Edward O’Hara Wed 1/29/2020 5:01 PM
Is Paul telling us this so that we will know that the flesh is evil? Is this verse telling us that because the flesh is evil man must be punished with death because it makes him the enemy of God and that this is why men go to hell? Ummm…. not so much. Because first of all not only do we not see those words being used in Rom.8 or elsewhere. But, secondly when Paul tells us things like this, and things like the carnal mind is at enmity with God in Rom.8:7, he is referring to the mind that was made by God. Made to relate only to the world that he was put in that is what has been made. But, made by God nonetheless.
So it’s being at enmity with God is not because it is evil. But, because it can not relate to God who is Spirit, which is how Jesus says all who truly worship God must relate to Him (John 4:24), in a spiritual way because it is natural. But, since man was made by God from the beginning to live in this natural world by the desires of the flesh, those things the flesh needs to survive and continue as a species, these desires are not evil. To the contrary, they are “very good” just as God said they are in Gen.1:27-31.
This is true because the flesh that God made that is the natural man has been equipped from the time God made Adam till now with only what was needed to relate to what is made. Adam was made with the same 5 physical senses we all have to draw from so he and us could relate to the natural world (Gen.3:6 and 1 John 2:16). Paul says in 1Cor.15:45-48 that we are equipped just as Adam was to relate to this natural world the same way Adam did. The natural world that God placed Adam in at the beginning. And in this way man still relates to the natural world that is now ruled by satan, who had the power of death until Jesus took it from him by His resurrection, since Adam was sent from the garden(Rom.5:14).So man is not equipped spiritually, but only naturally. This is the way God made him from the beginning. Not spiritual, but only natural(1Cor.15:45,46). This is why Paul said in Rom.8:5, “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.” Not because one is evil and the other good. But, only because the flesh is equipped to relate to the flesh and the spirit is equipped to relate to the things of the spirit.
So what does Paul mean when he says the mind that is after the things of the flesh is death? Is Paul saying that the man who only relates to what is natural is an evil person who can only do evil and therefore must be punished with death, as so many have been falsely taught to believe? Isn’t this why in Gal.5:19-21 he says that he is capable of such evil? The answer to this is a resounding NO!
Because what Paul is saying is something that he also said in 1Cor.2:14,15:45-48. That it is because God made man only natural and not spiritual in the beginning that the natural man that all men are from birth, just as Adam was made from the beginning, is only equipped by God to relate to what is made. And so man is by God’s design incapable of relating to spiritual things, that from the beginning God said was “very good”. So we see that it is because of this that he can not know God spiritually. Nor can man relate to spiritual things.
Because he was never built in the first place to be able to understand or relate to the things of the Spirit of God.
So now we know why Paul said, “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” in Rom.8:6,7. And that it is not because the carnal mind is evil. But, because it can not perceive the things of the Spirit. Because it was not made to be able to in the first place. And “it is the spirit that gives life, the flesh profits nothing” as Jesus said in John 6:63. So because knowing God spiritually is eternal life. And the natural man was not equipped by God in the first place to know Him spiritually for eternal life. This is why the carnal mind that was never made to be able to know God is death. And not because death is a punishment for the carnal mind being evil. It is carnal because it can only relate to what has been made.
This is also why Paul said, “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”Rom.8:8. Because to please God one “must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him”.Heb.11:6. One must be able to worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). But, as we have seen from Paul’s teaching it is impossible for the natural man to spiritually know any Spiritual being, let alone God Himself. This shows us that the primary aspect in the reason Peter said that it was God’s plan to send Jesus from before the world was made (1 Peter 1:20) was because God made man to live on earth and incapable of inheriting heaven from the beginning. But, since it was always God’s plan that man would inherit heaven and live with God in a loving spiritual fellowship for eternity, God planned to send Jesus for us all along. Even before He made the world. So this is the purpose for the new birth. The Spirit birth. To make man so that he can relate to God as Jesus said we must “in spirit and in truth”. John 4:24. Something that no man from the time Adam was made till Jesus came was able to do.
