Who is the Person whom the Apostle Paul is Unfolding<br />Romans 7:14-25 #45.89<br />Charles e. Whisnant September 25, 2011<br />Romans 7:14-25<br />New Century Version (NCV)<br />The War Within Us<br /> 14 We know that the law is spiritual, but I am not spiritual since sin rules me as if I were its slave.15 I do not understand the things I do. I do not do what I want to do, and I do the things I hate.16 And if I do not want to do the hated things I do, that means I agree that the law is good.17 But I am not really the one who is doing these hated things; it is sin living in me that does them.18 Yes, I know that nothing good lives in me—I mean nothing good lives in the part of me that is earthly and sinful. I want to do the things that are good, but I do not do them.19 I do not do the good things I want to do, but I do the bad things I do not want to do.20 So if I do things I do not want to do, then I am not the one doing them. It is sin living in me that does those things.<br /> 21 So I have learned this rule: When I want to do good, evil is there with me.22 In my mind, I am happy with God's law.23 But I see another law working in my body, which makes war against the law that my mind accepts. That other law working in my body is the law of sin, and it makes me its prisoner.24 What a miserable man I am! Who will save me from this body that brings me death?25 I thank God for saving me through Jesus Christ our Lord! <br /> So in my mind I am a slave to God's law, but in my sinful self I am a slave to the law of sin.<br />I remember well in Bible Baptist Seminary in Arlington Texas, in 1966 in speech class, Dr. Walker Moore teaching us preacher boys on how to speak. One on the first passage I read was this Romans 7:14-25 and I did really bad reading the text. Moore must have stopped me a dozen times telling me that is not right. I also wanted to quit the class, seminary and preaching.<br /> 14For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. <br /> 15For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. <br /> 16If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. <br /> 17Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. <br /> 18For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. <br /> 19For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. <br /> 20Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. <br /> 21I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. <br /> 22For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: <br /> 23But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. <br /> 24O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? <br /> 25I 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.<br />LOVE OF THE TRUTH<br />by Archibald Alexander<br />"They perish because they did not accept the love of the truth in order to be saved." (2 Thessalonians 2:10)<br />I think it is John Newton who somewhere says that he never knew any person who appeared to be actuated by a sincere love of the truth, who did not come right after a while, however far off he might be when he began to feel this motive operating. The case of Thomas Scott is a remarkable illustration of this remark. When he commenced his correspondence with Mr. Newton, he was a Socinian, and was solicitous to engage his correspondent in a controversy on the points of difference. Mr. Newton, however, while he avoided controversy, still entertained and expressed the hope that Mr. Scott would come to a right belief, because he thought he perceived in him a sincere desire to know the truth.<br />It seems to me that this is one of the first lessons which they learn who are taught of God. The Holy Spirit, when he would lead anyone to the saving knowledge of the truth, produces in him a spirit of sincere and humble teachableness. The soul led by the Spirit thirsts for the knowledge of the truth. <br />This is a very different thing from ardent attachment to particular opinions which have been imbibed from education, or from the connection with a particular sect. Such attachment cleaves to error as tenaciously as to truth. A man may be willing to lay down his life in defense of his opinions, and yet may be destitute of the love of truth. <br />The genuine love of truth makes its possessor willing to relinquish his most cherished opinions as soon as it shall be satisfactorily demonstrated that they are not true. The love of the truth renders a man not only earnest in the pursuit of the beloved object, but impartial in his judgment of evidence. He fears deception, and admits new opinions only after the evidence has been thoroughly sifted and weighed.<br />This disposition is commonly accompanied with a deep sense of our ignorance and liableness to error. The lover of truth cannot be satisfied with mere plausible appearances, he must have solid ground to rest upon; he therefore digs deep until he comes to a rock. And as the Holy Bible is the treasure of divine truth, he searches the Scriptures daily to find out what God has revealed. But conscious of his liableness to be misled by ignorance or prejudice in interpreting the Scriptures, he is incessant in his prayers for divine illumination. Such a one trusts little to his own reason or human authority; he wants to hear what says the Lord. And those who search for truth as for hidden treasure shall not be disappointed. There is a gracious promise that if we seek--we shall find. "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, that gives to all men liberally, and upbraids not, and it shall be given him."