Corinth's Gifts and the Romans 7 Struggle

Romans 7 Struggle: Part 2

Last week we spoke of Corinth and the fact that while they were abounding in gifts, they were failing in fruit. The behavior of many there was carnal at best.
I used part of this as an opportunity to point out that we've had Pentecostals and Charismatics in the past that have spoken about the fact that they have a baptism of power or gifts; however, they're lacking fruit: still struggling with sin and still struggling also with producing Christ like behavior.
I can tell you that the baptism John spoke of (Matt. 3) where Jesus was the baptizer was a baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire. The Holy Spirit is an all consuming fire. When he comes in, chaff gets burnt up! That's what the word says. I don't believe this is just another comparison of goats and sheep or wheat and tares. This is a separation of flesh from Spirit. The Holy Spirit wants to come in and produce His holiness in us.
So Corinth was in the midst of physical adultery and we transitioned last week and began discussing the struggle of Romans 7, discussing how within this chapter, we see the concept of spiritual adultery taking place, a struggle that’s incited when the believer moves his faith from Jesus to Law.
Romans 7:9
For I was alive without the law once:but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.


As explained in the Romans notes, this time-frame of Paul's life seems to represent a season after he was first persecuted after his conversion in Acts 9, after he had entered the Arabian wilderness (Galatians 1:17), and before Barnabas went looking for him to do ministry (Acts 11:25).
Nevertheless, Paul explains that he was alive once without the Law (as Romans 7:4 explained, we die to Law and come alive to God when we get saved), but the commandment came, sin revived, and I died (the idea is that he added Law to his faith, the power of sin, which was dormant, after death in Christ, revived-- came back to life, and he died).
Obviously, Paul is speaking of spiritual death. Have you ever been in a spiritual condition where you had previously placed your faith in Christ, but now sin is reigning in your life and you find yourself dead to the things of God?
Essentially, Paul added Law of some sort to his faith and it resulted in spiritual calamity in his life.
There is an unquestionable process that takes place in the journey of all believers. We all fail in our walk with Him at some point. When we fail, this results in the conviction of the Holy Spirit, which should bring us to a place where we recognize we must repent: ([1] be remorseful/ broken over our sin, [2] come to the place where we realize we were wrong and God was right [a mind change], [3] and turn through God's grace in the opposite direction). Anything else isn't repentance it's just, "I'm sorry."
So we must repent of our sin, and because we don't want to fail again, or be righteous with God, we put trust in a plan, hoping it will result in victory.
Remember the context of what Paul is saying in Romans 7:9...the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

We would do well to remember that the Law required that Israel constantly perform in a way that was pleasing to God. In other words, they had to eat different, dress different, wear their hair and beards different. They had the covenant and the circumcision, but what allowed God's presence to dwell with them was the blood of the sacrifice applied upon the mercy seat because that alone provided a covering over the broken Law.
Unfortunately, Israel began to look upon their performance: eating, dressing, laws, and circumcision as what made them right with God instead of the blood of the innocent lamb, which had to be shed to pay for their guilt; this transitioning of the object of their faith resulted in self righteousness.
In a similar fashion, Christians also change the object of their faith for righteousness from His cross, His blood, and His work to their performance. Even beautiful ways to spend time in His presence, seek His face and grow in our understanding of Him such as: reading the Bible, prayer, church attendance, fasting and witnessing, can become hindrances when they are approached from the wrong perspective.
When a believer thinks that his performance, faith in what he does, pleases God and makes him righteous instead of continued faith in what Jesus has already done, he changes his faith for victory from Christ to self; he moves from trusting in the Spirit of God for power to trusting in the flesh (in this case, flesh equals, fallen man's attempt to fight evil through his power and performance instead of God's); finally, he has brought himself out from under the environment of grace back under a system of law or legalism.
Religion built upon law, rules and legalism is fueled by self-- resulting in defeat; whereas, biblical Christianity is built upon faith, I said FAITH in the righteous one, the victorious one, the resurrected one and His victory over evil, which results in the believer becoming more than a conqueror in Christ (Romans 8:37).
Paul didn't write Romans until AD 57, but he wrote Galatians much earlier in AD 48. Some sources think he was saved around AD 34, so his Arabian struggle might have occurred from AD 34-35 to maybe 3 years later when he went to see Peter in Jerusalem (Galatians 1:18).
He wrote Galatians, once again, after his first missionary journey. While he didn't plant the churches in Galatia, he had ministered and preached Jesus very vividly there for quite some time, but now, after the trip is over, he has received correspondence, whether through the mouth of a person who was coming back, or through a letter that was delivered; the news received is that the Judaizers have made their way to Galatia and are attempting to convince the Galatians that they need to circumcise themselves in addition to faith in Jesus.
This is the same mistake that Paul made as an early Christian while in the Arabian wilderness. This is the same reason why he chose to write about it and tell his story of struggle when he wrote Romans. More than likely it continued to plague the church until he died, because in a way legalism for righteousness still plagues the church today.
So I wanted to review what happened in Galatia as an exposition to describe what happened to Paul in Romans 7. While the Galatians incident is specifically circumcision and Paul would have already been circumcised, the point I'm trying to make is that law vs. grace is a mindset of where someone keeps their faith. In other words, the believer either focuses their faith on the work of Jesus or their own performance.
Paul combats this thought forcefully by repeatedly pointing out they (Galatians) are moving towards a perverted false gospel that will result in bondage instead of freedom:
Galatians 1:4
Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver
[pluck out]
us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:

This is what Paul preached, and the next couple examples show he was combating heresy:

Galatians 1:6
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:

Galatians 1:7-8
Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Galatians 2:18
For if I build again the things which I destroyed
[previous life trusting in Law], I make myself a transgressor [committing sin].

Here, Paul is saying if I go back to the Law, which was destroyed to me when I put faith in Christ, then I'm becoming a transgressor. The idea here is very similar to what is occurring in Romans 7:9; when we change faith from Christ to works or law, we commit sin, which gives power to more sin.
How was the Law destroyed in Paul's life to begin with, or all of our lives for that matter?:
Colossians 2:14-15
Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

The Law was contrary to us or against us because we were guilty of breaking it. But Jesus kept the Law and offered His righteousness as payment for our sin, resulting in us now being righteous, but also destroying the Law's power over our lives because He nailed it's demands to the cross. That doesn't mean we can go around being law breakers. It means because He kept the Law and satisfied its demands; our faith in Him makes us righteous in God's eyes, and gives us access to God's grace, which empowers us to live a life of obedience through Him.
Galatians 3:1
 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

The word foolish being used here is 'anontos'. Previously, I have pointed out that the prefix "a" in the Greek means "without." The word nontos comes from the word nous, meaning mind. Therefore, the meaning is just as Paul said, "foolish ones, ones without exercise of the minds, ones that can't comprehend the truth of the gospel even though it was clearly preached to them."
While what I'm about to say will undoubtedly be offensive to many in the modern church, it most certainly MUST be said! Starting in the 40-50's, there was a change that occurred in the theology of Charismatic Christianity. A movement called the Word of Faith came on the scene. Within this movement, there was an extreme change in the emphasis of what "faith" means. While the movement started with an emphasis on healing; I would like to remind the readers that Pharaoh's magicians also produced miraculous signs and that Satan himself will continue to produce lying wonders: 
2 Thessalonians 2:9
Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,...

Ultimately, this movement was taken over by a voracious appetite for material blessings, where suddenly material blessings became the validity of a true believer's fruit. What a lie from the pit of hell! What contradiction of the scriptures! What blasphemy against the words of the one who died and shed His blood so we could live:
Matthew 6:24
24 No man can serve two masters:for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Mammon is the god behind money it's a spirit like lust, addictions, or any other bondage that demands allegiance. Yes, Jesus spoke elsewhere of making friends of it, in the sense that we were supposed to utilize its resources for kingdom business while we journey as pilgrims on this fallen earth. Many may think, well isn't that what the Word of Faith preachers do—kingdom work? I suppose you could think that if you think they're preaching the truth.
Jesus also said:
Mark 4:19
19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

But yet I have seen, with my own eyes, services where some of the most popular "money" preachers have their people throw all the money up on the stage and they walk through it and exalt it. They say things like, "Money cometh." God help us! If we can't see now, what will we do when deception is really unleashed, and even now is beginning? The Holy Spirit moves upon the hearts of men to preach the gospel and moves upon the hearts of the people to compel sinners to come to the cross, so their souls might not perish. The compulsion of God is not sending man to be hungry for money but souls! 
There is a harlot, who is riding a parallel course with God. She plans to hijack God's bride. She is full of all that glitters and is of gold:
Revelation 17:4
And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

