Dead to Sin - Romans 7:1-6, Episode 10

By Michael Pearl

Scripture: Topics: Romans Bible Study

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Dead to Sin

Romans 7:1-6

Welcome to The Door. We're studying the Book of Romans tonight, chapter 7 verse 1-6. And this is episode 10. I am Michael Pearl. And we are here in Lobelville, Tennessee.

The Book of Romans

Book of Romans is written by the Apostle Paul A.D. 57 or 58 from Corinth. We're studying the Bible. This is not a sermon. This is not an attempt to motivate you. This is a Bible study in somewhat detail.

The Bible says “heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” Matthew 24:35 So these are the words God gave, the words that won't pass away. That carry God's message here. We're going to study every word of the text.

Romans 7 asserts the ineffectualness of the law over the flesh. To say it another way, Romans 7 shows that the law cannot make a man righteous or holy. So let's review chapter six because you need it in mind to understand chapter seven.

And you also need a little bit of eight in mind. So we're going to make a quick run through six and then take a quick run through eight, about halfway through. So you can understand the first six verses of chapter seven.

Review of Chapter 6

Baptized into Christ

Last week, we talked about how "For by one Spirit, we're all baptized into one body..."  Whether it be Jew or Gentile, bond or free, all been made to drink into one Spirit. So each one of us by the Spirit of God was placed into the body of Christ to become a member of his body.

The scriptures say, "If one died for all then are all dead".  2 Corinthians 5:14

"We have all been made to drink into one Spirit."  1 Corinthians 12:13

Romans 6:3 "Know ye not, that so many of us as we're baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into His death?"  That's not water baptism. We talked about that last week. That is the baptism, the Holy Spirit, whereby you and I are immersed into Christ's body. "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death." Romans 6:4

Christ Liveth in me

 Paul said, "I am crucified with Christ. Nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." Galatians 2:20  We talked about not only are we crucified with Christ, but we are also resurrected with Christ. “For If we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.” Romans 6:5  So when Christ arose, I also arose from the grave that morning in God's reckoning.

Gods Operation

Colossians 2:12 “Buried with Him in baptism wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”  Notice that, that it's through faith and it's an operation of God. This is not something you and I work out in our experience. This is something God accomplished 2000 years ago. In fact, I wasn't even born the day I was crucified in the body of Jesus Christ.This is God's operation and God can perform this operation in a supernatural way, which is what it means to be born again.

God Reckoned

God reckoned Abraham to be the father of a great nation. You understand, after the last two messages, what we mean by reckon. That is, God counted it, numbered it, imputed it. God, as a bookkeeper, counted Abraham to be something he was not, which was the father of a great nation. And he counted him to be righteous.

God also reckoned David to be without sin after David committed great sin. David said, Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. God imputed his righteousness to David and then God reckoned Christ to be a sinner. He was not a sinner, but God made Him to be sin for us, Him who knew no sin. That we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.

The Best Trade

So God reckoned Jesus Christ to be a sinner and reckoned me to be righteous. That's the best trade I ever got in all of my life. I one time traded three partial cans of paint for an old yellow, wormy dog. And that dog turned out to be my favorite dog throughout my youth. His name was Sleepy, because he always slept unless I went down to the creek and then he woke up enough to follow me. But that's the best trade I ever got, until I was 13 years old and I traded in my sin for the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

God tells me to reckon myself to be:

  • Crucified,
  • Buried,
  • Raised again
  • Ascended into heaven

God tells me to reckon myself to be crucified. That is if God counts it, so should I count that I have been crucified. And I have been buried, and then I have been raised again, and now I am ascended into God's presence. Ephesians 2:6 "And hath raised Him up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:"  So, and you and I have ascended into heaven and are now seated in heavenly places. That's not the Rapture, that'll happen later. That is our Ascension with Christ.

The believer's only tool to stop sinning is to reckon.

What does it mean to Reckon?

I must reckon:

  • Crucified with Christ.
  • Buried with Christ.
  • Raised with Christ.
  • Ascended with Christ
  • Seated in heavenly places

What do you mean by reckon?  I must reckon, first of all, as you've seen, that I'm crucified with Christ. Secondly, that I'm buried with Christ. Thirdly, that I'm raised with Christ. Fourthly, I'm ascended with Christ. And fifthly, I'm seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. I also must reckon this, and this is what you do.

How to Stop Sinning

If you're a pornographer and you want to quit sinning, or you're a drunk on alcohol or you smoke cigarettes, or you eat and you're really fat and you want to stop sinning, then you can reckon this. Number one, that your body is dead indeed, unto sin. That's a simple thing to do. It's a matter of believing what God says over your own experience. Secondly, reckon that you're alive unto God. Reckon you're alive and I am the righteousness of God. Reckon that you are what God says you are, not what your friends see you as, but that you are the righteousness of God. Reckon that you are free to sin no more. That is counted to be true, that you have been set free from all sin, and if you sin again, it's because you choose to. Not because you're compelled to by some force. Because that force that compelled you to sin, has been put to death.

