"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .


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Wednesday, August 23, 2023


Taken from the TTUF Study: Paul’s Epistle to the Romans – “On the Road of Righteousness” Chapter Eight: Part 1 of 3

Chapter Eight: Not Living in the ‘Condo’s’ Anymore!
~ By James Fire

Now let’s get into Ch. 8, the highest spire of the many towers of this cathedral – that is this book of Romans!

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit

After such a long treatise on the sinfulness of humanity and irrevocable slavery, this chapter is a strong, invigorating gust of refreshing air! After realizing what the LORD Jesus accomplished on the cross, we’re no longer condemned by a Holy God for unholy sins and transgressions, it’s a joy beyond compare, as well as a blessed, steadfast, and sure hope!

Not Guilty As Charged
The condemnation of the holy Law of God would have sealed the sentence upon us, but it no longer applies to those of us who “are in Christ Jesus” The latter half of this verse indicates this: “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” are “in Christ”. It’s because we are not condemned, but saved by grace, born of God’s Spirit that we are now enabled to walk in the Spirit.

The very word ‘walk’ in the Greek means: “walking to demonstrate the ability” – those who walk after the Spirit are those born of the Spirit; those who walk after the flesh are those born of the flesh (JOHN 3:5-7; ISAIAH 42:5; EZEK 36:27; GAL 5:16-26).

Walk The Talk This verse refers to those who “walk AFTER the Spirit”, but don’t always live perfectly and not ever sin again. Grown adults who have been walking all of their lives can occasionally stumble and fall (something we did repeatedly as toddlers until we mastered the ability to walk).

Christians occasionally fall into sin, so it’s vital to confess, repent, get ‘washed in the blood’ says the old hymns, and be restored to fellowship with our heavenly Father (‘keep short accounts with God’). This is vital: if we don’t, the enemy will bludgeon us with guilt and condemnation for sinning ‘yet AGAIN’. He’ll do everything he can to keep us ‘living in the condo’s’ instead of coming Home to our Abba.

The prodigal son was greeted by his father after sin had done its work, leaving him bereft of his possessions – though he didn’t lose his ‘sonship’: he lost only blessed time of fellowship with his father (LUKE 15:11-32).

ROMANS 8:2-4
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

We are seeing a lot of mention of “law” in these passages: the Law of Moses, the law of sin, the law of faith, etc.

Dr. Scofield has much to say in this regard: 
“The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus…” “Six ‘laws’ are to be distinguished in Romans: The law of Moses, which condemns ROM 3:19; ‘law’ as a principle ROM 3:21; the law of faith, which excludes self-righteousness ROM 3:27; the law of sin in the members, which is victorious over the law of the mind ROM 7:21,23,25; the law of the mind, which consents to the law of Moses but cannot do it because of the law of sin in the members ROM 7:16,23; and the ‘law of the Spirit,’ having power to deliver the believer from the law of sin which is in his members, and his conscience from condemnation by the Mosaic law; ROM 8:2

Yielding To Brilliant Freedom 
Moreover the Spirit works in the yielded believer the very righteousness which Moses' law requires ROM 8:2,4. This is irrevocable, non-negotiable, and totally accessible to the child of God. True, our sin nature will sin, and its resulting ruination that eventually leads to death, but in 1 COR 15:18-20 it states we saints, merely “sleep” and from which we’ll one Day be awakened!

It's the greatest comfort to know that no matter what transpires in these last days, no matter how dire and tragic things may become, the ultimate destiny for us is total and absolute, victorious freedom freely granted to us by our precious LORD Jesus Christ (ROM 8:21; see also ISA 61:1-2a; JOHN 8:32; 2 COR 3:17. But we’re not to abuse such freedom: GAL 5:13)!

Regarding vs. 3, Thomas Edison diligently searched for the right filament that would work in his new invention: the light bulb. He ran electricity through various materials, but they’d burn out! He found the right filament that endured the power and produced lasting light. The flaw was not in the electricity, but in the many failed filaments (over 300!)!

