H O U S E o f W I S D 0 M
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19 April 2021

Romans 8

Romans presents two views of the law: 1) God’s view is holy; it is spiritual and promotes love; 2) mankind’s view, deceived by the sin nature, promotes corruption. The Bible concept used to describe man’s relationship to the law is that of marriage (Romans 7:1-4). A woman under a man is used metaphorically as a person being under the law ( Romans 6:14; Galatians 3:23; 4:4-5), or governed by self’s own understanding of the Bible. Spiritual means of the spirit applied to the heart; and so a spiritual law would be God’s understanding of the law as opposed to man’s. The prophet Samuel, anticipating which of the sons of Jesse the Lord had chosen as the new king of Israel, was told, ... Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart (1Samuel 16:1-7). There are literal and spiritual things in the Bible, and only God can help you discern and apply them. The hidden things are revealed by the Spirit to those with ears to hear (Matthew 13:9; Mark 4:23; Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22).

2Timothy 2:19-21: 19. Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, The Lord knows them that are his. And, Let every one that names the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 20. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor. 21. If a man therefore purge himself from these (iniquities), he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and [suitable] for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work. The iniquity from which we are depart is in the heart, and only the Lord can reveal it. This the sole purpose of scripture, but they are of no use if a person does not use them lawfully (1Timothy 1:8). Proverbs 16:5-6: 5. An abomination to Yahweh (is) everyone proud of heart (cp verses 18, 19), (though) hand (join) hand he will not be innocent (of iniquity). 6. By kindness and truth is iniquity (H5771) covered (H3722) (love covers Proverbs 10:12), And in the fear of Yahweh turn you from evil (Hebrew Interlinear). The Hebrew word awon (H5771) comes from the root awa (H5753) meaning to crook. Our iniquity is crooked, perverted thinking, and only the Lord can straighten it out (cf Proverbs 2:1-9).

The misunderstanding of the spiritual law is probably the major point that has caused divisions in the church since the cross, and continues today to divide Christians at every level. Chapter 8, contrasts a carnal mind (man’s way of thinking) and a spiritual mind (God’s way of thinking), and the fact that it is Christ interceding to give us a correct view, and to show mankind that the power of God is available to all. Moreover, nothing can separate an individual from the love of God but self. To be one with the Father and Son, or to be separated, lies in the authority and decisions of each individual. God will save everyone who chooses to let Him.

Romans 8:1-2: 1. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in (G1722) 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 [the] sin (nature) and [the] death. What does it mean to be in Christ? The Greek word en (G1722) indicates a fixed position, a position of rest. To rest in Christ is to look to Him for daily guidance, and especially for an understanding of the written word, a tool for understanding God’s righteousness (Romans 3:21) as opposed to man’s corrupted nature. [Greek] (supplied) Note: The Hebrew word for law (torah H8451) means teaching, instruction.

There is only one law, so verse two above is referring to two views of the same law: 1) man’s, as seen through the eyes of the flesh and leads to spiritual death; 2) God’s as seen through the eyes of love and leads to eternal life, and which resides in Jesus (1John 5:11). When we make Christ our teacher (1Jn 2:27) instead of the Bible, we grow in His understanding (faith). The clearest discussion of this topic is in 2 Corinthians: 2Corinthians 3:4-6: 4. And such confidence we have through the anointed One (Christ) towards God: 5. Not that we, from ourselves, are competent to think any thing as from ourselves; but our competency is from God; 6. Who also has made us competent ministers (G1249) of a new covenant; not of letter (ministering the Bible from the flesh), but of spirit (as Christ gives the meaning of scripture): for the letter kills, but the spirit gives life. {from Greek Interlinear} (supplied) The old covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34) is the law written in stone (Deuteronomy 4:13), declared to be the administration (G1248) of death & condemnation (2Corinthians 3:7, 9). No law (or, Bible) can administer anything. It is interpreters, or, ministers (G1249), of the law that administer their understanding of the law. In this nation, when there is a disagreement over an interpretation of a law, it is appealed to a higher court, such as the Supreme Court. They research the matter and issue an opinion. The highest appeal we have is the Father through Jesus Christ. Thus, Jesus is our Intercessor who entreats the Father in our behalf (Romans 8:26-27). (He is not an advocate, defense attorney or lawyer - as some teach, but One who consults with God in our behalf)

Liberty is a result of applying the spiritual understanding of the whole law, as administered by the spirit of Christ (2Cor 3:17-18). But now we are delivered from (the old understanding of) the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit (Ephesians 4:21-24), and not in the oldness of the letter (Romans 7:6). To be in Christ is to become one with Him and the Father by receiving and applying truth in our hearts (John 17:17-23) and obeying what was commanded in the beginning - love others as self (1John 2:24; 3:11).

