The Book of Romans : Chapter Six
A verse-by-verse commentary by Max Klein
Therefore, what are we to conclude? Are we to continue in [the power of] the sin nature in order that grace might increase?
Τί οὖν ἐροῦµεν; ἐπιµένωµεν τῇ ἁµαρτίᾳ, ἵνα ἡ χάρις πλεονάσῃ;
Paul just stated in Romans 5:20b, “where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” There is a type of an arrogant Christian who would conclude, if that is true, then I will sin all the more that the grace of God may abound even more. This type of Christian will receive discipline from the Lord for his distortion of grace. Grace is designed to enable the Christian to serve God, not the devil.
Emphatically not [Paul’s abhorrence to a falsely drawn conclusion]! We who have died to the sin nature [Retroactive Positional Truth], how shall we still live in it [the power of Sin Nature]?
µὴ γένοιτο· οἵτινες ἀπεθάνοµεν τῇ ἁµαρτίᾳ, πῶς ἔτι ζήσοµεν ἐν αὐτῇ;
The sin nature has power namely the power related to sin and human good. The sin nature promises happiness through its temptation to sin and the temptation to produce human good (a good produced by the Christian when he is out of fellowship with God). The cross broke this power since sin was judged on the cross, and human good was rejected. (On the cross, the humanity of Christ was filled with the Spirit during the entire period of judgment. So, the work of the cross was accomplished in the sphere of divine power namely the two power options, not human power. (Thus, even if the Christian were to produce sin, good and evil (good and evil being the policy of Satan) while functioning out of fellowship, he could quickly remove this control of the sin nature by confessing his sins to the Father. (This grace recovery procedure was given to the believer as a result of the judgment which took place on the cross.) At which time, namely at the time of confession of sins, God the Father forgives the believer of his sins and cleanses him from all wrong doing (this would include human good and evil). This confession or citing of one’s sins places the Christian back under the authority of God the Spirit and allows him to use the two powers of the spiritual life. In this sphere of divine power whatever good the Christian produces would be classified as divine good since it would be produced by the power of God the Holy Spirit and the power of God’s word, metabolized in the soul.
A few more points to bring greater clarification:
1. The old sin nature, the sovereign of human life, is no longer the controlling factor in the life of the believer. Positionally the old sin nature is dead; its power has been broken.
2. Living under the power of the old sin nature refers to continuing under the rule of the old sin nature and following its trends—sin, good, and evil.
3. After salvation the old sin nature still resides in those contaminated cells of the body, but through the baptism of the Holy Spirit at salvation the power, the sovereignty, the rulership of the old sin nature has been broken.
4. Obviously because of its genetic origin, the old sin nature is not eradicated until either physical death or resurrection, whichever occurs first.
5. Though still present in our body of corruption, the old sin nature has been robbed of its power to rule our lives. The only reason it still rules is because we exercise our options in favour of it.
6. A new power, the power of the Holy Spirit and metabolized doctrine, has replaced the power of the old sin nature, so that we have an option to go with the old sin nature or to go with the two divine powers.
7. The rhetorical question introduces the point of doctrine that there is a new life for the believer on earth, a modus vivendi which is free from the sovereignty and the power of the old sin nature.
8. One of the applications, then, of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is retroactive positional truth. Retroactive positional truth has broken the power of the trends of the old sin nature.
9. Remember that the old sin nature dwells in the human body genetically and influences the human soul toward sin, good, and evil.
10. With its genetic headquarters in the human body, the old sin nature constantly seeks to rule the soul of mankind.
11. However, the functioning of the two power options frustrates the activity of the old sin nature. Furthermore, these two powers are designed to provide an encapsulated environment in the devil’s world.
The Categories of Lust. (Taken from R. B. Thieme Jr’s doctrine of lust)
1. There are many categories of lust, all of which relate to the old sin nature.
2. When it comes to lust, all members of the human race are swimming in the same gene pool. None of us are free from lust. If you are human, normal or abnormal, you have lust problems.
3. Because of the different categories of lusts, all believers do not function under the same category.
4. The category of lust related to your modus operandi is directly related to both your personal areas of weakness and your personal areas of strength in your old sin nature.
5. All of us possess an old sin nature in the cell structure of our bodies. Therefore, all of us as humans have areas of strength and weakness. Remember that our areas of strength are very deceiving, and we often build a false self-esteem on our areas of strength. It is quickly broken down by arrogance. The only answer to these things is spiritual self-esteem.
6. This means that one person’s weakness is another person’s strength which is the basis for our arrogance, self-justification, and rationalization about inferiority and superiority. To go through life trying to prove others inferior and yourself superior is the worst concept in life. The majority of people go through life trying to compensate for inferior feelings. They inevitably destroy themselves through their area of weakness and their area of strength.
7. The lust pattern of the old sin nature includes at least seven categories.
a. Power lust is the worst of all, for almost all other lusts are related to this one, especially if you have any inferiority problems. Power lust is the most devastating force for evil in human history. It doesn’t require leadership ability or a prominent position to have power lust. You can be at the lowest echelon, rejected by all, and have a strong power lust. Power lust is one of our greatest enemies. It comes in dozens of different packages and in all flavors.
b. Approbation lust is merely one of the extensions of power lust, and it is separate because some people do want approbation without power. A beautiful woman may not desire power at all, but she certainly wants someone to tell her she’s beautiful.
c. Stimulation lust has many parts, in which we cater to the nerve centers and functions of our body in the name of pleasure. (1) Sexual lust, or lasciviousness. (2) Drunkenness. (3) Drug addiction. (4) Mental stimulation or intellectual arrogance. 2 Tim 3:4, “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” Pleasure lust is a destroyer of honor, virtue, and integrity through sin and perpetual carnality. There is nothing wrong with pleasure as long as that pleasure does not involve sinful activity. Pleasure of the moment is not worth the displeasure of God.
d. Killer lust is the problem-solving device of the weak. Inferior people trying to prove they are superior often resort to violence, torture, murder. (Legitimate killing, within the confines of military function, police work, and capital punishment, is not the same as murder.) Murder often occurs within one’s own family, as with Cain. For once this lust comes, it does not discriminate between family, friends, or enemies. Some people live to kill, love to kill and lust to kill.
e. Anger lust or cruelty. Anger does not always but definitely can bring out a cruel streak. Some people are genetically mean and naturally cruel. Some people hide it well and some do not. This lust is the evil desire to hurt others, e.g., the object of one’s love, the object of one’s hatred, or anyone who causes you a problem. Some people cannot stand glitches, and when anyone opposes them, whether it is a loved one or an enemy or someone at work, cruelty lust surfaces. Some people by nature are kind; some people by nature are cruel. It starts as a genetic factor. However, both can also be developed, and can also be overcome by both believers and unbelievers. Variations in cruelty lust depend upon cosmic living.