I Must Reckon:

  • Body is dead indeed unto sin
  • Alive unto God
  • I am the righteousness of God.
  • Free to sin no more
  • Free from Satan
  • I am an overcomer

Victory Over Satan

And that you're free from Satan. I don't fight a Spiritual warfare. That Spiritual warfare has already been fought when Jesus defeated Satan. What I do now is stand with the armor on, in the victory that Jesus Christ has achieved. So Satan has no power. I have the power to tread on him with my feet. And then reckon that you are an overcomer. I'm going to be an overcomer. Nothing in this world, I wish I could sing that, will hurt me now. And if I could sing, you'd hear me singing right now. So I'm going to be an overcomer. I am an overcomer, right now. I'm overcoming all things. That's what God's given me in Christ Jesus.

What about the Law?

Now, the law plays no part in any of this, except it says, "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." Romans 3:20

Romans Chapter 7

Now in chapter seven, we're going to study about the law. But the Jews, the old Pharisees had a problem with what Paul taught. "If the law cannot save, what value is it?" an old rabbi would say. If it brings death, as you say Paul, then that makes it evil. And so they would discount Paul's teaching on the gospel of grace, because that gospel of grace, the only place it had for the law, was to say that law was nothing more than a school master to bring us to Christ, after which the school master is retired and Christ alone is sufficient. So they had a problem with that.

  • Romans 6 spoke of the believer's baptism into Christ
  • Romans 7 is a return to the law, its nature, its function, and our relationship to it.

Now Romans six spoke of the believer's baptism into Christ. We just reviewed that. Roman seven is a return to the law, back to discussing the law, its nature, its function, and our relationship to it.

  • The purpose of the chapter is to demonstrate the law's failure to perform righteousness in the flesh.

To Those who know the Law

Now he starts off Romans 7:1 by saying "Know ye not, brethren, for I speak to them that know the law."  So Paul is writing with, especially the Jews in mind, because they know the law. But I submit to you that this may not be the Mosaic Law. He's speaking of this could also be the Roman Law because it's the law of marriage to which he's referring. But I think there's a dual reference here. Knowing the Mosaic Law and also knowing the law of marriage. So he said "I speak to them that know the law."  Now chapter seven is written to all of those who know the law. That's the assumption.

The Word “Law”:

  • Appears in Romans Seven 23 times
  • Plus 7 Synonyms
  • 78 times in the Book of Romans

Law appears in this chapter 23 times, the word law. Seven times, synonyms like commandments are also given. That makes what, 30 times the word law appears in this chapter. Seventy-eight times in the Book of Romans. That's more than any New Testament book by a factor of 2 and 3 in most cases.  So the Book of Romans significantly deals with the law, much more than the Book of Hebrews or the Book of James.

The Law is Permanent

Now in 7:1, I'm going to take you through chapter seven quickly. And I've marked the word law or its synonyms. Now the green marking that you see at the bottom is where the word law is used as other than Mosaic Law. And it's four times, it's used differently than Mosaic Law. Romans 7:1 "Know ye not, brethren, I speak to them that know the law, how the law has dominion over a man as long as he liveth?”

In other words, the law is not going to stop. It's not going to give up. It's not going to lay down. The law is there. It's permanent. It's forever. It rules over all flesh. And as long as flesh is alive, the law is in full force. Jesus did not put the law away. He fulfilled it. He made it stronger and more forceful. And Paul did not put the law away or discount it. The only way to get out from under the law, he says "For the woman which hath a husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband."

Marriage Illustration

Now he's not talking about marriage and divorce here. He's using this as an illustration because it's one everyone can understand. So he says the only way this woman can get out from under the law that binds her to this man, is if he dies. That's the only way. Now, if she died, there wouldn't be any point because of the story is about her. So he's the one that's going to have to die. The law cannot die. '"So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another..."

Free from the Law

Notice that. She's free from the law and then the application verse four is, you also are become dead to the law, like the woman dead to the law, by the body of Christ. Why? Because we were baptized into the body of Christ and put to death. We'll see that we're going to cover this to where you won't miss it.

How are we delivered from the law?