Romans 8:3-4: 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 [because of] sin, condemned [the] sin (nature) in the flesh: 4. That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but (walk) after the Spirit. The sin nature is the self of a person which governs how they think and act, based on incorrect knowledge about God and perverted concepts received from birth. God’s nature is divine, and we partake of His nature as we receive His way of thinking (2 Peter 1:4), and begin to blend His nature into ours. The idea is to continue to the point that the human nature is totally overtaken by the divine, and the fleshly thinking no longer has any influence. The righteousness of all law is according to the spirit of God. By applying the principle stated in Romans 8:1 to Romans 8:5-9: 5. For those (walking) after the flesh, think (G5426) the things of the flesh; but those (walking) after the Spirit, (think) the things of the Spirit. 6. For to be [fleshly] minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7. Because the [fleshly] mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the (spiritual) law of God, neither indeed can be. 8. So then they that are [resting in (G1722)] the flesh cannot please God. 9. Moreover, you 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.

In the O.T., the law of God is said to be the writings of Moses and others (Joshua 24:26; 1 Chronicals 16:40; Luke 2:23, 24). However, the righteousness of the law of God is hidden in the writings of Moses and the prophets. Paul contrasts the spiritual law with the fleshly understanding (Romans 7:14) of it, and applies it inwardly, of the mind (Romans 7:22, 25). 2 Corinthians 4:18: ...we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporary; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Romans 8:10-11: 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 the (One) (the Father, Galatians 1:1) having raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, the (One) having raised Christ from the dead will also make alive your mortal bodies by his Spirit dwelling in you. Paul makes a distinction between the spirit of Christ and that of the Father. Remember, it is Jesus that shows us the Father (Matthew 11:27), because no one knows Him. While we initially receive the spirit of Christ (John 6:63) in order to know God, the body does not respond to the spiritual words. This is what Paul was describing when he said, For that which I do, I allow: for what I [desire], that do I not... ...it is no more I that do it, but [the] sin (nature) dwelling in me (Romans 7:15, 17). Paul realized that at one time, though he was serving God inwardly, with the mind, he still had a sin nature being manifested by the actions of his body (Romans 7:22-25).

Romans 8:12-14: 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 [put to death] 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. When a person becomes mature in spiritual understanding, i.e. advancing beyond drinking the milk of the word (Hebrews 5:13-14; 6:1-2), and begins to receive spiritual life directly from the Father, then by His spirit our mortal bodies are given life and the mind and body come together as one. Only a small group in the last generation will reach this level before the return of Christ, and the rest will reach it in the next world.

Romans 8:15-17: 15. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage (law of the sin nature) again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of (life, Romans 8:2) adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16. The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17. And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ (of the Spirit, Galatians 3:14, 18); if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. How does God’s spirit bear witness with our spirit? When we learn to think like God thinks (Isaiah 55:7-9).

Romans 8:18-25: 18. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19. For the earnest expectation of the creature (ktisis G2937) waits for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21. Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22. For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now. 23. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 24. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man sees, why doth he yet hope for? 25. But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it .

All forms of the word ktisis (G2936, 2938, 2939) are used in the N.T. They are mostly applied to humans, a couple of times to all creation, and perhaps once to animals. When the context is considered, I can see an inward and outward application, as animals are symbols for thought, and reveal various character traits of man. Jesus was the lion (king of the beasts) of the tribe of Judah, or a King of Israel (Jn 1:49); He was also the Lamb slain (Revelation 5:5, 12), i.e. He humbled himself unto death (Philippeans 2:8). Can literal animals have an earnest expectation concerning the manifestation of the sons of God? No, but the inward spiritual animals can. Here is an instruction to Adam and Eve: Genesis 1:28: And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth. Have dominion over your thoughts (animals), replenish the earth (self). So, the creatures, inwardly were made subject to vanity after Adam and Eve chose to sin.

Were the literal creatures made subject to vanity also? Consider the questions: Before Adam sinned, was there any death? Did trees and plants die? Did animals kill each other? No, it does not make sense that God would create animals to kill each other for food, or any other reason. Then, God changed the creation to reflect the result of sin. Therefore, the literal creation will be delivered from the bondage of corruption.

Romans 8:26-27: 26. Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for (this reason) we know not what we should pray for as we ought (because of our infirmities): but the Spirit itself makes intercession for (in behalf of) us with groaning which cannot be uttered. 27. And he that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because he makes intercession for (in behalf of) the saints according to the will of God. The Spirit helps our weaknesses and makes intercession in our behalf: What spirit helps us? 2 Corinthians 3:17-18: 17. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. The Lord is identified in verse 14 of the same chapter as Christ. It is the spirit of Christ consulting with the Father in our behalf which develops us into the image of His character. 1 Timothy 2:5: For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. There is only one mediator, comforter, intercessor between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus!