f. Money lust is called by the Scripture the “root of all kinds of evil.” It expresses itself in all the categories of evil. (1) There is nothing wrong with having and acquiring money; that is not evil or sinful, as communist propaganda says. Marxism says people have no right to wealth; it belongs to the state. (2) The USA was founded not only by Anglo-Saxon culture but also by the Protestant work ethic, which went so far as to say that people who were wealthy were blessed by God or even spiritual. Now with the influence of Marxism, we take the opposite view. Between the two is the truth. (3) God does bless some people with money; God blesses other people in other ways. We must distinguish between the blessing of God in monetary success and the acquiring of money apart from any divine blessing. (4) One index to the soul of every person can be read loud and clear by his attitude toward money. This doesn’t mean that a person who saves is tight or stingy, nor that a big-time spender is necessarily generous. But one’s attitude toward money very clearly delineates one’s overall philosophy of life or one’s spiritual condition or lack of spiritual life. 1 Tim 6:10, “For the love for money is the root of all kinds of evil, and some by lusting for it have wandered away from doctrine and stabbed themselves with many griefs [heartaches].” (5) It is a very definite fact that love for money can distract people from Bible doctrine. Heb 13:5, “Let your life be free from the love for money, and be content [+H] with what you have. For He has said, ‘I will never leave you nor will I ever forsake you.’”
g. Crusader lust, which is Christian activism. Christian activism includes civil disobedience, criminality, paramilitary organizations, vigilante activities, social engineering, anti-Semitism, refusal to pay taxes, terrorism, utopian socialism.
A few more points related to lust:
1. Lust destroys the motivation of the believer to execute the protocol plan of God for the Church.
2. Lust is a distraction to the modus vivendi and modus operandi of the Christian way of life.
3. Lust divorces the believer from reality, causing unrealistic expectation which eliminates understanding and using the problem-solving devices.
4. Lust destroys spiritual self-esteem and replaces it with inordinate desire related to self-gratification.
The next four paragraphs are taken from the booklet, ‘The Old Sin Nature pages 7-9 by R. B. Thieme Jr.
THE OLD SIN NATURE
FOR AS LONG AS YOU LIVE the old sin nature and God the Holy Spirit will coexist as permanent residents in your mortal body and will battle continually for control of your soul. When the Holy Spirit controls your soul, you are spiritual. When the old sin nature controls your soul, you are carnal. When you choose to sin, the old sin nature wins the conflict. You do not lose your salvation or your eternal relationship with God, but you do temporarily lose fellowship with Him.
The sin nature is the center of man’s rebellion toward God and is variously designated in Scripture as “sin” (a singular noun—Rom. 7:13), “flesh” (Gal. 5:16), and “old man” (Eph. 4:22). The old sin nature was acquired by Adam at his fall and is subsequently transmitted genetically by the male through procreation (Gen. 5:3). With the exception of the perfect humanity of Jesus Christ, it is an integral part of every human being that resides in the cell structure of the body (Rom. 6:6; 7:5, 18). At the moment of physical birth when God imputes soul life, He also imputes Adam’s original sin to the genetically formed old sin nature (Rom. 5:12). Therefore, every person is born physically alive but spiritually dead.
The sin nature is sovereign over human life (Rom. 6:12). The old sin nature is composed of an area of weakness, the source of temptation for personal sins (Heb. 12:1); an area of strength, which generates human good (Isa. 64:6; Heb. 6:1); a trend toward legalism, which is self-righteousness (Rom. 7:7), or antinomianism, which is licentiousness (Gal. 5:19–21); and a lust pattern, which is the motivation toward either trend (Eph. 2:3).
Your old sin nature is the source of temptation to sin, but your volition is the source of sin. The sin nature cannot make you sin, it can only tempt you to sin. When you choose to succumb to the sin nature, you are in carnality and you cannot live the Christian life or glorify God. However, God has placed at your command the means to insure the victory of the Holy Spirit in your life.
Or do you not know that all of us who [a correlative] have been baptized into [identified with] Christ Jesus [Current Positional Sanctification: we are in union with Christ in his life in heaven], have been baptized into His death [identified with his substitutionary spiritual death on the cross]?
ἢ ἀγνοεῖτε ὅτι ὅσοι ἐβαπτίσθηµεν εἰς Χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν, εἰς τὸν θάνατον αὐτοῦ ἐβαπτίσθηµεν;
Positionally, (in union with Christ) we share His righteousness, heirship, priesthood, destiny, election, eternal life, royalty, sonship etc. All these making us a new spiritual species in Christ Jesus. The plural correlative hosoi (ὅσοι) means that if we were identified with Christ in heaven and we were, then also we have been identified with Christ in his substitutionary spiritual death in which he removed the power of sin nature. Thus, the sin nature should not have power over our lives.
A few more points will be noted:
1. Note that the baptism of the Holy Spirit at salvation enters the believer into union with Christ at the right hand of God the Father which union is called current positional truth.
2. This verse also mentions identification with Christ in His spiritual death on the cross which identification theologians call retroactive positional truth. Retroactive positional truth also includes identification with Christ in His physical death and burial as well.
3. Identification with Christ in His death, then, has a two-fold connotation namely all personal sins were judged at the cross and since that is the case, God the Father is free to provide in grace, the Recovery Procedure. The second connotation is that good and evil were rejected by Jesus on the cross since good and evil are a part of Satan’s policy and plan. On the cross, Jesus relied on the proto-type spiritual life which operated under the two power options namely God’s power system.
4. So, the old sin nature’s ruling power over the Christian has been broken since all sins were judged on the cross and the Recovery Procedure has been provided. So, Retroactive Positional Truth has destroyed the sovereignty of the old sin nature over the life of the Christian.
5. Also, since Jesus rejected the good and evil policy of Satan so should the believer reject Satan’s policy of good and evil as the believer applies Retroactive Positional Truth.
Therefore, we have been buried together with Him through the identification [Baptism of the Spirit] into His death [physical], in order that just as Christ has been raised up from the dead [on Resurrection Sunday], through the glory of the Father [through the Father’s power], [So also we, the dead in Christ, will be raised from the dead by the power of the Father, and those alive at the Rapture, by the power of the Holy Spirit.] in this manner we also might walk in newness of life [Experiential sanctification should reflect our future ultimate sanctification.].