<br />Beginning in Romans 7:14 Paul begins to discuss the conflict of two natures.<br />This section has been one of the most controversial in the New Testament. Three views:<br /> The majority of commentators: <br />(e.g., John MacArthur, John Piper, Warren Wiersbe, S Lewis Johnson, Robert Mounce, Harry Ironside, Donald Barnhouse, Albert Barnes, William MacDonald, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Melanchthon, Beza, John Owen, Delitzsch, Hodge, Shedd, Kuyper, F F Bruce, and C E Cranfield, et al) <br />1Favor this to be a description of a regenerate man (Paul) wrestling with the sinful TENDENCY TO DEMONSTRATE PARTICULAR BEHAVIOR (propensities) still present in his mortal body as it is in every saved person. <br />2Others feel Paul is discussing his unsaved state prior to conversion.<br />3 Some feel the text addresses the experience of any man, whether saved or unsaved, who seeks to obey the law. <br />Vine gives three sections to these verses<br />1Romans 7:14-17 Paul shows his inability to keep himself from doing what he disapproves of.<br />2Romans 7:18-20 Paul shows his inability to carry out that which he approves of.<br />3Romans 7:21-25 Paul brings his discussion to its appointed conclusion, he shows how deliverance from this condition is to be effected.<br />Now the question is, who is this person whom the Apostle is describing in this section.<br />I can remember taking to other preachers for hours on this subject of the nature of man. <br />Three views:<br /><ul><li>This section is telling an unregenerate man, a man who is in the state of nature, not yet quickened and regenerated.
This is a description of a regenerated man, and not only a description of a regenerated man, but a description of a regenerated man always, even at his best. And Paul is describing himself as he is writing this book to the Romans.
Some say this is a Christian in his early stages of his Christian life, and not yet received the “second blessing.”</li></ul>WHICH DO YOU BELIEVE? <br />Most of the FATHERS OF THE CHURCH (the first 300 years) believed these verses as being a description of the unsaved man. Those “Patristic Fathers, so called, took the view, that this was an account of the unsaved man.<br />As a footnote: Growing up in a Fundamentalist Independent Baptist Church, in my Dad’s church for the first 18 years of my life, I never heard of the Church Fathers. When I went to Seminary in 1966 I never heard to my remembrance anyone talking about the Church Fathers.<br />As a matter of fact I didn’t hear about any of men of the first 1700 years of Church Christianity.<br />MY STUDY HAS CHAGED OVER THE YEARS. <br />The genuine love of truth makes its possessor willing to relinquish his most cherished opinions as soon as it shall be satisfactorily demonstrated that they are not true. The love of the truth renders a man not only earnest in the pursuit of the beloved object, but impartial in his judgment of evidence. He fears deception, and admits new opinions only after the evidence has been thoroughly sifted and weighed. Archibald Alexander<br />Are we able to say from the days of the teaching of Paul, Peter, John, Luke, Timothy and the writers of the New Testament, that those following them have taught the Truth of the Word of God. That is a real good question.<br /><ul><li>You do know Baptist as a name did not existed in those early years, and only became know when </li></ul>Baptists are individuals who belong to Christian denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for saved believers (believer's baptism, as opposed to infant baptism), and that it must be done by immersion (as opposed to affusion or sprinkling). Other tenets of Baptist churches include soul competency (liberty), salvation through faith alone, scripture alone as the rule of faith and practice, and the autonomy of the local congregation. Baptists recognize two ministerial offices, pastors and deacons. Baptist churches are widely considered to be Protestant churches, though some Baptists disavow this identity.<br />Historians trace the earliest Baptist church back to 1609 in Amsterdam, with English Separatist John Smyth as its pastor. In accordance with his reading of the New Testament, he rejected baptism of infants and instituted baptism only of believing adults. Baptist practice spread to England, where the General Baptists considered Christ's atonement to extend to all people, while the Particular Baptists believed that it extended only to the elect. In 1638, Roger Williams established the first Baptist congregation in the North American colonies. In the mid-18th century, the First Great Awakening increased Baptist growth in both New England and the South. The Second Great Awakening in the South in the early 19th century increased church membership, as did the preachers' lessening of support for abolition and manumission of slavery, which had been part of the 18th-century teachings. Baptist missionaries have spread their church to every continent.