The holy Law of God is good, and holy and righteous: there is absolutely nothing wrong with it in the least! However, to attempt to infuse such holy power through fallen man (“the weakness of the flesh”) would not bring the Light of the LORD, nor illuminate us with the truth and grace of our LORD! It would only serve in our destructive incineration!

So the LORD Jesus Christ was condemned in His flesh for sin and bearing the destructive power of it all as well as the holy judgment of God. In exchange, He gave us His perfect righteousness. We now have ‘the right stuff’ that can be infused by the power of God without it destroying us, but rather enables us to live in the Light of the LORD and become brilliant beacons of blessings to those still lost in the darkness (PHIL 2:15)!

That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

By the grace of God’s Spirit Who inhabits us, we can live righteous lives that reflect the purity and holiness represented in God’s Law! It’s those who walk “after the Spirit” who fulfill the “righteousness of the Law”! For more verses on the believer’s walk, see the following: ROM 6:4; 2 COR 5:7; EPH 4:1; 5:2,15; 1 JOHN 1:7; 2:6; 2 JOHN 1:4; 3 JOHN 1:3; also GEN 17:1; 1 KINGS 2:4; 2 KINGS 20:3; PSA 26:3; 56:13; 86:11.

ROMANS 8:5-8
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God

It's Only Natural: 
Note the number of times “mind/minded” is seen in these verses.
A squirrel is mindful about gathering nuts; moles are mindful about tunneling; birds about building nests, and bees about nectar. Each of God’s creatures has a distinct nature that drives them to pursue various activities and conduct.

Fallen humanity has been deformed and because of this depraved nature, we are driven and devoted to pursuing various activities and conduct. The animal appetites which leads to sin; corrupt conduct esteemed higher than rightfully supreme devotion to God and His will in our lives.

The late Anton LaVey, high priest of the First Church of Satan observed “…that which is considered a ‘sin’ by the [Christian] church is only natural for man [and that] he should not deny himself his true nature.”

There’s a measure of truth here; it would be unnatural for a sinner to not sin! Those “of the flesh” will and do “mind the things of the flesh” rather than the things of God and His kingdom. That’s why a new nature must be instilled in us, so that once conceived, we begin to grow in our devotion, desires, and drives for the things of the Spirit of God.

Being spiritually dead, we suffer such destructive losses as the death of physical well-being and health, the death of a marriage, the death of friendships, of integrity and trust placed in us by others, etc., etc. It’s the sort of ruinous depravity as spoken of early on in GENESIS 6:5 – And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

You can’t change the nature of a pig; oh, you could put floppy doggy ears on it, teach it to bark, bury bones and chase cats with a lot of training, but you’ve done nothing to transform the nature of that beast! It’s still a pig dressed up in doggie duds!

Artificial Righteousness and Religion vs. Relationship and Salvation in Christ 
This is how it is with religion which can only rearrange and modify him into a seemingly more moral man! Yet nothing can be done to transform his nature; he’s all dressed up in his ‘Sunday’s finest’ but still with the raging wicked imagination of an evil heart!

“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”
Sometimes a stranger sees me reading my Bible, and ask, “Are you religious?” I say, “I am entirely opposed to religion in all its forms. No, I’m just a Christian.” The response is typically an expression of confusion. Christianity is not about religion; Christianity is about Christ, and specifically on a personal level . . .

. . . this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
(2 CORINTHIANS 4:6-7).

We are saved by the LORD Jesus to become like Him through the transforming, sanctifying power of His indwelling Spirit (ROM 12:1-2, 5; 2 TIM 2:20-22).

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

"Hitherto in Romans the Holy Spirit has been mentioned but once ROMANS 5:5; in this chapter He is mentioned nineteen times. Redemption is by blood and by power." ~ C.I. Scofield
This is why the subject matter of chapter Eight is designated as sanctification; this power begins its work once the Spirit resides in us. The indwelling Spirit is mentioned in vs 9, 10, and vs.11 (mentioned twice). As we know, true biblical Christianity isn’t religion (‘artificial righteousness’ - man-made); it is the manifestation, power, and reality of spiritual life from Jesus, the Head and LORD of the church in all who are genuinely born again.

Religion declares “you must do!” to be accepted by GOD, to earn His approval. Christ said on the cross: “It is done!”