συνετάφηµεν οὖν αὐτῷ διὰ τοῦ βαπτίσµατος εἰς τὸν θάνατον, ἵνα ὥσπερ ἠγέρθη Χριστὸς ἐκ νεκρῶν διὰ τῆς δόξης τοῦ πατρός, οὕτως καὶ ἡµεῖς ἐν καινότητι ζωῆς περιπατήσωµεν.
Christ had to die physically “and Jesus having shouted clearly with a loud voice said, Father, into your hands I deposit my [human] spirit, and having said this, he exhaled” (Luke 23:46). This last exhale caused His soul and spirit to depart from his mortal body resulting in physical death. Just as Christ had to die physically in order to obtain his resurrection body, so we must depart from our body of corruption, or mortality in order to receive our eternal body called our resurrection body.
The Newness of Life:
1. The newness of life provided through the baptism of the Spirit includes positional freedom from producing good and evil. Not only are we free from the tyranny of good and evil but we are also free from having to produce good and evil.
2. The believer has no obligation to improve the devil’s world through social action, socialism, welfare state, communism, environmentalism, or any social gospel, social action, getting involved, etc.
3. The human race is protected from Satan’s policy of good and evil through the laws of divine establishment which promote freedom instead of improvement at the cost of freedom.
4. In addition to the Laws of Divine Establishment the believer is insulated from good and evil positionally through the baptism of the Spirit.
5. Divorced from the Old Sin Nature positionally and its useless activity of human good and the function of evil, the life of the believer can be devoted to glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ through maximum knowledge and application of Bible doctrine.
For if we have become united with Him [Christ, the new husband] in the likeness of His death [the substitutionary spiritual death of Christ on the cross], and we have, and not only this, but also, we shall be [united in the likeness] of His resurrection [Current Positional Truth: in union with the resurrected Christ].
εἰ γὰρ σύµφυτοι γεγόναµεν τῷ ὁµοιώµατι τοῦ θανάτου αὐτοῦ, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῆς ἀναστάσεως ἐσόµεθα·
Be knowing this [through Retroactive Positional Truth], that our old man [our former husband, the sin nature dates back to the Garden] has been crucified together [with Him], in order that the [human] body, with reference to its sin nature, [the sin nature located in the body] might be rendered powerless [when we use Recovery Procedure and the two power options], that we should no longer be slaves to the sin nature.
τοῦτο γινώσκοντες, ὅτι ὁ παλαιὸς ἡµῶν ἄνθρωπος συνεσταυρώθη, ἵνα καταργηθῇ τὸ σῶµα τῆς ἁµαρτίας, τοῦ µηκέτι δουλεύειν ἡµᾶς τῇ ἁµαρτίᾳ·
“Our old man has been crucified with Him” meaning that the power of the sin nature has been broken on the cross. Since the power of the sin nature was broken by the work of the cross, we as believers have no excuse for not executing the spiritual life. We will not be able to say to Christ at our evaluation that our sin nature was too powerful for us to execute the spiritual life.
A few points for further clarification:
1. Retroactive positional truth is that phase of the baptism of the Holy Spirit at salvation which identifies the believer with Christ in His spiritual death, physical death and his burial.
2. In the substitutionary spiritual death of Christ on the cross all the personal sins in human history were imputed to Christ, but at the same time the other two trends of the old sin nature were not imputed for judgment.
3. Good and evil is the policy of Satan as the ruler of this world and the function of the old sin nature as the sovereign of human life. In fact, the sin nature functions as the agent of Satan.
4. Good and evil were not imputed for judgment on the cross. Hence, in the spiritual death of Christ on the cross they were rejected to remain an issue in the angelic conflict, rejected to be perpetuated in human history as an issue every believer must face, and either overcome through the intake of doctrine or be entrapped by ignorance of doctrine and therefore lose out in glorifying God in time.
5. We are identified with Christ in His spiritual death, which means that we must understand that our sins have been judged and that good and evil has been rejected.
6. It all adds up to the fact that the sovereignty of the old sin nature over human life has been made powerless through retroactive positional truth.
7. The imputation of all personal sins of the human race to Christ on the cross means that the believer through the rebound technique is instantly forgiven sins, cleansed from all wrong doing which includes Satanic good and evil, restored to fellowship and filled with the Spirit.
For we who have died [the Christian is identified with the substitutionary spiritual death of Christ: theologically called Retroactive Positional Truth] have been acquitted [positional deliverance] from [the power of] the sin nature.
ὁ γὰρ ἀποθανὼν δεδικαίωται ἀπὸ τῆς ἁµαρτίας.
A few points for further clarification:
1. A dead person is discharged from the obligations of his former sphere of life. This is why the word “death” is used in this context. It is not a literal, physical death we are discussing but identification with Christ in His death.
2. As unbelievers we were under the authority of Satan as the ruler of this world, and under the authority of the old sin nature as the sovereign of human life.
3. Both the power of Satan and the old sin nature have been abrogated through the baptism of the Holy Spirit at salvation.
4. This passage, then, emphasizes the annulling of the power and the authority of the old sin nature as the sovereign of human life.
5. Positionally, the power of the sin nature has been broken. Experientially, the old sin nature controls to the extent that we fail to understand and utilize the provision and support of logistical grace.
Now if we have died with Christ, and we have [retroactive positional truth], we also believe that we shall live in association with Him [the instrumental of association; a reference to Current Positional Truth].
εἰ δὲ ἀπεθάνοµεν σὺν Χριστῷ, πιστεύοµεν ὅτι καὶ συζήσοµεν αὐτῷ·
In this verse, the 1st Class conditional sentence shows the relationship between Retroactive Positional Truth with Current Positional Truth. The protasis, the ‘if’ clause states the reality of Retroactive Positional Truth and the apodosis, the concluding clause states the doctrinal inference and the reality of Current Positional Truth. While Retroactive Positional Truth presents positional rejection and separation from good and evil as the policy of Satan and the function of the old sin nature, Current Positional Truth relates the believer to the function of the royal family of God. In other words, they have separate functions.
Knowing that because Christ has been raised from the dead [He received a resurrection body], no longer can He die; [physical] death is no longer a master over Him.
εἰδότες ὅτι Χριστὸς ἐγερθεὶς ἐκ νεκρῶν οὐκέτι ἀποθνῄσκει, θάνατος αὐτοῦ οὐκέτι κυριεύει.
1. Retroactive positional truth destroys the sovereign authority of the old sin nature over human life. Current positional truth, on the other hand, destroys the limited authority of physical death in human life.
2. Instead of being ruled by the old sin nature located in the cells of the human body and influencing our souls toward sin, good and evil, we now have a new sovereign, the Lord Jesus Christ. We are identified with Him in His deaths, in His burial, resurrection, ascension and session.