"...who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh,” that's before we were crucified, “the motions of sin, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we're delivered from the law..."  How are we delivered from it? The law didn't stop its wrath. It didn't stop its dictation of truth, but we're delivered from it by the death of something. "...that being dead wherein we were held:"  So the husband that we were held to died. "...that we should serve in newness of Spirit, not in the oldness of the letter." The oldness of the letter. "What shall we say then? Is the law sin?"  So he's responding to those Jews who would say, Paul, the way you're writing, the law's not good. "God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment,"  synonym for law, "wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For that without the law sin was dead."  Are you satisfied, even at this point, that the chapter seven is about law? Can you see that? It's about law. It's not about any other subject but law. Everything else is there to make the point about our relationship to the law.

Romans 7:9- 14

"For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, by it slew me. Wherefore the law is holy and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do allow not: For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good."  In other words, what he's saying is, that if he takes the law to heart and tries not to do something, says, no, I shouldn't do that. But then he does it anyhow. Then that's an agreement that the law is good, because he tried to obey it and felt guilty about not obeying it. But now " is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me, (that is in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for the will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not."

That there, we're going to deal with this next week. "...but the evil which I would not, that do I. Now if I do that I would not, is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law," and that should be green right there, I just noticed that, "I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me." He's not about the Mosaic Law. He's talking about a rule of action. The law rule of action. A principle. That when I do evil, good, evil is present with me.

Another Law

"For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law". You see the word another? So, that means it's not the same law he's talking about. It's another law. It's a different law. And there are four different laws here in this. The, one of them we didn't mark. In these three we have. "But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind..." And that's a third use of the word law. Law in my members. What's that's? That's the rule, the principle that works in your members' eyes, ears, nose, tongue, feet, sex organs. That makes you lust, makes you greedy, makes you envious, makes you hateful. It's those desires and passions of the human body that come from the members of the body.

The Law of Sin

“And bringing me into captivity to the law of sin...” And what's the law of sin? “...which is in my members.”  The law of sin is that principle whereby sin issues from natural drives and passions. "O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 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."  Certainly you see the use of law there is different. The law of sin would not be the same as the law of God. So I just hurried through that. We're not going to teach you all those passage tonight, but hurried through it because I want you to see the force of the use of the word law 30 times in this one chapter out of just 25 verses. That's more average, an average greater than one time per verse. Okay, let's go back to chapter seven, verse one.

“Until Death do Us Part”

Now we're going to actually repeat some of these things three or four times from different angles because the text does, and you'll understand it thoroughly.

Romans 7:1  "Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband, as long as he liveth;"  So when you get married, in most cases, the preacher says until death do us part, or you say that until death do us part in your ceremony. And that means that you're going to stay married until one of you dies. As long as you both shall live, the minister says when he's marrying you.

She that Hath an Husband

"Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion... For the woman, which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband..." Notice the word hath. It didn't say had, it says hath. Now, the woman which had a husband is not bound by the law so long as he liveth. This is really not part of our message in Romans 7, but to keep from giving a wrong impression to some people who have divorced and remarried, I don't want to leave you hanging and in distress. So I'll take two minutes and clarify that issue. The woman hath, present tense, a husband. Now it said the law said that she was bound by him until death and nothing but death would separate.

The Law of Moses

What does the Mosaic Law say? The Law of Moses did not forbid divorce or remarriage. Quite the contrary. The Law of Moses, Deuteronomy 24:1-2 said, "When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she found no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed of his house, she may go and be another man's wife."  So if you're going by Moses' law, what he said there in Romans chapter seven, is not true of Moses' law. The Law of Moses did not forbid divorce and remarriage, it regulated it. And so when he says those that know the law, he had to have been talking about something more updated than the Mosaic Law. Or he is saying, that even under Mosaic Law, if a woman, hath a husband and she takes another man, she commits adultery.

What does the Bible say about Divorce and Remarriage?

The assumption is, that when the woman is put away, that she no longer has a husband. That the woman is put away, who's divorced, is now married-less. And so she can marry again and not commit adultery. That's the assumption of the passage, Mark 10:2-5 "Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? Tempting him."  They're asking Jesus. "And He answered and said on them, What did Moses command you?"  So Jesus in His life and ministry referred back to Moses as the authority on this question of divorce and remarriage. And they said, Moses suffered you to write a bill of divorcement. And to put her away. "Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement to put her away." "And Jesus answered and said on unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept." In other words, that was not God's will, His design. But because your hearts are hard, He was allowed to make that precept. So back to our text.

“The woman, which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he liveth.” The assumption is she's married to him. They are not divorced. She is his wife. He is her husband. And if she goes to some other man, she commits adultery. So there's three elements present here. The first one is the man. The second one is the woman. And the third one is the law of marriage.

The Three Elements

The Law of Marriage Analogy

We're going to come to what this is an analogy of, and you need those three elements in mind. Now, "...if while her husband liveth she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress."  So certainly if she's married to a man, she's not been put away, there has been no bill of divorcement, and she marries a second, man, then she's committed adultery. Well, that takes care of all the polygamist and the people who want to have more than one wife. If you got more than one, you're committing adultery. "...but if her husband be dead she is loosed from the law of her husband."  Now, how would her husband die? In this case, he got crucified. He was an...