Furthermore, one of these well known preachers, I should say his name, but then many people would start tearing their clothes, has connected himself, like many of these people to Oprah. If I have to spell out what that means, then you better do your homework Christian because your Pastor is either greatly deceived also, or he's unwilling to tell you the truth in the open for fear over losing your fanny more than fear over your eternal soul. Oprah is part of the occult for God's sake. She's teaching a doctrine of finding the god within and it ain't Jesus!
This is new age occultism, the very spirit of antichrist that will soon usher in the ecumenical one world religion of the lying angel of light. He's called that because of what he transforms himself into (light), but in reality is the opposite, which is (dark), hello it's deception! Now, go research the preachers that have aligned themselves with her (Oprah) and run Christian! Run in the other direction back towards faith in the finished work of Christ, or don't! But you've been warned!
Back to the previous thought, the shifting point of faith that occurred through the Word of Faith Movement had to do with the object of faith. It doesn't matter to me whether you agree or not I'm telling you what happened, and this can either result in freedom for you or you can go on pretending you have victory in your life when there isn't any, because I can assure you victory won't come through this garbage. But the choice is yours, whoever you are.
The object of faith that changed was a transition from faith in what Jesus did on Calvary as the access point to what I receive on earth from God to faith in my positive confession. What happened is that now everything I'm going to receive from God became contingent upon the positive confession that came out of my mouth.
There is so much heretical doctrine that came from these people's teachings that I couldn't even scratch the surface-- the main one was that Jesus died spiritually, and there is too much there to get into, but I recommend a book that could at least open your eyes to the occultic connection and roots of the Word of Faith. The book is called A Different Gospel, it's a scholarly work documented so thoroughly that anyone who tries to refute it is simply blind. It was written by a man named Hank Hanegraff.
Please understand that I'm in no way saying that we shouldn't have a positive confession because we should. We are children of the living God. We've been bought with a price. Jesus shed His precious blood to purchase me out of this sin riddled world. You better believe I have something to confess!
But I have seen this doctrine put people under fear to the point that they can't even say they have a cold without being rebuked by someone. "Man, I have a cold...," and before I can ask the brother or sister to pray for me, they're rebuking the words coming out of my mouth. Somebody has snot running out of their nose, and they can't say they have a cold because that is going to prevent them from getting their healing. Whatever that's ludicrous! The woman with the issue of blood got her healing!
The next thought to discuss from this Galatians passage is: "...who hath bewitched you?"
The word bewitched here has the idea of slander connected to it, and the Judaizers were definitely slandering Paul's apostolic anointing; nevertheless, the word explicitly speaks of a curse or even a spell being placed upon people, even within the definition is the thought of the occultic "evil eye," which is used to direct dark "energy" through the use of magic.
So the false doctrine of the Judaizers has resulted in a spell being cast upon the church of Galatia; more specifically, the "evil eye" has diverted their eyes away from the cross.
The bewitching of false doctrine has resulted in the movement of the church in Galatia's faith from the truth: "...bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth,..." The truth that had been set before them was: Jesus and His cross preached so vividly that: ....before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

It was as though they had a video of the spiritual victory the cross procured, but now they've been moved away from it.
Galatians 3:2-3
This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

The reason that Paul can't agree or walk in unity here is that these men are perverting the gospel and corrupting people's faith. Once again, verses two and three show us that the same Spirit we received in the beginning when we got saved is the same Spirit we need (through faith) to be with us every day as we grow:
Colossians 2:6-7
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

Once again, this is a very similar occurrence to Paul adding a commandment to his faith, which allowed sin to revive and allowed him to begin a spiritual death because grace is of faith-- not of works. And the believer who transitions to law or performance for righteousness will frustrate- neutralize or annul the grace of God in his life.
God's answer for sinful man is: Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ:nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Man's refusal to go God's way results in: Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God:for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.










Corinth’s Gifts and the Romans 7 Struggle

1 Corinthians 1:1-7 "Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,  Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified (hagazio) in Christ Jesus, called to be saints (hagios), with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
The city of Corinth was strategically located in a place connecting Asia Minor to Rome; furthermore, on a larger scale, it was a crossing place between the West (Rome) and the East (Babylon).
In addition, it was a very large city with two sea ports, so one can only imagine the debauchery taking place in a city such as Corinth. One can only imagine the carnal appetites of sailors from all over the world seeking their fleshly lusts in Corinth upon arrival.
As a matter of fact, it's well known that people who embraced an extravagant life of sin were commonly referred to by the adjective, "He's been Corianthianized."