<br />FATHERS OF THE CHURCH<br />"By this succession, the ecclesiastical tradition from the apostles, and the preaching of the truth, have come down to us. And this is most abundant proof that there is one and the same live-giving faith, which has been preserved in the church from the apostles until now, and handed down in truth." --Irenaeus of Lyons, c. 180 AD<br />Who Are the Church Fathers? <br />Tertullian<br />The term church fathers refers to Christian writers and theologians of the first eight centuries of the Christian church, especially the period of development up to 451 AD. The church fathers are sometimes further divided into Apostolic Fathers, who wrote in the first century, and the Ante-Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, who wrote before and after the Council of Nicea (325 AD), respectively. The period during which the church fathers wrote is known as the Patristic Period and the academic study of these writers is called Patristics. Both terms derive from the Latin word pater, meaning "father." <br />The church fathers are of great importance to Christianity because they formulated nearly all of the Christian doctrine that is accepted by Christians today. They interpreted the Bible in light of challenges from Greek thought and various heretical movements, determined Christianity's relationship to Judaism, elaborated on theological concepts such as the Trinity and salvation, and established the structure and organization of the church. <br />The Patristic Period <br />The earliest church fathers wrote in the latter part of the first century (80-100 AD), around the time the biblical canon was closed. These writers were especially concerned with practical matters like faith, righteous living and church organization. The writings of this period consist primarily of letters between churches and exhortations to keep the faith in the midst of persecution. These writers are known as the "Apostolic Fathers" for their close connection with the apostles, and include Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Hermas, Polycarp and Papias, as well as the unknown authors of the Epistle of Barnabas, the Epistle of Diognetus, 2 Clement, and the Didache. <br />Around the turn of the first century, Christian writers began to turn their attention outward in defense of Christianity against false claims made by Roman persecutors and demonstrating Christianity's reasonableness to minds trained on Greek philosophy. These writings were usually addressed to Roman emperors or other pagan critics, and their authors are known as the "Apologists." Among the most important apologists are Justin Martyr and Tertullian. Augustine's lengthy City of God is also considered an apologetic work. <br />The fathers of the second and third centuries also directed their efforts towards combatting what they saw as heresy, or false interpretations of the Christian faith. After the conversion of Emperor Constantine and the end of persecution in 313 AD, Christian writers turned from apologetics to focus almost exclusively on this task. No longer threatened from without, the church still faced threats from within. By the turn of the first century AD, most Christian converts were Gentiles, not Jews. These converts brought with them many ways of understanding Christianity, and often their perspectives on Christianity were quite different from that of most church leaders. Thus the church fathers from the fourth century onward were focused especially on the defense of what they saw as the true Christian faith (orthodoxy) against corruptions or misunderstandings (heresy).<br />Further complicating the situation, the conversion of the emperor had made theology a political matter. After Constantine's conversion, many new converts flooded into the church, for now Christianity was not only legal, it was the religion of the emperor and therefore politically advantageous. Furthermore, Constantine and his successors viewed Christianity as a means for unifying the empire, and they had no patience for what they regarded as petty doctrinal differences. Thus Christian teachers who taught unorthodox doctrines were not only excommunicated from the church but exiled from the empire. Not surprisingly, the success of a particular theological position was sometimes directly related to who had the ear of the emperor at the moment. Athanasius, honored by all Christians today as a great defender of orthodoxy, was exiled and reinstated no less than eight times as the political winds shifted. <br />The Faith of the Early Fathers.<br />THE CHURCH HISTORY TIMELINE<br />This fresco depicts Augustine’s conversion, reading from Romans.