3. Before salvation and the baptism of the Holy Spirit our lives were under the absolute rule of Satan who is the ruler of this world and under the rule of the old sin nature which is the ruler of life, and under the limited rule of physical death. All of that, of course, has been changed since salvation.
4. Now both retroactive and current positional truth have abrogated the authority and power of these former rulers. The power of Satan over our lives has been broken through identification with the rejection of good and evil namely Satan’s policy and plan and through our position in union with Christ. The power of the old sin nature is broken through retroactive positional truth and the power of physical death is broken through current positional truth.
5. Therefore, having studied these things by principle and by implication we are now ready for application, verses 12 & 13 specifically.
6. Having been positionally liberated from the sovereignty of the old sin nature as an absolute ruler, and the authority of physical death, we must recognise and apply doctrine for the experiential victory commanded in verses 11-13.
For the death [substitutionary spiritual death] which He has died, He has died once for all with reference to the sin nature; but the resurrection-life which He lives, He lives with reference to the God [the Father].
ὃ γὰρ ἀπέθανεν, τῇ ἁµαρτίᾳ ἀπέθανεν ἐφάπαξ· ὃ δὲ ζῇ, ζῇ τῷ θεῷ.
The Substitutionary Spiritual Death of Christ on the Cross:
1. Though Jesus Christ was in hypostatic union on the cross, only His humanity was punished for our sins.
2. Jesus Christ remained in the status of trichotomy on the cross as proven by his unique death namely his human spirit went into the care of God the Father, his soul went with God the Holy Spirit to Hades and his body remained in the grave.
3. Jesus personally never died a spiritual death, rather he bore the burden of mankind’s spiritual death on the cross namely He was punished for the penalty of the sins of all mankind. In other words, Jesus died a substitutionary spiritual death while forsaken by the Father during the judgment. On the other hand, Adam suffered a real spiritual death as also his progeny at birth.
4. So, Jesus’ substitutionary spiritual death means that He died as a substitute for the sins related to our spiritual death namely the billions of sins which were committed in addition to Adam’s original sin. In other words, he paid the penalty for our sins in toto.
5. Jesus Christ was portrayed as a male lamb unblemished and spotless (no sin nature and no sin) 1 Peter 1:18-19, “knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.” Jesus remained impeccable while being judged for the sins of the world. “2 Corinthians 5:21, “And he [God the Father] made him who knew no sin [remained impeccable both before the cross and on the cross] to be sin [imputation and judgment of the sins of the world] as a substitute for us so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.”
6. Jesus Christ was not a curse, but became a curse as per Galatians 3:13, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law having become a curse for us, for it is written ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.’”
7. Hebrews 12:2, “Be concentrating on Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our doctrine, who because of the happiness that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame [from being identified with all these despicable sins], and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Just as Jesus endured under great pressure, not reacting in bitterness, hatred, and self-pity, so we must endure under great pressure in order to achieve and preserve happiness. There is no happiness without the ability to endure under pressure.
8. The omnipotence of the Father imputed all the sins of mankind to Jesus during the last three hours on the cross, and the Justice of the Father using his omnipotence then judged the humanity of Christ on the cross, while the deity of Christ was sustaining the universe.
9. Matthew 27:46, “And about the ninth hour [3 P.M.] Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” translated [from the Aramaic into Greek], “My God, my God [addressing God the Father], why have you [in the singular] forsaken [abandoned] me?” David prophesizes the shout in Psalm 22:1a, “My God, My God why have you forsaken Me far from helping Me.” This was answered in Psalm 22:3a, “because you [Father] are holy [righteous and just].” The Father had to judge Jesus for every sin of mankind. Judgment implies abandonment and forsaking. There was no help nor fellowship during this judgment on the cross. So, this shout was prophesied in Hebrew (Psalm 22); shouted out in Aramaic and translated in Greek (Matthew 27:46).
10. Jesus understood why he had to be forsaken but shouted out this rhetorical question for our benefit. It was a Rhetorical question which had already been answered in Scripture as per Psalm 22:3a namely because the integrity of God demanded the punishment of all sins of mankind via a perfect sacrifice.
11. During the lifetime of the humanity of Christ, he was never forsaken by God the Holy Spirit whether it be before the cross or on the cross. The Holy Spirit always provided the enabling power for Jesus to execute the Father’s will during his entire life on this earth. So, from His birth to His physical death on the cross, He always had available and used the two power options namely the metabolized doctrine in his soul and the enabling power of the Spirit.
12. In this way, Jesus Christ demonstrated the power of the Proto-type Spiritual Life. This spiritual life called the Operational Type Spiritual Life, he gave to each Church Age believer.
13. Why was there a need for a substitutionary spiritual death? Adam and his wife suffered a real spiritual death when they ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. This involved the loss of their human spirit and acquisition of a sin nature. Hence, since the sin nature is part of the makeup of cellular genetics, all Adam’s descendance are born with the sin nature within their cells and with the imputation of Adam’s Original Sin imputed to that sin nature at birth. This means that all of mankind is helplessly located in the slave market of sin. This required someone outside of the slave market of sin to provide a ransom to free mankind. Thus, the need for an impeccable person to pay the penalty of every sin of mankind. This we call the substitutionary work of Christ on the cross.
14. R. B. Thieme Jr. first taught this doctrine in 1986 during the teaching of the Ephesian series, a doctrine which has been buried for over 1500 years and is still unknown by most Christians since it is not known and subsequently not taught by any professor in any major theological seminary today.
Further explanation regarding this verse:
1. The spiritual death of Christ was judgment from the justice of God for all the personal sins of the human race. The justice of God imputed these sins to the humanity of Christ, then judged them.
2. The physical death of Christ was an act of His own volition. He expelled His breath and dismissed His spirit into the presence of the Father. As His spiritual death was unique, so was His physical death.
3. At the same time of the judicial imputation of all personal sins to Christ on the cross other aspects of the trends of the old sin nature, namely good and evil, were rejected and were definitely not a part of that imputation. The rejection of good and evil by our Lord is shared by us positionally since we have been identified with Christ through the baptism of the Spirit.
4. What was begun in the past: the resurrection of Christ, His ascension and session at the right hand of the Father. It continues forever as His status quo and becomes the basis for His third category of royalty in which we share. When the Lord Jesus Christ was seated at the right hand of the Father, He was declared to be the King over kings and Lord over lords. This is the third category of royalty which belongs to Him, but when He was declared to be the King over kings and Lord over lords, the battlefield royalty of the angelic conflict, there was no royal family. Therefore, the interruption of the Jewish Age and the beginning of the Church Age.