Even though the general morality of the Graeco Roman world world was low, the condition of Corinth was worse. There were sacred temple prostitutes. Above the isthmus, towered the hill of the Acropolis. On that hill stood the great temple of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, connected to that temple, were 1,000 temple priestesses who served as prostitutes. Every night, they would descend the hill and apply their works upon the streets of Corinth -paraphrased (Americanize).
The reason I bring all this up is to make a comparison between the gifts and the fruit of the Spirit. It seems to me that in the modern church people flock to gatherings where they think the gifts might be manifest, but regarding fruit, people are
laissez faire.
…Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints,…

The word for saint and sanctified in this verse are variants of the same Greek word Hagios, meaning separated out ones, or to be made holy through separation.
Theoretically, this verse could read: "to them that are separated in Christ Jesus, called to be separated ones."
Immediately, it seems that he's appealing to anyone who desires to be considered separated unto God. As we move forward, it will become clear that the reason Paul did this is because there were some in Corinth that had not separated themselves; rather, they were still living the Corinthian lifestyle.
Furthermore, as the next verse explains:
That in everything ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge…
Paul explains that the church of Corinth was enriched (make rich with spiritual blessings); they were enriched with the gifts of the Spirit. As most Christians that study Corinthians know, there is not a better place in scripture to learn about the movement of the gifts of the Spirit, but what will also be seen if a person would take the time to study the underlying context, there were a lot of problems also going on in Corinth.
Paul goes on to say that you come behind in no gift: So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
1 Corinthians 1:10 "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions (split, gap, schism) among you; but that ye be perfectly joined (mended) together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

This is the first sign something is wrong in Corinth. Even though they're abounding in the gifts of the Spirit, they're struggling with fruit, and even more disturbing, they’re divided on a proper perception of God’s word. There are divisions amongst them. Furthermore, the divisions are related directly to what they "speak," which is referencing the gospel. When a proper understanding of the gospel is taught, understood and embraced, it changes people's mindsets and perceptions. There are many people today that are preaching about the gospel in a way that applies to their daily lives, surely there is some place for some of that, but that is not the same as when a man preaches the gospel, expounding and teaching the text, enriching believer’s lives with the living word of God. While at the same time, helping the believer to understand the Bible for the way it’s written, helping them to draw life from God’s word for themselves.
1 Corinthians 1:11-15 "For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions (debate/ strife) among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?  I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name."
So the contentions and divisions are related to the different preachers that have come through: Paul, Appollos, and Cephas (Peter). Possibly, some like the style of one over the other or the emphasis on content of one over the other: "he preaches the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the other one preaches against sin..."
Whatever was really going on, Paul is correcting their carnality, which is another word used for worldliness. It's a symptom of spiritual immaturity when people live in contention with one another especially over spiritual matters. While Paul definitely had contention on many occasions, it was because he was trying to correct false doctrine in the church, which I personally believe was going on in Corinth also simply because their lifestyles weren’t lining up with the scriptures.
1 Corinthians 1:17-18 "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel:not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.  For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God."

This is where Paul is saying, "We must all speak the same thing; we must all be like minded." Essentially, it's imperative that we have a proper understanding of the gospel. It's not that we don't preach the whole counsel of God, because we do. God wants the gifts of the Spirit operating in the body of Christ. As Paul pointed out, the gifts were operating in Corinth, and he specifically referenced both: knowledge and utterance gifts.