<br />Introduction The Apostolic Period: 35-120 The Apologists: 120-220 The Third Century: 220-305 The Imperial Church: 305-476 The Early Middle Ages: 476-999 The High Middle Ages: 1000-1299 The Late Middle Ages: 1300-1499 The Reformation: 1500-1599 The Puritans: 1600-1699 The Great Awakening: 1700-1799 The 2nd Great Awakening: 1800-1899 The Modern Period: 1900-Present <br />The Early Church in the Apostolic Period: 35-120<br />Ignatius, Clement of Rome, and Ireneaus, Polycarp,<br />35 b. Ignatius. His letters to churches and to Polycarp are widely quoted in the early church<br />51 The Jewish persecution of Christians in Rome becomes so disruptive that the Jews are expelled from the city<br />60 b. Papias, Bishop of Hierapolis in Asia Minor. "He was a man of long ago and the disciple of one 'John' and a companion of Polycarp," according to Irenaeus <br />64 Emperor Nero blames the fire that destroys much of Rome on the Christians. He persecutes the church ruthlessly, and uses Christians as candles to light his garden. It is likely that both Peter and Paul were executed during this persecution<br />68 The end of Nero's reign<br />69 b. Polycarp, in Smyrna. He was a strong defender of the faith in Asia Minor combating the Marcionites and the Valentinians. Irenaeus reported that Polycarp had communication with John the Apostle and 'others who had seen the Lord' <br />81 Domitian becomes Emperor. As Emperor, he persecuted both Jews and Christians<br />96 The end of Domitian's reign<br />96 d. Clement of Rome. He wrote influential epistles to Corinth<br />98 Trajan becomes Emperor. Trajan eventually instituted a policy toward Christians that stayed in effect until the time of Aurelius. His policy was not to seek Christians out, but if they were brought before the authorities they were to be punished, usually executed, for being Christians<br />By the end of the first century it is possible to document congregations in almost every city that Paul visited on his three missionary journeys. There are also a few churches in Egypt and along the coast of Northern Africa<br />107 Ignatius led to Rome and martyred<br />115 b. Ireneaus, the first great Catholic theologian and author of Against Heresies, a treatise against the gnostics<br />The Early Church in the Period of the Apologists: 120-220<br />Justin Martyr, Marcion, Clement of Alexandria, Polycarp, Tertullian, and Origen<br />130 d. Papias<br />130 Conversion of Justin Martyr. Justin loved philosophy, and had studied many philosophies and pagan religions in his search for truth. He was an apologist, and taught that the seeds of truth (logos) could be found in all religions, but that only Christianity taught the whole truth<br />144 Marcion excommunicated for rejecting the Old Testament, rejecting most of the New Testament, and teaching that Christ only appeared to be human (Docetism). His challenge helps the church realize the necessity of formally recognizing the canon<br />150 b. Clement of Alexandria. He was an apologist who used Plato to support Christianity, and tried to reach gnostics by showing that only the Christian had real "gnosis." He helped establish the allegorical method of interpreting scripture. His works make up a large proportion of The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. II<br />155 Polycarp was martyred in Smyrna by being burned to death. Polycarp declared, "Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He never did me any injury: how then can I blaspheme my King and my Savior?" The only known writings to survive are parts of letters he wrote to the Philippians <br />156 Possibly the beginning of the Montanist movement. They were an aescetic movement with apocalyptic visions. They claimed the Spirit spoke directly through their prophets and prophetesses<br />160 b. Tertullian. He objected to Justin's use of philosophy to defend Christianity, saying "What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?." Late in life he became a Montanist and wrote Against Praxeas, which helped the church understand the Trinity<br />161 Marcus Aurelius becomes emperor. He abandoned Trajan's passive approach and actively sought Christians to persecute them throughout the empire<br />165 Justin is martyred<br />180 The end of Aurelius's reign<br />185 b. Origen. Pupil of Clement of Alexandria, he further develops the allegorical method. This and his desire to relate to the Neoplatonists in Alexandria led him away from orthodoxy in some matters. But he is still important to the church. On First Principles is the first systematic theology<br />202 Septimus Severus tries to unite the empire under one religion, the worship of the Unconquered Sun. Both Jews and Christians refuse and are vehemently persecuted<br />202 Irenaeus is martyred(?)<br />202 Clement of Alexandria flees to Syria until his death in 215<br />216 b. Mani, founder of Manichaeism. He fused Persian, Christian, and Buddhist elements into a major new heresy<br />The Early Church in the Third Century: 220-305<br />Anthony, The Novatian schism, Eusebius, and Athanasius<br />225 d. Tertullian<br />245 Conversion of Cyprian<br />247 Cyprian becomes Bishop of Carthage<br />249-251 The reign of Decius. He ordered everyone in the empire to burn incense to him. Those who complied were issued a certificate. Those who did not have a certificate were persecuted. Many Christians bought forged certificates, causing a great controversy in the church<br />Cyprian went into hiding during the persecution and ruled the church by letters<br />251 b. Anthony. One of the earliest monks. He sold all his possessions and moved to the desert. Athanasius later wrote his biography<br />254 d. Origen<br />The Novatian schism develops concerning the treatment of the lapsed. (The Novatians, or Cathari, last until about 600. Read the Catholic view of the schism.) Cyprian refuses to accept the validity of baptism by schismatic priests. The church in Rome is critical of Cyprian's view, and sends him scathing letters. Carthaginian Councils<br />258 Cyprian is martyred before the issue is settled<br />263 b. Eusebius of Caesarea. He was the first church historian. Many works of the early church survive only as fragments in Eusebius's writing<br />284 The beginning of the Diocletian persecution<br />286 b. Pachomius, Egyptian pioneer of cenobitic (communal rather than solitary) monasticism <br />297/300 b. Athanasius, the defender of Orthodoxy during the Arian controversy of the fourth century.