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“Bringing Me into Captivity”
by Robert Hall
03/27/13
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“Bringing Me into Captivity”

There are usually at least two schools of thought concerning every issue and it has been said that any doctrine can seem to be established on part of Scripture, but the truth is established on the whole. Romans Seven is what I like to consider as the pinnacle-doctrine in spiritual-growth teaching concerning the condition of the believer.

The two schools of thought concerning Paul’s discloser are in the concept that he is either referencing his condition as a regenerate or as he was unregenerate. I believe the most significant exegetical practice when considering his discloser is to determine if what he was instructing would even be possible to know and divulge by an unregenerate man, e.g. would a natural (unregenerate) man even desire to “delight” himself in “God” (v 22)?

Unless you’re an “Eradicatonist” who believes “crucified” means dead and gone concerning the “old man” (Rom. 6:6), you would realize Scripture teaches the believer is not void of sinning (1 John 1:8), which is reasonably so when considering the existential (continued) existence of the “old man” (sin nature), which conversely so, one could not sin in the absence of the sin nature.

I believe the crux-issue concerning sinning is that one who is born again does not sin willingly, which means it is against his desire; unlike the natural man who desires to sin willingly. This is the central-teaching concerning the meaning of “captivity” (Rom 7:22). He who willingly sins is not a captive to it because he does so agreeably within his desire and he who sins unwillingly is captive to it because he does so disagreeably outside his desire.

This could describe the believer as a “free-captive”; free from the guilt and rule of sin (Rom. 6:12, 14)—while captive to the wrongs done due to the indwelling of his sin nature. To be ruled by the sin nature is to make it the desire you are after, which is not the situation of the believer, who is caused by the Spirit to be after the things of God (Gal. 5:17).

Romans Eight is a description of the condition of two different types of people; those who are “after” the sinful nature (flesh) and those who are after the Spirit of God. Here also is another central-teaching to understanding that “no man can serve two masters,” nor “can a stream bring forth both bitter and sweet water.” You’re either “carnally minded” or “spiritually minded.”

One who is not born again cannot become spiritually minded, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (v 7). Likewise, one who is born again cannot become carnally minded, because he is “not in the flesh (after the sinful nature) but in the Spirit” (v 9).


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