Knowledge gifts include both (a word of wisdom and a word of knowledge); whereas, utterance gifts include (the gift of tongues, the gift of interpreting tongues, and the gift of prophecy). A word of knowledge or wisdom can become a prophetic utterance when the word isn’t just for the individual God gives it to. In other words, when that person utters (speaks) it to another or a crowd in a congregation, then it also becomes an utterance gift.
It has been taught by some that the gift of a word of wisdom is simply godly wisdom or the gift of prophecy is simply preaching. That isn't true. These gifts are given by the Holy Spirit at a specific time for a specific purpose. It is true that when a person gives a prophetic utterance out loud, they will probably be preaching God's word, but when a man is simply preaching the gospel, it doesn't mean he is speaking a word of prophecy.
Regarding a word of wisdom- revelation from God to a man or woman of God regarding something that will take place in the future, providing a warning or direction to help people walk with God (Acts 10) Peter's vision was a word of wisdom from God to Peter about God's purpose for the Gentiles. Other examples of this are: (Acts 16) the Macedonian call, (Acts 9) God sends His servant Ananias to minister to Saul of Tarsus—in these three occurrences the word of wisdom came through a vision, but many times it is a word spoken to our spirits by the Spirit of God, (Acts 8). Also, Jesus repeatedly operated in the gifts of the Spirit, and just one example of a word of knowledge would be (Luke 5:21, 22).  God gave me multiple words of knowledge and wisdom for my own walk when He was first changing my life: (1) He told me that people would not understand what He was doing in me (2) He told me that I wouldn’t always be the one to present the things He showed me.


The word of knowledge is similar, but refers to present or past events, more specifically, a word of knowledge gives revelation about the facts. Nevertheless, it's a word from the Holy Spirit, which instructs the believer and directs him towards the works of God. Many times these two gifts work together; whereas, the gift of a word of knowledge gives facts in a situation, the word of wisdom warns and gives instruction on how to navigate through or instruction on how to go God's way. A word of wisdom usually refers to something in the future: whereas, the word of knowledge has to do with the past or now.


It should be noted that this isn't the same as the gift of wisdom. When God gives wisdom as a gift to man, that man is given supernatural wisdom regarding the things of God; however, while its a gift, it's information or knowledge that is now resident within that man through his studies or practical walking with God; nevertheless, it's in Him, given by God and ready to be pulled out when God wants it used.

The word of wisdom, on the other hand is a specific word given to a man or woman by the Holy Spirit to help them in the work that God has for them. In the above instances, God spoke these words to these men, which altered their direction and ultimately resulted in God's work being done. Sometimes a word of wisdom is given to one person in order for them to share it with someone else for to help the other person's walk.

These previous examples are knowledge gifts; whereas, prophecy and a word of tongues with interpretation are "utterance" gifts.
"....That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge...So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:"
The point I wanted to make is that these gifts are important to the functioning of the body of Christ. But just because the gifts are operating in a body of believers doesn't mean that they are producing the fruit that God wants them to. As a matter of fact, if we study the book of 1 Corinthians in its proper context, what we will learn is that while Corinth had gifts, they were lacking fruit. Both fruit and gifts are produced by the Holy Spirit. One is a right now situation for God's work: gifts. The other is a process where the believer abides in the vine (John 15) and a healthy branch produces good fruit, because he stays connected to the tree of life, which is Jesus, and connection to Jesus, gives access to grace, allowing the Holy Spirit to "flow" and "grow" the believer's maturity.
Paul says we have to speak the same thing; we have to make sure we understand the gospel is Jesus Christ and Him crucified. This is the New Covenant! This is the place, where, when a man's faith is directed here, his position is changed, he is translated from darkness to light, he is connected and made one with the vine, and if he will live here, abide here, by keeping faith here-- where?
The believer must daily exhibit faith in the finished work of Christ, which is the place that the "old" is dead (cross), and the "new" (resurrection) is alive through the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:11)
1 Corinthians 3:1-9 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat:for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal:for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions (lusts of the flesh), are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?  Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one:and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God:ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
Back to the problem
Paul explains that things aren't as good as they think over there in Corinth. Sadly, I have seen people in the modern church flock to places where they believe there is going to be a move of the "gifts" but when you start talking about fruit or righteousness, they turn their nose up in the air.
Paul's rebuke to Corinth: "You're carnal. I can't feed you meat because you're still sipping milk. You're a baby." Now, it's one thing when we have a baby Christian in the church who just got saved, but when we have pews filled with Christians who've been saved for some length of time, and are still babes in the faith, we have a problem.
It gets worse


