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The Epistles of Paul - Romans Part 9, 05-30-2014: The Two Natures of Adamic Man
In Romans chapter 1 Paul explained that the sinful state of man was due to a departure from Yahweh their God and the corruption of society which that departure had summoned. In Romans chapter 2 Paul credited the Romans with building a society founded on the rule of law, and contrasted those who had the law of God but did not keep it with those who did not have it and yet maintained the morality found in the precepts which the law represented. Yet Paul explained in Romans chapter 3 that all men sinned, and therefore the righteousness of Yahweh was mercy towards men even in their state of sin. So while men were not judged by God according to the law, it was nevertheless necessary for men to uphold the law.
Paul explained in Romans chapter 4 that the promises of the faith in Christ represented the ongoing fulfillment of the promises which Yahweh had made to Abraham. Paul also explained that the Romans, being descended from Abraham, were a part of that fulfillment. In that chapter Paul further explained that those promises made to Abraham transcended the Levitical law, that they were apart from and were not reliant upon the law. In Romans chapter 5 Paul asserted that eternal life was the promise of the entire Adamic race, which was also apart from the law. With this he explained that sin existed outside of the law, but that sin was not imputed because the law had not been given.
However Paul did not teach anti-nomianism, in spite of the fact that Adamic man would be justified by God apart from a keeping of the law, and in Romans chapter 6 Paul himself answered those same assertions which were often postulated by the enemies of Christ, explaining that obedience to the law is necessary in spite of the fact that men would not be judged by the law before Yahweh their God. The enemies of Christ do not understand this precept, regardless of whether they claim to be Christian, and because it is in their nature to obfuscate the Word of God they argue that the law was not done away with, seeking to rule over man with their dogmas.
As we previously explained, the cherubim placed outside of the garden of Eden were to keep the way to the Tree of Life. Therefore later on, after the call of Abraham and the election of Israel, we see cherubim placed upon the ark of God where the law was kept, because the law of God is the way to the Tree of Life. Israel, keeping the law of God, was preserved by God so that the remnant of the nation could bring forth their Redeemer (the Son who rose in the East). While all of this is symbolic, it certainly indicates for us the importance of the law of Yahweh God as a component for the maintenance of life: which is the keeping of an orderly and just society under God.
Paul is, of course, addressing the Romans as Israelites, and he tells them as much in many ways throughout these chapters. It can indeed be demonstrated that the Romans, having descended from the Trojans of antiquity, were a branch of the ancient children of Israel. So in Romans chapter 7 Paul explains exactly how and why it was that they were not bound to the law: Because Yahweh came as a man and died in order to release Israel from the law, that the law would be fulfilled and the reconciliation of Yahweh with Israel through Christ would be made possible. [Since in our last presentation we only discussed these first four verses of Romans chapter 7, we will offer them once again here in summary:]
1 Are you ignorant, brethren (I speak to those who know the law,) that the law lords over the man for as long a time as he should live? 2 For a woman married to a living husband is bound by law; but if the husband should die, she is discharged from the law of the husband: 3 so then as the husband is living, she would be labeled an adulteress if she were found with another man; but if the husband should die, she is free from the law, she is not an adulteress being found with another man. 4 Consequently, my brethren, you also are put to death in the law through the body of Christ; for you to be found with another, who from the dead was raised in order that we should bear fruit for Yahweh.
Israel, as a nation, was the bride of Yahweh their God, and He was the Husband. Yahweh put Israel away for their sin, and issued a bill of divorcement through the words of the prophets. But Yahweh had also promised to remarry Israel at a future date. However the law was an obstruction to the promised reconciliation. If Yahweh should die, He would free both Israel and Himself from the letter of the law by bringing the law to a fulfillment. Then once again He would be free to join Israel to Himself in a renewed relationship, thereby keeping His original promises to the patriarchs.
This is the major facet of the passion of the Christ, and it is the singular reason why He had to die for the sins of Israel. It is also why only He could die for the sins of Israel, since if the law had to be kept then the only other alternative was for all of Israel to die. There are other facets of His passion that may be understood. For instance, Israel sold themselves into sin and since the penalty for that sin is death, their Kinsman Redeemer had to pay the penalty of death in order to purchase Israel back from sin. However even this is necessary for one reason: because Yahweh God takes His law seriously, and He Himself abides by it. Through this Yahweh demonstrates to us the importance of His law, and He also demonstrates His love for us, and therefore we in turn must capitulate and submit ourselves to Him and to His law, as Christ had said “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15, 21).
