From Sin’s Power - Part VIII of VIII
Proper Relationship With God
The lesson we must learn is that
we must always be dependent upon the life of God, which is in Christ, as
the Spirit of life, to be the Christian in us; living through us. To further
understand this problem of our independent
self and its remedy, we must
understand this portion of Pauline Scripture.
Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law
hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 2For
the woman which hath an husband is bound
by the law to her husband so
long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is
loosed from the law of her
then if, while her husband
liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if
her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress,
though she be married to another man. 4Wherefore,
my brethren, ye (the woman who
lives independent, as the man or husband) also are become dead to the
law by the body of Christ; (so)
ye (as a dependent woman) should be married to another, even
to him who is raised from the dead
(Christ), that we should bring
forth fruit unto God.
Cor. 15:56b the strength of sin is the law.
To understand this Scripture, we
first must see that we, the redeemed, are now intended to be as “female” to the Lord.
We’re the female to His maleness, as the life-giver. We are the perfect polar
opposite and well suited to bear His life. However, when we try to live the
Christian life by self-effort
or by the law, we live apart
from seeing our helplessness and utter dependence upon our living relationship
with the Him, that it is He who is the Christian within us; it is then that
we’ve then “fallen from grace” (Gal
5:4). We’ve assumed the masculine
position in the relationship.
Thinking of a magnet…God as the
male, as the positive (+), and …we must remain as a proper dependent recipient of Him, as
the negative (-) to His positive (+).
Only then can we live in union with Him
and his life. When we assume the position of the “positive” we repel the
Lord. There cannot be two males, or +’s, in the proper union relationship, to
bring forth the fruit of His life. Here
are the possible relationship options between man and God, as seen by the poles
of a magnet.
Before the fall man in Adam, Adam was dependent upon God, as female, receiving
everything from God.
God is as the Positive (+) magnet pole;
perfectly suited to Adam who was as the negative (-) pole.
the fall Adam, mankind became independent of God, now as the positive (+).
remains (+), but now, man becomes as the (+), as being male.
can be no union between two positives poles of magnets – they repel.
“In Christ” and abiding submitted to the indwelling life of the Lord
remains (+) and Man restored to being receptive as the (-), as female
now be restored to union with God by remaining in the submitted position, as a
female to God’s maleness
“In Christ,” but choosing to still live independent of Christ, by
remains (+), BUT Man reassumes the position of the male – as the (+)
fellowship is broken
Man’s proper place is to remain
(abide) as the female to God’s maleness, as the (-) to God’s (+). Only in
this union can the fruit of God come forth from that person.
Note also that the “ye”
of verse 4 is us as an independent woman,
assuming the masculine role of “the
Husband”, and to whom the law applies (v2). As masculine, we can’t bring
forth fruit of God; He’s repelled by our independence.
But the “ye” of verse 5 is us as a
properly dependent woman to the Lord,
she can bring forth “fruit unto God”. Note
also that “the law” was the husband’s law (v2) that is us as the “Old
Man” of Rom 6:6. But in Christ, we as the husband or “old man”
have been crucified with Christ; we are thereby freed from the law of the
husband and restored to our womanhood.
Now it is simply for us to abide
in our loving union with Him, trusting Him to guide us from within.
Summary of Our Choice
In summary, Romans 7 gives us
first of all Paul’s own experience in the past, at his conversion. You find
Paul’s conversion experience here.
7:7-13 (KJV) What shall we say then? Is
the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not
known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. 8But
sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of
concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. 9For I was
alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and
I died. 10And the commandment,
which was ordained
to life, I found to be unto
sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.
the law is holy, and the
commandment holy, and just, and good. 13Was
then that which is good made death unto me?
God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which
is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.
This is all in the past tense
telling us how he suffered by the law. All the laws, all the commandments of God
were external, except one. They all
said, “Don’t kill, steal, and don’t be idolatrous, keep the Sabbath.”
The tenth one was a spiritual one - “Thou
shalt not covet....” This is what must have caught Paul and convicted
regarding something in his experience. He didn’t steal, he didn’t murder,
and he didn’t worship idols. But
with “Thou shalt not covet!” he saw that he was trapped in Sin. That
is Paul’s own personal past experience
of which he writes for our learning.
