Romans 7: Who is the "I"? Before or After?
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The "I" in Romans 7 refers to:
"the Jew" under the Law (before conversion)
77%
 77%  [ 7 ]
the battle between my flesh & my mind
22%
 22%  [ 2 ]
"I" can be a "carnal Christian"
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 9

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Homer



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rick,

Quote:
Among other things, you wrote:
And no, our "sin nature" does not disappear.


I posted last summer that: I do not believe the Bible teaches Christians have a "sinful nature"...


Me neither! Embarassed I must have been tired (searching for an excuse) or perhaps my old, little used NIV leaped out of a hidden closet in my mind! I should have said "flesh".
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Sean



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul did call himself the chief of sinners. That's pretty bad. Smile

1Ti 1:15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.

He didn't say he was, but "I am" chief. Wouldn't the chief of sinners be "wretched"?

Just a thought.
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Paidion



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sean wrote:
He didn't say he was, but "I am" chief. Wouldn't the chief of sinners be "wretched"?


This use of the present tense does not imply that Paul continued in sin, and continued to be "the chief of sinners."

There is no doubt that Paul's referent here is his persecution of Christians before his regeneration.

We often talk that way today. Someone may say, "Joe Bloe is a murderer," because Joe murdered someone 40 years ago. But 39 years ago, Joe became a disciple of Christ. Since that time he has never murdered. Yet, it is said that "Joe is a murderer" because of that one act of murder. However, such a statement does not describe Joe's present state of behaviour.
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Sean



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paidion wrote:
Sean wrote:
He didn't say he was, but "I am" chief. Wouldn't the chief of sinners be "wretched"?


This use of the present tense does not imply that Paul continued in sin, and continued to be "the chief of sinners."

There is no doubt that Paul's referent here is his persecution of Christians before his regeneration.


I didn't mean to imply that I thought Paul still was the chief of sinners. Wink
It was a reply to Rick's post form Arminius:

Quote:
I confess that, while the regenerate continue as sojourners in this mortal life, they do not attain to a felicity that is full, complete in all its parts, and perfect. But I do not recollect ever to have read [in the Scriptures] that they are, on this account, called "wretched" with regard to the "spiritual life which they live by faith of the Son of God


Paidion, it seems that one could read the same meaning you gave to Paul's statement "Chief of sinners" as being past tense into his "I" statements from Romans 7.
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Paidion



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That seems to be a real possibility, Sean. I've never thought of it before.

For as long as I have studied Romans 7, I've always thought of it as the hypothetical "I", the "I" who does not have the power of Christ in its life to overcome wrongdoing and to obey God.
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Rick_C



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

a late reply to Homer,

I wrote:
Among other things, you wrote:

"And no, our "sin nature" does not disappear."

I [me, Rick] posted last summer that:
I do not believe the Bible teaches Christians have a "sinful nature"...

To this you replied:
Me neither! I must have been tired (searching for an excuse) or perhaps my old, little used NIV leaped out of a hidden closet in my mind! I should have said "flesh".


I think I know what you mean, as I used the NIV for years and still have verses memorized from it. For about at least a year now, I've been trying to decide on what version I want to regularly read; for this express purpose of memorization. So far, I'm reading all-versions in my studies (and also for "devotions") and haven't made a decision on "which" for memorization. Depending on each verse, one version might be better than another version, which makes this decision more difficult!

Actually, I've been doing most of my Bible-reading on the web for about a year. I take my NASB to church (though the pastor reads from NIV), my NKJV to Bible-studies (in a "Christian recovery group") but keep my pocket-NIV handy. The problem with the NIV is; sometimes, and maybe usually, it is very good! But at other times, it's pretty far afield....

Re: "flesh" as opposed to "sinful nature"
I think I know what you're saying:
In Romans 7, "flesh" should be translated "flesh", right?

With this translation, which is not only the best, but the only-correct; we see that Paul, as a Christian, isn't battling against his flesh as some kind of "entity" existing inside of him alongside the Spirit of God. Rather, it is the deeds of the body that Paul says we are to put to death. And, this, from the present perspective of being "in Christ" (and not "in the flesh"). Just as Christians don't have a "sinful nature" lurking inside of them (with the incorrect translation); so also, neither do they have an internal entity, and enemy, of the "flesh" living inside of them today.