Here in the balance of Romans chapter 7, Paul continues his discussion of the need for the law of God, its function in our lives, and its relationship to our own sinful nature. But first he substantiates our interpretation of those first four verses:
5 Indeed when we were in the flesh, the occurrences of fault, which were through the law, operated in our members for the bearing of fruit for death; 6 but now we are discharged from the law, being put to death in that which we were held, so that we are bound in newness of Spirit, and not oldness of letter.
Paul said in Galatians 4:5 that Christ was sent “To redeem them that were under the law, that we [a pronoun limited to describe those who were under the law] might receive the adoption of sons.” In Romans chapter 4 Paul explained to his intended readers, who were Romans, that Abraham was their forefather, and that the fulfillment of the promises came to the nations of Abraham's seed, to those nations which were of the faith of Abraham, which is what Abraham believed. Here he attests to the Romans that they too were once under the law of God. This language once again demonstrates Paul's understanding that the Romans were of the dispersions of Israel. Here he also shows exactly how the Romans and all of Israel were discharged from the law as he attests here, because Yahweh, the husband, died on the cross of Christ to fulfill the law as Paul explains in the first four verses of this chapter!
Paul had said in Romans chapter 2 that “28 One by appearance is not a Judaean, and not by appearance in flesh is circumcision; 29 but in concealment is one a Judaean; and circumcision is of the heart; in Spirit, not in writing; of which approval is not from men, but from Yahweh.”
There are many commentators who would assume that because circumcision is of the heart, and not of the flesh, that Paul opens the door for universalism, and therefore anyone who claims to believe in Jesus has a circumcised heart. However that interpretation neglects the entire context of Paul's epistle, since in Romans chapter 2 Paul is addressing those people who had the written law as opposed to those people of dispersed Israel such as the Romans who were among the subjects of the prophecy in Jeremiah to which Paul refers, where Yahweh promised to write his laws upon the hearts of the children of Israel, in Jeremiah chapter 31. These are two specific parties which Paul is comparing, and no third party can be added to the equation.
Only the children of Israel could possibly be discharged from the law since only the children of Israel were ever bound to the law, and Paul explains exactly how that discharge occurred in the first four verses of this very chapter! Non-Israelite peoples cannot possibly be added to the context of Paul's statements here.
There is another aspect of Paul's words in these two verses which must be addressed at length, however before doing so we must discuss another heresy which some are attempting to inject into Christian Identity Theology. Certain posers are claiming that the Breath of Life, the Spirit which Yahweh God instilled into the Adamic man, had died at the fall from grace of our first parents. The Scripture soundly refutes this idea. It never ceases to amaze, how men could conceive an idea in relation to one scripture that allows them to support an agenda, while ignoring so many other Scriptures which soundly refute their idea.
Paul tells us plainly in 1 Corinthians chapter 15 that if there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. From chapter 12 of Zechariah: “1 The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.” Again, from Proverbs chapter 20: “27 The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.” Again, from Proverbs chapter 18: “14 The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?” And finally, from Psalm 32: “2 Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.”
Most of these passages have a word for spirit which is the same word used to describe that breath of life in Genesis chapter 2. Ostensibly, the word used to describe the spirit of man was also used to describe the breath, because breath was associated with the unseen life force which could be discerned but which could not be seen. Many other passages of Scripture demonstrate that the Adamic man has a distinct and enduring spirit imparted to him by Yahweh God, and which distinguishes him from the beasts. From Ecclesiastes chapter 3: “21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?” the rhetorical question, purposely cynical, elucidates the fact of the matter.
We shall repeat verses 5 and 6, and address a different aspect of Paul's words: “5 Indeed when we were in the flesh, the occurrences of fault, which were through the law, operated in our members for the bearing of fruit for death; 6 but now we are discharged from the law, being put to death in that which we were held, so that we are bound in newness of Spirit, and not oldness of letter.”