I'm just going to make this story up. Okay? Let's just go along with our text here. This woman was married to a man 20 years older than her, and she was forced into the marriage when she was only 15 years old. She never did like him because he's mean, and he's ornery and he's brutal. But the law bound her to her husband as long as he would live. And she never loved him, she despised him, and she sometimes regretfully wished he was dead. But no, he lived on and on. Well, one day he does something he shouldn't have done and the Romans crucify him. So here he is, dead now and buried, and she is free at last. All right, I had fun doing that.

What Died?

So "...if her husband be dead she is loosed from the law of her husband."  It says again. " she is no adulteress though she be married to another man."  Now that's the first three verses. That's an analogy that he's going to show us about our relationship to Christ. So back to the man, the woman, and the law of marriage. What died in this situation?

What Died?

  • Law of Marriage?
  • The Woman?
  • Or the Man?

 Was it the law of marriage that died? No. The law of marriage remained intact, didn't it? You say, well, it lost its force. It only lost its force when death occurred. What about the woman? Did she die? No, she didn't die. She didn't die to herself. She didn't crucify herself. She didn't mortify herself. She's still alive. So who died? Did the man die? Yes.

The Man Died

The man died. He's gone. The law of marriage no longer binds her because he died. So the law of marriage remains intact. "...but if her husband be dead, she is free from the law; so she is no adulteress though she be married to another man."  Now, if you'll read commentaries on this, 19 out of 20 of them will tell you that what died was the law. I have no idea how they can do that, but some really smart men will tell you that what died was the law. They can't seem to get it. In fact, one of them says, Paul used an inappropriate analogy here. Or Paul's analogy, one of them says, is rather confusing, because Paul didn't say with his analogy what they thought he should have been saying. And so you're going to see in the text tonight that Paul didn't use a wrong analogy, he used a perfect analogy.

Analogy of our Death to the Law

So the analogy of our death to the law. Here it is, verse four. "Wherefore, my brethren, ye also..." Just like the woman, "...are become dead to the law..."  Now, how did she get dead to the law? The death, of the old man. " the body of Christ;" What happened in the body of Christ that made me dead to the law? I was crucified. Chapter six. That's why we reviewed it. Remember that? I'm crucified by the body of Christ. Why? Because I was placed into his body for by one Spirit were all baptized into one body. Being baptized into that body, you are baptized into his death, it says.

Dead to the Law!

So you are also become dead to the law by the body of Christ that you should be married to another. So here we were bound to the flesh. That mean whole flesh. Controlled by the dictates of sin, with the law of sin working in our members. And we saw Jesus Christ in his purity and his holiness. And we said, oh, if I could just love God and he could love me and I could be free from sin. And so we attempt to please God, and still the old, the law rules over us and the flesh has full control. And then along comes the Lord, Jesus Christ, who crucifies the old man and puts him to death. And frees us from the old man, from this body of sin, and then raises us up and says, now you can be my bride. And so we are wed to the Lord, Jesus Christ.

Free from the Law of Marriage

So the analogy of our death to the law. "...but if her husband be dead, she is free from the law; so that she is no adulterous though she be married to another man."  So the man died and the law remains intact “Who raised him from the dead”  The bride of Christ and we are married to our new husband. That's the whole church there. Married to another, it says. So we're free from the law of marriage, by the death of our old man.

Identifying the three parts of the Analogy

So we are identifying the three parts expressed in this analogy. The bride, the man, and the law. The law of marriage is the Law of God. The woman is the believer. And the man, who is the man? The man who died represents flesh.

Identifying the three parts of the Analogy

Now that's where I'm going to have to prove a point. Flesh. You see the New International Version says it's sinful nature. And as I said, many of your commentaries say it's the law itself. But the Bible teaches it's flesh. And guess what flesh is? Flesh is flesh.

Romans 7:5 "For when we were in the flesh,"  The Bible assumes that believers are no longer in the flesh. "...the motions of sin, which were the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death."  Members corresponds to flesh, eyes, ears, nose, tongue, feet, sex organs. That's your members. So your flesh is your flesh.

The Flesh is Dead

So then they that are in the flesh. We're in chapter eight now, by the way.

