Edward O’Hara Fri 2/21/2020 9:02 AM…
To the unbelieving Gnostic, those who have believed Augustine instead of Paul, this is a problem. Because to them men are sinners by nature. So to them, it is impossible for man to do by nature what is written in the law. But, in this message, I will show that their fight is with God, not me.
Because in Rom.2 Paul says those very words. He says “the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves”. Many believe Paul is saying here that this is because God has written His laws in our hearts. But, I want to make it very clear that this is absolutely not what Paul is saying here. Because of 1. Jeremiah said that to Israelites who were under the law written on stones to show them how when their Messiah comes they would be led by God’s Spirit instead of the law written on stones, as Paul affirms in Rom.8:14. He confirms this again when he tells them that they no longer need a schoolmaster in Gal.3:24,25. And 2. Paul is talking about unbelieving Gentiles which is shown in vs.12. And 3. Paul plainly says in this verse that he is talking about Gentiles because they “do not have the law”.
So here Paul makes it abundantly clear that he is talking about how when a natural man relates to people and the world around him using the knowledge he has gained from his dealings in nature, he will do by nature what is written in the law. So that he does not steal or murder or commit adultery etc naturally, because by nature Paul says he is inclined not to do those things. This is shown to be true because at creation God gave man the natural ability to accomplish what He made the natural man to do. What God called “very good”. And Paul says that we are born the same as Adam was when God made him (1Cor.15:45-50). And that is to do unto others as you would have them do to you. The golden rule. God made man this way from the beginning and man is still this way because He made us so that we learn all that we know from our physical senses. And what these tell us is how to relate to people and the world around us. This is where our instruction comes from that causes us to do by nature what is written in the law.
For example, as natural men, we are born into this world through a relationship between two people that love each other. They learned this from their parents, and their parents learned it from their’s, etc… This man and woman nurture and care for us. And by seeing and experiencing this love and their love for us, we learn what love is. And that this love that we experience between them and us, and between themselves, is first and foremost expressed through giving. Just as God said He showed His love for man through Jesus in John3:16. “For God so loved the world that He gave…” In this giving relationship between a man and a woman the child sees them doing for him and each other what is best for the other person.
This giving relationship that we experience nature is the closest thing to God’s kind of love that the natural man can experience apart from God. But, it is not the love of God because God’s love is unconditional. And ours apart from God is not. Because the natural man’s love is a love based on what we get from the other person. While God’s love gives whether anything is ever given back or not. Because God is love. So the only way we can love as God does is to have His love “shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit” as Paul says in Rom.5:1-5. And this is only possible by first being born of the Spirit as Jesus said we must in John3:6,7.
So Paul is showing us here in Rom.2:14 that even without a belief in God or “having the law” in the equation, when a man does what he learns by nature, he does by nature what is written in the law. The natural things that God put into motion when He created the world and everything that is in it. This is why when men live according to the course that nature shows them they find themselves naturally doing those things the law says.
However, this does not mean that man can know God through or by nature. But, only that he will find himself treating others the way he wants to be treated when he learns by nature what that is. For example, if a man experiences something that hurts like bumping into something with his shin, he will naturally try to avoid that kind of pain, both in his relationships with others and with things. This is how “do unto others” is done by nature.
But, when a man chooses to sin, stealing, for example, it is not because it comes naturally. But, because he is tempted somehow to do so. Where does the Bible say this temptation comes from? The perfect example of this temptation is what we see in the garden. Adam and Eve sinned because they were tempted by something, or someone in this case, who used their God-given “very good” natural desires against them, as we see happening in Gen.3:6, to do that which is actually against nature. This is the same for every man as we see Paul explaining in Rom.1:23-31. False gods are always involved when this happens. Because what comes naturally is “very good” as God said it was in Gen.1:31. But, the false god tempts us to do what is against nature by using our very good natural desires against us.
This is also seen in the way God made men and women. Because we see that the parts God made them complement each other. With these parts, they are made to have children and propagate the species. To love each other and be loved. To be fruitful and multiply as God instructed them. And only when men and women choose that which is “against nature” do they miss the mark”(sin). And this only happens when an outside influence tempts them by using their “very good” natural desires God gave them against them to do what is not their natural use. So only when something that is against nature is chosen is it sin. And it is never by nature that men sin.
We see why this choice against nature happens by understanding how Satan works. He wants to destroy what God has made because he is in rebellion toward God. So he brings temptations that use the very good natural desires God gave the man against him so he will destroy himself. So the process in which man allows satan to convince him to sin, his very good natural desire for food so he can live, becomes an over desire(lust) that causes him to be a glutton. And man’s very good natural desire to procreate becomes an over desire(lust) that causes him to commit adultery. And man’s very good natural desire to have things becomes an over desire(lust) that causes him to steal or to bear false witness.
We must recognize that God never says that these things are the result of Adam’s nature changing from a godly one to a sinful nature. It is not because the sin in the garden is passed by inheritance or imputation to the rest of mankind. It can’t be because the ability to sin is something that Adam was able to do while he was in the garden. And no one passed it to him but God. So it can not be the result of a sinful nature that Adam was made with or that happened to mankind. These very good desires then that satan used against Adam and Eve were always there from the time God created them. And these are the same desires that are in all of us including Adam that Satan uses against us to tempt us to sin or Adam could not have been tempted.