Unlike the beasts, the Adamic man has a spirit from Yahweh God through which he may have communion with God. From 1 John 4:13: “Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.” Therefore Paul says in Romans chapter 8, speaking of Israelites turned to Christ, that “16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God”. Yet the Adamic man in his fleshly state is still a beast. Therefore Solomon had written in Ecclesiastes chapter 3 that “18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.” So unlike the other creatures, the Adamic man has a dual nature, and may follow either one, that of the flesh or that of the spirit imparted to Adam, which is the spirit of God. That is why in Jeremiah chapter 2 where the prophet laments the fornication of the children of Israel, who mingled themselves with the other races, he describes them as having created “broken cisterns, that can hold no water”. Broken cisterns cannot hold water, and mongrel people cannot contain the spirit which God imparted to Adamic man.
We are going to expound upon a similar and lengthier explanation of the same concept expressed here, which is found in Ephesians chapter 2 where Paul said: “1 And you, being dead in transgressions and in your errors 2 in which you had at one time walked, in accordance with the age of this Society, in accordance with the ruler of the office of the air [we shall wait to address that enigmatic title], the spirit that is now operating within the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom we also had all at one time conducted ourselves, in the desires of our flesh, acting out the wills of the flesh and of the thoughts, and we were by nature children of wrath, even like the others.”
Historically, in Ephesians chapter 2 Paul is referring to the idolatry of the children of Israel for which they were put away by Yahweh their God. Paul describes a spirit operating in the “sons of disobedience” among whom he says “we also had all at one time conducted ourselves” and because they did so they were “by nature children of wrath, even like the others”. Paul is making a reference to two distinct groups: those who follow the sons of disobedience, and the sons of disobedience themselves, “the others” who are the “children of wrath”. Following the “sons of disobedience” we yield ourselves to our fleshly nature, and doing so we also become “children of wrath”. The reference to nature is not a reference to race, but rather it is a reference to the fleshly nature of the Adamic man, where the ability of those who have the Spirit of God is to separate themselves from those who only have the fleshly nature, because they are indeed “sons of disobedience”. In connection to a prophecy concerning the spread of the Gospel, the Word of Yahweh says in Isaiah 52:11 “Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean
thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD.” The King James translators added the word thing to the text, however the reference was actually to people: to those who were not cleansed on the cross of Christ.
In Galatians chapter 5 Paul discusses this same topic once again, where he says “16 Now I say, you must walk in the Spirit, and desire of the flesh you should not at all fulfill. 17 The flesh desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; indeed these are in opposition to one another, in which case you should not do these things that you desire. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are under no law. 19 Manifest are the deeds of the flesh, such things are fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, 20 idolatry, use of drugs, hostilities, contention, rivalry, wrath, intrigues, dissensions, sects, 21 envyings, drunkenness, revelries, and things like these; which I have announced to you beforehand, just as I have said before, that they who practice such things shall not inherit Yahweh’s kingdom. 22 Now the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, self-control: there is no law against such things. 24 But they of the Anointed crucify the flesh along with those affections and those desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, in the Spirit we also should walk. 26 We should not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”
We have all committed at least some of the sins which Paul lists here, because at various points in our lives we all yield to the flesh in one degree or another. For this reason the apostle John wrote that if we say that we have not sinned, we make God a liar, and his word is not in us (1 John 1:10), but when we do sin, if indeed we are children of Israel, then we have an advocate in Christ (1 John 2:1). However the children of God have a dual nature, the spirit and the flesh, being born of both water and of the spirit as Christ Himself explains in John chapter 3. Therefore employing self-control, they can indeed overcome the lusts and deeds of the flesh and repent of their sins.
