Why Do Christians Find Paul’s Writings
So Hard to Understand
Because Paul understands Spiritual things. He writes with
“revelation” knowledge NOT “sense” knowledge
Read on and you will see
Lorraine Day, M.D.
Verses 1-13 The Second Death
1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives?
2 For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he lives: but if the husband dies, she is loosed from the law concerning her husband.
“The law of wedlock is given as a well-known example. A woman’s subjection to her husband lasts only for his life. During his life she may have no relations with other men. After his death the ties that bind her to a new husband are just as sacred as those that united her to the former one.” Concordant Commentary, p 236
3 So then, if, while her husband lives, she is married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband is dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
4 Wherefore, my brethren, you also were put to death to the law through the body of Christ; that you should be married to Another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
“A wife and her husband are one flesh (Gen 2:24), hence the wife dies with the husband (she no longer has the title of “wife”), but the woman remains. Those united to Christ under law died with Him to the law. Union with Christ in resurrection is a new relationship.” Ibid.
5 For when we were in the flesh, the passions of sins, which were through the law, operated in our members to be bearing fruit to Death.
6 Yet now we are delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, that we should serve in newness of spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.
When we are “in the flesh” we are unable to keep the law because we do not have the power of Christ in our life. “Flesh” and the passion of sin leads to death, both physical death and spiritual death.
What does it mean to be “delivered from the law”?
Many Christians believe that means that we no longer have to KEEP the law. Yet Jesus said, “If you love Me, KEEP My Commandments.”
Being “delivered from the law” does NOT mean that we can ignore the law. On the contrary, it means that we keep the law by our very nature because our nature is that of Christ. When Christ puts HIS nature in us, when Christ makes every decision in our life, then and only then will we be successful in keeping the law. It will become automatic.
The only way that happens is for us to spend time every day in Bible study and prayer, talking with God, studying His Word. By beholding Jesus, we will become changed into His image. Slowly, He will put His character, His breath (the Breath of Holiness constantly mistranslated as the “Holy Spirit”) in us so we will have the very life of Jesus in us.
The Law, the Ten Commandments are a transcript of Christ’s character. Jesus is/was the Ten Commandments, the Ten Commandments being played out in actual life in human form.
His life was the Ten Commandments in action. When He lives in us, we will exhibit His character.
7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not. No, I did not know sin, except by the law: for I would not have known covetousness except the law said, ‘Thou shalt not covet.’”
“Sin is not known in its true character except through the Law. Instead of sin being ignorant inability, it becomes the opposite. It is active hostility. The law which seemed to be given to regulate, only roused sin. Sin is dormant or dead until the law comes and gives it life.” Ibid.
All this shows how futile it is to try to reform or regulate or conquer sin on our own. Sin not only acts in darkness and ignorance but transforms the very light into an agent of death.
8 But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of desire. For apart from the law sin was dead.
Without the law, one does not know right from wrong. If there is no law, there is no sin, because sin is the transgression of the law. Sin is lawlessness.
9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
When we are unaware of the law, we can live as we choose. But sooner or later, the commandments come into our heart and mind, then “sin revives” and we realize that we are a sinner. And sin causes death.
10 And the commandment that was ordained for life, I found to be unto death.
The Ten Commandments were designed to give us Life - Eonian Life (mistranslated “Eternal” life). Eonian Life refers to the life of Jesus living in us.
When we try to keep the law on our own, we find we CANNOT! That futile exercise leads to death both spiritually, and eventually, physically.
11 For sin, taking the opportunity by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.
The Law tells us what sin is.
Why did Paul pick the 10th Commandment in verse 7? Because covetousness is the beginning of ALL sin. Sin begins in the heart, in the mind. Before we commit the act of lying, stealing, adultery, or murder, it must first be in our heart and mind unspoken - un-acted upon. We have the thought first. We “covet” someone’s reputation, possessions, spouse, beauty, or whatever else we covet that belongs to someone else. It is only AFTER we have coveted that we act!
12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? Certainly not. But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.
“It seems that what is good may become the cause of death. But such is not the case. It was not the law that produced death, but sin, misusing the law. The real law and apparent functions of the law are very different. And, in order to effect its real object, it was necessary that it should not appear on the surface. The apparent object of the law was to give life to all who consistently and constantly kept it. As it never gave life to anyone, for no one was able to fulfill its demands, it appears as if the law has failed of its primary object.
“And, further, as it revived the passions of sin that were dormant, it seems to have defeated its own aim. But the real object of the law was to reveal the inordinate sinfulness of sin, and in this it was most successful.” Ibid p 237
14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am fleshly (carnal), sold under sin.
15 For that which I do, I don’t want to do. For what I want to do, that I don’t do; but what I hate, that I do.
This describes one who is trying to keep the letter of the law without the spirit of God in him. He finds that the law of sin in his members is far more potent than the law of God that appeals to his mind. He wants to do good, but cannot. He does things that he hates to do, hence charges his misery to the indwelling sin that has taken possession of his body. He is a wretched captive.