Biblical or Not? Truth or Philosophy? 
Some take exception to the idea that one must “receive” Christ Jesus as LORD because they emphasize the truth that “Jesus is LORD of all”; yet being LORD, He is not Savior of all – and unless one receives Christ as LORD, that person can’t experience Jesus as one’s “personal Savior” (See JOHN 1:12; 14:20; 17:23; COL 1:27; 2:6; also ROM 8:10-11; GAL 2:20; EPH 3:17-19; 1 JOHN 3:24). 

Among liberal, Progressive, and Emergent (so-called) ‘Christians’, Christianity is only a moral philosophy: any intellectual assent to Jesus allows them by their own fortitude and intention to “live Christian”. Jesus to them is merely a “master” and “teacher” akin to Buddha, Gandhi or even Martin Luther King; but not God made flesh, the resurrected LORD of Glory. Yet the Scripture is emphatic: “if any [one has] not the Spirit of Christ, HE IS NONE OF HIS” (ROM 8:9)!.

A Mistake in Choosing Mysticism New Age mysticism and esotericism would have us believe that the ‘Christ Spirit’ or ‘Christ Consciousness’ resides in every one simply because all living are supposedly ‘in Christ’. If that was the case, the death of Jesus on the cross would have been unnecessary because we would have no sin that required such a substitute; nor would there be a need for us to be born again, just as the LORD Jesus mandated, if His Spirit were already in residence in every person. However, there are those who are truly "none of His". United Methodist minister, futurist, and Emergent Church advocate (and heretic), Leonard Sweet said the following:

The church is fundamentally one being, one person, a comm-union whose cells are connected to one another within the information network called the Christ consciousness." (pg. 48) "New Lights offer up themselves as the cosmions of a mind-of-Christ consciousness. As a cosmion incarnating the cells of a new body, New Lights will function as transitional vessels through which transforming energy can renew the divine image in the world, moving post-moderns from one state of embodiment to another." — Quantum Spirituality, (pg. 122).

There is no ‘higher’ esoteric or (secret) teaching of Jesus Christ than what is portrayed in the above statement (strongly resembling the Gnostic persuasion). One has only to open to the Gospels, read His Word, what He inspired others to speak and teach as His holy prophets and apostles to see plain, simple non-mysterious truth. Yet "New Light" (being new revelation) is infesting the church from folks who are blatantly New Age in their beliefs!

ROMANS 8:10-11
And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

Jesus On The Inside! While Christ Jesus indeed indwells the believer, our bodies no less than those unregenerate and who are not indwelt by the Spirit of Life, are corrupt and susceptible to sin, sickness and suffering and death.

The body is dead in a twofold manner: dead in that because of sin, it will pay the wages: physical death (ROM 6:23a); but also it’s dead as we reckon it to be so, by the Cross of Christ and our identification with it and Him (ROM 6:3–11). Our bodies are mortally corrupt, but one day when the LORD returns, these corruptible, mortal bodies shall be transformed and received up (“caught up” harpazo in the Greek, as in 1 THESS 4:17) into heaven where we shall possess forever, bodies that are immortal and incorruptible; see 1 COR 15:50–55; PHIL 3:21.

ROMANS 8:12-13
Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

We could never pay the debt of our own sin; the debt inferred to here however is that which is owed to Christ Jesus (LK 17:7-10) and His salvation which He purchased with His own blood, and by such purchasing our own souls and lives (1 COR 6:19–20). Some would suggest that vs. 13 is a proof text that one could lose one’s salvation, that if one lives “after the flesh”, that one “shall die”.

We must remember to keep this verse within the context of the entire text of this section in Romans; what chapter Eight here is dealing with is sanctification, not justification (which is salvation by grace in the forgiveness of sins and by such absolving us of sins penalty). Sanctification deals with the eradication of the power of sin “through the Spirit” (mortification, vs. 13; ROM 13:14; COL 3:5; 1 PET 4:2) and the infilling of life (“ye shall live”) of the Spirit whereby we become more and more Christ-like in our nature (vivification)).