From John chapter 3, where Yahshua is found in a conversation with Nicodemus and elaborates on His statement that a man must be born from above in order to see the Kingdom of Heaven: “5 Yahshua replied: 'Truly, truly I say to you, if one should not be born from water and Spirit, he is not able to enter into the Kingdom of Yahweh! 6 That which is born from of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born from of the Spirit is Spirit. 7 You should not wonder that I said to you that it is necessary for you to be born from above. 8 The wind blows where it wishes and you hear its sound, but you do not know from where it comes and where it goes. Thusly are all who are born from of the Spirit.'” The denominational sects still follow the error of Nicodemus, imagining Christ to have been referring to a ritual rebirth in a baptism of water, which is how the Jews of old made their converts (John Lightfoot, A Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica, volume 2, pp. 55-63). However Christ is not saying that a man must be “born again”, but rather that he must be born from above, that he must have the Adamic spirit which God imparted to our race in order to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. If we do not have that spirit, then we are spurious, and we are actually “children of wrath” who are not part of Yahweh's creation, but are instead a part of the corruption of Yahweh's creation which has perpetuated since the fall of the angels which left their first estate. These are those whom the apostle Jude describes as “clouds without water ... twice dead … wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.”
There are other passages where Paul makes analogies illustrating the difference between the man following the flesh and the man following the spirit. We shall not discuss them all, but we shall cite 1 Corinthians chapter 2: “6 Now we speak wisdom among the accomplished; but wisdom not of this age, nor of those governing this age, who are being done away with. [Those who are the “children of wrath” of Ephesians 2.] 7 Rather we speak wisdom of Yahweh, that had been hidden in a mystery, which Yahweh had predetermined before the ages for our honor, 8 which not one of the governors of this age has known, (since if they had known, they would not have crucified the Authority of that honor,) 9 but just as it is written, 'Things which eye did not see, and ear did not hear, and came not into the heart of man, those things Yahweh has prepared for them that love Him,' 10 yet to us Yahweh reveals them through the Spirit; for the Spirit inquires of all things, even the depths of Yahweh. 11 Indeed of men who knows the things of mankind, except the spirit of man which is within him? Even so no one knows the things of Yahweh, except the Spirit of Yahweh. 12 Now we do not receive the spirit of the Society [or the “world”], but that spirit from Yahweh [we are born from above], in which case we should know the things granted to us by Yahweh [among which is eternal life]; 13 which also we speak of, not instructed in words of human wisdom, but instructed in of the Spirit, by the spiritual compounding with the spiritual. 14 Now the natural man does not accept that of the Spirit of Yahweh, for it is folly to him, and he is not able to know because it is inquired of spiritually; 15 but the spiritual inquires into all things, and it by no one is examined. 16 'For who has known the mind of Yahweh? Who will instruct Him?' But we have the perception of Christ [or the perception of the Anointed].” The “natural man” is the fleshly man, which all Adamic men are. That is the “nature” of Ephesians 2:3. But the Adamic man has the Spirit of Yahweh, which sets him apart from the “sons of disobedience”. We can overcome the nature of our flesh through the spirit of our God which is in us.
From 1 John chapter 4: “1 Beloved, do not have trust in every spirit, but scrutinize whether the spirits are from of Yahweh, because many false prophets have gone out into Society. [By the final clause we see that John is talking about embodied spirits.] 2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. 4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. 6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. 7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” Once again, the “children of wrath” are excluded from the equation.
Not properly understanding that there are three distinct types of men from the beginning and throughout the Bible has caused much confusion and unnecessary division even within Christian Identity. First, there are the children of Adam, which are of the “tree of life” in Christ. Then there are the children of corruption, which are of the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil”. The lines between these two types cannot be crossed by individuals. Therefore the apostle John explains that if his “seed is in him”, then the sin of the Adamic man shall not be imputed to him, because Christ came to destroy the works of the devil personified in the children of corruption (1 John 3:8-12)! But the third type are the children of Adam who walk in the flesh rather than after the spirit, who make themselves like the children of corruption and this is what Paul refers to in Ephesians chapter 2. Yahweh gave our entire Adamic race up to this third type, but promised salvation for Israel and preservation in this world if they choose that life in the Spirit, by which the deeds of the flesh are overcome, as Paul is about to explain in another way in the balance of this chapter.
7 Now what may we say? Is the law an error? Certainly not! But I had not perceived fault, unless by the law; then also I had not acknowledged covetousness, unless the law said, “thou shalt not covet;” [Exodus 20:17, Deuteronomy 5:21] 8 but the error [or sin] having taken a starting point by the commandment has accomplished in me all covetousness; for apart from the law guilt is dead.
