by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 1 Study # 9 September 12, 2006 Lincolnton, N.C.
6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
1901 ASV Translation:
6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away, that so we should no longer be in bondage to sin;
7 for he that hath died is justified from sin.
I. The Impact of the Death of Our Old Man.
A. The issue is "the body of sin".
1. By using "body", Paul immediately introduces something of the physical...either literally or metaphorically.
a. There are 13 uses of "body" by Paul in Romans. The majority of them are references to the physical body.
b. When we consider the fact that Paul did not know what the Romans might, or might not, know so that he had to tell them "everything" so that they could follow his teaching, it is highly unlikely that he used "body" in any sense other than the physical sense.
2. By using "body", we immediately know it is what linked us to Adam, our old man.
a. In Romans 5, Paul taught that "the sin" entered by Adam and, because we are an integral unity with him, we sinned with him and died with him.
1) We are Adam by the "body" since we are a "diminished" fruit of his body (Adam was "more than" any of his offspring, but they are of that which he was).
2) It is in the spirit that we are not Adam because he, apparently, is not capable of generating "spirits" [there is no indication in Scripture that anyone can produce "spirits" except God].
b. Since it appears that Adam could only "pass on" what he had the capacities for, the "body" is what he "passed on" -- with all of its inherent capacities.
1) These inherent capacities were sufficient to underwrite the dominion of Sin over all of humanity.
2) This means that the "body" can, and does, dominate both spirit and soul. In his "wretchedness" about this, Paul asked, "Who shall deliver me from this body of death?".
c. Since Adam's sin was eating of the fruit of a tree, it is not beyond possibility that the fruit altered Adam's physical makeup so that it either "added" or "took away" something that dominates.
1) Since sin always leads to "degradation" -- a downward "undoing" of good -- we must reason that the fruit "undid" some controlling factor that made it possible for Adam to function in the likeness of God.
2) Thus, whatever "gene" there once was that maintained all functions of the body in perfect harmony, it was destroyed so that now all functions are in competition and have set up an inevitable "Sin" posture in man. Competition is the realm of death and no one in that realm lives. The very first "benefit" of the Gospel is "peace" with God so that competition is eliminated. This introduces "life" into the mix.
3) Paul's complaint in Romans 7:14 is that he is "fleshly" in a setting where the Law is "spiritual" and this results in a discord that the "bondage to sin" manipulates to produce evil.
d. Thus we conclude that the "body" is an "enemy" that must be "kept under" by the Spirit if we are to "live" (1 Corinthians 9:27 clearly reveals the fact that the physical body is at least a wayward element of our being and at most a traitorous enemy).
B. The "abrogation" of the body of sin.
1. In what sense is the "body"of sin "destroyed"?
a. The "body" is not "altered" -- the genetic structure remains unchanged.
b. The "body" does, however, have to "entertain" a "spiritual presence" that it did not have to deal with before "regeneration".
c. The "presence" of the Holy Spirit is a presence which can negate what the Authorized Version translators called "the motions of sins, which were by the Law..." (7:25).
d. Thus, the "body" is not, technically, "destroyed"; it is, rather, blunted in the "automatic power" by which it dominates the unregenerate. In the unregenerated, the body rules without successful opposition because there is no inner power that can "take it on" and subjugate it.
2. Since the burden of this paragraph ends up being "ye are not under Law", it must be that the "body's" power rests in its dominion over the mind. Since "reckon ye yourselves to be dead to sin" is a "mental" issue, if the "mind" can be set free from the body's dominion, the person can be set free from Sin.