Romans Chapter 8:8 “They that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh.”   Now wait a minute. How could, Paul say that I am not in the flesh? I look like I'm in the flesh. My flesh is getting old. And when I ran today, my flesh hurt all over. Ever muscle ached and hurt, wheezing. And so I felt like I was in the flesh. Have you ever seen an elephant run backwards? That's me jogging. And so I feel very much in the flesh. But he says I'm not in the flesh. Just like Abraham felt childless. And God says, you've got a child. You're the father of a great nation. You have children as the sand on the seashore, innumerable. And 25 years later, he couldn't produce seed and Sarah was far gone. And Abraham said, yes, I believe God. I am the father of a great nation. Abraham believed what he couldn't see. The Bible said, God calls those things, which be not as though they were. God calls me crucified in the flesh, no longer in the flesh. “They that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit. The body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life.”

Romans 7:6. "But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead..."  That is the key word, “that”, right there. I only found one commentary that knew, that had read their Bible, and were a Bible student, and understood it correctly. I don't remember which one. "...delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held;"  That's the key. What is the word, “that”, applied to? Delivered from the law, that being dead. So we have the Law of God, the flesh, and the believer. Now look here, we're delivered from the law. Watch it, that being dead wherein we were held.

What is Flesh?

  • sárx is found 147 times,
  • translated "flesh" 143 times,
  • "carnal" two times,
  • "carnally" minded one time,
  • "fleshly" one time

So what is flesh? The Greek word sárx is found 147 times, translated "flesh" 143 times, "carnal" two times, "carnally" minded one time, and "fleshly" one time. So the other translations don't do so well.

The Flesh is the body

The flesh is the body. Here is some Scripture on that.

John 3:6 'That which is born of the..." Sárx, "...flesh, is flesh."  That which is born of a woman's flesh is a body of flesh. A fetus is flesh.

Matthew 26:41 "Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation: the Spirit indeed is willing, but the..."  Sárx, "...flesh, is weak."  When Jesus said to the disciples, the flesh is weak, what was he talking about? Just the plain common sense of it. He was telling them you're sleepy guys. You just ate, you're full, and I want you to stay awake, and it's going to be hard to stay away because the flesh is weak. He was not talking about some deep theological principle ruling inside of them. He was talking about their flesh.

Matthew 19:5 "And said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, cleave to his wife: and they shall twain be one flesh?"  Sárx, flesh is the body.

Luke 24:39 "Behold my hands and my feet, that is I myself: handle me, and see for a Spirit hath not flesh.."  Sárx, flesh "...and bones as ye see me have."

John 1:14 "And the Word was made flesh,"  Now, remember, this is the word sárx. It's going to going to blow you away here in a minute. The Word was made sárx. Jesus was made flesh. So Jesus was made that word sárx, Greek word sárx, flesh. “(And we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."

Romans 13:14 "But put ye on the Lord, Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to fulfill the lust thereof."  Where does the lust come from? It comes from the flesh.

Romans 7:18 "For I know that in me (that is in my flesh,)."  Romans chapter seven, the chapter we're in right now. "In my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for the will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not."  Paul said, it's my flesh. My body of flesh. That's dragging me down.

Crucified the Flesh

Galatians 5:24-25 "They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh..."   So what was crucified? I'll ask you this question. When Jesus was crucified, what of Christ was crucified? Was the Spirit crucified, his soul crucified? It was His flesh that was crucified. So we were crucified with Christ. What did we die? What of us died? The same thing that died in Christ. Flesh. "...they that are Christs have crucified the flesh..."  Past tense. Remember we saw that in chapter six. We are crucified.

Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ”

Galatians 5:24 "...crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts."  Where are the affections and lusts? They're in the flesh. You're getting a Bible study now, follow it closely.

Galatians 5:17 "For the flesh..."  Sárx, "...lusteth against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so you cannot do the things that you would." The Bible has explained to you the human struggle is between flesh and Spirit. Nothing else.

What does the NIV say?

So today's New International Version says, Romans 7:3 "For what the law was so powerless to do because it was weakened by the.." Sárx. Wait a minute. Sinful nature? The word sárx is there, the word flesh. Just like it's translated over a hundred times. "...God did by sending his own son, the likeness of sinful humanity..." And that's the word sárx also. So they take the word sárx and they change it to sinful nature. And then immediately the next phrase, God sending His own son in the likeness of sinful nature? No, they change it to sinful humanity. What kind of liberty is it that they take the same Greek word and translate it two different ways for their own convenience? Is that a Bible? Have they added two or taken away from the words of God? Do they not believe that the words of God are sacred? Is that why there's well over a thousand additional words in the New International Version in the New Testament than there is in the King James Bible? Wow.

“Sinful Nature”

Sinful nature appears in the, today's New International Version, 24 times. Sinful nature. We rolled it out again.

Romans 7:5 "For when we were controlled by our sinful nature," That's not in the Bible. "...the sinless passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death." That, that's poor writing. As well as poor translating. I mean, that, there's no music in that. That's gone, they destroyed it. So we are going to get rid of that too.