5. In the dispensation of the Church Age, we now are His royal family, and the significance is that we have greater opportunity, greater blessing, greater everything than anyone who ever lived in the past or anyone who will ever live in the future. But it becomes a matter of being definitely briefed by Bible doctrine with regard to these things, and the maturity adjustment to the integrity of God today has far greater repercussions than at any time in history.
So also, on the one hand, all of you yourselves conclude yourselves to be dead with reference to the sin nature but, on the other hand, living with reference to God in Christ Jesus.
οὕτως καὶ ὑµεῖς λογίζεσθε ἑαυτοὺς [εἶναι] νεκροὺς µὲν τῇ ἁµαρτίᾳ ζῶντας δὲ τῷ θεῷ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ.
The Greek verb logizomai meaning in this context ‘to conclude’:
The present middle imperative of the verb logizomai means to calculate, to take into account, to evaluate, to estimate, to think, consider, ponder, have in mind, to be of the opinion. In the Attic Greek, logizomai connoted thought regulated by strict logical rules, and therefore meant to deliberate or to conclude or apply information non-emotionally. Plato used this verb for ‘non-emotional thinking’.
Emotion may result from thinking but emotion must never be allowed to destroy thinking. The imperative mood is an entreaty rather than a command, an entreaty which does not convey the finality of a command but has the force of urgency. It is urgent that we must begin to think in terms of doctrine, and when we have a conflict in our soul between how we feel and what the Word of God says we must always go with what the Word of God says, rather than how we feel. Emotion must never destroy our ability to reason and to think. Our highest form of emotion must come from the stimulation of thought, rather than the destruction of thought.
A few points of explanation:
1. The conclusion from positional truth, whether retroactive or current, is that the Christian must apply these doctrines to his spiritual life.
2. Anticipating Romans 7:1-4 where we have an illustration of a woman whose first husband has died freeing her to marry another. This is what actually happens to us as believers at salvation. The old sin nature is the husband up to the point of salvation, but at the moment we believe in Jesus Christ positionally the sin nature is dead, as it were, the first husband has died and we have a new husband through union with Christ. Retroactive Positional Truth removes our first husband, the sin nature whereas Current Positional Truth enters us into union with Christ, our new husband.
3. The old sin nature-husband is still around, still seeking to regain his control over his former wife, the believer. But union with the second husband, the Lord Jesus Christ, has broken the first husband’s authority over the former wife.
Therefore, stop permitting the sin nature to rule in your mortal body, that you should obey [the same sin nature] with its lusts.
Μὴ οὖν βασιλευέτω ἡ ἁµαρτία ἐν τῷ θνητῷ ὑµῶν σώµατι εἰς τὸ ὑπακούειν ταῖς ἐπιθυµίαις αὐτοῦ,
Complete abrogation must occur. If we are going to live our lives to please the Lord, our new husband, then the rulership of the old sin nature must not only be abrogated positionally but also experientially. (We can abrogate the rulership of the sin nature, but not the sin nature itself.) The Lord Jesus Christ is not necessarily experientially your sovereign for there is a vast difference between positional victory over the old sin nature and experiential victory.
The command to stop permitting etc. indicates that we have some control over the matter, that our volition is very definitely involved. Though we may be tempted to sin via some lust from the sin nature, our volition does not need to give consent. Lust + consent = sin!
A few points for clarification:
1. Notice that this is a negative command. This is something that has to be shut down, turned off. This negative command of prohibition indicates that the believer has an option after salvation regarding the rulership of the old sin nature.
2. As a result of the baptism of the Spirit at salvation and resultant Retroactive and Current Positional Truth the sovereignty and the authority of the old sin nature as the ruler of life has been broken positionally. This is true for every believer. The fact of the abrogation of the old sin nature’s power means that experientially there can be and should be a change.
3. The option, then, is the issue. How and where do we exercise our options? The option is related to experiential Christianity, not positional Christianity. Positional Christianity gives us the opportunity to exercise our options, but the option is exercised in the field of Christian experience.
4. We have two opportunities to exercise an option, both are continuous. One of them has to do with the use of the Recovery Procedure throughout our Christian experience, the other option is to daily grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.
And stop placing your members as weapons of wrong-doing [sin, good & evil] under orders to the sin nature but put yourself under orders to God [use the Recovery Procedure and expose yourself to daily teaching] as those who are alive out from deaths [We are identified with Christ’s substitutionary death as well as his physical death.], and your members as weapons of righteousness to the God [execute experiential righteousness].
µηδὲ παριστάνετε τὰ µέλη ὑµῶν ὅπλα ἀδικίας τῇ ἁµαρτίᾳ, ἀλλὰ παραστήσατε ἑαυτοὺς τῷ θεῷ ὡσεὶ ἐκ νεκρῶν ζῶντας καὶ τὰ µέλη ὑµῶν ὅπλα δικαιοσύνης τῷ θεῷ·
In the New Testament there is a transitive and an intransitive use (not pertinent here) of the Greek verb paristhmi to place yourself under orders. In the transitive it means to place yourself under the command of someone or to put yourself under orders to someone. When you put yourself under someone you are in a system of authority and you are under the authority of someone else. Once you place yourself under orders or report for duty you do numerous things such as obeying commands every day.
Inasmuch as the old sin nature’s sovereignty over human life is broken through Baptism of the Spirit and resultant Retroactive Positional Truth the believer must not place his members as members of unrighteousness in the service of the old sin nature. This is our first true command to experientially break with the function of the old sin nature and to place ourselves under a new authority, God’s system of authority.
Relationship of the sin nature with the brain:
1. The neurons of the brain are collected together, forming islands or blankets of grey matter. The branching connections form what is called “white matter” in the brain.
2. The brain is matter and not a part of the soul, although there is a close relationship. The brain with I.Q. belongs to the body whereas the two frontal lobes with the mentality belong to the soul. The entire brain system vibrates with an energy held in a very disciplined control, while millions of messages flash back and forth as functional targets within the brain.
3. The old sin nature resides in the brain as a part of the body and so, does not reside in the mentality of the soul, nor in any part of the soul though it can gain control over it.
4. Therefore the commands of this verse exist because of the relationship between the brain which is matter and the soul which is immaterial.
5. Just as we would distinguish between the driver of a car and the engine of a car, so we must distinguish between the soul of mankind and the brain.
6. The brain is part of the body of corruption controlled by the old sin nature from birth for the most part.
7. The brain is a giant computer controlled by the old sin nature with its trends toward sin, toward good, and toward evil. This control is absolute except where the Laws of Establishment or metabolized doctrine in the soul interferes with this control.
8. For the believer, the brain continues to be programmed for good and evil as the policy of Satan as the ruler of this world and the function of the old sin nature as the sovereign of human life except where the two power options function.