1 Corinthians 5:1-8

 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

So as we can see the church which is excelling in gifts, isn't necessarily excelling in righteousness. It would be one thing if it was just the man and his sin, but as the Holy Spirit reveals the whole truth, we see that many in the church of Corinth were "puffed" up about this occurrence, meaning they were inflated or proud. If that is the case then they are very carnally minded.
A carnal mindset is one that thinks like the world instead of like Christ, or instead of like the Bible teaches regarding Jesus.
I pointed all this out because, I wanted to finish what we were previously covering regarding grace as king, in order to show the source of victory: how it is through Jesus, that grace flows into us through the Holy Spirit, and how the cross (transaction of guilt for righteousness) makes me right in the eyes of God, giving me access to the presence of God, where the Holy Spirit destroys the yoke of bondage in my life.
In Romans 4, we discussed righteousness vs. justification. We learned that righteousness is a standing or position known as "In Christ," because when I was born again, I was translated from the world of darkness into the kingdom of His dear Son, and now I'm in Him, so when the Father sees me this way because I responded obediently through exhibiting and keeping faith in His plan; the righteous one dying in my place. Now, the Father justifies me: He declares me innocent of all charges.
There is a story told of Martin Luther the great reformer who nailed the 95 theses to the door of the Catholic Church in Wittenberg Germany. The story goes that one night in Luther's room, while he was still a Catholic monk, the liar of our souls, Satan himself manifested and began writing all the sins Luther had ever committed on the wall for him to see. Once he was done, it's said that Luther spoke to the liar saying, "Is that all you have?"
Satan's response was, "There is no more. I have no more charges to bring."
Luther responded with the boldness of a legion of angels, "Then now write across them all, 'cleansed by the blood of Jesus!' I'm no longer guilty."
Hallelujah!! Martin Luther had received a revelation directly from God, at a time when only the clergy could read the scriptures, resulting in the dark ages, Luther, a clergyman, had his eyes light upon those glorious words: Romans 1:17 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith:as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

When his eyes lit upon this truth, his heart was warmed and history has never been the same. If you are wondering why someone may get so excited from such simple words, then maybe you're still locked in your dungeon where Satan has written the writ of condemnation against your life. When a man is born again by faith in the blood of the righteous one, his life will never be the same.
In Romans 6, we discussed how this transaction actually played out. We showed how the "old man" born of Adam died in Christ, was buried in Christ, and a "new man" was resurrected again.
One of the points we emphasized was that through this process, the relationship between the sinful nature and the believer was broken. Just as a divorce severs a union between married couples, the cross severs a the union between the believer and the sinful nature or the old man.
Tonight, I want to close this message and series with the explanation on how the sinful nature can regain power in the life of believers. Many times we've been taught the way to victory is once again through our performance: how much we pray, how much we fast, how much we go to church, how much we witness, how much we pray in the Spirit....
But I'm here to tell you that while all these things are very spiritual and can greatly help the believer in his walk, if they are embraced from the standpoint where one believes they being righteousness or victory over sin, then that believer has now entered a system of Law. Instead, of operating under grace through faith in Jesus and what He did at the cross for victory over sin; now, the believer begins to look at his performance, bringing himself under a system of Law and frustrating grace in his life:
Galatians 2:20-21
I am crucified with Christ:nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God:for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Think about the Old Testament Law, think about how every time the Old Testament believer failed, how he had to go through a process of sacrifice in order to be made right in the eyes of God. Now, think about yourself and when you have failed. What have you always done in order to be made right? Did you try harder? Read more? Go to church more? All this is performance based Christianity-- not faith based!
Please don't misunderstand what I'm saying if you desire to go to church because you love the word and fellowship with the saints, then by all means go to church. If you are reading because you desire to learn of God, then by all means read... But if you are doing those things because you're attempting to gain victory over sin through what you aren't doing right instead of believing that what Jesus did was enough, then you've changed the object of your faith from a faith based object (Jesus Christ and Him crucified), which results in grace and victory to a works based object (I'm gonna...), which results in a system of Law, which results in bondage.
The kingdom of God operates on spiritual laws and the trigger event causing man to operate under the right spiritual law is the object of his daily faith.
Romans 7:1-3
-- Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that 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 so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. 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.


