Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Law of God & Law of Sin

Romans 7:25 "I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin."
Romans 7 is all about sin and that Christians still sin.  However, because we are weak that doesn't mean that we should continue to sin.

There are two laws mentioned in this last passage of that chapter. God's law is not Mosaic Law nor the Ten Commandments! The latter is the criteria of God's law and the former are the regulations. What then is God's law? It's to have genuine love for God. Aren't we to love others? Yes! Loving others is a corollary to loving God. Essentially, we show God our love by sacrifice, by praise and by telling others about salvation. Praise is reserved for God. Sacrifice is for both God and others. For God sacrifice is submission of the self to God and for others, it's charity.

Telling others about salvation is the Great Commission. It shows love to others. Also, it's tending to the Garden of God, mankind's assigned vocation back in Genesis. Why would we want to tell others about salvation? 1) Because we love them so much that we don't want them to go to hell, and 2) because we love God so much that we want to do his will. What is God's will? That none should perish!

We show love to others out of love for God.

So the law of God is divine love. Our focus is on love of everything which is of God. By now, the reader should be aware that hate is the absence of love; it is not mean-spiritedness although that is the extreme expression of hate. Apathy is hate because it is a lack of love. Not caring that a brother is going to hell, is certainly not love and indeed, since it murders his soul, is hateful!

The law of God is focuses on God's will. Loving is what God wills. Any lack of love on our part is against God.  Focusing on ourselves rather than God is apathy, even rebellion, toward God. We are to be a living sacrifice. What is it that we must sacrifice? Our flesh!

When we think of "the flesh" it's much more than the skin. The flesh in scripture is the part of us which communes with the world. Think of the flesh as antenna which receive signals from the world and relay those signals to the brain. If the mind processes those messages to the senses, both physical and mental, then the body pleasures in them.

Pleasure can be of the senses: vision, hearing, touch, smell and taste. Tasting good things is as sinful as feeling pleasure. In other words gluttony is as bad as fornication!

There are other unseen senses as well: pride, lust, coveting, power-seeking, the desire for riches, etc. These senses are part of 'the flesh" as well, although we don't think of them that way, they indeed are carnal! Animals have the physical senses and basic responses are mental senses, but mankind dwells in the mental senses. For instance imagining sexual activity can be a substitute for actual activity. Thinking about the taste of food makes one salivate.

In essence "the flesh" is anything which interferes with the will of God. Since God is in a holy place and we're not, then the world has tremendous influence on us! Rather than obey the One unseen, we obey our own desires. We worship in addition to God our own selves!

Hence, the law of sin is doing what is right in our own eyes. It's coming short of God's will and is the opposite of the law of God. The author of love is God and the author of sin is Satan. By relishing the things of the flesh over the will of God, we fail to show love to God and thus hate him through disobedience.

We serve Satan when we neglect God. The law of sin is the will of Satan. His methods all use hate because God only is love. By trying to obey the law of God and the law of sin is serving two masters. Those masters are God and the devil. We know that we can't serve two masters because we will love one and hate the other (Matthew 6:24).

The passage from Romans is a grace in action. While God commands us to serve him, we serve the flesh. He loves us anyhow even though we fail him. Jesus and mankind have the same outward flesh, but our inward flesh is opposite. Jesus never ever served under the law of sin, but we do. Because he was tempted, just as Adam was and we are, he understands our inner flesh. Temptation (the world) signaled his flesh, but his mind rejected it because there was an impervious shield between his mind and his body. That shield was the Holy Spirit.

Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit. His sponge was clean and absorbed God's Spirit completely. Men are imbued with the Holy Spirit. It was made clean when we were born again, but like the post-Noahaic world, it became soiled quickly. As we sin even after being born-again and washed clean, any sin we do or think soils the spiritual sponge; that which is within our souls.

As the filth of sin is taken in it displaces the Holy Spirit within. The soul is still imbued with the Holy Spirit, but contaminants reside within us, unlike Jesus whose cup is full!

The law of God is filling our soul with love. The law of sin is dirtying the soul which is God's temple. It is a holy place and God lives there, but we dismay God when filth enters the temple within us. Imagine if you will, a holy God who never coexists with sin, coexisting with it inside your temple. That breaks the law of God which is love!

At some point in time the soul may displace so much spirit in the soul that the evil master wins out. God doesn't want to live with your other god besides him. He never leaves you, but by apathy you chase him out. That's apostasy and blaspheming God's Holy Spirit. By allowing continual sin into God's temple within you, the Holy Ghost is evicted. That's because two masters can never be served. Some Christians are of the flesh so much that the author of sin becomes their master!

Satan is not God. His power is limited. He can never force his will upon anyone. He can merely send that signal to your flesh, it being the antenna. It's you who processes the offer of pleasure. Your mind asks "Is the pleasure worth the risk of punishment?" If the answer is "Yes it is!" then you are serving your own self.

The law of sin is that the person you serve is yourself, and is in opposition to the law of God. The "law of sin" may be better described as "the law of You" since you are your god.

There is always a conflict between the law of God and the law of You. You must present yourself as a living sacrifice and God will evict the flesh from you.  It will never be all gone because we are tested. We are not the Son of God; we are sons of men. God allows sin into his temple within us to see what we do with it. The expectation is that Christians shun sin.

How well we shun sin is an indication of how much we love God!

Of course we are to ask forgiveness when we do sin, but when there is no aforethought. Sinning with the intention of asking forgiveness after the pleasure is farcical.  Indeed those who do that are following the law of sin and are more in unison with the author of sin.

The law of sin is the reciprocal of the law of God. The law of God is perfection. That's also what God wants from us. It's a lofty goal and can never be obtained because of the flesh. Grace comes from God because he knows that it is impossible. He wants perfection, but settles for less so that love will abound within us!

As the law of sin disrupts the law of God, righteousness decreases as wrongness increases. The law of sin is that mankind will always fall short of perfection, but Christians are shielded and armored against falling too far as the whole armor is never put on. The armor protects the flesh from the world. In effect it puts an invisible shield between the world and its receptor, the flesh.

Even with the whole armor, there are voids. This is normal because we are human. That's where Satan shoots his barbs! When we sin and ask forgiveness the law of God intercedes and divine light is shined in the eyes of Satan, and because he forgives our tribute to Satan, grace abounds!

The law of God gives permission to the law of sin because unless God allows, nothing can happen. Just as God allowed Satan to go to and fro and tempt Job, he allows Satan's dark angels to go to and fro to tempt, but not harm us. As such the law of God is powerful, but the law of sin is dependent on God as the law of God supersedes the law of sin. It's reason for even existing is to test our faith and to show our love. The best love we can show is to avoid the law of sin! It's putting the flesh subservient to the mind because the mind belongs to God and the flesh to Satan.

Yes, we all struggle with the flesh. Jacob wrestled with the Angel of God. That was the Word who appeared in a temporary body so as to test Jacob. Strangely Jacob won the wrestling match. It was not the Holy Ghost with whom he wrestled, but the flesh. It is possible to overcome the material, but we will never win the match against the Spirit! Jacob was marked with

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