So the natural man is not evil in and of himself. In his flesh. And he did not inherit a sinful nature from Adam that is somehow different from how Adam was when God made him that makes the rest of mankind evil or creates in them a “tendency to sin” as some falsely teach. Because the natural man has been capable of sinning from the time God first created Adam. Proven by the sin in the garden.
This is what James is teaching when he writes “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” His “lust”, an over desire brought on by “temptation” from outside “enticements”, causes him to do what is against nature. This is satan using the “very good” natural desires that God gave Adam and the rest of mankind against us. Desires that God gave to Adam when He made him. Sin then is what happens when those very good desires are taken out of the natural use God originally intended for them. So our natural God-given desires along with Satan’s tempting us to do with them what God never intended is what creates the environment for sin to happen.
So this is what Paul wanted us to know about the natural man when he wrote that by nature Gentiles “shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another; In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” That according to Paul’s gospel the natural man that today is the same as Adam was when God made him, is not evil from conception because he inherited a so-called sin nature from Adam as the false Gnostic paganism of Augustine teaches. And this is why in his natural state Paul says the man could do by nature what is written in the law. And that only when a man succumbs to the temptation of satan does a man do what is against nature.
However, there is still a huge problem with the natural man even if he only ever does what comes naturally and never gives in to temptation. This is that even when men do by nature only those things written in the law as Paul says he can it does not change the fact that man needs Jesus. Because doing works that are right can not save anyone. Man’s ability to do good works has nothing to do with why we need Jesus. Man’s need for Jesus was not only after, but also from before Adam sinned. It was from the very beginning when God first made Adam. Because man’s need for Jesus has to do with what Adam was when God made him. We need Jesus because we are exactly the same in every way as Adam was when God made him. “Not spiritual, but natural”. So all men from Adam’s creation till now need Jesus because only what is spiritual can inherit the spiritual kingdom of God.
This is why we know that Jesus did not come to make bad people good. Because even good people like these Gentiles Paul spoke of in Rom.2, and Zechariah and Elizabeth that Luke speaks of in Luke1:5,6 who kept the law blamelessly, are only made to live in a natural kingdom just like Adam was. Because they are “not spiritual but natural”(1Cor.15:46). So Jesus came to give spiritual life to those who were only natural. So that being spiritual they will now be equipped to inherit the spiritual kingdom of God.
Jesus says it like this- “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”James says it like this- “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”Paul says it like this- “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ…”And Peter said it like this- “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever. For all flesh is as grass and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”
So Jesus came to make men spiritual beings. And He did this by giving them a new birth from God by planting God’s word in the heart and mixing it with the gift of faith God provides when a man says yes by his free will when he hears the gospel. Which is why Heb.4:2 says “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” They all heard the word. But, not all received it because by their free will some said no to the gospel they heard. But, for those who by their free will say yes to the gospel God’s word(the sperm to use a natural term) is mixed with faith(the egg) to birth in them a spirit in these natural bodies that never existed before. A spirit that is eternal that can inherit the eternal spiritual kingdom of God. Because when we become spiritual by being born of God we are sons of God. And spiritual sons inherit what their Spiritual Father has. Eternal life in His kingdom.
Have you believed in Jesus? Have you been born of the Spirit by receiving the “word which by the gospel is preached unto you”? Would you like to have the spiritual life that prepares you to inherit the spiritual kingdom God has for you? IF YOU ARE READING THIS GOD IS CALLING YOU. He loves you and wants you to know Him. Because knowing Him is eternal life.John17:3. So if you do not know Him now, but you want to know Him so you too can inherit His spiritual kingdom, please take the time right now to pray and confess Jesus as Lord of your life. And believe that He has raised from the dead. If you do believe in Him then pray something like this and you will be saved: Dear Jesus, I believe you. Thank you for joining with me in death so that by conquering death by your resurrection I could join with you in life. Thank you that you raised from the dead so that I could raise from the dead too by trusting in, clinging to, and relying solely on you. Please give me a new spirit now Lord so that I can live with you in heaven forever. In Jesus’ name, amen.
By praying a prayer similar to this one and really meaning it from your heart you will be saved from death to life. From sin to righteousness. And from the wrath to peace with God. And as you now begin reading the Bible and believing what it plainly says you leave the old life behind where you were only able to relate to and trust in what has been made. And now will be equipped for heaven because you are no longer only natural flesh and blood, but are made a spiritual being ready to inherit God’s spiritual kingdom called heaven. It is because of Jesus’ resurrection because He is the life-giving spirit that makes Him the only WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE.
Trust in Him today and I promise it will be the best decision you will ever make. Then I really will see ya there or in the air. God bless!
This message can also be heard at https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=zyQnelfKAok
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- We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9. persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 10. always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
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Edward O’Hara, GOD, Universalists, Calvinists, free will, Bible, Biblical Truth, God’s spiritual kingdom
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