The seventh chapter of Romans is probably one of the hardest chapters to teach or understand, and many preachers stay as far away from it as they can.
One of the first problems that people get into is the fact that the first three verses sound like he's teaching or talking about marriage and divorce, but on closer inspection, we realize that this chapter isn't about marriage or divorce between a man and a woman; rather, it's about the believer's release from his marriage to sin and Law through the "old man's" death. And it's about the "new man's" marriage to Jesus and grace.
And so that's the analogy, the first marriage represents marriage to law, which all men are born under the dominion of and remain under its dominion until death: ...the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
Romans 7:4
Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

This scripture explicitly explains that the previous scriptures weren't referring to physical marriage; rather, they're referring to separation from the first birth and connection to the second.
In addition, there is a beautiful picture painted where the believer's union to Jesus is referred to as a marriage. Throughout scripture, this picture is painted. He is the bridegroom, we are the bride, and the result of this marriage/ union is fruit. When a person is in a healthy relationship with God, there will be fruit in their lives.
First regarding fruit, a believer should be seeing more of the fruit of the Spirit and less of the lusts of the flesh being manifest in their life (Galatians 5:19-22)
Also, interesting to me is the concept that a groom is supposed to prepare a place for his bride. We already know that on a grand scale, Jesus has gone before us to prepare a place in eternity (John 14:1-3), but what about today? "In Christ," through this union with Jesus, which was transacted through faith in the sacrifice of the righteous one, the bridegroom (Jesus) has prepared a spiritual place for the believer to live within today-- we have a "house" of grace in which to live, an atmosphere of power, where God's Spirit reigns, so we can do His work upon this earth.
In the same John passage that I referenced above, Jesus answers Judas’ question:
John 14:22-23
Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words:and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

When a man or woman is truly born again, the Holy Spirit indwells his being. When the Holy Spirit lives in the heart of a person, He directs them towards obedience, as a person's faith is maintained in the finished work of Jesus, they are given grace for obedience. Jesus says that He and the Father abide, TODAY-- ON THIS EARTH, with that type of believer. This is the place that I speak of where the marriage between the believer and Jesus takes place on this side of eternity and fruit is produced between us and Jesus for the kingdom. What a privilege to be used by God for kingdom business.
There may be some people who would say, but I have never prayed anybody through. Are you living your life in such a way that people know you're a believer? Do you present Him in a way that He is desirable? Are you providing hope to the hopeless? If you are, then you're a person who sows seed and part of the process of a harvest.
Romans 7:5-6
For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, 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; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

The word motions describes movement, sin is having movement or action in the life. The concept explains that when a person is in the flesh, in this case, the flesh is speaking of a person before Christ, the movement and affliction of sin is having its way because the system the person is under is Law, and there is no victory over sin under Law: only provides knowledge of sin.
Essentially, once a person is born again, they've been transferred from a place where Law has dominion to a place where grace is king: therefore, ...we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
Romans 7:7
What shall we say then? Is the law sin? 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.

Paul doesn't want his readers to be confused. The Law of God isn't the problem it's the sinfulness of man, which is stimulated by the Law: 1 Corinthians 15:56 -- The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

The Law acts like a "poultice" or a drawing salve. When the fallen eyes or even redeemed eyes that attempt to live under a performance based gospel behold its commands, there is a stirring or exciting towards sin.
Romans 7:8
But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.


