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Monday, March 11, 2013

The Romans 7 debate finished!

     What a chapter of controversy! It seems every church has a different opinion. What can a normal Christian think with all this?
     First, remember when reading the Bible, keep everything in context, verse by verse.  Even though we tell people this over and over, it seems even scholars and theologians forget.
     And there is another translation problem with this chapter, and indeed all of Romans. This is it: the word "saved" in the book of Romans usually means "saved" from wrong living, sin. Wrongly, however, it is often associated with "saved" from the punishment of sin, the lake of fire, or hell. Many times in the Bible saved is used that way, but not hardly at all in Romans.
     Why? The reason is simple. The book of Romans is a book about why the Mosaic law will not "save you from wrong living". The Jews delighted in the Mosaic Law, and the Jews therefore taught that "salvation from wrong living" could be found in the Law. (Romans 2:17-18:  "Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and boast in God;  if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law).  Paul, on the other hand, taught the Gospel of Jesus as salvation from wrong living. (Romans 8:3&4:  "For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did do, by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh(live in sin) but according to the Spirit). 
   When these two problems in translation are met head on, and a version with a commentary included to carry over the subject, the context throughout, and the meaning of the word "saved" properly applied, what happens is Romans 7 becomes easy to understand, even hard to get wrong!
     Romans chapters 5, 6, and 8 are added because they cause the flow of the subject, the context, to be easy to follow.
     If you are beset by repeat sins, and strong wrong desires, this is the book for you.  If you are not experiencing victory over sin, let this book challenge you to get closer to your God, through His Son, Jesus, to get all you can get, and to find the "abundanat life" Jesus talked about. John 10:10b "I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance."  Remember the challenging words of Jesus: John 8: 34 & 36 "Jesus responded, "I assure you: Everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. Therefore, if the Son sets you free, you really will be free!"
     In Romans 8:13 Paul wrote: "For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live." In the New Testament, in the book of Acts, several times Christians asked God for all of the Holy Spirit they could get. It is "by the Spirit" the wrong actions of the flesh are controlled. So ask God for all the Holy Spirit you can get, and see what a diference it makes!

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