When I read groaning which cannot be uttered, I think of several instances where Jesus seemed to be amazed or perplexed that people were not understanding his teachings (John 11:32-33; Luke 22:36-38). All of them are summed up in this one verse: Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak (atMhewt 26:41). I think Jesus sighs within Himself when He sees us make the same mistakes over and over.

Mind of the spirit: The capitalization of spirit in verse 27 is misleading. He that searches the hearts knows what is the purpose or inclination of the human spirit, or mind. Proverbs 20:27: The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly. The words a person speaks (unclean spirit) comes from the mind (belly) and reveal what is in his heart. The one searching our hearts (Christ) knows what is in it by listening to the words we speak and watching the actions we take.

Romans 8:28-30: 28. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. All are called, but only a few, by comparison, answer the call (Romans 3:22; Matthew 7:13, 14). We learn from all things, good or bad, when we serve the Lord.

The doctrine of Predestination teaches that God has predestinated who will be saved and who will be lost, which teaching takes away individual choice. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate - Who did God foreknow? He knew before Esau and Jacob were born that Esau would not serve Him, but Jacob would (Genesis 25:21-26); Before the prophet Jeremiah was born, God knew that He would call him to be a prophet (Jeremiah 1:4-5). God knows already who will choose Him and who will not. He does not make it happen, though sometimes He lets mankind know ahead of time so that we will believe that He is God (John 14:29; 19:33-37). The plan was predestinated (Ephesians 1:11) that the faithful would be the ones called, the ones predestinated, the ones made righteous (justified) and glorified.

Romans 8:31-32: 31. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32. He (the Father) that spared not his own Son, but delivered (G3860) him up for (G5228) us all, how shall he (the Father) not with him (the Son) also freely give us all things? The proper meaning of paradidomi (G3860) is to surrender. As indicated by the O.T. in many places (cf Isa 53), God foreknew how the majority would receive His Son, and He surrendered Him to die in our behalf (G5228), not in our place, but to show us that He loves us as much as His only Son (John 17:23). God is in behalf (G5228) of all who choose to serve Him, and no one can prevent us from being made into His image of love.

Romans 8:33-34: 33. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? [God is the One making us righteous]. 34. Who is [the one condemning?] Christ is the one who died, yea rather also, the One having risen again, who is also at the right hand of God, who indeed consults (G1793) (with God) in behalf (G5228) of us. By updating the language, these verses clearly show that no human being has the right to charge another person with sin. We are all sinners, but God looks at us as being ignorant and unable to change. Christ (the anointed One), in His humanity, has set the example and objective for all who desire to be rid of this body of death.

Romans 8:35-37: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36. As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter 37. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. Verse 36 can be better understood when we see some of the context from where Paul is quoting: Psalms 44:11, 17-22: 11. Thou hast made us like sheep appointed for food, And hast scattered us among the nations.... 17. All this (trials in verses 5-7, 10-16) is come upon us; Yet have we not forgotten thee, Neither have we dealt falsely in thy covenant. 18. Our heart is not turned back, Neither have our steps declined from thy way, 19. That thou hast sore broken us in the place of jackals, And covered us with the shadow of death. 20. If we have forgotten the name of our God, Or spread forth our hands to a strange god; 21. Will not God search this out? For he knows the secrets of the heart. 22. Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; We are accounted (like) as sheep for the slaughter (ASV).

Verse 11, a metaphor, explains verse 22: We are made like sheep when we receive the teachings of Christ and die daily to self. It is the Lamb’s food given the righteous which brings inward distress as they fight with self, and which will bring distress, trials and persecution from others who disagree when the spiritual food is shared, and the truth spoken in love (Eph 4:15). Neither jackals (ASV) nor dragons (KJV) are correct. The word should be serpents. Psalms 91:13: Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: The young lion and the serpent shalt thou trample under foot (ASV). The American Standard Bible translated the parallelism correctly, while the K J version put dragon instead of serpent. One of the Hebrew words for serpent is leviathan (H3882), transliterated in some verses. (cp Isaiah 27:1 & Psalms 104:25-26). The crooked serpent in the sea is a metaphor of the sin nature manifesting a worldly way of thinking, which is how every human being starts out in this world.

Romans 8:38: For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor [messengers], nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. NOT ANYTHING, outward or inward, not even death can separate us from the love of the Father and the Son, except only that we should choose to separate. Amen.

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