In this context therefore, a believer, indwelt by the Spirit via being born again in Christ Jesus, who yet lives after the flesh, will reap from the flesh, corruption, or death – that is, the fruit of such fleshly enterprises will not bring forth good fruit, but death in the way of bad fruit in the believer’s life and will not receive commendation from the LORD Who is seeking fruit of the Spirit in the lives of His children (See GAL 6:1–8; 5:16–25).

We must recognize that this living “after the flesh” should never be considered the norm or acceptable; in fact, one who is forever living after the flesh, involved in the things of the flesh, has absolutely no assurance of salvation whatsoever, and if they bear no fruit at all (even if just the “fruit of repentance” would qualify, as in LUKE 3:18), it’s likely that they never were saved. True faith will bring forth true works or fruit; so says JAMES 2:18–24. We don’t work for salvation, but from salvation – works do not develop salvation, but demonstrate it!

ROMANS 8:14-15
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Being Easily Led 
The very fact that one is led of the Spirit, proves that one is a “son of God” – one directly created by God; such are all the angels (both holy and fallen) – each was directly created by God. Adam likewise was directly created by God and thus is called a “son of God” (LK 3:38). JOHN 1:12 states that as many as believed on Christ were given the authority to become direct creations of God (spiritual children of God).

1 JOHN 2:6
He that says he abides in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

Read the entire 2nd chapter of 1st JOHN to view in its entire context, particularly from vs. 3. Upon regeneration and indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the saint perceives and relates to God not merely as Creator, but as Father or “Abba” a term of endearment (we would say ‘Daddy’) Who does not condemn His children, but through the Person of Christ Jesus, commends them.

As sons, our conduct should be a mirror reflection of Jesus – obviously not a perfect reflection, but one that resembles the LORD Jesus, one that grows with greater resemblance as the saint grows in their relationship with Him! Whereas Christ was the only eternally begotten of God, “true God from true God” as stated in various creeds, we are not so – we are adopted. Through the Spirit, such was only possible by the sacrifice of the Lamb of God. By this means we are brought into the family of God as the “brethren” of Jesus. (ROM 5:8–11; JOHN 20:22; GAL 4:1–7 [this passage in Galatians relates to the proceeding passage in our text as well]; MATT 28:10 and HEB 2:11).

ROMANS 8:16-17
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs
(1); heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer (2) with him, that we may be also glorified together.

1) See also GAL 3:29; TITUS 3:7; HEB 1:14; 6:17.
2) See also ACTS 5:41; 9:16; HEB 11:25; JAMES 5:10; 1 PET 2:20; 5:10.

We have such a testimony regarding the authenticity of our spiritual nature as the children of God, as cannot be doubted: the very testimony of the Spirit of God Himself! Yet, how does the testimony of the Holy Spirit manifest in our lives?

Is it a warm, peaceful feeling? Is it through the exercise of spiritual gifts? Not according to this passage, it isn’t! As previously noted, it’s those who are led of the Spirit (and follow in the footsteps of our LORD Jesus, walking “even as He walked” and more than this – if we suffer with Him.

Suffer It To Be So 
The same word for “suffer” used here is used in 1 COR 12:26 where if one member of the body of Christ suffers, “the [whole] body suffers along with it”. The meaning of the word (sumpascho in the Greek) is to suffer conjointly or in identification of another, esp. in regards to persecution.

A trademark of “godliness” – obtainable only by the Spirit of God – is that those who practice such will surely suffer persecution by the ungodly, who have a “form of godliness but deny the power thereof”, the religious people of this world (those of the spirit of anti-Christ), who oppose the Spirit of Christ, as well as those who are led by Him (see 2 TIM 3:1–14):

2 TIMOTHY 3:11-14
Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

Yet it seems (at least for now) that here in America, we don’t suffer any intensity of persecution. However, even as this passage from 2 TIMOTHY states, “evil men and seducers shall [grow] worse and worse” and as such evil permeates and intensifies in our society, those few who will remain faithful to the LORD, who are led of the Spirit, who live godly in Christ Jesus will become more and more noticeable, and therefore, the recipients of persecution.