What does it Actually say in the Greek?

Sinful Nature in Greek

Now, here is the word sinful in Greek. It's the word amartolós. Now, if a Greek heard that, he'd say what'd you say? But that's my best shot at it. That's the word for sinful in the Bible. And the word nature is the word phusis. And that is found throughout the Bible where the word nature appears. So if we put those together, we got amartolós phusis, sinful nature.

Is “Sinful Nature” in the Bible?

So where does that appear in the Bible? It must appear a lot of places because it's a very important doctrine. Never does. Not once. Those two words never get close to each other. Not even the same room, much less put together for sinful nature. So what is their justification? When there are words for sinful nature, if Paul meant sinful nature, wouldn't he have said so? Well, they don't think so.

Look at this. Now I'm going to read you five long pages. It's a Bible study. I got this out of Holman's Bible Publisher, Youngblood, J.K, Youngblood, 2003. Now I want you to see this because this is the way theology works. This is the way your books written by commercial writers, not men of God who study their Bibles, but men who study about the Bible, this is what they write:

Holman's Bible Publisher, Youngblood, J.K, Youngblood, 2003:

"FLESH. The term "flesh," while prevalent in older English translations of the Bible, such as the King James Version and the American Standard Version, has largely been replaced by numerous other terms in most modern English translations. Undoubtedly, this shift is due to the wide variety of nuances the word "flesh" can have in the biblical context that are better rendered by other words, in a modern setting. Nonetheless, such seemingly unrelated terms as "skin", the way it's translated in these other versions, "food," "meat," "relatives," "humankind," and "sinful nature" in modern English translations often render the same single word in the original languages.”

 You see, he recognizes that they're taking one word and put it at, butchered it in different ways.

“Basar in Hebrew and sárx in Greek. Due to the obvious flexibility of the word, each of its primary meanings is listed below, followed by an explanation and biblical examples. "Flesh" as a designation for the body or parts of the body.”

Now didn't I say that? Eyes, ears, nose, tongue feet, sex organs. He's right there.

“ "Flesh" frequently refers to the skin of the body.”

 It does. It does that.

“All the materials that cover the skeleton of humans and animals. For example, "flesh" clearly refers to the body as a whole in Leviticus 14:9. Yes, it does. Where cleansed lepers are commanded to bathe their flesh and water. The psalmist also uses flesh in reference to his whole body where he said, my flesh trembles. He didn't say that. In fear of you. Since "flesh" can be used of animal's bodies, it can be, by extension, refer to meat or food as well.  The term can also, however, refer to a part of the body. For example, the Bible often uses flesh as a euphemism for the male genitals.”

 Well, last I knew male genitals were all flesh.

“The use of the term is most common context related to the covenant sign of circumcision.”

That sounds smart. When they cut away the foreskin, it was flesh.

“Occasionally flesh is used in contrast to the term "soul".”

Well, well you got a soul and then you got flesh. Not the same thing.

“(Nephesh in Hebrew.) Thus distinguishing a person's physical existence from his Spiritual existence. Similarly flesh is used in contrast to the word for heart/mind.”

That's right. We have a heart and mind inside of a body of flesh.

“To distinguish the body from the mind, will, and emotions.”

 I'm going to be showing you that tonight.

“The use of the term flesh as a designation of humanity suggests an important contrast between man and God. Man is flesh. God is Spirit. Man is finite and mortal, but God is infinite and immortal. Numerous passages such as this, contrast by pairing the word flesh with the word Spirit. Flesh over against Spirit. The word flesh by itself, however, can also stress the weakness and sinfulness of humanity.”

 Yeah. I've said all of that.

“In contrast to the power and holiness of God, flesh as a designation for the sinful nature.”

 Now, all he said so far contradicts his conclusions here.

“Flesh as a designation for the sinful nature in the New Testament, especially the Pauline epistles, of the term “flesh” takes on a specialized theological meaning.”

Theological Education

Now I studied theology in college for five years. And I enjoyed it and I appreciate it. And I learned a lot. I learned all about what men believe about the Bible. But it wasn't until I got out of the Bible college and studied the Bible, I found out what the Bible, what God believes. Because that's found in the Bible, not in theology books. Although I still appreciate my theological education. It comes in real handy.

Continuing quote...

“Flesh as a designation for the sinful nature, in the New Testament, especially the Pauline epistles, the term flesh makes on a specialized theological meaning. Paul consistently uses the term flesh, in reference to the fallen human nature.”

You know the word “fallen human nature” never appears anywhere.

“That is incapable of conforming to God's holy expectations. In this sense, flesh is unaided human effort. Mere human strength without the power of the Holy Spirit. It is this flesh that offers sin of foothold in a believer's life.”

