RIGHTEOUSNESS). Paul agrees wholeheartedly with Jesus in that we can only serve two masters while the logical conclusion of those who float chapter 7 verses 8 through 24 alone is typically in direct opposition. For when ye 👉WERE 👈 (PAST TENSE!!!) the servants of sin, ye 👉WERE 👈 (PAST TENSE!!!) free from righteousness. [22] But 👉NOW 👈 (PRESENT TENSE!!!) being made FREE FROM SIN, and become SERVANTS TO GOD, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life 🤔 ( DID YOU CATCH THAT? EVERLASTING LIFE STARTS WHEN??? MANY MISS THIS FACT TODAY). [23] For the wages of sin 👉👉👉 is 👈👈👈 death; but the gift of God 👉👉👉 is 👈👈👈 eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:20,22-23 Paul was using a rhetorical language technique regarding the context within Romans chapter 7 verses 8 through 24. You must get the context from vs. 5 and 6 as well ad chapters 6 and 8 or else you arrive at very false conclusions as already mentioned. When this is done it essentially has the person doing it accusing Paul of being a sinner when he wrote this letter to the church in Rome. By doing this that person is acting as an accuser of the brethren which is exactly what Satan is (Revelation 12:10). Beware if this is you!!! Verse 5 in Romans chapter 7 is essentially the preface for verses 8 through 25. Verse 6 is the essential preface for chapter 8. For when we 👉👉👉WERE in the flesh👈👈👈, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. [6] But 👉👉👉NOW WE ARE DELIVERED from the law👈👈👈, that being dead wherein we were held; that 👉we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter👈. Romans 7:5-6 Of course the chapter breaks are not God ordained as Paul continues to elaborate on the point that there is a clear separation between walking after the flesh versus walking after the Spirit in chapter 8. This is exactly in line with what he started in chapter 6 and continued on through chapters 7 and 8. In fact it really lines up with all Paul's writings in regards to living in sin or righteousness. In 1 Corinthians 15:34 Paul gave the command to "Awake to righteousness, and sin not" and he finished with the rebuke of: "for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame". In other words, they really should know better as should each and every one of us should as well From the entire counsel of God's word we ought to know that we cannot serve two masters and that God does not allow dual citizenships with the world and His kingdom. Here is more from my friend Robert who nailed it down contextually correct: Paul, a chief sinner? “Again, as to why Paul uses a PRESENT TENSE in Romans 7:14-25 "I DO", "I DO NOT" "OH WRETCHED MAN THAT I AM" etc., Paul is using by comparison what we would call "Historical Present" or "Dramatic Present"/"Narrative Present", and this is a common rhetorical device that is used to convey a point. This is especially true in a context where, before employing this manner of speaking or writing, it has already been made clear that what is being conveyed in this rhetorical dramatic present, is actually a PAST situation! This is clearly the case in Romans 7. Romans 7:14-25 are describing the PAST condition of BONDAGE TO SIN AND DEATH (7:14), that is, one being "in the flesh", where the "motions of sins" WERE aroused by the Law, bringing forth fruit unto death (7:5). Romans 8 on the other hand, is describing the NOW condition of RIGHTEOUSNESS AND LIFE IN THE SPIRIT, that Paul expressed in 7:6. See 8:1,2,6-9. In linguistics and rhetoric, the historical present or historic present (also called dramatic present or narrative present) is the employment of the present tense when narrating past events.” - Robert Statzer Continue to watch carefully for the correct context as was done with chapters 6 and 7. Remember, the flow of Paul's argument is not relegated to parts but to the whole. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, 👉👉👉 who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit👈👈👈. [2] For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus HATH MADE ME FREE FROM THE LAW OF SIN AND DEATH 👈👈👈 (THIS IS NOT THE SAME MAN MENTIONED IN VERSES 8 THROUGH 24 IN THE PREVIOUS "CHAPTER"!!!). [3] For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: [4] That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, 👉👉👉who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit👈👈👈. [5] For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; 👉👉4but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit👈👈👈(TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PEOPLE HERE!!! CONTINUE ON YOUR OWN FROM HERE BUT STAY CONSISTENT WITH THE CONTEXT AS WE HAVE DONE SO FAR). [6] For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. [7] Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. [8] So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. [9] But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. [10] And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. [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. [14] For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. Romans 8:1-14  

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