<br />888888888888888888888888 888888888888888888888888 8888888888888888888888888888888<br />First Century Church History Introduction <br /><ul><li>Christianity begins with the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Church history begins on the Day of Pentecost. These Jewish Christians adopt a messianic theology and continue to follow the Law of Moses. Hellenistic Jews from all over the Roman empire were among the initial converts - conflict soon surfaced between the Palestinian Jews and the Hellenstic Jews. This represented the beginning of the church's struggle to reach out beyond it's original culture and race - the Great Commission. The Hellenized Jews failed to take the gospel to the Gentiles in any appreciable way. It took a special man, Saul of Tarsus, a Hellenized Jew, to aggressively take the gospel to the Gentiles. Saul becomes "the apostle Paul" and is attacked on every side: the Jews attack him, the followers of James attack him, and the Romans arrest him. </li></ul>In the early 60's, under Nero, the Roman government begins orchestrated persecution of Christians. By the 60's the Christian sect, especially under Paul, had separated from Judaism. In 62 AD both Peter and Paul are executed in Rome. Roman persecution will sporadically occur throughout the second, third, and the beginning of the fourth centuries. <br />In the late 60's Jewish Zealots in Jerusalem rise up in rebellion against the Romans. Titus, son of the emperor Vespasian, commands more than 60,000 Roman troops to wipe out these Zealots. The Jewish Temple is burned to the ground in 70 AD. This event marks a critical point in the development of Christianity - the struggle of the Church against Judaism almost completely disappears. From 70 AD forward Christianity becomes mainly a Gentile dominated movement. <br />Early gospel accounts had already begun to be circulated by 70 AD. Mark's gospel was probably written first, followed soon by the accounts of Matthew and Luke. Paul's various letters (written mainly from around 50-60) were also beginning to be circulated. Post apostolic writings that eventually do NOT become part of the New Testament canon attest to a growing negative attitude towards Judaism after 70 AD. By the close of the first century all the documents which are now contained in the New Testament had been written. <br />1st Century Church Comes to a Conclusion<br />The first century ended with the persecution under Emperor Domitian (81-96 AD). This is the historical backdrop for John's Revelation. The writer is urging fellow believers to stand firm against "Babylon," the Roman empire. <br />There is a lot more from the website that I did not put here.<br />ANOTHER GREAT HISTORICAL WEBSITE ABOUT THE SUBJECT:<br />The Church Fathers<br />"By this succession, the ecclesiastical tradition from the apostles, and the preaching of the truth, have come down to us. And this is most abundant proof that there is one and the same live-giving faith, which has been preserved in the church from the apostles until now, and handed down in truth." --Irenaeus of Lyons, c. 180 AD<br />^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^<br />Okay enough of that (after three hours looking up websites on this subject.<br />I am sure from the beginning those who were after the writers of the New Testament believed on doctrinal thought and later after further study changed there minds.<br />It is a small and narrow mind that is afraid to change; it is a sign of greatness that one is prepared to admit at times that one has been mistaken and that therefore you have had to change your position.<br />AUGUSTINE DID JUST THAT: He first believed Paul was talking about the unsaved man. Then after further exposition of Scripture he believed Paul was talking about the saved man.<br /><ul><li>Augustine of Hippo: 354 to 430 He was a Latin-speaking philosopher and theologian who lived in the Roman Africa Province. His writings were very influential in the development of Western Christianity.</li></ul>Then the Protestant Reformers (1517) And the Puritans theologians have taken the viewpoint that Paul is talking about believers.<br /><ul><li>The Protestant Reformation, popularly thought to have begun on October 31, 1517 with the posting of Martin Luther's 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, divided Western Christendom, as distinguished from Eastern Christendom, into the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant churches.</li></ul>Then the third view taking by some: Who say Paul is talking about the born again person, but has not fully grown up as a Christian. But he should get there in time.<br />SO WHO IS RIGHT? GOOD QUESTION: <br />We all hold to a particular; point of view and adhere to some system of doctrine. All of do. Of course there are those you say, “They are just biblical,” which Marty Lloyd Jones says, “are simply comfessing that they have never really understood the teaching of the Bible.<br /><ul><li>Preachers and Theologian do have a general line of exposition, a particular school of thought and of teaching a particular view of dogmatic theology.