So once again we see that what I call the “naughty/nice Santa Claus” paradigm the rcc and her daughters the e/p religions received from Augustine is not the gospel that Paul preached. Nor is what Pelagius said of men being saved by choosing of their own free will alone Paul’s gospel. Because Paul did not preach that men go to hell because they are bad, nor does he teach that men go to heaven because they are good, whether by free will choice or by nature as Pelagius and Augustine falsely taught respectively. But, he taught that men go to heaven because “ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.” And that it is only because “if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” that men go to hell. Rom.8:9.
Our study through this portion of Rom.8 shows that these scriptures that are often quoted by those who have believed Augustine instead of the Bible, are used out of context to prove the false salvation by works theology that Paul never taught. They use scriptures like “The heart is deceitfully wicked”(Jer.17:9). When if understood in context one can never come to the conclusions these do. Because in context Jer.17:9 says the deceitful heart is only in them that do not believe in God. And is contrasted with those who do. It is not referring to all men at all times.
So in context we see that men are accountable only for what they do with Jesus. Believe or not believe. And not for the naughty nice Santa Claus paradigm that those preach who have believed that salvation is based on works. So as far as the natural man is concerned, the man with the carnal mind, we see that he does not automatically have the knowledge of good and evil (Deut.1:39). But, is only natural and therefore equipped only to relate to what has been made. So that any notion of right and wrong must be taught to them for them to know the difference. But, because man is born with no knowledge of good and evil he can only make choices that are consistent with what affects the natural senses of the natural man. The flesh. This is the thinking of the carnal mind. Not evil, but only natural.
But, whether one continues to be a slave to the natural man or not is a free will decision. Because through the preaching of the gospel believers show men that they need Jesus because only He has eternal life. And only He can give man the Spiritual birth that makes it possible. This is true because only Jesus has conquered death. This is why believers take the message of reconciliation to the world “That God was in Christ not imputing their trespasses to them”. So that when they hear God’s voice calling them they are able to make an informed decision whether to trust in Jesus for eternal life. Or whether they will remain natural and therefore only equipped to relate to something or someone else that has been made.
Because in His word, the Bible, God has made known to man that this free will choice has consequences ( Acts 17:30). Which are that we go with the god that we choose. Whether it be something or someone that is made and end up in hell because the god of this world, satan, has already been judged for that end(John16:11, Mt.25:41). Or the true Creator God Jesus of Nazareth that has shown His infinite love for us by entering into death with us while on the cross, so that by the resurrection He would provide “the way” for us through the wall of death to have eternal life with Him.
Have you believed in Jesus? Have you been born of the Spirit so you can inherit eternal life? If you are reading this God is calling you. He loves you and wants you to know Him. Because knowing Him is eternal life.John 17:3. So if you do not know Him 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. Because by doing this and really meaning it from your heart you will be saved from death to life. From sin to righteousness. And from wrath to peace with God. Because when you trust in Jesus you leave the old life behind where you were only able to trust in what has been made. And now will be equipped to trust in Jesus who alone can equip you for heaven because by His resurrection He is the only WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE.
Prophecy Unfolding Before Our Eyes in Real-Time
God often uses men who are not of the best moral character. Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, Herod, and Trump (amongst others), to accomplish His will in events He orchestrates during human history. We either trust the sovereignty of God or we don’t. Nothing happens apart from Him…
The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back…
The Birth Pains Are Growing Stronger….
One of the signs of ruling class collapse is when they can no longer enforce the rules that maintain them as a ruling class. When the Romans started making exceptions to republican governance, it was a matter of time before someone simply decided the rules no longer applied to them. Perhaps the robot historians will consider Obama our Marius or Sulla. Maybe that person is in the near future. Either way, the rule of law is over and what comes next is the rule of men.
- Corinthians 4:8-11 New King James Version (NKJV)
- 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.
“Man will ultimately be governed by God or by tyrants.”
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