9. By the intake of Bible doctrine new information is fed into the brain’s computer. This new information programs it to the second husband, the Lord Jesus Christ.
10. Only Bible doctrine resident in the soul can fulfill experientially what has been accomplished positionally through the Baptism of the Spirit.
11. Only Bible doctrine resident in the soul can reprogram the brain’s computer so that the believer is free from good and evil.
12. To place ourselves under orders to God as weapons of righteousness we must therefore reprogram the giant computer with Bible doctrine in the soul.
For the sin nature will not lord it over you, for you are not under the Law but under grace.
ἁµαρτία γὰρ ὑµῶν οὐ κυριεύσει, οὐ γάρ ἐστε ὑπὸ νόµον ἀλλὰ ὑπὸ χάριν.
Three words found here: “the sin nature,” the culprit, “the Law,” the marriage counselor of the first marriage and “grace” the policy by which the second husband is going to bless those who are believers.
Galatians 5:18. But, if [assumed to be true] you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law [Mosaic Law].
εἰ δὲ πνεύµατι ἄγεσθε, οὐκ ἐστὲ ὑπὸ νόµον.
The righteous requirements of the Mosaic Law can only be fulfilled by the Church Age believer functioning under the Filling of the Spirit.
Romans 8:2-4: For the principle of the spirit of life [our spirituality] through the agency of Christ Jesus [tested and proved the prototype spiritual system in his humanity] has set you free from the law of sin [carnal state of the believer: 1 Corinthians 3:1] and death [perpetual carnality resulting in the sin unto death I John 5:16].
8:3. For the Law [is not a system of power, but can only be implemented by the determination of one’s volition] was powerless in that it was weak through the flesh [sin nature], God having sent His own Son [deity] in the likeness of the flesh of sin [true humanity of Jesus without a sin nature] and as a substitute for sin [He who knew no sin became sin for us] he [God the Father] condemned sin [personal sins] in the flesh [God the Father judged the humanity of Christ].
8:4. In order that the righteousness [legal requirement] required by the Law might be fulfilled in us [church age believers using the two powers of the spiritual life], who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
The Mosaic Law was never designed to provide the Church Age believer with a spiritual life. Even the Old Testament believers did not derive their spiritual lives from the Mosaic Law. Adam, Enoch, Noah and Abraham all lived before the existence of the Mosaic Law. Moses was a mature believer at 40 years old (Hebrews 11:24-27) and saw the burning bush at 80 (Exodus 3:2); all before he received the Mosaic Law. Their spiritual lives were primarily related to applying God’s Word by faith to their lives and situations. (Read Hebrews chapter eleven). The above verse clearly states that the Church age believer cannot be both under the authority of the Holy Spirit called the Filling of the Spirit and under the Mosaic Law.
There are two powers in the spiritual life of Church Age believer namely the Filling of the Holy Spirit, and Church Age-Bible doctrine (learned from the epistles) circulating in his stream of consciousness. The Mosaic Law has no power; it contains the Ten Commandments: you will not; you will not etc. It contains some Christology and Soteriology and many laws related to how the believer and unbeliever should live, but no power. However, the Mosaic Law is for our instruction, but we don’t learn about the spiritual life from it. Where do you think we learn about the Filling of the Spirit, the Indwelling of the Spirit, the Baptism of the Spirit, our spiritual gifts, ambassadorship, the royal priesthood, our rewards and loss of rewards, the Church Age standards regarding marriage et cetera? This information is all found in the New Testament Epistles. There are two powers in the spiritual life, and the Mosaic Law is not one of them!
A few points for clarification:
1. The potential indicative of obligation is the key to understanding this phrase. Positionally the power and the authority of the old sin nature is broken, but experientially the victory over the old sin nature is contingent on the use of the rebound technique (the Recovery Procedure) plus a daily option for Bible doctrine. Eventually, if this persists there will be the maturity adjustment to the integrity of God which is the basis for victory over the sin nature and great blessing.
2. In seeking to continue the enslavement of the believer after its power is broken the old sin nature distorts the Mosaic Law into a system of human good. This system of human good becomes legalism and legalism is evil.
3. It is the tendency of reversionism to distort the Law into a system of works and Satanic good which produces an evil called “religion.” Christianity is not a religion, rather it is a relationship with God through Christ.
4. Religion is the devil’s ace trump. Religion and legalism distort the Mosaic Law into a system of good deeds to gain the blessing of God.
5. Therefore the next phrase becomes important to us, for it emphasizes the fact that the believer is not under the authority of the Mosaic Law but comes under a new principle of blessing: God’s grace. Grace is the source of our blessing in the sense that grace is the principle by which divine justice provides blessing for each one of us as believers.
What then are we to conclude? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Emphatically not!
Τί οὖν; ἁµαρτήσωµεν ὅτι οὐκ ἐσµὲν ὑπὸ νόµον ἀλλὰ ὑπὸ χάριν; µὴ γένοιτο.
The deliberative subjunctive mood is used here as a rhetorical device. Rhetorical questions in the Koine Greek represent an attitude of mind. Here the rhetorical question represents the false assumption in the form of a question “shall we sin.” We have already seen that sin does not advance the grace of God. The grace of God can only be advanced by the integrity of God. Paul answers with a strong expression “emphatically not.”
A few points for clarification:
1. Grace is never increased and never advanced by any function of the old sin nature, whether sin or good or evil.
2. Grace is the policy of God. Therefore, the Christian must use God’s grace provision in order to defeat the sin nature.
3. The old sin nature, as an agent of Satan is opposed to grace. The old sin nature’s counter attack comes in the field of Satanic good and evil, but grace is strictly from God.
4. Therefore, we have in this verse a rhetorical question which is a false assumption of two antithetical failures. One of these failures is legalism and the other is antinomianism.
5. The grace of God never encourages sin. To the legalist, a great sinner himself being immersed in mental and verbal sins, grace always appears to give the antinomian Christian a license to sin since the legalist only places emphasis on overt sins. To the antinomian believer, grace is not used to recover fellowship and advance spiritually, but an excuse to keep on sinning. Neither advance under grace and the two power options.
6. Neither legalism nor antinomianism can break away from the ruling power of the old sin nature over life because both are distortions.
7. Only the divine provision and the divine support of logistical grace can exploit the positional victory over the old sin nature.
More about grace:
1. Maximum indoctrination results in grace increase. Notice that grace is related to the intake of doctrine, not our failures and disasters.
2. Grace is the policy or characteristic of the love of God, in providing blessing for the believer in time as well as in eternity.
3. God’s integrity does not depend on man’s sinfulness or the production of human good and evil.
4. The integrity of God is not sponsored by the function of the old sin nature or its trends.
5. Acts of personal sin do not increase grace blessing from the justice of God, but rather increase discipline and punishment from the justice of God.
