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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
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His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
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[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
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Thursday, February 17, 2011
Romans 8:13
"for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live." - Romans 8:13 [NASB]


I love this kind of arithmetic. If A then B, but if C then D. Two paths, two destinations. Simple.

Paul is talking, in the context, about a Christian obligation. He has masterfully shown, in previous chapters, that no matter how pious we may be, we always end up doing evil. We want to obey God and we don't want to disobey God - but in spite of these desires, we find that there is something in us that conquers our will, so that we cannot rise above this reality. Paul aptly uses the metaphor of bondage to picture it. We are slaves to something that is foreign to our will and that something is sin. Paul tell us that this sin resides in our flesh - not that it resides in our skin and bones, but rather it has been part of our mortality ever since the fall of Adam. As long as we are in these bodies, sin (and the struggle against it) is going to be with us.

When Paul talks about living according to the flesh, he is talking about being led by all the various ways sin provokes us in our mortal frame. When Paul writes that we must die if we are being thus led, he isn't giving us a command to follow, he is telling us about the judgment that waits for those who pursue that path.

In the same way, Paul describes the other outcome - the one that Paul says ends in life. Here he is not giving a command, but describing a fact. If by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

This does not mean that if you want to live you should start "putting to death" the deeds of the body. First of all, the the putting to death is done by the Spirit, not by the Christian. If BY THE SPIRIT you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live [emphasis is mine]. Paul is describing the work of the Holy Spirit in the believer, whose ministry it is to comfort and convict, to intercede for us in prayer, and to sanctify us. If the Holy Spirit is in you, He is putting to death the deeds of your body, if this ministry is going on - you will live.

Read the passage in the context. That is what Paul is saying. He is talking about our obligations - we aren't obliged to obey God in order to produce anything, nor are we obliged to God in order to receive anything, we are obliged to God because we have received, and because of what He is producing in us. Our obedience flows from what He is doing and has done, and not from the hope that by doing such and such God will respond favorably.

This verse tells you, Christian, that if Christ is working in you, you have life. If Christ is not working in you, you do not have life.
posted by Daniel @ 7:28 AM  
5 Comments:
  • At 11:27 AM, February 17, 2011, Blogger David Kjos said…

    Another short post.


    Alright, who are you really, and what have you done with Daniel?

     
  • At 11:34 AM, February 17, 2011, Blogger Daniel said…

    It is I. I am just trying to train myself to write small articles.

     
  • At 3:46 PM, February 17, 2011, Blogger David Kjos said…

    And doing nicely.

    I think the ideal, for those who have anything worth saying, is somewhere in between. Most people won't read past 1000 words.

     
  • At 9:45 PM, February 17, 2011, OpenID thomastwitchell said…

    Just finished a study night using BB Warfield's The Person and Work of the HS. This was a nice suppliment to chapter four.

    thanks.

    tt

     
  • At 5:45 PM, February 19, 2011, Blogger donsands said…

    "Our obedience flows from what He is doing and has done,.."

    We love Jesus, even though we have not seen Him, because He first loved us, and gave Himself for His Father and us.

    Excellent teaching Daniel. Always feels good to be edified in God's truth.

    Have a Christ-focused Lord's day brother.

     
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