11 April, 2006

BS Notes: Rom 8:4

As usual, I start with the questions. At this point, these are not Socratic teaching questions. Ain't no teaching going on at all! These are things that threaten my current understanding of this verse. These are questions I am serious about asking. I had preconceived answers to every one of them, but I discard them here.

(First) Questions:

  • Why do we care about the requirements of the law, when Paul just finished teaching us that we are dead to it?
  • Are the requirements of the law truly to be met in us? Or in Christ?
  • Can we live by the flesh? We should not, but could we? If so, then what happens to this verse?
  • Is there anything we have to do to be living by the Spirit? Or is it done for us?

Anyone have any other tough questions? Better ways of wording these ones? Answers?!

In keeping with the non-rules and non-format of this BS [and of course that's, "Bible Study," silly] comment here or at your own site and link it any way you'd like. We all just want to hear whatever riches you can mine from this knotty little truth!


Danny Kaye said...

I think I will opt (for now) to commenting right here. I may post it later to my site.

I love the passage you chose, Codepoke.

I did a study on Colossians called "Crammed with Christ" a while ago and it tackles part some of what you are addressing in your questions.

I basically came up with three conclusions.
1.) Live according to the Law and try to attain righteousness that way

2.) Be crammed full of Christ and attain His righteousness,

3.) Or choose none of the above and live believing that righteousness is not needed. (atheists, agnostics…).

I cannot seem to get a decent cut and paste of this portion of the study. Otherwise I would post it here.
But if you want to read it click the following link and scroll down to where chapter 2 verses 10 - 15 begin. It will either confuse you, make you ask more questions, or thrill you.

Here is the link...

Danny Kaye said...

Doncha hate when you post before you proof-read?

It should read, "...it tackles in part some of..."

codepoke said...

Cool, Danny Kaye.

It is past my bedtime tonight, for reasons explained elsewhere :-), but I will get this moved into the main post.

DugALug said...

Okay, here the DJV translation (That is the Doug Joseph Version, if you didn't figure that out). Follow my logic because it is usually scattered and sometimes superficial:

I think it comes down to the simple fact that we are freed from the consequences of the law through what Christ has done for us, but that doesn't make the law invalid: it makes it part of our being, rather than something that we rally against.

In Galatians, Paul was angry over the fact that some people were preaching that converted gentiles needed to be circumcized. Paul's anger was directed at the fact that God was much more interested in their hearts than an outward sign of conversion (aka Works). These individuals were imposing their will on them rather than allowing God to direct them.

The liberty of being free from the consequence of the law leads us to worship. So following the law is now an act of understanding rather than an act of obedience.

This was one of my points on my blog post:

My La La Post

God is after our heart and we are instructed to be more Christ-like. That meens seeing things as Christ sees them.

Thus, living by the Spirit, is allowing God to mold or shape our heart so that our entire lifestyle and outlook will be an instrument of praise towards God.

This all sounds so great, but again I am sometimes so overwhelmed by the magnitude of what that really means.

Jesus says:

Matthew 11:29-30 (NIV)

29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

I am thinking that if we, as Christians, understand the law, see that it no longer has control over our destiny, and embrace God's intent behind it, then living with the law becomes arbitrary, and much easier which is what Jesus was saying in the above scripture.

God Bless,

japhy said...

Why do we care about the requirements of the law...?
I believe Paul is saying that while our flesh exists in the framework of the law of sin, our spirits exist in the framework of the law of God. It is possible for our spirits to do works in the law of the flesh, but it is not possible for our flesh to do works in the law of the spirit. We are no longer governed by the power of the law of sin (which is death) because of our salvation in Christ Jesus, but we are still able to commit acts which violate the law.

Are the requirements of the law truly to be met in us?
Christ was the first person through whom the requirements of the law were truly met, and so we now have the model of Christ to follow. This is a point I like to bring up, that the Old Testament is full of failures to live up to God's laws because there was never a perfect subject of God until Jesus Christ: we do not have the impossible expectations of God-like perfection as our example, we have the perfect human as our example.

Can we live by the flesh?
The desires of the flesh are opposite the desires of the spirit; you cannot serve two masters at once. I'm not sure what you mean by "live" here; we cannot attain the same end as we would by living in the spirit.

Is there anything we have to do to be living by the Spirit?
We have been given the opportunity to accept the gift of salvation, but we are by no means saved unless we act upon that invitation. As for what we do after we accept Jesus Christ, we cannot expect "living by the Spirit" to just take hold of us; we must act.

"[Who] was neighbor to the robbers' victim?" He answered, "The one who treated him with mercy." Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise." (Luke 10:36-37)

Jesus did not say "correct" and pat the man on the back. He told him to "do likewise". We cannot take the example of Jesus, the perfect human, and frame it and put it our wall and say we are living in the Spirit. We must live in the Spirit!

codepoke said...

Hello and Welcome, Japhy!

I'm not sure what you mean by "live" here;

I'm sure you're not alone! Rom 8:1 says that we who walk according to the Spirit are under no condemnation. The question there is whether we "have to" walk in the Spirit to avoid condemnation, or whether the Spirit makes us walk in the Spirit, and therefore we are not condemned.

I am kind of extending the same question here. Can there be a carnal Christian? If there can, then what is the impact on our living out the righteous requirements of the law. Some of my initial questions are kind of obvious, but I seem to need them.

Jesus did not say "correct" and pat the man on the back. ... We must live in the Spirit!

Well said!

japhy said...

I'd have to say, in light of Romans 8:1, that Paul means there is no condemnation in the Spirit, but there is condemnation in the flesh. You cannot do evil by following God's command ("Against such there is no law", Gal 5:23). But we know that we sin, we fall away from the Spirit, and there is where condemnation lies.