Previously we spoke of how the motions of sin described sin in action and movement. The word wrought means to be produced through action. When thinking of wrought iron, it has to be hammered and manipulated in order to produce the product. When sin is active, it transforms and produces within a person that which it (sin) (Satan) desires it to be.
An extremely important concept regarding sin is explained in this passage. The verse says that sin took an "occasion" through the commandment. The idea is that sin used the commandment or law as a base of operations from which it mounted its attack. Just as Guam was needed for victory in the Pacific, and Kuwait was necessary for a successful campaign against Iraq, sin uses the law as a starting point from which it is able to attack.
Now, we must be reminded that the Law isn't the problem. The Law is from God, and it's spiritual; however, the Law doesn't provide power over sin; therefore, when an unbeliever isn't saved, they are under the Law and incapable of having victory over it.
I thought I heard someone say, "But American sinners don't really know the Law; therefore, how can it have power like that over a person's life?"
First, as much as Satan has attempted to destroy the Word of God upon the earth, he hasn't been successful, and even it's residue from yesteryear will have a resounding effect upon the ages to come should the Lord tarry. While evil man will attempt one think that will never lose its luster, one thing that will never fail, one thing that will never whither is the eternal word of God:
Isaiah 40:8  The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
In addition, whether man is aware of the Law of God or not is irrelevant. This earth is His:
Psalms 24:1 The earth is the Lord 's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
Furthermore, He decides how He will operate in and upon man-- not the other way around. And the first aspect we covered in Romans 7, is that the Law has dominion over a man as long as he lives, so if a man hasn't died in Christ and been resurrected anew (born again), then he is both: (1) dead in his sin and (2) under the dominion of law; interestingly, the words "dominion over" in Romans 7:1 are translated from kyrieuo from the same root as kyrios-- the word translated as Lord when speaking of Jesus.
Therefore, the idea is that the man who is un- redeemed (not born again) is under the lordship of sin and Law instead of Jesus and grace.
Again, when a man is under the lordship of Law, sin has a base of operations from which to mount its attack. Previously, I spoke of the unredeemed under Law because he hasn't died in Christ and been translated to the new kingdom (Colossians 1:13); therefore, he lives under its dominion resulting in bondage to sin.
It's imperative that Christians also understand that, they too, can bring themselves under the dominion of Law. While it may not be specifically the Law of Moses, it will result in the same effect. If a person is not of faith in the finished work (performance of Jesus, the cross, and its resulting resurrection power), then they are of "faith" in their own performance (what they do). This will result in the frustration of grace:
Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God:for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
It saddens me that preachers don't teach their people these truths. They don't because: (1) they don't understand or (2) they don't believe their people will understand. And for fear that the people won't understand, get frustrated and leave, they hold in the truth. The result is that they preach about the gospel, rather than preaching the gospel. Let me say this clearly, "If a Christian doesn't understand the concept of how the sinful nature works and how it's power was destroyed through the victory of Jesus on the cross, and that his faith must be maintained in Jesus Christ and Him crucified, then he will not have access to the grace he needs for power to stand (Romans 5:1-3).
Romans 7:9  For I was alive without the law once:but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
I'm going to stop these notes after this verse because I believe that this verse is the key to understanding the rest of the chapter. From this point forward, Paul uses present tense verbs to describe his struggle, but it must be understood that the struggle was something that took place in the past-- before he had the revelation of Romans 6. This time-frame likely describes the struggles and lessons he learned about Law and grace as he walked out his new journey with Jesus in the Arabian wilderness (Galatians 1:17).
I mention this because many people teach that this would describe a time-frame before Paul was saved, taking the opinion that sin was dead in Paul's life before the Law came, meaning before an in depth understanding of the Law came, which at a certain point, served as a catalyst, flaming the sinful nature.
In other words, as a child, he wouldn't have known the Law well enough for it to produce the knowledge of sin in his life; therefore, the sinful nature would have been dormant until he came of that age (maybe a teenager), and at that point the sinful nature flared.
There is much flaw in this thinking: (1) he said, "I was alive without the Law once."
This whole chapter started with Paul explaining that the Law has dominion over a man as long as he lives. Furthermore, the way a man does die to the Law, as we learned, is through his association with Jesus' death on the cross i.e. a born again believer
(2). The word revive, in the original language explicitly describes something that was alive, died and came back to life.
This word is used only twice in the New Testament:
Romans 7:9  For I was alive without the law once:but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

Romans 14:9  For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.
αναζαω anazao; to recover life, live again, revive.
AV (5)- be alive again 2, revive 2, live again.
In both these verses, what revived was previously alive, then died, and resurrected again, so the idea can't be that it first occurred in Paul's life when he became a certain age. Instead, the idea is that the sinful nature was alive in him from his birth of Adam as it is in all of us, think about it, even a simple logical thought would discount those other rationales. Tell a child no and what does he do? Put two toddlers in a crib with one rubber ducky, back away, and what happens? The sinful nature is already alive and well in the life of a child.
So in Paul's life what took place is that he was in the flesh (an unredeemed Pharisee living under Law and sin was ruling in his life). Then he became a born again believer, so he died to the Law as he said in V 4, and he was married to Christ. Then he added a commandment or a Law to his Christianity. I don't know what, but he did. Don't eat pork it'll make you more right with God, even though you're already saved, make sure you circumcise because then you'll really be holy even though you're already saved.
We do it too and that's the danger. I sinned; therefore, I must work my performance to be right: I read to please God, I pray to please God and make Him happy with me, so I won't sin again. NO!!! STOP IT!!!
Don't stop praying, reading or going to church! Stop thinking what you do is what pleases God. It's your faith in what Jesus did that pleases God.
Once you understand this verse, you will realize that from this point moving forward Paul's struggle is because he embraced Law as a Christian, and he was fighting sin in his own strength through his own will.
Please God give whoever is willing to read this revelation of this truth, so that they could be set free from the horrible bondage of both sin and Law.