by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 7 Paragraph # 3 Study # 8 May 8, 2007 Lincolnton, N.C.
(310)Thesis:The problems of being deceived.
Introduction:In our study last week we looked into the declaration by Paul that one cannot look for any good to come out of the flesh because no good dwells in our flesh. We saw that Paul was not writing about our physical bodies when he used the terms "in my flesh". Rather, he was writing about that aspect of us that derives from a purely Adamic connection. That our bodies are derived from Adam is not the critical issue; the critical issue is what resources are within that body that empower and direct its actions. The "flesh" is the issue of those "resources". All resources derived from Adam are worthless for the production of good. Only what comes with the Holy Spirit is of any value to the issue of godly behavior.
This evening we are going to look into Paul's "conclusions" regarding the absolute dominion of Sin over the flesh so that we may function as he did.
I. He Announces the Discovery of a "Law".
A. He clarifies the state of the one under discussion.
1. This one is said to "be willing to do the good".
a. This cannot refer to an unregenerated person because...
1) Paul has been discussing his personal experience "post-Life" (after being made alive together with Christ).
2) It is fundamental to his theology that unregenerated people do not desire to do "good" because "desiring to do good" is counter-productive to achieving the real objectives.
a) Doing good to achieve evil is not "doing good".
b) No unregenerated person can separate "doing good" from seeking personal, self-centered, goals ("Love" is a fruit of the Spirit).
b. This refers to someone whose "heart" has been changed by God under the principles of the New Covenant, but whose "mind" is yet too unskilled to recognize deceit.
2. This one is subject to the "discovered law".
B. He states the reality of bondage to evil.
1. Evil is inherent within.
2. Evil is dominant in an "under Law" condition.
II. He Explains the Particulars of This "Law".
A. There is an "inner person" which has a real appreciation for the goodness of God's Law.
B. But there is also another "inner" reality (also called a "law").
1. This inner reality "wages war" with the "law of the mind".
a. This "law of the mind" is, apparently, the "inner person" who has a real appreciation for the goodness of God's Law and is the source of the "willingness to do good".
b. But this other "law" is militantly opposed to the expression of that appreciation or willingness.
2. This inner reality also succeeds in its militancy.
a. It brings the "inner person" into captivity so that he/she cannot express his/her real desires.
b. This creates an inner turmoil of significant proportions.
1) Paul describes the result as a state of "wretchedness".
2) Paul describes the result as a "living death".
III. He Declares the Sole Desirable Solution.
A. First, he addresses the "grace" of God.
B. Second, he identifies the form of that "grace" as the Intermediate Agent, Jesus Christ our Lord.