In Romans 7:14 Paul speaks of his present experience. He has changed the tense. Look he has changed to “I am” in V14 from “I was” in V9, 10, 13. Up to there it was, “I was.” Verse 14 says, Romans 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
now is the permanent experience of every one of us when we are not living according to the new paradigm of Romans 8, but
not when we are in Romans 8. Romans 8 is the chapter of
the spirit of life in Christ Jesus that, which makes us free from the
operation and power of Sin in our flesh. In Romans 8 we are under no
condemnation at all. Romans 8:1 (NIV)
There is therefore now no
condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. We simply abide submitted to
the spirit within. Romans 8:5-6
who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature
desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set
on what the Spirit desires. 6The
mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and
The frustrating and helpless
situation presented in Romans 7 is the inevitable experience of a person who
tries to run his life out of his own resources, independent of “Christ
in you”. We can go back there at any time we choose. But we ought not to
live in Romans 7; we are to live in Romans 8. We only come back to Romans 7 when
and if we leave our place in Romans 8. Paul said, we are in
Romans 7 only to the extent that we still live in a flesh body, so all our life
we are there, potentially and under Sin’s influence, so long as I am fool
enough to live there. The question is where
will we live, according to which spirit – do we live according to the Sin
spirit in our flesh or the Spirit of
life in Christ Jesus in our spirit? I’d rather live in Romans 8. But if I
go and pay a visit to Romans 7, then I’m in Romans 7, with its slavery,
suffering, frustration and hopelessness. When I stop walking by the Spirit, and
begin to walk by my own self effort, I am back in Romans 7 again.” This is why
Paul makes these statements to the Galatians. Galatians
5:16 So I say, live by the Spirit,
and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. Galatians 5:18
But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. Galatians 5:25
Since we live (have life) by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
Shall We Go On?
So, how can this all be viewed if
we are to live this out as we ought in the world we live in today?
With regard to Sin, we can
consider that we have had a change of employers. Most of us have changed jobs in
our careers, so we can relate to this truth in this way. We formerly we employed
by Sin. Sin had me employed to do whatever Sin, as my manager, desired for me to
do. When we were under Sin as our employer we were powerless toward
righteousness; all we had were egocentric thoughts – concerning what I want,
what I think, and what I feel.
But now we know and believe that
we “died to Sin”, we ceased our employment with that former company and
supervisor who was there overseeing us; now we have a new supervisor and serve a
new company. The old firm may send out scathing memos to me trying to direct me,
– but these memos have no effect upon me since I’ve changed employers – I
consign them to the trash. I cast down those imaginations that exalt themselves
against my new found knowledge of God. I AM FREE from my old employer’s
authority in my life. Instead of being paid with pain, hurt and shame, I am now
paid with the riches of Christ, as I simply trust Him.
This then is how we are to view
the impulses and temptations of the flesh. We are not responsible to reply to
such memos or messages from the flesh – they don’t apply to us any longer.
We have a new relationship with Christ as our innermost life, as our inward
guide as our source for living. Christ manages us from within, by the sense of
His indwelling “spirit of life”
and He is faithful to alert me when I may be about to go wrong. And if I fail, He still loves me – His grace is ever-present.
With there now being “no more
condemnation”, it’s easy to turn my heart back to Him.
Once we served Sin by constraint,
unwillingly, contrary to our knowledge of what is right. Now we serve the Lord,
being constrained by the bands of His love. Consider the example and
illustration we have before us in Exodus
21:5-6 And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free: 6Then his master shall bring him
unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and
his master shall bore his ear through
with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever. No doubt this is that to
which Paul refers when he writes 1Cor
7:20-24 and 2Cor 5:14-15. A Hebrew man in the Old Testament may have bought
and kept a servant (slave) to serve him. A bought slave had to serve the master
for six years. In the seventh year, the slave could go free. However, if the
slave said he loved his master and preferred to not go out free, the master
would bring him to the judges and to the doorpost, where they would bore his ear
through with an awl (a piercing tool). Then the slave would serve his master
that I am aware of my place as being utterly dependent upon Him, I stay close to
Him; I abide in union with Him – I believe in Him. “Believe” from the
Greek means, “trust in, cling to and
rely upon”. That is what I do. That is my only work. John
6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that
ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
Day by day now, I am learning
this new way of living. I’m free from the old paradigm of serving by
self-effort, with condemnation, and of love needing to be earned; now, knowing
He loves me unconditionally, I just love Him who is as my new husband, wanting
to walk with Him in that union.