6. Being under the authority of God’s grace does not encourage us to acts of personal sin, but we are motivated to press on to maturity through the consistent intake of Bible doctrine.
7. Being under the authority of grace means utilization of grace. Utilization of grace means utilization of grace provision for victory over the old sin nature. This means advance to maturity where we both glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and receive those maximum blessings from the justice of God. Those blessings are described as “exceedingly abundantly above all we could ask or think.”
8. Therefore, the believer cannot perform an occasional act of sin with impunity. There is always discipline. The believer cannot perform an act of human good with impunity. There is condemnation of that human good from the justice of God. And there cannot be a series of sins resulting in evil, or a series of human good acts resulting in evil, without divine punishment to individuals involved. In other words, we never function under the old sin nature with impunity.
9. Being under the authority of grace rather than the Law does not imply that the justice of God no longer administers punitive action for the believer who chooses to sin, perform human good, or to become involved with evil.
10. Divine justice punishes sinfulness and divine justice blesses growth in grace.
11. Therefore, freedom from being under the Mosaic Law does not imply immunity from punishment or discipline.
Do you not know that to whom you put yourself under orders as slaves for the purpose of obedience, you are slaves to that one to whom you habitually render obedience, either to the sin nature resulting in carnal death, or obedience to God resulting in experiential righteousness.
οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι ᾧ παριστάνετε ἑαυτοὺς δούλους εἰς ὑπακοήν, δοῦλοί ἐστε ᾧ ὑπακούετε, ἤτοι ἁµαρτίας εἰς θάνατον ἢ ὑπακοῆς εἰς δικαιοσύνην;
A Christian must come to understand that there is legitimate authority in life and the extent to which the Christian rejects that authority in life is the extent to which life destroys him. Furthermore, everyone is a slave to someone. If the Christian chooses to obey the authority of God, there is blessing. If the Christian places himself under the authority of Satan and his agent, the sin nature, there is punishment and disaster in life.
There is someone with the authority over all of us who can demote us or promote us. For example, we are all under God’s authority and we are promoted or demoted by that higher authority. If God doesn’t promote you, you are not promoted. If God doesn’t provide success, you are not successful. If God doesn’t provide happiness, you are not happy. But you will never develop the capacity for blessing until you develop the capacity for authority.
A few points for clarification:
1. The believer who continues under the rule and authority of the old sin nature after his positional deliverance at salvation is under that category beyond carnality called reversionism.
2. Reversionism is a synonym for apostasy and is defined as the place of total failure for the believer. Reversionism is rejection of Bible doctrine.
3. Reversionism means to be controlled by the old sin nature with its trends toward sin, toward good, and toward evil.
4. To be dominated by the old sin nature after salvation means failure to attain maturity adjustment to the integrity of God, and therefore failure to receive the blessings of maturity by which we glorify God, and by which the love of God demonstrates the importance of the divine plan in the angelic conflict.
5. Condemnation from the justice of God to the reversionistic believer does imply divine discipline in three categories: warning, intensive, and dying.
Now, thanks [literally “grace to God” an idiom for appreciating God’s grace provision] to the God, that you were slaves to the sin nature [in the past as your former husband], but now you have obeyed [your second husband] by means of the right lobe a system of doctrine to which you were handed over [from your new husband].
χάρις δὲ τῷ θεῷ ὅτι ἦτε δοῦλοι τῆς ἁµαρτίας ὑπηκούσατε δὲ ἐκ καρδίας εἰς ὃν παρεδόθητε τύπον διδαχῆς,
In this verse, there is an analogy to marriage with emphasis on the husband being the Lord and master in marriage. The old sin nature is the first husband over his wife as an unbeliever. Before salvation all of us were married to this tyrant, the sin nature which ruled through spiritual death as the ruler of life. The marriage counsellor was the Mosaic Law. In the second marriage which occurs at salvation we have a second husband, the Lord Jesus Christ. The wife is the believer and the marriage counsellor is God the Holy Spirit.
The emphasis in this passage is going to be on the new marriage. We did not make a mistake when we believed in Christ! If we are married to Christ and divorced from the old sin nature, that immediately should become the basis of everything we do in life. Since we know that we are married to Christ we have to make decisions accordingly. We can’t be married to one man and go back to an ex-husband. Therefore, we as believers must make constant decisions to cut off the old husband.
After salvation believers are handed over to a system of doctrine as part of the Operational Spiritual Life. This is the most important thing after salvation. In other words, the believer after salvation is committed to a system of doctrine for the glorification of the second husband, the Lord Jesus Christ, and manumission from the tyranny of the first husband, the old sin nature.
A few points for further clarification:
1. God has delivered us over to a system of doctrine as the only means of spiritual advance to maturity, and the only way to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.
2. This emphasizes our need to daily exercise our options for the perception of doctrine. Since we are married to Christ, we should want to please Him by taking in and applying doctrine consistently. Rejection of doctrine, ignorance of doctrine, are the most serious offences against our Lord Jesus Christ. Self-determination must be related, then, to learning doctrine as the essence of the Christian way of life.
And by having been set free [divorced through Retroactive Positional Truth and experientially through a system of doctrine] from the sin nature [at maturity], you became enslaved [got married again] to the righteousness of God.
ἐλευθερωθέντες δὲ ἀπὸ τῆς ἁµαρτίας ἐδουλώθητε τῇ δικαιοσύνῃ·
A few points related to being set free:
1. The rulership of the old sin nature over human life terminates positionally at salvation through Current and Retroactive Positional Truth.
2. The rulership of the old sin nature over human life for the most part is rejected experientially at maturity adjustment to the integrity of God through a system of doctrine resident in the soul.
3. This system of doctrine in the soul reprograms the giant computer called the brain where the old sin nature resides. This computer must become saturated with God’s thinking and plan. At spiritual maturity we have a reprogramed brain with divine viewpoint for the function of grace.
Slaves to righteousness:
1. The righteousness of God is the principle of divine integrity, while the justice of God is the function of divine integrity.
2. Righteousness demands righteousness; justice demands justice. What the righteousness of God demands, justice executes. That is the basis for all blessing in the spiritual life.
3. Therefore, “being enslaved to the righteousness” of God is that mature status of the believer who has completed his responsibility regarding experiential righteousness. This believer not only glorifies God, but also receives maximum blessing from the justice of God.
I communicate using a human illustration [slavery] because of the weakness of your flesh [a synonym for the sin nature], for just as you have put your members under orders as slaves to impurity [sin nature’s trend toward sin] and to lawlessness [sin nature’s trend toward Satanic good] resulting in lawlessness [trend toward evil]; so now put your members under orders as slaves to the righteousness of God resulting in experiential sanctification [at spiritual maturity].
