by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 7 Paragraph # 3 Study # 2 November 13, 2016 Humble, Texas (Download Audio)
(049)Thesis: Paul's explanation of his "death" through deception regarding "Law" is that his mental/emotional fixation was misplaced.
Introduction: In our study last week we noted that Paul explained his "death" and the "resurrection" of The Sin in his life as God's way of revealing the extraordinarily sinfulness of "The Sin" by showing how it uses the "good" Law to kill through deceit. This evening we are going to pursue his reasoning.
I. He Says "We Know" That The Law Is "Spiritual".
A. At issue here is something that is at root unarguable.
1. Paul cannot write "we know" in the terms he used unless whatever is "known" is readily admitted by all.
2. His words are addressed to people who are significantly aware of "Law".
3. His words follow hard on the heels of his explanation of the "goodness" of "Law" as a tool of "revelation" regarding the essence of motives and actions.
4. His words also fall hard on the heels of his description of himself as one once alive, but now dead through the deceitfulness of The Sin's use of "Law".
a. This means that his reasoning has to take seriously the reality of the deceit and its consequent "death" for him.
b. We need to understand that he is not describing an unregenerated person, nor is he describing a person who understands how to walk by the Spirit; he is addressing those who have been led back into "death" by the deceit of "law as the method of living".
B. The unarguable point: The Law is "spiritual".
1. As a "revelation" from the God Who is "spirit", this is basic, fundamental, and simple.
2. As a "revelation" to man, there is a serious danger of misunderstanding simply because man is a fragmented being with fragmented and opposing objectives.
3. But, dangerous or not, "The Law is Spiritual".
II. The Counter Thesis.
A. Paul claims that his susceptibility to deceit is rooted in his "fleshliness".
1. This issue of "fleshliness" is complex, thus a handy tool for deceit.
2. The complexity consists of "flesh" competing with both "soul" and "spirit".
a. Peter claims that the lusts of the flesh "war" against the "soul" (1 Peter 2:11).
b. Paul claims that the first Adam was made to become "soul-fixated" (1 Corinthians 15:44-46).
1) The original body was not "natural" (Authorized Version), but "soulish"; i.e., fixated upon the soul.
2) The last body will be "spiritual" in that its fixation will be "spirit".
c. The outcome is that "fleshliness" is a matter of "fixation" of both motive and method as Paul revealed in 1 Corinthians 3:1 where "fleshliness" in believers is because of "baby-thinking".
3. "Fleshliness" is not a necessary condition for a person in this present body.
a. It can be overcome by the progressive turn to Love and Truth.
b. It cannot be overcome by "Spirit-lessness" or by using "The Law" unlawfully.
B. Paul claims that he is, "having been sold under The Sin".
1. This condition is the direct result of his being deceived regarding the function of "Law".
2. This condition rendered him "Spirit-less" in his mental fixations, though not in reality.
3. This condition resulted in a significant bondage as described by the following texts.