This will be the experience of all who make an earnest effort to please God by obeying the letter of the law which was broken even before it reached the people (Exodus 32:19).” Ibid
16 If then I do that which I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, that it is good.
17 Now then, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in Me.
18 For I am aware that good is not making its home in me (that is, in my flesh), for to will is present with Me: but how to perform that which is good, I find not.
19 For it is not the good that I will that I am doing, but the evil that I am not willing, this I am putting into practice.
20 Now if what I am not willing, this I am doing, it is no longer I who am effecting it, but Sin that is making its home in me.
21 I find then the law, that, when I want to do good, evil is present with me.
22 For I delight in the law of God, according to the inward man;
23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin that is in my members.
24 O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from this body of death?
What is the answer to this wretched man’s cry? The next verse gives us the glorious answer.
25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
Only when we become spiritual, when we die to the flesh, when we cut off the flesh (spiritual circumcision) will we be able to keep the law, by our very nature by the nature of Christ living in us.
“Grace” does not mean “freedom from keeping the law.” “Grace” means that Jesus Christ will live in us and give us the power, the inclination, the will to keep the law by our nature the nature of Christ that He puts in us.
This is the definition of “Eonian Life” the Life of Jesus Christ exhibited in our character.
Because we are carnal and the law is spiritual, it is impossible to keep the law unless Christ changes our heart by putting His life, His disposition in us. Then we will keep the law automatically because we will have the disposition of Christ. Ultimately, we will have no interest in doing wrong. Christ will make us perfect.
Predestination AND Universal Restoration
More about the Second Death
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Often this text is used by Christians to support the false doctrine that if we profess to be a “Believer” we can ignore the law. This, of course, is wishful thinking Pharisaical thinking perverting the Bible to make a comfortable life for ourselves.
There is truly NO condemnation for those who truly have God’s spirit in them. Those who DO have God’s Spirit in them will be keeping the Law by the very nature of the character of Jesus manifesting itself in them.
“I delight to do Thy will, O God, Yes, Thy LAW is within in my heart.” (Psalm 40:8)
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
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 on account of sin, condemned sin in the flesh.
Many Christians believe that Jesus died so “we don’t have to die.” That is another false doctrine. Jesus died to show us that we must ALL die to sin, spiritually, AND that we may have to die physically for Him. Jesus came, not so we could escape death, but to show us HOW to die.
4 That the righteous requirement 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 set their minds on the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
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.
Again, the carnal mind, the mind that follows after the flesh, is not subject to the law. But the mind that is Spiritual IS subject to the law of God.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God
9 But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.
If we do not manifest the character of Jesus (“Love your enemies; do GOOD to them who hate you. Pray for those who despitefully use you.” That eliminates ALL support of war by Christians. It also eliminates the condoning of “Self-Defense.” That leaves a VERY SMALL group of Christians.)
10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is of righteousness.
This is “Dying to Sin” THIS is the SECOND Death!
Many people find Paul’s writings difficult to understand because they believe the false doctrines of the Organized Church.
11 But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also give life to your mortal bodies because of His Spirit that dwells in you.
12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
13 For if you live after the flesh, you shall die; but if you through the Spirit do put to death the deeds of the body, you shall live.
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15, For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit itself is testifying together with our spirit that we are children of God.
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.
“God’s Spirit says we are His children. We claim Him as our Father. If this is the case, then, even as our children have the enjoyment of all that is ours, so all that is God’s is for us.” Concordant Commentary, p 238
18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.
Whatever we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory about to be revealed for us.
19 For the earnest expectation of the creation waits for the manifestation of the sons of God.
20 For the (entire) Creation was made subject to futility (sin), not willingly, but by reason of Him who has subjected the same in hope (literal translation expectation).
God subjected the entire Creation to sin. It was NOT our will but GOD’s Will! Because making mistakes and reaping the consequences builds character, and character is necessary to obtain the “Expectation.”
21 Because the (ENTIRE) Creation (including all the animals and vegetation that have been affected by the sin of mankind) itself also SHALL BE DELIVERED from the bondage of decay (corruption) into the glorious liberty of the children of God
In this text Paul is speaking of Universal Restoration! The ENTIRE CREATION WILL BE DELIVERED from the bondage of sin, into the glorious liberty of the children of God!
22 For we know that the WHOLE CEATION groans and travails (suffers birth pangs) in pain together until now.
23 And not only they, but ourselves, also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly awaiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
24 For we are saved by hope (expectation) and hope (expectation) that is seen is NOT hope; for what a man sees, why does he yet hope for it?
25 But if we hope for that we do not see, then with perseverance we eagerly wait for it.
26 Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities for what we should be praying for, we do not know as we ought; but the Spirit makes intercession for us with groanings that cannot be altered.