Paul taught that, for the Christian; the flesh has no rule, nor authority, over the believer. And, according to Arminius' and my interpretations: We do not have a "thing" in us named the flesh that we battle against internally. But we do have bodies that can, and will, do wrong if we allow them. And if and when we were to let our bodies do what they naturally do (sinful deeds of the body); we could potentially lose our salvation. That is, if we were to continue on in unrepented sins. If this were to be the case; it could bring us to [habitually] walking according to the flesh. Paul doesn't specify how long this might take. He emphasizes always being led by the Spirit (walking according to it) and doing it habitually, which is what "walking" indicates.

Do you agree with my (above) Homer?
(I'm curious), Wink

I'm still reading Arminius and there is a lot there to read!
New thread? I don't know when or if....

Take care,
Rick
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Last edited by Rick_C on Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Rick_C



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paidion & Sean,

Re: 1 Tim 1:15.

My view is that Paul is speaking in the present tense with his "whole life, in overview" in mind. I've always understood this verse this way.

To illustrate, I could say of myself:
"Christ Jesus came into the world to save alcoholics, of whom I am chief."

But this wouldn't be to say I am still an alcoholic!
Yet I couldn't say I was ever the "chief of alcoholics" (as I'm sure there were worst cases than mine, which is beside the point)....

Paul could legitimately say he is the chief of sinners from the perspective of his life's overview. But this wouldn't be to say he is still a "sinner" (in terms of being a present time sinner living in a state of unbelief, and so on); Paul didn't mean it in this way here, imo.

What Paul meant, imo.
Paul's mission, before he met the Lord, was to destroy the Church of God! He was the Number One Man appointed by the Jewish leaders in the Temple to carry out this task. Had he succeeded in his mission, we may have never heard of Jesus Christ! When 1 Tim 1:15 is seen this way; Paul, indeed, was the Chief of Sinners!

1 Tim 1:15 may initially seem as if Paul saw himself as a "sinner", actively and in the present tense, but he did not: The rest of the Pauline writings (and Acts) confirm this, imo.

Just some thoughts,
Rick
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STEVE7150



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Gal 5.17 Paul says "For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit , and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other , to keep you from doing the things you want to do."
This seems to be the crux of Romans 7 , this tension between flesh and Spirit but "Wretched man that i am, who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Christ Jesus our Lord" Rom 7.25
There it is, a present tension but a deliverance through Christ. But this tension is a reality for virtually every believer and IMO Paul is speaking of this present tension.




Anyone care to comment on the above?
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Homer



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rick,

You wrote:
Quote:
Do you agree with my (above) Homer?
(I'm curious),


Yes! (At least I think so. Its late and I'm tired again. Laughing )

I think James says the same:

James 1:13-14 (New American Standard Bible)

13. Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.
14. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.
(Flesh)

God bless, Homer
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Rick_C



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Homer Smile

I saw your last post right after you made it and have been pondering what to reply (as well as continuing studying out this "I" guy we have here). I'll get back to you for sure. But for just now, I found a great link that's "right to" our topic!

Jesus Creed:
Scot McKnight's blog discussion of Romans based on N.T. Wright's commentary


It's linked at the "I" of Romans 7 but you can visit the pages and see the whole discussion. Lots of good information here. McKnight presents really good, short summaries.

I took the time to read the Romans 7 coverage and think it would be well worth a read for you, Homer! (or for anyone else who's studying this theme out).

SSS (sorry so slow), Embarassed and BBS (be back soon!), Smile
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Rick_C



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Steve,

You wrote:
There it is, a present tension but a deliverance through Christ. But this tension is a reality for virtually every believer and IMO Paul is speaking of this present tension.


This isn't how myself and others see it. Steve Gregg, if I'm not mistaken, and, possibly, a majority of 'born-again evangelicals' take your view. It seems like a lot of people are changing over to my view (the "I" is a Jew under the Law). Check out the McKnight link. Btw, his view is mine but differing opinions are presented.

I don't know when I'll be back to the thread but will reply to Homer, as promised....
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Homer



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rick,

You wrote:
Quote:
It seems like a lot of people are changing over to my view (the "I" is a Jew under the Law).


Not me! I'm not "changing over" cuz I've been "over" for a looong time. Very Happy

God Bless, Homer
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