Nevertheless we must try to discover what the Scripture is saying, because no system is perfect, and at particular points even the best system may have certain defects.
No system worked out by man ever has been, or ever will be perfect.</li></ul>While I am Baptist, a certain kind of Baptist, I am in no way bound to that system of thought. I am not a slave to all Baptist points of view. Sorry about that.<br />This will be a surprise to some of you, and we must realize this, that no teacher of the Church have had a complete monopoly of Truth.<br />I have a view point about this passage of Scripture for sure.<br />But as I have over the years, I have tried to approach Scripture without that point of view. I have said, Let us try to discover what each statement if Scripture says, and then, having arrived at what seems to be the meaning of each statement, let us gather all together and try to arrive at a conclusion.<br />I have tried not to say, “Well we Baptist hold to this particular system of belief about this verse.” I have always heard taught that this was the right interpretation of the text. While it is impossible not to give it some thought, when I am approaching a text I really try to see if I can learn what it says by what it says, and not read into the verse what I believe it is saying.<br />I have learned the method to be followed in any realm and department of thought is:<br /><ul><li>It is always right to listen to the evidence before you give a verdict.
It is a very poor judge who starts with his verdict, and then proceeds to turn down everything that opposes it, instead of listening to all the arguments, and giving them their full value.</li></ul>Presuppositional apologetics. And Presupposition<br />Presupposition WHICH MEANS “TO BELIEVE OR SUPPOSE IN ADVANCE. When I approach scripture I am going to say in advance, that the Bible is the Very Word Of God, and no thought that it is not.<br />The act of presupposing, a supposition made prior to having knowledge (as for the purpose of argument) The cognitive process of supposing<br />When I am preaching- teaching I am not trying to be an apologetics. I am not going to start with the idea that the Bible could be wrong.<br />Now I must say I do start with a thought: The Bible is true, the Bible is the very word of God. The Bible is God’s Truth. I am going to start with the idea that God’s Word is without error. In order words, in advance of coming this text I believe it to be the Word of God. I believe that before I try to proof anything. “To believe a particular thing is true before there is any proof of it.”<br />Rather than looking for reason, experimental experience, and subjective feelings…..<br />Frame said this: in 1987:<br />“a belief that takes precedence over another and therefore serves as a criterion for another. An ultimate presupposition is a belief over which no other takes precedence. For a Christian, the content of Scripture must serve as his ultimate presupposition.... This doctrine is merely the outworking of the lordship of God in the area of human thought. It merely applies the doctrine of scriptural infallibility to the realm of knowing:”<br />AS a Christian pastor-teacher I must at all times presuppose, or take for a fact, the supernatural revelation of the Bible as the ultimate arbiter of truth and error in order to know anything<br />Why is Van Til so important? Building on the thought of Reformed theologians in America (Charles Hodge, B. B. Warfield) and Holland (Abraham Kuyper,Herman Bavinck), Van Til developed an approach to apologetics based on two foundational points:<br /><ul><li>that all people are obligated to acknowledge God in all their thinking
and that nonchristians unremittingly resist this obligation.</li></ul> These two points are perhaps most obviously set forth in Romans 1:18-32,where the Apostle Paul declares that God is clearly revealed in creation but that people suppress that revelation and worship creatures rather than the creator. <br />Despite the commonplace misconception that Van Til did not believe in “general revelation”–that God is revealed even to nonchristians in nature and history–Frame points out that Van Til strongly affirmed that God is clearly revealed to all people no matter what they claimed to the contrary. The problem is that all people practice self-deception. In looking at the world and themselves, nonchristians presuppose that the true God does not exist.<br />Van Til’s critique of nonchristian thought and his apologetic method made him also quite critical of other apologists. Van Til argued that the traditional proofs for God undermine the Christian method because they only show that God’s existence is probable. <br />Likewise, the historical evidence for Christianity, if presented in the traditional manner, proves only that Jesus might have risen from the dead. Not only is this short of the Gospel, but it doesn’t do justice to Paul’s assertion in Romans 1:18ff that all people know God. While Van Til said that the proofs could be presented in a better manner, and that there is nothing wrong with presenting historical evidence ,sooner or later one must deal with the unbeliever’s presupposition by which he interprets logic and history.