The law was fulfilled in Christ, and the children of Israel were released from the judgments of the law. But that does not mean that the law was a mistake, or that it was sin in itself. When Paul recalled the law, his sin came to mind, and he realized his error.
9 Now I was alive apart from the law once; but the commandment having come, the guilt was revived, and I died. 10 And it was found to me that the commandment, which is for life, it is for death: 11 for error having taken a starting point by the commandment, had seduced and killed me through it.
We do not realize the gravity of our sin until we read the law, and find that the punishment for our sin is death. Once we realize that obedience to the commandment keeps us on the path to life, and see the consequences of our sin, we should understand that our sin leads us to death.
12 So indeed the law is sacred, and the commandment sacred, and just, and good. 13 Then that which is good, to me has it become death? Certainly not! But error, that it may bring fault to light, through the good in me accomplishes death; so that the fault becomes excessively wicked by the commandment.
The good in Paul can read the law and recognize that his behaviour which was contrary to the law was sinful, and also acknowledge the punishment which he merited for that behaviour. The good in Paul can recognize that sinful behaviour merited death, and therefore Paul is describing a learning process. The result is that the Adamic man understands how important it is to keep the law of Yahweh in his heart, and to do his best to abide by it. It is important that the sin becomes evident by the commandment, so that the Adamic man can experience sin and by that experience he can learn not to do evil.
We have already mentioned this passage 1 John chapter 3 in relation to Paul's discourse, and we shall cite it more fully here: “8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.”
There is confusion where the phrase “committeth sin” appears in the first epistle John. First, there is the verb ἁμαρτάνω (Strong's # 264) which describes the act of sinning, and John uses it often. But in 1 John 3:8 the verb ποιέω (Strong's # 4160) appears with the noun for sin, which is ἁμαρτία (Strong's # 266). The resulting phrase does not describe the mere act of sinning, as the verb does, but rather it describes someone who creates or authors sin. The Adamic man, yielding to the flesh and led into sin when he forsakes God for the enemies of God, will not have sin imputed to him, but the authors of sin shall surely be destroyed.
From the Septuagint, from the Wisdom of Solomon, chapter 15: “1 But thou, O God, art gracious and true, longsuffering, and in mercy ordering all things, 2 For if we sin, we are thine, knowing thy power: but we will not sin, knowing that we are counted thine. 3 For to know thee is perfect righteousness: yea, to know thy power is the root of immortality.” For this same reason, Paul tells the Galatians (in chapter 3 of his epistle to them) “24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” Therefore we conclude that the reason for the presence of the children of God in this evil world is so that they may know sin, and learn the importance of obedience.
Each and every Adamic man was created to be immortal. If each and every Adamic man does not have eternal life, then the lessons concerning sin and the need for obedience are pointless, and God has evidently failed. God has failed, because He would not have completely destroyed the works of the devil, who deceived the woman, caused man to sin, and thereby caused man to die. Yet here in Romans we find that God has certainly not failed, and the apostle Paul has explained how in Christ, each and every Adamic man shall be made alive.
The works of the devil which Christ came to destroy resulted from the initial rebellion of Satan and his angels described in Revelation chapter 12. From these came the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” which was clearly here before the Adamic man was even placed into the Garden of Eden. So as Paul explains in Romans chapter 8, Christ came “in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh”, meaning that Christ has taught us that the way to life is in the law of God and in the spirit, as opposed to the will of the flesh.
However we must be careful with this understanding, since Yahweh God created the flesh, and He called it good. Therefore it is not the flesh itself that is evil, but the mind which yields to the desires of the flesh can be led into sin and death. The apostle James describes the process in chapter 1 of his epistle: “14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
The non-Adamic races are not mentioned by name in Scripture, yet in the end we are told that all nations are gathered against the children of Israel, and that they all have their fate in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels. Yet as Paul explains in Romans chapter 5, the entire Adamic race shall be made alive in Christ. The Adamic race, here to learn what sin is, is written into the Book of Life and they shall learn indeed. In the end, every Adamic knee shall bow to Yahweh.