The light from a candle is brightest and most noticeable at the darkest time of night! Telltale signs are rising up all around us, and a time of persecution for the American church may well become a reality for us. Yet for all such potential ‘doom and gloom’ what should the saint do? Wring their hands and worry? Rally together with other believers and protest? Write to their representatives and demand justice and clarity?

Regardless of what may or may not happen, we need to be about the business of our heavenly Abba – preaching the Gospel, making disciples, earnestly praying, and worshiping, contending for the faith and being a Light and testimony before a lost and dying world! And for such faithful service and any suffering that may accompany it, we shall receive glorification (vs. 17 in our text; also 2 TIM 2:11-12)!

If anyone knew about persecution, it was the apostle Paul; he lists the sufferings he endured for the LORD and the Gospel’s sake: 2 COR 11:23–27; and yet for all that, he counts it all as nothing more than a “light affliction” (2 COR 4:16-17)!

Glory... In Tribulation??! 
He could consider such heinous torment as being whipped no less than five times, receiving thirty nine strokes each time; beaten three times with rods (most likely cudgels of hard wood), once stoned and left for dead and relentless endangerment as “light affliction” because he knew that the reward for enduring such persecution would far exceed anything he suffered with an “exceeding and eternal weight of glory”!

If you want to talk about glory, just consider vs. 17 again and the phrase “heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ”! What incredible, unimaginable, incomprehensible glories await the saints in the universal church, from ages before to our present, who are over-comers and victors in Christ?!

It’s been said that the estate of the Rothschild family is estimated at approximately 44 trillion dollars! Could you imagine being born into such a family and being a recipient of that kind of wealth?

Yet in the light of eternity, that family is nothing but paupers, utterly destitute and poverty stricken! Not in the slightest, "rich towards/through GOD" (LUKE 12:21). For all their wealth and possessions, none of them will last forever, but certainly last longer than they will – the old sayings holds true: "you can’t take it with you" and "you never see a hearse pulling a U-Haul"! Our life here in this world is like a wisp of smoke that appears for a moment, and then is gone (JAMES 4:14)!

For the saint, the true riches of Christ as bestowed upon by the Father are equally ours! And these are non-perishables: they shall endure for all eternity! What do these riches entail?

Scripture isn’t very clear, and I believe for good reason: our heavenly Abba loves to surprise His children! Of one thing I am certain: in 1 JOHN 3:2 it states that when we see Him, we shall be like Him – we shall share in all the virtues and character of Christ Jesus (while retaining refined, God-given personalities) to the highest and deepest degree. There can be no greater riches that these, wouldn’t you agree?

ROMANS 8:18-19
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waits for the manifestation of the sons of God.

We are to endure afflictions while we pursue the ministry that God has granted to each of us (2 TIM 4:5) – yes, we all have a God-ordained ministry! It’s our privilege AND responsibility to seek out God’s will and how He would have us serve Him in His church.

Be Patient, God Isn't Finished With Us Yet 
Patience, that is, endurance is something that we as Christians must cultivate in our lives, in the midst of a ‘micro-wave society’ where everything is available instantly. God is in no hurry to instill in our lives spiritual maturity; such precious commodities are not ‘uploaded’ into our spirits in so many bytes, but grown by the precious seed of the Word, the watering of the Word, and the slow, sure, and steady progress of growth. Such patience is vital as we await of the coming of the LORD during such time, we shall receive the glory of His kingdom and the inheritance spoken of earlier. See also ROM 5:3-4; 15:5; 2 COR 6:4; COL 1:11; 1 THESS 1:3-4; HEB 12:1-2; JAMES 1:3-4; 5:10-11.

This “manifestation of the sons of God” will be realized once the LORD Jesus returns physically and meets us, His church “in the air” (1 THESS 4:16-17) and then revealed when once we return to this world with our LORD as He establishes His kingdom, the “kingdom of heaven”.

It will be at this time that the LORD Jesus will begin His restorative work to the world: Israel will enjoy the kingdom blessings as delivered by the Messiah, Y’shua; the church will likewise be blessed in the rule and reign over all with Christ Jesus; the Earth itself, along with nature and the animal kingdom will be delivered from sin and restored to conditions similar to those before the fall of Adam. What tremendous joy and exultation will be experienced at that time yet to come!

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