<br />Here is what we will do with Romans 7:14-23 We will start like we usually do with a passage. We will adopt the inductive method and work up to a conclusion.<br />Vs. 14 Paul makes a opening general statement about the position and condition of the man described. <br />“WE KNOW THAT THE LAW IS SPIRITUAL: BUT I AM CARNAL, SOLD UNDER SIN.”<br />Vs. 15 describes that position and condition as shown in practice and in daily life.<br />‘FOR THAT WHICH I DO I ALLOW NOT; FOR WHAT I WOULD, THAT DO I NOT; BUT WHAT I HATE , THAT DO IT.”<br />Vs. 16-17 contain two inferences or deductions that can be drawn about this man and his conduct. The first:”IF THEN I DO THAT WHICH I WOULD NOT, I CONSENT UNTO THE LAW THAT IT IS GOOD.” That would be a reasonable assumption. <br />But there is a second deduction: ‘NOW THEN IT IS NO MORE I THAT DO IT, BUT SIN THAT DWELLETH IN ME,.”<br />Vs. 18-20 18For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not that I do. 20Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. <br />,,,,Paul gives a more complete exposition and explanation of has been said in verse 17<br />Vs 21 21I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.<br />Paul gives another statement but at a somewhat deeper level. He adds to the statement in veree 14 in light of verse 18-20<br />Vs. 22 – 23 22For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. <br />Paul give further details about what has just been said in verse 21.<br />Vs 24 24O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”<br />Here is the cry of anguish, and at the same time the cry for deliverance that results from the realization that he is in the terrible position which he had been describing.<br />Vs 25 25I 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.”This begins with an out pouring of relief.<br />John MacArthur on the other hand writes...<br />Some interpreters believe that chapter 7 describes the carnal, or fleshly, Christian, one who is living on a very low level of spirituality. Many suggest that this person is a frustrated, legalistic Christian who attempts in his own power to please God by trying to live up to the Mosaic law. But the attitude expressed in chapter 7 is not typical of legalists, who tend to be self-satisfied with their fulfillment of the law. Most people are attracted to legalism in the first place because it offers the prospect of living up to God’s standards by one’s own power. <br />It seems rather that Paul is here describing the most spiritual and mature of Christians, who, the more they honestly measure themselves against God’s standards of righteousness the more they realize how much they fall short. The closer we get to God, the more we see our own sin. Thus it is immature, fleshly, and legalistic persons who tend to live under the illusion that they are spiritual and that they measure up well by God’s standards. The level of spiritual insight, brokenness, contrition, and humility that characterize the person depicted in Romans 7 are marks of a spiritual and mature believer, who before God has no trust in his own goodness and achievements.<br /> ( <br />“FOR WE KNOW 1492 THAT THE LAW IS SPIRITUAL:4152 <br />We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Law is spiritual. The Law is not fleshly. Paul had just explained that the Law is holy and righteous and good. These facts are not question. The Law is divine, from God. The Law is a reflection of the character of God, which is holy, righteous, and good.<br />Paul is using a personalizing to express this position of the Law of God. Once a person has come to know Christ he knows that the Law is spiritual. The Law has come from God and there fore spiritual.<br />2 Corinthians 3:5-6 5Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; 6Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.”<br />The Law is spiritual in that sense. The Jews took a carnal view of the Law. Christian view the law not by the letter but by the spirit. The non spiritual view views the Law as with only external actions, not something that happens on the inside in the spirit. The spiritual view idea is Law is more concern with the motives, and desires, rather than the actions. The Law is spiritual that it brings life. “Do this, and thou shalt live.”<br />BUT I AM CARNAL,4559 SARKIKOS <br />Paul puts it out there at the very beginning. I am carnal. <br />Paul is saying “I am continually carnal. He is not talking of his past unsaved stated but his present state. He is talking about his physical flesh. The word means<br />Fleshly, carnal http://www.searchgodsword.org/lex/grk/view.cgi?number=4559<br />having the nature of flesh, i.e. under the control of the animal appetites <br />governed by mere human nature not by the Spirit of God <br />having its seat in the animal nature or aroused by the animal nature <br />human: with the included idea of depravity.<br />It means man’s life as organized and lived apart from God and the power of the Holy Spirit in his life.<br />Vs. 5 5For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. Vs 6 6But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.<br />A man who is in the flesh is under the law. So he says here, “I am carnal” fleshly. He does not mean that the flesh which remained in him was carnal, he does not say that there was something that was still within him which was carnal, he says that he himself is carnal. “I am carnal.”