14 Indeed we know that the law is spiritual, but I am fleshly, being ruined by guilt.
The Greek word πεπραμένος (πιπράσκω, Strong's # 4097), a Perfect Passive Nominative Singular Participle, is literally “to sell”, but metaphorically it is “betrayed, ruined, undone” (Liddell & Scott). Therefore here it is “being ruined”, but it may have been rendered more literally “having been sold”. This reflects the compromise all translators must make in selecting the best rendering of a word in the context in which it was used, and also illustrates the need for translation notes. The children of Israel sold themselves into sin, and Paul is certainly alluding to that with his choice of words. But by the time Paul wrote, he along with all Israel had been redeemed by Christ and could no longer be taken from His hand.
The law is spiritual: only those with the Spirit of God can truly follow the law. Paul has already said here that it was the good in him which enabled him to see the gravity of his own sin after he had sinned and then recollected the law. That is why the writer of Psalm 147 said “19 He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. 20 He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD.” In contrast, in Psalm 50 we see that the wicked should not even have the laws of Yahweh God in their mouths: “16 But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? 17 Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee.” All Israel has hope for repentance. But if there are people who should not have the Word of God or who should not have His Law in their mouths in the first place, then there are people who are condemned for reasons other than merely their behavior, and this group is not able to repent because they should not even have the law. The reason for that must be that they are from a corrupted seed.
The pious Adamic man understands that he can sin, and ask for forgiveness, seeking to uphold the law of God. One place where this is evident is Psalm 51: “9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. 12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. 13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.”
15 For that which I perpetrate, I do not recognize; I do not practice that which I wish, rather I do that which I hate. 16 But if I do that which I do not wish, I concede to the law that it is virtuous.
In this very example, Paul mentioned covetousness, or lust, which is arguably the easiest of sins to fall victim. We may covet a woman, or we may covet a possession. With this we shall repeat the words of the apostle James: “14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” Paul admits that he covets, but then he asserts that he hates covetousness, and the covetous thoughts of his mind. If we refuse to recognize our covetousness, then we will not be enticed to act upon it, and we can escape sinning on account of our refusal. There are no real thought crimes in the Bible, because only acts are worthy of punishment under the law, and not mere thoughts, even though the thoughts are wrong. We often cannot help our thoughts, but we must recognize evil thoughts and discard them. Not acting on his covetousness, Paul consents that the law is good, where it says that “thou shalt not covet”.
17 Now then, no longer is it I perpetrating it, but the fault dwelling within me.
The covetousness originates from the fleshly nature of man, and not from the spirit. The spirit can overcome the flesh, and that is our ultimate purpose: to live in the spirit and to seek to serve God rather than serving the desires of the flesh.
18 Therefore I know that good does not dwell in me, that is to say, in my flesh: indeed to be willing is present with me, but for me to achieve virtue, no.
The Codex Claromontanus (D) and the Majority Text, and therefore also the King James Version, have “... for me to achieve virtue, I find not.” The text agrees with the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Alexandrinus (A), Vaticanus (B) and Ephraemi Syri (C).
The flesh left to its own devices cannot do good. The spiritual man can overcome the deeds of the flesh.
19 I do not wish that I practice good; but that I do not wish evil, this I practice.
Paul is referring to covetousness, that merely having the thoughts of evil are evil, and admitting that he cannot help but have them. In this same manner Christ had said “That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). Therefore even if there is no punishment for such thoughts under the law, they are nevertheless wrong and men must avoid them.
Here the difficulty of this struggle between the Spiritual and the fleshly is manifest: that Paul says that he merely wishes not to do evil rather than even hoping to do good. This is much like the prayer and the reason for praying with which Christ advised His apostles. When they asked Him how to pray he gave them that simple prayer which we today often call the “Lord's Prayer”, which ends with the request that we not be tempted, and that we be kept from evil (Matthew 6:13, Luke 11:4). Likewise, in the Garden of Gethsemane when Christ wanted to pray alone, He exhorted the apostles to wait for Him and to “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:36, cf. Mark 14:38).
20 But if that which I do not wish, this I do, no longer is it I perpetrating it, but the fault dwelling in me.
Self-control and temperance are required in order for the spirit to overcome the flesh. For that reason Paul says in 1 Corinthians chapter 9 that “26 Accordingly, in that manner I run not as if secretly, in that manner I spar not as if thrashing air. 27 Rather I beat my body, and bring it into subjection, lest perchance I, having proclaimed to others, myself should be found not standing the test.”