ἀνθρώπινον λέγω διὰ τὴν ἀσθένειαν τῆς σαρκὸς ὑµῶν. ὥσπερ γὰρ παρεστήσατε τὰ µέλη ὑµῶν δοῦλα τῇ ἀκαθαρσίᾳ καὶ τῇ ἀνοµίᾳ εἰς τὴν ἀνοµίαν, οὕτως νῦν παραστήσατε τὰ µέλη ὑµῶν δοῦλα τῇ δικαιοσύνῃ εἰς ἁγιασµόν.
1. Because the believer still possesses the old sin nature after salvation, human illustrations like slavery, marriage and divorce must be used to communicate this doctrine.
2. In this illustration Paul is neither condoning nor condemning slavery, he is simply using a common occurrence in the Roman Empire to illustrate a point of doctrine.
3. After salvation the believer has an option. He can continue under the slavery of the old sin nature or he can become obedient to the Father’s plan and serve the Lord Jesus Christ as his new husband.
4. Salvation provides an option in slaveries. Slavery to the old sin nature results in discipline and punishment from the justice of God.
5. Slavery to God’s righteousness means to execute his righteous plan resulting in blessing and promotion from the justice of God.
6. Blessing and promotion from the justice of God glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ in the angelic conflict.
7. Therefore glorification of Christ becomes the challenge of exercising our new option.
8. Domination by the old sin nature is a slavery to misery, depression, disaster, oppression. However, obtaining spiritual maturity (slavery to righteousness) is a slavery to blessing, security, reward and promotion.
9. This slavery fulfills the doctrine: If God doesn’t promote you, you are not promoted; if God doesn’t bless you, you are not blessed; if God doesn’t provide it, you have nothing even though you have everything. Everything becomes nothing unless it comes down through the grace pipeline.
1. Experiential sanctification is described as the believer placing himself under orders as a slave to the righteousness of God—through the intake of Bible doctrine.
2. This is a statement of principle rather than the mechanics of experiential sanctification.
3. The mechanics or the execution of placing one’s self under orders to God involves the Filling of the Spirit which, in turn, involves the use of the Recovery-Procedure, when necessary, plus the daily intake of the Word, eventuating in maturity adjustment to the integrity of God.
For as long as you were the slaves of the sin nature [birth to salvation], you were excluded [as unbelievers] with reference to the righteousness of God [a reference to the unbeliever who is excluded from possessing imputed righteousness and so excluded from the development of experiential righteousness].
ὅτε γὰρ δοῦλοι ἦτε τῆς ἁµαρτίας, ἐλεύθεροι ἦτε τῇ δικαιοσύνῃ.
1. As unbelievers under the rulership of the old sin nature, we were slaves to the old sin nature and its trends toward sin, good, and evil.
2. There is no possibility of blessing from the integrity of God through the grace pipeline encapsulated with divine integrity. This is because God’s righteousness must be on the receiving end, and God’s righteousness is not imputed until we believe in Jesus Christ.
3. Hence, the unbeliever is excluded (the Greek word eleutheros means free or excluded) from the benefits related to the imputation of the righteousness of God.
4. The benefits of the imputation of righteousness and resultant justification include not only immediate salvation but the potentiality of great blessings in time and in eternity.
Fundamentally there are two approaches to life. The first is that man is inherently good, and the second is that man is inherently bad. The concept that man is good leads to a greater intensity of evil, and it leads to more problems historically. Then, there is the attitude that man is not to be trusted, is inherently evil, tricky, and therefore there must be some safeguards. All the Laws of Divine Establishment take cognizance of the principle of the universality of sin and that we are born with that old sin nature, and that the old sin nature has trends toward sin, toward good, and toward evil. All law is designed with that in mind. Authority is the system by which the doctrine of total depravity is a reality, but authority converts all of us totally depraved types into nice people, right people, honest people, in certain circumstances. That is why we have the Laws of Divine Establishment.
Therefore, what benefit were you having at the time [between physical birth and regeneration] from the sin nature trends over which you are now ashamed [after the Roman believers learned some doctrine]? For the end of those things is death [spiritual death at birth followed by the Second Death in eternity].
τίνα οὖν καρπὸν εἴχετε τότε ἐφ’ οἷς νῦν ἐπαισχύνεσθε; τὸ γὰρ τέλος ἐκείνων θάνατος.
The demonstrative pronoun implies that the Roman believers have experienced enough growth to have experienced shame for some of the things done under the control of the sin nature and have had some experiential victory over the old sin nature’s sovereign power in human life.
But now having been set free from the sin nature [through spiritual growth] and having become slaves to the God, you are having benefit with reference to sanctification [experiential sanctification], and the end is eternal life [Eternal life becomes operational in the Resurrection body].
νυνὶ δέ, ἐλευθερωθέντες ἀπὸ τῆς ἁµαρτίας δουλωθέντες δὲ τῷ θεῷ, ἔχετε τὸν καρπὸν ὑµῶν εἰς ἁγιασµόν, τὸ δὲ τέλος ζωὴν αἰώνιον.
A few points for clarification:
1. Spiritual benefit and blessing from the justice of God comes from being slaves to God.
2. This transfer of slavery from the old sin nature to God occurs at the moment of salvation.
3. No longer does the sin nature provide rations and pay. Now the integrity of God provides rations and pay.
4. The greater blessing from the justice of God occurs at maturity adjustment to the integrity of God. Hence, the believer receives benefit from advancing to spiritual maturity.
5. At the end of life on earth there follows eternal life and the parlaying of blessings in time into the blessings of eternity.
Certainly, the subsistence pay from the sin nature is death [spiritual death at birth followed by the Second Death in eternity], but the grace benefit from the God [the Father] is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
τὰ γὰρ ὀψώνια τῆς ἁµαρτίας θάνατος, τὸ δὲ χάρισµα τοῦ θεοῦ ζωὴ αἰώνιος ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ τῷ κυρίῳ ἡµῶν.
1. The Greek word for rations or subsistence pay is in the plural, indicating that there is more than one type of death involved for the unbeliever: spiritual death in time and the second death in eternity. In time we have spiritual death as unbelievers; in eternity the lake of fire. The old sin nature pays rations forever to those who stayed married to him.
2. Rations imply earning or deserving something; grace benefit has the connotation of unearned sustenance.
3. The Lake of Fire is earned and deserved but heaven cannot be earned or deserved for the Lake of Fire depends on the work of man whereas eternal life in heaven depends on the work of God.