Yes. Yes. Yes.

“Paul explains that the flesh and the Spirit are in conflict with each other within the believer's necessitating the believers' denial of sinful desires and cooperation with the Holy Spirit.”

 No, no, no, no. The Bible tells us that flesh is dead. Not that we deny it. You got a real battle on your hands if your Christianity involves you denying your flesh.

“Unfortunately many have misunderstood Paul's specialized use of the term.”

 Well, us poor dummies, we misunderstood.

“Have taken the passage mentioned above to mean that our bodies are inherently evil.”

Is the Flesh Inherently Evil?

You know, I'm 71 years old about, and I have talked to tens of thousands of people, of all religions and non-religion, and I've never in all of my days met anyone who believed that the body was inherently evil. But you can read about it in all the theology books. They use that to build a straw man to come against a doctrine that's contrary to what they believe. They try to make it look like us dummies who see the flesh as something that needed crucifying, as a source of sin that we're thinking it's inherently sinful. We already gave you the verse where Jesus was made flesh, didn't we? He was made flesh. So we don't think the flesh is sinful. We just think the flesh gets full of sin and then it's sinful, full of sin.

“Nothing, however, could have been further from Paul's mind. Paul thought that Christ himself came in the flesh and yet lived a sinless life. Furthermore, the body of God's creation and therefore is good when it is devoted to God and holy service. In fact, Paul referred to the believer's body as the temple of the Holy Spirit, indicating its sacred nature and purpose. The notion that the physical body is inherently evil and therefore an obstacle to Spirituality came not from Paul, but from Plato.”

Now that entire article was written to sure up the belief that flesh should be called sinful nature. That's what the whole article was about. That's what he prepared us for. He gave us a whole lot of stuff that's true, that was meaningless to the argument but was very true. Ninety-eight percent of what he said in there was true. But the idea that Paul was using the word flesh in a special way, when he had available to him correct language for sinful nature, is an absurdity.

Did Jesus come in likeness of sinful nature?

Did Jesus come in likeness of sinful nature? Remember the passage we read a while ago. Look at it here. Romans 8:1-3 "...walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Verse three. “For what the law could not do, in that it is weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh..."  So if this word sárx, which is the, marked in bold there, translated flesh. If this word sárx should be translated sinful nature in the first one, as the New International Version did, it should be in the second one too. God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful nature.

Carnally Minded

Romans 8:4 “...and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 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..."  And by the way, that's the word sárx too, right there. To be carnally minded. To be carnally. You know what? When you go to a carnival, it's a fleshly place. That's why you go to a carnival. Or a carnivorous animal is a flesh eating animal. Carnal is a synonym for flesh. A carnivore is a flesh eater. And so to be "...carnally minded is death, but to be Spiritually minded is life and peace."

Flesh is the Body

This is Romans 8:7-8. "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be." A carnal mind. "So then they that are in the flesh..." That's what a sinner is, in his flesh, "...cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you..."

Romans 8:10"And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin;"  And notice the word body. What is body? And there's no question about, that's this body right here. The body was crucified. So he's using the body as a synonym for flesh. "...if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life..."

Romans 8:11 "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..."  So in case you missed it, the first time, he's letting you know the word body is a mortal body, which is a synonym for flesh here. “ his Spirit, that dwelleth in you.”

Romans 8:12 "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..."  Notice the link between flesh and body. And deeds of the body. Deeds of the flesh. Paul did not use that in some special way. He quite clearly used flesh for flesh.

Back to Romans seven

Okay. Back to Romans seven. Now let's read the text so we can get a running start on our next verse.

Romans 7:1-4 "Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how the law has dominion over man, as long as he liveth? For the woman which has a husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if her husband be dead, she's loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she's free from the law; so that she is not adulteress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law..." Just like the woman. " the body of Christ, that you should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that you should bring forth fruit unto God for when we were in the flesh,"  Not anymore, remember? "...the motions of sin, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held;"  Our discussion is on that part that died. The analogy was the man died. And in the reality here, what is it that died? Not the law, not the woman, but the man. The man representing what? The man representing that thing that died. "...wherein you were held that you should serve in newness of Spirit, not in the oldest of the letter."

What is now Dead?

So what is now dead?

Romans 6:4-5 "Therefore we're buried with Him by baptism into death:"  The Holy Spirit baptism placed us into the body of Christ, into death. That like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we should walk in newness of life. "For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death,"  what died? Our bodies died.

Our old man is Crucified

" also in the likeness of his resurrection. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him,"  I've heard people say, I shouldn't have said that. This is my old man making me do it. Now that might be a correct statement if a woman said that under coercion. My old man made me do it. But that's not a correct statement for a Christian to say my old man. Because the old man is so old, he doesn't exist anymore. That's how old he is. All that exists now is the new man. We'll talk about another time. But if a Christian sins, what sins? The old man or the new man? The new man sins. The old man cannot sin any longer, he's been crucified. So if a Christian sins, it's his new man sinning, not his old man.