However when we do fail, it is because the desires of the flesh were stronger than our spirit could stand. Ostensibly, most Adamic sinners are in a state of apostasy from God, do not keep themselves mindful of His law, and have no real care or knowledge of why they should do so. However when we sin, knowingly or not, we certainly have an advocate in Christ (1 John 2:1).
Those of us who know and keep the truth of the Christian Gospel must pray that we are kept from temptation, and are given a reminder that “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Those of us who seek to correct the failures of our brethren do well, for the apostle James said that “he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins” (James 5:20). However correcting our brethren, we must do so in a spirit of humility, and not with a self-righteous spirit. Therefore Paul said in Galatians chapter 6: “1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”
21 I find then the law which wishes me to practice virtue, because evil is present with me. 22 Indeed I rejoice in the law of Yahweh [B has “the law of the mind”] in accordance with the inward man:
The “inward man” is the spirit from Yahweh which is within each Adamic man. In 2 Corinthians chapter 4 Paul speaks of those children of Yahweh facing the trials of this world where he says “16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” Again, from Proverbs chapter 20: “27 The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.”
23 but I see another law in my members battling against the law of my mind, and leading me captive to the law of error which is in my members. 24 I am a miserable man! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
Paul asks a rhetorical question, as it is clear that only Yahweh our God can save us.
25 I am thankful to Yahweh through Yahshua Christ our Prince. So then I myself with the mind indeed serve the law of Yahweh, but in the flesh the law of error.
Reading Proverbs, it is readily evident that Solomon believed all true wisdom to be of God. His attitude is the same in the Wisdom of Solomon. Here, from chapter 9 of that work: “13 For what man is he that can know the counsel of God? or who can think what the will of the Lord is? 14 For the thoughts of mortal men are miserable, and our devices are but uncertain. 15 For the corruptible body presseth down the soul, and the earthy tabernacle weigheth down the mind that museth upon many things. 16 And hardly do we guess aright at things that are upon earth, and with labour do we find the things that are before us: but the things that are in heaven who hath searched out? 17 And thy counsel who hath known, except thou give wisdom, and send thy Holy Spirit from above? 18 For so the ways of them which lived on the earth were reformed, and men were taught the things that are pleasing unto thee, and were saved through wisdom.”
The apostle Peter taught many of the same things which Paul did. Here, from 2 Peter chapter 1: “1 Sumeon Petros servant and ambassador of Yahshua Christ, to those who have obtained by fate with us an equally valued faith in the righteousness of our God and Savior Yahshua Christ, 2 favor to you and peace be multiplied in the knowledge of our God and Prince Yahshua, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things which are for life and piety through the knowledge of He who has called us into His own honor and virtue, 4 by which He has given to us precious and very great promises, in order that through these you would be partakers of the divine nature, fleeing from the corruption in Society in lust. 5 And for this same thing also besides applying all earnestness you provide virtue in addition to your faith, and with the virtue knowledge, 6 and with the knowledge self-control, and with the self-control endurance, and with the endurance piety, 7 and with the piety brotherly love, and with the brotherly love charity.”
It must be noted that Peter mentions “the corruption of the society in lust”, and the author of the Wisdom of Solomon says that “23 For God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity. 24 Nevertheless through envy of the devil came death into the world: and they that do hold of his side do find it.” Once Christ destroys the works of the devil, Hell and Death are cast into the Lake of Fire, and Adamic man shall have eternal life once again. However the promise of that eternal life is in resurrection, and in the resurrected body the spirit shall indeed coexist with the flesh.
Therefore we see in Job chapter 19: “26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” So the scripture asks, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Corinthians 15:55).
Once one has an understanding of all these scriptures in harmony, and not in contention, then it becomes evident that there are deep implications here which are related to the issue of race that one must also understand. If the children of God, who are those born from above, are here to learn what sin is, and if the rest of the world and all of those born of the world are sin, then we see why there are only two parties under consideration in all of the prophecies concerning the return of the Christ and the gathering of the nations: wheat and tares, sheep and goats, good fish and bad fish, or sons and bastards. The tares, goats, bad fish and bastards are all among the works of the devil which Christ shall ultimately destroy.