27 And He that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
The WILL of GOD! NOT our will!
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.
“Though we know not what to pray for, this is not at all necessary, for we do know that God is making everything cooperate for our welfare. No matter how things appear, they can work no ill to us who love God, for He first loved us, and has included us in His vast purpose, of which we form a vital part.” Ibid p 238
Everything that happens to us in our entire life is ALL designed by God, and is necessary for our purification process.
God predestined EVERYONE to be saved. (See “What Happens At the Judgment” at www.goodnewsabout god.com also, “Predestination: the Word know one wants to talk about.”)
29 For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate (designate beforehand) to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Here we see the word “foreknow” and the word “predestinate” in the same sentence. These two words do NOT have the same meaning.
To foreknow means to know something is going to happen before it happens, but you are not necessarily responsible for its happening.
To predestinate means to designate beforehand. That means that the person not only KNOWS that some particular thing will happen, but He determined it beforehand he PLANNED it!
God says He Predestinated everything!
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.
There’s NO way around this one. The Bible clearly states that God PREDESTINATES. Then He calls them. And those He calls He justifies. And those He justifies, He glorifies.
Pastors and theologians in the Organized Church promote either one of two positions: 1) Some say that God has predestined only certain people to be saved. The rest are predestined to be lost and nothing can change that. 2) Others say that God has predestined EVERYONE to be saved, no matter how bad they are. They believe that God is too kind to destroy anyone and that He will save everyone just as they are.
Both positions are Dead Wrong!
God has not predestined SOME to be saved. He has predestined ALL to be saved.
God IS too kind to permanently destroy His children, but He will NOT save them as they are in their sin. God will allow everyone to reap what he has sown, and it is that horrible reaping that will eventually change them into the likeness of Christ.
The reaping may occur in this life, or it may occur after the Great White Throne Judgment. Either way, it WILL happen!
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
If God is for us, then even our enemies who are against us, will be unknowingly working for our glorification.
That should give us great comfort. God runs the world and everything and everyone in it. Everything that happens to us is God’s will and is necessary for our character growth and our eventual sanctification and glorification.
32 He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect (chosen)? It is God that declares righteous.
If God has “chosen” us, and He has EVERYONE of us, eventually, then Satan will never be successful in bringing charges against us.
In the New Testament, the followers of Jesus Christ are written of, by the Bible authors, as God’s “elect.” At least that is the way the translators have translated that word. However, the word “elect” in the New Testament is actually the word “Chosen.” The translators have picked the word “elect” in an attempt to keep the word “Chosen” only for the “Jews,” even though most of the Jews hate Jesus Christ and do not believe He is God.
The followers of Jesus Christ in the New Testament are spoken of as the “Chosen.” This is exactly the same term used in the Old Testament for the Old Testament followers of Jesus Christ.
“Wait a minute,” you say, “Jesus Christ was not present in Old Testament Times.”
Yes He was. Jesus Christ was in the cloud leading the Israelites out of Egypt, through the wilderness and into the Promised Land. The Bible tells us so in 1 Corinthians 10:1-4.
Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware how that all our fathers (ancestors) were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea:
And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
And they did all eat the same spiritual food;
And they all did drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them; and that Rock was Christ.
Clearly, it was Jesus Christ who led the Israelites through the wilderness. It was Jesus Christ who they worshipped. The followers of Jesus Christ were the “Chosen People” in the Old Testament, and the present-day followers of Jesus Christ are the “Chosen People” of today.
The present-day cultural “Jews,” the majority of which are atheists, and the majority of which hate Jesus Christ (it says so in their Talmud their holiest book), are NOT the “Chosen” people of God. They are the enemies of God!
34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ who died, yes rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
What great comfort that Jesus Christ has risen from the dead. If we die, we too will, at a later time, rise from the dead.
35 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.
“God’s love never lets us go. The trials and tribulations we endure are not tokens of His displeasure. They are all tempered by His loving heart. A sense of His love hovering over us in the midst of our distresses is the most blessed of all balms and will enable us not only to endure them but to enjoy them.” Ibid, p 239
38 For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels (Satan is an angel), nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature (including Satan), shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
“Here all the great forces of the universe are arrayed, and none of them, no, nor all of them together, can come between us and the unconquerable love of our God as displayed in Christ Jesus.
“Death will be swallowed up by life. Life may lead us far from Him, but not beyond the reach of His love. The present perplexes us, the future fills us with fear, but only when we lose the sense of His love. Powers, celestial or terrestrial, are subject to His sway. Nothing above or beneath, nothing at all has the power to break the bond that binds the humblest and most unworthy saint to the throbbing breast of our great and glorious God. This is more than salvation from sin! This is reconciliation!” Ibid.
© Lorraine Day, M.D. 2006. All Rights Reserved.
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