Free from Sin!

Romans 6:7"For he that is dead..." As in crucified with Christ, " free from sin." And you know, if you died on a cross, you certainly would be free from sin. "Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe we should also live with Him."  So, that death is answered to by living in a resurrected state.

Romans 6:9 "Knowing that Christ being raised in the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion. For in that He died, He die unto sin once: but in that Hhe liveth, He liveth unto God." He said, when Christ died, He died unto sin. Sin could no longer tempt Him. Satan couldn't come to Him. He couldn't experience lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. He couldn't be tempted to take bread and turn it into, take a rock and turn it into bread, because the flesh that wanted the bread was dead. And the state he was in and no longer desired bread. He can be, couldn't be tempted to take his body and jump off the pinnacle of the temple, because he could no longer be hurt doing that.

Romans 6:10 "For in that he died, he died unto sin once: and in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin," in the same way that Christ is dead to sin, which was a physical death, not some Spiritual death.

I'm giving you a preponderance of scriptural evidence. This is a magnanimous magnitude in preposterous proportions. If you miss it, it's not my fault.

Galatians 2:20 "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live;... and the life, which I now live in the flesh..." A crucified flesh, "...I live by the faith of Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."  So I'm crucified with Christ.

I'm crucified with Christ

If one died for all, then are all dead. Remember that? That's where I died. That's where I was put away.

Freed from the Law

Romans 7:4-6"...who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which by the law did work and our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we were delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of Spirit, not in the oldness of the letter."  Letter is a synonym again for law. So he said, now that we have been freed from the law by the death of our flesh, now we can serve God in a new Spirit, because the flash has been put to death and the law no longer has jurisdiction. “Not in the oldness of the letter.”

"That we should serve God in newness of Spirit, not in the oldness of the letter."

So here, watch this closely. This is the natural man in his body of flesh:

The Natural Man

The natural man has a soul inside the body. That's mind, emotions, and will. That's called the inner man in the Bible. And that body is called the outer man:

And inside the soul, mind, emotions, and will is the human spirit. There is no living person who does not have a human spirit, living human spirit.

There is no dead Spirit getting born again is not giving you a Spirit. You didn't have, you have a human spirit. The Spirit you have is corrupted. Your soul is corrupted. Your mind is corrupted. Your emotions are corrupted. Your will is corrupted. Your body is corrupted. You and I are corrupt, from inside to outside. But there's the inner man who's corrupt. And there's the outer man who's corrupt.

That outer man, that body of flesh is now dead. And so the natural man has now become the spiritual man because the Spirit of God has come to dwell in my spirit.

The Spiritual Man

So now I have two spirits just as the Bible tells us, in marriage the two shall become one flesh. Now in our marriage to the Lord, Jesus Christ, we've become one Spirit. For twain He said, shall be one.

The Outer Man and the Inner Man

So now I have the Spirit of God dwelling in my human spirit. It's like having two radio stations playing at the same time. And you can listen to the Spirit of God and tune out your own corrupted spirit. Or you can listen to your corrupted spirit and tune out the Spirit of God, but they're both playing. And God wants to work through my soul, my mind, my emotions, and my will. But that old body of flesh, that's dead. If we don't reckon it to be dead, it still brings influence through the eyes, through the ears, through the nose. And so the outer man and the inner man exist in a state of conflict in the believer. The flesh lusteth against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh. And these are contrary the one to the other. That is resolved by reckoning that flesh to be dead and living in God's reality and not our own.

The Full Gospel

Now you just got what they called the full gospel. I don't guess they called it that I call it the full gospel. You see, Jesus didn't just die for me. I died with him. It was not just he was put to death. I was put to death as well. He was buried. I was buried. He was raised. I was raised. So now I am alive under God and I am the new man now, in Christ Jesus. The new man.

And that is all for tonight. There's so much in Romans chapter seven, that I just had to stop there because I feel like if you got this much, you got a pretty good dose. And it's been an hour or two.

Next Week

So next week we will take it up and you'll need to get it to get the full picture, because we stopped right in the beginning of this chapter seven. So you can contact And there are lots of different pieces of literature available there that you can get that will expand you on this. I have a commentary in the book of Romans and we have it. We have online, free, you can get the teaching of the Book of Romans in audio. About nine hours I think, going all the way through it. And that's free as well as this. And you'll get some different stuff in the audio that you don't get here. Probably a little more extensive. This is more visual and simpler, but probably clearer. All right, good night.

Bible teaching with Michael Pearl.
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