<br />The idea is not that he is not saved, but as a Christian not delivered from the power of the flesh. <br />1 Corinthians 3:1 “I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, butas unto carnal, as unto babes in Christ. 2I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. 3For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? Paul is talking to the church.<br />Paul is describing the “carnal” person as one who is “a babe in Christ”, an immature Christian, a Christian who lacks fuller understanding. To you I could not give the meat of the Word. They were Christians who lack a good understanding, they are babes in Christ. They were acting like they were still in the flesh.<br />They were still thinking in the old way in which they used to think before they became spiritual.<br />Some are “carnal’ some are “spiritual” that is they have the mind of Christ. Two types ofChristians those who can and those who can’t take spiritual teaching.<br />Well, then does Paul mean that he was not mature? Is he saying that he is “a babe in Christ”? Is he saying that he could not take spiritual teaching? I don’t think so.<br />I would say he at this point in time is a well mature man in Christ He is most likely the most fully developed as a Christian as anyone could possibly be in this life, and in this world. Wouldn’t you say? <br />“But I” who is this? He is someone who is “carnal.” Who is someone who is “carnal?<br />Would it be a portrayal of a Christian person who has matured as much as it is possible for a Christian to mature and to develop while he is alive on this world?<br /> SOLD UNDER SIN.”<br />“I am under sin.” What does that mean? (next week or not) <br />KEEP ON LISTENING EVEN WHEN YOU THINK YOU WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO<br />You are saying what are you saying Pastor-Teacher? I know when I was in Seminary in Dr. George Norris class, I was listening to the lectures on the subject of Theology, I realized after hearing him speak not only did I feel I knew nothing of what he was speaking, but I felt I would never be able to understand a think we was saying.<br />But I am glad I keep on listening to him for the rest of the year and the next year.<br />I can tell you if you keep on listening, and keep on listening, you will begin to find that more than yo had even realized is sinking and seeping in, and you will wake up one of these day and say,. “I got it, I see what it is about, I am beginning to understand.” <br />If you are not there yet, KEPP ON LISTENING.<br />Do not impatient with yourself when you are studying a difficult passage in Scripture, keep on, hold on, reading or listening and suddenly you will find yourself not only do you know much more than you thought you knew, but you will be able to follow and to understand.<br />REMEMBER THIS, DON’T LET THE DEVIL SAY TO YOU, “You are not a theologican.” Say, “I am in this Christian family, and I intend to listen and to read until I do understand it. If you do that you will not only defeat th4e enemy, but you will soon find that you have an understand. <br />And that is exactly what happen in Theology 101, 201, 301,and 401 and 501. <br />Okay back to Romans 7:14<br />So Paul is saying, If the Law is spiritual, where does the trouble come from? What is wrong? Why are things as they are in my life? <br />I am carnal, and sold under sin, Paul says.<br />What does this mean? Is this a born again Christian in view here?<br />There is no word in the Greek for “bondage” “sold”<br />Here is the Greek: <br />We know for that the law spiritual is, I, but fleshly (idem) am, having been sold 4097 piprasko) under the sin.<br />The term means: I am “sold into a condition of slavery to sin, that I am “a slave” to sin.<br />Paul uses the term “sold” means to be sold to sin., thus becoming its slave. “they had been sold and remained under the dominion of sin. A.T. Robinson paraphrases the perfect tense of sold picturing Sin as a banker who has foreclosed: “Sin has closed the mortgage and owns its slave.”<br />And the question comes up naturally is how can a genuine believer be “permanently” under the power of sin? That is the question.<br />I am “a slave” to sin” That is the actual words of Paul” If sin is the master and I am the slave, <br />What is he saying? He did not say he sold himself in to slavery. What he does say is that we are in this condition of slavery. He said he is under the supremacy of sin.<br />So if this statement by Paul is about him and Christians, how is it possible for a Christian to be carnal, fleshly and a slave of sin? Is this the description whom Paul is describing.<br />Paul is saying I am sold under sin. It is a statement about the man as a whole.<br />So we need to ask ourselves again, TO WHOM IS SUCH A STATEMENT ADDRESSING?<br />This person could not be one who had not been saved. Why? First the unsaved person does not understand the nature of the LAW. The unsaved person does not know that the Law is spiritual. And the unsaved person does not know he is fleshly or carnal.<br />The unsaved person does know he has been sold into slavery to SIN. Of course that is the problem with the lost person.<br />ggggg<br />D<br />